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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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 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 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 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 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 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 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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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!!!

day11

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 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

day 12

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 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

day 20 p1

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 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
  • day11

 

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 26: Welcome to the Maison Bentley Style Blog Party! 66 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Dear readers, since you are here most likely joining in with the Maison Bentley Style Blog Party, I would like to all welcome You dearly. The blog is called My journey on becoming full-time designer and it is exactly what it says on the tin! I have been blogging on and off for about two years (with rather more gaps than blog posts)and it has been only recently- probably in the last six moths- when I really got into it. And ever since being fed up of my life with four jobs and not much income, on 1st October I started a challenge to put my creative degree into full-time use and I am on fire ever since. Sometimes you just need that kick or slap or even both and that is exactly what happened to me, when I could not get the job I wanted purely because of not knowing how to drive. So ever since day 1, I have done my best to be productive, and then having to write about it in order to get that job (so if you have one for me, feel free to get in touch..:-). Obviously since this is daily challenge not every day my creative juices flow as well as during the others, but I hope this gives you some kind of idea and perhaps a kick to yourself about wanting to change your life and do something you always wanted. So feel free to join me in with the challenge whatever that dreams of yours is- giving up smoking, saving for a car or simply mastering your language skills or if you know any graduate, who does not know what to do with themselves finding the feet within the job market, send them to me!

Now since we are partying and celebrating new chapter in Maison Bentley Style Blog, I thought I show you some of my classic oldies, how I party in Czech style. Long gone are the days of dreadlocks,  too much drinking and nonstop party! My perfect night now is staying in with cup of tea, watching Xfactor, if I wouldn’t have to go to work on Friday and Saturday to work. Because to be honest when I finish at 3am, there is not enough time to get to the point of party spirit, where everyone is already by then. And after two glasses of wine I usually have enough… oh something tells me I getting old 🙂

Enjoy my blog and enjoy the party, Thanks for reading. Love Kat xx

So when it comes to Kat and a party…..

… there is always food involved …

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… there is always some kind of alcohol involved … (or recently more cups of tea)

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… there is always a bunch of crazy men around … (but really fun and lovely)

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… and there is always me doing my usual cuddly, friendly, fun, hugging, sometimes emotional- thing …whatever it makes everyone happy in my company ...

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See you soon. Kat xx

Day 25: Exciting invitation to a Blog Party! 67 days to go!

Kat recommends:

So since I should be writing two posts today and running out of time, I decided to dedicate this one to an exciting invitation: Blog Party! As I already featured Mason Bentley Style as one of my recent favourites, Kate came up with great idea to celebrate her recent blog and label split with a party, which may open up to new exciting opportunities. So if you have a blog or if you just fancy spending this Sunday reading other bloggers’ work, (and dress up, drink, eat and dance as you like, because you should not get embarrassed doing that in your home) feel free to click here: http://maisonbentleystyle.com/2013/10/24/blog-paaardy/ and join in. You can post your blog link to the comments and most preferably prepare a post on Saturday night, so it is fresh and early up and running on Sunday morning for everyone to see and read. It is an exciting way how to get more readers, learn something new and as our local Bristol weather forecast says only wind and rain, it is a perfect excuse to “stay in and party”. So there it is PARTY ON! Love Kat xx

THE GREAT GATSBY 

Image source: Mason Bentley Style blog

Day 23: The honest truth! 69 days to go!

 

Kat doodles about life:

 

Last night I sat in the kitchen with my dear friend having the usual catch up of how our days went. We were both fairly enjoying it as we have few creative projects on the go and I was very excited to share the news about the scenic work on the production being confirmed. Ever since being a child I enjoyed hanging out with adults and anyone older than me. I would listen to their advice and try to take it in.  I have been listening to my friend for years and always found it beneficial. However you need to experience it yourself. Particularly in the last three years since graduating, I can honestly say, I learnt the most from my mistakes. I started to learn and practice speeches in my head and what I could possibly say in different situations depending on how the conversation flows.

 

From telling her how I am putting this into practice it turned into conversation, which ended nearly four hours later. We talked about how person can get perceived depending on the language, slight nuances and style they use and I began wonder is it also my problem? After so many years in this country I do not even notice, so it was fairly shocking, when she told me how sometimes she gets confused with my behaviour and what and how I say it. To be honest it was fairly upsetting. Does that mean that my forward style has been scaring people from talking to me? I know I like to joke and sometimes I am fairly sarcastic, however it is not meant to purposely hurt anyone. I guess I just sometime say what everyone is only thinking…oops. I think (well I would like to think) that I come across as happy, fun, helpful, tolerant, motivated, hardworking person, who wants to do best possible job and make sure that others feel the same way.  Over the years I met three groups of people. First one are my friends. We laugh and joke together, share experiences and they like my forward enthusiastic style (or perhaps just really want to know about crazy life adventures). The second group I think are people, who have to work with me or meet me on regular basis, so they have friendly conversations with me, we do what we need to do and part again. And the last group are people I either have to work with or I know, but even I make the maximum of trying to connect with them, they ignore me or never connect with me on that personal level. I have been wondering for years why that is. Is it because of the lack of common interests or experience? Are they too shy? Is it the barrier of not being interested in taking time and speaking to a foreigner? Or is it just simply because I am too annoying because of my behavioral patterns? Perhaps could it be the experience I had within the catering and theatre industry, where you work on fast paced bases, giving and receiving orders, reporting constantly back and forth to people without being overly polite? Who knows?!

