Day 42: 2nd driving lesson and three prison doors! 50 days to go!

 

Kat doodles about life and gets arty:

 

 

Very good and productive day today. I only had three prison doors to paint, hoping to finish off today, but I will be going back tomorrow to do some more details. Oh btw. the tent  sheets are hanging up on the top bars and looking pretty circus wild. During afternoon I got to listen to the run of the show with songs of Nick Cave playing, had few sneaky peaks through the doors and  I am very excited to go and watch it myself in next few days.

 

The missing time must be the two hours I have taken out to do my driving lesson, which went really well. As I was picked up from Stapleton my instructor decided to make me to practice at the Downs. If you do not know Bristol, it is basically fairly flat area at the top of the hill with lot of greenery and parks around. It is great for walks and other fun activities. He picked up an area right at the back near Westbury on Trym and Badminton School, on the way to Blaise Castle. ( Now if you ever decide to walk like I had to last year on Christmas Day..”Let’s go for a little walk”..5 hours later only just about got back with in quite a bit of a state and still had to do all the cooking… So brace yourself to be taken via woods and all sorts).

Now back to the lesson. We went through few things just to clarify what was I up to two weeks ago and off I was driving. A bit scary the first time, especially when I asked him to remind me how to stop and he said I will show you, when we need it. Oh great I thought, my jokes are coming back to me. But actually it was perfectly fine. I drove three times with left turning around the Downs and then after I had to swap and try my first two right turn rounds. Each of the rounds was about three or four minutes long and I have to say I was fairly chuffed with myself. I have never thought I could become so fluent in just a second two-hour session. And so as happy was he.  I also got to try  stopping and starting on up and down the hill. Obviously there were the learner’s mistakes like getting the order of movement right, when starting, and I did have a bit of a wobble stopping in the middle of T Junction, because I accidentally pressed break instead of gas as my foot was not on any pedal. The big thing during the session was to keep an eye on parked cars on left hand side. I am still thinking as a cyclist, trying to keep closer to the left rather to the middle of the road and especially when changing gears between 1,2 and already 3 today. But overall very happy.

 

 

 

 

When I got back in a very an excited mood, it felt like I did not even have a lesson and just kept carry on with the scenic painting. Not only I had plenty of energy still left (that’s what happens, when you feed your car with petrol and not yourself with food to produce the power), but I also got to realize for a split second how useful it is to sit in a dry warm car as we were swapping seats back whilst it was drizzling with fine rain. Hmmm this is most likely not looking good for my bike, well at least in those winter/rainy months… which you how many there are since we live in the UK…

day42

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Day 12: Lazy day! 80 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Very quick one, but by posting this I am finally going to catch up with that one day missing. I simply had a day of chilling out. I got back from second working shift in early hours of the morning and after hectic week I basically stayed in bed pretty much all day before running to work again fairly soon. I won’t bore you with pictures of my beautiful fruit breakfast or jacket potato and salad lunch, but here is little details of card, which has arrived in he post. My provisional driving licence! Oh lala! So here we are no more excuses. Have a great weekend and don’t forget to read post, which I also just wrote and that is Day 11. With love Kat xx

day 12

Day 9: Your challenges! 83 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So today’s post should have been written yesterday, but I was keen to do more research on this, so I kind of had to wait and postpone:-) I would like to like pass on some motivation and tell you about the feedback I had in the past nine days.

So regarding You all, who I have been speaking to and the ones who said it sounds really interesting, however did not want and could not join this challenge I thought I will give out some examples of people, who were willing to think and perhaps need some encouragement from others. There won’t be any names, if they are reading, they will know, who I am talking about. So feel free to add to your wisdom, advice, experience as a comment, I am sure they will hugely appreciate it.

day9, p1

Person number 1: She has two challenges. The first one is to start running and the second one is to find time to be lazy or said in rather sophisticated way to indulge herself. So how could she possibly do this? I was thinking there two ways of how to deal with the running. You can set yourself first a certain amount of miles and see it your tempo improves on every day basis, perhaps making note of the weather conditions might help to see how it affects it. Once she is comfortable with the pace, perhaps extending the journey again will improve as the fitness did during the shorter run. To make this work in a long-term, depending on how confident runner she becomes, perhaps finding a date or a half marathon or marathon in the calendar could work as a goal and working towards that. I used to run, however just for fun, so if there are any experienced runners, feel free to add what is the best way.

