Monthly Archives: April 2014

Tuesday With Moi

I’m on holiday in St. John this week so rather than bore you with photos of all the beauty that surrounds me, I decided to save and publish a belated Tuesday With Moi.  Last Tuesday, I had the great pleasure of spending the day with Joe, the owner of Perk and Pearl.  Liam and I are putting together a video series with Joe to help showcase his terrific range of goodies (tea! coffee! chocolate!) and give his customers a more in-depth taste of his Willy Wonka-esque brand.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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A day with Joe starts early.  Seeing as I’m someone who likes to linger in bed and wake up slowly, a 5:45 alarm was a bit of a shock to my system.

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We started the morning at Joe’s house and then walked with him and his dog, Buffy, through Calverley Gardens (so beautiful and dewy in the morning light) and to his shop on the other end of town.

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The first coffee of the day was bold and beautiful. And so so soooo necessary.

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Breakfast was a selection of pastries and goodies from La Roche.

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One of my favourite things about Joe is that he’s always pushing forward and thinking outside the box.  From the Mind Your Head Gallery he opened in the back of his shop (and which Liam and I are lucky enough to help curate as Artists Unveiled!) to his bean art and ever-changing window decor, he has an incredible ability of keeping his space fresh and exciting.

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Working with Joe is great because you know that there’s always some rocket fuel close at hand should your engines start to slow.

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I’ve always loved working in a shop.  I love the steady-stream of people coming in the door, I love chatting to customers and getting to know their tastes and rhythms, I love the way that each day is different.  At noon, two VIP customers came in– Joe’s wife, Emma, and his daughter.  Together, the three of us decided to start the Royal Tunrbidge Wells Converse Club.

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This is Buffy, the shop dog.  She’s very quiet and nervous and adorable.

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What happens when you’re in a coffee and tea shop and you need an afternoon pick-me-up?  You snack on chocolate covered espresso beans, of course!  I’d take them over M&Ms any day!

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This Tuesday was also a big day as it was the day our new Mind Your Head Gallery exhibition was being installed!  Remember my friend Ed?  Well, he was picking up his work from the first exhibition and stuck around to crack jokes and help carry in some of the work for the new exhibitn, too.

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Spying on Joe as he talks with customers and grinds some beans.

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When 5 o’clock rolled ‘round, I couldn’t believe how quickly the day had flown by! We had loads of great video from the day but needed to finish the voiceover.

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After a day of hustling and filming and recording, we bid farewell to P&P and to Andrew Bruce’s beautiful photography that was hanging on the walls.  His stint in the MYHG is divided into 4 parts.  The first part finished on Tuesday but the second one is now installed and, from what I understand, looks amazing!  If you’re okay with dead animals, I think you’ll especially like it!  (Sorry, that sounds a lot more serial-killery than I wanted it to, but yeah, there are dead animals in his work but it’s cool. Not gross. Promise.)

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After lugging all our stuff back home, Liam and I treated ourselves to a glass of wine and re-hashed the day.  Andrew’s Private View was taking place the following day so we needed to nail down details and finish some plans. Our work is never done.

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We also went through some black and white film that I had developed (some of which I used in last week’s TWM!).  Some of that roll was used on a trip we took to Dover, and Liam used the photos in his Liam Says post over on the Gradient blog last week.

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After David arrived home, we all realised that we were starving. Being a terrible home-maker, I hadn’t prepared anything to eat so we all decided to head to SuCheera for dinner.  SuCheera is a terrific Thai place in town and I’m infuriated that it took me almost two years of living in Tunbridge Wells to find it.  Luckily, my dear friend Caro introduced it to me in her Tuesday With Vous and had drug me along for dinner there the week before.  Everything is delicious and the service is amazing.

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After a glorious dinner and much laughter, we finished off the wine and headed home.  And for the first time in forever, I tucked myself into bed before 11:00 PM.

THE END!  Now, back to the pool!  I might be back here before my holiday is done, or I might be passed out on a beach… who can say?  Either way, you can follow my travels over on Instagram should you so desire.  xx

Tuesday With Moi

I made a rookie error when prepping for last week’s Tuesday With Moi; I forgot to check with my local film processing company, Redbox Cameras, to see how long it takes to develop a roll of film.  Long gone are the days of 1-hour film developing (apparently), so I had to sit tight and twiddle my thumbs until Saturday when it was ready for pick-up.  But!– tragedy of tragedies– I wasn’t ready for pick-up on Saturday, so I waited until today to collect my film and voila! Here it is. Kodak 100 Tmax in black and white.  And you know what?  I think it was worth the wait.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014. 

