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Mount Kilimanjaro Challenge Month
My final training is almost finished. Months of preparation and I could see the Kilimanjaro challenge is approaching.
But before that… I had some work to do! I performed at several weddings, including beautiful weddings at Carlton Towers and Cedar Court, Huddersfield.
I also performed at a beautiful wedding ceremony, drinks reception and wedding breakfast at Talbot Hotel in Malton. What I really like about this venue, is that the marquee is set up permanently on the grounds and is designed to suit weddings perfectly. Beautiful wooden flooring
and tall ceilings make it very appealing to the couples that regularly book their weddings there. And of course the food is also divine!
I also performed at a charity concert hold by
Bruce Grant in Ponteland Social Club. It was really lovely, I was so surprised because it was full. I was joined on the stage by singer Pete Brown and m
fiancé James on his French Horn. We raised over £1,200 towards Cancer Research UK and my Kilimanjaro Challenge. Thank you to everyone who supported me with donations, mentally, people who helped me to get equipped, who trained with me and who gave me lots of mental support to be able to face the challenge!
On 19th October I flew to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania with a group of strangers who also signed up for the challenge. Little did I know, all these people went because they had a goal, a personal reason, wanted to achieve, wanted to prove, or make a change to the world and have stories to tell one day to their children.
I did not take notice of most of the points in the itinerary. Yes, I am normally hyper organized, but for this trip I neglected most of the things I was supposed to do or read, apart from getting my gear ready and have some decent legs training and visa in my passport to Tanzania. I did not realize we would be sleeping in tents throughout the entire challenge – meaning it was really hardcore, especially the first night to lie on the ground, on an insulated mat and in my 4 seasons sleeping bag. I have never slept on the floor in my entire life. Sleeping on the ground in Africa was a different level all together! This was the most difficult thing I have done in my entire life, both physically straining and mentally challenging. I met lots of absolutely phenomenal people with whom I stayed in touch and also proved to myself that together we could do it! And by doing that I raised lots of funds and awareness for Cancer Research UK – posing with the logo on the summit! Something I have never thought I would do.
It may also sound very profound but by climbing this mountain, I got a chance, in peace, to rethink my entire life and welcome my future with my fiancé!
And when returning home… I could not have a bigger smile when, without informing me prior, James came to Heathrow, and stood there waiting for me when I came out of the gate!!! No words to describe how special I felt in that very moment <3
The month started with a beautiful wedding in Northumberland where I performed during the drinks reception and wedding breakfast held in a marquee in the grounds of a private castle – Bothal Castle. The couple got married in a church and had a beautiful horse drawn carriage. Witnessing this beautiful bridal party arrival, I dreamt about having a horse carriage at my own wedding! The couple had a black and white colour theme, a bit unusual for weddings in the UK but overall it worked really well. The couple also got together, on a plane to New York!! How the world is small.
Review from the client:
‘Thank you very much for playing at our wedding on Saturday at bothal castle. We had an amazing day and we have had so many people comment on how fabulous you were.
Thank you again. I’m sorry I never got a chance to thank you on the day as we were having photos taken when you left. Thank you again you really did make our day perfect.’ – Nicola
After that I flew for a couple of days to Poland, for my mum’s birthday and to do some shopping and visit my hairdresser, who for a couple of years has tried her best to rebuild my hair! After a disastrous hairdresser experience a couple of years ago, I am dreading any new experiments on my head and I do not trust any hairdresser apart from the local lady where my mum lives.
Following that, I performed on a private estate for a 21st Black Tie Birthday Party in Nottinghamshire. The parents of the birthday girl invited me to perform during the dinner, entertaining over 100 friends and family in a marquee.
The next day, I performed, two days in a row, during the catwalk at The Harrogate Bridal Show. I was requested to preform Kashmir by Led Zeplin. I have never seen so many wedding dresses being on displayed from so many countries around the world in my Entire life. James came with me and also was surprised how many wedding dress designs are possible comparing to men’s suits!
