Monthly Archives: August 2013

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Oh, my!  It’s that time against,  isn’t it?

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Sometimes I wake up early.  Here I am anxiously waiting as the water boiled for my first cup of coffee.  Because Monday was a  bank holiday, the start to my week was a little off-kilter.  When my 7:00 AM alarm went off I thought, “Dear me. Tuesday? Camera time!”  Et voila.  8

Weekly plant inventory: My cilantro is growing beautifully, my basil (which is a store-bought transplant) is pulling through the shock of its new soil, but whatever I planted on the far left (mint, I think?) is being a very poor sport.  Such a poor sport, in fact, that I gave up and threw them away later in the day.  Also, my window need cleaning.  Filthy!
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I started reading Stoner on Monday and I’m just over halfway through.  David read it before me and recommended it, so I was skeptical of how good it would be.  It’s a perfectly mundane but totally captivating novel.  And very well written.  Suffice to say I’m loving it.  10

As per usual, I postponed my arrival to the office until I had a sufficient amount of caffein to ensure I wouldn’t snap at anyone.  Again, because this Tuesday felt especially like a Monday, I was really out of my element.  My to-do list weighed on me like a crushing burden and I maintained the dreamy lethargy of a long weekend all day long.  Not a particularly good combination, though the light on the floor in the office was quite pretty.  11

My colleague, Martin, has coat hangers at work but never hangs anything from them.  It got me thinking about all the strange things that we have at our desks but never use.  All the stuff in our lives that we have but never use.  Life does have a way of accumulating around us, doesn’t it.  12

Along with the accumulation of stuff, this lack of time has been a theme in my life lately, too.  Time!  There is never enough.  Never enough time to sit quietly, to get work done, to seek inspiration or find the time to exercise the body.  Time, it is scant.  It is precious.  It is evasive.  I would pay good money to have more.
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But luckily, there is always time for tea.  14

On Monday, I had the great opportunity to spend the day with a fantastic woman and artist who I knew in Boston and is right now visiting London. Together, we chatted about art and the act of making.  We walked through the city, shared a beautiful meal, and shared a bit of ourselves with each other, too.  Spending time with her was so inspirational and it reinforced, too, how I want to move forward with my career and the things I’m doing.  I want to focus on more creative endeavours as I move forward.  I would like to spend less time at a my keyboard.
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Three o’clock is wasp hour in the office.  I don’t mind wasps or bees, but this one was particularly loud as it buzzed through our space. I tried to shoo it out the window but it just wasn’t interested.  Poor thing.  16

Light coming through the opposite window.  The days are getting shorter.  In yet another way, time is running out.  17

On days when I’m tired or have a lot to accomplish, I find myself more and more often dressing to match my Minnetonka Moccasins.  It’s kind of sad, actually, as they don’t especially fit my out-of-house wardrobe, but they’re just so dang comfortable and sometimes I just can’t help wearing them to work (or elsewhere). Guess I’m just a Minnesotan girl deep down, after all… 18

You know those days where you just crave something warm and lovely?  That was yesterday for me so I made myself some miso noodle soup before settling in to complete some work on the sofa.  19

And whilst I got on with my work, David got on with his.  This is his business face.  #Sexytime.
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And then the clock struck eight and I realised I was late to the Tunbridge Wells Writers gathering. I passed this glorious lavender patch as I made my way into town and the world glowed blue around me.  Lovely! 21

My wonderful friend Sam (remember Sam from here & here?) is putting on a local film festival called the Electric Lantern Festival the first week of September.  I, unfortunately, will be in America for the duration of the festival, so please be sure to attend in my stead and then tell me all about it!  Or maybe even Skype me in for a few of the screenings…  That would be fun, right! 22

Speaking of Sam, for all the latest on the festival, follow ELF on Twitter.   There will literally be so. much. to. see.  Though I can’t promise all of it will be as great as Sam’s profile… 23

After much joyous laughter, I made my way home and to bed with high hopes of rising again early to complete this post in the soft morning light.  I’m sorry to say, dear reader, that my plan did not work out as I thought it would and I apologise for posting this so late.

