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The London Sketch Club was founded in 1898 by a few prosperous illustrators of the day. It’s been on the go since and I enjoyed some dining and sketching in their fantastic first floor studio on Dilke Street in Chelsea.It’s a club open only to those who make their living from drawing. And you have to be invited. Surrounded by silhouettes of past members, their beautiful works, and the items that make a studio a studio, I gave a talk on what I enjoy about sketching.
The rich history of the place makes for a great atmosphere and hopefully I can go back to do some life drawing one Tuesday night. Many thanks to the London Society for the invitation to talk, and the sketch club for hosting.
Facetiming (?) the kids from St Pancras Station, and David Cameron walks into the back of the shot. I say ‘Good morning’, he says it right back. Nice enough chap, but a series of giveaway policies aren’t what we need, I think.
His right to buy policy takes us back to the eighties. Thatcher sorted out manufacturing, but only by wrecking it. We need people who can make things: take materials and add value through creativity, design and manufacture.
I spent a pleasant hour (once everyone had gone home) sketching a workshop in the excellent Smiths of Derby. Their bespoke clock making and restoring business is highly specialist but the skills needed are fantastically diverse, and hence there’s diversity in the people employed too. Smiths would get my vote.
Earlier in the week I ran 10 miles around Edinburgh and watched a motorcyclist with less interesting work to do than either Smiths or Dave are faced with.
Listening to Brian Taylor’s insights into the consequences of a narrow No vote in the referendum. It’s fairly sober stuff. In a minute ex referee Willie Young will warm us up with a few jokes.
With Grosvenor, at the SPF Dinner in Edinburgh.
People should get more information to be able to compare the homes they’re considering buying: space, cost in use, broadband speed etc. The Housing Forum are pushing it and I went along to hear Ben Derbyshire talking us through how it would work.
It seems like a good idea, there’s more about it here:
I was at a conference, so was quickly on to a new topic, a debate on Regeneration and particularly the accusation that it’s a process of gentrification. We need to improve the physical place but we need to improve the lives of the existing population, not just displace them. No disagreement there, but different ideas about how that can be achieved and how the approach in the south isn’t going to work for the rest of the country.Then some football watching followed by a meal with Crestel. This was generally relaxed but interspersed with some emotional discussion of the upcoming referendum.
I feel fortunate to be taking part in a vote that arouses this amount of passion, a marked contrast to the parliamentary elections and the main stream parties.
A long, relaxed walk around London with Ali Stephen, Campbell Reid, Duncan McKinnon and Kevin Allsop. 25 years since we all went to college together. It was just like I remember it: a day spent looking at architecture, getting a few drinks, arguing about politics and ending up looking out of place and unpopular in a disco.
Whilst I’m not sure the sketchbook helped my disco credentials, the benefit of the twenty five years is that I no longer have to care. Looking forward to doing it again in another 25 years.
Celebrating my parents’ Golden Wedding at Kinellan House: good food, speeches, slides and a song.
A meal out with Julie, Sarah, Sonia and Dunc (he’s the one on the right) at Porto and Fi on the mound. The little courtyard on the west side is about the nicest place in Edinburgh for a drink on summer evening. Food was good for four out of the five of us.
I’d started the day in Derby for the start on site ceremony for our Castleward project. This was filmed by the local BBC, who turned up a bit late, so we did the event twice. Surprisingly (in my view) the 3 speeches were better the second time.
The local news report: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2sb8lfy95ihyhbd/bbc%201%20east%20midlands%20%2030.05.1338.wmv