Monthly Archives: March 2014

Tuesday With Vous: Matt Harquail

Matt is lovely. He and I both do work for the best local magazine, Kudos. He’s the photographer who shoots all their dreamy images, and I handle their social media. Over the past few months, Matt and I have gotten to know each other and I’m incredibly fortunate to be collaborating on some projects (which we’ll be talking about soon) with him and the magazine. And today, I’m lucky enough to have him as a contributor to Tuesday With Vous.  Now let’s see what he gets up to!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Name: Matt Harquail  //  website  //  blog  //  twitter
Location: Crowborough, UK
Occupation: photographer for commercial and private commissions
Camera Used: my spare, a Nikon D510N

0800

I’ve already been emailing from Bed since just after 7. This is my dream catcher. They say that the web captures bad dreams and the morning sun burns them away.

It’s from Canada and hand made by First Nations of the Mi’kmaq people. I picked up my dream catcher while on a family tracing holiday in New Brunswick Canada, Last year.

Every morning I am reminded of my heritage as my grandfather held and my Canadian Family still hold Mi’kmaq Native status.

You wouldn’t think it when you meet me but, I am eligible to have Native status & I’m currently looking into getting it. I’m in my office. My difficult daily commute after breakfast consists of walking up the stairs and stepping into my small office.

0900

On one side it’s all digital with my PC named ‘The Beast’, and on the other is an area for creating including my darkroom which is all packed away.

The image is one of my great ideas! Each time I complete a task big or small I write it on a different coloured sticker for each day and put it on the wall. it’s a great way to track what you’ve been doing and Today’s colour is yellow.

1000

I have a shoot at 11:30.

Preparation is so important! You hear of photographers failing to do their job because they didn’t think to prepare everything the night before and make sure they have everything they need.

I layout my equipment the night before the shoot, on the bench and charge batteries if need be. Then about an hour before I’m due to leave I pack it all up so I’m ready to go knowing that I have everything I need.

When I get back it all goes back on the bench to be stored and then I can double check it has all come back with me.

1100

I’m en route to Oxted in my battered Golf called Rocky to photograph my subject. I love the roads to Oxted as we used to take this road to the M25 when we went to visit my Gran.

1200

So here is my Subject, a kitchen?! Yup, it can’t always be awesome fashion shoots! Most of my work is commercial, including products, interior/exterior panoramas, corporate head shots and manufacturing processes.

Myself & the lovely people from Causeway Joinery who built and fitted the Kitchen, are just giving the space a spruce up, as it’s easier to spend the time here then it is to correct it all in post production.

1300

Keeping in the TWV time frame here is the shot I was taking at 1pm. It’s of a fully electric hinge that opens and closes the cupboards for you. Neat huh?

1400

All wrapped up! My client is happy with the images after seeing them on the iPad, so it’s time to go home. It’s really great to do this as any missed shots can be taken there and then.

This is the railway bridge in Oxted. There are traffic lights on the other side and I always stared out of the back window of my parents car and admire the craftsmanship that went into making each support and rivet.

1401

If you Whizz past on the way to Edenbridge you might miss this beautiful view overlooking East Grinstead.

I’ve I always noticed it and if I’m passing and have the time, I like to stop and admire it what ever the weather!  

1500

Finally home, here’s a food picture. It’s time for lunch!

I love my food and cooking it too. I make a point of having a good meal at lunch, pasta with Parma ham onions and Red peppers, Yum!

1600

Back to work after a lovely lunch. This is The Beast and has the images downloading and backing up from the earlier shoot.  Next up for me is cutting the behind the scenes feature for Kudos that will show what goes into editing the Fashion feature.

1700

You might have noticed that my Desk is super high up? This is because I’m trying out standing up while working. Also Maali having stolen my office chair might have something to do with it.
I’m still editing. Videos take ages!

1800

Work is done for now. So time for a bit of fun, I brew my own beer under the stairs, and today after one week it’s completed the primary ferment so now it is ready to be Kegged! 25 litres of lovely beer! :)

1900

COFFEE! I love to drink mine out of a glass, some think it’s strange but I think it tastes better.
Strong black and no sugar is how I like it – just in case you want to make me one!  I make it using a paper filter, Perk & Pearl style.

