Hellooo! How are you since we last spoke? Good I hope. Ahh yess, the wonder of that gem someone called a Bank Holiday. We Brits love them, as do many other countries. It’s our time to relax, let our hair down (I hate that term…) and enjoy the extra time off from work. What’s more – we get paid for it! What a gift from above. Bank Holidays are the stuff of dreams – and we just had one! Yes yes, yesterday we were all off frolicking in the sunshine, playing with kites on the Downs, having driving lessons, munching on a fry up, catching up with loved ones… Okay, so I basically just described how I spent MY weekend – how did you spend yours?! I don’t know, I’m not psychic  – you must drop me a line and tell me!! Were you learning to swim with dolphins? Did you meet up with Big Foot and have a catch up over a tea and some cake? Did you go camping on the moon? OR did you just stay in bed all weekend and collect some of those all-important Zzzzs…? Whatever it was I want to know because I am nosy.. Or, if you had a pants weekend because you were poorly or you live in the back end of beyond… send me your funniest stories of what you would have liked to have done. I want you to me laugh so loud that I fall off my chair. People at EC will think I’ve gone mad.. but nevertheless, do it! Anyway… I’m going to crack on with saying a big HELLO AND WELCOME to the lovely new members of the EC Bristol Crew. Don’t forget to send me your tales of adventure on our Facebook!! www.facebook.com/ecbristol Yeeaahhh Fay xo

Half way through the week celebrations!!

It’s nearly midday here which would mark the ever-celebrated Middle Of The Week!! Yesss!! The sun is out (probably not for long…), the birds are singing and the students are studying. What a wonderful day! We cleared out the middle office yesterday, ready to welcome back Anne-Louise from her ma-hoosive [massive] holiday away in France so she can move in. This is a good step forward for the EC Bristol team as we don’t like using our pretty rooms as storage. Admitting we had a problem was the first step to helping ourselves sort out the mess.. So before we could say super-ultimate-magic-teamwork-because-EC-Bristol-is-amazing… The room was empty!! Wowzers. [wow] Tonight we have a double treat: There’s a Bridge Walk AND a DVD Afternoon!! Whattt? We are spoiling the students, we really, really are. What’s more, the DVD is the King’s Speech which students have pleaded me to go out and buy. In my need to make sure our students are happy and smiling what did I do? I went out and bought it. I walked the equivalent of a marathon (about 500 meters) up something similar Mt. Everest (up the hill that is Park Street) for many days and nights (about 5 minutes….) to claim this DVD for those angels of the classrooms that are our students. All this, for their totally free, uninterrupted happiness and joy. Finally, it is Doughnut day today. Mmm…. Deelish. [delicious] We are enjoying our doughnuts at EC, but what is this? No Ingmar?! That’s right guys and gals, the worst HAS happened. Ingmar has left the building FOREVER!!! Okay, so that may be a sliiight exaggeration. He’s gone for a week, but he’s gone as far away as MARS! Okay, I’m kidding again… He’s gone to Milton Keynes. He has gone to do some … Read more

M-m-m-morning!! Or maybe good afternoon?

IT’S BEEN RAINING!! 🙁 This is not good.. What sort of welcome is this to the new students?! “Welcome to England! You know you boarded the right plane because it was sunny when you got on and raining when you got off!” What a hoot! Ho hum, I suppose this is the reason English people always talk about the weather – it changes every 5 minutes!! We love it though, not only because it gives us something to talk about, but also because we get the seasons! Lots of students come to England and tell us about their excitement to see snow for real for the first time, not just in photos! They mention that it’s nice to see everything change colour over the months as we switch from one season to the next. From every shade of green to golds, ambers and reds. My favourite bit is when you get those crunchy leaves on the ground – I’m always happy to go slightly out of my way just to step on it and hear that satisfying crunch underfoot. It makes my day! Good lord, enough of this!! It’s still (technically) summer time!! We won’t have the Winter Solstice for a long time.. however the Autumnal Equinox is next month.. Oo-err! This is a bit worrying.. But it means shopping shopping shopping for new warmer clothes yessss! Bristol is the BEST for shopping – there’s Cabot Circus, about a 10/15 minute walk from EC Bristol and Broadmead along the way. Here you will find some of the biggest and well-known shops from around the world. Or, if you’re a bit like me and prefer to go to smaller shops to buy items that are less likely to be everywhere you look, then I would suggest Park Street or Gloucester road. Park street … Read more

Fabulous Friday at EC Bristol?! I think so!

