Eagle-eyed visitors to London can see my drawings on the latest info-packed leaflets for London Walks (see walks.com), which you can pick up in any tourist-area pub in central London. They’re the oldest walking tour company in London, and I’ve provided the illustrations for their forthcoming book (all will be revealed). My mum and my sister came across the leaflet (see left) while out one day by the Thames, and mailed it out to me. The drawings are pretty small, but then I do draw pretty small.
Several years ago, I used to be a tourguide myself on the streets of London, mostly as an open-top bus tourguide for the Big Bus Company, but I did a few long walking tours as well. Those buses, now that was an education in tenacity, let me tell you. When it’s pissing with rain, the microphone has stopped working so you have to shout above the London noise, when you’re stuck in thick traffic on Bayswater or scrambling round corners in Mayfair while being attacked by trees (I was actually knocked down the stairs by a tree once; I carried on speaking, “…and on your right, that’s where the Queen was born…”), being verbally abused by cab-drivers and asked strange questions by tourists (“why is it called snappy snaps?”) or being corrected on the tiniest details by smug locals (and subsequently smirked at for correcting their correction, none more smug and local than I), and making Americans laugh with a hilarious spontaneous-sounding joke I’d actually been told by another American on the previous tour, oh I enjoyed those days a lot, and I really learnt a lot. I actually loved tourguiding in London almost as much as I love drawing, so it’s a fitting pleasure that I’m illustrating this new book by these particular tourguides who, I’m told, really know their stuff.