Post 28: From London to Paris! 94 to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So here it is, I am off to Paris today. Obviously it would not be me without drama and even with plenty of time to leave to get the afternoon bus to London and evening Eurostar train to Paris. At the end I still had to take the taxi to get to the centre and push the driver little bit as he arrived 20 minutes later. He actually did manage to catch the bus on its way to Bristol and I just about made it. Although I left my house keys at home, so not a great start. My return time will be 2am.

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27: London Adventure with Jan Kraus!

Kat doodles about life:

We all need adventures in our lives and this trip to London was definitely going to be one of them. I surprised myself and managed to get up after last night’s celebration. With my friend we got on the bus knowing we are returning on the 7:30 am the next day without any accomodation booked. How typical and exciting! It was a gorgeous sunny Sunday, spring in the air and we were heading up to the third zone somewhere in North London, which after fifteen minutes of walk away from the tube station, felt more like a village in the countryside rather then The City.

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Post 26: Kat Is Back! 96 to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So I am back! And I am siting down after nearly three weeks away from the computer ready to tell you what happened. As you may have noticed I was not exactly happy bunny in the recent weeks, even months you could say. Somehow I have let the bad talk and gossip affect me way too much with addition of all the other stuff going on.

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Post 23: Birthday & Holiday Fever! 99 to go!

 

Kat wakes up and doodles about life:

 

Yes, my friend literally had to text me today to find out if I am alive as I have not been in touch for like a week! On Sunday whilst I was at work doing my last shift I got a text message from my potential student (and his girlfriend) that they cannot make the introduction session later on that afternoon. To be honest I was relieved as I had pretty enough already and was even glad to make it home on my bike.

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Post 21: Pack Your Bag, Buy the Ticket And Go On an Adventure! 101 to go!

Kat doodles about life:

For the last few years going back home for holidays does no longer mean holiday I can enjoy just relaxing. It sort of turns into a marathon of meetings with friends and family members, who want to catch up. Obviously it is great, because we always have so much to talk about, but there is not much else for me to do there apart from staying at home and going to the pub. It is only a small town, literally nicknamed as: the little town, where time stopped.” I may be gone for a year or two, but the same people sit in the same pubs doing the same things in their lives, so when you arrive, they just think you have been lifting the pints three pubs down the road. However the conversation can be picked up like you spoke to each yesterday.

Last year it happened by accident I went home twice in one month and one of the occasions I spend most of week travelling around the country with someone else showing them the natural beauties and sightseeings I have not actually seen myself before. I suddenly felt alive again. I escaped the every day life and that is probably why I left home in the first place and have not come back since for longer than just few weeks. I love escaping and discovering places. I am even known to go on holiday on my own. First time I left home, I got blamed for running away from the reality. Maybe I did, but at that time I just wanted to learn about new places and life abroad.

The same exciting way as discovering my own country I remember feeling the first time I saw the sea. I was about ten years old. We arrived to Catalonia after 24 hour on the coach and the sky was covered in dark clouds with sun shining through, but it all felt too calm and cold as it was getting dark. Another time I remember navigating my dad in the car on our road/work trip to Denmark and eating smoked salmon for the first time ever. I promised myself not to eat it again. (She writes now happily putting salmon on the plate any time possible.) I went and  jumped every morning into freezing cold sea and I am not even going to mention that we were fed by vegetarians for two weeks. That was a shock to the system ( although I did enjoy it!)

For some reason now thinking about all the different places I have ever been to, rather than buildings I would always remember the people and the weather of a certain moment. The smell of the air and the experience I had. Walking miles through the suburbs of Porto getting to the beach on a hot but windy day admiring the tiles houses are famously decorated with. Fresh spring sunny days of Sofia, when the trees get decorated with ‘Martenica’ ribbons or cloudy afternoon, when I first learned snowboarding. It is all about the little things like eating Stroop waffles on Scheveningen beach, sitting on a bridge in Dutch Leiden drinking wine swinging legs whilst boats are going underneath or sitting in a all sorts of places watching theatre shows in a languages you do not really understand to. I still remember the morning I arrived to London and watched squirrels in Hyde Park, the same way I first landed in Bristol with confidence and naivity saying to myself: ‘So here I am!’ into crisp and fresh January afternoon.

You can give me ten minutes and I am ready with a packed bag and passport ready to go. When I have a friend, who says there is a spare bed or come and join my adventure, if money and time are not an issue, I always grab the offer. Like this I could experience the Parisian life, East of Slovakia or coast of France more than just like a tourist… And more I am sure there more adventures to come. So here it is I am getting that travel bug once again, time to pack the bags me thinks. Stay tuned. Love Kat xx

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Day 21: Week three review and my favourite blogs& posts! 71 days to go!

