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Special Announcement:
On 1st March we moved to a new blogging system.

The archives of all the student, teacher and staff blogs are still available here to read but commenting has closed.

Here is the link to the new system:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/learningenglish

We still have student, staff and teacher blogs for you to comment on, however in the new system you do need to register to leave comments.
  

January 2008

Wednesday, 02 January 2008

Happy New Year 2008!!

Happy new year!!

Hi everyone!

I’m back home. As I told you some time ago, I’ve been to Madrid for the last 7 days to spend my Christmas holidays. I couldn’t drop you a line because where I stayed there was no internet facilities, nor any place with computers or Internet connections. Unfortunately, we had any blackberry or any handle that was wi-fi capable. Besides, we were from one place to another all the time. We had a lot of planned excursions. We visited Toledo, Segovia, la Granja de San Ildefonso, El Escorial, etc. Also we planned some outings to the countryside.

Apart from those trips, we spent two days just in Madrid. It’s a huge city with lots of things to see and experience. On New Year’s Eve we went to a musical. I have to admit that it went far beyond our expectations. We were really satisfied and had a great time. The refreshment was provided, and also drinks were on the house. We had a cotillion bag for each one that had twelve grape seeds, champagne and all kind of stuff that people wear at parties.

The city centre was literally packed with people. The place most crowded was Sol square, where is the famous clock that struck twelve. We saw the “campanadas” (the twelve rings of a bell) during a break in the performance through a big screen that connected with sol square.

Now, I’m drained…..I have to unpack my bags and rest a little bit after having too little sleep for many days…. When one is out, one has to taste day and night life.


What about you? What have you done lately??

Best wishes,

silvia

Saturday, 05 January 2008

Segovia, Madrid....and The Three Wise Men

In Segovia, the aqueduct is the symbol of the city. Surely, it must have been one of the most beautiful in the Roman world.



It was probably built between the late 1st and early 2nd centuries, when Vespasiano and Trajano were emperors, in order to bring water from a nearby river to the city. This magnificent work of civil engineering that has been working until recently and is still in excellent condition, begins near the Granja Palace
with simple arches and carries the water to a tank known as 'el Caserón'. A canal then transports the water to a second tower and once it reaches Diaz Sanz square, row upon row of arches tower high above the ground. Its 20,400 stone blocks are neither cemented nor stuck together by any substance, and they remain as a solid perfect block up until this day. The maximum height of the structure is on the Azoguejo Square at 28.10 m and a total of 166 arches.

From the Granja Palace, located in San Ildefonso, there are wonderful views to the mountain pass of Navacerrada, which was already snow-covered. Also the palace has magnificent gardens. There are fountains spread far and wide, a huge lake and different sorts of gardens.



Any traditional Segovian dish tastes delicious. You can eat butter beans from Granja, Castilian soup (made basically with garlic and bread), stew and wild boar. However, the most characteristic dishes are roast lamb and roast piglet. “Chorizo” and sheep cheese are traditional, as well. Wine made in Ribera del Duero are the best choice to go with these exquisite delicacies.


Madrid is an amazing city. I had been there before, but the city always gets to enrapture me with its atmosphere. What is extremely necessary is to wear comfortable footwear to scour the whole city, since there are huge distances between any two places to visit. The city looks quite alike any other European capital. You don’t have to miss its old part of town and its main square, both in the city centre and near the main art museums, Sol square, the “Retiro” (a huge park in the heart of the city) and the Royal Palace. Here go two funny pictures. The first one is a vertical garden. The second one was taken the night before New Year`s Eve. In Madrid, that night there's a "pre-campanada". It's all put on, but the clock struck twelve and people celebrate it as if it was New Year's Eve. So, you have two chances to live the experience of being in Sol square for the twelve stroke. that's crazy!






Tonight is the twelfth night, when the Three Wise Men visit every house to leave gifts for children. There’s a parade of floats symbolizing the coming of the Three Wise Men to Bethlehem. So, it has religious roots.

It’s also a custom to have dinner with one’s family, and then eat all together the traditional large ring-shaped cake baked for Epiphany (roscón de Reyes) and to drink hot chocolate. In some places bonfires are lighted right across the parade to illuminate, metaphorically, the path to Bethlehem.

Little figures have been hidden inside the cake’s pastry. If you find a broad bean you’ll have to pay the cake. On the other side, if you find the king figure you’ll get a cardboard crown and you’ll be the king for a night. The photo below shows a roscón freshly baked (it's a home-made roscón).



Now it's time to leave. I've to take my niece to the Three Wise Men Parade.

Jonathan, thanks for your corrections and your vivid descriptions of Leeds, York and your walks.

See you,

Silvia

Wednesday, 09 January 2008

time flies....

…Time flies!

As usual, I’ve been very busy because of a work’s deadline.

Well, this is actually one of my last posts. Before saying goodbye I have a little time to introduce you to more in-depth facts of Spanish culture….and some traditions typical of Elche.

I had almost forgotten to tell you about one of the most popular celebrations that people of Elche look forward to most eagerly, The “Nit de l’Albà”. The night of August 13th hundreds of fireworks light up the sky of the city making a mix of colour and sound. The festivity origins date back to the Middle Ages when families offered a rocket to the Virgin for each of their children. Today the tradition has changed into a coordinated firework performance where hundreds of fireworks are fired from different points of the city. As well as the coordinated display, the people of Elche and many companies also join in with their own fireworks.

The storm of rockets and fireworks begins at 23:00 pm and continues non-stop till a few minutes before midnight, when suddenly all the fireworks stop and the city centre lights are turned off. The people of Elche keep silent while they listen to the most significant fragment of the Mystery Play. For a few seconds, the darkness that covers the city is lit up by an enormous white starburst, the “Palmera de la Virgen”, which is released from the basilica of Saint Mary.

Once that moment has passed, the city lights are restored and on the Basilica’s tower an image of the Virgin in fireworks bursts into life accompanied by the famous habanera “Aromas ilicitanos” (our oldest traditions are rooted in religion).

The traditional final act to the celebration is to eat a slice of watermelon. After that, a lot of people take part in the traditional “guerra de carretillas” (war of carts) where people chase each other pushing “carts”, which are like firecrackers that can fly due to air movement around them. So, if you are running or walking the cart will follow you.

This event takes place in specially designated areas in the city centre that eventually seem to be scenes from hell. That’s why it’s an event recommended for only fire lovers. Moreover, there is a strict police control to let people access to the restricted areas because they must be well prepared, sober, and carry no illegal cart. For example, you cannot go in wearing summer clothes.

See you,

Silvia

Friday, 11 January 2008

happy....sad....or twist ending?


Jonathan talked to us about literature ….and I’ll definitely read some of the books that he has recommended us.

Now, just a few lines about Spanish films, and specifically about film directors. It’s related to a previous post where I told you about Spanish literature and its main representations. I promised to write about films, but I forgot it completely!

And the Oscar goes to…. Pedro Almodovar. He’s a versatile film director. As for his beginnings he wasn’t considered politically correct. However, he’s in fact a transgressor artist. He tells everyday situations from another point of view. He focuses on people excluded from the society due to different reasons, such as sexual orientation, poverty, etc. He has won two academy awards. The first one was for the best foreign language film, Todo sobre mi madre (All about my mother), in 1999. The second one was for the best original screenplay, Hable con ella ( Talk to her), in 2000. Surely most of you know who Penelope Cruz is. She is actually one of his muses, and lately she has become his inspiration. Now, she is trying to make her way overseas. Antonio Banderas, Paz Vega, Elsa Pataky and Javier Bardem are other actors and actress that have moved to the USA recently. All of them want to become more famous out of our borders. Nowadays, it seems that to be a famous actor or actress, one has to get his/her own star in a Hollywood’s street.

Other Spanish film directors are: Alejandro Amenábar, Luis Buñuel, Jose Luis Garci, Luis Garcia Berlanga, Bigas Luna, Achero Mañas, Julio Medem, Fernando Trueba.

Alejandro Amenábar is the scriptwriter and director of the film The Others, which was starred in by Nicole Kidman. It’s a perturbing film that has an unusual end.

Luis Buñuel is an old famous film director. One of his masterpieces is El ángel exterminador (1962). I found this film incoherent, but enigmatic. The author claimed: “Maybe the best explanation to describe El ángel exterminador (Exterminating Angel) is that there’s no rational explanation. Life is the same. You can interpret it like you want to.”

I like the type of filming of Achero Mañas. He’s quite a sensitive director. You can see him like a kind of modern poet. He’s also an artist that expresses himself through his films. I love art film or cinema d'auteur, and Achero Mañas is pretty good one. One of his films that is my favourite is Noviembre (November). This film makes one thinks about which are our ideals, what we really want, and what we should defend.

Fernando Trueba won an Oscar for its film Belle Epoque. It was the second Spanish film to win an academy award. The first one went to Jose Luis Garci, and his film Volver a empezar (1982) (A new beginning), that is about a writer who has won the Nobel Prize in Literature and has just come back to his hometown, Gijón, after many years in exile.

In Belle Epoque, the plot isn’t set in the 20s, but it is set in the days before and after the Second Republic. Penelope Cruz is one of the main characters. You can see in here her skills development, from that time till now.

Jonathan, you seem to have travelled a lot. I’m a bit jealous!. Besides, your writing is delightful. I’ve enjoyed your posts. Now I have a more in-depth knowledge about England, Poland and some of your traditions. You are definitely a round character (using film terminology)!

Thanks to all of you for your comments and support. I now December has always been a busy month, but you have managed to write me back. I’ve also learnt a lot from you.

See you tomorrow….in which will be my very last day blogging :(

Love,

silvia

From BBC Learning English

Many thanks to Silvia for her wonderful contribution to our blog site - it's certainly left me eager to see lots of Spanish films!

For the next couple of weeks, we'll be running open blogs, which means anyone who has contributed to our blogs in the past can take part again.

We'll be looking forward to hearing from you all again and finding out what's going on in your lives!

All the best,

Jackie
BBC Learning English

Saturday, 12 January 2008

we'll keep in touch!

This is not goodbye, it's just until we meet again

Jonathan, thanks for your error corrections and suggestions. I’ll try hard not to make them again. I’ve tried to implement them in postings. Definitely, my aim for this year will be continuing improving my English skills.

I love studying languages, as they are the way to communicate with people from different countries.From my point of view, languages are a basic tool to any cultural exchange, and they broaden one’s mind.

Thanks to all the BBC staff for giving me the chance to be a blogger. It has been a great experience, in which I’ve known incredible people from every corner of the world.

For other bloggers, I’m grateful for your support. I cannot describe how excited I was when I got your comments after my first posting. Thanks for being there!

Best wishes,

Silvia

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Not a trivial issue

Hi everyone, wow it is great to be here again. It was so amazing to see the pictures of us students as a united team on top of this blog. Our tutors are no doubt going to give us a hard time! I feel so jolly, yet my first entry is not going to be a trivial matter. For those of you that I have not had a pleasure meeting earlier, may I introduce myself; I am Leila, a 57 years old working girl from Finland and I was a November 2007 blogger.

A few days ago Pary from Iran was telling us, in my opinion, very disturbing news. I mean the heavy snow fall and very cold temperatures in Iran. I also heard through news that in Morocco the weather has been unusually chilly. These reports are a big contrast to our weather here in Finland. Here we have mild, wet and dismal days, one after the other. Not at all, what we should be experiencing at this time of the year, frost and more frost.

I am not certain if my memory entirely lets me down, but I remember the weather being totally the diverse when I was a kid. The snow fell in November and that was it; the grounds were covered under the snow until March, and this I am certain; we used to have cold spells that lasted for weeks. Now the weather changes very rapidly and frequently.

You all may recall that I told you about the snow fall last November. Well since then, around Christmas time, all snow melted due a rain fall and very mild temperatures. When I and my husband arrived back from Egypt just after Christmas, all the snow had gone. After that we did have a short cold phase that lasted for few days; the temperatures were around -20 degrees, but the wintery weather did not last for long. At the moment the temperature is around zero again.

The winter seems to be a big fat zero!

It is very evident that the climate is changing; in fact environment has done so already. What is the course of this global change? I also heard from the radio news yesterday that fish in the sea are getting skinny because a food supply is getting poor. The reason for fish food diminishing is said to be partly a global warming and the eutrophication of the waters.

I was sorry to hear that Adriana had a death in her family, may I offer my condolences Adriana. I was also moved by the death of Sir Edmund Hillary, a great mountaineer and explorer.

On a more cheery note, we had a very good holiday break in Egypt. The trip was my fourth visit to Egypt and my very first to Cairo. I feel that I am beginning to get to know a little bit of Egyptian people. The country has such a grand history, and Egyptians today appear to be open to new co-operation. We had some serious conversations with couple of local people about joint ventures that we were mutually interested in. I have added couple photos below.

I am very happy, that BBC LE gave us a change to write again. I am certain that many of you have something you want to add since you last wrote. Bitter–sweet sums it up rather nicely; in true life one seldom gets a second change. At the end of November I was a bit disappointed with myself leaving the global warming issue to be. I am now challenging you to take part in this topic.

I will be away through my work until Thursday (in Copenhagen), but I do hope once I come back I will find your views on this important subject matter.

My husband is well, and my daughter Katri and his fiancée are still working hard with their new home building. They are supposedly moving to their new home at the end of March.

Preposition exercise Stephen gave was a very useful one, thank you! Talk to you after Thursday.



It's great to be back again

G'Day Everyone!

First of all, Happy New Year to all of you. May this year bring happiness, peace and success in our lives. According to Islamic lunar calender it's 3rd Muharram, which means the third day of the year 1429. Having the opportunity to writing blogs again is just like to catch up with old friends again, and making new ones too and it's like a happy occasion to me. Let me introduce myself a bit, I'm Naheed Shoukat Ali from Karachi, Pakistan, student blogger of June 07.

I'm really glad to see the other student bloggers.The banner looks very nice with not one not two but 7 students:), I really like it, how about you all? Ana Paula, we are together on the banner, too:). As for the teachers, I'm very glad to see you Jo, it would be great to be able to talk to you again. Many many best wishes to Amy on the arrival of a new member in your family, Louie would be very pleased to see his baby sibling. Oh, I have butteflies in my stomach. It's not beacuse I'm nervous but I'm very excited that I will get to talk to all the teachers as well as the students and all the loving commentators out there.

It's winter time here in Karachi and the temperature remains upto 20, 21 degrees like that, oh well, not as cold as Finland and other colder regions of the world. It rained thrice in Karachi since December and just a few days ago when it rained, the temperature came down to 17 degrees. Smilingly, it's still not as cold as -20 degrees. But, people do complain that it's a biting wind, oh my. However, in Northern Areas of Pakistan the temperature remains at minus degrees all through winter. I like all the seasons be it Winter, Summer, Spring or Autumn.

Stay Happy

Naheed

Being over the moon again



“At the beginning she created the title and the subject. And the subject was formless and empty. And her thoughts were hovering over the papers. And she said:
_Let there be words!
And there were words...”



Hello beloved friends.
Greetings from Brazil. More precisely from the state of Espírito Santo in Vila Velha city. It’s been a very long time...as you can see, my World still exists.



First of all. Thanks to BBC LE team. I’m flattered by your invite to write blogs over again. I’m over the moon with this opportunity to catch up with you all: teachers, readers, co-bloggers and the BBC LE team. It’s a party!!! Hello Jackie. I know you from the webcast. Hello Dima. I didn’t know you yet. I read your profile in “Meet the team”. Do you really speak all those languages? My head is a shambles, baffled and cramped just with Portuguese and English words.


Actually, I paused for a short time because of good and bad things that have happened to me in December. I’ve decided to move from my apartment to another one(good thing). I’ve managed to catch up with friends and family during these days(good thing). I even won the lottery that is also a good thing. The bad thing is that I won only R$ 10,00. The same amount I had spent to try my luck. So, I didn’t make any profit in this business. If I won a decent amount, I would do what you all do, to set off to visiting many places in this World and making friends. Maybe I would go shopping in Oxford Street. Perhaps I would see some of you standing out in the middle of the crowd. I think that speaking English in such conditions would be more disorienting than everything, not because of the place or the crowd, but because of you, experts in English.

In December, I had to cope with the death of my uncle from Rio de Janeiro(bad thing). The saving grace is that I could see my cousing that I haven’t seen for a long time(good thing). He is a caring cousing who had a brain damage when he was a child and I don’t know how but he ‘s intelligent and knows many things. He is a journalist and writes about sports in this website:

Sports website

We are about the same age and get very well with each other. Sadly, he just stayed for a short period because he would take another job up in Rio de Janeiro where he lives. He is a guy that has a finger in every pie. A cremation was the wish of my uncle and he wanted his ashes to be thrown from the top of a mountain that has a special meaning for us here.

The Christmas was wonderful with my family at home as well as the New Year Eve (good thing) with part of my family in Domingos Martins.



I had a riot of a time although I haven’t started the New Year with luck. I hurt myself in the river(bad thing). No, I wasn’t going rafting. I just slipped in a stone and fall into the water. Luckily there were friends to help me. I still have some wounds healing. It’s the first time that it happens to me but thank goodness for haven’t had any injury in my head.





Another bad thing in December was that I missed many things here that I intend to read little by little including the blogs of Silvia that are quite interesting and Jonathan Mark with his incredible pictures! The worst thing though that put me in shock and made me weep some tears was to know that Stephen would leave us and not being able to adress in time his last column. I thought his columns were a permanent part of the BBC LE website. I couldn’t say good-bye and I’d like to write some words to him if you all don’t mind:

Stephen, my suave teacher, when I was the student blogger in September I was feeling self-assured just because I pictured you as my “neighbour blogger” and I was sure you were supporting me. It wasn’t just English that I’ve learned with you. I saw something in your soul, character, thoughts and feelings through your writings that we can hardly ever see nowadays in a person. It was a pleasure to read every line of your columns. And now I don’t feel as much brave as I was feeling in September. But I’m brave enough to republish my humble poetry that I wrote in one of your columns:


"My Humble Poetry"


The highlights in his soul
Is what has made her blind
It is the only thing of him she knows
Beyond the strange thoughts flowing in her mind
Not able to capture the magic moon
Magesticly reflected in the river
No matter it was midnight or noon
Freud would never explain that fever
Wondering if she was in the Thames bank
Instead of the wild waters of Amazon
She would drop a tear to be sent
Straight to the place where she came from
Bringing together the blue of his eyes
Crossing bravely the huge ocean of her dream
And bright tenaciously in her sky
Then believe that the heaven of her is the same of him
Made of the same clouds and stars she has ever seen."



All in all, I’ve missed you all as much as a flower needs the sunlight. Oh...my English must be horrible now. Sorry for not being here and not have left my contributions to the website and not being able to share with you all the Christmas and New Year Eve athmosphere. I couldn’t help thinking of you all though. I hope you all haven’t had any sorrow during these festive days like me. I’m looking forward to hearing from you all again. And Amy? Has she already given birth to her baby? And Ana Paula, Naheed, Antônio, Maurício, Hyoshil, Silwal, Ernest, Manoj, Adek, Josie, Paco, Pilar, Mien, Paula, Lucia, Chandrakant, Farzan , Heinrich and all the community? I kiss to you all. I’m looking forward to hearing from you once more.

That’s about it for now. Take care. See you tomorrow

Adriana

Hello my friends!

Dear all good afternoon,

First of all I´d like to thank you BBC LE staff for this great opportunity of being here again on this blog area. I´m very happy and excited and I´m really eager to catch up with you all :-).

Well, let me tell you a bit about me. My name´s Ana Paula and I´m from Mogi das Cruzes, a city located in São Paulo state in Brazil. I had the pleasure of being the April´s student blog last year. My teacher was Alex Gooch,a great and funny teacher who has helped me a lot in my learning English journey. By the way Alex, if could be possible for you, please, drop few words for us. It would be delightful to hear from you again. I hope you´re fine :-).

I totally agree with Leila and Naheed. It was great to see we all on the banner, and Naheed it was the first thing I´ve realised. It´s great, isn´t it :-). You´re all my classmates. Besides that, I´m looking forward to hearing from Marianna, Hyoshil, Antonio from Belgium, Pary and all our friends :-).


Oh Amy! Paul told us last month the great news! Congrats dear! How is the cute Louie? And the baby? Is he fine? I hope so.

Jo every time I pass by a pet shop I remember you and your lovely pets :-).

Rachel H, how are you and your family doing? I´d like to ask you something: have you seen the YouTube video that I´ve mentioned in your last blog? If so, please let me know. I´d like to know what you´ve thought about it :-).

Rachel W and Antonio I didn´t have the chance to send comments on your blogs, because I discovered the blogs area on January 2007. But I hope we can catch up here now :-).

Lidia, how long we don´t hear from you! I´m happy to see you here. How are you doing?

Stephen so... you´ve thought that you would never hear from us again. Oh... you´re wrong, we´re here together again, isn´t it wonderful? :-) I´ve eaten the seven grapes in your, Lucy and your friends behalf and my friends have jumped the seven waves in our behalf. Ok, take it easy. Our 2008 will be very prosperous now ;-).

Adri I feel sorry for your lost. I´ve missed you these days and I´m glad you´re back.

It´s a cloudy day here in Mogi but the weather is very mild, 22°C. These couple of weeks were very hot and the temperatures hit 42°C. We´re having big storms here, which provokes catastrophic floods. Every year the governors promisse to tackle this problem. However, they couldn´t come up with a efficient solution till now and the flood issue is becoming bigger and bigger.