The next weekend, James drove me to Weymouth, where I performed on Isle of Portland at a beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony, drinks reception and wedding breakfast held in Pensylvania Castle. The bride walked down the isle to Seal – Kiss of a Rose <3
Following that I performed at a Michelin Start restaurant dinner party at Larington Hall, North Yorkshire.
From there, I travelled to Manchester where I performed at 50th birthday party for a Polish heritage lady who asked me to perform for her parents some special Polish traditional pieces of music. For that purpose I ‘employed’ my brother who pre-recorded and arranged piano backing tracks of these tracks.
‘I was looking for something a little different for my birthday party – not the usual wedding or covers band – something/one versatile and memorable. In Kate I found an incredibly talented musician with a very wide repertoire of both classical and contemporary music. In addition, Kate accommodated a few personal numbers, which she took the trouble to record for me. She gave the occasion an air of sophistication and genuinely engaged fully in entertaining the crowd. I cannot praise Kate highly enough and would recommend her without hesitation. Everyone at the party was taken with her performance – a rare find! ‘ Mal Jarmolowicz
Following that James took me to Lake District where I performed during the wedding breakfast at the Villa in Levens.
We just wanted to say a huge thank you for playing at our wedding yesterday. We absolutely loved it and we’ve had so many people complimenting your playing!
Sorry we didn’t get a chance to really catch up yesterday – we were very much caught up with everything!
Thanks again, Gemma & Craig’
I really like the Lake District, coming back there reminds me of my early student years and times when I travelled with my mum and my brother to do some family walking. How the time flies, I have been a graduate from University of Leeds for 6 years now!!]]>
James proposed to me!
… and I said YES!
This is the month that changed my future life.
Well, let’s start from the performances recap. At the beginning of the month I performed at a wedding ceremony and drinks reception in Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle. The bride, after doing some research, wanted me so badly to perform at her wedding. It was a picturesque but very intimate wedding.
People ask me what are the wedding trends nowadays? It all depends on the bride and groom. It is so difficult to say as there are many trends. There are so many venues to choose from and the number of guests invited really depends on the wedded couple’s choice. However, I normally perform at weddings with more than 80 guests
Another wedding was in Lincolnshire, the father of the bride chose me to perform at his daughter’s wedding! I performed at both the drinks reception and the wedding breakfast on both my classical and electric violins. Following this, I played at a wedding in Merseyside, where I also performed at the drinks reception and wedding breakfast – however, this time I was requested to use my electric violin only.
For some who read it, including myself, believe me this came as a total surprise…. I’m engaged!
Let’s start from the beginning, as there were some speculations on how we met.
To make it clear – NO we did not meet via any dating portal or an app!
It was a chain of coincidences and referrals that led to the initial meeting. Firstly, I was invited to perform at a 50th Birthday party, from this booking I was then recommended and booked to perform at another 50th birthday party. Following this booking, I was again recommended and booked for another 50th birthday party, held in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire where I performed and was introduced to James (he was working at the same party as a DJ) back in 2012.
However, after the meeting we only became friends. James travelled and worked abroad in USA, Hungary and Germany, whilst I was focusing on my violin career. We stayed in touch, in fact James met all my family and I met his mum on a couple of occasions and for years he was always repetitively saying in a kind of joking way that he would marry me after we turn 30!
In 2016, after my mum had an operation, she was banned from long distance flights, hence she was not able to go with me to New York, where I was about to run the New York Marathon for Cancer Research UK. I asked James if he would like to join me on this trip on a friendship basis, he agreed straight away and flew us there…in Business Class!
After the marathon we have consciously coupled and the rest of our romantic relationship is a mystery.
9 months later, despite me still being in my 20’s – and no, I was not pregnant (!) on 5 August 2017 James proposed to me with the most beautiful ‘princess cut’ diamond ring I have ever seen, in the most unexpected and ordinary scenario, with the most astonishing sunset, in one of my very favourite places in the UK, Northumberland. It all got very surreal! Next thing I knew, he simply moved into my newly renovated and built house! It is the start of the new beginning.
