Diamine Inkvent 2022 Day 23: Celebration

It’s day 23 of the Diamine Inkvent calendar.

Door 23

Day 23’s ink is Diamine Celebration, a coral ink with shimmer.

Celebration bottle

Celebration is between pink and orange, a bright and vibrant ink with plenty of orange shimmer. It look like Diamine Coral with added pizzazz.

Col-o-Ring swab

This ink would definitely cheer you up on a dark and gloomy day, as it practically glows in the page. Is it practical? No. Is it fun and interesting? Yes, particularly if you haven’t got an ink like Diamine Coral.

Sketch on 52gsm Tomoe River paper

Would I use a bottle of this? No. I have a bottle of Diamine Coral already, and I don’t need another one but with shimmers in it. But this ink certainly belongs in this calendar, and I’m glad that Diamine chose this hue instead of another red.

Writing sample on 68gsm Tomoe River paper

Diamine Inkvent 2022 Day 22: Deck the Halls

It’s day 22 of Diamine’s Inkvent (check out that snowflake!):

Door 22

Day 22’s ink is Diamine Deck the Halls, a dark purple chameleon ink, and an interesting one at that.

Deck the Halls bottle

Deck the Hall is dark and saturated, with just a hint of shading and a fascinating chameleon effect. I was expecting something with a silver, green or blue shimmer, but Deck the Hall shimmers from coppery orange to pink.

Col-o-Ring swab

I don’t really like this dark eggplant colour, bu the chameleon shimmer effect here works very well, because of its strong contrast with the base colour. The effect reminded me of a hummingbird’s wings flashing.

Sketch on 52gsm Tomoe River paper

I don’t really like the base colour so I don’t see myself buying a full size bottle of Diamine Deck the Halls. That being said, this ink is very Inkvent appropriate and an interesting ink with a lot of character.

Writing sample on 68gsm Tomoe River paper.

Bonus: the signature I mentioned in my writing sample:

Diamine Inkvent 2022 Day 21: Cosy Up

It’s day 21 in the Diamine Inkvent calendar.

Door 21

Day 21’s ink is Diamine Cosy Up, a standard bubblegum pink.

Cosy Up bottle.

Cosy Up is a bright and cheerful colour with a lot of shading. If you like Diamine Coral you’ll likely like Cosy Up too.

Col-o-Ring swab

I’m not a big fan of pink inks, but this one made me smile. It’s a very Barbie appropriate colour, one that Elle Woods would have loved.

Sketch on 52gsm Tomoe River paper

There are a lot of ink options in this shade of pink in the market, so there’s no reason to prefer this one when it comes out, unless you are a fan of the bottle. That being said, it was nice getting a little sample of this in this year’s Inkvent.

Writing sample on 68gsm Tomoe River paper

One Year Since I Finished Chemo

When you finish your chemo treatments that’s not the end of your journey with cancer. In a way, it’s just beginning. You enter a new phase, one of constant dread, one of “wait and see”. You are in remission – for now.

And who are you to complain? You are in remission. Many cancer patients don’t get to this blessed state, and you are happy you made it, but it’s alway a happiness with an asterisk. Especially during the first year post treatment.

So, it’s been a year. I got my last treatment on the 21st of December 2021 (nice date: 21.12.21), and then had about a month of feeling like absolute trash – like three locomotives carrying every ailment in the world slammed into me at once. I was on old school chemo, not the new fangled targeted stuff, no immunotherapy for me: my treatment was discovered in the ’70s and it’s good enough to remain the gold standard 50 years later.

But I kept on walking, and I kept on eating and drinking and taking my meds, and gradually I started to feel better. I got my tastebuds back. My hair started to grow again. My blood tests started to improve. The number of meds I was on got smaller and smaller until it was replaced just by a few vitamins that I was prescribed to take care of the damages still left. I got to see my doctor less and less often. We’re now at the wonderful “every three months” mark. I lost the weight that I gained from the steroids.

I got back to running: 1k, 2k, 3k for while as my lungs got better, my heart got better, and I learned to deal with my PTSD better. Then 4k, 5k, and back to long runs. These days I run five times a week, four 5ks and one 10k long run. And running means so much to me I can’t express how much it means that I get to enjoy it again.

