How I Moved to Paris…

Kat doodles about life and speaks about languages:

Morning guys! I know, it’s been long. As always with me. I pick up things and then I drop them like they never meant anything. Not quite the truth. I do come back. My life has just been so manic for the last two months. Why? Well, have a read and I am sure you understand.

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Meltdown and How to Calm Down

Kat doodles about life:

Not long after my fairly positive post, it is time to report on the recent meltdown I had. Of course I think of you readers! It would be pretty boring bringing you just good news.

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Year On…

Kat doodles about life and speaks about languages:

Just over a year ago, when I started doodling my thoughts on slightly more regular basis and making other people enter my inner world, the really one thing I hoped for to be in a better place in the future. And you know what?! I am in a better place than I was a year ago. There were lot of ups and certainly downs along the way, including the drama, tears and hands covering faces moments, but things are very much looking up. And for a good while, I have been sharing my adventures and more to come with someone new. He turned up in my life-like it was a perfectly written film script.

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Post 32: Notre Dame in the Morning…! 90 to go!

Kat doodles about life and recommends what to see in Paris:

Another eventful day in a city of love. Last night over glass of wine I was discussing with friends my itinerary and my friend suggested that Mr Fabulous could become my tour guide for the day. Since he has currently nothing to do and could do with practicing his English. Realizing he will have to listen to me jabbering all day, he still willingly agreed and of course I do thank him very much for that.

Meeting point was at St Michel fountain. I was slightly confused as from my last trip to Paris I knew there is no fountain at Notre Dame, where we planned to go. Walking out of the St Michel tube station I thought to myself: “I am sure some fountain will turn up.” Well it did not!!! Having to find someone local look like, who could tell me, where is this place I am actually looking for, they pointed me in the opposite direction about five minutes walk away. I eventually found Mr Fabulous and this…

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Post 31: Resolutions Review March! 91 to go!

Kat doodles about life and reviews month of March as part of 3 Days challenge:

Alright, I will make it slightly more clearer, why I have not really been round. Trust me, it is embarrassing and painful enough to know I have about twenty or more posts to catch up on and that I am writing March review in May. WHAT? REALLY? Since coming back from holidays in Paris I have been part of this very intense French language course, for about three hours a day on top of my daily stuff to do and right now it looks my life is about to change quite dramatically. Knowing myself that I get way too excited, I am now going to try take step back from my newly rediscovered passion, go back to my usual duties and think like an adult. Like that is even possible in my case.

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Post 29: What to See in Paris?! 93 to go!

Kat doodles about life and recommends, where to go in Paris:

Here I am with my first post about what I have been up to in Paris.  I have been very distracted for the last month, so I am sorry it took so long.

Before leaving, one of my friend shared this great Guardian link with me about top 10 free things to do in Paris. Wherever I go, I tend to discover the city in my own way, so this was a great way how to see the gems without paying a fortune. Here is a quick list for now with some extra tips from me.

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Post 30: Walk Along the Seine! 92 to go!

Kat doodles about life and recommends, where to go in Paris:

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Here I am back again with my map ready to tell you what happened next. I spent the morning planning what to see and what to follow according to the list on Guardian web mentioned in my last post. I tried to figure out how to fit everything in with my two friends I came to visit. Plan sorted and around lunchtime I finally left home. Being so lucky with the sunny weather I decided to take the day steady. Just to enjoy the French atmosphere by looking at things, smelling the spring in the air and soaking up the culture instead of full on sightseeing.

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Post 28: From London to Paris! 94 to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So here it is, I am off to Paris today. Obviously it would not be me without drama and even with plenty of time to leave to get the afternoon bus to London and evening Eurostar train to Paris. At the end I still had to take the taxi to get to the centre and push the driver little bit as he arrived 20 minutes later. He actually did manage to catch the bus on its way to Bristol and I just about made it. Although I left my house keys at home, so not a great start. My return time will be 2am.

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27: London Adventure with Jan Kraus!

Kat doodles about life:

We all need adventures in our lives and this trip to London was definitely going to be one of them. I surprised myself and managed to get up after last night’s celebration. With my friend we got on the bus knowing we are returning on the 7:30 am the next day without any accomodation booked. How typical and exciting! It was a gorgeous sunny Sunday, spring in the air and we were heading up to the third zone somewhere in North London, which after fifteen minutes of walk away from the tube station, felt more like a village in the countryside rather then The City.

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Post 26: Kat Is Back! 96 to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So I am back! And I am siting down after nearly three weeks away from the computer ready to tell you what happened. As you may have noticed I was not exactly happy bunny in the recent weeks, even months you could say. Somehow I have let the bad talk and gossip affect me way too much with addition of all the other stuff going on.

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Post 25: Quick Sketching! 97 to go!

Kat gets arty:

Today, on the way from an interpreting assignment, I used the bus journey to practice quick sketching. Anything between 10 to 20 seconds whilst sitting at the top of the doubledecker. Back soon. Kat

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Post 24: Karen Makes Me Smile! 98 to go!

Kat doodles about life and recommends:

So here I am today, writing another blog post, catching up with the other two I am missing and other things I have scheduled into to do in my diary. Last night and today have been filled with replying to comments on my blog and reading other people’s work. There are so many interesting posts and it is really sad there is not enough hours in a day to read all of them.  So every day I am trying to go through the pile until  my eyes cannot take anymore. There is one blog I really would like to mention, because since following it, it always makes me smile and I guess that is useful to everyone.

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Post 23: Birthday & Holiday Fever! 99 to go!

 

Kat wakes up and doodles about life:

 

Yes, my friend literally had to text me today to find out if I am alive as I have not been in touch for like a week! On Sunday whilst I was at work doing my last shift I got a text message from my potential student (and his girlfriend) that they cannot make the introduction session later on that afternoon. To be honest I was relieved as I had pretty enough already and was even glad to make it home on my bike.

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Post 22: One Sixth of the Challenge! 100 to go!

 

Kat doodles about life:

 

 

I am past one sixth of this challenge!!!  Does this count as some sort of achievement? I hope so, although it may not sound like and I still have a long way to go.  Tonight just a quick update on how things are going. I am in the middle of week and half of working marathon. On my only day off in between I was just tiny bit useless. When the sun is out in the UK, you HAVE TO enjoy it! Anyway the new system of doing certain tasks by every certain amount of days seems to be working. Although not fully yet there, as I am sometimes skipping some of them depending on how busy schedule I have, but at least heading the right direction.

 

I have been translating my second post into Czech and I have not even bothered to read it after myself again. I know it sounds pretty dreadful right about now. Perhaps I should only translate the interesting ones. My first post is still kindly waiting to be corrected by my friend. (Ehm, just a little reminder, because I know he reads this blog, ha.)

 

Recently through one of my jobs I met a guy, who I was telling about my language classes and guess what? Next time we saw each other he suddenly said he is interested and not only him, but also his girlfriend. Excellent! I am planning the introduction lessons with them in the next few days, so let’s see if they like it and my unusual teaching methods.

 

Talking about pupils, I had another class with my Spain loving student, but by the end I thought he may fall asleep. Honestly, he was tired from work! He enjoyed the story of Little Rabbit and told me what happened, we have talked about airports in Spain, went through some homework and did fun tasks from the Big Nate Fun Blaster book. Obviously I am not really familiar with this character, but this activity book I bought is really fun. (Well I enjoy the jokes in there!) Could anyone perhaps recommend another one or similar kind?

In the next few weeks the plan is to sort few bookings out, tickets and all sorts. Apart my two jobs next week, I am also booked for an interpreting session and I should be meeting with someone new for a drink. It has been great making the effort and about once a week I meet someone I know. Someone I should also be meeting soon is my dentist, because at the moment I feel like I think grinding my teeth for whatever reason. Although I am really not bothered about what clothes I wear or make up on my face, when I open my mouth, my smile works the magic! And however narcissistically it may sound, I do not want to lose that! Back soon. Love Kat xx

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Post 21: Pack Your Bag, Buy the Ticket And Go On an Adventure! 101 to go!

Kat doodles about life:

For the last few years going back home for holidays does no longer mean holiday I can enjoy just relaxing. It sort of turns into a marathon of meetings with friends and family members, who want to catch up. Obviously it is great, because we always have so much to talk about, but there is not much else for me to do there apart from staying at home and going to the pub. It is only a small town, literally nicknamed as: the little town, where time stopped.” I may be gone for a year or two, but the same people sit in the same pubs doing the same things in their lives, so when you arrive, they just think you have been lifting the pints three pubs down the road. However the conversation can be picked up like you spoke to each yesterday.