2000

…and the beer is kegged! It takes a while as you have to make sure everything is sanitised and then doesn’t smell of sanitiser. This is my 8th brew and should be drinkable in just over a week. The keg’s name is a play on my surname, Harquail.

2100

Finally time for some Dinner, albeit not healthy and I’m working again! A healthy kebab, a treat from the Parents, much appreciated indeed.

I’m a proud member of The Champions Chapter of BNI We’re a referral generating organisation who meet every Wednesday morning for breakfast and to pass business between each other. We’re a group of 18 at the moment and I’m the membership coordinator. I’m doing my meeting preparation while chilling in front of the TV.

2200

I should really be in bed as my start is at 5:30am. But no, because I am a ‘Night Owl’ I have had a brainwave!

I get to shoot features for the awesome and local; Kudos Magazine including the fashion features. I decided to label all the pages featuring my work, and use it as a promo tool for my work and Kudos too! 

2300

Still doing it. Sticking in all of these labels takes forever, nearly done though.

2400

Finally bed time! The last thing I do is write down goals to achieve for the following day, that way there are clear targets and you get most of them done early on.

Doing Tuesday With Vous for Kate’s blog has been a lot of fun. It gives you the chance to really think about what you get up to on a normal day. You can see that a day as a photographer isn’t always fashion shoots and beautiful locations.

Hopefully you can take something from what I’ve written and I look forward to doing another one when I have lots of shoots with beautiful fashion people, and stunning locations!

If I can help with ‘Developing Your Vision” please feel free to get in touch!

Cheers,
Matt

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

TWM.March18.14.8I bought these glass mugs a few weeks ago in Brighton at Utility and I’m obsessed. Lemon water has never looked prettier!

TWM.March18.14.9Yesterday was sunny and it made me and Le Chat so so so happy. Plenty of sunny patches to curl up in!

TWM.March18.14.10As I mentioned in my last post, I lost my knitter’s sewing needle (is that what it’s called?) and, as of Tuesday morning, still hadn’t made it to a fabric store to get a new one. Lucille helped me cope with my impatience to finish the sweater by babysitting my knit wool for me. Lucille’s the best!

TWM.March18.14.11My style these days is hovering somewhere between Ellen Degeneres and a 6 year-old boy. I just want comfortable and casual basics with a little bit of luxe, you know? Speaking of luxe, I’ve had this t-shirt since 1999. Up until recently, it was only for sleeping/yoga but lately I’ve been waring it all the time. I guess it’s just reached that magical number of washes that makes it perfect, or something?

TWM.March18.14.12I’m a spoiled brat and have two iPhones right now. Means I can work in double-time like Billy Blanks, yo!

(JK, kinda. I won’t go into the whole debacle, but I’ll soon only have one fully-functioning iPhone and will no longer be a brat. But for now, being a brat is actually pretty fun!)

TWM.March18.14.13For lunch, I walked to brand new The Bicycle Bakery on Camden Road. Remember Jamie from last week’s TWM? Well, this is his place and it smells like heaven!  Like, if I could bottle the scent of The Bicycle Bakery and wear it, I would. And then I’d be like a modern-day Pied Piper and have a brigade of people following me around because I smell so so good! If you’re local and like carbs, be sure to stop in!

TWM.March18.14.14In addition to carb-loading, I also bought the key to all my happiness: A KNITER’S SEWING NEEDLE! With this needle in my hand, I knew that all my dreams were about to come true!

TWM.March18.14.15When I got back to the office, I securely placed my needle in my bag because I never want to lose another important needle ever again.

TWM.March18.14.16Pro Tip: Never leave a freshly made baguette on your desk when you’re trying to work because you’re going to be too distracted by the smell to get anything done. (Thanks, Jamie!)

TWM.March18.14.17The blue hour + graffiti on the way home. See? Tunbridge Wells is so posh, you guys!

Note: this photo was actually taken at 6:00. I only realised after editing all the photos that I definitely forgot an hour somewhere in the afternoon.  As you’ll see, I’ve made up for it later. Ooops?! 

TWM.March18.14.18My favourite always and forever. I’m never buying any other fragrant candle again! Last night, I was burning this beautiful candle because my dear friend, Greg, was on his way to visit and I didn’t want our flat to smell like Le Chat when he walked in the door.