TWM.April8.14.8David was away in Vegas all last week which meant I woke up alone, the sun shining through my window and my body spread diagonally across our amazing bed. Oh, I haven’t told you about my amazing bed yet, have I? Well, it is ginormous and the frame was made by a talented man named Tom Robinson of Steady-On Designs.  I’m going to borrow one of Liam’s wide-angle lenses at some point to take some photos for a proper post about the bed because it’s really great… But enough about the bed and back to TWM!  With David gone, I woke up extra well-rested. (JK DAVID I LOVE YOU.) (No, but seriously.)

TWM.April8.14.9After having two cups of hot lemon water, I was ready to move onto my latest obsession: Tulsi Tea from Perk & Pearl.  It’s so good.

TWM.April8.14.10After completing some work, I was wandering around the flat in my towel post-shower and was trying to decide what to wear. I had three meetings scheduled around town and I needed an outfit that would suit all of them. Conundrum!

By the way, my eldest step-son, Tom, is an apprentice tattoo artist at Life Family Tattoo in Sevenoaks and painted that cool crow on the left.  His work is really cool and if you’re braver than me and want a tattoo/like tattoos, give him a follow/contact him on instagram!

TWM.April8.14.11My first meeting of the day was with the ridiculously talented illustrator/puppet maker/artist, Jessica Exall. Liam and I are so so lucky to meet a number of incredibly talented artists through Artists Unveiled, and Jessica is one of them. Her work is enchanting and I was beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to meet with her and page through some of her work– which included two fantastic children’s books and some scribbles that are so good they belong in museums!

TWM.April8.14.12See? Amazing. She and I were meeting on this particular morning for the specific purpose of talking about an upcoming collaboration.  I won’t give it away, but a tapir plays a starring role.  <3

TWM.April8.14.13Whilst with Jessica, my second meeting of the day cancelled on me, so I took the opportunity to stop at The Bicycle Bakery for a coffee and some bread. Jamie also let me watch him make some sausage rolls whilst I was there. And no, that’s not a euphemism.

TWM.April8.14.14After the bakery, it was time to go home and squeeze in a few [much appreciated but unexpected] hours of work. Sometimes people ask me why I don’t work from home all the time and this is why: Le Chat is a needy girlfriend. And she’s jealous. And she sits on my keyboard.

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A couple months ago, my basil and cilantro got all dry and weird so I ripped them out of the soil and planted new seeds. And look! Growth!

By the way, if anyone knows of great plant/herb blogs, do point me in their direction… I can keep dessert plants and my bonsai alive but herbs always seem to get weird on me?

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Do you guys remember Kimmy Gibbler from Full House? Well, I’m the Kimmy Gibbler of Perk & Pearl. I’m always stopping in like Heeeeeeey, I’m heeeeeeere! and Joe acts like he’s happy to see me, but really he’s giving me this look and is all like, Oh no, here we go.

Joe’s the owner of Perk & Pearl, my favourite place to buy tea and coffee (and chocolate). He’s also the man behind the Mind Your Head Gallery, which Liam and I help curate as Artists Unveiled (we have a new exhibition launching this Wednesday, people!). And okay, maybe he likes me more than Tanners liked Kimmy, but I can promise you that I’m real good at being the annoying American neighbour next door!

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Okay, so what was I doing at Perk & Pearl? Well, I was meeting this gent. HI MATT HARQUAIL!  (Remember him?)

TWM.April8.14.18Matt and I were pounding the pavements (ahem, sidewalks) of Tunbridge Wells in search of stylish people to feature on the Fashionista page of Kudos. We saw loads of stylish people whilst we were out, but they were sadly dressed more for winter than they were for spring, so we couldn’t feature them. :( :( :(

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So we had a glass of wine and then left, feeling a little dejected after an unsuccessful photo journey.

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As I’m rarely left on my own, when I do have the house to myself I turn into a total slob (i.e. more of a slob than normal) and just eat some tortilla chips chased with a few glasses of wine and call it dinner. (Total goop diet, I know…) But on this particular evening, Liam and I were having a very important G.S.D. (Get Shit Done) meeting and he was kind enough to cook me a real meal and give me wine on top of that. #DoubleThumbsUp! To kick the meeting/hang-out sesh off, I finished a post I was working on about not being afraid of new/big opportunities.

