Happy Birthday, Mr Devine!!!

Where have I been? Why have I not posted since the last time I posted? I have been….. incapacitated. I had my vaccine shot last Saturday, and have been very sleepy ever since. To be fair, I often sleep through March and April, so maybe not a vaccine side effect at all. I did have chills, and a very mild headache for a couple of days. But that was it.

Meanwhile, when conscious, I have been preparing for Mr Devine’s Birthday, which is tomorrow. I had big ideas for a celebration. Firstly, there was a novel to be written; a film starring Aidan Turner in a spaceship to be made; a tribble to be wrapped and mailed; several cormorants to be trained as butlers; a ripped gardener to be employed; and a tinfoil creation to be created. Sadly, due to all the sleep and a sore arm, I had to settle for a small idea instead….

Something new for the sideboard±

Happy Birthday, Mr Devine!! I’m sure you can shrink this so that it doesn’t overwhelm your sideboard. To be fair there was supposed to be some gold, but my gold dust looked like a heap of yellowing dandruff in my photographs, so I abandoned that particular idea.

A tune for the birthday boy….

Back Again!! Chapter 26 and other stories….

I have just remembered that I have a blog and that I should post something – how about some more pictures of calligraphy? BUT WITH A TWIST? I know how popular dramatic twists are these days. Can you spot the not so deliberate mistake in the following picture of some recent calligraphy that was sent out to my international students who so kindly attended my workshop?

calligrapy-practice-sheet-2021

Writing double letters can be problematic in calligraphy and I had been asked to provide my take on possible solutions. Please note that I wasn’t asked to include British slang that only British people would understand. And, yep, I wrote THAT word convinced that I’d spelt it correctly, and I only noticed my heinous mistake a couple of days ago. Oops. I have no idea why I even thought that a double ‘v’ would be a problem for anyone!

To make up for my error, here is a picture of sunny Blackpool….

Meanwhile, several people have asked about my ongoing jaw issues. They are still ongoing! And I have a horrible hunch that I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO EAT HARD FOOD EVER AGAIN [this includes meat as it is too chewy]. To be fair this hasn’t bothered me during lockdown, but now, on the horizon, is the prospect of being invited out to eat with people other than Mr Blue, and the idea is making me feel sad because I probably won’t be able to – dribbling soup down my chin in private is one thing, I don’t relish doing it in public. I managed to eat Cashew nuts the other week, but it wasn’t an entirely painless experience. Am thinking of taking up smoking again just so that I can have a bad thing to do when everybody else is happily chomping away inside a restaurant, as I am bound to be left outside in the car park, sans bag of crisps, but with a bottle of coke. Also, too much talking can cause a pain attack that cannot be alleviated by over the counter pain killers. I shall include a description of a ‘pain attack’ in chapter 27. So, if you want to see me then it’s best to ask me out for a drink, get me pissed and take me dancing – do not upset me with dinner invitations.

Anyhow, enough with this maudlin talk! It is my birthday week!!! I can still dunk chocolate in my tea, and eat cake!! And smother soggy chips in mayonnaise!! I believe a tune is in order….

Back!!!!

The deed is done and I am home!! AND, I have dragged myself from the fainting chaise to bring you an exciting new post!!
Oh my goodness, that was a scary weekend!! What did I learn from my experience ‘teaching’ [crikey those guys knew more than me, who am I kidding?] via Zoom? I learnt quite a bit about what not to do with lighting – and that the silence of a crowd is the most baffling thing on earth. Anyhow, I did a bit of this….

copperplay-calligraphy

….and once I got over my nerves I think it went okay – I have had some very kind feedback on Instagram. As previously mentioned – calligraphers are notoriously nice. Would I do it again? Ha! Probably not. Why not, I hear you scream – because a) I’m actually not supposed to talk at length because of my jaw issues – hell, I am still struggling with chewing, talking is simply adding insult to the injury, and b) My flipping awful South East London accent.

I watched and listened to some of the recording made of me demonstrating calligraphy. To put it simply, there is a vast disparity between the voice I use in my head and the voice that comes out of my mouth. In my head all the vowels and consonants are present, I speak clearly, I could almost be a BBC presenter. In reality – the vowels are rounded, some are complete circles, and, well, there are a lot of consonants missing in action. Unbearable. With this in mind, I am flirting with the idea of becoming entirely text based and giving up speech forever. I will still speak to the dog though, because he can’t read. I will save my jaw for eating food.

