Naimh and Ali leaving to go to college. “Another opportunity for dodgy drawings of the staff” says Tom. Festival over, I’ve seen my stand up comics for the year. Jason Byrne was funnier than Reginald D Hunter, but not as interesting. I did learn not to try drawing in the dark though.
Lotus founder and all round genius Colin Chapman designed the Lotus Seven in 1957. By the early seventies it no longer fitted the more luxurious aspirations of Lotus, so Caterham bought the rights and carried on building it. Almost 60 years after it was first designed you can still buy more or less the same car.It’s simplicity itself. I love that it makes up for not having much power by not having much of anything at all. It’s tiny: you can walk around it in a parking space. ‘Just add lightness’ was the Chapman design philosophy and we enjoyed the thrilling results on a sunny day in Fife.In Soho in London. A little extra space on the corner of Berwick Street and Broadwick Street makes for a busy spot. People using their phones to text, talk and find their way to their next meeting. This corner gives them room to pause without being in the way and lets me watch urban life in narrow streets with lowish buildings. Lots of activity in not a lot of space.
When the London office moved to Kentish Town there weren’t many cafes selling fancy and expensive coffee. There are now. Places change and something gets lost. Off to the board meeting to discuss the ethics of working in Uganda, and London.
Start! F & I are off to school.
I like intimate festival venues, late at night.
Sitting In Advocate’s Close admiring Morgan McDonnell’s sensitive modern buildings on medieval steps. A design from a couple of years ago sitting comfortably on a route from 600 years ago.
Ruari’s left school, Fraser’s about to start.
Sometimes, more than others, you feel that time is moving on.
With HTA Rouleurs on Ride London. 100 miles from London, through the Surrey Hills, finishing on the Mall. It was all fun, but never more exciting than flat out down closed London dual carriageways applauded by residents whose normal experience is the noise from smoggy congestion but today was the Velominati and the quiet thrum of skinny tyres on tarmac.
11 of the 12 in our team finished. Richard Foxley crashed and spent the morning in an ambulance. He’s got a good story to tell, but not the one he wanted. I love London in the evening after a warm summer’s day. Sitting on the warm pavement outside our flat I drew the Duke of Uke, reflecting on getting a little fitter, raising a load of money and having a brilliant experience (and the role of niche shops…).
Thanks to all who helped us do it, for all the donations and contributions.
Watching Sylvain Chomet’s Belleville Rendez-Vous in Bicycle Outfitters Ronde in Stockbridge. An appropriately stylish location for this beautiful animation, I think. It’s a cycling theme as this is our last fundraising event before our team of twelve ride 100 miles (each) this weekend. Through incredibly kind donations, we’ve raised over £15,000 for homelessness charity Shelter. Many thanks to everyone who has helped through donations, gifting raffle prizes, baking cakes or offering free use of venues.
It’s been great fun. Now to ride the 100 miles…
A plane, manufactured in Scotland.
This one’s in East Fortune. We were there to watch a Spitfire and a Eurofighter Typhoon, amongst others. The last Spitfire was produced in 1948 and 46 years later technology had advanced so incredibly we were able to build the first Eurofighter. It’s the most extraordinary man made thing I have ever seen.
A couple of good speakers:
I looked after the kids for the day, to give their mum some time to commit shopping. Innes ended up in a pond in a public park, momentarily submerged.
A man on the North London line.
Sitting in Leeds in the evening sunshine drawing a rapidly changing city. There are thirty of us taking part in a workshop at the launch of a sketching competition in memory of the late Denis Mason Jones. I’ve done a little talk on why I think sketching is important for designers.
Very enthusiastic people, very enjoyable night. In Gatwick. I’m not that fond of flying, but I do like the relentless cheeriness of the European easyjet staff. They seem to enjoy this more than is entirely credible.
We are raising money for Shelter, so had a pub quiz to raise some cash. Hemma gave us the venue for free, and we had generous donations for prizes. We raised £1300, about 10% of our target. The fundraising page is here, if you’d like to help. Many thanks to those who already have. Later, a holiday touring lochs in the Trossachs.
We did most of it by bike, which is very tiring if you are three.
At New London Architecture’s Thomas Heatherwick lecture: an inspiring experience. He clearly inhabits the same world of difficult sites, demanding briefs and tight budgets as the rest of us, but he manages to conjure something completely extraordinary from the same ingredients. The lecture slides are straightforward: it’s the ideas that shine through, and how they solve relevant problems.
Contemplating his amazing work and optimistic office the next morning, I wanted to draw something simple and utilitarian, to get back in touch with my own ‘reality': a truck making deliveries at St Pancras. After breakfast I headed for Hackney, expecting I’d seen enough inspiring characters for one trip, and it was time to do some real work (the protestant work ethic is never far away). Instead, I ran into Gavin Turk and talked about how you might make space for creative free thinkers in the overheated, investment focused, London property market.
Well he talked, I sketched and noted the presence of paintbrush in the hand of a YBA. I was pleased he signed my sketchbook. It says:
did not draw this”.