Category Archives: Friends

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

TWM_August26_2014_8You know in sitcoms when a kinda normalish character has a totally ridiculous view of the city and you just kind of roll your eyes and think uh-huh honey, whatever. Well, this past week, we were cat-sitting in London and the flat we were staying in has exactly one of those views. It was the kind of perspective that makes walking up five floors totally worth it (even when you’re carrying a typewriter and a bottle or two of wine!). It’s a pinch-yourself-each-morning kinda view, and when you hear Big Ben ring every hour, you definitely feel blessed.

(For all ya’ll who are shrugging your shoulders, here’s another photo. Yep, that’s Westminster, Big Ben, Parliament and The London Eye and The Shard. All places I like a helluva lot better from up above than I do walking by on the ground.)

TWM_August26_2014_9Tuesday morning was rainy and grey and cold. In typical English fashion, we all obsessed over the weather and I kept stating that it definitely feels like autumn whilst sitting in the cocoon I made out of a duvet on the sofa (I’m so good at being British, you guys). Liam, on the other hand, was a total trooper. He poured himself a hot cup of a coffee, put on a sweater jumper, and just got to work.

TWM_August26_2014_10I really love homes that have an eclectic, lived-in feel. Every object in the flat we were staying in had a story– from the mid-century modern furniture to their paintings and their mugs– which were all Disney mugs. And boy, did they have a lot of Disney mugs! But the 101 Dalmatians mug was my favourite.

TWM_August26_2014_11When it comes to homes, natural light is #1 on my must-have list and I especially like homes that have an open plan with windows on both sides (or, better yet, all sides!) of the space.  This flat had the previously pictured fantastic tourist trap view and then a beautiful view of Vincent Square on the other side. Since the flat was nestled in the eaves of the building, it was almost like we were floating above the neighbourhood, secluded and private in our white-washed oasis. I absolutely loved it!

TWM_August26_2014_12Speaking of white-washed, how ’bout this beautiful marble table?! I don’t know who they paid to carry it up five flights of stairs but whoever it was, I hope they got paid some major cash money, as opposed to my “movers” who are really my friends and who I pay in pizza and beer.

TWM_August26_2014_13Even though I’ve been working for myself for a while now, I still feel guilty about spending my time planning, creating, and editing posts for our Gradient blog during business hours. I’m always like This is fun! Surely I shouldn’t be doing this right now. But then I give myself a grown-ass lady talk and remind myself that I am my own marketing and business development department. Then I feel better about doing things to promote myself. In this instance, I was getting my ducks books in a row for this month’s Gradient Reads post, which took me two days to get around to actually shooting because I kept thinking Oh, I’ll just do that later after I do some real work. Ugh. When will I learn?!

TWM_August26_2014_14One of my favourite things about London are all the secret gardens. The city is full of green spaces that must of us will never see or ever even know are there. Green spaces like this. Sure, it’s not a forest or anything, but it’s still mighty fine.

TWM_August26_2014_15Two things that I think make a home really great are lots of books and original art (it doesn’t have to be expensive art!). This flat had plenty of both, which is why I think we all felt immediately comfortable upon walking in. It helps, too, that the flat also had a charming and beautiful cat. I’d like to say that no home is complete without a cat but I do know of a few cat-free homes that I’ll happily retreat to, thereby disproving this rule. But a cat helps. Usually a lot.

TWM_August26_2014_16Nick fell hard for this beautiful (and oh-so-comfy) Saarinen Womb Chair. Funny enough, as we were watching Legally Blonde later that evening, we realised that Elle had the same chair in her dorm! We always knew Nick had good taste, we just didn’t know how good.

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After it stopped raining (finally), I rallied the troops (Liam and Nick) and we set out on a very important mission. A coffee mission! We were out of our usual Perk & Pearl roast, so we trekked to the nearest Workshop– my London favourite– for some beans and a flat white. Not only does Workshop do killer coffee, their shops are wonderfully inviting and unique to boot. Their shops are more than just another café, they’re coffee experiences. And I think that’s really important.

