Travel Tuesdays 1: Romania 

Well, here I am on a train, gently meandering through the Romanian countryside… As I travel, I can’t help but feel excited for my little holiday to Sighisoara and Sibiu, as well as enjoying the time to reminisce about previous trips I’ve been on. With this in mind, I’ve decided to try to do a little series on my blog, entitled Travel Tuesdays (because I like the alliteration) where I will share with you some memories of the lovely places I’ve visited around the world.
So, for my first Travel Tuesdays post, I thought I’d write about my beloved Romania. This is actually my second time living in Bucharest -I guess I had to return to see more of this beautiful country! (I was first here in 2011/2012.) I love visiting the pretty, old medieval towns in the mountains of Transylvania, such as Sinaia, Brasov and Busteni, where you can wander merrily along cobbled streets, find wonderful castles, try skiing in the winter and enjoy beautiful scenery all year-round!

Brasov -October 2016

One special trip I had in 2012 was to the ice hotel in the Fagaras mountains -where everything, even the beds are made of ice! Needless to say, my friends and I didn’t really feel like sleeping on ice, so we slept in the nice, warm cabana next door, where we found many guests from the ice hotel trying desperately to warm up!

Ice bar -Winter 2012

The Black Sea is well worth a visit. So far, I’ve visited the crowded, touristy beaches near to Constanta, for some lovely sunbathing and swimming time! 

Constanta, summer 2012

As well as the tranquil, beautifully scenic Danube Delta.

Danube Delta -Spring 2012

These are all my Romanian travel tales, although a recount of Sibiu and Sighisoara will follow soon…

So, that’s all for my first Travel Tuesdays post -hopefully I’ll actually post it on a Tuesday next time! I look forward to hearing about any travel tales you may have in the comments.

It’s not this time of year without…

This week’s daily post photo challenge is lovely! At the moment, Bucharest looks pretty grey…

So, It’s not this time of year without my fluffy coat:

Yummy hot drinks…

Vin fiert -mulled wine:

Christmas lights! I love love love them!!! 

Beginning to decorate…

And turkey!

Hope you enjoy these photos. A new post will come along soon, when the Christmas lights get switched on around the city!

The Purple Door

“Quick, under here!” urged Jenny, pulling her friend out of the rain.

“But what is this place?” wondered Nick, looking wide-eyed at the quaint purple door. “Does somebody live here?”

“Well, if they do, I’m sure they won’t mind us waiting here until the rain stops…” Jenny replied.
Her sentence was interrupted by the sound of the ancient door slowly creaking open.

“Well, hello there,” came a raspy, almost cackling voice. “I don’t get many visitors.”

Without looking to see who had spoken, the two children yelped, darted back into the pouring rain and raced along the path.

“Pity,” sighed the old lady despondently.

(105 words)

A short story I wrote for the Friday Fictioneers  writing prompt.

Remembering an old teacher

I recently learned that one of my former teachers (from when I was at university) had passed away, after battling with cancer. Even though I hadn’t seen her, or indeed heard anything about her for around ten years, I was still saddened by the news. Mostly, I found her strict and a little scary (she did teach German interpreting – which was by far the hardest course I had to take at uni!) although, she often treated us to her softer, more humorous side. I will always remember the important values that she taught me, to aim high and try my best, even though the endless lists of technical German vocabulary that she made us memorise are no longer relevant to my life… And yes, her passing away has made me think a bit about teachers in general -how we look up to our teachers and appreciate them, although, often we don’t realise it at the time! Of course, there are teachers that we don’t particularly bond or connect with -everyone has different teaching and learning styles, so we can’t all be suited to each other all the time. And, as a teacher, it’s easy to not feel valued or appreciated! But, in general, I hope that my previous students will one day remember me as fondly as I remember Eva.

(Just for fun, the photo I chose for this post is one that a child drew of me.)

The Audition


Julie glanced at the row of stern faces and gingerly picked up her bow.
She took a deep breath and began to play. The blissful melody filled the auditorium, lifting the spirits of the audience. But Julie didn’t dare look up. Too much was resting on this.
When she’d finished, the judges politely applauded.
“Thank you, we’ll be in touch shortly,” said an aloof, drawling voice.
Julie smiled back, still too nervous to speak.
Suddenly a man stormed into the room, shouting vehemently.
“It’s too late!” Julie laughed boldly. “I finished already. There’s nothing you can do to stop me now.”

From a short story prompt on Friday Fictioneers

Gosh it’s hard to write a short story in 100 words!

Post-Election Ponderings

I’ve been a little busy since the American election results were declared, and as such, haven’t really had a chance to think about things properly, in order to try and make sense of what happened. I was thoroughly shocked when I woke up on Wednesday morning and checked the news to find that the man who I had previously considered to be some kind of “joke candidate” had almost won the race for presidency. Then, of course, Trump was declared the President elect of the USA, and many people, including myself were filled with dread about what that could mean for America, and indeed the rest of the world, with such a divisive man in the White House.

Many people have spoken and written so eloquently about Trump’s win in recent days, with the hopeful message that he will not lead America with the same racist, misogynistic and generally intolerant values that have dominated his campaign… and I in turn, echo that hope. 
I have been interested to look at exit polls, to see who actually voted for this man, and was particularly surprised to see that such a large number of “charismatic christians” voted for Trump (although, I truthfully am not entirely sure what that term means.) I wondered how followers of Jesus were seemingly able to overlook Trump’s exceedingly divisive comments, actions and policies – presumably it was in the hope that he would bring about, what they see as a much-needed change in America. Unless, they actually agreed with his intolerant stance on Mexicans, gay people, women and so on…! That idea is so shocking to me that it led me to actually question my own faith, where, I decided that the God that I believe in must be very different to the God that the “evangelical christians” of the exit polls follow. I believe in a God that accepts and loves people of all races, colours, creeds, ages, genders, sexualities and so on – and that as believers, we should too (and vote accordingly!) I know that many people around the world share this view – that we should reach out to all members of our society, even if they are different from ourselves, whether we agree with their beliefs or practices or not, because it is our duty to love others, not to ostracise, condemn or build walls between us and them.
I know, I’ve over-simplified the issues, but I just wanted to write a few thoughts. My interest into how christians voted is because I’m a christian (from the UK) that certainly would not have voted for Trump based on the election campaign that he led…