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Vol.9 - 🧿 Exhibitions, Evil Eyes & An Asian Disco 🪩

and the intern is back!


We did it, we made it to 2023; despite 2022 trying its very hardest to finish us off. Happy New Year to each and every one of you! I hope everyone is nursing a suitable hangover (remember to get on the diarolyte and drink some freshly squeezed orange juice). There is a 99% chance that I will still be asleep as this newsletter goes out, as Henry and I were hosting a ‘small’ NYE party last night. I find the run-up to hosting a lot of fun because it really scratches an itch in my busy, controlling, overcrowded brain. I love designing the invites, buying the decorations, planning the menu and everything that comes with hosting (except the cleaning up, although I tend to leave 75% of that to Henry as I do the prep). Thank you again to everyone who supports this newsletter by reading, sharing, commenting and subscribing.


I look forward to continuing this adventure with you in 2023! And with that, let’s begin…


 

2023



On my IG Q&A, a lot of you asked what my resolutions were going into 2023. I don’t particularly like ‘resolutions’, e.g. ‘go to the gym! eat better! stop smoking!’ because I hate being told what to do. Even if it’s from me to me. What I do like to do is sit down and think about my long-term goals and aspirations for the year. I write these down using specific wording so that there’s no room for ambiguity when it comes to what I’m looking to manifest or achieve. At the end of each year, I also like to ask my psychic what she sees for the year ahead, and she’s predicted everything that has happened to me in the last two years. I asked her to do a reading for Henry this year, too, and he was shocked by how accurate her vision was. Over the years, I’ve seen the evil eye in full force, and therefore I am reluctant to share big, personal goals until they have come to fruition (especially when it comes to work or making money because these seem to attract the most unwanted negative energy). However, I will share some of my other goals and aspirations for the year, and hopefully, they might inspire some of you who are stuck with yours!


In 2023 I will;

  • Invest more in my physical health. I will increase my personal training sessions and see my GP for all overdue checks. For the last few months, I’ve been seeing the PT once a week, and whilst I hate pushing myself physically (as a pre-teen, I trained competitively as an acrobatic gymnast 6+ times a week, so I have a weird form of PTSD from that), I’ve noticed how much better I feel both physically and mentally from it. I like feeling stronger, and I know how important this will be as I get older. I also have a reeeeal aversion to seeing doctors, and when it comes to my health, I take a ‘get on with it, and it will sort itself out’ approach. However, I’ve been delaying a lot of important health checks, and I think it’s finally time I get over myself and have them done. A good start would be registering with a GP (lol).

  • Prioritise travelling and take every opportunity to see more of the world and learn about other cultures. I appreciate that I am in a privileged enough position to even have this as a goal, but I think that’s precisely why it needs to be one. I think it’s bizarre to have the means to travel and see outside of one’s bubble and not make use of that. Henry and I love the idea of a relaxing beach holiday in theory, but we both know after a day of sunbathing, we get bored and want to explore as much as possible. We have good friends who have moved to the West Coast recently, and Henry has been dying to take a road trip, so we want to prioritise seeing them (as well as bringing Rhubarb, of course). I’ve wanted to visit both Japan and Malaysia for years. My dad spent a period of time living in Malaysia and has so many wonderful stories. We also want to attempt a European road trip so that we can bring Rhubarb with us on the adventure (and flex our new Italian skills, as you will read in the next goal). I don’t know how achievable all of the above will be, but we won’t know until we try!

