Category Archives: Calligraphy

What happened in May?

After several weeks on the fainting chaise I began to feel better. My recovery had been slow, arduous, and beset with challenges, for example I felt as though an ominous cloud had been stalking me daily, I couldn’t shake it, so instead I decided to take a photograph to illustrate the darkness of my unwanted companion.

To illustrate a post featuring a sky.

To escape the cloud I hid indoors and pretended it wasn’t there, although I could still hear it leaking into my conservatory. I tried to make a note to get my roof fixed, but couldn’t decide whether to use copperplate, italic, or a modern calligraphy style. I concluded that my indecision was because it was all getting a little bit too much. I decided to stick my thoughts together with a drawing of a crow, as this was obviously the best way to make a note.

Though in the midst of muddlement, I knew there was a course of therapeutic action available to me, which was to lay quietly on the fainting chaise and read a pile of books [one at a time, NOT consecutively].

And lo, after several weeks I did begin feel better though less than robust, after all, I did still have a Temporomandibular joint disorder; Tinnitus; and a misdiagnosed knee condition, but, I also had a theory: my chronic ailments were somehow related to that damn wax effigy I’d sealed in a bottle back in 2006. I had unwisely used my own hair, and material from my clothes to make this glorious work of art…. blah, blah, blah… I think we have been here before….

wax-effigy-in-bottle-on-mantelpiece

Please note that the pin located on the right of the doll’s head [my left] and the pin stabbed into the left knee [my right], correspond anatomically [within accepted parameters] to my current jaw and knee issues.

I concluded that the only way to be completely well again would be to break the bottle and remove the pins from the effigy – plus, if my theory was correct, then did I really want to find out what the remaining pins would do?

It is now June 2021, and I am still a bit nuts.

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…