tag:litecms.co.uk,1999:blog-17 2016-08-14T17:10:26 Badly Drawn Girl Turning drawing girls badly into an art form. The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk LiteCMS 57125 tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-406 2016-08-14T16:49:332016-08-14T17:10:26 Two Weeks in Brighton<p> I haven&#39;t had much time to draw many badly drawn girls recently </p> <p> <strong>Walking Tour</strong></p> <p> When I was living in Krak&oacute;w I went on quite a few walking tours (some of them conducted in Polish). The tours were led by a company called &quot;Free Walking Tours&quot; and you paid as much as you like at the tour (if anything). I decided to go on a walking art tour of Brighton. The fee was &pound;5, I decided that the tour would have to be pretty bad not to be worth &pound;5. The tour wasn&#39;t interesting enough. We met up at the clock tower and a group of about ten of us went up the hill to the oldest church in Brighton. I&#39;d never been there before, so that was a good start. After a talk about the history of Brighton we went even further up the hill to the home of Aubrey Beardsley, then through the lanes to see an original copy of a Banksy graffitti (the kissing policemen). We ended up on the beach and learned about the rivalry between Constable and Turner. At the end of the tour we gave our host Nick Richmond a round of applause and the &pound;5 per head that he quite truly deserved. I look forward to going on some more of his tours (if I ever have any house guests that I don&#39;t have time to entertain I&#39;ll send them on the tour).</p> <p> <strong>One group dies</strong></p> <p> I&#39;d been along to a couple of meetings of the Drawing4Everyone group (held at the Cowley Club). It was quite a nice meeting. A small but friendly group. We&#39;d do some drawing, play some drawing games. All in a politically correct environment, not commenting on anyone&#39;s drawing (whether the comments were good or bad bad). After the drawing we&#39;d have a drink at the br. Our amicable leader (Dave) hadn&#39;t been getting enough teaching hours and had decided to return to Portugal. Some of the members of the group decided that they would be organisers, but alas the Cowley Club is a strange organisation where everyone and no one is a leader. Hopefully the group will arise from the ashes, but I still having my Tuesday night drawing (and drinking) group anyway.</p> <p> <strong>Another group starts</strong></p> <p> I noticed on Gumtree that someone (English) wanted to start up a Polish/English language exchange group. I&#39;d written to them expressing my interest but I didn&#39;t get a reply, so I didn&#39;t know where the meetings would be or even if there were any meetings. Fortunately the meetings were advertised on Meetup and I have already attended a couple of meetings. One thing essential to the success of language meetings is that you need native speakers. This is something we&#39;re in need of. Although my Polish is good, I am quite reluctant to try and teach anyone how to pronounce Polish. I took my Polish Scrabble board along to the most recent meeting and it proved to be quite a success (apart from the fact that I lost to several players who are only beginning their Polish language learning). I&#39;ve vowed to start reading again regularly to make sure my level of Polish doesn&#39;t slip any further.</p> <p> <strong>One houseguest leaves, another two arrive</strong></p> <p> Greg (after staying in my spare room had returned to Poland). The very day that he moved out I decided to host a couple of Couchsurfers. Kinga and Gosia stayed at my place for three nights and they were no trouble at all. Both of them in their early to mid twenties, from Krakow and working in Bristol for the summer. The weather wasn&#39;t exactly great for them, but they made the most of it. I didn&#39;t get to spend as much time talking to them as I would have liked, but we did have a few hours sharing a bottle of wine. I was so busy on the day they left that I didn&#39;t even notice they&#39;d left me a box of chocolates and a very nice thank you note.</p> <p> <strong>Pride Weekend / Photo workshop</strong></p> <p> I decided not to expect to much of the Pride festivities. I watched the parade (which was entertaining enough), but I didn&#39;t invite anyone over to my place to stay the weekend. As usual my car was trapped in the garage due to all the roads in the party zone being trapped. I considered going away for the weekend to avoid all the noise and chaos, but that idea went out the window when I got a last minute place on a photography workshop. Weekly Imogen is a very popular YouTube channel, with Imogen being the lovely host and model accompanied by Mark, the photographer and course instructor.</p> <p> We (the course attendees) met photographer Mark by the pier and walked along the seafront to meet Imogen. She was just as expected (having watched many of her videos). The sky was overcast, but this is an advantage (the equivalent of putting a giant studio softbox over the sun to provide even lightly without any bothersome harsh shadows). Mark led us through a series of interesting photo locations. Halfway through the workshop we were joined by Helen (a local girl, without Imogen&#39;s internet fame). I took nearly six hundred photos, without about 20 of them that I wasn&#39;t ashmed to publish up on my Facebook and FlickR accounts. Three of the photos I really, really like. I got a nice souvenir Polaroid with me sandwiched betweeen the two models. The workshop wasn&#39;t exactly cheap. It did prove what I always say, with a really hot model and quite a good camera you can take some &quot;nice&quot; photos. (click link below for FlickR album)&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/djsausage/albums/72157671015863220" target="_blank">https://www.flickr.com/photos/djsausage/albums/72157671015863220</a></p> <p> <strong>Dental Mechanics</strong></p> <p> My teeth were in a much better state than they had been for years. I&#39;d had six ugly metallic fillings replaced with nice white ones. One tooth had been completed repaired by sticking a crown on top of it. My teeth had even been scraped clean and polished. I&#39;d had one tooth extracted and even though it was at the side of my mouth (were no one would even notice) I decided to have it replaced with an implant (at great expense). The first stage was probably the worst. The documents I had signed outlined the procedure: &quot;A support will be gently placed in the jaw where the implant will be&quot;. It turns out the that here &quot;gently&quot; means a certain amount of the drilling and the screw-like support being driven screwed into my mouth with a torque-wrench like it was a spark plug into an engine. It was quite alarming the amount of pressure the dentist used. Luckily the bruising has now passed (after only two days) and I will return in a few month time, by which bone will have integrated with the titanium support and I can have a fake tooth to fill the hole.</p> <p> <strong>Kitchen Gadgetry</strong></p> <p> It seems that I still have more money than sense. My latest purchase is an automatic coffee machine by Dolce Gusto (bought on sale at half price from Argos). I don&#39;t even really like coffee, but I&#39;d been really impressed by this device when got to try one out when I recently stayed in a five star hotel while on holiday in Rzeszow. Basically you put a capsule (or pod) containing coffee etc into the machine, select the amount of hot water that you want added then press the &quot;go&quot; button. My kitchen worktop is now looking a bit crowded. I need to fix/replace my dishwasher so I get rid of the drainer that is taking up so much spacer. Also my four-slice toaster only half works, so should either fix it or saw it down the middle to free up some valuable kitchen real estate.</p> <p> <strong>In Other News</strong></p> <p> I&#39;ve been kept incredibly busy at work due to a colleague taking paternity leave. While it&#39;s good to be busy, it&#39;s not good to have so much work that it wears you out. Most days I&#39;ve have had to leave work early for various reasons (e.g. for hospital visits to see my mum or to get my teeth sorted out). As a result I&#39;ve been skipping my lunch break and not getting as much exercise.</p> <p> Living on my own in a three bedroom house with a reasonable amount of space and garage means that I don&#39;t need to tidy up very often (or throw things away). I&#39;ve acquired quite a few things from previous lodgers, some of them good and some of them not so good (see below for pictures). It&#39;s time for some belated Spring cleaning maybe.</p> <p> <br /> &nbsp;</p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-366 2014-12-22T10:51:232014-12-22T10:52:37 Christmas 2014 - Day 5 Canterbury<p> Despite the previous night&#39;s marathon drinking session I didn&#39;t feel too bad. Having a few glasses of water in the morning certainly helped. It wasn&#39;t until I started walking in the direction of the restaurant for breakfast that I began to wonder how much alcohol was still in my system. Those of us who were staying in the hotel after the party had arranged to meet at 10am for breakfast, thinking that half an hour would be plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast. All three of us opted for the Full English breakfast, in the hope that it would fill us up for a few hours at least. The breakfast was tasty enough but a little on small side. Unfortunately due to the slow service we weren&#39;t able to take advantage of the buffet as the waiters started clearing the buffet items away before we&#39;d even finished.</p> <p> I decided to go exploring round Canterbury. It wasn&#39;t the best of weather and I was soon reaching in my bag for extra clothing to help keep me warm. After a visit to the Norman castle and a walk along the riverside I had a wander around. Canterbury is indeed a historic city and there were plenty of ancient buildings dotted around. Conditions for photography weren&#39;t exactly ideal with the city under a heavily overcast sky. I didn&#39;t even bother getting my proper camera out of my bag. A few hours of walking had given me a bit of an appetite. I popped into to Boots for some sandwiches which were approaching their eat by date and a couple of bottle of diet Cherry Coke. Back at the hotel I managed to do a couple of hours work before getting bored.</p> <p> </p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-364 2014-12-21T18:59:022014-12-21T19:01:41 Christmas 2014 - Day 4, The Christmas Party<p> I spent nearly two hours on the train to Canterbury. I felt at home, not only was the train moving at the same speed as a Polish train, but a few Polish voices could be heard in the background. The hotel wasn&#39;t too far away from the railway station and I was soon checked in to my fancy hotel. My room was quite nice (and so it should be for the price), the view from my room wasn&#39;t exactly great (just the view of a roof).</p> <p> I made good use of the tea tray and wireless internet in my room before going to MacDonald&#39;s for a pre-drink snack. The cheeseburgers weren&#39;t as good as Polish ones, or maybe they were just different.</p> <p> For some reason I was expecting that our Christmas party would be in the hotel, so I was rather casually dressed when I went down to meet my colleagues in the hotel bar at 5pm. My plan was to return to my room before dinner and change into some smarter clothes. It didn&#39;t quite work out that way and I spent the whole evening feeling a little underdressed.</p> <p> The hotel bar was suitably impressive (as were the prices). My first cocktail was egg nog, a proper Christmas drink. Then a Bellini (peach juice with some sparkling wine). Each cocktail cost about ten pounds. After a couple of rounds of cocktails we headed to a pub for another drink before going to the restaurant. I stuck with Christmas theme and had a mulled cider, which was probably a good thing as a lot of the alcohol had been &quot;cooked off.