August to October 2021
Second Lockdown and thereafter
COVID 19, Sketchbook 62
The sketch above is on Leith Walk, a couple of days before lockdown one was announced. I’d just been on the phone to my partners discussing what might happen and looking at the sketch brings back all the feelings of uncertainty.
24th March. The remaining food rescued from the HTA fridge and the first day in fifty years that HTA hadn’t made lunch for everyone who was in the office.
In the house, it was like this:
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?
Citizen M in Southwark: contemporary modular hotel. Nice lobby, nice people. Stay there next time.
This is from the steps of Malcolm Fraser’s Poetry Library, from the lottery era. The steps are for listening to outdoor poetry readings I think, but there’s not much call for that in November. It makes for an interesting raised view point.
This is pretty much my favourite place in London: the platform level of St Pancras. The platform is raised up to let the railway pass over the adjacent canal and the columns on the ground floor were set out to suit beer barrel dimensions. It was built as a proud little but of the Midlands in central London. We went with HTA’s sketch club and Peter Ctori talked us through some of the history, from an engineer’s perspective. My colleagues sketches are on
Lastly some houses in Combe Down, near Bath.
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.
Each year, Edinburgh has about 13 festivals and about 4million people turn up to watch what’s going on. Just now it’s full. As in most things, it’s the mediocre that predominates, whether it’s dull stand ups from dull BBC panel shows or formulaic street performers. There’s always good stuff too and the whole office went to Kazakoshi, Japanese drumming by these guys:
This was pretty ecstatic.
Maybe an unconventional tenth anniversary but fun none the less.
Watching some determined and competitive sailors in the Solent, some fishing and some swimming: a pretty good way to spend a day. I know next to nothing about nautical pursuits, but was made to feel very welcome by those that did. You don’t need much knowledge to appreciate the combination of technology and performance that results in beautifully elegant sailing boats, old and new. We had a great vantage point courtesy of Harry Downes at Fizzy.
This is the marina at Swanick which I arrived at a bit early, as Southampton is pretty handy for Edinburgh. It takes 15 minutes to sail past all the moorings between here and the Solent, an impressive spectacle in itself and a pleasant start and finish to the day.