Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Easter Love.

Traveller is officially on holidays!

Two and a half weeks of bliss.

T is looking forward to sleep-ins, catching up on a few novels, watching some movies and finally starting her running again. She has been very slack!

Today T received some chocolately loot from her littluns and also a super sweet card.

Teaching little kids rocks.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Blog Lovin'

Traveller came across this blog recently and loves the witty little thank-you notes.

The writer uses the blog as a daily expression of gratitude and it is full of daily thank-you notes to loved ones, strangers and even the inanimate objects in her life.
Here are a few that amused Traveller.

What a great project, hey?

What would you be thankful for?

Monday, 29 March 2010

Teachery tales.

Sometimes the T should really stand for 'teacher' as Traveller spends much more time in the classroom, than roaming through Europe. In recognition of this truth, T is going to blog about a few memorable teaching moments from the past week.

Firstly, the musical was a hit!
And Traveller is more than a little relieved.
Having never starred in a musical before (she was, unfortunately, not blessed with tuneful pipes) and only playing minor helper roles at her last school - this was a big deal. However, it all went swimmingly and it was really hard to believe that her talented boys were all under twelve. They were brilliant!
Well, let's be honest, most of them were. As Traveller works with prep school boys, she doesn't want to discriminate against the less talented of the little munchkins. This unfortunately means (or fortunately - whichever way you look at it) that some of the boys didn't quite always sing or act, but sometimes just gazed giddily at their parents. Ah well, you can't always expect professionalism from eight year olds!

In other humorous, teachery news, Traveller had the annual cross country today.
T is used to Australian cross-countries where children suffer from heat exhaustion, sunburn and sunstroke and where the teachers have a great time - sunning themselves and cheering on the little mites.

School cross-countries in English prep schools are a vastly different experience.
Firstly, everyone freezes.
The weather is drizzly, the wind is icy and the sky is grey.
The boys' lips are blue and the teachers are numb with cold.
However, we endure these conditions with proud British fortitude and nothing is heard except for the cheering of the parents, teachers and boys.

On a slightly anthropological note - has anyone ever noticed how speedy and ostentatious young children become when running in front of their parents? We had children that would walk 375 metres of the track, but when they were running past their parents, it was like they were involved in an olympic sprint! Their heads were down, their faces were serious and they, like gazelles, glided swiftly past their parents, only to walk again a few seconds down the track. We also had one serious chap who, after running one {fairly slow} 400 metre lap {in freezing conditions}, doused himself completely with water! Right in front of the parents!
Did T mention it was freezing?

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Opening Night Jitters.

The musical opens tomorrow night and Traveller is beyond excited.

The show has really come together in the last few rehearsals, even to the point where T has had goose bumps in some of the really catchy songs or pertinent moments.

It's moments like that that make all the work worth it.

T hopes her boys don't suffer too badly from opening night jitters.

Wish us luck!

photo from weheartit

Thursday, 18 March 2010

All the world's a stage...

Traveller has been run off her feet this past few weeks with the school's latest foray into the world of musicals. As she is the boss of all things dramatic in her little English prep school, it is Traveller's job to choose the musical, cast the children and plan the production in its entirety. This includes tasks such as organising performance rights, ticket prices and the programme.

This is the first time that T has directed a musical by herself and it has been quite the learning curve!

When not rehearsing with the children or completing administrative activities, T has found herself working out dance steps in the living room. This has been one of the most daunting parts of the job. With no formal dance lessons and a dance repertoire that includes 'the sprinkler' and 'the lawn-mower' - this has been no easy task.

However, with only a week to go, the musical is actually starting to shape into something which isn't too terrible.

Cue huge sigh of relief from Traveller.

Despite all the extra work, T has to admit that she does so enjoy watching the lil' darlings singing and busting a move on stage. Musicals are just so cheesy and fun, aren't they?

photo via weheartit

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

A song about a hat.

One of the most memorable moments when Traveller was in Vienna was having dinner with some 'real' Austrians.

Husband's family have been close friends with an Austrian family for years and, while we were in Vienna, we were invited to dine with them. The mother was known for her Weiner Schnitzel. Yum! The most wonderful thing we learnt that night was that Austrian hospitality is second to none; we were showered with a very warm welcome from the family and all of their close relatives.
{almost 20 of them in total!}

The evening's menu consisted of champagne, schnitzel and potato salad, Tiramisu and Sachertorte.
{Sachertorte is a Viennese speciality and was delicious!)

The interesting thing about being in a room with a bunch of Austrians, in Austria, is that you soon realise that if you only speak English - you are on the outer. Despite all of her travelling, Traveller is yet to pick up another language and German is probably her weakest 'get by whilst travelling' language. Needless to say, there was a fair bit of staring happening throughout the night and various awkward, yet sweet, conversations.

