Zell Am See

It has been almost a month since my return from my Austrian holiday and I am still thinking about how amazing, terrifying, tiring (I could go on) it was.

As someone from a warm climate, the prospect of snow, really big mountains and really big mountains with snow on them was something of dreams, mythical almost! Snow in the UK has never totally lived up to my expectations (sorry everyone!). So, when the chance to go to Austria in the winter presented itself, I jumped at the chance.

Flying into Salzburg Airport I was blown away. Everything was covered in white. On our coach to the lovely lakeside town of Zell Am See, my eyes were glued out the window – snow everywhere! And not just a sprinkling, it was piled high!

Being a first time skier is something I look forward to never having to be again, to put it mildly. By the end of the week, we were pros at putting on the boots, carrying the skis up the hill to the gondola and knowing that although layers were our friends, getting steamy is not. In fact, getting so steamy that your googles steam up is not a good thing!

Zell Am See is stunning – as a first foray into the “ski holiday” it hit all the right buttons. We were lucky enough to find a great last-minute deal with Neilson which offered us half-board at the Hotel Traube. Our hotel was fantastic – everything was unbelievably convenient and the food was fantastic. The service (shoutout to Tom & Toni) was excellent and I cannot sing everyone’s praises enough.

In terms of the post-ski atmosphere, Zell has amazing bars – we particularly loved Castle Bar, the Gin House and Greens. Everyone was friendly and, after three visits to Greens, its fair to say that the barman knew our order…!

Would I ski again? In short, yes. I certainly did not take to skiing like a duck to water but I did take to the ski holiday lifestyle. Big lunches, big dinners, a gluhwein or two, the funky ski gear, the snow, the stunning landscapes (!)… I fell in love with it all and that makes me want to try it all again.

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Return

The time has come to re-enter the sphere of blogging. I had been considering a return for some time but had not found the inspiration nor the time to do it. With the arrival of autumn, leaves everywhere and good films finding their way into cinemas near me, I thought it might be time to get my keyboard out.

Looking back on my posts written over four years ago (!), I really do wonder if they same person typing this is responsible for those quite interesting (if I do say so myself) posts! I hope to bring a tad more to the table this time and maybe update a bit more frequently. However, I can make no promises.

I am living and working in London so everything will be quite London-centric but I do love travelling and my family are great supporters of a staycation! In January, I will be starting a photography course to become one with my DSLR so I will try, and blog a bit about my adventures with that and hopefully, friendly folk might share a pointer or two! Thank you in advance.

For now, I will leave you with this picture I took last year on my birthday during the Tall Ships Festival in Greenwich….

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Greenwich

…. more to come!

TJ x

Sweeping the Supermarket…

I saw this prompt a few days ago when checking my email and had a chuckle to myself about how hilarious it would be to be on a game show and I thought if there was one it would definitely have to be Supermarket Sweep. Then this evening at dinner, Supermarket Sweep somehow managed to enter into conversation and thus, I vowed to myself on my return home I would have to answer this prompt! It was clearly a sign from the blogging gods…

I love food and I love shopping. Now for some this might not lead to I like shopping for food, but for me it does. It probably has a lot to do with my childhood which involved my parents and I trooping to the giant Mega Mart once a month for the shop of all food shops. I swear we would spend hours in that place. And honestly, I loved it. The chance to be Supermarket Sweep – to run down the aisles with a trolley, to grab lots and lots of food, to solve clues that lead to the Jackpot prize hidden behind an innocent jar of tomato sauce and of course the giant inflatable fruit that would reveal prizes – would’ve been a dream come true.

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Watching Weeds

I have recently discovered Weeds – the show all about a suburban-mum-drug-dealer (heavy but amusing stuff). Although it can be a bit racy, it does whip out quite fantastic quotations and my favourite one of the moment from the self-defined thug himself, U-turn, “Being a thug means never having to apologise”. I’m currently watching season 3 and I am an of U-turn – his personality switches are fantastic.  Although, he doesn’t last long!

Catalan II

I am now, as I type this, in the process of missing my first Catalan class and honestly I’m quite upset with myself.  Somehow, a lack of communication between the mobile phone alarm, my body and my mind has resulted in me now sitting on my bed instead of in my class.  Ho-hum.

My daily routine in Catalan:

Em llevo a les nou normalment.  Esmorzo a un quart de deu.  Em dutxo.  Normalment, treballo i estudio i a vegades, vinc a la universitat.  A la tarda, sopo i surto amb els meus amics.  A les tres, me’n vaig a dormir.

Obviously, I am of course of the most interesting person ever!

I can't wait til 2012

I graduate university in 2012. I enter the real world. Yes, I am of course "excited" about this event – after 4 years of hard work and fun it will be a relief and a joy to graduate. But, 2012 also means the Olympics and honestly, out of any other sporting event, I get most excited about the Olympics (both seasons!).

Surely a bit of a cliché you may say. However, there is something about all the nations of the world (more or less) competing in a wide array of sports that we probably won't watch until again for another 4 years. I can remember watching the Olympics on TV when I was little – sitting on the floor of our living room watching the Sydney opening ceremony and that odd full body suit. I can remember Salt Lake City and bobsleds and slalom runs! You would expect being from a hot country I would have no interest in the Winter Games but I suppose we did once have a bobsled team!

Now with 2012 on our doorstep I genuinely can't wait!

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Catalan

Bona tarda!

Now that I’m in Barcelona, I thought I would take a stab at learning Catalan.  So, I thought I could do a little feature on my efforts!  At the moment, we’ve only had two classes which have totaled to a whopping 5 hours.  Honestly, I think it’s going to be fairly intensive – our teacher moves quickly (in a good way) so hopefully I’ll be able to keep up!  I’ve even signed up to an e-learning website that has an interesting group of characters who are also embarking on their Catalan studies.  The thing I’m finding hardest at the moment is the pronunciation – which we spent a good chunk of our last class working on.

Em dic quirkytj.OR Soc la quirkytj. – My name is… OR I am…

Com et dius?  – What is your name?

Next class tomorrow…