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5:23pm on Thursday, 19th May, 2011:



Having got Victorian photographs out of my system, today I went with calligraphy.

Having utterly awful handwriting means that I've looked at calligraphy several times before. People used to say that if I had a good pen, that would help my handwriting; I discovered that they were right, too — it helped my handwriting tear holes in the paper. A few years (OK, decades) ago, though, I bought a set of felt-tipped calligraphy pens. These did not tear up the paper, and enabled me to draw lines of smoothly-varying thickness with ease. The results were still laughable, so it never went anywhere, but I kept the pens.

I started today reading about forensic palaeography, but wound up at calligraphy after a couple of hours. It was then that I was overcome by the urge to dig out those pens and have a play with them.

The ink in the pens had pretty well dried up, probably some time the other side of the millennium, so I added some water to pep them up. Oh wow, did it ever! The ink gushed out and went everywhere. I managed to produce a very good likeness of a hurried Shakespearean play, and another one of Da Vinci mirror-writing. I also did something that looked like a very plausible pirate script. Unfortunately, in all cases I was merely attempting to write my name.

Once I'd finally assuaged my desire, and verified why it was wise not to touch my calligraphy pens for so long, I packed up. It was then that I noticed this little smiling fellow on my palm:

Well he seems happy, even if I won't be when my wife sees how much black ink got onto the kitchen table.

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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).