Yes - I am still here. And yes, today I was back at work with it's humdrum daily routine, having had the past week off.
The first week-end Mal and I went to Point Lonsdale, which I always love as it is going home for me in the true sense of the word. We warmed ourselves by the open fire with a good movie The World's Fastest Indian, good food and family for good company.
On Monday and Tuesday, we had a road trip to Deniliquin where Mal was running some first aid training. He had an arthroscopy on his knee the week before and was unable to drive, so I was chauffeur for a couple of days. Deni's 'Ute up a Pole' was the highlight of the trip, so the drive was worth it.
On Wednesday, I started a 3 day calligraphy course with the Calligraphy Society of Victoria as part of their Summer School in Winter, and it was fabulous. I am inspired once more. The three day class was called 'In praise of Play' and was about having fun with lettering using unexpected and fun techniques. The results were varied and beautiful (if lacking somewhat technically), and I am once again inspired to do more... For me, these three days were a pleasant reminder of the calming and therapeutic benefits of creative pursuits and in particular, the meditative peace it brings.
Here is a sample of some of my work...
Olive Bull was my teacher and her enthusiasm was impossible to ignore. She has been a calligrapher for years and now based in Tasmania, had travelled to Melbourne to teach for the 5th year at the summer school (in winter). She was a pleasure to work with.
I studied calligraphy when I lived in London about 15 years ago and loved it, but as with so many things I had neglected it for the past decade or more. I was taught by a woman who was taught by Edward Johnston who created the foundation hand. There was a quote I particularly liked at the time (which I believe is an American Indian saying) "The soul would have no rainbow, had the eyes no tears". It always appealed to me, but I had never heard it before, nor have I heard it since.
As I was collecting supplies for this week's course, I came across some of my previous work. Upon reflection, I realise, it was actually quite good and I now feel some regret that I did not continue... Amongst the pages was the 'rainbow' quote that I had written in foundation hand.
You can imagine my surprise when it was a quote that Olive used in her class this week. I had the work with me and later showed it to her. We were both amazed at the coincidence and she commented on the quality of the work, saying it was beautiful and she could tell I had been taught by someone from the school of Roehampton.
The following day Olive told me she had spoken overnight to someone about the coincidence of my Rainbow quote and that every now and again you meet a person, who you know should have continued with their studies. I felt very flattered and honoured by her praise. Of course this is my opportunity to begin again. Now. There is no point regretting the passing of time.