 

Now how do I solve this situation, which has been haunting me for years? My friend suggested few things. Step outside of the conversation you have and watch the language you both use. What are you both saying? What is their body language? How long are you speaking? I understood what she meant, but did not really think how to make it happen. The next thing she suggested was make sentences shorter. Get to the point. I have been aware of that problem. She gave me right example of me telling her the story when falling of the bike and how to say it in two sentences. So the other person can follow-up with a question if they are interested in knowing more or not and move on. I felt very stupid, when I realized, she is so right. Obviously on this blog I write and it is slightly different medium, but I suddenly found out what I kept doing wrong with talking to people for all these years. Hours later trying to sleep I felt confused thinking about practising my politeness, shortening my speech, why no one told me before or simply said this is how I feel about you.

 

 

 

 

So this morning I went to work. Today’s job was to interpret in Czech for a client in probation service. The key worker asked simple questions, but the client was describing every single detail of the story of what happened. It suddenly hit me, without even thinking I stepped out of the conversation and realized how annoying I must across as, when describing every single detail not relevant to the discussion. Perhaps it is a Czech thing, or may be a foreigner’s thing. We feel so worried about others not understanding us, we overload them with too much information to make sure they get it and understand fully. At the end of the session I was having friendly chat with the key worker about what it is like to work as an interpreter and how rewarding it is.  I suddenly noticed changed in her behaviour, when she started to get little impatient. So I thanked her and got up to leave and her body language brightened up. It was weird! Later on this afternoon I met another friend and I ended up having really great conversation with exchanging one or two sentences each time. We did not do this do this for ages. I suddenly felt lot happier.

I just I wish I would have known all this lot earlier.

Now to finish this post on even brighter note I am posting few pictures of that Swiss chocolate I got from a friend and finally picked up from post office, led light I bought, I am very happy with and using right now when writing this post and presents I picked up for my little girls in Netherlands, when I was their au pair.  I mean the real question of this post should be: ‘What do you get to a ten-year old and fourteen year old for their birthdays’?

 

 

 

 

Thank you for reading, back tomorrow xx

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Day 20: A place you call home. Crossing the 9 years mark! 72 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Today is a fairly special day. Not that something exciting would happen event wise, but it is more anniversary kind of day.  I already crossed that nine years mark of being abroad in June, but today it is more significant because it is in the UK alone. I came over in order to be an au pair. An advert on a job site showing beautiful images of countryside around Church Stretton and Shropshire was good enough reason for me to go and say yes after I spent four months in Netherlands doing exactly the same job. I had three to six months in my head and then wanting to move on to au pairing in France and Scandinavia. But that never happened and nine years later I am still living in the UK, still with the desire of living in France and traveling the world.

I still remember that sunny autumn afternoon, when my grandmother accompanied me to the bus station in Prague after three weeks of holiday back home after the Dutch trip. I soon realized the food supplies may not be enough for the whole journey, so I had to act very savvy and make it last until the next morning as I had inadequate amount of foreign money for stops in other countries on the way.  We arrived at London Victoria Coach Station at 5:30 am the next day and I had to wait until about  4 pm for the next bus to take me to Shrewsbury. I had £20 in my pocket, which back in Czech  Republic at that time was equivalent of enormous amount of money, I believe you could say around 60 beers. (Just remember that was 2004!) It was unbelievable! I was suddenly in the country I was only taught about at school and picked out randomly as my A level topic in Geography and English language. What a coincidence!  All the talk about Queen’s guard, English breakfast, pigeons, black cabs, fog, driving on the left became very real. I felt perhaps even too real as I was walking out of the bus station with my big 3 stone heavy backpack, small back pack in front of me and an art portfolio in my hand, when suddenly massive double-decker bus nearly hit me as I was going to cross the pedestrian. Right I have to start keep looking right first, not left! Oh my gosh! Wake up! Thinking to myself! Feeling very excited I ended up walking into Hyde Park to sit down for a bit and look at the London map I just bought, so I can see what The City has to offer before I have to catch the next bus. I sat on the bench in a foggy, turning sunny, morning Hyde Park watching pigeons and texting those exact things  to my friends back home of what I could see, smell and feel at that right moment. It was simply just way too surreal.  You would never think such a situation can stuck in your mind for so long. I remember it like it was yesterday. Later on in the day my hunger was getting worse, so I decided to buy a sandwich, but opted for a baguette of cheese and tomato, because I felt I am getting more value for money. How wrong was I! For half of baguette they charged me £4.50! I was horrified as a tourist wrongly comparing prices and what it could get me back home. For some reason apart from cafes and sandwich shops I did not notice any supermarket, so I guess buying it from a cafe next to Parliament and Big Ben, explains it all. Oh silly me.

