Category Archives: Tunbridge Wells Writers

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!

Voyage to the Beginning of the World

Liam has a photo exhibition called Voyage to the Beginning of the World up at Javabean Cafe this month and, as there are only 11 more days for you to see it, I wanted to give you locals a kick up the bum to get in there and ogle his photos whilst enjoying some cake and coffee.

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Beautiful-PlaceTo accompany his photos, Liam asked The Tunbridge Wells Writers to share poems and short stories inspired by the collection.  To me, the photos are about companionship and loneliness in old age, so I wrote a poem exploring that theme.  A few friends have recently asked if I’d share the poem again, so I thought I’d do that here.

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All photos by my talented friend, Liam Rogers

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

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Early morning journaling in the blue morning light.  I signed up for Braid Creative‘s email series, Coaching for Creatives, a few weeks ago and started the 4 week, 16 part series on Monday.  Yesterday was my second day and prompted me to journal with the mantra Be Here Now in mind. Here’s some of what I wrote.

It’s fitting that I’ve started my Be Here Now journal on a Tuesday, the day that I focus my mind and my lens on one thing that is happening around me on the top of every hour. I started TWM with the intention of focusing on the present but I need to be honest– lately I haven’t felt inspired by my TWM posts. My photos feel tired and dull. I’ve been blaming the light– or lack thereof– for this change, as the English days are dark and grey, but the real problem stems from feeling a lack of creativity and passion.  

Just writing those words felt liberating. Simply admitting that I’ve needed space and time to explore creative forms of expression made my head clear and I realised how nice it felt to hold a pen in my hand and to write for myself rather than for a client or a deadline. It slowed down my thinking and made me feel present– and in that present place, I felt creative, passionate, and resourceful. And then I did something that I haven’t done since college, I turned the page in my journal and wrote the lyrics to one of my favourite songs, Be Here Now by Mason Jennings.  The verse I love best goes like this:

Be here now, no other place to be
All the doubts that linger, just set them free
And let good things happen
And let the future come into each moment
Like a rising sun

After setting the tone for the day with that journal entry, I decided to take a simple, silent moment to be here now before shooting each of the following photos.

9As I was admiring my shadow in the morning light, I thought about how funny it is that we live with things that are unfinished, sometimes.  I painted these striped walls over a year ago and I’ve still not  managed to sit down and paint the baseboards. Every time I walk through the hallway I think, I should really paint the baseboards, and yet I never do.  Why is this?
Do you have a totally easy unfinished home project like this?
Do you want to make a pact to finish them?
I’m being serious.

10Great news: I haven’t killed my bonsai yet!
Bad news: Le Chat keeps eating my bonsai tree.  See those nibbled leaves in the upper right-hand corner?  Yep, Le Chat. Feasting!  She’s so weird.

11A stray paper feather is all I’ve got in the Desk Decor Department right now.  Go ahead and add my desk space to my “unfinished decoration” list… Though I have a sneaking suspicion the desk will come along faster than those sad baseboards.

12Yesterday was Jez‘s birthday so I drew him a cake. It was a very healthy cake. Zero calories.

13The leaves on my jade are picking up a burnt red hue now that she sits in direct light for much of the day. (Please note: “direct light” not “direct sunlight”. This is England, after all.) I like watching the subtle changes my plants go through. I like the way my fern arcs toward the sun, the way my aloe gets sunstroke if I leave her in the window too long, and the way this little jade, whose leaves are thick and heavy like rubber, slowly changes colour.  It’s such a joy to watch.  (Ohmygosh, is this what having a baby is like?!)

14Look, you guys, blue skies!  I am always very thankful for blue skies and sunshine.

15Even though I’ve been in the new space over a week, I didn’t get my keys to the office until yesterday.  Now that I have keys, I have a feeling I’ll be spending a lot of late nights here.

16Green tea, yellow teapot. Over the past few months, green tea has replaced coffee as my beverage of choice. Throughout the day, I’m always sipping something green from Perk and Pearl (they have a terrific selection), but when I need to get away from my desk for a while, I head next door to Scallywag Café and order a pot of it.  There’s something so nice about drinking tea from a teapot.  The ritual, the soft clink of the pot’s spout as it graces the edge of the cup, the dizzy noise of a cup and saucer… it’s all very nice, don’t you think?