Well, it´s all for today folks. I´m looking foward to hearing from you soon.

All the best,

Ana Paula.

Monday, 14 January 2008

The journey continues…

Another step…

Hello everyone!

I do not know how the open blogs will work yet but I suppose you are all as curious as I am.

So, first of all, I would like to great everyone- notably my teacher blogger, Lewis Davies. I do hope you are with us again! – then all previous teachers, all my blogmates (actually, I do not know if this word exists… Have I created a new English word?) all readers, commentators and, last but not least, all people working for the BBC. I would also like to wish you a very Happy New Year, full of health, joy, happiness and success.

Long time no write… I am thrilled to bits to blog again. Yippee!! What a fantastic feeling! However, the thought of coming back to blog again has turned my emotions between worry and excitement. Worry has gripped me every time I remembered that I have been away for so many months and you might not remember me. Then I am excited about catching up with you and talking to you again. Just to refresh your memory I will briefly introduce myself again. I live in a teeny-weeny village in Slovakia, with my husband and two children. Actually, my daughter is living in the UK as she is studying there at a university. I am not career-minded, my first priority is my family. You see, not so many things have changed or almost nothing has changed in my life since September 2006.

I am planning to write you about my highlights of 2007 and hopes for 2008, about my family, of course, about our new dog and so on…but I do not want to let the cat out of the bag.

Dear Lewis! I do hope you are doing well. I am extremely pleased to get this opportunity – to catch up with you. I left two comments to you last year (see Goodbye and hello- 02. January 2007 and New student blogger- 31 August 2007, if you are interested). Now….we can make the best off our blogging for two weeks.

Until I meet my teacher, Lewis, and my virtual friends again I would like to leave some words to Amy Lightfoot and Stephen Keeler.

Dear Amy, I am so happy for you. Warmest congratulations on your new baby boy! Enjoy every moment with your new son and your family. I am wishing you good health.

Dear Stephen, I missed to write you a comment on your last column. I am really sorry to hear that I cannot enjoy your interesting and emotional column any more. I am sure, you will be with us for the next two weeks, so I am not saying goodbye at the moment. I did not forget to raise a glass to you. Just to let you know, some of your enthusiastic commentators used to be student bloggers so you can find out what they look like if you want – just have a look at their blog entries.

I think this is enough for today. I am looking forward to meeting you. Bye, bye

Anita

Bathing or Shower?—the way of washing your body ( James, Taiwan)

Hi there,

In 2006-2007, my family hosted Luis who is a high school exchange student from Brazil. We got along with each other very well. And the life styles between us are different, such as the bathing.

How do you wash your body? any reasons?

People in Taiwan, take a shower every day, and love to soak their body in a bathtub sometimes, and enjoy hot spring in winter. In my hometown, Ilan County, we also have cold spring to enjoy.

When do you take a shower or bath?

In Taiwan, we take an everyday shower in the evening, before going to bed.
And Luis (Brazilian) took his shower in the morning, after getting up, and he doesn’t seem to like a bath or hot spring. And he screamed when he soaked his body in the cold spring bathtub (Cold spring is really weird, you will have an icy feeling even the temperature is 22 degree C ).

Cold spring is a spring water which temperature is 22 degree C, both bathable and drinkable,only two places, Taiwan and Italy, have the cold spring.

Best regards

James Zhih-Cheng Wu (Taiwan)
Student Blogger of May, 2007

Hello from Moscow!

Well, well, well as I see the all people have already arrived!

Let me start.
First of all I would like to say thank you to the all BBC Learning English team.
It is a great opportunity to back on this famous web site and to communicate with people over the world! I have started to believe in Santa again :). Last time when I have sent my final letter I have felt emptiness. Sure, it is huge experience to participate in the similar project. Now I am happy! Hello my friends!

In the second, a HAPPY NEW YEAR to everybody! It is not too late to say BE HAPPY to everyone. Do not miss your chance and a moment of happiness.


Let me use this great chance and tell something new about my life. Thank you Ana Paula for your good memory. I am doing well. Last 3 weeks I spent fantastically with my family and friends. It was good time for rest and celebrating of the New Year and Christmas holidays. There were days off from December 31th of to January 9th. During this time (and not only :)) we have a tradition to invite home friends and family’s members, make home food, to give and to receive nice gifts, to play funny games, to sing karaoke, to dancing. In other day somebody invites you and the holidays and celebrations don’t have the end :). Also, we have visited a skating rink on the Red Square and have watched a new Russian comedy in the cinema. Just imagine how it looks a skating rink on the Red Square.. a lot of illumination opposite to the old Kremlin walls. The temperature in Moscow is not so cold now a minus one degrees. I hope to spend the whole year with a smile and happy people around of me.
Wish you a good year!

In November I have been to Malta. It was a business trip but I have made some nice pictures and send them to you. This is a small island in the Mediterranean sea with a very interesting history and culture. The weather was great plus 20-22 degrees. Some people swam in the sea. No, they weren’t Russian people :)..Have a look at the pictures. I want to come back to the island..



Well, I only have opened a site and I wanted to say “Hi”. I will with a pleasure read already sent clauses. I will write the comments to everyone!

Have a great evening!

With best wishes,
Lidia



Hello again!

Wow! It´s so great to hear from you all again :-)! Adri you spared time to comment on my blog! Oh... you´re so nice :-). I´ve also sent a comment to you.

Well, I also know how Jo and Stephen feel about the spare tyre. Gee! I´ve eaten lots of chocolate this Christmas. Actually I just eat chocolate twice a year: on Easter and Christmas. So my friends have given me lots of chocolates. By the way Jo, BodyJam is a great fun. Even someone like me, who is a terrible dancer can follow the steps, but I still prefer BodyCombat and BodyStep in order to burn the extra calories :-). Jo, have you ever tried JumpFit or BodyJump, these activities are very good too.

I´m still working at the galvanization company ( Silwal, just like you I worked like a horse in the end of the last year), and I´m also studying hard to take my FCE exam.

Pary, I enjoy very much reading books about courts and lawyers and so movies. Rainmaker seems to be a very interesting book. I´m going to look for it :-). Right now I´m almost finishing The Catch In The Rye by JD Salinger. This book is really great. There are lots of English slangs in it, but by the context you can figure out the meaning. One thing that really catches my attention is the main character, Holden Caulfield. He hates movies whereas (finally I´ve used this word!!! I hope I´ve used correctly :-)) I´m a big fun of the 7th art.

Habooba, thanks for your kinds words. Could you please tell more about you?

Marianna, I agree with Adri. You would be a great student blog and period :-).

Anita, it´s impossible to forget you. You´re English is so good :-).

James, it´s nice to see you here!

Naheed, I´ve shown you´re picture to Rose and she thought you´re beautiful and she also said you have a child face :-).

Lidia how nice to know you´ve been in Malta. I hope hear more from you soon.

Mercè, keep visiting BBC LE and you´ll soon see the improvements in your English. By the way, where in Spain are you from?

My mum and my elder sister Roseli are really well, just my older sister Rosana is a bit ill. Today we let her at the hospital in order to do some exams. Apparently she has a intestine infection. We´re worried, but she´s in good hands. Later I´m going to go back to the hospital to take a look at her. I can´t wait to see her at home again. Writing this blog today and having your company is helping me to feel less worried about her.

I hope hear from you soon,

All the best,

Ana Paula.
X

Here I come again:)

Assalaamu Aleikum Everyone!

I should explain to you all what I said..It is an Arabic word, Assalaamu comes from the word Salaam which means peace and protection, Aleikum means upon you, so I said may peace and protection be upon you. I hope friends you are all happy and enjoying your lives. It’s really really great to see old friends again and have a word with them.

Hey up Jo! I was very glad when I read your post and thank you so much for being so kind and remembering me in your thoughts. I’m perfectly well and I’m doing well with my studies and do pray for me. The exams went well too but the lack of proper tution facilities are making things a bit harder to catch up with time. But hardships make you stronger to fight back. I wish you Good Luck for your project.

Teacher Stephen, it was really interesting to read about your new year’s resolutions. As for my resolutions, I used to make resolutions when I was in my teens and it only used to be about to put off a lot of weight. As I used to be a bit well-proportioned then. But I hardly used to keep that resolution for a day or too. It was like, I used to promise myself that I would eat less and do exercise. I did exercise on regular basis but it was hard to stop my hand at food as I used to eat like a hungry horse. Well, as the time went by I learnt the best lesson that “Your health is in your hands”, this leasson helped me learn to live like a healthy person. Now, I really don’t make resolutions I just keep my focus towards my plan and do my best to work on it and leave the rest to God.

Oh, after writing so much, I’m still thinking from where do I start to talk to my friends. Emmm..okay… let’s begin with Roseli or Rose, thank you Rose for remembering me! I had a big smile on my face when I saw your comment and how is life going? Along with this, it was great to see Adri’s comment, how is Iago? Give my love to him. I still remember Urucum and whenever there’s a talk on food colour, I never forget to mention this natural herb. Habooba, thank you so much for your kind comment and I hope to see more comments from you till the time we are all here. Hello Marianna! I hope you are well and thank you so much that you remembered me and Ana when it snowed. I can see some more bloggers here Hello James! I hope you are well. Anita, I hope you are well too and how are you Lidia? Leila, I liked your photos, you must have had a whale of time in Egypt and also visitng the Pyramids.

I must be off now.

See you laters

Naheed

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Hello from Brazil again


Hi everyone, tomorrow I and my son will have vaccination against yellow fever. It's just a prevention of the disease because we in Espirito Santo are somewhat isolated because although the disease hasn't arrived here yet, we are completely surrounded by the disease that are spread in our neighbouring states. HELP !

Ana Paula and Stephen, May I join the club for people who has tyres after christmas? My new year's resolution is to follow programmed methods for losing weight. I'm on diet, having massages and I'm going to gym...I hate that kind of exercise. I like to be outside feeling the fresh air but it's necessary for returning to the football team. More over, I’ve been said that the diameter of my right leg is larger than my left leg. I have to fix that. I just don’t understand when people say I’m not fat. I feel that I’m fat and nobody will persuade me. My sister-in-law always says that she is fatter than me. She needs a pair of glasses!



Ana Paula, I’m worried with your sister too. Do you know what is the condition? I hope she gets better.

Jo, I’ve sent a comment to you.

Hi Sinwal, Thanks, it’s very kind of you reminding me. I think I’m well here. I’ve read one of your comments saying that you’ve had a promotion at work. Congratulations! I am often busy in the mornings. I start working very early because most of my patients work in commerce that starts at 8 am and they fight for the first consultation at 7 am so I cannot be late. The earlier I start working the more likely to be back home soon and spend more time with my son (is this phrase right? :-)

Naheed, Iago is ok. At christmas, he bought a gift to Santa Claus and waited until 2am for him. It broke my heart...and my sleep because I had to wait for him getting asleep to write a letter as it was from Santa Claus. My brother-in law used to call him at Christmas as it was Santa Claus, like this: "Hello, who am I speaking to? Iago? Do you know who is speaking to you? Ho ho ho! Have you been a good boy, a good son?..."You should see his emotion and reaction, Here is a picture of him saying a poetry and then in a play at school.






At last I could see how Anita looks like. I’m glad to see former bloggers again. Today I was thinking of Satya because I was doing a pile of ironing and thinking “why the engineers don’t create a robot that can do all the boring things like ironing?”

Friends, here the sun is shinning again. It’s too hot! That’s the reason we spend a lot of water. Sorry for that but we love water!

May I show you this video? The name is:“Tudo vai passar”(everything will be ok).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOVwNqB3D2U

If you all have time, watch the other video which shows a competition in Vitória city in Espírito Santo state in Brazil where I live. Note at the end how they are grateful to God who is always in first place for them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkhgrzcdaaw

Take care
Adriana

Antonio's back!

Hello everybody!

Hi everybody! Sorry for delay… Lately I’m always late and I often forget my important appointments… like this with the BBC Learning English Blog. It’s a great pleasure to be able to blog again with all of you. The banner with our photos is really amusing! I want to say hello to all the other bloggers and to the whole BBC Staff.

antonio

One year and half has passed since I sent my last post and, as you can see above, I haven’t already cut my beard. What do you think when you look at a man with a long beard? Many important meanings could be hidden in a long beard. Having a long beard can be a lifestyle choice! In my case a long beard is what happens to who’s too lazy to shave every morning :)

What have I been doing all these years? Been going to bed … … late!
While I was blogging in 2006 I took the FCE exam but I couldn’t post the result because I knew it only two months later. Anyway I passed it, although just with a C, and I was able to terminate the undergraduate university course. Now I’m taking the graduate course and I’m going to begin my degree thesis. I’m really busy in these days because of some university exams… but I have some interesting stories to tell and I’ll find the time to post them in the blog.

For the moment… from Italy… that’s all folks!

Antonio

The biggest surprise I have ever got

Hello my blogmates! I am so happy to see you again. Yippee!

December was a hectic month ...Christmas, my daughter’s visit, my broken little toe. Our Christmas was fantastic. Csilla’s visit was wonderful and it was so hard to see her leave to go back to England. The first couple of days after she left were especially hard, but I am doing better.

Well, Csilla arrived home safely on 16th December. However, her plane was delayed by 3 hours. So she arrived at 8 o’clock instead of 5 o’clock. I said:” Never mind!” She is finally at home!” We drove home and had dinner together. The next two days she spent writing her essay that she had to post on 18th December before 17 o’clock. So, she was at home but we did not disturb her in her room. She came to the kitchen only for meals and cups of tea. (She drinks her tea with milk.) Other days we spent by going to see her doctors because her health insurance is paid in Slovakia and when she is at home she has to go to see her dentist, her general practitioner, eye-specialist (she is wearing contact lens) etc.. After having done all these things she could enjoy her winter holidays.

We had a white Christmas which is quite unusual here. It started snowing on Christmas Eve. It did not snow too much but enough for a thin covering that lasted long. It started to melt only a week later as the temperatures have been continuously below 0°C.

During the holidays we did a lot of chatting, visiting relatives, eating, watching movies, reading, listening to the new CDs, relaxing, enjoying each other’s company and so on. That is what Christmas is for….I think. Our holiday season was beautiful because all my family was around for Christmas.

It was not the same at Christmas 2006 when Csilla could not come home as she had to work. She came home only on 4 January, so we had two Christmases, one without her and another with her. We did not open the gifts until she came home. She put her presents under the tree …and we had Christmas Eve in January. I received from her, amongst other gifts, I very thin present which was beautifully wrapped up. It seemed to be an envelope. I can honestly admit what I thought firstly: “She wrote me something that she wants to give me as a present.” It might sound stupid but I am sure, some of you are parents and you understand me. I noticed after I had opened the envelope that is something official because it was a typed letter. My second thought: “She did her exams very well and I can see her exam results.” No, no…none of my guesses were right. It was a ticket… a plane ticket…. a plane ticket to England. I got a plane ticket to England from her. It was the biggest surprise I have ever got. So, I have been to England, thanks to my daughter. I will end here and write about the journey in England in my next post.

I am going on business trip with my husband to Hungary today. So, I am in a hurry now….but I will find time to write to every one of you, promise!

I have attached a picture of me, daughter and son. As you can see my son hates posing for pictures so he usually makes silly faces.

Take care! Until next,

Anita


BBC Learning English

Dear all - students, teachers and commentators

I'm glad to see how active this open session is, I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am. I had no idea whether it would work but it's looking like a brilliant idea, so a big thank you to all who suggested that we try this.

I've noticed that there is a little bit of confusion about how this event will run so I am going to try to explain.

1) The open forums will run until Thursday 31st January (February will start with a new student and teacher blogger)

2) During this time, all previous teacher and student bloggers are free to blog as much as they want and commentators can add comments as usual

And that's it really :-)

A little note - can everyone please remember that you are not allowed to include personal contact details in blogs or comments - it is a BBC thing - we will have to remove them.

Thanks

Paul

And the sun shines again!

Hi dear all! How are you doing? I hope you´re all very well :-).

My sister Rosana is still at the hospital, but she´s getting better. If she doesn´t get better till tomorrow ( she will), she´ll have to be removed to a hospital at São Paulo city in order to have a more specific treatment. But she looked very well today. I think there´s no necessity to remove her to São Paulo. Thank you Adri for asking about my sister´s health, you´re so sweet :-).

Today was a perfect day for a walk. The sun bright on the afternoon and a soft breeze were around. The Itapety Mountain was so beautiful. I´ve tried to post a picture but didin´t work. I´ll keep trying anyway.

Adri, welcome to the spare tyre club :-). When we´re with a friend our sister we never agree who is the fatter one. After Christmas everybody is blamed. You blame your genes, your grandmother, your neighbour, etc. You only don´t put the the blame on the extra chocolates that you´ve eaten :-). Oh, that´s makes me remember of a friend of mine. She never admits that she puts some weight on. She always says she´s retaining liquid, therefore she´s swelled up. So, lets think like her. The spare tyre is actually a liquid retaining and there´s nothing to do with overeating. We are swelled up, ok? It´s hot and people swell up all the time when it´s hot. Haha. Just like you I like to exercise outdoors. However, it´s really hard to have a January afternoon without a heavy rain. Today was an exception. By the way Adri, Have you ever tried any BodySystems activity. I´m sure you´ll like it. It´s really great.

Paul it´s nice to see you here again :-). You´ve contacted us when we first became student bloggers, and now it´s wonderful hear some words from you :-).

Lewis, nice to meet you :-). I didn´t know the blog area when you´re teaching here. It´s nice to hear from you.

Antonio, I´m studying to take the FCE exam this year. Could I ask you something? What did you think about the speaking test? Did you feel nervous? I have to confess that I fell a bit dizzy when I think about it.

Anita, on Christmas the temperature was below 0° C in your country! I can´t imagine a Christmas so cold like this. It must be great, at least for someone like me who has never spent a Christmas in a cold weather :-). Can you imagine how a Christmas with temperatures above 35°C is? Very different, isn´t it? :-).

Good bye for now, see you soon,

Ana Paula.






Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Which one do you prefer? ( James, Taiwan)

Hi there,

At the public place of Taiwan, there are 2 styles of toilet can be chosen. One is for sitting, the other is for squat. I would like to show you the pictures that my office administration provides to the public.

+++++++ Which one do you prefer?

The sitting one

............. Westerners do like it, while Taiwanese don’t like it.

The sitting toilet


The squat one

Westerners dislike it, call it is a fake toilet. And Taiwanese always choose it.

The squat toilet


Finally

Because a few westerners don’t know how to use the squat toilet, I took a photo to show how to use it.



The man in the picture is me(with pants, of course), so don’t worry about the copyright. I set up a tripod to shoot myself.

Take your time and enjoy it when you are in the rest room of Taiwan.

Best regards

James Zhih-Cheng Wu (Taiwan)

Student Blogger of May, 2007

The journey in England

Hello Lewis, hello friends!

Welcome Lewis! It was so nice to turn on the computer yesterday and find your post. It was a pleasure to read it and find out a bit about you. I was sorry to read that your computer is not working correctly. Hopefully, you can blog from your work until it will be repaired. I did a little research concerning the salutation at the beginning of your blog. I learnt that “Hey up, me ducks! “ is a famous Nottingham welcome and it has some connection with Dick Whittington. So, Lewis, you are living in Nottingham, are you? I am really curious to know your most exciting news: What might it be? Hmmm.... I guess… you became a father. Yes, you have a lovely baby....girl….no, no... a baby boy? I am looking forward to hearing from you soon. Please, do not keep us guessing for long!

When I ended writing the blog in September 2006 I was full of hope to visit England one day. At the time it seemed like I am crying for the moon. Since then I have been there, thanks to my daughter. Definitely, the highlight of 2007 for me was our holiday in Reading, England.

Some of you might read my report about our journey on Stephen Keeler column but some of you might be interested in it. And now I can show you some pictures, too. So, here is my report.

I can say that I realised one of my dreams: I visited Csilla in Reading. We spent together ten fantastic days. During the season of Easter her housemates went home so we could enjoy her company in their shared house. I saw her university, the surroundings where she lives, her workplace and all that. She performs her duties very skilfully, so all that really put my mind at rest. We did lots of sightseeing because we rented a car and drove about 1 000 miles so I saw the hustle and bustle of the cities and the peace and quiet of the countryside as well. We visited Windsor castle, the city of Salisbury, Canterbury and Bath which are definitely beautiful cities. Stonehenge and the dock in Dover were also marvellous. We spent one day in London which is such a short time to see and visit everything. I was deeply impressed by the National Gallery because firstly, they asked for donations rather than made visitors purchase a ticket and secondly I was able to see my favourite picture by Vincent van Gogh, The Sunflowers. We had a flying visit at The Tate Modern, too. We walked past Downing Street, walked up and down St. James’ Park, picnicked by the Houses of Parliament and had a little rest in Regent’s park.



The first thing we saw in London was the Piccadilly Circus which is particularly known for its video display and neon signs. Then we saw the Trafalgar Square, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. Sightseeing was so much fun. I saw traditional black London taxis and red buses on the streets. England left me utterly captivated.


The weather was beautiful. We were expecting rain and fog but the sun was shining all week. However, I saw a terrible thing. Just imagine when we were on the beach in Bournemouth people were swimming in the sea. Brrrrr…


Since then I have learnt that I saw horses and donkeys in the National Park, called The New Forest. Thanks to Jo for writing about it in her blog.


