Saturday, 30 June 2012

Saturday 30th June

Early coffee at La Bodeguita this morning and did a brief sketch before meeting David at Mamuska. Lunch at Lye Torng before joining Dorothy for a gelato at Borough Market. Did a quick sketch here too. Some friends of Dorothy turned up and had a chat. Went home and then out early this evening to Thai Silk for dinner. Not sure whether I have already mentioned this but anyway, my little dark fish is getting a bit bigger and his head is slowly turning orange. Very exciting.

Still Recovering

From the enormous tea at the Savoy on Thursday. Met David for coffee. He looked at the sketch of Elephant & Castle done the day before. " I know someone who would give you £100 for this" he declared. "Who?" I said. "Blind Tom" he replied " If he could see this drawing, he would definitely give you £100 for it'. I dropped straight into that one. Accompanied Julian to a health assessment. Seems I said all the wrong things, but there you go. Quiet evening watching TV. I put a bit of colour on the quick diners sketch I had done at Lye Torng, and added a sketch plus another very quick one of some passengers on the tube on the way home. My new Lapin sketch book is not great for colour. Paper too thin.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

More Yesterday

Still don't know what happened to all my snaps on Flickr. Looked up Yahoo images and there are three of them: my snap of raspberry pud learned from Marco Pierre White in Hell's Kitchen, and two of my skull, apparently favourites of something called Uttertoad Comix. Oh well. Managed to get the rather rapid sketch I did outside Lye Torng looking towards Elephant, though the cropping is a bit crap. Forgot to mention that my baby fish is still very dark, but a bit bigger and becoming quite orange around the head so he is more easily seen. Today I may meet David. I have been told off by everyone for not selling my drawings when I had the chance. I could certainly do with the dosh. Oh well. Today I have to go to some awful assessment thing with Julian later this afternoon. I am still waiting to hear from Dorothy, whose birthday is on Monday. The brambles next door are enormous this year. I shall have to remove one which has crept in to my garden, but I shall be able to pick masses of blackberries which are just beginning to form. I feel a blackberry and apple crumble coming on. Talking of which, the Savoy afternoon tea is a killer: you start off with finger sandwiches, progress to two scones each with liberal cream, jam and lemon curd, then there are individual small cakes, and then a choice of a slice of house cake. You can order more of anything, too. There are too many teas to mention, and the pot is regularly replenished. You will not be able to eat dinner later. If I were very rich and
very thin, I should probably have tea there once a week. The feeling of space and comfort is so relaxing, apart from anything else. Thanks, Stella, for the very kind gift. I was thinking of you while enjoying this experience.

Thor's Day

Coffee with David and lunch at Lye Torng. Sat outside and quickly sketched towards the Elephant for a while. Changed and had a very good tea at the Savoy with Julian. There was masses of food. Although I think the Savoy redecoration would definitely be seen as vulgar by most, the tea place was very nice and uncrowded, so a comfortable place for afternoon tea. I took some snaps but my phone is not transferring them to my computer so they are probably lost forever. I can't even find the photo symbol on my phone so it may somehow have disappeared. The real fun bit which Julian also snapped was watching a Chinese pastry chef making round cakes disguised as tennis balls. These were very effective. Back to sunny Southwark. Fed the beast and subsided for the evening. I do hope that snaps I take with the camera will transfer to the computer, or I shall be stuffed for trying to put images into my blog, Flickr, Facebook etc. We shall see.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Hola again!

Last night your intrepid reporter set off, despite a distinct lack of spondulicks and a feeling of ennui, arriving at Toulouse Lautrec at around 7.15pm. I purchased a Diet Coke and sketched in the stage quite roughly. Later I drew the punters as they arrived and the performer, a very attractive and excellent singer called Lauren. The place was quite full, and I settled in to complete my sketch. This took quite a time, determined as I was to have a bit of colour, not only because it livens things up, but also because the pens are very expensive to buy, and are used less when colour is added. Had a long chat with Lauren's friends and family, one of whom insisted on buying my sketch. I told him it was for the show, but that he could contact me to reserve it. Lauren's father liked the Gaywood Street sketch I did earlier, so it looks as though one or two of my sketches might actually sell. I managed to make the Diet Coke last all evening, despite pouring quite a bit onto my palette to use as water, which gave things a pleasantly browny tinge, so a very good and cheap evening for me.