&quot;</p> <p> The dinner itself was rather nice, at the Ask (Italian) restaurant. First course, some butterflied prawns, main course was duck and the dessert was a rather nice cheesecake with honeycomb. A few glasses of wine helped the meal go down. Dinner didn&#39;t take long, so afterwards we had time for a few more hours of drinks. I decided not</p> <p> Back at the hotel we decided to have some cocktails as a nightcap. I had this rather yummy banana rumba. It was well after midnight when I finally got to bed. I put a glass of water by my bedside as an essential hangover prevention method ready for the next morning.<br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-340 2014-10-21T16:43:472014-10-21T19:32:39 Essence of Beauty<p> Everywhere I go <a href="http://www.beautiful-krakow.com/blog/2014/10/ten-days-in-krakow.html" target="_blank">recently</a> I seem to be surrounded by beautiful women. Sometimes I&#39;m lucky enough to badly draw or photograph them as the sun sets and the shadows move across their faces. Sometimes I capture it successfully, sometimes I don&#39;t.&nbsp;</p> <p> Below:&nbsp;Recent drawings na &#380;ywo at Klub Nie Lubi&#281; Poniedzia&#322;k&oacute;w</p> <p> </p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-326 2014-09-10T13:18:062014-09-10T13:21:25 All in a Day's Work<p> <strong>The Accidental Interviewee</strong></p> <p> The evening was carefully planned (and in some cases overplanned; I had brought two pencil sharpeners with me and used neither of them). Dinner at 7pm, meet friends at the bar at 9:29pm, head for karaoke at 9:30pm. We hit the bar at precisely 9:29pm. Krak&oacute;w Post TV were filming interviews on the theme of the Language Club. Filming had finished, or so I thought. After settling down inside K&#322;adka at a cosy table with a couple of Ciechan Miodowe (honeyed beer). We were discussing about how I would like to reach a larger audience when I was soon accosted for an interview. I had to answer various questions. &quot;How long has the club been running"&quot; etc etc. I answered the best I could. &quot;What is your role as organiser"&quot; Blah, blah, blah... Despite being &quot;relaxed&quot; by alcohol I was slightly nervous and the coughing fit didn&#39;t help either.</p> <p> <strong>The Shit Sandwich</strong></p> <p> So, nearly two hours later than planned we set off en-masse for the barge and a night of karaoke fun. The event wasn&#39;t particularly well attended and with our arrival we almost doubled the number of people there. The first few singers were truly awful. R.E.M&#39;s Man on The Moon (a song which I can play on guitar and sing along to) was well and truly massacred. When singing karaoke the worse the singers performing before and after you are, the better it is. The shit sandwich. This is a little bit like the management technique the bad news sandwich. Or the good cop, bad cop routine. Someone sings badly, you sing (the audience is slightly relieved), then another crap singer performs (the audience hopes for your return). Unfortunately the shit sandwich wasn&#39;t delivered. There were some really good singers there (amongst all the awesomely bad ones). We left several hours later, the female members of our party agreeing, &quot;I hate that kind of girl, slim... good singer... bitch!&quot;</p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-324 2014-08-27T17:22:282014-09-06T12:34:23 A Badly Drawn Weekend<p> It&#39;s been a tiring weekend. Tiring in a good way, though. It was Bank Holiday Monday in the UK, so that was a day off, which was fortunate as I had a guest staying. Not just any guest, but a special guest. The last time we&#39;d seen each other (apart from an all too brief meeting at her gig back in Kielce) was just over a year ago in Brighton. It was at the time of Brighton Pride, which is normally the biggest thing all year to happen in Brighton, but this paled into insignificance when compared to the quality time spent with my drinking buddy and photographic model.</p> <p> This time we were meeting in Krak&oacute;w and fortunately there were plenty of opportunities for not only photography, but drawing too. Luckily my house guest was quite accommodating and I didn&#39;t have to make too many changes to my weekend routine, apart from cutting out some of the slightly more boring bits.</p> <p> <strong>Day 1</strong></p> <p> First drawing opportunity of the weekend was the usual Sunday meet-up at Klub Nie Lubi&#281; Poniedzia&#322;k&oacute;w (I Don&#39;t Like Mondays). My guest was prepared to model, but in the end she wasn&#39;t needed as we very nearly had more models than artists there. She was quite happy to sit and read while I tried very hard to create good likenesses of our two models. First up in the modelling hotseat was young Kasia, I&#39;d drawn her a few times before, so she wasn&#39;t too hard to draw. The next model proved to be a little bit more difficult. A little bit more mature and two things about her that artists love to hate... glasses and curly hair</p> <p> After drawing next on my Sunday timetable would normally be Scrabble. Much as I love Scrabble I wouldn&#39;t never inflict it on my guests. After a quick stroll around the Rynek (main market square) we decided to go a bar with a nice beer garden (Krakowskie Zak&#261;ski) so that I could attempt to draw her. The drawing didn&#39;t go too badly, it wasn&#39;t a great likeness, but it was very pleasant to sit outside drawing and occasionally supping my beer. Next stop was to get a bite to eat, just before a concert and inevitable drinking large quantities of alcohol that. The fact that restaurant was right next to Pi&#281;kny Pies (where the concert was to be held) was a bonus. Inadvertently I had chosen one of the most romantic restaurants in Krak&oacute;w. After our candlelit dinner we joined some of my friends at the concert. I took a few photos there. Really I should have done some drawings. Back in the good old days when I was at my artistic peak I would draw at concerts and jam nights with my artistic friends, if we didn&#39;t have paper we would draw on beer mats. After several hours at Pi&#281;kny Pies my guest and I were fairly tired from the day&#39;s activities and headed for home.</p> <p> <strong>Day 2</strong></p> <p> Monday turned out to be a day of photography rather than drawing. The first photo opportunity was at the botanical gardens. It wasn&#39;t the best time of the year to visit the gardens, but we got some good photos anyway. It wasn&#39;t all plain sailing though. Outside I had to use the neutral density filter so that I could shoot wide open at F2 in the bright sunlight. Of course, I was soon scratching my head wondering why the photos were so dark inside. Another useful lesson was learnt why I tried my hand at macro photography. My subject was a dragon fly. A fairly stationary one, so that wasn&#39;t a problem. Depth of field was a problem though. At F2 with the subject just inches away from the lens the depth of focus can be measured in mere millimetres. Lesson learned, next time I&#39;ll try a much smaller aperture. We headed back to my place, stopping on the way to take a new Facebook profile picture for me. Next stop was Pizza Hut, on the menu for me, pizza and photography. For my muse, pasta and posing. I managed to take a fantastic new profile photo for her. More by accident than design my sketchbook was visible in</p> <p> Fully refuelled to set off along the river towards Wawel Castle. K&#322;adka Bridge (with its many lovelocks) provided the next photo background. We ended up not taking any photos at Wawel and went to Kazimierz to find a nice place for a refreshing drink. Kolanko No. 6 proved to be the perfect venue. I had a litre of water and an ice cream and I was indeed refresh and took one of my favourite pictures there; possible source material for a proper drawing. But I settle for taking some photos. One of which turned out to be my favourite photo of the day, (and possibly the week, the month and the year). The subject was just a pretty girl, stirring her cappuccino. Simple stuff, but a lovely image. I&#39;ll try to make a drawing from it at some point. After my cool drink and even cooler ice cream I certainly felt like I had a little more energy. We decided to get a taxi back to the flat so that we would have enough strength for the evening&#39;s entertainment.</p> <p> In the evening we decided not to take our cameras. I say we, but it was more my decision. As it turned out there would be plenty of things to photograph that evening. First event was the Language Exchange meeting, which I was supposed to be hosting. We each had a Ciechan Miodowe at Kladka Cafe and attempted to remake our beloved &quot;Beers at Leicester Square&quot; photo. The light was not good, to say the least. Then over the footbridge for dinner at the lovely Japanese-themed restaurant &quot;TAO by Zen&quot;. A lovely interior which I could only capture using the camera in my smartphone. There is a saying that the best camera is the one you have on you. My model/guest/muse informed me of a different saying &quot;Taking photos with a camera phone is like masturbating with a condom on.&quot; Well, I&#39;m not entirely sure I would agree with that. But yes, it would have been nice to have a proper camera with us. Crossing the bridge there was some amazing spiders&#39; webs lit up by the bridge&#39;s multicoloured lights.</p> <p> Heading along Grodzka we stopped off at a shisha bar for a smoke. The shisha bar is an interesting place. You walk through what seems to be your average run-of-the-mill kebab shop. Then you enter a magical wonderland full of cosy &quot;smoking bays&quot;. We chose the cosiest of the bays and had a rather pleasant shisha full of apple-flavoured smoke, washed down by a couple of beers.</p> <p> Then we headed to the Rynek (yet again). Walking down Bracka listening and singing to Bracka by Grzegorz Turnau (thankfully it wasn&#39;t raining at the time). Some things you can&#39;t just capture on camera.</p> <p> <strong>Day 3</strong></p> <p> The final drawing and photographic opportunity of the long weekend was at The Dorsz (Fish and chip restaurant). This place has absolutely fantastic lighting (especially downstairs). I made one attempt at drawing (which came out merely ok) and took some rather nice photos (although none of them were as good as those taken at Pizza Hut or Kolanko No. 6). Beers were drunk and (in my case) apple fritters (with ice cream) were consumed. A nice way to finish a long (4-day) Bank Holiday weekend.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-322 2014-07-24T15:24:342014-07-24T15:36:04 Bad Bad Artist<p> Confession time, I have been a bad, bad artist</p> <p> Not only have I failed miserably in my drawing a day project, but my New Year&#39;s Resolution to draw and photograph more naked and semi-naked modelkas isn&#39;t going too well either. The road to hell is paved with good intentions (and episode of Breaking Bad). On the plus side, I am still going regularly to the Rysowana Niedziela meetings at Klub Nie Lubi&#281; Poniedzia&#322;k&oacute;w (Drawn Sundays at I Don&#39;t Like Mondays Tea Rooms). Progress isn&#39;t too bad and I&#39;m producing some good likenesses between the occasional bad ones.</p> <p> </p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-320 2014-07-05T15:17:472014-07-05T16:09:30 A Distinctly British Evening<p> Sometimes life is cruel. Very cruel. One day everything can be going just fine until you lose a limb in a bizarre chainsaw juggling accident. Or you could find yourself forced to work on an IT support helpdesk with the only thing keeping you from quoting lines of &quot;The IT Crowd&quot; at your clients is the steady pay cheque that keeps the roof over your head.