Category Archives: Friends

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xx

Tuesday With Vous: Caro Spinette

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

Mardi 4 Mars 2014

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

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

6am

6am-2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10pm

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

Tuesday With Vous: Marlo Munch

I’m very excited because one of my favourite people in the whole world is sharing her day with us! I’ve only met Marlo a handful of times (the first time was in London last year) but I knew immediately after meeting her that she is one of those special people that I’ll want in my life forever and ever. She’s a woman of many (so many!) talents and her enthusiasm for life is completely inspiring.  Every time I put on my Gold Thread Collective scarf, I’m reminded of her, which is wonderful because I love having her in my thoughts.

Marlo also has a stunningly gorgeous instagram feed full of pretty pictures.  I highly recommend you follow for daily inspiration– @marlomunch.

Anyway, I’ve gushed too long.  Take it away, lady…

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Name: Marlo Munch
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Occupation: Florist at Spruce Flowers and Home, co-owner of Facet and Forge (an event styling and fabrication business), co-owner and knitter of The Gold Thread Collective, and I also hand-paint cribbage boards (see the 8:30 photo, bottom right corner).
Camera Used: Canon Rebel XS

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Looking down from my bed, as my plantland grows and grows (not pictured: all the other plants that take up half of my room).

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This new thrift-find acted as a jacket today. 40 degrees in February in Minnesota… miracles.

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The flower shop is glowing in this ‘spring’ light today… Mornings in the flower shop are for processing new flowers and watering plants.

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Budding branches and fresh flower buckets ready for arrangements!

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Cleaning out the cooler is a daily task. Can’t have dead buds in the cooler… but finding these beauties made my day.

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Prepping arrangements for tomorrow’s orders! I love these butterfly shears. I always manage to slice my thumb when I use a box cutter. No thanks.

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Bam! I love working with such beautiful objects. I’ve decided helleborus is my favorite flower.

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Ice cream break, because it’s spring!!! Mine and Kate’s mutual friend, Angie, came by the shop to buy some monstera leaves and we walked across the street for a little treat… You might remember her from her TWV post!

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Plants and dirt and dirty hands. I love building terrariums.

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Guess I was supposed to only work until 2, but I left at 4:30 and buzzed over to the photo shop to pick up two rolls of film I had developed in October. I waited to look at them until I was at one of my favorite coffee shops, and much to my surprise they were rolls from my ex-boyfriend’s camera. Oops.

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Tuesday nights I spend with Angie working on our event styling and fabrication business. It’s called Facet & Forge. We suck at internet things, so our website isn’t up and running yet. That reminds me… Anyways, their house is perfectly cozy and filled with millions of treasures.

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Invitation designing! Hey, Angie.

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We needed some inspiration for those invitations.

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Home, sweet. Chatted with roommates and neighbors while editing some photos!

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I knit for The Gold Thread Collective. We sell at a local Minneapolis boutique (I Like You, in NE) and online. Check it out! We’ll ship anywhere, just drop us a line!

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

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I started my morning nesting under my duvet and doing some work whilst the room around me warmed.
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After the flat was toasty and I was brave enough to get out from under the duvet, I set up camp in the living room. 10

And then I did some of my new favourite thing: Ballet Beautiful.  I never thought I’d be someone who does workout videos at home but– SURPRISE– I totally am. I love Ballet Beautiful! 11

After a surprisingly elegant and challenging workout, I was reminded that I must start my passport renewal process… But I couldn’t remember my social security number so did some work instead. (But please, someone remind me that I must renew my passport this week. MUST.) 12

By this point, I realised that I still hadn’t made it to the office, so I decided to have a quick lunch (pepper spoons and quinoa) before heading in. 13

Oh, I forgot to mention! I started a new venture called Gradient. We made a video and everything! 14

I’m pretty excited about what we’re doing and am especially excited about our blog! Let’s just call this a practice shot for our first What We Wore Wednesday post.
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But anyway, back to work. My new desk is fancy. I have a lock on the drawer to keep my snacks safe and everything! 16

Or, rather, to protect me from the snacks… Hello, cookies.
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As I was leaving, the sky was a perfect shade of blue.  So perfect, I couldn’t take the photo in black and white. 18

But the sky was dark by the time I left for Liam‘s.  19

First, we met with our beautiful friend Caro to go over some exciting project plans. 20

And then our lovely friend Ed came over to kick off MOVIE NIGHT! 21

Except movie night turned into laughing and talking…. 22

And then drinking and snacking…
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And then Beyoncé video watching night.  After which it was time for bed.