On the plus side, I can do a pretty mean Kate Nash impersonation.

Jolly news, or just plain scary?

You know how they say you should get out of your comfort zone every now and again? Well, at the end of February this is exactly what I will be doing. Erm…. I’m not sure how this happened, I blame the pandemic, BUT I have agreed to explain my calligraphy process to some lovely calligraphers via Zoom. Gulp. I know, crazy talk… I have been signed up by the European Pointed Pen Collective and details of my ‘course’ are HERE – soooo out of my comfort zone that it almost hurts! I’m sure I will be fine. Calligraphers are notoriously nice, AND THEY WILL forgive the squeaky voice, the peculiar accent, and hopefully for the hour they lose discussing where best to place a well turned tittle [tittle details are very important].

Anyhow, this is my big, scary news! What does this mean for my blog in February? Well I might put up some videos of me actually writing words, if WordPress is agreeable; and I might go missing in action for a bit as I will need to prepare; AND, I will probably also need some time on the fainting chaise with the smelling salts, or the gin, or the Diazepam….. IT WILL BE FINE – I am blind as a bat and can barely make out what the hell is going on on Zoom with or without my glasses! [This is a good thing]

So in February expect a bit more of this:-

calligraphy exchange

calligraphy exchange

Finally – Sunday Music!! I’ve chosen this, cos Jon gave me an ear worm.

Coming First

It has taken me many days to decide the ultimate winner of the ‘Did I Win Yet?’ competition, and some nights I have woken in a cold sweat wondering how I could resolve the conundrum, but I have finally made a decision. He may not be happy about it; he may fall to his knees in exasperation; he may flounce around for a bit and then go for a long walk to examine his groynes….but yes, the winner of the competition is Mr Devine! – Please be aware that you should never enter anything without accepting the very real possibility of coming first. And although Mr Devine is the ultimate winner, I still propose that we have some sort of Mr Lax festival in the future.

So that’s that then. I will be posting again at the weekend. I have news of the jolly variety! And an explanation as to why I might be posting less in February. Or I might be posting more – I haven’t quite figured that one out yet – though I might have it figured by July.

Meanwhile, I have been doing a lot of this sort of thing…

calligraphy-addressed-label-for envelope

collage-and-calligraphy-uk

….which is possibly why I haven’t been doing so much blog commenting.

And here is a tune…

Did I Win???

I know that everyone is desperate to know who won ‘The Did I Win Yet?’ competition. It has been tricky picking a winner. I was swamped with entries, plus chairs arrived at my backdoor with quotes written all over them – sadly these had to be disqualified as this is a virtual competition – I now have a three piece suite, a kitchen stool, and some sort of rickety Ikea affair to dispose of. Thank you!

Before I disclose the finalists let me first deal with section 1 of the competition – the quiz.

Q1. Many years ago Ms Scarlet had a dream about Mr Lax. In this dream Mr Lax instructed Ms Scarlet to do what?

The answer is: b) Mind the gap. [Well done Rimpy!]

Q2. What does LX mean?

To be fair I have no idea. So any answer is a winner! Yes, trick question, cunning, eh???

And now, [DRUMROLL] the finalists:-

Starting with Melanie, with pertinent quote from George Eliot.
Very neat, Melanie. A gold star for you for composition, cursive, and a festive spirit.

Next up – Mr Devine with an even more pertinent quote…

With this entry you are spoiling me, Mr Devine! I like your style! Very individual.

Next is Rimpy, who actually remembered my dream about Mr Lax! Were you in it too, Rimpy? Were you on the London Underground that evening? Anyhow, this is Rimpy’s creative entry….

Shakespeare! And there’s a nice cursive beneath that rush job – take your time Rimps!

Finally, and with much fanfare, I bring you Mistress Maddie with plenty of glamour and some lively curlicues…. nice chair…

Of course they are all winners for simply entering the competition, and if they would like to leave their addresses at reception, then they will all receive something jolly through their letter boxes in the very near future. Obviously, I do have to pick an overall winner for this competition to continue, so… hmmm…I think it should be…. well…. who do you think it should be?