TWM.March18.14.19After Greg arrived, we headed to The Mount Edgcumbe for dinner. Since David made me a rare steak and gave me food poisoning for our anniversary last month (love you, baby!), I’ve been a little skeptical of beef, so I had the veggie burger last night and you now what? It was marvellous.

TWM.March18.14.20

Are you ready for this?  It’s time for the great reveal!  THIS IS GREG! Greg is one of our dearest friends. We met in Boston four years ago and became fast friends. He’s one of the most optimistic, kind, and encouraging people I have ever met (he’s Canadian, so, like, obviously) and it was great to have him in Tunbridge Wells for the night!

After dinner, he wanted to go somewhere a little more lively, so we went to Fuggles, which is where this photo was taken.

TWM.March18.14.21And then Liam and Nick joined us, too!

TWM.March18.14.22To make up for the mysterious hour I lost earlier, here’s another photo of Greg. <3 him.

TWM.March18.14.23Greg was jet-lagged and the rest of us were tired (and the bar was closing) so we zoooooooomed home.

TWM.March18.14.24And when we got home, the boys went to sleep and I stayed up to finish my sweater. Which I wore today. And which I love.

And that was my Tuesday.  If you’d like to share your Tuesday (which you should because it’s fun + amazing), have a read of this and get in touch!

xx

Tuesday With Moi

Whenever I take personality tests, my score teeters between being an introvert and an extrovert.  Whilst I lovelovelove being out in the world and meeting new (and old) friends, I really treasure my alone time and use it to store energy and seek inspiration.

This past week, I had a work and social calendar to rival the Queen’s (as in Queen Beyoncé, obviously).  Between book club, networking, going away parties, art parties– which you can read all about in Mrs. Anke’s Ladybits, breaking iPhones, and a busy (and exciting) work week, it was go-time all the time.  All this buzzing about meant that I didn’t have enough me-time to cut my toenails, much less put together this TWM post so by the time Friday rolled around, I felt acutely allergic to my laptop and in desperate need of a wine-induced hibernation.

After two lovely days of lazing about Cox Quarters and eating good in the neighbourhood, I’m happy to report that my fembot batteries are again charged and I’m finally back to blog-posting babeland. So what did I get up to this past Tuesday?  Take a look!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 

TWM.March11.14.8

Being an expat, I’m all too aware of the precious moments I’m missing by living across the ocean.  Being in England, I miss out on birthday parties, weddings, baby showers and boozy brunches (amongst other things) but I’m so so thankful to be alive in the age of social media so I peek inside all these precious moments and feel, in a small way, that I’m almost there experiencing them.  Every morning, I look forward to checking Instagram and double-tapping my love like some modern day Morse code.

TWM.March11.14.9

Drinking lemon water and getting some work done.  I try to drink at least two cups of hot lemon water before my morning coffee. Then, once my coffee is finished, it’s time to pack up the home office (i.e. make the bed) and head into the real office.  Working for yourself is fun!

TWM.March11.14.10Did I tell you that I’ve been knitting a sweater?! You can read all about exactly what I’m knitting over on the Gradient blog and soon (so so soon!) you’ll be able to see what I’ve knit! That’s right, folks, I’ve already finished my sweater! All I need to do now is stitch it up, but I’ve sadly misplaced my knitting/sewing needles and am going to have to wait until I can get to the fabric store to properly finish it. But that’ll be soon– so soon!– and I’m so excited to wear this finished garment into the springtime sunshine!

TWM.March11.14.11Speaking of new clothes, I’ve been diligently breaking in my chucks over the past two weeks and am very excited to see them getting dirtier and a little more worn in.  I’ve never had a pair of sneakers like this before and whilst I can’t help but feel like a toddler when I’m wearing them (partly because they’re a size 3.5, what?!), it’s great to have a pair of shoes I can kick-around in that won’t need to be re-heeled every two months. Huzzah!

TWM.March11.14.12Gardening in the office. Goodbye dead leaves!

TWM.March11.14.13Our current art offering at work. I seriously need to remember to look into framing that thing (top secret) that I want to frame for that wall… Someone remind me later, mkay?