Last year it happened by accident I went home twice in one month and one of the occasions I spend most of week travelling around the country with someone else showing them the natural beauties and sightseeings I have not actually seen myself before. I suddenly felt alive again. I escaped the every day life and that is probably why I left home in the first place and have not come back since for longer than just few weeks. I love escaping and discovering places. I am even known to go on holiday on my own. First time I left home, I got blamed for running away from the reality. Maybe I did, but at that time I just wanted to learn about new places and life abroad.

The same exciting way as discovering my own country I remember feeling the first time I saw the sea. I was about ten years old. We arrived to Catalonia after 24 hour on the coach and the sky was covered in dark clouds with sun shining through, but it all felt too calm and cold as it was getting dark. Another time I remember navigating my dad in the car on our road/work trip to Denmark and eating smoked salmon for the first time ever. I promised myself not to eat it again. (She writes now happily putting salmon on the plate any time possible.) I went and  jumped every morning into freezing cold sea and I am not even going to mention that we were fed by vegetarians for two weeks. That was a shock to the system ( although I did enjoy it!)

For some reason now thinking about all the different places I have ever been to, rather than buildings I would always remember the people and the weather of a certain moment. The smell of the air and the experience I had. Walking miles through the suburbs of Porto getting to the beach on a hot but windy day admiring the tiles houses are famously decorated with. Fresh spring sunny days of Sofia, when the trees get decorated with ‘Martenica’ ribbons or cloudy afternoon, when I first learned snowboarding. It is all about the little things like eating Stroop waffles on Scheveningen beach, sitting on a bridge in Dutch Leiden drinking wine swinging legs whilst boats are going underneath or sitting in a all sorts of places watching theatre shows in a languages you do not really understand to. I still remember the morning I arrived to London and watched squirrels in Hyde Park, the same way I first landed in Bristol with confidence and naivity saying to myself: ‘So here I am!’ into crisp and fresh January afternoon.

You can give me ten minutes and I am ready with a packed bag and passport ready to go. When I have a friend, who says there is a spare bed or come and join my adventure, if money and time are not an issue, I always grab the offer. Like this I could experience the Parisian life, East of Slovakia or coast of France more than just like a tourist… And more I am sure there more adventures to come. So here it is I am getting that travel bug once again, time to pack the bags me thinks. Stay tuned. Love Kat xx

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Post 20: Resolutions Review February! 102 to go!

Kat doodles about life and reviews month of February as part of 3 Days challenge:

Design career–  Right, I will be very honest, there was not much art or design going on this month. I have been so busy earning money in other ways, I only managed to do a sketch of Fyodor Dostoyevsky on the train. I also had to move the furniture in my room once again, which means I have not finished Darwin on my wall yet and there were things everywhere for quite some time. However I did buy subscription to a new interior design magazine as I got discount since being subscribed to another one already and I have managed figure out some plan of how to be more organized when it comes to following all my resolutions. Alright, swiftly moving on.

Blog every three days– I am on top of my list with all the posts I should have written, so that is all good. If you search through February posts with numbers 12-19, one of them is dedicated to posts and links worth to be to be mentioned and one of them is about books. There are few other interesting ones which include mentioning spelling book for children from Carol Voorderman and great recipes to try.

Translating blog into Czech– The young man, who expressed the interest of translating my blog after he did it for the first time, never got back in touch after receiving my reply with comments on his translation. Looks like he is no longer interested then. I had a chat with a friend and he said he is more than happy to help me with the correction, when he is off work, so I just need to get myself into translating all my posts.

Social networking– Running between jobs and barely being at home, there is not much update on social networking either. I have not really had a chance to look that that traffic via Facebook adverts yet, and I just about managed to keep up reading my favourite posts. Most of them on my phone in bed just before bed time. Hopefully with my new schedule I can soon catch up and do little more.

Teaching and interpreting– Lots going on in this section! Obviously you may know I got offered a job interpreting for another company and I have done quite a few assignments with them this month. Definitely interesting new experience worth to have.

Next wonderful news is I managed to get another student, so that will also keep me busy working from now on. He is little more advanced than the other one. I spend few days preparing lesson plans and managed to get some books to use during the lessons. Getting my student-chef speaking more, I slotted in one very practical session and it was so much fun. You can read about our ‘best ever spaghetti bolognese’ and blueberry & banana pancakes in one of the posts.

Learning how to drive– That is a bit of disappointment as I have not done any driving or any theory learning this month at all. I know, shame on me. Do not worry, I am aware of that, every time I pass a car with L sign. But I did a bit of thinking and I decided to leave the lessons until I have lot more spare cash to go and pay for frequent slots and have them something like once a week. Until now I was practicing every two to three weeks and it is not quite working out with the money flow for other things and the work timetable. I need to learn often enough, so it becomes a second nature.

New people, new opportunities– I met up with few friends over the last month catching up with what is going on in town, getting carried away having a bit way too much fun as usual. If you are reading  my blog regularly, you must have noticed also my post about my upcoming birthday and having a bit of that question time of what I am I doing with my life, so hopefully things are going to turn around soon for the better. And I need to learn how to be less scattered and let things roll more.

Learning Autocad, Sketchup, creating a website, saving money– I have turned into my mother and finally wrote down all the receipts from the last few months. I ‘spoiled’ myself and got new cycling shorts (and they are ever so comfortable, better be for that price), few books, got the magazine subscription and paid few bills and sent some money to save. Regarding the AutoCad, I was in touch with someone, who is offering private lessons, but I have not really discovered it any further.

Overall February was not perhaps as productive as it could have been, but I have done lot of teaching, interpreting and running between my other two jobs, so hopefully that will give me better start in March when it comes to other things. Last two weeks have been definitely more pleasant to cycle around and you can smell the spring in the air. Mind you there are still those horrible unexpected showers and you never know about possible March frost appearing. But March has always been my month, so I am hoping things are going to get going and I will put that timetable to a good use. Back soon Kat xx

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Post 19: Book Shopping! 103 to go!

Kat doodles about life and recommends:

On Thursday I meant to meet up with one of my friends however it got canceled last minute and whilst I was in town I thought I use that time to search for things I need since avoid town or going shopping unless absolutely necessary. I knew I need some books for the lessons. My new student, who likes to travel, requested some fairy tales, which I am still not entirely convinced about. I know it may be the English he understands, but not the English he needs or will use in everyday life. Whilst looking for those, I was also keeping an eye on any interesting cookery book and something else, which may possibly catch my eye. And here is what I found:

At Works I went for the bargain of 4 for £5 and picked up these children stories. There some universal ones, so it should not be a problem to understand and they are told in simpler way than originals. I am particularly looking for using Big Nate Fun Blaster as it is full of fun quizzes, crossword puzzles and curious questions to answers to get both of my students talking.

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Afterwards I had a wander around few more bookshops and I found this as a present to give as a ‘Thank You’. I already have this book and I have used it pretty much as my baking bible for the last four years on ongoing basis. This particular edition is twice as big than the one I have. It has extra chapters and basically recipes for all types of pies, tarts, cakes and everything else you need to know, covering the world cuisine. They are great basic recipes using ingredients you would have in the cupboard and illustrated with images for pretty much most of the recipes.

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As someone trained in scenic painting, this book caught my eye, and for 50 p, I was not going to leave it there. Perhaps something new to learn.

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My last successful bargain was in WSmith, where I found this language pack reduced £5- 3 books and 3 CDs. I have been battling with ‘the language of love’ for years, so why not give this a go.

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By then my bags got really heavy, so after two hours shopping trip, I went back home. Literally literary satisfied. Kat xx

Post 18: Another ‘Little Steps, Bigger Picture’ Post! 104 to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Working many hours during the weekend and then sleeping until lunchtime on my days off turns me at night into an owl. I had one of those moments this week after finishing my post. ‘Hmmm what can I do to use up that sudden whirl of energy’, I thought to myself. Finally I decided to tackle my studio table, which over the time got covered in piles of receipts, notes and all sorts of objects. My ‘in’ basket included reminders like driving theory book, bank statements and notes of what to do. As we all know, there is always something better to do than writing down your receipts.

