In the late sixties, during my last year in primary school, I had Osmiroids; luckily it was a C of E school and the on-site nurse (caretaker) had a cream for such things.
Actually, I had a single Osmiroid and I didn’t need a soothing ointment, I had ink. Almost a millennium ago, I remember the first days back at school; a new term, together with a new exercise book, but having to learn to write not only with ink, but write with an italic pen – produced by Osmiroid.
I would never submit my handwriting to a graphologist and risk the involvement of the Police (in my defence, I think I was a doctor in a previous life; although dressing up in a nurse’s outfit is strictly behind me now. Honest!).
A new exercise book was always a thrill at school, although not as entertaining as getting a new text book, which you’d have to cover with discarded wallpaper (or, if you really wanted to annoy your parents, wallpaper still on the wall). You always felt for the kid whose history book was covered in deep red flock wallpaper.
It was the only time I’d write neatly; at least for one page!
At our school on Balham High Road, we’d have specific lessons teaching us to write with a fountain pen in italics. (I don’t think I’ve written in italics since 1968). Geography is a tricky enough word to spell, without having to slant every single letter writing it out too!
I still own a fountain pen, but am better off drawing cats with it than I am writing proper sentences – I can never read any notes I’ve written, even after five minutes.
Writing in italics should be left for people who like calligraphy; as for me, I’ve never really been that interested in bell-ringing.