Bearder’s back! Back in the real world and free from the all-consuming CELTA work load. You’ll be pleased to hear that I passed and Cambridge Uni have honourably certified me to teach the Bearder drool to the rest of the world. Next time you hear a Slovene say ‘pass ve wa’er’ you’ll know I’ve been hard at work.

Now, before I continue, I have a few apologies to make. The first of these goes to my long suffering ‘old boy’ (Dad) because, once again – I forgot his birthday. For 29 years he’s been consistently good and remembering mine and I’ve been as consistent at forgetting his. So, once again Dad – Happy Birthday and sorry it’s late. I won’t say how old you are but, although your still more than twice my age – I’m narrowing the gap.

The second apology goes to almost everyone else and that probably includes you. Since spinning-out on the autobahn, popping in on Liechenstien and then driving through a very long tunnel en-route to Slovenia, I’ve pretty much ‘gone underground’ and hidden from the real world and all it’s responsibilities.

Cooking, washing, shaving, daylight and communicating with people (sending emails) were all forgotten as I morphed from social human to stressed out Celtoid. So, I’m sorry to everyone who I’ve seemingly ignored – its not because I don’t love you – it’s just that I don’t care. Sorry, I mean it’s just that I had too much to think of! – I’m getting old you see. However, please don’t cross me off the Christmas card list just yet, I do love you – I just need a little more time to find a job, and a house and a tax number etc etc and I’ll be back in good social form and I’ll be in

OK, spineless grovelling over – now it’s back to the important business of writing stuff on here simply because I can.

So what’s been happening.

1 CELTA. It’s hard, intense, fun, bizarre, long, engaging, well run, badly graded, odd, useful, transferable and lots of things in between.

2. Everything else…

Everything else has been squished in the gaps between lessons and assignments but they’ve been alotta fun.

Two weeks ago a good friend called Adam Riley arrived from sunny Oxford and we went skiing in Cerkno which is somewhere in the Alps – the other side of a town called ‘Skanky local’.

We had a good day skiing and then a good night drinking with some bugs, some devils, some pregnant angels, Dorothy, the Lion with no courage and the tin man and most bizarrely of all – Vicky Pollard!!

It seems that pancake day creates more than a surge in Jiff Lemon sales here in Slovenia and the crazy fools designate a whole week to dressing up. We celebrated the last night of this oddness dancing with some Christmas presents at a student ball.

Adam took some of the best photos I’ve ever seen on a phone camera and then lost his phone. Good work Adam.

The following week was the last one of the course so it was a little intense however, we all passed and no students were harmed in the process. The course tutors, us (the students) and some other ‘real’ teachers hit the town for some local Slovene nosh and the odd Lasko or two. Amounst other things we discussed travel, the wrongness of the way Nick pronounces puppies (said like poppies) and the great understatement in the name ‘bridge of sighs’ (should be the bridge of ahhh ahhhh arrrrrggghhh noooooo ….I’m innocent)

With the course out the way we decided on a road trip to Bovec (pronounced Bovets) for few days of chilling, eating and skiing. The hour and a half drive there took us through a long tunnel (getting used to these now) into Austria, accross into Italy and then back to Slovenia.

Now, in Slovenia, like a lot of other places in Europe, you have to pay a toll to use the motorway. This is annoying but not too much of a hastle as they stop you in the middle of the road, take your 1 euro 60 cents, laugh at your silly English car and wave you off. Not in Austria though – Austria has a toll but doesn’t (insert endless expletives here) tell you about it. No useful toll stations in the middle of the road, no signs – nothing. In fact they only tell you about it 10 minutes later as you attempt to cross into toll-free and much friendlier Italy. 120 Euros that trip cost us. ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY hard earned euro and not a cent less. I suspect they’ve worked out that this is the most efficient way to shaft unsuspecting foreigners and raise money so when they are old they can take train journeys (recall last experience of Austria) and sit and tell English people, to their face, how much they hate the English.

As you can imagen, Austria has been used as an expletive since then. Anyone who farts has ‘done and Austrian’

The rest of the trip was superb though (see photos below) and the Alps were just as stuunning as I remember. We travelled on the longest cable-car I’ve ever been on (all 7km and 30 minutes of it), drove alongside the emerald green Soca river and even popped back into Italy for a drive and a spot of lunch. I also chilled out (literally) by the first frozen lake I’ve ever seen and successfully navigated some of the windiest roads. If you’re ever in the region, the Trenta valley is a must. Also, if you’re ever in Slovenia and your hungry, get yourself to the nearest Gostilna. Until now I stupidly avoided them thinking they were posh, expensive places. How wrong I was. Translated, I think gostilna means “Place that sells a large range of top notch (and large) local dishes, has good service, a friendly atmosphere, bread and olive oil whilst you wait and will not cost you more than 10 euros for a meal and a beer”

So, fully relaxed and without any broken bones, I’m back in Lj, still in the hostel and looking for work. Actually, after two successful interviews on Thursday and Friday I’ve been given my first real assignment. I have a whopping 3 hours next Thursday. It’s a start, but I’ll be kipping in the car unless I get some money soon so I better keep looking. Talking of cars, my exhaust has started ‘blowing’ in the wrong places so that’ll eat a few euros.

What else is new? Oh I’ve met a lot of other teachers and random English people here in Lj and even met a paralel me. James Henderson left his job in Oxford, studied a CELTA course and arrived in Lj at the end of January to look for work. He’s a good lad and a better blogger than me. You can read his experiences here. Until now I’ve given Mr Henderson a fair amount of greif for choosing (he did it himself) to spell his name ‘Jaimie’ with the extra i. However, It’s just dawned on me that I spell Edd with 2 d’s – and it’s not even my name. Oh, if one co-incidental meeting wasn’t enough, I also studied the CELTA with a girl called Bethany who has a best friend who’s currently studying on Dad’s Masters course. Small world eh?

So, as it stands I’m liking:
No TV for five weeks
Not having a job
The food
The beer
The mountains

I’m not liking:
No TV for 5 weeks
Not having a job
Not having a kitchen
Not being able to see everyone at home

Things I’m planning on next:
Finding somewhere to live with a kitchen and a TV
Finding more work
Emailing everyone to say hi

Be good

A very long tunnel in Austria.

Those funny things in Liechtenstein – we stopped there so Pete could ‘claim’ he’d been there. Alas, the hotel I stayed at last year was closed so we continued…

Dirty and tired, but in one piece Obi (the car), me and Pete arrive at the Slovene border

Alpine relief in Cerkno

Nick aka ‘Nobby from Biker Grove’ thinks its cool and funny to drink red wine and orange juice. Why would you do that?

The Soca river. If it wasn’t close to freezing I’d probably have jumped in.

Chilling by a chilly lake

Team UK (Jaimie, Green, Nick and Simon)

Jiaimie – He drinks ‘Mad Bat’ energy drinks and goes out at night

The line shows where the snow stops and turns into rain. We had a very wet night

Stunning view – somewhere between Bovec and Kranjka Gora

Mountain Eddy

The best beer in Europe – possibly the world.

Skiing in Kanin

Jiaimie after a Mad Bat. Actually he’s angry because we arrived at the end of the 7km, 30 minute cable-car to discover that the Ski rental shop was back in the town. We did dome extreme cable-caring that day.

Don’t jump

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