Saturday, 8 March 2014

Spring-series VI.

Springtime ignites a whole new attitude in city dwellers. The heavy layers shed, the Frisbees start flying, and a state of happiness sets in. With sunny weather comes happy days.

Even when it rains outside, we’ve got some idea what to do indoors. Let’s start with something gracious, something very english – a required reading for day-dreamers:

Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is one of the best-loved novels of all time and today, it's more popular than ever.

When the wealthy and very eligible bachelor Charles Bingley purchases an estate in the Bennets' small town, he and the beautiful Jane immediately fall in love. 

But Bingley's arrogant friend Darcy just as quickly alienates Lizzy when she overhears him speaking dismissively of her.
These first impressions have lasting repercussions for Jane, Elizabeth, and their whole family.

Rich in wit and wisdom, humor and humanity, Pride and Prejudice takes a probing, entertaining look at the nature of love, money, and power in Georgian England.

“A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.”                                    Jane Austen

Friday, 7 March 2014

Spring-series V.

„Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.”                                                                           Maria Rilke

Spring is green, tender, and alive. It’s the childhood stage of the seasons of transitions where innocence and purity permeate the atmosphere.

Spring seems to bring a rebirth to all of nature.  The blossoms arrive, the yellow daffodils and tulips show their colors, and the trees begin to display the light green shades of new leaves.  Our gardens begin to show signs of new life as the vegetables rise from the soil.  Spring means rebirth.

For animals, this season is a time of emergence and migration. Insects and hibernators emerge from their winter sleeping places.
Birds stake out their breeding, nesting and feeding territories so they may raise their young. The air is filled with birdsong.

Bees and bee mimics fly through the air to pollinate trees, shrubs and native flowers. Butterflies emerge after overwintering in tree crevices, as adults. Salamanders, toads and frogs emerge from hibernation. Frogs sing their mating songs.

„The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.”                                                    Bern Williams

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Spring-series IV.

With what feels like months of cold, wet weather behind us - and who knows how many more ahead, now’s the time to start dreaming of spring and unleashing your spring/summer things from their winter storage hell.

Looking flowery and graphically bold, futuristic and charmingly antiquated, style is at crossroads. Vintage clothing can help you cover the vast territory for spring.

This spring and summer before you even step foot in a store, we invite you to first go through and have a look at what you already have from last summer and even treasure from years ago.

You would be amazed on how easy it is to recraft your spring summer fashions with style and color. A great way to revitalize your wardrobe with a fresh new look, is to paint on it. At style with fabulous designs and colours.

It is a pleasure when you wear something unique and it’s all done by you.
To made creative accessories you do not have to be designer, either.
Homemade accessories you can do alone at home. All you need is a little time and good mood to produce something by yourself.
Here is an idea that you can combine with yours and you will become an accessories designer.
It is not that hard to made something unique that you will call it by your own brand “Homemade”.

„Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.”                                                       Swami Vivekananda

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Spring-series III.

For travelers seeking affordable prices, small crowds and pleasant weather, spring is the perfect time of year to travel. Many destinations are at their best during the spring, when temperatures are warm but not too hot, lively seasonal festivals are going on, and blooming flowers set parks and gardens ablaze with color.

Our stunning spring destinations are wonderful to visit throughout the year, but each place is especially dazzling and unforgettable in the spring.

Paris, France

There are lots of reasons that the old song lauds 
Paris in the spring, but here's just one of many: the city's famous gardens and parks are simply breathtaking this time of year.

A few days of strolling past 17th-century fountains, banana trees, roses and majestic sculptures nestled in the leafy hidden corners of Parisian gardens will make you too fall in love with springtime in the City of Lights.

The Netherlands

You've seen pictures of those iconic flower fields in the Dutch countryside, but a real-life look at the massive fields is an unforgettable and astonishing experience.

The Keukenhof Gardens, open from March to May, are one of the best places to see more than seven million tulips in full, vivid splendor.

Another fantastic way to see Holland's flower fields is to take a bicycle tour along the Flower Bulb Route in North Holland.

April is the best month to go to the Netherlands if you want to see blooming daffodils, and for the best views of the tulip fields at their peak, visit in May.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Spring-series II.

