I am a self confessed list maker.

I write up a weekly menu plan.

And a shopping list.

I write a daily to-do list, a blog list, recipes that appeal…

Everywhere I go, I take my note books (oops, I have another confession – I am also a stationery addict. When my husband loses me in the supermarket, he looks in the stationery aisle first! I can’t help it, I think it calls my name and wills me over). I am forever jotting down ideas and phrasings that I like. I have even been known to handwrite a blog post whilst in the car.

One thing I’ve hankered after for a long time is a beautiful fountain pen. I have a cheap one in my handbag that I always use. I’ve had it for a long time and it’s a firm favourite of mine. Being a left hander, I often find that the pens can be scratchy so I had given up on finding ‘the one’.

The lovely people at Pen Heaven surprised me with a beautifully wrapped package, which I carefully opened. And I was thrilled to discover a Lamy Al-Star pen.

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Whilst this pen is lightweight, it is extremely comfortable to hold, thanks to the ergonomic grip. It takes cartridges – but it can be converted to use bottled ink, if you would prefer. The ink flows smoothly and the polished steel nib doesn’t scratch the paper. I think this would make a lovely gift – and it can also be engraved with a personal message if you choose. I truly am in Pen Heaven.

Having read of my son’s writing issues, Pen Heaven also included a Yoropen for him to try.


Our 15 year old son has dysgraphia (you can read more about it and how it has impacted on his school life here) and he struggles to make his handwriting legible. His hand aches before he has written much and as he’s currently working toward his exams, this has been a real hurdle for him. But the Yoropen has a finger grip that moves, to allow you to find the most comfortable writing position, reducing muscle strain. And because of the ‘barb’ design, there is a space between your hand and the page, allowing you to see what’s been written and reducing the chance of you accidentally smudging your work with your hand (something that us lefties do a lot).

Our son struggled to get to grips with the Yoropen because he has poor fine motor skills and this pen requires you to hold it in a completely different way. I tried it and it did feel incredibly strange due to the innovative design – but that isn’t a criticism, it’s just an observation. Our 13 year old son noticed an improvement in his writing but he too felt that it was weird to hold. Our 6 year old, however, LOVED it and wrote me a letter detailing that it was a good choice(!)

DISCLAIMER – I was kindly sent these products for the purpose of this review but all words are my own