</p> <p> My dinner meeting was to be not with the hapless not-quite-good-enough amputee juggler, but with Dee the helpdesk girl who should by rights be in a rose-covered English country cottage penning some masterpiece with a fountain pen, while a cat gently purrs on her lap. Well, she has the cat, but it was my solemn duty to dump some Englishness right on the aforementioned lap. I had announced that I would be heading for England and invited my nearest and dearest to ask for what their heart desires. Some of my friends had chosen such delicacies as chocolate, a couple of kilograms of strong cheddar cheese, bacon and biscuits. Dee had asked for some typically British food items that were hard to get in Poland or, failing that, some food for the soul. Specifically a book &quot;a nice and cheap one&quot; should perchance I were to come across one.</p> <p> So, off to England I went, with a spring in my step and a song in my heart. The good ship EasyJet saw me safely to England and, in turn, its bountiful supermarkets. I returned, shopping lists ticked off in full. Oh, yes and I did get that book, but more of that later...</p> <p> Back in Krak&oacute;w it was time to distribute the &quot;presents.&quot; Cheese... delivered. Bacon... delivered. That just left those items I&#39;d bought for Dee. We arranged to meet at The Dorsz. I would be handing over some British goodies to my lovely Anglophile friend in a distinctly British setting over a fish and chip supper. How terribly British, what could possibly be more apt"</p> <p> It was whole fortnight after my return to Poland before we managed to meet. I carefully packed my bag. Camera (for photographing my dinner), magic stars, digestive biscuits (heaven knows how well they had survived the trip from England) and, not forgetting, the book. Despite my best efforts to arrive first Dee was there waiting for me. We ventured downstairs and, after ordering food and drinks, began the handing over ceremony. Magic Stars (two bags)... received gladly. Chocolate digestives... received gladly. Then the surprise mystery gift. The book was received very gladly indeed. Upon seeing the book (which was neither cheap nor easy to obtain) her eyes lit up like I&#39;d pulled a blazing torch out of my bag rather than a collection of words printed on slightly off-white paper.</p> <p> As one not given to false modesty I must admit that I&#39;m really rather good at buying presents (for some people anyway). The more I like/love/adore/admire a person the better the gift they will get. If I ever buy you a car they you should take it as read that I really, really like you and probably love, adore and admire you too. Anyway, Dee got her book and some fish and chips. I had offloaded my gifts and had basked in the warm glow of Dee&#39;s presence. It was time to pay the bill and I quietly snuck away to settle up. Then came the usual cat and mouse game of her wanting to contribute and me not accepting a single grosz. This time she even shoved her share of the bill into my pocket. Said money went back and forth between us a couple of times, before she gave up. I had &quot;out-stubborned&quot; her. A difficult and potentially dangerous gambit to be played between two Taureans. In the end we were both winners. For we parted that evening with both of us having something to look forward to. For her, it was <em>that </em>book. For me, it was our next meeting.</p> <p> <br /> &nbsp;</p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-317 2014-06-30T10:58:262014-06-30T11:02:57 Nothing much of any consequence<p> <strong>Day 3</strong></p> <p> The day started with a hangover. Breakfast consisted of tea, marmite on toast and paracetamol. A walk along the seafront was made as far as Holywell. The walk was a struggle with my stomach still feeling very fat from the excesses of the evening before.</p> <p> Afternoon and early evening entertainment consisted of watching the Twilight movie.</p> <p> In the evening I had a birthday party to go. I read that the party was being held in the function room rather than the party proper and there was limited space so it was &quot;invited guests only.&quot; I realised that I wasn&#39;t an invited guest and I had invited myself. Luckily I had seen the birthday boy the previous day and he had apologised for the late invitation as he didn&#39;t realise I was in the country (although in reality I hadn&#39;t been invited at all).</p> <p> Anyway after contacting the person organising the party I now had an official invite. I went along to the party armed with my camera, so that I wouldn&#39;t get too bored even if there weren&#39;t too many people to talk to.</p> <p> Luckily there were enough people to talk to, some of whom I hadn&#39;t seen since before I left the country for Poland.</p> <p> <strong>Day 4</strong></p> <p> Breakfast entertainment was provided by Russian television. There was an interesting documentary about men in Kazakhstan who are taking second wives. The interviewees were being in Russian with subtitles in English. I was surprised by how many words I understood. Knowing Polish is indeed a good base for learning Polish. Perhaps I should started learning for Russian.</p> <p> Apart from the usual walk along the seafront the rest of the day&#39;s entertainment was mostly televisual. Another Twilight film which stretched the limits of credulity. Then a film called Oculus about an evil mirror which, for four hundred years, has been impelling people to do things against their will.</p> <p> Evening television was Come Dine With Me. Later in the evening it was time to visit a friend to watch a film (the music for which had been done by a mutual friend). Ciders were purchased and the film was watched. Most of the rest of the evening was spent listening to and discussing Michael Jackson&#39;s new album. Xscape has released from beyond the grave and &#39;reworked&#39; by currently hot producers such as Timbalake. The songs, quite frankly, sounded a bit of a mess. Then we listened to the same songs un-contemporised, much better :)</p> <p> <strong>Day 5</strong></p> <p> During the day I managed to visit to my parents (this time I didn&#39;t have any gifts to take). In the evening there was a pub meal to enjoy.</p> <p> <strong>Day 6</strong></p> <p> I got a fairly early bus back to Brighton. Unfortunately I had managed to lose my headphones somewhere in Eastbourne so that was one source of entertainment not available. Internet was running low too. There were people to meet and shopping to do. I went to Bella Cafe (keeping the Twilight theme running). A nice vegetarian breakfast made sure that I wouldn&#39;t go hungry for a while. I managed to meet an old friend who I hadn&#39;t seen for a while. This was a Polish guy who had helped me learn the instrumental case in Poland. So, I shall be eternally grateful for that. In the afternoon I headed for the town centre (via the seafront). Even though it was only three months since my last foray into Brighton quite a few things had changed. Construction of the i360 viewing had started (well clearing the site at least). Various Mexican restaurants have popped up too. I managed to buy some pencils, a couple of short-sleeved shirts and some new trainers. In the evening I managed to get some more presents for friends (some incredibly cheap cheese and some bacon).</p> <p> My coach was very early in the morning, so it was a difficult decision as to whether to get a few hours sleep or just stay awake all night. I opted for the red-eye approach. The flight soon passed and I was back home in Poland in time for a very active and tiring week.</p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-312 2014-06-19T14:08:092014-06-30T11:03:30 National Pride<p> After tea and toast for breakfast, it was time to go off for a quick walk into town (which didn&#39;t take long as Eastbourne town centre has only forty or so shops packed into a very small area). Then a quick walk along the seafront, it was nice to see an international food fair near the pier. Stalls representing various countries such as Poland, Canada and France were presenting their wares. I managed to resist temptation as I knew I would need stuffed my face when I visited my parents later that afternoon.</p> <p> When stopping off at Sainsburys to buy some supplies to eat in the UK and presents for friends back in Krak&oacute;w I spotted that Kr&oacute;wki (fudge) was available. I had brought some all the way from Poland to give to my mother and all they were available right here on her doorstep. I consoled myself with the hope that I had probably saved some money and the fact that I had lugged them a 1,000 miles would make them more special.</p> <p> I turned up at my parent&#39;s place at the appointed time. The front garden was surprisingly tidy (normally there would be bikes everywhere). The front door was already open. My mother was sitting watching TV at such a high volume that it made conversation virtually impossible. I handed her the treats I&#39;d brought from Poland for her (the aforementioned specially-imported fudge and some Ptasie Mleczko) and a quiche which I&#39;d bought from the not-so-for-away Sainsburys.</p> <p> In the several hours that I was at my parents I managed to read a special edition of The Sun (distributed free to 22 million readers apparently). This was a special edition devoted to National Pride edition and British Greatness, issued to help us win the World Cup or something like. Along with the usual Sun rubbish about Churchill and the White Cliffs of Dover there were some generally amusing articles. Page three featured three girls (all clothed) supposedly representing English hotness. Kelly Brook (quite rightly) took the number one slot. One of the other girls had a distinctly Polish surname. Perhaps this was just a cynical ploy to convince the Great British Public (stop sniggering) that The Sun really isn&#39;t edited by a bunch of far-right Polophobes. There was a series of front-page mockups if The Sun had reported great events in history, such as the Great Fire of London.</p> <p> There was also a series of lists (some of them amusing, others not so). For example, a list of the top things that characterises Englishness (note that this excludes the Welsh and Scots). Most of the things on this list would probably apply to Poles too. Another list titled &quot;The Greatest Living English Person&quot; was headed up by The Queen (God bless her). Near the bottom of the list, can you believe it, Ant and Dec. Hang on a minute, that is two people and they are not particularly that great. Well, that&#39;s Sun readers for you.</p> <p> .....</p> <p> Later in the day I was reading the Daily Mail (another right-wing rag). This proved to be quite readable, including such high-brow articles as a feature about Keira Knightley&#39;s small but perky tits. There was also a comparison of the figures of women of now and sixty years ago. Apparently average women today are two inches taller, two dress sizes bigger and now have fantastic 36DD breasts (as opposed to the standard 34B of yesteryear).</p> <p> My stay in England was quite well timed. In the evening a barbecue birthday party was planned. The weather was fantastic and the food was great too. During four hours sitting outside topics of conversation covered such diverse topics as how great driverless cars would be and Japanese porn terminology. At 11pm we had outstayed our welcome and moved on to our friend&#39;s flat (the guy who&#39;s birthday it was). Another hour and a half filled with more alcohol, chocolate and magic tricks with cards. I got to bed at 1AM, having had far too much food, alcohol and sun.</p> <p> <br /> &nbsp;</p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-311 2014-06-18T15:25:122014-06-18T15:39:15 Sorry, I didn't recognise you with your clothes on<p> I woke up fairly early (at around 6am) to finish packing, make myself lunch some and generally prepare for the off. The rest of the day was to involve a certain amount of sitting around</p> <p> The taxi arrived at around 8am. I told him to head for the airport and he asked me how much time I had before my flight. Two hours was my answer (although in reality it was more like two and a half hours). The driver had good reason to be wary, as Krak&oacute;w Airport is undergoing massive rebuilding work. The result, traffic jams. After taking the back streets to avoid Krak&oacute;w&#39;s rush hour traffic we found our way to within a couple of km from the airport before hitting a big traffic jam. The traffic was just crawling along and after an hour of sitting in the taxi I was quite happy to get out and walk the final five minutes.