Monthly Archives: May 2013

Dearest Reader,

Dearest Reader,

Please know that I am being held hostage in my childhood home and, as such, (and because I still haven’t made it to the DMV) have no way of developing my film from yesterday’s Tuesday With Moi.  It’s sad, but it is true.  As much as I try to coax my chauffeur young brother out of bed, he simply will not escort me to my desired destination at this current time.  It’s very sad.  But as my past as a domineering older sister has taught me, eventually his will will break and my bidding will be done.  I will then share my Tuesday with you.  Providing the whole film thing worked out.

All my love,

Kate

Home

AmericanWestLet’s go home.
Where?
Home.
But where is home?
Home is where there is soft light and big pillows and wine.  Home is where there is someone to welcome us and laugh with and sleep next to us, too.  Home is where there is stuff and things with stories that we remember, it’s where we have memories.  That is where home is.
But I have lots of places like that.  Can a person have lots of places that are home?
Only if they’re lucky.

                                                                                                                                                      

Feeling kinda conflicted about home these days.  Minnesota, Boston, Tunbridge Wells.  Family, Friends, David.  Heart, Hands, Soul.

We returned home from the Wild West late Sunday night.  We were exhausted but still managed to stay up too late drinking wine and laughing about the journey with my father, who missed us while we were away.  It felt good to be back, good to be home, and good to take a hot shower and sleep under warm covers on a real bed.

But I’m not home.  Not really, not anymore.

Sleeping in my childhood bedroom triggers all kinds of memories.  Memories of growth and impatience, memories of writing page after page in my journal about how I was going to leave this place and make something of myself on the east coast.  The early morning sound of my dad readying and then leaving for work, the whine of my mom’s espesso machine as she froths milk for her breakfast latte, the endless ticking of antique clocks that give this house a heartbeat– they’re all so familiar that I feel as if the last eight years have never happened.  I’ve been here, I’ve never left, and I’m yearning again for somewhere else, for another home.  

I wonder, sometimes, will I ever be happy in just one place?  I don’t know the answer right now, but even though I’m longing to go home, I’m simultaneously happy to be home.  It’s a comfortable confusion and I’m lucky to have a home in many places.

Mission Accomplished

Buffalo+CusterAll I wanted out of this trip was to see a buffalo up-close and personal and yesterday, I saw one.  We were driving through Custer State Park and, at a stop sign, we pulled up next to this guy. I was so excited, you guys!  So excited that I couldn’t even get him in a single frame.  So excited that I took two photos with two wildly different focuses.  So excited that now, after seeing hundreds of buffalo, I can’t believe I was ever that excited.

Anyway, the American West is beautiful!  I’m so lucky to be here and I can’t wait to share more with you soon.  So soon!  Or, like, as soon as I have internet again.  xx

Tuesday With Vous: Liam Rogers

Tuesday, May 21, 2014

Name: Liam Rogers
Location: Royal Tunbridge Wells
Occupation: Photographer / Filmmaker / Artist / Business Development and Marketing
Camera: Nikon D300 + Nikon D5100

Tuesday begins with three dreams.

tuesday_with_vous-1Dream One.

tuesday_with_vous-2Dream Two.

tuesday_with_vous-3Dream Three.

I awake.

tuesday_with_vous-4The first thing I see.

tuesday_with_vous-5Reduce choice. Colour block.

tuesday_with_vous-6The birds.

tuesday_with_vous-7Effervescent orange.

tuesday_with_vous-8Assessing former representation of myself.

tuesday_with_vous-9It’s not easy picking green.

tuesday_with_vous-10Eureka!

tuesday_with_vous-11Still life.

tuesday_with_vous-12Good luck, bad look.

tuesday_with_vous-13Plotting.

tuesday_with_vous-14Scheming.

tuesday_with_vous-15More colour choices.

tuesday_with_vous-16Organic light.

tuesday_with_vous-17

The Talking Clock dictates that time passing costs 37p.

tuesday_with_vous-18Remembrance of things past.

tuesday_with_vous-19To dream once more.

