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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Dreaming of an Irish Christmas


canstockphoto9751902_EducationToday, I had a look at some of the topics of my previous post. What strikes me is that a large number of the posts is about school. While I have done my best to describe the school building and the rooms, I realize that without actually seeing a picture it’s hard to imagine what it’s really like.

I want you to try a little experiment: Have a friend or colleague describe something to you and try to draw a picture at the same time. Then show the picture to the friend and see how reality and picture match.

So now you know why I took some many photos of the school and posted them on my blog. From now on, whenever I write about a certain room or area at school, you can look at the pictures and you will know exactly what I’m talking about.

1964052823787147144Christmas is approaching quickly and there is a lot of frantic activity, with people trying to buy the right gifts for friends and family. At home, I usually have a very good idea of what I want to buy, but here it’s a bit different. Obviously, I don’t know my host family as well as my family back home and I don’t really know what they might like or not like.

I’m sure you all know the feeling, when you absolutely have to buy a Christmas present for someone at the last minute. In Switzerland I usually buy at least one gift for everyone who participates in our yearly Christmas celebration (including my clumsy cat).

222323Since I will be spending Christmas here in Ireland together with my host family, I will need to get presents for them as well. Obviously I can’t share my ideas with you yet because there is a possibility that Conor is secretly reading my blog to discover what he might get for Christmas. Conor, if you’re reading: yes, it will be a Santa Christmas sweater! But seriously, I’m not going to reveal my secret “gift ideas” before Christmas. To my readers: If you have any ideas for host-family Christmas presents, write a comment please! Thanks!


If you have followed my posts on the Irish weather then you should know that it’s very windy at this time of year. My school bag is quite heavy and that’s a good thing! One morning I accidentally left without it and the wind almost lifted me off my feet…

2000px-Zeichen_113.svgThere is no snow at the moment, but the ground is icy and it’s easy to slip and fall if you’re not careful. I saw at least twenty students limping around the school building today, holding their backs and displaying a painful facial expression. It’s a constant reminder that I must tread carefully!

More about Christmas in Ireland in my next posts….

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Victorious Saturday

English Version

396878_352513241489391_429753844_n (1)It’s Saturday and I’m still sleeping. It’s great to sleep, I really love it. The best feeling is if you can stay awake until 2 o’clock the night before and know that you don’t have to get up the next morning. I know it’s not the healthiest habit but the best things in live are unhealthy, don’t you think?

But Margaret wakes me up early because today I will finally get the chance to see Conor playing football. So far, whenever I wanted to go, it didn’t work out for one reason or another. I’m sure you remember Eduardo my Mexican roommate. He is also going to join us. I quickly put on some clothes and then we all get in the car together and drive out to Conors game.

1f860ec481bf93be785a77e9ddb7922f8ef777842a12a4c8d799142ca75296baAs we get out the car, it’s quite windy and cold. Some would even say it’s freezing cold. It looks like it’s going to start to rain very soon. The playing field is nothing special, there are no benches to sit on or anything. So people just stand around the field and watch the action. Conor joins his team and they go through a training and warmup session before the start of the game.

While Conor is getting ready we are preparing our cameras for the big moment. Shortly before the game starts each of the two team gets together and discusses some last minute strategy options for winning the game. Soon after, the referee blows his whistle and that’s the signal for the kickoff. Conor plays very well and after just a couple of minutes he takes a first shot at the goal. The goalkeeper is ready and catches the ball. The game continues with a few attempts on the goal on either side. Conor’s team wins 1:0 in the end. Well played, Conor!


Margaret asks me if I would also like to see Sean playing and of course I’m interested to compare the two brothers and how they play. Sean’s match takes place on another football field not too far away. It’s only a ten minute drive from where we are. Because Sean plays in one of the higher leagues, his game takes place in one of the local stadiums. Sean is there but he doesn’t actually get to play today since he has to sit on the bench all the time. He plays a bit for fun during half-break and I can see that he is quite a talented player. It does actually start to rain during the game and we even get to see one of the well-known Irish rainbows. The playing field is always nice and green in Ireland but the disadvantage is that you have to play in the rain a lot. Sean’s team wins too and so it’s a successful day for my host family. Both sons win their game!iStock_Goal

112315Sunday comes around and I’m preparing for a typical homework day. But then something funny happens: One of Eduardo’s friends comes to visit him and he is from Switzerland! For the first time in several months I get to speak Swiss German again. The funny thing is that I didn’t really remember everything and it was difficult to form German sentences because I haven’t spoken German for so long. Eduardo’s friend attends one of the schools in Dublin so he was only able to stay for one hour. Still it was a fun experience to speak a bit of German again after almost two months of speaking only English.

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