It's interesting the things you learn whilst on the phone to Lisa. Not from the actual conversation, obviously, but rather from the things you fiddle with whilst chatting. I happen to have in my possession numerous pens sent to me by charities in the belief that the only thing stopping me from signing a direct debit instruction is the lack of anything to write with. Personally I believe that any charity which can afford to give away pens to random members of the public via first class post is a charity not short of a few bob, so I keep the pens and chuck the letters in the bin as a matter of principle.
Anyhoo, the current trend seems to be for pens which look like this...
... and basically consist of a tight roll of paper wound around the middle of a biro. Which is more environmentally friendly, I'm sure, but doesn't fare so well when you leave one on your coffee table under a leaking ceiling for a week.
So whilst listening to Lisa's engaging conversation about Burgess Hill (and her desire not to go there) last night, I began fiddling with a pen I'd received from the RSPB (I love birds as much as the next man, but I'd be more inclined to give them money if they'd let me shoot the seagulls outside Lisa's flat). Despite only having one hand to work with, I found myself successfully unrolling the paper around my pen, and what did I find..?
Well, this actually. It's a Chinese newspaper. Or possibly a Japanese newspaper - it's so hard to tell the difference (although my niece knows a rhyme about that). I think I'll go for Japanese - I don't imagine they get many adverts for Chanel and Dior in communist China.
On the other side there's half a picture of a major car crash, and an advert for a company whose phone number is 87777777. It's a cracking good read anyway, and frankly I'm going to be unravelling every pen I get from now on, just to catch up on world news.
If nothing else, it gives whole new meaning to the phrase 'pen to paper'.