Transcript of Interview with Yarka Krajickova

Hari Fell: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to Stories From My Drinking Days. My name’s Harry Fell and I’m the founder of Nolo Cocktails and Bars. We’re joined today by Jarka, um, Jarka came to the UK in 2002 as a, um, as an au pair and is now settled in Bristol. So, um, welcome Jarka, thank you very much for joining us today.

Yarka Krajickova: Thank you very much for having me.


Hari Fell: tell us a little bit about your drinking journey. It’s obviously you, you haven’t been brought up in the UK. You were brought up in the Czech

Yarka Krajickova: Republic. Yes, Czech Republic. And if anybody knows anything about Czechs, we drink and we love our beer. And there is a drink called Slivovice as well. And it’s kind of a plum brandy and it’s been sort of.

pushed at me ever since I was little and I just didn’t like the smell of it. It didn’t really work for me. Beer was sort of pushed on me and they all knew I’m a bit of a [00:01:00] lightweight as well, so I could easily just have half a pint or, you know, glass of wine and I was tipsy. I knew if I have any more, I lose control.

So I always kind of moderated my drinking from very early. I was like, Oh no, you need to drink more. You need to practice. You need to build resilience. And I’m like, nah, nah. And I just remember this time, we went to see my cousin, and they live in an area where they um, do wine, so it’s a winery sort of area, and we went out, and I got so bad, I don’t know how much I had to drink, but I then walked for like an hour, to walk it off, I couldn’t bear to be You know, to get it out.

So I walked it off and, and I just thought ever since then I was very in control of knowing how much I’m going to be drinking. Yeah,

Hari Fell: so would you say you don’t like the feeling then of being drunk?

Yarka Krajickova: It’s not the feeling, it’s the losing control. Okay. That was always my, my [00:02:00] big thing. The moment I felt I’m, I’m losing my, because you know all those stories, you know, you’re drunk, you know, somebody picks you up, they spike your drink, especially when you then move countries, you don’t speak the language, and a lot of people might find the accent attractive, or you know, I was always worried.

That it might then play against me, although I was with friends. So I was always the one that was in control, so I managed to always, you know, take myself home as well as my friends. And that was sort of working for me. But, yeah. But being in Czech, being in Czech, it’s been always a bit of a Oh, sorry. It’s always been a bit of a, like, Oh, you’re Czech and you don’t drink.

I was like, well, it’s what it is. or I don’t drink, you know, to get drunk.

Hari Fell: Yeah, yeah, fair enough. So you’ve pretty much always, um, moderated your drinking then really from quite an early age. And how, how did you find, did [00:03:00] you find a difference in the drinking culture between, uh, the Czech Republic and, and coming to the UK?

Yarka Krajickova: It was, I think in Czech it was more done as a family, uh, or with a big, big group of friends, whereas in England I found it a bit more Getting drunk for the sake of getting drunk. Yes all and kind of in Bristol It’s all quite notorious for people getting a bit violent and very aggressive not violent But a lot more aggressive vocal and that was always a little bit kind of scary me So I always allowed myself a drink but not to a level to either be the target Or be one of the people to do that sort of stuff.

So I always kind of try to stay away from that sort of thing.

Hari Fell: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, that sounds really sensible. That’s a very sensible and, and, uh, yeah, grown up approach to drinking really, which I think a lot of us don’t quite manage. So, so having [00:04:00] moderated then for the majority of your adult life, you actually don’t drink at all now, do you?

Yarka Krajickova: Oh, do you know what? I do. I used to like a pint of cider. Thatcher’s was my like cider was my little weakness. Or, you know, Bailey’s, Malibu, you know, I’ll know all of these things. I worked in a bar. And we used to have, you know, a bunch of shots at the end of the shift before we went home. I mean, 20 years ago or something.