End of the month is just gone and it is time to write one of my monthly reviews about resolutions of this year. And when clearing the table I soon realized there are too many to deal with in my case especially because I want to do them all at the same time. And right now in the best case scenario. I decided to find a way how I can get them tackled often enough, even in small amounts, but at least getting them moving in the right (or perhaps just some sort of) direction.  My 3 Days Challenge seems to be working well that way, so I decided to write down how often I need to do each of them. They vary from every two days to once a week. I then organized all the pieces of paper and wrote the plan for the whole entire month ahead. I was right on it, so if I had an actual diary for 2014 I would keep going until I reach the end.

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So the next morning I woke up and here are four things I planned to do- write a blog post, deal with social networking, figure out all money related things and do prep for my teaching classes and interpreting. The first two I thought they can be postponed or dealt with another time, so I wanted to tackle the money next. I have finally ordered Moleskine for this year (I know, I know 2 months into year already, shame on me) and shorts for cycling as unfortunately the other ones are on their way to fall apart soon. As you know clothes in my wardrobe must be practical and they stay there until no longer repairable. Than I paid some bills, sent money to save and treated myself (shhh) to a new cheap offer subscription of an interior design magazine.

Do you feel like you are turning your parents sometimes even you really do not want to?! Especially doing the things you hated or had no idea why they do it?! There is definitely one thing, when I have turned into my mother. But I guess a good one. I write down every expenditure I have made. I have been doing it for years- actually way more than last ten. When I let myself go on a shopping spree sometimes, I look at the items and if it was the ‘stocking the cupboard’ kind of shop, it is fine. However if there are too many ‘night out’ expenses on the Emergency/Entertainment list, I better watch out. With transport, clothes and shoes I spend only the absolutely needed minimum as I still treat it as a luxury. Writing things like this make me feel less guilty about shopping as I know the purpose.

After I started catching up with the lesson plan for both of my students now I have two. It was great to see the improvement my first student did in such a short amount time just by looking for other relevant materials and preparing more topics to talk about.

Obviously the schedule for next month is just a guide, but it will be nice to have something to follow the progress. Back soon Kat

Post 17: Breathe And Just Let Things Roll…! 105 to go!

Kat doodles about life:

At the moment my life seems to be either hectic working and cycling between jobs or being exhausted, not doing much or having way too much fun. (I will leave it up to your imagination.) All that means I am not very good at following my 3 Days Challenge at the moment,  so I am not very impressed with myself. This weekend I topped it up by doing another extra shift on top of the five I already had to do anyway and as a cherry on top of the cake I added the first lesson with my new student! I have now three days off, so today I was snoozing until early afternoon with my phone on silent. It was a bliss, if you ask me!

As I just mentioned, I have now new student! I was recommended to him by my student- chef, so it is great to see that someone is enjoying my lessons and passing on the work. He is more advanced, so we will be practicing more speaking, particularly pronunciation . He loves to travel and lived in Spain for a long time, so I am planning to spend most of the lessons dedicated to Geography and topics related to interests he has. They are both very keen to learn and it makes such a difference, because it helps me creating exciting lessons, which we all enjoy.

Although working a lot this weekend, after my slightly too depressing post last week about where I am in my life at the moment, this first lesson brought little bit more happiness back. Sometimes I know I want things too quickly or I feel the whole world is against me, when I do not get it RIGHT NOW and I have no idea why or what to do.  Over the past few years I realized that when I just let things roll, they happen without even me doing much. It almost feels like it is all given to me on the plate. Obviously now I am exaggerating, it is not that easy! However at the moment it seems to be happening with interpreting for this new company and teaching privately. I know it took years of hard work to get myself to this point catching every colloquialism and blending into society that now I call this place home. So I am learning how to do it with all the other things I do. It seems to be working in my private life, although there is always way too much excitement going on and now I just need to apply it on my design career. Patience and focus are the key words. I get that great thinking time, when I am on my bike,which is a lot at the moment, so perhaps I need to find another activity to calm my thoughts.

The events of the past few weeks also made me think that I do things differently than others. And I always did. So really I should  not be too hard on myself, because that is just simply who I am. Somehow I always choose more complicated journey even I know there is a simple way. May be it is the addiction to adventurous life and all unknown. And I guess that will never change. So yes, I just need to breathe and let things roll…! Something will happen!

With love. Kat xx

Post 16: Blog Posts Worth to Mention! 106 to go!

Kat recommends:

I have been collecting links to posts I like for a while and now I feel it is time to spread the message across the world wide web. I have been lot more selective than during 92 Days Challenge, but they all say something I am feeling or have something I agree with. Enjoy! Kat xx

Maison Bentley Style wrote a post about Erik Madigan. He is using the most incredible fabrics and colours together. They have velvet feel and very closely follow wallpaper background in photoshoots. I suggest you have a look and spoil your eyes with that beauty.

As you may have noticed in my previous post, it will be my birthday soon (wink, wink) and if you like to join me dribbling over this beautiful red coat, feel free to join me so here.

Next on the list are two posts from The Eye-Dancers. The first one is about Forrest Gump and him running in a search for love. It’s called To Believe or Not to Believe… Weirdly enough I have never seem a Forrest Gump, but a friend of mine was telling me about the film, then I saw this post and things in my life happened all at the same time by coincidence, which then made me write this post When a man tells he loves you… little too late! .

A lot of my recent posts are about languages, writing and the interaction with other people. Thanks to discovering The Eye-Dancer’s blog I also really enjoyed the post The Effluvium of Hysteria about creative writing process ever since being a child including criticism. It has a very fresh approach, so I highly recommend this read.

Last three posts are quite current issues. LearnerMother writes her view on the case, which recently happened in Scotland, Culture Monk tell us a real life story about homeless man asking for breakfast, but refusing to work for it and The Crazy Bag lady shares my views of dating a girl, who travels.

Post 15: You Are Only 29?/ You Are 29 Already?! 107 to go!

Kat doodles about life and ranting over age:

Last year my birthday was a total disaster. I have spent the whole entire weekend pretty much in tears and I wish I had not taken time off from work. It was the first time in my life that I would wake up in the morning and clearly remember what has happened even I purposely tried to get myself so drunk and forget.

 In about a month or so I will be 29 years of age. What does this mean? It means that I am now starting to suffer with the idea of I only have a year left of my ‘late twenties’, when I am technically free to be myself as much as I can without being judged, because I am still in that late twenties bracket. Of course it is lot less crazy(?) and now more grown up behaviour than in my early twenties, when I did not give a toss about anything and just did as I liked. (Has that really changed?)

I know the word ‘early’ always seems to evoke something better, fresh or younger, but when it comes to an age, late twenties always sounds better than early thirties, do you not think so? And right now I can hear readers in their forties and fifties shouting: “Wait until you get to our age. You are still so young!” I hear what you say, but there is a peer pressure, pressure of social media and pressure from your family floating about. As soon as you step over that mark of 30 you are expected to have a decent job and qualifications, long term partner, applying for a mortgage, child on the way.

Once I met a guy for a brief moment, who made a judgemental comment, that I should make it within my field within three years of graduation. From his experience working in a recruitment agency, he said, he would call me something as ‘written off’ and would not bother looking at my cv further. I was gobsmacked and have not had much to say. Himself, late thirties, was between jobs telling me about this business he wants to start plus this and the other. I met him about a year later at the gig. It was kind of awkward, because after extremely overpolite small talk, I asked him how is his business. And there it was, he muttered: ‘Let’s not talk about work!’ and quickly changed the subject. I could not help wondering and actually enjoying the fact that it would have been embarassing for him to admit there is no business and he still has not quite made it even himself after giving me that big lecture.

If you are thinking that I am suffering some kind birthday crisis, yep, you are exactly right. I am nearly 29, still single, pretty penyless with no full time career going only with bags full of exciting stories and adventures to tell. Everyone around me seems to popping out children or being in sort of long term relationship progressing further. Just to put a cherry on top of the cake one of my  family members had an open discussion with other people online and in between lines labeled me as ‘one of those old mothers to be’. Great! Cannot make me feel any better.