  • Learn a new language. Enough so that I can have an actual conversation in the country where said language is spoken. My favourite country to visit is Italy. I’ve been going there for over half my life, yet my Italian is embarrassingly limited. Henry and I have been saying for the last few years that we wanted to learn, but, in reality, we’ve done the bare minimum with DuoLingo, where we’ve only been able to practice our dodgy Italian twice a year with short breaks to Italy. This week, Henry signed us both up for a local, in-class 10-week Italian course. My mind can’t shake the image of us sitting in this class, Emily in Paris style, wearing something embarrassingly cliche in the hopes that it might make our Italian better.

a beret? for french class? groundbreaking


  • Spend more time and effort on creative endeavours. Go to more exhibitions, see (even) more films, learn a new skill that furthers my creative process, and prioritise writing. I view and understand the world visually. If someone tells me what to do (my favourite, HA), my brain can’t quite process it. As soon as someone shows me, it immediately clicks. When I read, I have to picture everything to make sense of it. When I’m most inspired, it’s because I’ve been moved by something I’ve seen or watched. Years of being forced to be traditionally ‘academic’, where reading and regurgitating numerous books were the key to success, stifled this. I spent years questioning whether I was truly ‘creative’ or not. Anyway, long story short, I now want to dedicate as much time as possible to everything and anything creative. I want to learn and be inspired by everyone who has had the guts to create something and put it out there.


from my jan-apr ‘23 pinterest board


  • I also find making mood boards incredibly helpful, especially when it comes to working towards my goals. Whether you use them to manifest or to inspire, I think they’re a great way to visualise thoughts and feelings that can often be messy and cluttered in your own head. I like to make ‘seasonal’ boards four months at a time that I constantly update and refer to. I am currently in the process of building my jan-apr ‘23 Pinterest board, which I hope will begin to take shape over the next few weeks. I start by adding images of things that inspire or delight me as a starting point, and then it often develops from there. I also make separate boards for anything I’d like to manifest (these are private of course, evil eye and all of that!). And if you don’t believe in any of the above? at the very least, it’s a fun, creative outlet.


 

GALLERIES & EXHIBITIONS



At the start of 2022, I became a Tate Member to encourage myself to see more exhibitions. It worked in part, but my efforts definitely started to wane towards the end of the year. As one of my goals for 2023 is to make the most out of the great galleries and exhibitions we have in London, I thought I would share some I’m looking forward to visiting in 2023 (and any I’ve already been to that are still showing!).

  1. Dalí: Cybernetics The Immersive Experience - VR? 360-degree immersive rooms?? I’m unsure but also intrigued.

  2. The EY Exhibition: Cézanne, Tate Modern (Until March ‘23) - ‘Focusing on the many tensions and contradictions in Cezanne’s work, this exhibition seeks to understand the artist in his own context, as an ambitious young painter proudly from the Mediterranean South, yet eager to make it in metropolitan Paris. Featuring many works shown for the first time in the UK, the show will follow his struggle between seeking official recognition and joining the emerging impressionists before relentlessly pursuing his own unique language.’

  3. Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms (Extended until Apr ‘23) - I went to this a few months ago, and it was fascinating and beautiful but also rather short. There are only a few rooms you can go into, and you can only stay in them for a few minutes at a time! However, on the plus side, you’ll have plenty of time to stroll around the Tate Modern and look at their free exhibitions.

  4. David Hockney: Bigger and Closer, Lightroom (Jan-Apr ‘23) - In a cycle of six themed chapters, with a specially composed score by Nico Muhly and a commentary by the artist himself, Hockney reveals his process to us. His voice is in our ears as we watch him experimenting with perspective, using photography as a way of ‘drawing with a camera’, capturing the passing of time in his polaroid collages and the joy of spring on his iPad, and showing us why only paint can properly convey the hugeness of the Grand Canyon. We join him on his audio-visual Wagner Drive, roaring up into the San Gabriel Mountains and into the opera house by means of animated re-creations of his stage designs.’

  5. The Ugly Duchess: Beauty and Satire in the Renaissance at The National Gallery (Mar-Jun ‘23) - Three of my favourite things in one go. This exhibition is free and only in one room; however, The National Gallery is my favourite in London, and there’s plenty of art to look at afterwards. You have everyone from Rembrandt to Rubens and Leonardo Da Vinci. They also do online talks, and on the 5th of January, they’re hosting ‘The art of Renaissance Venice’ (for free!).