Quiet afternoon and evening

Went to Lye Torng and sketched a corner. I was thinking of going to Toulouse Lautrec but it started spitting with rain which put me off, so a quiet night watching telly.I did toy with the idea of going to sketch at a local pub, but it is a bit rough around here in the evenings. David says I am a snob. Today I sketched Gaywood Street from outside Lye Torng. I may go to Toulouse Lautrec, and will decide later. Saw a trustee from my previous employment. Seems my successor is a great hit with 'the ladies' so his presence on the holiday was greatly appreciated by the punters. David tells me there's a trip to somewhere in Kent ?Broadstairs soon, so I have encouraged him to go on this. Julian and I are due to have tea at the Savoy tomorrow, which will make a change from the mean streets of Southwark.

Monday, 25 June 2012


Coffee at Mamuska with David and sketched a closeup of the escalator to the bingo place with customers on it. Finished this and had lunch at Lye Torng. I had been toying with the idea of going to Toulouse Lautrec but was a bit knackered after Sunday. I thought I might go on Tuesday or Wednesday, which are quiet nights for them. I shall probably go tonight or tomorrow and sketch the musician or the punters, or both. We shall see. I think this image is a bit darker than mine. I have since added the name of the shop 'Sensational' (or the bit that was showing). Being a creature of habit, I shall do a bit of shopping and have coffee in Mamuska this morning and do a bit of sketching. I should probably move around a bit and sketch in some different places. Tried to draw someone last night but it was not very successful. Must try harder.

Sunday, 24 June 2012


On Saturday I went for the first time on the DLR from Bank to Island Gardens where we were to meet to do Sketching on Location. I was very early and searching for a loo, discovered the Poplar Rowing Club. Apart from a loo, they had a bar and an excellent outside terrace looking over the river with tables conveniently placed. After we met up a couple of people joined me to sketch from there. However I had not quite got into the mood and just did one very desultory sketch of the opposite bank of the river. Then we went under the foot tunnel to Greenwich and thence to Greenwich Market. I was lured into purchasing a cheap necklace and drank a coke outside a pub in the market where there was a blues guitarist. This was quite enjoyable. Later we all met at the Trafalgar to compare our work and chat over a drink. I found a bus home easily and really enjoyed the day. Decided to go to Julia's house in East Sheen on Sunday where she was having open studios and looked at the artworks which were quite numerous all over the house, but being a broke pensioner just purchased a few cards. I found a good little transport cafe near Mortlake station to read the papers and have a decent capuccino. Later I had a distinct craving for a Sunday lunch which I found in the Hare and Hounds in East Sheen. I sketched the diners for a while before going to Hammersmith. I was entertained by Christophe and Victorine later with wine and tapas and tore myself away to feed the monster at around 8.30. Quite tired last night.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Gave Louise a birthday cake and some toiletries for her birthday today. I gave her a card painted by Nibby. Did a little sketch of washing on the line, a bit of a recurring theme with me. Since my iphone does not take good enough snaps to do postcards I have eventually found an old, but good camera that Dorothy once gave me, and have recharged this, so will use it to snap artwork in future. Should get a scanner. Oh well. Today I am due to meet people at Island Gardens, to draw Greenwich over the river, then go through the pedestrian tunnel and do the Cutty Sark or whatever takes my fancy. Packed a picnic and selected sketching materials to cart around with me. I think Fabiola may come and it will be good to see her again.

End of an Era at Lye Torng

Met David for coffee at Mamuska. Afterwards, I used some Tesco vouchers which contributed greatly to the cost of my shopping in Tesco. Then on to lunch at Lye Torng, where a large party was expected. Did a sketch of this, and after they left, many more students came in for an end of term drink.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Some Cant from Romville

At my ken at darkmans last night I couched a hog for several hours. At lightmans, my fambles and stamps were stiff, so I awoke betimes and broke my fast not with popler, but with pammes, lay and sardines. Translation: last night at home I went to sleep for several hours. At daybreak, my hands and legs were stiff, so I woke early and breakfasted, not with porridge, but bread, butter and sardines. Reading Moll Cutpurse, a whole section is devoted to cant, a kind of slang spoken by thieves and so on in London. Some of the words are similar to Polari, and I wonder whether this was partly derived from the old cant. Anyway I have now finished Moll Cutpurse, whose character, based on the real life Mary Frith, was described by T. S. Eliot as the one precious jewel in the crown of a rather mediocre play. This seems to sum it up. Also discovered that 'Westward Ho' was the Thames lightermans cry, nothing to do with the west country. We live and learn. Romville is London by the way.