Now where is the wine?! Yes, actually, I will have one or two or more, because I can! I make my own work timetable, so I decide if I party on Monday night, or Saturday night. I decide if I come home at 8am, which I actually did last week. I decide if I want other person I have some sort of relationship with to rule my life or if I let the social media make me feel upset about the social pressure of ‘already/not yet’. I may not have have clothes with the right label or latest hair cut, who cares, I have done things in my life money cannot buy. No one can undertand how it feels sleeping on top of the mountain inside a half open cave watching storms and lightning in the far. Or when you walk for three hours to get home with burning candle making sure it is still going as a part of a certain religious celebration. Or when inner desire for everything strange or unknown opens for you the most beautiful places and people out there.

Some things are simply not for everyone. And may be I am one of those people, who knows. We never know,what life has written for us. I may end up at the age of 45 still single flat sharing with my best male friend, drinking wine, listening to jazz. Or I might be having a baby by the time I am 30. (I hope not).  Whatever happens, happens for a reason.  Knowing myself, it certainly will be interesting as do not follow the usual brief of life. Now rant about age and social pressure is over.

And if you are wondering what I am doing for my birthday this year?! Well then, I am off to London to see a theatre show and party until dawn and dusk in a rhythm of jungle and drum’ n’ base making it memorable(?) for sure!

Back soon Kat  xx

Post 14: The Best Spaghetti Bolognese I Ever Had! REALLY! 108 to go!

Kat doodles about life and cooks:

As you may remember I have mentioned that one of the next lessons with my student-chef will be practical and we will be cooking the recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese according to the recipe he was solving as a quiz.  So on Thursday I made to it to his house and we got started. Apparently he was looking forward to it. For anyone, who is up for trying this recipe, I have taken the original from BBC Good Food website. I won’t bore you with the details, but I will tell you what we have changed or added. As soon as we started cooking and I was making him to tell me the right orders in English, he soon took the “make it up as you go along” approach. He does this for living, so he knows what he is doing, I thought.

Instead of 500g of minced beef we went for 700g and with the streaky bacon, not sure where he got it, but it looked beautiful like from the real butcher and not from the supermarket. It was just well thick and long. And definitely plenty. As he is still not very familiar with some of the items or supermarket aisles since he has been here only few months, he was trying to convince me that the local shop does not stock tins of plums tomatoes, so he replaced it with two good quality jars of pasta sauce with basil. We used about half of the punnet of cherry tomatoes to give it that little extra taste. When it comes to all the other ingredients we used extra celery sticks to make up the amount to feed everyone for dinner time, instead of one, we used two glasses of wine (and the rest for us) and instead of beef stock cube, real made chicken stock was used. I think probably around 1.5 litres. We managed to grate in the whole triangle of parmesan cheese and we skipped using the bay leaves. Everything was left to simmer and we got on with the rest of the lesson.

By the end I was proper hungry and when he served the sauce with freshly made pasta, I can tell you I was in food heaven. It was really nice to share the result of mutual effort. In the past I was lucky that my two previous boyfriends shared my passion for cooking, so we would either share the time cooking together or I would get surprised by them having cooked some lovely meals for me. ‘Love goes through the stomache’ as we say in Czech, it is certainly true in my case. So if you are man trying to seduce me, here is it the way. I am not a big fan of Spaghetti Bolognese as I was not really lucky to have them in places where a lot of herbs and spices are allowed, so usually it would taste really bland and mine are full of extra different things. However after having one bowl cooked according to this recipe, I am sure I could fit another one in without a doubt. After this amazing feast, I fancied more, so I thought, why don’t we extend the lesson and make a dessert.

I had a selection of Valentine’s recipes ready for him just in case he would need to prepare something for work, but they all needed good few hours of work, so I suddenly thought of a recent recipe LearnerMother posted and it was Banana and Blueberry pancakes. She shared it originally from the blog A Girl Called Jack and it is so simple anyone can do it in literally no time. So we popped in again to the shop (I showed him where the tins of plum tomatoes are) and got more ingredients like blueberries and bananas. Not sure how much is in the recipe for the blueberries, but we used the whole punnet again, and the same approach of ‘making it as you go’ when getting the right mixture, so probably more than the recipe is stating. Finally making about 10 mini pancakes. All finished with maple syrup and icing sugar on top. As soon as other members of his family arrived all the food was literally flying off the plate. We all then had a wonderful evening full of fun chatting about life, so I cannot wait to have another lesson like this.

I am sorry there are no pictures, we ate it too quickly before I realized I should have taken a photo.

Back soon Kat xx

Post 13: Sketch of Fyodor Dostoyevsky! 109 to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

Work is a bit manic at the moment, so blogging has been little postponed, as you may have noticed! I have ended up working all weekend and just when I hoped on Sunday night for a bit of peace and quiet, I then had to move my bedroom all around once again. Do not ask why, long story. But not the internet connection this time, so thank heaves for that.

As I have started working for new language agency, I have been also called again to go to Gloucester to interpret more on the same case as last week, which meant spending Monday and today traveling in these marvelous wet conditions for pretty much most of both days. Since I have been working so much dealing with not the most pleasant things, I thought let’ s catch up with some friends, which then meant I was not up to much yesterday either, but I had a meeting, which may bring some work potentially in the future.

However although it may all sound very boring, I had one of my classic Kat’s moments making my life truly surreal once again. I met someone, who literally just arrived to the UK on Monday night. I did not think much of it. Then completely by accident in this massive city (population of 430 000 people) I  bumped into him in a supermarket the next day, not even 24 hours later. We laughed it off and carried on shopping. We have this famous film back in Czech called Samotari (Loners- watch the trailer with subtitles below), where the film makers play with the phrase”It must be a sign!” when it comes to relationships the main characters are in. I suddenly felt like in Truman Show and someone writing a film script for me. Who knows if it is a sign?! I shall certainly keep you posted, if is.

Anyway enough of talking for tonight. I have at least tried to do a bit of sketching on the train to make up for my absence. Here is a new sketch for my series of ‘Bearded men’. I really enjoy reading Russian classics, so here we have lovely photo of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Original can be found here. I used thin sharpie, but it would look better in pencil or watercolour I believe. Back soon with love Kat xx

dostojevski-pg

dosto

Post 12: Where Has the Week Gone? 110 to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Hello everyone, I know I am few days late with posting, so I hope you can forgive me. I was hoping to enjoy my four days off, but instead I ended up running around doing way too many things as usual. Last night’s realization that it is Thursday already did not make me happy bunny thinking to myself where has the week gone?

So what I have been up to in the last few days? Since working full on last weekend I needed to catch up with my blog post number ten and the fact it was end of the month gave me perfect opportunity to review how I am doing with all the resolutions. It is really nice to see that I am progressing, no matter how little the steps are. Of course I know I can push myself lot harder, so the blog is perfect way of doing so and I am glad I am still going.

In the past few weeks design turned into a bit of a side line and my language jobs seem to be picking up lot more. I spent one evening going through list of vegetables and mushrooms, which I am sure have been mentioned already. Then on Thursday we kept working through the list with my student.  The second half of the lesson was dedicated to a quiz. I transcribed a recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese into simple list of ingredients and commands of how to make it. It got printed and cut into small pieces. I need to get him to start speaking more, so I told him once he solves the quiz, in next lesson he will be teaching me how to cook the dish. As you can guess, he was (not) amused and started to giggle fearing what will happen. I am sure he will be fine. Personally I prefer this practical way of learning the most as it makes the brain associate the words with certain actions or situations better. I reckon he was not happy with me either when we both went to the shop afterwards and I made him go and ask the member of staff where to find suet. Something we have talked about in the lesson and its use in British cuisine. Practice makes it perfect! 🙂

In one of the places I go to work they run a book club, where you can purchase books for discounted prices. Since teaching privately and not being very big fan of grammar myself I ended up flicking through a book Help Your Kids with Spelling and Grammar written by Carol Vorderman. I was very pleasantly surprised, not only by the price, but also by the way the book is written. I found it lot more user-friendly and certainly very different to all the actual language books we used to learn from at school back home. I understand they have to be different due to nature of the user , but certainly the grammar part looks lot more clearer. I only knew Carol from Loose Women until while ago I watched a program about her. I found out she also co-presented Countdown  in the past and has great knowledge of Maths. Plus she lives in Bristol, which means she is cool already!  Anyway jokes aside, I will see how I get on with book during the lessons and I guess even myself. As they say ‘ you learn something new every day’.

