Loopy Letters – The Journey Continues….

“What have you done to the Loopy Letters website?” Screamed Charmaine via a text message.
I sighed, and tossed my iPhone into a nearby plant pot.
“Too much faff”, I muttered to myself.
It was okay for Charmaine and her modern ways, she was, at this very moment, sunning herself in the South of France and languishing in luxury on the proceeds of her inky misdeeds. I knew this because she had plastered the evidence all over her Instagram account. I, on the other hand, was staring through a grubby window at the relentless Devon murk and was questioning my commitment to the Loopy Letter project.

Question 1

How many letters have I actually written since November?

a) 20
b) None
c) 100
d) 1000
e) French

Question 2

Why have I written so much?

a) Calligraphy is my lifeblood; I live to sling ink, it is all that I know, without calligraphy I would be a withered husk of a person. Calligraphy is the only thing keeping me alive; every morning I skip to my studio as though I am skipping through a dewy meadow strewn with daisies and buttercups with nothing else on my mind other than letter formation and the universal line of beauty; life would be meaningless without letters…blah, blah, blah, etc, etc….

b) I had nothing else to do.

Question 3

More pertinently, why have I written so little??????

a) Sigh. Do I really have to answer this?
b) It was Winter.
c) Christmas happened.
d) My boiler broke down.
e) It was very cold and my hand fell off.

Question 4

Do I still intend to complete the Loopy Letter Project?

a) Yes!!! Yay!!! Can’t wait to get on with it!!! My nibs are poised and ready to blast off!!! Go me!! #girlboss.
b) Yeah, go on then.
c) Yes. I have closed down the Loopy Letters website and moved it to Wonky Words so that I am more accountable regarding moving the project along.

After questioning my commitment to the Loopy Letters project I decided that I would write a blog post to let those who were waiting expectantly by their letter boxes know exactly what was going on. It was only fair. I also decided to post some pictures of one of my failures… just so they’d know I’d been trying….

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Well, that doesn’t look so bad….

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Ah…. didn’t see that coming…

Right, I’m off now to skip through the daisies….

Pretty in Pink…

Inever thought I’d see the day when Mr Devine’s blog turned pink… I have rivers of mascara down to my chin… it started with a giggle, and finished with sobs of mirth. I am so sorry, but thank you Dinah, and thank you Mr Devine…. my endorphins are replenished.

When two blogs collide…

Maybe, it was a case of having to be there… but it tickled me. Right, I need to compose myself into something sensible….

*UPDATE* 4th May 2018

My efforts to compose myself have been in vain, and due to the sobbing and general gasping of breath, Sid will no longer stay in the same room as me… anyhow, here is a screenshot, taken on my iPad, of the pink vastness with Mitzi’s blog attached to it…

Mitzi in pink….

Oh, an opportunity for favourite tune…

Quack, Quack.

Iknow!! It’s good isn’t it?!!! A couple of people may have noticed that over the last 72hrs I’ve been faffing around with the Wonky Words website. I have explored new templates, fiddled with fonts, and flirted with colour….but, I seem to have found myself, more or less, back where I started. A blog space has got to feel like home, hasn’t it? Somewhere you can plonk yourself down with a nice cup of tea and play with your rubber ducks. Does it matter that my blog header bears little relation to the content on the blog? I think not.

Along with faffing with the header I have tarted up a couple of pages, and trashed stuff that is out of date. So, okay, it’s not the biggest of overhauls, but it’s a start. There will be further faffing in the coming weeks as Wonky Words becomes the new permanent home for Loopy Letters. I cannot be doing with having two blogs. Loopy Letters is hosted on WordPress.org and every time I try to do something with it, like write a blog post, there are all these plug-in updates to deal with… and they usually end up crashing the site. Enough with it.

I am feeling jolly today, despite the rain, so I will finish with a tune…

You’ve got to make your own kind of Blogsite even if nobody else reads along… Soz.

Train de Nuit

Iseldom speak of the days when I spoke with a French accent and travelled everywhere on a vintage train. Friends and family considered the accent an affectation, and the mode of transport an unnecessary expense, but they didn’t have my vision, or a stalker called Trevor.

Trevor was peculiar in that he wasn’t really interested in me, he simply liked to stand behind me before sniffing my neck. Shame really, because he was an attractive man, just not that great at conversation. With or without a French accent.

I always enjoyed my excursions on the vintage train, I found it relaxing to be buffered by the rhythms of the railway, safe in the knowledge that Trevor was left far behind on some godawful commuter train just outside of Paddington. Or so I liked to think.

