Saturday, 27 October 2012

Snowy Mornings

I woke up this morning to white snow outside my window, quiet cute but pretty inconvenient as I have to get to Frankfurt Hahn today and it's a little early for it to snow so most people aren't prepared for it with winter-tires etc.

But it's 14.40 now and it already looks a little bit melted so hopefully we'll be okay! Marlene is driving me but in my granddads car because hers is a little unpredictable, especially now with the added snow!

Anyway, super looking forward to my weekend! JUST managed to pack everything (had to leave a pair of heels behind though :( also decided not to take my big coat... so hopefully it wont snow in London now haha
I've heard it's snowing in Stevenage, very strange, what is the world coming to? October snow in England? Even for Germany that's early!

I have my Camp America interview on the Monday, for any one whose interested here's the link again:

According to several emails, my interview should be between 50 and 90 minutes long, I need 2 original references from the last 12 months, my passport and two other means of identification (in my case Student ID and Driving Licence) - these are for the Police Check as Camp America involves working with underage children. The police check for UK participants is applied for during the interview so its not too difficult, other countries have to do it themselves...

I come back on the Halloween morning and have no plan yet on what to wear, so my costume may be pretty  make-shift but I have Thursday off so I'm pretty sure Maria and me will head out :)

I return to work on Friday, then have the weekend where I might be going to Berlin with Marlene and meeting Klaudia and Sara from Poland - if it all works out! Which would just be epic, as it was all pretty spontaneous and a coincidence that I mentioned it to the Polish girls who then decided they could theoretically make it, so they said they'd try their hardest!

Wish me luck for my interview please,
A lot depends on it!


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Germany (12-10-12 - 26-10-12)

Ich schreibe jetzt in Deutsch, wer versteht mich?

I've been in Germany for almost two weeks now so I am solidly thinking in German and have to slowly switch that back into English thinking so that I can type this... I've read that sentence 5 times trying to remember how to speak English... Being bilingual is sometimes strange haha!

I even dream in German at the moment! Anyway, what have I been up to?

I am currently working in a Kindergarten...

I get up at 6.30am, leave the house when it's still pitch black... get the bus at 7.47am and arrive at around 8am to start my day. At the moment its the school holidays so many of the kids aren't there as they have older siblings and so families are all on holiday. This makes starting out as new actually quiet comfortable (apart from the waking up...but I'm managing.) we have on average 10 children each day from the age of 3 to 6. (After the holidays it will be up to 25).

I've actually managed to remember most of their names, the difficulty that I am having at the moment is saying the right name for the right kid... there are a lot of names beginning with J's - Joshka, Justus and a couple that end it o's - Antonio, Emilio, there are also two Milla's, so it can get confusing especially when you're trying to sound angry because they've done something wrong that actually you think is super cute.. Haha!

Apart from that, I've had to buy a couple more jumpers and needed to borrow a coat and rain-proof trousers or 'matschhosen' (slush pants) as the kids call them. Every morning we are outside until 11.30am and eat breakfast in the grass; come rain, snow or sunshine! Sometimes German people are just extreme ;-) haha

This week it's just Maria (my 19 year old cousin) and me in the house as my aunt and uncle have gone on holiday so Maria is attempting to make a tasty schweinelende/porc loin ... there's some extremely amusing sounds coming out of the kitchen right now ;) haha but her boyfriend is coming over soon and he trained as a Cheif once so we should be saved :-D

"Oh ich hab keine lust mehr, ach Lucy das ist alles deine schult!" - Maria Rollmann, 23/10/12

(Ooh, I just got to try some and it actually tastes pretty damn good! )

Apart from that I'm going to England this weekend until the morning of Halloween... I have a Camp America interview on the Monday which is scary and the rest of the time is dedicated to socialization! The French from International Camp are coming and we are all staying in Lee's flat (my leader from this years camp), some of the Irish are coming and so are some of the English IC comers... so over all it should be a lovely, epic, squished-in-one-flat international experience : D

I think I'll pack tonight!

The only other thing is that I'm annoyed with the Amsterdam to Schlangenbad post service as my parents sent me a package of things I'd forgotten plus the next two books after Games of Thrones (I'm a massive fan) on the 17th and it's still not here :( I want to read! Haha

Next update will probably be about London,

Danke, und tschüss!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Perpignan, France (4/10/12-9/10/12)

Airplane View
I left Amsterdam in the rain and arrived in Gerone, Spain in gorgeous sunshine. Unfortunately, Thibaut had a meeting at University around the same time as my arrival so I had to wait two and a half hours in a tiny airport before he could pick me up... I ended up asleep on one of the benches and when I woke up, two others had joined me.. it must have looked comfortable... it wasn't!

