When I went out for my celebratory election coffee this morning, the last thing I expected to see was a big ol' warship on my patch of river. I joined the cluster of old men admiring the ship to get the gossip, and they told me that it's the HMS Illustrious, one of the two biggest warships in the British fleet, docked here for the Remembrance Day commemorations.
I was going to have coffee with Jeff the barista, but I had a lot of work to do, and he doesn't have proper tables, so I headed off instead to the National Maritime Museum for their coffee. Just as I was about to dash up the stairs to the cafe, I got waylaid by a new exhibition, Beside the Seaside: Snapshots of British coastal life, 1880-1950. They had some fascinating photos on display, many of which you can see on the website here. (The exhibition runs until 13 April next year.)
There was also a little cinema room showing old advert films for Blackpool and Looe. My favourite part was when some of the old people sitting next to me watching the films started singing along with the soundtrack songs, totally brilliant.
Here's a quick painting I did from a sketch. I don't think I can sell it, since it's almost a direct copy of a photo. (Just curious, does anyone know if selling the painting is legal? The photo was taken in 1906 in Exmouth.) But it was good practice trying to get a cold, watery look. That cocklepicker must've been one tough cookie.