TWM_August26_2014_18Once the coffee was finished, it was time for a cocktail! Together, we headed to my current favourite bar in London, Berners Tavern in The London Edition hotel. Whilst sitting at the bar, Liam realised that he used to work right next door to what is now the restaurant before he moved to Tunbridge Wells. “What was it before it was a hotel and restaurant?” we asked. He didn’t know. Whatever it was, they had some pretty great ceilings!

TWM_August26_2014_19The best thing about being in London this week was being able to take advantage of the wealth of ethnic food the city has to offer. We at Turkish, Mexican, Indian and, in this case, Korean. (We also ate lots and lots of gourmet pizza. You know how I roll.) Thanks to an old friend who was gracious enough to be my Korean culinary guide whilst I was in college, I fell hard for Korean cuisine and consider many Korean dishes amongst my all-time favourite meals. Lo and behold, Tunbridge Wells doesn’t have any Korean restaurants, so hitting up Bibimbop in Soho was a rare treat. And a pretty delicious treat, too!

TWM_August26_2014_20With full bellies, we meandered toward home but stopped outside Daks to plan our AW2014 wardrobes, which we’ll wear when we go fox hunting with Her Majesty The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, and The Prince of Wales, of course.

I’ll have this, this, and this, please!

TWM_August26_2014_21After we made it back to Pimlico, the boys went home and I wandered the square and the surrounding streets to a) find wine, and b) talk to David on the phone. One of the things I loved to do when I lived in Boston was aimlessly wander the streets at night whilst talking to the phone. I’d chat to whomever (my parents, mostly) and ogle the beautiful interiors (I saw lots of crown moulding and chandeliers) of the stately homes in Beacon Hill, Brookeline, and along Comm Ave whilst laughing and sharing stories with the voice on the other end of the line.

Since moving to the UK, I don’t talk on the phone much and I don’t speak to my friends and family in The States the way I used to– spontaneously. The time difference dictates that our communication is something that needs to go on the To-Do list– To Do: Text Mom to Arrange Skype Call– rather than the comfortable and easy hello that it used to be. Instead of daily catch-ups full of hum-drum tidbits that I happily listened to and shared as I circled city streets, we now keep our catch-ups limited to just the big events.

Okay, I’m actually getting weepy writing about this right now. Ugh. Anyway! TUESDAY: So on Tuesday night, as I walked through Pimlico and looked through every residential window I could, I called and talked to David. We didn’t speak for long as we had only been apart for one day, but in that short time that we spoke, I was reminded of those streets in Boston and the way we fell in love in the city. I remembered telling my mom about David for the first time whilst I walked through Brookline. I stopped at a park and was sitting on a bench when I did the whole “I met someone” thing, the scent of summer roses heavy in the air. I could hear her breathing on the other side of the phone as I told her more. I watched a family walk past as I spoke and imagined their daughter calling and saying the same thing I was saying to my mother to her own mother, who had curly hair and a stern mouth. It’s nice talking to someone on the phone when you’re outside in the city– it reminds you that the things you’re saying aren’t the only things that matter. That we all have stuff to say, people we love, people we’ll hurt and disappoint, and people we’ll pass in the night and never know. Cities are cool like that.

Back in Pimlico, the square was quiet as I said goodbye to David. A man with a dog confidently walking lead-free beside him passed me and I could see a woman in a bathrobe flip channels as she stood in the window of her third floor flat. I felt alone but totally connected to so much that was happening around me. Alone, but electric. When Big Ben told me it was 9 o’clock, I pointed my lens between the railings of the fence surrounding the green and took this picture. My heart was aching with nostalgia.

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Back in the flat, we enjoyed some wine and decided to watch Legally Blonde, which is when Nick had his realisation that his beloved chair was actually Elle’s chair which temporarily gave him mixed feelings about it.

