A long overdue post! Two weeks ago we were invited in to The Candy Palmater Show at CBC Radio, and we were thrilled to have another family adventure. For those of you who have been following along with the blog, you might remember we visited the CBC this past February to chat with Fresh Air about letter writing for Valentine's Day. I shared some pictures on the blog, and just looking over that post again and remembering that season feels a bit crazy. I can hardly believe how much has changed and how big Caleb feels now.
We arrived a bit early, and wandered around the downstairs PATH, and Caleb had his very first visit to a toy store. It was surprising to me that he actually knew what it was, even having never been in one, as he pulled us right to it.
He was in shock and awe at first, but you can guess how long that lasted.
Caleb has historically been more interested in adult things - maybe because we didn't really get him too many toys as a baby. He watches us sweep and use the dustpan in the shop, and that's what he wants to play with, or our stamp for boxes, or the button maker, or the credit card machine. But these days, he's really picking up on the whole concept of toys.
We were welcomed by Aparita, a producer for the show, and also the person who had first contacted us. As is usual with me, we had to play a bit of phone tag throughout the entire day, mainly because I think there's something wrong with the ringer on my phone. Classic Liz. Aparita showed us around the building and introduced us to some hardworking radio people, and she was great - even a fellow fountain pen user herself (how amazing is it when you meet someone in the wild and they just whip out a Lamy 2000?).
fountain pen cbc radio interview
That's me! When Aparita told me the interview was going to be live (no editing! no smoothing over any accidental Freudian slips about the end of pen and paper!), I started freaking out a bit, and she said I was going to be fine. That was really nice of her, especially since I could tell she was eying me up and trying to decide if I really was going to be fine, given my freaking out.
It was great! I was nervous, but Candy was a pro, and also warm and funny and is a fountain pen lover herself. It was kind of like talking to a kindred spirit, someone who gets the idea of writing something using pen and paper, and understands why a letter just feels better than an e-mail. What's really amazing is that despite everyone asking how business is, or whether or not people are actually still buying pens, much less fountain pens, there is so much interest in it all! People truly are interested in writing by hand, I think maybe because it's something substantial and tangible and physical. We sometimes think because there's so much technology everywhere that all the paper we have left, maybe in those paper books included, must be crumbling into dust, but it turns out that there are more of us, people who write by real pens on real paper, than you might think. And here's a picture of Caleb! Aparita and the other producers/sound engineers (??) were so kind to squeeze this photo in during a commercial break, and I can't stop laughing at how funny this photo is: tiny Caleb in his little pink tank top staring up at Candy.
CBC Radio candy show fountain pens wonder pens liz chan
You can listen to our segment here.


This CBC interview, which took place nearly three weeks ago now, is definitely pushing the boundaries for "current events" on the blog. I've been meaning and meaning to write this post up, along with answering any number of unanswered emails and unanswered letters. Along the way, we've lost and found the photos from the day, and as time goes on my memory blurs, so this is more an approximation of the trip more than anything else.

One of my favourite people came all the way from Guelph to pick something up from the shop, and she left a letter and a book for me! In her letter she started off with "...no need for recriminations about not keeping up with your correspondence"- a true sign of not only how long it's been since I've written back, but also a sign of that kindred spirit we all in our lives, a heroic patience in the art of correspondence by snail mail (especially with me).

We've been a bit all over the place these past few weeks it seems, and I have so many things lined up for the blog - stuff happening in the shop (sort of time sensitive, but I guess clearly not), ruminations and thoughts (basically just rambling).

We also just had our pen tuning class with superstar Jeffry Fridfinnson - even though I was a bit disorganized and didn't take very many photos, I can't wait to share all about it, especially now that I have my amazing Jinhao that I tuned to perfection. Just kidding, actually I lucked out and my Jinhao happened to write wet and well right out of its plastic sleeve. The real reason is that I have some pretty funny pictures of Jeffry and his wife Erin in the shop after the class, with Chicken.

These days Caleb has been running rampant through the shop and the packing area and climbing on chairs and pushing buttons on all sorts of things. The other day I caught him raising the big box of all of our boxes of Pilot cartridges above his head, and then throwing it onto the ground while yelling and dancing wildly.

When things get really out of hand, Jon looks at me and then looks at Caleb and declares that it's time for day care. Caleb and I look at each other in fear, and then Caleb grins before tearing off into some other opportunity for destruction or harm.

This is all to say that there is so much to say, and I can only hope I have enough time to tell all of our stories. Every once in a while a blog post that I really wanted to write about falls through the cracks, and I always regret it because these small and big events for us are so important to the fabric of our story, for our shop and our family.

I love being able to look back and see our old shop and Caleb as a little bean and remember all the excitement for Plains of Abraham or Franklin-Christoph, and even more so, I love being able to remember how things were when I wrote that blog post, where I was sitting and whether it was Super at my feet or Chicken on top of my keyboard, and whether it was cherry or apple pie season or snow on the ground or Christmas in the air. There is more and more to come.

In any case, it's been a busy week, full of life and things and good surprises, so I'll leave you with three of the best:

  1. I've been craving Fudgsicles for years, and I could never find a grocery shop that stocked them. Last week T&T had them - and on sale! I've been trying to sneak eat them when Caleb's not around, or else I have to share with him, and let me tell you he is no good to share a Fudgsicle with because he's a biter, and before you know it, he's chomped up the whole thing. (Plus, you know, I'm supposed to be modelling good eating habits.)
  2. I made it across the city to Caleb's doctors appointment, and despite being half an hour late due to construction on College & Queen & Gerrard, and despite being past office closing on a Friday afternoon, Caleb's pediatrician took pity on us and let us in, and declared Caleb alive and well. Someone will be getting a surprise fountain pen in the mail....
  3. Chicken's fur is growing back in! The vet took a look at him and said it's a miracle! That's not actually what he said, but it basically sums it up. A mystery, and we'll take it.

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July 16, 2016 — wonderpens

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