Talton House – August 2018

Talton House August 2018

Talton House in the Cotswolds with my mum, my three sisters and all our families. Busy, but 2018’s weather meant life was mostly lived outside in the garden.

Catriona & Marc on the sofa 9 August 2018Some time with the people I’ve known the longest.

Hidcote 7 August 2018Gardens were the theme of the week. Hidcote.

Compton Verny 9 August 2018Compton Verney. 

Compton Verny 9 August 2018-2The kids drawing on the wall. That was allowed.

RSC for afternoon tea 10 August 2018In Stratford-upon-Avon with the family. Isla says none of these people look anything like themselves.

Isla in Stratford 6 august 2018But that this is  much worse.

travelIn between times I did some travelling.

Malawi Kev - July 2018And we started a competition to design some accommodation for a school in Malawi. Without safe accommodation many of the kids, particularly the girls, don’t make it through school. Education is a route out of poverty so we’d like to help. Deadline mid October, winner goes to Malawi to help build it.

 

Greece – July 2018

parthenon - july 2018The Parthenon. We walked out onto the apartment balcony and there it was. The view of Europe’s most famous ruin wasn’t mentioned on Air B’n’B which made for a nice surprise.

athens balcony - july 2018Athens is a brilliant city. The government let villa owners develop their plots with six storey apartments and the resulting streets, built to a consistent height on lots of small land parcels, looks great I think.

parthenon queue - july 2018To get up to the Acropolis, you queue for a ticket in the raging heat and chat to your fellow queue-ers, including sketcher Geoff. I’ve been randomly sketching for seven years and this is the first time I’d come across someone sketching me.

hadrians library - july 2018The Agora was the most interesting place I thought: wander through the ruins on paths once walked by Plato or Socrates.

Milies, July 2018Before Athens we stayed in Milies, on Pelion, for a wedding.

Galinie's Wedding 31 June 2018The wedding was as different as these things always are when you travel abroad for ritual you think you’ll recognise. A different culture with a different emphasis on a familiar ceremony. A lovely, friendly, welcoming experience. We love Europe, we thought.

Milies July 2018

The wedding wasn’t the only cultural shift we had to get used to: we’re too noisy at the pool…

villa Milies July 2018

…in the afternoon.

Still love Europe though.kalanera - juliy 2018

 

We Work – May 2018

Here are some drawings mostly done whilst working.

180528 InnesNot all of them obviously, this is Innes waiting whilst Fraser played football with his Cubs.

mipim totalBut mostly: cycling reunion to celebrate being part of the HTA team that raised £725,000 for children’s charity Coram.

Homes for Scotland Awards 2018Lunch at the Scottish Property Awards with Dr John Boyle and Hazel Sharp Webb of Rettie. Rettie were award winners on the day.

alans whin house2Alan Caldwell, our client for Studio Dundee, sitting in the garden of the Whin House he built with Makar.

whin house 1And making lunch for my family: very kind, and not an easy crowd to please. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – my Dad is the best human in the entire world” tweeted Alan’s daughter recently. Isla certainly reckons he does a great pasta sauce.

managementActual work is often meetings rather than drinks receptions, lunches or hanging out in your client’s garden: London management meeting.

180508 - Manchester PicadilyIn Manchester. Popped by to visit our hard working team, and a huge site.

180529 - Future DMSSketching some ideas for transforming my local area: open spaces amazing, traffic bad.

may the fourthPicking up the kids from the school on May the fourth.

180521 - dmains primary

The stylish hall in the school.

180528 chairA chair.

180411 Neptune's StaircaseA forgotten holiday sketch, lock gates on Neptune’s Stair Case, Fort William.

Morar – April 2018

Some sketches, in chronological order (unusually).180407 - Innes & FraserDragging the boys round the shops in the car, making last minute preparations for a holiday on the beautiful west coast of Scotland.

080418 CamasdarochOn the beach at Camusdarach making the first of many sand castles.

180418 - MallaigThe local port is Mallaig.

180410 - to SkyeOver the sea to Skye. Skye is home to a disproportionate number of beautiful, subtle, architect designed homes.

180410 DualchasThese two are by the inspiring Dualchas.

April 2018 - AnCrubhAn uplifting community centre with a nice cafe, a cracking view and great hall. By Will Tunell. I love what a community development trust can achieve: remove the profit motive and make something great.