Kat doodles about life and recommends:

Right today I should be reviewing my week, but I want to tell you about my favourite posts and blogs, so this will be super quick! I am on fire right about now! I have been productive or creative or both for the last 21 days and then managed to write about it, which in my eyes is special for definite. I had some lows such as passing out in hospital on Tuesday, but the rest of the week has been definitely on high. There are four different art projects I am suddenly putting my hands on, spreading myself over the internet, and just simply networking with other people in real life. It all feels lot more natural and somehow working. I have 71 days left to find myself full-time creative job within theatre design, interior design or any 3D spatial based industry or become fully self-employed. It is weird that somehow things have moved on quicker in the last three weeks then in the last three years since I graduated. There must be something about how people see you, how do you come across and in what way how you put yourself out there. I cannot explain it, but I hope you get what I mean. Anyway last thing to say to sum up this week is I celebrated nine years of living in Britain and today made group of retired ladies in a nursing home listen to me reading the post about it out loud after they finished their Monday afternoon quiz. Since I don’t see my grandmother very often, it is nice to hang out with them at least, and if it makes their day special, so why not to do a good thing. Plus they really (apparently) enjoyed it and clapped at the end. Very sweet of them!

I have added a new feature to my blog page. You can see ‘Posts I Like’ (Go to Appearance-Widgets-Posts I like)   now added to the left hand side column right at the bottom.  By being proactive for the last 21 days, I keep having about one new follower a day signing up to what I have to say. I have now 22 of them, how great is that!!! Thanks very much everybody! So I thought I would like to spread some love around, say Thank you for supporting me and let know the others about the great posts I get to read! Unfortunately some of them do not have Like button, but are worth mentioning. There are blogs, where I like the posts, but necessarily follow the page. It is because it is just not really my thing to read on ongoing basis, so please do not get offended. So here they are:

Learner Mother I have known Michelle Davis for years and always admiring her non stopping desire to do things. I guess when you have a husband (my now ex boss), two businesses two run and three children, there is not much of a choice. She writes about her life as a mum, her business ventures and house renovation and many other things. I just simply love her style of  writing, really useful advice she gives out and genuine interest of what is going on and how to help. My favourite blog posts recently are  On sleeping teeshirtsOn Credit Unions and On SW Broadband. If you like, you can follow Learner Mother as a blog and get e-mails from her. She won’t appear in my Posts I like, since she went self hosting, but she is working on how to get it back, so her posts can be liked. If anyone knows how to do it , I am sure you will praise you for telling her.

MasonBentleyStyle MasonBentley is a London based fashion label set up by Anna Mason and Kate Bentley. I think the main blogger is Kate, who started following my blog and although I am not really that fashion kind of person, I fall in love with her style of writing.  It connects fashion with the real world out there and makes it more I guess human is the word. Today’s post informed readers about splitting up the blog and label, but there are new plans, so I am sure there is lot more great work to be seen from both of them even they part separate ways. My recent favourite posts are A special day x talking about IVF, loosing babies and her daughter celebrating 7th birthday. Very moving! To the point it brought tears to my eyes. And the other one I really enjoyed is The Weekend x. Kate went to vintage fair in London, there are some really great photographs and I am sure lot more to see if you are a fan of this style.

The Culture Monk Kenneth Justice is blogging about I guess the life and people’s behaviour. He is reacting to everyday situations and putting it into wider prospect. When you look at his page, he has fairly big following, which indicates he must be doing something right. Since Kenneth started to follow my blog and I started following his, I really enjoyed these posts:  Just Today Please…REALLY???. He’s just too into you… Really???I thought We We’re Gonna Be Friends Forever…..What happened??

and here are few posts or blogs I enjoyed, but don’t necessarily follow.

The World’s Top 10 Best Ever Kit Kat Cakes. Blogger Russell also made me laugh when reading his little About, which comes in with e-mail notification, when he started following my blog: ” It is my job to make Websites famous! Maybe I could even help your blog to grow? But if you are reading this because I started following your blog then your blog doesn’t need it because it is already pretty awesome otherwise I wouldn’t follow it, and it is as simple as that.”How brilliant, you made my day Russell!

Nurse Reveals Top 5 Regrets People Make on Their Death Bed   That doesn’t really need much explaining…

Reasons Why You Should Travel While You are Young ItsRonEvan’ s blog about travels, adventures and tips.

A life less organised  Lovely and cute little blog full of reviews where to eat, drink and enjoy yourself in Bristol. It arrived in my e-mail account yesterday evening, so I haven’t had much chance to discover it properly, but it is written with love and certainly that personal critical touch. There are few sections about pub crawls in little areas of Bristol discovering all the local ciders and ales. If you like to be out and about I certainly recommend to follow nettastrophe’s blog.

