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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

A Forum in the rise

Greetings from a far.
So today I thought that I would try something a bit different. Being different is good and you don't always have to go with the flow ( Good life lesson ) Just be careful though if you are up the creek without a paddle, cause then you are in deep water.
I have decided to create a forum. Yes a forum. For those of you who don't know or are not exactly sure what it is, a forum is a place where communities can come together to share, discuss describe, talk, gossip, determine, debate etc.
The purpose of my forum is simply this : I want to create a strong base of readers, I want you guys to be able to get together and chat, and talk.
I also want to hear your opinion of where and what I should visit here in the UK. You suggest something, and let the others vote and I will go and update you when I arrive.

When visiting this forum please register so you can post, and stay up to date with everything

Snow is on the way, and today I had hockey practise as per usual. It was a bit different today as the weather felt a different cold. Picture a huge bowl, deep with high edges. Now in your mind fill it to the top with ice cubes and water. Then stick your hand in it.
That is what I felt like, I could not bend my fingers or even hold a hockey stick properly.
I think it is time to invest in a pair of gloves.

Take care

Don't forget to visit the forum and register

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Visiting Willy Wonka's Factory

I presume everyone has watched the movie Willy Wonka, the movie about Charlie and the miny oompa loompas and the great chocolate room. Today I had the pleasure of visiting Cadbury World in Birmingham. Birmingham is  the second largest city in England after London and a good 2 hour drive from Stamford.
I accompanied the school's year 4 classes to their first trip to a chocolate factory. Year 4's are great and cute the only problem is that they have to much energy. I somehow managed to get stuck at the back with the noisiest kids, and it is not a good combination if you are trying to sleep. They kept poking and prodding me to make sure I was not dead. In the end I had to make do no sleep and a high irritation level.

Have you ever noticed how all the chocolate bars in the shops have purple wrappers? Now here at Cadbury world everything was purple. The signs, the carpet, the chocolate, the tents, and even bits of the tills. They also had their own purple clothes.
We got a tour around the factory and wow is it big. Walking into the factory you are hit with a dark, rich steaming chocolate smell of the finest quality. Everyone stops to sniff the air and dream bubbles pop into each persons mind of how they are going to swim in chocolate or even wear chocolate clothes.
We took a tour of the factory and got to  see how chocolate was originally started by the Aztecs, then how it became popular to Europe with only the rich really being able to afford to buy it.
We saw the packaging, the making, the twirling, the heating, the moving, the beginning of the chocolate making process.

We then arrived in a room I bet these people like to show off. There were these huge buckets of chocolate that were then filtered into little packets for people to write their names with. Of course faced with an opportunity like this how could I ever turn it down. So mustering all the strength I had in me to control my urges, I managed to write my name in chocolate

After seeing so much chocolate everyone's mouth's began to water, and we then got a cup of the highest, purest quality chocolate I have ever tasted. It was absolutely magnificent.

We then arrived at what I am going to call the Willy Wonka room. It looked somewhat like it could come out of the movies. It was weirdly and wonderfully designed and looked about the right size for an Oompa Loompa.

Looking at this door I cant imagine what must be going through your mind. It must be racing at all the possibilities that could lie behind this door. Seeing it I got so excited and ran right over to take some pictures, I got a few funny looks from the kids " Silly South African " must've crossed their minds.
As each moment came closer to the opening of this door, I was planning how I would roll in the meadows of chocolate grass, bask in the chocolate sun, and tip the chocolate cows before meeting the all famous Oompa Loompa's. The door creaked open and light filled the room. "Drat" I thought to myself, as it was only another show room. Chocolate can make ones mind go really crazy.

My advice for the day : You may think that you can eat all the chocolate in the word, but after 2 mouthfuls of Cadbury's delicious secret filled chocolate it is really impossible.

Visit their site and see the tour we went on by clicking on this link :

Read my last post about how terrible Lunch Ladies can be :

Or follow on FaceBook here :

Friday, 20 January 2012

Lunch Ladies

So everyone has seen those typical American movies where the kids are finished their class and they head off to the cafeteria to have their break. They walk down corridors filled with laughter while and joy and happiness bounce off the walls. Suddenly they enter the cafeteria and you can hear crickets chirping for in front of them are the Lunch Ladies.
 Everyone is scared and the loudest kids are now the quietest. Slowly but surely they take their trays and line up for food. The lunch lady takes a scoop of some sort of foul mixture and lets it drip onto your plate. The kids look at it with disgust but do not muster the courage to dare ask what it is. Finally they reach that treasured place in line : The Dessert end. One kid holds out his plate and a dollop of ice cream gets dropped in, he looks up with big bambi eyes and asks the question that should be never asked : Please ma'am may I have some more?

