Monday, 2 May 2016
Beijing Here I Come!!!!
Ages and ages ago, I was chatting via email with author Julia Jarman. We talked about this and that, then she mentioned that she had been invited to Beijing, to visit an International School, but she wasn't very keen to go. She thought it might be a little scary in China on her own, so she was thinking of turning them down. Purely as a joke, I quipped that she should ask the school if they wanted an illustrator too, then we could go together. Which is how it began.
Over a year later, Julia and I have visits booked at 6 different Beijing schools - 9 day's work - and we will be there for two and a half weeks. Quite an adventure. I imagine that it will be very hard work, a bit like World Book Day week with knobs on, but I do like new and interesting experiences, plus we will get weekends to explore. Of course, I'm hoping I'll have enough energy left over to sketch a bit too.
I have been to China before, but a very long time ago. In 1988, I back-packed around the north of China for 6 weeks, with a friend. It is probably the single most challenging, but also exciting thing I have ever done. That's when these sketches were done.
Apart from sights like The Forbidden City, I can't imagine that there will be much that is recognisable about Beijing now. Things were still very traditional at that time and there were certainly no gleaming, glass structures. It will certainly be fascinating to see the changes for myself.
We are due to fly out mid September, which I fully expect to be here before I know it. Yeehah!