I tried fish and chips, steak pie, English muffins with eggs and ham, scones with clotted cream and jam and crumpets with butter. All these meal were delicious. I do hope that I will have a chance to visit her again in the future.

Dear Ana Paula! No, I cannot imagine Christmas with high temperatures. Undoubtedly, it might be very different. I am planning to attach a picture of our garden in winter. Please, have a look at it tomorrow.

Well, before getting long-winded I will close for now. Take care! Bye,bye

Anita


Friends Forever!

Assalaamu Aleikum Everyone!
(May peace and protection be upon you)

I hope you are all well and having a whale of time on this great board. BBC LE means a lot to me not only with respect to the informative stuff that I get to learn but also with respect to friends. Although I have been a regular reader of these blogs since the day they started, but become an active reader only when I got the chance to write blogs as a student blogger. I have made so many good friends here.

It would be my pleasure to mention their names here. I would like to start with Ana Paula, Ana and I are not only blogmates but are good friends too. She always has something interesting to share with such as music, movie clips and the videos of her favourite musical bands and so much more. Oh well, her sister Roseli is also my friend and these two girls are lovely.

Adri, I have always inspired by your interest in photography and recipes you shared with us. I liked the photos of Iago that you have posted this time and I would like to be his friend. As for the weight gain, have you given a try to Yoga? Well, it really works. I’m considering to write a blog or two on this subject.

Marianna, I have always been pleased the way you have communicated to me. I want to say many many thanks to you.

Benka, I hope you are well and I’m really really pleased to see your comment. Oh well, I really don’t think I got bored of readinng your comment. I was very glad to read that you still remember me. And oh, snow fall, it seems you really enjoyed playing with snow like a child. I like snow very much but poor me, I have only seen it in films not in real as the weather in my city is not a kind that you ever expect a snowfall even in a very cold weather. And how is life going at your end? As for me, nothing much has changed since June.

Habooba, thank you so much for the comment. As for the picture, I haven’t taken it myself it was sent by my friend through email, even she didn’t take it herself. Hummm.. You are from Iran and there’s one thing which is said to be the taste of Iran, and that is ‘Sheesh Kebab’. I haven’t tasted myself yet, however, there’s a restaurant in my city that serves this delicious food and said to be the best in town.

Yaseen, I’m glad that you liked the way I expressed my ideas and I wish you good luck with your studies. To improve your English, I will suggest you to read, write and speak as much as you can and you will see the difference. As I also do the same.

By the way, do you all know that the BBC LE has formed a group on Facebook? Have you made friends with them yet? If not, what are you waiting for? The link is just on your right on this page. Sign up now!

Here’s a photo of me. It was taken today. I like it because I wasn’t posing to have a photo and my sister just took it.

Bye for now

Naheed

A place where you can make friends.

Hey up friends!

Naheed I was so happy when I read your blog today :-). Our friendship was born right here on this blog area. That´s the fascinanting thing that happens when you´re learning a language. Apart from the main goal, which for us is learning English, we also make many friends. Visititing BBC LE gave me the opportunity to meet many interesting and kind people from all over the world :-). Adriana, Marianna, Antonio, Pary, Habboba, Mauricio( Where are you Mauricio?), Leila, Anita, Lidia. You are all part of my life now. By the way Naheed, you´re my dear friend too. It´s been great to know everyday more about you and your family, and I´m happy you´ve liked the videos and songs that I´ve sent to you :-).

James, your blog was very instrutive today. Are you still listening to Olivia Newton John?

Dear Anita, what a wonderful pictures! I´m looking forward to seeing your blog tomorrow :-).

Adri, did you take the yellow fever vaccine today? Was it painful? People say that yellow fever vaccine is very painful.

Lidia, have a safe and wonderful journey to Dublin. How wonderful! You´re going to brush up your English in Ireland. Thanks for your kind wishes. I wish all the best for you, may all your dreams come true :-). Moreover I´m looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Rachel W, it´s nice to hear from you. I´ve liked your pictures :-)

Amy!!! Oslo Willian is a hansome baby boy! I hope he can have health and all the happiness in this world :-).

I´m off to bed now. I have to wake up earlier tomorrow.

Best wishes,




Ana Paula.
X





Thursday, 17 January 2008

Adriana says "Anauê"!



Anauê” everyone ( you are "like" my relative in Tupi language),

Paul, of course we are all enjoying this new project.Just let people communicate with us and they will be always around here. It was a creative idea. I take my hat off to you and the staff. It’s good to see old friends and the new( at least for me). They are so nice as well. Glad to meet you all: Antonio, Anita, Lewis, Rachel W... I have been reading all your blogs. I’m just blaffed as weather I have to comment in your blogs or just here. Paul, who is responsible for the banner? You? It’s fantastic now with more students there.

Paul, I’m missing Satya. Did you contact him?

Amy, it's very nice to see you again and to see your baby. He’s cute indeed. I hope you write more to us. Say hello to your family.

My friends :Ana Paula from SP/Brazil and Naheed from Pakistan, thanks for your suggestions. Every idea is welcome.

Antonio, I've read that you have sent comment to me. It's not there but just your intention to remind of me is enough and makes my heart happy, ok? I say hello to whoever more perhaps have had the same problem.

Ana Paula, I’m happy for you because isn’t rainning anymore in SP. Your picture is stunning with your eternal smile, Aninha. I reinforce your suggestion. Maurício! Maurício!

Naheed, how facebook works? Is it like skype or myspace?
Naheed, You are very well in that picture too. This reminds me that I have forgotten to add a comment about the photo from the last post. The one that we (I, my brother and his wife) are in a river was taken the last Saturday. I’m on the right and my son and my nephew are in the background.



Anita , you have described your trip so well that I felt as I was there. Are people wearing clothes at the beach in that picture? I assume it's cold there. Am I wrong?

Ufa! It’s boiling here. I’d like to be in this way right now!


It's always a pleasure to be here with you all but I need a rest.
Good bye moon, see you soon!

Adriana

Welcome back, Rachel!

Hello Rachel, nice to hear from you again! How are you and how’s your family? Does you daughter already write on her blog? The St. John University looks really nice. I adore English Campuses because they’re all rich in green spaces, spaces in which students and teachers are able to walk around and to meet each other (am I right?). Your photos have brought me to mind of Peter Weir’s “Dead Poets Society”, which was (when I used to be a child :) ) one of my favourite movies. The story is set at a fictional American Academy and it was filmed at St. Andrew’s School in Delaware. Probably your campus is completely different from this school, but my child memories make them so similar.

Today I’d like to show you Popper’s sons and daughters.

Video Dogs 1
Video Dogs 2

Popper is my fantastic black and white female dog. Some years ago (maybe 7), I was coming back home from my High School in Padula. It was snowing and it was a very cold day. I was waiting for the bus with some friends of mine when I heard a strange noise coming from the guard-rail. As I approached it I could see something black moving in the snow. It was a little puppy dog! I took and brought it at home with me. I immediately called it “Popper”! I don’t remember why… probably because in those days I was reading something about Karl Popper… anyway I was certain it was male and Popper seemed to me a very good name for my dog. Two days later my mother saw it was not exactly a male… but I would not change its name! Now Popper is the mom of six fantastic puppies…

See you soon…

Antonio

P.S. Hi Filippo! Yes, with “graduated course” I meant I’m doing “la specialistica” :) About the football, although I live in Turin, I’m a supporter of Lazio! Bye!

Thank You ( James, Taiwan)

Hi Pan & Habooba (both are from Iran), Antonio (from Belgium), and other friends,

The commentators always bloom the blog. I would like to thank those friends who comment on my entries.


Have a nice day, everybody.

Best regards
James Zhih-Cheng Wu (Taiwan)
Student Blogger of May, 2007


The new member of my family…

Hello friends!

First of all, I would like to say thank you for the wonderful banner. I bet, I can let the cat out of the bag…. Elena made the banner…Many thanks. :-D

I am sure, you can remember that my family likes animals. Unfortunately, our dog passed away in September 2006 (while I was blogging). Since then we have a new dog, Bobó. He is a beagle, an English hunting dog. He is only one and a half years old and very cute. He is a very kind and smart dog and he is a lot of fun for everyone in the family. He likes pilfering everything. I have attached my favourite picture of him. In his mouth is a sponge that he filched from a bucket while my husband was washing the car. Bobó and my son made good friends.



This open blog is a lot of fun. But I always have to fight for control of the computer as my husband and I use the same one. As you know, we have our little office at home. When he takes just one step from the room or he makes phone calls I immediately sit in front of the PC because I am keen on taking a quick peek at the blogs and the comments. Fortunately, he has great respect for me.

It is fantastic that I receive comments from my “old” commentators and they can remember me and what is more we can encourage each other. Am I right, Diema and Pary? I am looking forward to hearing from you both. I miss Hyoshil from Lincoln, Ana from Poland, Vy Tran from Vietnam and all my lovely commentators as well.

Dear Ana Paula! Hope, your sister is doing better. Dear Naheed! Here is a picture for you two. It was taken in our garden in November 2007, I think. It was the first snow that fell this winter.


Hi Adriana! Why do you and Ana Paula think that you are fat? What a foolish idea! I am wearing glasses…..and it seems to me that you are both nice and slim. I cannot believe that someone who plays football and does different exercise might be fat. Girls…Chin up! More self-confidence!! Please, do not be cross with me because I am trying to persuade you. OK?
Adriana, I have attached another picture taken on the beach, too. In the picture some people are wearing their swimming costumes and they are sunbathing, others are wearing jeans, shirts or hoodies. It was in April and the temperatures were between 15 and 18 °C.


Szia Leila! I greet you in Hungarian as our languages belong to the same language family. Oh, I bet, I must explain it. My nationality is Hungarian and we belong to the Hungarian minority living in Slovakia. I loved your pictures. My desire is to visit Egypt one day. You are lucky being there.

Antonio! I keep my fingers crossed for you! Hope, you will get great exams results. I have already seen your videos three times….at least. What cute puppies! I have a favourite one… the little puppy with the black mark on his/her head. Aaaah!

James Zhih-Cheng Wu, your topics are so humorous that I always laugh loudly. My family think that I am mad. Keep up the good work!

Hello Lidia! Unfortunately, we cannot look at your pictures taken in Malta. However, I am looking forward to looking at them because I have also been there and I really loved being in Malta. The people were so nice there – unforgettable experience.

Satya!! Where are you? What keeps you busy?

I also miss Alex from Russia and Jenny from China. It would be nice to hear your news. I am looking forward to meeting you too.

Take care! See you tomorrow!

Anita




Friday, 18 January 2008

Adriana’s remaining strenght

Hello dear friends,

After gym and a loooong bath, let’s see if there’s still any strenght to type here because I love being here. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t use drugs but I’m addicted to the blogging area of this website. What do you think about this kind of obscession?

Ana Paula, where are you? Oh you’ve asked about the injection against yellow fever...No, sadly, there’s no more vaccine for us here in my state. We’ll have to wait. We are always going to the countryside, waterfalls, forest and it’s important for us. Perhaps, I should avoid going to these places for awhile.

Naheed, I think I’ll try the facebook someday. Maybe the weekend. I think it must be like orkut. I’d like one that I could speak and listen English. Is it possible there?

Marianna, Antônio from Belgium, Pary from Iran and whoever is feeling the same. Don’t worry about your comments that are not appearing. The important thing is that you are reading. I try to read every comment in every blog. I’m happy to see your comment in any place even it isn’t for me, because in this way we can see you are around here. I know exactly how you feel when you don’t see the comment that you have written with such dedication but try not to be sad and imagine how hard this "may have been "(thanks Rachel W for this lesson!) for the BBC LE staff to do everything at the same time. All these blogs... and only in the blogging area. Imagine the rest of the website?! Sometimes I think there must be a squad of hundreds of thousands of people working here. I cannot even read all the content of the website and they are already updating. I don’t know if our friendship will last forever as it happens in real life because internet isn’t a tenacious thing but I’ll always have a caring thought of you all in my memory.

James , my bathroom is so different from yours especially the colour. It’s rose. Maybe some day I’ll show a picture of my rosy bathroom to you (only the bathroom, for sure...I'm not good in explainning things like you). Meanwhile let me show my son’s room. Don’t look at the mess. :-)



Look at my dictionary which has cost an arm and a leg.



Antônio from Italy, I’ve watched your videos. Your little dogs are so cute. I don’t know if this word can express what I’m trying to say. In Portuguese we would say “fofinhos”. May I choose one for me? I liked the one which was trying to gather with the others. I would hug it close to my cheek.

Anita, I’m so sorry about your dog that has passed away. Unlike your son, Bobó seems to like posing for pictures. In this one, it looks straight to us. Thanks Anita for your advices. You are so nice but, please, don’t worry too much. I don’t have any eating disorder. I’m just trying to keep fit. Ok?

Rachel W, it must have been very interesting your research and presentation. You are completely right. You can use me as an example. I’m only learning here.

Amy, I send a kiss to Oslo and Louie. I’ll try to find a picture of my son when he was a baby and we will check if all babies look the same.

Bye for now, guys, see you later!
Adriana

Tank crossing….

My dear friends! How are you? Hope all is well…

Hi Lewis! Today is Friday. Hopefully, your PC is repaired…..I am really interested in learning about your most exciting news. Please, do not keep us waiting any longer.

The other day, I went on business trip with my husband to Hungary as I mentioned. I have not been to Hungary since Slovakia and Hungary (amongst other countries) became part of the so-called Shengen area on 21st Dec. 2007. As Jonathan Marks pointed out, there are no customs checks. It is a sensational feeling… we can just sit in the car, drive about 50km and we are in Hungary without having to show our passport at the border. Hurray! Here is a picture of the river Danube which is a border- river between Slovakia and Hungary.



I have attached another photo taken in…. No, no… I will not tell you where the photo was taken. I wonder if anyone can guess which country it is.... Have you ever seen such a signpost? We were shocked and surprised when we saw this sign and took the photo immediately. It is really funny, isn’t it?


I was not planning to write about my country in general because it is so easy to surf on the internet and find links, photos and dates and so on about Slovakia. However, I will write some sentences because Jo asked me: ”How does the UK compare with your country?” Oh Jo, if I wrote about the differences between Slovakia and the UK I would blog for the next two months. There are lots of differences…the landscape, the beautiful green grass in England- it was really impressive, sheep and horses, the buildings, the traffic, the roads, the ocean, people’s behaviour, the education, and so on. I had read a lot about the UK before we went there, so there was not anything that surprised me… except for… all the restaurants and pubs were always full of people not only in the towns but even in the small villages. I do not really know whether they were all English people or tourists….but seeing that was really surprising. We went to a pub (I think, it was on a weekday) in a small village and it was crowded. This is not the same in Slovakia, I mean in villages….maybe in Bratislava (capital of Slovakia) or in biggest towns.Dear Jo, thank you for your comment,anyway.

I have added some links and you can all look at them if you are interested to learn more about Slovakia.
I would like to leave a special note to Naheed, Ana Paula and Adri – you can find lot of interesting writings and photos about Bojnice (where Marianna lives) amongst these links. Anyway, hi! Marianna!






Take care! Have a great weekend! See you soon,

Anita

Enjoy the weekend

Hi everyone, this is Leila from Finland calling, I was BBC LE November 2007 student.

Since last Sunday when I last participated lots has happened. You may recall that I told you that I was to go to Copenhagen for few days. Well the work related trip went fine enough; I was rather tired when I got home at the end of journey just after midnight.

I see that the site has been used wildly, so many entries. I wonder if anyone can keep up with all these entries. I do hope some of you find the time firstly to read our writings and perhaps even to comment. This is a way of the virtual world.

Thank you for those of you who had seen my rather long writing from last Sunday, yes my trip to Egypt was really first-class. We had so good time and we found the voyage relaxing even though we had a very busy schedule. Going inside the pyramid was a bit scary for me, because I suffer a little about claustrophobia.

The photo below is one of my shots and it was taken two months ago against the blue Finnish sky near where I work.

I do hope your weekend is relaxing and enjoyable. Warmest regards from Leila


It's been long time.......

Dear Amy, and readers,

This is Yumiko in Japan. How have you been these days?
I am still in Tokyo as always. I'm just back from work & shopping. I do remember my first post, which I talked about the sales season in summer. Now winter sales already began! Sometimes I stopped by Ginza, which is famous for shopping town, and looked ramdomly for my clothes!!! Sorry guys, it's typical girls' thing..

Time flies so fast. It's already been 6 month after I finished blogging. I'd have to say thanks to Amy, who was my teacher. She was so kind to answer all of my questions. I very much appreciated it.

I still continue studying English for TOEFL. I actually went to the language school for TOEFL, and found it was seriously tough and demanding. I had to remember many words which I rarely saw, and do paractice for listening section!! I did not expect it was that tough, but I hope it helped me brush up my English ability:)

A friend of mine from exchange program which I attended 2 years ago, visited Tokyo and we met up for dinner! It reminded me of my good old days as an exchange student! We went to the suburb near Tokyo and saw Mt. Fuji!! (sorry for no photos...) We Japanese have the old saying as follows : If we have a dream of Mt. Fuji on the 1st Jan., this year would be filled with happiness and good fortune. That's why we went to see Mt. Fuji for new year! Unfortunately I did not remember my dream though!

I wish all of you good luck!!! Thank you so much for reading!

Dear Amy,

How is the life in India?? I hope you had happy holiday seasons and good luck for your family!!! I'm missing August, which I struggled for blogging in English. I am very grateful for you because you always cheered me up!

Best regards,
Yumi
x

Yoga

Salaam Friends!

How have you been up to? This time I’m writing on Yoga as I have drwan benefits from it and want to enrich your knowledge on this subject, too. Adri, I agree with you that it’s good to keep oneself up in shape and proper health care is the best way to it. By the way, Ana Paula, has anyone said that you are putting on weight? You look absolutely in shape, believe my words.

Friends, has anyone noticed that someone has joined us as a commentator and seems to be a quite active commentator….hummm…any guesses friends? Yes, you guessed it right! It’s Jo! Dear Jo it was really good to see your comments and I had a big smile on my face when I read your comment to me and fellow bloggers. I hope you are not too much worried about your spare tyre. And how about your project? I wish you GOOD LUCK! I’m just looking forward to reading your next post.

Amy, best wishes to you and your family. Baby Oslo is very cute.

Before I start I would like to thank Marianna, oh dear you need not to worry about the comment if it’s not get posted because I know you never give a miss to read our posts and we are always in your thoughts, so no worries at all, kisses to you. Rose, Thank you so much for your comment I’m really glad to see you and hope to see more comments from you, lots of wishes and kisses to you. And yes, Rose do read today’s post. I’m missing some more friends too. Where have you been Tomo, Manas, Wisarat, Adek? And how are you Benka? Just don’t worry if your comment doesn’t get posted for I know you don’t give a miss to our posts, so be happy :-> Dear Anita, I enjoy reading your posts very much and they are informative too. Anita, can you post the links again as they haven’t appeared in your post, I’m afraid. James, I hope you are well and I would like to say that I found your posts very interesting, I did send you comments but they could not get posted. Leila, I hope you had a great time in Copenhagen.

Friends, since there’s so much to tell about yoga, so you will read a couple of posts on it.

This time let’s begin with “What is Yoga?

The word yoga comes from Sanskrit language which means union or merger. Yoga focuses on harmony between mind and body, and its ultimate aim is to strike a balance between mind and body. To achieve this, yoga uses movement, breath, posture, relaxation and meditation in order to establish a healthy, lively and balanced approach to life. It is considered to be the oldest physical discipline in existence. In the earlier times, yoga postures and breathing were practiced to bring stability and relaxation so practitioners could prepare for the rigors of meditation, sitting and alert for longer period of time. In the modern context it helps maintain a fine balance between work and healthy mind.

It’s been more than a year I have been practicing yoga since and I have found it very helpful with respect to health, beauty and strength. I will write more about the types, limbs, benefits and tips on yoga. So watch this space!

With best wishes

Naheed

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Be good, Be good, and Be Good (James, Taiwan)

Hi Teacher Lewis and my blogger-mate Lidia, Antonio, Ana, Anita, Naheed, Andriana, Satya, Leila,

To a person who is a dads-to-be man-----Lewis (Hey up, me ducks!)

There are 3 characteristics that make a good father, Be good, Be good, and Be good. (be good= a familiar word with kids)


1.
Be good

Be good to your wife, who is the mother of the baby. If you do so, then, she will have a good mood to take care of and to educate your baby well.
Trick or treat.

2.
Be good

Be good at making money, don’t let your wife and kids hunger.
No money, no talk.


3.
Be good

Be good to the healthiness and safety of your family.
No healthiness, no happiness.

I would like to show you a 3 laughing-girls photo, from left to right, Kelly Wu (elder kid), Wendy Liu (my wife), Kitty Wu (younger kid), May you have a smiling family.

Kelly,Wendy,Kitty


Incidentally, many comments have been evaporated recently on the BBC LE blog, including mine. So, I got to say hello to my blogger-mate here,

Best regards

James (Zhih-Cheng Wu, Taiwan)
Student Blogger of May, 2007

A second bite of the cherry

Hello everyone!

Here are the links again

slovakia.com
slovakia.travel
sacr.sk
vysoketatry.com/en.html

Have a good time surfing on these sites! Enjoy the weekend!

Anita

I´m back again :-)!!!


Hello friends!

