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 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.

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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

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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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Day 92: Challenge accomplished!!! 0 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

I have done it! I got to the end of the tunnel of 92 days to the lights of 2014!!! What a journey and by saying that meaning still on a journey, but with so much more exciting stuff ahead, who knows what happens?! Before I do all do thanking, let me sum up this rather eventful year and as You can see on my PF 2014 card I have included some of those moments.

So this year I:

  • celebrated 9 years of living abroad and in the UK alone, you can read more about it in Day 20. I know- way too long and I only planned three months…
  • got more design and decorating working for private clients, and discovered some delicious cupcakes on the way.
  • went back to theatre design and scenic painting, when working on a show based on Nick Cave’s songs.
  • realized how much I enjoy teaching and motivating others, so I did some lecturing and workshops of all sorts.
  • moved a house, which was big chapter of my life,  and created myself a big studio space in a new one with wall ready to be painted on.
  • was blatantly reminded of my fears stopping my career, so I finally started learning how to drive. Yes, what a drama queen… it is not actually as bad as I thought!
  • went home to The Czech republic after year and half, enjoyed it way too much and looked for going back home to the UK again.
  • started a challenge to be productive for 92 days in row and succeeded. As right now you are reading the last post!
  • lost the man, who I thought shared my soul, but nevermind I wish him all the best and I am ready to meet new friends again.
  • am very proud of my little French sunshine, who never seem to stop to surprise me and who was accepted into Sorbonne, although I now miss her dearly.
  • finished the second course of Designing for Interiors and ever since I am thinking how to make it happen for real.
  • …  and there is so much more, but not enough of virtual space…

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My lovely readers, all of You who read my doodles on regular basis, all of You who read them sometimes, and You who are here for the first time, I THANK YOU ALL!!! I Thank You for Your support coming from the ones I know, who are reading, the ones who I think are reading, but do not want to admit it and the ones who read, but I do not know. I appreciate all the likes, comments and shares during this journey. You have been my silent whip getting  me up and making me do things. In 2013 I had some pretty sad times, good times and some really amazing times and met lot of great people. And of course as You know me, there is always something exciting happening in a life of Kat. So whoever was part of the journey, I am lifting my cup of currently full of honey, lemon and camomile tea and I say: Na Zdravi and have a great New Year 2014!

See You all in 3 Days time with my new challenge full of dreams and resolutions, take care and all the best! With Love Kat xx

Day 91: Nearly there!!! 1day to go!

 

Kat doodles about life:

 

 

Hello people, well this is very exciting, I am writing the one before last one post of my challenge! Gosh, who would have thought I will get to end. I certainly did not think so. Tomorrow I will be writing special PF 2014 post to sum up my year including the challenge, so this is my last opportunity really to sum up my day. As you know I got ill again, so I spent the day in bed. However I did try my best. Carrie in Sex and The City film says to Samantha  and Miranda after them getting her flat back to her just by using the phone and wi-fi during the “honeymoon” holidays in Mexico: “God, You two can rule the world!” Well I felt exactly like that. Messaging, texting, calling, social networking from comfort of my bed whilst eating a beautiful plate of cheese and biscuits and drinking countless cups of tea with honey and lemon. Simply joy!

 

I have been spreading the link to my challenge to pretty much every website I could, contacting my friends, who kind of thought about it in the past or planning to join me vaguely confirming and helping to make few people think differently about how to approach the resolutions with fun and not as I must. There is one thing I was wondering about, I have currently a friend, who lives in Belgium and he is learning Dutch. I have been trying show him ways of learning the language in more fun way. Is there anyone, who has great tips for that or fancies meeting up with him? He is a very street wise guy, loves to travel and is very funny. I told him perhaps starting a blog or something, where he can learn new word a day. There is a very useful page on Facebook, where you can learn useful “street” words in English/ Czech about three times a week, so I wondered perhaps if there is anything similar for Dutch. Any suggestions for websites, films, anything what comes to your mind, are welcome

 

What made me really happy today, my new student (you know that talented chef I have been telling you about) managed get through an interview and is invited for a trial period this week as kitchen porter. I am so happy for him. I hope he gets it! I have no doubt about him feeling like a fish in a water as soon as he is back in the kitchen environment!

 

So that is it, I cannot think of any other update, apart from feel free to share my link to the new challenge and I will see you tomorrow! Love Kat xx

https://katdesigner.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/join-me-in-new-3-days-challenge/

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Day 90: Life is giving me lemons, so I am making a lemonade! 2 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

My life is again well exciting, so I am being punished for it once again. My body is on strike and I am running around the supermarket searching for Lemsip, Aloe Vera Gel and a birthday present after finally finishing my fourth shift of this weekend. I meant to post this last night, but I got a bit too high after all the medication, I only managed to watch online tv and browse Facebook for the rest of the day And trust me I am not excited about this coughing, blowing my nose and not doing anything prospect either. I am so bored, I think I could solve a jigsaw puzzle without any problem and in no time. Well at least I had time last night to think about my next year’s resolutions, there are plenty of them, I can say. So see you later with the update on this being ill malarky and make sure you stay warm. Love Kat xximage

Day 89: Interesting posts to see!!! 3 days to go!

Kat recommends:

Alright guys, today is super quick one as I spent the day surviving work and entertaining residents of a nursing with my Christmas stories and if you ask, they of course did love them very much. When I got back instead of having a nap before running to work again meaning any minute now, I spent it by promoting my new challenge and spamming posting pretty much anywhere I could think of, where they would like to join my new year’s resolution challenge. I will love you muchly if you share this link:  https://katdesigner.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/join-me-in-new-3-days-challenge/

Back tomorrow, have a great Saturday! Kat xx

P.S. I did go through some e-mails last night (from 150 down 100 post notifications) and this is what I found and thought was great to see, so check it out!

A bit of an emotional read to start with by Put up with Rain called Internal Bleeding.

Some inspiration for your New Year’s Party(?) from Fashion Mayann in her window display: To start with Marge Simpson, after the check the red shoes or perhaps something lot more extravagant and out there. 😀

And last but not least the very stylish Maison Bentley Style taking camera out during her walks around London checking out the London Eye and snooping on others’ Christmas Door Decorations, so her family can do some fun Christmas making and show us the result.

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.

Day 88: Back into reality! 4 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

This is my third post of the day, as I have been catching up with the last two, making quite a bit of effort, so I will keep this one short and sweet especially since I am off to work in few hours time. I will be honest, I am not particularly excited as I have another three shifts to go to this weekend, but I knew that long before, so no excuses to moan. Here is my last and final food picture as I have been treated by my friend Andy with cabbage salad and roasted duck, which would be the traditional meal to have on our Boxing day or the day after. It was very delicious making the day lot better. Off I go getting ready for the night. I hope you all had wonderful Christmas. Back soon. Kat xx

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Day 87: Feeling the pain! 5 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

I am feeling the consequences of last night, even it was so worth it! I opened my eyes looking at the unfamiliar window thinking where am I? Three seconds later, when I can focus little more I notice I am on the sofa in my friends house still wearing my winter jacket. Well that sounds like I had a great night although I do not remember leaving the pub, falling in heels and going to sleep. My amazing friends were ready with cup of tea, toast and ibuprofen, so few hours later I was ready to face collecting my stuff and cycling home. By the time I got home my hangover got lot worse as my blood run around my body and I could start to feel all the bruises. I spent the rest of the day treating myself to more potato salad, salmon fillet, chat with a friend comparing notes and browsing the tinteweb following everything, which did not require too much of brain power.

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I came across this new program on Channel 4 called Raised by Wolves, which was slightly more difficult for me to follow due to the strong accents, but I was interested in the fact it was written by Caitlin Moran, who was home educated, coming from a family with no money and lot of siblings. Loving everything a bit strange it sounded exactly like something for me. I did search Caitlin Moran more and I found this interview she did during her booksigning and I found it incredibly hilarous. It may not be everyone taste, but I felt we have a very similar sense of humour, although perhaps slightly too outrageous at certain points of watching all five parts. Plus I thought there is no one else apart from my sister, who can talk so much even I have problem getting my words in, and this lady is certainly on it. Back later. Kat x

Day 86: Merry Christmas n.2- in true British style! 6 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Katerina, Katerina! I can hear that judgemental tone in your voice whilst you are shaking your head after I will tell you about my Day 86, with Day 87 closely following with hangover. Oh yes, it was a blast! And how wonderful one. I do not think I had so much fun during Christmas Day like this before. Obviously I have many Christmas experiences behind, both in Czech and in the UK, but this year I will be thinking of it with a smile on my face. To make sure of it, I have informed and banned my friend from playing any Michael McDonald love songs, in case we go to his house for an afterparty as he made me once listen to them for hour and half just after I broke up with my boyfriend. That is what you call friendship and voluntary pain.

So this Christmas Day I was very kindly invited to a private dinner at the Brunel Bar in Clifton by Matt, who is a great chef there and who was in charge of fantastic feast of parma ham and melon as a starter, main course of turkey, beef, celeriac mash, sprouts, roasted potatoes and there was so much more else I do not even remember. Dessert of course fantastic Christmas pudding with Cornish clotted cream and Ice cream. Cheese board followed and I was in food heaven. Not to mention the wine was flowing and we were getting very merry dancing around the empty bar. It did not take long before all eleven of us were getting along and shared the jokes. All the guest were so wonderful and we have talked about all the topics from traveling, Royals,Communism, life, jobs and what is the secret of long-term marriage as five of the guests were in their retirement age.

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I have kindly offered help with setting up the tables and doing the waitressing as it is one of those things that once you worked in catering, your instinct is telling you instantly to pick three plates in one hand and another two in the other, stand up straight and get it to the table intact. I was fairly impressed I could so even wearing my heels and little black dress, which was not exactly ideal for cycling, when getting there. It is the shortest dress I own and good job there were not many cars on the road as I had to rush for 40 minutes with my bottom showing a bit too much to my liking. I had certainly heated discussion with one of my classmates about it in the past, where he thought I was being judgemental when I said it is typical for Saturday night here, but not back home as we simply cover up. And I still stand strongly behind my opinion. And ever since working in the club I can tell lot more.

We have moved on from Brunel to Fringe Bar owned by three wonderful French ladies and the fun continued. By that time I could have probably done with another dinner, even I have completely cleared all plates to Matt’s appreciation, I was so happy and in my usual hugging mood, all my friends were making sure we are having a great laugh. Wine intake has reached the limit, so I texted my ex boyfriend. I know! So wrong! But we have all been there… I wanted to speak to him, to have that cuddle and familiarity, but it was not meant to be. It is just that feeling that you still care about the other person and you miss having them in your life even you both know there is no future together. I do not go out very often and I am not used to drink this much, but hey it happens. Thankfully it was not long before I was taken home by my friends, but that is a story for another post. Back later Kat xx

Day 85: Merry Christmas n.1- in Czech style!!! 7 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Merry Christmas to me and everybody else, who officially celebrates today! If everything goes the way it should, as some of the plans have already changed, I should be attending another party tomorrow and I am having another dinner on Thursday, so that is why I am calling today’s post n.1! Mince pies are in the oven, whisky ready for tomorrow, fish is defrosting and potato salad is cooling in the fridge. And since I have promised the recipe, here it is.