So who is my fiancé? We both studied at the University of Leeds, though he was more sensible and did a degree in Accounting and Finance. He later qualified as a Chartered Accountant and currently is finance director and executive team member for the UK division of a well-known German company. Every day he travels to work 140miles return! James runs a mobile disco and DJ hire business and is also a Royal Air Force band member, playing the French horn, hence our classical music connection.
Sunny Wedding Season
On 1 July I performed at Diane and Mark’s wedding ceremony and reception. Diane was very particular about music choices at her wedding. She requested David Guetta’s ‘Dangerous’ when walking down the isle, which I think actually turned out pretty well on violin!
I also performed at Nunsmere Hall in Cheshire for Louise and Robin’s outdoor wedding ceremony, drinks reception and wedding breakfast. What a stunning hall! The grounds were mesmerizing and the weather added a lot to the outdoor celebrations.
A week later I performed at the wedding ceremony, drinks reception and evening reception with a DJ, at Holiday Inn in Leeds Brighouse. This is another local venue, which is renowned for its high standard and also great food! I performed on both my classical and electric violin, both old and recent music favorites, to make sure there was an eclectic mix to please everyone!
Following this performance, I played at a charity ball in Halifax. It was a lovely event; the marquee was set on a hill, overlooking other hills and Halifax town in the distance.
I also gave a wedding performance at Rotherham Golf Club. I performed during the wedding ceremony and the drinks reception.
However, in July there were two very important events for me, one christening and two baptisms. I am now a god mother for 3 boys, however, in total I am a godmother of 4 boys! The baptism of Malachi and Foster was in Leeds, their mum, my dear friend Dawn, requested me to become a God mum – which I simply could not decline as both boys are very cute and lovely kids.
The christening of my brother’s little boy happened in Poland. I flew to attend this very special day with all the closest family. The little boy is going to be definitely spoilt by me – he is so lovable, I could not stop admiring him
– Busy Wedding Season –
The month started with two wedding performances. The first wedding I performed at was in Rudding Park, during the wedding drinks reception. I know this venue very well, two years ago I took part in a documentary about my career, the Polish Discovery Chanel filming team flew to the UK and my interview was shot in Rudding Park’s grounds and inside the house.
The second wedding was a much more relaxed one. I performed
outdoor at the drinks reception at a farm. The bride and groom hired a marquee for their wedding breakfast and there were old tractors and trucks outside the marquee.
The weather at both weddings was magnificent!
Following that, I performed at Thorpe Park Hotel, Leeds, for a wedding ceremony. The bride requested ‘Make You Feel My Love’ performed on my clear electric violin when she walked down the aisle. After that I drove to Bridlington, where I
performed at a concert with the Military Wives Choir at the Burlington Church. I performed in both half’s of the concert, first on my classical violin, classical pieces selection, with the finale performed by the choir and me – Ashokan Farewell. I was really surprised when I heard the pianist, Malcolm Maddock with whom I have also worked in the past! It was a very nice addition to be able to do some pieces together.
The next wedding ceremony I performed at was held at Yorebridge House in the Yorkshire Dales. It was such a lovely hot and sunny day! I performed before the wedding ceremony on my electric violin followed by music during the ceremony on my classical violin. The bride and groom sent me a Thank You card afterwards! At the end of the month, I performed at a wedding in York, Taylors Hall and Merchants Hall at a civil wedding ceremony and drinks reception.
I really do like performing in London, the only disadvantage that very often puts me off is the hassle of getting to London, unloading my equipment and parking the car! This time it was stress free, as I was performing at M Restaurant where I had my own allocated car parking space in the basement, with a lift going directly to the floor where my performance was. I was
performing for BT and Huwei at their corporate event in the City of London. I performed on my classical violin 3 x 45 mins sets followed by my final sent on my clear electric violin.
-Searching for the Spirit of Spring –
May started with my performance at a 70th Birthday party at Rugby club in Widmerpool Yvonne invited me to perform for her friends and family when having a dinner party, celebrating her big day.
The lady was a magistrate throughout her life and I could hear lots of impressive stories from her career days.