Now the challenge is to be more lazy or indulge herself. Now I stopped eating chocolate few months ago, there won’t be any of this on my list, but perhaps reading a book every day half an hour before you go to bed. Or even a magazine. As explained in previous post, as used from the book of David Allen, keep a pile of all the things you need to read through by your bed. You have that little time before falling asleep, it will make you relaxed. Depending on your mood, you can choose anything from fashion magazine, industry reports to just book you got for Christmas and still have not had the time to open. Perhaps taking bath could be another indulging moment. Pick a film for every night of the week. Call a friend.

Person number 2: So this is rather exciting as I share this challenge with him too and that is to get ourselves to drive. And his girlfriend wants that too. They both actually got themselves into a bit of a rival competition few days earlier, who can learn first. I was going to pass on some details when he sends an e-mail he promised last night, but I still didn’t get one. You won’t win like this Mr.?!  I received my passport through the post yesterday, so hopefully within the next two weeks I will receive the provisional one. As said before, I have already been forced/motivated to  go through theory tests, I reckon this weekend I will do more practising.

Person number 3: He would like to tackle a new skill and start learning Spanish or Chinese. Obviously the typical way would be researching colleges, however when it comes to learning languages I feel personally it needs to come naturally to you. So putting an advert on Gumtree or searching for one and perhaps swapping your language skills could be an option. I did it with lovely young French lady last year, who was here for Erasmus Exchange studying law. I taught her English and she taught me French. By the end up we ended up really good friends and spent many nights tasting wine in Gallimaufry on Gloucester Road. I did not learn much French to be honest, but she really improved her  English and here we get to another way of learning. Go to the right place. When I lived in Netherlands, in only four months just knowing basic school English and German, I got to understand pretty much everything they said in Dutch and could use some basic phrases, when speaking.   Exactly the same thing happened in Bulgaria during my three months Erasmus Exchange and I am not even talking about Great Britain. After nine years over here-  I speak, dream, eat, feel, do everything in English. To the point I cannot any longer speak properly Czech and for everyone back  home I am the foreign girls who speaks Czech with English accent.  So here we are find yourself a foreign friend and start.

Person number 4: He would like to stop smoking. Not only it is bad for you, it makes everything around you stink, nothing pleasant to smell for others and lastly think how much you are spending. What did you say? You wanted to go on that holiday? Just think if the packet costs about £8 and you smoke 3 packets in a week, that makes it £1 248 of saving. Now that is worth pretty luxury holidays for two. Or that shopping trip to New York. Whatever you fancy. Some of my friends find the quite easy to use vaping products. This particular friend is using tablets, apparently it is that kick he is after. He did have few wobbles, so let’s see how it he does in a long-term.

And last but not least friend number 5: She has also two challenges. The first one is to save enough money to buy a car and the second is to change a career and become massage therapist. We have been “finding solutions” last night over few cocktails and came up with few different options. How to save money for a car. Although it is not much, at least it is something to start you off. One way is to stop buying magazines. There is plenty of gossip online, again the same kind magazines are left in doctor’s surgeries or hairdressers and if you think about it even if you actually buy yourself one of those magazines, there is not much new you would not know about particular celebrity. Recently joining Twitter, I realized, they are all there anyway. If you feel you really need to keep buying a particular one as it is about gardening or photography then subscribe. You can save yourself half or in some cases even three-quarters of the price. So instead of paying £4, you only pay a pound. If you sign up and there is another magazine being published by the same publisher, they usually give discount again or even better deal. Another option is to sign to freebie websites and order your free copy of magazines offered. Again most likely it will come with a phone call few days later and option of subscribing for cheaper than you would normally. Buying expensive once a month magazine and two gossip ones per week, can save you around £120 in 6 months. But also think about the extra coffee, perhaps chocolates bar or sandwich you are purchasing at the same time. It all adds up and £5 is gone you do not even know it. My little way of how to keep the change is to put them into “bee jar”. I have two. One for pound coins, when getting a bus. The second one is for all the other change. And trust me it is getting pretty heavy right about now.

