Sunday, July 10, 2011

On the road and loving it...

We are in Port Townsend, Washington, sitting at Point Hudson RV Park, which is right on the water and within five minutes' walk of my favourite bookstore, William James, Bookseller. I went in there this afternoon and picked up a copy of Barbara Kingsolver's Homeland and Other Stories. I thought that was very controlled of me. I generally have trouble getting out of there with fewer than five books. I've found the secret. I didn't look beyond the sale shelf near the front door -- but I'm regretting that now. We've had a lovely time here, catching up on news with Angel May and Angel Spouse, enjoying Port Townsend as always, but we will be leaving tomorrow morning, headed for the other side of Port Angeles -- to visit Roger and Chantal, old friends that we met in Mexico.

Yesterday  I went into a bookstore called Imprints. I bought a birthday card for my sister and a copy of Anne of Green Gables for my great-niece. I asked directions to the post office. The proprietor pointed me to a shop called the Purple Heron, down at the other end of the main street, where there is a little postal outlet.  I walked down there, confirmed that they could mail my packages, and asked for the padded envelopes I would need.  Unfortunately, the young lady at the counter told me, they had run out of the envelopes. I should keep on walking to Don's Pharmacy, where I could buy them.  So off I went -- but I stopped, halfway out the door. I think I said that I would find a place to sit and inscribe the book with my fountain pen, and then I would buy the envelopes and come back. Before I could get the door closed, the young lady said,

"Excuse me, but what's a fountain pen?"

Oh, dear. I felt immensely old.

I went back to the counter, pulled the pen out of my purse, and showed it to her. I gave her a brief history of the fountain pen, beginning with the quill. I told her that a fountain pen's nib forms itself to the handwriting style of its user. I showed her how to fill the pen.  She was enthralled. "I have to have one of those," she said. So I wrote down the URL for xFountain Pens. I made to leave again, but again I hesitated at the door. "Oh," I said, "I should tell you that it can be difficult to fill the pen directly from the ink bottle. You might want to use something like an egg cup as an inkwell. That makes it much easier."  I looked at her, and even before she spoke, I knew just what she was going to say.

"What's an egg cup?"