There was some debate back here in the warehouse about whether this we were in Week 4 or 5. I did a Week 3 update 10 days ago, and it sort of seems like we’re in the midst of Week 5, but it could also be a recap of Week 4...?

In any case, we continue to hold steady. There’s not much to update.

We’re continuing to spend lots of time listening to Canada Post’s on-hold music. The music is actually a very generically peaceful jazz sort of thing, but typically we only hear it when we’re trying to resolve some lost package issue, so it’s become more panic-inducing jazz music, like Pavlovian dogs listening to tinny music from a speaker phone in white, padded rooms. These days, we’re assuming it has to do with increasing volume at CP’s sorting facilities along with their own structural and staffing changes and adjustments to the pandemic. It’s very distressing to contemplate our packages lost in the ether and while Jon’s CP person was very empathetic, of course what can anyone do except keep their fingers crossed and slowly sip from a bottle of Pepto Bismol.

We launched our Pen Pal match-up. It was a bit hairy.

We’ve got things coming in! Inks, paper, washi tape, books, Pentel water brushes, Superior Labor cases, Iroshizuku, Vanishing Points, disposable pens. It’s been a very heart-warming thing to open up boxes of fresh supplies, the clouds parting. 6

Some companies are moving a bit more slowly than usual, and some are still trying to find creative solutions to limited shipping options or reduced resources coming in, but we’re trying to adjust accordingly. If Diamine is completely unable to ship in these times, we are trying to pivot and see what other inks we can bring in and have available. Some companies have been reaching out to discuss what they have available and to see if we can work with them, and we’ve been so appreciative of these new opportunities to work more closely with some of our distributors and reps.

The kids continue on their journey to becoming feral hyenas. I am both desperate to and horrified at the possibility of returning Caleb to school.

Yes, the curtain rod was pulled down by a child, and is currently hanging up by string. Yes, we will have work to do if/when the shop finally opens again. Another thing we are trying not to contemplate.

The most encouraging thing out of all this is the occasional email or order comment from customers who describe how writing and stationery supplies and journaling and letter writing has been important for them in these uncertain times. A bit of relief to all the terrible news coming in, and a way to process or unwind or distract themselves. It’s been heartwarming to know that some people have felt their writing practice become more important to them, or hear from others who have picked up journaling or writing with a fountain pen for the first time.


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April 15, 2020 — wonderpens


Michael Kealy

Michael Kealy said:

I saw on CBC the other night that they’re tagging March 11 as the day COVID really arrived in Canada. I forget why now, but Sophie Grégoire Trudeau tested positive on March 12, and by Monday things were starting to shut down in a bigger way. So that puts us around the fifth full week.

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