Over the last ten years you have made Bleistift part of your stationery reading. Thank you.
Coinciding with Bleistift’s birthday is the belated start of Stationery.wiki‘s Mechanical Pencil Day Contest 2019, running until 7 January 2020. You can win mechanical pencils from Lamy, Caran d’AcheFaber-Castell, and BIC. Please visit Stationery.wiki for more information.
As far as I can tell Bleistift blog must be the longest-running English language pencil blog that operated without a break, but please leave a comment if that is not the case.
Earlier this year my family and I made a trip to Sizergh castle in Cumbria, not too far North of where we live.
Sizergh Castle wasn’t quite what we expected, so we finished there early and with some time to spare we decided to go to Kendal.
On the way there I remembered that a few years earlier I read about a stationery shop in Kendal: Iridium.
Trying to link to this blog post I noticed that unfortunately, the A Fool With A Pen blog, where I first found out about Iridium, doesn’t exist anymore. Luckily I was able to find an archived version of the blog post. If you can spare a few minutes please take the time to read this blog post. The blogger took the shop over for a day and wrote about his or her experience.
Our trip was a few years after I read the blog post and we originally didn’t plan to visit to the shop, so we didn’t do any research, but luckily the blog post and the name of the shop were so memorable that it was easy to find the shop – on the Internet. Finding the shop in reality wasn’t easy, though. I thought I just put the name in Google Maps and it will lead us there, but finding the entrance to the lane that leads to Iridium was rather difficult. We expected this shop to be on a normal street, which might have been a contributing factor. After a few attempts we finally found the lane “New Shambles” and the shop, but unless you are familiar with Kendal or spend a bit longer in this town you are unlikely to find this shop by coincidence.
Iridium isn’t big but is making great use of the available space and is full of items you normally only see online or might not have come across before. Prices were also very reasonable for a brick and mortar store.
Malcolm, the owner of the shop was very friendly, helpful and knowledgable. We couldn’t have asked for more.
The visit a few months ago long ago, but I am not sure whether Iridium is still open. According to Google it’s ‘permanently closed’ and I can’t find social media pages for Iridium but the owner’s LinkedIn page shows that it’s open.
Of course, Google isn’t always correct, but this isn’t a good sign.
I’ll leave you with a few pictures from the shop. If you’re near Kendal please have a look. It’s very unlikely that you’ll regret the visit.
Papermate’s Inkjoy gel pens are really nice. Unfortunately it’s very difficult to get the 0.5mm version in the UK. It’s easier to find a really good deal on the 0.7mm version (finding a good deal is something that happened to me three times in the last two years) than to find the fine version at any price (something that has happened to me zero times in the last two years).
When I came across those three good deals I always bought them and every time I ended up with different versions. My oldest Inkjoys, retractable big barrel ones, were Made in Korea, but the later versions I bought, the retractable 300RT and the capped big barrel ones, were Made in India.
They all write great, but the cap of the capped version is a bit loose and less practical than the retractable version.
In many countries back to school offers have arrived in the shops. Why not do back to school in style: Sci-Fi style – with The Wandering Earth-themed stationery.
The Wandering Earth is a novella from Liu Cixin and also a Sci-Fi movie based on the novella. As far as I know the movie can be watched on Netflix in many countries.
I first came across Liu Cixin though his Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy – when the first book The Three-Body Problem was dramatised for a German radio station. A year later the dramatisation of the trilogy’s next book The Dark Forest was broadcast on the same radio station. By that time I was so hooked that I didn’t want to wait another year so I read the English version of the final book of the trilogy (or rather I let my phone read me the ebook on my work to and from work).
M&G, a Shanghainese stationery manufacturer that made several previous appearances on bleistift.blog, approached Frant Gwo, the director of The Wandering Earth movie for this cooperation.