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On Wednesday I went to Gloucester to work as an interpreter, so there is not much I can tell you about apart from the fact I spent the day on buses, trains and nearly getting blown off by the wind. I had to dress smart so instead of my usual bike jacket with a hoodie I had to opt for a brolly. It was classic Charlie Chaplin comedy sketch. I know why I do not bother with umbrellas in this country. Some of my friends suggested to go and see the Docks and the Cathedral, where Harry Potter was filmed, but the assignment went on for hours, so when I got out I was not in a very cheery mood and it became so dark, I decided to return straight back home. Feeling optimistic on the day I took my driving theory book with me to see if I can do a bit of studying during the train journey, but I also decided to take the latest issues of World of Interiors and Elle Decoration, which arrived in  the post. After the day out and about there was a clear winner and I spent the journey looking at pretty images of furniture and fabrics. Who can blame me, right?

Have a lovely weekend! Back soon. Kat xx

Post 11: Resolutions Review! 111 to go!

Kat doodles about life and reviews her first month of 3 Days challenge:

Design career– Well I have been trying to get into new projects and more painting. In one of my previous posts you can read about my sources of inspiration, so I did few sketches of bearded men after doing the very important research and I ended up with a face of Charles Darwin on my wall. I reckon one more session and then he has to go. It has been freaky at the beginning, but now it feels he is part of the room. I do not want him to become too comfortable. I thought I will start on a new project by now, but my work schedule has changed, plus other activities and being ill at the beginning of the month made it harder. There have been few offers since then for small commissions, but they have not been fully requested, so I guess, see what happens.

The January project has not worked out, but I guess I know the reasons now, so see if I can make it work from April time. As they say ‘Learn from making mistakes’. Lastly I just would like to say I am so proud of myself for doing the tax return in December as I for the first time did not have to suffer with the stress of deadlines and it felt pretty good. A lesson learnt?!

Blog every three days– Although I am writing this post two days later, I think I have done pretty well, posting as I should be. My arty buddy Tim  is helping in keeping me aware of it every three days. It has been great having a bit of that time to breathe and actually focus on my writing making the post little more interesting and useful to others. I guess although predominantly I write for myself, I need the audience to keep me going.

Translating blog into Czech– Well this has been an issue for me. Around the Christmas time I have put out there into online world a request for a translator to translate my posts or correct them into Czech. But I soon realized that translating is almost as writing. There is a style and compare to interpreting, where you can clarify who says what and how they mean it, with translating unless you know the author very well,  it can become very difficult. I am still working on the draft of my first post as I want to make sure it will be perfect and it will set a certain style for the rest of them.

Social networking– I have run out of my £25 free voucher for Facebook advertising, but I have not had a chance to review the numbers yet, so I guess that will be topic for another post. I had some technical issues with my e-mail, so catching up with everything became lot more difficult. As it suddenly appeared few weeks ago, over the weekend it also suddenly disappeared, so hopefully I can get on with everything as usual.

Regarding my Czech blog I decided to start new Facebook Group for Czech and Slovakian bloggers including anyone , who is interested in languages, travels, culture etc. First I left it open, but it soon became apparent it needs a bit of admin work to keep the posts relevant. The group now has around 30 members, so if you know anyone, who likes to blog and is interested in Eastern European countries, send them to here.

Teaching and interpreting– There has been a great improvement! I had quite a few sessions with my young chef. During the last one we had during his afternoon break, I spoke to his boss, and he was really pleased with his improvement, so that made us obviously both very happy. He is clearly making a mark in the kitchen and it is not going unnoticed. I had another two people possibly interested in lessons, so again see what happens.

Last session we were learning about different meat cuts, last night I was going through list of all kinds of lettuce and selection of mushrooms. Although being here for many years since teaching privately it has also challenged me personally as I actually need to learn the exact translation or simply new words. Sometimes it proves difficult as I cannot find the right Czech word or nearest equivalent.

Another great news is I have been approached by a new language agency to do more interpreting work. So far the working relationship has been great, so hopefully there will be some ongoing work.

Learning how to drive– With my driving there has been some kind of  improvement. I feel like a bit frustrated as it is not as big one as I would like to, but at least there is something happening. So far I had five sessions and although it does not feel as stressful being in the car anymore and I even drove up to 40 mph, I am having a trouble with ‘up and down hill start and stop’, so that is, when my panic appears once again. Regarding the theory test I properly gone through the first chapter, which does not sound like a lot, but at least I have picked up the book. I need to do more progress on this in February, me thinks.

New people, new opportunities– Being more open to saying ‘yes’ and catching up with friends have been quite succesful I believe. I have made the effort of meeting up with few of my friends, attended nice little engagement evening catch up  and met up with few new people I have been introduced to over the recent months. One of my personal resolutions of being more patient is definitely working and although having little wobble at the end of the month, I have been impressed with myself.  One of those nice “yes” moments was when I agreed to go and see the new film Wolf of the Wall Street, however choose carefully who you go to see it with. It is certainly one of those ‘age 18 and over’ films.

Learning Autocad, Sketchup, creating a website, saving money– Nothing really new there, as it is not on my priority list right now, but I will see if I can do any research on possible future steps.

Overall not bad I think! It could be better, but with the cold and slow start to the year including trying to figure out how to get all my resolutions going at the same time and having to work, it has not been bad at all. I am hoping for spring soon, because I do not enjoy cycling in the rain and I have been comfort eating more often than I like to. See what February brings. Love Kat xx

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Post 10: This Time All About Languages! 112 to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Since I was catching up with the previous post in the last few days and getting back to the normal life after such an exciting weekend, I have not really been up to anything arty as you would expect. But I have been up to another two different things, I guess both related to languages.

As you know I have also a Czech version of my blog and my last post was all about the feeling you have, when someone else translates your own words. Well I still have not heard back from the young man, so hopefully I did not scare him off too much. It did make me wonder what to do about my traffic and how to get other people commenting, not just my friends. I had a long search on Facebook and ‘Tinteweb’ for groups of Czech or Slovakian Bloggers. There were only very few and some of the content, rules or amount of people were not exactly that great.

So I decided to start my own one! It will be for anyone, who is interested in Czech, Slovakian and other foreign languages, travels, culture, translating, WordPress and other blog related issues or simply anything interesting people have to say. Very much like UK Bloggers as I am a member of, and which I have taken inspiration from, but it is mainly to create a community of people around this interest for the language and other related issues. And I can say that I have now 13 members within 24 hours of creating it. How exciting! Now I just need people, who are Czech, Slovakian or anyone else foreign with interest for these languages or the countries and make them keep posting. So if you have a friend from this part of the world or anyone, who is studying Eastern European languages, feel free to send them to here 🙂

This afternoon I had another lesson with my young chef and we studied all different kinds meat cuts and verbs related to cooking. I have to say I am pretty clueless, when it comes to which part comes from where, so as long as it can get to my plate, I am pretty happy. Therefore I had to sit down and do quite a bit of research before the lesson. And what have I found?!

There are quite a few different diagrams, but certain name cover different areas, all depending on, which country you are in. So I came up with one in Czech, French, British English and American English. You would be surprised once you start comparing it. And as he informed me there is even lot more to it, so we are both on a hunt for more information. I searched the usual links, which search engines came up with, but if anyone knows, which book your local butcher learnt from or anything useful on that subject, I will appreciate it very much. For now we compared beef, pork and lamb meat.

When talking about the pork it was actually hilarious, because the picture of British pig was very lean and it had none of that belly fat as two images of the Czech pigs. He explained (and complained) how the amount of fat in pig’s belly effects certain recipes and why is that. But it was fairly funny once he pointed that out. Have a little look for yourself.

prase

To get him learning all the new vocabulary and verbs related to cooking I have picked this nursery rhyme and asked the English speaking waitress to sing it for us. It was so funny, she pretty much danced around the restaurant and did it twice without even asking her again! She promised me she is going to ask him to do the same every time he comes to work. Excellent! You should have seen unimpressed face. However he must like my unusual ways of teaching as at the end of the session he said he has got someone else interested in my class! Triple excellent I say!!! Back soon love Kat

 I’m a Little Teapot 


I’m a little teapot  short and stout, 

Here is my handle, here is my spout,   

When I get all steamed up  hear me shout, 

Tip me over  and pour me out. 

Post 9: “When Two Are Doing the Same Thing… Expect Different Results!” 113 to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets translating:

Oh yes, I did. After missing the supposedly Monday deadline to follow my three-day blog rule, because of spending too much at work time this weekend and then having equally too much fun, I sat down this evening after another teaching lesson this time full of herbs and spices and kitchen utensils to conquer one of my resolutions.

