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… continues with …

… moving abroad and talking English.

This time, I won’t tell you about motorcycles or about barbering (this will come later).

I will tell you how I moved from Romania into another country without knowing much about it. The new country, United Kingdom, adopted me as I was one of theirs and I felt like this is my new home from the moment I landed in Luton Airport.

The journey to adapt wasn’t easy. I spoke some English as I start to learn it in school, the second foreign language, after French. I wasn’t a great student at learning either. I thought that I will never need it. At that time (1987) I was thinking of learning Russian and my grandma thought me the Russian letters and a few words. Those letters helped me more than a few times in my life. When I was in Greece and in Bulgaria I could read the names of the streets, menu at the restaurant and a few other things.

Coming back to French and English, I learnt them because I had to. I do remember being in High School (Theoretical Maths- Physics) and the teacher responsible for our classroom was a … French Teacher. And she made it clear from the beginning: “You have to learn French, because I say so. If you don’t like it, move to another school!”

And we did, for 2 years and she moved to another school. After this one, our French lessons became fun and I didn’t learn much.

English was a steady learning process, not too intense though and the English teacher was nice. I just wasn’t too interested.

But I had some help: my colleague next to me and the one in front of her were good with languages – and they end up in Canada and US. And I was cheating some times and asking for help most of the times. And they helped me.

And that was all my English studies in school. Advice: Learn while in school !!!

Years after I wish I would’ve been a better student with languages. But I loved Maths, Physics and Chemistry.

Anyway, years passed and I found myself involved in import – export activities in a shipyard, talking English with foreign suppliers and that helped a lot.

And then moved and worked for an multinational based in UK so, I had to talk English with some managers or suppliers.

And then, moved again, in UK this time, where I had to speak … English (interesting right?). Below there is a map with the percentage of English speaking countries around the globe. You can see that even in Russia there are 0-20% English speakers.

english_speakers around the globe

Advice: If you ever think that you might never use a skill but there is someone teaching you about it, then learn !!! You never know where your life takes you.

Being in UK, I used to live with Romanians. That didn’t help much so, I moved. And I moved into another house – full of Romanians. That didn’t help either so, I moved again. This time into a house with an English landlady. That was one of the best choices. First thing I told her was that if I’ll make a mistake talking English, she must correct me. And she still does that when we meet from time to time.

So, don’t be afraid of being wrong. Ask to be corrected and you’ll learn and you’ll get better!

Talking about mistakes, we can have a chat about spelling sheep – ship or sheet – sh.t or beach – b.tch; I still make them and my girlfriend is always laughing. I don’t mind.

The more you talk the better you get. And I am talking a lot. Somebody said a few weeks ago that I would be good to talk for a radio as I can’t stop talking.

Now, I am a hairdresser and talking to my customers about everything. But talking English with English people helps me understand their needs and deliver the right results. Sometimes I even talk for somebody else, trying to help them. I don’t need rewards, I just want to help. If I will do it maybe they will do it for someone else and the chain will grow.

I also know there are a few websites and applications that are helping people learn a different language talking to real people. I didn’t use them yet but it is worth a try.

So, keep in touch and if you have anything to add, comment, like or dislike please do that below.

All the best,

Barber Julian

 

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Long time no sea

That’s right. This year, no sea for me. I had a taste of the ocean though: Brighton for a day. The last hot day of the year. Beautiful.

Now, on a campsite in the Lake District, next to Coniston. The weather? Great as always: raining with small drops, a bit chilly, windy.

This is how it looks from inside my car. Looking online for how many places are hotter than here.

I think I miss a proper summer at the sea side. And next year I will book a full month for that.

But hey, it was a great summer in UK. No rain for almost 3 months. I am kinda happy I didn’t go away. And people are saying that this might become a regular. We’ll see. That’s what the blind barber said. 😉

And I visited Lud’s Church in Peak District – That was a great day as well.

I guess now it’s not the perfect weather for motorcycles. But it was.

I hoped you enjoyed it!

STOP. And THINK

You know?

Sometimes you just have to stop from your everyday rush and just think.

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Think for a minute, for an hour, a day or more. It doesn’t matter. Just think.

Think of yourself.

Think of your ambitions, goals, dreams, projects.

Think of your loved ones: parents, brothers and sisters, wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, neighbours, friends.

Think of teachers, mentors, advisers.

Think of your life, specific and in general.

Think of every day of your life.

Think of your actions and reactions.

Think of money, properties, cars, motorcycles, mobile phones, drinks, food, pubs, holidays.

Think of music and dance and rhythm.

Think of yourself.

