Year On…

Kat doodles about life and speaks about languages:

Just over a year ago, when I started doodling my thoughts on slightly more regular basis and making other people enter my inner world, the really one thing I hoped for to be in a better place in the future. And you know what?! I am in a better place than I was a year ago. There were lot of ups and certainly downs along the way, including the drama, tears and hands covering faces moments, but things are very much looking up. And for a good while, I have been sharing my adventures and more to come with someone new. He turned up in my life-like it was a perfectly written film script.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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 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’.

wpid-IMG_20140207_174618.jpg

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

wpid-IMG_20140204_162917.jpg

Post 10: This Time All About Languages! 112 to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Since I was catching up with the previous post in the last few days and getting back to the normal life after such an exciting weekend, I have not really been up to anything arty as you would expect. But I have been up to another two different things, I guess both related to languages.

As you know I have also a Czech version of my blog and my last post was all about the feeling you have, when someone else translates your own words. Well I still have not heard back from the young man, so hopefully I did not scare him off too much. It did make me wonder what to do about my traffic and how to get other people commenting, not just my friends. I had a long search on Facebook and ‘Tinteweb’ for groups of Czech or Slovakian Bloggers. There were only very few and some of the content, rules or amount of people were not exactly that great.

So I decided to start my own one! It will be for anyone, who is interested in Czech, Slovakian and other foreign languages, travels, culture, translating, WordPress and other blog related issues or simply anything interesting people have to say. Very much like UK Bloggers as I am a member of, and which I have taken inspiration from, but it is mainly to create a community of people around this interest for the language and other related issues. And I can say that I have now 13 members within 24 hours of creating it. How exciting! Now I just need people, who are Czech, Slovakian or anyone else foreign with interest for these languages or the countries and make them keep posting. So if you have a friend from this part of the world or anyone, who is studying Eastern European languages, feel free to send them to here 🙂

This afternoon I had another lesson with my young chef and we studied all different kinds meat cuts and verbs related to cooking. I have to say I am pretty clueless, when it comes to which part comes from where, so as long as it can get to my plate, I am pretty happy. Therefore I had to sit down and do quite a bit of research before the lesson. And what have I found?!

There are quite a few different diagrams, but certain name cover different areas, all depending on, which country you are in. So I came up with one in Czech, French, British English and American English. You would be surprised once you start comparing it. And as he informed me there is even lot more to it, so we are both on a hunt for more information. I searched the usual links, which search engines came up with, but if anyone knows, which book your local butcher learnt from or anything useful on that subject, I will appreciate it very much. For now we compared beef, pork and lamb meat.

When talking about the pork it was actually hilarious, because the picture of British pig was very lean and it had none of that belly fat as two images of the Czech pigs. He explained (and complained) how the amount of fat in pig’s belly effects certain recipes and why is that. But it was fairly funny once he pointed that out. Have a little look for yourself.

prase

To get him learning all the new vocabulary and verbs related to cooking I have picked this nursery rhyme and asked the English speaking waitress to sing it for us. It was so funny, she pretty much danced around the restaurant and did it twice without even asking her again! She promised me she is going to ask him to do the same every time he comes to work. Excellent! You should have seen unimpressed face. However he must like my unusual ways of teaching as at the end of the session he said he has got someone else interested in my class! Triple excellent I say!!! Back soon love Kat

 I’m a Little Teapot 


I’m a little teapot  short and stout, 

Here is my handle, here is my spout,   

When I get all steamed up  hear me shout, 

Tip me over  and pour me out. 

Post 9: “When Two Are Doing the Same Thing… Expect Different Results!” 113 to go!

Kat doodles about life and gets translating:

Oh yes, I did. After missing the supposedly Monday deadline to follow my three-day blog rule, because of spending too much at work time this weekend and then having equally too much fun, I sat down this evening after another teaching lesson this time full of herbs and spices and kitchen utensils to conquer one of my resolutions.

I think I mentioned in one of the previous posts that I have someone offering help to collaborate on translating my posts into Czech language. I was trying to figure what to do. If I do it myself and perhaps ask someone to correct it for me. I am no longer familiar with my native language after many years abroad and I admittedly need a little bit of help. Or if I completely leave it up to someone else to translate and I correct them afterwards. Or the last option we do it by swapping around as we go along.

 

So this enthusiastic young man gets the e-mail with first post and the instructions how I image to be translated. Few days later he sends it back and here it comes. It is not what I was expecting! That is when the common Czech phrase “Kdyz dva delaji totez, neni to totez” came to my mind! Even just finding the translation of the exact meaning was difficult enough. It simply means: “When two people are doing the same thing, it is not the same thing!” I did a bit of search around and it comes with variations of for example Albert Einstein saying : Insanity: Doing the same thing… expecting different results. But then I settled for the title you see above.  So I hope it makes sense in what I am trying to say.

 

Now going back to the original idea of the post: I was reading my words, but they were not my words. They meant something different. They were written in different style. It was not me. I realized I will have to translate my own blog post to show him, how I feel I should sound, when I speak and write in Czech. Or at least I think I do. There were two things, which I have noticed. It was the lack of knowledge of certain expressions or him not understanding, translating it into something else.  Which obviously none of it being his fault. The second one was that he made me sound lot more elegant, lot more posh. My post suddenly sounded like something out pages of Guardian.

 

Obviously I am not criticizing him, he has done a great job, but I feel the post has not captured the real me. Or it has not come out through the spontaneity I write with. I took me few weeks to come to terms with it, so I finally sat down tonight and translated my first post with my own words and sent it back to him with notes. He has no idea who I am, he does not know me in real, never met me, so I wonder what he has to say, when he reads my doodles. I would not be surprised if he says: “She must be joking, she better does it herself!”

 

When I work as an interpreter, I do my absolute best to get it right. And I enjoy working with people in that situation. I can find out, what they mean as they speak. I think that is why I never really got into translating. You are not only trying to get it right, but also need to get into the head of the author trying to figure out what they meant to say exactly to the point during ‘playing’ with the language but without them being there. After living abroad for so long I cannot listen to anything dabbed in Czech and I scream in front the screen when the subtitles are not right or are missing as it spoils the beauty of the original. Years ago I watched a film with Woody Allen with subtitles and it has totally ruined the whole experience of the night and every time I think about it, it makes me really angry.

 

There is a really famous Czech translator of Shakespeare’s work called Martin Hilsky. I had an amazing opportunity to attend fantastic talk about his work on  Sonnets thanks to the fact he is a college friend with one my tutors. He is incredibly knowledgable and talented man, whose skills I am not even going to question, but I wonder what would Shakespeare say to his work? Would he say: “I am amazed how you got it right!”, “Not bad!” or “Totally not what I meant to say!”? Obviously they can never meet, as Shakespeare lived centuries ago, not even the people, who study his work now and are British. So no one will ever know and I guess as long as his legacy lasts, what is the problem, right?

 

What I am trying to simply say, it is strange to read your words in another language and come across the fact what it sounds like, should sound like or you want it to sound like without you doing the work. I am ending this post by taking my hat off to all translators for doing the very difficult work of pleasing many people, but not always making everyone happy. With respect, Kat x