Czech traditional potato salad ( for Christmas dinner and other occasions)

Ingredients:

potatoes, 1-2 onions, 3-4 carrots, 1-2 parsnips, 4 eggs, jar of gherkins, tin of garden peas, mayo, tartare sauce, mustard, salt, pepper, for decoration: red pepper, cloves, 2 boiled eggs. curly parsley

Instructions:

Simply said it is a bowl of potatoes and bowl of the other vegetables all together, all cut into small cubes. What you have to do is slowly boil pot of larger potatoes in the skin, then cool them in water, peel and cut into the cube shapes. In another pot boil peeled whole carrots, do the same with  parsnips (or today I used turnips, because parsnips sold out for some reason), and eggs, cool down in water and cut into cubes again. Tip the boiled cubed vegetables into a bowl together with finely chopped onion, peas and gherkins. With gherkins I normally use about two to three large ones, but it all depends on the size of a jar. They give the salad extra edge, so I feel you can never go wrong with too many. Plus I eat few as I cook along, so it is good to be prepared. Make sure you only use the whole ones, not the sliced ones, as the taste is fairly different. With the condiments I use one teaspoons of English mustard, 2 teaspoons of mayo, 2 teaspoons of tartare sauce is just about fine. I hardly eat any of these sauces nowadays, but for the salad it is just about the right amount. When you finish making the salad, see if it needs more pepper, salt, perhaps caraway seeds, we do add them to boiling potatoes too. You may need to add extra few gherkins or boiled eggs depends on the taste to bring it together. What you do is mix it well together and leave it in the fridge over night to get all the flavours mixed together and cool to get that firm crunchy feel. Before serving, taste it again to see if it needs any extra of the used ingredients.

There are different variations of potato salad depending on each family. Some people add an apple, some add “kabanos”, which is a type of sausage, similar type to German Frankfurters sausages you can find in Lidl. I keep mine vegetarian, just to make it simple for everybody. Back home we also use local mustard, not the English one I use here, and Hellman’s tartare sauce, which for some reason you cannot buy in the UK.

When it comes to serving I cut the side of the red pepper (where is the stalk), so I get that circle and put it into the middle of a fancy bowl to present it nicely. I slice the rest into strips to decorate the edges. You can boil two to three eggs, cut them in half and put in between the red peppers along the edge. My mum always used to use cloves to create smiley faces on the eggs, so I do exactly the same. Feel free to use some curly parsley  to finish the salad bowl of.

The traditional Czech Christmas dinner would be pea or fish soup, potato salad and breaded carp (or other fish) or special circled sausage. If you search for “vinna klobasa”, you will know what I mean. Our family always ate lot of fish during the year, so we would eat anything from eels, trouts to pikes on Christmas Day, not just the carp. You salt the fish, dip it in flour, eggs and then breadcrumbs, leave to chill and deep fry.

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After Christmas dinner when you go up to Christmas tree, once the baby Jesus has been round with presents, how exciting, you have sung the Christmas songs and you are just about ready to watch the Christmas fairy tale on tv, you can nibble on little sweet desserts. We call it “cukrovi”. They say if you are a good housewife, there should be about twelve different kinds made. I reckon whoever came up with that, must have been a man, as he had no idea how long these take to make. In practice it means that about a month before Christmas what you do as a child with your mum, auntie and grandma, you bake and decorate all these little sweet cakes and are forced to glue trays and trays of them with jam, cover in chocolate, decorate with nuts or whatever else needs to be done. By the time they are ready for Christmas time, everyone is so sick of them, so when I turn up from the UK for holidays at home, I am happily open to accept them from anyone, who had enough. Twice I was holding afternoon tea with tasting session of mince pies and the British pudding for my friends and it was rather wonderful. My mother was very happy, she no longer had to bake as everyone brought box of cukrovi with them! To see what I mean, just search for “cukrovi” and I am sure there will be plenty of translated recipes. I personally stick to the minces pies and Christmas pudding, my British favourites, if I am staying over here like this year.

After the fairy tale you would go to the church for midnight mass (even you do not really believe, it is a tradition). Everyone pops out for a bit for that little fresh winter walk or any pub, which is open. Since I come from a small town, it is really nice as meet lot of your friends out and about and have that little catch up. We celebrate Christmas Day also by eating lentil soup for lunch, or any non-meaty dish and to make you stay away from any temptations as a child, we say if you do not eat, you will see a gold pig. One year I took it too seriously as a child and around four pm I fainted. That was the end of a golden pig fable for me and mum never allowed me to try again.

On the day you can also melt lead and dip it into the water. Depending on the shape of which comes out, you can predict future. Other old fashioned traditions are cutting apples into half or sending little candles stuck in walnut shells around in your bathroom sink. To keep the fortune at home, you keep few scale of the carp you have purchased from big buckets, which appear on streets just before Christmas, and put them under your dinner plate. After you put it into wallet with your change. It is suppose to bring luck and make the money stay with you or bring them to you.

So here it is, this is how Czechs celebrate Christmas Day on 24th December. Here is a picture of my dinner and hopefully tomorrow I will get to decorate the salad properly in style, when I go and celebrate with my British friends. For now I wish you all the best, everyone have fantastic time and I am back soon. With love Kat xx

P.S. Look what present Baby Jesus brought me! Isn’t it wonderful?! Perhaps Santa will bring a car tomorrow. 😀

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Day 84: After party day! 8 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So it is the day after the party! Sleeping until late, but no hangover or other pain, which is brilliant. Last night was really great. It was rather magical evening and I have enjoyed myself immensely meeting all these new people.  I spent the day catching up with posts from the last two days, because I was so busy working. In case you have noticed on Facebook Newsfeed too many reposted links, please feel free to have a laugh as I cannot count properly to 92 and missed out on few numbers in between. Anyone up for giving me private Maths lesson?! Anyway moving on, I spent few hours on finishing the PF 2014 card and here is a sneaky peak. I will be back soon as is it 24th December and that means my official Christmas Day according to the Czech calendar. I am making traditional potato salad, so you will be in a treat as I will be sharing the recipe in case any of you fancy adding it to your festive menu. Back soon. Kat xx

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Day 83: Positive Image Winter Solstice Party! 9 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Since coming home at 7 am, I spend most of the day in bed and when I woke up the time got spent by wandering around the house, cooking, eating, and getting ready for long anticipated party. Positive Image organized a very special treat after their art charity auction in a form of decadent 1920’s themed Winter Soltice Party! As you know, I do not like dressing up, but I am glad I did as the venue, where it was held, was a very stylish secret bar called Milkthisle, right in the heart of Bristol city centre. I have walked past many times, not knowing there is such a space, as you have to ring a bell and wait for someone to open the door for you. One of the companies I worked for even had an office two doors down and Bristol Backpackers hostel, where I lived on few occasions,  is in that same street. Even nine years later, Bristol does not stop to surprise me or it might be the case of me not getting out that much. I suggest you check it out yourself and get amazed by three floors of fantastic interiors, which took me back to my childhood, when visiting my grandparents’ home with dark wooden furniture, up to the ceiling bookcases full of classics and the grand piano. As we were all dressed up the part, it all felt like we are at someone’s house party sitting in very comfy leather armchairs, sofas and or wandering around the house to see what is going on in different rooms. And there was the great funky music and the Djs. By the end of the night the intimate atmosphere made everyone talking to each other making new friends and having a great time. Well certainly I did, getting to point of doing my signature move of Russian dancing and spinning around countless times. Oh that was fun! And all for the support of Children’s Hospice Soutwest. There was a group of us coming back home together, so I whipped some pasta pesto with feta cheese to make us all happy and we continued the party. I cannot wait for the Summer Soltice 2014!

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Day 82: Work, Sleep, Work, Sleep, Work, Party! 10 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Hello my dear followers, I guess everyone is wondering what happened to me in the last three days. Do not worry I am still doing the challenge, but it has been very hectic. I went to work on Friday night, got few hours sleep, went to work a day shift, came home, got few more hours of sleep, went to work to do the night shift and after I went out for a bit to finally celebrate end of this hectic work festive season. Well until next weekend, when I am doing four shifts. Brilliant! I ended up surrounded by seven security men (including two from my work) and had so much fun joking with the guys, I only just manage to get home at 7 am on Sunday morning. I love nights like this, it makes up the time when I am braving the cycling in the middle of the night, in the middle of the rain. And there was plenty of that this weekend for sure.

So anyway not much of a productive day, but on Friday I had a chat with one of my Czech friends planning our Christmas dinner together and we ended up talking about his smoking habit and how he is planning to stop next year. And I thought of this thing, which might be useful to some of You readers. I am doing this with my university debt. It is the way to remind you visually, where you are, how far you have come and have to go. He is also planning to buy new camera, so I said just imagine that every time you want to buy a packet of cigarettes or smoke one, put money aside and you are suddenly lot closer to it. It will be a great reward!

To see that something is happening and the price or target you are trying to achieve is not just some abstract number, I came up with this little visual help. We all know the little Ikea paper tape measures. So I took one and marked every centimeter line as a target and when I send it off to a special saving account each time, I mark off the amount in black. It is a gentle reminder it is still there, but working positively on your mind that you are getting there, not long to go and there is that celebration time when you reach zero. See my Champagne time arrow pointing. That is it for now. Back later. Kat xx

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Day 81: Third driving lesson and getting others motivated! 11 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

I am not very good at getting up, in case you have not noticed. I like to have time to wake up slowly, have a good breakfast, check the e-mail, and then start. When working in catering, there are not many days like this. I used to even wake up 4 am to start at 5 :30 am. Thank God those days are over. I am rather used to work until late at night or early hours of the morning, or even to carry on the next day without any sleep. I had many of these ‘the adrenalin is high, let’s just carry on’ situations during my theatre design degree. Being ill for the last four weeks did not help either, because my body clock is used to sleeping whenever, so last night I set up my alarm on about ten different times as my third driving lesson was booked for 8 am. It was either that or driving on 24th December, which is my Christmas Day. What do you think happened? Of course I overslept! Good job I had everything ready, so in five minutes I was sitting in the car trying to quickly wake up before we swap the sides. I guess it is a good exercise to experience, because it will happen in real life simply knowing how much I like ‘the mornings’.