TWM_August26_2014_23Because taking a photo of the movie would be BORING, I decided to take a picture of our vacant hosts’ art books on their bookcase, which spanned the entire wall. I was so jealous of their books and their massive bookcase, which is basically everything I ever dreamed of. David and I are already planning to make (ahem: buy)  a copy-cat bookcase of our own because it was just so simple and good and perfect. It literally made me feel the same way Belle’s bookcase in the Beast’s house palace? made me feel when I was six years old, which was a pretty amazing feeling of desire and aspiration.

TWM_August26_2014_24When the evening came to a close, I went to bed alone. But I wasn’t really alone because the eye is always watching!!!!!!!!

And that was my Tuesday, friends. What did you get up to? I want to know everything.  (No, seriously I do.)

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sometimes I think about how much of our daily lives revolves around consumption. We consume food so we don’t die, we work so we can buy food, we spend our excess money on stuff that we want and occasionally need and as we cross things off our To Buy list, we add new items to it. We have to work harder because the list keeps growing and consuming is a tough cycle to break. Here’s a day in my consumerist life.

TWM_August19_2014_8As a child, I was quite taken with Willy Wonka’s meal gum. As I’ve grown, I’ve often daydreamed of its invention as it would make life much more productive. I’d love to replace time spent eating with time spent making, creating, and doing. As someone has yet to invent a chewing gum food alternative, I’m forced to settle for the second best: The NutriBullet. Every morning for the last few weeks, I throw a bunch of healthy stuff into the bullet and BOOM, fifteen seconds later it’s drink-able. 

Mundane drinking > mundane eating.

On this morning, my smoothie included oats, almond milk, spinach, strawberries, zucchini, and blueberries. Scoff if you must (a few weeks ago I would have), but it’s actually pretty tasty and, more importantly, totally convenient!

TWM_August19_2014_9My chilli plant has gotten big big big and is producing lots of chills, which is exciting. It’s miraculous to me what a little bit of water, some soil, and a seed can come together to create when sunlight’s involved.

TWM_August19_2014_10Lately, David and I have been dreaming about shipping container houses with ample garden spaces, hoards of plant babies, and lots of natural light. But we’ve also been thinking a lot about central city flats with small balconies and public parks. Problem is, we want both. Both the city pad and a country oasis. We want modern, stream-lined homes with energy efficient appliances and we want homes full of found objects from centuries past that are sustainably repurposed for our modern desires. We want to save the environment, but we want to get on planes and travel the world, see the sites, and take something back to prove we were there. We want both, we want it alland all this wanting is quite frankly ridiculous.

I often wonder, is all this wanting just a fixture of our entitled and over-stimulated generation or is it a by-product of being an ambitious person? I’d like to think it’s the latter, but more often than not I find myself thinking it’s the former. The wants of our generation are not sustainable. Or can we really have it all?  

I don’t think many people will be happy with the answer. 

TWM_August19_2014_11When I catch myself double-tapping my way through Instagram or clicking through the pages of my favourite blogs and getting lost in the fantasies of the lives of others, I often close my eyes and remind myself to work hard and stay humble. To chase my dreams, but keep simplicity and sustainability at the forefront. Our lives are great and we have much to be thankful for. Our worries are small and our opportunities are huge.

On the topic of huge opportunities, Liam and I are marching forward with Gradient and are constantly striving to push ourselves to grow and learn. This last Tuesday, we were especially focused on our business consumption– specifically relating to our finances and business plan. When it comes to both money and hardcore business planning, I’m the first to admit that I’m not especially great at all the nitty-gritty details, so it’s important that I find great resources to help me navigate those uncertain waters.

For business planning, I can’t recommend the book Business Model Generation enough. David initially bought it for me whilst we were living in Boston. At the time, the two of us were hatching a plan to start a social network-esque community engagement product and though our plan fizzled out, the communicative illustrations and real-talkin’ messages conveyed in the book stuck with me. Whilst Liam and I decide how to push forward with our own model, I’ve been referring to this book time and time again. And as our model changes and our business grows, I’ll likely keep thumbing through it.

