Author Archives: katherine

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

TWM.May6.14.8Yesterday was exhausting. I was jet lagged and I was sore from my 30 Days of Fitness efforts and I was hungry and I was tired. But I’m happy to be back in the swing of things and am happy to have my plant babies (this is my new basil) with me again.

TWM.May6.14.9I don’t know why, but I don’t do a lot of shopping in the UK. This is probably because time is scarce in my life and I don’t have the time to wander and find what I like. Don’t get me wrong, I have a few beloved boutiques here and there, but generally speaking I’m more apt to hunt something down when I’m in the States (especially when I’m in a familiar city) than I am in the UK.  Long story short (why am I even telling this story?), I stumbled upon these shirts at a Banana Republic in Miami and I am obsessed. Like, I’m-going-to-wear-them-until-they-dissintegrate-off-my-body obsessed. The striped one, which is my absolute favourite, reminds me of something my dad would’ve worn in the 90s. I don’t know why that’s a good thing when it comes to my very refined personal style (bahahahaa, sorry Dad), but it is. I guess.

TWM.May6.14.10Going away is wonderful because Le Chat is extra affectionate whenever we come back and if there’s one thing that I love, it’s knowing that I am loved and from what I understand, this doesn’t always happen with cats. But because Le Chat is an extra-special cat, for about a week after we return from a big trip she always becomes my shadow.  I can’t turn around without her charging at me with this exact look on her face. It makes me feel loved, which makes me feel happy. And only sometimes annoyed.

TWM.May6.14.11Someone once told me (I think a teacher is the someone in question, so what I’m about to say must be true) that an apple will wake you up just like a cup of coffee will. Yesterday, I had a cup of coffee and  an apple and you know what? I was still tired.

TWM.May6.14.12Mint water, from what I understand (or don’t understand) does not have any ‘waking’ qualities. I drank many cups of this, too, and I still felt very tired.

TWM.May6.14.13And even though I would have rather taken a nap for half an hour, I instead put on my gross old socks and some shorts and did some core and arm exercises. Why? Because I committed to 30 days of fitness and I’ll be damned if I don’t succeed! (Also because exercise usually makes me feel more awake but in this instance it just made me more tired.)

TWM.May6.14.14Speaking of exercise, this morning, my friend Ed (remember Ed?) and I signed up to run the Brighton Half Marathon next February. !!!!!!!!!!!!

I know, I’m pretty freaked out about it too. So what does the half marathon have to do with this photo? Nothing, really, except that it’s my new chilli plant that Ed gave to me last weekend. I can’t wait to see what colour the chillies turn out to be!

TWM.May6.14.15By this point in the afternoon, I was exhausted. Coffee, apples, exercise! They all failed me. I had nowhere else to turn, so I closed my eyes and called upon the powers of Queen Bey to guide me through the darkness.

TWM.May6.14.16That didn’t really work, either, so I just stared into my computer monitor (which was asleep!) and daydreamed of happier times

TWM.May6.14.17Miraculously, despite my sleepiness, I somehow made it to a train station and onto a train where the thought occurred to me that people who commute must be even more tired than I was in my current state. We’ve all seen them, commuters asleep on the train with their mouthes open and their necks rolling forward and then snapping back up, rolling forward and then snapping back up, rolling forward….

I could never be a full-time commuter, but boy oh boy can I fall asleep on a train!

TWM.May6.14.18So why was I on a train? Because I was travelling to sevenoaks to attend West Kent Networking‘s most recent event at The Chequers in Sevenoaks.  Last night, we collaborated with WKN to feature the art of local artist (and my step-son), Tom Cox, who is an apprentice tattoo artist at Life Family Tattoo, also in Sevenoaks.

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Tom’s work can usually be found on my walls, not on my arms, but last night we were projecting his illustrations onto bodies, à la a digital tattoo.

TWM.May6.14.20Like this!  And like this and this, too.  (By the way, the lady in this photo is named Hollie Mackenzie and her wooden sculptures are super good! I only met her last night but I can already tell that she’s super rad and totally talented.)

