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Keith napping after lunch. He’s about to retire: all the leaving do’s have left him sleepy.
An interesting chat with the guys from DC Thomson, although not the guys who do the drawings. I do want to meet them.
A quick look at a tall, elegant office in London…
…and the clock tower of St Pancras, recently framed by the stepped new public space at Kings Cross.
The kids on the sofa. Watching someone else having a tablet shot seems to be almost as good as having a tablet shot.
The main thing that happens in pubs is you spend time talking to drunk people. Some of them are entertaining. This is Marc, on a fun night at The Pig & Butcher with Kev.
Harry Arora, first class Mortgage fixer at Barclays.
I’ll not be retiring anytime soon.
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. Tough if you like cycling in the sun, perfectly fine if it’s the grit in cycling that you like.
No sketching allowed, no explanation given.
Sketching at the Brunswick Centre. I was going slowly so later filled the page with scenes from the Citizen M lobby, still busy around midnight.
Good foyer spaces, small but well designed bedrooms.
Watching people eating, at Kings Cross. Do you take the food to your mouth or your mouth to the food?
‘A bunch of mid forties blokes banging along like they’re professional road racers and no one has a clue what they’re doing.’ That’s what they told me about the Etape before I went, and whilst they might have been right, it was brilliant fun.
The spectacular interior of the British Library. It’s being observed by our own Steve Newman on the left and the building’s designer, Colin St John Wilson, in the niche on the right. The dark in the distance is a wall of books. The foyer is a surprisingly comfortable and welcoming place to sit: lots of comfortable chairs and benches in lots of different nooks and crannies.
I went with HTA’s sketch club, who’s drawings will be here (soon):
Immediately after the sketch I got ill and went off to be sick on my own in a hotel 450 miles from home. I was ill when I coloured this up and I think that’s why I avoided the buildings attractive and welcoming warm brick colours and made it so cold and grey. Apologies to the designer, who took more than enough flak for this place when he was alive.
Everything changes in the week before Christmas: travel is less predictable, work is what happens between nights out, there’s loads to finish and there are things to reflect on. Santa was in the departure lounge when my plane was on time… …nobody quite so interesting when it was delayed, in Bristol.
We won a couple of cracking jobs in the last week, setting us up nicely for next year, and adding an extra level of excitement to the Christmas party. We need to learn from those we know who are doing things well around us, like Argent at Kings Cross. They work hard to keep the place busy and bustling whilst construction is going on all around. A few of the buildings are really attractive too. This has different proportions to most office structures you see, and attractive cast columns.
It’s all really busy, but if you want to spin your talents into a successful business career you could do worse than look to Jackie Stewart for inspiration. This is his Tyrell 003, in which he won the Formula One World Championship 40 years ago this year.Then Alison, a few days past her due date, came round and we talked about far more important events all together.
Sketching in Spitalfields with the HTA London. A good turn out, a lovely evening and someone saw Gilbert & George. This always seems to happen round here. London is turning into Monaco: a safe haven for world money. The banks that process the cash eat up a little bit of historic character every few years, so we headed further east to review each other’s drawings.
The redevelopment of Kings Cross is much more successful. Less is lost. I’ve been watching this building going up for a year or so now. It’s by Chipperfield and has beautiful, textured, columns from Hargreaves Foundry.
John Gray, our Head of Production Information, came up from London to update our working drawings processes but before he got started we took him to the Whisky Society. A 19 year old Laphroaig was his preference.
Chipperfield’s Kings Cross building which looks a lot less smart now they’ve started sticking on the half round cast iron columns. Trying to plan ahead a bit for links with London.
MS didn’t come across that well!