Day 54: Life of an interpreter! 38 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Today is just the usual Saturday. I did a bit of cooking, house cleaning and little bit of chilling out thinking about days ahead. Last night, going out into the world out there to work, I nearly got frozen. Did I miss something during this week whilst in bed? Did UK suddenly change the position of where it is on the global map… ? Layers all the way, I still was not prepared for it. Nor the customers. It was so cold, barely no one was out and about either. We went home earlier, but I still could not sleep until the usual time as my brain was thinking about events of the night, but I am not going to bother you with that as I have enough to digest.

So what else I was up to today. Well, you will be pleased to know I sat and did more of tax filing, going through my interpreting sheets, checking all the right dates and information. I started doing this job in my second year of university. An advert posted on Facebook stating that local language agency is looking for someone to do the job. You do not need to have interpreting qualifications to start with in order to get into this job. There different levels and as long as you can tick some of those requirements and pass the initial interview, you are fine. I was slightly apprehensive about this whole thing, never mind even looking smart for the interview. Rasta girl in a suit from Primark with her first ever handbag, well that is who I was, but my boss was very impressed and I got the job.

I had five assignments in three days to start with and let me tell you, not something pleasant I was prepared to be part of. Many of you are very likely to have a friend from a foreign country and when you meet, you talk about your life, what happened, jobs, funny things. Well that is very far from the job of an interpreter. We also talk, in my language and English, but it may vary from simple things as filling out forms, clearing the mistuderstanding, being a part of medical examination to lot more complicated situations like family divorce issues, being nearly attacked during the session or talking about children and verbal and sexual abuse. I was literally thrown into this nasty world and I had to learn how to swim.

However not everything is bad. Five years on I still do this job for two language agencies and freelance and it pretty much always amazes me that there are people, who live in this country for many years and still do not speak the language. Or some of them are here short term, so there is the obvious need. I still cannot believe I get to sit on a chair and get paid for talking. Not much, as it is only hourly paid job and you are more likely to work somewhere between 1-3 hours depending on how often they need you. Which may vary  from twice a month to once in six months, plus different agencies have different rules about travel allowances and expenses.

But I do help people, so they can move on with their lives and their problems. The look on their faces is priceless and “thanks” they have for me and the staff I am dealing with mean personally a lot to me. It often leaves me wondering how lucky I am. And it is only because I overcame the fear of talking to strangers, learned the language and during my first year in Bristol barely spoke to any of the native Czechs or Slovakians. I blended in within the society and here is my reward years later. With the numbers of people ever here, working in factories and catering, hanging out within the community asking pretty simple questions within the Facebook group rather figuring them out themselves, no wonder how many people find themselves still with no vocabulary and knowledge, however managing to survive here for quite some time, but in a need of an interpreter, when it comes to something more complicated.

So here we are, not always walk in the park, but very rewarding job, I am very happy to do. Back tomorrow. Kat xx

day 20 p1

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Day 53: It’s tax tiiimes! 39 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

As you can tell today’s post is about tax. Oh yes, it is that time of the year, when all freelancers are starting to worry if they should forget about it until it is really late, well more precisely the 31st of January deadline date, and spend the money now on extravagant parties or presents. Or become very well organized and have already paid sometime in summer.

When I graduated I joined this freelance party too, so I guess I am still learning and when it comes to tax I am finally getting the grip of by filling my third tax form. My first time I was fashionably late as you should be going to a party. Last year I managed to that with a day to spare! I know! I can see that admiring nod of yours! So I became a helping hand of my at that time boyfriend and organized his receipts, plus cooked roast dinner. I know! I can see that another admiring nod of yours!

So this year I though I may aim for perhaps a week or month advance? Well I am not going to lie, I know I have overpaid some tax somewhere and I know Her Majesty is not going to give them to me until I fill that self assesment form. And that is lot of fun, when it comes to having four jobs. I work for two different companies being employed and I am self employed  and providing two different services. Obviously something is wrong, because I never have any money… hmmm.

So last night I started! I took out that big over-floating folder and put everything in those transparent pockets and then started to go through every single one of them sorting it out into piles. I managed to get to piling it by jobs, forms, payslips, invoices, receipts, project receipts and started to write them down on a piece paper, so I can one day put them into my computer based form, which I created, and which would work well If I could be bothered to use on ongoing basis.