Crap Weather Once More

so had coffee at Mamuska outside, then sketched the stairway to the bingo place upstairs. Added a bit of anaemic colour to this and had lunch at Lye Torng. Louise tells me that the cafeteria at the bingo place is very cheap. She says it is free to join and you can eat and drink there without having to play bingo. She tells me that the people playing often play free in the afternoons, which would explain the vast numbers of pensioners attending. Also apparently they sometimes provided free tea during the sessions. Can't wait.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Last Decent Day

Apparently,for a while it will be back to the rain unfortunately. My watch had stopped this morning, so I was half an hour late for my coffee with David. He was quite worried that something had happened to me, while blissfully unaware, I was looking at clothes and chatting with punters downstairs. Anyway we finally met and I told him about my brush with the stars last night. I showed him the mouldy little sketch I had done. He did not want to go to the NPG opening since it would be the last sunny day and he wanted to sit outside. I decided to lunch at Mamuska and did a little sketch of someone with a laptop. Later I went home and decided to stay in the garden instead of going to the opening, and did a sketch of the skyline in Princess Street. I am getting into adding washes, which is quite fun but I haven't yet quite got the colours right. We shall see. Julian came and encouraged me to apply for an exhibition, so I agreed to do so. I then vegged out and ate too much ice cream before collapsing into bed.

Back to Normal

Met my pal David looking fit and tanned back from his holiday. Later I met Madeleine at the National Theatre where we saw the Last of the Haussmans, all about the demise of the hippy era and failed hopes etc etc. The acting was brilliant and we had been kindly invited to the after party, which was lucky as we could then eat, and sat among, if not with, the rich and famous. This was great fun and very kind of Madeleine to think of me. Fell into bed and slept like a pig. This morning there was quite a commotion outside. On examination it appears to be the squirrel mating season, with squirrels chasing each other through the trees next door, and Kooky bloodlusting after my usual squirrel on the fence. No wonder he is attacking me with all the wildlife outside which presumably he is too fat to catch. I am a sitting target in this house. I suppose that being attacked is at least a sign that he has noticed my presence. Mind you it does make me feel like some frail old bat on a sucker list. Oh well. Today is apparently the last decent day for a while. I am due to go to the opening of the NPG Portrait Competition. David may come but will let me know later. Like me, he does not want to lose the opportunity to sit in the sun for a bit, as it is the last chance for a while according to the forecasts. Julian thinks I should enter some kind of competition to exhibit with other artists in Brixton. I may do this though am a bit reluctant to do anything competitive. Did a tiny sketch of some Frenchwomen sitting next to me in the NT foyer, examining their mobile phones for maps.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Another Quiet Day

And Mamuska for coffee followed by Lye Torng for lunch followed by wicked expenditure on notebooks and pens at the art shop. Did some bad sketches this morning. An Irish guy who is a regular at Mamuska and always wears a red and black checked jacket, then the girl at the pass calling out lunch numbers, then a pair in animated discussion. Later I strolled around to the Lye Torng for lunch and sketched a table of people discussing a presentation, then a couple of women talking to someone I could not see. I followed this with a short sketch of the garden wall with an Indian painted thing hanging on it, and a calabash the children brought back from a holiday. Events are strange in the garden. I put a feeder where I could see it, and saw not only some tits feeding there, followed by a mouse, followed by a squirrel who knocked the entire thing down. I later found two dead mice in a pail of water near another feeder. I emptied the pail and will leave it upside down. Perhaps Kook is chasing them around the garden and they jump in to try and escape. He attacked me quite viciously the other day and would not give up - leaping up at me and sinking all his claws and teeth in. I had to shut him in the bathroom for half an hour. This seemed to calm him down.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Quiet Weekend

Met Dorothy for a gelato on Saturday. Delicious - had pistachio and hazelnut. Felt a bit crap and had a bad night so most of today was spent lying around. I did a bad sketch of my legs, bag and Kook's back on the bed, and when the sun came out today, a small pic of the Nigella in the garden, but mostly read and slept. Now reading Moll Cutpurse by Dekker. Hard to understand a lot of it but I get the meaning of the play. Oh well.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Miserable Old Bat

Here's the stuff made by dipping strips of material in slightly diluted PVA and wrapping around furniture. You may remember I saw this colourful stuff at Barnes Fair last year and was very impressed. Since then Lulastic has blogged about the use of PVA, and I made a collage last year too. Must try and find it. Anyway I have been unimpressed by the vile weather, and driven to drawing desultorily in corners about the house. Rediscovered Dekker's Gull's Hornbook when looking for books to chuck out, and there are one or two of his books free for my ipad, so shall read these when I have finished Thackeray's Barry Lyndon. Noticed that Mamuska has baby chairs, and mums can be seen feeding their young. Today a mum was sharing her lunch: fishballs in creamy dill sauce and mashed potato, with her infant. I expect she ate the home made coleslaw which came with it. Not bad for a fiver. I had some of this with a diet coke, £6 altogether. I am fixing the screws in the backs of my frames which is a long, hard job. Nibby helpfully suggested I could use cord rather than picture wire which costs a lot when you have dozens of things to frame. Of course they are very light, so I don't need anything very strong.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Pencil case pillow

Here's the Kookster resting on my pencil case. I also did a couple more wonky sketches. one is looking from my bedroom across the hall to the bathroom window. The other is the sitting room window.

