Hi and welcome to blog #8! To read last weeks blog click here!
This week was fairly busy as we now have placement every week on Mondays and Tuesdays. I taught my first proper English lessons this week, which was daunting, but the pupils really tried their best and they were so inquisitive about me and where I came from. They took some laugh when I started telling them all about my bike escapades and how unfit I was for the cycling! They are helping me out with my Dutch as well – they find my pronunciation of Dutch words hilarious! The school has also now given me a master key – they’re very trusting of this blonde (read more about that later).
On Wednesday, Erin went to the gym for the afternoon after class so Rachel and I came home to make our tea before heading to the gym. (Yes, you read that right… We’ll get to that later!) But lo and behold just as I was opening the chopped tomatoes, the ring broke off, and of course the finance minister had declared we had no need to spend on a tin opener – that’s a luxury in life, so Rachel and I (while laughing our heads off) began hammering the tin against the table, stabbing it with a knife … Anything to get it open! LIFE HACK: Jabbing repeatedly at the sealed part of the tin with a spoon does the job … After being blinded by tomato sauce splatter, we got on with making the dinner.
Meanwhile, we saw the news about the Westminster attacks on Facebook. If you had seen the pair of us perched up like two grannies in the dressing gowns and slippers fiddling with the remote to try and get BBC on! We then had to get to the gym, where Erin was waiting on us and of course we had left ourselves late so we had to cycle like billio to get there on time – We were sweating before we even got into the gym after that bike ride!! We went to a dance class in the gym and I’m pretty sure we burnt more calories laughing hysterically at how wick we are at following steps and general co-ordination!!
On Thursday, Erin was away meeting her parents, and I had spotted a BOGOF breakfast offer in the newly opened ‘Yoghurt Barn’. Determined not to miss a deal, Rachel and I set off, of course leaving late (such bad influences on each other) and battling the wind, we huffed and puffed, arriving 15 minutes before the deal ended!
Afterwards, we decided some retail therapy was in order, and took a dander around the shops… Rachel found a sunhat 3 times the size of her head and has now decided she needs a sunny holiday!!
We came home to make some homemade Chinese style salted chilli chicken and because Erin was absent, Rachel took on the gruesome (raw meat is her worst nightmare) task of dipping the chicken into egg and then breadcrumbs… But this couldn’t be done without her trusty pink marigolds… Peter, she’ll make a great housewife yet! In the end we made enough chicken to feed the whole flat block and to add to that, we could hardly tell between breadcrumbs/egg lumps and actual breaded chicken! It tasted great though (honestly!) and we finished off the evening down by the river enjoying the sunset!
On Friday, our university kindly brought us to the Dutch heritage museum in Arnhem. It’s very similar to the Ulster American Folk Park (living close to it is Erin’s claim to fame) as it takes you through typically dutch farms, homes and other buildings.
Of course the day wouldn’t be complete without some sort of food, and the girls in our class were so confused when they saw Rachel whip out the crisps and start making a crisp sandwich for her lunch… We were also very excited to see that they had a dedicated ‘Poffertjes’ stand (dutch pancakes) so of course we had to try some at lunch! Not Ellis though, who had been out the night before and was still a bit worse for wear on Friday morning, she had made a triple sandwich with all sorts of fillings in between… She’s a bit of a hallion like ourselves! She must have done something right though, because she was ripping about on the museum’s unicycle like a mad one after it!
After lunch we continued around the museum, Rachel and I were buzzing to see some of the old vintage cars – it was wasted on Erin though, she couldn’t tell you the difference between a Peugeot and a Porsche never mind anything else! I was also so interested in hearing about the old style hay covers (shown below) which they could raise or drop according to how much hay they had to store – agriculture is in the blood. It was also nice to see some livestock, although it wasn’t quite the same as the abundance of hens and roosters at home that wake up half of Donaghmore every morning! The open cooker just reminded me of our wee Stanley at home too, the wee woman stoking up the coal even looked like Gwen with the curly hair as she boiled her egg for lunch!
I was also buzzing to see some sheep!! Mark would be proud!
We also got to see how washing was done back in the day, and Rachel was wondering could we bring the green cardigan to the museum to bate the green out of it…
On the way home, I spotted the first New Holland since being here!! I was beginning to think nobody drove them here… Seeing it on such a sunny day made me miss being at home at the slurry or silage. However, when you’re living in such a beautiful country, the ‘missing home’ moments disappear very quickly!
We arrived home and suddenly panic set in as I realised I had no keys to get into my room!! My spare keys for the bike were also on that keyring, so I couldn’t even cycle into the housing office for help! Just as I was about to have a nervous breakdown on the phone to the caretaker, Rachel discovered I had left them in her room…. Absolute BLONDE moment!!! (I have now took off the spare key for my bike just in case.)
On Saturday, Erin’s parents came to visit Nijmegen and see the sights it has to offer. Including the two Northern Irish sights who were standing bare-faced and in dressing gowns at half 2 in the afternoon making scrambled egg. We didn’t scare them off too much and we all had a good laugh about Erin’s budgeting and Rachel’s geographical knowledge, while they witnessed some of Erin and Rachel’s domestics. After all the slagging was done, Rachel and I headed into the city centre to a vintage clothing sale in a warehouse where you bought clothes according to weight, it was unlike anything we had ever been to before but we got a good laugh at some of the rare styles and Rachel even bought a coat without the finance minister’s approval!
We decided to treat ourselves to a wee Pinoccio’s (beaut Italian restaurant) for dinner before heading home!
The weather has been so good here recently, around 13-16 degrees every day. This afternoon I headed down to the riverside to do some journaling and was able to sit in a t-shirt and leggings! Amazing considering I was in thermals up until a few weeks ago. A little less wind and the weather would be perfect… We’ll not know what has hit us when we head home for an Irish summer!
Have a fantastic week!