Tuesday 23 April 2019


A Shakespearean Evening With Viking

[AD - Gifted] Last month, office suppliers Viking hosted a Shakespearean evening filled with themed workshops, networking opportunities, and delicious food, which they kindly invited me to come along to. And since today, 23 April, is the day we celebrate the Bard I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share my blog of the event. Fun fact: it's also 'National Talk Like Shakespeare Day', but since I don't really want to translate this post into old English, I'm going to pretend that isn't the case...

The Shakespearean evening took place in a wonderfully bookish room in the Bull & Gate in Kentish Town. This was the first time I ventured out to this pub (and even that tube station), but if the beautiful space we spend our evening – and the delicious food we devoured throughout (from mini burgers to lemon tarts, and filled Yorkshire puddings to chocolate mousse) – are anything to go by, this is a venue well worth a visit, even when there are no Tudor-themed workshops being held.

After meeting up with the other bloggers in attendance and saying 'Hi' to a few familiar faces while devouring *all* of the food, it was time for the first workshop of the evening: calligraphy. Now, I've never tried my hand at this before because my normal handwriting is TERRIBLE, but I have been admiring Alba in Bookland's wonderful artwork over on her Instagram for ages and so I was thrilled to be getting a lesson from Mathilda from Quill London. And it was such fun! I could've easily spend the whole evening just doing this. Annoyingly I really struggled with the small 'A', no matter how many times I tried I couldn't get it right, and since my name has two of that letter in it, my trial run wasn't ideal. There were a few letters I enjoyed a lot more, like the 'C' and 'K' I tried above, so now I'm considering changing my name to C.K. Any thoughts?

Next up was a sonnets workshop with Jacqueline Saphra. As a writer I thought this would be a lot easier, but you know what? It was harder than I thought. We started off rhyming with our name (what on earth rhymes with Zarina aside from other names?!) before we were all given a first sentence in a sonnet we had to use as inspiration for the continuation (oh, now I can rhyme...). Once we added a second sentence we would swap sonnets to continue with another person's and so on until time ran out and we had somewhat finished poems. It was a lot of fun, and putting us on the spot in a time crunch assured we weren't thinking about it all too much and we just did it. Some of the results were questionable at best but there were actually some decent sonnets as well, showing you don't have to spend hours contemplating each word to be able to produce something somewhat eloquent.

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Since starting my by now not-so-new job anymore last Summer, I haven't been to blogger events as often as I used to – and Viking's literary themed evening really made me miss going to them. It's such a great way of meeting new people and trying new things, and it's given me the inspiration I've been lacking for so long to put my creative hat back on. Sonnet writing might not be quite for me, but calligraphy is something I definitely want to try more of!

Huge thanks to Viking and the team at Search Laboratory for hosting such a wonderful event inspired by Shakespeare ♥

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