Please forgive me.  xx

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

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I felt like being a little square yesterday and I think David’s shirt, hanging from the closet door, is what prompted my preference for squares.  So here you have it, the first square TWM. 9

I bought this rhubarb jam a few weeks ago at a farm shop and I kid you not, when it’s gone, I’m going to cry so many tears.  It is delicious.  When I stir it into greek yoghurt, I’m transported back to my kitchen in Brussels where I used to eat the best rhubarb yoghurt known to mankind.  We bought it from this little milk truck that came to our Sunday market and the yoghurt, white with rhubarb compote settled at the bottom, came in small glass jars that I’d wash out and bring back the following week when I bought more. It was magical.  Rhubarb jam.  I love thee.
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I’m growing herbs from seeds!  It’s so exciting to see them inch up higher and higher every day.  I waited for what felt like forever for them to breach the top of the soil, but now they’re growing beautifully and will soon turn into delicious additions to salads, pastas, omelettes and roasts.  Everything, really. Delicious in everything!  I think this pot is cilantro.  I think….11

I’m very particular about my pens.  For years, I’ve been using Pilot G-2 0.38 pens in black but I just can’t find them in that size here in the UK. (Before you say it, yes, I could probably just order them online but I think it’s a little obnoxious to order just one pack of pens online. Plus, ordering online totally takes the fun out of the hunt.  It’s too easy. Boring.) Anyway, Muji to the rescue!  I now have lots of skinny pens in colours (blue! light blue! red!) and one not-so-skinny pen in black (they didn’t have it in 0.38 at the time, sadtimes) and together, they make me very happy.  Hurrah! 12

I’ve noticed lately that it’s really important for me to take short breaks away from my computer a couple times a day.  You know, work solidly for 90 minutes, then take a 20 minute break to do something that doesn’t involve a screen.  One of my new distraction occupations is combing Le Chat.  I comb her for about 10 minutes a day, which she used to hate but has come to love.  No lie, every time I comb her, I collect a giant ball of hair like this one.  Not only is the Le Chat getting prettier, my carpets are also a lot less hairy, which is fantastic! Can you imagine having fur like this?! Crazy.
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Yes, I’m one of those weirdos who still buys CDs.  I’m like an old man that way.  Yesterday, I was having a grand time listening to Dave Brubeck.  It’s great getting-it-done music, actually.  Now that I think about it, I guess I’m like an old man in lots of ways…
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On my way to the office, I noticed that the construction site on my street now has a giant crane!  They’re building condos, I think.  Go figure. Better sell our flat before some identical new ones pop up! 15

This was weird: for my three o’clock photo I was standing at the window looking for something to take a picture of when a man who was walking down the drive toward our building stopped about forty feet away and stared directly at me.  After about three seconds of straight-on staring, I decided to move further into the office, but he just kept looking up and so I continued to inch further and further away from the window until finally, about a minute later, he turned around and walked back up to the main road, never to be seen again.  It was quite startling.  Whilst hiding from his gaze on the other end of the office, I took a picture of this chair.  Very interesting, I know… Moral of the story: people be crazy. 16

View from my post-it note covered desk.  17

A peek at a Recipe Book mock-up I did for Yophoto.  Also, they’re having a sale right now (20% off all 20x20cm Printed Cover Books with the code 20off20 at checkout) so be sure to pop over if you’re interested in making a photobook (or recipe book!).  Personally, I love the idea of a recipe book.  I love cooking (or, rather, I love when David cooks) and love taking pictures of our homemade food and I think making a bespoke cook book full of your favourite at-home recipes is a fantastic gift idea! (And now you all know what I’m getting you for Christmas, fa la la la la!)
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Since I’ve been brushing her, Le Chat has fallen even more in love with me.  I had to barricade myself in a wall of books and bags yesterday so she didn’t harass me as I was finishing up some work on the couch.  She really is so needy.  Le sigh… 19