17Liam and I have been working on Artists Unveiled ideas (did you see that we have an AU Meet and Greet this Saturday?!) and our own little master plan for the future a lot lately and we’ve made Scallywag our own little office away from office. It reminds me of living back at home-home (as in Minnesota), all this coffee shop hangin’, and I really love it.

18What I especially like about Scallywag is that they’re open until 7:00 PM. Plenty of time to accommodate our lengthy laptop-crowded discussions.

19At 6:30, Liam and I met with a wonderful local business at The Black Pig to talk about their needs and how we might be able to creatively meet some of those needs together. I won’t say anything more about it until the time is right…

20Except this: we’re really excited!

21After our meeting concluded, Liam’s gentleman and my gentleman joined us for a drink.

22And whilst they chatted together, Liam, Sam (who had joined us by this point) and I snuck upstairs to the function room to hang out with the Tunbridge Wells Writers.

23After we’d chatted with some new and old friends, it occurred to us that we hadn’t eaten yet. With rumbling bellies we fumbled around searching for a place other than the kebab shop to grab a late dinner. Much to our surprise, we learned that you can order food until 11:00 PM at the Bar & Grill.  Did you know this? Nightcaps at the Bar & Grill, everyone!

24The clear skies from earlier in the day were long gone by the time we left the restaurant and rain was falling as we zoomed home toward warm beds and…

25a very sleepy Le Chat!

Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again

And so concludes my Tuesday.  Thank you for reading! And don’t forget, if you’d like to contribute a Tuesday With Vous, you can find all the details right here.  xx

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My fabulous little life is a whirl of boozy Christmas celebrations, long lunches and belly laughs these days. Prepare yourself for TWM Christmas Crown Edition!

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Considering how much I really detest our current bed, I sure do spend a lot of time in it! Yes, yesterday was another very dark work-from-bed morning. I’m very much looking forward to the Solstice on Saturday and the days getting longer.

9But unlike some days, I wasn’t working from bed all morning out of routine but rather because we had houseguests and I wanted to stay out of their way. My dear friend Max and two of his friends crashed with us for a few days as they journey across Europe over their winter break.  Oh to be in college again!

10See, here they are! Cuties.

11Back in the office, I got into the Christmas spirit with some chalk art before the true festivities started.

12What Christmas festivities? Well, yesterday I was lucky enough (i.e. doomed) to have two 3-course Christmas dinners to attend.  The first of the two was a friend-filled Christmas lunch at Signor Franco.

13Once the wine was poured and the Christmas crackers popped (cracked? opened? I don’t know…), things got out of hand rather quickly. My office buddy, Martin, became a Christmas ninja.

14This classical bust decided a career change was in order and left town to become a Christmas elf.

15And the lady with the sauciest Ladybits in all of Tunbridge Wells got Santa stuck in her chimney!

16After lunch, I went back to the office to settle a few things for the day but quickly realised that the spirit of the season (ahem, wine with lunch) had squandered my ability to get any real work done.

17So I tailed it out of the office and joined everyone else at Fuggles where the merriment continued!

18You know what, I really love Fuggles. It’s simple, it’s comfortable, it’s fresh. Every time I go, I feel like I’m stepping out of Tunbridge Wells and into Narnia… if, of course, Narnia was a bar where interesting people congregated and sipped delicious booze, I mean.

19The ever-changing beer selection at Fuggles is supposedly really great, too, though I wouldn’t know anything about that…

20On my way to Christmas Dinner #2, tragedy struck and I twisted my ankle stepping off a curb and face-planted on the pavement.  As I result, I arrived to Javabean Café with a bloody knee, a run in my tights, and gravel stuck in my palm. So basically I showed up to the party looking every bit the lady that I am… (Thank you, Liam, for this photo of my I want to die face.)

21Despite my elevated level of hot-messness, a wonderful evening transpired with the Tunbridge Wells Writers! We ate, we  laughed, we played a very difficult quiz game….

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And we celebrated a birthday, too! (Happy Birthday, Emma!)

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And Liam’s photos twinkled down on us from the wall like stars in an inky sky… or whatever.

23And then it was time to go so we all hugged goodbye.  (Class Couple 2013 goes to Kat & Sam, obviously! Bahahaa.)

24Once home, I cleaned my wounds and then snuggled under my infinity duvet* to sleep like a queen.

The End and Merry Christmas!