Thaaat’s right! Fabulous Friday is upon us and we are all looking forward to the weekend! Not long to go now… But personally, (and worryingly..!) I may actually be looking forward to Monday more! Yes, you did read that correctly, I am looking forward to the dreaded M-O-N-D-A-YYY I love meeting the new students and knowing that we are one of the first things they experience in Bristol. We always give them a warm welcome and a bright hello with a BIG smile so that they feel more at home from the very beginning. SO… Shall we do a word of the week? I think we should! Right so, this week it’s sort of a phrase… “Hang on” Sometimes, the students here are so eager for a peice of shiny Ana or Fay attention at EC Bristol’s reception that they are beside themselves with antisipation.. so what do they do? They interrupt us when we’re trying to make another student’s day that little bit brighter! Dear oh dear oh dear…. What are we going to do with these cheeky so and sos, hmm? Well, I tell them to ‘hang on’. Ana was so confused what this phrase meant – I completely forgot that the literal translation to this is completely out of context and to be honest a bit of an odd thing to say. But here in England we say it a lot. I suppose it comes from big action films or something similar like fairy tale… When the hero has to run and save the damsel in distress from the edge of the cliff before she loses her grip and falls to her doom.. But he’s always being distracted by something like a dragon or fighting a villain, so he yells ‘Hang on!!!!’ which is literally asking her to keep holding on to … Read more

Thursday is nearly over at EC Bristol.. and hopefully so are the riots in London!

Yes yes yes, the riots are calming down now a little.. hopefully it will all be over soon! Everyone I have spoken to about the riots think that the whole thing is insane and tars all young people as being mindless, aggressive thugs, especially English youths. What a shame.. All the hard work people put in to making a better name for younger people wasted on a handful who think that rioting is the best way to solve a problem – when most of them don’t even know why there are riots in the first place! Dreadful… Well, a slightly downtrodden blog to start with – sorry about that. On the upside, it has drawn communties together to clean up the mess left behind! Check this out! It’s the pub night tonight which is being held at The White Harte on Park Row right in the heart of Bristol. It’s a great little pub with lots of warmth and an inviting atmosphere… not to mention the pints are £1 some nights! 😉 So the students have all gone home early to get ready. However, those who have stuck around have gone to watch our DVD upstairs in our mini cinema! Today we’re showing ‘Four Weddings & A Funeral’ – a classic British comedy with plenty of stereotypical English slapstick humour and romantic scenes to make the ladies swoon. Even though there were no car crashes or explotions – the boys really liked it! It must have appealed to their secret romantic side.. 😀 Unfortunately it’s raining today (Boo!) so I’d better run home before it gets heavy again and I get soaked. ‘Dripping wet’ is not a good look and will not be making it into the Autumn / Winter 2011 fashion books anytime soon I’m sure… Have a lovely … Read more

A terrific Tuesday at EC Bristol

Hello everyone!! How’s it going? Just a quick one to touch base with you and get you up to date with what’s new here… Well, first off it’s doughnut day tomorrow, so, obviously I just ordered some online so that they’re ready and waiting for us in the morning! Woohoo!! Tomorrow it’s mid-week! It goes so fast it’s crazy.. This week was one of the last big intakes we’ll get as.. dare I say it…. the Summer is not far from ending, nooo!!! We might be choosing a new venue to take our students to for the welcome meal to mix things up as things get quieter. We usually go to The Big Chill bar, but maybe we’ll look for somewhere new with a change of scenery and food. Not that the student’s would know any different – they’re always new! DVD night tomorrow too – we’re still deciding what to watch!! We’ve made a big long list of English films to buy and show so we’d better pick one soon..! This weekend there was the football tournament in Reading.. Sadly we were a little late arriving but we didn’t let it dampen our spirits; we played our very best and I’m sure it showed! NEWS JUST IN: The London riots coming to Bristol?! As if! I’m sure you’ve all seen the photos in the newspapers or online of the very dramatic and frankly silly riots in London and people are trying to claim it has spread to Bristol. We have had phone calls from friends and our own families worried about us, but not to worry, it has all simply been blown out of proportion. A lot. Bristol had a few kids running around and nicking a new pairs of trainers from a sports shop, so have no fear!!! … Read more

Wonderful courses and amazing activities… all at the wonderful EC Bristol!!

Good Afternoon EC Bristol gang! How’s it going your end? This week, summer may have finally arrived!! Better late than never.. It’s so hot! Update: We had the International Food night last week, which, as you must have already guessed.. Was MARVELLOUS! The food the students brought was that of a professional Chef’s standard – soo tasty and didn’t hang around long!! We had food from Spain, Italy, Turkey, Germany, France and even Thailand. Mmm mmm mmmmmm 🙂 Delicious! We tucked into our delightful food while listening to music, chatting with friends and enjoying some drinks from France and Australia. In fact it was so successful, we are thinking of having another night just the same! Everyone had a really fun night and pointed out how surprised they were with the amount of effort the ‘Chefs’ made.. one student brought 5 big plates of different food!!! Of course as always, we have said hello to a new group of students this week – around 35 of them! We went out for the Welcome Meal last night and that was very enjoyable too. A short walk up the road from EC Bristol and we found ourselves tucking into homemade burgers and salad made how you like it. This week one of the teachers, Ellie came with me – she had a chicken burger with plenty of salad while I had a beef burger with spicy salsa, lots of salad (and extra tomato!!) They were lovely – and a great start to a great stay with EC for the new students! Tonight it will be all guns blazing on the Orientation Tour around Bristol. Today it’s Kyle who will be taking then students on a walk around Bristol to show them what there is to be seen and tell them what there … Read more