Browsing "England"
Jun 30, 2012 - England    No Comments

And The Winners Are:

Alright here come the two winners!

As I learnt during my stay in England: Ladies first! When I asked you guys to correct my posts, I didn’t expect someone to go through all my blog posts and have a meticulous look at every word. Well, the winner of the editor contest did exactly that! WOW! I think everybody agrees that she deserve to be the winner of a pencilbook and the $30 iTunes giftcard! Congratulations & a huge thank you Maggie Evenson!

Also thanks to the runner-ups: Silvana, Mami, Max, Papi, Tobi and Sam! Your next pencilbook order will be rewarder with a 25% discount ; )

The winner of the Pencilbook and the sweet surprise was picked by my brother.   The odds wanted that Silvana Candreia  wins! Congratulations to you! She also corrected many mistakes and gave me some valuable tips how to pass the CPE, meaning she deserves it as well!

Thanks to everybody who took part in the contest and it was a pleasure to tell you guys about my progress in England!

Next stop for me will be the US!!! I won’t blog from there, but I was thinking of posting a “daily picture” on facebook. So, I’ll see you there and hope you enjoyed my blog – I don’t think it was the last time I blogged something!



Jun 25, 2012 - England    1 Comment

I Am Not Done Yet

It’s been a while since my last blog posts. Since then, I have taken the proficiency exam, said goodbye to CELC UK, travelled back to Switzerland and already started working at the open swimming pool here in my home town! Does that mean this is the end of this blog? No, not yet! I still owe to you a few pictures and the two winners of the contest! Considering that I will go to the USA in a one week, I will announce the winners on June the 30th!

Until then, here are two stories which occurred during my speaking exam.

The Mysterious Capital

The 19-minute speaking exam always starts off with a basic question: Where are you from. This not only helps the examiners to find out where the candidates are from, but it also helps the candidates to get at least the first question right. That’s usually a question you can answer. Fortunately, you are always taking this part of the exam with someone else. In my case I didn’t know the person in advance. After I answered the basic question with I am from Switzerland blablabla – She said the same thing and added that she is from Zürich the beautiful captial of Switzerland! (If you’re not familiar with Swiss geography: Bern is the capital. It’s like saying Maimi is the capital of the USA…) In my  head I went “Whaaat! No, it is definitely not!”. I tried to keep a straight face. There are only three possible reasons for this answer: 1. She is really stupid and doesn’t no anything about her own country. 2. She was really proud and arrogant about her being from Zürich 3. She was really nervous and didn’t realise what she was saying. After asking her about it, she couldn’t believe what she said. So I guess it is something between the first and third reason ; )

Boring Exams

However, not only my partner gave an interesting answer during this speaking exam. I got asked why it was that sometimes time goes by really fast and other times really slow. I quickly answered that it depended on the situation. When we are doing something that we really enjoy time flies. On the other hand, when we are doing something that we don’t like or is boring time doesn’t seem to move forward at all. Without thinking I exemplified, just like during an oral exam like this time seems to take forever especially when you don’t know any answers the watch just doesn’t seem to move at all. When I realised what I just said, the examiner started laughing and I just thought, Raphy I can’t believe you just said that! Oh well, it loosened up the atmosphere a little bit.

Jun 12, 2012 - England    7 Comments

Jubilee Weekend

The last weekend has been pretty crazy over here in England. Some of you might know that it was the Jubilee Weekend where the Common Wealth celebrated the 60-year reign of Queen Elisabeth II. In England this meant that everybody received a five-day weekend. Time they could use to gather, watch TV, eat cakes and celebrate their Queen. Next to family gatherings and garden parties, so-called street parties were organised all over Great Britain. A street party is exactly what the name tells you: A party on the street, organised by a whole neighborhood. They close down the street, put up tables, hang up flags from one side to the other and invite everybody to bring cakes and puddings.

Sadly, my street didn’t organised a street party due to financial issues. So, I didn’t get to participate in a traditional British Jubilee Street Party. However, I was able to go to three Jubilee Parties during this weekend!

Park Party

The first party was organised by the Bournemouth Community Church in which I attended for the last few weeks. They hired a little park and told everybody to bring their own chairs, tables and especially Jubilee decorations, there was a little contest going on. It was when I realised how big the Queen is for some people. Beautiful dresses, hats, sunglasses, loads of flags, Union Jack dishes, cakes and much more. Everything was brought out in the park to celebrate this holiday together. The church’s choir even wrote their own song dedicated to their monarch! What a great, albeit short – surprisingly the whole party was only 2 hours long – afternoon to start of this once in a lifetime holiday. I have to admit my German friend and I couldn’t stop smiling at all the crazy outfits.

CELC Jubilee

The second Party was organised by the college I am studying at – the Christian English Language Center. They provided a Jubilee Lunch for all the students on Tuesday. The school director and especially his wife made a huge effort. Next to the neatly decorated rooms, they indulged us with delicious English cucumber, ham, salmon sandwiches, scones with whipped cream on tope, cupcakes, sponge cakes and much more. You guessed right, I couldn’t resist and had let’s say more than ample sufficiency ; )

Pudding Party

On the same day my hostfamily hosted a all day Jubilee Party. Yep, this meant even more pudding for already filled-up-to-the-top Raphy! In the early afternoon Rushworth’s invited their grandchildren, after that their parents along with some other elderly people and than in the evening the grande finale – the official pudding party for their friends. I must admit, I was glad I had an excuse for not eating to much. This shared evening feast focused on chocolate cakes, vanilla puddings and cakes topped with endless layers of icing. Torture for someone like me who doesn’t exactly love sweet deserts. In spite of that we had a great time with tons of laughters maybe also due to all that sugar.

As you can see, even though I missed out on a street party I had more than enough opportunities to get to know those royal celebrations. My Conclusion of this Jubilee weekend is: The British love the Queen, street parties and celebrate with loads of food especially sugary puddings. It was quite an experience which is hard express in words even without having been in London which I heard was just pure craziness!