Tag Archives: rochester

Home Alone XXIV

I can’t be trusted. Things get so out of hand when I’m left home alone!
Not only am I at home on my own on a Friday night (yay me), I got excited enough about making a chickpea curry as per this River Cottage recipe that I started taking pictures OF TINNED GOODS.
I was excited. Don’t judge me.
That onion is gonna get it reeeal good.
I may look harmless, but when there’s curry involved, it’s serious
There may or may not have been a little leftover birthday fizz involved, but let’s not dwell. The fact of the matter is that the BF is working at the restaurant, and we’ve had a weird old week of not seeing much of each other. His latest mistress is his music, and has been playing gigs like you wouldn’t believe. I certainly wouldn’t believe it if, y’know, it wasn’t true….but instead of letting myself feel bummed out, I decided to sing hallelujah and get happy and have some luxurious time to myself.
I’ve Downton Abbey-ed myself, fed myself and leftover-birthday-fizzed myself, so now it’s time for writing silly blog posts, emailing old friends and being tempted to email new ones, settling in to a bath and then perhaps a film.  Then playing Rumours on repeat, because OF COURSE my BFF Stevie Nicks is making an appearance tonight.
We’re moving out of our lovely flat into somewhere nearby, but it means the dreaded tidying up must happen soon – I’m completely relishing the idea of that, as those of you who’ve met me will know. I’m like the tidiest person in tout le monde. Also tomorrow brings potential new flat-renters, and that makes my skin crawl ever so slightly. I’ve always hated rent inspections, and having people go into my house when I’ve not exactly invited them. It’s not hard to get an invite out of me, but there’s something about the idea of having people poke around your house that makes me want to sit on the edge of the bed and weep bitterly. I may have to leftover-birthday-fizz myself tomorrow simply to get through it. It’s a real struggle sometimes.

24 And There’s So Much More

Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha Birthday
Saturday was my 24th birthday! Yay! It was actually one of the most delicious days I’ve had in a while. The BF and our friend Steve had been out painting the town red the night before, so once they’d both imbibed a sustaining bacon and egg bagel and some fresh coffee we walked down Rochester High Street.
Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha Clarks Brogues
Well, they walked, I pranced. I pranced down the street in my new brogues. I’m far more attached to them than I should be. It’s not very Buddhist of me. Ho hum. They’re real leather and HARRIS TWEED. I saw them featured on Domestic Sluttery, and I not-very-casually forwarded the page to the BF with the heading “WANT”. He got the hint.

In the eve, we headed to Cafe Moroc for a wonderful birthday dinner. Bear with me whilst I gush: if you are looking for somewhere in Rochester for dinner that is intimate, has great food and incredible service – go to Cafe Moroc. I’ve rarely been so delighted with a restaurant. They don’t know the thanks that is about to hit them in the face. Watch out boys…you’re about to get thanked.

Please excuse the grainy photos! The food was utterly sublime, and several bottles of complimentary fizz were provided as a surprise. It was just lovely. Great food, great wine and wonderful company. It was a life-affirming dinner, and what more could you want for your birthday?

Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha Birthday 2
The BF’s sister (BFS) and I having a wee cuddle
There were more bottles of wine than people by this stage, but I was very well behaved. After the food, we had another we drink in the pub across the road, and then on to Oliver’s for a little boogie. This was a bit of a mistake as the anonymous bum gropers were out in full force and my friend D and I found ourselves being manhandled on the dance floor. Ne’ermind. D is a wee lass but she can death stare up there with the best of them. She wasn’t even looking at me and I was frightened.
I pranced home (still wearing the brogues – I haven’t taken them off in three days) as 2:00am rang in, even managing to take my make-up off, brush my teeth, take two nurofen (in advance) and drink a litre of water before snuggling into bed. I must be growing up!

Rochester Lit Fest Garden Party

A couple of months ago, down in Kent we had a sunny weekend of truly remarkable proportions. It was a delight, and the hot-and-sweaty-ness made me reminisce of the days of yore back in the colonies. It was that very weekend that the launch party of the Rochester Lit Fest took place, in the gardens of Eastgate House. What fun!

The day was utter bliss to be honest, with readings by Philip Kane and Bill Lewis (two relatively well known Medway poets), and an open mic session where many members of the public – including the BF above – were able to perform their work in front of the audience.

There were a couple of lovely stalls, bunted! were there as well as the lovely illustrator Ben Cameron (more exciting news on Ben very soon!!) and we all got to sit in the sun, listen to music and sell some wares. What more could a girl want on a Sunday?

The BF Performs Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

What was most exciting of all was seeing the reception to the Lit Fest. It’s being run by three of the writers I respect most in Medway – Philip Kane, Jaye Nolan and my beloved editor Emma Dewhurst. I have complete and utter faith in them and look forward immensely to the events next year. I helped out on the day, and we all felt that there was this surge of interest in local literary events – over 100 people came to the event, and the majority of them stayed all day! Unheard of!

I felt so inspired, and so utterly pleased that I’ve found this lovely glorious vibrant nest of people on my doorstop who love literature and their community as much as I have grown to love them. I may even have jumped on the bandwagon and started a little literary event of my own….more on that soon…..

