Personal, travel

Rüdesheim, der zweite und dritte Tag.

After a terrible sleep, we went down for breakfast to find that our friends had bought us presents… some super cute fluffy, penguin socks on our table, which are perfect for this cold weather! I absolutely love breakfast in Germany. It’s one of the best things on earth.

We walked around the Christmas market, which during the daytime was much quieter and definitely more enjoyable!

Then we spent an hour in this fantastic museum called RheinWelt, which mainly consists of German Riesling wines, from vineyards along the river Rhein. You buy tokens for €20, which allows you to try wines, dispensed from a special storage tank. Such a fantastic idea! They also had beautiful artwork and a lovely deli, where you could not only eat, but also buy gifts to take home. I was 110% in my element! Trying wines, keeping tasting notes…

We spent the afternoon and evening in different towns at Christmas markets, wine houses and then we had dinner at this beautiful old restaurant / winery with our friends, and their friends.

Today, we woke up at 2, 3, 5 and 7am. Each time to check 1) if the snow was falling and 2) how much. At 7am our Dad banged on the door whispering “snow, snow!” So we jumped up and headed out within about 5 minutes. We drove up into the hills as the snow stormed down around us. There was SO MUCH of it.

It was absolutely beautiful! We stopped to buy fresh bread and coffee, came back to get ready for the day before jumping on the train to Wiesbaden, to go shopping! We had a few hours to look around the shops, before having a buffet lunch at Karstadt, one of my sister’s favourite childhood things to do!

my new friend, the camel

I had a power nap this afternoon (it was AMAZING!) and then we went on the cable car / Seilbahn as a family. The views over the town were just beautiful. Absolutely stunning!

We had to warm up with a slightly odd-tasting coffee, before wandering through the Christmas lanes again! Running back to the hotel to put on another pair of socks, touch up my make up and dash back out for dinner!

We went to a restaurant we’ve been going to for at least 25 years, with friends who we’ve known our whole lives. Our parents have been friends for 32 years, the eldest ‘children’ are 27, the second two are 25 and the youngest is 20. The last time we were all together was over 6 years ago! But we were chatting for 3 hours, as if we only saw each other last week. The friendship between us is like gold dust! So rare and wonderful. I only wish we saw each other more often…

P.s check out my new shoes a few photos up… they are amazing! From the German company Rieker.

Education, Uncategorized

I’m a teacher (week 2)!

Hey everyone!

I apologize for keeping you in the dark this week – it’s been hectic!

My classes improved drastically and thankfully I wasn’t pulling my hair out over planning every minute of every lesson.

I taught just about every aspect of the language this week, from grammar and vocab to reading, writing, interviewing, complaints and so much more!

I think the most hilarious lesson was related to the topic of dating (from the textbook, not my own choice!) but to my surprise, the students loved it! I printed out a template of a dating profile and asked them to write one for the person sat next to them – it was brilliant and everyone got so involved!

Today, I allowed one of the younger students in my Elementary class to ‘be the teacher’ for two minutes. He quickly realized it wasn’t that easy, but we all enjoyed this brief switch in authority. It was hilarious and definitely sparked some motivation which carried on throughout the entire lesson.

In my ‘optional’ speaking lesson (the students pay to take an extra class over the lunch period) we have been covering the topic of health and fitness this week, and today I had them work in groups to discuss how alcohol, smoking, stress and sleep can affect our health. I can’t believe how well they prepared for a short presentation and everyone put in so much effort. I felt pleased with myself.

What have you guys been teaching this week?
Any advice for a newbie?


Food, Photography, travel

Day two in Mumbai.

After 7 hours of undisturbed, blissful sleep I woke up at half 6, chilled out and when mum got up we walked the dog around the park for a bit. It was a lovely morning, the breeze took the edge off of the humidity.

Breakfast was fantastic, I decided against the Indian option as I do love my breakfasts.. There was everything from bacon to cereal, fruits and yoghurts, pancakes, pastries to a variety of Indian dishes! I went for a bit of everything! Cereal, fruit, vanilla pancakes and I had orange juice and a coffee as well! Then I went back for 2 mini rösti and a cooked tomato! Deeeeeelicious.

The milk was completely fine, something I always worry about in Asia.. But the papaya was awful! It was so bitter and soggy..


all of the above, as much as we wanted for £1.50! Never in England would you find even a bowl of a cereal for that price.

It took ages to decide what to wear.. Ended up in a baggy vest top and loose shorts.. Big mistake on the shorts as people didn’t stop staring all day!… We left the flat at 10 and made the long journey into the city.. The sights along the way were unbelievable; both good and bad. Little children on their own, the beautiful saris that the ladies were wearing, and a combination of rubbish, poverty and run-down buildings. So many of the buildings are laced with insanely wonderful architecture.. places that should be looked after and appreciated.

So, our first stop wasThe Gateway of India!

What a place! Tens of locals just hassling you to buy their postcards, flowers or let them take pictures of you.. Very, very daunting and anyone going I suggest you take good care of your belongings and be direct and firm when saying “no” to their endless offerings! The architecture is wonderful. The little scrolls and ledges and archways are fascinating and with it being right by the water as well it was lovely! Also, the Taj hotel was stunning with it being a more colourful building!


We made a swift escape in search of sanity.. Starbucks! What a gorgeous little cafe it is! Plaques on the wall with random coffee facts, beautiful local art work, archways, table cloths with traditional patterns .. And lastly, a decent coffee! We crossed paths with a lovely old couple, they lived in England for 50 years!, and they took a picture of mum and I, let me have their Internet card.. They were so sweet!


