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

Kat doodles about life:

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

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

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

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

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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