If you are wondering, the cafeteria at my school is nothing like that:) I just thought that I would give you a nice interesting introduction before I start.
How ever I am on very thin ice with one of the ladies already. So to give you a bit of detail : I enjoy food ( not in a bad way ) I don't over eat or anything, I just like food. Well who doesn't. Often if i am still hungry I will go for a little bit more.
So it was my first day at Stamford, and I was new and trying to be all proper and give a good impression to anyone who saw me. I got my first bit of food and ate it all and then was hungry still, so I decided to go back for bread. I went up with my plate and was about to take a slice of bread when the lunch lady storms down on me and gives me these evil eyes. Cautiously i reach out my hand to take a piece of bread and she goes " Tsk tsk tsk use a picker up thing " ( I have no idea what they are called )
So I then had to put down my plate, pick up one of those picker upper things, pick a slice of bread up that was about 5 cm away from my plate, put it on my plate and then walk away. All the time under the gaze of her beady little eyes.
So on my first day I had managed to get on the bad side of one of the ladies that would be serving me for the next year.

The second time that I got in trouble was with the same lady and this time I took a tiny wrap. Apparently there are rules, but  no body bothered to mention to me. I am actually beginning to realise that it could all be nonsense and this is just the ladies way of getting back at me. The rule states that if you have a hot meal you cannot have cold meals. So being me I took some hot meals and then moved on to take some salad. I then reached over for a wrap and put it on my plate. Then this same lady comes towards me, with me in the mean time racking my brain for what I could have possibly done wrong.
She starts giving me a lecture as to how there are rules saying this and that and this and that. I just nodded and had to be polite.
I am still learning, but I will get there :P

My tip for the day : Don't ever get on the wrong side of the lunch ladies.

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Thursday, 19 January 2012

Being an English child

There are many things that I have noticed since arriving in the UK, and it is just very interesting to see how differently the UK is run from South Africa. To start off lets talk about their children. The children to the government are their prized possessions, even more valuable then gold, diamonds etc. What I mean by this, is that the children are so heavily protected it is impossible to get " close " to them without the fear of potentially being sued.

Let me explain some of the protection laws they have for their children, and don't get me wrong I am not saying these are bad and should be stopped, I am just commenting on what I think, and from what I know. To start off there is no physical contact to be allowed, the flaw in this : What happens if a child trips on the playground what are you allowed to do. Well technically speaking ( and I have seen this ) all you are allowed to do now is to pat the child on the head and tell him its all right.

If something happens, the child is always the one to get away scot free and the adult will be severely punished, even if the adult is actually helping the child, and the child blows everything out of proportion.

The respect for parents is next to nothing, and it is interesting to see how they were raised. Because you are not allowed to hit a child ( wooden spoon ) some parents did not know what to do with their children when they were naughty and just left them. So the children have grown up with no discipline to when they do something wrong.

Its very interesting being from the outside and observing in:)
The UK has been very enlightening  and I have learned a lot.

My advice for the day : Wake up before your alarm clock goes off. Alarm clocks are too noisy to be woken at such early times.

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Monday, 16 January 2012

An Extreme Week

It has been a week today that I started work. I remember leaving South Africa being nervous and not knowing what to expect... Will i be the only tanned person? Will i understand the pommy accents? Or will I be drowned in tea. Currently i have been drowned in tea and have had enough of it to last a life time - but i guess its the same compared to South Africa with our borewors ( you can never have enough ). You cant refuse people either else they get all angry as you are insulting their British heritage to serve tea.

I have gotten into the just of what i am going to be doing here and its nice to see how some people can really be friendly and go out of their way to help you. My job here is to be assistant everything sport wise. I am helping coaching hockey, soccer ( football ) , rugby ( i have never played ) , cricket umpire, swimming life guard, PE teacher and more.
So every day i really have an action packed day.

It is starting to get colder each day and i can feel it in my bones. I know i sound really old saying that as it is presumed the old people can tell when it is going to rain and snow because they can feel it in their bones and after all their years of living they are just very wise. It is nice to wake up and look out on the field and see white. I keep on calling it snow but apparently it is only frost, i guess i am too excited to see snow that anything white i see i think is snow. The kids all laugh at me:)

I went swimming in the evening and funny enough the water was 26 degrees which was very nice and warm compared to the freezing weather close to sub zero outside.
One thing that really annoys me here is their radio station, it is worse than KFM. The reason why i am saying this and why it is completley out of context is because i am currently listening to a radio station that has played about 10 songs and repeats them every half hour. I feel like picking it up and smashing it against the window.

