The first day


Host Father was recently persuaded by a friend, Julia, that he needed to exercise more (actually, Host Father already knew this but was very reluctant to do anything about it) and proposed that, as she also needed to take more exercise, every Saturday and Sunday morning commencing at 8am he and she should meet up and take a decent walk. Anyone else interested could go along.

This was the second weekend that the exercise programme was in force. It was his turn to go to her house. Julia’s husband, Peter, is very fit and likes walking so he came along as well. It was fun. The following day, also to start from her house, was to be a little more ambitious with a route planned by Peter. Mutty would be joining us (if she wanted to).

Understanding English

On Host Father’s return home, Mutty and the rest of the family were up and about and having breakfast. Mutty was smiling and doing her best to fit in with the strange goings on around her. Clearly she was struggling with our English. We know that it troubled her that she was struggling to understand us and I think she was worried that it would bother us. It didn’t bother us of course. It is an interesting challenge to find ways to explain things to someone from a different culture who has a limited capability in your language. It makes you think again about the things you take for granted.

Telford Shopping Centre

Younger Host Sister is a member of a semi-professional amateur dramatics organisation. She was due to take part in some auditions on the Saturday and the Sunday. We all bundled into the car as lunch time was approaching and headed off to the appropriate venue to drop her off. Once done, we carried on into the nearby town centre of Telford. A modern shopping centre with entertainment facilities such as ice skating, cinema, bowling, park, etc. We are not fans of Telford particularly thinking it a relatively poorly stocked shopping centre that is poorly served in the food arena. There are the usual MacDonald type offerings but not much else.

We took 10 minutes to walk to the restaurant/cafe located next to the International Conferencing Centre but despite it being early afternoon, and despite sign boards scattered all over the place telling us they were now serving food, we found the place to be empty. We checked out another couple of places before finally choosing some basic food at a coffee shop. Never mind, it gave Mutty a good chance to take a look around. In fact, she went off with Host Mother for a while to do some clothes shopping whilst Older Host Sister and Host Father headed off on a shopping mission focused around the just released PlayStationPersonal game machine.

10-pin bowling

We met up a little later and decided to play 10-pin bowling. This was great fun. Mutty proved to be far more experienced at this than the rest of us and basically thrashed us. Older Host Sister proved again that she is not a natural at this particular sport.

We headed back home with a quick stop to pick up Younger Host Sister.


Mutty seemed to enjoy herself but was obviously still tired from her travels as well as with the strain of communicating in English and trying to take in what was going on around her.

Tomorrow morning she would meet some typically English somewhat eccentric people (in the nicest possible sense) and go for a moderately challenging walk.

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