There’s stationery, and then there’s precious stationery. I don’t mean the kind of notebooks you never want to spoil with your blitherings (or is that just me?!)

A couple of weeks ago, I realised I’d lost my pencil case. My everyday pencil case, that accompanies me everywhere.

There was no need to worry

I didn’t worry too much at first, as I’m always leaving stuff at people’s houses and in my car; on Mum & Dad’s dining table and on my desk at my day job.

But as I gradually searched these places and drew a blank, I experienced a short, sharp lesson in value.

I liked the pencil case. The pens and pencils inside it were useful. I liked the pretty USB stick that lives in it as well, my nod to the digital world we live in. And the hair elastic is always useful.

But the loss of the fountain pen inside was what devastated me. It has no monetary value. Plus it’s been bashed about more than you can imagine. My Dad gave me the pen when I started writing with a fountain pen at primary school. I have used it, in a distinctly non-treasuring way, for more than twenty years. It’s just always been there.

It’s also the pen that features on Ink Drops’ front page and business cards.

Fountain pen and page of script | inkdrops.co.uk

I hadn’t realised how much I prized that pen until I lost it. It had been by my side for so long I’d taken its existence (and its lovely, smooth, years-worn nib) totally for granted.

I suspect I do this with lots of things in my life. And until it was gone I didn’t even notice.

A happy ending

But happily, I had a serendipitous accident with a drawer full of eyeliners (don’t ask). And unexpectedly I was reunited with the pencil case and all its contents. Before I had proper panniers for my bike I used a rucksack for carting stuff around. Tucked into the lining was the missing pencil case.

I took the pen out and put it with my graduation fountain pen. It won’t be leaving the house again although I will continue to use it. I couldn’t bear to lose it again.

I have filled its space in my everyday writing kit with the new Manuscript Trio – a calligraphic/normal fountain pen hybrid, which gives your ordinary handwriting a bit of zing. At £12.99, if I do lose it, I’ll be able to replace it without tears.

Which stationery is most precious to you?