Stills from a movie, Day 37

I’m making things, not really typing, not really writing. This is from a photo we took of our shadows on a night walk last summer. Now the longest we’ve been apart since we got together and every day from now on until lockdown is over.

Thinking of you all. Keep on staying safe xx

Underwood 5 progress

Emergency drawband repair!

As soon as I had got the valentine underwood home, I saw that the drawband was so frayed it was about to go. Before I did anything else, (even brewed a cup of tea) I found some strong linen button thread and put some stitches into the strap. However I could see that just poking the needle through would break the strap, so I held it steady with a pair of tweezers. There are no in-progress pictures as it was touch and go. The strap broke after a couple of stitches and I heard the mainspring lose a bit of tension, but the thing held and I finished off with a few more stitches.

No serial number

I looked long and hard for the serial number and consulted a lot of photos on the database to check I was looking in all the right places. Eventually I discovered this ground down plate under a layer of rust and grime… Thanks to Richard Polt for pointing me to the secret back-up serial number hiding place under the nickelled plate on the right of the carriage!

Serial number hiding place

Everything was stiff and rusty, especially the margin stops. I struggled to get them to shift and too impatient to sort it, I wrote a letter with a rather narrow format. Then in the evening we burned the rice for our Valentine’s Day curry while we tried to work out how to shift the stops. Badly. However with all the windows open to let the freezing night air in, and the smoke out, the air cleared enough to get a screwdriver into action and take the ruler off to clean up the stops…

This stop is for the right hand side! Of course it is!
And this is the left margin stop. Slightly different arrangement under there.

You might notice the plastic spools on the machine at this point. I was too excited to try typing to be bothered respooling and found that the lettera 22 spools worked ok for a test run. I’ve missed having a filthy thing. On with the cleaning!

Totally smitten with these stained legends

Season’s Greetings

Do not adjust your TV sets! I love the red and green ribbon on my Imperial Good Companion no 5 with the scientific symbols. Recently I had to sell my one and only script typeface, so I’m enjoying using this typewriter even more this festive season. When something has to go, it has to go, but I’m still rich in typewriters and the possibilities are infinite. May your festive season be glorious. Wishing you all peace, creativity, and tranquility for 2020.

Come in, have a cup of tea. It’s National Poetry Day in the U.K.

Friends, I invite you to browse sections of my poetry shelves wherever you are in the world, because every day is poetry day. I think we need poetry more than ever, and I think we need to read it in solitude on paper and to hear it spoken in a crowd, we need to read each other poetry at bedtime, and over a breakfast coffee. Leave a poem in a random place. When the world flips its middle finger at you, flip a poem right back at it. With love.