People often ask me if I like this country?! Well of course I like it! Otherwise I would not be still living here nine years later! I have created my life here, working on my career, I made it work for me, I worked hard, people gave me opportunities, I got myself through two educational institutions and many other courses, and I met some really wonderful and dear friends along the way. Quiet honestly I consider myself British. In a patriotic sort of way. Obviously I am still Czech as my passport says and I did not resent my home country in one way, but I made sure I made it work and felt homely here. I joined and blended within the society and certainly expressed my feelings in case someone was trying to accuse me of stealing jobs, benefits, not speaking English or putting me into the same group with Polish people. I paid tax for all these years, picked up all the colloquial language and even a British boyfriend along the way. I fall in love with English breakfast (minus the baked beans) and Christmas minces, forcing my Czech friends and family to try during Christmas visits including the famous pudding and brandy sauce. I fall in love with the weather and all year round temperature, which allows you to wear pretty much the same clothes just with an addition of few extra tops when required. Obviously that had some impact of me not getting it quite right when trying to go out on a night out back home in minus twenty Celsius and foot high snow in high heels and little black dress and not much else. That particular lesson was quickly learnt. I fall in love with British politeness and everyone wishing each other lovely day, banks, post offices and shops being open during the late evenings and weekends including making all the required information needed online or over the phone comparing to the byrocratic system back home.

I just simply fall in love with this country and that is why I am still here. And I know that even some people I know back home judge me for calling Britain home, it is not that I would hate my native country, I still call home ‘home’ too, I just feel very happy here and I call every place or country around the world home, when feeling the same way. Plus entertaining my friends when speaking Czech with Welsh or Bristolian accent is priceless and I really do not mind being known as the English girl. And for those, who judge, I have developed simple way to shut them up: ‘Take your passport, book the ticket, pack the bag and do it yourself! Then we talk! ‘ They soon realize you cannot compare the amount of money you earn here to being lonely on your birthday, during Christmas or when simply things are just not great and you cannot pop over to your local pub to have a chat with your mate. I do not know how long I plan to be here. I may have to return next month or simply never. I am enjoying living like the character from Happy Go Lucky, so I guess I leave it until my inner soul says that’s enough!

Thank you reading and Thank you for being part of my 9 years (and longer) experience. With love Kat xx

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Day 10: Who read this blog? 82 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

I am still trying to catch up with that one day I have not been able to post. So hopefully by the weekend it will be all back to normal. Being ill last week and able to work from home gave me enough time to be creative and write about. This week I have been working all week, went out twice, trying to be creatively productive and kept writing posts about until late at night. Just too much going on.

So the name of the post is ‘Who reads this blog?’. Recently I read similar post by one of my friends ‘Learner Mother‘, a lady I know for few years and she has lot more to juggle in life than I do. She wrote really lovely post about how people come up to her and tell her that they like the blog. She does not know how to deal with it and starts to behave a bit weird. I really enjoy her blogging too, so I kind of smiled it off thinking oooh she is so humble and cute, but did not really understand why she reacts that way. Well until the exact same experience happened to me this week.

I worked in this school, where I used to come very often as temp in the past, but I did have quite a long break as it comes and goes within the temping industry. Anyway this group of girls I would engage with during lunchtime sometimes ended up talking to me and they were very interested in what I do regarding arts etc. Some of them took my business cards to have a look online. Anyway time passes and now about ten months later I appear at the school again, meet these girls and they get really excited telling me: ‘We have been looking at your work and one of our friends is reading your blog every day. She thought one of your posts was really good and really liked it, so she read it out loud to a class’.  I went bright red, which was certainly obvious straight away as I was wearing white catering coat. I was so flattered. You may think what is such big deal about teenage girl reading someone’s blog. Well firstly she did not dismiss it based on the fact, she has to read foreigner’s English and secondly she liked it that much she thought the effort is worth sharing with more people. To me is really beautiful thing to do, so young lady if you are reading I am giving you massive THANK YOU! as you really made my day. You never know reads your blog, but you also never know what opportunity may come out of that. Making people aware of what you do, that you are available and can do the work is vital. Otherwise people assume you have a job and you are doing fine.

Saying that I also did have a meeting about production I might be collaborating on. It sounds really exciting, but can’t tell you anything until it really gets confirmed. That things are happening and rolling, I am having another meeting within the art department about future workshop, so  we will see about that too.

Have a lovely weekend and back tomorrow for more. Kat xx

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Day 9: Your challenges! 83 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So today’s post should have been written yesterday, but I was keen to do more research on this, so I kind of had to wait and postpone:-) I would like to like pass on some motivation and tell you about the feedback I had in the past nine days.

So regarding You all, who I have been speaking to and the ones who said it sounds really interesting, however did not want and could not join this challenge I thought I will give out some examples of people, who were willing to think and perhaps need some encouragement from others. There won’t be any names, if they are reading, they will know, who I am talking about. So feel free to add to your wisdom, advice, experience as a comment, I am sure they will hugely appreciate it.

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Person number 1: She has two challenges. The first one is to start running and the second one is to find time to be lazy or said in rather sophisticated way to indulge herself. So how could she possibly do this? I was thinking there two ways of how to deal with the running. You can set yourself first a certain amount of miles and see it your tempo improves on every day basis, perhaps making note of the weather conditions might help to see how it affects it. Once she is comfortable with the pace, perhaps extending the journey again will improve as the fitness did during the shorter run. To make this work in a long-term, depending on how confident runner she becomes, perhaps finding a date or a half marathon or marathon in the calendar could work as a goal and working towards that. I used to run, however just for fun, so if there are any experienced runners, feel free to add what is the best way.