</p> <p> Baggage drop was queueless and security screening was relatively quick too. Another hour of sitting down waiting for the flight to board. Having boarded the plane it was time for some more enforced sitting. I had a seat in the first row. After a bum-numbing two hours (I managed to read the in-flight magazine for most of that time) we arrived at Gatwick. Luckily we arrived at the South Terminal (saving me a bit of time getting a shuttle there). At Gatwick station the train arrived after a few minutes. The train was packed with a diverse range of people (which is probably to be expected on a train from the airport). I spotted my first transvestite (or possibly), there would be many more to spot on this trip for sure.</p> <p> By about 1pm I was back in the house in Brighton. After a brief break I decided to stretch my legs and walk to the marina. I arrived at the marina I stopped at McDonald&#39;s for my usual cheeseburger and milkshake. Walking round the marina I couldn&#39;t help but think about all the places there I&#39;d been with Kasia (The chinese floating restaurant, the Indian restaurant, Pizza Express and Harvester &quot;Katarina&quot;.</p> <p> After walking back to the centre I had developed an appetite again. Sushi was the order of the day. Back at the house while idly browing Facebook I noticed an event that I could go to, namely life drawing. I booked my space, sharpened my pencils, found some paper and I was all set.</p> <p> The drawing session was interesting (a couple more hours of sitting down). When I arrived there only the organiser was there. Soon the model (Michaela) arrived. It was one of those situations &quot;Sorry, I didn&#39;t recognise you with your clothes on&quot;. It turned out that I had drawn her before. The drawing went well (accompanied by a couple of refreshingly-cool pints of cider).</p> <p> After the drawing I stopped home to grab my luggage and made the one minute walk to the bus stop. I had to wait fifteen minutes for the bus. The bus stop is right next to a gay bar. It served as a reminder of just how gay Brighton is. On a scale from 1 to 10, it probably rates at about 8. Rising to 10 during Brighton Pride week. The bus trip gave me another hour of sitting down, whereupon the journey terminated just outside McDonald&#39;s in Eastbourne town centre. I resisted the temptation of having another burger.</p> <p> </p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-308 2014-06-01T07:51:112014-06-01T07:56:29 All Series Must Die<p> Television plays a relatively small part in my life. I do have a television in my room, but the only thing plugged into it is DVD player, live television is a rare treat for me. Apart from watching my treasured collection of Friends DVDs this only leaves me with the internet.</p> <p> Real life takes precedence over televisual entertainment every time. I happened to be in America when the final ever episode of Friends was aired. This would have been an opportunity to watch the conclusion of my favourite sitcom a whole week earlier than usual. Did I watch it" No. Can I remember what I did instead" Also no. Ultimately it doesn&#39;t matter to me. Watching something (even the end of something) isn&#39;t essential. If you miss something you can be sure that someone will tell you about it, or, failing that you can make up your own ending.</p> <p> This brings us to spoilers. For series such as Game of Thrones they are pretty hard to avoid (especially for Facebook users). There is always someone who has to blurt out something along the lines of &quot;Oh my god! They killed XXXX. You bastards!&quot; Some people are annoyed by this. Maybe they consider it akin to finding out the result of a football match before they&#39;ve had a chance to watch it. I&#39;m not so bothered. I want know how they died, how that game-winning goal was scored (although in reality I find football barely tolerable).</p> <p> Recently I watched the entire five seasons of Breaking Bad in the course of a few weeks. We are probably talking about forty hours of compulsive viewing here, but even then I couldn&#39;t help myself but self-spoiler by reading the episode guide (in its entirety) on Wikipedia before watching the actual episodes. Did it ruin it for me" Not really. Sure it may have taken away some of the shock value of the series. But, it&#39;s only television. Damn good television, but still television nonetheless.</p> <p> At the same time as finishing watching Breaking Bad I had also got completely up to date with Game of Thrones and watch the finale of Friends. What to watch next" I&#39;ll be watching Friends again, but this time with French subtitles. Breaking Bad and GoT I&#39;ll watch again, but only with Polish subtitles. At least that way it has some educational value. So, at the moment I&#39;m not looking for the next big thing in TV drama, I&#39;m back in a reality where meth labs and dragons are a rarity. (Actually here in Krak&oacute;w there is a Parade of Dragons, but fortunately meth labs are hidden away from public view).</p> <p> <br /> &nbsp;</p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-304 2014-05-16T11:31:002014-05-16T11:49:26 Week 1 - A Badly Drawn Week<p> This week has been rather painful. First, the drawings are taking too long (for what they are). Second, out of the eight drawings I&#39;ve done only two of them I would regard as a good likeness. A 25% success rate isn&#39;t very good. The drawings below are some of my friends from Facebook (apart from one of a girl modelled for us at Klub Nie Lubi&#281; Poniedzia&#322;k&oacute;w) Anyway, it&#39;s been good practice drawing every day, but I&#39;ll take a few days off. Next week I&#39;m starting a new project, watch this space for details. The weather is predicted to be fantastic and I&#39;ll have to do more work than of late, so finding the time could be tricky.</p> <p> </p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-283 2014-03-14T13:31:372014-03-14T13:33:36 A Working Holiday<p> <strong>Day 1 - Flying Out</strong></p> <p> I was hoping to get cheap tickets and travel in February. But, alas, it wasn&#39;t to be. So, I ended up travelling in February using one cheap ticket and one medium-priced ticket. Unfortunately, I hadn&#39;t quite finished that very important website project before my trip, so I would have to do some work. The shuttle train between Krak&oacute;w Central and the airport is out of action and will be for the foreseeable future. Because of that and my stupidly heavy backpack with was at the very limits of what can be classed as hand baggage prompted me to get the taxi. I needn&#39;t have rushed there. The flight was nearly half an hour late before it set off. Giving me the opportunity to do some work (normally I would just idly stare into space rather than work). The flight was uneventful (as are most flights) and in a couple of hours later I was at Gatwick.</p> <p> The train turned up at the platform at the same time as I did and half an hour later I was in Brighton. First stop was the BBC Shop to buy some Doctor Who merchandise for a friend. Then Tesco Express for a fix of sushi to tide me over until dinner time. Back at the house I had to listen to my one of my lodger&#39;s flimsy excuse as to why he is behind on his rent.<br /> <br /> I got the bus to Eastbourne at 5:30pm (right in the middle of rush hour). Standing room only for half the trip. The evening&#39;s entertainment took liquid form. Cider to be precise, for the rest of my &quot;holiday&quot; I would be drinking every night.</p> <p> <strong>Day 2 - Race Hate</strong></p> <p> The morning was spent working. On my laptop with it&#39;s relatively small screen and without the use of a mouse, it was more difficult than usual. I took my hosts to Wetherspoons for lunch. Fish and chips plus a pint of cider for &pound;6. Not bad at all.</p> <p> In the evening my friend Steve to had arranged for us to go round a friend&#39;s place for drinks, meeting at the off-licence on the way to save precious drinking time. After meeting our mutual friend Kevin, we started walking towards his house. We crossed the road and a car stop right in front of us. The two guys inside were obviously not the most intelligent people. They started shouting abuse and threatened us with physical violence (all from the safety of their car). Steve (thinking it was some of Kevin&#39;s friends) asked &quot;Do we know you"&quot;. I was feeling rather fat and would be unable to runaway if there was any trouble, so just ignored them. The guys in the car drove off and a little way down the road stopped and shouted at us &quot;Go back to your own country&quot;. Which was slightly baffling. Perhaps they thought we were Polish. To be fair we were looking Polish that evening. Especially Kev, who is quite thin in the face and has reddish hair.</p> <p> Back at Kev&#39;s place we did had a very pleasant evening. The music channel on, a more than ample supply of beer and cider. After about midnight Kevin disappeared to make a phone call. Half an hour later, we assumed that he had just fallen unconscious somewhere, so we just upped and left.<br /> <br /> <strong>Day 3 - Filming</strong></p> <p> On this day it was planned that I should go and visit the folks. I ended up doing something completely different though. Assistant my friend with a music video shoot. Apart from moving stuff around betwixt car and houses my job was to hit the play button on the CD player when the cameraman said &quot;Speed&quot;. The whole session ended up taking most of the day in what used to be the very rundown town of Hastings. On the way their I got some good news from my neighbour, he informed me that (with some improvements) my little house could be worth &pound;400,000. Time to sell up and move to Poland maybe"</p> <p> After filming we parked up on the seafront and went to a pub carrying the expensive camera gear with us. The Carlisle is a notorious Hastings bikers&#39; pub. Luckily we were only there to meet a friend before heading off to the local Wetherspoons to have our fill of cheap beer and food. The friend we were meeting was a photographer with a strong Glasgow accent. It seemed that I was the only one who could understand him and I ended up acting as an interpreter for his jokes.</p> <p> Back in Eastbourne we dropped of the camera gear and went to a couple of pubs. Both of these had live bands, but generally the evening was uninspiring and virtually devoid of attractive females (excluding barmaids).</p> <p> <strong>Day 4 - The Prodigal Son Returns</strong></p> <p> Woke up with a headache (not a hangover though). At lunch time I went to see my parents. My mum was happy to see me and I handed over the fudge I had bought her, which she ate instead of lunch. In the evening I went round another friend&#39;s place for dinner. Steak this time.</p> <p> <strong>Day 5 - Work, Religion and Politics</strong></p> <p> I got the bad news that my client was presenting the website one day earlier than expected. So this meant more work, using mouse, using small screen and crappy internet. It was too hot as well. It wasn&#39;t turning out to be much of a holiday. Before the day was over the internet stopped working and so did I.</p> <p> The weather was still nice so it was time for a walk down the seafront to take some photos for the video that we shot on Saturday. Before that I had my driving licence photos done. They didn&#39;t look too bad, I looked pretty miserable in them, but not too bad.</p> <p> Fish and chips for dinner again. This time we had some guests. Unfortunately the guest who was buying the fish and chips arrived nearly two hours late. The wait was worth it though. Religion and politics are supposed to be taboo subjects around the dinner table. We weren&#39;t seated at the table though and most of the guests were Jehovah&#39;s Witness so it was a little difficult to avoid politics. More annoying than that was one of the guest&#39;s obsession with Nepal. Nepal this, Nepal that. Hopefully she will go to Nepal and we&#39;ll never have to hear from her again.