TWM.May6.14.21After networking with new and old acquaintances alike, Liam and I were off to see the Tunbridge Wells Writers!  We have a new exhibition at Mind Your Head Gallery coming up that will feature the group’s Lipschtick project. This is Alison (a very dark Alison… but only because the light was directly on her head and cast her entire front into shadow) and she is one of the brilliant poets who is helping us coordinate the next exhibition. We’ll let you know all the details when we have ‘em!

TWM.May6.14.22And just as the day started with new plant babies, so too did it end.  This is Alison’s brand new aloe plant, which was gifted to her by our fellow writer, Lucy.

After that, I tucked myself into bed for an early night and slept soundly until this morning. I’m no longer exhuasted. THE END.

Thanks for reading and remember, if you ever want to share your day with me (and everyone else, too!), please have a read through the contributor details and get in touch! I’d la-la-la-love to have you!

Tuesday With Moi – Island Edition

 Tuesday, April 29, 2014 

I can’t believe I had to leave this place…

TWM.April29.14.9Our villa dog had a scuffle with this iguana and, though I only heard it and didn’t see it, I’m pretty sure the iguana ended up winning.  His posture and don’t-give-a-F attitude kind of set the tone for the rest of my day.

TWM.April29.14.10Colour inspiration. (Full disclosure: I spent most of my morning working on the couch. All our friends who we were sharing a villa with went to the beach for the day but David and I stayed behind as we both needed some quiet time.)

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But working from paradise isn’t so bad when you get to do it in your swimsuit! I know it’s lame, but every time I think about warm weather holidays, I still think about the spectacular swimsuit coordination in Mary-Kate & Ashley’s Holiday in the Sun. I will never achieve that level of swimsuit perfection, but gosh darn it I will try! (Does anyone else have this problem? Someone, please say yes. I can’t be the only 26 year-old still basing all her holiday dreams on a movie she secretly loved when she was 13, right?)

TWM.April29.14.12Poolside colour inspiration. I love the burnt orange and the green in the palm leaves.

TWM.April29.14.13Colour inspiration. Green and gold. Blue and rust.

TWM.April29.14.14Love these shadows.

TWM.April29.14.15I was too lazy to get out of the pool so I made David take the 3 o’clock photo. and VOILA! Me. After burning my back at Pat and Jackie’s beach wedding on Saturday, SPF 100 was my BFF. (À la my perfect ‘Holiday in the Sun’ fantasy, I matched my lipstick to my suit here. I can’t remember if MK&A wear lipstick in their movie ((probably not because they were, like, 13 years-old and it was 2001 so we were all wearing Lip Smackers glitter chapstick or whatever)) but I feel like it’s something the characters would do in a modern-day version of the movie.) (Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m sharing this giant secret of mine with you right now. I always prided myself on publicly disliking MK&A when I was younger. Ugh.) (Anyway…)

TWM.April29.14.16These leaves were like sails and they made the most beautiful noise when the wind blew through them!  My favourite lullaby.

TWM.April29.14.17Back in the villa with rumbling tummies. We made snacks, washed the salt out of our hair, took naps, and generally were lazy.

TWM.April29.14.18And then we sat and watched the sun begin to set from the porch.

TWM.April29.14.19Wine on the island was ridiculously expensive so I made spritzers. They were disgusting but they were cold and didn’t taste as disgusting as island water so I drank them.

TWM.April29.14.20Our friends from the other villa came over for a big let’s-drink-all-the-alcohol-and-eat-all-the-food-in-the-villa party. Tuesday night was our last night on the island and we had a lot of stuff to devour!

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So here begins the part of the evening where I started drinking tequila straight and basically just took pictures of people I was talking to. Hi David!

TWM.April29.14.22Hi Pat! (Pat’s the guy that got married on the island. It was so dreamy!)

TWM.April29.14.23I wasn’t talking to this mosaic, but I was sitting below it at one point. It was hugenormous! I kept looking up at it and wondering what would happen if it fell off the wall and onto me. I decided that if it did fall, I’d probably die because it was probably really heavy. Did I mention that I was drinking tequila?