Now the challenge is to be more lazy or indulge herself. Now I stopped eating chocolate few months ago, there won’t be any of this on my list, but perhaps reading a book every day half an hour before you go to bed. Or even a magazine. As explained in previous post, as used from the book of David Allen, keep a pile of all the things you need to read through by your bed. You have that little time before falling asleep, it will make you relaxed. Depending on your mood, you can choose anything from fashion magazine, industry reports to just book you got for Christmas and still have not had the time to open. Perhaps taking bath could be another indulging moment. Pick a film for every night of the week. Call a friend.

Person number 2: So this is rather exciting as I share this challenge with him too and that is to get ourselves to drive. And his girlfriend wants that too. They both actually got themselves into a bit of a rival competition few days earlier, who can learn first. I was going to pass on some details when he sends an e-mail he promised last night, but I still didn’t get one. You won’t win like this Mr.?!  I received my passport through the post yesterday, so hopefully within the next two weeks I will receive the provisional one. As said before, I have already been forced/motivated to  go through theory tests, I reckon this weekend I will do more practising.

Person number 3: He would like to tackle a new skill and start learning Spanish or Chinese. Obviously the typical way would be researching colleges, however when it comes to learning languages I feel personally it needs to come naturally to you. So putting an advert on Gumtree or searching for one and perhaps swapping your language skills could be an option. I did it with lovely young French lady last year, who was here for Erasmus Exchange studying law. I taught her English and she taught me French. By the end up we ended up really good friends and spent many nights tasting wine in Gallimaufry on Gloucester Road. I did not learn much French to be honest, but she really improved her  English and here we get to another way of learning. Go to the right place. When I lived in Netherlands, in only four months just knowing basic school English and German, I got to understand pretty much everything they said in Dutch and could use some basic phrases, when speaking.   Exactly the same thing happened in Bulgaria during my three months Erasmus Exchange and I am not even talking about Great Britain. After nine years over here-  I speak, dream, eat, feel, do everything in English. To the point I cannot any longer speak properly Czech and for everyone back  home I am the foreign girls who speaks Czech with English accent.  So here we are find yourself a foreign friend and start.

Person number 4: He would like to stop smoking. Not only it is bad for you, it makes everything around you stink, nothing pleasant to smell for others and lastly think how much you are spending. What did you say? You wanted to go on that holiday? Just think if the packet costs about £8 and you smoke 3 packets in a week, that makes it £1 248 of saving. Now that is worth pretty luxury holidays for two. Or that shopping trip to New York. Whatever you fancy. Some of my friends find the quite easy to use vaping products. This particular friend is using tablets, apparently it is that kick he is after. He did have few wobbles, so let’s see how it he does in a long-term.

And last but not least friend number 5: She has also two challenges. The first one is to save enough money to buy a car and the second is to change a career and become massage therapist. We have been “finding solutions” last night over few cocktails and came up with few different options. How to save money for a car. Although it is not much, at least it is something to start you off. One way is to stop buying magazines. There is plenty of gossip online, again the same kind magazines are left in doctor’s surgeries or hairdressers and if you think about it even if you actually buy yourself one of those magazines, there is not much new you would not know about particular celebrity. Recently joining Twitter, I realized, they are all there anyway. If you feel you really need to keep buying a particular one as it is about gardening or photography then subscribe. You can save yourself half or in some cases even three-quarters of the price. So instead of paying £4, you only pay a pound. If you sign up and there is another magazine being published by the same publisher, they usually give discount again or even better deal. Another option is to sign to freebie websites and order your free copy of magazines offered. Again most likely it will come with a phone call few days later and option of subscribing for cheaper than you would normally. Buying expensive once a month magazine and two gossip ones per week, can save you around £120 in 6 months. But also think about the extra coffee, perhaps chocolates bar or sandwich you are purchasing at the same time. It all adds up and £5 is gone you do not even know it. My little way of how to keep the change is to put them into “bee jar”. I have two. One for pound coins, when getting a bus. The second one is for all the other change. And trust me it is getting pretty heavy right about now.

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Her second challenge is to change a career and perhaps becoming a massage therapist. My suggestion was to follow advice from a program: The Fairy Job Mother. Get in touch with all the saloons and say that you would like to spend a day following them and giving them a hand if they let you. Do it once every two weeks during your day off and in six months you will get amazing overview what it involves. You never know, who you may end up talking to and getting a job from. By offering your help for a day when not being really educated within the industry can give you clear idea if this is the right career for you and they get a help with putting dirty towels away. Obviously you have to start somewhere.

Enough for today, I hope you enjoyed reading about fellow readers, who are thinking of joining me. Feel free to let me know if you fancy joining us too and keep sharing and reading. With love Kat xx

Day 3: From High to Low! 89 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Alright, it is nearly 4pm of UK time and I am already writing this post, whilst outside it has not stopped raining second day in row. I think that is it for today, enough me sitting at the computer. I have been doing so for the last three days, wrapped up warm, recovering, drinking countless cups of tea.  I fancy a change. I started high and now I am feeling my energy levels are going down. Well there might be few reasons for that. Sleeping too much in the last few days and staying awake last night texting past my usual bedtime, being woken up by three demanding phone calls at 5 am, was the start.

