Category Archives: Creative Writing

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.

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…

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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*

Sniff

I wanted to make a grand announcement, I wanted something of a fanfare with trumpets and bunting, but it is not to be. I am underwhelmed by a cold and am feeling wretched. I do have news though. I have a brand new calligraphy blog. Yay. Go me. It is here:- www.loopy-letters.co.uk. And with this new website I begin a new project. This is not a bog standard calligraphy blog, oh no, this is a Scarlet Blue calligraphy blog. Obviously I would like to sell some calligraphy related bits and pieces, but the real purpose of Loopy Letters is to document my new project.

My intention is to write 100 Loopy Letters. Over the years I have found it difficult to combine my interest in creative writing with my addiction to calligraphy. If I sit and scribble short stories then my calligraphy suffers and my hand gets rusty. If I concentrate on calligraphy then my brain feels a bit numb. So I have decided to marry calligraphy with creative writing and write 100 fictional letters. And, these letters will be sent to people. The letters together might eventually form a longer narrative, or each letter might remain an individual flash of fiction. This project might turn out to be as challenging as the Chronicles of Mogwash…. Mogwash may even feature 🙂

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Scribbly, fast-hand calligraphy…

Anyhow, if you would like to receive a Loopy Letter in a beautiful calligraphed envelope, and be part of this project, then please contact me so that I can add you to my address list. I am hoping that I will get truly stuck into this project in the New Year.

Meanwhile, things will carry on as normal on Wonky Words. There will be more words. There will be pictures. But not necessarily in that order. Now please excuse me whilst I go blow my nose on the bunting.

Another Invitation of Sorts [Tales From Luddley-cum-Mogwash, Part 44]

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Bottled Temptation

Moonchild Etherington-Smythe, owner of the Viridian Venus gallery, gathers the post from the doormat as she breezes into her colourful domain causing the tassels on her sequined scarf to fly in her wake. She is no longer just a small time gallery owner; thanks to her huge online profile [13 million followers on Instagram and 50,000 Likes on her Facebook page] she is now also responsible for running a network of crafty workshops across the UK, and Malta. Workshops include: Whittling Abstract Spoons [spoons without handles and vice versa]; How To Express The Sound Of A Vacuum Cleaner Through The Medium Of Paint [ever popular]; How To Write Like A Two Year Old [inky fun, no previous experience necessary, only £60 per head]; AND, Generic Retailing [how to sell new-found skills online within five minutes of learning them]. Moonchild is proud of her artistic success. She is proud to be such a creative inspiration for so many people and, she is proud to be at the apex of the crafting pyramid.

Moonchild flicks through her mail before taking off her velvet coat and flinging it on the counter. A grey envelope draws her attention, she turns it over and caresses her name and address with her stubby ring stuffed fingers. The address feels raised, as if embossed.

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A Peculiar E

Moonchild is familiar with the craft of calligraphy, she smiles and nods approvingly as her eyes settle on a distinctive, wonky ‘g’, and the curvy, very peculiar ‘E’. Someone after my own heart, she thinks. She pauses and decides against tearing the envelope with her fingernails, instead she takes a pair of mini pinking shears from beneath the counter and carefully cuts a neat row of shark teeth across the top of the envelope. She tries to guess the nature of the invitation, because surely this has to be an invitation?
Within the envelope there are two pieces of brown cardboard taped together to protect the inner content. Moonchild snorts and expertly makes short shrift of the tape, she tosses the cardboard into the bin and places a black and white photograph of a bottle on top of her velvet coat.
What sort of game is this? She wonders. She turns the photograph over to reveal a scribbled time, date, and address: 8pm, 21st November 2045, Mogwash Village Hall, Mogwash. As a squally wind causes the gallery door to swing open, a memory recollects, and Moonchild is chilled to the bone.

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A Bad Memory?

Lucky You…..

….or not so lucky.

I did used to enjoy writing those old advert posts, but over the past few years I have been consumed by calligraphy, and, to be fair, I haven’t seen many adverts that I’ve felt inspired by. Is it my jaded old brain or the new swathe of boring adverts that are to blame? Bit of both I reckon. Also I have a tendency to be scrolling through my iPad whilst the adverts are on so maybe I should pay more attention?

Anyhow, here is an old advert post from 2011.

Due to the sluggish financial market the Halifax staff have little to do. They are under strict instruction to only authorise two mortgages this year and can only lend to people who don’t need loans. The financial advisers have all been made redundant and now the entire business is propped up by the canteen staff who have diversified by setting up a radio station in the basement of an NCP car park in Buttocks Booth just off Lumbertubs Lane. They broadcast daily, via telegraphic transfer, to five mountain goats on a farm in Southwold, Suffolk.
Scottish widow Sandy and Co-operative Carol provide the morning entertainment with a breakfast show. They are a tight team; they have a mutual interest in investing extra digits in their hedge funds and have bonded over unit banking. Alas, they are so enamoured by one another that they have failed to notice the potential threat of a hostile takeover bid from tea boy, Derek. He has coveted their breakfast slots from afar and, in an effort to remove the women from the helm he has sabotaged Sandy’s liquid assets. He completes the arm’s length transaction by passing Sandy her mug. The mug handle breaks causing hot tea to spill across the mixing desk. Carol and Sandy are unfazed by life’s little dramas. They have each other and therefore the accelerated depreciation is negligible. They smile sweetly and, still laughing, still singing from the same spreadsheet, they tell Derek that life is better with a beaver.

And to finish on a topical note a little gilded insult from Lulu’s suggestion on a previous post,

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Trump?

NEXT TIME: Under the weight of all the books, the chair breaks, leading Ms Scarlet to enrol on a chair restoration course where she meets a man in a bobble hat who offers her a hobnob and a cup of tea from his tartan themed thermos flask….

Another Book on a Chair

I thought I would share the view from my bathroom. I was fully dressed when I took this photograph – it is a bit fuzzy because I was trying to zoom in on the flax fields. Yes, I sometimes sit in my bath and pretend these are fields of lavender and that I’m in France.

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A Bathroom with a view….

And here is another picture of a book on a chair seeing as the book on the chair in my previous post proved so popular. I have decided that ‘A book on a chair’ is my new thing. This is The Illusionists by Rosie Thomas – a jolly romp through Victorian London theatre land. As I’m reading I am envisioning Clark Gable in the lead role alongside Warwick Davis and Jenna Coleman, plus my envisioning is in black and white and was made in 1939. I am on page 284 (of 513) and the obligatory reference to Jack the Ripper has just turned up.

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Book on chair…

Meanwhile, I have finished this. I am not happy with it. It is suffering from Kolner Miniatum pucker…. meaning the surface of the gold is wrinkly; this is probably because I applied the miniatum too thickly – or because I didn’t breathe on it correctly and therefore introduced unnecessary moisture to the surface before applying the leaf. Ack. This is a fuzzy photo to deliberately disguise my shortcomings.

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Finished….

I am happy with this though….

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Addressed….

Until next time when I will have another book on a chair.