Dear Me

I seem to have cushionitis. I blame the bad weather. I have been very inexpertly framing stuff for my exhibition and because the weather has been crap, sketching some of my many cushions. This must and will stop here:

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


Vistaprint have now printed and sent my cards twice. The first lot apparently were lost by Parcelforce. I had a huge palaver and was waiting for the second lot to be delivered today. To pass the time I retracked the consignment again online only to discover that no action had been taken further to my telephone call. I would have waited all day for a delivery which was never coming! I rang them today and eventually talked to someone called Solly, who says he is waiting to speak to the delivery driver to find out what has happened to my parcel as it is missing, and presumably the driver is not available to explain what he has done with it. Jesus! I am now having to wait for Solly to do all this and 'get back to me by end of business today'. They asked me what the parcel looked like and I replied that I had not actually seen it, so would not know, but it was likely to be smaller than a wrapped TV console but larger than a matchbox. Dear me! Ten minutes more and Ocado will be late, too! AND I have lost my wonderful mechanical pencil that Nibby made my buy. Will get another if the art shop have any. AND Romy texted me to say there were huge problems checking in the coachload at the second hotel, who seemed not to know they were coming. It really does make you sick. Rant over (pro tem) p.s. A very nice man rang to say he had found the sodding things which had fallen behind a cage thingy at the office. I shall (hopefully) receive them with a Gudrun delivery on 14th, so another day at home on Thursday. Ocado are running half an hour late (of course!).

Busy, busy,busy

The other day I saw a smart old woman with rather cool green flat shoes. Staring at these I suddenly noticed that they had been cut in a small fringed slit over an area on one foot, presumably to accommodate a painful corn. This was hardly noticeable at a casual glance, and seemed a better solution than having to chose a really ugly pair of shoes. A few days later, I had injured my toe by removing a Compeed corn plaster which tore off the top of the corn. This was so painful that had worn canvas shoes for a day sketching at the Temple. When I arrived home in the evening the whole toe area was very swollen and red. All my shoes rubbed against it and made walking agony. I then remembered the woman I had seen, and made a cut in an old flat shoe just before and after the corn, then cut down a few times. This is brilliant and no more pain. I hope the damned corn will settle eventually. If the weather changes I can wear some flat sandals. Madeleine arrived on Sunday, and we did the horrendous trip to IKEA, which actually wasn't too bad using the satnav. Madeleine has a smart new car with plenty of boot space. We had a quite pleasant and very cheap lunch there, and I bought masses of frames. Unfortunately no black or white frames in A3 size, so I decided to buy red ones and use these for black and white drawings. I have framed masses of work, but still need a few more frames. All I have to do now with these is spend many hours fixing screws into them and wiring the backs. Something to do on a rainy day like today. I am waiting for Ocado to deliver this morning. I mainly buy only catfood these days and buy cheap local food otherwise. I am also waiting for Parcelforce. I had ordered some cards from Vistaprint which never arrived. Nearly a month later I am still waiting despite numerous calls to Vistaprint who said they were being delivered by ?DLS. However the number they gave me was some automated telephone from Parcelforce. I eventually managed to speak to their customer services who promised to ring me back but never did. I could not use their online redelivery option as it depended upon their having left a card, which they did not do. Finally I have seemingly arranged redelivery for today by phoning a machine. We shall see..... I do wish they would use UPS like Gudrun Sjoden. At least Gudrun email you to say which day things are coming and the UPS tracking system is reliable. Rant over (for the time being). Went to the jam session at Toulouse Lautrec last night. Drank too much wine too early and my work suffered in that I just did lots of rather desultory sketches. I may try and collage these together to make a larger work or work copies of the better drawings into something. We shall see. It was more fun in the pouring rain than watching soaps on TV. I also did a couple of drawings, lightly coloured, of some of my favourite cushions. May do a little series of these. Tried to upload a snap to get some free postcards from Vistaprint but the resolution on my snaps is not good enough. I may have to try and borrow Dorothy's new camera to take some for these.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Mamuska etc.

Here's a couple more. The shopping one and kitchen in particular are a bit crap.