With the warmer weather here, we've got the recipe of the great lemon sparkle cupcakes for a perfect picnic. So spring into it!

Lemon Sparkle Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream 2/3 cup of shortening and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Combine 2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with 2/3 cup of milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel.Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. 
Combine topping ingredients: 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg; sprinkle a rounded 1/2 teaspoonful over each cupcake. Bake 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Sometimes we may forget to focus on what will make us happier, like being outside and seeing the amazing flowers and tree blossoms right outside our doors. Of course work and daily eating and exercising can add happiness, but when we focus on what can bring more happiness this springtime, it can inspire us to take action on planting that garden or planning that vacation or reaching out to friends to go have more outdoor fun, or buying that new bike to take out on trails.

Monday, 3 March 2014


“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.”  Ernest Hemingway

Spring is the most anticipated, exciting, and blessed season of the year.  The cold weather, low temperatures, bracing wind, and even occasional snow and ice all pass away.  The deadness of the trees, the barrenness of the gardens, and the colorless grass pass away, to be replaced with refreshing showers, delightful temperatures, and bright sunshine of March, April, and May.  The summer’s burning rays and burdensome heat have not yet arrived. Spring is a delightful time.

For most people that means getting outside and seeing everything bloom, including us. Spring offers warmer days and lighter and longer evenings, which means we are more inclined to exercise and spend outdoor time and activities with friends.

To make things a little easier, we made this sort for the first week of spring, that will help you keep yourself cheering and enthusiastic!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Valentine’s Day

Saint Valentine's Day is celebrated in many countries around the world on the 14th February each year.

Folk traditions

While the custom of sending cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts originated, Valentine's Day still remains connected with various regional customs.

In Norfolk, a character called 'Jack' Valentine knocks on the rear door of houses leaving sweets and presents for children. Although he was leaving treats, many children were scared of this mystical person.

In Slovenia, Saint Valentine or ’Zdravko’ was one of the saints of spring, the saint of good health and the patron of beekeepers and pilgrims. It is also said that birds propose to each other or marry on Valentine’s day.

In South Korea women give chocolate to men on the 14th February, and men give non-chocolate candy to women on the 14th March (White Day). On the 14th April (Black Day), those who did not receive anything on the 14th February or March go to a Korean restaurant to eat black and "mourn" their single life.

Legend or history?

A popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. An embellishment to this story states that before his execution he wrote her a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Something that you need to know about Santa Claus…

Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas and simply "Santa", is a fantasy figure with legendary, mythical, historical and folkloric origins who, in many western cultures, is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children on the night before Christmas, December 24.

In the United States and Canada, children traditionally leave Santa a glass of milk and a plate of cookies; in Britain and Australia, he is sometimes given sherry or beer, and mince pies instead. In Sweden and Norway, children leave rice porridge. In Ireland it is popular to give him Guinness or milk, along with Christmas pudding or mince pies.

During the Christianization of Germanic Europe, the figure of Santa Claus may have absorbed elements of the god Odin, who was associated with the Germanic pagan midwinter event of Yule and led the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky.

The tradition of Santa Claus entering dwellings through the chimney is shared by many European seasonal gift-givers. In pre-Christian Norse tradition, Odin would often enter through chimneys and fireholes on the solstice.

In Hungary, St. Nicolaus comes on the night of December 5 and children get their gifts the next morning. They get sweets in a bag if they were good, and a golden colored birch switch if not.

On Christmas Eve "Little Jesus" himself comes and gives gifts for everyone…

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Halloween meals

Fun-sized treats have their place, but why not go beyond the candy corn this year with a sweet or savory recipe that won't scare you away?

Apple bites

These toothsome treats are a fun and healthy break from Halloween sweets.

What you'll need

·         Apples
·         Slivered almonds

(If you're not going to serve them right away, baste the apples with orange juice to keep them from browning.)

How to make it

1.  Just quarter and core an apple, cut a wedge from the skin side of each quarter, then press slivered almonds in place for teeth.

Pizza Mummies

Disguises aren't just for Halloween. Surprise your family with these dressed-up, spooky-looking snacks any time of year.