*Like an infinity pool but in duvet form. Essentially, David and I are getting a new bed soon and it’s going to be about twice as big as our current bed. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but we’re upgrading from a Double (i.e. Divorce Bed) to a Super-King (i.e. Happy Marriage Bed).  Last week, when we were preparing for our house guests, we realised we needed another duvet to accommodate them. To solve the problem, we bought our Super-King-sized duvet and gave our visitors our old one (we washed the duvet cover, promise). Wow, so this is a long story!, but the point is: we’re now sardining it under a GINORMOUS duvet until we get our new mattress and already this change is such an improvement. Literally, infinity duvet! Never again will I wake up shivering, wondering where the covers are. Totally life-changing!  I highly recommend.

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Guys, before I start, let me apologise for using this absolutely atrocious font in these photos.  I don’t know what I was thinking but I blame jet lag.

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Getting out of bed was, no joke, the most difficult thing in the world yesterday.  Like, if Gandalf had invited himself into my house on any other day and told me I had to carry The Ring to Mordor, it would’ve been easier than waking up on my first morning back in Hobbit Country England. Oh man, I was draggin’.  Laggin’?

10But look! My new light! I don’t even want to think about how much of a P in the A it’s going to be to dust so let’s put that out of our minds for the time being and focus on cuter things. Things like…

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Le Chat! She missed us very much whilst we were away and has been a super aggressive snuggler, which is just her way of showing us that she cares. And just for the record, I don’t run Le Chat’s twitter account. David does. So sweet too, right?!

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I was on deadline yesterday and had to finish my story for the Tunbridge Wells Writers’ Christmas Advent Calendar.  It’s a really great project where we submit short stories, scenes, or poems that will be revealed one by one on our Advent Calendar.  These were my “notes” for the “story” I wrote. What day will it debut on the advent calendar? You’ll just have to check it every day to find out!

13After finishing my “story”, I went for a jog sidewalk shuffle.  After not running sidewalk shuffling at all in Minnesota (too cold!) yesterday’s effort was a little tough, but– and this is the part where I will sicken you ‘exercise is fun’ BS– it felt really good to get back out there.

When I returned home from my excursion, I was absolutely ravenous and made so much pasta it didn’t fit in the bowl.  Strangely, it had no problem fitting in my tummy…

14And then, after a lovely morning, I finally made my way to the office.

15And I hung out with Lucille for a little while.  (Her new haircut is really great, right?)

16And I doodled with some chalk.

17And then I went and visited the Christmas tree that the handsome English gents at Create DM have in their office.  I especially like their birdhouse. Tweet tweet!

18Once work was done and dusted, my evening began. First stop was just off Camden Road at Art Pull Gallery where Liam and I saw the work of over 50 local artists! It’s a really great collection of work (including one of Liam’s photographs) so be sure to pop in to see it.

19After Art Pull, Liam and I had a very exciting meeting at Oxfam Bookshop.  As some of you may know, my life-long dream is to have a shop and sell wonderful, beautiful, well made things that I love to people who will cherish their new items forever and for always!  So, once upon a time, I tweeted that I get weak in the knees every time I use a self-checkout because it makes me feel like I’m working in a shop and that’s when Oxfam tweeted me and said something along the lines of “You can volunteer in our shop and for real work in a shop”.  So that’s precisely what I’m doing this coming Sunday from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM!  If you’re a crazy stalker or just someone who wants to come in to buy some books and/or stocking stuffers, be sure to come by and buy. They’ve got loads of goodies, but remember to bring cash!

If you can’t make it in on Sunday (for shame, for shame!), you can follow along on Twitter as we’ll be live tweeting the entire day!  Prepare yourselves for photos of our shop window, the strange books we find, and maybe our my kinda/sorta wacky Christmas outfit, too.  It’ll be so fun!  CAN YOU TELL I’M EXCITED?!

20After Oxfam, it was time for Stop Number Three, this time with the Tunbridge Wells Writers!  Can you spot Liam and I between the measures and tumblers?  HI!

21As always, there was much laughter at our bi-weekly gathering.  If you’re a local writer (and by “writer” we simply mean someone who writes– whether it be for yourself or others), stop by at our next meeting on January… You know what, I don’t know what day we’re picking back up in the new year!  Look, if you’re a local writer, here’s what you should do: follow us on Twitter or check the website for updates. I’m sure someone at some point will let you know when our next meeting is… (Ahem, guys, can someone tell me when are next meeting is?)

