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
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.
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.
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:
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,
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 🙂
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!
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.
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 🙂
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!
Lots of love,
If you would like to keep up with Evelien’s au pair experience, you can read her blog here.