Sunday 11th June 2017 : The London Colour Run

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Blog entry by Aurelie & Isabelle – the current smartaupairs interns. Photo credits go to our amazing Aussie au pairs who took some fantastic snaps during the day.

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Hi everybody,

We completed the 2017 London Colour run last weekend. It was such a beautiful day. We had the chance to wear our colour run shirt with our Happy tattoos. 😉

We arrived at Wembley park at 1:45 to take our race pack. We received : a head band, a tattoo, and a T-shirt. Nice touch!

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At 2:30 pm we stretched and danced. Moreover, If you were lucky you could catch some fashionable colour run sunglasses and socks.  You could also buy colourful product of all sort. 😉

From 3:00 to 3:45 we walked to the starting line. Everyone was so excited to run and to get coloured. We were advancing by groups and getting to know new people in the line while listening to music.

3:45 the run begun, some people were walking and some other were running, there was no competitive spirit just fun and colours. Every kilometre you could enjoy getting splashed by colours every door making you look like a rainbow. From pink to red. We had to go through: green, pink, an unexpected foam zone , orange and finally red.

 

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We arrived at 4:45 at the finish line (yes, we are really slow). Where you could enjoy the music, and dance under the sun. We also threw all at the same time our last bag of colours in the air.

It must really have been the happiest 5K of the planet, we couldn’t see the time flying by as we were walking those 5 kilometres, it was the shortest 5 kilometres we have ever experienced.

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At the end of the event, you could receive a plastic coat to protect others in the metro from getting coloured. When we finally went back to the centre of London, the experience was still in our mind and people were staring at us not knowing the beautiful experience we had. We went home full of thought of the day, and we all shared the feeling that it was continuing as we went back home all colourful, whether it was on our shirts or in our mind.

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It was a beautiful experience to live and If I could do it again, I would do it again – as it was so much fun. 😊

If you missed the event, it is nothing to be worried about – as you can always participate to the next one!

Thank you again to the Australian Au Pairs for their pictures they are all so nice 😊 ❤

Aurelie (right) & Isabelle (left)

Smartaupairs

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Sunday 14th May 2017 : The BAPAA Au Pair River Cruise Event

Last Sunday, the annual BAPAA River Cruise event was THE place to be (for an au pair at least)  😉

Starting at 11 am, approximately 300 au pairs were present ( Thank you so much for coming!). It was a great opportunity for au pairs to meet new friends who are going through the same experience as they are. So many different nationalities were present: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Australian …

Furthermore we had the chance to see historic landmarks throughout our journey : The House of Parliament, Big Ben, London Eye, the London Bridge, … As one of the crew member was giving us crucial details about popular places around the river.

Waving at by-passers on boats and on bridges, we finally arrived at Greenwich where a lot of au pairs visited the market, went to pubs, …

We sat on the grass, talking to each other, discovering each others culture and experience. It was really nice, some exchanged their best tips on how to be a good au pair (even if their is no guide for that).

After spending the afternoon in the park, we finally went back to the boat and returned to where our journey begun. 

It was such a special day for us, we are grateful that so many au pairs came and had a great experience.

If you couldn’t come it’s okay there will always be other events!!

I hope you had a great experience during the event and hope to see you at the next BAPAA event , or simply at the next Smartaupairs event!

Smartaupairs is always trying to get it right for families and au pairs! 🙂

Best Wishes

Isabelle (left) & Aurelie (right)

Smartaupairs

Recent Smartaupairs Meetups -The Boat Race and the Oxford Trip

It’s been so busy we have not yet had the chance to post these pics, better later than never!

In April, we joined the famous Boat race Oxford against Cambridge in London. It is a typical English event where the two large universities compete.

The weather was lovely, it almost felt like summer. We were sitting in a park next to the river and watched the race either on the big screen or live.  The atmosphere was amazing! 😊 There were so many people having picnic, drinks and cheering their team.

Three weeks later we travelled to Oxford together. We joined a free walking tour, which was amazing. The guide showed us the most beautiful and famous buildings and provided us with stories of the city.

In the afternoon, we did Punting. It is a very typical activity where three people are sitting in a punting boat and one person tries to push it forward with a large stick. It is definitely more difficult than it looks 😃

We would say we’ve had two successful days 😉

Thanks to everyone who joined us! :*

Isabelle (Smartaupairs)

Our Top 5 Tips for Finding Au Pair Friends in the UK

Welcome to all au pairs who joined their host family in January! 🙂

An important part of settling in is finding friends in your area. Here are our top 5 tips on how to find friends in the UK.

  1. Join the Smartaupairs Facebook group

Our Facebook group is the perfect place to meet other au pairs in the UK. Au pairs often post here when they first arrive to say ‘hello’ and to find out who is living close to them. Plenty of au pairs are looking for friends here, whether they would like some company on a weekend trip overseas or are looking for someone to meet for coffee. Only au pairs placed through Smartaupairs are accepted into the group, so you can be sure of who you are speaking with.

  1. Use our ‘County Lists’ to find the au pairs who live closest to you

We email the relevant list(s) to au pairs upon confirmation of their placement. You can always access them through the Facebook group too, where they are regularly updated. You will be able to see the au pairs who live closest to you and make contact with them via email.

  1. Join aupairfriends.com

This is a great website, which all au pairs placed through a BAPAA agency have access to. Therefore, if you are living in a slightly more rural location with fewer au pairs around, this could be a valuable resource for you. Register using our agency password.

  1. Download the Excuses to Meet app

Excuses to Meet have recently launched this app, designed to make finding au pair friends much more convenient for you.

Again, you will need our agency password to register with the BAPAA au pairs group (please request this from our team – it does change from time to time due to security). There is also a wider au pair community which is available for all au pairs!