</p> <p> After a walk along the seafront to try to walk off the multi-thousand calorie dinner it was back to my friends flat to watch Die Hard 6. Luckily all the guests had gone and we were able to enjoy some senseless violence before boredom and tiredness got the better of me</p> <p> <strong>Day 6 - Back in Brighton</strong></p> <p> Back to Brighton to do some more work, this time with a decent internet connection.<br /> Full English breakfast for lunch. I the evening while packing for the trip home I finally found my hat that I really could have done with earlier in the week.</p> <p> <strong>Day 7 - Back in the Krak</strong></p> <p> I woke at 4:30, got the coach to Gatwick at 5:30, the plane at 8am, a taxi at noon. Worked until midnight. Went to bed feeling like I need a proper holiday.</p> <p> <br /> &nbsp;</p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-265 2014-01-13T14:15:062014-01-13T14:16:47 Drawing From Experience<p> I&#39;ve had a few very long breaks from drawing for various reasons (and by long I mean breaks of four or more years in length).The first drawer&#39;s block was broken by a trip to Las Vegaas. Then the next dry spell ended when I met a muse (specially ex-girlfriend Kasia; whom I referred to at the time as &#39;the light of my life, fire of my loins&#39; and who is now known as &#39;that cheating bitch from &#321;&oacute;d&#378;&#39;). For me, nothing is quite as relaxing as drawing and nothing is quite as rewarding as producing a good likeness of someone. To get good a drawing (unless you&#39;re one of those annoying naturally-talented artists takes practice). You can imagine how much damage a four year break does to your pencil skills.</p> <p> Recently (when I was back in the UK), I spotted an interesting life session which got me drawing again. Arranged by &quot;Draw Brighton&quot; these sessions were &quot;themed&quot;. So, not only naked (or partially-clothed) females, but props as well. The first event I went to was on Halloween and our model was dressed in cobweb stockings and set against a graveyard backdrop. Subsequently sessions were equally interesting. The second was &quot;Circus Noir&quot;, thinking Lisa Minelli in &#39;Cabaret&#39; and you get the idea. The most recent session I attended was named &quot;Lichtenstein&quot; after the famous pop-art artist. The model emerged from the dressing room in wearing only a blue wig and a silky robe. Unlike the models from the previous sessions she was completely naked. I didn&#39;t have time to stop and stare, there was drawing to be done. The sessions started with a serious of quick (three-minute) poses. As the evening progressed the poses lasted for longer, so that you could focus more on the details rather than just the basic form and proportions.</p> <p> So, what did I learn from these sessions in Brighton" The main point is that I need to practice. A lot. Many years ago I used to get a lot of practice. For example, spending a few hours drawing some fabric or a leather jacket. Once I even spent the best part of a day drawing a house opposite me; the object of the exercise was to drawing straight lines without using a ruler. Anyway, you get the idea. Another dilemma when drawing a naked woman, if where the hell do you start. From the head, toes or some other part (which I&#39;m too shy to mention) in-between"</p> <p> I also learned that although my drawing was nowhere as good as it once was, it wasn&#39;t dreadful by a long stretch. I vowed that when I returned to Krak&oacute;w in the new year I would carry on drawing. If I couldn&#39;t find a nice session to go to, then I&#39;d start one. Luckily I happened upon an event at one of the local bars. The words &quot;Rysowana Niedziela&quot; attracted my attention (it translates as &quot;Drawn Sunday&quot;). The concept was simple enough; the manageress of the bar invites you to come draw with her along with whoever else wants to turn up.</p> <p> My first session went fairly well. In total there were five of us artists in the front bar (along with a couple of guys playing chess). After attempting to draw the drum kit in the corner I chose to draw the rather attractive girl sitting in a wicker rocking chair opposite me. She was drawing me in a scene that reminded me of when I had to draw the girl next to me as a punishment for talking in art class. When I&#39;d finished drawing I presented my model the drawing I&#39;d done. She was flattered as I&#39;d drawn her with slightly larger breasts than in real life. The drawing she did of me was a good likeness, but evoked an entirely different response from me, along the lines of &quot;Oh my god I look tired. I need a holiday.&quot;</p> <p> I&#39;m looking forward to the next session and I might even get some practice in before then.</p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-259 2014-01-02T15:38:282014-01-02T15:43:13 Bah Humbug<p> I spent most of November (and a bit of October) in the UK. A whole month away from Krak&oacute;w and all that goes with it. I wasn&#39;t really planning on returning to the UK for Christmas quite so soon after spending so long there. But, family responsibility got the better of me and when I got the chance to acquire some ludicrously cheap flights (I won&#39;t tell you how cheap) I decided to return to the fatherland. A potentially mind-numbing two and a half weeks in Blighty. So, how have things panned out"</p> <p> The weather has been pretty bad. Or, more accurately, bad at the wrong times. On New Year&#39;s Day, for example, it rained pretty much solidly from dawn to dusk and a good few hours beyond that. Windy too, so my umbrella would have been useless in such conditions. There has been some good weather. Take, for example, the weekend between Christmas and New Year&#39;s the weather was pretty good and I took full advantage of it. Walking for between four and five hours on each of those days help me burn off some of the Christmas blubber I&#39;d amassed. Unfortunately the next day it rained solidly and I didn&#39;t feel like venturing out further than the local supermarket.</p> <p> <strong>The Big Day (Sandwiched between two slightly smaller big days).</strong></p> <p> I spent Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day in my home town. It was ok, nothing spectacular, but I had very low expectations anyway. Christmas Eve started round a friend&#39;s flat with the three of us watching a run-down of the top 50 Christmas hits of all time. It got to number thirty before we could tear ourselves away from the television set and head into town. Quite frankly watching TV was the highlight of the evening. We found ourselves at Maxims. Luckily we didn&#39;t have to pay to get in, otherwise I would have been demanding a full refund (and probably compensation for emotional distress too). The upstairs bar was nice enough. Downstairs was down to Maxim&#39;s usual crappily-low standards. It&#39;s the sort of place that older guys bring their mail-order Pilipino wives to. On this occasion the dance floor was full of homosexuals. I&#39;ve been to more than my fair share of gay bars in my life and this was just &quot;gay&quot;, in both meanings of the word.</p> <p> Most of Christmas Day afternoon was spent with my parents. The television was on far too loud as usual. I handed over all the goodies I&#39;d brought from Poland (fudge and chocolate) as well as most of the contents of a Christmas hamper I&#39;d received from a client. My mother wouldn&#39;t starve for at least a few days, that was assured and I had 5 kilos less of things to carry around. Dinner was very good. Very good in fact. My sister-in-law had assembled an aid package (in the form of a ready cooked turkey dinner complete with yorkshire puddings and stuffing). Only the potatoes didn&#39;t heat up well in the microwave. After a suitable break to allow the massive dinner to redistribute self around the rest of my body. I heated up the mince peas and Christmas pudding and served them (with a decadent puddle of cream) to dear old mommy.</p> <p> In the evening I went round to a friend&#39;s place for another roast dinner. Pre-dinner entertainment included us playing Doctor Who Trivial Pursuit. It turns out that knowledge of Doctor Who isn&#39;t a prerequisite for playing this quiz game and I did surprisingly well. Dinner was good followed by a very nice dessert. After dinner it was time to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special. Nothing very special about it and nothing very special about the new Doctor. Then EastEnders. I only watch EastEnders once or twice a year. Such a depressing load of shite.</p> <p> <strong>Boxing Day</strong></p> <p> Afternoon was spent at my brother&#39;s house to stuff my fat face with even more food. In the evening I had a party to go to. Our hosts were the lovely Monster and Mel (neither of those are their real names). Last year on Boxing Day I&#39;d failed to catch the last bus back to Brighton (well, there was a bus but it would have only got me half way back to Brighton) and went to Monster and Mel&#39;s party. This time it was pre-planned and I had a bona fide invitation. The food would be good, that was pretty much guaranteed. There would be music, we knew that because several members of our party were bringing musical instruments.</p> <p> The food was excellent. All washed down with some sangria. The music didn&#39;t quite happen. One of our hosts (Monster) was playing electric guitar while his Mrs was in charge of complaining about the volume.</p> <p> <strong>News Year&#39;s Eve - The Last Big Day of the Year</strong></p> <p> Ah NYE, usually the biggest anti-climax of the year. A year ago it was particularly bad (partly due to being ill and partly due to being in my home town). This year I had opted to stay in Brighton. I&#39;d managed to get some cheap tickets to a charity event just over the road from my house in Brighton. A charity masked ball in fact, described as &quot;An interactive of mayhem and circus fun&quot;. Proceeds to go to the Children of Sumatra Appeal. There was to be poll dancing and various other attractions. Early bird tickets at only &pound;10. &quot;Can&#39;t be bad&quot; I thought to myself.</p> <p> A couple of friends from Eastbourne came along. Neither of them knew much about the event, but both of them were happy to get out of Eastbourne for the night. Pre-going-out entertainment involved watching the Gadget Show, followed by an hour of MTV. At 9pm we headed off to the bar. We were rather under-dressed for the occasion. One friend fashioned a mask by poking two holes in a tissue and tucking it under his woolly hat. All the time cracking jokes about drinking for the children of Sinatra. Talk turned to new year&#39;s resolutions. My resolution was &quot;to draw or photograph as many naked/partially naked woman as possible&quot;. A worthy ambition. Anyway, it was a fairly fun night, I hadn&#39;t spent too much money and I didn&#39;t drink to excess. I&#39;ve had much worse nights out. I&#39;ve had better too, but as News Years go, this wasn&#39;t at all bad.</p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-256 2013-12-23T10:28:182013-12-23T10:33:46 Beachy Head - Fatally Attractive<p> As I&#39;ve said before I make a terrible tour guide. Inside of insights into the history of the area, I will bore you of stories of dates and near-death experiences. I subjected one of my friends to one of my tours. This particular tour was a hike (or a mini-hike) from Birling Gap to Eastbourne.