smugmug buys flickr

Just read this piece of news an hour ago.

I’ve had my flickr account since 2006 or so, so I have a lot of pictures there. When I signed up, I was clueless about social networking and privacy settings (photography too, for that matter). To me, flickr was just a storage place for photos … so my settings were ‘public’ and I uploaded everything!

Don’t think I realised what it was like until we moved here, 2008, and I started connecting with a few people here. Then I realised they could see everything, and it was quite a job to change them all … I just wanted to crawl in under a rock.


not one post

Was just looking at my dashboard here, and realised I haven’t posted once in 2018 and it’s almost mid April. Even though blogging is on the back-burner, obviously, I won’t let my blog go to waste. I’ve inserted to much energy into it, at times.

My little stationery hobby took over … the pens, the inks and the handwriting … and more importantly, the groups. When you’re not into it, it’s probably unfathomable that there’s so much to talk about, but one post about, for example, an ink, could render two hundred comments or at least in that range.

Life is moving on, seemingly at a slow pace, but not when you look in the rearview mirror … then the weeks just seem to zoom by, even though I don’t do anything in particular. I’ve taken up reading more than I used to. I’ve always read books, but now I started to re-read a bunch of novels I read in my teenage years. I was probably overly ambitious, because I remember I was thirteen when I read ‘The Great Gatsby’ … in English, for example. I realise I was too young to fully absorb it, particularly not in a foreign language. Same thing with Hemingway’s ‘A Farewell to Arms’. Now I’ve read them again, with great pleasure, and many other books too.

IMG_0931I feel very blessed to have both the time and the means to pursue my little hobbies. I combine them too: I read all the books on my phone … either in the Kindle app or the library app, so I can easily highlight quotations or passages that really speak to me. Later I write them down in my commonplace book, plus everything else I find on the web that I feel is worthy of a second thought.

no colder weather

It’s October 25 and we have 22ºC (71ºF for those of you in the U.S.), but with the, so called, humidex, it feels like 27ºC. The rain is coming down in sheets … real downpours. We actually had a couple of forest fires, so this might be a good thing. Nothing like out west, but still.

The apartment across the hall from us is vacant being renovated … new paint, flooring and even a new stove. In a building like this they have quite the turnover — the young students move often and the senior citizens might move into a home or … elsewhere. The guys that do the painting always leave the door ajar when they finish in the afternoon — this has happened many times before — so I grabbed my camera and went in to take come pictures, as the late afternoon light was good.

They have a spectacular view there, on the other side of the building — they can see straight out to sea. Anyway; ours might be more … entertaining 🙂 Always something going on here — firetrucks and ambulances.

DSC_2215This is Fort Howe — the outlook spot of Saint John [click for better viewing]. Our building is taller, so I was actually looking down on it. Was aiming for the gull who was sitting on top of the monument, but he took off 🙂 There are almost always a few cars lined up there … they go up there to just sit and gaze for a while, in peace and quiet, I guess … just as we do. To the left in the picture you can see a small portion of the mighty Saint John River, on its way out to sea, under the Harbour Bridge. I love this little city, in case you’d missed that LOL.

DSC_2220My fascination with fountain pens and handwriting is still alive and kicking. In many ways I think it’s very much thanks to the online community it’s still so much fun. It even involves a little bit of photography! The shots some people take of nibs and pens are just … wow! In my Instagram feed I see so many marvellous shots. I used to have two Instagram accounts — one for ‘ordinary stuff’ and one for the pen community. That didn’t work in the long run. My old account got hopelessly neglected, so I merged them to @her.nibs. Now I’m probably boring my old Instagram friends to death, as I’m taking part in a daily handwriting challenge, but I’m trying hard to throw in other things too. It’s a very small niche of an interest, but still there are 20,000+ members in one of the Facebook groups. One could get hundreds of comments on a post about blue ink, for example 🙂 … quite amazing.





culture vulture

A friend and I visited our province’s capital, Fredericton last Sunday. My friend — who has a ‘slight’ obsession with Henry David Thoreau [to put it mildly] — wanted to visit a photo exhibition; «24 trees at Walden Pond».  She wanted to go this particular Sunday, as the photographer was going to be there, himself, and she knows him. I tugged along for the outing, the photos, to visit the Beaverbrook Gallery and see the painting by Salvador Dali, Santiago El Grande. Not sure why I really wanted that … just because I knew they had it there so I could say that I’d seen it.

