Stuff I know now that I didn’t know a year ago

It’s good to recognise personal development. Most of my growth over the last year has been in the ‘coffee’ and ‘general waster’ spheres, but this is, in my opinion, still valid. I’ve completed this short – but still comprehensive – list of the skills and knowledge I’ve acquired since the first of June, 2018.


  • Coffee vocab
The author hopes this image will convey the concept of working in a cafe.

(Mostly Czech vocab, of course, like káva and hrnek. Sure, it’s insane that I accepted a job in a cafe without being totally clear on such fundamental words as coffee and mug, but life’s a journey. Weirdly, though, I’ve learnt loads of coffee vocab in English, simply because I’d never been exposed to this particular area of jargon. For example, I had no idea what we call that lever you put the coffee in and stick in the coffee machine; my best guess, based on my love of using anthropomorphisms to make work responsibilities more interesting, was coffee arm. It turns out it’s actually portafilter. Man, who knew?)


  • How to deal with hangovers.
The author hopes this image will convey the sensation of deep malaise.

(I think I do drink less now than I did in my heady ‘study abroad’ days, but mornings after have been hitting me harder. Whilst a year ago I could bounce out of bed after a night of revelry ready for the day, it’s getting really difficult to force myself to rise and shine.

I feel like this might have something to do with my body prematurely ageing, i.e. I’m convinced I have the physical form of a woman in her mid- to late-thirties, despite my passport’s insistence that I’m still some ways away from twenty three. Still, it’s not all bad – sure, I might have killer hangovers, but (if we assume the corollary to be true), I’m probably slightly less likely to get pregnant. (Best not to test this theory.)

OK, and sure, my way of dealing with hangovers is to hide from sunlight and loudly insist I’m never drinking again, but it’s a system of sorts, and I’m proud of it.)


  • That, if you’re trying to shoot film, it’s really, really important that you load the film correctly.
The author hopes that the expression on this dog’s face will convey the sensation of embarrassment in the face of one’s own stupidity.

(You’d think that this would be obvious; but I am a semi-professional idiot.)


  • If you don’t know a word in Czech, sometimes you can just say the word in English and everyone will nod.
The author hopes this image will convey the effect of the language barrier.

(Czech people who’ve never studied English still have better passive comprehension of my language than I have of theirs. I will never bother to learn the actual, pure Czech word for fancy; why bother, when you can just say fency and everyone gets what you’re on about?)


  • That, if you’ve taken lots of pictures on your digital camera, you shouldn’t delete them all before you’ve made any kind of back up.
The author hopes that this self portrait will convey the sensation of embarrassment in the face of one’s own stupidity – a sensation she finds herself trying to convey often.

(Me: presses ‘Delete All’.
Camera: Are you sure?
Me: I definitely do not want to delete all of these photos. I am certain of this. So, in answer to your question, yes, I’m sure.
Me: presses ‘Yes’)

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