Urban exploring is one of my favourite activities, and yesterday I set out for Vauxhall with my artist friend Jill to do some sketching. Icy winds made drawing difficult, but we found plenty of interesting things to look at. Just below the MI5 building are some very angry looking lions. Judging from the tide marks, they must get water up to their noses twice a day which might account for the bad temper. Jill gathered some interesting flotsam (or should that be jetsam?) and we peered at some debris in a dock before stumbling on the old Doulton building, an astonishingly ornate edifice where every surface is decorated with heavily patterned ceramic tiles. It was also a great opportunity to get some inspiration for my forthcoming Thames exhibition, with a bright cold sky and gulls wheeling overhead.