My last lesson was five weeks ago, plus with this late start, I thought I am going to be terrible, but it was not as bad as I expected. Obviously there were few panic moments, but it was just due to getting into more complicated traffic situations. However there was an improvement from first to second gear straight away, putting gear into first one, when starting, I even went up to 30 mph, drove up some fairly steep hills, went through junctions with more traffic and lot more stopping and starting up and down the hill.  The car suddenly does not feel as terrifying and certain moves are becoming a habit. I am quite happy I waited this long, because I have the knowledge of the highway code from cycling, less things to learn, nevermind doing it in second language and on the opposite side, and I am confident enough to say something in case I would not be happy with my driving instructor. Mine is so friendly, patient and easygoing, it makes such a difference, when I make a mistakes. If I would be 17 and had a stressed driving instructor as you hear some of the horror stories, I am not sure if I would be strong enough to say I am not happy with the way you teach me and I would go blank and panic even lot more . Thankfully that is not the case and so far I am making progress, so that is great to know.

I spent the afternoon getting few things done including correction of my new student’s cv. We spoke on the phone later and he was very excited telling me about that Italian cookbook I left there, as I mentioned two posts ago. He was very happy flicking through, translated four recipes, wrote down the vocabulary he needed to look for in a dictionary and even made one of the recipes! How impressive! I was so pleased my personalised first lesson got him so motivated, so when he goes out tomorrow searching for the job again, I hope he is more successful. I am sure he will be speaking in no time with this attitude.

It is really wonderful, when people believe in you and you believe in others. Getting excited, more understanding and patient were the qualities I missed a lot in my school days from some of my teachers. It does not mean you are stupid, just the way you learn more effectively is different and you should not be punished for it. I have discovered that once I left abroad, had the experience of life and started to study the Foundation Diploma in Art&Design, here in the UK. When coming home for holidays I started doing these talks in Art and English lessons back at the same school, where I started. And I can tell you my English teacher was not happy, when I told the students that I was really bad and definitely not her favourite. And as the years went on and I got accepted to university here or passed CPE last year, she would still have that judgemental look on her face every time I saw her and would not really believe me. And you know what and I may never be absolutely perfect, but it is more than enough to make me live the way I want to. Bohumil Hrabal, writer, who went to our school, who failed in Czech language, or Albert Einstein, when failing Maths, were always my great heroes. And look how far they got! Failure does not mean stupidity!

It is not about how much you know and being academic type, it is about how you find it, use it and make it work. It is about being motivated, believing in your dreams and working hard for them. Attitude Czech education is definitely missing and when recently reading this article, it seems it still does, although it may be getting better since the new generation of teachers is going in and the speedy development of the technology. So anyway to end this critical point I have about Czech primary and secondary education, I am very happy about this rather productive Friday and how great it is to bring happiness to other people when using the right teaching methods. Back tomorrow. Kat xx

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Day 80: Start on the PF2014 card! 12 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

Today after work I decided to tackle my room and make sure I regain my floor space back. And it got done! Books are back in the bookcase, although all over the place. Theatre stuff back on top of the wardrobe and camping stuff back inside of the bed. I have also covered my flat cardboard boxes in fabric and stuck them around the bed to see if it helps with the cold. One step closer to a better functioning bedroom/studio.

Now with Christmas and New Year fast approaching I am rather forced to sit down and work out my year once again. I cannot believe literally how fast is gone! I wrote a list and it covered pretty much two full pages of A4. It goes on and on. And I wish I could create the quiz like I do every year, but somehow I felt that I want to do little more sophisticated one this year, no jokes. You never know I might entertain you somehow in my last few posts, when I perhaps reflect back on the challenge and the year as a whole. So I tried to scribble all my events into basic symbols and see what I could do with it. Here are some sample pictures, but you have to wait until it officially arrives in your mailboxes. Back tomorrow. Kat xx

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Day 79: Problem finally solved! 13 days to go!

 

Kat doodles about life:

 

‘Tinteweb’. I have been going on about it for the last nearly three weeks and even I am bored of it now. I hope that for my own sake, this is the last time I am mentioning it. Yesterday, before and after the lesson, it stopped working again. I have moved the furniture around, set up all the cables, swapped netgear boxes, switched of router and mac mini countless times. Still nothing! Not even one bar. It got me thinking what was it,what made it work, when I moved it temporarily. Perhaps it may be the bookcase right next to the wall causing the problem, which was not there previously. Messages about airport connection were on every time and then it hit me. Eureka. Airport is inside the machine. And I tried the machine in a different position, when placed on the bed. So I moved my mac mini less than a meter away, closer to the router direction and from nothing it went to 4 bars! Right now it is late at night and it the connection has not dropped once since I have changed it around early evening, not even during streaming videos. Problem solved. I wonder what Mr. Sheldon Cooper would say to this?!

 

So I connected all the other equipment, run lot of cables around, but they will need sorting out, so I just wait to get more time to clear my room. Tonight I have been mostly creative with my dinner, creating space in my room and organizing next few weeks meeting up with friends over potato salad and drinks having fun Christmas.  Back tomorrow. Kat xx

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Day 78: So I have got a student…! 14 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Few days ago I have been sitting in a cafe for more than two hours translating a form for a couple. In that time I have earned more than doing the usual shift running around the kitchen. It got me thinking I should really spend more time soon giving this type of job little bit more and let the years of experience work for me without doing the extra sweating. In the afternoon I was browsing Facebook having a little a break and in one of the groups for “our people” stumbled over a post, where this guy was looking for an English teacher. So I messaged him and we arranged to meet up on Friday afternoon, where I have shown my cards and said: “This is who I am, take it or leave it!”. After a chat, he promised he will get in touch and he did! We had our first lesson today and it was very exciting! He is very ambitious young chef with already enough impressive cv for Czech standards. I am sure he will go far, just need to work on his English now. I left my Italian cookbook there, so he better be flicking through before his bedtime as we speak. I mean even when I got there, he was making a base for Czech dumplings… so he must be keen. I wait for visits at home and grandma to make them. I spent pretty much 90% of the time speaking in English (otherwise he would have said I need lessons in Czech, the first time I met him was bad enough), so I can imagine his head must be like a balloon (Lead Balloon). After I left few minutes later I met his brother in a supermarket whilst on a hunt for my dinner (see that lovely image below) and he was rather excited about getting his little brother finally speaking English. For sure, there is no running away from me, when it comes to talking. Well, if not scared too much and that call for second lesson comes in… Back tomorrow. Kat xx

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And speaking of of certain balloons…

Day 77: High on paint this time! 15 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and recommends:

After posting last night, I got again into writing more e-mails and cleaning up my e-mail account. And there I have discovered long time sitting e-mail notification from a Maison Bentley Style Blog Party. I went through all the blogs listed in the main post long time ago and made some great friends, but there were so many other comments below and people adding their blogs at later date I decided to go through those last night. Plus I could not sleep, as I did that during the day, so why not to use that time in more productive way. Plus before falling asleep  I have finally figured out next year’s challenge. So I think. At least for now.

I have recently signed up to few blogs recommended by Learner Mother, so I have been having a look around those too.  Lia in Brussels is interesting blog about cultural events in Brussels, from gigs, theatre shows to exhibitions and. I highly recommend it even  if you do not live in Belgium, as lot of the stuff is fairly exciting to read about. Next blog is by Free Falling into 40 with her very funny take on Potty Training her children and her still being honest about major failure of this task. I will end this bit by talking about 44andfourth and her funny take on being a mum living in Laos and then by reading the best post ever of this week, which made me smile from beginning to the end and that is When The Going Gets Tough(ie) by Put Up with Rain. I found it personally so hilarious, it still makes me smile now I write about it.

Well after, what I did, was I signed to new weekly link swapping for all the different social media, so I spent this lunchtime about two and half hours by going through all the different links, clicking on Likes and Follow of selected  members of UK Bloggers. It did bring enough Likes so my Facebook Page was suddenly on number 99, so with a bit of hinting to my friends, which I am very grateful for, we got to number 106! How fantastic! I have few notes of browsing through some blogs, when I get a bit of time and connecting with the ones within my arty field, but to get you more traffic and people reading it is worth doing once in a while.

Craving proper food for the last few weeks of illness I went onto cooking good quality sausages and rustic mash with three different types of cabbage and broccoli, which I decided to have again for dinner. It was a feast I am telling you. Just a little trick what I do with the mash, I do not bother with peeling the skin, as it tastes better (well to me it does), salt, pepper, few cloves of garlic whilst it is boiling with caraway seeds, and once done after adding butter and milk, more of fresh garlic, caraway seeds if needed (in Czech there is never enough caraway or poppy seeds in anything, we simply love them) and lots of chopped curly parsley or coriander. All these ingredients make it taste and smell divine.  If there is no milk, you can substitute with yoghurt or houmous, which is another great tasting ingredient.

And getting back to work meant writing more work e-mails about January project, which I have some more work to do on this week, uploading  pictures to Instagram and replying to my new student, who is starting lesson tomorrow. He is a young ambitious man, so I am sure he will make the most of my knowledge of British life and my language skills, since my other skills are questioned by my housemates when voluntarily offering my help to paint this afternoon. I shall not bother with these type of teasing comments next time and watch them instead making comments about missing a spot 🙂 Now I will rather move on with getting ready to sleep after this very productive, in my eyes, day. I will see you all tomorrow. Good night Kat xx

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Day 76: Handmade Christmas and PF cards! 16 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

Today’s post will be simply more about pictures than me mumbling on about other things. I ended up in bed sometimes around 6 am after one very busy night at work, slept most of today, then helped with a bit of DIY scraping and after I was catching up the finals of XFactor. Feel free to judge me, yes, I do watch this show.

So it is time to think about the this year’s PF  card for everybody. Since moving furniture around my collection of letters and cards I loved the most and meant something to me from others was pretty much on hand, so I thought I will have a look if there is a perhaps inspiration for this year. Feel free to add pictures of other handmade Christmas cards into comments! Back tomorrow. Kat xx

Here are some of mine:

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And here are some of others:

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Day: 75 Catching up with ‘tinteweb’. Since it is working! 17 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Well I was very glad to get home last night, crashing straight to bed sometime around 4 am as I had enough after being reintroduced to the world out there again. Woke up late today and decided to catch up with the good old gmail since I have finally non failing ‘tinteweb’ as one man says. Working in my new corner feels actually really nice, still enclosed or cosy you can say, but for some reason still very spacious. I managed to plug the most important cables together for now and got on with it. I wrote to friends and family, thought of how to prepare for few of my next projects and wrote few relevant work e-mails, organized my next driving lesson and spent the afternoon unsubscribing from newsletters, as it is getting a bit too much again. I am going to do some more of that the next few hours and I am straight back to work with most likely visit to another club afterwards as me and one of the security promised that last night to another security, who will be working there tonight. He did once bring me flowers, you see not all doormen are horrible, there is a soft side to them. However I need to stay good and not to get too excited, cannot think of another week in bed being ill. Back again soon. Kat xx

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Day 74: Internet connection is present! 18 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

I am sorry if you were expecting this post last night in case I became you daily read before going to bed. Yesterday was quite manic. I know I woke up late again, but it is a part of a recovery plan and no work in the morning, so why not. I am feeling lot better and even managed to get out of the house for couple of hours to get myself prepared for the Friday night at work. Thinking of doing some work I sat at the computer and after pretty much two weeks of no internet connection or barely minimum connection it got the point I run out of my patience and had to do something about. After switching my computer on and off three times, I could not bare trying once more. I decided to try that more complicated option of getting all cables out and moving it from one to the other side of the room to see if moving it four meters closer to the router will help. And it did! I had full four bars showing. And the connection did not fail once, whilst I was organizing a work meeting for late that afternoon.