TWM.March11.14.14My friend, Hannah, started a local magazine called Kudos last year and their third issue came out at the beginning of the month. I think it’s absolutely beautiful and am really pleased to see a local magazine that skews a little younger.  Plus the magazine’s totally free, so be sure to get your hands on a copy ASAP! (Edited to note that our friends at Perk & Pearl have copies available.)

TWM.March11.14.15Office shadows. I’m loving the light these days!

TWM.March11.14.16Tea time at Fuggles!

TWM.March11.14.17

Ed and I try to get together once a week to talk art and hang out. On this particular meeting, we were designing a poster for one of his upcoming exhibitions and going over details for the launch of Artists Unveiled‘s co-venture with Perk & Pearl: the Mind Your Head Gallery.

TWM.March11.14.18Ed, who you can tell is a real artist because he wears paint-splattered clothes, is one of the three artists whose work is featured in the teeny-tiny Mind Your Head Gallery.  Their work will be up until mid-April, so be sure to stop in Perk & Pearl for a coffee and take a look whilst it’s there!

TWM.March11.14.19After saying goodnight to Ed, it was time to zoom off to West Kent Networking and rub shoulders with some new and old friends. This guy falls in the former category.  His name’s Jamie and he’s the man behind the very new Bicycle Bakery on Camden Road.  I haven’t been in yet, but I’ve heard amazing things and am definitely planning to stop in for a treat later this week. Yay, carbs!

TWM.March11.14.20WKN this past week was at Signor Franco, which is always a pleasure to visit.  The service, the space, and the snacks were all impeccable. Three hearty thumbs up!

TWM.March11.14.21

After networking, it was time to visit the Tunbridge Wells Writers. Prior to this meeting, I had only been to see them once since the beginning of the year, so it was especially lovely to catch up with everyone. <3

TWM.March11.14.22David met me at the pub to remind me to eat something (a packet of crisps is a meal, right?) and to whisk me away at a normalish time so I could be to bed early. I had a very busy day on Wednesday and wanted to get lots of sleep in preparation for it.

TWM.March11.14.23So naturally, I had another drink when I got home.

TWM.March11.14.24And I flipped through my new copy of Cereal whilst sipping some tea.

TWM.March11.14.25And then I knit until 1:30 in the morning. But that counts as an early night, right…?

So, that was my Tuesday. Which felt like a week ago… I guess because it probably was!  Anyway, thanks for reading and remember, if you ever want to contribute to Tuesday With Vous, have a look at the details and get in touch!

Tuesday With Vous: Caro Spinette

I’m so so so excited to have my amazing friend Caro share her Tuesday with you today! She and I met through Artists Unveiled (we have an event coming up next Wednesday, by the way!) and immediately became great friends.  She’s so so talented and funny and wonderful, and French, and I absolutely adore her.  And I think you’re going to love spending a day with her!

Mardi 4 Mars 2014

Name: Caro Spinette
Location: Tunbridge Wells
Occupation: Artist and Awesome French Tutor
Camera Used: Fujifilm Insta Mini 20 (2002)

midnight 1 midnight 2 midnight 3Tuesday With Moi started unexpectedly early, as I looked at the clock and realized what time it was… I was too busy making the most of my last few hours with my bff, the one who has the power to remind me of the kid buried deep inside the control freak I’ve grown to be!
Tuesday started to the sound of Dan‘s trippy ambient guitar playing, and a soap bubble contest. As you do.

6am

6am-2

The alarm went off 30mn ago. I’m tired and moody. It’s dark outside. Looks like it’s wet too. Great…
That cup of coffee is my superhero. First it’s coffee. Second, it’s in my favourite cup. What more does one need in the morning? Simple things, but simple things that help me cope with the daily traumatism of getting out of my warm and comfy bed.
Time to manage my nervous wreck of a best friend. Leaving in 30mn.

7amHeathrow, here we come!
I’m keeping the English driver awake with some good ol’ sing-along-y tunes, from Simon & Garfunkel to Toto (S’gonna take a loooot to drag me ‘waaaaaaay from yooooooou), whilst the Italian is snoring at the back. Not much sleep she said. Some last minute panic and tears instead, punctuated with some “WHAT THE F*CK AM I DOING???” and some “OH-MY-GOD-OH-MY-GOD-IT’S-HAPPENING-OH-MY-GOD”.
Emotional. Rollercoasted. Indeed.