</p> <p> Even before getting off the bus I was struggling to hold back the tales of my first date with Kasia. The particular location was East Dean, The Tiger Inn. This is where the aforementioned date ended over a romantic drink. I usually try to restrain myself from telling such stories. Quite frankly, probably nobody is interested in hearing them. Another five minutes or so on the bus and we found ourselves in Birling Gap car park. This was the place where (on the aforementioned first) date I&#39;d got a puncture in the car and had to resort to calling the AA because I couldn&#39;t find the key for the locking wheel nuts. After stopping briefly for a few photo opportunities in the old-fashioned red telephone box we made our way down the steps to the beach.</p> <p> After admiring the view (despite less than perfect visibility) we climbed the stairs and began our hike along the cliff edge. When I say &quot;along the cliff edge&quot; I mean at a reasonable distance from the cliff edge. My fear of heights seems to be getting worse as I get older. I am not too ashamed of this, it is a reasonable enough fear. It&#39;s not the heights I&#39;m afraid of it&#39;s more the plunging to my death that I&#39;m afraid of. Luckily, in everyday life this particular foible doesn&#39;t come into play much. There are few other things I am afraid of fortunately. Last night I was watching a documentary on people who are afraid of flying. I should feel sorry for these people, but, alas, I find it quite amusing. I think we can blame Hollywood movies (such as Die Hard 2 and Final Destination) for propagating such fears. Statistically speaking flying is the safest form of transport. This may well be true. But the grim reality is that if something goes wrong in a plane, the chances are that it will go wrong in a completely spectacular way.</p> <p> Snakes and spiders don&#39;t bother me at all (providing they don&#39;t crawl into my mouth while I&#39;m asleep). Some people have the weirdest fears. I used to share a flat with a guy who had a fear of fish for heaven&#39;s sake. Even the sight of a fish on television would provoke a strange reaction in him.</p> <p> Anyway, I&#39;m digressing. I often do. Back to the hike. First leg of the hike was from Birling Gap to Belle Tout Lighthouse. Mostly uphill. Visibility was gradually getting worse. Still, the scenery was stunning. The edge of the cliff was mere metres away from me and I was feeling slightly anxious as a result. This place is truly a place of outstanding natural beauty. However, the place has a certain sadness about it.</p> <p> Beachy Head is unfortunately a suicide blackspot. Cliffs rising to over 150 metres at their highest point attract desperate people from all over the country. A few flowers and crosses near the edge of the cliff were a poignant reminder of this. On a personal level, I&#39;ve known a couple of people who have met their end in Beachy Head. Not suicides, but no less tragic.</p> <p> Luckily, the area doesn&#39;t just have sad associations to me. This was the place were pretty much every morning before work I would go for a walk with my secretary and her black labrador. What a great way to start the day. Those early morning walks made me physically and mentally fitter. A taste of family life. Minus the children; just the way it should be.</p> <p> Other happy memories relate to using the winding roads as a race track. The first time was on my moped. Maxing out a little shy of fifty miles an hour. Next it was motorbike, probably at ninety or so miles an hour. Next it was in my Mini van. I would let anyone drive it. No matter how bad a driver they were. The next car was my BMW convertible. Natalie was in the passenger seat. My party trick was to open one of the windows and drive around a little short of ninety miles an hour. The extra element was a balloon in the back seat of the car. The turbulence soon lifted the balloon up, whipping it around the car or sticking against my head.<br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-235 2013-09-24T18:49:342013-09-24T18:51:08 Modest Expectations<p> It&#39;s good to be back. In the land of Po, where the internet is fast and the living is easy. My repatriation started at 2am this morning with the sound of a rooster. I soon silenced the electronic kitchen timer and decided that it probably wasn&#39;t a good idea to drink three pints of cider on an empty stomach. Three hours of alcohol-disturbed sleep wasn&#39;t really enough. I felt crappy, really crappy. I wearily plodded my way to the coach station, the heavy backpack giving me some idea of what the seriously fat and heavily pregnant have to endure. The coach soon arrived at Gatwick, I made my through security and managed to get probably another half an hour&#39;s sleep before being herded onto the aircraft. About eight hours after leaving Brighton I arrived home to my flat complete with proper bed (which after five nights of sleeping on sofas I shall relish falling asleep in later).</p> <p> Looking back, it hadn&#39;t been a bad trip. Maybe not as exciting as the last one. I wasn&#39;t expecting much, I didn&#39;t even bring a camera this time (I was lacking someone to pose for me anyway). Anyhow, I had achieved the twin objectives; to personally deliver birthday presents to my mum and to catch up with some old friends.</p> <p> I spent almost half my time (well the waking hours anyway) in my home town. A strange mix of the new and the familiar. The familiar streets where I&#39;d grown up, cycled around and even swam were still there. Eastbourne seems a lot more multicultural now, Indian restaurants abound, there a few Polish delis too. The town seemed to be a little bit more cosmopolitan. I can&#39;t ever see it becoming a hipstas&#39; paradise like Brighton has become though. I quite happily sat in what could be Brighton&#39;s trendiest cafe eating my fish finger and rocket sandwich while sipping away at my rose and ginger infused lemonade.</p> <p> The holiday passed relatively quickly and without consuming vast quantities of alcohol. I didn&#39;t work. I didn&#39;t cook. I didn&#39;t even make myself a cup of tea. That&#39;s proper relaxing. Somehow I managed to watch more films in a five short days than I would see in a month in Poland. The restaurant food was good, even though one of my meals cost what would be one eighth of a month&#39;s rent in Krakow. For me Brighton is haunted by memories; wild, crazy, passion-filled, adrenaline and alcohol-fuelled times. For the moment Poland is the place for making new memories. At the moment these memories aren&#39;t quite so vivid. Maybe I&#39;ve grown up. Or, just maybe, my Brighton memories are tinged with nostalgia for bygone loves and infatuations. Yes, I think we can safely discount the growing up theory.</p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-228 2013-08-24T11:56:122013-09-24T18:51:51 Lost in translation<p> The evening started off conventionally enough... We met on the Rynek and after waiting the best part half an hour for latecomers to join us we headed off to the first watering hole for the evening. &quot;The Beer Gallery&quot; was indeed rather beer-centric, offering a wide variety of beers from around the globe. Luckily I espied a poster for Green Mill cider on one of the tables. Fortunately, I had sampled it for the first time several days previously and I knew I liked it. As an added bonus it comes in 400ml bottles rather than the piddling 330ml bottles that my beloved Kiss Cider comes in.</p> <p> There were eight of us and we parked ourselves in the corner and some rather comfy leather sofas. The seating arrangements changed throughout the evening as people came and went or attended to calls of natures and calls of telephone. The Beer Gallery&#39;s Beer Toilet was indeed a fine place, decorated with hundred of beer mats on the walls.</p> <p> The bar itself was decorated with paintings on the walls. I looked around and tried to spot the theme. Rembrandt, Van Gogh... &quot;Dutch grand masters perhaps"&quot; I thought to myself. Looking further afield I could see a work by Michelangelo and another by Leonardo da Vinci. There was a common theme here for sure. But what" A common palette perhaps" No. The theme was beer. Every painting had a bottle of beer strategically photoshopped into it. Da Vinci was particularly well represented with those iconic images of &quot;The Mona Beer Lisa&quot;. &quot;Woman with an ermine (and beer)&quot;.</p> <p> As the purpose of the meeting was to talk in English that is what we did (in the main). Until a Korean member of the group arrived with a friend of his (also Korean). The new guy spoke six languages and when talking with us he was using about four of them, a little bit of English, a whole lot of French, with some Spanish and Italian thrown in for good measure. We taught him a few Polish phrases just for a bit of fun.</p> <p> So, we left The Beer Gallery (I really wish I could have thought of something witty to write in their guest book) and in the true spirit of seizing the day went to Carpe Diem. Further mild interlingual misunderstandings ensued. Did one of the Korean guys really live &quot;by the liver&quot; (river). Was the DJ really &quot;to ass&quot; (&quot;do dupy&quot; in Polish literally means &quot;to ass&quot;, but is better translated as &quot;sucks&quot; or, in keeping with the original, slightly more vulgar &quot;is crap&quot;)</p> <p> Lessons learnt from the evening" It seems that you can never know enough languages. My poor French and even poorer Spanish enables me to understand a bit, but not enough to converse. But, alas, learning languages takes a little bit to much effort. Also, I&#39;m not highly motivated to learn them. I don&#39;t even go on holiday to French or Spanish-speaking countries. Another, perhaps more important lesson, is that you should never leave your unlocked smartphone on the table while you hit the dancefloor. Luckily, it wasn&#39;t my phone and there were no announcements made on my Facebook wall either confirming or denying my red-blooded heterosexuality.</p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-226 2013-08-07T15:54:582013-08-07T16:13:59 Just a Tribute<p> 2 Days, 2 (Straight) Friends, 2 Cameras, 2 Livers</p> <p> I am always bemoaning the fact that all my holidays are now to the UK. My most recent &quot;holiday&quot; had all the usual ingredients; uncertainty about the weather, visiting my parents and a night out drinking with the friends I&#39;d left behind in my home town. This time it really did feel like a holiday. I didn&#39;t do any cooking, ate out in restaurants (or at least fast food joints) and completely avoided doing any work.</p> <p> In order to save a few pounds (both monetarily and in terms of weight) I travelled with only hand luggage. This also saved me time by avoiding check in and baggage reclaim. I just about managed to cope with the limitations for my six-day trip. I wasn&#39;t able to take any alcohol with me, which was my only regret. Next time I&#39;ll take a couple of extra changes of clothes or buy something when I&#39;m there.</p> <p> I had timed my trip to coincide with the Pride Parade and Festival, which was the main focus of the trip. It was to be a fabulous photo opportunity with lots of friendly and colourful characters around and a fabulous drinking opportunity at the street parties and in the numerous bars. Pride turned out to be merely a side attraction. I had invited a friend to share the Pride experience with me and we were too busy having a good time to join in the gay festivities. We saw practically nothing of the parade itself and only the aftermath of the street parties.</p> <p> In addition to plenty of Facebook check ins we documented the whole thing on our cameras; drinking, eating, as well as hanging around at home, on the beach or on the lawns at the Royal Pavilion. I took nearly 400 hundred photos, about one in ten of which I ended publishing on Facebook. Some of them were great, really great. I was using an excellent camera, the locations were inspiring and, most importantly, my &quot;model&quot; was photogenic and in good humour. The photos serve as an excellent reminder to what was a fantastic weekend in Brighton.</p> <p> Not all of what transpired was recorded graphically. The evening in the Irish pub Molly Malone&#39;s, complete with crazy Irish band and even crazier toilet attendants springs to mind. And after drinking our fill the dash home through the side streets in the rain with only a flimsy wrap for protection.