UK Trip (Part 1)

….Aaaaaaaaand I’m back.
I’m now faced with the thing I kind of dreaded for the past two weeks: picking a very limited amount of photos to illustrate our UK adventure. Here goes nothing…

London
Once we finally arrived and settled in at the place we were staying in Greenwich, I fell asleep for a couple of hours (after a little over 30 hours of no sleep). I woke up as the maintenance man was entering the room I was napping in, and in all fairness I might’ve scared him as much as he surprised me. In the meantime, everyone else went to explore our surroundings:

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I carried my sketchbook, which conveniently (just barely) fit into my camera bag, everywhere with me. We spent most of the next day in Kew Gardens, where I encountered my first drawing challenge: I can’t draw buildings or trees.

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There were so many things I wanted to draw and so little time to sit down and sketch guiltlessly (while someone else had to take care of the kid) that I cheated a little. I’d do most of the sketch “out in the field” and then outline and add colour at home.

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That place is huge! I don’t remember just how many hours we spent there (but feet were starting to ache), but we still didn’t explore all there is to explore. Between my mother and I we have a frightening amount of tree and flower photos. Here are a random few:

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The next day we visited the Natural History Museum, where I handed my daughter off and sketched till my legs started hurting. I was told she rather enjoyed all the dinosaurs.

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I have somewhat mixed feelings about sketching stuffed animals. On the one hand, they’re all dead, and they’ve been killed “for science”, so that their corpses could be displayed for all to see and study. On the other hand, I’d never get a chance to get that close to an animal to sketch it live, and to have it pose so well. In the end, I think, I’d rather learn animal anatomy from photographs and videos. As educational as the museum was, I’m just not a fan of murdering anyone for these reasons.

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After the museum we eventually made our way to the Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens. To be honest, I did not expect it to be both wet AND sandy, so while Eli ran amok barefooted and happy, my mom and I were frantically trying to dry her socks and shoes off, because my little girl can take a swim in a puddle before I even spot said puddle. The following three photos are by my mom:

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That’s Eli and me hiding behind the mast to the right of the ship:

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A squirrel is a rather exotic animal for us, so we hurried to take hundreds of photos every time we spotted one. The squirrels by the playground were either very friendly or very hungry.

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Tuesday the 16th was car ride day.
First, Windsor Castle:

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I thought it would be really cool to draw some fancy castle bits. I must’ve overheated in the sun, because I forgot I can’t draw man-made structures. I failed at the sketch so hard, that I couldn’t even draw my friend while he chatted away on the phone, and I’m normally okay at drawing people!

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Then we continued to Stonehenge. While the weather had been lovely all morning, it got a bit cloudy and rainy by the time we got to the big stones. My mom is crazy about rocks, and she makes a point to gather a few everywhere she goes, so it was imperative that we see the mysterious monument in person. She did not steal any of the important stones as a souvenir, so the tourist attraction is still there as far as I know. There were so many crows there! While I didn’t manage to get a clear photo, we did buy Eli a plush crow at the gift shop. I should draw all the new toys we came back with, really, our plush army is growing very strong.

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The next day, a Wednesday, was National Gallery and Covent Garden day.
To be honest, I really blew it at the gallery. I wanted to both see all the paintings, and do a few sketches, and seeing how everyone else finished way before I did, I felt guilty about taking my time again. I did get to sit down on a comfy seat and do at least one sketch though, which I am still kind of happy with, even though it did not photograph well at all.

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I’m afraid there are no interesting images of Covent Garden, so lets just skip ahead to Thursday, where we walked all over Greenwich Park, observed interesting things in the Observatory, took the mandatory Prime Meridian photos, almost blew all my allowance at the Greenwich market and stood next to Cutty Sark.

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I was too busy oogling to take any photos at the Greenwich market, but I did purchase two turtle stamps and a whole lot of pretty vintage (or just old looking, I know nothing about these things) buttons that came in very handy for the animation I shot later. This here is a rather unfortunate night-time phone shot of my preciousssss treassssssuressssss…treasures

On Friday the 19th we went to the British Museum, and met up with an online friend for the very first time. Was there any sketching involved? Did my online friend get food poisoning from the Israeli candy I brought him? Find out in UK Trip Part 2! (Because Eli is getting impatient and I can’t hide from here in my den any more)

4 thoughts on “UK Trip (Part 1)

  • It’s really cool to read about someone else’s first impressions of my local area (we’re near windsor). It’s easy to forget about all the awesome stuff on your doorstep. All your sketches are great and I think you do yourself down too much – you definitely can draw both buildings and trees. My favourite though is the one at the National Gallery – really great stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! I think I enjoyed drawing the one at the National Gallery the most – putting the seats up there is a genius idea! I saw at least 3 other people who had the same idea 🙂 We were oogling the houses on our way to Windsor Castle and I remember wondering what it’s like to live in a beautiful place like that. Now that I’m back home I have a new appreciation for my own surroundings.

      Liked by 1 person

  • This is a lovely travel journal. I am most impressed that you managed to get all that sketching done! You really packed it in. Your artwork is great, as always. I share your feelings about stuffed animals. I did laugh when I read the bit about squirrels being exotic though – there were so many of them hanging around the museum I used to expect to get inside and find one wearing my uniform and name badge. Very much looking forward to the next part of your travelogue. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooooh, now you should definitely draw that hard working squirrel! I thought about you while in the Gallery, and all the interesting things you mentioned people sometimes do while looking at art. Sadly, I didn’t get to witness anything that exciting, maybe next time!
      You guys have as many squirrels about as we do cats! I only saw two street cats during my entire stay there, however, everyone higher up north seems to own a dog or three. Maybe that’s why there aren’t any cats around?

      Liked by 1 person

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