Um, but this summer, I don’t know what it is premenopause, or the sign is shining stronger, or I don’t know what’s in the air. But this summer, I has been really hard for me to drink because we went, okay, we went out, um, we went away, um, into Cornwall for holidays. We love our little caravan, we love caravanning, so we went away caravanning, and we met our family as well down in Newquay.

And, you know, we were together, everybody’s kind of having, you know, a can of beer, and I had a side there. And the day [00:05:00] after, I mean, I experienced migraines. But what that was, it was like a migraine hangover, paralysed, bed bound, all in one. I was like, what is this? So it already took one day away from me being with my family on holidays.

And I thought, I’ll just suck it up. I’ll be fine. I was struggling, really, really struggling. Then we were celebrating something and I had a glass of wine. I, I just, I, I’ve got no words. What ha, what was happening to my body was not only painful, but what I realised was, I can’t do this. As much as I’m enjoying the, or the glass of wine, or you know, some pint of cider, it’s not worth, that, that ten minute enjoyment of drinking it and getting tipsy, is not worth me losing ho, my holidays with my family with.[00:06:00]

That was a massive, massive realization. I didn’t see that coming at all. It’s a bit like, you know, drinking coffee. I drop, I drop the coffee and I only drink coffee when I’m really like, you know, tired. And it’s a, it’s a definitely a coffee day. Um, but I don’t drink it for the taste. I drink it for, to stay awake for the coffee.

So when somebody offers me, you know, coffee, sorry, I diverted a little bit, but it’s very similar thing. It’s like, I enjoyed the taste this time of the alcohol and being the titty, but it’s the day after and the day after. I don’t know whether that’s life after 40. I just found it really

Hari Fell: difficult. Yeah, I think our body’s reaction to alcohol does change as we get older and definitely in perimenopause, you know, lots of women report that their reaction to alcohol is so much worse.

So I definitely think, I mean, yours does sound extreme, but I think it is something that a lot of people experience. I’m

Yarka Krajickova: glad it’s not just [00:07:00] me then. Because it was so funny. We went out with a couple of mums that we meet on a school run. And we just, well, let’s just go for a drink. I had one glass, you know, half a pint of cider.

And I’m talking, this is June, way before summer even. And that’s when it sort of started to feel a bit Maybe it’s not for me. Yes. So we went out and then I went to my office as well because I work with a team of accountants as well. And they’re like, oh, so you know, why didn’t you come to work yesterday?

And I’m like, you’re not going to believe it. And I was like, well, what happened? And I said how crappy, how awful, how dreadful I felt after half a cider. And they just looked at me saying, and the same thing, you know, you need to build resilience and all of that. And I’m like, no, I just can’t do it. And the word that popped up after, and I was like, right, it’s going to live with me.

Yarka, you’re pathetic. I was like, I am. I am pathetic. I can’t even have a glass of wine now. Yeah. [00:08:00]

Hari Fell: I’m not sure that that’s, that’s you being pathetic though. You know, I think,

Yarka Krajickova: uh, They meant it all in kind of a funny way and I took it funnily. I mean, if it was anything else, I’ll probably take offense, but it was all kind of handled in a fun, sort of, you know, humorous way rather than getting, you know, vocal about it.

But it was, yeah. So no, it’s

Hari Fell: amazing though, isn’t it? That people have said to you that you need to build up a resilience to alcohol rather than actually us just accepting that our bodies aren’t designed to process it. It’s something that societally we are expected to persevere with, you know, cope with the alcohol.


Yarka Krajickova: it. Yeah, that’s it. I mean, it’s very similar with food as well, isn’t it? It’s, you know, the obesity of people is kind of growing, and then you go into shops and, you know, two thirds of the shop is processed foods. It’s like, well, how are we supposed to, [00:09:00] um, you know, avoid it if it’s right in our faces?

The same with alcohol. It’s just in your face. Yeah, yeah, that’s right. You have it on teddy, or you go somewhere and they’ve got a bar. Or, you know, you go to someone’s holiday, um, birthdays, and you, and you go, Oh, what do you fancy drinking? I’ve got wine, I’ve got this, I’ve got that, da da da. It’s like, um, I’ve got my bottle of water, thank you very much.

