Our working day
I’m starting today’s blog before I receive yours. The time difference between Peru and the UK means that it could be late evening here before you post your blog. By then I’ll be settling down to watch my favourite football team – Arsenal, of course – beat Porto (sorry to anyone reading this in Portugal, but I’m sure you’d all agree that Arsenal is a far superior team!!!). My daughter’s favourite team is Manchester United, so she won’t watch this match with me – unless Arsenal start losing, of course. Then she’ll enjoy it. But that’s not going to happen, is it?
I don’t know much about football in Peru. Perhaps you have a favourite team you support? Perhaps you can’t stand football. I’ll wait to hear from you on that.
It is already 6th December. We have opened another window in our Advent calendar. This year we have two. The first is from the National Gallery, here in London. Every window shows a detail of a famous painting. The idea is that you’re supposed to recognise which paintings the details are taken from. My daughter is studying History of Art so she has identified most of the paintings so far. The second Advent calendar is from Finland. It is a large box of chocolates covered with a huge Christmas picture. The picture has 24 numbered and perforated windows. Behind each window there is a GORGEOUS chocolate. Lucy and I take turns to open the windows. She, however, always seems to get my favourite chocolates! We also have an Advent candle which we light each morning while it is still dark outside, before Lucy goes to school.
OK, so what about your typical working day? I guess you’re going to tell me something about it in your blog, so I’ll tell you a little about mine first.
The first thing to say is that there is no typical working day for me. When you work freelance, as I do, each day is often very different from the one before. Sometimes I have a deadline to meet. For example, if the BBC has asked me to write a lesson plan for Words In The News, I have to have it finished before midday on Wednesdays. If I am writing a school book (which is not very often these days) I will set myself a daily writing routine. I usually try to keep to that routine until the first draft of the book is finished. I stopped teaching regular classes this summer, so none of my days now has a fixed pattern. I like that very much, but sometimes I think it must be rather nice to work with a group of colleagues and to belong to a little working community, to have a coffee machine and a photocopier to meet at – and to have a regular salary!
I can never remember jokes, but here’s a favourite of mine while I wait for your blog to arrive: There are two goldfish in a tank. After a while one says to the other, “You got any idea how to drive this thing?” OK, so it’s not that funny.
Hurrah! A blog has just arrived from you! I’ve been reading the comments from some of our readers. Everyone wants to know more about your job. It seems very dangerous to me. I understand that you have to be careful and that everything must be safe. You mention that you have to protect your hearing. Is that because there are loud explosions from the blasting? Is this a big risk? Do mining engineers often lose their hearing?
I suffer from claustrophobia. Even just reading your description of being underground, surrounded by nothing but rock in a labyrinth of tunnels makes me start to panic! You must be a very calm and focused person, I guess.
Yes, I can understand that everyone asks you about gold. I also understand that it cannot easily be seen. It must be very special to see natural gold shining brightly in the darkness.
Your day sounds very long. I tried to imagine what it would be like getting up at 4.30 in the morning. No, sorry. I just can’t! However, I think it sounds so romantic to be travelling to the oldest silver mine in Peru, by bus, so early. Of course, I understand that if you’re tired and the bus is uncomfortable and it is crowded, then that’s not really very romantic at all, is it? And then I read about the cold and the snow and the travel sickness, and suddenly there was nothing romantic about it at all. I think you are heroic! Especially since you managed to post a blog despite feeling so unwell. Well done, Federico. You deserve some sort of medal for this.
By the way, thank you for your tips about altitude sickness. I will start looking for a sheep’s head immediately! I like soup, but I have to admit that I have never tasted sheep’s head soup. Do you have a recipe?
This blog is far too long. I am sorry. You must be exhausted. Please don’t work too hard on this. Tomorrow will be a tough day for you at work. I will be thinking about you – all our readers around the world will be sympathising with you. Have a good day – if that’s possible.
Lucy has just come home from school so I guess it’s time for me to make dinner. I wonder if she’d like a nice bowl of sheep’s head soup?
Stay safe! Talk to you tomorrow!
With very best wishes,
SOME USEFUL WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS
can’t stand + SOMETHING
When you can’t stand something it means you really dislike it very much.
EXAMPLE: I can’t stand screaming babies.
Advent is the period of four weeks leading up to Christmas. Advent calendars have 24 windows (or ‘doors’) numbered 1-24 to correspond to the 24 days of December leading up to Christmas. They are quite popular with families with children. The idea is that you open a window each day in the build-up to Christmas Day.
with a line of small holes designed to make it easier to tear, for example like a sheet of postage stamps
to do something one (person) after the other
someone not employed by a single employer but paid for each piece of work done for a number of different employers
a time or date when a piece of work must be finished
to set a target (or a deadline or a routine) means to fix, decide or agree an objective
to keep to
to do what you say you will do, for example to keep to a promise
first version, which will probably have to be revised or re-written
a way of breaking up rock by using explosives
a fear of confined (small) spaces
step-by-step method for making a dish or meal
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