by the earth and planetary sciences

Earth and Planetary Sciences Building, UC Davis

This is the Earth and Planetary Sciences Building at UC Davis, with the big water tower in the background. there are actually a couple of big UC Davis water towers on campus, plus at least one more like this in north Davis, but this is the good looking one, the leader, the big brother. The ‘Barry’ of the Water Tower Bee Gees, standing tall over the others with a huge mane of lustrous hair. Ok maybe not the hair, maybe it’s more Clive Anderson. You remember that interview, the one where they walked out? The one where Barry Gibb got up, said “You’re the tosser, pal” and left? Classic TV moment. I’d always liked Clive Anderson, funny man, and when that first happened I didn’t really warm to Barry Gibb much, but watching it back again Clive Anderson was pretty out of order, and the Bee Gees were well right to say, yeah we don’t need this smug little guy taking the mickey out of us for a few aren’t-I-clever-and-hilarious giggles on late night TV on channel 4 or whatever it was on. Ok, this is obviously a very specific early-90s-British-TV tangent, let’s get back to the drawing. I drew this while on campus during a late lunch (I think I had Zoom meetings during lunch), this is very close to my office. Earth and Planetary Sciences is right across the street from us, and I drew this at the edge of the Arboretum, by the newly reopened LaRue bridge. The water tower is a big presence, and likes to appear in official photos, like a sentinel of education. That metaphor doesn’t, hehehe, hold water. I like the STOP sign in the foreground, with the unusual orange and white striped signs around it, I don’t know what they are for.  They add a nice bit of colour into the scene. The Earth and Planetary Sciences building is very interesting. I remember when they had the groundbreaking for it, I went over with my old supervisor to watch the special ceremonial laying of the first brick, and then they went full steam ahead to build it. There used to be a small wooden building on this site not dissimilar to the ones I draw so often at the Silo area, and I remember saying “I should draw that some time” but never did, and then it was knocked down. I did draw a tree with the empty space of the future building behind it. I was really into drawing ALL of the branches.

you tree davis

That was in March 2008, which seems like a very long time ago, but it was actually only a week or so after Spurs last won a trophy. The same trophy that we will be (probably not) winning in a cup final at Wembley in a week or so.

One thing I really like about the Earth and Planetary Sciences Building (apart from the name which is really future-thinking, considering we have been to zero other planets yet) (apart from with robots of course) (we have visited them virtually via Zoom, I suppose) (actually they have some amazing space rocks in there, I lifted one up on Picnic Day a few years ago and it was super heavy) (or maybe it was kryptonite and it just made me weaker? We’ll never know for sure), anyway the thing I like the most is that there are these huge rocks all around the outside of the building, all with labels, some are volcanic and all are interesting. My son is really into geology (or he was, before he discovered looking at his phone all day) (admittedly he does play a lot of Minecraft which is technically still about geology) so when he’d come to my office during the summers we would sometimes go down and look at the rocks. It’s brilliant working at a university where lots of very clever scientists work. In the building next door is the Entomology museum, where they have loads of interesting and frankly frightening creepy crawlies. On the other side is an actual nuclear lab with big nuclear machines in them, yeah I don’t visit that one. These aren’t very good descriptions, they sound like a 9 year old has written them; it’s late, it’s been a long day, and I’ve forgotten how to write, if I ever knew. I can’t wait for campus to all be open again. Soon, soon!

things are moving along

Latest at the Teaching Learning Complex, UC Davis

Another one from the UC Davis Teaching and Learning Complex being built next to the Silo. They have put some glass over the front area now, so you can see the reflections from the buildings opposite. I didn’t have long to draw as I was on my way to a Zoom meeting so I did what I could and left it at that, rather than finish anything later. It seemed really important to include the sandwich board in the foreground. You’ve seen the Silo next to it a million times so no need to add all the details in there. Further down the road, Walker Hall is pretty much ready for use now, just awaiting opening. I’ll get to take a look around next week! I’m not sure when this building will be open yet though, but hopefully before Fall when we are planning a full in-person return to campus (fingers crossed). We’ll see. So it is April now, we’ve pandemic for over a year, I just heard that the Davis school board voted last night for kids to go back five days a week in a couple of weeks’ time – things are moving on. Our youth soccer team is now allowed to play friendly games against other teams, albeit masked up and with very limited spectator capacity. Cinemas are planning to open over the next couple of months, reduced capacity. Places are all going at different paces but this is where we are now, vaccinations are moving along well, but we know this ain’t over yet, and we’re working form home for quite a while yet.

