Posts in Category: Transport

London to Cannes in 6 Days – March 2018

I rode to Cannes in aid of children’s charity Coram. Our team of 4 raised £20,000 through very generous donations from friends and colleagues. Many thanks to everyone who donated. It’s a good cause: you can still donate here.

MIPIM the bike 180307I rode the whole 900 miles, as I expected to do. I also expected to sketch the whole journey but I didn’t really get close. This is my bike in the hotel the night before.

MIPIM ride briefing - 180308This is the rider briefing on the morning we left. After that I hardly managed anything. Everything moves too fast and actually requires a fair bit of concentration; there’s no time left to think about sketching.

MIPIM - the busSome people eating snacks on the bus inside the train that transfers you through the tunnel. Cycle to MIPIM is a bit like I imagine the army might be: you have a job to do and people shout at you when you don’t do it, and even when you do (though there was less of that this year).

MIPIM RidersI drew some riders.

Christian Spencer Davies

And some ride captains.

alex elyI even managed one lunch stop (but there were six).

Cannes RIBA beach

After six days and nine hundred miles I arrived in Cannes for a good round of interesting lunches and meetings, and some parties. I enjoyed the chat and learned a fair bit, but at the back of my mind was the feeling that I need to go back, concentrate harder, cycle less, and draw the whole route.

Maybe next year.

Indoor Month – January 2018

I do go outside, you just wouldn’t know it from the drawings. New Year’s Day with the family.

new years day 2018Drawing in the sketching friendly Design Museum. Looking at beautiful Ferraris. Enzo Ferrari was neither a great driver or a great designer but he created the world’s most desirable brand. ferrari 3

Beautiful old cars…

180124 -ferrari 2

…and the process by which they make them. And some racing cars, Ferrari’s only form of advertising.

180120-FraserFraser missing football, because it’s January and the pitch is frozen.

ainslie park cafe 2017

Isla waiting for gymnastics to start, and me waiting for Isla.

180118 - Hendon Town Hall

Listening to a planning committee.

passo - jan 2017I like the trend towards open kitchens and seats where you can watch someone make your dinner. They provide some entertainment for travelers eating alone. These friendly folk were in Paso.

by tube and planeTravelling, by tube and plane.

management meetingSome work.

2018 british librarySketching is quite popular these days and the nice guys from Meinhardt invited me along to their thriving sketch club at the British Library. It was great,, but I’m looking forward to drawing outdoors again.

That’s Entertainment – December 2017

Fiona and Paulina sleeping on the way to the HTA Design London party

hta sleepers - december 2017

Recovering the next day on the long trip home.

party morning after december 2017

Earlier in the month I’d gone to Islay with the guys I began studying architecture with 30 years ago who are still architects.

Port Charlotte 2-RecoveredWe got thrown out of the pub and the police were called.

Port Charlotte 1

This sort of thing didn’t happen 30 years ago. That’s middle age for you.

Flying to ISlaBy the time we flew home we knew just about everyone.

london office brick - december 2017

Recovering in London, trying to understand the detail of our new office. You don’t learn that much in 30 years.

fraser ar scots night - 30 nov 2017

It’s the time of year for shows: Fraser in his school Scots Night.

Queensferry Panto - December 2017

Brother in law and nephew excelling in panto.

171213-WSP-Spifox

A Christmas lunch or two, though this is the only one that made me cry. It raised money for charities So Precious and CHAS. Click on the links for more information on these excellent organisations.

Michael 3 december 2017It’s time for some time at home…

julie and matt december 2017

…chatting to friends…

isla 1 december 2017

…recovering…

42 eba stair december 2017…and thinking about some new design challenges.

Carrbridge – July 2017

A week in Carrbridge

carrbridge terraceIn a wooden lodge by a pool.

carrbridge terrace2Covered outside space: essential for the Scottish summer.

muckrach lodgeA Scottish highland summer is exceptional food…

landmark pavilion…great places to visit…

horses…a taste of horse riding for the kids…

duck…long country walks and bike rides…

cagiva…and admiring the exotic vehicles that tour through sleepy Scottish villages.

 

The Hebridean Isles – April 2017

With HTA sketch club looking at one of Edinburgh’s successful incidental spaces.

Rodney Street 30 March 2017After that, island hopping in the Hebrides in the spring sun.

MV Hebridean Isles 04 April 2017The whole thing is great. The islands are beautiful, the weather is dramatic and the ferries that sail between them come in all shapes and sizes.