The End.

Don’t forget, guys, if you’d like to contribute to Tuesday With Vous, you can find all the details right here. Ever since I first started TWV, I’ve thought that it would be a great vehicle for creatives, artistpreneurs, and small businesses to showcase what they do and how they do it. If you feel like maybe that’s you or someone you know, get in touch. I’d love to help you share your day!

 

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

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The Christmas lights are a twinkle light bedroom lamp again.

8Breakfeasting on  bagels that I made myself, yo.

It was just over a year ago that I first made bagels. Remember? I love experimenting with different flours and spice toppings. This batch I made with spelt flour, sea salt and rosemary. Delicious!

9My friends Liam and Kate have inspired me with their 2014 resolutions and it’s changed the way I enjoy two things: my time with friends and my coffee.

First, Liam decided this year to sit back and enjoy the things we take for granted on a daily basis.  Things like good coffee and good wine. Things like kitty snuggles and sandwiches.

Kate inspired me with her resolution to put her phone away when she’s with friends so she can focus more acutely on being with the people she’s spending time with.  I think that’s really nice, don’t you?

Anyway, coffee! I’ve cut back to one cup a day and I only drink the good stuff (thank you Perk & Pearl!). I Aeropress it and then I savour it and it’s awesome. No coffee dehydration, no caffeine shakes. Just delicious coffee. And maximum enjoyment.

10David and I stumbled upon a mid century furniture treasure trove over the weekend and scored these Gordon Russell nesting tables. The lady who ones the place, The Kula, is amazing.  I like to refer to her as my Furniture Fairy Godmother.

11I’m juggling a number of exciting projects right now and they’re all in various stages of completion.  Here’s a snippet of an upcoming video shoot that’s still in the sketching and storyboarding phase.

12I know, I know, I need more stuff in my office.  I got nothin’ besides this jade to photograph. It’s getting kinda sad.

13On my lunch break, I went out to buy some coconut oil and other provisions. Whilst walking back to the office, the paper bag I was carrying ripped open and everything fell out. #Sadface. So this is the awesome photo I took with my one free hand whilst walking. So good, right?

14One of my provisions. Almond butter. Yum!

15This is just someone I saw on the street and decided to sketch. Hey, dude.

16Oh, did I ever tell you that I work with psychos? Because I do. This is proof.

17Green tea sipping vessel. No matter how many times I look at it, I can’t help but think of a penguin.

18And then it was time for a meeting at my favourite meeting spot, Fuggles!

19And it was at Fuggles where I had the great honour of hanging out with Matt Harquail.  He’s the incredibly talented photographer behind Kudos and he’s just as lovely in real life as his photos are. This photo does him absolutely no justice (sorry, Matt!) but trust me when I say he’s super handsome and also a giant.

20And then, after a little while, Liam joined us. Also, it’s come to my attention that Liam hasn’t always been credited in my blog soooooo here is his Twitter, his website, his other Twitter, his other website, and his Pinterest. Love you, Liam!

21And then Nick arrived.

22And then David arrived (wherever I go, I make it a party!) and, when we got hungry, we all went to La Fiamma because, well, obviously.

23After a delicious dinner, we went home and began an episode of Dexter but I was tired (and intoxicated, so maybe I didn’t sit and enjoy every sip of my wine quite as much as I should’ve… or maybe I enjoyed it too much?) so I went to bed.

And then I slept a wonderful sleep. The end.

Remember, people! If you’d like to contribute to Tuesday With Vous, you can find all the details right here. It would be great to see what a day in your life looks like!

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

8Foggy mornings with Lucille.

9It was cold yesterday, guys! After my shower, I jumped back in bed as I decided what to wear to work. Then I definitely had a little bit of a clothing crisis. Do you ever have those? Like, when your mood and your entire wardrobe are not aligned. At all. And then you kind of want to light a match and just burn your house down because what’s the point of a house if your clothes are all wrong, you know?

10But then I chanted my mantra, changed my clothes 15 times, ate a banana and put some lipstick on and everything was okay.

11I’m on a major green tea kick these days and, at the rate I’m sipping, I feel like I’m definitely going to live to be, like, 500 years old at least.  Last week, I picked up some fill-my-own tea bags and have been filling them with gunpowder green & peppermint tea from Perk and Pearl. It’s really nice. I highly recommend!

