For day eleven, I chose a very special pen, a vintage Parker Senior Duofold Deluxe, made about 1930. This pen belonged to a very good friend of mine who wrote, loved fountain pens - and who died in 2007. This is one of three of his pens that I now own. It was probably bought by his father, as it was filled with very old dried ink when I first got it. Richard Binder cleaned it and replaced the ink sac, and did an excellent job of that. (At my specific request, he did not polish it or do any cosmetic repairs.)
I had been waiting to use this pen until I got some Waterman or Diamine inks, as they require less maintenance and are thus better, in my opinion, for using in vintage pens where no risk of problems at all is acceptable, so I had not yet tried the pen out. For my writing, I decided to ink it with Waterman Blue-Black. It is a button filler, and my experience has forced me to conclude that either button fillers have relatively poor ink capacity, or I simply do not have the knack of filling them properly. I needed to fill the pen a total of four times before I was done for the day.
I had the same experience in controlling the nib as I did with the Merlin Perfect, in that it seemed more difficult to control the nib than with other pens I've used. This may be due to the large nibs, and to the altered angle required to hold the pen and control the tip of the nib on the page. It was different than the Perfect, however, in that the nib did not "come alive" and lacked the responsiveness of the Perfect's nib. Since the Perfect is the only pen I have ever used which has exhibited even a trace of this quality, I can't object too much about that.
It was a fun pen to write with, and I found the huge nib and the vintage appearance inspiring. However, the repeated need to refill it with ink did frustrate me. This is still a very special pen, but it isn't the first pen I'd reach for when I wanted to do some serious writing. Although I might well use it in a special project. For those who aren't used to the old Duofolds, the barrel was originally the same colour as the cap, but the decay of the rubber ink sac inside caused it to darken. (It now has a latex sac installed, to prevent further changes). However, I like the two-tone appearance it now has, and even thought originally that it had been intentional. Another interesting feature of this pen is the fact its gold nib is actually stamped with a serial number.
I was not at all impressed with Waterman Blue-Black. For one thing, the colour is a lighter blue than I expected. I wouldn't call it "blue-black" at all. More important, although the ink did flow well, it offered almost no lubrication to the nib as I wrote. The feel was almost that of running a dry nib across the page. The nib itself is smooth, so I managed to endure it, but with a nib that was even slightly scratchy, this ink would be pure torment. So far, I'm strongly inclined to think Diamine will be my ink of choice for pens that need "special handling".
I wrote 2,305 words all told on day eleven, for a total so far of 24,047 words. The writing is going well, and I'm nearly halfway there less than halfway through the month. That is encouraging, but I dare not allow myself to grow complacent until I actually have as many words as I need. Too many things could still go wrong.