Saturday, February 19, 2011

Imperial War Museum

More faces on today's meetup despite the drizzling weather, it was nice to know new people.

M3A3 Grant ("A Mass Grave of Six", as nicknamed by Soviets):

M3A3 Grand tank M3A3 Grand tank

A WWI observer in flying clothing:

WWI observer in flying clothing
(yeah, I know that head-cloth is an artist's cheat-code)

Supermarine Spitfire, one of my favourite WWII aircraft:

Supermarine Spitfire

And a quick sketch of WWI gun from behind:

A gun from behind

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Walking weekend

First of all, that's what February looks like here. Sorry for mentioning that again, but it's feels so good I can't stop repeating:

Finsbury park Lewisham February

Old Dairy pub on Stroud Green Rd, stunning building and interior but poor reviews:

Old Dairy, Stroud Green Rd

Murals can be explored with the Google Streets widget below:

View Larger Map

My phone is incapable of capturing that but the view on Alexandra Palace is absolutely breathtaking. It can be seen so clearly on the horizon giving an idea of its size:

Alexandra Palace on the horizon
[still try to zoom in]

The place has got quite a history. For example, the tower to the right is BBC's first regular broadcasting one, covering wealthy areas where first TV sets owners resided.

There is a statue of Peter the Great at Greenwich, which I wasn't aware of before:

Peter the Great Peter the Great

It resembles the statue by Shemyakin in St. Petersburg, doesn't it? Also, I don't have an idea who's the midget to the left of the czar. Could he be one of Russia's modern presidents?

And this comedy club building messes with your white balance:

Comedy club

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sketching at Horniman museum

The place doesn't look like "Zone 3 museum" at all. Occupying several buildings of very different styles, it is surrounded by gardens sporting a great view on London skyline - not only the Shard and Gherkin, but other less taller buildings are visible as well as the the museum is situated on the top of the Forest Hill.

Horniman museum Horniman museum conservatory Horniman gardens

Inside there is a decent collection of stuffed animals, the African hall and the Aquarium where I haven't been. The most amusing though is the collection of musical instruments thanks to the thought-through interior and lighting making brass to sparkle and wood to glow.

Horniman museum - musical instruments hall

Definitely one of the best locations for sketching I have visited in a while.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Take Courage


Finally, an explanation on the origin of those numerous signs which I believed before naively to be some kind of inspirational slogans:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Back with some news

It is still unknown yet what will happen to our visas in April so the far future is somehow vague but on the bright side we're taking advantage of that enjoying the luxury of ignoring any plans for longer than a year.

I'm also thinking of visiting Russia in March or April - not sure yet if I will have enough time for that depends on my current work results, so we'll see. Anyway I'd probably spend all time in Min-Vody with the family.

If the April changes won't be harsh we will probably consider moving to a nicer area. I'm keeping an eye on the classified ads and some of them are really sweet.

The weather is absolutely fantastic. The short spells of snowfalls in December never got back this new year and as far as I remember it was never colder than 0-1°C. Currently it is about 6-7° during daytime and it feels like eternal spring. Now after almost two winters here I can certainly tell that the climate influences the mood greatly though I used to be sceptical about that before. Surprisingly enough, the showers are rare as well.

This also makes outdoor sketching sessions possible again and I'm going to attend the next meetup this weekend.

The bad thing is that I have almost stopped to listen to the music and to read books. I used to read with the earphones plugged during my daily commutes but since I started to cycle I lost that opportunity. And when at home I can't resist the temptation to read articles and posts from my subscriptions rather than to open a Kindle. Got to do something with that practice of wasting time proudly feeling like being busy with something educative. The plans, however, are tremendous - I even started wish lists on Amazon. And, ahem, speaking of one-year-plans mentioned above, this may be a violation of that statement!

I started to run again when the weather got back to normal and realised that cycling doesn't help much. I haven't reached 10 km yet while I did 20+ km three months ago. However, it feels as good as before.

I am also procrastinating in learning Armenian. I started last fall, managed to cope with the weird alphabet and to syllabicate, but then slowed down greatly when it came to the vocabulary. Writing about that now to make it less comfortable for me to carry on like that. Maybe I need to find a London-based Armenian speaker who wants to practice Russian (so-called "language exchange" is a relatively popular practice here) but according to my current understanding it only makes sense when the certain level is achieved already - having a bit of teaching experience myself I think that an amateur tutor can't teach a complete newbie anything useful.

There are certainly other things to tell about but I'll save something for the next writer's block attack.

Take care of yourself.