Unfortunately that meant I am facing the fun activity of completely moving my room once again, which in my nearly recovered state was still not fun idea. So I had to empty both of my bookcases, storage under the bed, my chest of drawers and my wardrobe and night table. The state of my room looked like I have created myself something similar to go ape challenge. I slowly moved all the furniture back and forth trying to figure out the best position according to the plug sockets, still keeping the room spacious and having all the right objects near each other. Eventually I did and here are the pictures. Still messy and not finished, but improvement. Well you would think. I am writing this post in a new spot. The connection has not failed yet, good times, however the connection is only between one and two bars. And just about when I am writing this, it goes to three and back down to one. I wonder if someone is playing a practical joke on me. Hey, these are the problems of 21st century. Back later. Kat xx

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Day 73: I am so very excited! 19 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and recommends:

As random it may seem today’s blog post name, I am actually really excited. Hmm two things if I do not count my ongoing love affairs. First is I only have 19 days left on this challenge, oh my god, how amazing. The numbers are now below twenty, it is all coming to the end and I will be able to breathe properly without having to squeeze my brain cells to their maximum every day. I was having this discussion today with someone about the quality of posts and I know it is not ideal sometimes. I have to go to do the shift during the day, another one at night, cycle back and forth from all these shifts, do the normal things normal people do like washing, shopping, cooking (did I mention chill out?) and then being productive and then having to write about it. Never mind still having that fun. Exactly there is just not enough hours in a day, he cracked by laughing at me being sarcastic. But what I love about this doing daily challenge that it definitely kicked me into the right direction ( may be I should write one direction and see how my stats go up) and from next year I want to start a new challenge, be more artistic, but blog less to have that time. Plus I am sure you must be fed up of reading my doodles every day. So here we are 19 days to go. (She writes whilst dancing on her chair having that big fake smile on her face way past her bedtime.)

And secondly why I am excited is I have finally hit that Submit button on that tax form. And that made me very excited too. I thought I will have that same feeling already by finishing it two days ago, but it did not really happen. I was a bit like, where is it, happiness where are you hiding? It was not until I found out if I am owning money or getting them back and then I got the result. Getting money back. Whoop, whoop. I know this does not sound very nice to some of you, but I have overpaid a lot of money in one of my jobs I started last year, so seeing more than adequate amount of money on my payslip going somewhere else than my bank account kept making my almost cry every month. So I decided to get me going with the driving lessons again. I bet Joel will be very happy, when I tell him tomorrow. I know, how nice of me supporting the British economy rather stashing it in under my pillow or in the bank.

Now there are few other things to tell you about:

I have joined the UK Blogger Facebook Page. You can find some useful posts on how to solve some of those blogging problems and make new friends. Anyway I posted one, where I introduced myself and had a thread with someone going Day 72 buy yourself a proper domain name, so a bit of search and few hours later I actually did. I now own http://www.katerinadesign.co.uk How exciting! I have been searching for something like this for a while, but none of the pages with my name would be available. Plus I do not really know if I want to start a company or just keep my name, so I thought keeping a name is fine until I figure out what I want to do. So website project I guess will be on my list of challenges for next year. I am most likely to team up with someone clever, who knows how to do this, but I want to do it properly this time.

Another exciting event to mention is Winter Solstice Party. If you are in Bristol, want to go out on 22nd December and experience 1920′ madness, you better check out this event at MilkThistle organized by Positive Image. I will be there! So I guess that will be mad enough already!

Last little thing today, because it is really getting late and I am on massive sugar rush swing from eating Pecan Danish, which I treated myself to since getting out of the house first time in five days and being on a diet of paracetamol, rice cakes and Covonia cough syrup. They were 3 for 2 offer and I thought I am getting really good deal by buying three boxes with three each in, for the price of two, but when I looked at the receipt, there was no deduction. So I ended up with 9 pecan nut maple danishes (eeeh and so far ate four- I know, I know, don’t judge me, I am a pig) for the price of 3 boxes. That might be why I was finding everything so exciting when I started writing this post. Hmmmm…my eyes are still wide open, yes the sugar is still high…nearly 2 am, oh dear.

So yeah that little last thing: these three beautiful blogs I stumbled over. Have a read, they will bring a smile to your face. Goooood night! Back tomorrow darlings. Kat xx

http://cristianmihai.net

http://putupwithrain.blogspot.co.uk/

http://thesecretdivorcee.blogspot.co.uk/

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Day 72: Living Frugal Life on £7 Per Week! 20 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Another day of my cold, where my brain is not exactly in its best form, I decided to cook some proper meal, which perhaps may work the magic. I have been craving minced beef chilli for a while, so right now it is on the stove together with rice simmering. I do not cook it very often. I used to. When I was living frugal life (we are talking July 2010 onwards) .Which I kind of still do anyway, just slightly upgraded. Perhaps it is a reminder of those sad times, when I felt so desperate and thought life cannot any better. I know it also could get worse, but every month I would live in a fear of losing the roof above my head. I was so skint, the only way to save money was to live on my cafe tips of about £7 (if there was a rugby on it would get to about £10) I would get once a week and the rest would go to pay rent, bills and overdraft.

If I had only known how quickly your life can turn around year after recession happened, days after I graduated and I found myself as self-employed artist with government help refused, I wish I would have been less naive about my job prospects. That is what happens when you are so honest filling the forms. Working since fifteen years of age, always being very good with money, this was my first time I applied for benefits and wish I have never even bothered after the way I was spoken to and treated. College has a great name, I was ready to do work the usual 12-15 hours days, but there was no work. I found myself in a world of unpaid or late paid invoices or only free work offered, which I could not take, because I had no way how to get to those places nor what to eat on the day, never mind being exploited and thinking how I am going to pay for my rent. Perhaps I should have taken on just a normal job, forget the art and give it a time. But then is it not something totally against the idea, which have been grown in our minds for all those years, that this what we have to do now and if you leave the industry, you will be forgotten?!

For the first time in my life I was not enjoying the life I was living. I had nothing to look for or no dream or goal to work to. For someone like me, who was always up to something, quite unbelievable. Months later I got so depressed, I could not even bring myself up to look for work and the debts were going sky-high. It was so embarrassing telling people what sort of situation I was in, never mind attending social events, because I felt like a moron not being able to pay for a drink or bring a present, so I just locked myself in a room and barely kept coming out. Never mind telling my mother, because it felt like an epic fail and I would not want to worry her, so I rather was not in touch at all. Smart price and value brand became my best fiends and the only thing to wear in winter were those Primark shoes for £1.

 

So I had to start living frugal life. My weekly shop would involve going around Asda with a calculator and basket and counting every single penny to make it worth. To start with I would make my own bread recipe. It tasted like a rye bread, but not very nice. It was a Jamie Oliver recipe, but I guess I compromised on the ingredients, so what would you expect. Still you would save more than eating half of the loaf in case just buying basic white. To save on any oil or butter or spread on toast, the 2 kg margarine would have to do. To jazz it up, I would go over with garlic or the cheapest brand jam. I know what are you thinking, jam tasted pretty horrible. I would also buy a big 2 kg bag of oats and with little bit of water and two full spoons of the cheapest yoghurt would have it for breakfast. In case there was a bit of money left the raisins or sugar would make up for the sweet taste. For lunch and dinner there would be probably three different meals I would swap around.

Number 1- potatoes. Buy a bag of cheapest potatoes and then you can turn them into mash ( by using milk you make up from dried version) or upgrade and cut them into wedges and cook them in the oven just with onions and garlic, salt, cumin and paprika powder. Here we are dinner solved. Number 2- minced beef chilli. Fry enough onions to make up the bulk, and then buying the cheapest minced, which does not even look like meat. Fry it long enough in a separate pot to get rid of the fat and add to onions, and then loose carrots. What I would do a lot is buy a big 2 kg bag of red kidney beans and chickpeas, soak them, cook them and add to the chilli. After add the frozen sweetcorn, which turns out to be cheaper than buying tins. Add cheapest plum tomatoes, tomato purree, paprika and enough garlic and salt and with cheap rice, job is good in. White rice is not ideal, but if your budget does not stretch to the brown option, which fills you up for longer, there is not much of a choice apart from basic pasta. Finally number 3- good old indian dhal. Literally just need rice, red lentils, onions and garlic, turmeric, cumin, coriander in powder. Don’t forget that into your £7 budget you also have to fit those basics like tea (80 bags for 27 pence, they do not taste as bad as you think, although some of my visitors would probably disagreed), toilet paper, tooth paste and soap (3 bars for 35 p. That’s what I call bargain). No need for shampoo like this. Obviously you could not buy everything on the list at the same time, so week by week as the tips would come in.

 

So that is it. I reckon I lived like this life for about a year. There were some light moments, when I got the occasional work and went a bit crazy with spending on better food or other essentials. After a year since graduating I decide to leave Wales and move back to Bristol, where I could at least live with my friends and get myself into better place. And it did work. I got other three jobs, where the hours are not great, but at least I am making the needs every month and this year particularly the design and decorating work has been coming more my way, but I am still keeping low and not jumping for joy. Becoming poor and living below the standards can happen to anyone of us and you do not even know how. Although I do have a bit more now and can afford the little luxuries sometimes, I still get reminded of that life. Like going to a club and buying a cocktail for £7, which starts that red flashing alarm in my head for stupidly spending money. But hey I do not do it every day. Back soon. Kat xx

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Day 71: Tax done! Finally! 21 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So my self assessment tax form is done! Finally! Well I say done, online it says 85 % done, but I am only waiting for one of my bosses to get back to me with a code and I can click ‘Submit’.  With two jumpers on today, hanging around the house trying to get better I thought I need to do something, which can give me just enough excuse to stop for the social media breaks and food and will get ticked of my list of things to do I have recently told myself to achieve within the last thirty days of the blog challenge. So I took that time today for printing receipts, invoices and other bits out. Going through each receipt, bank statement, mile I have done and putting it all into right category. And finally it is done. I was really hoping to get better in this, doing my numbers as I go along, but has not happened yet. There are another 3-4 months until the next tax form can be filled again, so I think I will start properly with the April 2014-April 2015 one. Apart from that nothing really exciting happened today, so I am sorry in case you were expecting magic. If have not done your tax return yet, I am only going to say: ‘Go and get on with it!’ 😀 Back tomorrow. Kat xx wpid-IMG_20131122_172454.jpg

Day 70: Latest blog posts catch up! 22 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and recommends:

So it’s Monday, I have been ill for the last three weeks now, so I decided to take another week off and for good to get rid of this cold, because it is doing my head in. What is worse that I had to cancel a special plans last night, which I never ever do. Not good at all,  but I do not think my company would appreciate me coughing every five minutes. So today I am sitting behind the computer catching with my latest likes, followers, posts and here are some for you to share.

