Thursday, April 30, 2009

En-route to Southwold

I keep coming back to the same subjects, see here and here. But those couple of hours are a rare opportunity to feel I can sketch, as there’s no way I can do the day job or housework while hurtling down the motorway.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It’s a dog’s life

On a day like today, what better than lying outside on the grass in the sunshine.
Pen in green home-made sketchbook

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swan Hotel

Our friends, Jenny and Guy, stayed in this lovely hotel in Southwold – which was where we celebrated Jenny’s birthday nearly four years ago. It’s funny looking at my older post to see how much my son Tom has changed since then. Still as fashion conscious as ever, though.

Please sign this petition

Margaret Haywood, a nurse who became a “whistleblower” by secretly filming the neglect of elderly patients for a television documentary was struck off the nursing register two weeks ago. If you saw the documentary which was broadcast four years ago, I'm sure you will have been horrified. Numerous complaints had been made by relatives to the staff about the conditions, but to no avail, so I think most sensible people would regard Margaret Haywood's actions as brave, caring and in the interests of patients.

This is the kind of woman I would like to be nursing me when I am old, frail and vulnerable. However unless the Nursing and Midwifery Council reverse their decision, Margaret's over twenty year career as a nurse is now over.

To see more about her courageous actions look at last night’s Panorama programme 'Who'd be an NHS Whistleblower' on BBC iPlayer.

To sign the petition supporting Margaret please go here and join the 25,000 plus people who have signed over the past few days.

Monday, April 27, 2009

It’s Monday so it’s swimming – again

I wouldn’t want you to think that the mothers are more engaged with their children than the fathers – I just draw it as I see it

Sunny weekend in Southwold

We’re back home to more typical April weather after sunshine, sand and sea.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Watching ‘The Apprentice’

Pen in sketchbook

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Old library

Carnegie Library
Tom was seeing the doctor so I stood outside the surgery and sketched the building opposite. This is a former Carnegie library, which has now been converted into a pub and alternative comedy venue. I’ve always been impressed by the Carnegie legacy – when I was a child living in Fiji there was a very grand Carnegie library and I always wondered where the name Carnegie came from. I suppose he was the Bill Gates of his day – becoming the richest man in the world and then in the latter half of his life, spending the money on philanthropic works.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Swimming lesson people

It’s Monday, so it’s swimming for Xavier and I get to meditate for half an hour as I wait and watch.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

If you go down to the woods today


Friday, April 17, 2009

The present that keeps on giving

Red riding hood tulips
These lovely Red Riding Hood tulips were a birthday present. I’ve drawn them with a dip pen and watercolour to make a picture for a birthday card and now that the petals have fallen off I’m going to plant the bulbs to enjoy them in the garden next year

Commandeering all the cushions

The face isn’t correct, but the pose and cushions are very much Hugo.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Flo with Tom’s new favourite mug

Pen in sketchbook

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The two eldest kids

We don’t really have two laptop computers but the magical powers of the sketchblogger mean that we can have anything we want. And no, Tom is not an aspiring freemason either.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Two pubs

st michaels manor
The Six Bells and The Rose and Crown, two pubs in one of the more picturesque streets of St Albans.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cambridge lunch

Fitzbillie's restaurant window
We drove to Cambridge to try out my birthday present car SatNav. This could mean bye-bye nervous driver with a driving range of about five miles and hello adventurous traveller – that's so long as I can persuade my machine to direct me to places whilst avoiding motorways.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

On the train back from Kew

My friend’s son, Chad, has a passion for cacti and succulents, so where better than Kew to see them and spend Christmas money on adding to his collection. I’m so old that I can remember when you put a penny in the turnstile to visit Kew Botanical Gardens. Now, despite the twelve thousand nine hundred and ninety nine percent increase in the ticket price (erm is my maths right Flo?) it is still one of my favourite places. The idea of a garden that attempted to contain every plant in the world captured my imagination as a child and I longed to visit. Eventually at the age of eighteen as a student in London, I was able to visit Kew and it was so much better than I envisaged. The Eden Project, although glorying in a marvellous name and a very pleasant place to visit, isn’t, in my opinion, a patch on the wonderfulness that is Kew and ohmigosh I’ve just seen that the tickets cost more at Eden. If I was to price the tickets based on wonderfulness – Kew tickets would be at least four times the value of Eden Project tickets.

Friday, April 10, 2009

After the evening bath

Pen in sketchbook

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Flo sketches

It’s funny the mistakes you make when you’re hand lettering. I am normally really good at spotting typos, spelling errors whatever – it’s one of the things that my design clients really value in me. I’m a freak of nature – a graphic designer who can spell! But allow me to indulge in a bit of frothy hand-lettering as in the picture of Tom two posts below and all my proof reading skills melt away. The drawing of Tom was done the day it was posted – and look at what has taken me a couple of days to notice! I reckon it must be a left-brain/right-brain conflict thing. I wonder if calligraphers regularly face this problem?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I haven’t read this one before!

When I was a child of four or five I remember one of the great delights of visiting my friend Susan Walker, was that she had a collection of these exotic American reading books by Dr Seuss. I never saw them anywhere else and I suffered quite a lot from biblio-envy. As a result Xavier has a large collection of Dr Seuss books – but we don’t have this one.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009



Sunday, April 05, 2009

A fashionable birthday lunch

Flo and Giles Deacon
John Rocha
My friend and I celebrated our daughters’ nineteenth birthdays by having lunch at this magical restaurant in the middle of Petersham Nurseries, near Richmond. The floor was hardened earth, the waitresses wore wellies and the food was delicious. My friend’s daughter is an avid reader of Vogue, so was able to point out that we not only had one British fashion designer of the year sitting behind Flo but also another one sitting with his wife to the right of us. This is getting to become a habit – I’m going to start expecting to see celebrities and the great and the good in the world of art and design every time I eat out.

It reminds me of another friend of mine who went out for a meal at Pizza Express in London with work colleagues about 15 years ago. She said to her friends ‘Every time I go into London I see somebody famous’ and without skipping a beat she continued, ‘for instance now, Prince William has just walked in with some friends’. The friends laughed, as they had their backs to the restaurant door, but when they turned to check, there he was.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Gorhambury estate

I can’t believe how long it is since I last posted, been busy with things and as I have nothing nice to say I think I’ll shut up. Anyway I’ve always loved the trees on this estate on the other side of St Albans so it was good to be alone focusing on their beauty.