Itapety Moutain


How are you doing? I hope you´re all fine and enjoying your weekend.

I had to stay away from this blog area for a couple of days. But it was for a good reason. My sister is at home now! We had to pick her up at the hospital last Thursday, and then I had to give a hand to my mum, so I wasn´t able to write here. Anyway, she´s quite well. Thanks a lot to all of you who have asked after her :-).

Wow! How many interesting things have happened here while I was away :-).

Anita, thank you so much for the picture. It´s wonderful! As for my weight problem, you would probably change your mind if you see my hips :-). Anyway, you´re so kind. Ah! I´ve taken a look at the sites you mentioned and it´s really amazing. I´m also missing Satya and Alex from Russia. I really would like to know how Alex´s capoeira( and Portuguese) classes are doing.

Marianna, I´ve seen a picture of a castle in your city. Wow! It´s great. When you talk about your city on your comments I just feel like I´m there looking through your window :-).

Adriana, I need one of these 'powerful' dictionaries just like yours. Mine is old and out of date :-). Oh, what a pity there´s no yellow fever vaccine in your city. People here are very worried about the yellow fever too. I hope our nation get over this problem soon. By the way Adri, as Naheed told you the Facebook is pretty much like Orkut. However, it´s safer than Orkut. If one day you decide to sign in, please add me as a friend, ok? :-)

Yumi! Nice to see you also here :-). Enjoy the sales season and good luck with your TOEFL studies.

Lewis, you´re going to be a dad! Congrats! I wish all the best for you and your family :-).

James, you always surprise me! I wish I could be so creative as you are.

Leila, nice to have you here again :-).

Naheed, how interesting your blog about yoga! I always want to do yoga but there´s no one who can give classes around here. So I decided to do BodyBalance.

Antônio, your puppies are so cute! Dead Poets Society is a movie I also like very much.

Hi Guy Noel, it´s nice to have you here :-). I hope you do very well in your studies and keep sending comments. It´s a wonderful way to brush up your English.

Hey Jo from West Meon, UK. I´ve just loved to read your comment :-). It´s a good idea and it´s very funny :-). I hope hear more from you soon :-).

Tomorrow I´m going to the movies in São Paulo city. I´m going to watch The Kite Hunner. Does anybody watch this movie?

See you soon,

Ana Paula.

PS- Next time I write, I´ll talk about Itapety Moutain.









Types Of Yoga

Hey up everyone!

Just chill chill.. just chill..ooops! It’s Jo’s recent post that makes me sing a song of an Indian film. I agree with you Jo, that it’s like a worldwide blogging party and I’m having a whale of time being part of it.

To de-stress myself I do a bit of meditation before going to bed. It’s like, there’s complete dark in my room and I sit in meditation. This relaxes me a lot and after that when my head touches the pillow, oh, I fall fast asleep and get up only when the alarm of my mobile rings.

Hello James, I read your today’s post with great interest. Good thoughts!

Yesterday I had told you all about what is yoga. And now it’s time to know more about its types. Today many different styles of yoga are being practiced throughout the world. All of them are based on the same physical poses (Asana in the language of yoga). Each style has a distinct accent. Here are some of the types of yoga.

Ashtanga and Power Yoga: Ashtanga means 8 limbs. This is a fast-paced, inetnse yoga style, in which a set series of poses is performed, always in the same order. It is also referred to as power yoga. So ashtanga yoga is performed in flowing style.

Bikram Yoga: It is founded by Bikram Chaudhary. His style consists of a set of 26 poses and is also called Hot Yoga, as it is practiced in a 96-100 degree room. I have seen his several vidoes on the world wide web, oh, he is 61 but seems to be 40. The amount of sweat that comes out of the body is said to be cleansing in this type.

Hatha Yoga: It is a general term for all forms of physical yoga. Typically, it is slow-paced and gentle and best at times when you really want to de-stress yourself. And it also provides a good introduction to basic yoga asanas.

Iyengar Yoga: It is based on the teachings of Yogacharya B.K.S Iyengar. His style is more concerned with bodily alignment. So, if you are doing Iyengar yoga, this means you are staying in yoga poses for longer period of time instead of switching from one pose to another as in power yoga.

Vinyasa Yoga: This style of yoga suggests that asanas will flow from one to another in breath-synchronized movement. That means in conjunction with the breath. In Vinyasa Yoga, you are supposed to let your body turn soft – as soft as cotton wool. Let your body flow fluidly; let it be as light as a feather.

Power Vinyasa Yoga: It is a brainchild of Baron Baptiste. He is said to be one of the most famous yoga teachers In the USA. His goal, he says, is to simplify yoga and making it easily reachable to everyone.

There are many styles in yoga, but the best is to know what suits you more. As for me, I like power yoga, hatha yoga, bikram yoga, vinyasa yoga, and sometimes the mixture of everything. But most important thing that I consider is what relaxes me and if any pose which I’m not comfortable doing it then I just don’t do it.

With this I’ll say bye until tomorrow…

Naheed

Sunday, 20 January 2008

If you do not change, You can become EXTINCT

Scene 1:
On the banks of the river Godavari
Rajahmundry*


"How long will take, Annayya*?" I asked getting out of the car.
He was busy taking all the things needed for our pooja* and said,
" May be one hour or so. Not more than that."
We were going for the pooja when suddenly someone pulled my shirt. When I looked back, I could see a small boy, can be 15 or 16 years old, begging for money. We asked him to go away but he hadn't even paid attention to us. He seemed to be hyper active. He came along with us to the river asking again and again. We stopped paying attention for him and gone with our rituals. It took nearly an hour to complete the pooja.
We came out and he was there again. But this time, my brother asked him to come with us. We reached our car. My brother took a cloth from the car and gave it to him and said,
" Clean my car and I will give you money."
The boy looked surprised. He asked, "Are you serious, sir?"
"Why should I joke, you little chap. Clean my car and demand money for it. Don't beg money. Understood?"
The boy immediately took the cloth into his hands and cleaned the car neatly. After cleaning, he asked money boldly...and my brother gave him....

After two months....

Scene 2:
On the banks of the river Godavari
Rajahmundry


I was going through the same place with my friend, when a young boy caught my attention. I stopped and looked keenly. He was cleaning every car parked there and asking money for it. I could see a dedication in his work. And I could remember.... He is the same boy which we met two months ago...

Life is interesting, isn't it???
________________________________________________________

I published it in my blog months ago and one of the readers has argued that my brother had encouraged child labour.
But my opinion is
As we are living in a materialistic world, we should not depend on anybody. My brother would have given him a few bucks with out even making the child to work and how long will that fellow will live on those few bucks???
And what about the millions of such children in the world???
So, it is the realisation within self that is required. That child should ask himself...why should I beg others when I can earn money on my own???

That's all for today....

Satya
Life is creative...


____________________________________
* Rajahmundry is a city near to my village. If you can remember, my village is Balabhadrapuram and now I'm studying in Visakhapatnam
*Annayya in English means Brother. My mother tongue is Telugu
*Pooja in English means Ritual...
I would have used these terms in English but it felt that it lacks reality then...

Namaste....

Hey...
Can you remember me??? This is Satya....Back again...
I have been reading all the posts but could not write one so far...We had pongal holidays and so I went to my village.
Thanks Ana Paula for remembering me....
One small request to the blogging party....
Please request Dima to make this blog accessible to everyone of us through out the year...I would like to write in it all the time...

Satya
Life is creative....

Tongue twister

Hello friends! Welcome Yumi and Satya!

Hi Ana Paula! I am glad you are back and your sister is well. I am also happy to hear that you liked the sites.

I will write a very brief entry today. I just would like to help you wind down after a busy week.

I like playing with words, I like doing crossword puzzles in Hungarian but it is not easy to do the same in English. I am into tongue twisters which are sentences that are difficult to say. They are good pronunciation practice.

The well-known tongue twister is: She sells seashells on the seashore.

I would like to show you my collection of tongue twisters. Here they are:

Six silly sisters selling shiny shoes.

Four fine fresh fish for you.

If a dog chews shoes, whose shoes does he choose?

I am looking back,
To see if she is looking back,
To see if I am looking back,
To see if she is looking back at me!

Finally, my favourite one: I scream, you scream, we scream: ice-cream.

Do you like them? Can you add any more tongue twisters to the list? I am looking forward to reading them.

Have a nice rest of the weekend! Bye, bye

Anita

Monday, 21 January 2008

An ordinary weekend here

Hello beloved friends,

This weekend I stayed here so this was an ordinary weekend as I cannot go to the countryside for awhile.
As usual, we went to the beach for playing “frescobol”. What’s this word in English?



It was in Itapuã, the beach of my childhood here in Vila Velha city. I don't have the notion of how many times I’ve spent the afternoons looking at the sea when I had any problem to think about. It really works. I can vouch for that.



The beach was full of beans. And there were running competitions there.





The paragliding competition was full of emotion and turned the sky so colourful.



There were three guys from Sweeden. Their performance was brilliant. I would take a picture with them if I wasn’t shy to ask them for that. What would they think if I asked?



My son has no problem to do that (he’s a boy). He took a picture with a Brazilian competitor whos was also good in the acrobatic show. His loopings over the water were marvellous.



Naheed, I have already tried yoga and it’s really relaxing. It’s too much zen for me but It’s indeed highly recommended.

me in Aracruz beach


It seems that we are all a community of people who likes keeping healthy. More and more I feel strongly connected to you all. Here are some links that maybe you’ll enjoy. The first one is for reading. Basically everything about health and wellbeing. The second one is a variety of interesting issues. It’s for reading and listening(trancript included) as well as the third and fourth. The third says everything about philosophy. The fourth is my favourite. I love debates like the existing there. Just read/ listen the fifth that is one of the programs and see how vivid it is.
abc.net - link 1
abc.net - link 2
abc.net - link 3
abc.net - link 4
abc.net - link 5


Ana Paula, I have been trying every day. The problem is that they give the tickets to have the vaccination early in the morning when I’m already working. When I arrive there, there’s no more ticket and now it’s worse...there’s no more vaccine until they send more to my state. But there’s nothing to worry about. I’m not going to the countryside anymore. Of course, if I join the facebook, I’ll add you there.

Anita, here is my tongue twister:
“ Please, Paul , don’t play ping-pong in this place. PLIN-PLOIN, PLIN-PLOIN. As plain as a pikestaff, he plonked a pile of plates.” :-D

Leila, I feel the same you feel inside the pyramid when I’m inside the airplane. Maybe I’m a bit of a claustrophobic too.

Namaste Satya, I’m glad to see you here over again. Life is creative.

Hi Yumi, pleased to see you around here. I’m also spending money but it’s on my son’s books and materials for school. He’ll start studying after the carnival.

Stephen, the way you describe haggis, it sounds so strange to me. Do you have a picture? You always with this sophisticated taste for classic music. I think I haven’t been educated to feel and understand fully this kind of music as you seem to have been. It’s a shame because I’m sure I’d love it.

Pary, I’ve read your comment. Thanks, you are very nice.

Sinwal from Nepal, Antonio from Belgium, Marianna from Slovakia, Paco and Mercè from Spain, what have you all been doing?

I’m also missing Soyoung, the sweet girl from Corea. Where are you? And the student blogger from Peru. It was the first student blog I’ve read. I’m worried if he’s well.

James, your message: BE GOOD says everything. Nothing more to declare.

Amy, there's nothing better than having a massage. I used to do shantala in my baby. Do you know how to do it?

Amy and Lewis, here are some moments of parenting that you are having or are going to have soon. A good mother or father is always present in the little moments of the children; is the best friend sharing the happiness and sorrows of the children and is like a port where the children may come back whenever he needs support. Congratulations Lewis! I wish good luck. Have fun.



It’s all, friends. Later we’ll keep in touch. Good night! Or good morning?


Adriana

Kill two birds with one stone

Hello my friends! Good morning!

Dear Lewis! I am so happy to hear your news. So, you are a dad-to-be. Congratulations! Being a parent is a fantastic thing and a new and a giant responsibility. It is a responsibility for a life…Holding his/her hand in yours for the first time, seeing his/her first smile, listening to his/her first word, seeing his/her first step….oh! These are fantastic and unforgettable experiences. And children grow up so quickly…so enjoy every moment with your newborn baby.
My lovely friend, who has also small (two- and four-year-old) children, always asks me how to be a good father. I totally agree with Jo and Amy that anyone who thinks about being a good father will not fail to reach it and will succeed. I have been thinking and here are my four characteristics that I think make a good parent: affection, appreciation, understanding, tolerance. Does this help?

As I see everybody does something in order to keep fit and healthy. Adriana plays football, Ana Paula does Body Balance, Naheed takes a yoga class, Leila goes to sauna, Jo and Amy go for a massage and Stephen goes for a run. And I ride my exercise bicycle. However, riding an exercise bicycle is not fun at all. It is rather boring. I usually watch the news on television when I use it so I kill two birds with one stone.

I had a little health problem. I arranged an appointment to see my doctor for a check up in summer. She did blood test and after a few days she said that my cholesterol level was too high and I should go on a diet. I could not believe my ears. I? I have high cholesterol level????!!!! I was bitterly frustrated to hear that. I did not really know what I should change in my life because I am not overweight, I try to eat healthy food - lots of fresh vegetables and fruit and so on. I also know the saying: One apple a day keeps the doctor away. I thought: “Perhaps, I do not move enough Aaaggh!! I probably spend lots of time in front of the computer???!!!” So, I have decided to do more exercise. Since then I have been cycling for 45 minutes every day. Why exactly 45 minutes? The news last 45 minutes….Just imagine, when I went for a check up again in November, my cholesterol level was lower. It was almost normal. So, my belief in doing exercise is strengthened.

Naheed! Thank you for your post about yoga. I have never taken any yoga class. Maybe, I should try it.

Adriana! I think we are all obsessed with this blogging area. We all love it. It seems to me that I use the same dictionary. May I write the title here? I do not know. Is the first letter L and the last N? Thank you for the links. I have not had a chance to take a look yet, but I will soon. The pictures are marvellous. I am green with envy that you are on the beach because I love the sea. Finally, thank you for the tongue twister, as well. I liked it.

Ana Paula, I have not seen this movie yet. Did you like the film? I am looking forward to reading about Itapety Mountain.

Leila, I have read your suggested link very carefully. It is really interesting and useful.

Take care! See you soon,

Anita

Roman Style Toilets (James, Taiwan)

Hi there,

I review some photos which I took in New Zealand when my family traveled to there on Sep, 2005. There are 2 photos about Rome Style Toilets are interesting. I forget where I took these photos, just know that was somewhere in south island of New Zealand.
Photo 1


Photo 2:


The written words post on the wall are:

“ROMAN STYLE
TOILETS
Why? Just for fun!
View the diorama (mural) from the centre of the room for best perspective.
Take a fascinating photograph!
Roman toilets often had running water under the seats (flush toilets).
Romans also carried a brush as part of their personal toiletries. This brush
was used instead of toilet paper.
The toilets in this room are to look at-
Not to use!


May all of you enjoy your toilet.

Best regards

James Zhih-Cheng Wu (Taiwan)
Student Blogger of May, 2007

Benefits Of Yoga

Hey up everyone!

Now it’s time to know the benefits of yoga. Yoga helps in two ways physiologically and psycologically. At physical level, yoga practices help to improve our physical health and at psychological level, it gives a feeling of fullness and satisfaction to the inner personality. The best part of practicing yoga is that it brings about positive energy and takes the negative energy out. Do you know what is the greatest positive energy and the greatest negative energy? Well, they are the two faces of the same coin, that is happiness and sadness.

Here are some benefits of yoga.

Increasing Flexibility: Yoga has positions that act upon the various joints of the body including those joints that have not been worked upon. It increases lubrication of the joints, ligaments and tendons.

Ligament : (noun) any of the strong strips of tissue in the body that connect bones together, limiting movements in joints and supporting muscles and other tissue

Tendon : (noun) a strong cord in the body connecting a muscle to a bone

Massaging of all organs of the boday: Yoga is perhaps the only form of activity which massages all the internal glands and organs of the body in a thorough manner.

Complete Detoxification: By gently stretching muscles and joints as well as massaging the various organs, yoga ensures the optimum blood supply to various parts of the boday. This helps in the flushing out of toxins from every nook and cranny as well as providing the nourishment up to the last point.

Anti Aging: This one is perhaps the most prestegious benefit of yoga. It steals away your age, makes your skin glow, vanishes wrinkles and brings an enchanting grace in personality.

Loses Weight: Along with various benefits, yoga is helpful in weight management. Musucles that have become flaccid or weak are stimulated repeatedly to shed excess flab and flaccidity. It gives body a shape, corrects posture,and keeps in frame.

Once you start practicing yoga you will experience yourself its benefits. There are so many benefits of yoga that if I begin to write them all the post will get longwinded but the benefits will not end.

Hello Amy, thank you that you liked my post and I hope you will like this one too. I wish you good luck for the yoga classes.

Ana Paula, it’s good to see you back and I’m glad that Rosana is back home. And yes, how was the film? Is the movie based on the story of a kite runner in Afghanistan?

Adri, I liked the photos of yours and Iago. How small he is in the one he is laid on sofa. I just love to picnic on the beach. I also went through the links, they are very informative. Have you visited ivillage.co.uk ?

Anita, Thank you for posting the links again! It was very impressive to read how you got the cholestrol level down to scale. As for yoga, you will be hooked once you try it.

James, I’m really enjoying your posts. They are interesting.

Marianna, I also saw the picture of the castle which you had once told about.

Hello Yumi and Satya! It’s really good to see you after a long time. Satya, we do remember you. How have you been up to?

By the way Yumi, how many dresses have you bought?

Leila thank you so much for providing such an informative link. I’m also going to ask my father to go through it.

That’s all from me. See you again.

Naheed

A delayed postcard from Copenhagen

Hi everyone, all is well at the Finnish front. Just a note to report that Leila is well and kicking. Please let me give my best to all of you via this entry. I have lots of work issues to sort out before I retire to sleep and therefore I have to be short. The photo below is from Copenhagen, I think I managed to capture the atmosphere quite well. The weather was somewhat murky and cloudy, so even the light is correct.

November 2007 Student blogger

Itapety Mountain

Hey up everybody! It´s nice to be here again :-)!

As I told you before, today I´m going to talk a bit about the Itapety Mountain( sorry friends, in my last blog I ate the 'n' in the word mountain. Ooops! My fault :-)).

About 65% of Mogi´s territory is located in areas of environmental protection. The Itapety Mountain is part of the Atlantic Forest and it´s home of many rare species, such as tamarins. The Itapety Mountain´s flora also surprises with dazzling and ancient trees, which depend on the season of the year are coloured with yellow, pink, purple and red flowers.

It´s wonderful to watch the mountain everyday. It stands up there, day after day, year after year, as if it´s protecting us. And I believe it is indeed. Unfortunately, some people don´t care about the nature and they are putting in risk the Itapety Mountain and its inhabitants. They want to build a landfill at a neighbourhood near the mountain, which can cause a terrible ecological disaster. Friends, I can tell you that the debates are getting hotter and hotter, and thanks God, many people are embracing the cause against the landfill.

I´m not a good photographer as our dear Adri, but I have a shot and have taken a couple of pictures of Itapety Mountain for you see how it looks like. What did you think? I hope you´ve liked. What a pitty, it was a cloudy day and believe me, it looks ten times better in the flesh :-). Ah! These pictures were taken at my health club, because it´s the highest place in my neighbourhood. The view from my home is also beautiful but the eletric cables would 'spoil' the pictures.







Anita, I´ve just loved your twist tongues :-)!!!!! Thanks for sharing with us and for your kind words to me and my sister. I´ve written the twist tongues down :-). In answer to your question, the movie was really great!!! If you have the opportunity watch it :-). Aha! So you ride a bike exercise in order to keep health and fit. That´s great. I´m trying to persuade my mum because I want to buy a bike( not a exercise bike) so I can ride to work, to go to the supermarket( which by the way would save me a lot of time). However, she keeps telling me that there´s no way, our home is to small and there´s no room for a bike. Anyway Anita, help me to persuade her :-)!

Naheed, yes the movie The Kite Runner is inspired by the book which has the same name ( by the way, someone could please answer me if could I use the word homonym in order to say that the book and film have the same name?). Have you read the book? And Naheed, the movie is really worthy to see. Moreover, the soundtracks are beautiful and the story is moving. By the way Naheed, I enjoyed very much reading your posts about the benefits of yoga. I wish one day I could enjoy the benefits of yoga practice too :-).

Satya! Welcome back :-)!!!

Adri, thank you. I´ve enjoyed very much the sites you´ve recommended us. I like very much indeed the philosophy issues, one of my favourite programmes on Brazilian TV is about philosophy. It´s called 'Café Filosófico' ( Philosophic Café). Have you ever watched it? Oh, I´m also missing Soyoung. Her blog was the first one that I´ve followed.

Leila, what a lovely post card :-)!

James, as usual your blog was very instrutive :-).

Ok, I´m off to bed now. G´night. See you tomorrow,

Ana Paula.



Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Music and weather

Hi everyone! How are you doing?

Hello Stephen! What a coincidence! Yesterday I heard on the radio almost the same statistic you mentioned. They said that 21st January was the worst day in the year. And to top it all it was Monday. But I am not in a bad mood, not at all. The weather is mild here. The sun has been shining, the temperatures have been around 14 degrees recently - almost spring, and I can blog. However, I would like to receive more feedback from readers but I also know that the lovely people at the BBC do their best. There are so many interesting entries from bloggers, both students and teachers, so I can imagine what a great number of comments they receive, and then, have to read and publish. Am I right Paul, Jackie, Dima, Elena, William?

