Friday, July 06, 2007
I call them London sketches but there are no sketches of London, just the sketches I managed to do there. I was pleased I managed to draw one of the passengers on the way over. I thought I was off to a good start but as it turned out the trip was one mad rush from start to finish. The flight was something of an omen as the two people in the row beside us were sleeping and I thought they would be great to draw but as I got settled, they both woke up. So I drew the man in the row behind, and as I finished it the plane started to descend! No sooner were we up, then we were down, and the rest of the trip seemed to go at lightning speed too!
Not a very good drawing of Paul on the Gatwick Express. I drew one on the way back too, but instead of getting better, it was worse!
Remember Max on the windowsill? He's seems to have grown enormously since then. He actually belongs to another neighbour but spends weeks on end at Mum's house. He has a very grumpy expression as his upper lids are a bit low, but he's very placid. He's not the most attractive cat I've drawn but he's certainly the best model - he stays still for absolutely ages! I guess he's conserving his energy.
He has a very funny way of rolling over, twisting his head first. Apparently this greatly amused the vet on his last visit.
The one they call Big Cat is actually the smallest of the three now. He's my favourite, he's not greedy like the other two and has a very gentle character. While we were there a young female blackbird appeared in the garden. It hopped around the patio and stayed in the bushes growing over the wall from the neighbour's garden. Big Cat seemed to be obsessed with it as soon as he saw it, staking out the garden day and night until he was reluctantly locked in for the night. The next day was spent on the wall again. It surprised me how much he really wanted that bird!
Alex won't be pleased with me for posting this on my blog! Here he is asleep on the sofa.
I woke up earlier than everyone else so I drew some ornaments while I waited for someone to wake up. Mum doesn't like to throw anything out so there are plenty of things to draw! I remember this ornament used to be a favourite. I ran out of space for her head so it's actually a bit taller than this.
I don't know where this tin bike is from or who bought it (probably one of my brothers) and it seemed like a good idea to draw it, but I got bored with the details half way through. I would have liked to have managed a couple of drawings of London but there was no time.
It's no exaggeration to say that getting anywhere in London is a nightmare. Almost every bus trip was packed and uncomfortable. Twice I had to get off as there were problems or it was diverted. The day I got into Oxford St to do some shopping, I arrived before some of the shops were open, hoping to get everything I needed in one go. I spent a while in Marks & Spencer's in Marble Arch (the only place I can find clothes when all else fails) and as I came out I saw that there were barriers everywhere and the buses had been stopped in either direction for the Gay Pride march. The following day on the way to Cass Arts in Soho I got thrown out with all the other passengers in the no-man's land of Hyde Park Corner - lanes closed. Turned out the shop was so tiny, it wasn't worth the effort anyway, except that I found a little Winsor & Newton Field Box at half price.
I don't know whether it's simply that I forget what London is really like or whether it's so overcrowded now it's grinding to a halt. Everywhere I went, I felt like a tiny cog in a big machine, a little ant among millions of other ants, looking busy but feeling very insignificant. It felt good to get back to Geneva and feel human again. Tomorrow I'll post the few photos I took.