This week’s long run

It was cold and windy and boy did I not want to go outside to run, but a training plan is a training plan and I have a race coming up, so…

The beach was still half flooded from last night’s storm.

The waves were incredible and the water was brown with sand and silt.

Seagulls had pushed inland and had taken over most of the river, forcing the other waterfowl away.

Cormorants had moved up the river as well, and a dejected goose took refuge on the banks.

9k done despite the cold weather.

Review: Parker Jotter London Architecture

Before I got into fountain pens and gel ink pens became available in the market, I used to use ballpoint pens for taking notes, and the Parker Jotter was my favourite. It was the first pen I invested “real money” into when I was still in high school, and I still have that purple pen knocking about somewhere in the house. The refills were always a problem, with blobbing, streaking and hard starts something common to all ballpoints, even the Jotter with its “Quinkflow” refills, but you could shade with the pen, which meant that you could doodle in your notebook while bored — a big plus for me.

I switched to fountain pens when I started my BA and my wrist pains got worst than ever, because I was practically carving the words into the page. Since then, gel pens and fountain pens have ruled the roost on my desk, with only a Kara’s Kustoms Render K with a Schmidt easyflow 9000 M in black filling my few ballpoint needs. When they don’t blob, ballpoints are great after all, especially if you want to jot something down and not have to wait for the ink to dry.

But when Jet Pens added four limited edition Parker Jotters, each one celebrating a different London architectural icon (Bronze for Big Ben, Red for Buckingham Palace, Sky Blue for the Shard, and Black for the Gherkin), I knew I had to reopen the ballpoint chapter in my life.

The packaging is stunning, as you can see for yourself:

Not many pens at this price level come in such nice boxes, which makes them perfect gifts (I bought all four pens and intend to give away three of them as gifts).

Ballpoints aren’t much fun for me to write with, because I have RSI problems and they require pressure to use, but they are fun to sketch and doodle with. So much shading with one pen:

The etching on the pen makes it very easy to grip once you start writing or sketching, but it does feel a bit rough on the fingers when you just pick the pen up or fiddle with it. The click mechanism and clip are Parker solid, and colours and design of these pens are fantastic:

The minus is of course the refill, which is smooth with no railroading, but does blob a bit, mostly when you sketch, not so much when you just write with it.

The funniest thing about these pens that celebrate such very British icons, is that they are made in France (until 2011 Parker pens were made in the UK).

If you enjoy ballpoint pens and don’t have a Parker Jotter or like the look of these pens, I recommend these. They are tough workhorses and good looking pens.

If you love London as much as I do, I recommend these.

If you’re looking for a nice gift for someone, particularly an architecture or design student, I recommend these.

For me personally, gel pens and fountain pens will continue to rule the roost.

D&D Game, January 22, 2018

A quick sketch of our DM (we play using Discord):

We found a skeleton key, to go with last session’s skeletons:

And a rotting, not at all suspicious satchel:

Cold run

Last night was cold, very windy, with annoying drizzles. I had an annoying day at work, and I didn’t feel like doing the 6k run that my plan called for. It would have been so easy to just skip it.

But I didn’t, and even though it was a tough run, I pushed through. As usual the toughest part of the run is getting out of the door.

This week’s long run

I’ve still been running, but I’ve cut down on my photo stops lately, so there haven’t been as many of these posts. That being said, I couldn’t help myself this week, since yesterday we had a bit of a storm, and all throughout the run I could see its aftermath.

The beach was still partly flooded and the waves made short work of the breakers.

Crows taking advantage of fallen trees.

Gulls and waterfowl really enjoyed the weather – not a lot of people about, and the tide brought quite a bit up with it.

A little over 8k on an enjoyable and interesting run in almost perfect running weather.

Hermes and Cat

Typewriting a letter today brought out my cat’s curiosity.

The Ferris Wheel

Hair tie, Moleskine, Kuretake disposable pocket brush pen extra fine.

Three Good Things

After reading the great “How to Be Miserable” I decided to start keeping a “three good things” journal at my bedside and write in it every night, right before I go to bed.

The idea is to write three good things that happened to you today, and if possible attribute them. It breaks off the habit of always remembering the bad, upsetting or embarrassing parts of your day, and I also found that it helps me (together with regular journaling) clear my mind and fall asleep sooner.

The good things don’t have to be large, sometimes they’re just a nice meal that I shared with someone, or something good that I read or watched, or just a friendly exchange with a friend or someone at work. The thing is, once you start doing it you:

  1. Realize that even in the shittiest of days there is something good to remember.
  2. Train your brain to look for those things throughout the day, so that you can have something to write down at night.

I’ve been using the Field Notes Resolution weekly planner for that, but you might want to use something larger. I just chose the Resolution because it gave me a reason to use the notebook, and it’s small enough that I’m sure that I will have something to write in it every day.