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 25: Quick Sketching! 97 to go!

Kat gets arty:

Today, on the way from an interpreting assignment, I used the bus journey to practice quick sketching. Anything between 10 to 20 seconds whilst sitting at the top of the doubledecker. Back soon. Kat

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Post 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 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 13: Sketch of Fyodor Dostoyevsky! 109 to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

Work is a bit manic at the moment, so blogging has been little postponed, as you may have noticed! I have ended up working all weekend and just when I hoped on Sunday night for a bit of peace and quiet, I then had to move my bedroom all around once again. Do not ask why, long story. But not the internet connection this time, so thank heaves for that.

As I have started working for new language agency, I have been also called again to go to Gloucester to interpret more on the same case as last week, which meant spending Monday and today traveling in these marvelous wet conditions for pretty much most of both days. Since I have been working so much dealing with not the most pleasant things, I thought let’ s catch up with some friends, which then meant I was not up to much yesterday either, but I had a meeting, which may bring some work potentially in the future.

However although it may all sound very boring, I had one of my classic Kat’s moments making my life truly surreal once again. I met someone, who literally just arrived to the UK on Monday night. I did not think much of it. Then completely by accident in this massive city (population of 430 000 people) I  bumped into him in a supermarket the next day, not even 24 hours later. We laughed it off and carried on shopping. We have this famous film back in Czech called Samotari (Loners- watch the trailer with subtitles below), where the film makers play with the phrase”It must be a sign!” when it comes to relationships the main characters are in. I suddenly felt like in Truman Show and someone writing a film script for me. Who knows if it is a sign?! I shall certainly keep you posted, if is.

Anyway enough of talking for tonight. I have at least tried to do a bit of sketching on the train to make up for my absence. Here is a new sketch for my series of ‘Bearded men’. I really enjoy reading Russian classics, so here we have lovely photo of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Original can be found here. I used thin sharpie, but it would look better in pencil or watercolour I believe. Back soon with love Kat xx

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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 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 7: Working week is sorted… for a while! 115 to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

So here we are. Another post. I was hoping this will be the last one with Mr. Darwin, but I am feeling like hibernating for the last few days and I also have been out being entertained by the big Hollywood screen, so improvement is not as expected.  I basically need him off my wall by Friday, painted over with white and get ready for new one. Deal with myself! Done!

There have been few changes with other work. I got offered regular shifts for the next few upcoming weekends, which is very cool meaning I can focus on painting, interpreting  etc. (eh did I mention fun?) during the week, however time between Friday morning and Sunday afternoon will be a bit more manic. Let’s hope for better weather. Yes, still cycling and not anywhere the car option.

The magic of getting work from word of mouth has worked and tomorrow I am doing an assignment for new language agency, so fingers cross.  There is nothing to worry about really as I have done similar work before, but you know what it is like working for someone new, you do not want to disappoint them. Yours Kat.

P.S. Oh just to say in case you have missed it, new series of Mr. Selfridge is back on tv! That has definitely made my day. Hooked once again from first few minutes!

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Post 2! So Many Good News Coming From Everywhere! 120 posts to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets organized:

It feels like forever since I posted the last time. I know it has only been three days ago, but it does feel little strange, too long ago if you ask me.  Within the first few days of my new challenge, it felt really wrong not posting, now I feel slightly less guilty. I have also nearly recovered again from the cold, which came back, but I am taking week off just to take it easy and make sure it won’t return back. And I am hoping to start properly through those very important lists and catch up with all those thing I meant to during Christmas break.

So what happened in the last three days?! Well we started the challenge, full of resolutions and dreams. I have a lovely bunch of people on board, so I hope you had a little look through everyone’s blog. I have been spending rest of the Friday linking and posting the first post pretty much, everywhere I could, replying to those, who would like to join in and replying to all comments. Quite honestly, when saw my written list of resolutions down, out told to the online world, it did freak me out. It is certainly NOT ambitious at all. Unfortunately all those things on the list connect with each other, so it is like a vicious circle. So I better get on with printing the list and making an action plan, and David Allen better comes to help on this. During the weekend, which was pretty much spent the whole entire time at work with few hours of sleep in between shifts, I have been on a mission how to solve the tasks. I sat going through each one, came up with action plans, scribbled over pieces of paper and then took a big notepad and dedicated 10 pages to each of those resolutions. Like this I can see what I have achieved whilst keeping important notes together. I will still follow the David Allen ‘pieces of paper’ system, but this will keep me focus within each project. I also gave them importance and lined them up accordingly in my notepad. What a result!wpid-IMG_20140106_203208.jpg

Recently on Facebook Page of UK Bloggers I had a thread about Facebook Pages to see if anyone had any experience with paid adverts. I started creating one and then left it off, as the comments were a bit discouraging and I also run out of time to continue. Few days later Facebook sent me promotional  £25 voucher to have a go and finish my advert, see if I like it and if it makes a difference when promoting. So I gave it a go. After few freaky moments of updating the payment bit, I eventually got to the end. We shall see if it makes any difference. But I thought I share this with you, in case you might be lucky too receiving a free voucher.

