Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Animals, animals, everywhere

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It's been a bit since I posted the last time. And I must say I've drawn more than I've posted, because yes, I am feeling quite lazy on the internet lately... also today!
So I won't write much, just... enjoy the illustration :)


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Outdoors

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These are days of lots of tension. Things happening around in Catalonia that make me be more attached to my computer than I usually like to. 
I am mostly an outdoors person, I am, most of my free time, as soon as I can, outdoors, in the forest, in the mountains, in the fields, with my dog, or otherwise sketching around. But these days, as soon as I am back, as soon as I finish the immediate work, there am I, again checking the newspaper, to see if something new has happened. Today I had some free time. And instead of loosing it checking the latest news, I just took my stuff and spend a good moment sketching that corner I had been waiting for the perfect light to come. The light wasn't perfect at all, but the moment I passed there it was :) A moment way from the world.



Sunday, October 15, 2017

Jus de Pomme

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This morning we were selling apple juice with the Crozet Ski Club, to gather money to finance the children's activities. The juice was made by some of the parents, with apples from the region, and it was really good! Kids sold, adults talked, and I sketched. 


Friday, October 13, 2017

Ovejitas 

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After being the whole summer up in the mountains, sheep are back to the fields! It is now a week that they are around in Crozet, and we've seeing them every day in our way in and back from school. Today, finally, I had a quiet moment to sketch them. With the sound of their bells, the sun and the fields around, that was a perfect peace moment too.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Moments to sketch

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I sketch in my "dead" moments. Others read, look at their phones or stare through a window. During the school year, these come while having to wait somewhere while they do an activity. Today, while my daughter was in her dance class, I went to the bank, then I sketched one of the musicians playing drums!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Loving Autumn

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I love seasons and the changes they bring. I embrace them, and enjoy it. Every season  has its own charm. And I do really love Autumn as well :)



Saturday, September 30, 2017

This year's art exhibition

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Still ongoing, this weekend takes place the annual art and artisan exhibition in Crozet. This year I am exposing around 20 artworks, four of them illustrations, and the other sketches that I've done around in the Pays de Gex. So far the balance is very good, many people joined us yesterday for the vernissage, and this afternoon, although quieter than during the inauguration (of course!), the flow of people was constant and the room was never empty. And, at this point I've sold three of my works, all of them from Crozet!

This is a scene I sketched this afternoon during my shift. Maybe tomorrow I get to sketch some more... or not, one never knows!


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Vide grenier 2017

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Another year, another vide grenier in Crozet! 
And, for the second year in a row, under a beautiful sun!

(If you don't remember what a vide grenier is, I invite you to check last year's entry, where I explain it in detail.)

This year, as usual, the night before I planned to get there very early, at first hour. And as usual, reality was way more relaxed and we only got there at around 10:30 in the morning. We walked around, got a little dinosaur for our youngest kid, and then I just looked for a spot to draw while my daughter had some fun with her old school friends and my husband and the two boys walked our dog back home. 

Drawing in the vide grenier is always funny, because there's lots of people who come by, comment, and give me nice conversation. The most eager talkers are children!
 After this first sketch we've grabbed some food at the buvette (the bar) for lunch. At the vide grenier, food is cooked by Crozet's grannies, and there are also hot dogs for the kids, so the choice to stay is easy! After lunch, I've stayed a bit longer for another quick sketch while my family went back home. 





























Next week, La Foulée, and also the Arts Association in Crozet annual exhibition! :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Running pal

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I think it was in my latest "little girl" post that I said that my dog had brought me closer to nature. This has happened in many ways but the most evident one is the passion we have developed, together, to run and climb mountains. 

More than a year ago, I started doing this just to give us a different walk. Because, really, every day, three times per day, doing the same three walks, for I don't know how many years... Oh, boy, I understand why people stops getting their dogs regular walks! We are lucky to live in the mountains, close to fields, forests and places full with trails with no cars around. So the option was obvious. We started with "special" walks, that then became more regular and longer, that with time became faster, with us running part of the time and which later became a real sport that we practise together. I even ended up having all the special gear, a GPS watch and one of these applications where you can compete with other people who passed by the same trail. 

Now, several days a week, we run and climb together the mountains and forests close by. And how much fun this is. I like the effort up, the speed running down, and the sound of my dog's sleigh bell around. These days, my dog is happy because cooler days are here, I am happy because he cares to wait for me (in Summer he's behind all times), and we both enjoy the mud when it rains :)


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Los colores de Jujuy
Jujuy's colours

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This week that I've been back to work and the children to school I've found some calm to draw for my pleasure again. I didn't have a clear idea of what to do, just let the pencil move in the paper. And then this came out. The beautiful and impossible colors of Jujuy. 
I hope I will be back again, to run in those mountains some more, and to draw them some more. Because one cannot ever get enough of them.




Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Back to reality

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Yesterday it was the first day of school, and today it has been the first drawing class of the school year. This has pushed me back to my real life, and yes, I am not on holidays anymore, not in Argentina anymore. I will keep explaining the trip and sharing the sketches, but I guess real life will interrupt me more often now! 

In this year classes I have few new children, the groups have been reshaped, and my little school has grown a bit more. It is a "contained growth", manageable and one which still allows me to do all the other things I like to do besides teaching. And as it turns out, I was ready for the first class: the studio clean, more organised, more space, activity ready. But already tonight I haven't slept well. I had a torticollis which tortured me during the whole night, because I was tense and nervous. Today as the time approached my stomach was hard as a stone... One would think these things pass with experience but apparently not in my case!

Despite all my nervousness and excitement, the class has been great, kids have been fantastic, we've had fun with a drawing game, and we're all ready for the coming classes. I am happy :) 

Then, as reality is hard, I've come back to driving my daughter around (yay!). This year however she has dropped some of the things she was doing so both her and I will be more relaxed (real yay!). Today, she has started with her new guitar class, and while I was waiting for her, outside the school, with the perfect temperature, I could only do one thing, sketch! 

This is a foldable bike at the door of the music school. I didn't ask them why they have it there because it gives the impression of just being decorative. A bike is always a nice subject to draw. And yes, reality is not that bad :) Keep bringing me days like this one please, it was perfect :)

.


Saturday, September 2, 2017

Already in Tilcara

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We passed the first day in Jujuy right there where we were staying, in Tilcara. The car stayed parked at the hostel, and we visited everything by foot, starting with the ancient village of El Pucará, and after that hiking to La Garganta del Diablo, a waterfall at about 5km from Tilcara.




The visit to the Pucará was impressive: the place, its situation and also the explanations by the native guide, who already from the first moment gave us a nice perspective about the place we were in. And yes, Jujuy is The Earth, and the Human connected to it, a profound bond that travels back in time to the most ancient civilizations. Jujuy is the earth, the dust, the mountains and its canyons open like if they were wounds. Jujuy is color contrast, nature and ancestral cultures. And still many things I could not finish to describe.

While children were playing among the reconstructed houses of the Pucará, I managed to sketch the view of the valley towards Humahuaca. Light wasn't yet at its most, but what a wonder anyway.

Then we got lost in the streets of that ancient town that in its best times was home to a thousand, enjoying the landscape, the stones, and the giant cactus (cardones). 

After the Pucará, we bought some tortillas with ham and cheese and started our hiking towards La Garganta del Diablo. Even in winter, there, in the north, right in the tropic, with the sun over our heads, weather was ideal for an excursion. In the way in I stopped at a crossing for a quick sketch, while everyone took a sip of water.

We finally got there, had lunch and spent a bit playing with the water. My husband and I ran to the natural waterfall together with a street dog that had accompanied us since Tilcara. He was black as our dog Ludo, and it almost felt like having him with us. In the way back to Tilcara I stayed a bit longer to sketch some little stands by the road, and ran part of the way back to catch up with the family. That day was great. 


Friday, September 1, 2017

En Route!!

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The road to Jujuy from Buenos Aires is long. In fact almost everyone looked as us as we were crazy because we were going by car. We were 10 in total, my family of 5, plus my sister's family of 4, plus their little dog Cambá. We rented a van for the trip, which worked wonderfully. The trip passed very well for everyone, despite the large distances.

It is a bit more than 1500 km from Buenos Aires to Tilcara, in Jujuy, which we did in two stages. The way-in route is marked in red in the map below. The first night we spent it in Fernandez in the province of Santiago del Estero, and then the day after we arrived in Tilcara, where we spent 5 nights.



To avoid the big cities beltways, at some point we deviated from the main Route 9 and took a smaller one. We weren't super lucky because the route was full of trucks. Really full. Like it must have been a ban for trucks some days before and they left all at the same time, together with us. Right after passing Rosario, in the province of Santa Fe, already the first trucks...






We arrived late in the night to our hotel, but happy.