22Come 10:00 my burning flame of passion, excitement, and energy was burning low.  Jet lag, it’s a bitch.

23So I went home and snuggled next to an equally sleepy David. But even though I was so tired, I wasn’t too tired to scroll through Instagram and like a photo that Sam took of me taking a photo for Tuesday With Moi.  And now that photo is here. How meta.

Aaaaand there you have it, my fascinating Tuesday.  Thank you for reading!

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

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Operation Wake Up Early has been relatively successful. I woke up just after 7:00 yesterday and did some writing and planning whilst Le Chat slept on my feet, keeping them toasty warm.  With David gone this week, I’m extra thankful for my kitty cuddles.

(Sorry, I just have to add that a part of me dies every time I write “kitty cuddles” but I can’t stop because I love them so much and oh my gosh is this what being a mom is like kinda?!)

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For my birthday last week, I was gifted a film camera (!!) and film to use with it (!!!).  Film is precious. Much like Charlie’s bar of Willy Wonka birthday chocolate, I know it’s something that must be used in order to be enjoyed, but I feel a great burden to not waste it or be frivolous with it. As a defect of my personality, I run the risk of keeping this film forever for fear of wasting it on a silly subject only to find it one day expired, so I was thinking some friendly reinforcement would help me get out and start using my new camera.

My idea is this: Film Lover Photo Walks in Tunbridge Wells! If you love shooting film and like walking, let me know and let’s arrange a walk with some like-minded friends! And maybe you can give me some film photography pointers, too…?

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You Guys, meet The Bag. The Bag, meet You Guys.  The Bag is my super perfect, beautiful, always-there-for-me friend.  And You Guys are my totally fun friends who constantly make me smile.  I think the two of you will really like each other!  Talk amongst yourselves whist I go top-up my drink… Bisous!

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Seriouse Face Time: my friends are way too good to me and I’m so thankful for their (and your!) kindness and support. My office-mate, Martin, who has to put up with me all. day. long. got me a blackboard mug for my birthday. Every morning (when I’m in the office) I’m going to write or draw something on it and either Instagram or tweet a picture with the hashtag #mymorningmugshot. Make that a latte with an extra shot of creativity, I guess!

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Obsessed with autumn. Obviously.

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I hate throwing styrofoam away but I like making friends out of it! Meet Jim. He just ate a pomegranate.

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Obsessed with autumn, take II.

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This table sits there all day and dares me to eat my lunch on its matte black surface.  But I don’t. Instead, I eat my lunch hunched over my keyboard like all the other civilized people…

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Pretty sunsets these days make me want to be like, so I guess my work here is done… but then I look at the clock and realise it’s only 4:00 and I cry a little inside. #WinterIsComing

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I didn’t explicitly mention it last week on my Birthday Resolutions edition of TWM, but I have big plans for my business this year.  The first step?  Hiring myself to re-inspire my outpouring of unique and useful engaging content. The number one challenge my clients have is not knowing how to talk about their own awesome work, so I’ve decided to lead by example and take on the task of being more open about my own awesome work.  Yesterday, I published my first business-related post in a long time.  I’ll be honest, it was exciting but also a little bit scary.  Take a look!

>Pitch Time< Blog posts! Tweets! Newsletters! + and all the other fun ways you have of communicating with your people! What do they have in common? They all need interesting and engaging targeted content. If you’re someone who struggles with knowing what to say and how to say it, I’m here to help. And right now, I’m offering complimentary 30-minute Skype consultations to anyone who’s interested in digitally expanding their outreach. Interested? Drop me a line at kate(at)ladykatherinesims.com.  >Pitch over<

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Washing dishes with my rings off. Living like a single lady for ten minutes. Oooh, la-la!

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You know when you wash dishes and tidy the kitchen so you can cook dinner and then by the time you finish you’re too lazy to cook so you go to La Fiamma instead?  That’s exactly what happened last night.

Right now, the restaurant is completely decked out for Halloween, which is adorable. My stomach also thought the cheesy garlic bread and pizza were adorable, too.  So much so, in fact, that when I had finished, my stomach sent my brain a message that read: “Yumyumyum. I love it here so much that when I die, I hope I wake up to find that La Fiamma is heaven!”  Sooo cute, right?!