I also got back to lifting weights at the gym, to meeting people face to face, to listening to podcasts that I used to love (though there are some old favourites that I can’t listen to these days). I went back to the office, back to public transit, back to travelling abroad, back to participating in races. I went to two escape rooms with my friends.

But I didn’t go back to being the same person.

That’s impossible, and all the time I see cancer survivors struggling to come to terms with that. Even if you lucked out and didn’t get PTSD (about 25% of patients do), cancer leaves an indelible mark on you, on the way you think, feel and react.

Thankfully I realised that about halfway through my treatments, and I like the new me. And I’m comfortable enough saying that without hedging, explaining or apologising. Period.

I have another year of high risk of relapse, which means a checkup every three months, and then three more years after that of checkups every six months. Then, at the five year mark, I’m ostensibly free. From the cancer patients groups I know there’s no real freedom from this, but it’s something that I’m gradually learning to live with.
Right now I’m still at the “every twinge, cough and ache is a cause for panic” phase. It’s not a fun place to be, and you get to stay there for a good long while. But I’ve made it through the most high risk year for my kind of cancer, the first year, so I get to celebrate for a bit. I brought a cake to work this week, and I plan on celebrating with my family this weekend, and completely ignoring the panicking voice in my head that is yelling that I am tempting fate. If my cancer returns, it returns and I’ll deal with it then.

For now it’s been one year since I finished chemo and I get to celebrate.

Diamine Inkvent 2022 Day 20: Arctic Blast

It’s day 20 in Diamine’s Inkvent and we are at the home stretch.

Day 20 door

Day 20’s ink is Diamine Arctic Blast and it is almost the polar opposite of yesteday’s Silent Night. If yesterday’s ink was a standard and boring blue black, today’s ink more than makes up for it.

Diamine Arctic Blast bottle

Diamine went all out with this one: Arctic Blast is a rich royal blue with both a red shimmer, and a pink to blue chameleon effect. Yes, it is both a shimmer and a chameleon ink, and the result make it almost look neon in certain angles. A colour that would have felt welcome in the 80’s.

Col-o-Ring swab

This is such a fun combination that you forget that it’s another saturated blue with red shimmer ink, because it isn’t. The chameleon effect makes this ink pop, and the combination may be hard to photograph but is quite striking.

Sketch on 52gsm Tomoe River paper

This ink more than makes up for yesterday’s Silent Night, and while I likely won’t buy a full bottle of it, I plan to thoroughly enjoy Arctic Blast’s neon vibes while I still have a sample of it.

Writing sample on 68gsm Tomoe River paper

Diamine Inkvent 2022 Day 19: Silent Night

It’s day 19 in Diamine’s Inkvent and we’re reaching the point where the calendar becomes very light to pick up.

Door 19

Day 19’s ink is Diamine Silent Night, a standard blue black, with a little bit of red sheen (because it’s so saturated). That’s it. that’s all there is to it.

Diamine Silent Night bottle.

There’s nothing of interest to write about this ink. It’s got practically no shading properties, it’s a dark greyish blue ink undifferentiated from the dozens of other blue black inks in the market (including a good number of Diamine’s own lineup).

Diamine Silent Night Col-o-Ring swab.

Here’s a sketch of blue whale and a diver in the sea. There’s nothing much to see here in terms of the ink’s behaviour.

Diamine Silent Night on 52gsm Tomoe River paper

Silent Night, like other blue blacks, is a very good everyday writing ink. Is it festive? No. Is it unique? Also no. Should it have been included in this year’s Inkvent? There are 25 inks in the calendar and there are bound to be at least one or two that are uninteresting, like Silent Night. That being said, some people may want to purchase a full bottle of this to gift away to a newcomer to fountain pen ink. It’s a beautiful bottle, after all, and still a relatively inexpensive ink.

Diamine Silent Night on 68gsm paper.

Diamine Inkvent 2022 Day 18: Olive Swirl

It’s day 18 in Diamine Inkvent. Exciting, I know 🙂

Door 18

Day 18’s ink is Diamine Olive Swirl, an olive green chameleon ink with a good amount of shading and a whole lot of class.

Diamine Olive Swirl bottle

Diamine Olive Swirl is a very cool colour – a pretty vibrant olive green with the coolest chameleon effect. The shimmers here change from pinkish copper to green, and it is a very attractive combination with the base colour.

