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  1. I went to the London Writing Society show today intending to come back with one or more vintage Watermans (Watermen?) - I've been saving for months, and was pretty clear what I wanted. I wanted to fill in some holes in my collection of 12 1/2 V overlays, and was hoping for one with a very flexible nib; I was also searching for a flexible stub in any model I could find. Didn't end up getting either, to my great surprise. First off, the terrific John Sorowka (Oxonian in these parts) tuned three of my pens and embarrassed me horribly with the amount of crud he found in the nib section of my Waterman 12 POC. (I'd much rather trust someone like John to disassemble a friable old BCHR pen than do it myself - as I said to him, I'm totally cack-handed and am guaranteed to snap something if it's a pen I really care about.) All three are ten times the pen they were when I put them in my pen case this morning: and John is a lovely, lovely man. Now I've met him, I'll be sending him a couple more for a regrind. Some Iroshizuku bottles caught my eye on the Write Here Pens stand. And I didn't buy any, because when I made my way over there, I found this - the Diamine Flower Set. (I thought it wasn't meant to be available until the end of the month?) Like I say, I was shopping for teeny Watermans with flexy nibs. Ray Walters (Vintage and Modern Pens) saw me testing Waterman nibs at his stand on my thumbnail, and collared me: he said he had a pen that might interest me, although it wasn't a Waterman. It's a tiny Mabie Todd Swan ringtop with a sterling silver overlay, and he handed it to me dipped so I could give it a whirl. For a Mabie Todd, it was pricey at £125, but...this nib was THE ONE. I have a couple of wet noodles already, but none are this responsive or display this much variation; and if you could marry pens and I wasn't married already, I'd be having the banns read next week. Here's the obligatory nib shot. (As good as I can manage with my phone, I'm afraid.) It is a *beautiful* writer. It's butter-smooth, gorgeously wet - and you can see the flex. My god, the flex. It's like writing with a piece of oily ribbon. Apologies for the handwriting; it's not my best effort. My hands are still a bit shaky because I'm *stupidly* excited about that nib. Do any Mabie Todd collectors here know what the model is called, and when it was in production? (It's 9.5cm long with the cap on, if that helps.) Gary Lehrer signed a copy of Waterman Past and Present for me, using one of my pens, fresh from John's tender ministrations, because he didn't have one inked. And I considered my bankroll, spent another happy hour and a half or so browsing, chatting and learning new things, before heading out for lunch with my husband (who is not a pens person, but who found himself enjoying the morning very much indeed) and back home on the train. Brilliant day. Thanks to everybody who made it happen!

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