When I got out of bed feeling fairly shattered, Ilooked into the fridge, finding it empty. Forced walking out of the house, I came backa with a treat in a form of nutella jar. How wrong I was. I stopped eating chocolate about three or four months ago and felt much better ever since, so hoping that little chocolatey treat will make me feel better turned into something like eating gurkin. It tasted horribly sweet and I am thinking Oh no, I have lost this little life saver. Never mind this sugar rush which brought me down few hours later.  There was a little hint of hope, when I managed to clear and response to my e-mails within only 7 minutes, but not long after there was this reply from CV Site waiting to tell the truth I didn’t want to know.

So apparently there are few issues, which prevent me from communicating my skills in optimum way. The first paragraph states following: There are grammatical issues …, … it is too colloquial…, …if an employer reads that you are ‘stubborn’ it would be off putting within the context …, … mentioning four jobs doesn’t send out positive impression. Alright with grammatical issues I can agree. That has always been a problem, I am not a native speaker, I can only keep learning and trying, because I know it will always follow me. I am not entirely sure why ‘stubborn’ used together with ‘perfectionist’ and ‘willing to learn’ does not translate as ‘motivated until achieving the goal’. I guess the negative feel of the word used without its context coming from someone, who is an Aries in zodiac, is not exactly giving the friendly willing approach. Lastly what is wrong with having four jobs? Is it the lack of focus I might be giving impression off? Surely having two different self-employed positions show that you are on your way to turn them into careers, whilst the other two part time jobs show commitment and secure regular income in order to pay bills and food offering to take time off when needed. Why all the cv gurus, employers or general advice out there tell you to keep going and making sure there is no gap on your cv and now being told that if you work too much sounds wrong. Anyone else had similar issue before?

Second paragraph is focusing on employment history. It is vast…, …for very brief periods, this would not instill confidence any potential employers…, You clearly have a lot of skills but CV needs focus…, … I appreciate that a lot of jobs are short term…, … better to provide details of the work and the props you designed rather than the designer/directors names. You clearly have a lot to offer, …you are creative and have flair but a CV is still a formal document and you need to adopt a few conventions in order to illustrate your talents and competencies without coming across as disordered. Looking back at my cv after reading this, was so painfully true.  I think the problem is when you are preparing your cv during your graduation time and not having that much professional experience, you are told it is important to tell all the directors and designers you worked with having to stretch it making it look reasonably good, but as time goes it may become a bit too much and I think that what happened to me. Taking your cv and giving it to people asking them to look at it with their critical eyes is nerve wracking and depressing, but the most helpful as knowing the weakness of your enemy.

They finished the e-mail by saying this: … Overall Katerina, it is a quirky and fun approach but that just doesn’t work for a CV and it would benefit from a rewrite for ease of reading… Further down were priced packages to make it perfect with extras added in case I would like to take this offer to improve it under the professional eye. Alright Thank you very much, but I think I need few days to take this all in and think about this changing it completely. In case anyone would to share their cv, which bagged them that job they wanted, feel free to send it to katerina.t.designer@gmail.com and perhaps share few tips on how they think which is best way, please do so. I am sure everyone reading will appreciate every handy advice.

I am ending this post with photograph of my ‘fun’ evening ahead. I have been offered emotional support and forced watching Driving Test Theory DVD, possibly so I am prevented from covering my eyes and having to focus. So I guess I will update you how it went tomorrow. Lovely evenig to everybody. Kat xx

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Day 2: Oh the CV malarky! 90 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So day two of the challenge.  I woke a bit tired after not being able to sleep much last night thinking about the challenge plus I blame two cups of strong tea I drink straight after each other. Yesterday after posting, I sat down and cleared all the e-mails into relevant folders and made all tabs clear, so every day, when I wake up, I can deal straight away with what is relevant. There is lot more deleting and organizing within my e-mail to be done, but that is for another time. This morning it only took me less then hour to reply and organize all e-mails and social media I have received during the night with nothing more hanging to be done in my account. How brilliant.

When going through tasks and trying to get yourself out there, I have realized that keeping up with cv and updating all social media is the most important thing nowadays. I decided to dedicate the day to updating my cv and uploading it to different sites.  Recently I did that with LinkedIn account. That is quite a good one to use as a starting point. However they allow you only to put limited amount of characters under one job, so when you work as self employed, listing all the little jobs in one may not be enough.  So I looked at all sorts of the jobs I did and under my company name created three kinds positions. One for theatre design relevant work, one for painting and decorating, interior design and decluttering and the last one for general artistic work. It suddenly made lot more sense for everyone to look at and understand what I do. I have applied the same system onto my cv today, but just make sure you keep saving the document as you go.

In the summary of who I am I used to use one particular paragraph for years, which may have sounded professional , but I felt it no longer had that crisp fresh sound, so I wrote, who I see myself as with simple few adjectives characterizing my life and work attitude, current state and aspirations into the future. No more then five sentences should do the trick.

Within my e-mail account I had e-mails from about 4 different job sites. I went through each of them and with different levels of luck managed to upload my cv. Jobsite as first, which keeps sending me not very relevant job offers for design positions. Unfortunately all the ones, where you need to be computer  geek and somehow the beauty of designing or building real model is no longer needed. You would think that website like which is advertising on national level would have different options for uploading your cv apart from word file. Perhaps jpg or most likely pdf, separate fill in  boxes, if it comes to the worst as txt. Especially after you have just spend hours tweaking your pages to making it look the part. Several uploads of the files have failed. Well not only that, after I spent updating details in the form, they have disappeared after the file hasn’t uploaded properly, so I had to do it again.  Cup of tea break was needed to lift my spirits up. As soon as I sent in the help line form in I have finally figured out the problems. Turn your fancy word document into plain text with no columns or anything else. When saved as rtf, after save it again into document, but keeping it plain. Hallelujah, it uploaded, but let me tell as a designer, it is not looking exactly great. If you are not able to change your details within the site program, it feels pretty useless even having to upload it in a first place.