The day after things were calmer, and we traveled much faster. In the afternoon we were already in the beautiful Jujuy, in Tilcara. Oh, that was a moment, really. During the trip we also passed interesting places. For example Güemes, where its multiple red lights allowed me to sketch its main road :) 






















Already quite in the north, weather was also getting warmer, sunnier, and we felt welcome and happy for the days to come.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Empanadas y bizcochitos de grasa

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The afternoon before our trip to Jujuy is one of my best memories. A moment full of illusion and expectation for the adventure to come, everyone eager, our hearts full of plans and ready to live the experience we were about to share. Because for me and for my sister, traveling like this with our families, all together, was a dream that was finally coming true. And as reality is, it wasn't perfect, but it was perfect in its own :)

While packing, my sister prepared empanadas of meat and of cheese for our trip, and also "bizcochitos de grasa", an Argentinian speciality not as known as empanadas and alfajores but so so good as well. They are like salty cookies made with cow's grease instead of butter or oil. And, once you start eating one, well, you can't stop.

And there, in that moment, we shared a coffee, Djas cooked, I drew, and my son Bruno dreamed of the flavors those wonderful smells would bring to.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Family tour

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The first days in Buenos Aires before our trip to Jujuy in the north, we saw family and good family friends. And yes, this is what Argentina is for me and now for my own family: our family country and a deep connection with our origins. The visiting was so intense that at some point my children would wake up and ask: "whose house are we going today, mum?" 

The first of our visits was to my cousin Anna's house. She has my age, and two boys close in age to mine, so it was great. My cousin is just fantastic. She's always engaged and generous and I love her so much. She's changed house since the last time I'd seen her, the new house is an old charming one, and it was such a delight drawing it while we ate pizza and the kids played around. Besides Anna and her family, we saw my aunt Marta and my cousin Caco, Caco always so funny, Marta so attentive and gentle. She will be reading this, I know, así que tía Marta, te mando un abrazo muy grande, espero volver pronto a veros. That evening I also met my cousin Maria and her two beautiful daughters. A truly special occasion for us. Thank you Anna, for organising all this.




























The day after we went to see my godmother and my mother's best friend, Ana (yes, there are many important Anas and Annas in my life!!). Even though we ate a lot, there was a lot of food left. And yes, this is the same everywhere: when people invites you to their house they offer you the best, and you always eat like you were not to eat in a week! But Ana and Carlos were beating all records here :) This is the view of the living room from the dining table, of course :D



























The following day we visited my other sister in Argentina, Laura, and my nephew Juani. Juani is just one year older than my middle one and they played greatly along. It was a pleasure see them together, as it was to see my sister again. Because Argentina is so far away from Europe and I don't get to see my sisters as often as I would like to. I got to see Laura a bit more after that day, and to spend some time with her alone. And now writing this is difficult because I miss her so much.





























After these visits I still saw my aunt Maria Inés who I hadn't yet met. There is no sketch of that one because we were in a bar and well, we were too busy talking. It was impressive to look at her eyes and see how much she resembled to my mother. And now, well, when I hear my mum's voice I hear hers as well because they are so so similar. I am so happy to have finally met her in this occasion, and happy that the sketch will come next time. She will be reading this as well so, tía María Inés, te mando un abrazo fuerte y espero verte pronto otra vez.

And well, this is mostly it before Jujuy. Only preparations are left. But preparations are part of the trip, so this will come some other day :)

Friday, August 18, 2017

At my sister's home

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As my head started to become in order after our trip, we spent the week putting order in our house as well. For those actually knowing my home, they'll know how big endeavour this is!! I can try to describe the mess of a family of 5 with a dog, where obviously the dog is the least messy of all, but I would fail to do it. I have drawn it several times, but drawings are always generous, and the mess takes a somehow charming personality which is not what you end up feeling when you live in the middle of it! 

Today it was the turn of the kitchen, and as we were cleaning it, we were listening to the Argentinian folklore we had in our van while driving through Jujuy. And all these emotions came back, specially when this song, Para los ojos más bellos, by Los Manseros Santiagueños, started playing. Then I thought, well, it is time for an entry today.

All these days in Argentina we were with my sister Djas and her family. Either in Buenos Aires at their home, or with them through our trip to the North of Argentina. The first day, we had a coffee and started to look in the map the route we'd follow to Jujuy. With a warm coffee, nice conversation, and lots of illusion to share these moments the two families together.

While we talked I drew. And these are the two doors of my sister's house. Sure there are many more doors. But these are THE doors, and they are beautiful.



























Another moment, another special spot at my sister Djas house, the interior window between the kitchen and the dinning room, with all the ceramics by my sister.






































