Merry Christmas

2016 has been a pretty wonderful year for me and I hope that it's been just as wonderful for all of you. I was able to travel and meet some really kind and interesting people, to celebrate the first anniversary of Fountain Pens Australia (FPA), to blog, and to make some serious progress in my professional work. There have been some challenges along the way but overall, I feel like this is a year in which a lot has been achieved and I'm proud of that.

The Eckebrecht map of 1630/1659, featuring Australia in the right-hand panel. Note the 'island' of California in the left-hand panel, and the sophisticated use of longitude and latitude. 

The Eckebrecht map of 1630/1659, featuring Australia in the right-hand panel. Note the 'island' of California in the left-hand panel, and the sophisticated use of longitude and latitude. 

Although there have been quite a few highlights, I think my favourite part of the year was visiting the National Library in Canberra and unexpectedly coming across two treasures: one of the first maps to ever feature Australia and the journal of Captain James Cook (including the page where he sailed by my hometown and recorded his impressions!). The lowlight of the year may have been the purchase of a 1000-piece Magna Carta jigsaw at Parliament House. It's 40% pure beige, 60% tiny Norman French text. It's taken us six weeks to even get halfway, but Lisa is determined that we will finish it! 

Cook's journal from HMS Endeavour, 1768-71. 

Cook's journal from HMS Endeavour, 1768-71. 

Looking ahead, there are some opportunities and challenges looming in 2017 and I'm eager to use the January break to get working on those. I'll also use that time to develop a resources page for the site and post more frequently: there are already a few essays in the works, on topics including social norms, the role of warranties, why limited editions are more expensive, the 'fear of missing out', conflict between the older and newer parts of the FP community, and I'll be exploring status symbols in a bit more depth. Don't forget that you can always contact me if there are questions you have or topics you'd like to see explored.

I'm also pleased to say that Dowdy and the Doctor will be returning after an extended hiatus. We've already recorded our first episode, which will be available to The Pen Addict subscribers early in 2017. We talk about some of the challenges faced by Nock Co this year, limiting our pen collections, and why a southern, summer Christmas is vastly superior to a miserably cold one. 

Finally, and most importantly, I would like to thank you all for setting aside the time to read this blog. The economics of FPs is an incredibly niche topic so it's an enduring delight to know that others share my interest. I hope that you all have a very happy Christmas and wish you well for the new year!