Thankfully there was a help on call, when my dear friend urgently needed a skype session, so I urgently had to leave my receipts in order to listen to an upset soul. Today I spent organizing few important (!) bits and pieces and mostly spent it hovering around my blog and the “F” social media network hoping to get a message from work ‘Stay warm in bed and look after yourself.’ Tax will have to wait until another time, but since all the receipts are all over the floor, it might have to become urgent soon. It is 6pm, so let me enjoy few more hours of procrastinating and then I am off to work as that magic message has not arrived. See you tomorrow everyone. Kat xx

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Day 52: Liebster Award! 40 days to go!

Kat is honoured, gets arty and doodles about life:

Last night I decided to clean up little bit of my WordPress Dashboard and put the things into the right place. I got rid off the category Kat shows her work, since it only had 2 posts. Over the time, especially since starting the challenge, I have realized I talk too much about all this art or what is happening, it becomes more relevant for category Kat gets arty. Plus I finally got the hang of tagging other categories within the post. So I can keep calm, it is all making sense and it is organized! Ufff.

The other thing I added is new 92 days challenge as a category and in the last few nights I have been thinking what will happen after I get to the point of 92 days. Quite honestly I am actually really enjoying this and I feel like it is certainly pushing me forward, so I do not want to stop. Not even for a little holiday, because knowing myself, I won’t start again. So what I am going to do? I was thinking perhaps do one, which is year-long? I know you all love to read about my unconventional life right? But then what happens if I find that job and become full-time art person? What happens next if I cannot write about what happens at work, because of the confidentiality clause?  So I thought the other option is to keep my challenge sweet and short. By month. And by tasks. I could perhaps do month of scenic painting, month of model making, month of.. hmmm let me think.

The other issue about my blog is: What do I do with my Czech version? I have become so bad with my own native language, I should really go back to it. At the moment is has only few posts and I have properly neglected it. Shame on me. Unless there is enthusiastic linguist, who would love to take on the challenge and translate my 70 posts so far.  However being witty the same way as me. Now that is a challenge! Working on two blogs is quite hard work whilst everything else is going on in my life at the same time, so I will have to give it a bit of a thought.

Last but not least in this post is Liebster Award! How amazing! The very lovely learnermother has nominated me, because she thinks I’m pretty awesome. Eeeh or rather my writing is pretty awesome. “Kat, where is your modesty?” Alright, alright, I am just too excited someone actually likes my doodling.

Ok, call me a bit stupid, but I have answered the same questions as learnermother answered, so when I found the real questions, I realized I have to do it all over again…dddhhh obviously my brain is not on back on track yet. So I thought at least I keep this one, because it has some entertaining you tube videos.

5. What was or would be your first dance at your wedding?

I am really bad with dancing or any steps, so it would have to be one of these Greek type of songs I learnt and have not forgotten yet: Zorba’s Dance or if you see me later on with little more to drink I will be more in touch with my Central/Eastern European roots looking like these boys at 03:45 holding my hands and kicking my feet into the air. Although might prove a bit of a problem with a wedding dress.

So here are my answers to those real questions.

1. What tipped you over the edge from thinking ‘I’d like to blog’ to actually writing your first post?

My friends always tell me my life is so exciting and so unbelievable I should write all my stories down. So I did and it was very much like watching Sex and The City. However being a blog novice I struggled with how many people know me and how do I protect my privacy, so I stopped. Sometime after I revisited and decided I should rather write about my non existing art intentions instead, so there it was.

2. You could be anywhere, right now. Where? And why?

Currently it would be nice somewhere nice and warm, not too hot, not too cold, I have not had a holiday for a long time, so nice trip away with a friend would be very welcome.

3. Twitter. Love it or hate it?

I would not say hate it, but it is not my favourite.

4. What’s your favourite joke?

I make people laugh, because none of my jokes are funny, so they laugh at me. But if its has to be my favourite ones are the ones, which come out of my mouth in a spare of a moment. “My standards are so low, I can’t go any lower” (on looking for a boyfriend)

5. Are you a shouty stormer-outerer, or a silent sulker?

A bit of both, it depends on the situation.

6. What’s your absolute worst fear?

I am getting over the fear of driving, so the next fear would to be not being loved I guess.

7. How often you do you cry?

All the bloody time. Give me X factor audition, Notebook- the movie or too much wine and good looking man, and I will be weeping rivers.

8. Are you superstitious and if so in what way?

Nooo. It is all in your head. Stop it.

9. Which blog post are you most proud of?

I noticed in your cv that you don’t currently drive ,

Day 20: A place you call home. Crossing that nine year mark!72 days to go!

Day 30: No passion for fashion! 62 days to go! ,

So who I would like to nominate

Learner mother– Can we nominate someone back? If so I would do the same. Very witty, admirable lady with three children, two business, and one husband (he was my boss, so I guess that says it all, right?)… and she has always something on the go. She is just simply great. Definitely worth checking her blog. I do not know how she does it all.