Thibaut arrived around 18.30 and we drove for about an hour through the darkening skies of the boarders of Spain and into the South of France.The terrain is all mountainous and forests and its really beautiful except closer to the boarder there are the remains of a MASSIVE forest fire... all the trees are bare and there is only tree stumps and yellow ground - it's very sad. The forest fire spread through both France and Spain! So so so huge and so horrible : (

By the time we arrived at Thibaut's flat it was dark and he had missed his rugby training so after some dinner we went over to one of his friends flat where a gathering/small party was occurring. As the night got older, more and more people arrived until at 12 we went to a local club. Drunk french people and a lot of 90's/00's rap makes for a very funny evening full of crazy dancing. Overall I had a pretty good first evening even though I speak no french and very few of his friends speak any English.

French University students and me
The next morning we had to get up at 7 am to go on a University field trip. The trip took place at several different heights up a mountain and at first I went with them but as I speak no French, it soon got very boring, and I was very tired, so I pretty much slept in the car all day. I think if I could speak French, the trip would have been really interesting as it was all about why plants grow in certain areas and how to tell which plant is which - the kinda thing that I think is really cool to know haha

For lunch we all sat in a big circle and everyone had brought one dish to share with everyone else - a cute idea. Pasta salad was overly available as well as french stick, carrots and wine. After we'd eaten and taken a few pictures, we drove to the top of the mountain (Thibaut and I had to get into the boot of the van as Thibaut's car couldn't make it up to the top and there wasn't enough space for all of us to sit properly). At the top, we had to all (including me) do various activities including identifying the species of each tree, the width, height and positioning.

Around 6pm we were done, so drove back down the mountain and after we'd dropped off some of the other students, Thibaut and I went food shopping. (Including snails, grapes and Nutella!)

Thibaut and I
On Sunday we went to the top of a different mountain which had an awesome 360 degree view! Perpignan is one of the sunniest but also one of the windiest places in the South of France because of the mountains in the area causing the wind to blow away the clouds (put simplistically).

After the mountain, we went to a little river and caught some fish (by hand) - well Thibaut did, I tried but failed - for him to take to his University aquarium. We even saw a black eel at one point but it was too fast for Thibaut to catch. Apparently the eel is very rare in that river, so we were very lucky to come across it.

After that we watched the end of a rugby game because we happened to spot it while driving past, but we were too late so only got to see the last 5 minutes.

Truly enjoying the view
The River
Bottles: transporting fish from river to house.
3/4 of our fish at Thibaut's flat. The little one is called Lucy.

That night Thibaut forced me to try snails with rice... actually they weren't that bad, salty. So if you ever get to try something odd or a little different, don't chicken out, do it, you might find that you actually quiet like it. Or you might find that its disgusting (like when I tried tripe) but hey, at least you tried!

The Beach!
On Monday, once Thibaut had returned from his Uni lessons, we went to the beach, about a 30 minute drive. I jumped straight into the water for a swim and was pleasantly surprised, it was October yet still warmer than any English sea I'd ever been in. (Except on my 13th Birthday were the sea water had been warm, an amazing birthday present.) Thibaut wouldn't go in until I literally forced him in but then admitted in the end that it wasn't as cold as it sometimes is in October.

Driving back to Gerone, Spain.
Then before I knew it, it was time to pack again and off to Spain we drove. My flight was in the late afternoon and my journey home was pretty uneventful. I flew back to Amsterdam where it was freezing cold.  (the car journey to Spain was in the 29/30 degree range) Caught the bus shivering back to my parents house and then had 2 days to prepare for my departure to Germany.

I am now in Germany, Schlangenbad, update for that coming soon.

P.S. here's a short video with footage from France:

Monday, 15 October 2012

Fourth and Final Turkish Video

Hi everyone,

I've finally finished the last video I'm going to make about Turkey, here it is:

When I have time next I'll update you on my trip to France.
I'm in Germany now and it's very cold!
Lucy xxo

Friday, 5 October 2012

Abigail Black (5/10/1993)

P.E. Changing rooms at Fearnhill

Today is my best friends birthday but unfortunately I cannot be with her so I thought I'd dedicate this blog post to her. She said 'I just want a text' but I thought I'd knock it up a level. I say she is my best friend but she is more than that, she is family.