Guardian website was lot more user friendly. They had all my previous details saved already, so I just checked if they are correct, updated and moved around jobs and ready I was. Highly recommend it. I did not have that many e-mails from them as website in the past, but now with fully updated previous jobs I am hoping for more luck.

CV Site e-mail ended up in my account somehow without really knowing how. I have a feeling it came together with paid membership for LinkedIn I had once tried. They offered me free CV check as a member of their anticipating partners, but have never used it, so I decided give it a go since it is needed now more than ever. With technical issue of not letting me to the free check up as advertised I e-mailed them and within few minutes I had lovely lady messaging me back asking me to send her my cv. Brilliant. Will definitely post you on that one. Their site has a partner site called CV library, so I will be uploading cv there once it is returned.

Lastly UK Staff Search  was probably the most quickest in the whole process. They simply asked for e-mail, uploading the file and within second you had the form with all boxes filled with relevant information taken from the uploaded cv. I have corrected the employment and education history just by simply copying and pasting information from my original document and here it was , done.

So that is for today, enough for sitting around at computer. I am reminding everybody join me in my challenge, or please spread the message around and let me know what is your dream. Keep that 92 days spirit and get it achieved by the end of the year. Better start now and really make it happen, than attempting to turn it into New Year’s resolution. Have a lovely day a take care. Kat xx

day2

“I noticed in your CV that you don’t drive currently?”

Kat doodles about life:

So today’s post is actually about something that happened last week, but it is in my head ever since and it feels like when you hear a song, but it is on the loop. It is increasingly getting on your nerves and it shouts out loud. ” I noticed in your CV that you don’t drive currently?”

The time has come. I have been avoiding to this ‘skill to must have ‘ for certain (well most of them) jobs for the last ten years.  And I have managed to become very creative about how to get things done, how shift stuff around and how quick I can become compare to bus, car or train commuters. Me and my bicycle are pretty much one item and I quite honestly I use it and abuse it, but then I treat it to a good service twice a year. I have been told so many times by my close and very wise friends that having a driving licence is certainly “that” thing, which will get me a better job or getting me home without getting wet at 3 am, when I finish at work and the list of reasons why goes on and on.

Well apart from enjoying the countryside views on my rides there are two reasons why I still haven’t pass the test. Firstly I don’t want to get fat. Or more fat than I am.  Or shall I be polite to myself and say large instead. Everyone, who knows me personally can confirm I love to eat. Pretty much anything and I don’t mean junk food. I just love food. Full stop. Oh the colours, the smell, the experience. Oh yes. So to keep going with my passion I am absolutely fine with having to ride to work and out and about for an hour a two a day and get sweaty. Plus the extra motivation of being paid for it why not. Why would you want to become one of those people, who drives around and then has to go to the gym and pay for it in order to stay trim, when you can do it for free.  And secondly I am terrified, well of the speed car can go. You will be laughing that comes from someone, who loves watching Formule 1 races and finds it incredibly exciting. Well it is the same person, it’s me.  Somehow I feel that on the bicycle you are in charge of that speed you are going.  Plus that freedom of you can go anywhere and become part of a road or cycle path or just simply part of the pavement if the traffic gets a bit too much for example those massive three lane roundabouts.

Two weeks ago I treated myself a new A3 printer, scanner thing and got really excited about updating my portfolio. Exactly around that time local interior design company posted an offer of paid interior design internship. How fantastic, I thought to myself, thinking the universe is sending some positive messages. Great e-mail communication with the owner of the company since the start. ‘Great, keep going’ I am thinking to myself whilst resizing images in Photoshop at 4 am, when the cold shower comes in… the e-mail says: … “I noticed in your CV that you don’t drive currently?”… It was like slap in a face. My attempt of cycling to Bath or getting a train and cycling just outside of Chepstow may have made impressive impact of ‘ I really want this and I will do anything’. Unfortunately the job role involves visiting clients even further away from these locations in the middle of countryside. You will  have to carry mood boards and pieces of furniture around. I guess they may not appeciatte me turning up in cycling shorts either.

So here we are. The truth no one wants to hear. ‘Sorry you can’t get the job, because you don’t drive. But I will keep you on file.’ How lovely. There is a hope? Writing this post is somehow encouraging for me to go and get in touch with that guy with dreadlocks (yes that special bond between all people ever owning dreadlocks including me), who owns a driving school and drove past me few months ago. He seems like cool and calm kind of guy, who could help me conquer my fear. It may sound stupid as anything, but if that is beginning of me passing a test and getting on the road in order to get that better paying job, I better start writing an e-mail to him right now.

Fun card I created for a friend.

Fun card I created for a friend.

PF 2013!

Kat doodles about life:

My dear readers! I hope You all had wonderful Christmas- full of joy, with plenty of food to eat and wine to drink and perhaps few pleasantly unexpected events may have happened to You. In my first post of 2013 I would like to wish all of You all the best in upcoming adventures- in life or at work and I hope that year 2013 will be positive and even better for everybody the same way as 2012 was for me.

