Ka kite ano

Last night I was invited to a get together for two ex colleagues who are heading home to New Zealand and Australia at the start of next month. According to a search engine of note the Maori to English translation is see you later.

A difficult week as the previous weekend I had tried too much. Saturday had seen a meeting attended for the voluntary group that I serve on at St Pancras, this had been preceded by some sketching at the station where there was a stronger police presence than usual after the tragic events in Paris the evening before. After the meeting I had “tubed” to the post sketchcrawl refreshments with USK London (Urban Sketchers) at Timberyard in Soho. Great conversations and more sketching. A little bit of shop mooching including trying out the Apple pencil and IPad Pro at the Regents Street store – a chance to use Paper app on a larger screen.

Sunday, a visit to Cambridge which included a new coffee venue – Hot Numbers on Trumpington Street/Road. Then a meet with USK Cambridge at the Fitzwilliam Museum, a place I had meant to visit but had not got around to yet.Afterwards this provided an opportunity to catch up with Alice, an ex pupil now studying Geography at St Catherine’s College. Then a drop in chat and tea with my sister before heading for the M11 and home – I was lucky that Anne drove home because I was too tired and there had been an accident on the M11 which led to long tailbacks.

Result, a chest cold which meant that I stayed indoors Monday to Thursday and was starting to go stir crazy. One positive side effect was to spark the idea of producing a leaving gift for Ruby and Adam – a hand drawn card for each with the map showing their UK to Auckland / Brisbane journey. Then I had asked each about their favourite UK place and produced individual artworks (I will post about this new development in my sketching on Mishmashlearninggoessketching soon). 

Apologies for digressing. I arrived early after driving to Leytonstone ably guided by Google maps. The group gathered and then we moved onto the Red Lion E11. A large example of a traditional pub with what has to be one of the more interesting beer garden areas I have visited in a long time. Chatting and, yes you guessed it, sketching- to the intrigue of some of the group including colleagues I have not seen now for several weeks. It was a great evening meeting teachers and non teachers from mainly Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. Conversations ran from the enduring reliability of Toyota cars, the feeling about driving stick or automatic especially if driving in the USA to what links people in the group had, to people sharing their experiences of depression with me and the compliment that two colleagues had read several posts from this blog – thanks to Gordon and Jess.

As the evening went on it became too cold for the seating outside, so back into the main body of the pub we went – a popular and crowded venue, security staff present but an atmosphere that always felt safe. At one point I secured a seat and proceeded to sketch part of the interior of the room and some friends. The dj had an area where you could move slightly more freely, some even attempted to dance. I of course tried a new idea, oops, now usual idea and sketched as I shuffled. This drew interest from people around me in a generally complimentary way and then I was asked by a young lady if she could borrow my pad and pen, I passed the pad to her and she proceeded to sketch a portrait of me. That was a new experience, Laura signed it and I have promised to keep it in my sketchbook. 

I drove Gordon and dropped him off on route back home which meant we got to chat. Overall, it was a great evening, it made the staying in to shift the cold worthwhile and I wish Ruby and Adam all the best for their journeys home and look forward to seeing you both again. Sketch evidence will be shared through the sketch blog linked to above.

My next see you later will be this week where I go into school for my Review meeting about my absence to date and planning my return. I am looking forward to it.

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