I also like listening to classical music. However, I am not as big enthusiast as you, Stephen, I think. I would never miss The New Year's Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic. No, I was not amongst the audiences in the Wiener Musikverein (Concert Hall) in Vienna. I just curled up on the sofa and watched the television broadcast. The New Year's Concert has been a tradition for many years. Millions of people see it through the TV broadcasts every year. The program is a mixture of well-known classics, mainly from the vast repertoire of the Johann Strauss family and its contemporaries. It is always fascinating, of course. If you are interested you can learn more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_New_Year's_Concert

Dear Lewis! I am looking forward to looking at your photos.

Leila, thank you for your postcard.

James! Is there anything that we do not know about toilets yet? Please, do not keep it to yourself. I am still curious to know more. :D

Ana Paula! I am glad you liked the tongue twisters. I also enjoyed your post, as usual. Ana, let me spend some time thinking about how to persuade your mother to buy a cycle. I am trying to collect my thought and I will write soon, promise.

OK, it is time to leave you. I should go get some things done. I need to make lunch
Have a nice time!

Anita

BBC Learning English

Hello everyone

I thought I should make an appearance, answer some of the questions appearing here, give some advice and to say how much I'm enjoying this. So, let me start:

1) Comments
It appears that some of you feel your comments aren't appearing. We're publishing as many as we see each day (except Saturdays and Sundays). A new spam manager has been installed and I'm a bit worried that this manager may be eating people's comments. If you post a comment and it doesn't appear after a couple of days then something has gone wrong. Could you please email learning.english@bbc.co.uk to let us know so we can try and track this and then get it fixed.

2) Life after 31st January
Some of you have asked if this can be extended past 31st January. We won't be doing this because we want the blogs to focus on the teaching environment provided by the single student and single teacher. However, we do have message boards where you can have conversations like this everyday. You can find our message boards here:

Message Boards

We will run these group events from time to time so you will be able to find out how everyone is getting on.

3) Small text in the blogs
I have worked out (I hope) why the text appears small in the blogs on occasion. It happens when someone uploads a picture and chooses to put it in the centre of the page. The blog system puts this text around the picture:

div align="center" IMAGE /div

The text div align="center" appears to be causing the problem. If you leave the image so that it appears on the left hand side of the page then the text does not change size. I am looking to see if there is a fix for this issue because I know many of you like to have the picture in the middle of the text.

Well, I think that's more than enough from me, this time is for all of you, so I shall beat a hasty retreat and let you get on with the job of blogging and commenting.

Best wishes

Paul

It’s raining again...

Hello friends,

It’s raining again...at least in my bed.
Yesterday the heavens opened and I was afraid of the storm and rays so that I had to turn off my computer earlier. I have nothing against rainy days or nights. I know rain is important for the ground, the plants and so on...some even dance for having it. More over children like playing joyfully in the rain.

My son and friendsin the rain.


But if you have a 7 y o boy that jumps into your bed in the middle of the night because of the storm and still thinks he is enjoying one of James’ toilets, it isn’t that funny!

Which advice would you give to his mum?

a) to lock the door of her bedroom at night;
b) to close the windows for him not to hear the sound of the storm;
c) to make him wear those disposable nappies made for babies
d) to build a Roman style toilet in her bed
e) none of the answers

Little note 1- Luckily it’s shinning again today. Blame the quick change in the weather for my delayed weather forecast.

Little note 2- Thanks to the angel that helped me with the links. :-)

Paul, nice the picture of you. Here we drive in the left side of the car. I would crash if I saw you on the road driving in the wrong side. :-)

Ana Paula, beautiful the Itapety Mountain. I’d like to go there. It seems to be so peaceful. The pictures are good. I can assure you are better than me.

Naheed, thanks for the link. Many interesting things for reading there.. The picture of my son laid on the sofa was taken when he was about few weeks newborn baby.

Anita, thanks also to you for the link. I was reading and I’ve noticed that the concert is only broadcast in two countries in South America and Brazil isn’t one of them. :-(

Leila, Nice the place and nice the picture.
Readers, where are you? I send a kiss to the cyber space for you all.

Good bye peeps
May you all enjoy your bed at night

Adriana





It´s raining here too!

Hello Friends!

It seems that the weather is really crazy! When I woke up this morning a heavy rain was falling and the temperature was 16°C! Can you imagine this? We are in the mid-summer here!

Anyway, I can tell you that I´m enjoying this mild weather. Hot days are good when you´re on holiday, especially on the beach soaking some sun and drinking coconut water... humm this is so good, isn´t it? :-).

As Anita and Adri have talked about Stephen sophisticated musical taste, I´d like to share with you today a wonderful site of a programme on BBC Radio 3 called Words and Music. It was from Stephen that I´ve heard at the first time about BBC Radio 3 and 4. This programme is brodcasting every Sunday( you´re able to listen to the latest one for 7 days) and you´ll be delighted with wonderful classical music followed by delicate readings of poems and proses, which are extraordinary good for our listening abilities. Besides that, it´s very relaxing. You can´t miss. Here is the site:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/wordsandmusic/

And the site of BBC Radio 4:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/arts

I hope you enjoy these sites as much as I do :-).

Anita! Thanks. I´m waiting for your answer :-).

Oh Adri... you´re so kind :-). I loved the picture the children are in the rain. I used to do a lot this when I was a child. Oh... good times :-).

Dear Pary, I do believe in the power of praying. Praying helps you clear and purify your mind and soul, therefore, it makes you a healthier and strong person :-). Ah! So cute of you have sent kisses to me and my family :-). We´re all here sending a truckload of kisses to you! XXXX ;-)

Naheed, I missed reading your blog today. Where are you?

Paul, it´s wonderful you´ve made your appearence here! We´re missing you :-). I really liked your picture. You look like a rock star! Yes, you do indeed. Did you remember that album Eric Clapton has recorded with B.B King? So... you look pretty much like Eric Clapton on the album cover. Maybe it´s because he´s also in a car ;-).

It´s all for today my dear folks. Have a wonderful day or night.

See you tomorrow,

Ana Paula.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

My experience of the BBC LE blog (James, Taiwan)

Hi Teacher Rachel and all friends,

I tried to learn Japanese in November & December of last year, 16 hours classes in total. After then, I feel that it’s easier to learn English than to learn Japanese.

An elder Japanese native speaker told me:” Ignore the grammar first, otherwise, it would waste you two years of learning Japanese.”, then he said:” learn word first, for example: you learn ‘ wine’, then ‘ drink’, put them together, you will learn ‘drink wine; then, use the word ‘drink’ to expand your word, you can learn ‘ drink tea, drink water, drink coffee etc.”, then, you learn ‘drink cigarette’ , but, it’s wrong, you have to use "smoke". So, you could learn the wrong to understand what different between ‘ drink’ and ‘ smoke’. It’s more like a baby to learn their mother language.

NHK of Japan has a website to teach Japanese, but, it is quit a few stuff to learn. And, around the world, the Language learning platform of website, BBC is the number one, she is the giant.

I was told to learn English on BBC in ten years ago by my brother-in-law whose name is Rod Peng who had studied in US for 2 or 3 years long. And if you want to learn English through the net, you cannot find in US or other plce in the global, only on BBC website. Refer to other Language, such as Japanese, even the non-profit TV company of NHK, they don’t have such wide language service as BBC, BBC is really something.

The BBC English Learning Blog started in June 2006 as World Football Cup Fever came round. Almost two years has passed. It already has a great achievement.

In response to the entry of Wednesday, 16 January 2008 of Teacher Rachel that was talking about the research of BBC blog that the subject was:” if (and how) online language learning is effective? “, I would like to tell my experience of being a Student Blogger & being a commentator and reader.

As a commentator:

( Reader is the majority, commentator is the majority and plurality.)

My mental state is to write and interact with the bloggers of the student and teacher, thus and so, I can do both reading and writing to improve my English, two in one to enhance my learning. The regret is that no one can correct my mistakes, I don’t have the chance to do the three (reading, writing and correcting) in one to powerfully improve my English. As a commentator and reader, I often talked to myself:” hello... hi..... I am the majority or majority and plurality, why nobody focuses on me?!! What it happened?”.

As a reader and commentator of both blogs of the student and teacher, I wish I could get the corrections or the suggestions or the answers by the teacher blogger, which will enrich the interactions, and encourage the reader to comment, and could widen the effect of English learning to all readers. Well, the most important thing would be that the comment should be shown up, that is for sure.

As a student blogger: The minority.

I value the opportunity to rock and roll on this blog( BBC is a big brand.). As I was the student blogger of May, 07, I spent more than 5 hours a day in the evening on the weekdays, and spent 10 hours a day on the weekend. It is my English learning month in May. Yes, I really enjoyed it, I did lots of things before I had blogged each entry, such as: read comments, read the teacher blog to find corrections, homework, and the stuff. Surf the website to find related information about teacher’s corrections, my homework, all information that was mentioned by commentators and teacher, including their place, country, and custom etc. Then set a topic of blog, wrote a draft and corrected by myself, put the last correction of blog teacher into my blog as a practice. Imitated teacher’s sentence. Thus, my entries are all decorated instead of the original one. It is the fact.

My report website on BBC is:
James' report
(Tuesday, 29 May 2007)

Finally,

about this reunion (open) blog, it’s great to the bloggers (including me). But….., the reunion is kind of a game of minority. In my opinion, it is doubtful to do good to all readers.

Accordingly, dear readers, please comment on this entry to tell your opinions about this open blog. Your comment will be the treasure of everybody.

Best regards

James Zhih-Cheng Wu (Taiwan)
Student Blogger of May, 2007

Yoga Poses

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all well. And I expect you are all enjoying reading my posts on yoga.

Jo, I hope you are well. It’s always good to see your comment. As you do pilates, it will not be much difficult for to try yoga. Infact, you can even begin with the intermediate level. The only difference between the two is that Pilates is done on the spine.

Ana Paula :) It was really good to read about Itapety Mountain and I just loved the pictures. Just like you, I also admire nature very much. The window of my room faces the east and it’s lovely to see the daybreak especially the morning star when the sun hasn’t risen yet. I almost regularly stand by the window, breath in fresh air and enjoy seeing the colours spreaded in the sky. Ah, as for the movie Kite Runner, I haven’t read the book myself I had only read about it in the newspaper. Hey, you are right that things change for better and I’m glad that we are best friends:)

Adri, the picture of Iago with friends on a rainy day reminds me of my childhood. Ahhh, me , my sisters and my cousins.. we used to play in the rain like birds and it would never be easy for our mums to get us home back….ahem..and I won’t tell you what they used to do to us then:l Thanks Adri, that you liked the link. This website is all about women and you will learn so much there.

Benka, thank you so much for your kind comments. I would say you are quite correct what you said about me and I’m a bit surprised too. I really like the way you meditate, it’s very interesting and the best meditation is the one that makes you feel better. Benka, it would be nice to know about your interests and hobbies. I’m pleased to have met such good friends:)

Tomo, I’m very pleased to see you. And, I do remember you, infact, I have never forgotten you. Do you still remember the three Haikus I had written? Well, this time again, I will write a haiku before the open blogs are closed.

Hello Pary, I’m flattered to hear that I look younger in photo. You see, it’s the magic of yoga. My family says hello to you. Yes, you are right, the field of yoga is vast and along with physical exercises there is another branch of yoga which is called ‘Panch tatva yoga (yoga for 5 elements)’ in which, we learn about how to balance the 5 elements in our boday. I will write a bit about that too.

Hello Halmey, it’s so nice to hear from you, thank you! To learn English, I will suggest you to spend some time on the BBC LE website every day, there’s so much to learn with respect to grammar, listening and so much more. And also make friends with BBC LE group on facebook. Click on the link and have a go.

Adelina, I’m glad to hear from you. Thank you!

Mahjabeen, I’m really glad to see your comment. I hope you are doing well.

Komal, I hope you won’t mind about the spelling mistakes. It’s perhaps, I didn't reread the post before posting it. By the way, your friend knows yoga then you should give it a try.

Manoj, thank you so much! I’m very pleased to read your comment. I will be pleased to bits if you could share something about yoga. There might be something which I don’t know so it would be great to hear from you. I have heard about an institute in Delhi and is said to be the oldest institute to learn yoga.

Friends, I’m posting some pitures of yoga poses at beginner’s level.It is strongly advised to all those who are completely new to yoga that do not try to attempt the poese on your own. It is best to learn them from a good yogi first and then practice. I have taken the pictures from the web.

Standing Poses:

Mountain Pose-Tadasana
Benefits: Improves posture, strengthens thighs


Raised Hands Pose-Urdhva Hastasana
Benefits: Improves posture, strengthens thighs, opens shoulders


Dwonward Facing Dog- Adho Mukha SavasanaBenefits: Stretches and strengthens the whole body. It also reduces the excess weight from hips and helps relieve back pain.


Warrior Pose l-Virbhadarasana
Benefits: Strengthen the legs, opens the chest and shoulders.


Warrior Pose ll-Virbhadarasana
Benefits: Strengthen the legs and arms, opens the chest and shoulders, tones the abdomen.


Extended Triangle Pose-Utthita Trikonasana
Benefits: Strengthen the legs, stretches the groins, hamstrings, hips, opens the chest and shoulders.


That's all for now see you tomorrow.

Naheed



The eternal topic…books

Hello friends, readers, commentators!

I really love learning English. Unfortunately, I have not taken any English class since January 2007. However, I come into contact with English every day. I made it a rule that I will spend at least an hour a day studying English. I am quite successful in keeping it. It is not hard work with the BBC LE site. By the way, I would like to thank Paul for his appearance, his answers, his advice and the photo as well.

I know that my blogmates are into books. Some of them are bookworms, right Ana Paula? I also like reading. I think that reading improves my English. I have read several books in English which are rewritten in easy English for English learners. But I have already read an original English book. Maybe, this is not a big sensation for some of you but for me it was. My friend from the US understood my desire to read an original English book and he kindly sent his favourite books to me. The first original English book that I read was Pied Piper by Nevil Shute. I find this novel, without doubt, deeply moving. It teaches us that anyone can help those around them if they open their eyes and their hearts. The second book contains two works by Steinbeck, “Of mice and men” and “Cannery row”. Although I have read them in Hungarian and I know the plots of them, they are still difficult for me. After I had read the first 5 pages or so I felt that I bit off more than I can chew. Do not think that I give up. No, no… I will try to read them over and over again until I understand them.

I read English books without using a dictionary – as my former English teachers have advised me. I do not understand every word, of course, but I understand the whole meaning.

My lovely daughter got me another English book for Christmas. I am reading “My best friend’s girl” by Dorothy Koomson. The book is really exciting. I have already read the first 200 pages or so. I thoroughly recommend it. What are you reading now, my friends?

I would like to thank Stephen for recommending the book the Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones. You raised my attention and I am really interested in reading it.

Ana Paula, I just want you to know that I have not forgot my promise. I have been racking my brain to come up with a good idea.

Naheed, I wrote all your tongue twisters in my exercise book. Many thanks for them.

James, I have read your post about your experience as a blogger, commentator and reader with great interest.

Dear my commentators: Pary from Iran, Diema from Bulgaria, bsreddy from kenya, Jo from West Meon, UK, Ania from Poland, Thanh from NJ, US, Raafat from Cairo-Egypt, Mercè from Spain! I really must say how grateful I am for receiving your comments. I am happy that you are interested in my blog. Your feedback is very important to me. I am looking forward to seeing you all.

Have a nice afternoon! Take care,

Anita

A hectic Wednesday

Hello dear all! How was your day?

The day has passed very fast! When I looked at the clock it was 5.00pm.
The company that I work is implementing a new line production, therefore I have to collect samples and analyse them in intervals of 30 minutes, and of course, apart from that I have to cope with my day by day tasks.

Anyway, here I am again, and when I opened the student blog page I had in front of my eyes the delightful post of Anita to read :-). Wow! I love books. Moreover, I´m a bookworm indeed. Last Sunday, after the movie I went to visit the bookstore in São Paulo that I buy books on the Internet. Oh boy, I was in heaven :-). The virtual bookstore is great, but it´s by far better you go there and browse the shelves, touch the books and feel their smell. I love the smell of new books :-).

Nowadays I´m reading books only in English, because reading it´s also important for the FCE exam. Just like Anita, I´ve start reading rewritten books for English learners, and now I´m reading the original versions, written in English. In the beggining I couldn´t understand much, but I kept trying. My dream was to read the Jane Austen and Charles Dickens novels in English, and I´ve fulfiled this dream. If you like reading, I highly recommend you give a shot and reading a book in English. Believe me, you won´t regret :-).

In answer to your question Anita, I´ve just started reading I Am The Messeger written by an Aussie author called Markus Susak. I became a fan of his after reading The Book Thief ( a great book!). I Am The Messenger has words that I haven´t heard before, therefore I enjoy reading it very much :-).

Naheed! I do all the poses you´ve showed us in my BodyBalance classes. One of my favourites is the warrior pose II. Here we call this pose 'guerreiro do sol' ( sun warrior). Anyway, nice to hear more of the yoga benefits. :-)

Hi James. So you´ve tried to learn Japanese. It´s a difficult language, isn´t it? I´ve read your report. It´s very interesting.

Well, I´m off for today.

All the best,

Ana Paula.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

For me or to me

Hello friends!

Benka from Serbia has asked me how to learn English, how to improve our skills. First of all, thank you for your comment. Oh, Benka…. How many times I have asked the same question… Since I have been using the BBC LE website from June 2006, I have got a lot of advice from teachers and they have suggested great methods. I think everybody should find their own way. To tell the truth, I am not the most suitable person to answer this question but let me share my way of learning English with you. Maybe you can use this way, too.

As I mentioned yesterday, unfortunately I have not taken any English classes but I come into contact with English every day. How? Firstly, I use the BBC LE website. Secondly, I read a lot in English. Thirdly, my daughter has motivated me to keep improving my language skills by spending time writing letters. (This was her method, too.) I think I am quite talkative and I like sharing ideas with people, talking about different things and telling them about my life and the life in Slovakia. Therefore I have found some pen pals from all over the word and started writing to them.

I want to share with you how I have been reading the letters that I receive from people whose English is their native language. I usually read their e-mails three times at least. Firstly, I read it very fast because I am so curious to know the news about them. Secondly I read it slowly, looking up the new words in a dictionary. Then I read it even slower, sentence by sentence, taking time to notice prepositions, articles, modal verbs and tenses. Finally, I can enjoy their stories to the full.

In Hungarian we have only three tenses: the simple present, the simple past and the simple future. We do not use the continuous, the perfect and the perfect continuous forms of tenses so sometimes it is quite difficult to understand which one to use in English. Furthermore, the modal verbs (could, should, would etc.) are nightmares for me. (or modal verbs are a nightmare to me?) See, I also have a big problem with for me OR to me. I do not feel any difference between for me and to me. So, you can see that I also have problems with English and sometimes I am so disappointed. But, it is so nice to turn on my computer and find e-mails from my pen friends. It is always pleasure to read them.

Maybe, I have a little advantage against you? My daughter. I can ask her any questions concerning English at any time (except when she is revising for exams) and she is always ready to answer them. Thanks Csilla!!!

Finally, we need a good English- English dictionary.

What I miss is speaking. I do not have any chance to talk to someone in English. Sometimes I make phone calls with pen friends but I know it is not enough. I can honestly admit that I talk to myself in English when I am alone at home. But how good to know that I am not alone in doing that, right Ana Paula? ;-)

Yes Benka, my name is the pet form of Spanish Ana, made from Ana plus Juanita, meaning: favour, grace.

Dear Ana Paula! Thank you for your book suggestions. I also like the bookshops. There is a very relaxed atmosphere there.

See you soon! With best wishes,

Anita

That´s the question!

Hello everyone!

Well I´ve just read Stephen and Anita´s blogs and I´m really impressed.
My goodness! Our dear teacher has style and class :-). And Anita and I have some many things in commom with!

Stephen, you´ll never bore me. Reading your posts makes me think in things that don´t belong to my little world. You just help my imagination flies away :-).

I have the same problem that Anita has: for me or to me, that´s the question. Sometimes I get all confuse about it and I often change the words order.
You see Anita, we have some things in commom with, apart from speaking English to ourselves( thanks God! I´m not alone in this habit ;-)) and the joy of being at a bookstore environment.
Oh, speaking is a big challenge for me. By now, I´m on holidays in my English course, so I don´t have anyone to speak English with me. Therefore I´m trying to put in practise the advice that teacher Jonathan has given us last month; to choose a character in one of our favourite movies and memorize his/ her lines, and then say the lines trying to imitate their accent. However, when you have the opportunity to speak English in a real situation it´s so exciting, isn´t it?

By the way Anita, I´m glad to know you´ve like my book tips :-). Once I´ve heard that in your country there are many wonderful bookstores. I bet there are indeed :-).

James, you´re really kind, thank you. I´ve never read any Harry Potter books. Well, I guess it´s time to give a go :-). I remember in one of your blogs you´ve mentioned a book that you´ve really enjoyed reading; Angela´s Ashes. I´ve listened to the Angela´s Ashes author´s interview at BBC World Book and I liked the plot of the book very much. I´ve watched the movie, which I thought very beautiful. Moreover, I´m trying to find the book :-).