I also performed at wedding ceremony followed by a drinks reception at beautiful Kirkstall Abey in Leeds! This is one of my very favorite places in Leeds and also local so less travelling for me
The wedding ceremony was absolutely beautiful and grand – the couple got married in the open air ruins of Kirkstall Abey – (ruins of …. ‘history’). This was a magnificent wedding – the one I will never forget.
I have also managed to sneak into the recording studio to record a couple of tunes – hopefully soon to be released. My house took all my attention so far, therefore all the creative projects are postponed for a ‘later date’.
With my producer, Will Jackson, we have recorded a completely new piece, that I was inspired to write after my visits to India. We have also recorded Romance for Violin – for which the video will be published soon. I enjoy my time in the recording studio, it is an entirely different vibe, I get focused and record in peace, without anyone disturbing! All phones and emails OFF!
What I have recently discovered is that my neighbor makes and sells beautiful colorful candles. I only found out because he heard me practice the violin in my house and mentioned him being creative too.
It is nice when I can share my music also with my closest family and friends. A good friend of mine, Dawn, had requested me to show her two little children the violin. They have only seen my performances and heard my music online or on CDs; they rarely have any time to do anything outside of their everyday routine due to extensive sport activities.
The children were very excited to be able to see my electric and classical violins and even managed to sing along to some tunes I played for them.
The last concert I gave in May, was an open-air performance for the opening of a new bandstand in Hornsea, East Yorkshire.
I performed in both half’s of the concert on my electric violin, show pieces from my ‘cruise ship show’ repertoire. I was a guest artist at the event, there was a brass band preforming also on that day.
What a loud sound they can make – they definitely do not need any amplification or speakers to be carried for them
The event was also featured in a local newspaper:
New born baby, I am now ……an AUNTIE
………for the first time ever
What a month! On 5th April, my sister in law, Agnes, gave birth to my nephew Stanislaw Kacper Chruscicki. The name Stanislaw (Stasiu; Stan) was given in memory of my late father. We are all so overwhelmed with this fabulous news. The boy is cute and lovable!
However, the month really started with my performance on 1st April at a wedding ceremony and drinks reception at Thorpe Park Hotel, Leeds, followed by my performance at Grosvenor Casino in Nottingham where I launched the multimillion pound refurbishment of the casino.
I performed on my electric violin; upbeat and modern pieces with my violin illuminating. It was a great night! And despite 1st April being – a Fools Day – no, I am not making all of the above up.
I have exhibited at the wedding faire at the Holiday Inn in Brighouse, Leeds, as well as at Hazelwood Castle, where I met with my new and existing brides. If you are thinking about booking me for your special day – please get in touch – I have a list of wedding faires I attend where you can hear me play and discuss your special day and any possible requests.
Another highlight of the month was a performance for Dunlop Oil & Marine Ltd, at their annual technical conference held at Forest Pines, Lincolnshire. Dunlop manufacture rubber hoses used in the oil industry, so there were guests who had travelled from all over the world to attend the conference. I gave my electric violin performance during a drinks reception for the arriving guests. There was also a caricaturist, who managed to capture a drawing of me playing the violin!
By chance, I listened to Amy’s McDonald’s radio live-streamed concert from Newcastle. What a voice! Her new album sounds brilliant (I do own a copy too!) and her performance, charisma and the stage presence are very entertaining – from what I could gather listening to her in my car,
travelling to another wedding performance near Darlington, Middleton Lodge. At Mddleton Lodge, I have performed on both my classical violin and electric violin during the whole day.
It means I entertained guests with my violins during the wedding ceremony, drinks reception and the wedding breakfast that was held in the marquee. The day was very sunny which also added to the day.
My boyfriend and I travelled to Wroclaw, Poland, for Easter family celebrations and also to see my nephew for the first time. I do love spending time with my family, I try to see them as much as possible and miss them a lot. Having chosen my violin career and moving to live alone in the UK, over staying in Poland, unfortunately makes it impossible to see them regularly. Therefore whenever I do see them I make sure we spend the time well together.