Being recently nominated for Liebster award I have passed on my questions and here are the answers: A Spoonful of Style answered in her sixth months anniversary blog post and shared with more awards with her readers. The next award post is here by The Crazy Bag Lady, who is very inspirational and again is on my list of popular bloggers.

 

I have recently enjoyed few posts, so I would mention the article of A Spoonful of Style on a programme about Liberty. I have not watched it myself yet, but it is will added to my list for sure. Few years ago I have seen a documentary series, I think it was called The Next Big Thing and upcoming designers would come to an open day of stores as Liberty, Habitat and Boots. It was fantastic to see their journey and see the progress they would make. On those basis, I will be watching.

 

Very interesting post recently came from learnermother. She is currently dealing with Welsh education and her little boy finding it hard in certain subjects. They are English-speaking family, but him attending Welsh school causing a bit of trouble when it comes now to more difficult subjects and homework. Are you bilingual or had a similar issue when educating your children in two or more different languages? Perhaps you can help by sharing your story with her.

 

Last but not least is winolady. Her post about baby? resonated in my mind for quite a few days and together Richard’s Herring article in Friday’s metro When I wish upon a star… I ended up in quite a philosophical mood and wrote this post on Feeling the Pressure on Day 68.

 

That is for today, I am going back to drinking more tea, eating paracetamol and hoping to recover pretty soon. Much love Kat xx

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Day 69: Would you like to help? 23 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and is asking for help (?):

Ok, where do I start with this? Perhaps saying that I do not like asking for help. I have always been taught to be independent and rather help others. There were times, when I desperately needed help, but still could not bring myself up to ask. So why now? I have discovered that if you do not tell to people how you are, what you do or simply that you need something, they will just assume you are fine. What I am trying to say is I am writing this blog- it’s called ‘My journey on becoming full-time designer’. I want to turn my four jobs into one and make just about enough living from it. I am doing this challenge, looking to becoming full-time employed or self-employed designer/artist in 92 days and I am asking for your help. You could say it is very ambitious, stupid, mad or even over-confident, but don’t we all have at least one mad dream? I have less than 30 days to go in my challenge and so far I hope you can tell I have been serious about this thing, committed and things are looking up. But could you help me in my journey? How? You are asking, well here is the list and I will leave it up to you. Even if it is that one little like or share to start with, I will appreciate it greatly. MASSIVE THANK YOU for reading and helping !!! Kat xx (Feel free to e-mail katerina.t.designer@gmail.com)

  • Click that little button on my blog Follow.
  • Share my wordpress blog address http://www.katdesigner.wordpress.com on your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, any social network.
  • Do you have any friends, who have just finished school/uni/left their jobs and do not know what to do with themselves or simply lost the passion for doing things? Tell them about my blog! They are not alone. It is perfectly fine to feel lost, so perhaps reading about my up and down journey will inspire them to do something amazing. And it will give you great feeling!
  • Like or share (or both) my Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/kat.portfolio . In Photo Albums there are examples of my work. Feel free to click like any of those images.
  • Do you have any friends, relatives, people you know, who are interior designers, working on visual displays, theatre or exhibition spaces or anything to do with spatial 3D interior/exterior design/art industry? Can you tell them about me? Perhaps there is a way we could collaborate, swap skills or pass on the work. Do they live too far from Bristol in the UK? It does not matter. There is always that e-mail, Skype, social media etc.
  •  Do you have friends with special skills or blog you think, it would be amazing if more people know about? Get in touch via my e-mail and I will tag them in my ‘Kat recommends’ category.
  • I like to paint (from walls, to furniture, to paintings, to big mdf boards and canvases used as theatrical backdrops). I would like to start painting murals on the walls soon. I just simply like to make spaces look good.
  • I love decluttering. Give me a hoarder and I will be in seventh heaven. I have helped to my ex housemates, ex boyfriend and my boss to find clarity in their flats, wardrobes and sheds and they have been moving on with their lives ever since. My mother is super tidy and now has a cleaning business, so I guess that’s where it comes from me being the super organized freak, who can pack/unpack/organize in no time.
  • I like to cook. Actually I love to cook and I love to share the food with others and mainly I love to eat. I am known for my famous gulash parties, little decorated breads and potato salad. Everything else just comes up to my head and that includes cooking something out of nothing at 5am.
  • I like to talk and write. As you can tell. Mainly for fun. I work as an interpreter in Czech, Slovak and English language. I enjoy meeting other people, travel different countries and enjoy using the snippets of what I remember from learning German, French and Dutch in the past, when talking to others. I also have the same version of this blog in Czech language, at the moment neglected, perhaps any linguists around to help?

    And lastly I like to joke and have fun. Because without laughing in life we would not live for long or enjoy it to its maximum potential. My personal sarcasm and comments come out without a plan and sometimes may get me into trouble. Is it because I am just lost in translation and an explanation? I do not think so.

    So if you think, you can help me with any of these points or know anyone, who I could work with on any exciting project, I would be very delighted. If you know anyone, who can do with some helping, please do tell me about them too. You never know, who you stumble over mentioning something to someone in person or the social media. Thank you very much for reading and back soon. Kat (Feel free to e-mail katerina.t.designer@gmail.com)

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Day 67: Nonstop, I want to live nonstop! 25 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Last night after catching up with posts, meeting friends and catching up with native language sharing the latest gossip and few hours sleep, because when I got home it was rather fun to stay awake and then I had forms to fill in, I have barely stopped today and I am currently sitting on the bus (sometime in the afternoon this was written). My probably fourth journey today and third train journey overall. I was up at 8am this morning on my way to Filton, because I forgot to have my timesheet signed after work. And no timesheet means no money. Afterwards I made my way to a meeting in a different part of the town dropping paperwork for project in January I have mentioned before and went to watch and took photographs of the hat fashion show. It was great to see that the pupils have taken my words seriously and some of the creations were very impressive. And that included the make up and outfit matching the hats. After the show I have taken separate head shots and jumping group photo with some great posing going on. Once the photographs are edited by the department and up online, I am sure I will let you know. I am now going to the other side of the the town do some charity donating, food shopping and soon as I get back, I will start getting ready for work. Hectic, hectic day. Hopefully tomorrow I will get few hours to myself and catch up on posting. Back soon Kat xx

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Day 66 : Changing feel of the room with colour “4”! 26days to go!

 

Kat gets arty:

 

So this is the last of colour homework and after number three I decided to keep it simple white. Small rooms look better, whiter they are and although it is sunny one and we could afford to stick few cold tones in, I will stick with white this time. Now with this type of room anything will do as long as there are lot of different hues of the same colour and preferably very light. Do not forget if it sisunny room, all tones will appear lot richer then they are. So in my version, if you can see, too literally, (you might have to click to zoom) I have used All White on ceiling, walls, and chimney breast, Wimborne White on two walls along the chimney breast and architraves, picture rails and skirting boards with tone of Pointing. I think that Cabbage White could work really well in some way too. That is it for now. Back soon. Kat xx

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Day 64: Changing feel of the room with colour “2”! 28 days to go !

Kat gets arty:

So another one of my homework today. The task is to make large room appear warmer and cosier. Obviously the first thoughts or making something look cosy would be using the typical colours like hues of oranges, reds, yellows. But in the second picture I will show you that is not necessarily true.

Now first example of the room has only red (Picture gallery red) and yellow (Orangery) in. Again Farrow&Ball colour scheme. I used white for the ceiling (and you could use Satinwood on architrave and skirting board) as the colours on the walls are quite bright already, but if I would want go all the way, the Orangery would be probably the way to go. What I wanted to show you with doing two different sample pictures is that you do not have to be scared of using bright colours. I personally do love the first one. Painted chimney breast and the rest of the walls painted in yellow will make the room appear warm and cosy and with the two parts of walls along the chimney breast will give it a bit of edge. If you do not like such a bright colour, you can stick wooden shelves in those spaces to create bookshelves, so the red will only appear where let you it. Again using the opposite colours on picture rail will tie the whole room together. But you do not have to do it, if you do not want to. Just decide once it is all painted and see how it works.

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As already mentioned earlier here is example when using the same yellow (Orangery), but with Olive green colour. This colour combination is a bit more pleasing to the eyes you can say, but feel free to jazz it up with some red accessories like cushions or vases in matching tones.

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I hope you enjoyed the post, and back with some more tomorrow. Kat xx

Day 63: Changing feel of the room with colour “1”! 29 days to go !

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

My dear readers, Let me first apologize for my absence on the blogging scene for the last two days. No, I have not given up or got lazy, it is the technology, which has let me down. We have some work going on in our area and although it has been bad, for the last two days my connection just completely disappeared, which made it quite difficult to post the type of files I was working on. Never mind, my mac mini is definitely sending the unwanted message that it will soon leave to Silicon valley after more than many years of loyal service, as it cannot longer pick up better network signal than a simple mobile phone. And I am not even talking about my mood after Photoshop quit, just about when I was going to save the image I have created. 1:30 am I thought ‘I am off to bed, going to work tomorrow morning, I am not even going to tilt the windmills’.

Anyway so today’s post is one of my homeworks I had to do during the  course Designing for Interiors. We got simple black and white drawing of a room with different requirements and change it by using different colours, tones, etc. Today I am posting: A ROOM WITH A HIGH CEILING THAT NEEDS TO FEEL MORE INTIMATE. There will be three more to go.

Now how do we do this? Feeling cosy is usually is associated with warm colour, however in my example there two options. I have picked up Farrow and Ball, the one before the latest colour series, because I do love their tones, and in warm version I have picked up colour  Straw for ceiling and Hay for walls and in “colder” version Pelt and Brassica. Now when say cold in brackets it is not exactly true, they may appear that way, however they have a bit of red mixed in, which still makes them fairly warm. The reason why I am choosing those darker tones on the ceiling is because we want to bring down. Almost as you would feel claustrophobic. Not completely, but if it is a big space, you just want to bring the walls and ceiling bring a bit more closer to you to get that cosy feel. My examples are pretty contrasting, so if you are not convinced just simply experiment with one colour in lighter versions.