Yeah, yeah.

Hari Fell: So, um, when was your last alcoholic drink then? When did you have your last drink?

Yarka Krajickova: That was probably August, beginning of August. Yeah. Say, around the 10th of August or something like that. That was my last alcoholic drink.

Hari Fell: Yeah, so about two months ago now. Yeah. And have you noticed any changes at all since you completely

Yarka Krajickova: stopped drinking?

I feel, in regards to that, what I find a lot easier, now I’ve realised why I’m not drinking, it’s taking me away from my family and everything, it’s a lot, lot easier to say, no, I’m good, thank you. [00:10:00]Yeah, usually in past I was a bit more tempted. I was a bit like oh just a little bit just a little bit I could just just a dinky little weenie bit.

I could just you know, but now I know I can’t even do that So it’s a lot lot easier. I don’t feel as pressured into drinking because I’ve got a very good excuse I just need to keep remembering it. You know what it’s like with people you forget You don’t do something for a long time, you forget why you do it or why you don’t do it.

I just need to remind myself of this and I think, you know, being on your podcast, I’m just going to press repeat to just remind myself that this is why I’m doing it.

Hari Fell: Yeah, well you’ve got a very strong reason why you’re not drinking, don’t you?

Yarka Krajickova: Yeah, I feel it is. It’s a lot easier. I mean, body wise, I haven’t really, because I’ve never really been a heavy drinker.

So it’s not like I suddenly, you know, lost a lot of weight, I wish, or, you know, or, You know, I still have a brain fog. I think that’s still there from having two babies. [00:11:00] Um, so, you know, I haven’t really seen any differences as such. But that, just finding it a lot, lot easier and be able to joke about it and just be free about it.

I’m not awkward about it. I used to probably say, no, I’m trying to, you know, the sort of thing, I’m trying to lose weight, I’m trying to cut down on my calories, I’m not going to have a drink, I’m not going to have, you know, anything. But now it’s like, no, I’m good, thanks. I’ll just have my bottle of water.

And you will see me with my bottle of, if any event, you’ll see me, I’ll have my bottle of water with me.

Hari Fell: Yeah. So, and how has everyone’s reaction been to the fact you don’t drink

Yarka Krajickova: now at all? Oh, Jaka, you’re pathetic. This is just crazy. How can you not drink? Just try a little bit. Just a dinky. No, no, I’m good.

I’m good. So, they still keep pushing. I think they haven’t quite accepted it. But what I’ve started doing, and what I am definitely going to look up, will be your drinks. And I’ve just started, um, um, there’s like a non alcoholic cider. And I don’t think that’s even something I’m going to be doing. [00:12:00]Bye. I’m just kind of looking at alternatives.

So I kind of miss the social that goes sort of with it, um, in a way of, I just have the fancy glass, you know, with the, with the coke or something. I miss that a little bit. Um, and it’s the taste, but I’m just need to know a few alternatives that are non alcoholic. So I’m going to, um, investigate into those and, um, give those a go.

So it’s not just easy for me, but it’s easy for others as well. Yes. I don’t know how selfish is that? Well, I am probably selfish, I suppose, because I think of me more than the day after and the day after, more than anyone else seeing me drunk, because what’s the point?

Hari Fell: Yeah, I don’t think it’s selfish to, you know, um. Well, it’s not selfish, really. You’re putting yourself first, you’re putting your family first, you know, it’s not. Yeah. And what you’re doing is not drinking [00:13:00] alcohol. It’s not, you’re not harming anybody, are you?

Yarka Krajickova: It’s not like I’m taking drugs or anything.

Hari Fell: No, no, not at all.

And there are some really good non alcoholic ciders out there now.

