Charred Burgers


storytime logo fall 2013This little story here happened just before Christmas and is the reason why I’m trying to stay away from the kitchen. I was just walking home from the gym when I heard an alarm in the distance. I was still quite far away from the house so I didn’t really pay attention to the sound. But as it got louder and I got closer to home, I was beginning to worry. But as I turned the corner, everything looked normal. The house looked quiet and there was nobody in sight.

1225769917616128498ossidiana_running_boy.svg.hiJust then the door burst open and Conor ran out of the house. He was running really fast and he was coughing violently at the same time. Thinking that Conor was acting a bit unusual but paying no further attention to his strange behaviour, I went into the house. But immediately, I saw a huge cloud of smoke coming my way from the general direction of the kitchen. So I turned around and went back outside and started looking for Conor.

I soon found him and he explained what happened. Margaret must have been cooking some burgers in the kitchen and then she must have left the kitchen unattended for just a couple of minutes. During this time the burgers must have caught fire.


There is no fire alarm in the kitchen because the cooking fumes would cause too many false alarms. But as the fire got bigger and as the smoke clouds made their way into the living room, the fire alarm went off eventually.

fire_extinguisherThis is when Margaret finally realized that something was wrong and hurried back into the kitchen as quickly as possible. But she couldn’t do anything right away because the fire was already too big. Still somehow she must have managed to put out most of the fire before it caused any major damage.

Remember the incident where I had to throw the blender into the backyard? Well, this time it wasn’t me.


Conor and I thought that the worst was over and after 15 minutes of standing and waiting for the smoke to clear, I made a bad decision. I tried to get back into my room. I held my breath and ran through the still heavy smoke up to the attic. The smoke was everywhere, not just in the kitchen and it seemed like my room was the worst place in the whole house. I held my hand in front of my face but I could not see it because of all the smoke. My room doesn’t have a door, so there’s no way to block out the fumes.

(For all the new followers who don’t know what my room looks like: here is a video)

I started to feel the lack of oxygen and had to cough and started to get the feeling that I was about to pass out. Just before that happened, I opened the window and leaned out, gasping for air. Once I had recovered a bit, I made my way to the other window in the room and opened that too.


It took ages before the smoke finally cleared and I was able to close the windows again. With my lungs full of smoke and feeling really cold from the winter air, I went downstairs to check the kitchen. We were lucky, there wasn’t a big damage! Only the burgers were completely ruined.

I’m not making this incident up, this is exactly how it happened. And right after this I decided I wouldn’t cook any Swiss recipes for my host family for Christmas.

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Irish Christmas Reloaded


wolf-moon-artwork-1920x1200It was a typical freezing winter day in Ireland, the icy wind was blowing and everything was covered by heavy clouds of fog. It was still dark when I made my way to the bus station. The scenery reminded me of one of those classic B-movies where creatures of the night suddenly jump out of the fog and attack. A full moon was breaking through the clouds and the mood was strange and gloomy.

I could see the headlights of the bus approaching through the fog otherwise I might have missed it and would probably have been caught by a werewolf and dragged to some remote cave dwelling. They say that garlic can keep vampires away but a werewolf actually welcomes garlic because that way he can spice up his meal.

worried-omg-run-male-l (1)

Anyway, as soon as I passed the school doors I felt safe, because they lock up the school building during the day. They always tell us that those closed doors should prevent us from sneaking outside during class, but it’s probably also to keep strange creatures from entering the halls. Werewolves don’t carry school ID cards.

Download (1)Do you remember the King Lear essay I had to write at the end of the school term? Today as I was sitting in English class, I noticed a stack of these essays on my teacher’s desk.  Out teacher tells us that we still have to improve a lot and explains us our mistakes in details before she returns the graded essays. Whenever she talked about a mistake my first thought was: “Oh no, I think I did that too!” I’m starting to get a bad feeling about this. In the end, it turns out that I got a C1 which is a passing grade but not as good as I had hoped. The best grade was a B3, so I guess everyone had a a hard time with the difficult subject.

jackie-chan-wtf-meme-face-70958233396To make matters worse, the principal then announces the schedule for the January exams. They are going start two weeks from today and will cover everything we’ve learned so far in all subjects. The chemistry exam has been scheduled for next Friday. I guess I can say goodbye to another relaxing weekend. The holidays are well and truly over!

before_after_christmas_plaque-r3ec0fea7227e4a0eb599a0bbcf1249f4_ar56b_8byvr_324Speaking of holidays: As promised here is part two of story of Tim’s Irish Christmas. In this second part I’m going to tell you about the 25th of December and the actual Christmas day! What did you get for Christmas Tim? I got fat, that’s what I got, but also a few other gifts. I woke up at noon, walked downstairs where Margaret was already waiting for me with presents in her hand, presents for me! Unfortunately there was a condition I had to accept before she was willing to give me those presents. At first I thought that it couldn’t be that big of a deal and those presents were looking to nice to say no anyway.

The next thing I remember is sitting on the couch and being quite embarrassed. Why? The picture says it all. Do you notice the Christmas hat and the incredibly silly tie? I felt like Christmas clown. Of course, everyone else was also wearing a Christmas outfit so I was able to blend right in.


Now that I was suitably dressed for the occasion, it was time to open the presents. I got a new cotton pyjama. Remember that my room is in the attic and that it can get a bit chilly especially during the winter season. So a warm pyjama is the perfect present. I also got a lot of chocolate and sweets.

WM7r3TiRemember my Blog post “Dreaming of an Irish Christmas” when I asked you for ideas for presents for my host family? Some of you have suggested baking or cooking for the family and actually that’s what I was planning to do. Unfortunately, we’ve had a small fire in the kitchen during the holiday. I swear, I had nothing to do with it this time! Remembering my own unfortunate accident with the mixer made me think twice about returning to the kitchen and the fire made me think that the kitchen might be cursed. So I decided on a different and more traditional present: Chocolate.

You should have seen me climbing down those stairs and carrying all the chocolate I bought. There are so many different types and flavours of chocolate that I decided to just buy them all:

toblerone-pieces-webToblerone, chocolate bars, chocolate gift boxes and more. I was the spirit of Chocolate Christmas… My Host-Family loves chocolate, so this was a very good idea. But I still ask myself how we were able to eat all this chocolate so fast.  A few days after Christmas everything was gone already! And that’s on top of everything else we ate that evening including the delicious Christmas dinner.

We started dinner at about three o’clock which was earlier than usual but there was so much to eat and so little time! There was so food, and I already felt full after the starter. It was so much that even two weeks after Christmas, I still get lunch sandwiches for school filled with Christmas ham. But I’m not complaining, in fact everything was absolutely delicious including the giant stuffed Christmas turkey.

After the Christmas dinner I couldn’t move for at least an hour, as I felt so full. And just when I thought I could not eat a single bite more, it was time for dessert: Christmas pudding! Robert had to set it ablaze with whisky first, which was an interesting experience. I know that I have some younger readers, so pleased kids don’t try this at home!

After this wonderful dinner we then went into the living room and watched some Christmas movies together. Every now and then one of us would head for the kitchen to get another round of dessert…

Here are some pictures of this memorable Christmas dinner.



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