We started out with lunch as soon as we got there. Had a scrumptious meal and talked about fountain pens and ink. Then we moseyed over to the gallery, which as more or less next door to the restaurant. Now, it turned out they had the grand opening of a new wing, so there were line-ups … very crowded … but we got in fairly quick anyway, since it was free. The grand opening, with speeches and all that, took place in the  very room where the tree photos were hung, so we didn’t see much of them, but we had a great experience anyway. They had a group of indigenous people there that put on a fabulous show … dances … drums … chanting. They were telling a story about the Saint John River and the river itself was flowing right outside the windows.

My friend got a chat with the photographer so all in all it turned out to be a great day. She’s going down to Walden Pond on Friday for some project she’s working on, so she’ll get to see those trees in real live instead.



Weekend before last, we had something called Festival of Sails here in Saint John. There were twelve [or eighteen, now I’m not sure] tall ships in the harbour. The started arriving 10AM on Friday morning and I knew this. The programme for that weekend’s activities had been posted in the newspaper and all over Facebook.

So, a few minutes before 10 o’clock I took the car and drove up on the hill, to the look-out point. We live right behind this hill so it took less than a minute. I don’t know whether I live in a dream world, under a rock or what, but I just thought this would be easy … just drive up, shoot a few pictures and be done with it.

As soon as I’d driven up a little bit I realised something was going on, because there were cars parked on that narrow road leading up to the top. When I got to the first ‘plateau’, I was going to just forget about the whole thing and just get out of there. Literally everyone had apparently the same idea as myself, with the only difference they were there early — they were sitting on blankets  with picnic baskets on the lawn … they were milling about, elbow to elbow.

I left the car, with the engine running, walked a few metres away from it and shot a few random shots and left.

IMG_5079The weather was atrocious most of that weekend, but I saw so many, gorgeous photos of these ships online, on Facebook. This is one of I copied from the webcam.

I went downtown on the Saturday for a different reason, the rain was pouring down so hard, but there were people out anyway … lots of people. Some rain won’t put Saint Johners off from taking part in an event like this 🙂

Two ships hung around two more days … they were going overseas and needed to do some stuff before they left, so I took a few iPhone photos of them. One was Lord Nelson of the U.K. and the other Wylde Swan of the Netherlands.



it’s a shame about the weather

Tomorrow is Canada Day. It’s also Canada’s 150th birthday. Naturally, oodles of festivities are planned for this, and we, here in the Maritime provinces, will get three days of RAIN. The bad stuff has already moved in — the fog is pretty dense this morning. My husband’s son and girlfriend had planned to visit us … to go camping with their new tent trailer, but how much fun is that in pouring rain?! The visit has been postponed.

Yesterday, I was talking with my friend back home — the one who came to visit last summer — about how we, with age, seem to get more comfortable in our own skin, so to speak. I’ve thought about it from time to time, but it’s never been as evident as during my last trip to Sweden:

There are two, big department stores in Stockholm. One is old and very posh … comparable to, perhaps Harrod’s in London, U.K. or rather … Fortnum & Mason. The name is NK [Nordiska Kompaniet]. Over the years, when I’ve gone there, I’ve always had little bouts with some kind of inferiority complex. The people working there [mainly women] seemed to be so ‘perfect’ with their clothes and make-up … I felt like something the cat dragged in. I thought they looked snooty (probably all nice, sweet people). Three years ago, when I was there, I basically walked in and out again.

This time, though … I seemed to have forgotten all about it! Didn’t have that feeling at all! I was there several times, browsed around, drooled in their porcelain department and also, of course in their fountain pen store.

Either, this comes with age, or I’ve must have gotten really far, working with my own ‘soul searching’. I’ve always been of the persuasion that I’m no better than anybody else, but, I’m no worse either. I guess that finally sunk in 🙂 The person in the pen store there was so nice, and we had discussions about fountain pens … nothing could have been farther from my thoughts than feeling inferior.

DSC_1853Having said all that; here’s a picture of my latest acquisition. A Pelikan Tortoiseshell with a bottle of Edelstein Smoky Quartz. I have other Pelikans, but this has the classical Pelikan striped body. Luckily, the ink was thrown in as a gift [that’s expensive stuff], because honestly I don’t know what to think about the colour. It’s brown. Okay, it matches the pen, but that’s only visible to me. I’ll keep it for private use … not letter writing 🙂


quick note — all-in-one

As I mentioned in previous post, I’ve merged the blogs I had into one. I must have been overly ambitious, thinking I could have two.

As I did so, you may or may not, have received email notifications … what WordPress calls «pingbacks». I didn’t think of that before I made the move. I should have, as I’ve done this before. I’m sorry about that.

It’s all set now, I’ve made most of the adjustments and here is a picture of one of my best fountain pen inks 😁.