I think I mentioned in one of the previous posts that I have someone offering help to collaborate on translating my posts into Czech language. I was trying to figure what to do. If I do it myself and perhaps ask someone to correct it for me. I am no longer familiar with my native language after many years abroad and I admittedly need a little bit of help. Or if I completely leave it up to someone else to translate and I correct them afterwards. Or the last option we do it by swapping around as we go along.

 

So this enthusiastic young man gets the e-mail with first post and the instructions how I image to be translated. Few days later he sends it back and here it comes. It is not what I was expecting! That is when the common Czech phrase “Kdyz dva delaji totez, neni to totez” came to my mind! Even just finding the translation of the exact meaning was difficult enough. It simply means: “When two people are doing the same thing, it is not the same thing!” I did a bit of search around and it comes with variations of for example Albert Einstein saying : Insanity: Doing the same thing… expecting different results. But then I settled for the title you see above.  So I hope it makes sense in what I am trying to say.

 

Now going back to the original idea of the post: I was reading my words, but they were not my words. They meant something different. They were written in different style. It was not me. I realized I will have to translate my own blog post to show him, how I feel I should sound, when I speak and write in Czech. Or at least I think I do. There were two things, which I have noticed. It was the lack of knowledge of certain expressions or him not understanding, translating it into something else.  Which obviously none of it being his fault. The second one was that he made me sound lot more elegant, lot more posh. My post suddenly sounded like something out pages of Guardian.

 

Obviously I am not criticizing him, he has done a great job, but I feel the post has not captured the real me. Or it has not come out through the spontaneity I write with. I took me few weeks to come to terms with it, so I finally sat down tonight and translated my first post with my own words and sent it back to him with notes. He has no idea who I am, he does not know me in real, never met me, so I wonder what he has to say, when he reads my doodles. I would not be surprised if he says: “She must be joking, she better does it herself!”

 

When I work as an interpreter, I do my absolute best to get it right. And I enjoy working with people in that situation. I can find out, what they mean as they speak. I think that is why I never really got into translating. You are not only trying to get it right, but also need to get into the head of the author trying to figure out what they meant to say exactly to the point during ‘playing’ with the language but without them being there. After living abroad for so long I cannot listen to anything dabbed in Czech and I scream in front the screen when the subtitles are not right or are missing as it spoils the beauty of the original. Years ago I watched a film with Woody Allen with subtitles and it has totally ruined the whole experience of the night and every time I think about it, it makes me really angry.

 

There is a really famous Czech translator of Shakespeare’s work called Martin Hilsky. I had an amazing opportunity to attend fantastic talk about his work on  Sonnets thanks to the fact he is a college friend with one my tutors. He is incredibly knowledgable and talented man, whose skills I am not even going to question, but I wonder what would Shakespeare say to his work? Would he say: “I am amazed how you got it right!”, “Not bad!” or “Totally not what I meant to say!”? Obviously they can never meet, as Shakespeare lived centuries ago, not even the people, who study his work now and are British. So no one will ever know and I guess as long as his legacy lasts, what is the problem, right?

 

What I am trying to simply say, it is strange to read your words in another language and come across the fact what it sounds like, should sound like or you want it to sound like without you doing the work. I am ending this post by taking my hat off to all translators for doing the very difficult work of pleasing many people, but not always making everyone happy. With respect, Kat x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post 8: When a man tells you he loves you… little too late! 115 to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Forget the Darwin! Forget the painting! Forget how my new interpreting job went! There is something so important I have the need to write about that it has to come out right now! It has been a topic on my mind for the last few years, but I have never felt like it is something to explore further until it happened again few days ago.

So I am having an online chat with a man until early hours of the morning. I consider him now as a friend, but about six years ago he was an object of my affection and was madly into him. My visits at home can be counted in weeks and I always arrive as a hurricane, cause a lot of drama and an excitement without purposely planning to of course and as quickly I arrived I also quickly depart. This particular young man certainly knew I was well into him, but we never really got to the stage of making it into a relationship. The same way I was not quite ready to leave UK due to my university commitments and go back home to be with him.

After not much contact over the last six years although following what we would be up to, we ended up talking and there he suddenly said it! It was that I always thought of you, I always loved you, I never stopped thinking about you, I still love you!  Wow, what do I do with this? Of course I was pleased! What kind of woman would not be happy? But part of me felt like waving my hands in the air shouting: “Why did you have to wait all these years until now to tell me?” as well as part of me, who felt like saying : “That’s really sweet, but I am sorry I no longer feel the same way about you. I have moved on and looking for different kind of man than I was looking for back in the day. ” It was that classic literature moment, when Onegin writes a letter to Tatyana. Was it something Pushkin experienced himself perhaps? That he lost out on a woman of his life and she was never coming back?!

I know I am not the typical kind of girl and certainly live my life to its maximum through crazy adventures I do not fully think through, so I guess sometimes the speed I expect people to react with to my behaviour is not reasonable. But I do give it a fair chance. Like on those other three occasions, when men told me they loved me, still do and if…, but I knew they are not going to do anything about it. It’s because they live in other countries now with either their wives, girlfriends or simply still single waiting for something exciting to wake them up. It might even be that they love dreaming about the idea of possibly something happening in the future. When Adele’s Someone Like You came out, it took  me good few months  to be able to compose myself every time I heard it. No wonder why it became so popular! It is something what every woman has to tell herself, when she looses a man she feels so strongly about.

So what is the result? Well, it is not going to happen. No matter how much they think, wish or believe. They have missed the chance. And although this young man said to me: “It’s never too late!” Well actually it is! It is sometimes little too late. The quote about meeting in different time, in different place is so true! Beautiful example of that is a book called One Day, which describes the story of two main characters meeting each other over twenty years. When I read it, I felt like buying it and sending it to all those particular men to perhaps wake them up, but I never did. It is not my place to tell someone that they should express what they feel. But they should take the consequences when they are  little too late once they express it, because we women have already walked for long enough the same way as Forrest Gump ran through America to forget his pain.

With love. Yours Kat

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Post 7: Working week is sorted… for a while! 115 to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

So here we are. Another post. I was hoping this will be the last one with Mr. Darwin, but I am feeling like hibernating for the last few days and I also have been out being entertained by the big Hollywood screen, so improvement is not as expected.  I basically need him off my wall by Friday, painted over with white and get ready for new one. Deal with myself! Done!

There have been few changes with other work. I got offered regular shifts for the next few upcoming weekends, which is very cool meaning I can focus on painting, interpreting  etc. (eh did I mention fun?) during the week, however time between Friday morning and Sunday afternoon will be a bit more manic. Let’s hope for better weather. Yes, still cycling and not anywhere the car option.

The magic of getting work from word of mouth has worked and tomorrow I am doing an assignment for new language agency, so fingers cross.  There is nothing to worry about really as I have done similar work before, but you know what it is like working for someone new, you do not want to disappoint them. Yours Kat.

P.S. Oh just to say in case you have missed it, new series of Mr. Selfridge is back on tv! That has definitely made my day. Hooked once again from first few minutes!

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Post 6: One Day You Will Forget, Where You Left Your Head! 116 to go!

 

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

My mother always used to say: “Kat, one day you will forget, where you left your head!” She was obviously commenting on my carelessness of homework I should have done, gloves I left God knows where and the obvious household chores I meant to be doing. Well there are some things we all know we forgot purposely, but we are just playing it cool. However recently I am little fearing I am forgetting more than I should be. Of course I know when to go to work and when to pay the bills, but I have noticed that I am getting overloaded with short-term memory.

 

 

I have adopted the David Allen paper note system, which works brilliantly, but there have been good few occasions, when I looked at the task, went on doing it, clicked on New Tab on my screen and thought: “What was I doing?” Feeling idiotic, I had to have little think, than looked at the paper again and went: “Oh yeah I know!” I mean seriously? At my age? What is going on? I can remember stupid little things, which happened weeks ago, but I cannot remember what to do right now?! I wrote all this out of anger just now after picking up my phone and realizing I have no idea what I was going to do. My head has been overloaded with quite few issues over the past weeks, which are quite important, so I guess this must be a way how my brain is dealing with it.

(Or the excuse is that I am simply too disturbed, because every time I turn around from my computer I see a massive head of Mr.Darwin.) With love Kat.

