Friday, November 12, 2010

Around the UK

Based for two years in London as a correspondent for SA Morning Newspapers, my wife Robyn and I regularly visited her mom and stepdad in Yorkshire.

We stayed at their home in Tinshill Road, Horsforth, on the outskirts of Leeds and on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. I did this detailed felt-tip pen sketch from the window of their loft bedroom. Regrettably, most of the time I relied on photos, which I'm not going to bore you with.

Back in London, we tried to do as much as we could at weekends. This is the conductor at a Vivaldi concert we attended at St Martin in the Fields, next door to South Africa House on Trafalgar Square. The SA embassy had become a target for anti-apartheid protests down the decades.

Strangely, at that same concert there was a guy playing electric guitar.

I think I was most taken here by the intricate craftsmanship of the double bass.

A group of violinists.

The soloist was oriental, probably Japanese.

Here she plucks the strings.

Then a vast switch. Robyn had a brother living in Cardiff, and at some point we visited him before heading north to the picturesque Snowdonia national park in north Wales, where I recall doing this drawing of an abbey ruin.

Also among the mountains I did this quickie of hangliders.

Back in Africa? No, the London Zoo, actually.

More giraffe studies.

And a camel.

A llama, immortalised in the Monty Python sketch.

Who'd expect to find a bison in London?

Or a kudu? People visiting London Zoo need to know that an overnight flight will get them to SA, where such animals can be seen as God intended. There can be few more impressive sights than a group of kudu (they are massive antelopes) chanced upon in the dense bush of the Addo Elephant National Park.

For this kudu, however, like for the myriad other expats, London was home.

I did this sketch on the back of a British Gas letter, but can't recall who it is.

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