8am 2 8am 1We’re FINALLY getting closer to Heathrow, according to Tom-Tom.
The sky is blue. I forgot how great that feels.
Perfect day for the Italian to leave on a positive note and start a new adventure elsewhere!
I love airports. I love watching planes in the sky too.  There’s always something special about it, like a silent promise of an awaiting paradise.  The growing sensation of that promise makes you hungry deep inside. Hungry for adventures, travels and discoveries. With the ongoing aim of finding that perfect place that will make you feel whole.
That’s what airports do to me. They remind me that I don’t travel half as much as I used to or should. They make me aware of that hunger again.

9amHeavy smoker’s penultimate cigarette.
Nicorette patches at the ready in her hand luggage, just in case she loses her sanity before landing in San José.
The clock is ticking and I try to focus my mind on simple things… But am fully aware that this coffee and fag moment will probably be the last one we share for another year and a half.

10amArrivederci Amore Moi.
There were tears, but tears of joy!
“You’re ready”, I tell her.
I’ll probably never be a mother– by choice–, but this is how I imagine it feels like. That’s how, I can imagine now, my mum felt the day we said Aurevoir for the first time at the Eurostar terminal in Lille, 7 years ago.
Here we are, and we’ve worked towards this special day for a few years now.
Panic and sadness are suddenly replaced with the realization that her dream has finally come true. I’ve never seen someone work so hard for their dreams and being so grateful when they come true.
She repeats that she’s incredibly lucky. I know it’s not down to luck and I know how much she deserves it. I know exactly what she had to go through to get to this day, in this airport. Heathrow Terminal 4, Tuesday 4th March 2014, 10am. She’s finally ready. A reminder on a sunny day of a dream worth fighting for is definitely the kick I longed for this year.

11Made it back home. All these emotions have knocked me out.
I try to focus on the simple things, again. Shapes on the wall.  Looks like spring is on its way.

12pmMy body’s begging me for some relaxing time: back to square 1 (6.00am).

2pmForced myself out of bed. Traumatised again… WHERE’S MY COFFEE? IS IT TIME FOR SCHOOL??
I’m spending a fair amount of time dozing around the house. I stop in front of the mirror. I love this view from this very angle. Moving this mirror there was definitely a great decision.

3pmI was planning on getting some work done today.
I was not planning on feeling so exhausted today.
Work didn’t happen.
Baudelaire will have to wait. Sorry, Charles!

4pmI’m French. It means that I was born with a good dose of arrogance.
And I’m arrogant enough to not care about my arrogance.
My point is, I’m a great cook. And this banoffee pie is simply aaaaawesome.

5amOh no, it’s work-o-clock…
Because leading the life that I lead means that when you’ve decided too take the day off, you still have to work. No artistic work this morning, no office work this afternoon… but I now have to put my French Teacher cap on and bam, off to my lesson.

6.00
I teach young children, so no picture for this one. You’ll just have to believe me when I say that these kids were on FIRE!!! I mean, not literally, but whatever they’re having, I want the same! Man, I’m glad I had that nap earlier, I’d be dead by now!

7pmI spot this crazy lamp in Darling & Wild on Camden Road on my walk back.
This shop always has the best window displays, and even more so at night!
Plus, seeing it open on my way to work is always one of the highlights of my week, as it means it’s Thursday and the weekend is on its way!

8pmWe planned to have a proper celebration and eat somewhere nice tonight, as it’s our anniversary. But man, those kids totally killed me and by the time I got home, I was dead to the world.
Take away from SuCheera it is then! Like I’m gonna complain…
Thai green curry with coconut rice, a red wine from Stellenbosch, and some Boardwalk Empire on the screen.
Simple things are generally the best.

9pmFalling asleep…
It takes a great effort to decide to go to bed and I stop on my way to contemplate my work space… I’m shutting up the guilt of not having done any work by keeping my mind focused on all the things that I will get done tomorrow.
Mountains of work.
Oh dear, only makes the sensation of exhaustion grow.

10pm

Finally made it to the bedroom, and this is what the world looks like when I’m tired.
Ready for sleep.
Ready for sleep.
Ready fo…