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Erik's picture

Ice Hockey in London

In my home country, Slovakia, ice hockey is one of the national sports. Many people follow the ice hockey leagues and in their free time chase the little black thing called a puck. In May, during the Ice Hockey World Championship, the whole country follows the games of the national team. Actually, for two weeks we turn out to have 5.5 million experts ready to stand up for the team's manager.

Here in England, the football fools, rugby lads and cricket crazies do not care about ice hockey. But the eastern Europeans would not back down from their sport, nor would they abandon beer and vodka. Therefore I took the chance to experience the ice hockey atmosphere in a pub with a live screening.

Every year in May, the Famous Three Kings in West Kensington turns into an ice hockey den. I do not know why, and not even the most frequent visitors could tell me, but the pub is a meeting place for Slovaks. Long before the match, you could her Slovak hits from the jukebox- Elan, Peha, Palo Habera, No Name....Google the bands.

We played Russia and needed to win if we wanted our quarter final dream to live on. The atmosphere was excellent, but a friend reckoned that it was even better during last year's final when we took the silver medal. Today we lost, but the match was dramatic.

Erik's picture

Erik’s View: Alex Ferguson, Jelly Wrestling & the Importance of Sleep

Erik Redli is a university graduate from Slovakia who is currently living in London. Each week he gives his view on the events of the last seven days. Today he looks at Alex Ferguson retiring, the importance of sleep and jelly wrestling at Cambridge. 

Fergie Retiring

Alex Ferguson retired after 26 years as manager of Manchester United yesterday.

"In the world of professional football, Sir Alex Ferguson is a synonym for longevity and permanence.

Yesterday I was walking in Westfield and came across an exhibition of photographs, capturing the most important moments in the history of the UEFA Champions League. Right in the entrance I was almost run over Liverpool players celebrating their triumph in 2005. Alongside that, I could not overlook the unforgettable Manchester United triumph from 1999, with David Beckham's blonde hair hidden behind the much bigger stars of that era.

However, Sir Alex Ferguson was clearly visible. His connection with Man Utd is even bigger than Paolo Maldini and AC Milan, who is also seen hoisting the trophy in the photo from 2003.

Manuela's picture

English vs French Food

I've been living in London since last September and, trust me, the food did not bother me at first. I had my first ever Nandos, and occasionally went to Pizza Hut and Pizza Express (I am not even mentioning the numerous take-aways we have had in my flat but I still get daily promotional emails from many of them). And I am soon to pay a visit to Jamie's Oliver.

However, I like French food; I have realized it now. It is so tasty, expertly prepared and requires an expert knowledge for presentation.

I have heard many critiques of French cooking. First and foremost, every time I mention that I am French, people automatically assume that I come from Paris (wrong guess France is not limited to Paris), and that I eat snails and frog legs (many of my friends even call me frog legs or French-fries knowing that fries are not even French and that English people refer to them as ‘chips'). 

For your information, these are only stereotypes- just as I am aware that English people do not eat fish and chips on a daily basis! However, the cliché I heard about beans on toast was correct (I am afraid), as was the one about tea. I am going to refrain from negative comments, though I have to mention that I mostly buy a sandwich at my university as I am not a fan of English food.

Erik's picture

Erik's View: Oxford's Shark & Gap Years

Erik Redli is a university graduate from Slovakia who is currently living in London. Each week he gives his view on the events of the last seven days. This week he's looking at sharks at Oxford University and the benefits of a gap year.

The Oxford Party Shark

It emerged last week that Oxford students had been banned from hiring a live shark to appear at their end of year Ball. 

"A few weeks ago I mentioned the Oxford students and their game of ice hockey on the frozen university mews. At the bar at my former university, they have a goalkeeper hanging above the counter (as you can see in the photo above). Really original, but harmless.

But some ideas are really crazy, and I agree with the final decision of the university over the shark. Bringing animals to parties can be alright- you can see it in every American movie. Even in Slovakia, there is a joke about two students:

One of them suggests: "We should keep a pig in our room?"

"I don't know" replies the other, "How about all the dirt and mess?"

Manuela's picture

Film Review: Iron Man 3

Four Stars

I went to watch the film in 3D last Saturday and I was pretty excited as I had previously watched the trailer numerous time. I was expecting something big as the trailer is really something- it sets you in a dark atmosphere and shows some real trouble caused by a great villain (you can watch it below).

The movie follows last summer's epic The Avengers which I have watched too many times to tell you I enjoyed it so much. The film, Starring Robert Downey Jr, shows Stark's ups and downs since the events in the Big Apple, as Stark has a post-traumatic breakdown. It reveals some personality aspects of Stark we would not have expected.

Yet we soon meet the charismatic hero and joker again, as well as the Mandarin- the new comic book villain depicted as a TV menace and played by Ben Kingsley. Love is also in the air, with Downey and Paltrow a fabulous screen couple to my opinion.

The movie gets off to a hot start and introduces some eye-popping action sequences with the use of awesome new technologies and formidable explosive combats.

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