A recent return trip to the house of commons resulted in a rather odd experience.



For months now, I've wanted to do a picture of the lobby from a certain
angles.With my art box open, on one of the big green sofas. First pencil, I start
to sketch the lobby looking towards the members door, all the details are so
fiddle. I get my expensive pastel out. I feel someone looking at me, I look up to my right and lock eyes with Keith Clark.He staring at me a little bemused.
'Excuse me madam.' To my left is a policeman.' Sorry, the lobby staff have just pointed out that it's against the house
rules to draw in here.''Er, what?'

'Can I see that drawing' I pass up the page.

Along the bottom I have already written 'The house of commons is the campest
building in all of England'

'What's that supposed to mean!?!..' says the policeman

'Er, oh um, It's just that the whole place is covered in gold and angels'. I
realize he thinks, as he's one of the figures in the drawing that I'm
calling him, and his fellow police officers 'Gay'.

'I'm going to have to search your sketch pad, hand it over. Is this the only
one you have with you'

I give him a half finished badly done drawing I started in Westminster hall.

He sits down beside me.

'Have you ever been cautioned, convicted of a crime, served time in jail?'


'Got any ID?

I give him my passport and he tells me to where I am. He goes off to use the

When he comes back, he gets out his stop-and-search form.

'How would you describe yourself?' His pen hovers over White Irish...

I presumed that the war on terror had taken the heat off being Irish, but I
still feel nervous. I tell him what is written on my passport.

He starts to fill in my description. 'So what did you do the drawing with?'

'I started with a pencil outline and started to color it with pastel'.

I watch as this goes down on the stop and search form.

'So when can I get my drawings back?'

'Wait here'

He comes back from the phone,

'Right I've just talked to my boss, you have two choices, you can either
have them destroyed or you can donate them to the police, that's me there.

I can tell by the way I'm standing.'

'Well, they're pretty crap, I was only getting going..'

'Oh come on they show a lot of promise, I'd really like you to donate them,
that's definitely me in the middle.'

'They're unfinished, they look awful...'

'Go on donate them, they're not that bad.'

He's not to let me go until I agree to donate them by the looks of it.
I sign them over to the police and I leave with a brisk walk that wants to
be running.

Outside I realize that I'm shaking and I spot the Red Lion Pub.

Inside I find my self sitting with three journalists, I show them my stop
and search form and they laugh their asses off and buy me a pint.

I don't stop shaking for hours. Bloody hell what just happened.



Replacement of Confiscated Drawing 1

'Lights in westminster hall window'


Replacement of Confiscated Drawing 2

'The house of commons is the campist building in all England'


View from stairway window to public galley Of small courtyard, with broken roof slab and scaffolding and buddleia.

From memory.