This week I received yet another impulse purchase: a couple of calligraphy books and a new set of pens. I have a set of Schaeffer pens, but they are very old, not well cared for and only take cartridges, so I decided to replace them with a set of Manuscript ones. So far, so good. I am now spending spare moments making shapes on paper that I haven't done for years. Hopefully I will be able to pick it up again fairly quickly. Nothing fancy, just a spot of italic and Old English style. I don't have a nib flexible enough for Copperplate; the softest I have is my shorthand pen, which isn't really good enough.
Considering I make greetings cards, it is odd that I let my calligraphy slide. I think I dropped it at University. I had problems with tendons in my hands and my priority was definitely continuing to play the piano - and basic writing. This was in the days when essays were hand-written. Fortunately I was able to reduce the strain on my hands by switching from right- to left-hand writing and vice versa. I had problems with my ring and little finger on my right hand, which meant I couldn't grip anything, or, really, use either of the fingers for quite a while. I also had a bifurcated tendon in my left hand: the one that works the thumb. That eventually got surgery, after cortisone injections failed to work. Apparently it's not that common a condition and the surgery worked well.
I still have problems with my hands and have to be careful to vary my movements to avoid any RSI. Well, that's my excuse for having some beading, some knitting, some crochet, some sewing and some embroidery all on the go at the same time: I have to switch regularly. Oh and varying the musical instruments I play, too. Last night it was a spot of mandolin practice, which only served to remind me how soft the pads on the fingers of my left hand had become. Ouch.