Not that you’d notice, but wedding season has been and gone, and with only a trickle of orders I’m twiddling my pens rather a lot these days. I’ve also taken back to my old habit of getting up at 5:30 to explore the countryside, and while I was exploring yesterday I thought it’d be fun to write a Coronavirus version of Choose Life.

Choose Life - wall art Irvine Welsh coronavirus keepsake

It’s already been done – and brilliantly – but I didn’t google it until I’d finished writing.

Calligraphy wall hanging Trainspotting

The original, for any millennials who haven’t read or seen Trainspotting, is an unbeatable, arrow-to-the-heart piece of writing by Irvine Welsh. Read the book, it will change your life. Then read Marabou Stork Nightmares. (Not you, Dad.)

Calligraphy flourishes

My words, if you’re trying to pick out the detail!

Choose life.
Choose breathing.
Choose saving the NHS.
Choose to be kind,

Choose Zoom and Facetime
Choose bike rides, walks,
Baking and never seeing your Grandma.
Choose strong lungs, fresh air

And knowing what two metres is.
Choose shopping online in your pants.
Choose Netflix.
Remember your friends.

Choose loungewear and working from home.
Choose new hobbies, running marathons in back gardens
And re-reading every book you own.
Choose DIY and wondering how long

You’ll have to stare at the same four walls.
Choose yelling at the screen while ridiculous
Politicians invent upside down rules they won’t live by,
Wishing you lived in Scotland instead.

Choose staying alive till a vaccine comes out,
And don’t inject bleach in the meantime
Staying positive and knowing you’ll see your mates,
When it’s safe,

And give a year’s hugs in one tearful squeeze
Choose the future. Choose life.

Handwritten calligraphy project UK calligrapher 2020

Here’s a few more close up pics of my calligraphy piece. It’s a swirly one! (I like the classic, ornate look for controversial words.)


Close up detail Irvine Welsh calligraphy project

Coronavirus version of Choose Life

Political calligraphy UK

And just so you know, I can stop twiddling my nibs at any point and take on actual commission work – poems, song lyrics, wedding readings… email if you’re interested.

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