Category Archives: writing

Carry On…Writing

Missing episode of the “Carry On” series?  🙂 As kids, we did all our writing with pencils, until sometime in Standard 5 or 6. 

Aaah! Each pencil had to be sharpened frequently with a “sharpener” (which seemed to have a voracious appetite for slender wooden things with a graphite core).  Every sharpening shortened the instrument by about 3 mm. Eventually the length was reduced to about 2 inches; then it became difficult to grasp properly in the hand and produce good handwriting.

Help came in the form of an “Extender”, into which the shortened pencils could be inserted and locked.  In that way, the short pencils were given a new lease of life, and we happily carried on writing, until all that remained of the pencils were stubs of half-inch lengths or so.

Are these Extenders still being used?

Old Font Memories

Reading of newspapers began when I was 10 years old – The Straits Echo first, then later The Straits Times.

I was awestruck by the old English font used for the header on the front pages. It looked so artistic and stylish – especially the graceful embellishments on capitals. In the years that followed, I managed  to gather the complete set of alphabets in both upper and lower cases. 

I even got myself a “manuscript” pen so that I could emulate these fonts with my own hand.  That went on for years.  Notably, after wrapping my textbooks in brown paper, I would write the names of those books in this old English font.

Oh yes, one of my favourite pieces of handiwork was a reproduction of the popular poem “Desiderata”, which drew a lot of attention from my peers.