English tea

English tea

At the request of several of my clients to try a new English teashop in Hamburg Altona to see how authentic it was, I recently went along one afternoon and had a “cream tea”.  The experience reminded me once again of how many differences there are between the UK and Germany in the tea culture. I would say that “teatime” in the UK is far less popular (and a little outdated) than the ritual “coffee and cake” in Germany.  Life has changed and with most people working and the surge of Read more [...]
Week 8 of Lockdown and Online Business English Training v Coronavirus

Week 8 of Lockdown and Online Business English Training v Coronavirus

If anyone had told me on 15 March we would still be “locked down” in our daily life, albeit some of the restrictions have now been lifted, I would not have believed them.  But here we are on 6 May and what has been the biggest work change? Well, everyone is communicating online, virtually, digitally or electronically, however you care to name it.  People were touting names like Zoom, Webex, GoToMeeting, Skype for business, Facetime, and even Zoho meeting and  BlueJeans, to name a few.  Read more [...]
Tips to improve your email writing in English

Tips to improve your email writing in English

Dear Ms Client I often hear my clients say “well, my email writing is OK, because I have more time to think about the right words, (than when on the phone or speaking), or emails are OK because I can put the mail into a translation software programme.   Much better to learn how to write good emails, I think. The first comment means that they take a lot of work time putting an email together and the second means that they often end up with totally unsatisfactory wording and they have nobody Read more [...]
online English Training

On-line Business English Training v Coronavirus

  On-line Business English Training v Coronavirus A message to all my clients and potential clients!  As the world closes down and we are all stopped from working in our companies or on our client premises, so the necessity of training virtually has been pushed forward as the only means of continuing normal life, be it for training, buying groceries at the supermarket, communicating with one’s department in the office, or doing online yoga classes! I took part in an online webinair Read more [...]
small talk

Small talk

Being able “to chat” in English is an important part of the learning process, particularly in business English.  It starts with introductions when you meet people and extends to being able to talk about other things apart from business. First impressions are very important, so a good introduction is where is starts – a greeting, your name (and company if a business event), followed by one of the key introduction phrases. “We don’t know where our first impressions come from or precisely Read more [...]
Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day in the UK

Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day in the UK

Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday, preceding Ash Wednesday (which is the first day of Lent) and is celebrated by eating pancakes in the UK and some other countries.  It is also known as Mardi Gras in some countries, a carnival day and the last day of eating well before fasting for Lent. Where does the name “Shrove” come from – well it comes from the word “shrive”.  “Shrive” in the MacmIllan dictionary is given the following definition: “when Read more [...]
English Business Workshop

Business English Weekend Workshops

If you want to update or revise your business English, then one way you can do this – without investing too much time - is by attending a weekend business English workshop– a short intensive delve into some of the most important aspects you need in business. Instead of taking up your whole weekend, they can start on Friday mid-afternoon and all day Saturday.  But most important, they are out of normal working hours and you can relax without worrying about work.  Some companies are good Read more [...]
Business English

After Work Business English

Want to improve your Business English out of office hours at a manageable price? There are people out there who do not have the opportunity to do business English training paid by their company and so some years ago I decided to offer the possibility at my office in Othmarschen.  We start at 6 pm and each session runs for for 90 minutes. The course of 26 sessions is economically priced and English tea is thrown in at every session.  The group also accompanies my business theatre group to the Read more [...]
Christmas is around the corner, meaning mince pies are back in! Every year for the Christmas season the whole of Britain is eating the small fruit filled pastries. They can be made with shortcrust or puff pastry – a thin layer of dough on the bottom and the top encases the filling, which is called mincemeat. Mincemeat is usually made of chopped fruit, nuts, spices, and often people like to add a dash of alcohol such as brandy or rum. I personally prefer homemade mincemeat, because you can add all the spices and alcohol you want and experience and explore until you find the perfect mix. Ingredients are usually mixed with spices such as cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg; these spices symbolize the gifts of the three wise men from the Orient. Mince pies taste best when they are served warm, with a little sprinkling of icing sugar on top. Cream, custard or brandy butter (a Christmas speciality) also go well with them as a dessert after the delicious Christmas meal, or as an accompaniment to Christmas pudding. However, they also taste delicious with a simple cup of tea or coffee… Britain has enjoyed mince pies since medieval times where they called it Chewette pastry, which was either baked or fried and stuffed with liver or pieces of meat mixed with boiled eggs and ginger. For variation people then started to fill them with dried fruit and other sweet things, and in the 16th century they developed into a Christmas speciality. During the 17th century, the meat was increasingly replaced by kidney fat, and since the 19th century the sweet form has largely established itself as a typical mince pie. Of course, Santa cannot miss out on this delicious tradition, so one or two mince pies are traditionally placed in front of the fireplace on Christmas Eve, since mince pies are considered Santa’s favourite d

The Sweet British Christmas Tradition

Christmas is around the corner, meaning mince pies are back in! Every year for the Christmas season the whole of Britain is eating the small fruit filled pastries. They can be made with shortcrust or puff pastry – a thin layer of dough on the bottom and the top encases the filling, which is called mincemeat.  Mincemeat is usually made of chopped fruit, nuts, spices, and often people like to add a dash of alcohol such as brandy or rum. I personally prefer homemade mincemeat, because you can Read more [...]
job application, business English

Are you fit for a Job Application in an International Company?

It’s no secret now that if you apply for a job in an international company here in Germany, you may need to prepare your CV in English.  You should note that English CVs (Curriculum Vitae in UK English / Resume in US English) do not carry a photograph – this has never been the case – it’s not what you look like that is important, it’s whether you can do the job! The format of an English CV is also different to German.  If you apply for a job in an English speaking country, then, unless Read more [...]