TWM.April8.14.21And then we listened to music, went through some photos we took at a wedding the previous weekend, and caught each other up on projects that we’re working on. Liam’s a super-trooper right now and is working full time and is killin’ it on the AU-front, and working on tons of Gradient projects. He’s amazing. I’m so so lucky to be working with him.

TWM.April8.14.22His husband, Nick, is also amazing. On top of having a full-time job and being a badass libertarian in our local council (am I allowed to say that, Nick?), he also writes a great blog, writes for The Huffington Post and is working on multiple novels. As we like to say at Gradient, “Don’t stop get it get it!

TWM.April8.14.23After we talked about work stuff, Liam showed me his newest workout moves.

TWM.April8.14.24And then, after much laughter and a short (but sweet!) Beyoncé sing-along, I wandered home and snuggled into bed with Le Chat.

And that, my friends, is the super-sexy life of a short-term single lady who is doing her best right now to juggle all the balls.  And no, that’s not a euphemism.

Thanks for reading! xx

Tuesday With Vous: Ed Liddle

I got a little joyful (drunk) at a work dinner last night so I didn’t get around to posting this at my regular time (sorry, world!), but it’s up now so YAY! This week, we’re looking into the life of local artist, and my dear friend, Ed Liddle.  Ed’s funny and talented and courageous. He’s a doer and a maker and is always up to something interesting– whether it’s making a delicious lunch, camping out to see Prince in London, or listening to vinyl and painting in his studio. I adore Ed and I really think you will, too.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Name: Ed Liddle  //  website  //  twitter
Location: Tunbridge Wells, UK 
Occupation: Artist & Bhajia maker 
Camera Used: Canon 100d with a 40mm pancake lens

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This is the first thing I see and hear every morning. It’s my circular ‘was once white is now cream’ Panasonic radio alarm clock. Received as payment for building a gate for my brother and his wife about 8 years ago, we stumbled upon it on eBay and its been with me ever since. This orb like beauty has travelled with me from place to place and I know wherever I am with it by my (bed)side mornings are potentially a little easier to bear.

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I’ve been looking at the curtains for quite a long time, listening to the radio. Slowly waking up. Today is going to be a long day.

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Whilst living in halls at University my flatmate Rob was (and still is) really into hot chilli’s. So he grew some seeds and ate the chilli’s. (Other versions of this story are available) Several months later, having expressed an interest and helped him re pot the chilli plant a couple of times- It grew to be quite a beast – I received a ‘grow your own chilli plant kit’ from his mum, Sue. <3

So urm, nearly 4 years later I decided to plant them.

So good so far. (in this hour I also had two slices of peanut butter on toast and an earl grey tea FYI)

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So introductions. I’m Ed and I manage an organic hot food business. I travel around with our wagon pitching up at local markets, events and festivals to cook and sell Onion Bhajias and Pakora. More details and a cheesy photo can be found here -à www.motherbhumi.co.uk. The rest of my time is spent making art. I studied Painting at Brighton University and since graduating have been living and working back in Tunbridge Wells, my studio located in Southborough.

Today I’m headed to Lewisham Art House to finish installing the next exhibition my work will be shown in. So I thought the wheel of my car would illustrate the fact I’d be travelling. Lily the cat had different ideas.

EdLiddle11 I’ve arrived at the gallery, just waiting for friend, fellow artist and exhibitor Liam Kean to arrive so we can continue to crack on with the install. Here’s some tools to a)prove we are manly and use drills etc and b)show we did some work yesterday.

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The build up to an exhibition is always busy, working backwards from the install date to make sure you’ve got plenty of time to make the work that you’re happy with but also when working with paintings to make sure they are dry. It’s pretty easy to ruin a work during transportation and install, because something is still wet.

Here’s Liam looking uncharastically weary/confused. I imagine he was saying something like ‘I can’t work under conditions like this, Ed you’re too much.’

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The gallery we are exhibiting in (Lewisham Art House) is a joint artists studios, project space and gallery. The building it’s housed in used to be an old library and there’s lots of lovely original doors, windows. Great stuff to photograph. So why resist?