180411 JulieThe train journey from Mallaig to Fort William is amongst the most scenic in the world. And very popular with Harry Potter enthusiasts. We took the (cheaper) local service.

10419 GlenfinanThe highlight of the trip is the Glenfinan viaduct. It looks out towards the memorial to Bonnie Prince Charlie. Arrived 22nd June 1745. Made it to Derby. Routed 16th April 1746. Back to Europe 20th September 1746.

180412 - Isla Eigg RumEigg, Rhum and Isla in the same picture.

180412 Loch NibheisSailing back from Eigg.

180413 Raw ArchitectureThere’s some cracking domestic architecture on the mainland too.

180418 - Scottish Govt SeminarI do work too (though sometimes this all looks like holiday). Back home and waiting my turn to talk at a Scottish Government seminar on Build to Rent.

180421 - Book SaleMy sister’s brilliant fundraising book sale in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK. With excellent help she raised £1,700.

180428 - SpartansBack to the cold. Fraser and Isla sheltering from the elements at our local community football academy, Spartans.

Nairn – February 2018

nairn house

Back in February: at the beautiful (and somewhat hidden) Ardclach Bell Tower.  We stayed in Nairn. I loved running on the beach in the dark and the snow, then retreating back to this cosy flat to warm up.

culloden 180213Culloden Battlefield. The line of the Red Coats and the line of the Jacobites, in the snow. The bothy on the left was a field hospital, the battle was over in an hour. There’s not much in the sketch, but standing here and looking gave me the time to consider what had happened.

fort george - 180216

The aftermath: the impressive Fort George. The Victorian splendour of Nairn.

london - 180206Back amongst the sculptural shapes of the city.lonlinessChatting to the architects of EH4 and listening to a theory about how the spaces we make and the patterns of ownership contributes to the loneliness that afflicts society.

Craigs 50th - 31 March 2018At the Devil’s Cut to celebrate Craig Jone’s Rowley’s 50th. Craig is trying out fifty a wee bit before me. I’ll check how he gets on, if he doesn’t like it maybe I’ll not bother.
tube
Some folk on the tube. I used to be shy about drawing people on the tube but now I realise we are so close together that everyone is pretending there is nobody else here.

Jennie & Steven Got Married – 24 March 2018

Jennie & Steven 3 - 24 March 2018A great ceilidh to end a lovely day celebrating Jennie & Steven’s wedding. Jennie & Steven 2 - 24 March 2018

Sketching the three beautiful bridges while listening to three good speeches. Family weddings are so much easier than when I last turned up at them twenty five years ago. This is mostly because I’ve decided how many cheeks to kiss and nobody asks me if it will be my turn next.

Jennie & Steven 1 - 24 March 2018At the lovely ceremony in Dalmeny Church. The four guys in front of me are Andreas, Ruari, Marc and Douglas: three boys and their dad. As the register was signed they played a brass medley that ranged from Wild Mountain Thyme to Star Wars. It was amusing for everyone and moving for some of us, a memory of my dad. A very special event.

World of Wings 18 March 2018

That was undoubtedly the main event of the last wee while, but here are a few other sketches of recent events. Above is Fraser at World of Wings. We learnt about how the vulture is really a good thing, despite the reputation. He cleans up after animals have already died and gets disease out of the eco system. I liked the red tailed buzzard as he was happy to pose for a sketch.

Dispossession

Watching a film about the housing crisis: dispossession. We need more subsidised housing, across the country.

Bothwell House 25 March 2018My old flat.

180320-Aitch - FinchleyTrying to get planning to put new homes on brownfield land, but people make it difficult so don’t expect all our housing to come through this route.

180320-Aitch OfficesIt’s not easy. You might need a barrister. He turned up with his suitcase of papers. Another reminder of my late father.Duff HouseDuff House.

emergency exit 21 February 2018Some travel.

 

Neil Gillespie 27 February 2018

At a talk about the excellent work of architects Reiach & Hall.

Culpeper 19 March 2018Staying at the Culpeper. A London pub with five bedrooms.

Culpeper 21 February 2018A small businesses being creative and making the most of every inch of space in our cities. The opposite of bland hotels with long corridors and a smell concocted by an expert in user experience. Loved it.

London to Cannes in 6 Days – March 2018

I rode to Cannes in aid of children’s charity Coram. Our team of 4 raised £20,000 through very generous donations from friends and colleagues. Many thanks to everyone who donated. It’s a good cause: you can still donate here.