My tip for the day is : If you're swimming and you see crazy kids coming towards you, don't try and play with them else they might just jump on top of you.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

A Trip to Lincoln

This weekend was a lovely time to relax and get your pieces together after a first crazy week of learning what to do and how the school works. My schedule consists of me just doing sport and pe and swimming, and i think by the end of the year those are going to be coming out of my ears.
It has begun to get exceptionally cold and 2 days a go, i glanced at what i thought was the beginning of snow. Later I found out that it was just frost, and i got all excited for nothing.
When they say it gets cold here they are being serious - me being a person who does not get cold easily even struggled a bit. Your hands and face are the worst possible things to be exposed and it just gets colder and colder.

With all that in mind we took a trip to Lincoln. Lincoln is about a 2 hour trip away from Stamford, and i cant really update you on the surroundings as i am sad to say i fell asleep.
There are two major things in Lincoln : the cathedral and the castle. And i was lucky enough to visit both of them.
The abbey was huge and magnificent. It is quite unbelievable to see how big something can be without the use of modern technology. It was started up in 1300 and is still in very good condition. Walking through the cathedral was another story, huge roofs, unbelievably good crafted items, graves in the floor from past bishops really took your breath away.

After that we moved over to the castle which was just a 5 minute walk. The castle was a very important role in the charter of the forest and helped with today's democracy. IT was not as big as i expected a castle to be, and did not have huge turrets but it was still very worthwhile.
We walked around the edges of the barracks and went inside to see the prison.  Many people were imprisoned for small acts but in those days were quite serious. Like cutting down fire wood from the kings forres or stealing to provide some kind of food for your family.
If you were to be hung then you were taken to the turret in front of a crowd for a public execution.

Now a days the castle iteself ( above ) is used for council and serious court orders.

I am going to start giving small pieces of advice from my encounters, that i think you should take if ever coming over to England.

My advice for today is : Always wear gloves else your hands are going to lose circulation, and if you can wear a sock over your nose to keep it warm.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Life in Stamford - Lincolnshire

It is really amazing here. - you have no idea. I am beginning to settle in quite quickly and making new friends as a go along. Thats really what this whole year is going to be about, making new friends and having a good time. Yesterday i went for a walk around Stamford town just to get my bearings as to where i would be for the next year
. Stamford has quite a rich history and begun well over 1000 years ago. Stamford became famous for their well woven wool and having excellent trade routes that connect to the rest of the country. During the 14th century Stamford was ranked in the top 10 largest towns in England with 14 churches, 2 monastic institutions and 4 friaries : parliaments met here. Many of these old buildings still stand and it is truly amazing to sort of re live history.

The churches look like this and are easily spotted from a distance. This church is about a 5 minute walk from where i am staying

Walking through the town these are the types of building you would see

Living in the country has amazing benefits. Walking out of the school and i come across the meadows which i have to cross. Everyting is so neat and well kept.

There is so much stuff to eat here, it is really quite crazy. They have full meals for breakfast, lunch and "tea".
I have to become very good with exercise and have started to have workouts in my room:)

IF you ever have the opportunity make sure you come to Stamford!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Stamford - The town of the Crusaders

Waking up today after a night of good fun at my cousins 25th party i was feeling too tired to contemplate the town to which i would soon be arriving. Little did I know how beautiful this trip would become.
On the ride up after seeing countless sheep being sheep and huddling together to keep warm we finally arrived in Stamford. On entry to the town i was blown away at the size of it. I guess they saying " Dynamite comes in small packages " really pulled through here. Picture a Harry Potter film with the Hogwarts building, and you have Stamford. It reminds me of living in the old crusader times as all the buildings are tall and steep. I imagine a few hundred years ago how the soldiers cantered down the streets on their horses, and i cant help but smile to think that i am in a historic town.

I am living in a boarding house with another student from South Africa. Our duties pretty much include looking after the little kids, helping with the sport, life saving, and filing in the class rooms. Tonight the kids arrive so its pretty exciting to get to know them and see what happens in the future.

Stay tuned for lots of photos:)

Friday, 6 January 2012

Being English

Since being in England I have met new friends, experienced the cold, worn shorts in the rain, found a shop with my name, found a street with my middle name, found the all famous red telephone booths. I have climbed hills, asked directions, taken photos, looked silly ( Shirt and shorts ) , drank too much tea, sat on a farm, lit fireworks and the list goes on.

