Platform 13b

OUR FIRST full day off since I got my book off to the printers and you might think from this drawing that we headed off to some crag or cliff of sedimentary rock but no, this is the collar of a jumper in Marks and Spencer, as I waited for Barbara to try on a pair of cords. The hand-knitted look seems to be back in fashion so it could be time to get the Aran sweater Barbara knitted me years ago back out of the drawer, if it’s a cold winter.

This is my usual ArtPen but I’ve scanned the drawing at 3 or 4 times its original size.

That was about it for drawing, apart from these passengers drawn as we waited for the Dewsbury train to leave platform 13b, Leeds City station. As people read and write texts on their mobile phones they hold a pose long enough for me to have the chance to drawn them. That’s actually quite rare amongst a crowd of commuters; people are surprisingly active, looking around, moving from one leg to another and so on.


We had lunch at Cafe Rouge in the Light shopping mall on the Headrow, the most fossiliferous mall in Leeds. This section of an ammonite shell is set in one of the polished limestone slabs of the floor, near the restaurant. You can see the septa – the dividing walls within the shell. These were linked by a tube so that the ammonite, which lived only in the last constructed section, could fill individual chambers with water or gas to adjust buoyancy, like a submarine.

I was as discrete as I could be photographing this specimen but I was aware of the security guard nearby who I think had spotted me. I came here with a geology group after a workshop in the Leeds museum stores near the Armouries. On that visit the group was showing such interest in odd corners of the mall that the security guards asked the group leader to step into their office and explain what was going on!

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