by Amanda Fleet

You may have seen in my last post, that I'm confined to largely writing left-handed, in pencil at the moment (when I'm not typing on my trusty laptop) as my arthritis has flared up. Hence the arrival of some new pencils to play with has been most timely.

First up is the Nero's Notes Musgrave pencil, which is unique to Nero's Notes (as the name would suggest!). These are a 2.5/firm lead, but it still makes a decent dark line. When my latest (long) letter to Stu finally arrives in Cyprus, he'll be able to testify as to the clarity of line, because the letter has been written largely using this pencil (on the Bomo paper I reviewed a couple of weeks ago).

These limited edition pencils have been designed specifically (and exclusively) for Nero's, and come as a pack of 12. They have the standard hex barrel, with an eraser at the tip, attached with a black, metal ferrule.

I'm not usually a lover of hard pencils, but this is a delight. The pencil lays down enough graphite to give a dark line, but is hard enough that it doesn't need sharpening every few sentences, the way a soft pencil would. I can heartily recommend it. Nero's Notes Musgrave Pencils £16 for 12

Next up is the Blackwing 64 Limited Edition. It too is described as a firm graphite, but hand on heart, I would say it's softer and lays down a darker line than the Nero's Notes pencil. It's not just 'great for sketching' (as the description says) it's great for writing too. It too has an eraser attached by a black metal ferrule and the paintwork on the barrel features 'a half tone design and a double imprint which is inspired by comic book lettering' which is fancy-speak for being very colourful, with dots and cross-hatching.

Blackwing Limited Edition Volume 64. £35 for 12

Both of these pencils have been a delight to write with. Grab yourself some now before they run out!