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Post 5: Painting Charles Darwin! 117 to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

I should have posted this last night, but I had too much going on. In the past few days I have been mostly flicking through my driving theory book and preparing the next English lesson, all about food.  My student has now plenty to watch online, anything from the Michelin star style Masterchef through to typical swearing Gordon, magician Heston and everyday cooking with Ainsley Harriott.

I got quite excited doing the sketches over the weekend, so I finally had a go on my wall. Mr Darwin is obviously not finished, but it has been a while since I have done something likes this. I just need to keep practicing now. With love. Kat

image

Post 4! Making little steps towards a bigger picture & driving lesson n. 4! 118 to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

I was going to write this post mainly about my fourth driving lesson, but it is all going on at the moment, so here are some updates. After publishing my rather philosophical post I spent the rest of the Thursday dealing with my e-mail account and managed to clear three out of five folders to completely nothing so now there is only incoming mail to deal with.  I had some rather nice responses to my worries and everything is moving in the right direction.

Mentioning the “January” project in the last few weeks, I finally received the result in. Well, it was a fail. I have not had enough interest, so I better go back to the drawing board and rethink the whole concept again. Mainly I think the problem was in tight deadlines when submitting paperwork, which caused delay and having the knock on affect on not being able to advertise for long enough period to get the word spread around. I have now option to turn in into “April” project if I want to, so let’s try again and not to be deceived by a failure. It is all a learning curve.

Now we are getting to my fourth driving lesson. After having two weeks of Christmas break I tried to remind myself of the process, when it comes to making the car move, attempting to find it in my Driving Theory Book, which did not have anything like that in. After I wanted to search You Tube, but instead got distracted by Facebook. I better work on that. Theory studying now as my bed time reading.

Certain moves are already fully saved in my brain such as moving from first to second gear pretty much straight away and 20mph zone feels way too slow now I have tried driving 30 mph! However on the other hand I still have problem remembering the exact procedure, when starting the car, although I am slowly getting there. The session was mainly about getting comfortable with starting and stopping up and down the hill at T-junctions and driving through little roundabouts whilst using first three gear. My driving instructor commented on the lesson as the best one so far, although I did not share his enthusiasm. Too much oncoming traffic, pushing the pedals slowly to make the car go fast and start up to the hill on T-junction  are just taking forever to get a grip with. Apparently my steering really improved and he started taking step back from teaching under full instruction, so I guess little by little I am getting there.

I have used Saturday to move my studio space around and decided to get ready for some painting.  For a good while I have been thinking what to paint going through piles of images, scrapbooks, and doing the search until Friday night at work brought the inspiration. A gentleman came in dressed in well enough presentable clothes but I spotted straightaway few paint splodges and commented it on as exciting. After having small talk he asked me if I can paint naked men, so I replied of course I can, but I prefer architecture. I had to go and serve other customers, so we did not get to what he actually meant, I hope I find out, but it got me thinking on another level.

This week I have been going through my some of my work getting ready for the presentation, picking up one of my favourite drawing exercise from second year of uni using mainly just energetic charcoal strokes. Most of the time, if I can, I love using pens and byros when sketching to achieve that exciting feel. During the presentation someone actually also commented on this drawing as the outstanding one out of all other similar work. Suddenly this and the converstaion in the club got me thinking about inspiration for my past project, and I have figured out men in my life are certainly one of the subjects I focus on a lot. 195022_208080709204457_3324463_o

So I thought why not?! If they get me back into painting, I do not see the problem. I decided to start with bearded men since they have lot of manly character, facial hair, rinkles and other lines, they will be perfect object to study using different variety of the brush or pencil strokes. I will probably show you more in my next post, but I started with men such as Dostojewski, Darwin and few others found in the online world. I am also planning to ask few bearded men I know myself. For now here two very quick sketches in little A6 size sketchbook I did last night at work. Back soon. Love Kat xx

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I used printed image, so lot of the fine detail disappeared in one black flat surface area..

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Kat doodles about life:

Since blogging lot more regularly and having the blog address on my business cards, it led to lot more traffic and the blog is becoming increasingly popular. Of course that makes me very happy. However on the other hand I can feel I am loosing a bit of privacy. This started as a lighthearted personal journey on becoming full-time designer with those faux pas on the way and personal struggles to keep you entertained in order to help other young graduates to avoid them. Unfortunately in the last few weeks there were three occasions, when the past came to haunt me and I feel I cannot longer enjoy free writing the same way as it would come out of my mouth when simply talking to friends over cup of tea.

The first time I had to rewrite the post about five times, so I am not facing the judgement in the future, as with online world you can simply do a bit of Google or Facebook search and find out anything about anyone you like. From typical funny Kat like story it turned into few very boring general lines. Few days ago I nearly choked on my morning cup of tea, when two pictures popped up on my Facebook Newsfeed of certain someone with few other certain people. This person barely posts, so it did not even cross my mind to unfriend them. Again I cannot comment on that situation as I might feel the consequences, because they might somehow read this blog.

And now for the third time I am feeling fairly puzzled thinking I should really review the way I write this blog. As one of my new year resolutions I decided to make effort in meeting more people and catching up with friends more often. Last night I had a great intellectual chat with someone, but after one drink he decided to go home. And again I rewrote this part good few times already as I know he is most likely to read it since I told him some funny stories from my driving lessons and how this writing challenge came along. I suddenly feel I cannot share anything or question what happened.

Just to add the oddness of the day earlier on, I had a presentation for my upcoming project.  I have turned up at the venue, everything got set up and then only five people turned up. I knew the advertising was out for only very short amount of time due to some other tight deadlines, but I was expecting few more in. It has thrown me little, so instead my usual fairly confident speech I was going on about some non relevant details. I am not usually like this, so I was quite disappointed with myself. I do not know what happened. Let’s see what Friday brings, when I get the result in. Afterwards I went to see some lovely familiar faces to have little catch up chat and they promised to support the project if they can tomorrow before the deadline ends.

People enjoy reading my posts and I enjoy writing them, but now I am left confused what to do about this and where do I go from here. Starting a new anonymous blog just to share my eventful life is pointless, because being an artist is not a job. It is a life style choice. Or it might have been just few weird weeks, when I simply got too involved with my emotions and got carried away questioning these little details, which are totally non-relevant to the bigger picture. What are your thoughts? Do you feel that you reveal too much when you write? Did you ever have to face the consequences? With love Kat xx

Post n.3: When Blogging Is No Longer Fun! 119 Posts to Go!

Post 2! So Many Good News Coming From Everywhere! 120 posts to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets organized:

It feels like forever since I posted the last time. I know it has only been three days ago, but it does feel little strange, too long ago if you ask me.  Within the first few days of my new challenge, it felt really wrong not posting, now I feel slightly less guilty. I have also nearly recovered again from the cold, which came back, but I am taking week off just to take it easy and make sure it won’t return back. And I am hoping to start properly through those very important lists and catch up with all those thing I meant to during Christmas break.

So what happened in the last three days?! Well we started the challenge, full of resolutions and dreams. I have a lovely bunch of people on board, so I hope you had a little look through everyone’s blog. I have been spending rest of the Friday linking and posting the first post pretty much, everywhere I could, replying to those, who would like to join in and replying to all comments. Quite honestly, when saw my written list of resolutions down, out told to the online world, it did freak me out. It is certainly NOT ambitious at all. Unfortunately all those things on the list connect with each other, so it is like a vicious circle. So I better get on with printing the list and making an action plan, and David Allen better comes to help on this. During the weekend, which was pretty much spent the whole entire time at work with few hours of sleep in between shifts, I have been on a mission how to solve the tasks. I sat going through each one, came up with action plans, scribbled over pieces of paper and then took a big notepad and dedicated 10 pages to each of those resolutions. Like this I can see what I have achieved whilst keeping important notes together. I will still follow the David Allen ‘pieces of paper’ system, but this will keep me focus within each project. I also gave them importance and lined them up accordingly in my notepad. What a result!wpid-IMG_20140106_203208.jpg

Recently on Facebook Page of UK Bloggers I had a thread about Facebook Pages to see if anyone had any experience with paid adverts. I started creating one and then left it off, as the comments were a bit discouraging and I also run out of time to continue. Few days later Facebook sent me promotional  £25 voucher to have a go and finish my advert, see if I like it and if it makes a difference when promoting. So I gave it a go. After few freaky moments of updating the payment bit, I eventually got to the end. We shall see if it makes any difference. But I thought I share this with you, in case you might be lucky too receiving a free voucher.