I think i am safe to say that i am on my way to becoming qualified as
. I have even started saying "Wha" instead of "What"

What is new you may ask? Well where shall I start. I first want to point out that what they say about the English and the amount of intake of tea that they take is absolutely correct. I have never witnessed people drink so much tea in my life and never knew that it was even possible. I have to say that i succumbed and started drinking a lot more tea. To celebrate this fact i went out and bought a key ring that says " Totally addicted to tea "

Today was a great day as I got to visit my cousins work, he works in a college teaching 6th formers media and filming. As this is just up my street I gladly accepted and managed a long and tiring bicycle ride to a location just outside of WInchester. It was great to see how the college works and what it looks like.
Afterwards i had to cycle into town to sort out something with my phone. I then found out that i am not able to access internet in this country without wifi - So much for the great iPhone. I think i am slowly turning towards blackberry. I thought iPhones were going to dominate South Africa as it does with the rest of the world - but i was wrong. As Fate had it my own iPhone revolution did not work and people turned towards blackberries.

I have realised that a lot of people here are not friendly at all - especially the older folk. I think the older people think that who ever smiles at them has an ulterior motive and hence the clutching of their handbags as we younger people walk past. I have gotten many grumpy looks after happily walking past and saying Hi to people. I guess this is just not how it works.

I just have to comment on the transport system and how green this country can be. Now the positives about the trains and buses here are the fact that they all run so smoothly. You walk to the bus stop - catch a bus - walk up to the train - catch a train. It cannot be more simpler than that. IT is well oiled and lots of people make use of these facilities.
The only negative however is the cost. Because the government charges so much tax everything just rises in prices.
Lets compare

A ticket from Heathfield station to Cape Town return costs around R16 which is about 1.2 Pounds and the journey is 20 or so minutes.
Here in England for a 20 minute journey costs about 8 Pounds return which is about R84.

Until next time

I just want to send a big shout out to all the Matrics of 2011. Congratz on your results and I want to wish you the very best for the future and what it has in stall for you.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Lets Explore

IF you are a fan of the lack of heat, exorbitant food prices and constant cloud then England is the perfect place for you. But i love it here, it is very different compared to South Africa and a very new experience.
Well Time to catch up, i am just going to give you quick details else we could be here for ever.

I first want to wish all of you a great and happy year of 2012, i hope you fulfil all your dreams and aspirations-and remember to stick to your new year resolutions. ( i heard on the redio that one lady lasted a whole 3 hours, now that is something to live up to. What an inspiration )

Well the day after i arrived my cousins took me to a place called Beaulieu which was absolutely amazing. If youre a fan of Top Gear then it is the perfect place for you, situated in a little village not far from Winchester. On the way - driving to Beaulieu i was impressed at how neat and clean the town was : typically English, with pubs and old school designs. There are wild ponies that just wonder around, you are not allowed to disturb them as they are protected by the government. I got to see the real Top Gear cars that they use in the shows and the ones that were re modified. IT was an amazing experience as i am quite a Top Gear fan, and was so impressed that I could touch some of the cars that i saw on TV.

One of the episodes they had to make boats from cars

This is the reasonably priced car that stars are put in

People do not really understand when i tell them that : I AM THE STIG, so to make matters easier i have decided to show you. Look at the resemblance. Notice how i am wearing shorts and living up to become a true SOuth AFrican.

THis car is called a reliant and has only one wheel. If you have watched any Mr Bean then you should remember it from there ( the car that always got bullied ) Was pretty funny to see it in the museum, and then fate kicks in again and we saw that same car driving behind us. I was excited to see the car turn a corner and potentially fall over but sadly that was not the case

The next few days i have been a few places and all have been amazing. THen went to stay with my other cousin who stays in Andover. You can find him here :

Him and his girl friend Steph took me to Danebury Iron Age hill fort. THis is pretty much a really old historic place.
It was a fort on the top of a hill defended by bumps and lumps in the ground. THe view was spectacular and i was able to see for miles. Green lush fields and quaint little houses were nice to see. The weather feels a bit like stepping into a fridge. Its cold but not wet, and it sort of stings you ,and keeps you awake. Very Nice if you have something warm to wear.:)

Here is the view from the top

You can find their website here :

Afterwards we went to a small village where we had the most amazing hot chocolate ever. Literally its the best i have ever tasted.

Until next time:)

Only 5 days until i leave for Stamford