Fuck, I am who I am / Jolana Thompson

Jolana Dolejšová Thompson, age 49.

Jolana, nickname Žolík/Jolly (given by her beloved older brother) is a Czech photographer. She came to UK 21 years ago, a week before her son was born. Until 5 1/2 years ago, she would‘ve been described as a good suburban housewife, who worked as a photographer and translator/interpreter. The last 4 1/2 years she has been leading her own personal revolution. She is deeply in love.

What makes you laugh?

My friends and loved ones. I realise that all my life I have gravitated towards people who have a good hearted, smart sense of humour. I love humour that plays with words and language. Also mischievous, naughty, tongue in cheek kind and innuendos. I love humour that can be quite dark and self deprecating too, as long as it is not abusive or humiliating.

When did you last cry?

On Sunday. My lover and I had a beautiful loving date day. Playful but also incredibly meaningful, thus the tears.

What’s your earliest memory?

I faintly remember a hospital scene - admissions room. Being put on cold, metal ‘baby’ scales by a burly male doctor. Seeing my family behind a glass partition. Not much more than that in the memory, but when I described it to my parents, they said that it was accurate and that it was from when I was about one year old, and being admitted to hospital to have a small operation on a growth in my stomach.

Describe what ‘love’ means to you.

Love for me is a life force. Everything that is good about us and this world, providing strength, motivation, holding us together - individually and as humanity. There are so many kinds and types of love! For me it feels like an amazing and endless ocean within. I adore feeling its waves washing over me, caressing my heart, sometimes gently - providing me with wonderful ‘quiet joy’, and sometimes with such force that it sweeps me of my feet. It brings me light and warmth.

What makes you unique to everyone else on this planet?

My very own blend of kindness, love, passion, silliness, creativity, playfulness, unique sense of smell and taste, sexuality, eagerness to help, passion for photography & dance & music & film; being very tactile and sensual.

Name 3 people (living or dead) you’d invite to your virtual quarantine dinner party.

This was the second most difficult question. (The last one being the most difficult one). Here are three different versions of my fantasy dinner party:

I would love to see and embrace again my former flamenco teacher, stunning soul and ex ballerina Aileen Passloff and I would love to experience her in the company of hers and mine beloved Mikhail Barishnikov and Isadora Duncan.

For a thought inspiring dinner party I would love to sit around the dinner table with Hugh Laurie, Neil Gaiman and Esther Perel.

To hear about artists’ Paris and what was life like for strong, independent women a century ago, I’d love to share dinner with Gertrude Stein, Alice B Toklas and Toyen.

Describe yourself in 5 words (this can be a sentence or 5 separate words).

Loving, Creative, Kind, Sometimes Lost.

Who or what has made the greatest impact on your life?

My maternal grandmother Kristýnka. Person, who has shown me unconditional love. She was kindness and patience personified who provided me and my brother with a beautiful oasis; shelter from the storm - from our parents who had a very tumultuous and unhealthy marriage. Our grandparents, and in particular our grandmother gave us hope and taught us, unlike our own mother, that we mattered and that we were loved even when we were naughty or made mistakes.

Any regrets?

Not standing up for myself more throughout my life. Not calling abusive people on their bs. I also regret that I haven’t been stronger, savvier and more practical in securing my future when I left my marriage.

Tell us something no one knows about you (and I mean no-one)? Until now.

Inside I often feel like a kid. I still get surprised by my actual age.