Friday, 9 August 2013

Landlady loses it

Well, I have been feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the company of complete strangers in my tiny flat and have been looking forward to a few days off at the end of the month. I then had a request for just before Christmas. I am like a chicken with its head cut off at that time of year, so declined to have the guest and cancelled dates on my calendar between 15 December and 3 January. Almost immediately afterwards I received another request for October or November. This was quite a long, gushing letter from someone who adored my flat, my cat, etc etc. and wished to get up really early in the morning and wanting to have a kettle in the room. And wanted to stay for two weeks. Unfortunately experience has told me that the more gushing the letter, the more demanding the guest; that I can't stand people getting up until after me, which is why I get up very early indeed, so that I can be out of the bathroom by seven; and that the kind of person who wants a kettle in the room is likely to hoard supplies of food in there. I think I have definitely now got host burnout. I replied to decline this request. Then I took a couple of days out of my calendar after every guest visit, to give myself a bit of a rest. Dear me. I was rather annoyed with my current guests, when they hung around the house all day today. However I felt a bit sorry for them when they finally explained that one of them had been unwell since last night, not a great thing when on holiday. Fortunately he was better later, just as well since it is their last day.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Losing track

of what I am doing. Winnet was great and I must try and post a few snaps. Before seeing Winnet Jo and I drew around Westminster, first the Jewel Tower and then the Portuguese places at Vauxhall Cross, which are great. Can't get in to my Kooky Days blog, so will post things here pro tem. Jazz jam last night and some sketches below. My life becomes more complicated by the minute. What I really need is a good electrician, as I think the power circuit to the basement is more than a little dodgy as it keeps cutting out. I blame the damp in the outer walls. I am trying to resurrect my dehumidifier since the excellent Mitsubishi one owned by Dorothy costs over £300. Dear me. Noticed that the London College of Exhibitionists has reverted to its former name of London College of Communication. I suspect that new and aspiring students, many of whom are no doubt from other countries, may have failed to find the place when arriving for interviews. Definite lack of communication here. Oh well. The country is going to the dogs, as my grandfather would have said. This looks a bit vibrant. Guess who had some cheese and wine? Jazz jam.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Winnet and Cabaret Verite

Well, Jo and I sat at the Brasserie, and sketched. Winnet was performing. She is an ex dancer and actress and is now a singer. Her son Thomas and daughter Ava, also play and sing in her band. The songs are very strong and the treatment is quite dramatic, which is excellent, and the musicianship was very good. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening, but Winnet is hard to draw as she does move a lot during the performance! Jo was very impressed and wants to go there again. I got the spare room ready for my next guests having bade farewell to my American actress, who sent me a kind note from New York. My new people are pop singers from the Netherlands, very young, and very excited about their first visit to London. In the evening I set off for Brasserie Toulouse Lautrec. The performers were Cabaret Verite, which was great fun, with some excellent singers, and I did a bit of sketching as usual. Nolan keeps introducing me as the 'residential artist'. Dorothy could not join me but I messaged her to come if she changed her mind, and tell the people downstairs that she was with the residential artist. Jason very kindly bought me a G & T at the end of the evening, after which I staggered off into the night. May see if I have the energy to go to the jam session tonight, to practise my new technique of superimposing images, which seems to be my latest 'thing'. We shall see.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Westminster Jewel Tower and Vauxhall Cross

A good drawing day. Met with Luke and the others at the Jewel Tower at Westminster and did a sketch of this. Later we were due to meet at the Riverside Cafe. However, Jo, Rade and I decided to have lunch at one of the Portuguese cafes in Vauxhall rather than go to the Pret, so we set forth, and had a very good lunch with coffee outside among the trees there. We were enjoying ourselves so much that we decided to stay, and sketched outside the cafe. Jo and I went back to my place and changed to see Winnet at Brasserie Toulouse Lautrec that evening.

Lambeth Palace discovery

The discovery was not Lambeth Palace, which has been there for a while, nor the Tradescant Garden Museum ditto, but the Riverside Cafe opposite. Arrived for a bit of sketching which stretched to chatting with Jo for the whole day. The Riverside is a tiny, nondescript kind of Victorian hut thing on the river with a couple of tables outside, and festooned with fairly awful banners advertising their wares. The main advantage is that there is no loo, but you can actually use the Museum loo in extremis without paying. Being Victorian, the Riverside has wide eaves all around, providing good shelter from the hot sun, and I bagged a tiny table with high seats under this. The advertising panels were right in front, obscuring the view of Lambeth Palace, so I decided to draw what I could see. Jo joined me after an hour, and we ended up by spending the rest of the day there, which was very pleasant with a fresh breeze from the river. We later withdrew to my garden for gin and tonic, sitting under the lanterns in the warm evening for a few hours. Excellent day, if dubious drawing.