My final performance was for a wedding at Kilworth House, Leicestershire – I performed for both the wedding ceremony and drinks reception. What a stunning hotel, full of history. The couple were so impressed with my performance, I was given a bouquet of flowers… just to say Thank You!
From non-musical or family activities to some life enjoyment – I visited Fountains Abbey and Harewood House to get some music inspiration and also to have some time off and relax. April weekends in the UK were very sunny; I really like spring, all the daffodils and tulips look beautiful when they are in the peak of their blooming season. But … I do love all the flowers!
One sunny day, in the afternoon, my boyfriend surprised me. He sent tulips via courier to my house He really knows how to make me smile!
My Birthday on Barcelona Marathon Day
12 March 2017
This was a very special month; I ran the Zurich Barcelona Marathon on my Birthday! This year I decided to do something more remarkable than a usual birthday party for friends and
Running a marathon for Cancer Research UK fitted this criteria. I raised lots of money, probably over £3,000 – this is to be checked and confirmed as the donations still keep on coming until the end of the year
However, before I set of for sunny Spain I have performed at a Ruby Wedding Anniversary at Wentbridge Hotel near Doncaster. It was so lovely to see the couple being still in love after 4
0 years tor.
Before I set of for sunny Spain, I have performed at a Ruby Wedding Anniversary at Wentbridge Hotel near Doncaster. It was so lovely to see the couple being still so much in love after 40 years together. Relationships like this very rarely happen nowadays; it makes me think often about my own life and how I wish I would want to spend my life with someone who truly loves me ‘for better and for the worse’. At the same time I am wondering how many couples I performed for at their weddings are now divorced? Apparently the statistics say it is 3 on 4 marriages that fall apart. Shame things are no longer as they used to be when our grandparents were getting married. Shame we live in a disposable world, where like in a supermarket, you can get another latest product model without trying to fix the old one.
But HEY! It means I perform at more wedding than I would be if the relationships lasted forever – which I can’t really complain about ;-
Barcelona! What a vibrant place, Las Ramblas is where all the nightlife is happening. Having had a hotel in the very center, I could admire the local life and Spanish culture. But I am actually not a big fan of Spain, from very personal reasons actually. I very much dislike Spain after visiting Madrid back in August 2014. However, we should not judge the whole country based on one incident – well, true, but it still does not appeal to me as much as other Southern European countries.
I ran the entire marathon, 42km (26 miles) in exactly the same time as I did in New York, 4h 44 minutes – it is called consistency! The same running music set list must be the key, thank you Coldplay for keeping me going!
After the run, of course, I needed to relax. Relaxing in the hotels top floor open swimming pool was all I needed for my tired legs.
After having returned from Barcelona I had one day to expect my new Italian sofa delivery and then… back on a plane to Cairo, where I did three solid days of electric violin performances, 3 performances on each day, launching the new shopping center – Mall Of Egypt! I never travel alone outside of the European Union, hence on this occasion, I took with me my boyfriend who luckily still had some holiday days to use from the previous year.
In Egypt I had to be all covered up for my performances because it is a Muslim country.
I did not mind because I am not trying to sell my music though the looks but hopefully because of the quality of my music and the performance I deliver!
In Egypt I also had the chance to visit the Pyramds and the Sphinx, as well as ride on a camel J This is a real perk of my job – I really do get to see places I would probably never got to see.
On the way back to the UK, I was really surprised at the airport security in Turkey when the immigration officer knew who I was by my name, without even looking into my passport! Fame at last.
However, we also experienced the worst plane turbulence in my entire life. When crossing the mountains over Serbia, the aircraft was shaking so badly, all drinks landed on the floor and I quietly was praying it is not the end of my life! Thankfully I am still alive
– In Love on Valentine’s Day-
February was another whirlwind month in both my personal and professional life.
As you are aware, the refurbishment of my house has been a long ongoing project, but finally the carpets in my house were fitted. This meant that the bed could be taken out of storage and assembled; I finally could have a good night’s sleep, instead of sleeping on a mattress on the floor!