day9 p2

Her second challenge is to change a career and perhaps becoming a massage therapist. My suggestion was to follow advice from a program: The Fairy Job Mother. Get in touch with all the saloons and say that you would like to spend a day following them and giving them a hand if they let you. Do it once every two weeks during your day off and in six months you will get amazing overview what it involves. You never know, who you may end up talking to and getting a job from. By offering your help for a day when not being really educated within the industry can give you clear idea if this is the right career for you and they get a help with putting dirty towels away. Obviously you have to start somewhere.

Enough for today, I hope you enjoyed reading about fellow readers, who are thinking of joining me. Feel free to let me know if you fancy joining us too and keep sharing and reading. With love Kat xx

Day 3: From High to Low! 89 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Alright, it is nearly 4pm of UK time and I am already writing this post, whilst outside it has not stopped raining second day in row. I think that is it for today, enough me sitting at the computer. I have been doing so for the last three days, wrapped up warm, recovering, drinking countless cups of tea.  I fancy a change. I started high and now I am feeling my energy levels are going down. Well there might be few reasons for that. Sleeping too much in the last few days and staying awake last night texting past my usual bedtime, being woken up by three demanding phone calls at 5 am, was the start.

When I got out of bed feeling fairly shattered, Ilooked into the fridge, finding it empty. Forced walking out of the house, I came backa with a treat in a form of nutella jar. How wrong I was. I stopped eating chocolate about three or four months ago and felt much better ever since, so hoping that little chocolatey treat will make me feel better turned into something like eating gurkin. It tasted horribly sweet and I am thinking Oh no, I have lost this little life saver. Never mind this sugar rush which brought me down few hours later.  There was a little hint of hope, when I managed to clear and response to my e-mails within only 7 minutes, but not long after there was this reply from CV Site waiting to tell the truth I didn’t want to know.

So apparently there are few issues, which prevent me from communicating my skills in optimum way. The first paragraph states following: There are grammatical issues …, … it is too colloquial…, …if an employer reads that you are ‘stubborn’ it would be off putting within the context …, … mentioning four jobs doesn’t send out positive impression. Alright with grammatical issues I can agree. That has always been a problem, I am not a native speaker, I can only keep learning and trying, because I know it will always follow me. I am not entirely sure why ‘stubborn’ used together with ‘perfectionist’ and ‘willing to learn’ does not translate as ‘motivated until achieving the goal’. I guess the negative feel of the word used without its context coming from someone, who is an Aries in zodiac, is not exactly giving the friendly willing approach. Lastly what is wrong with having four jobs? Is it the lack of focus I might be giving impression off? Surely having two different self-employed positions show that you are on your way to turn them into careers, whilst the other two part time jobs show commitment and secure regular income in order to pay bills and food offering to take time off when needed. Why all the cv gurus, employers or general advice out there tell you to keep going and making sure there is no gap on your cv and now being told that if you work too much sounds wrong. Anyone else had similar issue before?

Second paragraph is focusing on employment history. It is vast…, …for very brief periods, this would not instill confidence any potential employers…, You clearly have a lot of skills but CV needs focus…, … I appreciate that a lot of jobs are short term…, … better to provide details of the work and the props you designed rather than the designer/directors names. You clearly have a lot to offer, …you are creative and have flair but a CV is still a formal document and you need to adopt a few conventions in order to illustrate your talents and competencies without coming across as disordered. Looking back at my cv after reading this, was so painfully true.  I think the problem is when you are preparing your cv during your graduation time and not having that much professional experience, you are told it is important to tell all the directors and designers you worked with having to stretch it making it look reasonably good, but as time goes it may become a bit too much and I think that what happened to me. Taking your cv and giving it to people asking them to look at it with their critical eyes is nerve wracking and depressing, but the most helpful as knowing the weakness of your enemy.