Adri, Leila, Antônio, Marianna, Pari, Habooba, Hyoshil where are you?

Good bye for now,

Have good dreams,

Ana Paula.
X

Friday, 25 January 2008

I learn English in the public toilet. (James, Taiwan)

Hi there,

Sometimes, I learn English in the public toilet in Taiwan. I said “sometimes” that because I don’t use the public toilet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In the public toilet of Taiwan, there are three devices which are toilet, urinal, and sink. Above each device, there is always a poster on the wall. What does the poster say? It teaches you English. Thus, you could learn English during the time of using the toilet, the urinal and the sink. Sometimes, I do learn English in it.

I would like to show you a couple of photos which I shot yesterday in the public toilet of Ilan County Sports Park.



***** The below one is 2 samples of the poster. ******
left side( sample A): You just spit on me.
right side( sample B): To err is human, to forgive is divine.



A friend told me that he used 2 or 3 urinals to learn 2 or 3 poster of English when he were urinating,

Please have a go to learn English in the public toilet when you are in Taiwan.

Well, if Taiwanese friends tell you that they need 10 minutes to do their urination, do not make a fuss, they just want to learn English but not for the aged reason.

Something like this, it just like that people study in the bus, the Metro (subway), or other transportations.

Best regards

James Zhih-Cheng Wu (Taiwan)
Student Blogger of May, 2007

Kidding with words

Hi everyone,

This is a quick post for now,

"Lighten up,how would you like it, to be called child if you, child-like too, said you like me but keeps treating me like the lightning, like one that likes to dislike someone who likes you. I'll lightly tell you, you need to know how to like people that like you more than people that don't like you because the more you like people that like you, the more likely to be likeable and to have someone who likes you more than dislikes you. So...if you like, I'll keep my liking for you until you bring to light that you don't like me."

I'll come back later,
Bye
Adri

São Paulo Anniversary.


Hello dear all!

Are you ready for the weekend? I hope so :-).

Today São Paulo city is celebrating its 454th anniversary. São Paulo is called the city of the opportunities, therefore the city which never stops. People from all Brazil come here with the idea of make money and pursue the so dreamed happiness. At the first sight São Paulo may be a shock for some people who aren´t accustomed with the unusal beauty of its imponent concrete buildings and different accents, whereas for many others, it´s love at first sight. And that´s my case :-).

I was six when I went to Paulista avenue at first time. My eyes were wide open of amazement; I was so excited to the journey, and also so excited to learn many new things from all of this. I remember of my dad by my side always gentle and helpful showing me the places and answer my questions. Oh boy, I had a ball that day :-).

When I think of Paulista Avenue one of the landmarks that comes to my mind is Masp( São Paulo Museum of Art). The museum holdings are consider the most important in Latin America and Southern Hemesphere with thousand of works of great artists such as: Degas, Di Cavalcanti, Portinari, Picasso, Manet, Monet, Renoir, Rodin and so many others.

Last month the museum was robbery. Two paintings were taken, one of Picasso and another one of Portinari. The museum are suffering with a bad administration. Thanks God, the paintings were already recovered, moreover some attittudes are being demanded in order to tackle the Masp administration problems.

Well, here´s a photo of Masp. I took it last Sunday:


Masp Museum


The photo below was taken at Trianon-Masp subway station. As you can see in this subway station there´s a panel with some masterpieces that you can find at Masp museum.


Trianon-Masp subway station.



Yippee!!!! Marianna and Hyoshil, oh girls I missed you so much! Thanks for you have sent comments to me. It´s a pleasure read them :-).

Marianna, so you can also speak Russian, that´s really great!

Hyoshil, I´ve heard about Virgin in Blue and sounds great. I´ve read Girl With The Pearl Earing and I´ve just loved. If you haven´t read yeat just give a go you´ll love :-).

Elena, happy student day to you too! We also celebrate this day in Brazil, the day is August 11th though. Your country is land of great writers. One of my favourite writers is Dostoieviski. He has inpired many Brazilians authors that I love. You see. Literature can also unite people :-).


Adri! So nice hear from you again. Your English is wonderfulI I´ve always looked up to you. Please say happy birthday to your father, and give a kiss to Iago for me. Enjoy your weekend and I hope see you soon :-).

James, that´s a very interesting way to keep thinking and learning English all the time :-).

Naheed, where are you? I hope you´re fine.

Stephen, I don´t want to hear you say goodbye :-O. I know you´re a very busy teacher, and you have business in Sweden and Vietnan. But maybe, maybe you could think about and start again to write a column to us narrating your new adventures. What do you think? If you go cicle along the Great Wall of China( that´s my teacher :-)) you could write about it to us. It would be amazing hear your journey relates Stephen. You´re a great storyteller :-).

Well, it´s time to say good bye folks,

See you soon,

Ana Paula.
X







All we need is love

Hi friends,

It’s me again from Brazil. It’s so embarassing to write here to so many people and I’d like to apologise you all for my horrible English but I don’t have anybody to help me and correct me. I don’t have a teacher and I’m not doing any English course.

I’ve read your entries James, Ana Paula and Anita and I am really proud of you. And also your comments, readers. Thanks everyone! The way you study English sounds just perfect. Unfortunately I don’t have many books in English available in my city and I don't trust to buy them by internet. I know it’s not a excuse. I could say that working, being married and being mother is too many for me and I feel it’s the time for my son and not for me but I know many women can cope well with this or the fact that I’ve decided not to go to Australia anymore makes me feel not so engaged...perhaps I’ll never find a good excuse.

But believe me, I do love learning languages, especially English. A language that connects me to the world. I’m not thinking in going anywhere but if some day one decides to come to Brazil, maybe I will be able to help. It’s always good to read the news on BBC or to read the articles of my profession for my master course or even just to translate the words of the videogames for my son.

Maybe that is the reason for me still being here. Many of you should be in my place and your English must be much better than mine, readers, and I’d really like to write a great stuff for you but I just don’t know how.

Having said that, I’d like to thank you all that try to encourage me in this path maybe you are the only people that understand my desire to learn this language not having any specific goal.

I have been reading all your blogs and comments.
Ana Paula, do you remember once I said my friend from Northeast always sends books and cds to me? You should see the box he(and his girlfriend) sent to me at Christmas with 2 books, 2 cds and many wonderful sweets meticulously decorated and a bottle of caju juice ( I’m on diet but it was so nice of them). I’d be very happy if he had sent a book in English but I’ll never suggest that. The books are really good and the next of my list is written by Khaled Hosseini ( A Cidade do Sol). It’s been a long time since I have talked in English. I’ll try the facebook one day and we could run a virtual meeting for speaking.
Anita, your tips are so useful. I can try some of them.
Naheed, how wonderful would be if we could do Yoga before work at the company where I work in the morning.
James, English is everywhere.
Stephen, I tried to write: “If I ruled the World...” but it was too heavy. I tried not to take it seriously but some issues stimulate us. It was better not to publish it.

Well...today it's Friday, the carnival starts today here in my city but I’ll not join the party. It’s my dad’s birthday. Very soon I’ll gather with the family for some hours and then I’m going to Setiba beach, a place that I love spending the weekends. My son’s holidays is ending and I want to offer him a good childhood until he starts working hard at studies.

For the reasons above I’ve got inspiration to write some more nonsenses about turning the world better:

“ If I had the best garden of the World, I wouldn’t hide it. I would inviteas many people as possible to watch my flowers flourishing.
I wouldn’t be cruel with people that don’t have neither a garden nor a flower. I wouldn’t laugh or make a fool of them because of it. I would give a flower to everyone and I do believe that it would turn my garden better and better. Perhaps I wouldn’t be the best gardner of the World but I would do my best to be the best person to have such beautiful garden.”

Recently, one of my patients , a simple woman, coincidentely from Northeast of Brazil (how nice people from there are! ), brought a beautiful orchidea. Not satisfied, she sent me some pictures of her flowers by e-mail. And she said “I have nothing to offer to you but I’d like you to know how I like you” It moved me and was the best present I have ever won. I thought to myself. What makes a person agressive or gentle? Is it the environment?

Once I had a patient who had made an appointment because of a broken tooth. I didn’t know him but that’s my job and contribution to the world. I know people hate dentists but everybody needs us. In fact he was quite strange and arrived with a guy as strange as him. There wasn’t a good expression in both faces. He was waiting and suddenly an elegant woman reffered by one colleague appeared in the waiting room. She wanted to persuade me to see her firstly. She didn’t even ask him for that. It was worthless because I would never be unfair with the other patient.

After some time, finally he was there in my chair. Beyond the fracture that I fixed, he had many spaces between the teeth. It took precision and time but I provided a brand new smile better than before. When he saw it in the mirror, he just replaced the serious expression for a smile , the most scintilating smile I’ve seen. It was just like receiving a diamond. Then I thought “ What can I do if he decides to assault me right now?” but it didn’t happen. He payed the bill like anyone. After sometime, I saw his picture on the newspaper. The police had arrested him and it was said he was the most dangerous drug trafficker of the region. I was shocked to know that! :-0

What makes a person cruel or gentle? What can we do to change the world for better? Is it necessary to rule the World or to be the most eminent powerful or famous person of the world? Or to make huge donations? Sometimes I wonder fair business could be more effective than donations. But it’s getting heavy again.

What I really mean is that I do believe we are here in this world to turn it better even with little things at work or only teaching our children how not to be arrogant, racist or bullier and never, never accept that.

These are my thoughts, guys,all we need is love in this World.








Good night. Have a nice weekend.
Adriana

Please, forgive my errors!

Saturday, 26 January 2008

More pictures

Hey up everybody!

I hope you´re enjoying your weekend.

When I wrote my blog last April, I told you about my favourite place, the Pinacoteca Museum. However, I couldn´t show many pictures.
This place is very dear to me, and if one day you come to São Paulo you must visit it.

Here are some pictures of Pinacoteca façade and its charming café. I´ve also sent some pictures of Luz Park. I hope you like the pictures.




Pinacoteca museum façade.


Pinacoteca Café


Luz Park



Luz Park Fountain


I´d like to thank you my sister Roseli and her friend Alexsandro who have helped me with the pictures :-).

Felipe, I hope you enjoy this site. Try to send comments on this blog area and you´ll see your writing will become better and better :-).

Keep enjoying your weekend,

Ana Paula.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

My promise


Dear Ana Paula’s Mum!
Let me talk to you as Mum to Mum. I can honestly admit that I would like to persuade you to allow Ana to buy a bicycle. I know, sometimes children have strange wishes and we - mums, must be strong to say no because we cannot allow them everything. But Ana’s heart’s desire is having a bicycle which is a wonderful idea. She would then cycle to work and to the shopping centre. This way she would spare lots of time and she could help you more. I would also like to highlight how good it is to ride a bike in order to keep fit and healthy. Cycling helps to reduce cholesterol levels – this is also my personal experience. If I remember well Ana also has some problems with her cholesterol level. Cycling is not as dangerous as many people think. Especially not when you wear a helmet! I am sure Ana would be a responsible cyclist on the roads and she would use lights on the bike when she rides it after dark! What is more, cycling is the most environmentally friendly form of transport! To sum up, having a bike has only advantages. Please, let her buy one. Thanks.

Hi friends!

Hi Ana Paula! Will this help? I hope so. But, you have to promise me one thing. If your mum allows to buy a bike, you will not try to read any books while you are cycling. OK?
Yes, we have lots of wonderful bookshops here in Slovakia and we can buy books written in Hungarian, in Slovak, even in English.
Ana, I would be grateful to you for helping me. Could you suggest some links to K.thy from HCM, Vietnam? She/he would like to read books in English on the net. I am sure, you know a few. Unfortunately, I do not know any links because I have never read any books on the net. For me (To me?) reading means curling up on the sofa, having a cup of tea and then I can enjoy the book.
Ana, it would be fantastic to visit the Sao Paulo Museum of Art and the Pinacoteca Museum with you. I love the paintings of impressionist painters. I also like the idea of looking at photos of masterpieces on the subway! Brilliant!

Adriana, I feel that you have been sad. A little sadness comes out in your last post. Have you been in a bad mood recently? Or am I wrong? Do not worry about your English because it is superb. Neither you nor I take any English classes and we both have been learning it just for fun. It does not matter how long we will study English as long as we can enjoy it. Maybe it will last 3 or 5 years…. The most important thing is enjoying what we do. Don't you think so? We both try to fill every requirement - being a good mother, wife and excel at work and so on. I am sure, you can cope with these things well. Chin up! Yes, all we need is love…I think that one thing is certain, having a family and being loved are the most gorgeous feelings we can ever have. Finally, thank you for the pictures, the flowers are marvellous.

James Zhih-Cheng Wu, I have got itchy feet reading your post. I would like to go to Taiwan right now and learn English while I am using a toilet there. :) Just kidding!

Naheed! What is the news with you? I miss you!

Thanks Leila, Hyoshil, Marianna, Elena, Benka, Ibrahima for your comments. I am glad you liked my post. At long last, this strange new spam manager does not eat your comments.

Enjoy the rest of Sunday! Bye, bye

Anita

From Mr. Federal to Mr. Djokovic, and from US to EU ( James, Taiwan)

Hi there,
Today is Sunday.

I have not read any entry yet today till Anita posted at 14:23. And, yesterday only has 1 entry which was posted by Ana. It’s so quiet here. Sometimes, quiet is good that it stands for peace; sometimes, quiet means dead end.

My niece told me:” Let me make a kuso hair style and facial gesture to cheer everybody up.” I said:” Sure.” Now, allow me to present this kuso Photo which was performed by Judy (Yu-Han Lee) as the following. Let me say a word in advance, please blame Judy instead of me if you are not cheered up after seeing this photo.

Judy Lee


I have watched 2008 AO (Australian Open) Tennis this fortnight, it is over now. And the Men’s Singles’ champion is from Serbia whose name is Novak Djokovic.

U.S. tennis players always play a very important role in the past, the great players like Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams, Serena Williams were the spotlight all the time, just like the economic and military power of U.S. Nowadays, in 2008 AO Tennis, they are all gone and replace by Novak Djokovic(Serbia), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga(France), Roger Federer(Switzerland), Maria Sharapowa(Russia), Ana Ivanovic(Serbia) who are all from Europe.

It’s the same situation with the tide of economics. U.S. does not have the strong power of economics anymore. E.U. got more powerful than ever.

+++ Shoe is on the other foot. +++

It’s just my feeling of today after watching 2008 AO Tennis of fortnight.

See you, and have a nice day.

James Zhih-Cheng Wu (Taiwan)
Student Blogger of May, 2007

PS: Shoe is on the other foot= the situation is now the opposite of what it was before.

No more Mrs nice lady

I have to give up! Why? My replies to your entries are not getting through. I am desperate! Yes indeed I am; to be giving complements time after time in vain. It all is futile, I have reached the moment that I no longer even try to comment.

Still I do hope this short cry for help reaches you in good spirits, I will also get past my misery for sure. My warmest wishes to you all and a very special thanks to Stephen Keeler for his eternal "Desert Island Discs" blog.

Please note that it is my comments that are disappearing, not my blog entries. Paul, a mastermind behind the technique; have a mercy on me.

Leila from Finland

Thank you Anita!!!!

Hello dear friends!

Dear Anita, I was so surprised when I´ve read your post! Thank you so much dear :-). After I read your post I immediately report to my mum, and she look at me and said: 'Well you got a point now, I´ll think about it'. I think the cholesterol thing touches her deep inside :-). Oh by the way, for sure I won´t try to read while I´m cycling, I promise you ;-). Thanks again!

Well, I´m pretty much like you Anita. I really enjoy curling up on the sofa with a cuppa or a mug of strong coffee while am reading a book and feeling the pages and its smell... oh it´s great, isn´t it? Anyway, I remember that our dear Naheed( I´m missing you!) on her blog last June has sent a link of a free book online website, so K.thy from HCM Vietnan here´s the site, I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks Naheed for sharing with us this site :-).

http://www.pagebypagebooks.com/



Leila! It´s nice hear from you again! I was a bit worried because I haven´t seen you here recently.

Hi James! Your post was interesting as usual.

Well, I have to go now. My sister Rosana is claiming to use the computer( oh boy, she´s back on her feet and very well now :-)), so good bye for now folks ;-).

See you,

Ana Paula.

An ancient Greek story

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all well. How was the weekend? Mine was good, I read through some of the old text books of my little sister. While reading, I came across an interesting ancient Greek story so thought to share it with you all. Since it's learning English blogs so I will write it in my own words except for few things. I have always liked this story and I expect you will like it, too. It begins like this.

Once there lived a monster who asked people a question. If they did not answer correctly, it killed them (terrifying, isn't it?). The question was a riddle and it was:

It has four legs in the morning.
It has two legs in the afternoon.
It has three legs in the evening.
What is it?

It was so hard to answer and many people lost their lives in the hands of the killing monster. But once, a man succeeded in guessing the correct answer. It is a man. When a man is a baby (the morning of his life), he crawls on his legs and feet. When he is fully grown, he walks on his feet.When he is old, he walks with a stick, so he has three legs.

I have some more riddles to share.

It has hands but no fingers. What is it?
It has an eye but cannot see. What is it?
It has teeth but cannot eat. Can you guess the answer?

Hmmmm.....guess...guess...............guesssssssssssss.......
Have a cuppa C('_'') ?

Okay, I'm putting the answers in the end but to think of the answers is a must.

Until then I should talk to everyone else.

Manoj, thank you so much for the information! I have saved it all and of course, why not? It would be my pleasure to visit India. I was very young when I had first visited India and it was a wonderful time there. I still remember Chopati beach and Juhu Chopati and those delicious pani puri and dosa, and the yummy push up ice-cream. I also invite you to visit Pakistan:) .

Tomo, thank you that you found yoga poses useful! Apart from standing poses, there are also sitting and lying poses, and there are many types of breathing in yoga, facial exercises, and so much more. As for the flexibility, it is said that if you start exercise with a little warm up it helps you attain that flexibility. There's another useful tip for you, I have experimented it on myself, too. If you practice yoga in the evening, your body will be more flexible to do those tough bending and twisting better.

Mehjabeen, I hope you are well. As for your question, I'm afraid, I would say 'no'. Because there are some techniques to do yoga poses and if you try them on your own, it is likely that you can get yourself injured.

Ana and Anita, thank you so much for your concerns! This really touches my heart that we have never met with each other, but we care about each other desipte living miles apart.

Ana, I have just read your post and thank you that you still remember the link I had shared with you all in June, kisses to you:)

To everyone out there, my blogmates, all those kind commentators, dear teachers and everyone. God bless you all! l---(0_0)---l


Ah, and answers to the riddles. 1- A clock. 2- A needle. 3- A comb.

Wishes

Naheed

Monday, 28 January 2008

Handicraft





Hello friends!

Today, I would like to show you another side of myself. I like everything that is handmade. I love handmade gifts even if they are useless knick-knacks. I believe that the best presents are the ones we make. I prepared lots of gifts for Christmas. As I gave them all away I cannot show you any photos of my beaded creations. Using beads, I can make jewellery (necklaces, bracelets) and lots of different animal figures, a Santa Claus, snowmen etc. If you are interested, just take a look at this site where you can find lots of bead patterns. These creations are similar to mine.
http://www.makingfriends.com/ponybead/ponybead_animals.htm

I decorate our house with crocheted covers, with a patchwork blanket (which Csilla made), with self-made candles, with pressed leaves created into a picture and with tapestries. A tapestry is a picture which is created by sewing different coloured threads onto a piece of material. I would like to show you some of them. Here they are:








You can see Csilla’s work in the last two photos:





Unfortunately I cannot crochet but my dear late mother crocheted several covers, little bells and angels which I like very much. They are valuable and important to me. They hold some nice sentimental memories for me. They remind me of my Mum.

James Zhih-Cheng Wu, it is very kind of you that you missed entries on Friday and on Saturday. Sorry for the silence over two days. I went to Budapest (capital of Hungary) with my husband on Friday. It was another business trip. I really enjoy these times together with my husband because you know, often we stay so busy that it is hard to find time together to just talk. He travels a great deal and when there is a chance to go with him it is one of the small pleasures of life for me. We can talk in the car and listen to our favourite pieces of music together. Unfortunately, we forgot to take the camera with ourselves, so I cannot show you any photos. It's a shame because Budapest is very beautiful at night.

Ana Paula, it was such a pleasure to help you. I am happy for you.

Ana and Naheed, thank you for the link.
Naheed, I liked your riddles. Do you know the riddle written by Einstein? Are you interested in reading it?

Take care! Best wishes,

Anita









Water Chestnuts

Salaam Everyone!

How are you all? It’s Monday! For many it’s an end of Sunday:-> and some have a thought that it’s the beginning of a new week. Ah well, that’s how the life keeps on. As you can see from the title of my post that it’s time to tickle the taste buds.

By the way, does anyone know about Water Chestnuts? It’s an aquatic fruit found in lakes and ponds. It has a sweet taste and is famously known as water chestnut in English and Singhara in Urdu. The Chinese call it ‘ling ko’. It is believed to have its home somewhere in Sountheast Asia.

It is grown in fresh water ponds, marshes, seasonal and perennial lakes that are not used for fish farming. About two thirds of the plant floats beneath the water surface. It has both floating and submerged leaves and no primamry roots. The flowers open above water. After pollination the flowers submerge to fecilitate the formation of the fruit.

