It is. I hadn't been back there for years, not since I had a job there. It was my very first proper job, working in a small design/communications agency, making the tea, going to M&S to get the sandwiches for meetings, filing stuff in a big dusty room, and helping out whoever needed helping. (Mildly interesting fact – the agency had three proper designers, who scared me a bit because they had the cool jobs. And one of them was the mighty Acejet.)
Anyway, I was there today, speaking at this, which was very good and interesting, and I arrived quite early and wandered around the town. And it was sunny and it was pretty beautiful. Leicester looks good in the sunshine.
2009 begins with beards. A print that you can order from a website, found via Russell. I might buy one.
I have got a pile of prints and posters, mostly rolled up in cardboard tubes in the spare room. They are waiting to be hung on the walls of the 'studio'. The 'studio' is the garage at the back of the house. It currently contains bikes, a lawnmower, two big tables, an old fridge freezer that acts as an overflow from the one in the kitchen, some firewood, buckets, garden shears, paint, a mask like the ones that Altern8 used to wear - all of the usual garage stuff.
In 2009 the garage will become the 'studio'. It will be a place to work and think, and might even have a projector in it so that it can be a mini cinema. The project will start soon, but then I was saying that for most of 2008.
However, 2009 feels like the right time to do it, not least because I can then stop using inverted commas when I say the 'studio' and just call it the studio. That would be an improvement.
* It's the largest theatre in London. * It was designed by Frank Matcham, who also did the Hackney Empire, the Palladium and the Victoria Quarter arcades in Leeds (one of my favourite places). * They have no backstage storage area, so after every performance everything (scenery, props etc) is put into trucks and driven to a storage place in east London. And then driven back again for the next performance. * They have a wig room. It was very busy in there. * If you stand near the rail on the top balcony, you start to feel a bit seasick.
On the way home I saw this ad at Copenhagen airport. It was for self-build summerhouses
(at least, that's what it looked like). Hideously Scandinavian. They
looked very cool. I gazed at the ad as I drank one of the best beers
I've had for ages.
Foreign beer tastes better. What's that all about?
I think this is about as high up as I've been in London. It's the top of the HSBC tower in Canary Wharf. You can just make out the Dome out of the window.
It's a few floors taller than the Barclays tower. I bet the HSBC mob quite like that.
I was there to do a talk to some HSBC people. They seemed to enjoy it.
Saw a man with a good beard on the way home. If you're reading this, mystery bearded man, hope you don't mind that I took a picture. I didn't want to wake you up to ask permission - you looked quite happy having a nap.