Oh Liam, wonderful Liam!, thank you a million times over for sharing your Tuesday with us.  And thank you, reader, for following along!  If you would like to share your Tuesday with us (all of us!) all the information is right here.  Also, make sure you follow Liam on Twitter, which is where we met and our story begins.  Romantic, no?  xx 

Telling Secrets

Minnesota+Rainstorm+1Minnesota+Rainstorm+5

Minnesota+Rainstorm+6

Minnesota+Rainstorm+11

Minnesota+Rainstorm+10

Minnesota+Rainstorm+2

Minnesota+Rainstorm+7 Minnesota+Rainstorm+8

Minnesota+Rainstorm+3 Minnesota+Rainstorm+4 Minnesota+Rainstorm+9Clearly, when I said “tomorrow” in my last post, I meant Saturday.  I was a little too busy yesterday to post anything.  Why?  BECAUSE I FLEW TO MINNESOTA!  Surprise!

Yesterday afternoon, after 9.5 hours in a flying gas chamber (aka airplane), I arrived in the Land of 10,000 Lakes for my dad’s birthday.  He didn’t know I was coming.  It was cute.  This morning, I woke up at 6:15 to a glorious Minnesotan thunderstorm and, whilst the rest of the house slept (and is still sleeping even at 9:45) I took my coffee and camera to the porch and watched the sky flicker with lightning and the rain pour down.  It’s still going on, actually.  Guess I brought the grey English skies along with me.  Hurrah!

Now that the secret’s out, I’m free to dish all the details: I’ll be in The States for two weeks.  In that time, I’ll be visiting all my favourite Minnesotan spots and taking a trip in an RV to the wild wild west to pet bison and make friends with grizzly bears.  Obviously, I’ll share these adventures with you here.  But today, just enjoy the thunderstorm; breath deeply and inhale the world around you.  xx

Secret

secretI’m really good at keeping secrets.  Not my own, mind you, but secrets that belong to someone else.  ”You can’t tell anyone,” my friend will say, and I’ll solemnly nod yes as I open a vault in my memory where the secret will stay, bound and gagged, until the end of time.

Whenever I have a secret of my own, my inner monologue goes something like this: Oh my gosh, a secret! So fun, this secret, so secret-y.  I can’t tell anyone about this.  Except maybe David.  No, definitely David!  David can totally know.  And, like, maybe a few of my best friends.  I’ll obviously tell them, but no one else.  This has to stay secret, top secret!  And then I’ll immediately tell everyone via Twitter because, as on of my friends so aptly put in when we were arguing once, I don’t have a filter*.

All this to say that I have a secret.  A really exciting secret, a wonderful secret!, but right now I have to keep it, well, secret.  Mostly secret, I mean.  But tomorrow, I’m going to tell you all about it.  Unless I explode first, which is actually a possibility…

*And while I still stand by the fact that I absolutely do have a filter, I will admit that said filter is not as sensitive as, say, a coffee filter, but is on par with a gold sifter, I think.

 

Tuesday With Vous: Caroline Smith

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Name: Caroline Smith
Location: Kent/Sussex border
Occupation: Responsible for editorial and advertising sales at Playground magazine (a free magazine for families in West Kent and East Sussex); blogger at Beyond The Playground; also mother to teenage boys, dog owner and wife to long suffering commuter Mr Smith.
Camera: Canon PowerShot, a handy little pocket-sized camera

TWV1

I rise with the commuter and make him a cup of tea.  I count my blessings every day and one of them is that I don’t have to commute.

TWV2

I head into the office to check emails and Twitter.  Angelina Jolie is trending.

TWV3

It’s possibly the only time that the sun will shine today.  I walk the dog in the woods around the house.  The bluebells look and smell gorgeous.