Speaking of being at home, I got a Playstation recently (PS4; I’ve not had one since the PS1 mini I had in the late 90s, loved that little thing), and last night I finished the Miles Morales Spider-Man game. That was a really fun game. I don’t play a lot of video games but I do love Miles, and the graphics were incredible. I’m going to play the earlier Spider-Man game, but I’ve a few others I want to try out first; I got the 2020 Formula 1 game (full price, wish I’d waited a month or so) which is well hard, but I love Formula 1. Really enjoyed the first race of the 2021 season on Sunday, the Bahrain Grand Prix, great finish from Lewis and Max. I love football, but I bloody love Formula 1.  

shots away

UC Davis lunchtime

I drew this one quickly on a late lunch at the Silo on campus after going down to Kaiser Vacaville to get my Pfizer vaccine. Yes, I got the Pfizer at Kaiser, from someone called Eliza, while drinking Tizer, and I was none the wiser. I hate getting injections usually. I get nervous, then I feel a bit of a prick. Sorry, I should have sounded the “old joke about injections” alert. Still I was in and out just like that. Had to wait fifteen minutes to see if there were any side effects, but there were none, except I went straight to best Buy Vacaville and bought lots of Microsoft products. Sorry, I should have sounded the “boring joke about having a strange desire for Microsoft stuff after getting the Covid vaccine because stupid people think Bill Gates is trying to implant microchips in you” alert. It’s internet law that you have to say that joke at least once. My arm hurt a bit. Now I’m just after having the second dose and my arm hurts again, and I feel a bit fatigued all over, and I keep getting pop-ups saying “there’s a problem with your Microsoft account”. Sorry, couldn’t help myself. It’s not even funny (not that that has stopped me telling a joke before, I hear you say). There are better jokes. For example, many places are offering drive-through vaccinations, so when I tell people back home that I got shot in the arm in a drive-by they’d think I’m all gangster. No, no they wouldn’t. That one wasn’t very good either. In Britain they call them ‘jabs’, which after sixteen years away sounds odd to me. Unless it’s Steve Jabs, and when you get the vaccine you want to buy an iPad, and oh, no don’t bother with that one either. Honestly the best I’ve been able to do is say I got Pfizer at Kaiser, and rhymes aren’t necessarily that funny. The woman who gave me the shot wasn’t even called Eliza, and they don’t have the drink Tizer over here. Nobody in America knows what Tizer is, or Lilt, or Tango, or even Vimto (but Vimto’s disgusting). Tizer is a sweet red fizzy drink I can’t fully explain, but it reminds me of Vic Reeves as Noddy Holder. I could have said I was drinking “Crystal Geyser”, but that wouldn’t work for me because as a Londoner we pronounce it “geezer”.

Ok here’s one. “I got my vaccine the other day; they kept the needle in there for ages, several minutes. I asked if that gave me a better chance of not getting the virus. They said, well it’s a long shot.” Hey that’s not bad, is it, I might use that at a staff meeting or something. Maybe not. That’s the sort of joke you tell at the dinner table at Christmas, and pretend you read it on a piece of paper in a cracker, because you’re too embarrassed to admit you came up with it yourself.

Still, it’s better than the other ones. This Pfizer vaccine isn’t too bad for the side effects, apart from this fatigue, and the bad jokes. If I’d got the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, well that’s only one dose, so I’d be just calling it the “Johnson”. If I’d got the Moderna vaccine, that’s the one Dolly Parton helped fund, which is “nine-to-five” percent effective. Yeah, these jokes are awful. This must be one of the side effects (what was my excuse before?). The last time I felt this bad the day after doing shots was one night in Vegas. (And so the run of bad jokes continues…)

over the creek

LaRue Bridge UC Davis

While I’m only going to campus once a week it’s still good to track the changes going on. This bridge near my office, where LaRue crosses Putah Creek, reopened recently after a long and necessary update. So on one of those very windy days we had recently I walked over and drew it. The Robert Mondavi Institute (RMI) of Food and Wine Sciences is in the background; they have a whole beer lab, and their own research vineyard. The wind was blowing so I drew as quickly as I could and painted it in later. It was so windy I didn’t even listen to a podcast. In my last post I mentioned about all the things about podcasts that make me turn off, but didn’t mentioned what I am listening to most these days. So here goes, my current podcast list, good for listening to while sketching. I like it when a podcast is roughly 50 minutes – 1 hour long as that’s a good time for a full sketch, unless it’s a bigger more complicated one or a double-page panorama. So in no order:

(1) Adam Buxton Podcast (very funny, he did a really fun one with Paul McCartney recently but I love his specials with old comedy mate Joe Cornish); (2) You’re Dead To Me (presented by Greg Jenner, historian from Horrible Histories, another one where I really love his enthusiasm and voice and his guests again always provide a good balance for the listener, he always has a historian and a comedian and they illuminate any subject colourfully, it’s definitely a highlight when this podcast comes out) (3) Guardian Football Weekly (I really like Max Rushden as a presenter, and he makes a good-natured balance to the dour but hilarious Barry Glendenning, the grumpy wit Barney Ronay and the scholarly Sunderlander Jonathan Wilson), the only thing is I think I actually enjoyed football podcasts more last year when there was no football, and they found more interesting ways to talk about the game in general rather than analyzing the endless mill of games we have now, and I can tell they want a break from this season; (4) Totally Football Show (with James Richardson, formerly of Football Weekly but best known for Football Italia on Channel 4 in the 90s, which us 90s lads all have fond memories of, and I really love the special Golazzo podcasts he does about the great characters and teams of Italian football); (5) Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men (I’ve been listening to this for several years now, as they walk us through X-Men comics history,  over 300 episodes in and they have reached the late 90s and even if I am completely unfamiliar with the stories or characters they are talking about, I can’t help but be drawn in by their enthusiasm and knowledge, and audibly they make a perfect conversational balance with each other, I could listen to them both talk all day); (6) The Infinite Monkey Cage (with Brian Cox and Robin Ince, science based and with a mix of science people and comedians saying funny things (or trying to) after the science people have said the science stuff; (7) History of the English Language (Followed since episode 1, this one is right up my alley as a fellow history-of-English enthusiast); (8) Travel with Rick Steves (I like Rick and his friendly nature, and there are always a lot of interesting stories from the guests about the various places or themes they focus on, but he did lose a bit of travel-cred when he kept referring to Windsor Castle as “Windsor Palace” in one episode); (9) Join Us In France (this is presented by a French woman who lived in the US for a long time and talks about all different areas of France and French culture, and I’ve discovered a lot of places I would like to explore by listening to this); (10) Checkered Flag Podcast (This one runs during the Formula 1 season and is really just a review of what happened that race weekend, but it’s always quite fun even if the hosts tend to sometimes wind each other up a bit much). I also listen to “History Extra Podcast”, “History of the 20th Century”, “Revolutions”, “Formula 1 Beyond the Grid”, “Nessun Dorma” (about 80s/90s football), “Zonal Marking”, “Talking Comics”, “Full of Sith” (Star Wars related but the voice of one of the hosts annoys me a bit so I don’t listen often, but I love that they love the prequels), “Dan Snow’s History Hit”, “Shakespeare Unlimited”, “Grounded with Louis Theroux”, “In Our Time” (with Melvyn Bragg), “Listen Up A-Holes” (Marvel Cinematic Universe reviews, though I tend to skip past some of the long-winded stuff), “Star Talk Radio” (though Neil DeGrasse Tyson isn’t as funny as he thinks he is, nor is his comic sidekick, he does know his physics), “The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry” (science), and quite a lot more that I listen to occasionally. But I also just listen to music, and we’re not getting into that here. I’m thinking of starting to listen to audiobooks more as well, I do like a good story. 

But then again, when out sketching, usually I prefer to listen to the sounds of the environment around me, particularly if I am in a big city or somewhere new. The sounds make their way into the sketch. In this one though, it was the sound of the wind telling me to leave it for now and finish it up later.

walker hall, nearly there

020321 Walker Hall Graduate Center sm

This is the almost-ready Graduate Center in the almost-refurbished historic Walker Hall, on the UC Davis campus. If you have been reading this site for a while you might have seen this building once or twice; see all the previous posts at petescully.com/tag/walker-hall. Well the little huts where all the construction workers go have been moved away, and so I had a pretty good view from across Hutchison, though the fence is still up. I did this fairly quick panorama while I was on campus earlier this month. Click on the image to see a close-up.  