Open doors, open windows, and open arms. This is what we always find when we go back to our family in Argentina.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Argentina

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It is already a week since we came back from our family holiday to Argentina, and it is now when I find everything I need to post the first entry. Because it is not only time that I need, but also to put in order my head, and to find some calm. Going back to Argentina is not like going to anywhere else in the world, but it is going back to my origins, to understand many things, to confront many others, to see the family, and, in this occasion, also to travel around the country.

I have many drawings from this three week trip. I don't think I will share all of them, I also do not have a specific plan to share them. So I will just post what I feel like when I feel like, and see what it comes out of it. But anyway, today, I will start from the beginning.


The trip

We flew to Buenos Aires from Geneva via Frankfurt, two planes, and in the end making a 24 hour trip from our house door in Crozet, to my sister's Djas home, in Buenos Aires. Because the secret to draw in a trip is to start drawing right away, I did a few drawings already at the airport.



View from the Airport Gate in Geneva.
Everyone is so excited, and I wonder where my husband is.


As always at stations, trains, or I should say everywhere, people at the gate were taken away by their phones, and not at all aware that I was drawing them!



In the first flight I took a seat in the corridor, so I could draw some more. I've done this kind of sketch before, and I always like it. My children behaved wonderfully and I could draw with no interruption.


It took another flight to get to Buenos Aires. Then a huge line in immigration, and then some traffic from the airport to the city. But finally we made it to my sister's house. But that was another day, and so it will be another day here :)

Monday, July 10, 2017

At Groove Guitare

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This afternoon while my daughter was taking a test class at Groove Guitare, in Ornex, I sat there to draw their entrance hall. I am not super satisfied with my sketch, but since she liked her test class, I guess I'll have more occasions in the future to take a better grasp of it :)




Monday, June 26, 2017

Our wild chicken coop


Last Saturday it was 21 days since one of our hens has been incubating... so you can well imagine that these days there's a bit of excitement going around our chicken coop. We expect, if we are lucky, some little chicks to come out soon! I must say I don't take care of the chickens unless my husband is not around, but these last weeks I've been going over twice a day at least to check on the hen, and now, to see if there's some activity around. So far we haven't been lucky, as we only found an egg with a dead little chick... but there are still 4 to be born, and we keep our fingers crossed!

Today, as I went to check, I stayed a bit longer to draw again the chicken coop... which is, yes, in a quite wild state... 


Monday, June 19, 2017

Usual paths

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I pass by this little hut quite often, during runs or when going out with my dog, but I never stopped to draw it before, for reasons you might imagine ;) Today, both my husband and I were with the dog, so I proposed him to continue with the walk and come back for me in their way back so I could stay there drawing. And, oh, I enjoyed it so much. Drawing in the forest, under the leaves' changing shades, with the sound of birds and other insects. I told myself I should do it more often.

This is a little hut in the little forest path that joins Crozet with La Source de l'Allondon, a beautiful spot where the river Allondon is born, and where we usually take our dog for a bit of swimming. Behind the hut there's a little bee farm, that maybe I'll get to draw some other day.



Thursday, June 8, 2017

I do not learn. Sketching with my dog

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Yes, I do not learn. Because despite all my plans and hopes, my dog is not a great companion for when I go sketching. He can be, but only if he's extra super tired and if it is real real hot. Otherwise, any interruption in what in his regard is HIS walk, is totally unfair. And yes, I know this, since a long time.

But today I thought, well, we've been in the mountains, so maybe he will welcome some rest. The day is beautiful, and I have just finished the first complete draft of the project I am working on right now, so I took today off. Part of the plan was, after the mountains in the morning, go out to draw in the afternoon. I wasn't initially planning on taking him, but all my wisdom vanished when he looked at me with this hope that he always has when I am going out. So I thought, well, why not, let's try, maybe after the mountain...

