For the first time in more than a year our monthly Pen Night met face to face. To allow us to socially distance, and to try out a hybrid format with far-aways coming in on Zoom, we gathered in the carriage house at Beaconsfield.
The hybrid experiment failed: the latency introduced by the wireless connection to the projector meant Zoom’s echo cancellation broke down completely. We’ll try again next time with a hard-wired connection to see if that improves things.
But the face to face was a rousing success, with a dozen of us gathering to immerse ourselves in fountain pen nerdiness.
Highlights included special guest star Art, a summer resident, who brought some lovely heavy pens with intriguing nibs, an Aurora 88 passed around by Stephen, a bookbinding gift from Chantal, and a good assortment of notebooks and letters circulated for inspection. There were also some very good refreshments: Tolkien-inspired cookies and rhubarb-strawberry crumble squares.
Being back in the room with my pen friends reminded me how important the monthly pen respite was during the summer of 2019 while Catherine was sick: just being able to get away for a few hours and not think about matters of life, cancer, and death was enormously helpful for my mental health.
We’ll meet again in August.