Apart from organizing my tasks, promoting my page, I have spent most yesterday afternoon after work  and today clearing my e-mails, updating the account, replying to people and reading blog posts of others. Three exciting things have been mainly on the agenda from all that correspondence. At first I received a reply from someone, who is interested in working with me on the Czech part of my blog, which is very exciting stuff! And secondly I have been e-mailing with people back and forth about my new upcoming project I have been going on about, but kept it secret, just in case it all goes wrong. I should have a presentation on Wednesday. Hopefully by the end of the week find out if its going ahead. So I reckon preparation time tomorrow making it extra exciting. And lastly I might be involved in  new exciting online project for Czech/Slovakian community, but it is all very much at the beginning, however it is nice to be contacted by someone, who believes you are the right person to make it work.

Talking about work I also have to share another fabulous news with you, which is that my student since changing his cv and braving the restaurants again, went through two interviews, one trial and got offered a job to start the very next day. And not just a kitchen porter work due to his language skills! Someone believed in him so much, he got offered the position of a chef!!! I am so proud of him! He told me he was little freaked by the three male staff in the kitchen constantly talking to him, but I am sure he will soon master that. Apparently the head chef is making sure he understands and has a lot of patience with him, which is fantastic news.

And to finish this post with it seems to be all good news, I will give you update on Mr Sawlid and Mr.Dj and their non- smoking resolution.  Mr Sawlid proudly telling me today he cut down on half of what was smoking making conscious decisions about replacing his habits with different solutions. Well done! Mr Dj was back on cigarettes, when I got to work on Friday night, going in and out about eight times. After having a chat with him about it, he assured me he will stop after his birthday weekend. I joked that the next day he will have to do 10 press ups or pay me £10 for each cigarette, if he goes out. I do not know if he thought I am being serious, but he certainly made an effort and only went out three times that night!!! So well done him too!

How are you guys getting on with your resolutions? Back soon. Love Kat xx

Post 1: 3 Day Challenge Accepted! 121 Posts to Go!

Kat doodles about life and accepts new challenge:

If you are reading my blog for the first time, specifically due to new challenge, let me give you little introduction. My name is Kat, I am Czech born, 28 years of age, Aries, living in the UK for more than 9 years and my friends describe me as ‘hilarious’. I left home at 19. Three days after passing A-levels I was off discovering world abroad and somehow still not planning to change that quite yet. I have gone through all sorts of jobs, adventures, but travels and art were always my thing. Somehow I got accepted to university, which has the word ‘royal’ in its name, so it sounds great when you speak to people and they give you that acknowledging look. But even going to this amazing place my life since graduation is not posh at all and I have been struggling to make my living needs only just from doing art. So I somehow currently ended up in four jobs I run in between with still never enough money to this day. The blog was born sometime ago, but with being all over the place with too many things to do, I never had enough focus to keep it going.

And then it happened! I went for this internship in interior design and was told I cannot get it, because I do not drive! It was a slap in a face for my own incapability, not the lack of talent (which of course I am questioning every day). So I decided to get my act together and set myself a challenge to blog for 92 days solid and do something productive, to get things going. To see if I can beat my fear of driving, of inner myself and get on with the career I really want to have. Otherwise I am a loser and I might simply just give up and get a “normal” job, whatever that would mean for me. And things started to look up, I finally got into that car, arty opportunities started to appear and 92 days was gone without even me realizing.

So here we are, year 2014 and I decided to create new challenge for me since the last one made a difference. I call it 3 Days Challenge. I will start today on 3rd January and will be blogging every third day! For the whole entire year. Crazy you think, I know! I think so too. But that is simply, who I am. Ideally I would like to keep each blog post more artistic and relevant rather than me going on about what I had for dinner or about that cute guy I met at work, but I am sure something like this will sneak in anyway. With the daily challenge it was difficult, so I am hoping three days is just enough time to have a bit off time off, do the normal household stuff and still be artistic in some way. I have created list of challenges I would like to achieve or at least somehow move on with:

  • become fully freelance or employed in art& design- meaning doing anything in theatre design, interior design, visual merchandising, 3D related industries, decorating…
  • give up my two little jobs- even to the sadness of my bosses (before they do it for me), although we always had great relationships and they both secretly know I need to get on with this “art thing”
  • improve in my interpreting job- to see what I can do about moving on to next band
  • learn how to drive- which will mean the actual driving, passing theory test, practical test, and then it comes to the even more expensive bit of buying the car, an insurance, plus I am sure the list goes on.
  • become fluent in AutoCad and all the other related programs required by the industry- it was either this or learning how to drive, which became blatantly more important
  • focus more on social media, update my Facebook Page, do more networking and use the time more effectively instead of watching funny videos as I am sure we are all guilty of.
  • create a proper website since I now bought a proper domain name, which is simple enough to pronounce rather using my full name
  • and obviously make sure I blog every three days- I am thinking I might do like a monthly project to stay focused, see what happens once I start.
  • start translating this challenge into Czech for sister version of this blog, which has been neglected since last year. And I mean very neglected.
  • have fun, meet new people, make effort. Think before I say anything, which is usually what gets into trouble. And say yes to new opportunities.

    So I think that is it! I am sure there are more resolutions, but they may appear as we go. Not ambitious list at all! Walk in a park, I say! Obviously if any of you have any ideas or would like to collaborate, let me know!

And not be alone in this crazy challenge I have these people, who feel very similar about their life. Ladies and gents, let me introduce You to all brave men and women, who taking up challenges of their own!!!

art represents:

Katdesigner and her ‘My journey on becoming full-time designer

Art Fn and  his Regular sketching in 2014

music to your ears will bring:

Lukas, the bass guitarist

Mr. Sawlid and Mr Dj are stopping smoking (they do not have a blog, but they will be updating me on regular basis apparently)

for the ideal trim figure is looking:

Twinmumanddad

IT/Blog list of resolutions has:

Bex with Blogging Goals 2014

and last but not least in our non resolution pile is:

Learner Mother

The Crazy Bag Lady

Now, I had a lot of interest from other people, so I guess they are waiting to see what is this whole thing about. Please feel free to join us at any time during this year, with whatever your challenge is and your decision on how to number posts. Details and few little reminders on the posting etiquette can be found here. Enjoy the journeys and happy reading!!!

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Day 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 54: Life of an interpreter! 38 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Today is just the usual Saturday. I did a bit of cooking, house cleaning and little bit of chilling out thinking about days ahead. Last night, going out into the world out there to work, I nearly got frozen. Did I miss something during this week whilst in bed? Did UK suddenly change the position of where it is on the global map… ? Layers all the way, I still was not prepared for it. Nor the customers. It was so cold, barely no one was out and about either. We went home earlier, but I still could not sleep until the usual time as my brain was thinking about events of the night, but I am not going to bother you with that as I have enough to digest.

So what else I was up to today. Well, you will be pleased to know I sat and did more of tax filing, going through my interpreting sheets, checking all the right dates and information. I started doing this job in my second year of university. An advert posted on Facebook stating that local language agency is looking for someone to do the job. You do not need to have interpreting qualifications to start with in order to get into this job. There different levels and as long as you can tick some of those requirements and pass the initial interview, you are fine. I was slightly apprehensive about this whole thing, never mind even looking smart for the interview. Rasta girl in a suit from Primark with her first ever handbag, well that is who I was, but my boss was very impressed and I got the job.

I had five assignments in three days to start with and let me tell you, not something pleasant I was prepared to be part of. Many of you are very likely to have a friend from a foreign country and when you meet, you talk about your life, what happened, jobs, funny things. Well that is very far from the job of an interpreter. We also talk, in my language and English, but it may vary from simple things as filling out forms, clearing the mistuderstanding, being a part of medical examination to lot more complicated situations like family divorce issues, being nearly attacked during the session or talking about children and verbal and sexual abuse. I was literally thrown into this nasty world and I had to learn how to swim.

However not everything is bad. Five years on I still do this job for two language agencies and freelance and it pretty much always amazes me that there are people, who live in this country for many years and still do not speak the language. Or some of them are here short term, so there is the obvious need. I still cannot believe I get to sit on a chair and get paid for talking. Not much, as it is only hourly paid job and you are more likely to work somewhere between 1-3 hours depending on how often they need you. Which may vary  from twice a month to once in six months, plus different agencies have different rules about travel allowances and expenses.

But I do help people, so they can move on with their lives and their problems. The look on their faces is priceless and “thanks” they have for me and the staff I am dealing with mean personally a lot to me. It often leaves me wondering how lucky I am. And it is only because I overcame the fear of talking to strangers, learned the language and during my first year in Bristol barely spoke to any of the native Czechs or Slovakians. I blended in within the society and here is my reward years later. With the numbers of people ever here, working in factories and catering, hanging out within the community asking pretty simple questions within the Facebook group rather figuring them out themselves, no wonder how many people find themselves still with no vocabulary and knowledge, however managing to survive here for quite some time, but in a need of an interpreter, when it comes to something more complicated.

So here we are, not always walk in the park, but very rewarding job, I am very happy to do. Back tomorrow. Kat xx

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Day 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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