A Travellerspoint blog

A trip to Lichfield


Many people had been telling me to go there so now I thought it was finally time to go be adventurous. I had done all my research and walked to the busstop unaware of at what time the bus was to show up. Luckily it only took a about a 10 minute wait.
A Day Saver please.
And so my adventure started.
The trip took quite long, but it was worth it. During the trip there were a lot of spots where I thought *Stop the bus! I need to get out! [to make some pictures]*. The landscape was ever so beautiful, I can't even describe it. In the morning there was still a bit of mist lingering everywhere which gave everything a magical touch. Also the parts where we were driving through villages were interesting though. A lot of the streets I saw looked like they came straight out of holiday parks, but then with an English theme sort of. Very interesting.
So there I was in the bus. Cruising along on a street where you could drive pretty fast. So I did not see this coming..
Tyres screech..! [Just to get the idea right.]
Sudden turn of the wheels...
Off the main road,
heading straight to a tiny bridge that looked like it had survived the Middle Ages and whatever came after that, to have to carry the huge bloody bus now
First thing that went through my head was: You've got to be kidding me, right?
The bus took up all of the bridge. You wouldn't have been able to squeeze a person next to the bus.
Kudos for the driver, though, we made it across alive.
[Let's not think of the fact that dozens of busses drive across there every day.]
I got off in Lichfield (obviousely) and started walking around a bit in the centre. The place looked nice enough and the huge cathedral was visible pretty much everywhere you were walking. I was ever so hungry so I got myself something to drink [:D] and then I started looking for some sandwiches. Having located some sandwiches and having eaten them as a consequence, I carried on along the streets of Lichfield.
Who do I see?
Is it really..?
Judging the look on her face it is!
It's Gene!
A colleague of mine was strolling down the streets of Lichfield with a friend of hers! What do you know! I was so happy to see a friendly face. She seemed happy to see me too and invited me to join them for a bite to eat and something to drink. After that they showed me the way around Lichfield, which came in handy, and then they had to leave because they had some things to take care of in Stafford.
After they had left I went into every charity shop I had seen on my tour to check out the book section. I also entered what I thought was a random bookshop. It turned out to be the birth house (?) of Samuel Johnson. The first person in Great Britain to write a dictionary! That was quite interesting. I took some pictures of the house and put them on here as well.
I also walked up to the cathedral, but there was a service going on and the man said I should come back in about an hour. I did not feel like doing that so decided to go home. After all, Gene had implied we go to Lichfield again some day and take a closer look at the cathedral. I'm in!
Eventually I was home at about five in the afternoon.
The rest of the evening was a blast too, as I was playing an online game with my house mate Tom and some mates back in Holland which was ever so funny. :D

Now back to another day of work. Another adventure to tell my colleagues about, even though Lichfield is one of the most normal places in the world to them. Ah well, at least they can share in my enthusiasm!


Posted by miekj 00:48 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Utrecht - Liverpool


Just barged into the common room. A person in my couch and a person in the couch next to it. Daniella's couch. Football on the tv. Utrecht - Liverpool, 0-0 so far. Match almost finished. If there had been British people in here I would have cheered loudly for Holland but that's not much use now.

Match finished. Have the room to myself again.

Yesterday was interesting. Martin started talking to me when I came home from work to ask me if I was in for a game of poker that night. Not something I'd say no to, so I said yes.
We were playing with two other guys who play poker all the time. We all put 5 pounds in and off we went. We sat in the common room and there was a game of football on the tv so there were some people in the room watching that - I've never ever seen it that busy in the common room. Must have been more than 10 people at least. Half the time when the other two lads were talking I couldn't follow what they were saying because they were just talking ever so fast. It was fun though, and in the end I WON! I won 15 quid! How about that. Beginners luck? Or am I just an awesome poker player? Who knows. Anyway, this earned me my money for the next round of bingo tonight.

Nice to meet you! And then I walked off with their money.

In the mean time I have repaired my bike.
And I got a really bad cold. Coughing and blowing my nose all the time. Eat more fruit! I hear my mom say. I'll get some later today.

