Monthly Archives: May 2015

Calligraphy Tip no. 58

You are a silly old bat, Aunt Scarlet!’ Charmaine yelled down from the attic.
I frowned and considered getting some further insulation so that I couldn’t hear the girl whenever she got in a tis.
‘You don’t need a reservoir on a Mitchell broad edge nib!’ she continued, ‘All you need to do is drop some ink in the dimple on the top of the nib and it writes fine.’
I frowned some more, but I was so concerned by her revelation that I roused myself from my chaise longue and wandered into my light and airy studio to test her theory…

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Dimple on the top side of the Mitchell nib.

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The dimple filled with ink

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It works!!!

I frowned some more. I had always wondered what that damn dimple was for. The girl was correct and the only downside to this technique was that the dimple did not hold as much ink as a conventional underside reservoir, thus it needed to be filled more often. This didn’t bother me as I believed it would be an easier for beginners who struggled with the reservoir.

‘And pray tell me Charmaine, from where did you find this tip?’ I shouted up to the attic.
‘Fink it was from Instagram… fink it was Cheryl Dyer’s feed.’

I nodded to myself as I had long been an admirer of Ms Dyer’s work [website HERE] and it didn’t surprise me that she would know such useful things about the mysteries of calligraphy nibs.
I looked around my studio and feeling inspired I sat at my desk to continue working on my own little project…

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My latest masterpiece…. an extract from my favourite book.

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Dear Scarlet….

Way back in June 2011, Wendy, a regular commenter on my old Scarlet Blue blog, made the following request:-

Scarlet, could you start an agony aunt column? My friends have so many problems and I’m sure your insightful feedback would steer them in the right direction.

For example:-

I’ve got a friend in their late 50’s, very GEEKY with a real anorak, inability to button shirt in the right holes, cardigan, bum-fluff beard, bald, and knows more trivia on Dr Who than the whole Dr Who production team put together. Anyway, he’s in love with Mario (Big Brother contestant last year), and keeps on talking about it. Currently I smile and talk back as if Mario were a friend of my friend. I suspect my friend is internet stalking Mario without realising it.
what should I do? If anything.

Originally I felt overwhelmed by Wendy’s request…. who was I to deal with other people’s problems? Who am I to tell other people what to do with their lives? What do I know? And then I thought, what the hell, I’ll give it a whirl….

Dear Wendy,

Many apologies for such a tardy response. Please do not worry about your friend, he is simply ahead of his time! In 2015, it would be considered odd not to have a passing fancy for Dr Who. As for his dress sense and facial accumulation, well, again, truly ahead of his time, and it’s probable that he was one of the original Shoreditch Hipsters. If I were you I would buy a house next door to him [in Hipster areas house prices tend to go through the roof], and jot down any fashion tips that come your way. Does he now has his own lifestyle blog? Does he wax lyrical about whittling spoons beneath the stars in a Sussex woodland… and then sell them for £1,180 a pop from a stall in Old Spitalfields Market?
I’m sure that back in June 2011 your friend seemed a little incongruous, but in 2015 he fits right in!

Moving on to the Mario situation… Oh!! You mean Mario the Mole!!! Z list celebs such as Mario are created for our entertainment; I am sure they know exactly what they are getting themselves into when they sign up for the BB experience, namely financial reward and fleeting fame. After leaving the BB House they have a porthole of opportunity to cash in on their popularity before public interest wanes. Quite frankly, Mario should be grateful for your friend’s adoration.

I am assuming your friend is male? If your friend is female, and is unhappy, then perhaps a trip to her GP would be advisable? A female with a button disability is worrisome and beyond my remit, I can only suggest velcro.

Warmest Regards,

Scarlet xxx

If anyone would like to feature their problem on this blog then my email address can be found on my ‘About’ page. Thank you, I look forward to reading your dilemmas.

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The Last Post

No, not that sort of last post!! Good gracious! I have promised to publish a post every Wednesday. I am not going to break my promise, unless I am arrested. Or something worse. I am referring to the last post I published.

New commenter, Grouchy, asked: Would this be considered a short story, a serial, or a soap opera (in the works)? I will wait for the flan, but you may have the noodles.