After closing down my laptop for the day, I walked to Camden Road for a Private View at Art Pull20

Yesterday through to Saturday, August 31st, Disgusted! will be in the gallery.  Mike Flight is the gent behind the show, which is a collection of street art and graffiti.  I couldn’t find their facebook page, but if someone illuminates me with its identity, I’ll be sure to update it here.  21

Remember Ed and Liam?  In this picture, they’re my fun, disapproving friends (let’s call them Will & Grace) and I am their loud, inappropriate brunette friend (let’s just call me Karen).  We’re a great team! 22

And yes, SURPRISE, we went out for a post-art gallery drink to talk about some things we have in the works for Artists Unveiled (so much is happening). Thanks for the photo, Liam! 23

And then we stayed out way too late and had to get kicked out of the pub.  Story of my life & THE END.

Thanks for taking a moment to check out this week’s Tuesday.  Remember, if you’re someone who kinda/sorta/totally would like to contribute to Tuesday With Vous, you’re more than welcome to do so.  Just check out the details and send me an email (kate at ladykatherinesims.com).  I’d love to feature you and see what you get up to!

Caro Spinette Studio Visit {behind the scenes}

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A few weeks ago, Liam and I had the great pleasure of making the acquaintance of Caro Spinette on Twitter and, after meeting her in real life, immediately bonded over our shared love of the local art scene, the film The Fountain, and the fact that we’re all transplants that have come to love life in Tunbridge Wells.  Caro, who’s originally from France, was gracious enough to invite us into her lovely home (a converted schoolhouse, so cool) for brownies and a nose through her studio. The scope of her work is vast, ranging from hand-painted ceramics to cityscapes and Eastern-inspired paintings.  Whatever the subject, her work is colourful and full of passion (she’s French, after all!) and we’re thrilled to count her as a coconspirator and friend.

To see more of her fabulous work, hope over to Artists Unveiled to see part one & two of our studio visit!

Tuesday With Vous: Luke Sims

The oldest of my two younger brothers, Luke, moved to Bangladesh a month ago, where he lives and works with his girlfriend, Beki, at a University.  He and I finally caught up with each other over Skype last week and it was as he was telling me stories about his new life– full of questionably sourced meat, political protests that shut down the city, and festering trash– I asked if he wanted to share a Tuesday With Vous to give us a look at a part of the world we might not often see.  He happily obliged, but because a planned political protest was scheduled for Tuesday and he was thereby advised to stay home lest he be seen as siding with the wrong political party, we decided he’d take pictures on Saturday instead.  Enjoy!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Name: Luke Sims
Location:
Chittagong, Bangladesh
Occupation:
Communications Director at the Asian University for Women
Camera:
Canon T1i

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Waking up at 9:00 is now considered “sleeping in” which thoroughly depresses me.  Despite getting used to sleeping with a mosquito net, it is still terribly difficult trying to worm my hand out to reach my alarm clock.  I fell back asleep for about 30 minutes, naturally. 10

NFL.com decided that I should automatically have my subscription to NFL Rewind renewed.  I’m not complaining.  Turning to Jaguars.com I noticed that the London Jacksonville Jaguars lost (again).  Good thing I can now watch them lose 10-14 games from the comfort of my Bangladeshi home! 11

Beki and I decided to go for a walk to the War Memorial a few roads down before everyone else in the city woke up.  Like most anything during Eid, it was closed. So we contemplated the inability of Chittagong to clean up their own garbage instead. 12

One of the pleasures of living in Chittagong when you are tall and white is that you are continually stared at.  In order to avoid the craning necks of rickshaw riders and rickshaw drivers, Rebecca and I ducked into a shop and came away with a fairly pretty vase that we eagerly unwrapped upon getting home. 13

Today was shoeshine day.  From my vantage point on my porch I shined my shoes, watched a thunderstorm roll in, and observed the continual craziness that is Bangladeshi traffic. 14