Yesterday evening I went to the benefit concert for combat stress. This regular from the shop had given me a ticket and Mary would come pick me up. Some of Mary's friends were also there. When we came in there were two ladies singing. One of them was .. ehh .. really too self-confident. Some moments I wasn't sure if I should find the sounds coming from her mouth were nice or horrid. She really started getting on my nerves. The sort of voice you've *so* had enough of after listening to one song. She kept on going, thinking she was awesome. Later on in the evening she was being .. ugh .. could have punched her in the face. Shhh.
Mary's friends were just having a chat and a laugh but other people didn't seem to appreciate it. The man who had given me my ticket came up to one person in particular and said: COULD YOU SHO' OP OR I WILL HAVE TO ASK YOU TO LEAVE!
Which you shouldn't say to slightly drunk people.
The group of friends moved to the back room. I stayed there for a while but then went back into the concert room because there was a guy with a guitar so I had to hear it. He was really good, and had a voice nice listening to. After a while Mary joined me, said her friends left because there had been a minor misunderstanding. The rest of the concert was allright. Mary took me to another pub where all her friends were at. Stayed there for a while, which was nice.
The way people pronounce my name. One called me Micha and others stuck with the artists' name: Mika. Then Mary took me home.

Then I went to sleep and woke up and then sneezed.
Today I will be getting a huge load of tissues.


Posted by miekj 03:15 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Ready? Set? Go!

Get yourself a life.


Bingo was fun! Mary came to pick me up, after which we went to pick An up. On our way to An I saw a lot of Stafford, quite beautiful! We went to Mary's house to get a cup of tea before making our way to the bingo hall. On our way there we dropped her husband off at some snooker club. Her house was typically English with the front room and the back room, reminds me of my English culture classes.
I had a good time with the bingo. Mary treated me which was really nice of her. Bingo is totally nerve wracking, the numbers were called so fast! It cost me a lot of concentration to make out the numbers because the man who was calling the numbers sometimes made a sort of riddle to accompany the numbers, so it was a good comprehension training really.
I didn't win a single dime. Nor did An, sitting next to me. Not sure about Mary and two other women who were sitting further along on the couch.
On our way back in the car, Mary showed me the way to Stafford castle and told me that one day she would take me to see the monkey park somewhere.
Then tonight I hardly slept for some reason and I got Tom to come with me to the castle one of these days.
There were two regulars in the shop today, talking to Mary about some concert this Saturday when the man suddenly asked me where I was from. Then he invited me to come along Saturday and I didn't have to pay for the ticket and Mary could come pick me up. Furthermore, Mary is taking her son and his girlfriend (about my age) to bingo next Sunday, expecting me to come along too, and appearantly the girlfriend mentionned something about taking me out some time. Yay!
Whoopieee! A social life is being developped.

I got a guitar!
Well, technically I'm borrowing it from a housemate. He mentionned he had a guitar but didn't use it, so I asked him if I could borrow it. =D

And I saw yesterday that I had forgotten to write something down.
The day after I was sick I came home from work because I decided it wasn't a good idea to be at work, feeling slightly off, still.
Suddenly Martin came barging in. ANYBODY IN HERE?
Ehh.. yes?
Everybody outside! There's something wrong with the firealarm in the pub next door.
So I went out. I knew the Chinese weren't home but I wasn't sure about Tom. Anyhow, outside I went. Interesting to see the faces of everybody that was home. Half of them I knew, half of them I didn't.
After about a minute Tom appeared and he said : well, that's a nice way to wake up.
He invited me to a cup of coffee at Starbucks and we had a bit of a chat, which was nice. Then we went back home and after a while the fire alarm in our building went off. So we were like ehhh.. ok, let's go outside. Then Martin came running along, no, no, this is just a test, you can stay inside. But the alarm is a really loud, high pitched sound that goes on constantly.
It hurt the ears.
The rest of the day I just took it easy. Really stupid. You feel allright on the one hand side, and on the other hand side you feel too weird to be of use.

That's about it I guess. For the moment.

Oh! No! A joke.. really cracked me up.

It's raining cats and dogs!
Yea.. do you know how I know that?
I just stepped in a poodle!


Posted by miekj 11:29 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

I'm in the newspaper!

It's been an interesting few days to say the least.
But before I continue writing I'm going to get my breakfast because I'm ever so hungry.
Allright, all set.
When I arrived at work on Friday, Tracy said two things :

  • Are you up for an adventure?
  • I have a present for you!

To which I replied Yes! and Oh really!?

