People I’ve spent time listening to in the last month or so:
Joelle Mae David and others in Barking & Dagenham.
With HTA sketch club looking at one of Edinburgh’s successful incidental spaces.
The biggest on the sail to Arran.
Most of our time was spent on Islay, which is a much softer variety of the Hebridean harshness I’m familiar with from time on North Uist, and mixed with an astounding world class whisky industry.
It’s a short cycle between Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig. Time to look out for the wildlife. Buzzards, stags, golden eagles. And geese.
Islay came up with this and a few islands further north they invented Harris Tweed. A tiny number of people producing products that are renowned the world over. In beautiful surroundings.
Here’s a link to the charity page, if you are able to donate: https://race-nation.com/sponsor/e/64891
A day by Tower Bridge, business planning.
But how do you decide what you want to do?
Visit stimulating places,
In Derby for work, but holiday habits are hard to kick so I popped in to have a look at Ayrton Senna’s ’93 McLaren at Donnington Park, scene of it’s finest hour.
Before that Christmas holidays and birthday parties.
For three year old Ellan…
… and my 89 year old dad. He’s forgotten a lot but we all sang songs together.
Christmas Day: mum showing her grandchildren photos of the old days.
…and talking planes with Fraser.
My business partner Ben Derbyshire is to be the next President of the RIBA. That’s quite an honour so the partners went out for a quiet dinner to celebrate.
People deserve better places to live, so we’ve made an organisation that tries to combine to skills to deliver this: architects, graphic designers, planners, landscape architects, cooks and others.
I lost this sketch book so here’s a design idea for someone else’s house drawn at a relaxed summer barbecue.
One side of one of my sketchbooks is just over five metres long. Here are my colleagues holding one.
I drew this one for charity Article 25, http://www.article-25.org/about-article-25/
It will be auctioned at the RIBA in a couple of weeks. As it’s five metres long, there might not be that many people interested in it (that will be my excuse) but there are 99 other drawings and paintings to bid for so if you fancy some art for an excellent cause have a look here:
They are all of, or related to, Brixton. I spent a couple of sunny days there sketching what I saw and speaking to the people who were interested in what I was doing. People say the place has lost it’s edge, I had a great time.
Brixton, or at least the bit I was looking at, is defined by it’s railway arches. Between two of these Big Apple Brixton was building a bar you’ll need tickets for. I’d like to go.
Walled off from the vibrant street there’s an estate, so I sat there for a while too. Everyone was friendly. I could only think of one living person from Brixton, although subsequently people have pointed out a few more.
Off to Washington and New York to learn a little more about how Americans live.
People deserve better places to live and there’s lot’s to learn from America. At it’s best there are bigger flats and a higher standard of lower cost accommodation.
It’s never enough to look at the housing: what else can you do if you live here?
Back home at the Remembrance Parade in Davidson’s Mains.
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.