Up to Sunday

Dorothy went to Barcelona and is now back. Hopefully having had a good time. A quiet week for me: coffees in the morning with my nbf David, who regaled me with tales of how he used to go out with Tracey Emin who used to live around the corner. Seems she was always trying to persuade him to buy little artworks for about £20 but he refused as he thought they were rubbish. He is keen to buy one of my drawings but if he thinks £20 is too much for Tracey Emin I expect he will want to offer me about a fiver if I am lucky. We shall see. Dinner with Romy last night and her husband kindly offered to help with some of the legal forms Dorothy has to complete for probate on the estate of my deceased ex. It all turns out to be very complicated indeed, but we have made a good start. I definitely overconsumed on the food and drink last night and will have to starve for a week. Here's a drawing I did earlier at Temple, which is a bit crap, but there you go.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Corners of Rooms

Forgot to mention that with time hanging about a bit I did these two sketches of room corners too.

Monday and Tuesday Morning

Dorothy went to Barcelona, I hope to rather better weather. It was cold and damp yesterday morning but I braved the elements to have a coffee in Mamuska where I bumped into David, who had been just leaving but insisted on buying me a latte. What a gent! I showed him my latest sketchy efforts and told him about my Thai Silk dinner and so on. He was going to lunch with a friend, so I looked at the soup on offer at Mamuska, but did not fancy it, so strolled on down to Toulouse Lautrec. I decided to draw downstairs and was somehow persuaded to spend a lot of money on lunch to justify my presence. In fact I had an excellent tender lamb dish with beans, followed by the crime of a pear and almond tarte with ice cream which I snapped as it looked so pretty. The drawing was not so pretty, as my excuse is that the place is hell to draw, with weird angles and nooks and crannies everywhere. Later I went back in the evening to the jam session and did a couple of scribbles of the punters and performers, ably assisted by a carafe of house red. Today I am feeling a little jaded.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Diamond Day

Well, a shower of raindrops anyway. All over me and the heavy wet footprints of Sir K awoke me this anniversary morning. Bloody freezing and pissing with rain, which is compulsory in England for the bank holiday weekend, and even more so for the Diamond jubilee. Shall hibernate after venturing out for a paper. Yesterday met David for coffee. He is looking forward to the Isle of Wight. He says that he gets depressed with bad weather as he likes to sit outside. It was so crap that later on I just did one drawing which I finished this morning. Managed to meet Dorothy briefly at Borough Market who kindly purchased a chocolate and banana gelato for me, delicious. Dorothy is off to Barcelona for a week today, so will miss all the jubilee hysteria. I don't know whether I mentioned my nod to the whole thing, which consisted of purchasing a small rug for £5.99 patterned as a union flag. I stuck this in my window and it looks crap. If the rain stops I shall park it outside in the hope that someone may pinch it, since I am not keen on union Jack merchandise. We shall see. Kook is full of food and lying, exhausted from the effort of eating it all, on my bed. Happy days.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Bloody Blog

Won't let me put any snaps in, so I shall try later, dammit.

More Drawing

Here's the sitting room and one which took ages of the bedroom. Nibby suggested I put a piece of paper under my drawing hand when drawing in pencil because the whole thing ends up looking like a smudgy mess, so I think I will mainly stick to pen. The trouble is I can't stop fiddling around so things get somewhat overdone, even though I then notice that things are at the wrong angle or whatever. Oh well,keep trying. David appeared at coffee yesterday. The place he lives in has changed the Jubilee party to Saturday as really bad weather is forecast for Sunday. It is now Saturday and doesn't look too perky outside, but is due to be a bit warmer than Sunday. Going to dinner at Thai Silk tonight and maybe a drink or three afterwards. Romy sent me some snaps from Spain where she is enjoying her stay. Dorothy due to go to Barcelona tomorrow. I shall make an attempt to hook up for coffee today, but Dorothy is likely to be very busy packing and so on, but I live in hopes. If the rain sets in, which seems likely, I shall have to concentrate on interiors. May try the kitchen or do the bedroom from another angle soon. Julian tells me that Okrochka, the Russian soup thing is really a salad with a drink thrown over the top. This will be my alternative to gazpacho. The Lye Torng is definitely closing at the end of July,and I have just been told that one of the hosts at my leaving party there apparently did not pay his bill, which is rather embarrassing. However I do not propose to offer to pay as my income is very severely depleted, particulary so since despite the Cats, Dogs and Peace of Mind people having verbally offered a refund of the money I paid them, have not so far done so despite an email reminder. This is a damned nuisance since I paid them £109, which represents a week's income these days and is very much needed. Oh well, rant over.