Waiting in China Town and sketching delivery bikes. You can’t finish them because they keep racing off at the standard speed for ‘L’ plate food deliveries: flat out.
Faster: a turntable ladder at Crewe Toll fire station. This is the highlight of Fraser’s trip with the Beavers.
I’m here because he’s been a bit ill, so I’m checking he’s alright.
They do an entertaining routine, the fireman. “Kids, the more yellow helmets at a fire, the more chance everyone gets out alive. The more white helmets, the more chance it all burns to the ground”. The bosses wear the white helmets.
On the tube, absentmindedly sketching the guy who happens to be opposite when I realise he’s wrapped his hands in a scarf so I can’t see his big tattoos. Didn’t mean to make it awkward, wish I knew what they said.
Back in Edinburgh we are moving office. I find myself in kids soft play parties looking at how they’ve done the services install. Time for a break.
On the Windermere ferry sketching a Mazda MX5 and a Renault. Imagining (well copying) Donald Campbell’s celebrated K7. We went and had a look at Coniston Water where Campbell was killed on 4th January ’67 in an attempt to break his own world water speed record.
The boys on the tablet, though most of the action was in the ‘subtropical swimming paradise’. This is the ‘hut’. J & I got ill here. Being ill at Center Parcs is about as expensive as checking in to a BUPA hospital, so we didn’t make a big deal of it.
To Paris with the office, partners and kids. About 170 of us.
I love Paris, and looking out from our hotel bedroom window, you’d think nothing ever changes here.
None the less, I’m as happy watching the characters of Paris life as I am looking at the buildings.
Two highlights: talking to a smoking portrait artist in brown cord jacket and burgundy roll neck, outside the Pompidou. A Presidential candidate canvassing the Sunday morning Metro goers at Place d’Italie. Street life.
Resi 2016 launched into the bad news about the economy and the affordability of housing. If governments and voters are heavily indebted then why would you raise interest rates and if you don’t raise interest rates then how do people save for their old age? Some people alive now will live to 150 I was told. But I didn’t believe it.
Interesting contributions from many others.
I think the next couple of years will be about combining our off site manufacturing expertise with our Build to Rent knowledge. At the end of the day I was well looked after by the Property Week team, so many thanks to them.
This is Second Home, in my second home.
It describes it’s self as a ‘carefully curated community’, and a ‘creative accelerator’. It’s certainly an interesting environment to do some sketching in.
A leaving do for Andrew, Massimo and Cheng, all returning to further their education. This is Massimo’s third leaving do. I pretend to be upset but I’m mostly glad they want to come back.
“Any story told long enough becomes a tragedy” said Alice Fraser at the start of her emotional ‘comedy’ The Resistance.
One of my ancestors used to work in Stockbridge Market (1823 – 1906). It’s a very attractive little part of a very attractive place. I’m here with our sketchclub looking at how buildings hit the ground. This ground floor is related to the upper floors, but not the same.
And eating out. Innes got so bored waiting in Zizzi’s for a pizza that I let him draw in the sketchbook. “I’ll draw Lewis Hamilton”, he promised.
“Dad, it was going to be Lewis Hamilton but instead it’s a sheep.”
In Kulhuse, near Copenhagen, for a summerhouse party in Allan & Elgi’s garden.
The kids sleeping in the car on the way there.
We spent most of the week in Allan & Elgi’s Copenhagen flat. This is Fraser and I out on the balcony talking about sharks. The most cycle friendly city.
Day trip to Malmo to see Henrik and Jaana. It’s always interesting to catch up with people when we are on holiday and they aren’t. I like see what normal life is like in different places, as opposed to tourist life.
Isla’s detailed sketch of Innes on the flight home.
There are so many variables in horse racing I’m amazed anyone can pick a winner.
After a sunny afternoon at Perth Races with engineer TUV SUD I came out ahead on the strength of a horse that hadn’t won for about a year picking up a win. My system was ‘bet on the jockey wearing black and white’ so it was all about luck rather than insight. I reckon this was true for almost everyone there.
Over the last few months when I wasn’t putting sketches on the blog I produced some illustrations for the ULI (Urban Land Institute) guide to the professionally managed residential sector. Here’s one of East Village (formerly the Olympic Village), Stratford.
I’ve fallen out of the habit of keeping the sketch diary up to date, the online version anyway. I’ve kept the sketch books just the same but painting the six portraits I did recently used up all my spare time. Then I cycled across France.
I had an idea that I’d go back and colour up the old sketches and up load them all here: do a catch up blog. But of course I won’t. The thing about a diary is that the keeper is only interested in recording today, not writing up the past.
… and fascinating presentations: this one by Lara Feigel on her book ‘The Bitter Taste of Victory’…
…and this one on Women in Architecture and women in HTA. In the non architectural areas of our business: planning, graphics, sustainability and landscape design the genders are balanced throughout the grades. In architecture they aren’t. Something to sort.
As noted a couple of blogs ago, I’m cycling from London to Cannes as part of a 100 strong fundraising peloton. I’m raising some of the money by painting the clients, collaborators and influencers who shape my working life.
The funds are for children’s charity Coram.
Harry Downes and Peter Murray were kind enough to accept my offer to tackle their portrait, for charity.
Peter is the chair of New London Architecture.
Harry is Managing Director of Fizzy Living.
Excellent organisations both. Many thanks to them for their generous donations to Coram.
My fundraising page is here and I would be delighted if you were able to donate. Either way, I hope that you enjoy the portraits and please accept my apologies that, what with all the painting and training for a 900 mile cycling event, there isn’t much sketching going on!
In the Lighthouse in Glasgow sitting in on Architecture & Design Scotland’s review of planning guidance for Port Dundas, by others.
I spent the next day with HTA looking at what the future might hold, from a marketing perspective. It’s eight years since the last recession started and, crudely, it’s an eight year cycle, so I worry about what might be next.