What you'll need

·         English muffins
·         Pizza sauce
·         Black olives
·         Scallions
·         Red or green pepper
·         Cheese sticks or slices

How to make it

1. Heat the oven to 180º C. For each mummy, spread a tablespoon of pizza sauce onto half of an English muffin (toast it first, if you like). Set olive slices in place for eyes and add round slices of green onion or bits of red or green pepper for pupils.

2. Lay strips of cheese across the muffin for the mummy's wrappings.

3. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the muffin is toasty.

Thursday, 3 October 2013


Wirksworth is one of the oldest towns of the Peak District (Derbyshire, England), and is still one with a great character.

Centred around its marketplace, where markets have been held since Edward I granted the right in 1306, it has many fine old buildings with picturesque alleys and craftsmen's yards. The reason for the splendour of many of the buildings is Wirksworth's historical trade - it was the southern centre of the Derbyshire lead industry and the Soke and Wapentake of Wirksworth, as it was called, was one of the most productive mining areas.

The town prospered through Mediaeval times, giving rise to a fine 13th century church which replaced a Norman one which in turn had replaced a Saxon church.

The town was for many years under the influence of the Gell family who were lords of the manor and based at nearby Hopton Hall. Sir Anthony Gell founded the local school in 1546 and Sir John Gell was a Parliamentary general in the Civil War.

The town is now a small bustling local centre whose main industry is limestone quarrying. It has a range of small shops and as many pubs as you would expect in an old market town, of which the Hope and Anchor, the Red Lion and the Black's Head are the most notable. 

The town has a welldressing in Whit week, and every September there occurs the unusual ceremony of 'Clypping', in which the church is encircled by the congregation holding hands around it.

Wirksworth has also recently developed an excellent Arts Festival, which happens over a weekend in September. The Festival includes all forms of Art, with the market Square the centre for music, dance and street acts while many of the houses around the village play hosts to many different forms of artistic expression.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Windmill Farm - 5-star holiday cottages in the English countryside

Situated on the fringes of the Peak District, Weathericks self-catering holiday cottages offer premium accommodation surrounded by stunning scenery and historic market towns. Whether you are looking for a relaxing break or a luxury base to explore the Peaks, the crofts provide a unique and comfortable setting.

The larger of the two cottages, Bradstones was once a barn used to house cattle. Renovation has transformed the steading into a luxurious and spacious cottage whilst retaining its character.

The stable door opens into a large, open-plan kitchen complete with a dining table and chairs. The kitchen is fitted with hand-made pine units and all the appliances needed to make you feel right at home. The large wooden dining table allows easy access around the kitchen.

Into the sitting room, you are greeted by two large sofas, a coffee table and a large stone fireplace, cast iron fire with a gas coal effect stove. The beamed roof and flag stoned wall and stairway maintain the history of the building and a set of large doors lead into a small furnished patio.

The traditionally decorated stairway (take care when going up and down) leads to a bright landing off which are the bedrooms and bathroom.

In the smaller cottage, Weathericks, you'll find a full range of appliances and plenty of storage space. The kitchen holds a large dining table that sits six. The beamed ceiling retains the character and history of this old barn at no cost to the luxury.

The sitting room's main feature is the gritstone fireplace with a gas coal effect log burning stove. The large sofa offers beautiful views out the patio doors towards Carsington Water reservoir. The patio is furnished with a table and chairs and leads into the shared lawn area…

„Jean! We loved it... Roses, wine, wildflower meadow, our own peacock and its love affair with the pleasant, and dinner outside under the moon; you didn't forget a thing! We could live here forever. You've done an amazing job with these two cottages - thank you so much!”
Joe Hall and Sue Branch, Massachusetts, USA - May '12

Our language school regularly organizes intensive language courses with native teachers to Weathericks and Bradstones cottages. 
But if you just want to spend some time in the English countryside with your family, Jean Hurdle, our host would also welcome you to her farm. 
You can find more information about it on the following website:

From November, 2013, a low-cost airline, Jet2 flies from Budapest to East Midlands airport which is just a stone's throw from the cottages.