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.
Sketching interesting people on the train.
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.
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.
At the launch event for Cycle to MIPIM 2016.
1450 km from London to Cannes in five days. All for good cause: children’s charity Coram. It’s in March, so bring on some Scottish winter training on the bike.
A plane, manufactured in Scotland.
This one’s in East Fortune. We were there to watch a Spitfire and a Eurofighter Typhoon, amongst others. The last Spitfire was produced in 1948 and 46 years later technology had advanced so incredibly we were able to build the first Eurofighter. It’s the most extraordinary man made thing I have ever seen.
A couple of good speakers:
I looked after the kids for the day, to give their mum some time to commit shopping. Innes ended up in a pond in a public park, momentarily submerged.
A man on the North London line.
At New London Architecture’s Thomas Heatherwick lecture: an inspiring experience. He clearly inhabits the same world of difficult sites, demanding briefs and tight budgets as the rest of us, but he manages to conjure something completely extraordinary from the same ingredients. The lecture slides are straightforward: it’s the ideas that shine through, and how they solve relevant problems.
Contemplating his amazing work and optimistic office the next morning, I wanted to draw something simple and utilitarian, to get back in touch with my own ‘reality’: a truck making deliveries at St Pancras. After breakfast I headed for Hackney, expecting I’d seen enough inspiring characters for one trip, and it was time to do some real work (the protestant work ethic is never far away). Instead, I ran into Gavin Turk and talked about how you might make space for creative free thinkers in the overheated, investment focused, London property market.
Well he talked, I sketched and noted the presence of paintbrush in the hand of a YBA. I was pleased he signed my sketchbook. It says:
did not draw this”.
In Manchester discussing how devolving power to regions can lead to more effective and more appropriate solutions to the current housing crisis. Lots of support for this and lots of good ideas. I think Scottish devolution has opened people’s eyes to the benefits of local decision making but they haven’t yet experienced it’s overwhelming, empowering, energy.
Next day: Derby. We’ve started the design of Phase Two of Castleward so it’s a good time to think about the bits of Phase One that work (mixed use/ mixed tenure/ mixed typologies/ the biggest trees we’ve ever planted/ streets) and the bits that don’t. If being an architect is sometimes quite hard work, it’s all made worthwhile when you see things you imagined realised.
Want a (free) hug? This is outside Camden tube during a pointlessly brief trip to London.
Free Hugs is an international movement, but I haven’t spotted it in Edinburgh yet. It’s for fairly expressive people I think: a big hug with someone you’ve never met on a busy corner in London. Am I too Scottish?
Earlier in the week we went out for tea with Jonathon and Pavlina who are sadly leaving.
Now that might just be reason for a hug.
It’s the start of a new year for the business and time to look back on the last one. A weekend in sunny London spent in Clissold Park and Mike’s back garden. Me and the gang catching up with old friends and colleagues. Back in Edinburgh looking at the hard, but still attractive, Bakehouse Close. A comfortable scale of space with some nice details by Oberlanders.
Twenty eight years ago I became friends with Adam, Campbell, Ali and Kev.
I still look forward to any chance to meet up and we enjoyed a lively weekend in Newcastle. It’s fun, as well as a reminder that we are all getting on a bit. You need to exercise so I’m getting out on the bike.
Ali looking worried. His politics is SNP so in Scotland in 2015 I don’t think he has much to worry about.