TWV4

I sit at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and have a quick peruse of a gardening catalogue.

TWV5

The weather is deteriorating, so I decide upon appropriate footwear for my client visit.  The boot rack is one of the best things I’ve bought since we moved to the country.  It’s seriously muddy in the valley for much of the year and the family has a wide range of shoes and boots.  The mud dries, drops to the floor and it’s easy to sweep up.

TWV6-1

As well as my wellies, I grab my newly purchased raincoat to jazz up a dull day.  Fashion is not my passion, but I love the coat’s colour and pattern.  I hope that the Weather Resistant Organic Cotton does what it says on the label.

TWV7-1

After criss-crossing from Sussex into Kent and back several times, I arrive at the Bodiam Boating Station in Newenden to meet Vanessa and Alex.  I’m going to help them with some marketing and publicity.  The Dannie Lee is one of their boats, moored on the River Rother.  The meeting is held in a caravan, their temporary home.  Their story is a whole other post for another day.

TWV8-1

I have a wander up the River Rother.  The rapeseed is in flower and is a strong contrast to the grey sky that has set in for the day.

TWV9

I kill time with some window shopping in Cranbrook before my next meeting.  The fairy sculpture constructed out of chicken wire grabs my attention, the price tag cheekily attached.  Cranbrook High Street is reflected in the window.

TWV10

I have an appointment with Annie of Grierson Publications on Cranbrook High Street.  I snap this quote from the Dalai Lama which is framed and hanging on the wall in her office.

TWV11

I pick up two copies of The Ultimate Nepalese Cook Book, published by Grierson: one for me, one will be a giveaway for the magazine.  Annie recommends the Sherpa Lamb Curry.  A percentage of each sale goes to the Ghurka Welfare Trust.

TWV12

On the way home I buy half a kilo of asparagus from Birchden Farm in Groombridge.

TWV13

The dog wants a walk, having been shut indoors all afternoon.  We head along the railway line, through the wild garlic, one of our favourite places.  The smell of garlic is wonderful.

TWV14

I meet the commuter for a glass of wine in the Hotel du Vin, Tunbridge Wells.

TWV15

We watch a film at Trinity.  The commuter asks me if I’m going to get up in the middle of the film and take a picture.  I don’t.  The film is average.

TWV16

We drive back home along the lane.  A couple of deer jump out and cross from right to left, but I’m far too slow with the camera.

Thank you, Kate, for letting me take part in your Tuesday With Vous project.

And thank you, to Caroline, for letting us take a peek at your Tuesday!  xx

Mother

Mothers+DayYesterday was Mother’s Day in The States.  I didn’t call my mom because I’m a terrible person, but I did send her a card (handmade, so there) and I’m pretty sure it even got to her on time.  (Did it?)

Remember when I said I was crap at watercolour painting?  See, I wasn’t lying.  BUT, I’m pretty confident that you can at least tell that the flowers are lupines.  I love lupines!  Lupines remind me of one of my favourite childhood literary heros, Miss Rumphius, who strove to make the world a more beautiful place.  Like Miss Rumphius, my mother makes the world around her more beautiful, too, and that’s just one of the many reasons why I love her so much. She also makes really great food and gives good shoulder rubs.  She’s really great, my mom!

So happy belated Mother’s Day to my mother and all the mothers out there.  But especially to my mother.  I love you.  Thanks for making the world beautiful and thanks for making ME.  xx

ONE YEAR

Dearest Reader,

This time last year, David and I downed a couple glasses of wine, boarded a flight to the UK, and accidentally put Le Chat through the most traumatising experience of her little feline life. Yes, it was a whole year ago that I voyaged to this country and became an American in England, and oh what a year it has been!

