- a Marksman wooden ruler (which was made in England, but graduated only in metric units)
- a yellow-and-orange Fila Temograph H pencil (stamped "Florence Italy") which looks completely unused
- a few other pencils including a no-name primrose yellow round pencil and two Conté Evolution HBs
- a black plastic 3"x5" card index box full of blank cards and indexed dividers
- a genuine Anglepoise fully-articulated desklamp complete with low-energy bulb
- and last but not least, an Olympia SM-3 portable (if you have a team of porters) mechanical typewriter in grey, complete with carry case.
The Olympia looks well-used; it has a Swindon dealer's decal (complete with five-digit phone number), not to mention a correcting fluid stain, which has subsquently been lined with blue ball-point, presumably by a bored typist, or perhaps a novelist. This brings my typewriter "collection" to two: the other being a 1970s Olympiette, a present from my mother-in-law. My wife thinks I am mad to entertain such beasts when I already possess a PC, but sometimes it is nice to get the manual typewriter out and bash out a few lines of meaningless prose. I have an idea of typing notes onto 3"x5" cards - have another look at the picture which adorns this blog. This would be useful if and when I ever get around to persuing academic research again, perhaps for a master's degree. After all, if it's good enough for the historian David Starkey, it's probably good enough for me. I use index cards a lot to write down to-do lists or just notes in general, because I don't like Post-it notes much. (The paper is crap and it doesn't take fountain pen ink at all well.) The 3"x5" card is an ideal size, I think; big enough to write quick notes on, but small enough to fit inside a diary, Filofax or book. I keep a bunch of them held together with a large clip.
Obviously, a good day; and I'll be back again next year.