Thursday, October 20, 2016

London in ales

September, October,I just got to spend a couple of days in London and in Ireland for work. It has been over a decade since I last was in London. A very faithful city, where changes are measured by the ticketing system of the tube, and the clothes people wear. Very different from the drastic transformation of neighborhoods, roads and communities we can see in Nairobi, Addis or Kolkata. London peacefully breathe when others blow fire!
It was very pleasant to get there, a comfortable feeling to be back where I left.I guess that is Europe for me, comfortably numb, predictable and faithful. Really pleasant.

I also got quite a great news: the Urban Sketcher crew asked me to be one of their correspondent! I am really chaffed, but realized that I had kind of failed to open my black books since early June. I am not a consistent blogger, which is expected. So: room for improvement, and an extra motivation boost on my side. 
I often have grand plans. I can see really clearly things to do and how to do them in my head, but I struggle to make them real. If I give birth to one project for every 100, that is good. Just for Octobre I was planning to go on the Inktobre challenge, learn how to use a hashtag, try to update my blog, to sketch roads and places in London and Dublin, to do some cartoons illustrating the holidays, to paint my daughter’s bedroom (bucket list for over a year), to make a hundred swords (and shields) for my son to sell, to start a comic book,… I guess there are too many things, and too few hours/ days. And I need to accommodate a full time job I love, be present for my family and socializing, discovering new things, walking, breathing.
That would bring me to the pub.
It’s outside of working hours, there is food, socials, pints of beer and the comfort of a place where to sit, talk and sketch. It is the way I cheat, trying to pack as many things as possible in one moment.    

 Pubs in Paddington, pints of ales and English bitters, versatile pub-food and people speaking dozen of languages appreciating the same piece of English heritage, a pub-quizz with mates, ageless carpets and the constant ballet between the gents and the door, for a quick fag and chat.  

 Funny how a drawing tells me stories. This sketch was done after I prayed with a pirate and his wife, on a boat rolling with rum and wine! A couple of hours spend on board of a boat on the canal, invited by a couple to discuss life on the water and sharing stories.


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