Apart from organizing my tasks, promoting my page, I have spent most yesterday afternoon after work  and today clearing my e-mails, updating the account, replying to people and reading blog posts of others. Three exciting things have been mainly on the agenda from all that correspondence. At first I received a reply from someone, who is interested in working with me on the Czech part of my blog, which is very exciting stuff! And secondly I have been e-mailing with people back and forth about my new upcoming project I have been going on about, but kept it secret, just in case it all goes wrong. I should have a presentation on Wednesday. Hopefully by the end of the week find out if its going ahead. So I reckon preparation time tomorrow making it extra exciting. And lastly I might be involved in  new exciting online project for Czech/Slovakian community, but it is all very much at the beginning, however it is nice to be contacted by someone, who believes you are the right person to make it work.

Talking about work I also have to share another fabulous news with you, which is that my student since changing his cv and braving the restaurants again, went through two interviews, one trial and got offered a job to start the very next day. And not just a kitchen porter work due to his language skills! Someone believed in him so much, he got offered the position of a chef!!! I am so proud of him! He told me he was little freaked by the three male staff in the kitchen constantly talking to him, but I am sure he will soon master that. Apparently the head chef is making sure he understands and has a lot of patience with him, which is fantastic news.

And to finish this post with it seems to be all good news, I will give you update on Mr Sawlid and Mr.Dj and their non- smoking resolution.  Mr Sawlid proudly telling me today he cut down on half of what was smoking making conscious decisions about replacing his habits with different solutions. Well done! Mr Dj was back on cigarettes, when I got to work on Friday night, going in and out about eight times. After having a chat with him about it, he assured me he will stop after his birthday weekend. I joked that the next day he will have to do 10 press ups or pay me £10 for each cigarette, if he goes out. I do not know if he thought I am being serious, but he certainly made an effort and only went out three times that night!!! So well done him too!

How are you guys getting on with your resolutions? Back soon. Love Kat xx

Post 1: 3 Day Challenge Accepted! 121 Posts to Go!

Kat doodles about life and accepts new challenge:

If you are reading my blog for the first time, specifically due to new challenge, let me give you little introduction. My name is Kat, I am Czech born, 28 years of age, Aries, living in the UK for more than 9 years and my friends describe me as ‘hilarious’. I left home at 19. Three days after passing A-levels I was off discovering world abroad and somehow still not planning to change that quite yet. I have gone through all sorts of jobs, adventures, but travels and art were always my thing. Somehow I got accepted to university, which has the word ‘royal’ in its name, so it sounds great when you speak to people and they give you that acknowledging look. But even going to this amazing place my life since graduation is not posh at all and I have been struggling to make my living needs only just from doing art. So I somehow currently ended up in four jobs I run in between with still never enough money to this day. The blog was born sometime ago, but with being all over the place with too many things to do, I never had enough focus to keep it going.

And then it happened! I went for this internship in interior design and was told I cannot get it, because I do not drive! It was a slap in a face for my own incapability, not the lack of talent (which of course I am questioning every day). So I decided to get my act together and set myself a challenge to blog for 92 days solid and do something productive, to get things going. To see if I can beat my fear of driving, of inner myself and get on with the career I really want to have. Otherwise I am a loser and I might simply just give up and get a “normal” job, whatever that would mean for me. And things started to look up, I finally got into that car, arty opportunities started to appear and 92 days was gone without even me realizing.

So here we are, year 2014 and I decided to create new challenge for me since the last one made a difference. I call it 3 Days Challenge. I will start today on 3rd January and will be blogging every third day! For the whole entire year. Crazy you think, I know! I think so too. But that is simply, who I am. Ideally I would like to keep each blog post more artistic and relevant rather than me going on about what I had for dinner or about that cute guy I met at work, but I am sure something like this will sneak in anyway. With the daily challenge it was difficult, so I am hoping three days is just enough time to have a bit off time off, do the normal household stuff and still be artistic in some way. I have created list of challenges I would like to achieve or at least somehow move on with:

  • become fully freelance or employed in art& design- meaning doing anything in theatre design, interior design, visual merchandising, 3D related industries, decorating…
  • give up my two little jobs- even to the sadness of my bosses (before they do it for me), although we always had great relationships and they both secretly know I need to get on with this “art thing”
  • improve in my interpreting job- to see what I can do about moving on to next band
  • learn how to drive- which will mean the actual driving, passing theory test, practical test, and then it comes to the even more expensive bit of buying the car, an insurance, plus I am sure the list goes on.
  • become fluent in AutoCad and all the other related programs required by the industry- it was either this or learning how to drive, which became blatantly more important
  • focus more on social media, update my Facebook Page, do more networking and use the time more effectively instead of watching funny videos as I am sure we are all guilty of.
  • create a proper website since I now bought a proper domain name, which is simple enough to pronounce rather using my full name
  • and obviously make sure I blog every three days- I am thinking I might do like a monthly project to stay focused, see what happens once I start.
  • start translating this challenge into Czech for sister version of this blog, which has been neglected since last year. And I mean very neglected.
  • have fun, meet new people, make effort. Think before I say anything, which is usually what gets into trouble. And say yes to new opportunities.

    So I think that is it! I am sure there are more resolutions, but they may appear as we go. Not ambitious list at all! Walk in a park, I say! Obviously if any of you have any ideas or would like to collaborate, let me know!

And not be alone in this crazy challenge I have these people, who feel very similar about their life. Ladies and gents, let me introduce You to all brave men and women, who taking up challenges of their own!!!

art represents:

Katdesigner and her ‘My journey on becoming full-time designer

Art Fn and  his Regular sketching in 2014

music to your ears will bring:

Lukas, the bass guitarist

Mr. Sawlid and Mr Dj are stopping smoking (they do not have a blog, but they will be updating me on regular basis apparently)

for the ideal trim figure is looking:

Twinmumanddad

IT/Blog list of resolutions has:

Bex with Blogging Goals 2014

and last but not least in our non resolution pile is:

Learner Mother

The Crazy Bag Lady

Now, I had a lot of interest from other people, so I guess they are waiting to see what is this whole thing about. Please feel free to join us at any time during this year, with whatever your challenge is and your decision on how to number posts. Details and few little reminders on the posting etiquette can be found here. Enjoy the journeys and happy reading!!!

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JOIN ME IN NEW 3 DAYS CHALLENGE!

JOIN ME IN NEW 3 DAYS CHALLENGE!: 3 Days Challenge, 122 Posts, One Year! Better You!

Would you like to get yourself motivate it? Does your New Year’s resolution fails before the end of the 1st January? Is there something you always wanted to achieve, but never got your act together? Loosing weight, learning how drive, taking photographs more often, going to travel, but did not save enough money? For the last 3 months= 92 days (nearly there) I have been blogging every single day. It got me so motivated, I am on fire to get me where I want to be. So why not to join me and do the same thing for yourself?! I achieved more in the last three months then I anticipated and that virtual whip of people reading of what I am up to has definitely worked.

So what do you need to do is to e-mail me (katerina.t.designer@gmail.com) with your challenge updates or ideas, or your blog address or add it to comments below this post. I will always be posting every third day, so from now on you have simply 7 days to figure out what you want to do be doing and on 3rd January 2014 we will be starting and I cannot wait to read your blogs or just e-mail updates with how you are doing. I will be regularly updating that first post if someone joins us later.

If you feel 3 days is not very relevant to what you would like to achieve, you can extended to anything up 7 days, but I guess nothing more than that. Feel free to join the comments, so we can perhaps help you what to do with your updates or posts. No offense to anyone, but I am really looking for genuine people with genuine reasons to join the challenge and learning new skills or self developing. None of this earn money by blogging, clicking on blogs or competitions or anything else is welcome. However if you do this and still to want to join the challenge, for example you like cooking, then please create specific challenge category for recipes and cooking and drive links to that section. I do not want to send away people for the wrong reasons. I am reserving the right to withdraw blogs if they are not following rules or are inappropriate.

Now everything is clear! Everyone excited?!! Excellent!!! Love Kat

P.S. Do not forget it is about motivation, having fun and getting better. I know it sounds terrifying being committed to this for one whole year, but once you get going and have fun, you won’t even realize we are halfway through. There is nothing to loose, nothing to pay, just give it a go and see what happens.