Monthly Archives: October 2012

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, October 30
Sitting in Restaurants & Losing Track of Time Edition
The morning started as any other, slowly.
The Redcoat and I tip-toed around the apartment drinking coffee and reading reports from the storm with our eyes wide and our mouths hanging open as we waited for my parents to get up.  Around 9:30 I realized Oh, it’s Tuesday! and fetched my camera.
This is what my boots look like after our long and muddy walk through the Cotswolds on Sunday.
Mid-morning came and went.  I continued to scroll through the news as I finished some work.
Around noon I had a small bite to eat and prepared to leave for a day of playing the tour guide and eating a lot.  So so so much eating.  And drinking, too.
I haven’t been using it as much as I ought to these days, but I still never go anywhere without my pen.
After walking through Hobbit Town, which my parents loved, of course, we stopped in a restaurant for a proper midday meal. 
Mum and Dad came here with the opinion that English food is terribleterribleterrible and thought they’d likely starve for most of the trip.  They’re happy to report, however, that they’ve actually loveloveloved the food in the UK and are dining like foreign dignitaries.
(If there’s one thing I can consistently deliver on, it’s finding a good meal.)
The Redcoat and I left my parents to an evening of solo exploration and hopped on a train to London to meet some friends visiting from California.
We met them at the St. Martin’s Lane Hotel.  Owned by the Morgans Hotel Group, the bar consistently delivers on both style and quality cocktails. We like that.
Somewhere around this time, I think I lose an hour, but bear with me…
Our friends, who are lovely, admitted that they hadn’t eaten well since arriving in London.  They found the food mediocre and the restaurants unwelcoming.  David and I were appalled and decided to save them from another terrible meal by making a last-minute reservation for the four of us at St. John, a restaurant where I would happily dine every day for the rest of my life.
I get a little self-conscious whipping my camera out at dinners with people I’ve only just met, so I escaped to the bathroom for this shot.  I look vacant and terrible, but whatever.
My necklace and my camera strap are BFF. 
After a stunning dinner, David and I took our friends to the St. Pancras Hotel.
Perhaps you remember the stunning tequila drink I once had at the Booking Office?
Well, I asked the bartender to re-create it.  This was the first attempt.
And this was the second.  It was quite delicious but not as exemplary as the cocktail on my previous visit.
Like I said, we lost an hour somewhere, but I know for certain that I took this picture at 22:00.
After a night of much laughter, David and I made our way home where we promptly went to sleep after an ever-so-brief visit with my parents.

Happy Halloween, friends!  And, as always, thank you for reading!

Boxed Wine & Tough Times

I just returned from a weekend in the Cotswolds with my parents.  We’ve been drinking too much red wine and laughing long into the nights.  I’m really glad they’re here and am looking forward to much more laughter throughout the rest of this week, too. 

That being said, not everyone is having such a spectacular time these days and my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who’s been affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Be brave, you guys, and be kind; you’ll be back on your feet and running in no time.  xox

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, October 23
Birthday Edition
 A quiet morning. 
House work is the order of the day because my parents are coming tomorrow!
There is much to be done.
The painting, it never ends.
The fog, it never leaves.
And the heart is full of love though my hands are very tired.
My belly is hungry and I pause for a snack.
As I eat, I massage my hands which are sore from gripping a paint brush for hours every day. 
Eventually I finish painting the bedroom and lay down the brush.
I line the bath tub with newspaper and spray paint four brackets black.
As I wait for them to dry, I do some tidying around the house.
After a long, hot shower, I blow dry my hair.  This is on the ground at my feet.
I hang the laundry on the window and tuck myself into bed with my laptop.
Work does not hold for birthdays.
I indulge in a birthday glass of wine as I go through my check list.
There is still much to do.
The Redcoat does not think I should work any longer.
He thinks I should get dressed so we can go out for a birthday meal.
I oblige.
A simple meal at the Hotel Du Vin.
We talk and laugh and celebrate a little.  
After dinner, we relocate to the bar for a proper drink.
The Manhattans are good and we celebrate some more.
 And then we are tired.
I say goodnight to the celery and we go home.
Tomorrow is a big day, my parents are coming!
There is still much to do.
Dearest reader, 
My birthday was lovely.  It was simple, productive, and quiet. 
I was enormously touched by all the kind words from friends and family- my people are the best people and I love them ginormously.
My parents arrived this morning and I’m happy to have them here, even though my house isn’t as perfect as I’d like it to be.  Over the next ten days, we will go on many adventures together and I will share those adventures with you, eventually.  I don’t know how often I’ll get to post in these coming days, but I will not forget you.  I will never forget you.
You mean the world to me and I cannot thank you enough for reading.
All my love,
Kate 

Twenty-Five

Today is my birthday.  I am twenty-five.

