I think of these chair sketches as being rather poor as I draw them, because they’re always fitted in as I’m waiting for someone and, more often than not, there isn’t the chance to finish them but when I look back at them they don’t look so bad and, for someone who wants to improve their drawing, like me, it’s better than just sitting there staring into space.
Favour or Forfiet
We were in London for an old friend’s wedding, held in the grounds of Ham House, down by the River Thames below Richmond Hill. I’d got the idea that I could be the wedding artist, as opposed to the wedding photographer, but the trouble with weddings is that there are people you haven’t seen for years . . . and food, and drink and dancing and you don’t get the chance to sit and sketch. This wedding also included, uniquely in my experience, a game of pass the parcel, including favours and forfiets in alternate layers. Luckily I avoided a forfiet and ended up with a lei, so I didn’t have to receit Shakespeare or tell a joke or sing a song. Phew!
The next day we walked alongisde the river from Teddington Lock to Kingston-on-Thames, stopping for lunch at Jamie’s Italian (which I liked, must try and get to the one in Leeds), before continuing to Hampton Court.
It’s interesting to walk along with a couple of locals – Barbara’s nephew Simon and his partner – and hear stories about the area; Benny Hill was a local a celebrity and you can’t help thinking that it might be true that his ghost still occasionally pops in to the old Thames Television studio at Teddington Lock.
‘Fairy Dairy Land’ was a quote recently used by David Cameron at Primeminister’s question time. It’s from Benny Hill’s hit record Ernie, the Fastest Milkman in the West, which also includes a character ‘two ton Ted from Teddington’ who ‘drove the baker’s van’. The spirit of Benny Hill still roams these mean streets. Simon lives opposite the depot where the milk floats, and formerly the horses that pulled the milk floats, were kept in Hounslow, but the dairy closed a few years ago . . . gone to ‘Fairy Dairy Land’ like so many others.
I’ll finish this odd-and-ends posting from my sketchbook for May with Simon’s sofa.