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After a delicious dinner it was time to go to a very special Fright Night meeting for the Tunbridge Wells Writers. We were running a tiny bit late (I was carrying a pizza baby, remember?) so I snapped this photo as we walked past Trinity Theatre. Spooky, no?

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Oh, the writers!  They are a lovely group.  We crowded around a candle-laden table in a function room at The Black Pig and read bone-chilling stories that were written by our very own talented members. In this particular photo, we have the ever-wonderful Jess reading her piece.  Her presentation skills are spooktacular (sorry, I had to) and her story was creepy in all the right ways!

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My fellow North American in the group carved this pumpkin for us. Wasn’t that sweet of her?  You betcha it was!

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After listening to something like 15 stories, I couldn’t help but feel that something wicked this way was really truly coming and I was already anticipating the nightmares.  In fact, I was almost to the point where I would’ve sold my soul to a witch if it meant that David would magically be whisked back to England to sleep by my side so I guess you could say I had a case of the creepy crawlies real bad.  I mean, take this picture, for instance– can you see that tiny ghost?!

(The frightfully fantastic story that I couldn’t get out of my head last night was by Simon Jon Cox and you can read it here: Atoc. But be warned, it’s not for the faint of heart!)

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But David was not magically in bed when I came home last night.  But do you know who was?  Le Chat! And with her nestled beside me, I drifted into a surprisingly lovely slumber.

As always, my dear sweet reader, thank you for sharing my Tuesday with me. xx

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Yesterday was my birthday eve.  I tend to get nostalgic around the time of my birthday and wind up thinking a lot about where I am personally, emotionally, and professionally.  As I’ve always believed that the beginning of the calendar year– which is essentially just one cold, dark hangover– is a terrible time to make resolutions, I instead make resolutions on my birthday.  Today, as I share my Tuesday photos, I’ll also share some of the things I’d like to work on in my 26th year of life.  (Spoiler Alert: it basically boils down to the fact that I just want to be more like Lucy Liu and less like Drunk Kate.) Enjoy!

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First and foremost, I’m going to really try to be a morning person this next year even though doing so basically goes against my nature. You see, I like to think that I’m far more energetic and creative in the evenings but really, drinking wine on my sofa and reading Gawker until two in the morning does not count as being energetic or creative no matter how ferociously I’m opening tabs and clicking through pages.  Ergo, I have come to the conclusion that I could use my time much better by waking early, starting work earlier, and exerting my energy whilst the sun is still out.

When I was young, I read somewhere (probably the back of a Wheaties box) that Michael Jordan always woke up when his alarm went off.  Even at the age of ten (okay, fifteen…?) I was able to recognise that as the super-human power it so clearly is. So, to take a tip from Mr. Jordan, I’m incrementally setting my alarm earlier and earlier and plan on settling on a 6:45 AM wake-up time here in the next few months.  Please pray for David as this transition from night-owl to morning person will definitely be a tough one for him.
#DontTalkToMeUntilIveHadMyCoffee

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David has brought it to my attention numerous times in the last year that I’m kind of a slob. The fact that he and I essentially live like students and don’t have real furniture (as I touched on last week) doesn’t help, of course. But this year, I am going to get organised. And yes, I’m going to stop leaving my clothes at the foot of the bed. Okay, David?!

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Stop and smell the flowers! Stop and crunch the leaves! Stop and take a photo of the gorgeousness all around you! When I started Tuesday With Moi I was going through a difficult time. I had just moved to England and was finding it really challenging to figure out what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. I had lost my naturally optimistic edge and found myself getting really negative about my environment and life, so I started TWM to focus on the good.  Once an hour, on the hour, I would focus my lens on something beautiful around me and in doing so, I hoped to start mentally focusing on the beautiful, the good, and the inspiring as well.

Happily, my ability to look on the bright side was restored and now, after over a year of shooting TWM, I want to focus my eye and my mind on another challenge, living in the moment. More often than not, my mind is 15 steps ahead of my body. I know exactly where I want to be in five years but have no idea where I’ll be tomorrow.  I want to pace myself a little better in that regard and start paying more attention to the here and now instead of the long-haul.  This year, I don’t want to wake up on Monday mornings wondering where my weekends went– instead, I want to maximise my productivity and enjoyment and focus more on doing awesome, fun, and good things now. RIGHT NOW.