What you may also think about is the application of the paint. In the first picture I have used the ceiling colour on architrave, picture rail and skirting board. Depending on what is in the room, I personally think you could even use it partly on the door or details of the furniture.  In the second picture I have done something different. I have introduced third colour, which is Farrow and Ball Plummett on architrave and skirting board and picked up picture rail in the ceiling colour just to give it a bit of edge.

task 2Great example of what I am talking is a house of my friend Sarah, who is a photographer and recently just painted her wall in very deep dark grey called New York by Crown. You would think, never in million years I would do that, BUT! It would surprise how lovely it looks. Obviously you have to be quite selective with how much of the room you paint, but you notice how many other colours are hiding in that grey and how they bounce off each other. Morning and general day light make the grey totally different to when it is evening and there are three different light sources on picking up and bouncing off the colours of red and orange sofas, armchairs, and  wooden tables. The house is still work in progress,  but even just using that grey in tiny little upstairs bathroom on one wall made a massive difference and turned shabby space into posh attic bathroom, well at least for that first impression look before she gets on with fully renovating that whole area. If you are still unsure I recommend checking out interior designer Abigail Ahern. She is bonkers! But great!

Back later or tomorrow with the rest, depends how much patience and network I will get. Kat xx

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Day 62! Two thirds in and still blogging…! 30 days to go!

Kat reviews her time and doodles about life:

Hello everybody, I hope you had all very wonderful weekend and very happy that tomorrow is Monday. Yes it is sarcasm, although I am having this Monday off, which you may not like to hear. That is what happens when you work 7 days a week doing all sorts of things. The perk  of it is picking up the days you may not want to work, but be flexible with other ones.So in today’s post I thought I will reflect on what happened in that last thirty something days and where are we heading. Well I am heading.

Most importantly I have been involved in Carny production working on a set- painting, sourcing costumes, organizing costume store and done four workshops with Year 9 pupils, which I think was great success. And they all survived my flamboyant entrance looking like a bird whatever else it may have looked like. I believe this week should be the final Fashion Show, so will do my best to go and see them and support the talent and efforts the same way I went to do so when watching Carny show. On the blog regarding  other creative work I have talked about my spatial scrapbook, personal favourite storage solutions and finally started posting my homework from Designing for Interiors course I did last year.

Doing the long hours during the show, working in the club and doing my usual running around have shown for the last two weeks as I have been suffering with the typical cold, but still went few times out, either after work or celebrating my name day or just simply wanting to have a bit of fun, and that is why I have not really fully recovered yet. Silly girl! I know! I know this sounds stupid, but it was definitely worth it, as I had so much fun in the recent two weeks like I have not had in a very long time. I met few really nice people (yes,  mostly men…), who showed me that I can move on with my life and have fun and I am only 28, so I better be making the most of it. I remember the times of me being 20 and 21 having the time of my life and then somehow things went a bit different direction and I spent the last 6 years rather sitting at home drinking tea. But there is nothing wrong with drinking tea, just so we are clear. What I am simply saying I need see what the world out there has to offer again.

The recent event also put me into a very reflective mood, so some of the posts were about nights out and searching for the right man as mentioned bove, about being atheist, being silent in the silent house and my experience when working as an interpreter. There is also fair bit of paperwork I have done, dealing with things piled up in my in basket for a good while, updated my WordPress blog, spread more blog loving for others and posted few links running around the world-wide web including recently watching the film Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. I have answered my questions when being nominated for reader’s Liebster award, had a second driving lesson, whoop, whoop,going very well, and finally started this year’s self assessment tax form. Sigh!

So where do we go from this?! I have 30 days left, pretty scary and pretty exciting at the same time! I had a think and these are the aims to achieve in the last third. Get more creative with my posts, get on with my personal online marketing, get the tax done, get those driving lessons back on track and search for more collaborative projects!  Simply said, harder done. At least there is a focus. I am off into the night and back tomorrow my lovely readers. Kat xx

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Day 61: Paperwork Productive Saturday! 31 days to go!

 

Kat doodles about life:

What a productive Saturday! Lots of paperwork done, so do not get bored of the list! Based on the fact I only just got out of bed and finished breakfast around 1pm, I managed to do lot more than I anticipated. Communication about the next project moved on and I have a meeting set up next week to discuss it. If nothing won’t be in the way and there will be enough interest, I could roll it in first thing in January. How lovely! After I had some e-mail communication with one of my bosses to find out about few other things.

I also managed to clean up my mac and got rid off about 1.5 GB of crashed files and all sorts.  After that in the whole afternoon and evening I have only seen that rainbow wheel once and I can actually open all applications without waiting for half an hour, which seemed to be the ongoing theme for who knows how long.cleanmac

I wrote two invoices and send them off. Officially open up the self assessment form online for this tax year. I have put all the receipts from interpreting in, so that is one section out of four done, done and dusted. And not only put all the receipts in to the form I have told you about yesterday, but also put in most of my receipts for design work and transport. And with about hour and half to spare now, before running to work again, already cooked dinner and writing this post. I think I may have to treat myself and stay out for a bit after work tonight. One well running computer and enough sleep and what it can do. Magic. Back tomorrow Kat xx

 

Day 60: Getting ready for winter! 32 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

I am one very happy lady today. I have been freezing cold in our house for quite a few weeks. The reason for it is as the floors are still work in progress, the carpet is not exactly everywhere, so as you keep walking from room to room, the change in temperature is quite obvious. And since we try to keep the house shoes free (she coughs ehm ehm), I have realized two pairs of winter socks are no longer enough. So this morning I happened to be in town, so I decided to brave the shops and quickly get some tights, very excited to get some thermal ones, I will be testing them on my bicycle at 3am tonight, and also got those house slippers. And gosh they are lovely. I have slipped in and I have not taken them off since then. Quite honestly I would be even happy to go in them to work. Alright I know I am taking it to the extreme now, but they are just so warm! So here we are little Instagram photo of my feet, I know, how classy is that.  I just need that hot water bottle I have been meaning to get for years and I am totally ready for this winter of winters!

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The rest of the day I spent planning my next two to three months and see much time I need to work, can work and have to work in other jobs and how much rather I want focus on my artistic work and move on with this search for the right job. I am realizing how much I have actually going on at the same time and things are getting in the way. I have spent time replying to people, but there is still quite a few to answer to as there are some more potential plans to be seen, and finally got that Linked In up and running again. With my next project I am planning to do I have also realized it takes time, when you are waiting for other people to reply and make decisions and then they forget or something goes wrong and the whole thing gets postponed without you even realizing. One thing I am learning thanks to David Allen, doing the back and for forth communication and task managing. I am one of those people: I want it now, let’s make it happen! If I get excited, there is no stopping. I reckon tomorrow or Sunday I will do a bit of  two third review as it is getting to this point now and I have not got long and need to really focus. That is all from me today. I hope you will have great Friday night or weekend, and I am back tomorrow. Kat xx

Day 59: Day of bits and bobs! 33 days to go!

 

Kat doodles about life:

 

Alright today’s post is will be a bit all over the place, but here we are:

 

 

 

If you have not noticed yet, I have added new category Interior Design to the rest on the list and tagged few more relevant posts from the blog to add to it. Updated my Instagram account of all the latest photos I have taken, but only posted via WordPress.  Today I have gone through more receipts and invoices for interpreting and after searching my external disk for ages finally found that document I use for putting in receipts and invoices, so here we are. Some parts are taken from the sample from given by HMRC, if you attend one of their courses. If you are starting out and have no clue about tax and just want to make sure you do it well, I highly recommend them. They are free of charge, well at least in Wales they were, but you may have to wait for a while as there is a long waiting list.

 

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Last night I could not sleep, so I ended up reading few very good blog posts, which I will be mentioning in upcoming times, but I would definitely like to mention and pass on little bit of blog loving for recently found ‘winolady’ and ‘That Little Engine that Couldn’t.’ Winolady looks like is fairly new to blogging when looking at her page, but I was impressed by her posts especially one about the relationship age gap and about dealing with death.  On the other hand your day will be definitely brightened up by reading a post by That Little Engine that Couldn’t posting his How to be a Teen Writer Without Making Me Want to Punch You in to the Face. I could not stop laughing and wish I had a clue about blogging when I was a teenager rather than writing into visitor’s book in the tea room. But hey, technology was not quite there as it is now. Mind you it was the way to impress my first ever boyfriend, so I guess I could not be that bad.

 

 

 

 

Back tomorrow. Have a lovely day! Kat xx

 

 

 

 

Day 58: Designing for Interiors: Task 2. Colour chart! 34 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

Today finally I had one Godot arriving and for the second one I just have to continue being patient with Vladimir and Estragon and see what happens. So anyway not to tease you the whole post with secrets, I have finished the spatial scrapbook, so all pretty images are in three different notebooks, all nice and tidy.  The next one on the list are the tasks from the course Designing for Interiors I did last year. I already did the first task as a post, very long time ago, but I thought it would be great if I post all my homework and get the unfinished ready, so they can go into my portfolio. The first course was about basic rules such as colour, texture, ergonomics, mood board etc. and the second one was all about history of interior design. We started applying all the knowledge into practice and it was a lot of fun.

Task:  Choose two photos of room interiors from a magazine. Identify the colour scheme for each image e.g. ‘complementary’,’monochromatic’.  By using paint charts, select and match the range of colours for each one as closely as possible. Then select colours which will harmonise or complement each one.

Feel free to join me in doing these tasks and post yours. There is never enough practice, when it comes to choosing the right tone. Back tomorrow. Kat xx

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Day 57: Spatial scrapbook. 35 days to go?

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:
Today feeling not exactly great. Just about when I recovered, I start to feel a bit funny again. And I would not be surprised if it is my exciting Saturday night out or last night celebrating name day, but at least I can honestly say it was worth it. Here are some pictures of my presies (roses, Cat socks and a letter from my grandmother in the post)and Thank you to everybody for the wishes.

