The Green Hint

The end of the year seems to be a good time to show a calendar I bought for 2019.

I never heard of this calendar until Gunther (from the Lexikaliker website) mentioned that this calendar is available in Japan. It features daily tips for keen gardeners. According to Bundoki it is very popular in Japan, even though the text is only in German.

When I came across this calendar I remembered what I knew from Gunther and couldn’t resist buying one.

Pelikan Wall Calendar

What a nice surprise when I came home yesterday: I got Pelikan’s huge wall calender for 2014.

October's pen and the calendar sheet on the left (image © Pelikan)

October’s pen and the calendar sheet on the left (image © Pelikan)

You get one for posting a photo on Pelikan’s Facebook page (for more details follow the link at the end of this blog post). I think there are still lots of calendars left. They have 500 to give away, but when I had a look at the submitted pictures this morning there were less than 100. If you want1 one of these calendars go to this page.

  1. You don’t need a Facebook account to take part, my wife took part and she doesn’t have a Facebook account – but you might need someone with a Facebook account to access the page, I’m not sure about that. []

Three black pencils 4

Today: black pencils from China. Black because of the paint, not because of the lead or the wood. I bought these pencils in December in Keyroad, a shop I have mentioned several times so far.

The three competing black pencils, here in a Dairy Queen calendar pencil stand.

OK, we’ve got the black version of the Chung Hwa 6903 and the M&G AWP34601. Chung Hwa and M&G are both from Shanghai. Just South of Shanghai is Zhejiang province, represented by the Zibom P-6000 pencil.


Chung Hwa 6903

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about the, in my opinion, better looking brown version of the Chung Hwa 6903. The black version is very similar. The pencil is still round, but painted black and the cap at the end is black, too, not white. I paid ¥9.9 (~ £1; $1.55; €1.20) for a dozen.

The Chung Hwa 6903



Zibom P-6000

Then we’ve got the hexagonal Zibom P-6000. It comes with an eraser and has the packaging I like most of these three pencils. It also comes with a sharpener, but the pencils have an unfinished end. I paid ¥7.5 (~ 75p; $1.20; 90c) for a dozen.

The Zibom P-6000


M&G AWP34601

The last pencil in this blog post is the hexagonal M&G AWP34601. This pencil is certainly the winner is this group when it comes to the coolest model number. I paid ¥9.9 (~ £1; $1.55; €1.20) for a dozen.

The M&G AWP34601


…and the winner is:

My personal favourite is the M&G AWP34601, the only 2B pencil in this comparison1. It’s the winner …not because of the cool model number, which sounds like a model number for some sort of high tech robot, but because the wood is not red. If anything, the AWP34601’s wood is too yellow, but I still prefer that to red wood. The runner up is the Zibom P-6000, the packaging is great, it is the cheapest in this comparison and comes with a free sharpener. The worst pencil is the Chung Hwa 6903. Yes, I know, this must be difficult to believe, as my blog post about the brown version was quite positive – but unlike the brown version this black version is just not so nice. Plus, I prefer hexagonal pencils. Lead-wise the AWP34601 is smoothest, it is a 2B after all. The P-6000 seems scratchier than the 6903. Wood-wise the 6903 has the hardest wood, so hard in fact that the auto-stop mechanism of some desktop sharpeners will not engage.

Congratulations M&G AWP34601.

Renold, the robot, presents the winner, the AWP34601.

The winner: The M&G AWP34601 2B

M&G AWP34601Zibom P-6000Chung Hwa 6903

cool name

wood not red

smooth lead






free sharpener



red wood

unfinished end


hard wood

red wood






Prices: December 2011

Exchange rates: March 2012


The Dairy Queen calendar pencil stand was ¥10 (~ £1; $1.60; €1.20). It comes with twelve walls for twelve months and three “bottoms”. Bureau Direct started selling a similar pencil stand (maybe a but late, now that it’s already March), unfortunately it is quite a bit more expensive: £9.95 (~ $15.60; €11.95).


Unfortunately I forgot to open the lens’ aperture on the photo where Renold, the robot, presents the winner.  Now the out of focus highlights are not round and a bit distracting..

  1. The other two pencils are HB. []