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As much as I love and believe in planning, I also believe that a very important part of any business plan is to be adaptable. We never know when a client will fall through or a new acquaintance will ask us to deliver a big job. It’s important to be open to new opportunities and advancements, but to be able to think them through to fit the overall plan. That’s why I like planning with sticky-notes. Things feel in flux with sticky notes, but like building blocks, too. If something changes an a particular block doesn’t fit where it used to, there’s room to restructure and build in a slightly different way.

TWM_August19_2014_13Now, I realise that this post is beginning to sound very heavy-handed, but I promise we’re not like that. See, we like to keep things light-hearted and fun! We enjoy laughing, we like connecting with our clients and believe that no matter the price of the things we want in life, the most valuable things that we have are our relationships, our smiles, and our memories. Working together, Liam and I remind each other that the reason we’ve pioneered out on our own ins’t to Scrooge McDuck dive our way into piles of dollar bills, but because we care about what we do, we enjoy it, and we want to help others who care about what they do better communicate about their brand of awesome, too. We believe that when people care about the things they make and the people they work with– like, really care– the world is better for it. If caring were a currency, we’d be rich.

TWM_August19_2014_14But caring isn’t a currency and people like me who would like to trade on good-will, beautiful trinkets and thoughtful favours need to get wise and name a price. Then we need to deliver on our promises, send out invoices, and– more often than not– chase ‘em up. And for me, that’s the most difficult part of having a business. (Though I have to say, whenever I start to get queazy about money matters, I refer to Kathleen Shannon’s post about thinking of money as energy. So so good, though I’m admittedly not always great at it.)

TWM_August19_2014_15After our planning session wrapped for the day, we meandered our way through town. After all that capital-b-and-p Business Planninge, ducking into Chapel Place Gallery to scope out some art was a very welcome diversion. This piece, Touch and Go by Henrietta Dubrey, caught my eye. I like the tension between the two figures. They remind me of interlocked fingers or barges narrowly passing each other in a harbour.

TWM_August19_2014_16We stopped in The Pantiles, which was charmingly decorated with bunting, and enjoyed a coffee as we prepared for a meeting that was sure to be especially taxing to a brain like mine. Enter excellent resource #2: BSR Bespoke, Accountants Extraordinaire.

TWM_August19_2014_17After learning so much about setting up our business, tax exemptions, and how I can’t keep buying my clients coffee/lunch and thinking we’ll just claim it back, Liam and I walked out to a beautiful rainbow. Was this a sign of pots of gold on the horizon? I don’t know, but I was feeling pretty blessed either way.

TWM_August19_2014_18With our heads full of numbers, we were happily lured into Wetherspoons for a last minute beer with our friends Sam and Scott. Sometimes I think that maybe I consume too much on the alcohol funtimez-front, but then I walk into Wetherspoons where half the occupants are basically human beer casks and feel a little better about my personal intake. Like, it could seriously be so much worse. 

TWM_August19_2014_19You might remember Sam from his TWV posts here, here, and here. Scott, however, has not done a TWV but you may have seen his face here once or twice due to his involvement in the Tunbridge Wells Writers.  Scott, in addition to being a brilliant comedian, is also the man who develops most of my film. One day, I want to take some really horrific photos on a roll of film and drop it off like “Oh, hey! Here’s another roll of film full of boring pseudo-artistic tourist photos and stuff. Kbye!” and scare the crap out of him.

Buuuuut now I’ve just given that secret away so I probably won’t do it but would’t it be so funny if I did?! 

TWM_August19_2014_20After a few bottles of beer, Liam and I headed toward my house so we could do some last minute gift-wrapping. You see, Tuesday was Nick’s birthday and we were late to the scheduled celebration.

TWM_August19_2014_21Our wild celebration started with some prosecco and Thai take-out. Fancy.

