Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Blurry in Moorfields

With the arrival of some unusual floaters in my right eye on Sunday afternoon, I headed to Moorfields Eye Hospital yesterday morning, which happens to be about ten bus stops down the road from where we live. It was an eye-opening experience in more ways than one: I sat in a succession of waiting rooms (never for too long, and sometimes only for a few minutes) as I worked my way through the system, and was eventually told that my eye is only acting in the way that it may when it's been around for half a century, and that things should settle down over the next month or so. I'm heading back for scan results in about 10 days' time.

With some goop put in my eyes to numb them and to dilate the pupils, I couldn't devote my waiting time to reading the small print of the Guardian I'd naively brought with me, but drawing was surprisingly enjoyable, and the haziness of the results I can put down — in part, anyway — to my blurred vision.

This morning I awoke to a wonderful soft focus effect through my right eye, lending a romantic tinge to gritty Stoke Newington, and giving the effect you'd expect if viewing gorgeous, love-struck couples running through wheatfields hand-in-hand to soaring orchestral music. Film noir continues unabated through the left eye.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Heron Tower, Bishopsgate

While I am sitting drawing in one of the many cafes on Bishopsgate, younger daughter is on a school trip to Heron Tower, the modern tower with the zigzags in the centre of my drawing. She was whisked up with her year 5 class to the 21st floor where they met two architects who had been working on the recently opened 46-storey building. They showed them their drawings, before the children drew their own views of the city through the windows as they lay on their stomachs on the floor.

I saw some of their drawings in the school corridor a couple of days later as I waited to meet her teacher for the end-of-term report. They were great, really excellent (as was her report). Why didn't I get school trips like that? When did I last make a drawing lying on my stomach?