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
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.
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.
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.
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.
The last event of the break, my dad’s 88th birthday.
New years day, a brass band in the livingroom.
Angus visited from France.
Catching up with old school pals in Dunfermline. The same as we were, a little more tired but a little better at communication.
Innes hid behind the sofa for the Queen’s speech.
Fun box was fun.
The only person on a plane to London City the week before Christmas.
Actually these are the things I did in between riding the bike and painting portraits, in preparation for cycling from London to Cannes in March. I’ll show you the portraits next time.