The Wednesday Post

Iwoke this morning with a heavy head, remembering that at some point in the distant past I had made a well intentioned, over enthusiastic, yet irrational declaration of intent – apparently I had promised to publish a post every Wednesday on my Wonky Words blog. How had this happened? I sighed and dragged myself out of bed, what the hell was I going to write about? There was Charmaine, of course, and her inky dabblings with italic calligraphy, and I could make mention of Harold, the Spanish flamenco dancer who was also locked in my attic fiddling with his self styled pointed nib….

On Tuesday evening before last Sunday, Harold and I argued ferociously, in an equally determined fashion, with regard to his refusal to learn any broad pen lettering. He believed a copperplate style would befit his passion for all things flamboyant and flouncy. In the end I let him have his way as I wanted to watch Eastenders and Holby City, but I refused to give him access to my extensive supply of pointed nibs and I made a note not to give him a bowl with his gruel the following morning, I also considered withholding the spoon.

So anyway, here we are, it is Wednesday and I am posting Charmaine’s first attempts at italic, and Harold’s first calligraphic marks with a pointed piece of wire that he picked out from an old electricity cable, which he found protruding from the attic wall.

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Charmaine’s first attempt!!

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Harold’s copper ‘wire’ plate….

Charmaine, bless her, is learning some lettering history as she practices, which I think is a rather noble endeavour, although I doubt very much that she will remember anything worthwhile – she may be a sphinx like beauty but she has the memory of a fish. Harold, on the other hand, being the artistic sensitive type, is writing any old random phrase that pops into his head, and claims to prefer using an expressive stream of consciousness for his practice material… personally, I think he is spending far too much time staring at Charmaine’s chest.

News….

Imust apologise for my absence, I have been overwhelmed by requests for my calligraphy mentoring service and I now have a wide variety of people trapped in my attic eating gruel and sucking on nibs. To be honest I am fed up with the whole thing. They are making an inordinate amount of noise and I suspect that one of these various people is a dance teacher, such is the thumping. Or perhaps they are trying to escape, who knows?

I am writing this post to pledge a promise in response to those who have sent me emails pleading for an update on Charmaine’s calligraphy progress [you know who you are], and I hereby promise to show up at this screen every Wednesday and publish something… anything. Even if I am away on my yacht in the middle of the Med, or up to my elbows in hospital grade rubber sheeting, I promise to provide a discourse of some description. Next week I will publish Charmaine’s first marks with a Mitchell nib; I will ponder the Eurovision Song Contest, and I will have clean toilets throughout the house – yes, some of those calligraphy students need to learn some basic cleaning skills.

Because I have yet to figure out how to upload pictures on my new laptop, which I received on my 100th birthday the Monday before last, here is a Youtube featuring a tune wot I quite like….

Until next Wednesday, may all your pickles be edible.

Looking for a Calligraphy Mentor….?

I have been contacted by my niece, Charmaine, and she is desperate to learn calligraphy for her upcoming nuptials in 2020. I offered her my services but she is adamant that she wants to address the wedding invitations herself, mostly because she considers me to be so addled and ancient that she fears I may be dead before I am needed. Charmed, I’m sure. Anyhow, with a heavy heart I have agreed to help her. Obviously she has been pouting over Pinterest and is determined to learn a modern calligraphy style, in return I have said that if she wants my instruction then she will learn my way, and that she would do well to learn several styles… I mean, who is to know what will be fashionable and slapped all over Pinterest in 2020??

She has now been here for several hours. I have locked her in the attic. It is furnished simply with a wooden desk and chair, upon the desk is a rudimentary lined notepad from Tesco’s, a straight plastic holder, a no.2 1/2 William Mitchell nib, a bottle of Higgins Eternal ink, a small paintbrush, and an old Sheaffer instruction pamphlet that includes a basic italic examplar. Before leaving her, and locking the door, I demonstrated how to insert the nib into the holder i.e. this is the nib and you shove it in the holder. I also disgusted her by sticking the new nib in my mouth and giving it a good slosh round with saliva. I did explain that this is my way of getting the protective factory coating off the nib, but she is welcome to spend time messing around with flames, toothpaste, alcohol, vinegar, etc, if she finds the saliva method too repugnant. My gob is like acid and never fails to strip a nib. Any nib. I then fitted the reservoir for her, checked the nib was writing okay, locked her in and then went up the pub.