Here’s to a year of growth, ambition and joy.  Here’s to a year of failures and successes, a year of productivity and peacefulness, and a year of love.  To a year of meeting new friends, creating things that are beautiful and true, and learning how to put on eyeliner correctly.  And lastly, here is to another year of laughter.

It’s going to be a good year.  Cheers!

Be The Worst You Can Be

Last week, I stopped in a little bookstore in Shoreditch called Artwords Bookshop and though it was small, I could have stayed there for years days hours.  As many of you know, there is nothing that brings me more joy than a good bookstore and the well-curated selection of art, design, and fashion books (amongst other topics) at Artwords, not to mention their massive selection of not-so-mainstream magazines, made me want to turn cartwheels of joy.  Instead, I browsed.

While there, I bought Be The Worst You Can Be by Charles Saatchi, which was terrifically flippant and deliciously irreverent.  

The book is comprised of questions from journalists and inquisitive fans to the infamously private art collector and ad man, Charles Saatchi.  His answers are intriguing and wildly entertaining and through them it’s all too clear that Saatchi is an eccentric and intelligent man with a sharp wit and vast interests, regardless of what he says otherwise.  The book is light, fun, insightful, and pretty to look at; I really love it, and I think a lot of you will, too.

What are you reading these days, dear reader?  I’d like to get lost in a novel soon.  Something really good, thought provoking and truthful.  Any recommendations? 
  

The Steeplechase of Life

A little while ago I learned that it’s easier to be miserable than it is to be optimistic and happy.  It maybe hasn’t been super apparent in this space, but I’ve been a right mess recently and a pain in the ass to live with.  Since moving here five and a half months ago (whoa), I’ve given into the easiness of bitterness and misery far too often and when I did, it was all-consuming.  It wasn’t my constant state of being, thank God, but it was a temperament I too often caved to and (this is ugly, prepare yourselves) too often enjoyed.  I learned that it’s easy to be mean, and that, my friend, is why there are so many meanies* in the world. 

Talking to a friend the other day, I listened to the words coming out of my mouth and was astounded.  When did I become this angry person with a harsh word for everything?  When did my easy sarcasm and flippancy take on a biting edge?  Who was this woman who pointed fingers of blame as an answer for her own unhappiness?

Well, whoever that bitch was, I can tell you she no longer resides here at Cox Quarters.  No sir.  I want to achieve great things in this life, I want to make this world a more beautiful place, and I’m going to do it all with a smile on my face and joy in my heart. 

So thank you, everyone, for reading this bizarre tale.  And thank you for cheering me on in the steeplechase of life; I was on a rough turn there for a while but your support has helped me through it and I’ve come out ahead.  As soon as I adjusted my attitude a few days ago, I had people reaching out to me in the most amazing ways. I’ve met new friends, taken advantage of spur-of-the-moment opportunities and have started a great new business venture (with maybe more to come).  Things are great, dear reader, and I’m not going to forget it again. 

So, back to the old me.  Let’s start talking about cocktails again.  And let’s talk about books and art and culture.  Let’s sometimes talk about style, too, because I hate that I’ve become someone who is comfortable in sweatpants and who doesn’t wear lipstick 24/7 and I desperately need to get back to a more stylish life.  While we’re at it, let’s also talk about love in all its variations and let’s have a really really really good time.  Ready? Set. GO! 

*Meanie is a real word in a real Dictionary, not, like, a second-grade slam-book dictionary.  See, isn’t the world wonderful?! 

