I have been idly searching ebay for the past month in search of a working manual typewriter. I wasn't unduly fussed with the brand or age, just that the machine would be in sound working order and I would be able to buy ribbons for it.
There are plenty to be had if you are patient enough to go through all the listings, but my problem was that the bulk of them were in the UK, Germany or the US. This meant very hefty postage charges that I was unwilling to part with.
Anyway, everyone knows that the best way to pick one up is in a second hand shop or a car boot sale. Second hand shops local to me are picked clean and I'm way too lazy to get up early on a Sunday morning to trawl the car boots without a definite reward!
Still I lucked out when I took a notion to visit a local antique/bric a brack shop. I found a dusty and rusty sad looking machine under the table and hunkered down to retrieve it. It weighed a tonne and it looked as if some parts were missing. I brought it up to the counter and the owner said she had a cleaner and newer one hidden under a bureau. When she pulled out the black case and opened it my heart nearly skipped, a baby blue typewriter!
It looked clean and intact and I already knew where I could get replacement ribbon so I was ecstatic! Barely able to contain the mini squeals of joy I tapped away at the keys to make sure they weren't stuck. I just knew I was going to leave the shop with it!
So I did! I brought it home and gave my husband a fearsome headache thrashing away at the keys and the dry ribbon making words, letters, numbers, anything just to make that wonderful tap tap tap noise.
It surprises me how neat and tidy this little machine it, it is 11" x 4" x 12" in it's black hard case and only weighs a few kilo's. It feels so refreshing to lift it onto the table, feed in the paper and begin, instead of waiting for something to power up and fiddling with leads, making sure something is charged. It also gets rid of one other irritating thing - I don't have to go and pull out the printer, plug it in, attach the connection to the laptop and wait for it to whirr into action. It's such a relief to have something that doesn't rely on electricity!
My mother when I told her what I had bought looked at me in what looked like thinly veiled contempt, said "but why do you want one, is your laptop broken".
I had to laugh, I don't equate the two at all. I love my typewriter for itself. I love that if I want to know how to spell something correctly I have to look it up in a BOOK (you know, those doorstops made of paper?) that I am more likely to remember the spelling as I took the trouble and time to acquaint myself with it. I love that I have to think about the words I am putting down, in a sentence, as there is no handy delete button. It is making my thoughts appear on the page in a nice orderly fashion that isn't rushed and edited to within an inch of it's life. I'm hoping that by slowing down and thinking more before typing, that what I put down is in its first edition, the best that it can be. I'm anxious to begin, waiting for my new clean fresh ribbon, to begin this happy little journey.
Does anyone else have a manual typewriter?