TWM.April29.14.24Hi Pat and Jackie!! So we didn’t finish all the alcohol in the villa but we got pretty close! And as the night wore on, we all got sloppy and told each other how much we loved each other and how much we loved these two specifically because they got married on an island and invited us all to be a part of their celebration and it was perfect.

Oh, friends! They’re the greatest. And St. John is the greatest. And our holiday in the sun was basically the best ever even though I didn’t have 45 perfect swimsuit costume changes for the entire week.

Before we left St. John yesterday, David and I stopped for lunch at a little beach-side restaurant and I literally cried into a margarita because I didn’t want to leave. The warmth! The ocean! The spotty WIFI that meant I couldn’t really stress about work! The friendliness of the locals! The mid-afternoon cocktails! The scary cab rides up super steep hills! The lizards everywhere! The stars at night! The colours everywhere! The sand! It was all so wonderful. And I don’t even like sand!

Ohmygosh, I’m maybe getting teary again.  I gotta go…

So long St. John and so long Tuesday!

(For more photos of my holiday, check out my Instagram. And for St. John colour inspiration, check out our Gradient Instagram!)

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

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…

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

8
On Monday, I had food poisoning and slept for 20 hours. You can read more about the glorious details of my illness over on the Gradient blog, but all you really need to know is that I woke up yesterday feeling alllllmost back to normal, which was awesome.

9I used to read Vogue and eye-roll so hard every time some model-turned-art collector was like “Oh, my moisturiser is life changing, you know?”– Yeah, whatever lady.  But for real, this shiz is the shiiiiiz.  Since moving to the UK, my face has experienced various states of hydration (or lack thereof) and lustre, and this stuff is like smoothing silk directly onto my face. No, it’s like turning my face into silk. And I thought so even before I read the description saying that it’s “liquid silk for the skin”. Forget the fact that this bottle is more than my mortgage, I need it.

10Because it was raining and I hadn’t eaten solid foods for over 24 hours, I decided to take it easy and work from home for the day whilst I experimented with eating toast.

11And eating cereal.

12And drinking lots of tea. This book kept beckoning me to read it but I stood my ground and did not read it. Instead, I worked.

13And Le Chat snuggled at my feet and gave me loving nuzzles of encouragement.  JK, she slept like a little kitty baby.

14Another reason I decided to work from home yesterday is that I had a very busy night ahead of me.  To prepare for this very busy night, I had to run a few errands.  Here I am saying “See you in a few minutes, baby cat. I need to buy cat litter, cat food, and laundry detergent!” Sexiest shopping trip ever? I think so!

15When I returned, I was very tired. So I ate more toast.

16And then I packed my bags and was whisked away in a…

17Rather steamy taxi. To Heathrow!

No, I wasn’t taking a fantastic mini vacation to somewhere tropical.  Instead…

18Instead, I was meeting my parents! They had a long layover on their way home to Minnesota from India and decided to spend the night with meeeeeeee.

Edited to Note: I am so 1,000% my mother’s daughter. Compare this photo with my 14:00 photo.  Go, do it.  See anything similar?  WE. DID. NOT. PLAN. THIS.

19Anyway, we went to the Heathrow Radisson Blu and did what my family does best together: eat and drink.

20Over appetisers and wine, they told me stories about the ministries they visited and are working with.  Ministries that are helping orphans, protecting religious freedoms, and rescuing young girls and women from the sex trade.

21Over dinner, they showed me photos and told me stories that made me laugh but also want to cry. It’s crazy to think that I live my life in various states of awesome when there are so many people living in unfathomably crap conditions (literally and figuratively) all over the world.

22Over whiskey, we talked about how it’s encouraging (and inspiring) to know that there are people out there giving their lives to help save people in need whilst we sit in nice restaurants and moan about slow service.

23But hey! Enough with the existential sad stuff.  My parents! Were in England! And we got to hang out and laugh together for the first time in months!  That was pretty fun.

24Before we settled into our separate hotel rooms for the night, they gifted me this beautiful cashmere scarf from Kashmir.  I shall wear it and think of them often.

And that was my lovely Tuesday.  So fleeting, so sweet.  xx