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Time for lunch. Before installing, both Liam and I had a rough idea of where work would be placed, having made some trips to see the gallery before. However things always change when the work is placed in the exhibition space. So at this point in the day we haven’t yet got anything up on the walls, or objects built. We’ve spent the time moving pieces about, discussing the ideas behind the work and trying out different combinations of display. It’s both exciting and daunting that whenever you install an exhibition, there is the potential for several very different exhibitions just from the way in which you install the show. (WHAT did you eat I hear you say? I had a pizza I made last night. No quality ribs or chicken for me!)

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We’ve pretty much decided on where things are going so time to attach mirror plates to the paintings and get them on the walls.

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The last bit is always quick, in the last hour or so everything is up and its onto clearing up. The glamorous side to being an artist, I seem to always be sweeping floors. (Tiny violin plays in the background). I take tools and unused wood out to put them back in the car. Can’t resist another door photo.

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Exhibition installed, I am now headed into central London to meet my friend as we are going to see a talk at the Royal Academy. I catch a train from New Cross Gate to London Bridge.

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Lewisham is a bit of an awkward place to get to and from (the places I’m going to and from, anyway) so instead of getting the tube all of the way, I get off at Waterloo and make a quick stop off at the Southbank Centre to have a tea. I truly love the Southbank Centre and depending on what time you go to get a coffee/tea/drink there, the view of the river and the London skyline changes dramatically. There are also lots of people who meet there for what I can only call ‘creative power meetings’ its great though as you get to overhear lots of conversations. Todays conversation consists of a group of three; an old lady, a middle aged man and a young girl. They are dramatically conducting a read-through of a play, making edits and notes all the while. **Readers beware** to attend or hold one of these meetings Apple products ARE necessary. I saw a man on an ‘hp’ laptop sitting in the corner. Needless to say the rest of us shunned him.

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This is my friend Holly. We meet at the RA to attend an ‘in conversation’ with Anselm Kiefer. Kiefer is undoubtably one of the world’s greatest living painters and one of my favourites, so as soon as I heard about the event I booked a ticket. Holly also loves Kiefer, but it had sold out by the time she went to book a ticket. Don’t worry though, after being put on the waiting list SHE GOT IN.

Holly and I studied our Art Foundation course at Maidstone togther and we also both went to Brighton University. She studied Architecture and is currently working in an architects practice in London before she continues on to study for her Level 2. Holly’s work is fantastic and her work can be found here. She also had some really exciting news to tell me, however all I can say is watch the One Show on the 21st April.

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Kiefer in conversation with Tim Marlowe was funny, sharp but most of all truly inspiring. His energy was boundless and he couldn’t help but make jokes and laugh all the way through the talk. I’ve tried to sum up the evening and have deleted each try so I shall simply add in a quote he dropped in when asked whether he always wanted to be an artist.

“At first I thought I’d like to be Jesus. Then I thought, the Pope. Who’s better? But then I realised, Artist is best.”

At the end we waited for everyone else to leave, meanwhile a queue had formed and suddenly people had armfuls of books for him to sign. It was slightly embarrassing, mainly the fact that each person had about 4 books each and wanted Kiefer to sign them. “Sign this one to eBay please” Each to their own. I did however go and speak to him and tell him that I enjoyed the talk. I also shook his hand. Of course I haven’t washed it since.

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So after the talk I headed back to the station. Somehow I managed to get on an extremely slow train back to New Cross Gate, stopping at a mere 14 stations from Victoria. Here’s a picture of a man looking a little like I felt, and I know you cant see his face but his shoulders and neck tell me he’s feeling bewildered and tired. Don’t worry about me though, on the train I managed to read and eat my bargain basement 40p croissant from M&S.

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14 stops later, via Timbuctoo I walked up to find the car and drive home. Check out that dash. 0-60 in 1 minute 24.

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Remember that 40p crossaint? Well I also bought a ready meal whilst in M&S. Before you sharpen you pitchforks, remember I made lunch and it’s been a real long day.

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The orb welcomes me to bed. Lamps, all about cosy lamps.

I’d love you all to come and see what I’ve been working on at the Lewisham Arthouse. The exhibition ‘Awkward Conversations’ runs from 2-13 April and is open Wednesdays-Sundays 12-6pm. Or join us for a drink at the late night opening on the 4th April. www.edliddle.org

I’m also showing at Perk and Pearl’s Mind Your Head Gallery in Tunbridge Wells and you’ve got 9 days more to go and see that. I hope our paths cross again! X