And this is what it looked like back in January 2014! Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, as Bowie would say. If he were still alive. I wish Bowie were still alive.

panoramarathon: walker hall

broken bones

fallen tree behind MSB 012721 sm

That big storm we had a couple of weeks ago felled a lot of trees. When I say ‘felled’ I mean ‘tore down violently’. The storm was loud, louder than I remember any storms here in Davis (and I’ve seen a few now, though very far between). Maybe it’s because I’m a homeowner now that I’m a bit more anxious about flying foliage and tumbling trunks but I didn’t get much sleep that night, listening to the deep booming howls and the intermittent crunching sounds from our neck of the woods. Next morning I went out to review the damage, while our internet was down, and power out for thousands (but not us, thankfully). Debris strewn everywhere, trees (or the tops of them) toppled, one large thick tree had fallen directly onto the roof of a house, another just missed the house but completely blocked the drive, other huge trunks blocked pathways on the Green Belt, but most concerning were the large branches in trees that had snapped but not quite fallen, hanging precariously, and it was still a bit windy. Falling branches can be deadly. So I proceeded with caution and went home. Still, I needed to do some work, so I went (carefully) down to campus, steering clear of dangling branches and passing many big old wounded oaks, and into the safety of our large solid stocky building. It always feels much safer watching the world from a window up there, but we’ve had our share of trees go down outside over the years, and this past storm was no different. I saw the tree above snapped like a broken doll at the back of the building, so I did a quick sketch of it. (I thought I’d keep a log of this event). Soon after it was cordoned off with yellow tape, and a couple of days later a man with a chainsaw had come to cut up what he could. It’s only now, a fortnight later, that many of the trees that went down are being removed, they had to deal with the most urgent ones first (like those plonked onto rooftops or blocking traffic, or the many that went down taking the powerlines with them). I wonder if any of them went down like Neymar, falling dramatically and rolling around a bit, maybe waving an imaginary yellow card. Poor old trees though.

but there’s too much history, too much biography between us

View from Math Sciences Building

I’ve gone to work on campus a few times lately, though hardly anyone is about. The Davis sky has been interesting lately, for a change (I have gone through more cerulean blue paint over the years than any other colour, so I get really excited when I see a cloud). We did have a massive storm that knocked out many peoples’ power, as well as our internet for almost a week, as well as so many trees, I’ve not ever seen so many get blown down before. Anyway my department being on the fourth floor the view from the window is pretty good. For a long time working here I had no window and I’m still not used to the novelty. The view above however is actually from the recently-vacated office next door to mine, as the view was slightly different. I say recently-vacated, it hadn’t been used since last March, hardly any of them have, but the person who hadn’t been using the office has recently left. It’s odd rattling around the department with hardly anybody there, one other staff member comes in to do IT stuff, occasionally one of the faculty might be there and maybe a grad student, otherwise it’s like a ghost town. I worked straight through lunch this one day, not taking a break until after 3, so I decided to draw a panorama of the view. I drew a lot before my next afternoon Zoom meeting, but I finished most of the colouring after work, when the sun had already set; the sunlight doesn’t hang about in late January. Click on the image for a better view. You can just about make out the new construction in the background, the Teaching Learning Complex, while the ochre-coloured building on the right is the Crocker Nuclear Lab. Yep, this sucker’s nuclear.  

view from MSB

This is another view, also not from my office. It’s looking west, rather than north, and this was while there was rain outside. Moments after finishing, there was a beautiful rainbow. I took photos but had already put my paints away. This was done from the corner office, which I was in trying to reorganize office assignments for next year. There is a stand-up desk in there, an I’ve been contemplating getting one, so decided to try it out by sketching the view from the window. I liked it, I think I need one. The sky was all sorts of dramas. It was like BBC2 at 9pm or whatever. This was actually Davis at 4pm on a Friday. The sort of dramas you got then in England were more children’s TV shows like The Little Silver Trumpet, the one I was in when I was 4 and thought it was all real. The best school-age drama, Grange Hill, that would have been on at 5:10. Zammo, Ro-land, Mrs McCluskey, Bronson, Gonch, Ziggy, all them. Just Say No, kids. Sometimes on Fridays though you got those strange ones from the 70s, or dubbed German shows like The Legend of Tim Tyler (Tim Thaler in the original). Those were great, I used to crack up at the misplaced dubbing. I did see it in the original when I was in Austria aged 15 and it seemed so much more serious. 

