A Peculiar Story and Occasional Calligraphy

Iwas asleep at my desk, my head cushioned by my keyboard, when Harold flounced into my light and airy studio snapping a pair of castanets for no good reason other than he believed he was a flamenco dancer.

‘Why you do this, Madam Scarlet? Why you let stupid girl abuse pens? Is not right.’

I lifted my head from the keyboard leaving a thread of spittle connecting the s and the k.

‘Oh Harold, I’m tired of all this nonsense, you are a plumber from Southend-on-Sea; wearing a frilly crimplene blouson and a tight pair of lycra bell bottoms is not going to make you anything other.’

Harold snapped his castanets and pouted.

‘So, what’s the problem? What’s Charmaine done now?’

‘She is writing the modern calligraphy, she make letters look like spider ‘aving epileptic fit on paper. I come ‘ere with belief that Madam Scarlet teach traditional calligraphy.’

I glared at Harold. My head felt fuzzy.

‘Are you doing a French or Spanish accent today?’ I asked, wishing he’d just talk like a plumber.

‘You are mad woman. On first day ‘ere you say we must learn proper letter form and now you let stupid girl do what she like. What will ‘appen to the wonderful craft of calligraphy if no-one learn it proper? It will die out and no-one will know ‘ow to use pen; we will ‘ave nothing left of our calligraphy heritage other than childish scribble.’

Harold was looking puffed up and red in the face, so I glared at Harold some more, but with added swagger.

‘So what?’ I said, controversially, with a dash of evil in my eye.

As expected, my reply was like a red flag to a bull. Harold exploded in a Fandango, there was much fancy footwork, an enviable castanet technique featuring numerous redoble rolls, and an eye-watering misplacement of a maraca, which was unpredictable and belonged to an entirely different culture.

After reassembling the wooden floor, I dismissed Harold, dabbed the spittle from my keyboard, and pondered my latest calligraphy request – I had been asked to recreate an ancient village document with Gothic lettering and gold illumination. I smiled to myself, silly Harold, as if the wonderful craft of calligraphy would ever die out!! To be fair this request was probably beyond my remit, but thankfully I knew plenty of calligraphers [this highly talented one in particular] who would rise to the challenge. Horses for courses as they say.
I pushed my laptop to the side of my desk, it was time to get on with some occasional calligraphy of my own….

modern-calligraphy-envelope-invitation-uk-white-on-grey

An Invitation….

26 thoughts on “A Peculiar Story and Occasional Calligraphy

  1. Exile on Pain Street

    I fear for calligraphy and letterpress printing. Two dying art forms that need to be preserved. Of the two, calligraphy is more likely to persevere. Nobody is manufacturing new Heidelberg presses.

    She *IS* good! How did you stumble across her? You’re no slouch, dearie. Don’t kid yourself. Is that it for the bum shots?

    Reply
    1. Scarlet Post author

      The problem with both, Monsieur Pain, is time consumption and cost 😦
      Perhaps The National Trust should offer a grant to those of us who engage in such pursuits πŸ™‚ No, I can’t see that happening either!!!
      Yes, Helen Scholes is what I think of as a ‘proper’ calligrapher. she is excellent.

      Yep, there will be more bum shots…. if we keep an eye on it then hopefully it won’t get any bigger, in the same manner that a watched pot never boils πŸ™‚
      Sx

      Reply
    1. Scarlet Post author

      Well I never, Mr Lax!!! Underwater typing!!! Sadly, I don’t think I can rival this with underwater calligraphy.
      It’s nice to know that dribblers such as myself are catered for.
      Sx

      Reply
  2. lisleman

    spittle from the s to the k – have you been drinking enough water?
    It would be nice to wake up to castanets. We just have chipmunks chipping around here.

    Reply
    1. Scarlet Post author

      Is spittle from the s to the k not long enough, Bill??? I will spend today trying to get it to the edge of the keyboard, I am worried now and am guzzling water, I will report back with my findings.
      Sx

      Reply
  3. IDV

    I expect Harold was “puffed up and red in the face” because his lycra bell bottoms were too small/tight. I hope you didn’t get an eyeful of plumber’s crack as he flounced out?

    Reply
    1. Scarlet Post author

      Damn it, Mr Devine, and I was thinking his red face was due to his passion for letterforms! Your conclusion probably makes more sense, now I think of it, as he has been eating far too much gruel lately.
      I don’t mind the crack… I just don’t want to see his stop-cock.
      Sx

      Reply
    1. Scarlet Post author

      Yes, Leni…. I am thinking of turning the attic into a multi-purpose teaching academy. Plumbing, Calligraphy and Dance, I think this will deliver an all round education for my future students.
      Sx

      P.S Apologies for Harold’s Spanish/French accent. You may slap him.

      Reply
      1. Leni Qinan

        That’s an excellent idea, Scarlet! They will get a Comprehensive degree in Education with you!

        PS.- Don’t doubt I will! Hahahahaha
        XXX

    1. Scarlet Post author

      You are not the only one to be lured by a ‘blouson’, Tara! Unfortunately I had to have a huge argument with my WordPress proofreader before it would allow me to use it. WordPress proofreader needs a good slap, and possibly a better dictionary to refer to.
      Sx

      Reply
    1. Scarlet Post author

      Ha! No wonder his trousers were tight, Ms Carte,… all this Pot Noodle he’s been eating on the sly. If he stuck with the prescribed diet of gruel then he wouldn’t have a problem.
      Oh, minted peas!!! They would be rather good with fish fingers.
      Sx

      Reply
    1. Scarlet Post author

      I have only one reply to this Ms Mistress….. CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS, CROCS….

      Everyone sing the Croc Chorus for The Mistress… and stomp your feet πŸ™‚
      Sx

      Reply
  4. Rose

    I’d definitely recommend one of those plastic thingies to cover your keyboard. You wouldn’t want the keys to start sticking….

    Reply
  5. Linda

    Sx I have no idea what this post was about, who is this dancing accent afflicted plumber in tight trousers? I can relate to drinking though and have always wanted to caster with some nets.

    Reply
    1. Scarlet Post author

      Well, Harold sort of grew from a comment from a post a while back. I’m not even sure if it was me who made him up or someone else. I should check really, but I am a lazy mare. Anyhow, the gist is that I’ve opened a calligraphy school in my attic and I lock my students in there and tell them to get on with it. Sometimes I feed them with gruel.
      Crikey, at this rate I’ll be getting my casters netted and starting upholstery workshops in my cellar πŸ™‚
      Sx

      Reply

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