Versatile concept that can refer to anything, from a 1970s football bubblegum card with a picture of Leeds United's Peter Lorimer on the front, to emotional issues or programming languages.
Plastic box with a screen, that buzzes at night. Has wires inside. You can type stuff into it. Sometimes it goes dead and you want to smash it to pieces.
Tiny sliver of camera hardware that's smaller than a fag packet. It's lovely, but the controls are hard to operate if you've got farmer's finger (like my wife and I).
Sitting at a bus stop on Stoke Newington Church Street I heard a sound both familiar yet strange. In the midst of the normal sounds of the city – police sirens, buses, cars, motorbikes, car alarms, roadworks – came a low rumbling engine rasp. Then, chugging slowly from Green Lanes, along came a weather beaten John Deer tractor, pulling some kind of plough/rake contraption. It carried on towards Albion Road then disappeared into the centre of Stoke Newington.
"Do you sell Quink?" I said to my local stationer.
"Do we sell Quink? Of course we sell Quink. That's a strange question."
"Well, it's the digital age. I wasn't sure that people still used Quink."
He snorts with derision and sells me the Quink, while also slipping in some crafty cross-selling and getting me to buy two expensive black ink cartridges for my inkjet printer.
I used to do loads of stuff in Quink, until I bought myself a Wacom art pad in 1997. There was a girl I worked with when I first came to London who drew wild landscapes in Quink. I fancied her, of course, but she had an on-off relationship with a Scottish rugby player so I didn't get involved. He didn't play for Scotland or anything, he was just Scottish and played rugby. We lost touch around 1989 but I kept her memory alive by starting to draw my own pictures in Quink. My pictures weren't wild, mostly just sketches of fat people at Walthamstow market or caricatures of my flatmates.
The stationer also cross-sold me some nice writing paper. I'm going to stop emailing my friends and write them proper letters instead. Masterpieces of the genre such as:
"Howdy. Fancy a pint Thursday? T."