</p> <p> To sum up (paraphrasing Stachura) &quot;Ci&#281;&#380;ki by&#322; urlop, ale te&#380; i bezb&#322;&#281;dny.&quot; Which roughly translates to &quot;It was a tough holiday, but flawless too&quot;</p> <p> </p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-214 2013-06-29T20:02:352013-06-29T20:16:39 No looking back<p> A long and tiring installation has just been completed. We are not talking about a new operating system here, but something altogether more complicated... What has been installed is in fact me, in a new flat...</p> <p> The last flat had a lot going for it. I had a massive room (of which I only used half), the kitchen was spacious and the bathroom similarly fantastic. The location was good too, on the edge of Kazimerz and a short walk away from all my favourite bars. It wasn&#39;t all rosy though, it was dark and cold despite spending large amounts of money on trying to keep the place warm.</p> <p> So, the decision came to find somewhere new. Cheaper to rent and cheaper to heat. That meant moving slightly away from my beloved Kazimierz, a place which is dominated by stone tenement blocks.</p> <p> The new place was found and after careful measurements were made on Google maps it was passed (by me) as being &quot;an acceptable distance&quot; away from the centre. The flat is, in fact, the same distance away from the station as the old place. Kazimierz, not quite on the doorstep, but still within a reasonable walking distance. Galeria Kazimierz (another of my favourite haunts) a wee bit closer.</p> <p> Moving day came. Unfortunately the van and driver that was expected didn&#39;t materialise and I had to move most of my belongings by taxi. I was kind of expecting some help from the taxi driver. I was slightly dismayed when the taxi driver arrived. Not only was the taxi driver female, pregnant and busy chatting on the phone when the cab arrived. I knew I wouldn&#39;t be getting much help from her.</p> <p> After filling her taxi with my possessions and a short drive (I think my driver had ambitions of being a racing driver or something some such) we arrived at my new abode. Getting my things up to the fourth floor proved to be good exercise. It is said that what doesn&#39;t kill you makes you stronger. In my case my legs were weakened by the effort and still aching a couple of days later.</p> <p> The next tiring task was bringing my flatmates possessions (including various kitchen and household items to the new flat). Again more stair climbing, but at least this time we had the help of two strong men and a capacious van to help us.</p> <p> Saturday, I had decided, would be a day off and time to go exploring. The new flat is located in a rather pleasant residential location. We are located in the least attractive part of it, but at least transport links are good. First stop was the shopping centre on Aleja Pokoju. McDonalds was there, but no breakfasts. Not because I was too late, but because they simply don&#39;t do them there. Thoughts of the famous fast food restaurant hold-up scene from &quot;Falling Down&quot; were running through my mind.</p> <p> The day also brought a few other nice little surprises. First, I managed to acquire a long sought-after book in a discount book shop in Galeria Kazimierz. I had a very nice dinner reading my new book outside our very local Chinese restaurant. I returned to the flat to continue reading and veg out while my flatmate restored order to the rest of new home. During a cigarette break on the balcony (despite the stressful week it was only my flatmate who was doing the smoking) we discovered that we have an additional flatmate. Just as I was tidying up the balcony I noticed a pigeon had just scuttled out from behind a chest of drawers on the balcony and flown off. I looked behind the chest of drawers and saw a solitary egg laying on the astroturf. So, it looks like we are stuck with that pigeon for a little while longer.</p> <p> So, the conclusion(s) to be drawn from moving. Number one, I have too much stuff. Number two, who you live with is more important than where you live (provided everything is within half an hour&#39;s walking distance). My flatmate, the pigeon (with another one yet to be hatched) and I are very happy in a our new home. The next place I move to will have a lot more storage space, a lift (if required) and a jacuzzi.<br /> &nbsp;</p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-199 2013-04-14T12:00:232013-04-14T12:35:42 Street Photography Workshop Krakow April 2013<p> I signed up for the Street Photography Workshop not because I&#39;m an ardent photographer (I like to take a few snaps to capture my travels and the occasional glorious sunset etc), but because it was cheap and might be a relatively interesting way to spend the day. I&#39;ve always enjoyed people watching and this would be a chance to get a few tips on how to document that hobby. My camera is a very modest IXUS, my last photo shoot didn&#39;t last very long as the near-zero temperatures sapped all the lifeblood out of the camera and I was only able to take a few shots. Temperatures were somewhat higher on the day of the workshop and I had invested in a new battery so stamina wouldn&#39;t be too much of a problem. I had toyed with the idea of buying a new camera in time for the workshop, but decided against the idea as I could probably get some equipment advice from the guest speaker.</p> <p> I arrived to Mi&oacute;d i Wino Restaurant a couple of minutes late, slightly sweaty from the faster than normal walk from my flat to the far side of Planty. I needn&#39;t have rushed, not everyone had arrived; Gokhan Cukurova (our guest speak all the way from Chicago) was all ready to go and a handful and a handful of fellow photographers were eagerly awaiting the start.</p> <p> After the arrival of a few more people the presentation got underway. After managing to stifle off a coughing fit I was beginning to wish I&#39;d had that welcome drink. Gokhan presented various photos that he&#39;d taken. Some really dramatic photos of protests that could easily grace the front page of a newspaper. We were also given some practical advice on technique, equipment, and safety of your person and your equipment. The organiser (ex-policeman David) also shared a few hard-learned tips on how to keep your equipment out of the grubby hands of thieves that prowl public places and hotel corridors.</p> <p> The presentation lasted the best part of two hours (included a break which was particularly welcome by those still hungover from the previous evening&#39;s Krakow Post 100th Edition party). By this time we were all eager to get out and take some photos. After posing for a group photo on the restaurant steps we set off towards The Rynek.</p> <p> It was overcast, but Gokhan consoled us with the fact that at least the light would be even. By the time we arrived at our destination it had started to rain in earnest and contingency plans were made for the eventuality of the rain not easing up. The original plan of us splitting into two groups of ten soon fell apart. Gokhan ran off to station himself on one of The Rynek&#39;s corners (he had earlier set a challenge that we should spend 15 minutes in the same spot and just take photos from there) and a few of us follow him so as to see the master at work.</p> <p> Following Gokhan&#39;s example I set my shyness aside as much as I could and started snapping away. The compactness of my camera was an advantage as I was able to put my thumb over my camera lens to shield it from the incessant rain. I had a few subjects in mind and unable to stand in the same place for 15 minutes I wandered around in search of victims/subjects.</p> <p> Despite the rain The Rynek turned out to be quite a good choice for us new to street photography. There are always plenty of photographers out about in Stare Miasto, so we blended in perfectly. A little too perfectly, as having a camera turns you into a tourist and leaves you open to all sort of propositions of restaurant meals and excursions.</p> <p> Luckily the rain stopped and we were able to shoot for nearly two hours. Sunshine, sharp contrasts and puddles to keep the photographers happy. Upon returning to the restaurant Gokhan gave us a demonstration of the capabilities of Adobe Lightroom (a program which few of us were familiar with).</p> <p> Approximately half the group stayed on for drinks or dinner (I had some rather tasty, but slightly overpriced pierogis). Then the group halved again and the remaining five of us went for a quick (night-time) walk around The Rynek before enjoying a late night ice cream and some more photo(and wedding)-related chat.</p> <p> </p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-186 2013-03-03T15:57:172013-03-03T16:28:13 Find The River<p> My hasty departure from Kielce caused me a certain amount of stress. Finding somewhere to live was the first hurdle.There are simply too many properties available in Krak&oacute;w. I was faced with a bewildering choice. Luckily the field was narrowed down by my choice of location. It had to be in the centre, if didn&#39;t exactly have to overlook Rynek G&#322;&oacute;wny, but anywhere that more than twenty minutes walk from where all the action happens was struck off the list. After scouring through hundreds of adverts I struck upon a definite maybe. A large room, big enough for two or even three people. Only one possible catch at the bottom of the advert was written (in Polish of course though), &quot;Gentlemen over 40 need not apply&quot;. I answered the advert saying that &quot;I am little bit over forty, but look younger.&quot; Luckily age discrimination didn&#39;t come into play and I arranged to view the room, praying that somebody else wouldn&#39;t beat me to it (provided, of course, as my flatmate jokingly wrote that I really do look under 40).</p> <p> Anyway, to cut a long and possibly interesting story short; I am now a resident of the historic city of Krak&oacute;w. Previously it was a city familiar to me only from my holidays there with Kasia. Now, I can look forward exploring the place. Like London it has plenty of tourists, plenty of events a river running through it. Luckily there aren&#39;t too many other similarities, Krak&oacute;w isn&#39;t a giant sprawling metropolis that saps all your energy. It has it&#39;s own airport too, which will turn out to be a useful bonus in the future. Of course, the majority my friends are still in Kielce, but even then I still managed to get two party invites for my first evening here.</p> <p> My new flatmate is ensuring that I am getting a crash course in Polish conversation (we will speak English only on alternate weeks). I am confident that my waistline will diminish now that I have a healthy diet (cheese is strictly frowned upon in this household) and my exploration of the city will help me burn off any calories that I do ingest.</p> <p> So, to sum up, with regards to Kielce and my many friends there, I&#39;ll miss you... if you would all kindly move to Krak&oacute;w then my life would be complete ;)<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p> </p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-194 2013-04-01T12:59:022013-04-01T22:02:35 Gwiazdka w Anglii - Dzie&#324; 1<p> Obudzi&#322;em si&#281; kwadrans po pi&#261;tej. Zaledwie godzin&#281; przed czasem, na kt&oacute;ry nastawi&#322;em budziki. By&#322;em zbyt zestresowany i podniecony aby znowu zasn&#261;&#263;.</p> <p> Poci&#261;g by&#322; o 8:18, a poniewa&#380; bilet kupi&#322;em dzie&#324; wcze&#347;niej i zalatwi&#322;em r&oacute;wnie&#380; samoch&oacute;d na dworzec, wi&#281;c mia&#322;em du&#380;o czasu. Najwa&#380;niejsze, &#380;e nie spa&#322;em za d&#322;ugo. Po odmro&#380;eniu swojego samochodu, m&oacute;j wsp&oacute;lokator odwi&oacute;z&#322; mnie na dworzec. Kork&oacute;w nie by&#322;o, wi&#281;c przyjechali&#347;my na dworzec punktualnie. Kupi&#322;em sobie co&#347; do czytania i znalaz&#322;em peron (pocz&#261;tkowo sta&#322;em na z&#322;ym peronie, zupe&#322;nie pozbawionym ludzi).