Posts Tagged: edinburgh

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.


A few things to learn – 29 November 2015

Fraser is learning to play tennis.  I drew Isla watching him, then she drew him, and titled it.isla and fraser 28 November 2015


At an office CPD, on lighting. Not a bad one. CPD 27 November 2015You learn more, obviously, from seeing the things skilled designers (and their visionary clients) have actually built than you do from watching Powerpoint.

Asa & Daniels 29 November 2015Edinburgh has an extensive stock of ageing bungalows with big back gardens and they’re gradually being bought up by young families. A roster of talented local architects can transform them by taking a bit of back garden and building the kind of bright and open living space people are after these days. Few are as lofty and light as friends Asa & Daniel’s one, by David Blaikie.

innes 28 November 2015


Innes (and me), learning to be gardeners.


The PRS Forum – 8 October 2015

Talking to the PRS Forum about the differences between placemaking for Private Rent and placemaking for sale. There are more than you’d think, so I had to be selective in my ten minute slot. PRS FORUM 1 - 151008I listened hard to the session before, trying to work out what the most relevant things were to talk about. I noted down “the IRR will ring the bell at 7” but mostly so I can ask my more financially fluent colleagues what that means.

PRS FORUM2 - 151008Sketching on stage. I’ve not done that before. I’m happy listening and drawing, so I think that’s ok.

PRS FORUM 3 - 151008

Afterwards, listening to the summing up. Regulatory uncertainty outweighed by confidence in the concept I think. Thanks to Grosvenor and Movers & Shakers for asking me along.

Bonsoir Monsieur Nightfall – 13 August 2015

I like intimate festival venues, late at night.

150813 - HeleneThis little band came together to support singer Helene’s songs about her time on the streets of London and Paris. Emotional in the broadest sense, beautifully delivered.

Review by others here. Tickets here.

600 Years – 9 August 2015

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.

Advacate's Close - 150806 Time passes. ruari - 150809

Ruari’s left school, Fraser’s about to start.

fraser 150809

Sometimes, more than others, you feel that time is moving on.

Drama – 6 May 2015

Work is about making things and sketching is about learning from some of the great things others have made. A week spent looking at inspiring and dramatic development. SawsweeHockBuilding-280415This is O’Donnell & Tuomey’s Saw Swee Hock Building for the London School of Economics, more drama than you’d think would fit on such a tight site.

victoriastreet NEW2

Victoria Street in Edinburgh, linking the Grass Market with George IV Bridge in spectacular fashion. A six storey pedestrian street sitting on a lower level that climbs from single storey to three storeys whilst looking like a crescent but mostly running straight. Other sketches of these two locations should be here.

Knockhill - newMost spectacular of all, the dramatic construction of the third Forth Bridge.

SoftPlay-030515With the kids at soft play. The flags and pennants are on the Britannia outside. FraserWatchingDustyFire&Rescue-020515

Fraser watching a Dusty drama. The next few days will see drama too, as our political parties try to sort out a hung parliament. I’ve just realised that most people don’t realise that Nicola Sturgeon, the undoubted star of the whole process, isn’t actually standing. Dramatic days ahead.

Nursery School – 13 February 2014

For one and a half hours I had a shot at being a nursery school teacher. They knew I was coming so made it like the day job: we drew what we wanted, then we built it.

Nursery 13 February 2015Two castles and a treasure map, then some dragons. Then, like actual lunchtime CPD, they watched a programme about bricks: grow you’re own clients. Great fun, and thanks to the kids who chose not to bully me at all.

A cyclist turns up at the consultation – 12 February 2015

For the first time this year, the sun has made it over the horizon in time for my morning commute. The number of cyclists seems appreciably up from the dark winter months.

Consultation 13 February 2015In the evening I popped passed Grosvenor’s smart consultation event and had a chat with a fellow user about annual Brompton mileage: 1,300 for me, 2,000 for our local green councillor. Better try harder.

Waiting – 30 September 2014

It’s nice to go to Barcelona, but the lessons for what we do are all around us. I spent a day closer to home looking at some good and bad places in Edinburgh. A sample illustrated here.

22 Lister Square - 30 September 2014

Foster at Quartermile. Head and shoulders above the other places we are making.

22 PFP in Granton 30 September 2014

Some recessed entrances for the enquiring PfP by Cooper Cromar.


22 PFP in Granton 2 - 30 September 2014Nice ground floor, generally, less successful deck detailing.


22 Festival Square - 30 September 2014Another, neater, deck at Westfield, left.  Edinburgh’s least successful public space: Festival Square. We went and had a look to try to deduce what was actually so wrong.

I’m sitting somewhere near the Scottish border, Edinburgh side. Someone in front has been hit by a train. We’re waiting for the police. After seven years of working across the border I notice this happens when we move into Autumn and it’s darker longer, and then, most notably, as we approach Christmas. For a while, it makes a difference to how I feel about everything. But after less of a while than I’d like it seems like an opportunity to get something done, like this.

In Between Days – 25 July 2014

“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle I no longer despair for the human race” said HG Wells. This is the first step on my post surgery recovery: learning how to get around when you aren’t allowed to cycle. Everything takes ages.

take ity easy 21 July 2014

Also I’m not allowed to travel. In Edinburgh in August that’s not a problem as the world comes to you. This year, alongside the festival, it’s the Commonwealth Games. The divers are in Edinburgh, staying at the hotel by our office and surrounded by a surprising number of policemen. police 28 July 2014 Where there are crowds there are people pretending to be statues and, oddly, other people filming them. This is a real statue of Kirkcaldy hero Adam Smith, in the Royal Mile. Smith was famously odd looking but Sandy Stoddart, the sculptor, has sorted that out. adam smith 23 July 2014

I don’t know what this self determining free marketeer might have thought about independence.

chris and pam 28 July 2014After a couple of weeks I was back to working and travelling, chatting to artist Chris Jones:

liz and simons 2 August 2014Recovered, we went to Liz & Simon’s and then to London, which is rapidly, and pleasantly, becoming the home of the cyclist.innes 5 august 2014

HG Wells would be pleased.