David McAndrews is a cartoonist and illustrator living in Chesham Bois with is wife and son. His work has featured in various outlets, from Private Eye magazine right through to football fanzines and corporate publications. He does private commissions for the perfect gift, just have a look at http://www.david-mcandrews.com. You can find him on Etsy too, for prints.
• What do you love most about where you live?
I come from North London, so moving to Chesham Bois gave us access to a lovely town and countryside, something that I had previously only really experienced on holidays. It’s great for our little boy too, there are lots of activities and friends for him to play with. There are obvious things to love about the area, great schools, parks, a tube station, but coming from London, the thing I notice and like the most is that people stop to have a chat. It’s funny but many of my cartoons are based around people’s everyday lives. I spend quite a bit of in Caffe Nero because amid the buzz of chatting, the funny (and weird) things that people say to each other often inspire me! If you ever see a chap drawing cartoons in there, feel free to say hello!
As I work for myself and am the main carer for our little boy, most of my time is spent in and around Amersham. I have met some great people; the local mums especially have been really lovely. My little one loves Lindfield Pre-School Nursery, and the staff there are so great I almost don’t want him to leave! I always say to people that I wouldn’t live anywhere else now, it’s a great place to be.
• Your favourite place to:
o Visit locally: at my little boy’s constant suggestion, I seem to spend most of my time in the park behind the library in Amersham.
The Bekonscot model village in Beaconsfield is great fun, and you can visit one of Beaconsfield’s many cafes while you are there.
o Shop at: Waterstones in Amersham. My out of control book-buying is enabled by their lovely staff!
o Go for a meal at: Barracuda for brunches and lunches. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t go there. It’s fantastic. Reasonable, good quality and quick service. We go to Artichoke for special dinners. Obviously the number of special dinners have to be kept to a minimum!
• How do you relax?
I’d like to say that I engage in Pilates or Yoga, or some other noble and worthwhile activity, but I actually spend most of my limited relaxation time hiding in my front room with a book or my drawing pad. If I am disturbed in these pursuits, I pretend I’m asleep. On a sunny weekend, The Crown in Old Amersham is a lovely place to have a drink outside with friends.
• What’s your favourite tipple?
• Top dinner party guest (and why)?
The author, JG Ballard. He was an inspirational chap, not just because he was such a prolific and brilliant writer, but also because he did this while bringing up three children on his own. Much of today’s discourse about work/family issues focuses on mums juggling work and childcare, he is a reminder to me that dads can do it too (if a bit messily sometimes, in my case)! From the land of the living I would invite Ed McLachlan, just a fantastic Private Eye cartoonist, his view of the dark side of human nature is always brilliantly funny.
• Favourite Meal?
Rib of Beef, Dauphinoise potatoes and roasted beetroot.
• Favourite Book?
I very much enjoyed Michael Axworthy’s “Iran: Empire of the Mind”. Amid the politics, revolution and casual brutality, it is easy to forget that modern Iran (and Persia of yesterday) once and is a cultural powerhouse, with an important artistic, literary, architectural and scientific history.
As a child I loved the “Nicolas” series of books by Rene Goscinny. They are the everyday tales of a boy and his gang, and if you have children they will love them. The illustrations by Sempé are beautifully simple, too!
• One thing on your bucket list?
I’d like to visit the Deep South of the USA. I read “Deep South” by Paul Theroux and his book brought to life a world that is troubled and beautiful in equal measure. On a less thoughtful note, I love barbeque too!
• Website: http://www.david-mcandrews.com