The Story of Us:

Abigail and I first met when we were 6 or 7 in Icknield Infant and Nursery School, Letchworth. I joined a class sometime after the first half term (after moving from Germany to England) that was a mixture of year 1's and year 2's. I was actually a year 2 like Abigail but my teacher thought I was a year 1 until the very end.
I remember that there used to be several tires set up in the 'play area' and we used to sit there talking... I don't know how much English I could speak at that point but Abigail's non-stop chattering probably really helped with developing my own language skills.

We were friends pretty quickly and my mother tells me that Michelle (Abigial's mum) was the first English parent to speak to her at the playground, waiting to pick us up after school. (Right from the beginning our families got along!) Soon enough, we were going round each others houses on a regular basis.

By the time we were in Wilbury Junior School, we had gone through several phases in our relationship, including a mutual decision to become "Goths" (this makes me laugh a lot, looking back on things). By year 6, we were no longer "best friends" but we were still friends and we still hung out a lot. I remember that every time Abigail would come over, there would be an argument - I would storm upstairs and Abigail would stay in the kitchen and talk to my mother. After about 20 minutes, we'd find each other again and everything would be back on friendly terms.

Then we both moved up to Fearnhill School but were put into separate forms. In year 7 we combined our new form-friendship groups and 'The Six' was created. (Abigail, Cydney and Ellen from her form and Tanya, Leonie and myself from mine). Later we were joined by Emma and Hazel and 'The Six' was no longer really relevant but we kept the nickname. Naturally, thousands of arguments occurred with several larger ones and eventually by around year 10, I left the group. But after some time, Abigail and I began to talk again.

The Six

I remember after one particular argument, we began speaking again on the bus to Wake-boarding. Mr Oliver, my resistant materials teacher, told us to all hurry up and get in the bus and suddenly there were only two seats left next to each other, and Abigail and I were the only year 11's going so we looked at each other and:
Abigail: "Are we alright then?"
Me: "Yeah"

From then on we were talking all the way to the lake and suddenly we were best friends again. At the end of year 11, Abigail had moved to Bedford and was going to go to College and I was moving to The Knights Templar School in Baldock. I remember that she cried on the last day but that I didn't. I saw no point in crying because I knew, no matter what, I was going stay friends with her. Now two and a half years later, she is pretty much the only person I still talk to from Fearnhill School and I have even lived with her for 3 and a half weeks. 

Last day of Fearnhill School

I know that she could turn up at our new place in Amsterdam and even if I wasn't there, feel perfectly at home, eat lunch with my parents, wear my clothes, read my books... She is family. 
But I also know that, if the situation was reversed, I could easily go to the Black's family home in Bedford and stay there, help her brother with Science revision, chat to her mother about wine or get called Luke by her father. 
Abigail has met both my German and my English extended family, I've met her grandparents, both sides also, her cousins, I went to Michelle's christening - I imagine that when I get married, I will have my German family, English family and Abigail's family all on my side. We've been on holidays together, gone through Goth, Emo, Scene and many more together -I know her mood swings inside out. I know when she needs a hug and she knows when I'm close to tears.

Schlangenbad, Germany

You cannot chose your family, and in a way, I think I never chose Abigail, but that we were just drawn to each other from the beginning, and now, 12 years later, that time together is unimaginable with anyone else. We make new friends every day but our family can never see our friends grow up like we have watched each other grow up. We are both 18 now, well Abigail is 19 today, so we are officially 'adults'. Our parents and families have watched us from 6/7 to 18/19. I cannot share my childhood with anyone else anymore but neither do I want to. I love having Abigail, and I love that she is more than just a best friend, maybe a sister, but more like a brother. We don't have to talk every day to keep our friendship alive and I know I can share anything and nothing with her and either way it's fine. Bruno Mars - Count on me is our song, plus maybe countless others that we wrote together but nobody but us will ever hear : P


Happy Birthday Abigail, 19 already!

We are stuck with each other until death do us part my friend and there is nothing you can do to get rid of me Abigail ;) I love you. Happy Birthday! I am sorry that I cannot be there to celebrate it with you, I will see you as soon as I can, I miss you. I already got you a Turkish flag, do you want a Netherlands, French and German one? I cannot remember if you already have those or not? Have a wonderful day, and I hope your party goes through the roof! And don't forget;

Bruno Mars - Count on Me

You can count on me like 1 2 3
I'll be there
And I know when I need it I can count on you like 4 3 2
And you'll be there
Cause that's what friends are supposed to do, oh yeah

Happy Birthday,
Lucy xxo
My drawing of Abigail at Michelle's Christening