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As I was curing myself from all sorts pains today, hovering around my phone for few news like a vosp, I did end up feeling more as waiting for Godot. And he better comes tomorrow, because I am running out of patience. I decided to use my no brain power and instead of doing tax return I turned to spatial scrapbook, full of 3D inspiration ideas of both interiors and exteriors. So here are some of my favourites to get you going in you are thinking of starting one too. Back tomorrow. Kat xx

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Day 56: Name day celebration! 36 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

I often get asked “What is this name day, you celebrate?” Well simply said it is a day, usually indicated by calendar, when all people with the same name celebrate the day. It is some sort of small version of your birthday you could say. When you are a child, you still get present and cake, when you get older it is good it is good excuse to let your hair down. When it comes to the most common names such as Josef (Joseph) or Vaclav (Wenceslas) in Czech, it is very likely most restaurants will organize special dance evening and prepare special celebration menu.  Thankfully my birthday is in March, my name day in November and that is still far enough from Christmas time. When your name is Eva (Eve), it is annoying as  you would expect two lots of presents, but that does not always happen. My mum has her birthday in November, two weeks later she shares the name day with me. There are names, which have male and female version. Like Jaroslav and Jaroslava ( meaning Spring celebrating), they have two different days to celebrate, but I know if both names exist within the family you may join them together. Some of the names haven religious or pagan tradition and you would find that they are represented by saying certain phrase. ‘ Svata Anna, chladna zrana’ (Saint Anna, early morning cold. Her name day is end of July. It means the summer is going to be soon over as it is getting cold and wet in early hours of morning.

I hope you have some kind of understanding now, so, what I thought today, I will make a list of names and find out in Czech calendar, when we celebrate it, so you may give yourself reasonable excuse to go out. If you like to read more about name day simply type the word into search engine or type ‘svatek’. I find that Czech and Slovakian calendars are different, and this tradition seems to be so far only Eastern European one. So Happy Name  Day to everybody, I am off soon to celebrate mine today with few friends and few cocktails.  Have a lovely day and back tomorrow. Kat xx

P.S. This list is just a guide, so please bear that in mind. The names may vary in translation. If you cannot find your name in the list, try this website and pick the most similar sounding name, it will show you the exact day. If you cannot find your name, I suggest you do search engine or post a comment and I will try to find out for you.

Jacob– Jakub 25.7.                                          Victoria- Viktorie 10.3.
George- Jiri 24.4. Isabell– Izabela 11.4.
Andrew-Andrej 11.10. Emma– Ema 8.4.
Julian- Julius 12.4. Olivia– Olivie 2.10.
Adam- Adam 24.12. Ivy- Iva 1.12.
Michael-Michal 29.9. Emily– Emilie 24.11.
Edward- Eduard 18.3. Claire- Klara 12.8.
Alexander-Alexandr 27.2. Madison– Magdalena 22.7.
Arthur- Artur 26.11. Francesca- Frantiska 9.3.
Daniel– Daniel 17.12. Camila- Kamila 31.5.
Anthony– Antonin 13.6.  
MAtthew- Matej 26.2. Anna- Anna 26.7.
Nicholas- Mikulas 6.12. Alyssa- Alice 15.1.
Lucas- Lukas 18.10.  
Christian- Kristian 5.8.
Natalie- Natalie 21.12.
Eleanor- Eliska 5.12.
Patrick- Patrik 19.2. Elisa- Eliska 5.12.
Hugo- Hugo 1.4. Katie- Katerina- 25.11.
David-David 30.12. Georgia- Jirina 15.2.
Gabriella-Gabriela 8.3.
Gabriel-Gabriel 24.3.
Christopher- Krystof 18.9.
Alexis- Alexandra

 21.4.

Joseph- Josef 19.3. Adele- Adela 2.9.

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Day 55: Random nights out are the best! 37 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Not sure about the artistic nor personal productivity level of this post, however last night and all today was for me all about so much fun like I have not had in a very long time. After spending freezing cold shift by the door at the club, I was tempted by few friends to come out for few drinks. I have arranged to meet a friend this afternoon, so I did not really wanted to go out, however good point was made and I was simply in. Like I need much persuading.

So I am having few drinks with friends sitting down to little table at some point. Guy sitting next to me happens to start talking to me and his friend joins in. One of them says he is a Geography teacher and I reply  that I love Geography and that I have A-level in that subject. So we decide to have a competition about general knowledge from population, mountains and islands to  cities and countries. Even sober I am so slow with my duck buzzer, I only managed to answer two questions. But even with the other guy being so quick, I won the final winning question,which city is the best,with the very obvious answer, Bristol. I knew something was not quite right as the guy giving questions was quite rubbish at it, especially showing his flaws by not knowing the answer to a question ‘What is the population of Britain’ having to search it online. Eventually I found out he was a writer in advertising. And the other one gosh I do not even remember as he came up with few options like teacher of chemistry for European Union students and then he acted as a spy and we ended up talking about sulfuric acid a its translation in Czech. I mean how random is that having a quiz session, comparing our cycling muscles and talking chess in a night club full of dancing people.

I was having so much fun, that my friends I came to see decided to leave and I was left with this lot. We wanted to continue the fun and since I can cook something out of nothing ( meaning I pretend I am Ainsley Harriott from Ready, Steady, Cook and look into people’s fridges and whip at least two course meals at 5am), but none of our houses could accommodate this rather lavish party. They decided to take me to a secret club, whatever that was open at 4 am, who knows, but half way through the Park Street Hill I pointed at popular cocktail bar and through knowing the security at the door I got us in through the lock in. Falling asleep  for a bit in between them I kept waking them up as getting finally little more merry, still having fun conversation throwing my usual hugs and kisses around. They finally decided to leave, pretty much both asleep. I kind of felt I will have to make that way home too, when an offering hand of another after party came up. So I happily agreed and went to pick up my bicycle.

Now the randomness of the night and day left me so happy, I still had to smile about 7pm coming back home and I am still smiling just thinking about it. Hopefully this weekend was finally the first time of a new chapter after that bad break up and I can go back to the fun and life loving Kat again, who happens to be a partner in party time crime. Back tomorrow. Kat xx

P.S. Challenge for Mr.Writer, who had to write me a poem. This is the result.

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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

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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

 

 

 

 

Day 47: Night and day of hanging out! 45 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So yesterday I somehow did not end up going home after Friday night’s club shift. Ha! You are thinking! Yes, my naughty side of me was tempted by the most known man of Clifton to go out after work. Since the last weekend stay in Clifton hoping to enjoy our one year non-anniversary with my ex boyfriend ended up in a bit of an awkward situation, I convinced myself that drunken everyone around me and all the not so sexy men with movember mustaches, might actually be the way forward this weekend.

However it was the same disappointment. I was sipping orange juice and attempting to run away from a guy, who followed me the whole time whilst I was there unsuccessfully wiggling my foot to some sort of rhythm. He worked in the navy, and did not know, where is Czech Republic. Highly offended, based on the fact Geography should be his number one priority, I was hoping to help him, when I said that there is no sea and he said he still had no idea. The final answer “Oh yeah” came, when I said it is next to Germany. He still followed me around the club afterwards and it had to take one of my middle-aged club customers to pretend we have been married for five years and he wants him to leave me alone. And the puzzled boy actually did.

I ended up crashing on my friend’s, who tempted me to go out, sofa at 6:30 am after having two-hour chat about recently discovering single life again and where do you find that matching person for the rest of your life. I guess we are both very sociable people, however single and certainly looking for that someone, who is going to appreciate us for our eccentric personalities, passions, we have and those simple things in life. Not for the money or the looks. And after reading Kenneth’s new post, I had to laugh, it is not just on my mind.

Few hours later I woke up calling my other adventurous female friend to hang out for breakfast and since we were joined by her other female friend the topic of course turned to men and I cracked them up with a quote: “My standards are so low, I cannot go any lower. I mean I am not expecting them to have great cars, fantastic jobs and wear expensive brands. Just them doing, what they love, and like me for who I am, and my not so ordinary lifestyle.  Why I am still single?”, I asked. Personally I think the answer is that I cannot help myself and always go for the eccentric freaks, bad guys, who have bags of issues and looking for that caring woman  trying to become their Mother Theresa. Online dating world is full of them and I am glad to leave it about two years ago already as the other female friend was telling us her recent experiences. They both said that my club job must be great way of meeting guys. Well  it is, but there is a big BUT!

The range of men is from being either ten years younger than me or the age group of 35 to 60. And it is very rare for them not to be predictable, boring and totally non creative with their: ‘You are beautiful…have beautiful eyes, shiny lips and very good English…!’ How much I would rather have someone talking to me about their recent trip to South America inviting me secretly on a date using excuse of ‘I will show you the photographs, if you like’.  I barely use make up, I do not like clothes shopping and for dates I rather pick that free activity like cycling or walking, just in case my date would leave me split the bill as for someone like me- budding free-lance artist- it is rather scary experience to check my bank balance. Never mind the fact I hate the feeling that I own something to someone. Going on a date with somebody who turns out to be not so great company, who is after a kiss or even more in a really bad scenario, is not for me. I know there are women, who do that, but I am not one of them. I like being independent, not just in love, but also at work. It may take you longer to get where you want, but at least you are free to leave whenever you want.

And not to be so negative ending this post since the whole night and day happened to be about men, I am sure finding that perfect man of mine will happen one day. If not, I am so totally prepared and made a pact with a male friend, that we will end up living together, just in case the ‘hapilly ever after’ won’t happen to us. However I was reminded that miracles happen by couple of friends and their absolutely beautiful, love of a first sight, cat (she says not being the dog or cat or any pet lover at all), I went to see later on the very same day. They are the perfect example or loving couple and if I could clone her boyfriend, I would. He is the most wonderful, loving, caring, polite guy I know  (well from how he comes across to me) and they have been like this for the last six years since she met him on a drunken night out. So I guess there is a hope for me! If she could find someone like him, sure I can.  And even with a bit of that right level of madness.

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Day 46: Celebrating half way point!!! 46 day to go!

Kat doodles about life and celebrates:

Today I reached the half way point of my challenge. Something quite unbelievable to me. So I thought I look back on what I have been up to and see how far I have come:

  • I have now 36 blog followers, 2 828 views and most visitors come from UK, Czech Republic, United States and France. All together I had people from 45 countries visiting and they include even places such as Trinidad and Tobago, Laos or Oman. Well I feel I honoured to entertain you in all those places.
  • With the rest of the social networks- here are the stats. On Instagram I have so far posted 95 images out of 15 are personal and the rest belongs to the blog posts. And with comes 18 Instagram followers. With Facebook page we have onto moved 92 likes and hoping soon to cross that 100 mark! Last but not least is Twitter. You can obviously see there is not much love between me and this social network going on, as I still did not get the idea about hashtags and only have 9 followers.
  • I had some great reactions from readers, who were random, meaning the virtual ones. But also the ones, who I do not know that well and they suddenly popped up on my real world telling me, how much they do  (or do not)  enjoy it and lastly had friends, who have been so lovely saying it is almost like sitting in the pub with me having fun times. (And I guess without the stress of them not getting a word in..well I hope I am getting better in this since I wrote that post about honest truth…)
  • I have blogged for the last 46 days, which meant 7 days a week and if it somehow did not happen, I did something, but posted about it a day later. Which meant I had to do another post the very same day. I amazed myself, I can tell you. At the moment I go between the adrenalin of what do I write about today to thinking I cannot wait to tick my done box today. My days have definitely become productive.
  • I have been nominated for Liebstered award by @learnermother and to prove that there is something you enjoy in my posts here are the five most favourites: Day 1: Keep motivated! 91 days to go! ,  I noticed in your cv that you don’t currently drive , Day 30: No passion for fashion! 62 days to go! , Day 20: A place you call home. Crossing that nine year mark!72 days to go! and last but not least Day 28: Week four review and my first ever driving lesson! 64 days to go!
  • Over the past 46 days I have been telling you about CVs, Cv sites, organizing e-mail, joining Headliner and Polyvore, which I have not had time to discover yet properly.How to update the page and which settings work and do not work on the blog. I have been spreading the blog love and attended a blog party, which brought more readers to my page and I also got introduced to some great writers, artists and people, who share the same passions. I have been telling people about David Allen and how his Getting Things Organized book changed my life in getting over the fears like exams or that driving.
  • There have been the slightly less interesting posts when I was going on about doing the typical household duties, cooking, cleaning,  shopping for lamps and bookcases, presents and recommending what to watch, read or listen to. Including sending some Bristol love out into the world in a form of a kiss on a postcard. Just don’t forget that I also run between the club, the kitchens, occasional interpreting sessions and yes that design work I am trying to get into. Plus this daily blog… since when is a day only 24 hours?