</p> <p> Poci&#261;g nie by&#322; tak punktualny jak ja. Mia&#322; przedzia&#322;y, a ja od dawien dawna nie je&#378;dzi&#322;em poci&#261;giem z przedzia&#322;ami. Wybra&#322;em przedzia&#322;, kt&oacute;ry mia&#322; tylko par&#281; wsp&oacute;lpasa&#380;er&oacute;w i usiad&#322;em. Niestety przedzia&#322; by&#322; dwufunkcyjny, bo by&#322; te&#380; saun&#261;. A ja, siedz&#261;c nad kaloryferem, powoli gotowa&#322;em si&#281;. Straszliwie gor&#261;co mi by&#322;o. Wkr&oacute;tce strumie&#324; potu splywa&#322; mi po twarzy. Na szcz&#281;scie, kontroler przechodzi&#322; aby sprawdzi&#263; czy moje dokumenty by&#322;y w porz&#261;dku. Kontroler wyszed&#322; z przedzia&#322;u i, dzi&#281;ki Bogu, nie zamkn&#261;&#322; za sob&#261; drzwi a cia&#322;o moje wr&oacute;ci&#322;o do zwyk&#322;ej temperatury. Inny facet do&#322;&#261;czy&#322; do sauny i skomentowa&#322; jak by&#322;o gor&#261;co. Kiedy pojawi&#322;a si&#281; okazja, przesiad&#322;em si&#281; obok okna, aby zatrzyma&#263; proces gotowania.</p> <p> Lektura czasopisma pomog&#322;a zabi&#263; czas. Zainteresowa&#322;em si&#281; artyku&#322;ami o Wigilii. Jeden o karpiach, ich zaletach i wadach. Drugi by&#322; o tym jak mo&#380;na prze&#380;y&#263; nadmiern&#261; komsumpcj&#281; w czasie Gwiazdki. Poci&#261;g przyjecha&#322; na Krak&oacute;w G&#322;&oacute;wny pi&#281;&#263; minut przed czasem. Pasowa&#322;o mi, bo wahad&#322;owiec mia&#322; odjecha&#263; z dworca zaraz po przyje&#378;dzie poci&#261;gu z Kielc. Nie musia&#322;em wi&#281;c czeka&#263; p&oacute;&#322; godziny na peronie.&nbsp;</p> <p> Wsiad&#322;em do poci&#261;gu bez biletu. Po kilkach minutach zda&#322;em sobie spraw&#281;, &#380;e mia&#322;em kupi&#263; bilet w automacie w poci&#261;gu. Przyjecha&#322;em na lotnisko dziesi&#281;&#263; minut przed odpraw&#261;. Czeka&#322;em czerpliwie. Do&#322;&#261;czy&#322;em do kolejki, porusza&#322;em si&#281; stopniowo (dziesci&#281;&#263; centymetr&oacute;w za ka&#380;dym razem) pchaj&#261;c walizk&#281; przed sob&#261;. Kobieta z dzieckiem w w&oacute;zku (i najwyra&#378;niej z kolejnym w brzuchu) zapyta&#322;a czy mo&#380;e i&#347;&#263; na pocz&#261;tek kolejki. Biedny facet odpowiedzia&#322;, &#380;e maj&#261;c dzieci, nie jest to wystarczaj&#261;cy pow&oacute;d. Potem facet zda&#322; sobie spraw&#281; (albo mo&#380;e kobieta mu powiedzia&#322;a), &#380;e ta gruba kobieta jest nie tylko z dzie&#263;mi, ale z kolejnym w drodze. Pomy&#347;la&#322;em sobie, &quot;Ona nie jest gruba, ale w ci&#261;&#380;y. B&#281;d&#261;c na jego miejscu, chyba te&#380; pope&#322;ni&#322;bym taki b&#322;&#261;d.&quot;</p> <p> Moje przej&#347;cie przez kontrol&#281; bezpiecze&#324;stwa zosta&#322;o zak&#322;&oacute;cone przez angielsk&#261; par&#281;, kt&oacute;ra mia&#322;a w baga&#380;u rozmaite zabronione rzeczy (ostrza, laptopy, bomby). Stra&#380;nicy chcieli skontrolowa&#263; ich baga&#380; bardzo dok&#322;adnie. W hali odlot&oacute;w by&#322;o wi&#281;cej g&#322;upich Anglik&oacute;w, wymawiaj&#261;cych z&#322;oty jak zlotaj. Chcia&#322;em ich pobi&#263;. W ci&#261;gu przelotu nie sta&#322;o si&#281; nic niezwyklego i wkr&oacute;tce potem by&#322;em na angielskiej ziemi. Mia&#322;em ochot&#281; poca&#322;owa&#263; asfalt, jak papie&#380;.&nbsp;</p> <p> Po kontroli paszportowej zmieni&#322;em kart&#281; SIM w telefonie i znowu by&#322;em w kontakcie ze &#347;wiatem. Po kr&oacute;tkej podr&oacute;&#380;y poci&#261;giem znalaz&#322;em si&#281; w Brighton i przyjecha&#322;em taks&oacute;wk&#261; do domu. Niestety klucz nie dzia&#322;a&#322;... Stety Ania by&#322;a w domu i otworzy&#322;a mi drzwi, zza kt&oacute;rych dobiega&#322;o szczekanie Bonny&#39;a. Dom by&#322; w takim samym stanie jak ostatnim razem kiedy tam by&#322;em. Dywany... brudne, ale kuchnia i pod&#322;ogi czyste. Dziewczyny najwyra&#378;nej zrobi&#322;y przed Gwiazdk&#261; troch&#281; sprz&#261;tania. Termostat ogrzewania by&#322; nastawiony na 30 stopni.</p> <p> Dom mia&#322; by&#263; pe&#322;en ludzi. Spodziewali&#347;my si&#281; matki Ani i brata Kasi. Nied&#322;ugo po moim przybyciu do domu, przyjecha&#322;a te&#380; nowa wsp&oacute;&#322;lokatorka. Angielka nazywa si&#281; Clementine. Nawet nie pami&#281;tam kiedy ostatni raz angielska dziewczyna zamieszka&#322;a w moim domu. Przyjecha&#322;a swoim samochodem i musieli&#347;my znale&#378;&#263; dla niego miejsce w gara&#380;u. A ja by&#322;em kierowc&#261;. Mimo &#380;e nie prowadzi&#322;em samochodu p&oacute;&#322;tora roku, uda&#322;o mi si&#281; wprowadzi&#263; samoch&oacute;d do gara&#380;u.</p> <p> Clementine wyja&#347;ni&#322;a, &#380;e wci&#261;&#380; nie mog&#322;a znale&#378;&#263; nikogo kto chcia&#322;by wprowadzi&#263; si&#281; do jej poprzedniego pokoju. To by&#322;a dla mnie dobra wiadomo&#347;&#263; bo mog&#322;em zosta&#263; w jej pokoju dwa i p&oacute;&#322; tygodnia. Znowu by&#322;em w Ma&#322;ym Pokoju, kt&oacute;ry przynajmniej ma biurko i mog&#322;em pracowa&#263; spokojnie zamiast siedz&#261;c przy stole jadalnym.</p> <p> Po zrobieniu zakup&oacute;w wpad&#322;em do domu a nast&#281;pnie wyszed&#322;em z niego, aby zobaczy&#263; co si&#281; ostatnio zmieni&#322;o w Brighton. Mia&#322;em r&oacute;wnie&#380; przyjemno&#347;&#263; w przej&#347;ciu drogi na czerwonym &#347;wietle. Na ulicy &quot;North Street&quot; (albo &quot;North Road&quot; nigdy tego nie pami&#281;tam) by&#322;o wiele sklep&oacute;w pe&#322;nych pami&#261;tek dla turyst&oacute;w za leniwych, &#380;eby jecha&#263; do Londynu. T&#322;umy czarnosk&oacute;rych, gej&oacute;w, azjat&oacute;w a nawet Amerykan&oacute;w chodzi&#322;y ulicami.</p> <p> Zastawania&#322;em si&#281;, czy powininem zosta&#263; w domu mojego pierwszego wieczora w Anglii. Nie by&#322;em szczeg&oacute;lnie zm&#281;czony, wi&#281;c zdecydowa&#322;em si&#281; pos&#322;ucha&#263; jakiego&#347; zespo&#322;u. Spacerowa&#322;em chwil&#281; bo potrzebowa&#322;em troch&#281; &#347;wie&#380;ego powietrza. Powietrze by&#322;o nieco za &#347;wie&#380;e (i zimne), i nie maj&#261;c ciep&#322;ego ubrania szybko szed&#322;em w kierunku domu. Wszed&#322;em do Latest Music Bar, bo chcia&#322;em sprawdzi&#263; czy by&#322;y jakie&#347; bilety na wieczorn&#261; komedi&#281;. Spyta&#322;em faceta za lad&#261; o bilety, a on wskaza&#322; par&#281; siedz&#261;c u szczytu schod&oacute;w, kt&oacute;re prowadzi&#322;y na d&oacute;&#322; do Baru Kabaretowego. Para mia&#322;a przed sob&#261; prawie pust&#261; list&#281; rezerwacji i mog&#322;em kupi&#263; bilet za pi&#281;c funt&oacute;w. Pozosta&#322; kwadrans do wst&#281;pu wyst&#281;pu. Mia&#322;em kwadrans do zabicia, wi&#281;c wr&oacute;ci&#322;em do domu aby zabi&#263; ten czasem internetem.</p> <p> Kilka minut przed wyst&#281;pem przeszed&#322;em przez ulic&#281; do baru. Chcia&#322;em poprosi&#263; o piwo m&oacute;wi&#261;c po polsku &quot;prosz&#281;&quot; i zam&oacute;wi&#322;em jedno nie pami&#281;taj&#261;c, &#380;e mog&#322;em tam kupi&#263; r&oacute;wnie&#380; cydr. Dopiero w czasie nalewania mojego piwa zapyta&#322;em o cydr, &quot;co&#347; nie za s&#322;odkiego"&quot; Barman powiedzia&#322; mi o &quot;Weston&#39;s Organic... Niestety bar na dole jest zamkni&#281;ty, ale b&#281;dzie przerwa.&quot;&nbsp;</p> <p> Poszed&#322;em na d&oacute;&#322; z piwem w r&#281;ce. Pomy&#347;la&#322;em sobie &quot;Dzi&#347; wieczorem nie b&#281;d&#281; sta&#322; przy barze&quot; kiedy zobaczy&#322;em rz&#281;dy krzese&#322; i bar bez personelu. Znalaz&#322;em sobie miejsce daleko od sceny. Dw&oacute;ch facet&oacute;w pojawi&#322;o si&#281; na scenie. Obaj w &#347;rednim wieku, nosz&#261;c koszulki &quot;polo&quot;.</p> <p> &quot;Dzis wieczorem&quot; jeden z nich poinformowa&#322; nas &quot;Nie bi&#281;dzie rekwizyt&oacute;w. Jest rok 1976... Muzyka to g&oacute;wno... g&oacute;wno do kwadratu.&quot; Na potwierdzenie tego zaprezentowali fragmenty kiepskiej muzyki z &quot;Brotherhood of Man&quot; and &quot;Disco Duck&quot;. Komedia pod tytu&#322;em &quot;Meeting Joe Strummer&quot; by&#322;a opowie&#347;ci&#261; wspominaj&#261;c&#261; lata punkrockowe, poprzedzaj&#261;ce rz&#261;dy Margaret Thatcher, pokolenia rave, rock przeciwko rasizmowi. Ludzie w moim wieku doceniliby ka&#380;de spo&#322;eczne i kulturalne skojarzenie.</p> <p> Po komedii, piwkach i cyderkach wr&oacute;cilem do domu, do mojego ma&#322;ego pokoju. Zatrzymuj&#261;c si&#281; po drodze, aby tylko chwyci&#263; quiche i ciastka.&nbsp;</p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk tag:litecms.co.uk:blog-16.post-176 2013-01-26T13:40:492013-01-26T14:02:18 The Homecoming - Day 0<p> Last day in Poland... For a while at least.. A pretty normal day at work. The usual combination of implementing feature requests and bug-fixing. I didn&rsquo;t quite get everything done that I wanted to, so that meant I would have to do some work in the evening. Something I hadn&rsquo;t done for quite a while. Apart from lesson the evenings are reserved for rest and relaxation, or very occasionally some out of hours publishing or server fixes.</p> <p> 4pm work officially stopped. People to see, places to go. But this time specific people and specific places. The place to go was in fact Plac Artystow. For the Santa Flash Mob. In excess of 300 people, arranged in a line along Sienkiewicz Street, all wearing santa hats and waving sparklers. I didn&rsquo;t even bring a sparkler and I certainly didn&rsquo;t wear a Santa hat, but I thought might be interesting. Anyway, there would be the usual afterparty.</p> <p> Out of the 300-odd people who had made a Facebook pledge to participate in the flash mob only a hundred of so made an appearance. After waiting around for a quarter of an hour or so for more people to arrive the line was formed. We didn&rsquo;t quite extend the length of Sienkiwicza Street. I reckon another 2,000 people would be needed to accomplish that. The plan was to start a human chain of fire, lighting the sparklers at both ends of the chain and then lighting the sparkler of the person next to you. It didn&rsquo;t quite work out that way. Many of the sparklers had fizzled out by the time the sparklers in the middle had been lit.</p> <p> Still, however you look at it, the event was a success and we went off to the pub to celebrate and for me to say goodbye to people who I would see for a while. They were heading for far-flung exotic places such as India and Krakow. I opted to drink a cappuccino. People were amazed. I was amazed. After drinking the cappuccino I bought myself a proper drink. After a detour to the station to say farewell to a friend and buy a ticket for the next morning&rsquo;s train ride I stopped off at Galeria Korona to buy a few gifts. Then I headed home, full of good cheer and slightly tipsy, to finish my work. Then I had to copy all the latest files to my laptop. My laptop, apart from making a sound like a dying giraffe, decided that its trackpad would fail and cause a semi-permanent right-clicking action.</p> <p> After work there was some packing to do. It didn&rsquo;t take long.</p> <p> Vodka<br /> Chocolates<br /> Breakfast cereals from my beloved Biedronka<br /> Enough clothes to last me for five days<br /> A couple of man-bags (in one of them an umbrella as the UK weather forecast didn&rsquo;t bode well; rain, rain and more rain was predicted for the next 10 days or so)</p> <p> 12 kilograms or so I estimated. Then there was the backpack. Most important thing (apart from my passport and boarding cards) to go in there was my laptop, but packing that could wait until the morning.</p> <p> I set three different alarm on two different devices so that I would get up in the morning. 6:30am. By the time I got to bed it was well after midnight and my mind was still racing. Time to watch a couple of episodes of Game of Thrones and give my brain a rest.<br /> <br /> <br /> <img alt="" src="http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/clipart/16/356.jpg" style="width: 480px; height: 360px;" /></p> The Badly Drawn Artist http://www.badlydrawngirl.co.uk/about.html noreply@badlydrawngirl.co.uk