TWM_August19_2014_22The evening continued with a Disney sing-along and a deep discussion about which Disney characters and moments shaped us. We were sitting in the dark for most of the evening, which was both strange but also helpful as it gave the nature of our conversation more drama. Birthdays should always be about drama, don’t you think? It makes them more memorable that way.

TWM_August19_2014_23Liam and Nick’s three cats were not invited to the party as they are basically furry, land-walking piranhas and eat e’rything they find, regardless of whether or not it’s edible. They could smell our prawn crackers and hear our laughter so they sat directly outside the door, trying to peer through it and find a way to break in.

Keeping cats is kind of funny when you think about it. Don’t get me wrong, thinking about the amount of love I have for Le Chat sometimes makes my heart feel like it’s going to explode, but on a less personal not it’s funny that we buy these animals, feed them, clean up after them (which can be really yucky, can I get an amen?) and get what in return? Indifference. Bad behaviour. Dirty paw prints across freshly cleaned floors/tables/beds/keyboards. But then they jump on our laps and purr and give us lovely little nuzzles and somehow that is worth it to us.

TWM_August19_2014_24And the love we feel for these little creates and for the other things that we nurture and grow– like my wonderful chilli plant– it consumes us.

Consumption, people.  It’s everywhere.

Tuesday With Moi

So I’m changing up the TWM format a little bit. I love photographing and writing Tuesday With Moi, but lately, life is getting a little crazy on the posting front.  Gradient is growing and so too are our Artists Unveiled obligations. My personal life has also imploded lately and I have a visa to sort, a brother who is– SURPRISE!– getting married in a few weeks, and a subsequent trip back to The States all planned in the next week. Unfortunately, my growing obligations and commitment to my work and my friends means that this wonderful passion project needs some restructuring, so from now on, I will be posting Tuesday With Moi and Tuesday With Vous posts on the weekend.  Hopefully this will be better for me, but also for my contributors.

So Tuesday is now on a Saturday/Sunday. Let’s do this!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tuesday was a loony-tunes day, so most of these photos were taken a little after the hour. I’m a cheat sometimes. But this is my blog so I can do what I want.

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I arrived back from a trip to Switzerland (which you can see photos of here, here, and here) late the previous evening and was tired yet happy to be back home. David was in China at the same time, so Le Chat was extra excited to have me back!  Our morning began with Perk & Pearl coffee and lots of kitten snuggles. I’m always a little fuzzy until the coffee & kitten quota has been met.  <3

TWM.June10.14.9After a few days away, I felt like the flat needed a good airing.  So I lit a Temple Spa mini candle. So fresh and so clean clean!

TWM.June10.14.10Ten o’clock!  Time to get out of my Kimono and into my work clothes.

TWM.June10.14.11Summer is lovely.  When the sun is shining, I mean.  the lavender is beginning to mature and it’s about to get reaaaal good out there!

TWM.June10.14.12I bought some Swiss chocolates whilst visiting my friend in Rapperswil last week. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, so I brought them to the office so my officemates could eat them. Aaaaand I ate one too. It was delicious!

TWM.June10.14.13On my way to lunch I stumbled upon some cherries. But they weren’t local so I didn’t buy them. I’m holding out for some good local cherries!

TWM.June10.14.14My real lunch was from Gusta.  It’s a local newbie and it is delicious.

TWM.June10.14.16Office. Blah blah blah blah blahhh.

TWM.June10.14.17And then I Skyped with my brother and he was like, “I’m getting married in Minnesota in three weeks! Please come for the wedding!” and I was like, “Oh my gosh, I just broke out into full-body hives and my visa is up in three weeks and I can’t really afford it and ohmygosssssh.”

But obviously I was like, “I am your sister and I will do everything I can to be there.”

Aaaaand fingers crossed it all works out. (Does anyone know anything about the process of applying for residency here in the UK?)

