Tag Archives: Charmaine

Swede Dreams

Ilaid back on my chaise longue, which is a worn purple velvet affair swamped with grubby throws and cushions, Charmaine loomed above me – glasses poised at the end of her nose – notebook and pencil in hand.

“I have to practice, Aunt Scarlet, now close your eyes and relax”

I muttered something about wishing I’d taught her modern calligraphy. It was my own fault that I was now being subjected to Charmaine’s latest fancy, which was to train as a dream counsellor.

“Would you like to have a go with my vintage 303 nib?” I asked, with a pleading intonation.

Charmaine ignored me and chewed the end of her pencil as she flicked through her notebook. She looked displeased, and in exasperation she threw the notebook aside and took a huge tome from a picnic basket that she had dragged into my studio from the hallway. The huge tome thudded onto my desk causing my collection of tiny bears to topple over.

Opening the Dictionary of Dreams, Charmaine thumbed through the pages in an expert fashion, but couldn’t seem to find what she was looking for. I knew this because her brows had knitted themselves into a puzzled frown.

“So you’re saying that he was creeping up to your house across a muddy field? He looked like a scarecrow and every time you looked out of the window he froze and stood still? He wasn’t chasing you? You were making soup? And you felt strongly that it was Autumn, and that the scarecrow was Swedish?”

“I didn’t say he was Swedish! I said he was a swede! Look you silly girl, it was exactly like this…”

Charmaine’s brows unravelled to reveal a wide-eyed expression and I swear she looked almost relieved, but also a tad annoyed. In my defence I seldom remember my dreams, but she was so keen; I didn’t think it would hurt to be inventive.

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The Dramatic Entrance….

Charmaine has returned home from her stint at being a genius crossword compiler. Apparently there was an ‘incident’ at Cousin Windsor’s [a right Batarde] that she will not speak of. Knowing my Cousin Windsor, trying to forget about it is the best way forward, and I will not press her further for information. With her she brought a picnic basket, which upon arrival she dumped in the hallway before ascending to her rightful place in my attic. Such a pity that in her absence the attic sprang a leak, so it came as no surprise to hear her shouting, screaming, and possibly stamping a bit before stomping back downstairs to disturb my revelry by bursting into my studio in an overtly stroppy manner.

‘What is the problem, child?’ I asked, barely looking up from whatever I was looking at.

‘The roof is leaking, all my clothes are soaked through and there is bird poo all over my vintage bakelite collection. And I bet you haven’t paid this?’

Charmaine stood in front of my desk waving a piece of paper. It was the electricity bill. I smiled wanly as the lights dimmed and then went out.

‘Obvously not,’ I said.

‘There’s nothing else for it, Aunt Scarlet, you’ll have to reopen the wedding calligraphy business, we can’t carry on living like this.’

And I said, ‘NO, NO, NO!’

I sighed, she did have a point, I had rather let things slide over the past five months, and it was true the roof was leaking, the paint was peeling and, much much worse than this, we were running out of gruel. Thankfully, at the back of my mind I had a spare plan.
I looked Charmaine up and down and considered how much money I could get for her if I advertised her dextrous skills on the right type of Internet site. She could look quite fetching in the dark, it suited her skin tone.

‘NO, NO, NO!’ Shrieked Charmaine as if reading my blog post over my shoulder as I typed.

‘Well, what do you suggest we do?’

‘These,’ said Charmaine, stabbing my latest creations with her stumpy index finger, ‘flog these, everybody loves a bit of gold and a bit of bling.’

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Flog these???

‘How?’

‘Don’t worry, Aunt Scarlet, leave the marketing to me, I have ideas, and Asmodeus will help.’

With the hazy image of Asmodeus hanging in the air, Charmaine flounced out of my studio in a purposeful, determined, #girlboss sort of way. Who the hell was Asmodeus? I shook my head dismissively. The girl had obviously gone a bit peculiar, but still, her positive ‘can do’ attitude had made me feel uneasy. Cousin Windsor had obviously instilled these ideas, ideas that were well above her station, and possibly above the steeple at the end of the lane, which was very high above indeed. I shuddered in my seat and felt a little faint because if she was successful it would mean that I would [heaven forbid] have to work.

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Work in progress…

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Now c ‘ere…

A Brand Spanking New Year

Ihave news!!! I have located Charmaine, after months of traipsing through the internet, following up sightings of her peculiar take on the ancient art of calligraphy, I have located her on a cryptic crossword site run by my cousin Windsor (a right Batarde!). She is masquerading as some sort of genius and giving out clues to fiendishly difficult crosswords like jelly babies. She is also appearing in pantomime as Cinderella at the end of Wigan pier.
I have sent her a letter urging her to return home soon as, with the promise of improved living conditions and use of the black and white telly on Sundays. I have also signed her up for some proper modern calligraphy lessons in London, which I hope she will review for us here. I am sure she will find this offer irresistible as she has had her eye on my black and white telly for some time now.

Meanwhile, there is no news of Harold.

And here is some calligraphy related stuff….

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Four gilded letters…

 

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‘t’

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‘g’

My resolution for 2016 is to glue more 23 carat gold on paper in a meaningful way.

Happy New Year!!!!!!! I will be pissed later and will probably making gruesome advances to all and sundry – apologies in advance.

Wishful Thinking…

Thank you for all your kind messages regarding the disappearance of Charmaine and Harold. I am continuing my search as I type. I am on the 13.04 train from Aberdeen to London, Kings Cross. I have no idea why.

Meanwhile, this tune has been playing on my mind. It is very annoying.

Is it me, or do both lyrics and video make no sense whatsoever?? Please be careful how you answer this question, and furthermore, did anything make sense in the eighties?

Oh good… there is a lady coming down the aisle with the drinks trolley… please excuse me… I will report back with any news next Thursday.

Thank you for your patience, and please Mind the Gap.

Sx

Hello

Aunt Scarlet is refusing to write a post and has told me to do it. She said to say that she is lanquishing on a chase lounge and MUST not be disturbed. Apparently she is writing a long letter to a bloke she refers to as Moogo, or Moorgo, or something like that. She has lots of other people to write to too, such as Princess, and some calligraphy people. She keeps getting in a huff because she is trying to write in her best calligraphy but it keeps going all wrong and she is surrounded by screwed up bits of paper. She is making a mess and is causing a potential fire hazard because she is drinking gin and smoking her horrible fags. She is also swearing a lot.

Aunt Scarlet said that when I write a post I MUST include some photographs. She said to take some pictures of her screwed up balls to show that she is trying to make an effort.

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Screwed up balls

Whilst being locked in the attic and fed nothing but gruel, I found these bottles. I asked Aunt Scarlet what they were supposed to be. She flew into a rage and did more swearing and told me to never ask her about them ever again. I think she is a bit mad.

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Aunt Scarlet’s empties that aren’t so empty…

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A bottle in a bottle

By the way, Harold and I don’t eat the gruel that Aunt Scarlet makes us. We throw it out the window and go up the chippy. We have the spare key to the attic.

Will write soon,

Charmaine.

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….

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An Invitation….