Is it worth it? Is this what you’re looking for? Is this the life you want to live? Is this the money you want to earn, the food you want to eat and the …..

Think !

And decide.

And act accordingly.

If you don’t know how, ask!

If you do, share!

How to become a better barber (hairdresser)? (part 1)

… I don’t have any secrets to tell. Only tips and tricks.

And one of the tips is: go out and get noticed; “steal” info from …

Now that you know my story, I don’t have any secrets to tell. Only tips and tricks.

And one of the tips is: go out and get noticed; “steal” info from knowledgeable people.

Last Sunday, 20th May, I’ve been to the Barbering Show, at the NEC in Birmingham. It’s the third year and there were less exhibitors than last year.

I recommend anyone in the business, beginner, intermediate or advanced, to attend one of these shows. You’ll meet masters of the craft, producers and products you never knew exists, techniques that will help you along the way. You’ll make connections and you’ll find about new ideas. Go with an opened mind and you’ll get back changed in a better version of yourself.

This time I got prepared. I grew my beard for 2 weeks to be able to get on stage for a professional commercial wet shave (in the last 2 years I was refused this opportunity because the length of my beard). And I got it. From one of the top barbers in UK, a person that I had the chance to work with for 1 day in a barbershop: Yucel. He did the best he could but didn’t win the semifinals: the judges have a difficult task: they have to decide between some of the best barbers and each small, tiny mistakes is taken into consideration. 3 judges have to give up to 50 points each. Yucel lost with 2 points difference. I feel sorry for him, but I felt really goooood after the shave.

And I’ve met an interesting guy, Taylor Harford – professional photographer. You can see the quality and the involvement in the pictures attached.

The title in the news was: A Kent barber is feeling on top of the world after winning the title of Britain’s Best Shave Master 2018.

And there he is:The winner On stage with the judges and close to his family who supported him all the way and all that day.

I also had the option to see different schools of barbering on stage, talking and showing about hair cutting techniques.

And there are other stages showing about hairdressing, nails and beauty as well.

Beside learning, I spoke with the judges, got involved in disputes, spoke with other barbers and hairdressers. And also I established some business connections for future expansion.

I don’t know how many of them will remember me but there is a stepping stone. And I will remember them anyway.

Thank you Yucel for a great shave.

Thank you Taylor for great pictures.

I wish you all the best !

Don’t forget to like, comment and share my post!

… barbering

It’s been a while since my last post and I hope you’re still there.

There is no excuse for this: I was lazy; my mind went from writing to doing other things; procrastination – that’s the word and this is the worst activity. I won’t recommend this to anyone. “Procrastination is the thief of time!” (I don’t know who said it but it is true).

Now, back to … barbering.

This is my second passion. If you didn’t read the previous posts, I suggest you to do it as you’ll understand better what I’m talking about.

This is a passion that I found in the last 3 years. Strange, my first haircut was when I was 3, so it’s all connected.

Everything started with me, braking my heel, working as a window cleaner. That was a really painful experience. Let me tell you about this in a short story.

I was working as a window cleaner for almost 8 months. I fell in the first week, but on the way down I grab a metallic gutter and landed properly, like a cat. And this time, I gave my notice, I had another week to work and I was ready to go around Europe on my motorcycle. It didn’t happen. It was almost the last house of the day, a friend of my girlfriend, one of my own customers. I was rushing things a bit, set the ladder, went up, looking for something to grab in case the ladder slips and it did. On the way down I was looking to fall between the ladder squares, not on it. And I fell properly, on my left heel and my right buttock. Next second I wanted to get up, to continue what I started, but I couldn’t. A sharp pain connected the heel to my brain. All my blood went – I don’t know where, but that was the first time when I felt I was fainting. I went to the hospital which was 5 minutes driving – it was like 30 minutes for me. The curtain almost closed a few times, I didn’t have enough air so I opened a window; the image was either going white or dark. I know that it was a nice 23rd August shiny morning. The afternoon wasn’t that great.

Anyway, 2 months in plaster made me weight my options: I didn’t have many (or any).

The best part of this? I moved with my girlfriend that day. And we’re still together.

The landlady where I left from, in Leamington Spa, which is still a good friend of ours, asked me just before the event if I could be interested in starting hairdressing: because I am good with hands (repairing things in her house).

And that became the only option one month after the event.

I went on my crutches to a hairdresser not far, a friend of my landlady. She was willing to teach me about hair, when I would’ve been able to walk again. And I was able to start at the beginning of November: me riding my motorcycle to a salon in another town – Kenilworth, because I wasn’t able to drive – was still hurting.