I am back now and fixing her a bowl of gruel, which I will take up to her after I’ve finished my fag. I am excited to see how she has progressed after my in depth instruction. If all goes well then I may think about taking on a paying student as there is something comforting in having someone locked in the attic whilst I potter about. I will upload pictures of her work in my next post.

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Take the nib, shove it in the holder and then suck it and see….then add the reservoir
Warning: these nibs have been used. Please do not suck used nibs.

23/365 Lettering Project.

Amazeballs!! I have reached day 23 of the 365 lettering project, and am so drunk on my success that I have started using corrupted superlatives. Anyhow, here are some highlights of the last 23 days…. apologies for the rough photos, they look better on my Flickr feed, which is Here.

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Mystical Conclusions

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My will is secondary?????!

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Really?

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Conventional alterations…

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Compromises…!

In some respects I am very pleased with myself… BUT, in relation to calligraphy, lettering, decorative writing…whatever… I NEED A BREAK!!!! Yep, I am questioning why I am doing calligraphy, again. I am not really enjoying doing it for the 365 project. I mostly enjoy writing calligraphy when it surprises me… when I sit down and mess around with a pen, and a flourish or an unplanned squiggle jumps out and makes me smile. This diligent pursuit of calligraphy every day is perhaps too workmanlike to be enjoyable for me. We shall see.

Something Simple…

When not having thoughts like net curtains that hang limply without the beauty of a breeze, I have other thoughts, normal thoughts, such as: Who did kill Lucy Beale? How high is the likelihood that I’ll have a power cut within the next 20 minutes? Is it time for tea and biscuits yet?

My thoughts have also been pondering the calligraphy 365 challenge, i.e posting a picture of calligraphy every day of the year. I could do this, as I do usually practice calligraphy every day… it’s the posting of the picture that is a problem because although I am fond of Instagram, I do find it overwhelming – I enjoy admiring the calligraphy and lettering I see on there… but I don’t really like posting. Posting makes me anxious, which is probably why I like this blog best, because it is quiet – how plain bonkers is that???!!!! My other quiet place is Flickr, so maybe Flickr is the way to go for this challenge… well I’ll sort of do it here… but I will mostly do it there, if that makes sense?!

Meanwhile, if you have happened upon this blog looking for beautiful calligraphy, then I strongly recommend that you visit HERE and HERE – two wonderful calligraphers who talk good sense about calligraphy and don’t appear to have rambling incoherent thoughts :-)

My first two offerings for my 365 challenge…

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1/365

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2/365

Somewhere in the middle….

And so a New Year dawned over Mogwash, possibly 2010, it was always difficult to be sure. I pondered the newness of the new – a fresh beginning, or the end of the beginning, or perhaps the beginning of the end, or the beginning of the end of the beginning. Nobody could ever pin point exactly where anybody was; with this in mind I decided that I would go forth and celebrate the middle, which I concluded was usually the most significant, unappreciated, and complicated part of anything.
These thoughts do not spring to mind lightly, instead they hang like limp net curtains without the beauty of a breeze. Going nowhere. Yes, unfortunately I had had another idea…

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Getting lost….

And where it all ends…

Back in July I began uploading this here blog about Mogwash – my first blog, the one I started back in 2006, originally on WordPress.org. Anyhow, it is done now, I have uploaded and edited the original posts… and added some fresh content. This was my summer project. I did this to re-engage with my creative writing, creative writing being the reason I started to blog in the first place… I thought it might help to remind myself why I turn up here, tap on keys, and press the publish button. I’ve enjoyed this project, and I’d like to spend more time writing, but not necessarily blog posts… I want to carry on writing my book… back in 2010 I managed to write 20,000 words…. I might only keep 2000 of them, but I would like to finish it.

The Wonky Words blog will now revert back to erratic posts about lettering and calligraphy… although maybe not in the same vein as it was before; one thing I have accepted is that I am totally crap at graphic design… I was always more narrative based and three dimensional, but I like calligraphy, it can be relaxing. For normal blogging I’m back to the Blogspot, where I will occasionally pop up and say hello to anyone who still has me in their blog reader or on their blogroll.

I am so grateful to the bloggers and calligraphers who turned up here and read these confusing ramblings about Mogwash-cum-Luddley… that really was a kindness! Much appreciated! Many thanks to the Bottle Hunters on my sidebar.
Extra special thanks to Mr Peter Wells – A new friend and a good read; Mr Mags, Mr Lax, Mr Devine, and Monsieur Pain – all have gone beyond the call of duty and all five will one day receive an exciting map of somewhere that may well lead them to a great something…. :-)

Toodlepipski.