Vintage Finds

Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha French Resistance #1
Hello Sam Goodbye does French Resistance
You may be able to tell by my extravagant moves and general flailing about that I was terribly excited to find this new tweed suit from the vintage Demelza Boutique in Rochester (Demelza, incidentally,  is a charity that supports children in hospices – a noble cause indeed. They also run a smashing vintage boutique not ten minutes walk from my house).
Bonafide tweed, with navy and white wool, and a single breasted, three buttoned jacket and faux leather belt. It is everything anyone could have hoped and dreamed for. It was the find of the year for me, and I saw fit to wear it today with the beret above, some black pumps and my Rochester Vintage Society membership badge.
England is finally having its Summer about six years after we’d all agreed that it would, so today was what they technically call fucking hot, and so tweed was rather a poor choice. But hey ho, beauty is pain.
I adore the outfit, and need to find ways to wear it in everyday life. It makes me feel like a combination of Evita and someone from the French Resistance. Also, like I can’t be trusted around a pistol. But perhaps I never could be trusted to begin with!

Medway Open Studios Festival

Saturday 7th July saw the start of a week of the Medway Open Studios Festival, where local artists are throwing their doors open, and welcoming  tout le monde into their studios for a stickybeak.

There I am!

I was helping Heather Burgess, the festival director, out on Saturday, manning the pop-up gallery at the Deaf Cat Studios on Rochester High Street. It was a lovely start to the weekend, and this is essentially what happened:

  • looking at interesting local art
  • drinking coffee
  • chatting
  • listening to records
  • getting attacked by a pigeon of death
  • being submitted to an awkward attempt to sell makeup (Why do salespeople do that? It was a gallery, for pete’s sake, is it really appropriate to try and sell me crappy makeup? Is it ever appropriate to try and sell me crappy makeup? I’m going with no.)
  • being handed out a flyer that will save my eternal soul from damnation. What a lark.
Another thing that happened was that I played the fool (as always) and took a flower from a lovely smiling lady. Too late I figured out it was a gypsy lady, and I was now obligated to purchase the flower from her. Not that I minded, it was my first time being approached in that way, and odd though it was, it was slightly charming. A ‘we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto’ moment, as that has never happened to me in Australia.
I left the studios feeling pretty enthused from talking to Heather (she’s super) and feeling all warm and connected to this place that I call home. There is so much happening here, and it’s wonderful to be a (small) part of it! I also got to wear one of the fetching tshirts seen above:
Goofy look model’s own
If you’re interested in checking out the art scene in Medway, I’d say the Open Studios Fest is a pretty great way to go about it. You’ll get to see where everything is made, and a ready made excuse to talk to the artists making things locally. Most of the action is within walking distance from Rochester or Chatham High Street, which is a plus if you are comme moi and sans voiture. Check it out, and tell ‘em I sent ya.

La Société Vintage a Rochester

 The Rochester Vintage Society and Demelza present:

An Evening Soiree
 If your idea of a good night out includes vintage fashion at bargain prices, come on down on Saturday 24th March from 8 – 11pm to learn how to perfect your pin curls, twirl your moustache and how to strut your stuff in an oh-so-ladylike fashion. Vintage poetry readings and burlesque to delight and titillate. £5 entry on the door includes delicious treats, a glass of something bubbly and membership to the best Society in town! Dress in your 1920’s-1950’s best or be challenged to a duel! Places limited so RSVP requested at  rochestervintagesociety@gmail.com

Fuck Yeah Rochester

I am very pleased to note that Rochester (baby) is upping the ante in the awesome stakes. Not only have two new vintage stores opened up in the last week (yay), a friend has opened a new bar/restaurant (which I have already graced with my supremely drunken presence – oivay) but our favourite café is now hosting night time gigs with wine. And beer. And music.

So I am going to dedicate a little corner of my much loved but under-utilised blog, to the amazingness that is Rochester. It took me the best part of a year to not hate that I was living here, but you know, fuck it! It’s better to love the place you’re in, rather than spend your life wishing you were somewhere else. If you just scratch the surface, just a little bit, you’ll find amazingness that you thought only belonged to people who were cooler or richer or more interesting than you. Not so, sir.

This Friday 16 September, The Deaf Cat Café (the aforementioned favourite café) is playing host to Don Gallardo, ‘a Nashville-based singer/songwriter who unites introspective lyrics, gritty twang, and honey-warm vocals, producing a rootsy, personal sound that exists between the boundaries of Americana, Folk, and 70’s classic rock.’ 

I don’t know about you, but that shit sounds right up my fucking alley. I’m there. SO freaking there. I’m going to take pictures, so stay tuned folks. Sit back and enjoy the magic.

Jesus Freaks Out in the Street

There was un vintage fair trés charmant in the high street today, and here are some delights that I picked up! I’ve been contemplating sandals quite bit recently, as Summer is on her way (no matter what they try and tell you, I swear she is!) and I’ve been feeling the need to crack out some cool nail polish.

I love the colour of the leather, and not being new they have that lovely soft feeling of aged leather, so they’re really comfortable to wear. I do need another notch put in to make them slightly tighter, but it is definitely love. I might have to wear them to bed, I love them so much.

I think Jesus sandals are the way to go this Summer. Do it. Join us.