Martisor, 1st March, the first day of Spring!

Today is Martisor in Romania, which is the first day of spring here. We had lovely spring weather today (sunny and warm) and I really hope this weather stays like this now… All the snow has melted and I hope it won’t come back again until next winter! 

On 1st March, it is traditional to give little trinkets, bracelets, brooches and so on to your female friends (men don’t get any, sorry men!) Here is a photo of me, enjoying all of my little Martisor gifts! People don’t usually wear all of their gifts like this, but I thought it was more fun to wear them all at once. 😊


In Bucharest

So, now I’m in Bucharest, I’ve been here for one week and so far it’s been pretty hectic settling into my new school and work routine (hence not having any time for blog posts recently). Bucharest doesn’t seem to have changed much since I was last here (about four years ago) and my old friends and new colleagues have been really helpful, so in some ways it’s been quite easy to settle into being back here again. Although, I am of course finding various challenges along the way. Here are some photos of my school (yes, I teach in an old mansion!) and the park -my favourite place to go after work to relax.

On this day… 9th September 

Here are some interesting events that happened on 9th September over the years. 😀

1543: Mary Queen of Scots is crowned at 9 months old… That’s a lot of nines! And how was a baby expected to rule a country?

1776 Congress officially renames the country as the United States of America (Was the United Colonies) 

1892 E E Barnard at Lick discovers Amalthea, 5th Jupiter moon

1908: let’s fly a plane!

1945 1st “bug” in a computer program discovered by Grace Hopper, a moth was removed with tweasers from a relay & taped into the log (photo is of Grace and her computer, unfortunately you can’t see the bug)

1983: This is a very important date because I was born! 😀 (happy birthday to me!)

(The photo is of me with my mum, grandma and grandad. I am the tiny one.)

1999: Lauryn Hill and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air win some music awards. (Note that the date here is 9/9/1999. I remember finding this date great fun to write on all of my schoolwork that day!) 

2001: these two playing each other in a tennis final as usual… (Don’t know who chose this photo of Serena, but it looks a bit scary to me!)

2015: well done Queenie 😀

These are just some of the interesting things that happened on 9th September over the years. You can find many more fun historical facts on this website:


I was just reminiscing about some of the wonderful and amazing places I’ve been lucky enough to visit over the past few years. 

In summer 2007 I went to Ukraine with my dad and sister to visit some relatives there. We stayed with family in a small village and it was like going back in time -their way of life was so different from ours in England. Many things have changed in Ukraine since then, I don’t know if their life will be as simple now as it was then…

farm life in Ukraine

walking a goat in Ukraine

Then in summer 2008 I went to South Africa and Lesotho for a month with some of my classmates from university. This was my first time to Africa and I loved it! We spent a lot of time volunteering in an orphanage, as well as helping in primary schools there. It was a really special time.

my friend in Lesotho

In fact, I liked Africa so much that I got a job in Tanzania from 2009 to 2011. I taught in a lovely school with some great people -and we were lucky enough to go on lots of safaris!

safari time!

Then I got a job as a teacher in Romania -another amazing country! The people there were very friendly and I spent many weekends in the beautiful mountains in Transylvania (where they keep the legend of vampires alive for the tourists!)

vampire’s castle, Romania

I stayed there for just over a year, then came back to England for a bit, before starting a job in China in 2014. My experience in China was also amazing -my students were great and it was wonderful to spend time exploring the country and culture. But after 2 years in China, I felt like it was time to move a little closer to home… 

Great Wall of China

So, I’m currently at home, wondering where my next adventure will be! 

This post was inspired by “Building Blocks of History” on:

Leaving China 

So, after two years of living in China, the time has come to return home (to Bramhall, England) and find a new adventure…

Two years worth of stuff got squashed into these few cases…

Two of my students bought me some snacks for the planes! 😂😂 I still havent finished them…

The queues for check in at Beijing airport were ridiculously long! It took over an hour to check in, then another hour or so for passport control and the security checks. I found the process so long and tedious, that I have decided to make Beijing airport my new Worst Airport in the World! My previous least favourite airport was Paris Charles de Gaulle, because it takes so long to travel in between terminals and I always miss my connecting flights there!

I had three flights from Zhengzhou to Manchester… Two were with Qatar airways, which was quite a pleasant experience, even though they did charge an astronomical amount of money for my excess luggage! 😭 

I found the football-themed safety procedures video really funny! Much better than the usual ones… 

I was so excited when I boarded plane number two and discovered that I had no one in front of me -which meant I had extra leg room for eight hours! Wonderful! 

We saw a beautiful sunrise from the plane! Unfortunately I wasn’t seated by a window, so this is the view from one of the emergency exit windows. 😀

I was even greeted by some blue sky when I returned home (although it didn’t last for long… Good old English summer!)