Stay tuned for more blogs and posts in the future and if you share or follow my blog (www.katdesigner.wordpress.com) or like my Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/kat.portfolio), I will be over the moon! Thank You! Back tomorrow Kat xx

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Day 20: A place you call home. Crossing the 9 years mark! 72 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Today is a fairly special day. Not that something exciting would happen event wise, but it is more anniversary kind of day.  I already crossed that nine years mark of being abroad in June, but today it is more significant because it is in the UK alone. I came over in order to be an au pair. An advert on a job site showing beautiful images of countryside around Church Stretton and Shropshire was good enough reason for me to go and say yes after I spent four months in Netherlands doing exactly the same job. I had three to six months in my head and then wanting to move on to au pairing in France and Scandinavia. But that never happened and nine years later I am still living in the UK, still with the desire of living in France and traveling the world.

I still remember that sunny autumn afternoon, when my grandmother accompanied me to the bus station in Prague after three weeks of holiday back home after the Dutch trip. I soon realized the food supplies may not be enough for the whole journey, so I had to act very savvy and make it last until the next morning as I had inadequate amount of foreign money for stops in other countries on the way.  We arrived at London Victoria Coach Station at 5:30 am the next day and I had to wait until about  4 pm for the next bus to take me to Shrewsbury. I had £20 in my pocket, which back in Czech  Republic at that time was equivalent of enormous amount of money, I believe you could say around 60 beers. (Just remember that was 2004!) It was unbelievable! I was suddenly in the country I was only taught about at school and picked out randomly as my A level topic in Geography and English language. What a coincidence!  All the talk about Queen’s guard, English breakfast, pigeons, black cabs, fog, driving on the left became very real. I felt perhaps even too real as I was walking out of the bus station with my big 3 stone heavy backpack, small back pack in front of me and an art portfolio in my hand, when suddenly massive double-decker bus nearly hit me as I was going to cross the pedestrian. Right I have to start keep looking right first, not left! Oh my gosh! Wake up! Thinking to myself! Feeling very excited I ended up walking into Hyde Park to sit down for a bit and look at the London map I just bought, so I can see what The City has to offer before I have to catch the next bus. I sat on the bench in a foggy, turning sunny, morning Hyde Park watching pigeons and texting those exact things  to my friends back home of what I could see, smell and feel at that right moment. It was simply just way too surreal.  You would never think such a situation can stuck in your mind for so long. I remember it like it was yesterday. Later on in the day my hunger was getting worse, so I decided to buy a sandwich, but opted for a baguette of cheese and tomato, because I felt I am getting more value for money. How wrong was I! For half of baguette they charged me £4.50! I was horrified as a tourist wrongly comparing prices and what it could get me back home. For some reason apart from cafes and sandwich shops I did not notice any supermarket, so I guess buying it from a cafe next to Parliament and Big Ben, explains it all. Oh silly me.

People often ask me if I like this country?! Well of course I like it! Otherwise I would not be still living here nine years later! I have created my life here, working on my career, I made it work for me, I worked hard, people gave me opportunities, I got myself through two educational institutions and many other courses, and I met some really wonderful and dear friends along the way. Quiet honestly I consider myself British. In a patriotic sort of way. Obviously I am still Czech as my passport says and I did not resent my home country in one way, but I made sure I made it work and felt homely here. I joined and blended within the society and certainly expressed my feelings in case someone was trying to accuse me of stealing jobs, benefits, not speaking English or putting me into the same group with Polish people. I paid tax for all these years, picked up all the colloquial language and even a British boyfriend along the way. I fall in love with English breakfast (minus the baked beans) and Christmas minces, forcing my Czech friends and family to try during Christmas visits including the famous pudding and brandy sauce. I fall in love with the weather and all year round temperature, which allows you to wear pretty much the same clothes just with an addition of few extra tops when required. Obviously that had some impact of me not getting it quite right when trying to go out on a night out back home in minus twenty Celsius and foot high snow in high heels and little black dress and not much else. That particular lesson was quickly learnt. I fall in love with British politeness and everyone wishing each other lovely day, banks, post offices and shops being open during the late evenings and weekends including making all the required information needed online or over the phone comparing to the byrocratic system back home.

I just simply fall in love with this country and that is why I am still here. And I know that even some people I know back home judge me for calling Britain home, it is not that I would hate my native country, I still call home ‘home’ too, I just feel very happy here and I call every place or country around the world home, when feeling the same way. Plus entertaining my friends when speaking Czech with Welsh or Bristolian accent is priceless and I really do not mind being known as the English girl. And for those, who judge, I have developed simple way to shut them up: ‘Take your passport, book the ticket, pack the bag and do it yourself! Then we talk! ‘ They soon realize you cannot compare the amount of money you earn here to being lonely on your birthday, during Christmas or when simply things are just not great and you cannot pop over to your local pub to have a chat with your mate. I do not know how long I plan to be here. I may have to return next month or simply never. I am enjoying living like the character from Happy Go Lucky, so I guess I leave it until my inner soul says that’s enough!

Thank you reading and Thank you for being part of my 9 years (and longer) experience. With love Kat xx

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