Lunch was a simple affair that involved heating up leftovers.  Our cook had Eid off and Beki and I almost forgot how to do dishes.  We figured it out eventually. 15

Rebecca found ‘Back To The Future’ on TV which fit perfectly with the thunderstorm outside.  It was a pleasant break from pretending to do work, especially since the electricity was undependable. 16

Disregarding the potential electrical failure, I went up to the gym to have a quick run and lift some weights.  We have been warned that if the power goes out while running there is a potential to fall flat on your face.  I successfully stayed upright today. 17

I was informed by Rebecca that we were going to get drinks at the Peninsula Hotel (the only place in town that serves alcohol) rain or shine at five. Of course she was not ready when five rolled around so I sat out on the porch and began re-reading The War of the Worlds.  It isn’t nearly as good as my early teen self remembered. 18

Our favorite place to sit at the Flamingo Cafe was overtaken by a party that actually wanted to celebrate Eid so we were forced into a corner spot that was bombarded by flies.  Our worst dining experience yet, but that may have been because we were also drinking Coke instead of our usual alcoholic beverages. 19

Fortunately the Isles Bar right next to the Flamingo was now open for business since Ramadan was ending.  Our first experience was one of almost complete darkness.  It was one of the creepiest places I have ever been to drink/dine but it was definitely worth our $15 drinks with no mixers, if only for the experience of not really knowing what you had in front of you.  This was taken only after we requested that a little light be added 20

We caught a CNG* home.  Or, rather, we tried our hardest to explain where we wanted to go and panicked when he almost took us down the wrong way.  We got out and ended up walking.  This was probably a good choice as Chittagong’s CNG’s are all enclosed in bars and makes me think that there is no way to escape if we were to topple over or get hit by another vehicle. 21

Time to turn to bed and read.  I crawled under the mosquito net, under the covers, popped my retainer in the like a good ex-braces wearer, and turned back to the fantastical world of H.G. Wells.

Thanks for letting me give you a peek into my life!

*A CNG is also known as an Auto Rickshaw or a Tuk Tuk.  It’s essentially three tiny wheels with a seat, a covering, and a motor.  CNG stands for Compressed Natural Gas.  A few have been known to blow up.

                                                                                                                                                             

An enormous hug to my charming brother for sharing with us. And remember, if you want to contribute to Tuesday With Vous, have a look at the details and get in touch.  Thanks for reading! xx

Tuesday With Vous: Jason Wain

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Name: Jason Wain
Location: Royal Tunbridge Wells, UK
Occupation: Freelance Photographer (and check out his blog, too!)
Camera: Nikon D7000 with Nikon 17-55 f2.8 lens

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The alarm goes at 07:00. I usually do battle with the snooze, which goes every five minutes, for about half an hour. Sometimes even up to an hour. Today I manage to reach consciousness after only 15 minutes or so. Bravo.

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After dragging myself out of bed, I go for a jog to wake myself up. Also, I know that most of the day will be spent indoors, so I want to make sure I at least get some fresh air, even if only a measly 15 mins! Exercise followed by standard shower breakfast etc, etc.

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I like to start the day (after the jog and before the work) by reading a little bit from my Bible. Sometimes it provides inspiration, sometimes encouragement, and sometimes a challenge.

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And thus the day at the ‘office’ begins. Sorting through and answering emails takes the first hour and a half of Tuesday. It really shouldn’t, but I’m always über thorough at checking things through and editing before I send it. Once you’ve hit the ‘send’ button there’s really nothing you can do about embarrassing mistakes.

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Coffee time. Sometimes I take a break (particularly if it’s very sunny), sometimes I just plough on with the work. Today I just get on with it. I used to think it was just a thing in our family to have coffee at 11:00, but more and more I seem to notice references to 11:00 being coffee time everywhere I go. Do you do it?