Mason Bentley style– Well, well, well, what do I say. Very interesting lady, fashion blogger, great photographs, wit, blog party organizer, mum. She gives to fashion that rather more human look and I enjoy reading her post very much.

Fashion Mayann– I love, love, love her blog. Very artistic, very creative and very fun. She combines fashion with real life and her posts are about conceptual or realized designs of other designers. For me as theatre designer it is a joy for eyes, as the images she picks up are starting research point to my work.

Culture Monk– Alright I know I have talked about him so much, probably to the point of annoying now. If you like to know more read the post Day 51 or simply click on his blog to read. It is pretty good.

The crazy bag lady– Fab illustrator and a challenge lady. She has been pushed by a friend to get creative and her latest project was two hundred black and white illustrations of animals, objects and all sorts of other things. Her next? challenge is now to colour them and get them out there.

Project Pontcanna– My friend Mandi was illustrating her life around when living in Pontcanna in Cardiff. She is no longer living there, but I hope there might be a new project coming up based on where she lives now… 🙂

Spoonful of style- Another mum, who blogs, who is very stylish. Her posts are filled with glam, designer recommendations and trips out with children.

And here are my questions:

1. Who are your three favourite comedians and why?

2. What made you decide to be Kat’s follower or a friend?

3. What is your favourite book now and which one was it as a child?

4. The shoes to wear in Prague are..? Heels or flats? Do you have any connections to anything Czech?

5. How about everyday challenge, as Kat writes right now, would you go for that and what would you write about?

6. Do you have any regrets in life?

7. What is your next project? And did you start already?

Lots of love and looking forward to the answers, plus back tomorrow with the rest of you. Byyyyye Kat xx

Day 51: On culture monk, being atheist and having a faith. 41 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and recommends:

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This morning I woke up about half ten, had some breakfast and went straight back to bed. My flu is a bit of a weird one this time, as I barely have any symptoms, but I am so exhausted and in lot of muscle ache, I have to go back to sleep. Before  and after falling asleep and waking up again around 3pm I decided to read and catch up with some of my blogs, which have been piling up in my e-mail.

Especially the ones from The Culture Monk. Ever since subscribed to his blog, and it was more that he found me when liking one of my posts… really I cannot remember, I have really been looking forward to each time it arrives in my inbox. However compare to the majority of posts, I have to be in a certain mood to read them. He writes about life, as you could say the serious stuff, and I am not always in my busy schedule prepared to take time to think about what he has just written, although it is pretty spot on. Being mostly in agreement with him, there is a part of me, which not always gets the part, when he talks about religion and God. And not in a judgemental way, I am just not one of those people, who believes in God. So I guess that makes me an atheist.

My mother’s family have always been going to church and I was even baptised as a child. My grandfather being a professional violinist and his sister being professional pianist, both traveling the world most of the time, would find themselves when back at home most of their Sunday mornings playing for the local church and I would be hanging out with them as a part of the babysitting experience. Next to the organs up at the top of the church discovering the beautiful architecture and art around me. And that is part of me, which stayed around until now. I love going to any church anywhere I visit and I have always been fascinated by their beauty and grace. I mean Prague is full of them and they are always part of some drawing assignment. So I like them for the art, not for the religion. Thankfully my family have been pretty open with my religious education and apart from the occasional church ceremony, attending family weddings or my mum praying on Christmas Day during the dinner, we have not been forced to anything else, which I am very grateful for.

During my academic years I have certainly inclined more to the Darwin’s evolution theory and I decided to believe that there is someone/something up there, but I do not call him God (although we take him for granted in our everyday language) and I should really have only faith in myself, because quite simply if  I do not make the difference, there is no hope for me. We our in charge of our own destiny. And that is what brings me to people, when you meet and they start forcing you God or other religious theories. I do not mind having friendly conversation, but sometimes it gets too much and that is when I go: “Well if God exists and God is good, why did he send my father away? He was very good man, always made everyone laugh, worked hard and he was taken too young away way from me. ” “Oh Good would have wanted it they way””Ehh, no, I am sorry, but that is a lot of nonsense, because why he would take the good people and keep the bad people here?” At that point I become too angry, so I rather leave or the other person already gives up. I respect people’s opinion and willing to hear the other side of the story, but please have some decent reasonable answer prepared, when comes to this sort of topic.