Anyway, we agreed on a price for the ‘work and learn’ course and a ‘recognised’ diploma. And the first thing I remember when I touched someone else’s hair (my landlady in the salon) is that I was afraid. I was so tender with her hair: don’t pull it, don’t brake it, don’t …touch it !

From that training which lasted till May, I learned how to do threading, face waxing, some pedicure and … some hair watching youtube and practising in the salon.

Even now I think I didn’t learn much, but without those first steps I would’ve been in the same position: window cleaner or worst. I immersed myself in learning, I was watching and reading every evening about hairdressing and barbering.

I went without paying all my course and without a diploma – I’m not proud of myself about that but I think that I paid for what I got. I apologise if I am in arrears.

Next step? A Turkish Barbershop in Redditch. I went there, explained my situation, had a trial day, agreed on something, started the job, commuting every way for 45 minutes. I learned there as well, but the agreement was broken by the other side this time. Another lesson learned – have a proper agreement, even a SMS. And stay away from untrusted people.

So, I went back to Leamington, under the same brand like the first one but in barbers this time – the guy bought the lease for the barbershop for 10 years. And it was the second year of the lease.

I stayed there 21 months. That was the place where I learned the most. I also went to different shows in Birmingham, trying to keep myself updated. I also went to Warwickshire College and got a NVQ level 2 in Hairdressing with distinction.

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https://www.wcg.ac.uk

Learning is a continuous process and in hairdressing you have to keep updating. I wasn’t the gifted or talented one in the college and I had to study hard to achieve that but I enjoyed every moment. Still learning and still enjoying.

Now it’s my turn to give from my knowledge. If somebody wants to know something I’m happy to answer or to show you how. And if I don’t know how, I will do my research.

In fact I’d like to open a few shops in the future. There will plenty of room to teach people there. It is a nice skill, you can take it anywhere in the world, you work indoor and you can’t fall to brake your heel. Hair is growing and people will always need a haircut. Keep that in mind !

So, next time I’ll tell you about future plans.

Keep in touch and if you have anything to ask, add, comment, like or dislike please do that below.

All the best,

Barber Julian

PS: I have a great collection of documents and advice, PDF or PowerPoint. Let me know if you need anything and I’ll send it to you. Use the contact form below.

Motorcycles …

…because it is my first passion, not because it’s the first word in the title.

It started when I was about 4 y.o. when my dad bought a Mobra and took me on a ride.

That was one of the best in my life. I still remember that sunny day, sitting on the back, holding on my dad, with no helmet or glasses, a lot of dust behind us, a lot of noise around us, me squeezing my eyes trying to see something. What an you wish more? It was the taste of freedom and adventure (I didn’t need any freedom because I was a child and have it all anyway).

The Mobra had a 50 cc engine, and was made at Metrom Brasov, not far from Tohan Zarnesti.

The name Mobra was a portmanteau of Mo from Motorcycle and Bra, from Brasov. The Mobra had 4 HP, four gears, and a top speed of 70 km/h. It had excellent fuel consumption, at 2.7 liters per hundred kilometers, and autonomy of 450 km.

That was ‘the virus’. I took it and there is no cure for it.

Since then, I took my riding licence without my parents knowing and I owned a few.

The one that I liked was a Husqvarna 690TE from 1997, a hybrid between a cross, a touring and an enduro. Real fun on the mountains; a lot of torque – changing into a 3rd gear and doing a unwanted wheely 😀; Kickstarter on it- you didn’t need to go to gym.

I managed to build a snowchain for it and used it on snow 😎. Real FUN, I’m telling you.

If you like to be adventurous, search online redbullromaniacs.com, register and give it a go! Or be there and enjoy seeing the brave ones.

The story continues with other models, any of them with their pros and cons, fun and experiences.

Today, I don’t have any. I’m going to motorcycle shows, seeing, testing, enjoying, living.

Another virus is stuck with me now and has got 3 letters: BMW.

About this one I’ll tell you another time.

Please comment below! I would like to know your thoughts.

Barber Julian

The beginning is set on 20th March 2018, UK evening time

Hi everyone,

As this is my first post I might make some mistakes. I might make some after as well. Feel free to correct me as ‘I am a human being’.

Every journey starts with ‘a’ first step; and this is mine.

Because I love motorcycles and I love barbering.

Tonight I was listening a few inspirational songs (Beyonce – I was here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i41qWJ6QjPI

&  MC Yogi – Be the Change https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_gQxVOmod0) and an idea immersed: to blend both my passions into a blog.

Maybe I’m not the first one. Maybe some will share one, the other or both my passions. And this is all about: sharing.

I will write about them, I will learn more, I will answer questions and share other ideas.

See you soon !

Barber Julianpexels-photo-45718.jpeg