Saturday, November 13, 2010

Living in England

This mix of drawings spans probably the entire two years I lived and worked in the UK - in 1990 and 1991 as a correspondent for SA Morning Newspapers. Done on small pieces of paper kept in my top pocket, or even on the payslips of ATMs, each tells a story.

This I remember drawing at a railway station near Bishop Stortford, north of London. Robyn and I had travelled up there to visit her brother Stuart who was living in the scenic village - indeed in a house many centuries old.

Stuart worked for a local firm and through it somehow got the task of helping an elderly man, Walter Strachan, catalogue his art collection. Wally, as Stuart called him, had written a book about his links to the famous British sculptor Henry Moore - and indeed he had several small Moores in his home, along with numerous other fine works of art.

I did this quickie of Wally walking with a stick in the back garden of his and his wife's home.

I can't recall where this was, but vaguely think it was an ornate theatre in Bradford.

One of the boxes in that Bradford theatre - if indeed that's where it was.

It was icy cold when we headed out to the Windsor area to visit long-term friends of Robyn's, Mandy and Christian Carver. We took a stroll into Windsor Park, which is where, fingers frozen, I did this drawing.

To celebrate our union, Robyn and I, at the advice of my work colleagues, dined at the Old Cheshire Cheese restaurant in central London. Which is where I drew this fellow diner.

I did two work trips to Dublin, one for a European Union summit and another for Nelson Mandela's visit there shortly after his 1990 release. I think this was done either at Dublin Airport or Standsted outside London.

We took ourselves off to the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, London, to see Dominic Behan's "Boots for the Footless", which was delightful. I did a few sketches, including this fiddler.

I think this was one of the performers at that show.

This guy with a loudhailer was an integral part of the show.

We used public transport to get around, and some of these were done of people dozing off on British Rail or London Underground trains.

Another London character.

And another.

And, lo, another.

The poor are forever with us.

More characters which, like that of the hobo guy, were drawn on the back of a letter I got from a big whig.

I had to deal with some high-powered people when I ventured into financial reporter mode. Those drawings were on the back of this note from a De Beers PRO guy. De Beers had its high-security diamond sorting offices not far from where I worked in Hatton Garden.

This, suitably magnified, was done on the back of a Natwest ATM slip.

Another ATM slip sketch.

And another.

And, lo, another.

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