8 Dec 2017

The Art Of Writing

The Art of Writing on vickiarcher.com


35 years and some days ago I was married.
This year we celebrated our 35 in Venice, a magical city close to our hearts.

We had travelled first to Venice in our early 20’s. I am there again, but this year I am all grown up.

It could have been entirely different.

We planned our anniversary trip months ago, we decided on the venue and where to stay. It was locked in the diary and was not to be disturbed, except he had forgotten to collect his one and only passport and that meant no flying, no Venice and no celebrations. There was not a lot to say as he stumbled through the telling of this disaster.

Saturday morning came and I was heading to Heathrow alone thinking how I would spend my time in Venice. Acceptance was the best choice I could make and besides who would waste a trip to Venice? Not me.

I was going to write, I mean really write with a pen – a proper, beautiful pen with a nib to make ideas blossom and words flow. I was going to sit in “our” magnificent surroundings and make my journal happen. I thought fondly of my father who never went anywhere without his Parker pen, I reflected on my first, a gift for my 21st birthday and I felt teary when I remembered it was the same pen we used to sign our marriage certificate those 35 years ago. “Stuff” gets in the way of what we want sometimes and I am old enough to understand we must be flexible, work with what we have and enjoy every moment. Venice was a gift, a sojourn of privilege and I was not going to let it escape me.

The Art of Writing on vickiarcher.com

The Art of Writing on vickiarcher.comThe Art of Writing on vickiarcher.com



































I arrived at our hotel; one of the most beautiful in the world, ensconced myself on the piano nobile floor and with a celebratory prosecco, started writing. I was recently given the Ingenuity Lacquered Pearl from Parker – I cannot wax lyrical enough about this beauty. It is feminine and elegant, a classic that is right at home in my handbag or on my desk. When I write I believe the pen makes all the difference, especially the nib. If the pen flows, so do my words. There is something so very calming when we write by hand and it is all too rare an experience. I know it shouldn’t change anything, but for me it does. The scene and the tools can be the make or break when it comes to getting my words down.

I was in the right place at the right time with the right pen; the computer and the click-clack of sterile keys were forgotten and the pages filled up. My hand and fingers felt rusty to start, my pen grip tentative but as time and the prosecco kicked in, there was no holding back. The art of writing is never lost; it simply requires practice.

The Art of Writing on vickiarcher.com


Lost in the writing, I was eventually pulled from my reverie by a persistent text.

“I have my passport and I am on the next plane out – See you for dinner.” Not possible. Yes, possible.

If you know him, like I know him, it was not entirely surprising. He managed to pull that rabbit out of the hat, to perform the impossible and to arrive for dinner. He used every contact he had to open up the embassy and retrieve his passport – no small feat in a town like London.

Venice was an eventful 35;  we made it together, a memorable celebration and a promise to return. Thousands of words grace the pages of my journal, every last sentiment detailed; who knows what my recall may be like in another 35 years.

The art of writing is something I treasure. xv

Click here to shop Parker Pens and their 12 days of special holiday discounts.

(i can’t look further that the Ingenuity – seriously a dream to write with – that’s what i’m giving)

The Art Of Writing

ingenuity lacquered pearl  ||  duofold classic black ||  sonnet silver  ||  sonnet matte black

Thank you Parker and ShopStyle for sponsoring “The Art Of Writing”.

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In This Post:



Cashmere Librarian

A very Happy Anniversary to you both! Gorgeous pen: I myself am expecting a new fountain pen for Christmas. I don’t need another, but they are things of beauty and I can’t pick a favorite, and can only keep adding to my wish list!

Mona Turner

Happy Anniversary! Your story gave me goose bumps, as I love a good love story with a happy ending.


Now he’s a keeper-obviously!
So romantic…..and actually rather swoonworthy.
Romance us alive and well between you two, congratulations lovebirds.


A story with a happy ending! I truly felt for you as you flew off on this long anticipated trip alone. But, he came through. I can just imagine your happiness. Happy 35th Anniversary!

Trish Murphy

Happy Anniversary Vicki. I loved your story so exciting and romantic. I celebrated 35 years as well in November. What a guy to retrieve his passport. XxTrish


Congratulations to you both. The passport story is a bit like a wonderful long marriage, making challenges into a happy outcome. Glad you got to enjoy beautiful Venice together.


Such a romantic story and definitely one to record on beautiful paper with a beautiful pen!


Congratulations! 35 years together is no small feat. Den xx
Ps thank you for your all posts but especially your posts about dressing for a European winter. This Sydney family is now ready for the European winter.


Thought you were so brave to go off to Venice and celebrate your 35 alone! You must have known he was going to extraordinary lengths to get his passport! I guess it would have helped if you’re friends with Alexander Downer. These things can usually be arranged if you know the right people or if you are the right person (I remember how my husband and I were once woken at 4.45 am one Saturday by the PM of the country where we were then posted – he required an immediate visa for a visit to Oz by one of his friends. My husband had to call the Immigration staff member and have the Mission opened up to do this early one Saturday morning. The PM’s friend got his visa. These things can be done, if necessary.) Or I think also you can get a passport quickly if you’re prepared to pay the urgent fee to expedite. Anyway, how wonderful that he was able to join you later that day. Best wishes, Pamela


I have tears in my eyes! A lovely story,Happy Anniversary! (I am suffering from Venice envy though! I too love that beautiful romantic city). Love R.