12 View from the office: sunny, wet, and cold. Reminded me that I need to buy stamps.

13On my walk home for lunch, I had a momentary flashback to summer. The sun was perfect and there was an almost warm breeze that stirred the leaves into a chorus of summertime sound. It was amazing! But fleeting.

14Second lunch. I can feel a cold coming on so I’m loading up on vitamin C. (But, like, aren’t I not supposed to ever get sick because I’m drinking so much green tea?!)

15I kept a tissue handy just in case Operation Green Tea & Citrus didn’t work.

16And then I went to Scallywag for more tea (!!!) and to meet my friend Charlie, who is a film critic.  He is just now starting to incorporate social media into his digital outreach so I gave him a few pointers and a little bit of Twitter homework. You should follow him if you’re into film, maybe?

17Back in the office, tip-tap-tapping away.

18There was a chill in the air and, more specifically, on my ankles so I warmed them on the radiator. Note to self: need to polish my boots.

19And then, after packing up for the night, I started my evening at Fuggles, my other home away from home. Some people have a third place, but I seem to have a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth place…. No complaints.

20I love this.

21After a bit of wine, cheese, bread and meat and Fuggles, we went to La Fiamma for some wine, cheese, bread and meat, but in a slightly different configuration. I wonder when goop is going to feature my diet on their site… #SoHealthy

22And then it was 10:00 and I didn’t realise how late it was and omg we were still at La Fiamma oops! Like I said, I have a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth place and sometimes I mistake one or two of them for my living room and just sit there cackling for ages.

23After we got kicked out of the restaurant (too much cackling) I went home and cuddled in bed with Le Chat (David was in Spain on business, #sadtimes) whilst reading this great article in Rookie about the new Beyoncé album. I’ve always liked Beyoncé, but I haven’t loved any of her solo records until now. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved many of her songs, but the albums in their entirety just haven’t done it for me.  Until now. This latest album (visual album! Ugh, so good) is awesome. And I don’t just mean that in a way that like, I’m American and that’s awesome man! I mean it in like, I am literally in awe. In awe of her talent, grace, bravery and strength. I’ve been playing the album non-stop since Sunday and I loved reading the Rookie take on it. Those ladies are smart.

And that, my friends, was my Tuesday. Thank you for reading and remember, if you’d like to contribute to Tuesday With Vous, you can find all the details right here.

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

For Theo, Finally

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My friend Theo recommended I watch Frances Ha ages ago and, on December 8th, I did. And I loved it. First, it needs to be said that the main character, Frances, is a little bit like all of us: hopeful, uncertain, trying to find a way to manage her values and dreams whilst still being able to pay her rent. Greta Gerwig, who wrote and stars in the film, wrote a story and gave a performance that made me feel– made me feel a whole lot– and I’ve been carrying the film with me and mulling it over for quite some time.  After my initial viewing, I told Theo that I’d send her a response soon. Well, Theo, this is my response. And soon is a relative term, right?

Theo,

I wept at the end of Frances Ha not because I was nostalgic for a time that once was, but because I wanted to be. If you took the reel of my life and rewound it four years, I was in a place where I would’ve watched this film and said “Oh, I am Frances!” and I would have felt excited and safe knowing that a future of 20-something struggle, mishap and adventure was mine for the taking. That it was normal.  At that time, I was loving my single lady life in Boston. I had moments where I hit the sauce too hard and made some questionable life decisions, but I had good friends to pass the time with and a solid support system. It’s like that Sinatra song: “When I was 21, it was a very good year. I used to walk through the city and feel like everything around me was raw and electric and full of opportunity, when I was 21!” (Oh, those aren’t the lyrics? Oops.)

I met David in February of 2010 and I can now see that my own life trajectory is also a lot like Sophie’s, Frances’ best friend played by Mickey Sumner.  Like Sophie, I fell in love (unexpectedly), said bon voyage to my roommates, to all my undergraduate furniture and to the vagabond uncertainty of my single life and exchanged it for the special kind of freedom that comes with being in a committed relationship. The freedom to focus. The freedom to mix your books on the shelf with someone else’s and not worry about getting them all back when the lease is up. The freedom of knowing that no matter how bad things get, you have someone who’s going to fight for the future right alongside you.

I wouldn’t change my decision to marry and move to a new country, but this film made me wonder what would’ve happened if I hadn’t met David, if I had instead moved to Minneapolis or New York, or even stayed in Boston, and had to figure my shit out on my own.  What crappy job would I have taken and where would it have led? What roommates would I have gotten drunk with and cried in front of and how many broken hearts would I have survived– both romantically and otherwise? Would I have given up my dreams or would I have fought, alone, for whomever it was that I wanted to become? It’s silly, but this film made me nostalgic for the life I never lived. It opened the door in my imagination to the land of What If.

