What a brilliant day I had!
I went to a drawing trip to London Zoo with Alexia. I've not been in years, and it was incredible how much it had changed! I remembered it as this slightly dreary place where I used to go with people to talk about relationships and such and draw brown rats climbing up walls and feel sorry for big cats sitting glassy-eyed in the rain. I am not a big fan of zoos, generally. You kind of have to go there sometimes to learn how to draw stuff.
So... the first thing I saw was the gorilla enclosure, normally the most depressing exhibit in a zoo... you know, majestic silverback sitting there all day with a bucket on his head, just taking it off when when the jeering gets too loud to charge at the safety glass - and I just thought: now this is quite an excellent pad, and these guys look like they agree... and then it went on being surprising.
I didn't expect having hummingbirds buzz past my nose, or monkeys cross my path followed by zookepers running after them. I was surprised to be chased off the bench I was going to sit down and do some drawing on by some spindly legged bird hissing like a steam kettle.
There are also leaf-cutter ants walking past people's noses, and you could take the leafs off them in theory... but you look at the jaws of the soldier ants and you don't.
I think I really have to go back and do some serious drawing, maybe a few days in a row.
And if everything's moving to fast, one can always draw the Meerkats. They know how to stand still.
By the way - if you have a British Rail ticket (or a travel card) they let you take a friend in for free - which makes a massive difference seeing it's sixteen quid to go in.
The coffee is evil though, don't drink the coffee. We did and turned into hovercrafts for the rest of the day, gliding about the place wondering if those animals were the right colour.