Its cultivation takes place from natural seeding from the previous crops. Health concious people in many countries use water chestnuts as nutritious snacks. It is a good source of calcium, iron, potassium and zinc. One cup of water chestnuts gives as much as 135 calories.

In view of its nutritive value, crispiness,unique taste and diversity it can be consumed in many ways. In my home it is eaten in all forms, fresh, dried and powdered. We eat fresh ones steamed or boiled. The dried form is usually grinded into fine powder and boiled with milk with few cardamom pods for aroma. This thickens the milk and it tastes delicious.

Water chestnuts requre full sun and a good supply of organic manure for growth. The fruit has an odd shape due to its two-horned nut and is enclosed in a hard covering. The nut is found under the leaves and drops off when ripen and is scooped up with the help of a net. Its outer shell becomes hard when ripen and is not easily removed by the fingers.

They are divided into three types – one that’s completely green, the second that’s red and the third type has brownish skin. The flesh is white in colour and is crunchy and juicy. I have only tasted its third type so far and it’s delicious. It is widely cultivated in tropical countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Southern China, Taiwan, and Australia.

I have gathered all the information about water chestnuts from a local weekly review. I hope it enriched you knowledge. Sorry friends! I'm just unable to post the pictures of water chestnut due to the poor speed of the internet.

Hello Anita, thank you so much for sharing such beautiful pictures. My younger sister is also into handicrafts so when she saw the pictures, she asked me to post the photos of her work, too. I will share somw pictures of her work in my tomorrow’s post. I liked your daughter’s work especially the patchwork blanket, this work is called ‘Rilli’ here in Pakistan. As for crochet, I like crochetting very much. I had learnt it from my cousin. It’s easy you will learn the basics in a day.

James, It’s always interesting to read your posts.

Hello Tomo, thank you for the haiku. I will be writing mine in tomorrow’s post or on Wednesday. It’s really nice to see your comment. Hey, don’t say you are getting older. I know you are in your early thirties and we never get old it’s our thought that makes us think that way.

Hello Benka, I would have to say one thing that our interests are quite similar. I also like watching travel programmes on TV and also about animals. We can make good friends.

G’day Rachel! How are you? It’s really really great to see you again and Happy New Year! We really missed you. It was a great time with you. Your little prince looks very cute in the picture (hmm..chef in the making).

Hello teacher Stephen! It’s always good to see your interesting posts. I have always learned so much from your writing style. I would like to say few words about ‘Stephen Keeler’s Column’, it’s been your great work. I have got to learn so much from it, especially, how to put humour in writing and your grammar tips.

That’s all for now. See you tomorrow :->

Naheed


Spam Manager!!!

Paul (BBC Learning English)

Hello everyone, sorry for getting in the way again but I have an update on the comments issue. The spam manager has been a little bit over-eager in managing comments and 'disappearing' some of the things that you have sent in.

The techie team think they can fix it and they are working on it as I type, so we hope to have a new version soon. In the meantime we have managed to get the spam manager to give up its hoard of comments and we are adding the missing ones to this message and to the message that I will post in the teacher's blog. We may not have got them all back but we're publishing the ones that we do have.

Sadly it is impossible to post the comments to the actual blogs but at least you will be able to see and read the missing comments over the last few weeks.

Bye for now

Paul

We are the champions!

We have defeated you Spam Manager, at the very later hour I admit, but yes we have beaten you. We are a very sinewy community; we go on in the total darkness, even when everything looks bleak and discouraging. We go on and on without any thanks or feed back, what a silly lot we are.

Kisses and hugs to all of us and a big hurray. We are the chariots of the virtual world.

Leila from Finland

A reflective Adriana to you

Hello beloved...

LONG LIVE SPAM MANAGER...because Paul appears when the messages disappear. :-)

Well firstly I’ll address my readers because they have been sentenced to read my nonsenses this month. Feel welcome, please!

Pary from Iran, thanks for your efforts in reading and commenting not only to me but to my blogmates as well. It has been very nice of you.

Benka from SERBIA, thanks a lot for your supportive message to me. I must remember it every time I’m missing self-confidence.

Mercè from Spain, don’t worry about the missing comments and your English. It's better than mine. I'm very happy to read all your previus comments.

Marianna from Slovakia, thanks agreeing or not with my thoughts, you’ll stay in my memory too. The important thing is the colour of the flower: white- the colour of peace. Millions of thanks to you.

Paco from Spain: Thanks also to you and don’t worry, nobody has the same taste of books, music, etc Thanks goodness we all are different otherwise, how boring it would be. I’ll just reread D. Quixote again because of you.

Thanks to Silwal Kishor from Nepal too. I miss you because your comments are always very nice.

Filippo, Italy: What a coincidence, it’s raining right now while I’m writing this to you! I’m singing in the rain...

Ana Paula, I’ve loved the pictures at the museum in São Paulo. I’ll visit the gallery art there and the whole centre itself some day when I go to São Paulo.

Naheed from Pakistan, glad to see your return. A mantra to you: RAM ( I don’t know if the spelling of this sound is the same in your language or even in English)

James (Zhih-Cheng Wu) from Taiwan, I’ve appreciated the way you linked economics and tennis. In fact, most of the time, sports reflect the situation in the country. I think sooner than we can guess, the next USA president will tackle the problem. Our economics is getting stronger so the crisis may affect us in Brazil too but not as it used to be in the past.

Rachel, glad to see you and Owen. Happy New Year to you too. I’m very happy because you’ve come back to say hello to us. I miss teacher Alex too. Where's he?

Anita, I've loved your handcrafts. You are really good. I like also to make some things...look at the things I do (in my neck):



so...do you think my last post had a bit of a sadness? Sorry, the intention wasn’t that. I just wanted to pinpoint my thoughts regarding to little things that could turn the world better.

Perhaps, unconsciously I feel affected by the things I have been reading: the chaos in the world, conflicts, terrorism and wars, bullets that kill innocent people, violence in general. Sometimes I spare giving myself a moment of reflection to assess the situation in order to understand and find out the roots of these things, if there is any.

I’m always looking for reversible things that could correct or limit the violence that cause... or is caused by the aggressiveness on people. I think our leaders don’t have all the answers, they seem to be lost and maybe they should start listening to us and redefine their values...or at least our values. I’d like to know how much is people’s life? Is it the same in every continent? I have my doubts.

Anyway, let’s forget all these boring things. Anita is right. I’ve been thinking at the beach this weekend carefully about what you’ve said ...Family is the most important thing and the base of society. Don’t think I just read and study English here. I think about every line you all write here.







I had a refreshing weekend in Setiba beach here in Espírito Santo state in Brazil. Setiba is the best of both worlds. This beach is divided in two completely different parts. One crowded and the desert part that has also a desert island.

the desert beach and island


My husband loves the desert part of the beach much more than the crowded part. It reminded me of Amy, our dear teacher who have said in one of her blogs about the quiet untouched beaches that she likes in India. Once I arrived at the beach, her piture came to mind.



The water was so warm. I thought I would miss the carnival party but I was wrong. So...no photos of carnival!

Thanks to you all, my friends...no matter you all agree with me or not and despite our different political thoughts. I'll love you always.

Adriana

Hey up everybody!

Wow! It was so nice to read all your comments that I couldn´t be able to see before. Thanks Paul :-)!

Many thanks to everyone who has sent comments on this blog area. You´re all great!

Well, I hope you all have enjoyed your wekeend as I have. I went to Liberdade, the São Paulo oriental neighbourhood, in order to see the celebrations of the Chinese New Year. This year the organisers have to antecipate the festivities because of the Carnival. So the year of the rat was celebrated with many cultural activites, such as typical dances, tai-chi-chuan and kung fu presentations, Chinese art exhibition and of course plenty of delicious typicals food :-).

Chinese and Japanese imigrants live in Liberdade neighbourhood. When you step out of the Liberdade subway station you´ll probably think you aren´t in Brazil. All the lampposts have an oriental design and the language you hear most there is the Japanese and the Chinese. At the outdoor market, which is set on the weekends, you can find handcraft works, flowers and typical food. It´s a wonderful place to visit.

Here are some photos of the Chinese New year´s party. I hope you like them:

Liberdade neighbourhood, take a look at the postlamps.


The stage.

Place in Liberdade neighbourhood where the Chinese New Year´s festivities were set.

kung fu presentation


Anita, you´re an artist! I´ve loved your work and so my mum! You know, my mum also do handcraft. She paints and does crochet very well :-).

Adri, your pictures are lovely as usual :-). The beach is dazzling beautiful! i wish I could be there.

Naheed it´s always nice hear from you :-).

Leila thanks for sending comments on my blog :-).

Benka! I´ve loved to read your comments :-) . And many thanks for your explanations.

Pary, I´m happy that you haven´t given up to send comments to us :-).

You-Sin BAE, keep sending your comments. It´s really nice read them.

Sayaka, don´t be sad! Everything is ok now. I´m glad to meet you :-).

Manoj, for sure I´ll keep exercising.

Mercè, I´m happy you´ve like of the sites.

Marianna, it´s nice hear from you again.

Krzysztof from Poland, how was the snow fall? Did you enjoy it?

Catherine, Yuan, Poorva a warm welcome to you all :-).

James, tanks for post comments on my blog.

Stephen, it´s great to catch up with you. I wish all the best for you and Lucy.
And who knows? Maybe we can meet again on the cyberspace. Take care and have a wonderful journey.

Rachel!!! Oh you´re back! And how lovely Owen looks like at the picture :-).

Ooops! I´ve just taken a quickly look at the clock. It´s time to dress up and go to my FCE course. Yep. The holiday is over and it´s time to come back to the FCE studies routine.

Have a good night or day,

Ana Paula.





Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Cocoa snail

Hello friends!

Yippee! The comments finally arrived. Hurray! Thanks to Paul and to the techie team.

Dear all commentators! Thanks to all for your great comments. As I am in a hurry now I do not have enough time to respond them right now. I will go through your comments very carefully and I will answer all of them. Promise…. you know, I keep my promises ;-)

Till then, you might go to the kitchen and bake the raised pastry filled with cocoa. Its Hungarian name is:“kakaós csiga“. I will try to translate: cocoa snail – this is a word by word translation.

Mercè from Spain asked the recipe of the chocolate cake. Sorry, Mercè I could not find that recipe but I do hope you will enjoy this pastry as well. It is my son’s favourite pastry and he eats it with milk.

Ingredients: 600 g flour; 2 yolks; 30 g yeast; a pinch of salt; 2 rounded tablespoon of sugar; 2 tablespoon oil; milk as to necessity – about 500 ml

I am sure, you have already prepared a raised pastry. So, use all ingredients and knead the dough and leave it to rise. I do it this way. For the pastry:
In small bowl, dissolve yeast in slightly warm milk with 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Let stand 5-8 minutes. Combine flour, remaining sugar and salt. Add yeast mixture, oil and egg yolks; mix lightly, knead it until it smooth.


When it has risen


put it on the desk and roll it out








put some grease (butter) on the pastry



sprinkle the pastry with sugar, cocoa and instant cocoa

coil the pastry











slice the pastry











place every piece into a well-greased baking tin, leave it to rise again for about 15 minutes, then bake in a preheated 200 degree oven.


The pastry is ready!!! Hurray!! Yummy! Enjoy!










See you soon,

Anita



















Another raining day...

Hello dear all!

It´s seems the weather won´t get better so soon. It´s raining all the day and I almost have to go work swimming today :-).

Anyway, in raining and cold days like this, I enjoy staying at home and watch a very nice and old movie, and of course, when my sisters are also at home I prefer to chitchat with them while I´m sipping a cuppa. Then when we all think we have had enough talking already, I just go to the window and observe the rain drops falling gently on the window´s glass. That´s always makes me smile :-).

Oh teacher Alex, I´m missing you. Actually, we´re all here missing you :-). I guess you don´t have much time able to catch up with us. Well, it´s just a quick note: we have only more two days here before this window close. It would be so nice hear from you again:-).

Anita, your cocoa snails sounds great! I´ll try to prepare your recipe :-). Oh, I´ve just remember I´m on a diet! Ok, it doesn´t matter. I´ll try your recipe anyway :-).

Parisa( Pary), Rosana was on the cloud nine when I told her you´ve liked her name :-). By the way, the name Rosana means 'gracious rose', and it was my older sister Roseli who has chosen it. Pary, could you tell us the meaning of your name please ?

Habooba, nice to hear from you again :-). I´ve missed you. Thanks for talking about your niece Rosa. I wish Rosa and her future husband could have all the happiness in this world :-).

Dear Sayaka, I´m very much honoured that you consider me as a sister :-). Thank you very much. Moreover, I´m glad to know you´ve liked my blog. Writing on this blog area and meeting you all were some of my last year highlights.

Mercè, your English is good. Don´t worry :-). I´ve seen some pictures of Catalonia on the net and it´s a very beautiful place. Say hello to your daugther for me :-).


I think it´s all for today folks. See you tomorrow,

Ana Paula.






Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Many hands make light work

Hi friends,

Thanks Paco, Mariana, James... you are so kind leaving a comment to me. You cannot figure out how I've got butterflies in my stomach writing here. So thanks for your support. And whoever is accepting the sentence to read this but perhaps is shy to write a few words, thanks to you too.

Ana Paula, it's raining again here too. I cannot avoid thinking in Supertramp's song and Anita what a scrumptious post!

Well friends, the carnival started last Friday in my city as in many other parts of Brazil however it actually starts officially next Friday all over the country.
In direct contradiction to this carnival atmosphere, which is inpiring indeed, I’ll write today about my job and contribution to our development.

I really love practising an artform for sheer pleasure. Is it painting my nails or doing my pieces of jewellery an art work?



I’d like to be a jellyfish with those tentacles because I love working with my hands. That’s the reason what I do for a living has to do with hands.



Until a couple of months ago, I used to work part-time in my own business in a building where I worked upstairs in my clinic and husby downstairs in his dental lab. He didn’t mind the noises I made and vice-versa. He’s a dental laboratory technician and works for private dentists as well as for the company where I work also part-time. Actually, not only that but 3 more units of it. And it’s not for my prestige of working there for long time, but it’s only for his own artistic flair and devotion that he signed a contract with them.



I should be working there and earning more taxable incomes. I’m missing very much that but I have to look after my son now because my mother-in-law had to undergo a cardiac surgery for second time so...I don’t want she has any worry. The only solution is to replace myself for another dentist needing employment until I can find another better solution.

The company where I work part-time is one of the many dotted around Brazil that belong to a solid private institution not run for profit. The main aim is to provide social service and health care to the whole community of each place, especially the workers of commerce in the fields of education, sports, culture, leisure and health.

We study, plan and promote directly or indirectly actions that can contribute to the quality of life of the workers, their families and other members of the community. Consequently, to the social and economic development of the nation.

In each field there are several actions being run as schooling, artistical and cultural activities to attend. The company has just bought a theater for enjoying permormances. As for leisure, there is a set of ludic actions in turism centres of the company spread in each part of the country. Only here in Espírito Santo state, there are 2. There are also some social projects like “ Programa Mesa Brazil “ ( Brazil Table Program) which is an incentive to the fight against hunger.
In the field of sports, one can take part in such a variety of sports and the company runs sports schools for children from public schools.

At last, there’s one important field- health- that I take part as a dentist, among more health professionals. We dentists are protected by law to work there 4 hours a day. 4 hours that are iqual to 8 because it’s hard to pause for breath.
In this way, the company gives opportunity to more dentists that are employed and work happy because they can use the rest of the day to run their own business.

We do everything in dentistry there from restorative and preventive dentistry to orthodontics and implants except for oral-maxillo-facial surgery that requires a hospital.. We make treatment plans together and each dentist works in his/her expertise.

The common daily attendance is 7 appointments for treatment and 2 for examinations but we must accept any emergency no matter the number of it which we organize within the team. Between each consultation, I have to fill in the papers and store information on the PDA ( Personal Digital Assistant).

At the end of the month, it’s a little bit more demanding because I have to do the statistics of the month. I have to register how many surgeries were conducted, how many treatments were completed, how many emergencies were attended and a hundred of thousands of numbers but it’s quite dynamic and pleasant my job, especially when we worked a couple of years ago in a preventive project with children of the schools of the company. It was gratifying to compare the statistcs and see the result, the positive impact on children’s oral health.

I’m very proud to be part of this institution in which we work each one in each field and all together like a family and in which values I do believe.
While I work there, my son is studying at school ( except when he's on holiday)and that’s the way I manage my time for awhile til I have to change the schedules depending on the activities I must embrace.

So, for all these reasons above, I don’t feel much guilty for having fun and enjoying the carnival holiday.

That's all for today. I'll do my best to write again tomorrow. Good bye

Adriana

I have tried very hard….. (James, Taiwan)

Hi friends,

So far, the BBC techie team has done a good job, but, just so far so good, which doesn’t mean that will last forever and ever. The maintenance is always the most important thing.

Today, I tried to post a couple of comments, and they hadn’t show up in 1 or 2 hours.

The disappearing (or I call evaporative) comments of Student Blog are 151, and of Teacher Blog are 99. I have tried very hard to find those comments on mine, hopefully, I didn’t drop any one. Now, I would like to quote them briefly and say something as below:


1) Pary (Iran):
You said that you are reading Rainmaker which is concerning my job, that’s right, and I hope I will read its English version some day. And thanks for your regards.

You said you are amazing that I spent 5 hours for my daily Blog entries (May, 2007), and have a question that is:“It has been always my question that how active workwomen can manage their daily routine to be more active (I 'm eagerly looking forward to your answers, dear Leila and Adriana )” . Yes , I did spent 5 hours a day on May, 07, always done my job in the midnight. About your question for Leila and Adriana, may God bless us with their reading this entry.

Thanks for telling me that your name “Pary” means fairy.

2) Sayaka (Japan):
Thanks for your comment, short and strong, I would like to quote part of it:

“We Japanese used to use the squat-style toilet. But now most of them are replaced by the sitting one with shower and heater. It is interesting to view another culture from the bottom.”

3) Pilar (Spain):
Thanks for your comment, strong and short, I would like to quote part of it:

“The toilet subject is very interesting. I haven't used a squat toilet. I prefer the sitting toilet, but maybe the squat or fake toilet is more hygienic.”

4) Naheed (Pakistan, the Blogger):
Your comments are all great, thank you, hope you don’t mind that I quote as below:

“Quite interesting! Well, both kinds of toilet seats are used in Pakistan, but most of the people prefer squat one.”

“As for the condition of pollution in a city like Karachi, it becomes necessary to take shower twice.”

5) Marianna (Slovakia):
It’s a very affecting comment, where is Teacher Alex? I am calling 110. Here go your comment:

“Hi James! It is good you have put in one of your entertaining entry. I can’t imagine those cold springs. In my town there is only hot spring. However, you didn’t mention your teacher blogger Alex. Are you not curious about how he is doing? He had lost his home in that big London. It would be interesting to get to know whether he has found some cosy place yet, wouldn’t it? Maybe he is dwelling at Lottie with his cat happily. Ask him you please, he may drop a line perhaps only among you, men!”

6) many thanks to other commentators: Teacher Jo(West Meon), Benka (Serbia), Leila(Finland, student blogger), Aliaa(Cairo , Egypt), Domenico, Ajay Rana(Lucknow, India). And I would like to quote one remarkable comment as following:

"James, do you know why many of us westerners dislike the squatter toilet? It's because we didn't grow up using them, so we don't have the flexibility that you demonstrate so well in your photo! If you ask the average westerner to try to squat like you, with bum touching heels, he/she would wobble about or fall over, which is not a good thing to do in a public toilet! Perhaps if all western children were taught to use squatters, we wouldn't grow up to dislike them so much! I spent many years in Asia, so I'm used to squatters. And I found that it's much easier to use them in you're wearing high heels. Although this is not much use to men! Also, not *all* westerners dislike them. The squatter is still used in France, though it is becoming less popular. What diverse topics we cover on this blog! (posted by Jo from West Meon)

Ps: I have to quote it totally, not because I don’t have the ability to make this comment to a scale-down version, but it is a awesome point of view.


PS1: I am considering posting a photo (of toilet) on January 29, 2008, to say good bye to all of you. Well, it is a thinking just anyway.

Best regards
James Zhih-Cheng Wu (Taiwan)
Student Blogger of May, 2007

Responses

Hi friends!

Well, as I promised, here are my answers to all of you who have been interested in my blog. Thank you so much for spending your spare time writing to me.

Stephen Keeler from London, thank you for your comment. I have never heard about the bookshop called Litea which means Literature & Tea, of course. I did a little research and I have found out that the bookshop still exists. This bookshop/teahouse stocks offers wide range of books on Hungary; CDs and cassettes of the works of Hungarian composers; and cards, maps, and other quality souvenirs for serious enthusiasts of Hungarian culture situated in the Fortuna courtyard, opposite the Hilton Hotel. The address is Budai Vár, 1014 Budapest, Hess András tér 4. I have found sites written only in Hungarian. If you are interested, have a look at the site
http://www.kavehazak.hu/kavehazak/kavehaz.php?id=302 and click on the text: Nézze meg a képeket! And you will see some photos. Is this the same bookshop you visited 10 years ago? Stephen, I will make certain that I go to the Litea when I visit Budapest next time!

