Hello again everyone!
Thank you all for the warm welcome you've given me to BBC Learning English and well done to those of you who completed the homework - I'll give you the answers shortly.
None of you was able to guess the name of my hometown from the pictures, but I'm not surprised - it was quite tricky and my hometown is not very well-known outside of the UK.
I come from a coastal town in the north east of England called South Shields. The town is situated on the mouth of the River Tyne and boasts six miles of clean, sandy beaches. At first it may not seem as spectacular as the town described by Xiaowei, particularly because of the chilly wind which comes from the North Sea, but for me it's still beautiful in its own right.
My favourite thing to do is to go for a long walk on the beach on a spring morning, followed by a trip to Minchella's ice cream parlour. They make a mean knickerbocker glory! If you have never had one, it's an ice cream dessert served in a tall glass with lots of fruit, jelly and cream, with a couple of wafers thrown in!
Here are a couple of pictures of just such a trip home I made last year - don't the ice-creams look mouth-watering (but perhaps not so good for the waistline)?
If you're ever in England, taking a trip to the north east coast is really worth it, it's a real hidden gem. Have any of you been to this part of the UK before?
Thanks to Xiaowei for your second blog. It sounds like you are really making the most of your time in Australia and I really believe that travel broadens the mind. What's been the best thing you've discovered since moving abroad?
Again your piece is full of detailed descriptions which really help us to picture the scene, but there are some little mistakes. Let's take a look.
1) Talking about being alone
A couple of times in your blog you use the phrase "with my own" to say that you travelled by yourself. The correct preposition to use for this is 'on', so you should have said:
"I took the trip there on my own nearly a year ago..."
"It was a fantastic experience of travelling on my own."
Watch out for these spellings:
"It was exactly the same time of January last year when I was on summer vocation..."
The word 'vocation' means a specific job or career path - so the word you needed here was 'vacation' (which means 'holiday').
"I turned back to wonder around the town..."
This often catches people out, even native English speakers! The verb 'to wonder' means to think about something curiously, whereas 'to wander', which is what you should have used, means to stroll or walk around.
"It's a place famous for its lighthouse, blowhole and quality surfacing beaches."
Do you mean 'surfing beaches' here?
As you can see, an incorrect letter here or there can completely change the meaning of a word, so remember to check carefully to avoid mistakes!
3) "So here comes me to introduce Kiama..."
I understand what you mean here, but it doesn't sound particularly English. You might want to say "So this brings me to introduce Kiama..." or "So this leads me to talk about..." which would sound more fluent.
Here are last week's answers:
1) I'm going to apply to run the London Marathon.
2) Can I apply for a visa, please?
3) If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
4) Have you had any success in finding a job?
The word "mouth" has come up a couple of times in this week's blog ("mouth-watering", "mouth of the river"). Here are some more "mouth" idioms - see if you can match each phrase with each meaning:
1. to bad-mouth
2. to put your foot in your mouth
3. to look like butter wouldn't melt in your mouth
4. to shut your mouth
5. to mouth off
a) to stop talking
b) to appear to be innocent
c) to moan
d) to say something stupid or embarrassing
e) to speak badly about
That's all from me for this week, but I look forward to reading your blog and comments. Oh, and if anyone has any other ice-cream recipes, I'd love to hear those too!
tricky - difficult
mouth of the river - place where a river flows out to the sea
mean - (informal) fantastic
wafer - very thin, flaky biscuit
waistline - size of your stomach
hidden gem - little known discovery