I finally got to see the Turner by the sea exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich this weekend. It’s great to see such an amazing body of work in one place. I recommend getting the audio tour for some added context.
As well as more familiar paintings, you get to see some of Turner’s sketchbooks and unfinished works.
I was so inspired, I had to immediately walk to the Royal Observatory and do a double page spread of Greenwich Park!
With that out of my system there was time for a quick stop at the Tate modern to sketch the silver birch trees before it got too dark.
Taking inspiration from David Cameron, I decided to jump on the bandwagon today and take in a bit of flood tourism.
I’m not shameless enough to gawp at those unfortunate enough to have their homes ruined by the ceaseless deluge we’ve experienced this winter. Instead I opted for the softer option of a visit to Brighton and Hove seafront.
Despite a big clean up after the raging high tides in January, you will still find yourself wading through pebbles and bits of pier. Forget wellies, I recommend a hard hat and some totectors!
The West pier suffered further collapse a couple of weeks ago, although you wouldn’t know it until you face it head on.
It was like watching 5 year olds dance at a school play, as those normally tightly synchronised rows of beach huts shuffled shambolically in the wind, swimming amongst pebbles and bits of old net.
There’s no room for exactness when you are Winter sketching, particularly when you can’t actually feel your hands anymore!
I’ve tried ice skating a few times. I spent most of the time clinging to the edge, or sliding on my knees, staring up at the gleeful faces of 7 year olds as they swished past, flicking ice in my fearful face.
This is why the Royal Pavillion ice rink is the perfect skating venue for me. All I have to do is park myself in the warm comfort of the restaurant, and carefully lift a cup of mulled wine to my mouth without burning my tongue. It’s exhilarating!
The rink couldn’t be in a better location, especially at night with the camped up lighting. The restaurant and bar provide plenty of seating if like me, you’d rather sit it out. I particularly recommend the beer battered halloumi on the evening menu.
The rink is open until 19th January so there’s still time to flounder or figure skate around the circuit.
Venues include the fantastic Duke of York’s picturehouse. This Grade II listed building has been operating as a cinema for over 100 years, making it the oldest cinema in continuous use in the country.
The 20 foot can-can legs were originally made for the ‘not the Moulin Rouge’ cinema in Oxford, but were relocated in the early 1990’s.
The festival is also running at the Duke’s sister venue “Duke’s at Komedia” in the North Laine.
Both cinemas have a bar, so if you like your film washed down with something stronger, this is where to go. For an extra special treat, throw in some cake and lounge on a sofa in the balcony at the Duke of York’s.
You can pick up the full programme for the festival at the Jubilee Library in Brighton or visit www.cine-city.co.uk.
“I severed my arm off in the engine the 5th time we broke down. This reduction in weight was excellent luck. Particularly when my passengers had to get out and push the last 2 miles. All in all a jolly smooth run this year.”
The RAC’s London to Brighton veteran car run has been taking place since 1927. It commemorates the ‘Emancipation run’, which celebrated the introduction of a maximum 14mph speed limit, and removed the need to have someone walk in-front of your vehicle.
Thankfully, there were so many women at the wheel, that the compere exhausted his supply of “lady driver” jokes.
I love the dedication and sunny optimism of the enthusiastic entrants. They are overjoyed when their beautifully maintained vehicles manage to complete the run. What an antidote to modern day expectations of technology.
I love a bit of rusty cast iron in evening light. So when the Autumn came up for breath earlier in the week, I took my chance and did a quick sketch of Charles Hadcock’s striking ‘Passaclagia’ sculpture on Brighton beach.
Sadly, I left my cadmium yellow at home, so had to make do with yellow ochre to capture the mood. In case you’re wondering, that is someone in a teddy bear hood sitting in the middle about to be crushed by the huge iron wave.
By this weekend Autumn was back, so I escaped from the gusts in ‘Emporium‘ on the London Road for coffee and cake, only to discover that this former methodist chapel is also a theatre and bar.
I liked it’s unusual mix of furnishings with little booths at the side, an almost classroom like setup in the center and some ornate sofa’s thrown in for luck. With it’s lanky arched windows and stained glass it has a welcoming natural light and makes for a quite unique and quirky venue. They have a real mix of events going on so it’s worth taking a look – discounts are available when you book online.