TWM.June10.14.18After my conversation with my brother, I was super stressed.  So I went home and went for a run. Because I’m one of those assholes now and I go for a run when I’m stressed.

TWM.June10.14.19After my run, I had to quickly get changed so I could…

TWM.June10.14.20Hang out with these two!! Yup, I met with Liam and Ed so we could head to The Grey Lady and see my girl Hannah of Kudos fame serenade us with some songs.

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She’s the lead singer of the band, which is called When Colours Collide. Isn’t she dreamy?!

TWM.June10.14.22After Hannah’s band finished, a local group called Mercia performed. They were pretty badass. Ed was transfixed…

TWM.June10.14.23After all the music ended, we headed home. My gentlemen friends were perfect gentlemen and they walked me to my door.  Thanks, Nick & Co! 

Since Tuesday, David has gotten back and things have gotten even crazier! But things are on the right track now… I think.  #PleasePray

Tuesday With Moi

Finally….

First I was busy (so busy!), then I was sick and busy, and now I’m just sick.  But I am here!  So let’s do this.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

TWM.May20.14.8I bought a strawberry plant last weekend and have been waking up to little red strawberries every morning.  They’re tart and lovely and I’m ever so happy to have a strawberry plant as part of my indoor garden.

TWM.May20.14.9David and I are becoming quite the grown-ups lately.  In addition to scoring a new vintage table on eBay last weekend (which we have yet to pick up), we also purchased a lamp. Now we need a lampshade, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves!!

TWM.May20.14.10Le Chat always gives me the sweetest goodbyes.

TWM.May20.14.11Desktime.

TWM.May20.14.12I need more visual interest in my office.

TWM.May20.14.13My dear friend Caro gave me a new phones case a while ago.  I have this bad boy in both black and blue now.  I dig it, though I must confess that I actually use it as a wallet/change carrier rather than a phone case.

TWM.May20.14.14In-office meeting. Queen Cat presiding.

TWM.May20.14.15Hanging with Liam, yo. We had two Artists Unveiled exhibitions launching this past weekend as part of Unfest, so we were busybusybusy with plans.

TWM.May20.14.16Yellow tape!  One of our exhibitions was a sound installation in the Corn Exchange and Liam and I were meeting to specifically go over details for this piece. One of those details was exactly how we were going to use our yellow tape to add visual interest to the sound experience.  This is how we ended up using it. It was great to see people actually lay on the body outline, close their eyes, and experience the sound in the space.

TWM.May20.14.17Next on our Grown-Up Things To Buy list is a bookshelf… We really really need a bookshelf!

TWM.May20.14.18I’ve been feeling less than picture-perfect lately so I treated myself to some new Temple Spa skincare. My girl Lucy at No6 Clinic introduced me to the brand and they keep my skin silky soft.

TWM.May20.14.19And then, after doing my wifely duty* of spending our money, I did my wifely duty of putting on some laundry.

TWM.May20.14.20But I did not do my wifely duty of making dinner, so we went to La Fiamma instead. This is our pizzascape. It was delicious! 

TWM.May20.14.21Still light at 9 PM!  These days are my favourite days.

TWM.May20.14.22Kitten. Again. I closed out the night with kitten snuggles, poetry formatting, and meeting prep. Just like a rock star!  <3

Soooooo that was my Tuesday.  I can’t believe my next one is already tomorrow!  xx

*Wifely duties, LOL.  I know my sarcasm doesn’t always come out in these posts, but please know that I am 100,000% joking when I allude to wifely duties and all that jazz.  Because really, gender roles do nothing but cramp our styles.

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 

TWM.May13.14.8Scrolling through Instagram with a coffee in bed and missing the homeland so so badly.

I woke up yesterday morning and boy oh boy was I sore! Since starting my 30 Days of Fitness, I’ve been very much into the Yoga Studio App and have been practicing with a selection of classes on my no-run days. The class I did on Monday kicked my ass.  Or, more specifically, it kicked my back which was so so so sore!

