West to East and Back Again, or How to Draw from the Window of a Train.

A week or so ago I travelled across England to pick up a car. So the away journey was by train and the return by car.

There’s a lot of enforced down time during a trip like that so I took a few photos made a few drawings, read a bit of Vonnegut, thought about stuff. Very enriching in all.

I liked the idea I could sample the sea on opposite coasts in one day. This was not possible on the way there as I was effectively on food and couldn’t get to Clevedon.

So my morning photo of the West that day was this one:

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Morgan’s Hill

Caught the 11:05 to Paddington, with the express idea of drawing, a possibly trying to catch up on the 365 drawing thing I’ve been going. Not sure if you have tried drawing on a train, most people are too close for you to study without causing a uncomfortable situation and generally stuff is going passed so quickly outside you need a super fast photographic memory to get it in your brain before you can decide how to represent it on the page.

So I decided to go for the horizon, because that goes pass slower and if you miss a bit it doesn’t look too weird if you just join on to the contiuation.

I added the times and locations at points, also a few announcements from the guard to add some

ambience

.

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70/365 Various horizon lines drawn from the window of the 11:30 to London Paddington. Going through Bath Spa, Chippenham, Swindon, Didcot Parkway. V-ball. Notebook: Ethel.

I got as far as Didcot Parkway on that then got the I’ll-miss-my-stop-fear, even theough the train was terminating. The connections were really tight as I got a super cheap ticket I had to make everyone.

Managed to take a picture of Yea Olde Saint Pancras as I got to Kings Cross.

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Passing through the London at speed. Not even touching the sides. St. Pancras from the entrance to Kings Cross. #dontforgettolookup
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View across Shaw’s Dike.

Then there I was in the East. It’s quite flat there. We picked up the car somewhere in the middle of the Fens, this is what it is like there.

Mostly sky.

I stayed over night at my folks place. There’s a lot of amazing old photos there. They should write a book.

Here is a picture of my Grandad at a Grasstrack meeting at Bourne in June 1949, less that 4 years after the end of the Second World War. Two Soldiers looking on. (Grandad’s on the left):

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Picture of Grandad (on the left) with fellow rider at a grass track meet. Taken at Bourne, June 1949. Check out the two military looking fellas in the back there.

So the next day I set off as early as I could (which wasn’t that early), this time because I had wheels I could take a picture of the sea, here known as the Wash. It’s quite shallow there so the sea is often very flat compared to the ocean that crashes in on the West coast.

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The Wash from near the Light House, Old Hunstanton.

Wanted to draw on the way back too. But you can’t draw when driving. That is bad. So I took breaks (7 hour drive altogether), and when I took a break I drew the backend of whatever I could see.

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71/365 Back-ends of various vehicles drawn during mildly epic road trip (when stationary and when it was safe to do so, obv) from Hunstanton through Peterborough, A47, M6, M5 etc. 7 hours journey time in total. See images of both #east and #west seas (taken on same day) earlier in this feed. V-ball. Notebook: Ethel.

I got caught in a nasty jam on the M62 so didn’t get back home until late. But just in time to catch the end of the light in this picture of the opposite Sea.

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West coast. Clevedon front.

On the River Mekong, Nong Khai, Thailand (1991)

Clearing out the garage and the study ready for them to be demolished is proving a slow and emotional process. You find the strangest artifacts. This is me doing a “selfie ” in the nineties. Alone on a boat in the River Mekong (long story). The idea of travelling solo for months at a time is very far away from where I am now. That is not a bad thing.
Look, I’m doing my best Hunter S Thompson like an actual ****. Unfortunately one can’t really pull it off when one has the face of a baby.

A Few of the Things I did on my Birthday weekend.

  1. Picked up an award for an awesome title sequence we made.
  2. Got stranded over night in that London.
  3. Talked for hours with most excellent friend, whilst travelling through the very beautiful Englandshire and that London, on various bits of public transport.
  4. Got invited to Slovenia.
  5. Attended a Superhero-Disco Party with 2 youngest, fielded/policed inter-child violence and cheese throwing.
  6. Stayed in the most extroadinary window-less house of a lovely man I had never met before.
  7. Got told told I didn’t look my age more times than was really appropriate or necessary, (but was still nice none-the-less).
  8. Had 6 paintings made for me.
  9. Ate red meat for the first time in 17 years.
  10. Met a man who’s photo I wished I taken to post on here.
  11. Fell asleep whilst eating cake (not recommended).
  12. Understood the value of resolve.
  13. Felt wretched.
  14. Cried at least 3 times (may be more I can’t remember).
  15. Filled up with gratitude and hope so much I nearly took off like a barrage balloon from Bristol Temple Meads platform.