So the question is ‘What I have happened to do in order to achieve getting that full-time job or becoming full-time freelancer’?

  • Well I realized I am definitely not a quitter!
  • I have inspired other people in joining me with the challenge with their personal challenge.
  • I had some nice words about this country, when I reached 9 years of living here.
  • Received a real Swiss chocolate as present for one of my the commissions I did!
  • I have bought books on learning how to drive, got in touch with my driving instructor, ordered a provisional licence, got over the fear of getting into the car and now actually enjoying it after my just second lesson. I mean the malarky I had to go through, I would give myself a slap for it. What a drama queen!
  • Got a scenic painting job and helped with the design of the production based on Nick Cave’s songs Carny. Also helped with the costume sourcing.
  • I had four teaching sessions on hat making workshop with year 9 pupils.
  • I have a new art project coming up- meetings in progress.
  • I have told people about my scrapbook collections and finally managed to start dividing images to the right places such Costume one, Set or Architecture one or totally Random one.
  • I have also organized a costume store, so it looks nice and neat.
  •  And I have told people about different bed storage solutions.My  friends asked me few days ago: ‘Would that ever happen without you writing the blog every single day?’ And with no hesitation I said : ‘No, it would not.’ Finding that something I know, which pushes me, is the most important thing to get myself going. Give me two years of time off and nothing will get done. Give me two hours and you will see the miracles. I have been getting better and do not think about doing tasks as burden or something very scary and overwhelming anymore. I do not have time for that. I just simply get on with it, looking forward telling you about it. So Thank you for reading, and for your support. I would not get this far without the silent pressure of knowing that people are reading. Have a lovely Friday night and I am back tomorrow. Kat xxx
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Day 45: Please, can you send me an e-mail with your real name and a photo with your bookcase?! 47 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

I am finally getting back to the normal myself, although still a bit tired and a bit slow. I have taken time off other jobs until the usual Friday and Saturday night shift, so I have enough time to recover for the next adventure. And so there should be one soon. I have literally just finished writing an e-mail with a request for a meeting about new art proposal and instantly got very positive reply. How lovely! So I shall see when this meeting is going to happen and I will obviously let you all know once it is confirmed and happening. We have been discussing this with my friends last night and positive thinking and visualising method seems to be doing the magic trick.

I spent the day catching up with my usual needs such as cleaning, hoovering, cooking, sorting out banking and paperwork and collecting everything organized into “In basket”, so I can make a sense of what I am doing next.  Since I have been running around for the last two or three weeks, I though I will spend some time today on the computer catching up with e-mail, blogs and my own blog page. I have clicked through vast mount of piled up blog notifications, cleared my e-mail account to some sort of acceptable level, but it still needs more work and I updated my WordPress page. If you are reading this post, you must have noticed already. I am not going to lie, I have been taking inspiration from other bloggers and since the blog settings are so vast, it takes a while to figure what would like to keep on your page or not.  Please feel free to comment, how are you finding the new set up.

So Firstly I got rid off the Meta Category and moved all of them around as I felt they might be working better together. I have added groups such as Posts You Like, but at the moment it is only showing the latest week, so hopefully it will update soon as it says in settings. Straight after I added shortcut to my Facebook Page, so feel free to like it. At the moment I have 92 likes, so hopefully will be celebrating 100 soon. And Instagram straight after. As I occasionally blog about posts and blogs I like I thought to the addition of Posts I like, I will also add the Blogs I like. It makes it clearer, what is going in the world of others, who write about similar interest I have.  I know I have not written a review for two last two weeks, but hopefully like this you can always catch up with the latest updates.

And now can you help? 2 questions to ask you!

1. What is your real name? Please send me a quick e-mail with your name to katerina.t.designer@gmail.com as  I will be preparing a nameday post soon (about two weeks time) and telling people, when to celebrate the day of their name. Simply explained something like a second birthday. If you are still unsure what I am on about, read this post: Day 29: The new lot of Posts and Blogs I like! 63 days to go!

2. What is your bookcase like? Or perhaps even you may own a library/the whole room is filled with books. Please take a photo and again send it my e-mail katerina.t.designer@gmail.com I am planning to do a post about bookcases and reading and cute reading corners. So if you feel like you would to share some inspiration and show how it is organized, please do. so.

Good night and back tomorrow. Kat xx

Day 44: Carny production! 48 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

So, where do I start with this? Last night I went to see the opening night of Carny, production I have been working on for the last two weeks, painting the set. It was rather experience, because it was the first thing I thought of when I woke up this morning. I also realized I shared that bottle of red (Muriel Rioja,2008), which I was given by my housemates as a present and we had rather merry few hours, when I got back. When I was telling my friend, that I am not sure what to expect and that it will be rather interesting, I was quite right. I have not seen any of the rehearsals, so I could only imagine from hearing snippets, when painting at the back of the theatre.

The show was a devised piece and most of the script were ideas of the students, so you could tell it pretty much became actors showcases. Music of Nick Cave was the link holding it together and taking us through the world of circus and prison. Obviously you could not help noticing it is a school play, but there were some really good points, which with little more practice could really push the piece or these perhaps future actors to be to another level.

Firstly I enjoyed the interaction with the audience. Within first few minutes we were asked to get up few times and clap, and as the show went on, you could never be sure when is someone going to run up to you picking you up as a volunteer. Good job we sat little more further away from the middle walk away as some of the actors were taking the roles pretty seriously. Another thing, which I really enjoyed was the physical movement and choreography. As the show was just over two and half hours long to keep the strong face, remember all the movement and choreography including the actual very strong physical acting was very admiring. Scenes such as the prison with one with electric chair was very moving as they all gathered so closely and as one item were pretending to be electrocuted.

Within the circus showcases were few hidden gems. I particularly enjoyed the the satiric comments and confidence of flying in black bird lady. Her wit was so clear, she also got a great final applause. The other admiring acts were the gymnasts, particular when jumping up and flying over six laying down volunteers, singing angel and black ghost elegantly walking around the stage magically  appearing  giving another dimension to the performance of others.

There were times during the show I had no idea what is going on, but I could  not help myself being excited when is the next shocking moment going to happen. You could probably compare it to Marmite, you either loved it or hated it. And strangely I have to say I enjoyed it. It must have been the randomness and the whole thing including the outside tent full of dead body parts, bunch of workers running through the foyer during the interval and the smoke and lighting effects giving the show another three-dimensional feel. And obviously the set tying it all together. Since the technician, who made it and I painted it, I guess I cannot really comment without being impartial. However I really enjoyed the crispness of prison sign once lit and those three doors disappearing right at the back. The excess length of the tarpaulin tent sheets were used as decoration for the middle entrance and together with carnival sign appearing lights it just all worked together. It was rather good evening out watching something rather unusual.

The image below is the scene, when were we walking into the auditorium. Actors were all they statically waiting.

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Day 43: Set is finished, so I am! 49 days to go!

 

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

 

First thing, which came to my mind right now is the magic of day 42 and 49 days to go! I am nearly half way through and there is lot going on, however lot more to come, I believe. I have finished the set today, so I am hoping to take the next few days to chill out and do some more research on how to get into the arts and looking for the right jobs. Personally I am just really happy I started this challenge, it is making me push myself so much. Exactly what I needed to do so for ages.

Today I managed to finish the set and do a bit of detailing on last three prison doors. I know  promised to take picture, but there was so much to think about, when I was packing up my tools, that I only just realized half way through the bike ride home that I forgot. Well you just have to wait and see. I got tickets to go and see the show tomorrow, so I am really looking forward to it. As I said yesterday, had few sneaky peaks and looks very exciting. I could have watched the dress rehearsal, but I thought I will give it a go on the opening night, so I can dress up and swap those painting dungarees for little black dress and enjoy myself with friends I invited. I was planning to do some more work this afternoon, but I felt little tired, so I went to have a nap and I woke four hours later. So I guess I cannot call it a nap anymore..:-) I caught up with few friends on the phone, now writing this and can’t see myself doing much more this evening as I still feel pretty shattered.  So back tomorrow, most likely updating you on the show. Kat xx

To find out about the production, click here.

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Day 42: 2nd driving lesson and three prison doors! 50 days to go!

 

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

 

 

Very good and productive day today. I only had three prison doors to paint, hoping to finish off today, but I will be going back tomorrow to do some more details. Oh btw. the tent  sheets are hanging up on the top bars and looking pretty circus wild. During afternoon I got to listen to the run of the show with songs of Nick Cave playing, had few sneaky peaks through the doors and  I am very excited to go and watch it myself in next few days.

 

The missing time must be the two hours I have taken out to do my driving lesson, which went really well. As I was picked up from Stapleton my instructor decided to make me to practice at the Downs. If you do not know Bristol, it is basically fairly flat area at the top of the hill with lot of greenery and parks around. It is great for walks and other fun activities. He picked up an area right at the back near Westbury on Trym and Badminton School, on the way to Blaise Castle. ( Now if you ever decide to walk like I had to last year on Christmas Day..”Let’s go for a little walk”..5 hours later only just about got back with in quite a bit of a state and still had to do all the cooking… So brace yourself to be taken via woods and all sorts).

Now back to the lesson. We went through few things just to clarify what was I up to two weeks ago and off I was driving. A bit scary the first time, especially when I asked him to remind me how to stop and he said I will show you, when we need it. Oh great I thought, my jokes are coming back to me. But actually it was perfectly fine. I drove three times with left turning around the Downs and then after I had to swap and try my first two right turn rounds. Each of the rounds was about three or four minutes long a