MIPIM the bike 180307I rode the whole 900 miles, as I expected to do. I also expected to sketch the whole journey but I didn’t really get close. This is my bike in the hotel the night before.

MIPIM ride briefing - 180308This is the rider briefing on the morning we left. After that I hardly managed anything. Everything moves too fast and actually requires a fair bit of concentration; there’s no time left to think about sketching.

MIPIM - the busSome people eating snacks on the bus inside the train that transfers you through the tunnel. Cycle to MIPIM is a bit like I imagine the army might be: you have a job to do and people shout at you when you don’t do it, and even when you do (though there was less of that this year).

MIPIM RidersI drew some riders.

Christian Spencer Davies

And some ride captains.

alex elyI even managed one lunch stop (but there were six).

Cannes RIBA beach

After six days and nine hundred miles I arrived in Cannes for a good round of interesting lunches and meetings, and some parties. I enjoyed the chat and learned a fair bit, but at the back of my mind was the feeling that I need to go back, concentrate harder, cycle less, and draw the whole route.

Maybe next year.

22nd February 2018 – #BTRLon18 or Nine Hours for Nine Drawings

The Build to Rent Forum is the place where the main industry characters come together and discuss how they’re getting on. I spent a day drawing the discussions. The drawings were in aid of excellent children’s charity Coram who I’m raising money for by cycling from London to Cannes. Please donate here if you can.

I spent nine hours drawing: here they are:

BTRLon18-2

Where’s the land? Getting the day started with a bit of debate and some interesting questions.

BTRLon18-3

The Collective have convincingly imbued their business with a social purpose.

BTRLon18-4

I used to be confused by investors because they talked in jargon but now they just talk about how to make nice places for folk to live in. I can understand that.

BTRLon18-5

This might make you wonder what the people focused people will talk about? They’re wondering what lessons to learn from the huge amounts of data that are being generated by all these new residents in new buildings. What’s really going to work for people?

BTRLon18-6

To talk about this, we went for lunch.

BTRLon18-7

Iain Murray’s passionately expressed views are just the thing to beat the post lunch slump.

BTRLon18-8

The Scots are in London learning from the folk who’ve built more than we have, but there’s quite a bit in the pipeline north of the border.

BTRLon18-9

Quite refreshing view of the potential of Build to Rent to meet housing need, from Councillor Darren Rodwell.

BTRLon18-10

Finally, James Murray calmly set out the policy framework that we’ll all be working within, and why it is the way is.

BTRLon18-1So that was it. An informative day, some interesting insights and good practice listening and drawing simultaneously! Many thanks to David Jennings from Movers and Shakers for sponsoring me.

Indoor Month – January 2018

I do go outside, you just wouldn’t know it from the drawings. New Year’s Day with the family.

new years day 2018Drawing in the sketching friendly Design Museum. Looking at beautiful Ferraris. Enzo Ferrari was neither a great driver or a great designer but he created the world’s most desirable brand. ferrari 3

Beautiful old cars…

180124 -ferrari 2

…and the process by which they make them. And some racing cars, Ferrari’s only form of advertising.

180120-FraserFraser missing football, because it’s January and the pitch is frozen.

ainslie park cafe 2017

Isla waiting for gymnastics to start, and me waiting for Isla.

180118 - Hendon Town Hall

Listening to a planning committee.

passo - jan 2017I like the trend towards open kitchens and seats where you can watch someone make your dinner. They provide some entertainment for travelers eating alone. These friendly folk were in Paso.

by tube and planeTravelling, by tube and plane.

management meetingSome work.

2018 british librarySketching is quite popular these days and the nice guys from Meinhardt invited me along to their thriving sketch club at the British Library. It was great,, but I’m looking forward to drawing outdoors again.

You Stand Watching – December 2017

The last drawing of the year, at Hugh & Murray’s house

new year 17-18The party is over there. I’m watching from the far side of the table.

christmas 2017The Kerrs watching Elizabeth II (trad).

LyceumWatching the panto-esque Arabian Nights at the Lyceum.

january 2108Fraser watching the TV football chat before going to watch the Pars beat Falkirk 2-0.

innes and legoWatching Innes work through two days of Lego building.

the dinerIn London, by the office, I choose to sit in the not so nice cafe in order to watch the diners in the nice one on the far side of the street.

ruari standingRuari, watching the events of a family Christmas.