On Friday night I got back from a really fun couple of days in Liverpool - thank you for having me Whitefield Primary. Some smashing little illustrators!
I stayed in the rather swish Jury's Inn hotel, which was lovely and right in the middle of things, but the one big drawback to visits that require an overnight stay, is having to eat dinner all on your own.
It was an especially grim prospect on Thursday night, as I had started to come down with a cold as soon as I arrived in school and so by the evening was feeling a little sorry for myself.
I spent ages trying to find the right place: somewhere I could snuggle into; a place where I would feel comfortable and not stick out like a sore thumb.
I eventually spotted a large, but somehow still cosy Italian place called Gusto. They tried to sit me off in a corner (why do they always do that when you're alone?) but I insisted on being more central, so I could sit with my little sketchbook and draw what was going on around me.
I sketched before my meal, with a nice glass of red wine in hand...
and in-between courses...
...and then after my food had been gobbled up:
Drawing passed the time beautifully, gave me a lovely, full sketchbook and completely took my mind off my sore throat and aching head.
It's a funny thing - the last thing you'd think you need when you are unwell, is to spend the entire day on your feet, entertaining and enthusing groups of primary children. Yet, strangely, the task can sometimes be so all-encompassing, that you simply don't have time to remember to feel ill!
So, apart from the occasional hanky-stop, I coped fine on the Friday too. The kids drew their socks off and kept me totally distracted, so it wasn't until I got on the train home that I started to sink.
The weekend was a bit of a write-off of course, but hey-ho.
Here are a couple of sketches I did on the train on the way home from Liverpool on Friday afternoon, again, to take my mind off feeling rubbish and to stop myself falling asleep and missing my stop:
This week I'm out and about some more, so it's a good job I'm feeling reasonably recovered. I'm off today to see the gallery in Salford where my exhibition is to be held in the summer. Tell you about it when I get back!