English riding in Trieste

Last week my daughter took part in a six day summer horse riding course at Circolo Ippico Triestino. It was her first time at the stable and I must say that  it was an entirely positive experience. She came home each day glowing with enthusiasm and covered in dirt. Giving my children such experiences really brings joy to my heart, I truly hope she will continue riding with them throughout the coming school year.

It will also be a great opportunity for me to learn and share some horse riding  vocabulary. 🙂

Wii-ing in the Classroom

Earlier this week I experimented with using a Nintendo Wii in one of my English language classes.  I had been thinking about it for a while and, after quietly gathering a few bits and pieces, surprised my young students with it for our final pre-summer lesson.

It was a great success, I connected the console to the classroom’s overhead projector and projected it onto the room’s large Multimedia board.  It was a great sight. 🙂

For this first experimental lesson I chose to use ‘My first Songs‘ which is a nursery rhyme karaoke game.  The children found it quite a challenge, but it was one that they certainly enjoyed.

I am really  looking forward to incorporating the console further into my future programmes.

Rory’s Story Cubes

I am always looking for new toys, so during my last hop to London I picked up a couple of boxes of ‘Rory’s Story Cubes’.

I thought that they could be fun to play with in my more advanced classes, and I was so right. 🙂 Last week The No. 1 Ladies’ discussion group became the first group to use them and it was an astounding success. We had so much fun.

Capo in B

This is Trieste’s greatest song. 😀


Published in: on 30 September, 2011 at 11:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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I giovini del Sirena beach

I really must share this great short filmed and mounted by Cristina Rojaz, www.ventunsettembre.com. She filmed it while we were spending a wonderfully hot summer afternoon at Sirena sailing club in Barcola. I really enjoy spending time there with family and friends. It’s such a great place to hang out. 🙂

And this shot is one in a series taken by Daša Stanič.

Thanks to both of you. 🙂


I HATE drink-driving, when I first came to Trieste it was the aspect of my friends’ social lives that agitated me the most. I come from a culture where drinking alcohol and then driving while under its influence is frowned upon.  There are, of course, some subcultures where it is accepted, but in general the regular ‘drink driver’ is stigmatized by society.

I remember that in the UK the TV campaign against drink-driving started in the 1970s, when it was a far more acceptable habit.

Since then their have been numerous TV adverts supporting the cause. The ones that sticks in my mind the most is this one from the mid 1990s:

And this one from the early 2000s:

Such advert campaigns don’t seem to happen here. I have seen an occasional one, but they seem to have far less of an impact. I believe this is the major reason why drink-driving is still so acceptable over here.

Are the UK ad campaigns a success? Well, after reading this 2010 article from The Independent, I would say they are. 🙂

The Dolphins of Barcola

Yesterday, I felt a thrill run through me as I saw two dolphins frolicking in the seas of Barcola. They were first brought to my attention by the children around me who started shouting ‘Delfini’, and running closer to the shore. The Dolphins were at quite a distance but we could see them clearing the waves with high flying leaps. It was the first of the day’s two wonderful sightings, because as the sun started to drop and the beach started to empty they returned, diving and jumping among the crests.

They are sociable, curious, playful, intelligent and have a long history of interacting with us. All of these traits have been cast into tales since time immemorial, however, I feel there is something more behind their almost universal appeal. I think, it has a lot  to do with their physiology. More specifically their wrinkle free baby like faces and their endearing permanent ‘smiles’ .

Yet I am sorry to report that life for dolphins is not all fun and games. Due to hunting, some species of dolphins are in fact endangered, while others are caught and held in captivity for our entertainment. The smiling faces of those in bondage seem to tell us that they love living in swimming pools and jumping through hoops, but the truth is they don’t. The ‘smile’ is not really a smile at all, it is a permanent expression that expresses nothing.

This is the trailer to ‘The Cove’, a hard hitting film that documents their plight. The film, in its entirety, isn’t  easy viewing, but I suggest every dolphin lover out there should watch and act upon its findings.

Published in: on 23 July, 2011 at 9:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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