I would never even think to write about religion on my arty blog, but this post has been inspired by reading today The Culture Monk’s post It’s about authentic love and a fake affair, which is about a man, who got rejected by his church, when he stopped believing in this particular church movement. He had to pretend he was unfaithful to his wife, so the church won’t reject her and the rest of the family and now as a consequence he has been forbidden to see his children, which I think is really sad, that can happen in a Western society of 21st century. I know we do not know the full story, however this should not happen. I am glad my parents were enough tolerant I can choose my own beliefs and act as I feel.

If you enjoy the sound of The culture Monk (plus or minus the religious bit as you choose) I recommend to check out his latest posts I liked:

I wanna be famous

Searching for a mail-order bride

This way to death by alcohol 

It’s about letting things go

It’s about the little things

Single people suck

Stupid&Cheerful

and many more. Back tomorrow Kat xx

Day 50: Being still and STILL BLOGGING! 42 days to go!

Kat recommends and doodles about life under some extensive dose of camomile tea and selection of colourful tablets (against flu of course):

Alright, well, I am ill. It is just the ordinary cough, sore throat and the usual headache and other ache. So I am going to live, just feel fairly uncapable of doing anything of any kind. I spent the day in bed, getting up only to eat and make tea and watched the great selection of Made in Chelsea, The Big Bang Theory, latest Deal or No Deal (gosh that woman must be feeling dreadful after having dream finish and dealing at 19k) and episode of Grand Design. I barely watch catch up tv, because I somehow do not seem to have time for it, so it was quite nice. However one day I feel the same as when I used to feel when a child, I am totally bored and have enough of this.

So today I am going to post few random things, which have crossed my mind in the last few days, so excuse the quality of non creative, partly not so very serious (since when I write about serious stuff) post.

1. Why creative people sometimes make no sense. What a wonderful blog post explaining Mihaly’s explanation to  this. He pretty much answered all my questions I ever had. I think I will add that book on my sort of wish list or list to read, because it sounds fascinating. And I can finally explain to people that my behaviour is normal… well normal within the making no sense chart of behaviour.

2. Which takes us to the second less serious thing to talk about and that is which character from book are you? Alright I know what are you thinking. It is one of those stupid  test you see on Facebook, but I could not help it. And after what you read on making no sense, you will understand that my result turned out to be a Tiger from Winnie The Pooh is just so true:

Tigger

You are Tigger. You are fun and rambunctious. You love to make your friends laugh and to have a good time. People like to be around you because you accept others without judgement and you are cheerful and outgoing. As Tigger says himself “Bouncing is what Tiggers do best.”

The books by A.A. Milne featuring Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends have been cherished for children for centuries. The first book was published in 1926. The world of Pooh is a world of enchantment. It is a world forever fixed in the minds and hearts of countless children — a world where Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Kanga and the others share unforgettable adventures with Christopher Robin

If you fancy finding out for your self, here it is:

3. Jean Claude van Damme. Well I do not like action movies or never been a fan of those muscle kind of men like Lee, Schwarzenegger, Hulk etc., but I did watch few years ago documentary about Jean Claude van Dame and his rather human side to him you would not get to see in action films. And it was rather sweet. I was not exactly amazed by his recent project with that cold beer advert, but this week I stumbled over the new truck advert, where is presenting himself exactly how we know him. 2 trucks drive backwards and one of them moves away whilst he stand on their side mirrors and performs a split. I had to watch three times to actually see what he does and the video “behind the scenes”, where you can see his surprised reaction ‘What did I get myself into?’ when is told what to do. Brilliant, well done Jean!

and the teaser:

4. My friend’s brother is a founder of a company LEDeco solution,s.r.o., which is installing and is completely all about LED lights. They are based in Banska Bystrica in Slovakia and their latest project is lighting theatrical show.  There is a selection of sculptures based at the main square and lit every night for two weeks. Such as project has never been done before in Slovakia and so far it is very welcomed within the community and got the attention of local and national media. If you like to see more, here is the link to web and their Facebook page to see more. The videos are in Slovakian, so please bear that in mind.

Video 1:Video from TA3

Video2: Video by TV Hronka

Back tomorrow, with hopefully feeling more better. Kat xx

Day 49: My favourite storage solutions on the budget. 43 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and recommends:

Alright today I am not feeling very well, so I only managed to do few things. I thought I have a little reorganizing day and perhaps to pick few things to give away to charity to keep the space clear. Over the years I have moved a lot. In the UK between houses to live in for at least six months it was six times and within two first two years it was fairly temporary, we are talking from days to months. In those days it was easy as I only had a bagpack, now I simply need a van. To keep all my tools, books and other things handy and organized I thought I will share my favourite storage solutions, especially if you are on the budget or do not have time to mess around. Feel free to add your favourites in comments.

