an early start

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Back again. The view from my old bedroom in Norwich Walk, in our little Burnt Oak corner of London, drawn after waking up very early on a hot July day. On these days when I’m jetlagged and the middle-of-summer sun comes up way way earlier in London than in California (where the sun has a nice lie-in but definitely works a lot harder during the day), I like to try and start the day with a sketch, especially if I’m probably not going to be sketching as much due to doing family things. I miss seeing my London family, it’s always nice to be back, even at times when things are a bit stressful, it makes me feel nice to be Home, you know. I was lucky as a kid that we never moved house during my childhood, because it means I have definite sense of where ‘Home’ is in my mind. There are times even here in Davis in my forties that I wake up and I’m not immediately sure if I’m in my old bedroom or in California, with the window behind me, the shelf to my left, cars starting outside, a cat pawing at the door. Burnt Oak is quite different to Davis though. This is looking westwards, towards Orange Hill Road. Lot of stories up this street. I remember that house on the corner which has the little green food truck parked on the drive now, that was Mrs. Philpin’s house for a very long time (she passed away many years back), my mum was friends with her daughter since they were little girls, I went to school with her grandkids. I don’t know many other people in the street now, so many have moved on, passed away, although my old neighbour Matthew still lives across the road and I always stop and have a chat in the street when I’m back, usually about Spurs. This was an awkward looking sketch; the way the bed and side table gets in the way makes it harder to lean out the window than it used to be, although my mum now has much nicer windows installed. The morning sunlight kept changing the colours of everything subtly, but it’s pretty much how it felt; this was soon going to be the hottest summer of all time in London, and this day was going in that direction. My son had been up since about 3 or 4 as well, so we got a very early start and after breakfast with my mum we headed into central London for some sightseeing, taking our jetlagged selves onto a two-hour boat trip down the Thames, before getting the tube back up to Burnt Oak. We were still shattered from the two-day journey from California, but happy to be in London again. 

We each managed one sketch while down in central London, a quick drawing of Horseguards (below). 

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