Edinburgh Festival month.
Sketch Club in London
and my mum taking Jessie Bowden’s funeral. Jessie was 101.
A week in Carrbridge
Tom and Laura’s wedding (a bit I’d missed from before).
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.
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.
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.”