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London -> Herefordshire -> London -> Calais -> Rouen -> Le Mans -> Angoulême -> Clermont-Ferrand -> Dijon -> Ronchamp -> CERN -> Geneva -> London

English cider country and its wonderful artisan cider farms, followed by mouthwatering French and Swiss wines and many types of cheese fondue.

Got caught in two insane lightning storms whilst on the road - like something out of a movie, with one lightning bolt per second across the flat countryside of south-western France. Drove though a solid wall of water. Slept in the back of a van in all sorts of locations from a village cemetery to a vet's back yard. Van coffee from a tiny portable kettle was one of the best parts of waking up.

Shovelled calcium stones in a village barn-cum-chateau in progress for the Cyberdog designer Dominic Elvin.

Saw many ancient, giant cathedrals and basilicas and one *little* church from the modern times, by a certain French chap, in a convent in a tiny village only architects have heard about. We broke the convent's rules and sat on the grass outside Ronchamp's Notre Dame du Haut drinking perry we had brought all the way from Herefordshire, then peered into the nuns' quarters controversially designed by Renzo Piano.

In the true spirit of Italo Calvino, we passed through a city of black lava stone, a city of mustard and chocolate, a village of spectacles, a skiing village, a town of nuclear physicists, a city of banks. We drove atop of Mount Jura in milky fog, with glimpses of mountain villages hundreds of metres below, then over the giant circle of the Large Hydron Collider into CERN.

Now home in London N8 eating hiyayakko tofu, a dish impossible to find in the land of meat, cheese and snails. I left the two boys driving through the Alps into the sunset of distant Germany. Wish I had more holiday time left so I could stay with them, but the hamster wheel of London-work-life wants me back.

As usual, bits and pieces and photos are on Twitter, I've been posting these throughout the trip.

A couple of my drawings of Le Corbusier's Ronchamp behind cut. )
armyofsnails: (fear me)
My entry to High Line for London Green Infrastructure competition.

A week's worth of drawing work preceded by (not particularly intense) couple of weeks of research, during which I discovered that the river I was going to write about - called Moselle, not to be confused with the one in Germany - flows directly under my street in Haringey (like many streets in London, mine follows the course of an underground river pretty much exactly).

Pfew! Not done anything like that since university days... Photoshop-tastic and some hand drawing, too. Click for piccy )
armyofsnails: (fear me)
I still exist... Mainly on Twitter though! Feel free to leaf through for what it's worth. :)

Latest, drawings of Christian Louboutin's shoes at the Design Museum. Am quite pleased with these, especially considering I haven't drawn for fun in quite a while. Loving the coloured paper effect which was suggested to me by a friend (whose paper I stole, too); think I'll stick to it for its forgiving fluffy qualities...
armyofsnails: (food snail)
Here is the cake I've helped make for [livejournal.com profile] didlix and [livejournal.com profile] razornet's birthday party earlier this month. It took 7 hours in total. The banana and apple base - including an entire banana buried in the middle - was baked by someone who is a bit of an expert in interesting cake creations (not me, obviously!!). All the coloured icing, including the 3D skull and banana bones, was sculpted by yours truly, with the letters cut out with a scalpel from a flattened icing pancake. This was a fucking nightmare of a job because as I quickly discovered the icing gets quite fragile and sticky when cut so finely. I had no idea what I was doing most of the time, but I had a lot of direction.clicky )
armyofsnails: (fear me)
Friday, clay pigeon shooting, herding ducks with a stick, archery and making scarecrows on a farm in Oxfordshire... followed by Sawchestra in the Clerkenwell Crypt. Read more... )
armyofsnails: (hat)
Had a few really lovely, packed days. Last Friday - the late night science fair at the Natural History Museum (with [livejournal.com profile] maybeitsbecause, [livejournal.com profile] razornet and a couple of others). That included: looking at bugs, smelling ancient botany books, shouting at shiny crystals and running around the museum at night with a bottle of wine. A wonderfully surreal experience. Went to a canteen debate about whether smallpox should or should not be exterminated ([livejournal.com profile] maybeitsbecause: "Surely even if the last instance of the virus is destroyed it can still be reconstructed from the sequence of proteins that's available in textbooks or online?" The speaker looks at him blankly, goes, "Everyone in this room who is a scientist, raise your hand!").

It's the first time I've been to the Darwin Centre (new museum wing), I was completely taken by it. What a lovely, thoughtful building and a gorgeous space to display all the museum's treasures. Went to the top of the concrete coccoon to the ancient botany room. The guide warned us that we were about to arrive at "floor 7 1/2 - like in Harry Potter" and I said, "Isn't it more like Being John Malkovich?" He laughed and said that he was going to use that for his next tour. Read more... )
armyofsnails: (snail boob)
I had a python sit on my shoulders on Saturday night - put there by a bellydancing snake charmer. A strange, strange sensation - the scaly beast started wriggling about (as scaly beasts do) and I could feel my neck being squeezed by the giant muscle while I stood in the middle of the room with a huge idiot grin on my face.

In other news, friend of a friend has expressed an interest in my paintings and asked whether I would want to do a storyboard for his film (located in a Greek monastery). I've no idea what it entails and it'll probably come to nothing, but I can't let this chance go without at least finding out more (and bragging about it, of course).

And all the M&E people on the Birmigham construction site are now terrified of me! Long boring story involving mechanical installation gone wrong on three floors, and my causing a massive commotion on site two weeks ago. I arrived there last Thursday to find the M&E subcontractor under his desk, claiming he was hiding from me. Then jokes about "being killed by the architect, a glamorous death." Heh.
armyofsnails: (snail boob)
From: Facebook (notification+mh~1jkk_@facebookmail.com)
Sent: 25 March 2009 06:16:40
To: Very Important Moss

Toby sent you a message.

Subject: saw this & thought of you ;-)


Linky (caution: arty boob)

People sometimes randomly e-mail me snail themed pictures or links... When I was posting on the SPF a lot, for my birthday I received at least two dozen pictures, some of them especially photoshopped for the occasion.

Basically, nothing will bring a bigger grin to my face...

Oh, and speaking of Photoshop, I was digging around in my Photobucket account and found some old goodies... Quite fond of these. One or two took almost an entire day to make. I had too much time on my hands during student holidays.

Not entirely SFW - contains a giant dick-shaped sex toy amongst other things... )
armyofsnails: (snail boob)
Antony Gormley's One and Other a.k.a. To Become The Fourth Plinth

I would chop off two of my fingers for the opportunity. Then find a way of incorporating them into my hour of public idiocy fame.

Oh, and naturally, champagne and oysters for any supporters.

Needless to say, have applied and am anxiously awaiting.

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