Diamine Olive Swirl swab on Col-o-Ring

I like sketching with unusual colours every once in a while, and even though I don’t sketch with shimmer inks, I can see myself sketching with Olive Swirl. The base colour is so good and the chameleon shimmer is subtle and yet adds so much interest to it, that I really enjoyed sketching this sea turtle with it.

Sketch on 52gsm Tomoe River paper

Of the chameleon inks so far, Olive Swirl is by far my favourite. Green and pink are a classic combination, and the fact that you see the pink only in certain angles and so very subtly adds a lot to this ink’s charm. Definitely an ink I see myself purchasing in the future.

Writing sample on 68gsm Tomoe River paper

Diamine Inkvent 2022 Day 17: Flame

It’s day 17 in the Diamine Inkvent calendar, and check out that cool snowflake:

Door 17

Day 17’s ink is Diamine Flame, an orange standard ink. Yay for standard inks again!

Diamine Flame bottle

Diamine Flame is a bright orange with some shading and did I mention that it’s a standard ink? No shimmer, sheen, sparkles or scent. Nice for a change.

Diamine Flame on Col-o-Ring

I am continuing my animal theme for now, this time with a sketch of a clown fish. You can see Diamine Flame’s shading and outlining properties quite well here”

Diamine Flame on 52gsm Tomoe River paper

Diamine Flame is dark enough to be legible without losing its orange nature (it’s not too red, in other words). Will I buy a full bottle of this? Likely not, as I don’t normally use orange inks. It is, however, a well behaved, interesting enough orange ink for me to recommend it if you are looking for something in that shade and find Diamine more affordable/accessible than Robert Oster, Pilot Iroshizuku or Montblanc.

Writing sample on 68gsm Tomoe River paper

Diamine Inkvent 2022 Day 16: Serendipity

Day 16 of Diamine’s Inkvent. Let’s hope that we don’t get another scented ink soon…

Day 16 door

Day 16’s ink is Diamine Serendipity (quite a mouthful) – a shimmering and sheening dark blue ink.

Serendipity bottle

Diamine Serendipity has a red sheen (of course) and gold shimmer. In Diamine’s defence, the red sheen is closer to the purple/pink side of the spectrum, which is a nice change from the usual, and the gold shimmer does make it particularly festive.

Diamine Serendipity swab on a Col-o-Ring

The base colour of this ink is interesting – despite being dark and saturated, there is some shading towards the teal end of the spectrum. As per my usual experience with inks that both shimmer and sheen, the sheen overpowers the shimmer in most viewing angles.

Sketch on 52gsm Tomoe River paper

I had another nib accident with a TWSBI Go here (a different pen, of course, but with the same issue – the nib and feed weren’t properly set in after a clean), so there’s a big smudge at the start of the writing sample. Diamine Serendipity is a nice enough ink, but not one that I see myself rushing out to buy, as there are so many inks in the same colour range and with the same properties, and I already have a good selection of them. I do like the deep, dark, bluish teal base colour of this ink very much though, and I’m glad that it is part of this year’s Inkvent.

Writing sample on 68gsm Tomoe River paper

Diamine Inkvent 2022 Day 15: Diamine Pick Me Up

It’s day 15 of Diamine’s Inkvent, and it comes with another cool illustration on the door:

Day 15 door

Oh no! Day 15 is another scented ink! Day 15’s ink is Diamine Pick Me Up, a scented and sheening chocolate brown ink, and it’s likely going to be one of my least favourite inks in this year’s Inkvent.

Diamine Pick Me Up bottle

The base ink itself is a warm, rich colour, with some shading and a greenish gold sheen which I could do without. It also has a strong artificial smell of either burnt chocolate or chocolate with coffee (but not the good kind of chocolate with coffee).

Swab on a Col-o-Ring

I enjoyed drawing this aardvark. I didn’t enjoy using this ink, largely because of the smell. I dumped out the previous scented ink, and this one looks to be following it down the drain.

Sketch on 52gsm Tomoe river paper

I used a Lamy AL Star fine nib to write and sketch this review, and I am going to clean it out thoroughly this weekend by the looks of it. I just can’t stand the smell, and the ink isn’t appealing enough for me to want to use it despite the scent and the sheen.

Writing sample on 68g Tomoe River paper