For our prompt of “Landmark” today, I decided to sketch a London phone booth being inspected by a little bunny. I’ve only been to London once in my life, but it was such a fun trip. Big Ben came to mind first actually, but I’d already sketched that one before so I figured I’d try something different. These booths, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, were voted a national favorite for their design, but they don’t have a lot of practical use these days for their originally intended purpose. Some have been converted into little miniature libraries as a way of swapping books, which I think is super cool. It’s lovely to know that visual icons like this get repurposed rather than removed. As beautiful as the design may be, the ornate features would never get made today. Everything now gets a bit streamlined to reduce costs and all of the wonderful ornamentation from the past is removed in the process. Seeing one is like traveling back in time, and that’s a wonderful thing indeed.

Though they look really cool, I have to admit that having a cell phone when you’re wandering around a foreign country is much preferred. I remember using phone cards to attempt to call home, which always felt a bit complex to figure out. Yet, it was actually rather nice to be removed from one reality a bit entirely and only enjoying a new and exciting one. These days, travel isn’t something many of us are doing, so it’s fun to recall past trips. Also, London came to mind because Philippe and I have been watching the newest version of The Adventures Of Paddington and it’s adorable. Sure, it’s meant for little kids, but it reminded me why I loved Paddington so much as a kid. It’s so sweet and kind, but actually comes packed with lovely messages that don’t talk down to kids so its equally sweet for adults. And it firmly established that he’s still my favorite childhood character. Though technically a London transplant since he’s actually from Peru, of course.

As the final hours of the weekend begin to come to a close, I’m grasping them tightly as I always do and wishing there were just a few more! Today was a beautiful day outside and I spent some time just sitting there and watching the birds in the trees. There was a particular woodpecker that became a thing of fascination for me so I got a bit lost watching its antics. And tonight, Philippe and I will enjoy something lovely for dinner. I’m not sure what he’s going to make, but I’m kind of hoping it’s gumbo or chili as I’m ready for some food with a bit of an autumn feel. Our dog Phineas, of course, is just ready for food at the moment and he’s currently staring me down as a way to tell me he’s unpleased to be kept waiting this long. It’s only been five minutes, but that’s quite a lot more in dog minutes. So, I should tend to him while in the back of my mind, I’m still thinking about those lovely memories of a London phone booth.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Ultramarine (Green Shade), and Terra Cotta. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Click here!
London Phone Booth Rabbit Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail

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29 thoughts on “London Phone Booth

  1. Well done, Charlie! It’s so nice to know that these wonderful old “landmarks” are being saved and repurposed. It always makes me sad to see something old being torn down and discarded without any thought to how it could be used again.

  2. I haven’t been traveling overseas since I got a cell phone but it definitely made it easier to call my brother when he was living in London and Ecuador. Those phone cards were a nightmare. Once when I was out of State on a business trip, I got trapped overnight at the airport when my connecting flight was canceled due to snow. I needed to let Patrick know. Of course, there was a huge line at the phones, and trying to get all those codes typed in correctly was impossible, and everyone was yelling at you to hurry up, .A good way to make a miserable situation even more miserable!

  3. That’s a great painting! When I spent a semester abroad someone discovered one of these phone booths that let people call the U.S. Cheap or free. I didn’t get to use it and in fact I can’t remember calling home at all. I was never one for homesickness anywhere I went. These days I do wish I could go to Door County just for the beaches. Also, I’m stuck at home.

  4. So pretty! I want to go to London so bad! I love England! 💜 The phone booth is so iconic of England. I love it!
    I couldn’t get pizza out of my mind so that’s what we had for dinner. And it was goooood! 😀

  5. Great phone booth Charlie! The English one’s where always so much cooler than the one that was in the middle of my tiny home town when I was growing up. We never had the Beatles or Doctor! I use to think it would be cool to have one in my house when I grew up. Random memories. I hope you have a calmer week!

  6. Great doodle, Charlie. When my daughter and I went to London earlier in the year, we were amused to see tourists queuing to have their photos taken in something, that to us is an everyday object . I live out in the countryside and there is one at the end of our road. You’re right about re-purposing them. Some have been turned into tourist information booths.

  7. Hello Charlie,

    Thats a lovely London phone booth and the bunny seems to be trying to prioritize who he’s going to call first. And I too love how they’ve been repurposed into book swapping libraries. You’re right, cell phones are great but I miss phone booths sometimes. They allowed one the choice of only being accessible to people when you wanted to be. Cellphones kind of took that away. Also the Bill & Ted movies gave phone booths a magical meaning. I hope you enjoy your lovely dinner and Phineas enjoys his. 🙂


    1. Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 So true!! I loved those Bill and Ted movies! I want to watch the latest one… hehe… but Philippe has never seen them so I’ll have to watch on my own some afternoon! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

  8. Wow! Nice sketch! For a split second, I wondered if they have rabbits in London. Well of course they do, that’s where Peter lives! No fact checking with me, I go to my imaginary mind for my resources. 🙂

  9. Great work. The adorable stretch of the bunny reminds me of my cat sneaking up on the kitchen garbage. Those were the days when we had such beautiful designs and life was less complicated.

  10. Thanks for a lovely memory of my visit to England. We went to a museum that held some of the older models of these booths..they were wonderful! and I love Paddington…Another busy weekend for me..not much time for painting or drawing but I will make up for it during the week…Thanks again!

  11. I hadn’t realized that London refashioned the iconic red phone booths into book swapping receptacles. We have the book swap program in my area of Washington Park here in Denver, and someone’s taken their woodworking hobby to a delightful wooden house replica, which now contains books to share! I think that’s lovely, and while I’ve only used it a few times (the selections are kinda cruddy), I marvel at the kindness behind these tiny book homes. Another sad reminder that a newer generation is riding the crest of the wave to replace us, our inventions, our happiness and joy with kind, simple things, like the booth, your woodpecker, and the gifts you bring to us each day. Loved the booth and the bunny, Charlie!

    1. Thanks so much, Fanna! 😃💕 Thrilled you enjoyed this one! Yeah, I was excited to know that these booths are being preserved. Sometimes we move on in history assuming the next best thing is actually better. Yet, there’s a treasure trove to be found in what’s come before us!

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