view from MSB with brush pen

This one was drawn from my office, and it was just simple blue sky outside, no cloud at all. Bit cold though, and windy. I had an hour between Zoom meetings so I ate lunch at my desk, the Spurs v Chelsea game was on my iPad beside me (that was… excruciating), and I had a grey marker from one of the urban sketching symposia that I had not used before, so I did a quick drawing of the view with it. I am still working from home, same as the rest of the family, but on the day or two I need to come by to campus to take care of some things (often stuff like putting up required notices that hardly anyone will read), I like being back. Also, I don’t have cats bugging me all day. Can’t wait for us all to be back, but it looks like we won’t have that until the Fall. In the meantime I will continue to run, draw, work, meet via Zoom, listen endlessly to Belle and Sebastian (yet another B&S lyric for the blog post title; I have a lot of history and biography in this building now), watch bad Spurs games, not see people, and think about all the places I want to go after the pandemic is done with. In other words, the same as I was doing before the pandemic. 

the answer, my friend…

TLC pano 011921 sm

This as you may know from previous posts is one of the new buildings that have been popping up on campus the past few years that I can’t help but draw as they grow. This is the Teaching and Learning Complex, or TLC, next to the Silo which is away to the left there. Behind that tree. On the day I drew this, the wind was blowing hard, blowing off some of the coverings on the building. It was also the last day of the Trump presidency, speaking of wind blowing hard. I’ve been waiting to use that one, I thought of it when I was drawing. I drew most of this fairly quickly for a panorama, it was the afternoon and I was working on campus, and had to drop something off at the international department, which these days of hardly anyone being on campus means some coordination and passing off of a brown inter-office envelope at an outside location. It makes me feel like a secret agent or something. Anyway I got that out of the way earlier than expected so I had a bit of time before my weekly COVID test, a requirement for those who do come to work on campus (and I come in once or twice a week) (I am bored of working from home and miss the office, which has fewer snack distractions or cats begging me to turn on the taps at the sink). I coloured it in later, the blowing hard wind not really the place for the watercolour set. We have had much harder blowing wind since, there was a big storm that rumbled across northern California last week taking down so many trees here in Davis, it was a scary, noisy night.

Changing the subject completely, a few months ago the legendary presenter of the game-show Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek, passed away and his final show was broadcast recently. The show is now continuing with a new host, Ken Jennings, a well-known former Jeopardy champion who for all the will in the world is not a game-show host. I think technically he is a ‘guest host’, but it got me thinking about all the game shows I used to like years ago in Britain, and so my wife and I discussed those game shows we had when we were kids, her ones being over here in the US and mine being very much anything with Bruce Forsyth. There were many that crossed the Atlantic (the most recent one being British game show The Chase which we had seen on previous visits back home, but just started here, also with Ken Jennings and two other Jeopardy champs as the ‘chasers’, including my son’s favourite James Holzhauer). At this point in the story I should start listing all of them, your Price Is Rights, your Generation Games, but I can’t really remember them all (I’d have been useless on the Generation Game), and then this becomes another blog post about ‘member this? ‘Member that? ‘Member when we had TV and everyone watched TV, etc. I’m not sure why I’m bringing it up in fact, and I think this is a topic for a longer post that I already would advise against reading. But game shows do add a lot to the language, in certain catchphrases and sayings that filter in to the common consciousness, a bit like how sporting terms crop up in conversation without you knowing the origins. For example we all say things like “that came out of left field”, which is a baseball term (nothing to do with the musician who did that track with John Lydon in the 90s). Or we will say “they had a good innings” when someone dies, more from cricket than baseball. Or we might say someone is “out for the count” which is from either boxing or vampire slaying, both popular sports you don’t see on regular TV any more (I think vampire slaying is still available on “pray per view” channels). I do often find myself using phrases from old games shows that I realize might not have been as popular over here. For example I was at the supermarket buying fruit, and I says to the fruitmonger, “you don’t get nothing for a pear…” and they didn’t respond “…not in this game!” In meetings at work, if someone says I have made good points, I always respond with “and what do points make? Prizes!” while rubbing my chin, while everyone stares and blinks. I was at the card shop, and I was buying some birthday cards and I said “dollies, do your dealing” and the look I got, well, let’s just say it wasn’t “nice to see you, to see you nice”. Basically growing up my whole vocabulary was shaped by Bruce Forsyth. I want to point out that I never say any of those things in public in America because I’m not insane, but it does remind me that I grew up with tv game show hosts being proper tv game show hosts. So farewell Alex Trebek, I hope that a worthy full-time successor comes along at some point (although not necessarily with lots of outdated eighties-era catchphrases).