Happiest of anniversaries and such a happy story! We are at 43 years and yet to go to Venice, however Paris is a place we adore. Next big trip we will include Venice. Your photos are lovely. Great blog.


Vicki, I hope you’re still enjoying your wonderful Venetian anniversary celebration.

And I would buy that pen immediately and use it daily IF anyone could actually read my handwriting, which has long been indecipherable since I learned to type nearly 60 years ago.

Seriously, Parker ought to provide a “Remembering how to write in cursive” course with the sale of each of their beautiful pens.

Your photographs are gorgeous, and your dream hotel looks and sounds perfetto!


Hi Vicki
I also have a Parker 5th Generation Pen purchased at St. Pancras Station just before l was due to board the Eurostar to Paris a few years ago. I keep the pen in its box and use it to write letters, cards and important matters when it seems to add gravitas to my words. When l use the pen my handwriting has a style that just does not materialise with a biro – the pen writes beautifully. The cost of the upkeep of the pen in refills must be a consideration when purchasing 5th Generation Pens, however, in my opinion the pen is an absolute joy to use.
In these days of impersonal texts, emails, whatsapp etc how wonderful it is to write and recieve ‘proper’ correspondence written in ink on beautiful stationery.
Your recollection of your father and his Parker Pen reminded me of my lovely dad who also never went out without his Parker Stainless Steel Pen tucked in his inside jacket pocket – l still treasure that pen – thank you for bringing back the memory.
Ps l love Venice too, in fact, l love anything Italian especially the shoes😍


My Dad gave me a beautiful parker pen with gold nib, engraved with my name, when I started secondary school. And red and blue Parker biros, also engraved. Sadly the pen was broken during a move quite a long time ago – but I did use it for years. I remember him telling me that when he turned 16 his father bought him a silver cigarette case, engraved with his name. His father said he hoped he’d never smoke – but if he was going to he didn’t want it to be behind his back. My Dad took the cigarette case to school and was caught smoking in the grounds. The teacher asked him what his father would say if he knew – so my Dad showed him the inscription. The teacher was flabbergasted! Sadly my Dad did smoke but gave it up later in life as it did damage his health. Think the pen was a much nicer present. Best wishes, Pamela


Terrific love story. We traveled to Venice last year. It is truly a magical city. We will return again. We celebrated a special anniversary this November, our 40th.

Sally Leonard

Did you tell us what hotel you were staying in? If so, I missed it. I’d love to know as we’re plannng our first trip there for our 45th anniversary!

Linda Boardman Kerr

Beautiful. And beautifully written. And writing in cursive with a fountain pen is a beautiful experience which I indulge in every single day. I have several pens, and several inks (all extra-fine nibs). I also like good paper. For everyday stuff, like lists, it’s always a Rodia pad. For journals, etc, or practicing French verbs and sentences, it’s a beautiful Apica pad.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful time.

Lucia Donahower

Congratulations to you both Vicki!❤️ Venice a Beautiful City!
Lovely post!
Lucy in California, soon to visit my daughter in Sydney, Australia 🇦🇺!


Hello again, V.A. I loved everything about this post and I am so glad that it worked out so well. We would have had our 30th this year and I thought it proper to celebrate the day anyhow. It was lovely but ….

Thanks for the great post!


God Bless you, God bless you, God bless you – God bless you both. It is the determination of a couple, their relationship forged by tests of time, patience honed under fire, it’s their substance that makes for a better world and is a quiet shining light to the generations. You and David are a blessing – together as a couple, to each other, to your parents, to your children and to all who know you. I am so glad he made it over, my heart was in my throat as I read your words thinking that you had remained alone without your wonderful husband. And I can see that you are a wonderful wife to him. When you write this way it replaces my joy to hear of happy families and it uplifts my spirit in a dark world. I think I have told you this before, that when you write about your family, the richest and most wonderful of prose flows from you because it comes from your heart and mirrors many hearts around you and is a blessing to all. I LOVE the idea of writing. I was given a Parker Pen by doting parents, an elegant slimline silver model. I still have it. I was very good at what was known as Written Expression! A dear school friend and I were quite the competitors when it came to this subject. But, I am now motivated to buy a new one, maybe with a little bit of gold to reflect my mid forties arrival. Writing and language is a gift, a treasure, an art of humanity. Perhaps you could do another book, this time with some of the beautiful French language that you have mastered interspersed with English. How good would that be. Have a lovely day.

anita rivera

I am terribly late once again, but the words of a well-seasoned writer are not on a time limit. They ring true for me here, Vicki. Ruben and I will be celebrating our 36th in March 2018, but for our 33rd anniversary, I took to the pen as well; I wrote a poem called “Anniversary Waltz”, but I may revisit it and change the title. It was not a romantic poem, it was not about romance at all. It was about the everyday routine we “dance” through. No matter what angle from which we see our current lives, there is always something beautiful to write. How marvelous are these photos, your story, you lives. Bless you and David for many more years to come, and bless you, a fine écrivain….


Dearest Vicki ~ heartwarming, wonderful and romantic. And I’ve just been inspired for a wonderful Christmas gift … fine paper included.


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