  6. Wildlife Photographer of the Year, The Natural History Museum (now until July ‘23) - If David Attenborough was given a camera. Come to think of it; this exhibition would be even more amazing if they had his voice narrating the images as you walked around.

  7. Donatello: Sculpting the Renaissance, The V&A (opening Feb ‘23) - The renaissance is my favourite period for art; however, my knowledge (and admittedly, my interest) is limited when it comes to sculptures. I’m hoping this exhibition will help with both.

  8. The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (June-Aug ‘23) - A one-of-a-kind exhibition where everyone from seasoned professionals to amateurs can submit their art. It shows every medium imaginable (from paintings to sculptures to films), and The Royal Academy is also located perfectly. After the exhibition, you can walk to either 45 Jermyn Street or Maison Francois for a spot of lunch, Fortnum and Mason to pick up some tea, or Maison Assouline to peruse their books and have a drink at their bar.

  9. Kew Gardens - Orchid Exhibition (Feb-March ‘23) and Treehouses (Apr-Oct ‘23) - I grew up near Kew, so between the school trips, family trips, and friend trips, I was a regular at Kew Gardens. However, since leaving home, I don’t visit as much as I would like to! There’s something so soothing about visiting the gardens, and one of my favourite parts is the glasshouse where they host the Orchid exhibition. They are also partnering with The Museum of Architecture, where the winners of the treehouse competition will have their designs built amongst Kew’s 320 acres. After a day of walking around the gardens, pop to The Original Maids of Honour for some afternoon tea.

 

HOSTING

did somebody say asian disco?



Originally our NYE was going to be very small and intimate, with just two of our closest friends coming over for dinner and drinks. However, as is always the case, this ‘intimate dinner’ slowly grew to 6 people before arriving at 8 (at the time of writing this section, it’s currently the day before NYE, so there’s still time for this number to grow further). I love designing menus and invites anytime we host - with most events being done via WhatsApp/text/generic social media app, I think it’s a nice touch to send a personalised, digital menu. I always use Canva because it’s the best for creating things like this. I like to use one of their pre-made templates and edit it to my taste. For the above invite, I searched for ‘watercolour illustrations’. As several of my guests have allergies (everything from dairy-free, gluten-free and pescatarian to nut, apple and pineapple allergies), I decided to do an Asian menu and ask the guests to bring sides they know they can definitely eat. Honey and Soy (gluten-free, of course) chicken wings and thighs are delicious and so easy to make. I tend to make it up as I go along, but this recipe is great if you need exact instructions! Same for this Chinese Steamed Ginger Cod. As we wanted the main dinner to start late so that we were all kept awake and alive until midnight, we thought a constant grazing board of vegetables, cheese, meats, pates, crisps and dips etc., upon arrival with cocktails would be an excellent informal way of keeping everyone’s stomach lined. I may have spent a small fortune on cheese at Bayley and Sage.



After deciding on the menu, Henry and I thought, fuck it, let’s make it a little more of an event, so as every good host who is attempting to pull something together at the last minute does, I went straight to Amazon. What did I order? This champagne balloon garland to cover the back wall next to the table. Two of these disco balls to hang above the table. Our hallway has a neon sign on one wall and three vintage Pirelli calendars on the other, so we thought it would be fun to add to the funky disco theme by having a ton of helium balloons on the ceiling with iridescent strings that you have to walk through to get into the disco room. Cards Galore tried to quote me £60 for 20 helium balloons, to which I said,



So Henry bought a helium tank from Argos, and I bought white balloons, metallic pink balloons, and these cool LED balloons so that we could do it ourselves instead. I also bought some holographic table confetti and glittery hair and body spray (I was really leaning into the asian disco theme). We also made sure to have a mixture of different card games/drinking games/general games to entertain us, from Bad People to Nintendo Switch Sports.


the garland in action and me praying it stays up whilst we finish setting up!