Diema from Bulgaria, I am glad to know that you like my entries and I am your old friend. I can understand that you are a bit concerned that you have spent lots of time in front of the PC reading blogs and you might feel that you have stolen time from your family. Sometimes I feel the same. I think we are all obsessed with this site. Probably, you are right, we must limit the time we spend on the net. On the other hand, we must allow ourselves to do things that we enjoy without feeling guilty. Don’t you think so?

Tiasha from Sri Lanka, thank you for the New Year's wishes. I wish the same for you and your family. I am glad you liked my tapestries. I would like to see your cross stich work, too. Yes, sewing every piece took almost a year. I do like gardening. We have quite a big garden, a small vegetable pot, an orchard, a small rockery and lots of different flowers. Around our house there is grass everywhere. Tiasha, I can remember one of your latest comments when you were worried for my daughter when she was ill. You must be a really kind and caring woman. Thanks once again. Please give my warmest wishes to your family.

Mercè from Spain, I do hope you liked the pastry recipe. Please, don’t think that I can do everything simultaneously. Unfortunately, my days also last only 24 hours. I sewed my tapestries 4-5 years ago before I started studying English. I have not sewed any recently. I am pleased that you also liked the New Year’s concert. I live in a teeny-weeny village in the west of Slovakia. It is near the river Danube and about 50 km away from the border with Hungary.

Joseph Malou South Sudan, thank you for your kind words. I really like spending time with my family. I always enjoy their company.

Paco from Spain, I believe you must keep doing exercise and eating lots of fruit, vegetables, porridge every day for breakfast and brown bread – food which is fibrous which is really good for cholesterol. Then your cholesterol level will go down. Don‘t give up! Yes, help yourself and enjoy the cocoa snail!

Marianna from Slovakia, isn’t it interesting that we live in the same country and we are in touch through the net? It is a good fun!

Pary from Iran, I am glad you liked my tapestries and the sites of my country.

Korla from Xinjiang China, practice makes perfect! Just keep visiting this site, your English will be better day by day.

Habooba Ahwaz from Iran, I do hope that you will have a chance to go to England and visit London one day and practise your English as well. I am wishing you good luck!

Lidia from Moscow, I have tried my best to write about my life. I hope you enjoyed it. But I have missed your entries. You should write about yours, too. We are all interested to know more about your life, too.

Hyoshil from Lincoln, yes all my family was around for Christmas and it was sensational. I am sure, you can remember how excited I was in September 2006 when Csilla came home from the UK. Since then she visited us only three times. She was very busy last summer and could not come home because she worked as a camp counselor in the US. So every encounter with her is really a gift for me.

Erika from Hungary, Szia! Thank you for your comment and your wishes. Keep visiting this site! Enjoy kakaós csigát!

My dear blogmates, Ana Paula, Naheed, Adriana, Leila, James!!! My back is aching, my eyes are red and I am incapable of writing any more words…. I will come back tomorrow to say „Hi!“ to everyone.

Take care! See you tomorrow,

Anita








Writing a blog is not so hard thing to do

Writing a blog is not so tiresome; it also can be done quite fast. The method I use with many issues is that I write a lot. When I remember something I write it down. Even at night time: Many times during the night one gets really good ideas and they are so clear in one’s head. What do I do? I get up for couple of minutes and write them down. I have used this system for many years and it does work.

I also carry a note book with me – almost always – and when ever I come across something new I write the main point in my book. Later on one can easily contemplate all the different points and make a context around it.

I also have used a Mind Mapping technique a lot, you may want to have a look at the link that I have introduced under general sites.

So long from a working girl Leila

On my sister's request

Hi, everyone!

I hope you are all well. I have just seen the messages eaten up by the spam manager and along with that, I would like to say Paul and BBC LE team a big THANK YOU! that we are able to read those messages again. When my comments didn't appear, I really had a thought that I did send something against the house rules, but dear me, it's not like that.

I would like to say thank you everyone for your kind comments!

Jo, I've just read your post and I would say a huge THANK YOU! All the best wishes to you for now and for the future. Hopefully, we will meet again through another blogfest. Good Luck for your project!

Friends, after seeing handicrafts by Anita, my younger sister, Zehra, insisted me to show her work to you all. Anita! My sister really liked the handicrafts you showed us all. I hope you all will like her work.
Here's a purse, a mobile pouch, a traditional Asian bride made from crystal chips and a victoria made from crystal chips, and a fairy, too.



Zehra made this purse, napkin holder and wall-hang from jute.


Some of her beads work. Decorative glasses of beads flowers, berries tree and purse.


PS- Tomo - I remember the haiku that I have to share it with you and everyone. I want to make it in a bit special way so it will be a surprise for you on tomorrow.

Wishes,

Naheed

Two more sites to share with you.

Hello dear all!


Today I´d like to share with you two great sites that I visit in order to brush up my English.

The first one is about movies. As you already know, I´m a moviegoer and a 7th art lover :-). Do you like movies? Well, this movie review programme is on air at BBC Radio 5 and its presenters are Mark Kermonde and Simon Mayo. As you listen to it you can hear interesting vocabulary related to the movies´world (eg: a thought provoking movie). In fact, you´ll have a ball listen to this programme. Mark Kermonde and Simon Mayo have a dry sense of humour, therefore when they didn´t like of a movie... :-)

Anyway, I think it´s worthy to have a shot and listen to Mark Kermonde´s movies review. Here´s the site:


http://www.bbc.co.uk/fivelive/entertainment/kermode.shtml


The second site is related to reading. If you aren´t so keen on reading novels this site provides 201 short stories written by Anton Tchechov. I´ve read some of them and they are fantastic.


http://chekhov2.tripod.com/


Jo, it´s very nice to have catched up with you! Good luck with your project and all the best for you, Richard and your lovely pets :-).

Naheed, Zehra is a very talented young gal :-). Her work is really beautiful.

Adri, how interesting your blog today :-). Oh, we have something in common with. I really like the Supertramp´s song It´s Raining Again. However, my favourite Supertramp´s song is the Logical Song. I used to sing this song with my English teacher. During the classes we always burst into an old and dear song. The funny thing was that both of us were terrible singers, haha, good times :-). By the way, how is your mother-in-law? I hope everything goes well at her cardiac surgery.

Anita, although you´re tired you never forget to say hello to us :-). You´re a kind friend.

James, I like very much reading your blog. You´re creative as usual.

Leila, it´s always nice hear from you :-). I really like reading your blogs and comments.

Mercè, it´s nice to know your friend is coming to Brazil. I hope s/he enjoy visitng my country :-).

Anwar, that´s true. I´ve heard about the heavy snow in China. Even though it was raining in São Paulo we could enjoy the Chinese New Year´s celebration.

Pary, thanks for your kind words. I wish one day I could see you as a student blogger. Well, just like I´ve asked to our dear Marianna, I´m going to ask to you to think about it, ok? :-)


Good night and Good luck ;-),

Ana Paula.

Thursday, 31 January 2008

2 postures in the public toilet. (James, Taiwan)

Hi there,

There are 2 postures to use a public squat toilet if someone couldn’t find a sitting toilet, which is for the sanitary reason.

Gesture 1: squat on the toilet: I am grinding out something.

Bye bye...


Gesture 2: partly squat: Something will be ground out by me.

Bye, bye...see you around.

( I am a squatter)

This entry is my last one , See you around.

Bye……..

Best regards
James Zhih-Cheng Wu (Taiwan)
Student Blogger of May, 2007

Hope springs eternal

Hello friends!



Time flies.... it is the last day of open blogs. Maybe, it is time to say thanks and goodbye to everyone. However, I am more optimistic now than I was at the end of September 2006 when I thought that I will never have the opportunity to be a blogger again. I do hope that we will have another chance to catch up in a year or two… Anyway, I will continue visiting the site, reading the entries of the next bloggers as well so I will be here.

After all, I would like to say thank you to the BBC LE team, to the teacher bloggers who have taken part in this open blog and to nice people from all over the world who read my entries, who wrote me comments for their kindness and interest. They always encourage us to learn English.

Lewis Davies, February 2008 will be an unforgettable month for you full of new feelings, happiness, joys. My son was also born in February. However, it was 17 years ago. I am wishing you, Tomono and the baby good health, good luck and success in all you do. Sorry if I am being too personal or too curious, but please, do not keep the sex and the name under your hat after the baby is born. I am sure, Paul will publish it with pleasure. I am looking forward to knowing it. As for your question about superstitions regarding all things to do with babies, here in Slovakia people do not buy the pram before the child is born. Mums-to-be and dads-to-be usually choose the pram together and the Dad buys the pram while the Mum is in hospital. Then parents put a little red ribbon in the pram hoping that people who are curious to look at the baby will not cast a spell on the baby. What a silly thing, isn’t it? Thank you for the photo. You are a really nice couple.

Stephen Keeler, maybe you can remember the next words because I have written them to you once but I think I cannot explain my feelings better. So here they are: You are a teacher who regards his profession as a vocation, not just a job. Thank you for everything that you did for us learners. We all will miss your writings, your useful exercises and expressions. I think you are an extremely good father and Lucy is a fantastic girl. We could see the beautiful relationship between you and your daughter. You must be proud of her and Lucy must be proud of her father. I would also like to wish you good luck for visiting Sweden, Vietnam and China. Hopefully, you will come back to the LE site one day…Hope springs eternal. My very best wishes to you and Lucy.

Jo Kent, thank you for your comments. Hopefully, I will visit England again as I am looking forward to my daughter’s graduation ceremony. I will make certain that I will go to a pub when I visit her. I like the atmosphere of English pubs. It is definitely different from the pubs in Slovakia.

Amy, Rachel H., Rachel W., I have been reading all your blogs. I have learnt a lot from them. My very warmest wishes to you and to your families.

Well, Ana Paula, Adriana, Naheed, Leila, James – I have not written you comments because I thought that I can respond to you directly on my blog. I guess it has worked quite well. In this way I did not have to worry about my evaporated comments like all our commentators had to do, unfortunately. You are all fantastic. Although every one of us is so different, we have so many things in common. I have read lots of interesting topics, I have seen beautiful photos and I have learnt a lot from you. Thank you for sharing your ideas and a slice of your life.

Naheed, I like your sister’s handicrafts. The purse from jute and the beaded creations are my favourites. Beautiful! Have you seen the link I have mentioned? It is worthwhile because there are a great number of bead patterns there.

Ana Paula, Adriana and everyone from Brazil! Enjoy this beautiful time of carnival!

Ana, I also like listening to the sounds of rain and then breathing the fresh air. OH! Thank you for the sites. You are really kind.

Adriana, I always admire people who work in the healthcare system. This is my weakest point. When my children were small and they hurt themselves I could not bear their pain. I always needed my husband’s help. You are great! Being a dentist is a great responsibility and I am sure you take your responsibilities very seriously.

Leila, thank you for your tips. The problem is that if I once get to bed I will sleep until morning without waking up. I will read the site about the Mind Mapping technique very carefully. It sounds interesting.

James, I liked your entries. They were all informative, interesting. Good job!

This photo was taken last spring in our garden. This is a little gift to you all. I will end my last post by saying I hope that spring will be here soon because spring is always an uplifting time.

Take care! Bye, bye

Anita




See you around!

Hey up everybody!

Wow! January is almost over, which means that my month as a student blogger is also ending. It was a pleasure being here again talking to all of you. I´ll back to my commentator position, and we´ll still be here together in our learning English journey. For our readers who have never been a student blogger I highly recommend this experience. You´ll enrich your English and also meet lots of interesting people :-).

I´d like to thank you everyone who has posted comments on this blog area. It´s amazing to read all of them. I´m very honour for being part of this virtual classroom :-).

Anita, I´ve loved your stories, pictures and recipe. I´ve also enjoyed our conversations about books. You´re a very kind friend and I´m glad to know more about you in this blogfest :-).

Adri, we live at the same country and come to know each other at BBC LE. This is the way life is... very simple :-).

Naheed, I know I´ll hear a lot from you my friend. Say hello to the gals and to your lovely mum :-).

James your blog was very illustrative :-).

Antônio, Lidia, Yumi, Satya, please don´t disappear. I´d love to hear more from you.

Leila, I know you´re a working girl, but don´t forget us! It´s always nice to read your comments.

Amy, your family´s picture is so beautiful :-). I hope you have a very safe and wonderful journey back to home.

Rachel H., Rachel W and Lewis, it was great hear from you again. All the best to all of you :-).

Teacher Alex, it was a pit you couldn´t catch up with us. Whatever you are doing I hope you´re fine and I wish you a wonderful 2008 :-).

Dear Elena, thank you for your kind words :-). I´ve seen the play Cherry Orchand here in Brazil. It´s a beautiful play, isn´t it? I´ll be always hear, so we won´t miss each other.

Pary, I know what you mean. Don´t worry. I have one word to share with you: perseverance. When I started to listen to the Mark Kermonde´s programme I felt dizzy because I thought he spoke too fast. But then, little by little one can get used to listen to it. One day you catch a word here, another day, you catch another word there, and then when you see you´re understanding a great deal of what he´s speaking :-).

Mercè, I´m glad to know you´ve liked the links :-). You seem to be a bookworm.

Thank you very much to Marianna, Hyoshil, Habooba, Silwal, Sayaka, Manoj for your kind comments.

Thanks again to Paul and Dima for having organised this wonderful blogfest. I´ll never forget this experience :-).

Carrie, it´s wonderful talking to you again! Thanks for your kind help :-).

I´d like to give a warm welcome to our new teacher and student blog. Welcome Trudy and Anastacia! I´m looking forward to hearing from you.


See you around,

All the best,

Ana Paula.







From BBC Learning English

Dear Bloggers,

January is not a month one would normally describe as 'exciting' or 'fun-packed' but you have managed to force a smile onto my face during these cold and wintry days.

It's always great to hear from old friends again. We wish you the very best of luck in your future studies and projects.

James, we've decided that the best thing about your photos is your facial expression. Your pictures are very very funny. And informative too.

After you've all taken your bows the show must go on, so get ready to applaud our new student blogger for February - the one and only Anastasia!

Thanks again

William
BBC Learning English

Haiku!

A gift of haiku,
to you all, I learnt form a friend,
living in Japan.



Tomo, how did you like my surprise? Whenever I will hold my pen to write a haiku it will remind me of you, thank you:->.Ah, the time has come to get back to the seat of a commnetator and talk to new bloggers. It’s been a wonderful time, hasn’t it? Talking to all the former bloggers, meeting up with loyal old friends and making new ones has been like on the roller coaster of joy. Thank you BBC LE team for this wonderful blogfest:->

Thank you all the teachers for your interesting posts.

Jo, I have got to learn so much from you. You are not only a good teacher but a wonderful person too. Many many thanks for your wishes and kind words! I wish you get lots of happiness and success and may your all wishes come true. Best regards to you and Richard and my love to your pets.

Hello Stephen, It was good to see your posts with a hint of humour, loads of information and great new ideas. Best wishes to you and Lu!

Amy, I hope you are well. I was really glad when I had come to know that you have a baby boy and was even more when I saw his beautiful angel like face. It must be a whole new experience for Louie to see a little sibling at home. And yes, good luck with your yoga practice. Best wishes to you and your family. I liked your picture very much and oohh, Louie looks gorgeous!!!

Hey up Rachel Hunt! You appeared like a moon, but it was good to see you again. Your little prince really looks cute in both pictures. I hope the next time when we get this opportunity we could get to see you even more. Thank you! On behalf of everyone for the new year wishes and best wishes to you and your boys:->

Hello Rachel W., We’ve got to hear very less from you. Best wishes to you and your family.

Hey up Lewis! I wish you and Tomono good luck for the new member of your family. Just like you both, my cousin brother and his wife are expecting their first child in February. It would be great if we can get to hear the good news when you finally become parents. Many best wishes for your soon to be a bigger family!

Thank you so much everyone, my dear blogmates, my old and new friends.
beaded sunflower by zehra
Ana Paula, It’s always been great to talk to you and the most interesting thing is that we are friends,too. Along with being a working person, you are an energetic and enthusiastic girl too, kisses:)

Adri (Photo queen!), I have always loved the photos that you have shared with us all and your thoughts that you have expressed. The thing that has always inspired me most about you is that you are a loving and caring mother. My warmest wishes to you:)

Anita, My sister says thanks to you. I’ve visited the website several times whose link you have provided with, there is so much to learn on it. It’s been really nice to talk to you. Good wishes to your family.

Benka, Many many thanks to you for your kind comments. I really like the way you express your thoughts and your comments have always made my day. By the way, have you joined BBC Learning English group on facebook? Wishes to you!

Tomo, Many thanks for your kind comments. I also read the ones that had been eaten up by the spam manager. In answer to your question about how yoga has benefited me, it has benefited me a lot. About 7 years ago I had my muscle pulled in my back and it was so severe that I was unable to walk or sit for a week. It took me a month to recover, but the back pain always remained there. Since the time I have started practicing yoga, my back pain has vanished. Along with that, it has made me look younger for my age, it has toned my shoulders and also it has given a good shape to my over all body. By the way, Tomo, it would be great to see you as a blogger one day, what do you say? I have made another haiku on yoga.

Practicing yoga,
stand like a warrier,
bend like a bow.


James! I really liked the graphics with our names in it. I must say you are a creative person and I would say that you came up with topics which I have found them to be interesting.

Marianna, My dear friend it’s the sweetness of your kind nature that makes us sweet. Just like Ana Paula, it’s my wish to see you as a blogger one day.

Habooba, As you have asked about what is the age limit to practice yoga? It will be interesting to know that children as young as four year old can learn yoga, too. And for your 10 yr old, Hatha Yoga would be best.

Mehjabeen, Dear friend thank you so much for your kind comments:) Please accept my apologies for not writing to you for a long time.

Leila, This working girls seems to be very busy this time, doesn’t she? Give my regards to Katri.

Pari, Many thanks for your lovely comments. I hope we will be meeting in the future, too. Give my regards to your family as well.

I hope you won’t mind if I have missed anyone. You are all in my thoughts.

Wishes

Naheed


PS- My sister says thanks to everyone for liking her work. She is very pleased and has asked me to put these pictures up for you all. I hope you will like.





GOODBYE STRANGER

It was an early morning yesterday. I was up before the dawn... when I was writing something.




Thanks everybody!!!

Thanks to Paul ( Paul, the footie team asked me to say you are so handsome in that car in the picture! I have nothing to do with this...), to William, Jackie, Helena, Dima, all in the office and the techie team as well. I’m curious about you all. I’d like to see an open blogs for you all in order to satisfy my curiosity!

Thanks to the readers with whom I have been sharing ideas. It was an honour to me hearing from you. You are fantastic people: Silwal Kishor from Nepal, Mercè from Spain, Pary from Iran, Paco from Spain, Antonio from Belgium, Marianna from Slovakia, Ajay from Lucknow, Benka from Serbia, Filippo, Italy, Habooba, Ahwaz, Erika from Hungary.

Thanks to the students for their support and thanks to all the former bloggers.
Dec 07: Silvia (Spain)
Nov 07: Leila (Finland)
Oct 07: Satya (India)
Sep 07: Adriana (Brazil)
Aug 07: Yumiko (Japan)
Jul 07: Ha (Vietnam)
Jun 07: Naheed (Pakistan)
May 07: James (Taiwan)
Apr 07: Ana Paula (Brazil)
Mar 07: Lidia (Russia)
Feb 07: Juliette (France)
Jan 07: Soyoung (Korea)
Dec 06: Federico (Peru)Nov 06: Alex (Russia)
Oct 06: Chittisa (Thailand)
Sep 06: Anita (Slovakia)
Aug 06: Jenny (China)
Jun/Jul 06: Antonio (Italy)
Jun 2006: Nader El Sayed


Thanks for everything especially the links, Ana Paula , Naheed and Anita. I’m sorry to not have been able to hear from Soyong, Federico, Ha, the student from Africa,(Lemlem) and Juliete once more. I’m also intrigued by Nader El Sayed who I don’t know. I started reading this with Federico. I send hello to them all. Anita, your blogs were incredibly good and a guidance for us. Ana Paula, thanks for the links. I’ve had a look in one of them looking for some authors. I wish you good luck in your studies. You are pretty good, believe me! Thanks Nahed for your kindness. Beautiful your sister’s handicrafts. James, your splendid blogs are so creative, full of visual effects and colours. I liked especially the “TEACHER ALEX, WHERE ARE YOU?” and you calling that number. :-). It’s so perfect for me (a poor mere mortal) that I cannot imagine you in those positions in the toilet.

Talking about teachers...
Dec 07: Jonathan Marks
Aug 07: Amy Lightfoot
Jun 07: Jo Kent
Apr 07: Alex Gooch
Feb 07: Samantha Hague
Dec 06: Stephen Keeler
Oct 06: Trisha Thorlby
Aug 06: Lewis Davies
Jun 06: Rachel Wicaksono


I’m especially grateful to teacher Stephen Keeler for his wisdom and devotion to us, Amy, THANKS A LOT AMY, TRUCKLOADS OF THANKS! Jo (nice of you writing twice to us) and the 2 Rachels ( 1 is good, 2 is much better!). Reading these ladies, I feel proud to be woman. Also the other former teachers for the time they have been dedicating to us sharing their knowledge and improving our writing/reading skills in a simple wink.
I have a homework to you all:

Complete the phrase below:
Good night moon, se you _ _ _ _!!!


Goodbye stranger, it’s been nice...(forgive me Supertramp...I love you!)

A BIG THANK YOU
Adriana

January 2008

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