I played at a number of events in February – I was requested to perform at Grosvenor Casino in Leeds, where I gave an Electric Violin performance at their launch event after the casino had undergone a major refurbished. If you have not visited the casino after the refurb, then it is well worth a visit.
I also performed at a wedding held at Thorpe Park Hotel, Leeds. The colour of my dress, navy blue, matched the decorations. I really enjoy performing at weddings in Thorpe Park Hotel, it is a lovely venue and also great as it is just minutes away from where I live.
My other notable performance in February was at BiBis Restaurant in Leeds for Valentines Day. I have performed at BiBis on Valentines Day now for many years. I performed loved songs on my classical violin, walking around the tables. My partner accompanied me for dinner in the restaurant afterwards. Due to it being our first Valentine’s as a couple – believe me or not – I actually declined a Caribbean cruise offer for the same date… all in name of LOVE!
Apart from preforming, I have also done some training at Roundhay Park in Leeds; running around the lake, making sure my legs are in good shape.
I have also been training and fundraising in Norfolk. Running alongside the beach, on top of the cliffs in Sherringham Park was absolutely stunning. All this training is for the Barcelona Marathon 2017, with the aim to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research.
My name day gift – Skeleton – was finally assembled in February. Finally, because my house, until then was still under the major renovation. It can get lonely leaving alone in a house, the skeleton was given a name BOB and he became my new housemate. A Name day, accordingly to catholic church tradition, is a way of celebrating a Saint’s birthday. My name day is on 25th November, when st Catherine was born.]]>
“Hello From The Other Side!”—Adele
So far with these blogs I’ve spent a lot of time talking about my adventures and accomplishments. Now I’d like to reflect upon “another side” and reveal what it’s like behind what may seem like a glamourous lifestyle as an international musician.
I’ve often received advice from those who know me well: they say I should slow down and stop working so hard.
After some soul searching, I’ve finally realized and can admit that these people who care about me are, in fact, quite right– I must embrace every moment, as I’ll never get these times back. Although I certainly enjoy performing (especially bringing joy to an audience), I need to stop going overboard into such a frantic whirl of performances, and, more so, all that goes with them (travelling and working on preparations in my office)…which can lead to me ignoring the outside world and missing important things that are happening around me.
Therefore…this year I vow to take some time off work—to do the “normal”/natural things I should be doing—sleeping more, eating better, do (even) more exercise and travel LESS (on business). You may think it’s great to travel – in some ways – it is. But not when you spend almost an entire year abroad, like I did for the past two years on 4 different continents in X number of countries I never thought I would visit in my life—it’s exhausting!—and I don’t always have time to explore these new places, which can be frustrating.
I mean, 2016 was a VERY busy performing year!
Here are some of the places I visited:
These places where I’ve performed are truly stunning and unforgettable. Part of me is always very grateful that my work takes me all over the world.
However, in my job it’s very difficult, for example, to have relationship due to constant travelling or being jet-lagged after travelling. This year I decided to focus on my boyfriend and make the most of living in my beautiful, freshly renovated house and just simply enjoy sunrises and sunsets from my own bed instead of a hotel’s bed or a bed at my cruise cabin.
In 2017 I am still planning on fundraising for Cancer Research UK, running the Barcelona Marathon (on my birthday) and climbing Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in October. I will also be re-releasing my second album in November
I know…sounds busy already…but I also have some more “relaxing” goals—like finishing my garden and enjoying the blooms! Relax, relax, relax—I must remind myself!
Really, the plan is working so far: in January, I already worked less. I did perform at a wedding ceremony at St John the Baptist Church (all the best for Samantha and Robert) and at York Marriott—but that’s all!
Instead of packing in the performances, I actually enjoyed watching other musicians; i.e. I went to Sheffield Ball Room & City Hall to see an Australian fingerstyle guitarist Tommy Emmanuell at his tour ‘It’s Never Too Late’ –a very poignant sentiment, which I’ve taken to heart.
So starting in 2017, say “hello” to the new me. I will adjust my focus—beyond performing and travelling—to “the other side” of life!]]>