Floaty pens
These are the pictures from our floaty pen collection - see floatypens.org for the background information. For the moment, please enjoy the pens that we have scanned so far - we recommend using the slideshow function, and a strong coffee.
How it began
In 1992 we purchased our first pen from a souvenir stall in Venice. The scene was of a gondola floating up and down the Grand Canal. Little did we know at the time what it would lead to!
Eight years later we went on a tethered balloon ride in Bournemouth. The floaty pen on sale at a nearby kiosk showed a perfect miniature of the balloon floating up and down over Bournemouth, and made an excellent souvenir.
Eventually, most of our souvenirs end up languishing in the back of an old cupboard. It was here that both pens were found side-by-side for the first time ever. At this point, any normal person would have put them back in the cupboard and got on with their lives. However, an unknown force, or a bizarre twist of fate led us to compare these two pens, admiring their similarities, yet at the same time, their ability to take us back to the unique place of their purchase. A collection was born.
The summer of 2001 was spent travelling around Europe in a campervan and provided lots of opportunities to acquire pens. When we returned to London we purchased every available London floaty pen, and managed to double our collection. A trip to Canada in February 2002 enabled us to double our collection once again. This was starting to get serious!

People Like Us
Have you ever felt that you were different in any way? The world can be a cruel place, and it is very comforting to find other people who see things in the same way that you do.
For several months we had enjoyed expanding our collection, but had yet to meet another collector. Friends and family agreed they were quite nice, but suggested we found a more constructive hobby. Even shopkeepers were puzzled when we purchased ten pens in the same transaction. We believed our collection was truly unique.
One night I was surfing the Internet and thought I would try and find out more about my favourite pens. I was not optimistic as I did not even know what to call them, or what to search under. I suppose it was luck that made me put in the most descriptive term I could think of "floaty pens." I could not believe it when the search results came up - hundreds of floaty pen collectors across the globe. At last we had found 'People like us!'

Acquisition policy
Russell was initially very strict about the pens that we included in our collection. They must be true Eskesen style 534 pens, they must be only from places that we have visited, and they must be in mint condition.
On the otherhand, I believed that every pen tells a story, whether it is a reminder of a place we have visited, a gift from a loved-one, or someone else's unwanted junk.
We have now reached a compromise. We still focus on the 'Classic' style. However, all styles, and fakes, are included in our collection. Careful cataloguing and storage is now used to prevent pens of different types floating in with each other.

What next
Of course we would love to visit thousands of exotic places to purchase more pens. However this is not practical. We have to keep telling ourselves that a floaty pen is not a valid reason in itself to make a journey. We will continue to buy pens, just as long as Eskesen continue to make them.
I am interested in acquiring pens that advertise products, especially those in non arabic fonts such as Japanese, Chinese, Greek, Hebrew or Arabic.
We hope you enjoy our collection!

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