These boxes are fantastic. I had them for over three years and now have collection of twenty. You can buy them from Argos and you get four for £20. They are 40 litres each and you find them under crocodile boxes because of their interlocking grey lid. They save lot of space, up to six can fit on top of each other. I use them for tools, fabrics,decorating, storing images and bits for projects etc. Everytime I move, they are the best solution to packing and the great plus after is you can slot one into another and put it away.
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The next space solutions are these metal mash drawer stands. I got them for my studio,because they were pretty cheap, I think somewhere £5-10 from IKEA. If you are careful, you can put another one on top. I use them for rulers, tapes, arty things and also for my paperwork, projects and blog ideas as a part of the Getting Things Done system.

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These baskets are from Ikea. I had them for probably seven or eight years, so pretty good for wear and tear for the price, as they not the cheapest if you are looking for quick fix. They had all sorts of purposes from storing my camera bits or photo albums to now being the “In basket” and storing spray cans and fixative glues. And pallettes of awkward shapes of course.

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The next two images are organizing toolboxes for bits like beads, screws, buttons, cotton threads. Anything small you like. They are around £5-7 from Toolstation and they sit nicely within the bookcase. If you notice little more,I  also collect the empty negative boxes and mini jam jars for beads. They can be put sideways, but not to get things mixed I suggest you keep flat.

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And final picture are wooden cutlery stands I use for pens and pencils straight on hand.

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There are many other solutions I like, most of them Ikea. Like simple computer table around £10 each. I have put a big board on top to create one big table, which can be easily taken apart and moved again.
Next thing are those cd/dvd or A4 size boxes. I store photographs in them now and they are practical and look good. Talking boxes they come up with package of two carboard boxes JATTENE, which takes up to 30kg each. I discovered them this summer and although a bit pricey and large to carry home by hand,they were fantastic and well solid for all my books. Cleverly designed interlocking system means you do not need tape, but I did rather use it. When you finish, just flat pack them down. No more need for random cardboard boxes. Very impressed.

The last but least storage are BILLY bookcases. Easy to put together,shelves can be adjusted to your needs and one little secret if you go for white option you save somewhere between £15-30 compare to the rest of the range. Since everything in my room is white, it makes it all look bigger even with so much in.

Just to be clear, I have not been  given any items above or asked to write about it. I just simply find them practical and on the budget,ideal for someone in a similar situation as me.

Back tomorrow. Kat

Day 48: Sunday in silence! 44 days to go!

 

Kat is silent and doodles about life:

 

 

I am attempting to write this post for the third time and nothing seems to capture quite well yet the tranquil moments of today. I have experienced total silence. Meaning apart from a shop assistant serving me, when scanning the coupons, which would otherwise run out today and I would lose out on £11 of savings. Apart from her I have not talked to anyone. Not even watching videos and songs on the internet, I ended up maiming to them. Not purposely, so I can write about it. It was just something, when I suddenly felt that I would spoil the beauty of the silence. I listened to the sound of keyboard, sizzling frying pan, boiling kettle, squeaky doors and beautiful quiet house. Listening to those sounds felt the same way you may perhaps when sitting in the darkness of theatre being sucked into the story hearing a pin drop falling and then someone suddenly coughs.

 

When I was a child, me and my sister, both Aries, used to be so loud whilst running around we would drive our pretty saint mother to many points of madness. She would wish for silence sending us to the forest behind our country home to calm down. Being quiet sounded totally as something impossible to achieve. The worst were the Christmas dinners, when she would pray in silence and I could not stop giggling. Very irresponsible and disrespectful, I know. But to me it was that awkwardness of silence. Until I finally got to the point myself.

I now love silence and to many of you knowing me personally this must sound like from a sci-fi movie as I simply never shut up. Well I do. When I am alone. When I work. When I eat. When I cycle. When I concentrate on something really hard to the point I look angry. When I meet someone cute I fancy, I am definitely lost for words. When I meet people, who I can see by looking at their Eastern European bone structures of cheeks or from conversation they have, I smile and it leaves people little puzzled. Or simply when I do not know what to say or how to answer a question, and do not want to be involved within an argument.

I have figured out that being silent is sometimes more powerful than any word used. I guess naming Kate Moss or Victoria Beckham speaks for itself. When sometimes working in the club and I do give to the disrespectful customers ‘the look’, it does enough more than thousand words. And my “do not mess with me” surname just adds that little extra cherry on top. So in silence turning to my glass of wine, I am leaving today’s post wishing you very lovely day ahead. Kat xx day 48