What GORGEOUS photographs! Your cousins are so cute! ‘Cute’, by the way, is a word I never use. But I honestly can’t think of a better one here. You asked, “Are they adorable enough?”, and I think everyone who sees them will agree that they are absolutely gorgeous.
So, it’s freezing in Korea, is it? Well, here it is unbelievably mild. I read in this morning’s newspaper that it was 21 degrees in New York this weekend (normally, it could be below freezing). Who can doubt that global warming is real and happening right now?
Hey, thank you! That’s the first time I’ve ever been invited to Korea. Be careful, I might come one day. Actually, I was offered a job with The British Council in Korea about 25 years ago. It’s the only time I’ve been offered a job and didn’t take it. And now I can’t even remember why. Just think, I might have taught your parents (grand-parents?).
It’s also the first time in my entire life anyone has asked me for religious advice. If you knew me better, Soyoung, you would realise that almost anyone else in the world would give you better advice.
So let’s move on to the questions. The kind of thing I had in mind was fairly basic, simple, direct questions which I could answer in one or two sentences. Things like:
What’s your full name? (Do you like your name? Do you like your middle name?)
Where were you born?
What do your parents do?
Have you got any brothers or sisters? (Are they older or younger than you?)
Where did you go to college/university?
What did you study?
What was your first job?
What do you do now?
What sort of music do you like?
What’s your favourite place? (Why do you like it?)
Have you ever been to Korea? (When? Why not?)
What three things do you strongly dislike?
What three things do you love passionately?
What single thing would you most like to do in your life?
It would be very interesting to hear your answers to some or all of these.
How about telling me a bit more about your two other sisters and your brother? Do you all live together? Are they married? What are their jobs?
It would be good to hear from you a little bit more about your time in Manchester. Why did you choose Manchester? Did you study at a language school there? Where did you live while you were there? Did you live with a British family? What was that like? What were the best things and the worst things about living in Manchester? You said you had some ‘unforgettable experiences’ there: can you tell me more (or is it a secret?)? Perhaps that’s enough questions for today.
Here, the Christmas holidays are not quite over. Lucy starts school again on Thursday. So, today we were in central London to have breakfast with good friends from the US. Can you believe they don’t have a computer? After breakfast I took them to an internet café to show them your blogs (and mine) and to read some of the comments posted by our amazing readers. How does it feel, now, Soyoung, to have a little fan club? (By the way, our American friends loved the photos of your cousins, too.)
After that we bought tickets for a jazz concert. I’m going to see the famous guitarist, John Williams, playing with the John Etheridge trio, in central London tonight. Do you know them? Do you listen to jazz? Is jazz popular in Korea? To be honest, I’m not a huge fan myself, but it’s not every day that you get the chance to see John Williams live in a small jazz club.
Later, I got a programme for this weekend’s Russian Winter Festival, in Trafalgar Square (London). We go every year and usually meet up with Russian friends, drink too much vodka, get sentimental then go home. Actually, it is usually quite good. There’s fake snow everywhere (will we ever see real snow in London again?), lots of Russian handicrafts to buy, authentic Russian food to taste and some great young Russian bands to listen to. The only problem is that it is always too crowded. Anyway, if we go and if Lucy lets me take her camera (I don’t have a digital camera myself) I’ll try to get a couple of good photos to post with my blog. Expect out-of-focus pictures of sad old people trying to have a good time.
OK, it’s time to take a shower and get changed into the kind of clothes you have to wear to go to a jazz club: my old black leather jacket, a black shirt, black jeans, black shoes and guess what colour socks?
Have a good evening, Soyoung. I’m looking forward to hearing from you tomorrow.
With best wishes,
SOME USEFUL WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS
extremely pleasant, extremely attractive, extremely beautiful
incredibly, difficult to believe
the problem of the gradual rise in temperature in the Earth’s atmosphere
…I had in mind
I was thinking of
it’s not every day that…
An idiomatic expression meaning something doesn’t happen very often.
become emotional (tender, romantic, sad)
objects made by hand to culturally traditional designs
GRAMMAR – correct use of the different forms of the present tense
The present tense has two forms and can be used:
1) to describe something happening at this moment [I am writing to you, Soyoung, right now] and
2) to describe something that happens regularly or is fixed [I write to you every day].
Now, look again at the third paragraph in you blog for today. Compare your original with my re-written and corrected version. First, focus on the use of the present tense, then look at the other changes I’ve made (for example to prepositions).
I’ll tell you about my family now. My parents have one son and four daughters. My sister, who is called Young Eun, is my parents’ eldest daughter. She lives in China, as I told you in a previous blog. She’s been in Beijing for almost three years. My brother-in-law works for an accountancy company in Beijing. My sister doesn’t work. She takes care of their three kids. They are adorable, cute and lovely. Sometimes, however, they can be naughty but that’s not a problem because my sister knows how to handle them. She’s very good at bringing up her children, and they take notice of her. She strongly believes that children should always be polite around other people.
Now, look again at these two sentences from your blog and compare each one with the re-written and corrected sentence below it:
‘I’m cooking any Korean foods.’
I cook all kinds of Korean food.‘Now we’re sometimes talking on MSN.’
Now we sometimes talk on MSN.
TIP FOR SUCCESS!
It’s often better to write two or three short sentences rather than one long and complex one. The longer your sentences are the more chance there is for making an error. Keep your sentences relatively short and always check that you have chosen the correct tense and written the verb in the correct form
…the definite article before ‘weather’ [How’s the weather in your country?]
…the indefinite article before ‘previous blog’ [as I told you in a previous blog]
…the indefinite article before ‘accountancy company’ [My brother-in-law works for an accountancy company in Beijing.]
…the definite article before ‘boy’ and ‘girls’ (photo caption) [The boy is Hosun and the girls are Jiwon and Hyewon.]
…the definite article before ‘UK’ [She liked working in the UK.]
…the definite article before ‘international school’ [My older sister’s kids are studying in English at the international school in Beijing.]
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