Posts Tagged: isla

Start! – 15 August 2015

Lotus founder and all round genius Colin Chapman designed the Lotus Seven in 1957. By the early seventies it no longer fitted the more luxurious aspirations of Lotus, so Caterham bought the rights and carried on building it. Almost 60 years after it was first designed you can still buy more or less the same car.caterham 150815It’s simplicity itself. I love that it makes up for not having much power by not having much of anything at all. It’s tiny: you can walk around it in a parking space. ‘Just add lightness’ was the Chapman design philosophy and we enjoyed the thrilling results on a sunny day in Fife.Broadwick and berwick 150815In Soho in London. A little extra space on the corner of Berwick Street and Broadwick Street makes for a busy spot. People using their phones to text, talk and find their way to their next meeting. This corner gives them room to pause without being in the way and lets me watch urban life in narrow streets with lowish buildings. Lots of activity in not a lot of space.

hta london- 150819When the London office moved to Kentish Town there weren’t many cafes selling fancy and expensive coffee. There are now. Places change and something gets lost. Off to the board meeting to discuss the ethics of working in Uganda, and London.

fii 150816

Start! F & I are off to school.

Golden Lane – 24 May 2015

Chamberlin Powell & Bon designed the Golden Lane Estate in London before they designed it’s larger and more famous neighbour, the Barbican. They’re both outstanding, but I prefer Golden Lane.150524 London Sketch Club-1

We went for a visit with HTA’s London Sketch Club and the London Society. The ‘kids’ weren’t that impressed, which certainly ups the ante next time I’m reviewing their work.

Ikea-1

It’s a bit windy and not that warm but this could well be summer, so the real kids and I played outside whilst Julie did some shopping.

2405 Baked PotatoBaked potatoes for tea.

Cycling & Swimming – 10 May 2015

Catching up with Tom and Ray at the Etape Caledonia. Tom talked me through what to do if you have a bike crash in downtown San Francisco, as he’d just done. I may have over emphasised his beat up look, but not by much. The next day we thrashed round the 81 miles in the wind and the rain. Perth - 090515Tough if you like cycling in the sun, perfectly fine if it’s the grit in cycling that you like.

AinslieParkLeisure-90515Before that, a coffee and a sketch to mark the first time all the kids have gone swimming without me.

DelayedTrain-110515Kings Cross, waiting for the late last train to Edinburgh.

Outdoors/ Indoors – 8 April 2015

The kids being chased round the garden of Grays Court hotel by Henry the resident dog. Our slightly rowdy bunch spent a warm and sunny afternoon in their elegant, calm garden. Grays Court - 8 April 2015

Back in Edinburgh we are inside waiting for the hailstones to stop and the icy winds to die down. watching the lorax - 12 April 2015

Luckily some of the excellent Dr Seuss books are being made into films. We stayed in and watched ‘The Lorax’.

Spring – 21 March 2015

At last, the spring equinox. I like the dark, but on balance, we’re now in the better half of the year.

daffodils - 19 March 2015

Sunnier, brighter and a bit more colourful: we’re all quite excited. F & I have a birthday…

F&I party - 21 March 2015

F&I are 5 - 17 March 2015… and I have a talk to do:

london societyJust in case you’d like to talk about drawing in Camden on a Tuesday evening.

Tablets and Towers – 26 February 2015

F&I engrossed by the family’s toy tablet.

F&I - 7 March 2015They can work it effectively, better than their dad on his new Microsoft Surface. The Surface is a classic compromise: unimpressive as a tablet, not that great as a laptop, handier than carrying both around on a push bike.

waiting fish

Some waiting room fish.

Beetham Tower Lobby - 27 February 2015Sitting in the lobby of Manchester’s Beetham Tower talking PRS with the nice guys who manage the residential half of the building. The Beetham is a little short of 50 storeys, and half an hour later we concluded our tour on the windy roof. I’d have done a sketch but I needed both hands to hold on and my eyes were shut.

Places to stay in Aberdeen – 21 February 2015

When the ‘quine’ wobbled through reception at 5.00pm, belly hanging out over her pyjama bottoms, leather bomber jacket, no shoes, trailing a toilet roll, I sensed this was going to be a little different from my normal night in a Travelodge.

Travelodge - 21 February 2015The next morning, checking out, I mentioned to reception that I couldn’t hear the rowdy night in the street outside for the party going on in the corridor. “Aberdeen at the weekend sir, I can only apologise.”

We spent the day recovering in a beautiful, if unfinished, family house on a farm.

bull pen - 22 February 2015“Which way’s the countryside?” said Innes (he’s a city boy, like me) so we went for a walk to show him.

BA- 23 February 2015The next day was back to normal life between London and Edinburgh.

 

Royal Festival Hall – 27 January 2015

Our HTA Sketch Club joined forces with the London Society for a trip to the Royal Festival Hall. I was inspired by some 1951 illustrations of the design, and by the characters who came along to draw and chat about it afterwards. Royal Festival Hall - 28 January 2015

It was a great pleasure to meet octogenarian former architecture tutor Maggie, who set me straight on a few things.

Earlier, I felt among friends with oldest pals Scott, Pete and Dougal…

Pete Scott and Dougal - 22 January 2015…and alone hogging a big empty table in an otherwise packed west London restaurant.

The Courtfield - 21 January 2015Back home with Isla and Fraser.Isla - Fraser - Harviestoun - 19 January 2015

How to Predict the Weather – 3 January 2015

On the first day of the Christmas break I read an article about how the Romans had used the Twelve Days of Christmas to predict the weather for the coming year, so I thought I’d take a look. Christmas Day 2014Starting after Christmas Day (above), watch what the weather does each day and extrapolate that to the relevant month. Now I’m sure that the Augurs had a system to make it seem much more complex than that but that’s what I did. January isn’t looking great but March will be nice. Fraser in Sick Kids - 29 December 2014Trouble is, it’s hard to keep track even of something as simple as that. Stuff happens: this is Fraser in the Sick Kids (he’s alright now). Light in the Sick Kids - 30 December 2014So I missed a couple of months through spending too much time inside. Daddy's 87th Birthday - 3 January 2015I’d recommend that if you’re planning to take a holiday in July you go abroad as it’s going to be very wet here, and if you’re going to visit Edinburgh for the Festival, go for the second half of August. September should be lovely.Lilly's House - 3 January 2015Thinking about it, it seems surprising that the Romans would have had Twelve Days of Christmas. Perhaps two weeks of parties, family illness and little exercise have left me a bit confused.

Time to get back to work.

Bananas – 15 December 2014

Bananas:Bananas 141214I dislike the colour, the smell, the texture, the taste, the shape and the word. Everyone else seems to like them though, so I accept them and we live in peace.

Isla and Innes - 13 December 2014

Isla and …

Jennies 21st 15 December 2014…my mum, telling us how it is.

Innes 141214Innes listening, or maybe thinking about something else. He loves bananas.