Going to events is one of my favourite things to do as a blogger, it allows you to network with people you don’t know and to experience things you might have never chosen to do yourself so when I received an invite to a Viking’s Shakespeare event I couldn’t say no.
I headed into North London with one of my blogging girls, Ashley, and we headed to the Bull and Gate pub. We were greeted with smiley faces and we met the event organiser, Jennie.
We went upstairs and were offered champagne, which we obviously said yes to, and headed into the main room to meet some of the other bloggers. I used to get so nervous at events when I didn’t know anyone so I try to make a conscious effort to talk to people who are alone. I found it, and sometimes still do, quite daunting walking into a big room of bloggers who were already in their groups and not knowing anyone.
Lots of gorgeous food started to arrive and we tucked into a selection of different goodies such as bruschetta, fish and chips, quiche and lemon tarts.
After some mingling, eating and drinking we were split up into 2 groups and were lucky enough to have 2 very interesting sessions planned for the evening. My group started with the calligraphy and I have always wanted to try it but I’ve never had the chance to before. Mathilda from Quill London conducted the session and it was such an exciting detailed workshop. We were all given a little workstation with a quill, ink, suitable writing paper and an example of all the letters to look at.
Mathilda showed us how to hold a fountain pen and encouraged us to look closely at the nib to see how it can be used to create our thick and thin strokes. After doing so we were given some time to get used to holding the fountain pen and practised changing the stroke size by changing the amount of pressure we put on the nib. Once we were confident in this we were allowed to try writing the letters and followed the templates that Mathilda gave to us. I found it quite tricky to get the strokes correct because you hold a fountain pen in such a specific way it didn’t feel natural in your hand. I could of continued practising all evening long I enjoyed it that much but after about half an hour we moved onto our next session.
We were introduced to Jacqueline Saphra, a poet, and started our next session on Sonnet writing. In this day and age you don’t see people sending letters anymore, let alone writing poems or sonnets too people. There is something special about sitting down and writing someone a letter and sending it to them, so when we were told we were going to write our own sonnets I was very excited, I had never written one before.
Jacqueline was very informative and talked us through the history of sonnets, we looked at the iambic pentameter and the rhyming scheme of some sonnets, before we started creating out own. We were given a starting line and had to write one to follow on, then we passed the sonnets around and continued writing. After we’d written a sufficient amount we named the sonnets and read them out to the rest of the group to hear. It was so nice to work collaboratively with a group of people.
After our sessions had ended we were lucky enough to be given a goodie bag and I was so surprised to see that we were given a beautiful feathered quill with 6 different nibs to use alongside paper, envelopes, ink, wax and a sealing stamp to close envelopes.
Thank you so much to Viking for hosting such a wonderful event, to Jennie for inviting me, to Jacqueline for hosting a wonderful sonnet writing session, to Mathilda for teaching us calligraphy and to Elouisa for all the great photos!
Love, Cally x