MV Catriona - 03 April 2017The smallest is on the five minute crossing to remote Jura.

eilean dhura 7 april 2017The biggest on the sail to Arran.
caledonian isles 02 April 2017julie 8 April 2017Most 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.

ardbeg 5 April 2017Bownore 04 April 2017goose 6 april 2017

It’s a short cycle between Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig. Time to look out for the wildlife. Buzzards, stags, golden eagles. And geese.
Port Ellen 7 April 2017Islay 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.

loch ranza 3 April 2017It was a great place for Fraser to recover from his minor, but fairly dramatic, head injury.

fraser 01 April 2017fraser 02 april 2017For contrast, Kings Cross.

kings cross - 170326

New Year 2017

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.

mclaren - 15 jan 2017

Before that Christmas holidays and birthday parties.

Ellan's birthday 24 December 2016

For three year old Ellan…

dad - 3 jan 2017

… and my 89 year old dad. He’s forgotten a lot but we all sang songs together.

dad - 26 december 2017

mum - 25 dec 2016

Christmas Day: mum showing her grandchildren photos of the old days.

grumpy - 25 dec 2016Grumpy in traditional post lunch pose…

fraser and grumpy - 2 jan 2017

…and talking planes with Fraser.

janice - 25 dec 2016Janice and Alison

presentation - 10 jan 2017Back to work and ideas about the future of London.

turbo - 27 dec 2016Time to get on with winter training for my 1500km cycle down to Cannes in March. New year, new regime.

 

 

Vehicles & holidays – 12 October 2016

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.

delivery-bbike-6-october-2016

Faster: a turntable ladder at Crewe Toll fire station. This is the highlight of Fraser’s trip with the Beavers.

fire-station-2-11-october-2016

I’m here because he’s been a bit ill, so I’m checking he’s alright.

fire-station-1-11-october-2016They 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.

tube-12-october-2016On 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.

soft-play1-10-october-2016

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.

donald-campbell-17-october-2016On 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.

borrowdale-16-october-2016The holiday had begun in Borrowdale Youth Hostel. I love youth hostels: we all get in one room, the foods good, the people are friendly and the prices and locations are great. Citizen Rambler.

islas-bike-19-october-2016Next stop, Center Parcs. It shows how you can make the world around you much nicer just by replacing cars with bikes. Everyone seems to go for it.

fi-15-october-2016The boys on the tablet, though most of the action was in the ‘subtropical swimming paradise’. hut-19-october-2016This 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.

Christmas 2015

In reverse:

Daddys Birthday - 3 January 2015

The last event of the break, my dad’s 88th birthday.

prowe band - 1 January 2016

New years day, a brass band in the livingroom.

Andreas - 1 January 2015

AndreasAngus - 29 December 2015

Angus visited from France.

QAHS Reunion - 27 December 2015

Catching up with old school pals in Dunfermline. The same as we were, a little more tired but a little better at communication.

christmas 2016

Innes hid behind the sofa for the Queen’s speech.

 

Fun Box - 23 December 2015

Fun box was fun.

 

plane alone - 22 December 2015

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.

 

My new house – 27 October 2015

In amongst the boxes, waiting for the removal men to turn up and take us out of Fettes Rise. “Will we take the windows?” asked Innes.

moving out - 22 October 2015We have more stuff than I had imagined and, five days later, it’s largely unpacked and I have a new view from the sofa.

moving in - 27 Otcober 2015Here’s the place we left behind.julie in fettes - 27 September 2015 In a world of laptops and wifi most of the stuff is redundant, but we took it anyway. Unpacking the boxes helps make the new place feel like home. tilda1 - 30 October 2015

Sketching interesting people on the train.

 

Going Places – 16 September 2015

A beautiful day in Dundee, listening to suited men discussing where the city is going, whilst watching people walking along the route to the new V&A. Kengo Kuma’s spectacular building, and the exhibits the V&A will bring, will transform this part of town. Other waterfront developments to follow.banana site - 15 September 2015 It’s the sunniest city in Scotland, they tell me.

tara the train driver - 16 September 2015

Chatting to Tara the train driver about what it’s like to drive the East Coast Main line trains up and down to London. From my middle aged perspective she seems barely old enough to drive the trolley, but was happy enough with 140mph trains. The old diesel 125s are like classic cars, the electric 225 more like a modern. You can’t go at 140mph because the signals are too close together.

Fettes Rise 13 September 2015It’s time for us to move on from Fettes Rise, designed by Morris & Steedman in the late 1960’s. By far the best place I’ve ever lived.

Going places in the generational sense. With my mum at her eightieth birthday in Glenfarg, a place she knows well from her childhood. I’m trying to work out the generational steps that got the family got from living in the station master’s house here, in 1890, to coming back for a visit in 2015.

Glefarg - 12 September 2015Didn’t quite work it out.