Oh boy, what did I get myself into…?

Kat doodles about life:

In couple of days, I am here in marvelous Paris, exactly three months. Lots happened since my arrival and all my friends constantly want to know how I have been so far. Now surely you must have told yourself sometimes when you went on holidays: “Oh it’s so beautiful here, let’s move and live here forever!”. Sounds familiar? Anyone already did it and then you realized it’s not a vacation but real life with the same bills, job and household chores? Your smile just disappeared? Yep.

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

Kat doodles about life and recommends:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kat doodles about life:

DISCLAIMER: Images below may cause distress, particularly to those very interested in fashion.

So as promised today’s post will be about fashion. Not just any fashion. My (no) passion for fashion and how my style developed over the years . I came up with this idea when reading my friend’s blog recently. I guess you could say that she is a bit like me, as long as it does the job, she wears it until it falls apart. At the Maison Bentley Blog Party I realized most blogs were fashion themed. Nothing wrong with fashion or any of those, mostly women, who blog about it, but what about us, who just simply do not care about latest trends, must have bag of the season or how high those heels of Victoria Beckham are. I rather get a good bottle of wine, box of Brie, good quality drill or fancy paint. I do not enjoy clothes shopping either, but give me enough money and send me into DIY shop, paint or furniture store and I won’t come out before closing time.

What is it that makes me and other women different to those, who eat, sleep, live for fashion. I guess there are two reasons: it might be the way you were brought up and where. In my time, there was not much choice and I guess there still is not for someone like me. Ever since I left nine years ago I have never purchased an item of clothing back home apart from shoes. And now the second reason is that clothes do not fit, so it becomes a massive malarky. I have inherited dad’s figure and always been quite a big girl. Partying, eating lot of wheat, not really eating the right food or being stressed were many of those reasons. Being top-heavy did not help either. Over the last few years I am gradually loosing weight and now I am at the point that all the clothes I will show right at the end is so loose I could really do with a shopping trip, but that is not going to happen for a while as there are more important things to deal with, so I guess I just have to look like I expect big flood as we say back home.

Here we are, I hope you enjoy my fashion journey, and if you really cannot bare how hideous it is , feel free to switch it off and come back tomorrow. xx

I was born in communistic Czechoslovakia in mid eighties. No choice of anything, You had to even queue to get bread, there was nothing on the shelves and you always had to search for things at the black market. You could make the most of it by receiving clothes from the western world (very rare) and make them to fit you or knit. My mother loved knitting ever since I remember, so I always had enough jumpers. My favourite things to do were running around the forest, fishing with dad, playing football with the boys, building houses with lego, chasing deers and hares, when running through the fields and making boats from tree bark. Just what one typical tom-boy girl likes to do.

very little

Later, when Communism fall, we became free Czechoslovakia and Czech Republic not long after, I also started going to school. Things changed and I guess options were little broader, not as yet amazing. This is probably the last time you see me wearing bright pink and that picture of me wearing skirt and turquoise tights is only my mum’s idea of selection for school photo. I hated it and cried for about two hours. I know I am smiling in a photo, but it is only because the photographer told me to do so.

being a kid

Not long after I became a teenager. Terrible times! I really did not feel comfortable with becoming more girly, I hated everything around me including my parents and all the things they forbid me to do including going out to all those rock and punk gigs I wanted to go to. I felt that only black can make me look better and more desired flat looking like. Perhaps to the point I may disappear. When I look back at those photos, i cannot believe it is the same person and I just want to simply go and give myself a hug and say it will all be good.

black times

The times, when I was not impressed about living at home having to listen to my parents was particularly when I had to attend family events, weddings etc. No need to explain why..?

bad shirts

The black period kept being swapped with times of me looking fairly hippie. Not exactly like the sixties hippie, more the central european hippie. Tearooms were my second home, so anything batique style, layered and looking a bit different would do. I kept going with this style mostly to the point of just before getting to the university.  Some of the pieces are purchased in Britain, where I am finding out that I can get clothes in my size and it does not have to look so hideous. Now there might be few exceptional cases for example when I bought that beautiful sparkly dress (I know what you thinking- sparkles?) from Monsoon, but worn only about three times. It was just after Christmas and I have worked  for months and months very long hours. Being in town I wanted to spoil myself and ended up picking this dress costing nearly £100 already reduced. Ridiculous price to me at that time if you ask me. I just about fitted in, feeling excited and not being realistic at all, I bought it. It always had a success with the boys, but for the wrong reasons as if I talked to them, they would not look into my eyes. It was hanging in my wardrobe for years not being worn until I gave to it charity and realized it is time to become more sensible.

hippie

And there was the university! I think personally that is when the big changes started to happen.  I got accepted into theatre design degree and obviously as a fond of anything to do with paint, scenic painting, making things, I also had start learning about costume. Costume? What? Do I have to? You want me to learn how to sew?..You get the hint. The other things was a peer pressure. Not only because I was the oldest in the class, foreign one, with no interest of what is going on in the class, because I went through lot of grieving at that time, but also with no interest in clothes whatsoever.  I have slowly been nudged by other 13 girls and two boys (one of them was gay doing the costume) into becoming rather aware of what I should and should not wear. One day very kind soul brought me a leaflet from Topshop advertising the experience of personal shopper said: “Kat, I think this could really help you!” And you know what it did! The personal shopper did very well based on the fact my size of clothes is instantly sold out on non existing in what I like or that I was a bit difficult to start with. She told how to think, what to look for etc. I did spend lot of money, but she completely revamped my wardrobe and I still own that black and white dress with oriental ornaments. And I got compliments from the class, so that felt pretty good too.

topshop

You could say I became more confident in what to wear and learnt how to shop. Sometimes it was success, sometimes I look back and I would change it, but overall it was all definitely improving.

got more confidence

She says thinking that sometimes she had to be a bit out of her comfort zone, especially when it came to college fancy dress parties…

dress up

So how is Kat before and after… I think I did it. I somehow managed to find that sophisticated style with bit of that quirky look still there somewhere. You can never stop learning, so we will see after next shopping trip as my clothes are fitting pretty loose right now.

now

(However if you ask when I feel the best, pictures below show it perfectly. I mean it is my job and how practical I can be and have to be. No point wearing labels when you are splattering paint around.)

my fav

So if you managed to get to this point, that is pretty good. I congratulate you, you are one very strong fashionista. I wish there is more hope for me one day, when it comes to clothes. But I do not think I will ever get to the point as my mother- that half of the larder is filled with shoe boxes.

Back tomorrow, Kat xx

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

day 23 p1  day 23 p2 day 23 p3