I think this is a fair question, and not only does it apply to the last post, but also to this whole blog. And the truthful answer is: Yes.

And, in further fairness, this blog is a mess. With this in mind I have devised a short questionnaire to aid me with future posts. Please take time to consider each question carefully, the direction of this blog rests on your replies. My questions are numerous with alphabetical intent. Thank you.

1) Would you like me to continue with the Mogwash posts?

a) No, I have had enough of the Mogwash posts.

b) No, the Mogwash posts are far too confusing for readers who are unaware of the ongoing story.

c) No, the Mogwash posts are far too confusing for readers who are aware of the ongoing story.

d) Yes, I would like more Mogwash posts.

e) Yes, I have a crush on Sebastian.

f) Yes, I am hanging on your every word and am desperate to know what happens next.

2) Would you like me to let Charmaine out of the attic and, see more calligraphy?

a) No, I have no idea who Charmaine is.

b) What is calligraphy?

c) What nib does Charmaine use?

d) Yes, I would like to know how Charmaine is getting on with her calligraphy lessons.

e) Yes, but only if Harold is released as well.

f) Yes, I would like to see more calligraphy on this blog.

3) Would you like this blog to continue in a random, haphazard way?

a) Couldn’t care less.

b) No. This blog is a frustrating environment without any cohesive direction, or clear sense of purpose. The author is an unreliable narrator given to writing contrived, misleading, motiveless posts that are published in a non-linear fashion in an effort to appear innovative and challenging. The result of this pretentious drivel is a ramshackle blog space devoid of sense, meaning, or any kind of nourishing reading experience. Although I quite like the pictures.

c) No.

d) Yes.

e) Yes and No.

f) I like noodles.

4) If John has six balls; Emily has nine balls; Samantha has two lemons and a sixpence; Clive has a potato; Malcolm likes playing poker; Jane is a lush; Mary is beside herself, and Julian has delusions of grandeur; then which acclaimed literary author am I referencing?

a) Never.

b) Twelve.

Thank you for taking the time to fill in this questionnaire, the results of which will be analysed and rigidly adhered to.

A Sign of Good Taste…

Another short interlude…

Here we see Darren. He is hoping to be selected as an ambassador for the Littlehampton Confectionery Display Team. He is submitting one of the finest examples of his work in their annual ‘Exposure’ competition. It is a grand affair. It is held in a disused caravan park close to Southend pier, and display enthusiasts come from far and wide to exhibit their elaborate confection. For example, competitor Annie has flown in from Amsterdam and has done something gratuitous with a fudge finger fan, whilst Gavin from Gateshead [the winner in 2006] has been imaginative with a Toffee Crisp and an artfully adapted 12 inch Twirl; Maggie, a mother of three [the winner in 1908, but never since] has chosen a minimalist/conceptual approach – her piece is entitled ‘Red Smartie with Toothpick’.

So far the judges have been less than impressed with the entrées, but Darren is confident that he can lick his rivals. Darren has a secret. Darren has balls, golden balls, and he knows how to arrange them. He waits in the wings as poor Simon, a professional kitchen fitter from Stevenage, sobs and stumbles from the judging panel after his Sherbert Fountain fails to font, and his Lion Bar goes limp.

Darren feels the tension rising – his moment has arrived, he takes a deep breath and walks into the spotlight. His golden balls are piled pyramid high upon a silver platter creating a sophisticated yet captivating display that brings the essence of Egypt to Essex. Darren stands proud. It has only taken a smidgeon of superglue to keep everything erect.

Alas, Darren is unaware of the envious Maggie who will do anything to win, and from the wings she gives Darren an almighty shove sending his nutty nibbles into orbit to splatter down upon the judges heads. Horrified, Judge Erica picks golden nuts from her hair, and exclaims, ‘With your display you are soiling us!’.

Darren hangs his head in shame, but he is not downhearted. There is always next year when he is planning an ambitious assemblage with Annie, they are hoping to cause an extravagance of good taste with a giant curly wurly and a custard cream flan.

First published on the Scarlet Blue Archive 8th January 2010 12:45 BST