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You know what else I’d like?  I’d like to spend more time in nature.  I’d like to be able to inhale and pinpoint the different scents of each season.  Lately, as I wander down the sidewalk, I’ve been trying to focus more on scent.  The evergreens are especially fragrant, as are the soggy acorns and wet leaves that sludge under my feet.

Did you ever see the movie French Kiss with Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline? In it, he asks her to smell bits from the different plants that grow in his family’s vineyard and he tells her what each scent is– mint, lavender, chili, whatever.  To be honest, I’m a little fuzzy on the specifics as it’s been over ten years since I saw the film, but what winds up happening is he then gives her a glass of his family’s wine and she can then pinpoint the scents in the flavour.  Not only is that 1) the most romantic thing ever! it’s also 2) a good thing to know and appreciate in life.  I’d like to know more about how the different elements in the fields around me influence the makeup of our lives and the food I enjoy.  I want to eat a more seasonal diet and spend more time in nature, silent and observant.

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And I’d also like to make more art.

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AND I’d like to eat my lunches (real lunches, not just a few handfuls of nuts) somewhere other than my desk.

(Please note that I missed my 13:00 picture because I was in a meeting and didn’t feel it was appropriate to ask my client if I could pause going through his web copy with him so I could snap a quick photo. I hope you understand.)

15

Whilst I make goals for my birthday every year, I’m not always great at keeping them.  This is because I don’t monitor my goals constructively.  This year, I’m changing that.

16

Lately, David and I have been thinking a lot about moving… Again! But this time, not quite so drastically.  In fact, we want to stay in our lovely little town, but ideally we’d like to live somewhere with a little more space. Open space, that is.  And big windows, too! I want light– lots of light!– and I want a dog, which our current building’s association doesn’t allow. So yes, moving.  Exciting!

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Now that I’m older and wiser I should probably start being a little more well-behaved at work so Martin doesn’t glare at me from behind his monitor anymore… Let’s put well-behaved on the list then, too.

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Here’s something we all need to work on (providing we’re in a relationship) and that’s being a better partner.  This birthday card came in the mail yesterday and it made me chuckle because I didn’t change my last name when I got married.  Kate Cox. Ha– that is so not me!  No, no, I will always and forever be Kate Sims as I am very fond of my surname and think I’d have an identity crisis if I changed it.  That being said, I do love being married to Mr. Cox and really should be better at doing all those wonderful things that married ladies do. You know, like vacuuming, mending socks, and keeping thoughts about how useless he is when he forgets to turn on the towel warmer! to myself. Little things, you know…

20

I hate it when the sun sets early and walking through town at 8:00 PM feels like walking through town at 11:30 PM.  It’s just so depressing and sometimes a little eerie, too.  Last night, as I was walking to meet with my writer friends, I stopped to take this picture and a drunk young(ish) man came up close to me and asked me if I was okay. “I’m fine, thanks,” I said rather curtly as I lifted my camera to my eye and focused the lens.

“I was just trying to look out for you,” the man said in an aggressive tone that seemed to indicate that I, an able-bodied young woman alone on the street in the darkness and holding an expensive camera, should have fawned on him for showing attention to my well-being. And it was in that moment that I thought– which happens now and again– along the lines of if this man came at me could I outrun him/kick his ass?  The answer, in this case, was probably yes as he was small and appeared quite intoxicated, but there are some times when I stand next to a man (David, my Giant Husband, for instance) and look at how tiny my wrists, hands, legs, whatever are compared to theirs and think of how little effort a person of that size would need to really hurt me.

Whoa, don’t get the wrong idea here– I’m not living in fear or thinking every man I pass in the night is going to hurt me– I’m just trying to say that I want to be prepared should it ever happen.  This is one of the many reasons I’ve started running.  I want to be able to run far and run fast.  I want to be able to know the difference between running an eight minute mile and a five minute mile and then be able to push my body to different speeds as if it were a machine. I want to able to run five miles without stopping by the end of the year and even though I’m not even halfway there yet, I think I’m going to make it.

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This one sucks, but I want to start to drink less.  Yes, folks, you heard it here first– I’m cutting back.  I, Lady Katherine, a wannabe cocktail connoisseur, am going to reel in the awesome sauce.  Not completely (Oh God, never would I ever), but a little bit because, let’s be honest, I don’t need to drink half a bottle of wine every time I want to veg out and watch some Project Runway.  #SadTruth #TrueTruth

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Hanging out with my Tunbridge Wells Writers friends yesterday and listening to their awesome projects and their passion for their writing made me realise that I need to actually start dedicating some time to creative writing.  What used to be Wine Time can now be Writing Time or Reading Time or general Creating Time.  Doesn’t that sound like a Fun Time?

