A Travellerspoint blog

United Kingdom

Update on blog: The new chapter

Luton

Edit from April 2019: Although I am writing this now in April, I am dating this entry to this January so that it sets the scene for the upcoming entries which will be about events which happened from January onwards.

This is the first entry of the new chapter of this blog.

All 261 entries previous to this one were originally posted on the Travelpod travel blogging site, which closed down in July 2017. The vast majority of entries were written between May 2013 and August 2015, while I was teaching and travelling abroad and at the actual times I experienced the events I wrote about; only a very small amount of entries I wrote up later, using to help me emails I'd written and photos I'd taken at the original time.

From my return in 2015 until January this year I taught EFL continuously in the UK and also went on some trips abroad (Argentina & Uruguay, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Luxembourg, Italy & Vatican City, Poland, Belgium and Georgia) and within the UK (Scotland, Cornwall, Rochester, Oxford, London, Manchester, Chester, Liverpool, the Peak District, Leicester, Brighton and Birmingham).

In January this year I started a new teaching job, still teaching EFL but within state schools in mainland Europe. Before I left the UK I decided to resurrect my Teaching & Travelling Abroad blog, this time on the new platform of Travellerspoint, to include my upcoming trip and any other future working trips abroad I may do.

As in part one of this blog, I won't post any names or similarly identifying information about schools, teachers or students.

So here goes!

Posted by 3Traveller 03:59 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged united_kingdom english_teaching Comments (0)

Welcome back to the UK

London Luton Airport and St Albans


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The two-and-a-half-hour flight was uneventful, though because I was next to the window and the weather was good I got some great views of the countries we passed over. We didn't go as high as some flights I've taken before. At one point we flew over a huge offshore wind farm - rows and rows of wind turbines off the coast of the Netherlands.

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Shadows were lengthening by the time we got to Luton Airport. Dave, Emma and Mark were there to meet me and take me to St Albans. Seven months since I was last on British soil - it felt strange to be back, but wonderful to see everyone.

Posted by 3Traveller 01:02 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged united_kingdom airport sisters dave st_albans Comments (0)

The rest of the holiday

St Albans, Farnham and Hemel Hempstead


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Edit from January 2019: Fleetville Emporium was demolished in 2016 or 2017, and Dolce Italia on St Peter's Street closed down and became a charity shop at around the same time. Little Marrakesh and the Meating Room are both still going strong though!

We've managed to fit a lot into the last few days!

On New Year's Eve we woke up to heavy frost;

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Dave and I then went to see my Nana, who is unfortunately laid up at the moment with a broken ankle she suffered on Christmas Day.

In the evening Dave and I were thinking about going into London to see the fireworks, but decided against it in the end because it was cold and wet, we were too tired and we felt more like relaxing at home with Mum and Kate and watching the fireworks on TV instead.

On New Year's Day we had a big family gathering and exchanged presents, things we had deliberately not done on Christmas Day this year.

Yesterday was also eventful. The first thing Dave and I did was go back to the church to pay our wedding deposit, give back the filled-in legal document and have our IDs checked. Then we met up with Mum at Dolce Italia café, where we had a hot drink and a cake and I managed to knock my tall glass of hot chocolate off the table into my lap. Thank goodness I was wearing black trousers!

On our way home Dave and I stopped off at the Fleetville Emporium, a large place filled with antiques, vintage clothing, secondhand books, records and lots more. Every time I go there, it's extended itself a bit more. Dave bought some shoe lasts, but I didn't get anything. I did however buy some delicious rum balls from Simmon's nearby.

That evening we went out for dinner at Little Marrakesh, one of my all-time favourite restaurants anywhere in the world. I love everything about this place - the decor, atmosphere, food and service! We shared the Moroccan Mezze as a starter; hummous, tabbouleh, saffron-marinated sautéed potato and carrot chunks, chopped beetroot, filo prawns, a red pepper mixture and crushed grilled aubergine. Then I had grilled swordfish with Moroccan rice and Dave had a tagine, though I've forgotten what kind. The food was as delicious as ever.

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We thought about going into The Boot for a drink afterwards, but it looked too crowded for us, so we gave a miss.

Speaking of food, for lunch today we met up with Emma and Mark at The Meating Room, a fantastic new gourmet burger restaurant in St Albans city centre. This is another place I would recommend to all visitors. The burgers all have local names; I had a St Peter's, their version of a cheeseburger, with a lovely, thick, juicy patty. The burgers all come with amazing rosemary salted chips. I found out that our waitress was from Romania, but had worked with Bulgarians in Romania so had picked up some words from them; I tried out the word for 'thank you' (blagodariya) on her and she understood me, or at least was kind enough to say she did.

Dave left for Manchester late afternoon. After that, Mum and I went to Hemel Hempstead to have dinner at Kate & Andrew's. Special mention to the delicious bread & butter pudding!

Back in St Albans, at about 11pm I'm getting a train to Gatwick for my early-morning flight back to Bulgaria.

Posted by 3Traveller 13:43 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged united_kingdom christmas sisters dave mum st_albans st_peter's_church hemel_hempstead farnham british_cuisine Comments (0)

Sale

Manchester


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Dave and I have had a lovely time in Manchester with his family. Today we had a really nice lunch at Decker's at Sale Water Park; after lunch Dave and I walked round the lake a little bit and then crossed a field or two until we reached the River Mersey, the historic border between Cheshire and Lancashire. We walked along the bank for a while until we found a bridge and crossed into Lancashire and back before returning to the park.

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Before we looked round the centre of Sale - to get there Dave and I walked along the Bridgewater Canal. The houseboats on that stretch of the canal make a pretty sight. Part of the canal was frozen, part of it wasn't and part of it was in a state of inbetween.

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In Sale you can definitely tell that the local businesses lost a lot of trade after the Trafford Centre was built. I liked looking round the charity shops, however, although I didn't buy anything. From another shop I bought two pairs of trousers to take back with me to Bulgaria for work.

Posted by 3Traveller 12:38 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged united_kingdom christmas dave manchester Comments (0)

Wedding plans get going!

St Albans


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Since yesterday morning Dave and I have caught up on sleep, been amazed at Mum's travel-themed redecoration of what was my old bedroom, looked round some of the sales in St Albans city centre and had a nice relaxed evening in with Mum involving her lovely Scandinavian meatballs, a fire in the grate, cherry brandy on ice and a game of Upwords.

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We have also been to the church to see the vicar about our wedding, and the cemetery to visit Dad's grave.

Our wedding date is now officially set!

Off to Manchester tomorrow for a night - a flying visit to see Dave's family.

Posted by 3Traveller 11:22 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged united_kingdom christmas dad dave mum st_albans st_peter's_church Comments (0)

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