walkin’ back to happiness

walker hall (nearly done)

Regular listeners will recognize this building as Walker Hall, which has been under redevelopment for quite some time now on its way to becoming the new Graduate Center, which was slated to open in 2020 but looks set for 2021 now, unless you subscribe to the opinion that 2020 hasn’t really ended yet. (To be fair, 2016 only just ended yesterday). It’s starting to look quite different now and almost nearly ready, as a lot of the area in front of the building (I mean, the rear of the building, this is actually the rear, but I think it’s the front now) (a bit like Buckingham Palace, you know the part of the building we all see is technically the back? It doesn’t matter, it’s a building not a video game) has been paved and a lot of the construction huts are going, though it’s still all fenced off. The last time I went inside there was November 2018 when I got to draw the insides with a hard hat on (see: https://petescully.com/2019/01/28/inside-walker-hall/), which was very exciting, because your urban sketching street cred goes right up if you wear a hard hat. It has been fun to watch this whole building evolve (by the way I made a handy folder on Flickr to see all the drawings I’ve done of this building, for those who are interested: https://www.flickr.com/photos/petescully/albums/72157678149480548) but it will be nice to draw it from a different angle once again. 

That said, here are a few sketches of this angle (usually stood on the steps of Shields Library) from over the past couple of years during the rebuild, for comparison. Funny how I usually draw it in January, and twice now on January 15th, which was the traditional Deadline Day for PhD applications when I was a grad coordinator. In fact it was the former Graduate Dean Jeff Gibeling that gave me the idea to draw the redevelopment back when plans for the new Graduate Center was first unveiled years ago, as I had been drawing the developments at the Pitzer and the Manetti Shrem at the time. It’s fun tracking changes in sketchbooks. 

 walker hall uc davis>

Walker Hall UC Davis Walker Hall UC Davis

we rule the school

SSH building 011321

This is the Social Sciences and Humanities Building at the UC Davis campus, also known as the Death Star, despite being incapable of hyperspace travel and having zero giant superlaser weaponry, at least that I am aware of. It’s a complicated structure, and I always get lost on it. I would have been terrible on the real Death Star, I’d never have made it out just by running around. Similarly, if there are meetings in a part of this building I’ve not been to often I will definitely be 10-15 minutes late while I get lost in the Escher-like architecture. Not a problem any more now we are all Creatures of Zoom. I drew this building after working at home all day, and at the end of the day before the sun came down I felt the need to get out of the house, so I went down to campus and drew this quickly. January keeps moving along. 2021 keeps dragging 2020 along with it. I’m writing this post early in the morning after one of those nights where I fell asleep very early (on the couch after dinner, with a headache, having been up very early yesterday morning to watch Tottenham play Sheffield United on TV) (if someone had told the teenaged me that in my mid-forties I would be living in California during a global pandemic and getting up at 6am to watch Spurs play Sheffield United I would have said, yeah that sounds about right. “Oh but Spurs are wearing green shirts.” “WHAT!?!”). It was a sleep last night littered with the mad dreams, all over the place, all sorts of things going on. I’m usually back in London somehow during these dreams, they were the sort of dreams that take me a few hours to get over when I wake up, which I did today at about 4:30am. So I got up, and listened to podcasts about football tactics and X-Men, listened to some Belle and Sebastian, they always fix my mood, and I’ve been trying to draw a picture of Boulogne Sur Mer, which is taking longer than it takes to cross the English Channel. I started a new virtual sketch tour, since there’s no travelling, I’m going to go on a virtual Tour de France. I drew Calais already. I should miss out Boulogne, but it’s impossible, since they go hand in hand from a British day-trip perspective. The sun is coming up now and I should get ready for a morning run but these quiet dark pre-dawn hours I always feel I need to learn stuff, practice a language, work on my drawing, write something interesting, achieve something to start the day with, but that sun keeps on coming up. It’s windy out there today. New week, wonder what fun it will bring.