The plane landed at Heathrow at 8:30 am which made it 3:30 am NYC time. I had been up since 6:30 am so it was almost 24 hours awake with just one of those naps where your head keeps dropping and waking you up. That lasted about 30 minutes on the plane and then I went back to movie watching. I was awake but fuzzy around the edges. I successfully purchased an Oyster card for use on the underground and buses , successfully boarded the proper subway and successfully got off at the proper station. There was a temporary suspension of success when I couldn’t orient myself to my carefully annotated map and walked around in a few circles looking for the hotel and talking aloud to myself. Back at the station again I spotted a large map of the immediate area and had the “ah ha!” moment and soon, after a right and a left turn, my feet were leading me directly to the registration desk. Too early for check in so I stowed my luggage with the porter and sat in the lobby to use the wi-fi to confirm a meeting with an as yet un-met facebook friend the next day.


I looked at my map, British Museum was “just over there”, other side of Russell Square. Easy Peasy. A snap to find. Got turned around, lost, feeling stupid cause it’s a big big building and it is in the neighborhood and I can’t find it – can’t follow the stinking map! Things are not boding well. I remembered that there was a Pret a Manger by the tube station so I headed there for some familiar comfort food and coffee, snagged a little table by the window and did some work in my journal. A woman, Elizabeth, asked if she could share the table. She works as a domestic in a hospital and said she used to sketch years ago. I told her about the London sketching meetup group that I was going to be with the following Sunday. After I mentioned that I couldn’t find the British Museum she explained exactly how to get there and pointed in the direction I should head. Thank you Elizabeth. Phew.

In the museum a very old docent with a quivering soft voice was leading a tour of Islamic Art so I joined it. Sigh. I couldn’t hear her at all and the pieces she stopped in front of were so uninspiring that I left in search of other things. I found an interesting print exhibition “Germany Divided: Baselitz and His Generation” and then went in search of things to draw.

It was nice to sketch here. A very relaxed museum.

At one point I sat down to rest my feet and sketched the sculpture, (Thalia, Muse of Comedy, Roman, 2nd century AD),in the center of the large atrium(?). I had no confidence that I could actually do it so I just used the museum map and surprised myself.

Now to redeem myself. Following the map, faultlessly, I walked, on purpose, the Very Long Way from the museum to the hotel, finding myself on Tottenham Court Road at one point. This road would prove to be my main walking route to many places in the following days. The process of orientation had begun.

I arrived at the hotel at 6:00 pm, checked in, retrieved my suitcase and backpack, dropped them off in the room and headed out to the St. Paul’s tube stop. I actually had to change trains. Since I was early and St. Paul’s Cathedral was in front of me and I was obviously delirious from lack of sleep, I decided to sketch a snippet of it.

At 7:00 I joined “Ghosts Of The Old City” walking tour and learned about all sorts of spooky sightings and gruesome, gory happenings. I drew every time we stopped. I have no memory of how I got back to the hotel – did I take the underground or did I walk – but I arrived at about 9:30 with a sandwich, cookie and bottle of water in my hands and 6.9 miles on my pedometer.

I ate in the room, watched TV while working on the journal, and, Keeping Awake Goal successfully attained, I zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Moleskine journal; background Gelli Plate printed with acrylic; Sharpie Ultra Fine pen, Pitt brush pen, Signo Uni-ball (UM-153) white gel pen; and sometimes I add a bit of color with Crayola markers.