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, October 16
An ESM Tuesday
  What’s strange about this Tuesday’s collection of photos is that they all match.
They’re full of soft browns, charcoal blacks, warm greys and greens.
Which is great because those are the colors I’m using to decorate and paint our home.
Remember when I said the Bonsai Garden at the National Arboretum was my color-inspiration for our new space.  Well, it’s happening.
Maybe my life will become more zen in the process, too?
Painting, however, was not zen.  My mind was full of doubts and fears yesterday as I painted our hallway.  I’m impatient and frustrated by where we are right now and instead of counting my many blessings, I obsessed over all the things that are going wrong- or, rather, not going the way I want them to.
Le Chat stayed out of my way yesterday.  She doesn’t like it when I compete with her for Queen Bitch status in the flat.  But isn’t it cute that even she matches our color scheme?  Those green eyes kill me.
Eventually, I had to take a break from painting to stop and get some real work done.
I was cold in the living room so I relocated to my bed and turned up the heat.
And then I complained in my head about how I don’t have a desk and could feel myself turning into a hunchback.  Like I said, I was mentally not in a good place.
David went out for a beer with one of his sons and I got to stay home to finish painting.
And then I had ugly thoughts about never being included in David’s family life and I felt miserable.
Which, of course, is ridiculous.  All of it- ridiculous.
And then I was like, fuck it, I’m going to have a glass of wine while I do this.
This pretty much sums up my mood.
Ugly.
Finally, I was done.  For a while, at least.
I’d sanded the woodwork, filled holes, and wiped away spider webs.  I’d painted over the fingerprints and grime that had accumulated over the years.  I’d contorted myself to reach awkward corners and had a few aches and bruises to prove it.  And I wasn’t anywhere close to being done.
Today I will paint green stripes on top.  God bless my math skills…
After all the painting I sat my ass on the couch and whined/cried to David about how tired I was.
This issue of Monocle was close at hand, but I wasn’t actually reading it at the time.
I was crying, instead. 
Why am I painting this house when all I want to do is move away from it?  Why did I leave so many possessions that I love in America when I could have them here and be living more comfortably?  Why oh why did we come to this country?  Why isn’t everyone telling me how amazing I am for painting this hallway? etc.
And then David was like, “Kate, you need to focus on getting out of this negative place you’re in.”
And then he let me whine a little more and was really nice and listened to all my grievances. 
And then he gave me a hug and told me I couldn’t go on this way- that he wouldn’t stand for it.
So we went to bed. 
And today I feel a lot better.
And, like, if I don’t get my period in the next couple days, I will have no justification for being so miserable yesterday. 
So godspeed, Menstrual Cycle.  Let’s do this.
Off now to paint some green stripes… wish me luck. 
xox

Happy Monday

My parents are coming to visit next week which means, between sorting out the house and getting ahead of myself on work, there is much to do.  Sometimes, when my tasks seem long and tedious, I put something fun on my to-do list to make it a little less grim.  The newest addition: Put on a cozy sweater & enjoy a nice cigar in the autumn sunshine.

Can’t wait to check that one off… xox 

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, October 9
Costa Del Sol Edition
Whilst in Spain, I really didn’t feel there was any point in getting out of bed until the fog lifted each morning, so every day I dozed in bed until the sun properly came out.
It was gloriously relaxing.
Breakfast.
The villa had the most fantastic peep hole in the front door.  I mean, it’s a totally useless peep hole if you want to pretend you’re not home in the event that someone unpleasant comes to visit, but it’s pretty at least. 
The sun was hot and the haze was totally lifted, so I made my way down to the pool.
When I first arrived in Spain, I brought my laptop and two international adapters for my various electronics.  I’m sorry to say that both of these adapters were terrible and, though they worked with my UK electronics, they did not work with my US electronics.  This is weird because they were both bought in the States, but whatever.
David, bless him, stopped at the Apple Store between meetings and bought me an international adapter kit, which thereby allowed me to set up my mobile office on the terrace.
And yes, I enjoyed some iced wine as I did my work because I am fabulous.
I literally broke a sweat and got sore arms from opening and closing these awnings.
Hard at work in my barely there bikini.
Fabfabfab.
 It’s very important that I always have fresh flowers in my office. 
David came home from work around this time and then went off to take a late siesta while I worked on my base tan as well as some slightly more important tasks.
But then my tummy began to grumble so I opened the shades and woke him up so we could get ready for dinner. 
Spain is so colorful.  I want to bottle these greens.
David’s colleagues recommended we go to this little tapas restaurant in Málaga.  After a couple plates I was like, “Umm, maybe we can relocate to somewhere that doesn’t have pig feet hanging on the wall?”
It’s not that this restaurant wasn’t good, it’s just that it was a little too real, if you know what I mean…
So we walked along the boardwalk looking for somewhere else to stop for a bite to eat and a glass of wine.
Eventually, we abandoned our search/stroll and drove to a charming little place where we drank delicious wine, had some snacks and people-watched.  I like that people stay out late in Spain and I like that they always seem to be having a really good time.  So much laughter, so much life!
After our bellies were full, we drove back to our villa and cuddled in bed while we watched Project Runway.  SPOILER ALERT: I think Sonjia was totally robbed.
Like, I can’t even think about it without fuming.
:(
Even though I’ve only been back in the UK for, like, 12 hours, my tan is basically totally gone.
Regardless, I’m happy to be wrapped in cozy sweaters and cuddling with Le Chat, so all is well in Cox Quarters.
Have a great weekend, friends, and thank you for reading!