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But the time I spend with friends, will always be a really special time.

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This is totally superficial, but I’ve decided that I want to start wearing mascara again this year.  I haven’t worn it for months because I’m lazy, but to be 100% honest, I think I look a little more alert with a swipe of mascara on my eyes so I’m going to start wearing it again.  What brands do you recommend, ladies?  I’d love suggestions for something that won’t wash off in the rain/snow/tears, please.

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And finally, I want to invest in nice things that will last for years.  Like my new bag!  I’ll tell you more about it soon. Promise!

And that, my friends, was the last day of me being 25.  Here’s to a whole new year together! xx

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

This is going to be short and sweet.
Edited to add: HAHAHA just kidding!

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I realised this week that my favourite jacket is (gulp) ten years old.  It’s just a cheap jacket that I got at a store in Brussels when I lived there as a teenager. And whilst it’s kind of sad that I still wear it all. the. time. I think it’s quite fabulous, too.

But lately, I’ve come to accept that maybe it’s time for an update/addition to my jacket collection, so I’m looking for a local seamstress to work with in making another jacket similar to this in a beautiful grey wool.  I have a few amendments I’d like to make to the design, too, so if you know a talented local seamstress who’d be up to the challenge, please let me know!

9

Le Chat’s a creepin’.  Morning snuggle sesh, initiated!  (How crazy is that bushy tail, right?!)  10

The mornings this week have been wonderfully foggy and totally gorgeous. (Think the end of Pride & Prejudice where Keira Knightley wanders through the fog in her fab long-coat and Mr. Darcy gloomily walks toward her in his own long-coat.  FATE!)   11

So I adopted this Ladybug last week at work.  She (because they’re all ladies, right?) must’ve gotten too close to a light because one of her polka-dotted wings was burnt and shriveled, which made my heart break. I’ve been keeping an eye on her for the last couple days so when I found her dead on Tuesday morning my heart obviously broke again.  After this photo was taken, I let her fly one last time out the back window and into the graveyard below.  :(

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I’ve been working on a very exciting project recently and these are some of the words that we’re meditating on as we share the ethos of the company.  My elephant is really happy about it. So am I.

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Coming back from lunch it became very real to me that ohmygosh it’s autumn.  Sing it with me, It’s the MOST wonderful time of the year!!!!

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As much as I’m like, YAY YESTERDAY WAS SO FUN!, really, it was kind of frustrating.  Just one of those days where technology was against me and random details were hanging me up.  I kept eying the sharpest utensils on my desk and wanting to gouge them into my eyes.

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So. Because I was kinda like Ugh. about work I did something I’ve never done before and filled out one of those surveys that you’re every now and again prompted to fill out when you’re at the register of some conglomerate.  “Hi, I’m Brian! Welcome to Best Buy and oh! You’ve been randomly selected to fill out our survey! Just go to BestBuy.com and….” Whenever this happens I’m all like, yeaaaah, no.  BUT, Patrick at M&S was really nice and showed me the cute certificate he gets for having customers fill out surveys and brag about him, so I thought what. the. heck. and I did it.  I hope Patrick gets another certificate to carry in his wallet and to cherish forever and for always!

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Oh, hi.

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Some people have stress balls, I have stress penguins.  Sometimes I just shake the penguins really hard and make the water all frothy when I need to let off some stream.  I did that right after I took this picture, actually.

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And then I went home and lit some candles to reeeeeelaaaaaaaxxxx.  Mmmmmmmmmm.

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I used the last of our farm-fresh tomatoes in making this. They’re mind-blowingly delicious. I hope we can get our  hands on a few more before the season’s totally over.

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On the way to TWWriters!  HI AGAIN!

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My jacket & scarf on the table at The Black Pig. It’s an Indian summer and it’s too warm for such things!

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Talking, Part I.

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Talking, Part II.

After enjoying a wonderful evening with my writer friends, who I hadn’t seen in over a month!!!, I went home and caught up with Breaking Bad.  Obviously, BB was sooooo absorbing that I forgot to take a midnight photo.  Please forgive me.

xox

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please forgive me.  xx