Yarka Krajickova: Yeah, I’m starting to build a list of things. But then again, you then almost need to go directly to people rather than actually in shops because there’s not a lot of choice in the shops. No,

Hari Fell: no, that’s true. And I’d say the only thing to look out for when you’re looking at the non alcoholic side is actually how much sugar’s in there as well.

Because some of them are quite high in sugar. So, um, Oh, you see? Replacing empty calories with more empty calories. So, yeah. Yeah. Red Bull on steroids. Yeah. Yeah. But there, I mean, there are some really good ones out there. Um, depending on what you like. And I think even, I think patches do a zero percent as well now.


Yarka Krajickova: yeah,

Hari Fell: I quite like the smashed drinks, smashed drinks, do a [00:14:00] cider and zero percent. And actually it does taste like cider because obviously, you know, the one One thing that you do get people, you hear people saying is, uh, well surely non alcoholic cider’s apple juice.

Yarka Krajickova: Yeah, as far as an apple juice, yeah.

Yeah, I think there is a lot more science to go with it.

Hari Fell: Yeah, yeah, definitely, definitely. So, um, tell me a bit about your business then. You, so you qualified as an accountant. After you obviously came to the UK as an au pair and what made you go into accountancy?

Yarka Krajickova: I shouldn’t be probably saying this, this is going to stay on internet forever and ever and ever.

So when I first kind of had a taste for accountancy was in a like a business academy in June before I left for England. And so we had a project, um, subject that I was kind of taking and my, as we were doing the final exams, my teacher went. Yarka, [00:15:00] whatever you do, don’t do accountancy. But I guess I just, when I first, when I kind of moved into England, I sort of fell into it.

So the first two years I was working as an au pair, looking after other people’s children. And then when I went to university, because I wanted to have a university degree because it’s a big thing in Czech, I was the first one from my family to do a university degree. And it was a big thing for me to try at least.

And I had the opportunity to do it. And I’m like, right, I’m doing it. I’m totally doing it. Um, So accountancy at that time wasn’t something that I kind of had my eye on because of what my teacher said. Yeah. So I did, um, English, a foreign language and European studies and part of that degree was to do, to go to, uh, for Raus.

So I went to Sweden for a year, which was absolutely fantastic, the best year of my life. And another year was to work, uh, in a work placement. And I got a work placement in a language center. It’s now closed. It was in city of, [00:16:00] um, city of Bristol, in the center, and. I started as a, as an intern, so I was sort of doing everything and nothing, just a bit of admin, sitting at the reception, accepting new clients, new students and all that.

And when it was then my time to go back to university to finish my last year, The opportunity was to do a part time bookkeeping alongside of my degree. And I thought, I am looking for something part time. And I told the boss, I told mother lady then, I was like, but my teacher said not to touch it. I was like, I don’t know, I’ve never done it in England, you know, so I’m getting, you don’t know what I’m, you don’t know what you’re getting and I don’t know what I’m getting myself into.

She said, well just give it a go. Let’s just give it a go. Let’s do it for a couple of months. And if it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit. Okay. We’ll find you something else. And, and, and here I am, like 17 years down the line, I’m still doing accounts. So what actually new accounts actually is I am doing the [00:17:00] traditional year and accounts tax returns for clients.

So I do the accounts for them, but what actually new accounts actually is, and it was set up three years ago. It’s potentially a platform for those who do their own accounts. They either can’t afford an accountant so they are at the very beginning of their journey, at the beginning of starting up a business, or they might be in a business for a long, long time, but they were just treating it as a hassle alongside of their, you know, employment, full time employment.

Um, but I’ve got a strong Feeling I’ve got, I’m very strong believer in everyone having access to accountancy support wherever you are at the beginning or at the very, very end, um, you know, off, you know, at the beginning to, uh, to you are, you know, billionaire, let’s say, um, but it’s very important that everybody has that access because what you do when you start business, you start Googling things, you are a member in Facebook groups and you ask questions.

