Author Archives: Scarlet

About Scarlet

A refugee from Blogger.

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.

my-first-modern-calligraphy-wedding-place-card-24-sept-2011-uk

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…..

black-paper

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?

snow-drift-in-devon-uk

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!!!

unidentified-bird-in-devon-garden-uk

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!!!!

Happy Birthday to Me!!

It is my birthday. I have a buggy head cold sort of bug thing, which is buggy. I am eating cake, so all is well. I think the bug was made worse by this sort of thing….

snow-devon-march-2018-uk

More snow…

When I looked out my window and saw this I thought it was a rather pathetic attempt at snowfall, it was only when I came to walk Sidney that I realised that the snow had been blown off the fields and into the lanes making them impassable by most vehicles – even 4x4s. Do I have pictures of the lanes? Of course I don’t…. you need fingers to take pictures, and my fingers were frozen within two pairs of thick woolly gloves. I’m actually very sad that I don’t have pictures because it was all very dramatic and rather rare for Devon.

Meanwhile, I am concerned that we have lost Mr Mags, I believe this is due to technical issues, so I shall be trying to contact him the old-fashioned way via pen and paper…. I was thinking that I could buy a card that we could all sign and send on to him, obviously this card would start in Devon, UK, then journey to Norfolk…. it would then spend some time in Texas, HERE and HERE before making its way to Canada, then down under to Australia…. [perhaps Dinah could stand over Ms Prinny when she signs it so that it doesn’t get lost] and then finally to Germany. I’d like Mr Mags to know that we are all thinking of him.

Yes, and while I am on the subject of lost things…. shall I see if I can purchase an item of clothing to replace the Freakin’ Green Elf Shorts??? Shall I? Just as a temporary measure until the real ones show up…. but it wouldn’t be the same would it? All the legendary stains/smells/curly hairs would be missing.

Right, I must rouse myself to eat more cake….

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!

But I am still very grumpy, and even grumpier now that I seem to have killed my Loopy Letters website with a flurry of plug-in updates. Apparently I do not have the required internet speed to service a WordPress.org blog. I blame the weather – it is bogging every thing down. ‘Devon’ is such a sweet sounding name, but what it actually means is: vat of mud.

Anyhow, before I accidentally destroyed Loopy Letters, I was going to write a joyous little post about Valentine’s day, which would spread love and…er… joy. There were going to be dancing nymphs; a ray of sunshine; chocolates; flower garlands; love hearts aplenty; fluffy poodles; cute kittens; cashmere mittens; jolly bunting; a toaster; a coffee grinder; and a cuddly toy… BUT, I have been thwarted, and my mood has again been sullied, so my only option is to inflict one of my vintage poems upon you instead…

*Clears throat and tries to speak proper English like wot the Queen does*

Shall I compare thee to a changeable afternoon in June?
Thou art bad-tempered, moody, but thou oft make me laugh:
You may have wind summat rotten and sad elasticated pants,
And that afternoon that doth flashed by a bit quick:
Sometimes you get blinky in the eye and you miss it,
And oft’ it gets tiresome and overdramatic;
And every country fair has a beer tent,
By chance a brisk breeze showing nature’s bush untrimm’d:
But thy changeable afternoon in June shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that wobbly chin and come hither expression;
Nor shall Death wander off and brag about nicking your bling,
When in eternal lines deeply scratched on a tree:
So long as forests are protected, and there are opticians and designer glasses,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

And here is a very poor, deliberately off centred photograph of this stunning piece of literature made real…

aged-calligraphy-sonnet-for-valentine's-day

Damn, spilt my tea again….

And yes, this will be sent out under the banner of The Loopy Letter Project… yes, it could be winging it’s way to YOU!!!!

Some of you may recognise this gorgeous little verse from HERE. As part of my ten years of blogging celebrations I shall be revisiting some of my most lauded work and republishing for my legions of new followers.

So there you go then, have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, my lovelies!!

SXXX

P.S Should I keep all the Loopy Letter stuff here??? That site gives me such a headache… and it seems to have vanished completely… apparently I have to access some behind the scene files… excuse me whilst I go backstage.
*Exit, pursued by a bear*

Seriously Grumpy Now

Ifell over again! This time a not so innocent young dog WAS involved in my downfall. My knees are black, blue, light ochre, mauve, and there are also unseasonal shades of orange, but this might be to do with an ink spillage.

AND I AM FED UP. I am fed up with the weather. I feel as if I’m a character living within a cartoon and every time I leave my cartoon house another character comes along and throws an enormous bucket of water over me and then the whole audience watching the cartoon fall about laughing as I stand there dripping from eyelash to well manicured toenail. FED UP I tell you.

Meanwhile, I have completed ONE Loopy Letter. I have written about it on my Loopy Letter website. But, I am fed up with myself for not getting more done. It is an awkward time of year for me though, what with being preoccupied with towels, and hair dryers, and trying to stop the mud from coming through the front door. And when I am not doing battle with what other people fondly refer to as ‘the outside’ I am feeding a wood burning stove a large chunk of forest. Do you know how much dust a wood burner makes???? It looks so cosy on Pinterest – stylish, clean, tidy. The reality is a thick coat of dust over everything, and chips of wood and sawdust trodden into rugs and carpets. Apologies, I am whingeing.

Anyhow, here is a snippet of my first Loopy Letter…..

calligraphy-cursive-script-for-letter-writing-project-2018

First Loopy Letter….

Coming Soon….

News regarding The Scarlet Blue Ten Years of Blogging Celebrations!! To be held in June 2018!! Watch the space…. but move aside swiftly if you see a grey cloud clutching a bucket of water heading towards you.