Viking Shakespeare

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a fun event at the Bull & Gate pub in Kentish Town, North London. I joined Viking office supplies for an evening of sonnet writing and calligraphy, to celebrate Shakespeare Week which is coming up next month.


Having never written a sonnet or practiced calligraphy, it’s safe to say I got off to a slow start. But after a couple of proseccos, my confidence built and it was a really fun experience.

Jacqueline who hosted the sonnet writing made us feel at home, and instead of each writing our own sonnet, we did it as a group. We went around the group, each adding a line to the sonnet until we made fourteen lines – the traditional length of a sonnet. It was funny to see what each of us came up with and each finished sonnet surprised us all. Whilst some were beautiful love notes, others were hilarious or didn’t make any sense at all, but rhymed well at least!


Calligraphy was more my kind of activity, although I wasn’t much better at that either. Mathilda from Quill London made it look SO easy. She did tell she had been writing in calligraphy for five years, but still, the ease with which she wrote was incredible. She taught us a number of techniques, starting with practicing the basics of each letter. We then moved on to joining the letters, before practicing adding some flare to our words, making them more decorative. Forty five minutes wasn’t long to practice, but by the end we were at least able to write our names. Not that mine was in any way near as good as Mathilda’s but it was great to be able to write my name (in some kind of fashion).


Viking very kindly gifted us with a beautiful fountain pen, ink cartridges, parchment and envelopes to continue practicing our skills. Shakespeare day happens to fall on 23rd April, two day before my birthday. I doubt I’ll receive any sonnets from anyone, so perhaps I should send myself one using my new found calligraphy skills. (Joke, I have no skills!)