Spring – 21 March 2015

At last, the spring equinox. I like the dark, but on balance, we’re now in the better half of the year.

daffodils - 19 March 2015

Sunnier, brighter and a bit more colourful: we’re all quite excited. F & I have a birthday…

F&I party - 21 March 2015

F&I are 5 - 17 March 2015… and I have a talk to do:

london societyJust in case you’d like to talk about drawing in Camden on a Tuesday evening.

MIPIM – 12 March 2015

In Cannes for MIPIM. It’s our market, condensed. When I headed out I thought it might be about pitching, but it’s not. It’s a chance to talk to the people who’s needs will shape our business. But we can’t do everything for everyone so the trick, I think, is to work out who to listen most closely to amongst the 20,000 voices. Getting to do this on a beach in the south of France is nice, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

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Some of this information gets delivered quite formally.

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Statistics on places: design, value, people, quality, crisis etc. I imagined I might be sketching the beach and the boats, but there isn’t any time.

KMBT_C284-20150313131747Instead I’m listening to what other people think the future holds, and trying to work out who’s right.

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Most of the time it’s less formal discussion: breakfasts, lunches, afternoon beers, dinners, late night pints. I’m not sure copious coffee and alcohol consumption helps with clarity but it was my first time, so I went along with it.KMBT_C284-20150313131908On the plane home, I see I’m not alone in finding it exhausting.

Tablets and Towers – 26 February 2015

F&I engrossed by the family’s toy tablet.

F&I - 7 March 2015They can work it effectively, better than their dad on his new Microsoft Surface. The Surface is a classic compromise: unimpressive as a tablet, not that great as a laptop, handier than carrying both around on a push bike.

waiting fish

Some waiting room fish.

Beetham Tower Lobby - 27 February 2015Sitting in the lobby of Manchester’s Beetham Tower talking PRS with the nice guys who manage the residential half of the building. The Beetham is a little short of 50 storeys, and half an hour later we concluded our tour on the windy roof. I’d have done a sketch but I needed both hands to hold on and my eyes were shut.

Places to stay in Aberdeen – 21 February 2015

When the ‘quine’ wobbled through reception at 5.00pm, belly hanging out over her pyjama bottoms, leather bomber jacket, no shoes, trailing a toilet roll, I sensed this was going to be a little different from my normal night in a Travelodge.

Travelodge - 21 February 2015The next morning, checking out, I mentioned to reception that I couldn’t hear the rowdy night in the street outside for the party going on in the corridor. “Aberdeen at the weekend sir, I can only apologise.”

We spent the day recovering in a beautiful, if unfinished, family house on a farm.

bull pen - 22 February 2015“Which way’s the countryside?” said Innes (he’s a city boy, like me) so we went for a walk to show him.

BA- 23 February 2015The next day was back to normal life between London and Edinburgh.

 

Nursery School – 13 February 2014

For one and a half hours I had a shot at being a nursery school teacher. They knew I was coming so made it like the day job: we drew what we wanted, then we built it.

Nursery 13 February 2015Two castles and a treasure map, then some dragons. Then, like actual lunchtime CPD, they watched a programme about bricks: grow you’re own clients. Great fun, and thanks to the kids who chose not to bully me at all.

A cyclist turns up at the consultation – 12 February 2015

For the first time this year, the sun has made it over the horizon in time for my morning commute. The number of cyclists seems appreciably up from the dark winter months.

Consultation 13 February 2015In the evening I popped passed Grosvenor’s smart consultation event and had a chat with a fellow user about annual Brompton mileage: 1,300 for me, 2,000 for our local green councillor. Better try harder.

All Duck & Waffle – 5 February 2015

With my colleagues for breakfast at Duck & Waffle 40 storeys up the Heron Tower. Planning the future of our business.Duck & Waffle - 5 February 2015 Impressive neighbours peer in the window.

Taxi - 3 February 2015Work is busy. The weather is cold and grey. Sketching will remain an indoor activity for the next month or so. This limits any outdoor views to what’s right in front of the coffee shop window as I eat breakfast. I think this is called a TX4, from the London Taxi Company.

Sleeper - 5 February 2015The weirdest way to travel remains the sleeper. In the bar at the start of the journey you can just glimpse the romance of rail travel from bygone days. Seven hours later you join the rest who’ve hardly slept to queue for a shower in Euston station.

Urban design Panel - 28 January 2015At the Edinburgh Urban Design panel in the City Chambers. Former Provosts watch over the group to remind us to do the best for this amazing city. I’m a back seat driver on this one, so I watch David H doing his professional presentations in Edinburgh… 6 Grosvenor Street - 15 January 2015 …and on Grosvenor Street in London.

Alan Hamilton - 31 January 2015Alan Hamilton in Hemma at lunchtime.

Royal Festival Hall – 27 January 2015

Our HTA Sketch Club joined forces with the London Society for a trip to the Royal Festival Hall. I was inspired by some 1951 illustrations of the design, and by the characters who came along to draw and chat about it afterwards. Royal Festival Hall - 28 January 2015

It was a great pleasure to meet octogenarian former architecture tutor Maggie, who set me straight on a few things.

Earlier, I felt among friends with oldest pals Scott, Pete and Dougal…

Pete Scott and Dougal - 22 January 2015…and alone hogging a big empty table in an otherwise packed west London restaurant.

The Courtfield - 21 January 2015Back home with Isla and Fraser.Isla - Fraser - Harviestoun - 19 January 2015

Some Recommendations – 17 January 2015

One of the good things about travelling to the same places is getting to know the best places to eat and drink: I’d recommend Caravan on Exmouth Market, if you’re ever in the area.

Caravan - 14 January 2015I’d recommend a Porsche too, but not one like this, sitting in an airport departure lounge.

win a porsche - 14 January 2015

A Saturday morning eating cake and ice cream at soft play, just after breakfast? My kids would definitely recommend that.

robbie & jemmas - 17 January 2015
Coffee, sketching and enjoyable chat for me, so I’d recommend it too. Not enough time to finish the drawing though. I’m sure there will be other parties.

 

 

The Stand – 10 January 2015

In the Stand with Jane, Keith & Julie after supper at the Malt Whisky Society. Their pal, the amusingly unconventional Jojo, is compere.

stand 1 - 10 January 2015

From my limited Festival experience there can only be two stars of these multi comic stand up nights: the compere and the headline, like tonight.

stand 2 - 10 January 2015I need to earn my nights of comedy and whisky, so in the morning I ran around a snowy Arthur’s Seat.Winter Run - 10 January

Slowly.