And then you get to 20 people telling you, uh, different things. You get probably about, say, five [00:18:00] different, you sift it down to five different opinions between those 20 people, but you still have those five opinions to sift through which one you’re going to go for. And that’s not right. That’s still a lot of hard work.

So I’ve got a, at the moment, it’s three groups, solo partners without an accountant. But from 1st of November, that’s going to be a. Kind of a two tier membership with guest speakers. We still get the you ask you answer. Um, the free Um, what i’m trying to say the free options to work with me will be a download I’ve got a podcast as well called action your accounts And there is on my Facebook group, Facebook page, I’ve been sharing loads, I’m doing 100 days of lives at the moment as well.

So if anybody is interested in listening to me rambling on about how to run a business as an introvert, or, you know, how to process your bookkeeping, that would be the place to go. Yeah, [00:19:00] we can try. I am actually doing a five day challenge as well on the 30th of October, which is all about accounts. income expenses, allowable expenses, and how to start a total at the basic.

So if anybody is interested, if you’re interested, please come along.

Hari Fell: Excellent. Excellent. So you still have, um, your own, do you have your own agency that does accounts for people as well?

Yarka Krajickova: It’s not my agency, but I do work alongside, um, a chap called Nathan Brady. Um, so we run Stepping Stones Accountancy, and we’ve got a team behind us who does the work.

Because I haven’t got the capacity to do that as well as doing the Yeoman accounts and tax return. So we’ve got a team who sort of does the actual work, the Yeoman accounts, and then Nathan goes through it to just make sure that everything is correct before it goes out to clients. Brilliant, brilliant.

Hari Fell: So, I mean, actually your account sounds like a fantastic resource for entrepreneurs and particularly new [00:20:00] starters.

Yarka Krajickova: Especially if you’re starting out,

Hari Fell: yeah. Yeah, yeah, because otherwise, I mean, it can be quite, you know, expensive compared to your, your initial takings when you’re starting out. Obviously, everyone wants to try and save as much money as possible.

Yarka Krajickova: No, absolutely. And I think the question people usually have is like, Oh, at one point, do I start, do I outsource? Or do I, can I do it without an accountant? And you can, you totally can. The thing about accounts, it’s not a reg, it’s regulated to a point that whoever, whatever is sent to companies, sales and HMRC needs to be accurate.

But it’s not regulated to a point that only accountant and licensed accountant can do your accounts. Anybody can do your accounts, you just need to be careful. That they are licensed that they’re experienced because you could easily just found someone who who’s not and you know, then either because they are not regulated.

It’s really hard to then fall back to. Okay, he’s done a crap job. Who do I tell? Yeah, me being a licensed [00:21:00] accountant. You know exactly who to go to. It’s all over my social media as well. But it will be AAT. So it’s really important that you’ve got somebody to fall back to if that person isn’t licensed.

And I feel that it’s really important that somebody who is trained to do your year end accounts and your tax return rather than somebody who just wakes up in the morning and goes I’m an accountant. You’re not. You’re not.

Hari Fell: There’s definitely people like that out there. Particularly people offering bookkeeping services that actually just don’t have the training really to do it.

Yarka Krajickova: Exactly. You,

Hari Fell: you’re absolutely right. Accuracy is, is the number one thing, isn’t it, when you’re

Yarka Krajickova: doing your book. Just do your due diligence.

Hari Fell: Yeah. Brilliant. So what’s the best place for people to connect with you?

Yarka Krajickova: Uh, the best place is Facebook. Um, either find me on Facebook as my name, Jarka Krajckova, uh, which would be my personal page.

Um, or [00:22:00] My podcast on Spotify. You can find me there as well. Brilliant. Or just call me.

Hari Fell: That’s brilliant, Jaka. Thank you very much for joining us. This has been, uh, Stories from My Drinking Days and my name is Harry Fell from Nolo Cocktails and Bars. Thank you.

Yarka Krajickova: Thank you.