Raggedy Rook

My favourite machine for making art with is sadly out of action. The Remington De Luxe 5 is the best for me and the way I draw with typewriters, which is to disengage the line spacer and hold the carriage release and platen knob in my right hand, turning the knob as I type with my left. (I’m left-handed but this is more an ambidextrous method.) The shape of the ribbon guide is crucial as well, and on the Rem de luxe, it’s perfect, giving lots of space to see what you are typing and also allowing good alignment of marks as you go.

I’m gutted that the platen is too slippery and hard now, and no amount of home remedy action seems to fix it for long enough. Plus, the feedrollers are leaving black rubber deposits in two parallel lines on the paper. I’m looking at YouTube vids of how to get at the feedrollers but that will have to wait.

The Imperial Good Companion I’ve used here for this Raggedy Rook ( and yesterday’s Five Starlings) does come a close second, though the platen is bloody hard now and I worry about the typeslugs on this precious machine with its scientific symbols. I use a backing sheet every time, but this can cause problems with shadowing in places.

There’s no point always trying to keep everything the same or as it once was. I allowed myself to become comfortable with the Rem De Luxe, and maybe I wasn’t challenging myself enough. It’s harder work with the Good Companion but I’m still happy with the result, maybe more so.

Failing Nicely

Also, I’ve come to the conclusion that no one was lying when they said “planning is everything.” You can’t do this on a whim, because a whim is just a whim. Something has to come to a head, as it did with my typewriter collecting. I haven’t taken delivery of a typewriter for myself for at least 2 years, and that’s because I kicked my eBay habit. And I kicked my eBay habit because I didn’t have a smartphone at the time. Now, if occasionally I am asked to find a typewriter for a friend, I find that I can go and find one online and not feel that obsessive pull because I have a defined task. My search is focussed and deliberate: Olivetti Lettera 22/32 no more than £20. Externally applied constraints allow me to keep my head, and not lose my way down the rabbit hole.

So these days my personal typewriter hunting is entirely based in the real world of charity shops and junk shops and vintage stalls. The thrill and suspense is a mini adventure on foot, not a late night bleary red eyed waste of sleeping time. And I no longer care about the amazing machines I am missing out on. I am more than lucky with the ones I already have.

Now, back to deleting my Facebook account. Again.