We drove back to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.. Which used to be named the Victoria Terminus.. The inside was insanely busy and we didn’t stay inside long, although we were fascinated by how much it resembled St. Pancreas station in London! The outside is the most amazing architecture I have ever seen! I managed to get quite a few pictures despite the hundreds of people passing by the building.. A statue of Queen Victoria used to be on the front of the building but it got taken down and put in the museum.. Thankfully rescued as it was meant to be destroyed! Around the area they had loads of little stalls selling juices, shoes, newspapers.. We even came across a bull tied to a tree! The poor thing was not happy!


Our final tourist point was the house in which Mahatma Ghandi lived in when he came to Mumbai. It is a beautiful little house, on 3 floors, and it was full of literature, pictures, newspaper clippings and various timelines of Ghandi’s life and achievements through the use of photographs and model scenarios with little dolls. There is no entrance fee, but a donation box, and a small desk surrounded by books, stamps and other small trinkets related to Ghandi. I bought his autobiography for 50 rupees… Which is about 80 pence!!. That’s just unbelievable.

The house quickly filled up with rude tourists, mainly Germans and Australians which was a shame..! We had met a lovely Australian couple earlier during the day but the next we met were not as nice. It’s a very tiny house and people seemed to forget or ignore that there were many people wanting to read the individual excerpts.. So we read as much as we could and then left. What I really enjoyed was the various quotes from Ghandi which were framed around the house, and his room with the telephone which he used to use.


Our final stop was the mall, we had a falafel pita for £1 and bought myself a pair of cotton trousers for about £5.. And left to go home. We chilled out, skyped Grandad and watched the sunset…

Dinner tonight was delicious! I had a spicy salad with cucumber yoghurt as a starter.. Followed by Jeera rice, roti and 3 separate bowls of side dishes..

•aloo baingan masala – which was potato and aubergine.. Not anything too great, I thought it was a bit bland

•Paneer kofta palak gravy – a type of Indian cheese, which it didn’t taste like cheese AT ALL! in a sauce which was bright green, but I really enjoyed that

•Chana – although I didn’t get the full name of it.. A spicy chickpea dish which was absolutely delicious. I had seconds!

We had a mini brownie for dessert but I picked at it as I’m not too keen on walnuts.


Overall, it has been a fantastic first full day in Mumbai and although it has been slightly challenging I thoroughly enjoy it here so far!

Personal, Photography

Big kids at heart ❤

As it’s Andys birthday on Saturday, and he has to work, we decided we would do something fun today! We both had the day off and since all the schools break up for Easter on Thursday, venturing out on Good Friday seemed a silly idea.

We got up early and I had given him his main birthday present today as it would be a vital item for our day out – Fuji film S2980 – I think he liked it! We packed some rolls, crisps and a few drinks and set off to Legoland! It took us about an hour and a half, which wasn’t too bad, using my trustworthy iPad for directions!


We started passing patches of snow as we passed Fleet and drove into Windsor, and the car thermostat started blinking as it neared 0oC … Not a pretty sight when you come out in just a tshirt and a jacket. silly, silly fools for not checking the weather forecast or mainly for just not thinking.

Once we arrived at the gates, an elderly man sorted out our tickets for us. Luckily we had a 2-4-1 voucher and the man let me go in as a child, which saved us £9.50! What a wonderful man he was. So smiley and friendly! :’)

We set off to the Star Wars building, wandered through the the Lego figures and amazing little scenes that had been built – many of them featured sounds and moving parts as well once you pushed a button! They had a laser gun ride where you sat in a little cart with a laser gun for each person to shoot at various targets throughout the journey! There was a camera near the end and our picture was priceless! Unfortunately, we didn’t have £8 to spare, which is an extortionate price to pay for a silly picture!

We carried on, avoiding the water rides as within minutes of leaving the car we were bitterly cold and definitely not wrapped up enough! It started snowing as well! I do love the snow ❤

We passed the Lego hotel, both honestly wishing we had stayed the night! But Andy had a cigarette and thankfully there were outside heaters! A slight God-send even if it was for a few minutes. I was too short to feel the full effect anyway 😦

Our next journey was on the Sea Life submarine – this was my favourite ! A little under the sea adventure with commentary explaining the different types of fish and water life as we passed through Atlantis city. Definitely a wonderful experience for any age!


We were both very disappointed to find out that the driving school was for ages 6-13 only! We didn’t think that was fair and we definitely wanted our Lego licenses! 😦 however, it was sweet watching all the children get excited about driving around the little Lego streets!

Mini land! It is absolutely incredible… All the tiny little statues, buildings, people all made from Lego! I can’t imagine how long it must have taken them. I really liked the Paris models, and the London section is fantastic and obviously much newer than some of the others. We also found these little critters having a bath! It was bitterly cold which made it so hard to take our time to properly appreciate the models, I did feel like I had missed out.


Thankfully, we scraped enough coins together for a hot chocolate each! My goodness did we need them and they were the best hot chocolate we’ve both ever had! Aside from Andy’s homemade options mint and marshmallows one! .

Our final destination was the Knights Kingdom – an awesome castle with a Dragon rollercoaster! My cousin had been telling me for days to make sure I go on it! It was a good laugh and no queues at all! Our picture was again a funny one :’)


We finished our trip by scanning the Pirates land and heading back to the shop, having one last look at the various Lego souvenirs and models.


We stopped at my favourite Fleet services for a yummy McDonalds –of course I had to check in on Facebook and tag my sister!– and then carried on home, where a comfy sofa and warm blanket awaited me for a lovely nap before heading to work for the night.