There was a lack of staff in the Littleworth shop, so Tracy asked me if I wanted to go up there. I'd "have" two volunteers and Angela would drive me up there and show me where everything was. I could close up early, walk back to the Stafford shop and give the keys back to Tracy. Deal - a change of scenery! The Littleworth shop was really homely [if that's the right word] - small, and in a real English sort of street. It was on the road headed to the hospital and the uni and on the way over there we passed Asda. I had been wondering where Asda [really big supermarket] was.
I had one lady with me there of Scottish descent and the other one was on holiday, so there's one person who had to leave at 13.45, leaving me there alone from 13.45 until 16.15. I enjoyed myself, sure, but if it's the right thing to do on their behalf - not having a manager present. It was nice though, the Scottish lady seemed to think I was a paid member of staff. A 20 year old person telling a pensionner off! But not really.
I feel so bad I didn't take my camera with me that day. If I had known I'd be going there...
But I'll definately be going back up some time to take some pictures and I also wanted to go take a look at the university here, so that's two things in one go.
I had people explain to me how I could get back to the city centre, which turned out to be pretty straightforward, luckily.

And then there's the present. During the Birthday in the Park last Sunday there was a reporter running around with a camera. The picture she took of Tracy, Carole and me made its way into the Staffordshire Newsletter along with our names. It's not the only picture of the Birthday in the Park obviousely, but it's a really awesome souvenir.

Bridget gave me some pears. None of them are ready for eating yet, though. I'll have to eat 6 pears at once before you know it. One woman brings us tomatos from her own garden, now we're getting pears. Oh and yesterday one of them brought little cakes for everybody.

Now I'm waiting for it to be 10 oclock since I have to go to Farmfoods for 8 pints of milk. For 1.50!
I don't know what I'll be doing with the rest of my day. I could go for a cycle, but then I'd have to repair my tyre first, and I don't have the tools for that. Somebody mentionned they have little repair kits at Tesco's for about 80p, so that might be worth a shot. I've never been in there yet though. [It's so huge..]

Emmmm that will be all for now.
Another shot at Bingo tonight! Yay.
Personal note : call Mary at 16.00.

Posted by miekj 01:48 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

There's a time to cook

And a time to write

My day off again.
Feeling better and currently stationned in the kitchen with my new saucepan on the fire - containing a load of vegetables, two of which I've never eaten before for as far as I know.
A turnip and a swede.
What does this remind me of? Black Adder! It's pretty funny actually. I have a cunning plan, my Lord! Make some stew.
If you haven't seen Black Adder then watch it. That could be considered an order.
So this really smells weird, the smell of leak and onion are too present, really. I found a fruit/vegetable shop that's dead cheap. One turnip, one swede, 2 very large potatoes, 3 big carrots, leak and a big onion for a bit over 3 pounds. Pays off to go there more often.
I went out to buy a new box of cornflakes. As I'm saving all my receipts I looked at how expensive it was and I managed to get rid of all the copper in my wallet. Yay!
I found the most awesome 50 pence coin in my wallet by the way. It had a dictionary explanation of both the word "pence" and "fifty". I'm keeping that one.
Now with my new vegetable masher I will be turning my over-cooked vegetables into a stew/soup sort of thing.. let's see what it turns out to be. At least it smells a bit more appealing than in the beginning.
If it all works out then tonight I'll be having my first proper dinner since I got here.
I got a trolley, too. So I can do all my shopping at once. It's a very ugly sort of thing, but it has wheels, so I love it. Saves me loads of time.

And you wouldn't believe.. I'm considering getting a t-shirt printed with the words : I'm not Canadian! [And then on the other side:] Not American either!
I get so many comments!
Someone just bluntly asked whereabouts in American or Canada are you from? Ehh.. neither, miss. I'm Dutch.
Oh, right, yea well I've never been there, wouldn't know!..

Stew's finished. It looks like something.. weird.. I'll put some sausage in tonight and then hopefully it will taste good. In any case I'm going to eat it because some vitamins and such couldn't do any harm.

I also got sugar, cinnamon and some apples. Should make for a nice desert!

Hmmm. What else.
Right, I'll see if I get round to placing the black saucepan in my picture gallery.
It's almost 3 in the afternoon. Go figure. Now I need to figure out what I'll do with the rest of my day.

I've been noticing everybody's favorite set of words:
Carla : Well, obviousely..
Carole : Well that's it, isn't it..
Tracy : That's fab! That's bril!

Funny. ^^
I'll see if I can get some pics of more of the people at work. And maybe of my roommates, too.

This morning I had two strange lads in my room. I heard strange voices in the corridor so I decided to take a peek, and there were two large men from Virgin Media there! Talking to Tom, obviousely, as he was having his Internet installed. One of 'em asked me if he could have a look at my back wall, to show sir #2 what kind of thing they were looking for on Tom's wall.
Could we come in?
Ehh.. sure?
There you are, in your pajamas, clothes all over the floor. Good morning to you too, man.

Keeps life interesting, though.
Well that's all for now. Enough, more like it. Over and out!

Posted by miekj 07:55 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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