Tag Archives: Mogwash

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 shark tooth row 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?

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….

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The Last Post

No, not that sort of last post!! Good gracious! I have promised to publish a post every Wednesday. I am not going to break my promise, unless I am arrested. Or something worse. I am referring to the last post I published.

New commenter, Grouchy, asked: Would this be considered a short story, a serial, or a soap opera (in the works)? I will wait for the flan, but you may have the noodles.

I think this is a fair question, and not only does it apply to the last post, but also to this whole blog. And the truthful answer is: Yes.

And, in further fairness, this blog is a mess. With this in mind I have devised a short questionnaire to aid me with future posts. Please take time to consider each question carefully, the direction of this blog rests on your replies. My questions are numerous with alphabetical intent. Thank you.

1) Would you like me to continue with the Mogwash posts?

a) No, I have had enough of the Mogwash posts.

b) No, the Mogwash posts are far too confusing for readers who are unaware of the ongoing story.

c) No, the Mogwash posts are far too confusing for readers who are aware of the ongoing story.

d) Yes, I would like more Mogwash posts.

e) Yes, I have a crush on Sebastian.

f) Yes, I am hanging on your every word and am desperate to know what happens next.

2) Would you like me to let Charmaine out of the attic and, see more calligraphy?

a) No, I have no idea who Charmaine is.

b) What is calligraphy?

c) What nib does Charmaine use?

d) Yes, I would like to know how Charmaine is getting on with her calligraphy lessons.

e) Yes, but only if Harold is released as well.

f) Yes, I would like to see more calligraphy on this blog.

3) Would you like this blog to continue in a random, haphazard way?

a) Couldn’t care less.

b) No. This blog is a frustrating environment without any cohesive direction, or clear sense of purpose. The author is an unreliable narrator given to writing contrived, misleading, motiveless posts that are published in a non-linear fashion in an effort to appear innovative and challenging. The result of this pretentious drivel is a ramshackle blog space devoid of sense, meaning, or any kind of nourishing reading experience. Although I quite like the pictures.

c) No.

d) Yes.

e) Yes and No.

f) I like noodles.

4) If John has six balls; Emily has nine balls; Samantha has two lemons and a sixpence; Clive has a potato; Malcolm likes playing poker; Jane is a lush; Mary is beside herself, and Julian has delusions of grandeur; then which acclaimed literary author am I referencing?

a) Never.

b) Twelve.

Thank you for taking the time to fill in this questionnaire, the results of which will be analysed and rigidly adhered to.

An Error of Sorts….

1st April 2015

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Bottled Love…

I winced as I read the comments on my previous post. How could I have made such a glaring error? No, not the one about the lion feasting on caribou… but the one that alluded to time travel. Thanks to the wonders of modern day technology I could, and would, rectify my omission. But this was not the same as getting it right the first time and my legion of readers, followers, trolls, pixies, and people who regularly clicked onto my website looking for a crossword solution [please see Calligraphy Tip No. 1 – Thickening Downstrokes], had been left bemused, baffled, perplexed and perhaps even a little befuddled. This was not what they had come to expect from me.

My head hurt a little as I fiddled around in my WordPress dashboard, I was still recovering from my Easter over indulgence and felt a bit sick, but a post had to be written, mistakes had to be corrected, relevant quotations had to be found, a Pot Noodle had to be photographed, a used teabag had to be ironed, the sound of a vacuum cleaner had to be recorded, and invitations had to be delivered…

An Invitation of Sorts….

8th April 2015

Taramind Dewhurst, the immaculately groomed curator of The Onion Gallery, held the envelope in her grubby little hands. She had always had small hands, even as a child, they were delicate but had a firm grasp on her paperwork. She turned the envelope over and caressed her name and address, which felt raised, as if embossed.

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A double constrictor knot…

Not printed then, she purred, knitting her brows into a double constrictor knot, which is unflattering on anyone of any age. Taramind was familiar with the craft of calligraphy and it was not a craft that she particularly cared for, she preferred the clean lines and balanced features of printed fonts, but she had to concede that this calligraphy had an awkward, yet modern charm. She hesitated before ripping the envelope open, as a lion would do before feasting on a caribou, and tried to guess the nature of the invitation, because surely this had to be an invitation?
She reached across her desk for her letter opener. Taking the antique bronze dagger from its sheath she made an opening incision, thus removing precisely 2mm from the top of the envelope. Within the envelope were two pieces of brown cardboard that were taped together to protect the inner content. With a concentration that caused her brows to knit once more, this time into a pair of socks, Taramind picked at the tape with her manicured nails. Two hours and one broken nail later, Taramind placed the contents on her blotter.
What sort of game is this? She wondered in italics. Why would anyone send her a photograph of a Pot Noodle? She turned the photograph over. There was a date, 21st November 2045, and an address for a village hall in a place called Mogwash….

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An invitation of sorts….

A Mogwash Newsflash

News reaches us of the strange disappearance of Richard Etherington-Smythe. Speculation has it that the sat nav system on his ride on mower malfunctioned and he was last seen by friends and neighbours mowing his way through the Butterfly Sanctuary and Bee Reserve at Moggins Meadow, 5 miles south of his 25 acre ornamental gardens at Mogs Mill Manor. In the unlikely event of anyone finding Mr Etherington-Smythe, please telephone the news desk at The Mogwash Mouthpiece immediately. Please note, he is not thought to be dangerous.

Also worthy of mention is the aspiring graffiti artist who, in an attempt to emulate the popular artist Banksy, has been using his mother’s Cath Kidston stenciling set to leave his tags across the village, most extensively in the bus shelter, in the grade II listed phone box, and all over Mrs Fitzpatrick’s hand built alpine rockery [with water feature]. Please note that we at The Mogwash Mouthpiece will not tolerate such blatant misbehaviour; we know who is responsible for these senseless acts vandalism and will be passing on the relevant details on to the appropriate authorities in due course.

Finally, we have received several complaints regarding a website known as Wonky Words. Does anyone know what this site is supposed to be about? The Mogwash Mouthpiece feels that this site is in some way responsible for the German archaeologist who has begun excavation work in the car park next to the scout hut. His name is Mago and he claims that he has been given permission to dig for ancient artifacts in the area known as Mogwash. We would like to assure residents that we are looking into this matter and will report our findings in the Christmas edition of the Mogwash Mouthpiece – on sale in the newsagents from October 21st.