on my own again

Deadlines met, my fansites sort of updated, now it’s time for my personal blog update.

Soon, it’s going to be one year since I moved into my new home and room. As I had mentioned, we had to move out from our shared house. My sister decided to try and go back to Poland (she came back to London after one month), other people’s life situations had changed and in the end we all went our own ways. As soon as I came back from Poland (where I saw FFD), I started looking for a single room to rent in the same area we lived. The room I found that I felt was the right place with the right people (young Polish family with a 5 year old son and from Masuria, just like me) was the third place I saw and found after three days of hunting. I moved in at the end of August.

It was sad leaving that shared with friends and family house. Lots of great memories there. Our last supper was a pizza bought for the money I saved from selling my home made bread (that wasn’t very profitable ‘business’) eaten with my sister and her boyfriend on the floor in an empty living room.

I also started working in a different shop, much closer to my old home and even closer to the new one. To save money, I walked to work. It took me 30-40 min on foot to get to work. It was the same amount of time to go by bus, when and it often did stuck in traffic.

That change I welcomed more gladly. Different manager, luckily not Polish, but there were 6 Polish, including me, working in that shop anyway, the rest was Hungarian, Lithuanian, Slovakian and French for a little while. Area managers were British. That’s just the reality description.

I liked working with that team there. The atmosphere was a bit more relaxed, customers more friendly. It was getting worse when the shop was busier. That was one of the reasons why I left, but I’ll write about it another time.

Moving to a new home with strange people and going to work to a different shop made me feel that my journey continued on and a new sub-chapter of my life in London had just opened.

Charlotte Gainsbourgh and Connan Mockasin at Somerset House

Soon after our parents left, we had a visit from our landlord and two days later we found out that we would have to move out by the end of August, three months before our contract was over. It was also the end of my probation period at PAUL and I was told that I was a good worker but not friendly enough and should smile more. I can’t pretend. I was reflecting the general atmosphere of the shop… I didn’t lose my job, but they decided to move me to a different shop, which was rather suitable, because it was closer to my home, which we were about to lose. So you can imagine it was a bit stormy time. But among all that, a few things happened that took my mind off the storm and helped me to enjoy my time. I live in London after all!

You may find Connan Mockasin’s music a little weird, but it can grow on you. It did on me. I loved the music he composed for a short film “The Six Dollar Fifty Man” ( <–YOU MUST WATCH THIS FILM!) and so far he's released one solo album “Please Turn Me Into The Snat”. I recommend watching this interview with Connan on The Gravy, if you want to find out more about him.

I heard he was touring with Charlotte Gainsbourgh and when I saw they were playing one-off show in London, I bought the ticket as soon as they went on sale. Although I cared more about seeing Connan live, Charlotte was a nice bonus. I had two days off and after doing some voluntary work (I will write about it later), I got to Somerset House when the supporting act had already started playing. I didn’t really like them, so just waited patiently for the main band.

After 9pm, when it got dark (it was on 19th July), the band dressed in white went on stage with Connan and finally Charlotte. I had the feeling that there were as many Connan’s fans as Charlotte’s. The fact is that if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be there. They played mostly the material from Stage Whisper album, but at one point Charlotte, who was sitting on a stool in front of the band, stood up and took a place behind the drums. The stage light was making her shine like unearthly person. At first I didn’t recognise what she started playing, but when Connan’s guitar joined in, I felt shivers down my spine. I’m very grateful to whoever filmed it.

It was followed by Forever Dolphin Love and then David Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes.

I found a good review of this concert here.

Maybe New Zealand and France are enemies in rugby, but in music Connan and Charlotte make a perfect ‘marriage’.

I know an artist from the Royal Academy of Arts

I would be a bad sister, if I didn’t include Jola’s graduation in the highlights of 2012. My sister is an artist and now she’s an artist with the Royal Academy diploma.

For about two months, May and June, our living room changed into a workshop where my sister’s boyfriend and me were helping her to finish her works for her final show. Of course, I don’t take any credit for my sister’s works. It was technical help, like cutting out pixels in wood boards etc. I quite enjoyed it, to be honest. Then the boards were used as matrix to print the works. The final effect was stunning, especially with mixed colours.

On that special occasion, our parents made their second trip to the UK.

If you are interested, Jola has her website and you can see more photos from that show as well as her other works. Go ahead, visit www.jolantarejs.com!

Diamond Jubilee

Oh, yeah, there was something like Diamond Jubilee last year! I had a day off when it was the last day of the celebrations, which was on June 5th and the weather was awful. Nevertheless, I thought that since I was in London and such a historic moment was taking place, it would be wrong to stay home and think where would I be if it didn’t rain.

By the time I got to Whitehall, the Queen had already passed the crowds and carried on to Buckingham Palace. I got stuck at Trafalgar Square then moved on with people along the Mall. Here are my memories from that day in photos.

No, I didn’t see the Queen.

Happy Tłusty Czwartek everyone!

Tłusty Czwartek (Fat Thursday) is a Polish (and German) equivalent of Shrove Tuesday. Last year we were all sharing a house together with my sister and friends, so we celebrated it in a big way, which meant we made real doughnuts (‘pączki’, ask your Polish friend how to pronounce ‘ą’ 😉 ).

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This year, I think I’ll go to Krispy Kreme factory and cafe nearby.

This is my first day when I left my work at PAUL shop. One of the reasons why I decided to quit was that I was eating too many cakes and sweets and it was hard to keep my New Year’s resolution. Starting my first day of a job hunt with Fat Thursday, I find to be a hilarious coincidence.

The Umbilical Brothers at Southbank Centre

I feel like I’m writing memoirs, not a blog, that’s how delayed I am! But maybe writing from some perspective is better? I can write without unnecessary and boring details and note down what was the most important and interesting.

With coming of the spring ’12 there were a few anticipated events, like concerts and a film festival, that they made me disappear from the online life, but I still want to write about them. Things were looking up in April: I found a new job at PAUL, got accepted as a volunteer at Sundance London Film and Music Festival and there were some other little things that made me extremely happy and if I hadn’t daydreamed enough before them, they took my mind for the rest of the year. And who knows what this spring can bring. A new job, definitely.

OK, I should finish my rumbling and tell you about seeing live Shane and Dave who form a comedy duo from Australia, The Umbilical Brothers. I missed their shows in Poland in 2010 or ’11, don’t remember and I was glad to see they were doing some shows at Southbank Centre in April. But only after I had bought a ticket on 6th April, I realised it was Good Friday. It wasn’t the best day to watch a comedy show, but since it was my last day of work in the hotel, I thought I should celebrate it and go anyway.

The guys were amazing. They came out to an empty stage with just one microphone, introduced themselves and started talking to us, interacting and before we noticed they were already in the middle of their program! They were going from sketch to sketch so smoothly that you thought it was still a conversation with the audience. Brilliant! Later they used some props like a stool or a board, but really they didn’t need much to create their own world with just words and sounds.

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After the show there was a meet and greet, posing for photos with fans, signing DVDs etc. in the foyer. They were so down to earth, open and chatty, funny and generous with their time spent with people. Just as on stage they were natural, they were the same while talking with us. I took their autographs for me and also for my friend in Poland who told me about The Umbilical Brothers and showed some videos on You Tube, but she hasn’t seen them live yet. I wanted to send her a surprise.

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They said they wanted to perform a different program, but Southbank Centre specifically asked for Don’t Explain, so maybe they’ll come back again with their newer material soon?