They finished the e-mail by saying this: … Overall Katerina, it is a quirky and fun approach but that just doesn’t work for a CV and it would benefit from a rewrite for ease of reading… Further down were priced packages to make it perfect with extras added in case I would like to take this offer to improve it under the professional eye. Alright Thank you very much, but I think I need few days to take this all in and think about this changing it completely. In case anyone would to share their cv, which bagged them that job they wanted, feel free to send it to katerina.t.designer@gmail.com and perhaps share few tips on how they think which is best way, please do so. I am sure everyone reading will appreciate every handy advice.

I am ending this post with photograph of my ‘fun’ evening ahead. I have been offered emotional support and forced watching Driving Test Theory DVD, possibly so I am prevented from covering my eyes and having to focus. So I guess I will update you how it went tomorrow. Lovely evenig to everybody. Kat xx

day3

“I noticed in your CV that you don’t drive currently?”

Kat doodles about life:

So today’s post is actually about something that happened last week, but it is in my head ever since and it feels like when you hear a song, but it is on the loop. It is increasingly getting on your nerves and it shouts out loud. ” I noticed in your CV that you don’t drive currently?”

The time has come. I have been avoiding to this ‘skill to must have ‘ for certain (well most of them) jobs for the last ten years.  And I have managed to become very creative about how to get things done, how shift stuff around and how quick I can become compare to bus, car or train commuters. Me and my bicycle are pretty much one item and I quite honestly I use it and abuse it, but then I treat it to a good service twice a year. I have been told so many times by my close and very wise friends that having a driving licence is certainly “that” thing, which will get me a better job or getting me home without getting wet at 3 am, when I finish at work and the list of reasons why goes on and on.

Well apart from enjoying the countryside views on my rides there are two reasons why I still haven’t pass the test. Firstly I don’t want to get fat. Or more fat than I am.  Or shall I be polite to myself and say large instead. Everyone, who knows me personally can confirm I love to eat. Pretty much anything and I don’t mean junk food. I just love food. Full stop. Oh the colours, the smell, the experience. Oh yes. So to keep going with my passion I am absolutely fine with having to ride to work and out and about for an hour a two a day and get sweaty. Plus the extra motivation of being paid for it why not. Why would you want to become one of those people, who drives around and then has to go to the gym and pay for it in order to stay trim, when you can do it for free.  And secondly I am terrified, well of the speed car can go. You will be laughing that comes from someone, who loves watching Formule 1 races and finds it incredibly exciting. Well it is the same person, it’s me.  Somehow I feel that on the bicycle you are in charge of that speed you are going.  Plus that freedom of you can go anywhere and become part of a road or cycle path or just simply part of the pavement if the traffic gets a bit too much for example those massive three lane roundabouts.

Two weeks ago I treated myself a new A3 printer, scanner thing and got really excited about updating my portfolio. Exactly around that time local interior design company posted an offer of paid interior design internship. How fantastic, I thought to myself, thinking the universe is sending some positive messages. Great e-mail communication with the owner of the company since the start. ‘Great, keep going’ I am thinking to myself whilst resizing images in Photoshop at 4 am, when the cold shower comes in… the e-mail says: … “I noticed in your CV that you don’t drive currently?”… It was like slap in a face. My attempt of cycling to Bath or getting a train and cycling just outside of Chepstow may have made impressive impact of ‘ I really want this and I will do anything’. Unfortunately the job role involves visiting clients even further away from these locations in the middle of countryside. You will  have to carry mood boards and pieces of furniture around. I guess they may not appeciatte me turning up in cycling shorts either.

So here we are. The truth no one wants to hear. ‘Sorry you can’t get the job, because you don’t drive. But I will keep you on file.’ How lovely. There is a hope? Writing this post is somehow encouraging for me to go and get in touch with that guy with dreadlocks (yes that special bond between all people ever owning dreadlocks including me), who owns a driving school and drove past me few months ago. He seems like cool and calm kind of guy, who could help me conquer my fear. It may sound stupid as anything, but if that is beginning of me passing a test and getting on the road in order to get that better paying job, I better start writing an e-mail to him right now.

Fun card I created for a friend.

Fun card I created for a friend.