Over the weekend, David and I went to London to visit a friend who lives in a great apartment (one that wasn’t very self-aware, might I add) with three roommates, all of them living on top of each other like puppies in a cardboard box, lovingly tumbling over ears and paws and tails until they’re scooped up, one-by-one, and brought somewhere new. It’s a transitional kind of happiness, these roommate situations. Little families are formed and a special kind of balance between intimacy and privacy happens. It’s exciting but it’s stressful and sitting at my friend’s kitchen table, with empty bottles lining the cupboard tops like trophies, I felt that familiar undercurrent of raw electricity and my Frances musings came full circle.

In the film, Frances says, “I’m so embarrassed I’m not a real person yet” and when she said it, I was like Yeah, me too sister. Even though I have a mortgage and a cat and a permanent roommate (hi, David), I can still relate. We always think the next step forward will be the answer to all our uncertainties, will make us a little more whole, but we’re all still figuring it out.  We’re all a little bit like Frances, regardless of whether or not we can be categorised as “real people” yet.  And isn’t that kinda the beauty of life?

I feel like I’m saying this all wrong, like I’m not really making sense, but I hope you know what I mean. A little bit, anyway. Maybe we can talk about it over a drink one day.  I would really like that.

Until then,
K

*Yes, there are a lot of generalisations in this post. No, I don’t want to get into a discussion about how problematic that is.  Thanks. 

Photo via Frances Ha

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

8David bought me a Bonsai tree for Christmas and thereby ensured that I can never move out of the country. Me and this tree are partners for life. (Unless I kill it.)

9You know, I’ve always quite liked the idea of being a carpenter.  Of working with my hands, standing on a sawdust floor and cutting, sanding and staining beautiful pieces of wood. As I’m not (yet) a carpenter, I’ve found a real one to make our next bed: Tom of Steady-On Designs. Tom’s philosophy on furniture design is all about quality and legacy, and the fact that he’s based an hour away in Brighton is especially awesome seeing as discovering and supporting local makers is basically my love language. Anyway, the bed is going to be great but we’re still deciding on materials. Tom sent some wood samples for us to look at and I surprised myself by falling for the darker wood, the elm.  Isn’t it pretty?

10I started my workday at Scallywag Café with a flat white and a meeting.

11My new office is conveniently located just a few doors away from the café, where I love eyeballing the furniture and odds-and-ends that are all for sale. I’m always looking out for treasure!

12I have yet to contribute to the ambiance of the new office save one element: this jade plant.  There’s nothing like a pot of green to brighten a day, don’t you think?

13I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: sweater weather is my favourite. Lucky for me, it’s always sweater weather in England! So I’ve decided to start knitting so I can make my own sweaters jumpers.  I’d like to get good enough to knit this one. I’ll tell you all about it when I finish in ten years…

14Here’s an example of some of the beautiful art currently on view in the office…

15Luckily, our view is a little nicer than the great works adorning our walls. Yes, I’m kind of a pizza stalker, I’ll admit it, and I enjoy longingly gazing at La Fiamma in the middle of my work day. Can you blame me?

16To get me started on my knitting quest, I bought a nice ball of wool to practice on. (And hopefully make something nice out of?)

17After work, I had a quick cuddle sesh with Le Chat.

18And then wandered down to Javabean for a Knit and Knatter!  Yes, friends, I joined the local knitting club! I mean, there wasn’t an initiation ceremony or anything, but YAY!

19And we all happily gossiped and knit as Liam‘s photos twinkled above us like stars in the sky…. or something. His photos are up at Javabean for the rest of January, so make sure you get down there and take a look if you haven’t already!

20Once my stomach started rumbling, I knew it was time to walk home, past this place where the zombies live, and into the loving arms of Mr. Cox.

21Together, we sat on the sofa and watched mindless television whilst I knitted and counted and knitted and counted and knitted….

22And counted and then realised I had dropped a stitch, which caused me to frustratedly search Youtube videos about recovering dropped stitches. But the videos weren’t very helpful and I was very tired so I unraveled all my work and, with maybe a tear in my eye, threw the ball of tired yard as far as I could (not very far) and swore off knitting forever!

Until today. Fear not, Debbie & Co., I will not give up that easily!

And that was my wondrous Tuesday, dear reader.  Thanks for checking in!