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I bought some nice ink, nibs and pen holders, timing it just right so a parcel would arrive present-like for me in the wake of having my wisdom teeth out. Even then it took me 2 weeks to finally use them and they worked beautifully. I felt a real difference between these and the scratchy small nibs i bought for drawing when I was on my foundation, though these ones did start to bleed on the paper in the book (most noticeable on the big numbers at the bottom of the page).

I started off using my drawing nibs on sheets of paper, but thought it would be better to use a small A5 sketch book instead, doing a double page spread (at least) every time - some warm up exercises and then alphabets in various typefaces. I bought copperplate nibs and a holder too so that'll be fun to do. Here they are, looking a bit wonky, but it's a start.

I've been quite slack with it, but i'm finding it a lot less practical to find the space and the time to practice a little every day. Although I do have to say, it's a lot more practical than sign writing (the paint, and the brushes, the paper, an easel...)

I always find it's much easier to sit with my weaving frame and that's just such a nice thing to do, especially since I feel I'm getting better. with practice. so i need to practice calligraphy. Maybe alternating each day would be worth a try.

I've started gardening

My parents brought home packets of tomato and sweetcorn seeds and, along with two packets of wahaca chilli's, I planted them in little pots in early April and all started sprouting a week later. 

Tomatoes - I repotted them again a month later once they started outgrowing their tiny pots - i made a mistake and planted the whole packet, a pinch of tomato seeds in each which turned into as many as 10 per pot. oops. 

Outgrowing their pots again, some of them had their roots peeking out of the soil - I repotted them, three weeks later in mid June into big pots when they'd started growing flowers and I didn't want to damage them by leaving it too long. They've grown huge, almost 4 foot and have beautiful green tomatoes the size of walnuts. 

Raspberry and redcurrent bushes are stating to grown fruit (after not growing last year) and the strawberries, though happy enough in bags, look beautiful and taste disgusting. 

Courgettes - I planted out 4 courgette seeds straight into the soil - 2 of which have started growing. I also planted 2 inside in pots, one has grown huge in the 2 weeks since planting; it already has tiny courgettes peeking out, about 5mm with tiny little flowers at the end. The other one rotted, I replaced it a week later and slowly but surely it's catching up. 

Sweetcorn - I planted corn the same time as the tomatoes in mid april, transferring the stems into big pots in groups and then finally planted them out in mid june. They're growing really well in the ground - they're all in! All 20 of them! 

I was given a little pot of bell pepper seeds and planted them on monday so hopefully they'll sprout soon. 

I did everything wrong, planting all the seeds (who knew you weren't supposed to) multiple plants to a pot, but they've grown really well. They all love the (gross) greenhouse-like heat of the conservatory and the warm weather this spring has really been a help. I think I ended up with around 50 tomato plants, at least, and we've given away a good amount to friends, neighbours and still there's so many.

Still, I'm not complaining. There's something so satisfying about growing something,  particularly food, from tiny seeds to beautiful summer scented plants.