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

wpid-IMG_20131217_000312.jpg

Advertisements

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

day 20 p1 day 20 p2