Finally, I hope that this year everyone will catch as many falling stars as possible to make their dreams come true!

PF 2013

PF 2013

Now in true Kat’s style I have also prepared a little quiz for everybody. It is 8th January, so little fun brainteaser won’t do any harm. Last year it has been shared only with selected group of friends and I got very positive feedback, so this year I decided it to share with everyone. Since I write a blog about my design journey, it kind of makes sense. And looking back I have to admit I was very pleased how it went. Now have a look each picture, have a guess what the drawings could represent and when You think You got it, just look below the image and compare with answers.

All the best and lots of love, Kat xxx

quiz 2012

quiz 2012

1. In December and January I went home to The Czech Republic to see my friends and family for late Christmas. I certainly celebrated the holidays in style as my earliest arrival to my mum’s flat was 5 am and the latest one was 2:45 pm. It is only once a year, so why not?! As soon as back in Britain I returned to my sensible way, filling my first ever tax return and becoming slightly obsessed with David Allen and his book Getting Things Done.

2. Mr. Allen had some positive influence on me and I started to get into the idea of passing a language certificate of some kind, not because I would need to, but my family has been insisting on it for years. So to start with I went and got the Collins Dictionary of English Language (TK Maxx bargain for £7.99). On more positive and fun side of this month my friends Rich and Liz got married and we all certainly enjoyed that very beautiful wedding, seeing the stunning bride, and tasting fab food reception and well chosen wine.

3. Becoming 27 was less freaky than 26. Well at least that is out of the way for another year! Anyway after 12 years of being loyal to the most used Czech e-mail provider, I have had enough of deleting unwanted mail from my account, and moved on to Gmail. Also since becoming a design graduate and trying to explain my full name to people it became too much of hard work. So here it is, please delete any addresses You may have, this is the one and only : katerina.t.designer@gmail.com

4. I must be mad! I have applied for Certificate of Proficiency in English. There is no turning back! Unless someone can medically confirm I broke my leg and I cannot attend. I paid the fee and now the whole world is going to find out how bad my English is. But this country has been my home for eight years, so really I should stop freaking out. I also got little retrospective from one of my best friends Petr, who flew over for the first time ever, and celebrated his birthday here too. It was great being a tour guide and introducing British culture as something completely unknown to him.

5. May welcomed us with extremely high temperatures. Too high for my liking! Mind You the heat did not stop me from starting this blog. And running it ever since. Someone could probably call it a moment of madness.

6. Queen has been running the country for the last 60 years and everyone celebrated in great style. It was a beautiful sunny day, so extra excuse to drink some Pimm’s and get out for picnic. I volunteered at the fair in Salisbury with InBristol Studio and we all had fab time making flowers, costumes and music instruments. The heat of these two months must have done something to me and I started Czech version of this blog.

7. InBristol Studio invited me to work with them at the ClayPlay tent during the Harbourside Festival, so that was another great art event added to my list of this year. Obviously we had Olympics happening. And finally after four months of agonizing pain since submitting my application, I received my result saying I passed with flying marks. I am telling You more scary than passing A-levels or degree.

8. I have always loved France, French language, French men, French wine and cheese.  Now in order to find the French husband with vineyard and cheese factory and lively happily ever after, I decided to start brush up on my French language skills and found fantastic French lawyer to be Camille. We became very good friends and frequently take our lessons out of our homes into the real world.” Camille, tu es mon étoile! ! ”

9. September was very exciting month! I started new course Designing for Interiors! Our tutor Angela turned out to be an angel and I have been hooked to her classes since day one. I have also got myself an interior design project, redesign garden shed into a gentleman’s hideaway. Although since September up until now, we have been dealing with the pile of hoard and getting rid of it. Nearly there and exciting spring ahead. Lastly I have managed to start dealing with finances and sleep like a baby now.

10. October was mainly about the using the opportunity when having offered work experience at Harvey Nichols in Bristol store. We were setting up Christmas windows displays with Japanese feel to them and working in very tight spaces. Very exciting times!

11. Thanks to finding the courage and speaking to Head of Drama in one of the colleges, where I worked in another role, I did end up giving couple of lectures on theatre design process and it felt amazing!!! Making young people excited about doing something with real great passion was really rewarding.  I had a great feedback and will be doing the same for Art department very soon. At the same time I was helping out to a great theatre designer Madeleine Girling with her show Hey Diddle Diddle at the Bristol Old Vic. Nursery rhymes turned into wonderful piece of theatre.

12. As some of You know there is always something exciting happening in my life, but I guess this time I can really call it fireworks. But for now I will keep it to myself and perhaps let you know next time.

I hope You had fun!

P.S. How was Your 2012? Could You describe it the same way as me?

My Life Is Far Too Exciting!

Kat doodles about life:

Hello guys!

Thank You so much for all your support, liking, following and everything else You have done for me recently. I appreciate all the attention coming from all around the world!!! So now back to business. I know you have probably wondered, where I have gone, but believe me although I was, still am, very busy with making pots and pans clean and shiny, I did not forget. I have been thinking about the blog at all the times. Even when I walk to work every morning through Whiteladies Road here in Bristol! There are so many  amazing designer (mainly interior design and furniture) shops and I am thinking I have to tell you more!!! Now I have been making notes about little topics and articles I want to write about, so brace yourself and expect very soon me going on about these and many more subjects:

1. Young lady called Baduade. I came across her drawing as a feature in The Times newspaper. I will be posting more straight after this post.