Well, the minute I stopped, I must say in a nice shade for both of us, and started unfolding my stool... the poor dog was so so disappointed, he has started moaning and moaning, finally half accepting the situation - oh yes she's really stopping here. Then after two minutes a moaning session again, then acceptation, then moaning. So even if I had almost 2 hours before having to be at school to pick up my children, I did my sketch in 10 minutes that seemed like an hour, and then walked in the fields for an hour more with my dog. Now it may read frustrating, but not really, as it is always good practice to sketch real fast, and I also enjoyed a lot the walk in the fields :)























My sketch at the top, and a picture of the poor victim, looking away with frustration here below:


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

If he doesn't mind, neither do I

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Having a dog has changed my life in so many great ways. I would say one of the most important changes has been in my relationship with nature. Not only my dog has brought me to have a much more active life, but also to really enjoy Nature as it comes. Because, if he doesn't mind, neither do I.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Rehearsal of the Echo du Reculet

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It's been a while since the last time, but today I was back to sketch one of the rehearsals of the Echo du Reculet. Some of the people that I sketched before are not there anymore, some are still and forever playing their instruments, others joined not so long ago. But again it was such a pleasure to sketch listening to their music. Thanks for a lovely evening, Echo du Reculet :)














Click on the image to view it larger.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Picnicando

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With the good weather, picnic and barbecue season is open! Today we've been at La Perle du Lac, in Geneva, with friends. It was so hot we even took a swim in the lake Léman. This is one of the views we had from where we were sitting, the Musée d'Historie des Sciences, and some people sunbathing and I'd say melting under that strong midday sun!



Saturday, May 20, 2017

La médiathèque

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The first time I went to the Esplanade du Lac, this afternoon, I was lucky the médiathèque was open. Such a relaxing experience drawing in this quiet place full of books. Now I am going back to the Esplanade in like 20 minutes, not sure I will be able to draw... but I'll bring my stuff just in case!


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

L'Esplanade Du Lac

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This week we're going to be a lot in here. My daughter is having her dance and chorale singing shows of the year, 4 shows in total, two general rehearsals... A lot. Today was the rehearsal for the first of the shows, I went a bit earlier to pick her up, and I had time for a little sketch :) 

Another wonderful sunny-summerlike day here, in the Pays de Gex :D














Click to view it larger

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Smelling of Summer

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What a wonderful day today. Hot and sunny, everything green. Mid-may and smelling of Summer. I had a bit of time before my afternoon class and I absolutely wanted to spend some time outdoors... but I had promised myself to take a rest, so... that called for a sketch!!

This one is right in my village, Crozet, the mairie at the right, some little houses, the little hutch where things to eat are sold during parties, and my beloved Jura in the back. And yes, it really felt like a beautiful Summer day, in May. And how lucky is that: we're having another one like this tomorrow!



Sunday, April 30, 2017

Beautiful Yvoire

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Today we went to Yvoire, again all of us. And again everyone was happy. The village is just beautiful, with its small medieval houses, the flowers everywhere, the lake, the mountains behind. While everyone was playing in the rocks, I took a wonderful spot for a sketch. Even tourists found funny to take pictures of someone sketching in the picturesque old village.

Yvoire, I've told you this before, and now I'm telling you again: I will be back!!























And a picture of the scene, by my sister in law


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Back to the mountains

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There couldn't be a best place for us to live than right where we are. In a small village, right in the mountains, with amazing views and beautiful playgrounds for all, children, parents and dog. 

This long weekend my sister-in-law is visiting us, and since it was such a beautiful sunny day we did a short family excursion to the Chapelle de Riantmont, in Vesancy. It was new for all of us, and it worked beautifully. I could even do two sketches! 

This one is the Chapelle:



And just turning myself around, a view that is much appreciated by everyone around here, the Panorama of the Montblanc:














What a wonderful afternoon! Coming back home, everyone was happy.


To finish, a picture of me and my daughter sketching, taken by my sister in law:
























Friday, April 28, 2017

Drawing in London VI: People!

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Traveling with other people who's not sketching, the best moment to draw is usually while commuting. And that's what I did. Sketch people in the train, in the tube, from the airport, to the airport, from the house, to the house... 

Usually sketching people from that close is challenging, because you never know how they will take it if they notice, but I should say that in the train they were mostly all so deeply taken by their screens that they didn't notice a thing. Only one, the second day, he was reading, and with his smile invited me to continue drawing.

So here a small sample of the people in London :)

People in the train, going back home the first day, and to the Harry Potter studios the day after: 



Women in the train to London Bridge, the last day.

PEOPLE IN THE TRAIN,
They look at their phones...
while I draw them
WHO IS HAVING MORE FUN?



A couple of men going to work, in the same train, after I had changed seats looking for some more models...




People in the tube, Piccadilly line to Heathrow, also the last day. We headed towards the airport at around 16:30h, and the tube was full ;)



And, to finish, a little riddle for these two last sketches which are actually in the same double page of my sketchbook:

More people in the tube
All of them looking
   at their phones....
EXCEPT ONE!

Can YOU guess WHO??





And this ends my London series... until next time!