The choice in art materials in Western Australia is limited and what can be found is costly. The small market is dominated by a few chain stores which doesn’t encourage competition or variety. Getting anything from elsewhere is limited by the crappy exchange rate and outrageous postal charges. (Especially so, given how slow and unreliable it is – things just disappear into Australia Post and that’s the end of that… and it takes so long ordinarily that you don’t even know you have a problem until you’ve waited 6 weeks or more. Sigh.) And no, that equation is not balanced by higher wages, we simply go without.
Therefore I was so blown away to see a fountain pen with a converter at Officeworks – I did the only sane thing – mentally crossed as much as I could off my grocery list – and bought it! No matter, I learned to cook from my war-years grandmother who could feed a family very well with very little. (Seriously, the best steak is the cheapest kind – preparing it her way makes it more tender than the most expensive.) The pen on offer was a Pilot Prera with a medium nib and the C-50 twist converter. Delighted.
Sadly their ink offerings were more normal – they have Quink in blue, Quink in black , or getting REALLY creative: Quink in blue-black. Since I have no interest in making my subjects looks like Smurfs I had no difficulty controlling that much excitement. Instead, I made the trek to the Big Smoke to see what T.Sharp and Co might have in stock and found a tiny bottle of liquid deliciousness: J.Herbin’s ‘Cacao de Bresil’. In Perth. Oh, my. Life is looking up.