One of you recently asked me some questions about my personal life on our Twitter page. I’d love to tell you more about myself! And let’s use this as an opportunity to boost your English vocabulary, too!

English teacher answer questions

If you have more questions, feel free to post them in the comments here, or post them to our Twitter page. I’m always happy for us to get to know each other a little bit better, and it’s a good, natural way to learn some new English vocabulary!



1. What do you do for fun?


More than anything, I love to travel. I’d rather live leanly in my day-to-day life in order to have enough money to travel. Before I die, I hope to have visited every country in the world. Here are some photos from our honeymoon this past spring, where we visited the Netherlands, Belgium, and Iceland:


Next Step English honeymoon


On a more everyday basis, I’m addicted to BBC murder mysteries! I’ve seen every episode of Midsomer Murders and Father Brown, and I’m working my way through Foyle’s War and a few others now. One of my role models is the Australian adventuress, Miss Fisher, a lady detective who seems to have a new talent in every episode, whether it be racing cars, performing a risqué dance, or acting as a magician’s assistant.


I also love spending time in nature. Adrian and I live next to a small, wooded park, and we frequently take walks there when he gets home from work. When we have more time, we enjoy hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a little over an hour from our house.


Lastly, nothing quite enraptures me like a night at the opera. The first opera I ever saw was Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. My mother took me, and we had the good fortune of sitting by an absolute Wagner aficionado. Instead of the dainty opera glasses that most people use, he had a pair of high-tech birding binoculars. During the intermission, he inundated us with delightful trivia about Wagner, and when the show ended, he jumped to his feet and shouted “Bravo!” and “Brava!” until he went hoarse. Quite by accident, Tristan was also the first opera Adrian and I saw together, so it holds a special place in my heart. I rarely splurge on tickets at the Kennedy Center, which is Washington’s main performing arts venue. Luckily, though, Fathom Events brings operas from the Met in New York to our local movie theatres for a fraction of the price.



live leanly

define live leanly

work your way through something

define work your way through something

role model

define role model


define adventuress


define risqué


define wooded

enrapture someone

define enrapture someone


define aficionado


define dainty


define intermission

inundate someone (with something)

define inundate someone with something


define hoarse

splurge (on something)

define splurge on something


define venue


2. What do you eat for breakfast?


More often than not, I eat BelVita biscuits for breakfast because they’re fast.

However, when I have more time, here are some of the things I love eating in the morning:


  • Smoked fish on an English muffin, with grapes on the side
  • An entire tomato with olive oil and salt
  • Scrambled eggs and sausage links
  • Leftover Chinese food


With all of this, my drink of choice is always either tea or cranberry juice.


Next Step English tea box


3. Can you cook?


Alas, no! I can’t cook to save my life.


This isn’t to say that I don’t try. I do enjoy cooking, but any time I go near the kitchen, there’s a 60% chance of disaster striking.


Once, I even managed to botch boxed brownie mix. I’d already mixed the water and oil in with the mix before I realized that we didn’t have any eggs in the house. Being a pillar of common sense, I decided to compensate by simply doubling the water in the recipe. You can imagine how that turned out…


My sister, by contrast, is a wonderful cook. She’s even gone to culinary school! Her most recent concoction involved grilled brie with honey, thyme, and sweet cherries.



define alas

botch something

define botch

a pillar of something

define a pillar of something


define concoction


4. Do you have a pet?


I grew up with a cat, but he passed away about 10 years ago. His name was Tom Cat, and my father found him in a thunderstorm one night when I was a toddler. He was a runt, so his mother had kicked him out of the litter to fend for himself. Despite being small, he had the heart of a lion. On a few occasions, I saw him chasing dogs out of our yard that were three times his size! He was also a prolific mouser, although I don’t think he ever once killed a mouse. Instead, he liked to catch the mouse and release it alive at my mother’s feet, a gesture she never seemed to appreciate.


We don’t have a pet now, but Adrian and I are planning to get a bulldog one day. When we get one, I’ll share photos with you guys!



define toddler


define runt

fend for yourself

define fend for yourself


define mouser


define gesture


5. Do you believe in love at first sight?


Yes. I know it defies logic, but I do believe in love at first sight.

defy logic

define defy logic



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