 

NOTES FROM THE INTERN

This week our guest editor is back after not being fired last month



New Year, New [insert guilt-tripped vow to yourself in the full knowledge that, besides these words, you are going to make no real effort to change anything about yourself]. The number of times I’ve heard Tamsin or Rhubarb grumble (come to think of it, it’s more Rhubarb) when someone has uttered the words New Year, New Me is cause for concern. “But this year’s different” or "I’ve read this book which has shown me the path” - we all know we need to lead with actions and follow with words (Editors Note; I personally alternate leading with both, but my brain works differently to the interns) and not the reverse! With that in mind, The Intern has devised a foolproof plan to ensure this year is different. 


Warning, the example below is a bit niche, therefore, for those that have the passion [or obsession] with cars and road tripping, then this is for you (I’d love to hear some recommendations in the comments section); otherwise, the below could serve as a simple action-oriented template (or manifesting to-do list) for your own personal goals for the New Year.


Currently Manifesting For 2023: Road Trip West-Coast USA



Action Plan

  • Route planning & Accommodation - research popular routes / read up on others’ experiences through forums/asking friends. (Editor’s Note: I’m shit with geography and terrible with route planning; however, I excel when it comes to booking accommodation. When I find somewhere I like, I cross reference TripAdvisor, Booking.com and their tagged Instagram photos for honest reviews and tips)

  • Specific events - are they seasonal? are there certain requirements? are they dog friendly? how far are they from where we plan on staying?

  • Visiting friends - when are they available? (Editor’s Note: should we unfriend them if they’re not available???)

  • Shipping or renting a car - what’s the temporary import process? what’s the most cost-effective? how easy is this to do or is it going to add extra stress?

  • Travelling with Rhubarb - airline requirements? dog-friendly accommodation? how far in advance do we need to take her to the vet? how ‘dog friendly’ are the cities/towns on our route?

To-Do List:

  • Create an Excel budget on a shared sheet so that both myself and Tamsin can view and amend

  • Events research and book tickets (if required)

  • Create a custom Google map and start favouriting hotels, restaurants, events, and locations of interest, including vineyards (Editor’s Note; I used to laugh at Henry for doing this on his Google map, but it’s actually really useful. I throw suggestions at him and he logs them all in one place where we can clearly see distance and location)

  • Diary arrangement of friends (share itinerary - a bit “Type-A”, Rhubarb would be proud)

  • Contact the import company and obtain vehicle list of requirements - otherwise, research and compare car rental companies

  • Rule out specific airlines which don’t allow return travel with dogs before taking Rhubarb to the vet to ensure she is fully covered

  • Flights & various accommodations to be booked

Status: 3/7


Now, for those that are wanting to do a road trip, I have placed below a list of essential / recommended items from my experience with travelling with a passenger princess and Rhubarb.

  • If travelling in Europe, then subscribe and stick an Emovis Tag to your windscreen. They enable you to go through tolls quickly without having to fumble around for loose change or get an accepted credit card out.

  • Soft Luggage vs. Hard Cases. It’s understandable that having spent such a large amount of money on your Rimowa that you’d want to take it with you, however, I can whole heartily recommend using soft cases instead for clothes. Not all boot sizes are the same, and you’ll be able to squeeze these Rains bags behind seats leaving much-needed room for the wine and other parafenialia you purchase on your trip.

  • Route planning and want a filtered list of activities to do along your way? Although you can’t fault the Michelin Guide, I’m in the process of creating a modern version - fit for those that love the drive and want a filtered list of recommendations for all budgets. Of course, it is aptly named The Leisurely Driver’s Club.


 

And that’s all from the ninth issue of The Rhubarb Society! Please feel free to leave your comments/questions/concerns in the comments below, via email or in my DMs. If there’s anyone you think would be an excellent fit for The Rhubarb Society, please do extend the invitation below. 

With love,

Tamsin & Rhubarb

xoxo

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