Now we all know that I can't draw for toffee. It's a good evening's entertainment to sit me down with a piece of paper and a pencil and say
'Lynne, draw those houses.'
It's just not going to look good at all.
The perspective will be shockingly askew, the proportions will be up the swanee, the houses will be wonky and there is no way my brain will figure out how to get the proportions right. Everything gets the naive treatment because I have the drawing ability of a six year old. Cornish artist Alfred Wallis seemed to get away with it, I haven't pulled it off yet.
So it comes as no surprise that I have huge admiration for anyone who can draw properly. Bookhound can, and in his design days, forget computer graphics, he would do a 3D perspective drawing of how someone's kitchen could look and of course they'd want it yesterday.
But if I could draw I think I'd want to be able to draw like Joanna Walsh, famously known as Badaude, in fact I'm seethingly jealous unashamedly envious of her wonderful style. It's a little like I may have been trying to achieve on the covers of my school books when 70's psychedelia was all the thing, and we were forever imitating that big fat loopy distorted font. Joanne has sharpened it into something uniquely 21st century and her drawings are a wonderful lens on life a la everyday.
I am a keen follower of Badaude's blog, once saved her from a ferocious wasp sting whilst at the Port Eliot Festival in fact (where we will both be again this year,) have her posters (signed...to me...) on the wall in my Bookroom, and so when I knew that she had a book coming out entitled London Walks! I had my copy ordered in a thrice.
Devon rambling apart I think I walk further on a trip to London than I do at home. Six miles from home would take me into Tavistock but I'd be a heap by the time I got there if I was still alive that is, after the main road and uphill blind bends with no pavements, so wouldn't dream of doing it. But my pedometer on our last London trip was notching up 16,000 paces a day which is about eight miles, and I hardly knew I'd done it, whilst in Dublin I was doing about nine miles a day. So city walking I like.
Badaude has the consummate eye for the detail, the little observations that are so easy to miss, so whether you live in London and can do these walks easily, or are thousands of miles away and have to imagine them, you will have no trouble enjoying this gorgeous book. In fact you may well think you've been there.
Little snippets of overheard conversation mingle with historical facts and the things that the rest of us may see and forget, but which Badaude has immortalised in a book that has the feel of a living and very vibrant graphic novel. There are plenty of unusual routes to pursue and the eye readily scats across the page and picks up on a little trail to follow, or homes in on the balloons of a conversation, or perhaps when I don't want to eavesdrop and would rather look at what everyone's wearing instead I can meander across the page and stake out the clothes, and here of course Badaude excels...well she excels at all of it really.