One+Year+American+In+EnglandThere have been times where I hated this year, moments where I stamped my feet and cried from a place of despair that I’d never before known, I want out.  I came here thinking I had my life all figured out and then hit rock bottom as those plans crumbled around me, around us.  Those moments sucked but they’ve forced me to grow enormously and I’ve learned to better accept uncertainty. After all, some of the best moments of my life have been spent in the English countryside, aimlessly following footpaths and marvelling at where my own two feet carry me.

It’s also been a year of trust and patience.  It’s been difficult to be this far from my nearest and dearest, but I’ve been blessed to start a new family with David and find a new tribe of friends whose kindness and camaraderie literally moves me to tears (seriously, you guys, I just wept typing this).  I’ve also learned that the bonds of friendship and family easily stretch the length of an ocean and that sometimes, a simple Skype call can cure the worst case of homesickness.

It’s been a year of sacrifice and simplicity, bravery and action.  An exciting year, a humbling year, the worst year, but the best year, and I thank you from the very bottom of the well that is my heart for sharing this it with me. The world is a tremendously beautiful place and I’m thrilled to see what this next year holds.

Onward and upward,
Kate.

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, May 7 

9
As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been playing around with my watercolour paints recently.  I was never taught to paint, unless a few classes with an exasperated art teacher in middle school count, so most of what I paint is decidedly horrible, but I’m figuring it out and enjoying it.  A lot.

10

England has been absolutely beautiful recently.  It’s been great to see the sun again, great to leave the house without a jacket or an umbrella.  Every day, I fall a little bit more in love with this place.
11

I’m lucky to work somewhere that gets so much natural light, so much fresh air.  Morning meetings aren’t so bad when you work from a room with a view.
12

Now that it’s summer (I can say it’s summer if I want to say it’s summer, okay), I don’t feel the need to exclusively consume hot beverages, so I’m back to drinking water.  I’ve had my Earthlust stainless steel bottle for years and I really love it.  If you’re in the UK, I just noticed that you can buy them online at Not on the High Street.  I highly recommend you get one.
13

Flipping through the most recent Contact Creative Illustration book.  I especially like the illustrations by James Hood on the right.  His work makes me smile.
14.2

It’s almost magical, the way the world comes alive around us each spring. These (overblown) blossoms hang on a tree near my office.  They’re beautiful.  I’ll be sad to see them go but am so excited for all things summer.
15

This is my pipe.  I brought it to the office one day as a joke and it’s just been sitting in its little box on my desk ever since.  The pipe was given to me by a dear friend on my twenty-second birthday and I love that it smells like a grandfather but is dainty enough for a lady.  I’ll have to find some tobcacco and take it out for a summer stroll sometime soon.  Me and my pipe.  So sweet.
16

Multitasking, indeed!  This week is crazy busy, which is fantastic.  In fact, the next month looks like it’s going to be non-stop and I’m already gearing up for hyper-drive.  You don’t even want to know how many tabs I have open right now…17

Working on my blog calendar, which I generally plan a week in advance.  I also have calendars like this for each of my clients.  It may seem overwhelming, but when it comes to staying organised, I’m still very much a pen and paper kinda girl.  I like being able to spread all my project calendars out in front of me and see what’s happening when without toggling between windows.  My to-do lists are all still done by hand, too.  It works for me.  For now.
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Spoon selfie. 19

East of Eden is definitely in my top five favourite books.  Every time I read it, it reveals something new, every time I read it, it’s even more beautiful. I lent this copy to my friend Paul before he went on vacation a few weeks ago.  He returned it yesterday and said he loved it.  I love it when my friends love the books I love.  It makes me feel warm and fuzzy. 20.2

The blue hour in my living room.  Literally, the light is so blue. 21

My eyes were tired last night and my head was a little achy so I opted for soft candlelight to illuminate the evening.  I love the sound, the scent, and the soft glow of matches.
22

And I love how lighting a candle can make an evening feel suddenly special.
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After a busy day, it was time for rest, time to dream up stories and re-charge for new adventures.  And oh, what exciting adventures they will be!

As always, thank you for spending my Tuesday with me.  xx