2. I am learning French again. Well attempting! My beautiful French teacher Camille has got a lot of patience and I am introducing her to beauties of English language and magic of “being British”.

3. Newspaper Metro had recently very interesting article about Job Hunt Roulette by John Lees. So definitely one to follow for all of You looking for a job.

4. What else can be Ikea tape measure used for? (I know this not the answer, but did you get Your new Ikea catalogue through the door yet?…Ooooh I know what are You thinking:-)Better hide that debit card!

5. I have been thinking about this for years: People, who design dishwashers, have never been kitchen porters before! Otherwise….

6. Bookcases. I will be exploring this more as mine is overflowing. And whenever someone says bookcase I always think of my best friend Jan Sipek and his beautiful wall covered with books and simple wooden shelves. I will do my best to get a picture for You to see.

7. Mathmos lamp.  Magical geeky lamp. To me this is a symbol of a Czech film Samotari (Loners). I watch it everytime I feel homesick.

8. Sizes of rooms. How do we perceive them? Where is the door?  Can the double bed fit in it? Does it fit only in one corner? Do we look for the rooms with high ceilings or cosy little rooms with angled roof. I have been recently visiting few houses and it got me thinking. Size versus purpose of the room.

9. My friend’s blog- it is so cool! His actual nickname is a Good and he blogs in Czech, but definitely makes my days better. Once You find a good online translator, you will never want to stop reading his blog.

10. I got myself a design project!!! Redesigning a pad of two bachelors including sorting a lot of hoard. All of  You who know me, you can  imagine how excited how I am.

11. I am planning on posting few pictures from my garden. Otherwise getting ready for the autumn. Slugs definitely won this season!

12. I am obsessed with storage boxes and storage solutions, so there will be more of that coming up.

13. Ikea-once again. They have fantastic blog called Ikea Live.

14. This wonderful lady Michelle, who I admire very much, has been going  on about Coworking in Cardiff for the last few months and now finally something is happening. She has one husband, two businesses to take care of  and three awesome children, who I had the chance to babysit good few times. I don’t how she does it, but let me tell You, she is one to watch!

15. I passed Certificate of Proficiency in English! After eight years of waiting and trying to gain the confidence, here it is. Confirmed by Cambridge!

16. Start to my part-time course Designing for Interiors at City Bristol of College is in less than two weeks. I am sooo excited! Unbelievable!

That’s it for now! Now you cannot tell me I have not been thinking of YOU! Lots of love from Kat xxx

I am just lost in a translation and an explanation!

Kat doodles about about life:

I would like Thank to everyone, who read my first post. So far 47 visitors, from three different countries! Brilliant! Keep up and stay tuned! The fact I would like mention also is for You to excuse my English in upcoming posts. I am not a native speaker and never will be. As much as I would like to, believe me! Somehow speaking in English gives me this strange sense of freedom and I can express myself quite clearly whilst still be able to use my phrase: „I am just lost in translation and an explanation.“ Oh yes, many of You heard before. So although by living here for many years,  I do not think I will ever get to that point that proofreading is not necessary. So ‘have a little patience” . Personally I was just well excited to post my first piece of work. For You, who secretly enjoy my stream of random words, thank You for telling me in person. It made me feel really great.

My Journey on Becoming Full-time (Interior/Theatre) Designer. Why Am I Making Blog About This???

So here is the deal. I graduated nearly two years ago and received BA(Hons) in Theatre Design. I have been working on few shows as an assistant, did some scenic painting and made few props for designers and companies including BBC, Scenery Hire or Greenwich Theatre  and worked on some interior design makeover too. But times are bad and people like to make lot os excuses (well including me) and as they have not been paying on time and I couldn’t really get any other job, I run into debts and bank was right behind my back. So year later I decided to move back Bristol, where I lived before moving to Wales to do my degree.

Well with what happened in this economic climate, it wasn’t as easy finding a job. Well let me specify that even to hand out my cv. I am sure many of you had the same problem. I am originally from The Czech Republic and when I arrived nearly 8 years to the UK, restaurants and agencies were giving out forms like they have no one working for them and it wasn’t really a problem if you tried within three days having a proper job. But things changed now. So what I did is called my old catering agency I worked for nearly three years and they gave me back my old job straight away.

Now nearly a year later I am still working for them. And I am grateful they keep me on their books. My boss tells me I am a star for the work I do. Little does she know I certainly don’t feel like that. Washing dishes, serving customers and cleaning surfaces with D10 is not quite  what I had in mind when I was sat at my graduation all dressed up for the occasion that I will be still doing two years later after that moment. I am certainly not trying to complain that I have a job, it is just not the job I paid thousands of pounds to obtain the education for. So I have decided to start a blog and look for a design job. This is how I can be always reminded that now You all reading this, know about this purpose, so you can give me the push to get of my bottom and do something about it. Perhaps it will be a helpful way to others, who feel they same way and just don’t know where to start. I always say what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. And having few low moments in my life, I am taking this as new big challenge on My Journey on Becoming Full-time (Interior/Theatre) Designer.