Then husband did what he does best; he broke the ice. Now, he did not manage this by any unusual, or unsavoury methods; he merely regaled them with a song from his youthful German lessons.

The song is known as 'Mein hut der hat drei ecken'.

Before singing, husband asked if they wanted to hear a German song that he knew. They, admirably, were very cheered by this idea. Before commencing his performance, hubby procured himself a hat from within the house somewhere and proceeded to sing a German song about a hat and its three corners.

The crowd wooped and cheered and sung along.

Traveller giggled away at her goofy husband.

Ice sufficiently broken.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Another Lazy Sunday..

Traveller can scarcely believe that it has been a whole week since she last blogged.

March has revealed itself to be a busy month with musical rehearsals, parental visits and a myriad of other things going on...

Saturdays have been spent at work {musical rehearsals} and Sundays are spent typically reading the paper and enjoying yummy food.

Today, Traveller made these scones because husband has a penchant for devonshire teas and husband's parents bought us some delicious strawberry jam from a chateau in France {nice, eh?} and some lovely clotted cream from our French deli downstairs...

So yummy.

We enjoyed them while they were still warm, in our favourite little park.
And lo and behold, for the second week running, the sun was shining!
{commence happy dance}

What did you get up to this weekend?

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Sunday, lovely Sunday.

Photobucket A miraculous thing happened in London today: the sun came out. And stayed out. All day.

It was bliss. Indescribable and unequivocal bliss.

Traveller decided to celebrate this remarkeable occurence by having one of those lovely, lazy Sundays.

She went to the farmers' markets, bought the Sunday Times and then sat it in a lovely Queen's Park deli, drank hot-chocolate {ate a sweet pastry} and read the paper.

Late night at the Barbican.


This weekend, Traveller went to an event at the Barbican in London.

The Barbican is an arts venue which focuses on film, dance, theatre, art and music. This weekend, they hosted 'Barbican Late Night' where you could do many things 'arty'.

There was ping pong playing on specially designed tables, a quiz session for film buffs, the architectural design and building of houses made of bread, cheese slices, marshmallows, paper and cardboard and last, but not at all least, was the silent disco.

The silent disco was a dancefloor where everyone was wearing headphones. There was no loud music; just the sounds of feet shuffling and voices singing. It was so much fun! The interesting part was that half of the room were listening to one song while the rest were listening to something completely different. You could always tell which was the more popular song by the enthusiastic bopping and individual voices that were singing aloud. T's favourite part was that they played all the old-school-classics: Love Shack, Summer of '69, YMCA, U Can't Touch This and the Will Smith classic, 'Boom! Shake the Room'.

Another fabulously free London night.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Gorgeous Vienna.











Here are some shots from Traveller's recent visit to Vienna.

The city is absolutely stunning; T thinks it is one of her favourites.

We loved and learnt so much at Schonbrunn Castle
{first two pictures}
Inside the castle is a tour of Austria's Royal history and it was ever so interesting, especially seeing portraits of Marie Antoinette and her sisters. The rooms were so lavish and intricately decorated.

We enjoyed touring the city and taking in sights such as the Kunst Haus {a major art gallery}, the Hofburg and the Natural History Museum.

We were also really lucky to watch a ballet of Romeo and Juliet in the Royal Opera House - it was such a beautiful performance. The orchestra were extraordinary and T's favourite part
{aside from the dancing}
was when the cast took many, many bows; while they were bowing, hoards of bouquets were thrown at them.

T has never before seen so many roses.
One of the best European experiences so far.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Oh, Tafelspitz!












One of Traveller's most memorable culinary experiences whilst in Vienna was in a traditional restaurant called Plachutta. Ewald Plachutta is somewhat of a celebrity chef in Vienna; an Austrian Gordon Ramsay if you will. His restaurants are all about fresh ingredients, happy cows and traditional cooking.

Husband and T had to partake in the most traditional meal on offer which was Tafelspitz. Cool name, right? Just looking at it makes you want to say it aloud.

Tafelspitz entails a few little dishes which the waiters prepare for you in front of your very eyes; it is basically a boiled beef dish with lots of yummies on the side.

To begin, we had pancake soup which was delicious. The soup was what the beef was boiled in so it was very tasty. Then, to T's initial shock, we had bone marrow on little toasts - now just the thought {let alone the look} of bone marrow makes T a little squeamish but it wasn't too bad. Just like lard on toast, really. Getting hungry?

After the bone marrow, it was time for the steak which was paired with spinach and potato rosti.... yum! The beef was deliciously tender and T is always a huge fan of rosti.
Following this we all opted for dessert; T had a caramel ice-cream sundae, husband had a curd-cake and husband's dad completely won with his traditional Austrian dessert of half-curd and half-chocolate mousse with a gooseberry on top.

It was indescribably delicious!

All in all, a must do if you ever find yourself in Vienna.
{which you should definitely try to do - because it is just beautiful!}


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