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Still at the computer working on dull admin. This week is the first week of August, so I have all the end-of-month stuff to do, such as archiving, spreadsheets, printing receipts and invoices blah de blah blah. This is my only ‘office’ companion, a basil plant who I imaginatively named Basil (it says a lot about the great heights of my creativity, does it not?).

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It’s pretty much lunch time but I can’t be bothered to do anything about it at the moment, so a kiwi and a bit of staring out of the window will suffice until then.

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After lunch I set about editing some photographs I took last week of a ‘Chilled Tomato, Lime, Basil and Lemon Grass Soup’, for food writer Rose Prince’s website. The recipe comes from her second book, The New English Table. That mark on the cloth will have to be removed…

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Early to mid afternoon is traditionally the low point of my day, especially on miserable, grey, rainy days like today. Inspiration is at an all-time low, and I just can’t focus. In the same way that a king can be held prisoner in his own castle, I am held captive by my various to-do lists. My brain is rebelling right now and is arguing against every single item on that list.

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Time for a cup of tea and cake. Things usually get better from hereon in. There’s nothing like a little break and a cup of tea for helping to recharge one’s motivation. I am currently working on my Grandfather’s WWII stories at the moment, so I opt to grill my Mum whilst she’s sitting still on a few of the many small details that need checking.

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The advantage of working off a laptop: I can move to another room, which for some reason often helps a lot in terms of productivity. Continuing with the war stories, I work on mapping out my Granddad’s journey. Not very photography-related, I confess, though I do feel that it is a task that simply has to be done.

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Early finish today as I have dinner with an old pal, Matt, who is back in town from depths of Norwich. We decided to check out the new Côte Brasserie, as they have a good set-menu offer before 19:00.

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Going for a three course menu, one expects to be seated for at least one-and-a-half to two hours. But no, service is so efficient that by the time it’s 19:00 we are already on pudding. Incredible, but almost too efficient. The food was great though, (hence no good pictures – too busy eating!) and the meal finishes with the chocolate pot topped with crème fraîche, pictured. A complimentary shot of a fruity liqueur is a welcome surprise too, considering the set menu only costs £11.90.

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We head off to the private view at the (new?) Art Pull gallery in Camden Road, where we are joined by my brother, a web designer. Here we meet Lady Katherine herself, and Liam who is exhibiting some pictures. The room is very, very hot. And crammed with people.

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After a rather nice banter with Liam and the Lady, my brother, Matt and I depart. We fancy a drink and decide to head to Pulpito, the (relatively) new Spanish place in Camden Road. They have done a great job of creating a wonderfully mediterranean ambience. An Estrella and some complimentary nuts go down nicely with more good bantah.

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In between the last part of 21:00 and 23:00, I come home, make a nice cup of spiced fruit tea and sit down in an armchair with a book, where I am greeted by purring Pippin.

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Finally hit the sack. Happy Wednesday!

                                                                                                   

Awe, that was lovely!  Because I’m a terribly nosey person, I just love seeing what other people get up, how they live, what they eat, etc.  Even when they’re taking horribly unflattering photos of me (seriously, do I really stand like that?!), I’m thrilled to see the world through their lens.  So thank you, Jason, you are a shooting star and I loved your photos!

If you want to contribute to Tuesday With Vous, check out the details and then send me an email at Kate (at) ladykatherinesims.com and we’ll work something out.  It’ll be fun.  Promise!

Ed Liddle Studio Visit {behind the scenes}

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Ed+Liddle+8Last week, Liam and I visited the studio of local artist Ed Liddle and spent three delightful hours treasure hunting through his space.  What I admire about Ed is that he allows himself to be imperfect, to experiment, and to create with a raw energy that really comes through in his work .  His pieces are tactile, honest, confrontational, and his space is packed full of inspiration.

For more, check out our Liam’s fantastic Artists Unveiled posts (part one & two) about Ed’s work  and be sure to follow Ed on Twitter, too.  Ed’s a mighty fine guy and we’re looking forward to seeing a lot more of him in the future.