TWM.May13.14.9I’ve really sucked at eating breakfast at, like, breakfast time this week.

TWM.May13.14.10Exciting news!! The passion project I started with Liam, Artists Unveiled, is featured in the new art-inspired issue of Kudos!  If you can’t get your hands on a copy, you can read it here.  We collaborated with the wonderful Matt Harquail (remember Matt?) and the Kudos Fashion Editor on their Love Fashion feature, too.  Check it out from page 28. So exciting!!

TWM.May13.14.11Yesterday was a crazy day. One minute it was all blue skies and the next it was dreary. This is the divide.

TWM.May13.14.12Death Part I: My jade almost died when I was on holiday. When I came back, her leaves were all mushy and weird. I think she’s on the up-swing though. She’s looking better. (Someone, help! Mom?)

TWM.May13.14.13Sorry, I just can’t help myself… So excited about this Kudos feature!

TWM.May13.14.14Death Part II: Around 1:30, I went home for lunch and ate some leftover Indian food. After said Indian food was finished, I was still hungry so I made myself two boiled eggs. I don’t know why, but for some reason, whilst eating the eggs, I had a *danger* flash.  They didn’t taste or smell bad, I just had a feeling that something was up.  When I looked at the egg carton, I noticed that the eggs had expired in February.  FEB. RU. ARY.

Naturally, I texted this photo to David and was all like “OMG ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME?!”

TWM.May13.14.15Then I had a meltdown and spent too much time swivelling around in my office chair, waiting for massive diarrhoea and vomiting to start and then for the dehydration to set in, which would eventually lead to death.

TWM.May13.14.16But just as I was on the cusp of dying of egg poisoning, my friendly fresh veg delivery people  who I buy my eggs from told me some crazy news: They recycle their egg cartons!  I love recycling and I love eggs. Suddenly my symptoms all went away and I felt fine. It was so weird! 

TWM.May13.14.17Thanks to my remarkable recovery, I was able to keep my coffee date with Matt.  (Remember Matt? Again?) We went to my new favourite between-my-house-and-office cafe, The Velo House. Matt ate a pink cupcake and I had a chocolate croissant because I am a man. Or more of a man than Matt, anyway.

(JKJKJK MEN CAN LIKE PINK TOO I’M JUST JK.)

TWM.May13.14.18To work off my chocolate croissant, I enjoyed a short (but very enthusiastic) walk home. Full disclosure: I did not work out yesterday.  In fact, yesterday was the first day on my 30 Days of Fitness challenge that I didn’t make time to exercise. Why? Because I could hardly bend over and thought that it was probably better for me to just do some passive stretching throughout the day rather than over-exert myself and wind up with an injury. Injury prevention… that’s a type of fitness, right?!

TWM.May13.14.19After stopping at home to catch up with all the Beyoncé drama, I walked over to Liam‘s to drop off some Perk & Pearl coffee I had for him. On the way, I got caught in a rain storm (that’s fitness, right?!). And then I saw this rainbow which made the whole thing worth it.

TWM.May13.14.20Liam and Nick just finished all the seasons of Breaking Bad and now they feel like they’re living for nothing. Know the feeling? Personally, I remember it well. I would’ve kissed up to a Heisenberg coffee mug to console my sadness at the time, too.

TWM.May13.14.21After ditching my work husband for the night, I went home to my real husband. He was lovely and adorable in his Christmas pyjamas. PLUS, he made me a wonderful chicken dinner which had Le Chat very jealous.

TWM.May13.14.22Speaking of Le Chat…

I wish I could say that I went to sleep very early on in the evening, but I didn’t.  Instead, I watched three episodes of douchey Suits with David and then I read tons of stupid comments about Beyoncé and Solange because I am a very deep person. I didn’t photograph those wonderful moments because I didn’t want you to be jealous. You’re welcome.

THE END.

xx

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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!  

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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! :)

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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.

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…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.

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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