  1. Attend a Smartaupairs event

We regularly hold events for au pairs and you are invited to every one! These range from the big events such as an Introduction Day in September and Boat Trip on the Thames in May with other BAPAA agencies, to the smaller events, e.g. coffee mornings, a day trip to Canterbury, a picnic in one of the big London parks. Below you can see some photos from our recent events!

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Smartaupairs Au Pairs & Holiday Season – Captured in Photos!

Can you believe we are ONLY 12 days into 2017!

After New Year, we asked our au pairs to share photos which captured “Christmas/holiday season spirit” – here are some of their lovely productions.

Again, near enough impossible to select a winner as all entries are lovely – however it had to be done (we ended up doing a draw!)

Congrats Esma, Anna-Lena & Valentina (your prizes will follow shortly).

 

Smartaupairs Does Santa Dash

Have you ever witnessed this many Santa’s in one place? Nor had we… 🙂

Tuuli, Chloe and Luisa (one of our brave au pairs!) took part in the London Santa Dash run yesterday – organised by the Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity. Luisa ran the 5k, and Tuuli and Chloe braved the full 10k stretch.

Luisa had her own support crew of other au pairs to cheer her on! 🙂

Despite the freezing temperatures, nearly 3000 runners took part, all dressed in Santa or other Christmas outfits (reindeers, elves, sledges were also spotted..)

It was such a wonderful event for an even greater cause.

To donate to the Great Ormond Street Hospital – please follow this link: https://donate.gosh.org/

Guest Blog from Au Pair Evelien

Evelien is a 19 year old Dutch au pair, who started her placement with her host family in Surrey in October. Here she shares two of her blog posts, describing her experiences of two key events: Halloween and Bonfire Night!

1st November 2016

Hey everyone,

This blog post is about a holiday that I thought was only celebrated this big in America, but I was wrong: in England, they celebrated just as big.

It all started two weeks ago, my host mum was talking about home decorations, carving pumpkins, and she told me that I had to have an outfit.

I still hadn’t found anything to wear the Friday before Halloween, so I went to town with my friend, Gemma. All the shops were full of Halloween decorations and different kinds of outfits. Eventually I found a nurse (or waiter’s) dress that wasn’t too expensive and it looked quite okay, so I bought that one.

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On Saturday, I went to an event called “Pillage the village!” in Reigate with my host family. All the shops with the black and orange balloons outside participated. It meant that we could trick or treat at those shops. After visiting a lot of houses, we went to a super scary Halloween house too. The children were so scared that one floor was enough for them, so we went on to a nice little restaurant and had some food.

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It was time to go home now, to carve the pumpkins! Before we got started we made some sketches, and then we had to clean the pumpkins. What a work! Carving the pumpkins was quite some work too! It was harder than I thought it would be, but these are the results:

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The next day, it was time to make the front yard Halloween-proof.
We had orange spider webs, spiders, rats etc. to decorate the yard. It was super fun to do and in the dark it looked super scary!

The first Monday after the midterm break, we went home very quickly to put on our Halloween outfits again, this time to go to a friend’s house. They threw a Halloween party with Halloween food and stuff like that. After having our “fingers with blood” and “dead body pudding” we went outside to search for pumpkins at people’s houses, where we could trick or treat.  The children were super excited, that was so nice to see! Even the children who are usually quite shy, were now the first to ring the doorbell!

When our buckets were full of candy, it was time to get home.

What a nice first experience of celebrating Halloween! I loved it (:

Lots of Love,

Evelien.

 

8th November 2016

Three days ago it was Guy Fawkes Night. This is an event in England were they celebrate that the parliament wasn’t attacked in 1605. In these days there were plans in London to destroy the parliament. Today they celebrate this with campfires and lots of fireworks.

On Friday I picked up the boys from school, we went to The Bicycle Shop; this is not only a shop but also a café. After a coffee, my host dad arrived and we went to the Fish and Chips Shop. There I had a real English dinner!

After dinner it was time to go to school to see the fireworks. It was an amazing, lots of different colours and music all on. They made a real show of it 🙂

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The days before and after I still heard fireworks at night on the streets.

Last Sunday, I went to Brighton with three of my friends. In the morning somewhere around 10 o’clock we took the train and after 30 minutes we were at Brighton!  Brighton is a amazing city, everywhere wall paintings, nice little shops and lots of second hand shops.

The atmosphere in the city is chill and calm, nothing needs to happen and everything is okay. It’s a bit like a student city.

First we went to The Lanes, these are small streets with little shops. Not the big brands but little private shops. It reminds me of some streets in my hometown. We went to a big second hand shop were we saw a photo booth we needed to take a crazy picture in there!

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We walked on, then we saw a fudge shop, on the windows were stickers of prices. This was something we really wanted to taste. It was out of this world so delicious. We had three different flavours, sea salt, vanilla and strawberry.

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After The Lanes it was time for the Pavilion building. This is a big concert building that looks like a fairy tale one. It looks like Aladdin could live there 🙂 We could see a little bit inside and after that we went to the big garden behind the building. There we have had lunch and we went to the most famous place in Brighton, the Pier.

When we walked on the Brighton Pier and we ate our fudge, but this was not a good idea. We were attacked by some seagulls, super scary! They took the fudge out of my hand and bit me. We ate our fudge quick and went to the arcades. Of course we needed to try this! We spent too much money but we got two little key rings 🙂

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We walked to the end of the Pier, over there it looks like a fairground. Attractions everywhere, but we spend already too much money so we went back to the station.

Back in Redhill we wanted pizza, so we went to a pizza place and had a lovely pizza. Super end of the day!

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Lots of love,

Evelien

If you would like to keep up with Evelien’s au pair experience, you can read her blog here.

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