How Learning English changed my Life.

I was starting my first year of high school when my mum told me it was time to learn English. At that time I was living in Peru, a Spanish speaking country where schools teach English but lets say it is more like a basic language holiday lesson. My mum said that learning English would be very important for my future, so I started having intensive English lessons in a British Institute outside high school.

My English lessons were always very early morning and I would practically run to catch the bus to make it in time from the institute to the high school. I had a special authorization from the school head teacher to arrive a bit late. It didn’t took very long for my classmates to realize that I was good at English and they would ask me for help when doing homework or when having a test.

In the 80’s we didn’t have Internet so I had penpals in order to practice English writing. My first penpal was a girl from Kent, England. We used to exchange postcards, stamps and posters of music idols. She would be the one who sent me a magazine page with the picture of Rick Astley and he would become my idol, I learnt the lyrics of all his songs and still now I am a big fan. In Peru I didn’t listen to radio stations in Spanish and instead I preferred to listen to radio stations that played songs in English, that actually helped me a lot into understanding the language. On Saturday afternoons I used to spend time at the British Institute library where I was fascinated with the books in architecture and history.

Years later I traveled for the first time to the United States where I struggled a bit because I was speaking ‘British’ and at times people would tell me I was saying things wrong (when I wasn’t) and it didn’t bothered me. American and British English have different vocabulary and also sometimes grammar could be different. For example: A ‘butty’ in British is a sandwich, the ‘petrol station’ in America is the gas station, and British go to the ‘toilet’ not to the bathroom. A very useful book about how to speak British is called ‘The very Best Of British’ by Mike Etherington, this book is a must read if you come to visit England.

img_20161215_133400858

Definitely speaking another language helped me with job opportunities. At a very young age I worked for important companies speaking English and Spanish, met new people who became great friends, and suddenly I found myself travelling to many places for work and pleasure. My love life was not good and it wasn’t going anywhere, so I forgot about ‘normal’ dating and decided to look for love in a very different way. It was time to find Mr Right so one day I subscribed to an Online Dating site. I was very serious about it despite one or two people who thought I was doing something really crazy. There was something special and sexy about flirting in another language, the long distance issue was not important and that is how I met my husband.

I think it is never too late to learn a language, actually I learnt Italian a few years ago and I have been thinking for a while about starting Japanese lessons. Learning languages open doors leading to opportunities in life and I truly believe it can even change people destiny.

A Short Break in Stratford Upon Avon and Coventry

img_20161104_074552005

The autumn season has arrived in England and this time seems to be colder than usual. Anyway the weather is never a problem when it comes to go out for a nice walk, specially in the autumn season I enjoy to see colorful trees everywhere, to me its like a gift from nature. In England we don’t have a proper summer season and that is why many people spends summer abroad. Most of clothes in my wardrobe are summer clothes and I only use them when I am away on holiday, this is sad I know. Soon it will be winter and the only thing I like about it is that if it snows then we can play snowball fight with my family.

img_0817

The best place to welcome the arrival of autumn is the countryside so we went to Shakespeare County for a short break. Stratford Upon Avon is one of my favourite places in England and with many things to do. We went for a walk along the River Avon where we saw swans, ducks and many canal boats along the river. Not far from the Avon Boating Center it is The Butterfly Farm a very special place where once inside it’s like being in the forest with many butterflies flying around. It is the UK’s largest tropical Butterfly Farm and also they have an area in the farm called ‘Mini Beasts’ with displays of live spiders, scorpions, an ant farm ( it made us feel itchy when we saw it), and there were many insects from places around the world.

20161104_112249

My son is into cars at the moment so we decided to also visit the Coventry Transport Museum. I was very impressed of such a big collection of bicycles, motorbikes, and cars. My favourite brand in cars is called Mini, but instead of the modern Mini I prefer the classic Mini like the one in the Italian Job 1969 movie. There was also a collection of Jaguars, very luxurious cars, and I loved the detail in the old models with a small silver Jaguar jumping at the front but the modern models don’t have it anymore due to safety reasons.

img_0859

Before coming back home we decided to have lunch in a place called Wightwick Manor and Garden. It is a property of the National Trust of England with a lovely Victorian house to visit and many beautiful gardens to explore. The trees are losing all their leaves now and my son didn’t hesitate to jump on a big pile of yellow leaves. The house has a small restaurant (tea room) where they offer home made meals, hot drinks and cakes. We had a fantastic time enjoying nature, it was very relaxing to just be away for a couple of days and we are already thinking in our next short break.

A 70 Year Old Girl

 

My mum at Penrhyn Castle, North Wales.

My mum at Penrhyn Castle, North Wales.

It has been a while since writing in my blog, and this is because my mum was visiting England and we spent quality time together, she is not just my mum she is a good friend too.

This is the third time my mum visits England, she is in her 70’s with a bit of health issues but nothing to worry about. It takes more than 14 hours the flight between Peru and the UK but she is used to it now. She is an adventurous girl, a good traveller and she isn’t scared of the long haul flight but she always carries her rosary.

She doesn’t usually travel with dad, and she doesn’t say that she misses him but when she speaks over the phone with him, I can guess by the tone of her voice that she really misses him. My dad isn’t a frequent flyer as my mum, he says that is because he doesn’t speak English and that is the reason why he isn’t interested in travelling abroad. I’m in the process of making him change his mind.

My mum learnt English when she was a teenager in Peru, but she hasn’t practice the language in years. She understands what is going on around her when she is here, tries to read the newspapers or magazines with my help but she struggles when talking to others. It was interesting to see her trying to speak to my mother in law, it was more like a ‘spanglish’ conversation, so funny, and somehow they understood each other. My mother in law and mum are friends and that makes me happy.

We went for a walk to Liverpool city centre and she was telling me about her memories in the 60’s with the Beatles fever. She said ‘Sweetheart, the fans would scream like lunatics and some of them would faint of excitement!’. We also went to Wales as she loves the castles, we visited Penrhyn Castle and when we were walking in the castle gardens she said: ‘ If a castle would be able to talk, can you imagine all the stories that it would tell?’. She loves trees, and she likes to hug them, she always says ‘ its good to hug a big tree, old trees are full of energy and that’s good for the human body’. She is catholic but she has her spiritual side too.

My mum is the one who gave me all her support when I met my husband, as a good friend she would always listen to me when telling her about my ‘cyberboyfriend’. She knew I met this guy on a Online Dating site, he lived in the UK, I was living in Peru, and at that time I would never imagine getting married with him. One day when I was deeply sad my mum said to me : ‘If he really loves you he will show it, and the distance between you and him won’t be a problem’. She was right.

It is always difficult to say good bye to mum, at the airport my heart breaks to see her leave. She has an English family in this side of the world, my husband and son love her to pieces and we are making sure she enjoys life. She says that thanks to us her dreams as a child about visiting England came true.

We love you mum!.

 

My Followers