It was April 2001, I had taken the night train from Southend to Clacton and I remember it being unseasonably warm. I was struggling to sleep and had thrown off the complimentary candlewick bedspread; I tossed and turned and I recall being overly concerned that my deodorant was failing. I was never one to be easily spooked, but I could feel a presence outside my door. I knew it wasn’t Cyril the conductor because he had already seen my passport and he would now be otherwise engaged maintaining the Corby trouser press; playing with his banjo; or discussing the finer points of piston lubrication with the driver, Jim. I got out of my cot, threw open the cabin door, but there was nobody in the light flickered corridor.

I arrived in Clacton 10 hours later, exhausted from my trauma and slightly demented. I ran from Clacton railway station [notable for having two waiting rooms, refreshment facilities, and a payphone] towards the sea, I then headed in a south-westerly direction, which took me up Clacton High Street. Still feeling uneasy I returned to the sea where, to ease my torment, I jumped on a fishing boat to take few snapshots of a passing frigate. I realised my torment had risen to a new low when I flicked through my pictures only to be confronted by the image of Trevor staring back at me. I was aghast, yet thankfully I managed to maintain the appearance of expressionless calm. After changing into a black onesie from Dorothy Perkins I returned to Clacton railway station and stood in the middle of the concourse, and sure enough, within minutes I felt the hair from Trevor’s nostrils tickling the nape of my neck as he took a loud nosey snort.

And so I stopped speaking with a French accent and I stopped travelling everywhere on a vintage train. Friends and family were relieved. I saved money. And the last time I saw Trevor? He was doing something nasal related on Big Brother for Channel no. 5.

Old and Past It

Yes, that would be me. I am sitting at my keyboard [as I usually do when writing a blog post] feeling angsty, grumpy, and rattled. Charmaine has been regaling me with all the unlikely friendships she’s been making on Instagram since she opened an account and started displaying all her lettering efforts on a white textured background board with a variety of props. She has mastered the flat-lay; knows what to do with a sprig of lavender; and can make unusual, yet visually appealing arrangements with nothing more than a set of keys and a bulldog clip. She has even been encouraged by her new playmates to build a website on Squarespace. This is all well and good, but her calligraphy is still crap.

I apologise. It is wrong of me to be critical of my dear, darling niece, … BUT… it is now me locked in the attic. I am being fed gruel. I am sat shivering in a cold corner with only Harold as a companion, and trust me, the constant clatter of castanets can get a little bit tiring. How did it come to this? Charmaine has smugly explained that I failed to move with the times. This is probably true, but in my defence I have been rather busy… Charmaine has suggested that I rebrand myself. Apparently, if I am to successfully market my calligraphy business I need the digital equivalent of brilliant white walls, Lloyd Loom furniture, and voile curtains rippling gently in a ylang-ylang scented breeze. D’ya know what? I can’t be bothered. I am an individual, and I can’t be bothered to faff about with bits of dip-dyed pastel shaded ribbon just to fit with the in-crowd. Oh the irony! I was one of the first calligraphers in the UK to wax lyrical about modern calligraphy online, and now I have been rejected by the young, the fresh, the cruel, and those who are led by the nose by an identikit design.

Enough. Enough of this maudlin swan song. Enough because the majority of my dear readers here won’t have the foggiest idea what I’m going on about. Apologies. Again. This has all been on my mind, and now that I have gotten it out of my system perhaps I will feel better.

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24th September 2011

Happy Birthday, Mr Devine!!!

My fingers stuttered over my keyboard as I tried to write a birthday post for my blogging chum, Mr Devine. I wanted to say something more than: Happy Birthday, Big Boy!!! I wanted to write a post that would be memorable, considered, heart-felt, and almost as good as eating a ludicrously overfilled cake. I stared at the screen, my cursor blinking unhelpfully.

Perhaps a glorious picture of the Devon sky at night with a shooting star would impress him…..

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Devon sky at night with shooting star? Or close-up of a black piece of paper?

Or maybe he would be filled with joy to see a picture of a crashed UFO that turned up on my doorstep on Sunday?

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Snow drift… or crashed UFO?

And then I remembered…. I had just the thing….a bird with a very long beak!!!! Even better, an unidentified bird with a very long beak!!!

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Beaky has gotten beakier….

I had done it!!! I had surpassed myself!!! With this birthday post I was spoiling everyone!!! And, there was only one thing left to say to Mr Devine: Happy Birthday, Big Boy!!!!