I am new here, this is my first post. I know there's an "Introductions" section, but I have an ink-related question so I figured I'd keep things neat and contained and just start here, if that's all right with you. (I'll move to Intros if the mods prefer ofc)
A short introduction: I'm 22 y/o, from the Netherlands, just finished my bachelor's and currently doing an internship. As such, I have very little money to spend - hence my username! I've always loved fountain pens but for a long time the fountain pen enthusiast world seemed too daunting. Turns out there's nothing daunting to it I own only cheap pens, of course: LAMY Vista (B and EF, the latter being my daily driver), Platinum Carbon Black Desk pen EF, and a clear Pilot Kaküno EF. Can you tell I have a thing for small nibs?
Now, my topic:
3 months ago, I ordered some Noodler's Black Eel and Heart of Darkness from an online store in Europe, among some other products. (I don't want to get so specific that someone might guess which store it is.) The other products I received just fine, but they told me the Noodler's inks weren't in stock. I had expected they'd put that on the site before I paid, but alright, they'd deliver it once they had it - they told me 3 weeks tops.
After 4 weeks, I contacted them and they told me it was at customs. So I waited.
After another 6 weeks I contacted customs myself and found out that the store lied (probably to buy some time): customs in the Netherlands don't hold products like that. I contacted the store again and they apologized profusely, offered to send me an alternative product of my choosing and told me what I already knew: it's one guy making all the inks. They also told me he doesn't have either BE or HoD on hand, he still has to make it.
My question: does this story seem at all reasonable/believable to you, based on your experience with Noodler's?
Like I said, I know it's one guy making everything by hand. I don't want to push anyone, least of all him, because I know he must have a lot of customers. But I find it hard to believe he doesn't have an ink as common as Heart of Darkness at all in a period of over 12 weeks, especially not for a relatively large European store. What do you guys think? Should I try ordering somewhere else, or just buy another ink (which one?) and expect the HoD somewhere next year? Did something happen to Nathan or is he otherwise engaged? Does this happen more regularly with Noodler's and should I just get used to it?
It may sound dumb but I really need these inks. The Black Eel was supposed to be a b'day present for my mother which I bought well on time, but her b'day is less than 5 weeks away now. My daily driver, Vista EF, was inked up with Platinum Carbon Black before and that ink is just disastrous in a Leuchtturm1917 A5 lined journal (feathering, spreading, bleeding), which I used for daily journaling. So I just cleaned out my Vista and waited for HoD, from what I heard a very well-behaved ink. I also intended to start a Bullet Journal in my regular-sized LT1917 which is doable with Platinum, but because of the spread, my Kaküno EF is effectively an F/M, which is too large for the neat writing I'm looking for on a 5x5 grid. Initially I figured I'd wait because it won't take long, and now I wait because I've waited all this time already dangit, but I really miss my (bullet) journaling as a way to improve my mental health. (All this because of some ink, I know, I know, I just underestimated how much I need the journaling).
If you'd like to recommend another ink: I'm looking for something blacker than black, well-behaved with low spread, and very preferably something that doesn't budge once dry. (Liquid-y accidents happen in this household and I don't want to lose anything. I also just like the feeling it gives... Everything I put on paper is there to stay. I love that.) I might ask the store for some of Noodler's Black - if they have it...
Thank you if you came this far!