Our Third Week
It sounds like you had a fairly relaxed weekend. So, it was too cold to go out, was it? Never mind, you can post a couple of the photographs of Korean buildings you took two years ago, if you like.
Your colleague sounds like she had a good weekend. Is that why she didn’t want to go to work this morning? Personally, I never suffer from Monday syndrome. That’s because I sometimes work at weekends, and because practically every day is different for me. This morning, for example, I was in central London by 08.30 having breakfast in a quiet café. Then I went to the Tanzanian embassy to apply for a visa for my trip to Kilimanjaro. Kilimanjaro is, of course, in Kenya, but we have to travel across Tanzania to get to Kenya.
Applying for a visa is usually tedious and bureaucratic. So I was very surprised to find that there was no queue at the embassy and that I was dealt with extremely efficiently by a very warm and friendly young man. I have to collect my visa on Friday.
How is your mum, Soyoung? Has she recovered from her tiring journey? Is she in the kitchen already, cooking for you and your dad? Does she ever rest? Did you celebrate her return home – by taking her out to a Chinese restaurant, maybe? Actually, it sounds like she relaxed when she visited the spa near your sister’s house. I, too, love to take a sauna. I used to have a sauna every week, for about twenty years, but I don’t get the chance so often now.
Once again, Soyoung, your photographs are great, and so artistically arranged on the page. But the one I found most interesting is the photo of your sister on her wedding day. She looks very pretty – like a porcelain doll. I was intrigued by your mum’s advice to your sister. Have I understood this correctly? Your mother thinks that your sister should not demonstrate her love for her husband to him. Is that right? But she thinks that your sister’s husband should demonstrate his love for his wife. Then you said that “it’s a man’s duty” to show his love. But not a woman’s? I’m confused. Anyway, do you think that we should have to think consciously about whether or not to show our love? I wonder what our readers (women and men) think about that.
Once again I have to apologise. Last month Federico recommended stories by the writer, G K Chesterton, and I hadn’t read any. Now, Soyoung, you are recommending Zorba the Greek, and I haven’t read that, either. Life is just too short, don’t you think? I have seen the movie, though. But I didn’t like it. I’m sure the book is very much better.
This afternoon I went to see The Last King of Scotland which is a film about a young Scottish doctor who goes to live in Uganda, in the 1970s, and becomes the personal physician of the president, Idi Amin. It was a great movie, with good photography, fantastic music and only one or two very unpleasant scenes of extreme violence (you can close your eyes – I did). Actually, I bought six books while I was out today. Three of them are about Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro, one was about one of my favourite British painters, Mary Fedden, another was a travel book about Siberia (a part of the world I have travelled in and know reasonably well), and the final book was a novel by William Boyd. Now I need a few quiet nights with nothing else to do but read. No chance! As soon as I finish this I have to go out training, again!
So I’ll just make a few language notes and then I’ll get my track suit on and go for a long run in the dark.
Have a good day tomorrow.
SOME USEFUL WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS
with a lot of administrative paperwork
dealt with by
The word originally meant a place where drinkable mineral water came up out of the ground, naturally. However, we now use the word to mean a building where you can swim, bathe and take different kinds of water-based health treatments.
fragile or fine pottery; China (not the country!)
very interested; fascinated
sports clothes comprising a sweatshirt top and loose-fitting trousers of the same material; sometimes called a jogging suit or jogsuit
Look again at how you have used some of these words.
journey (not ‘travel’)
The word ‘travel’ can be a noun, but it is more usually used as a verb. A better title for today’s blog would have been ‘My mum’s journey’
colleague (not ‘co-worker’)
outside (is all one word, not two)
In the same way, the word ‘inside’ is also all one word.
You probably need to check the ways this word can be used, in a very good English learner’s dictionary, and perhaps in a bi-lingual dictionary, too. ‘Convenient’ is generally used about something that is suitable or useful for a particular purpose and may save you time or effort.
old, older (elder), oldest
You don’t make any mistakes with these words, so don’t panic. You can, however, use the word ‘elder’ if you want to, only about the brother or sister who is older than you (EXAMPLE: ‘She is my elder sister’). ‘Elder’ cannot be used instead of ‘older’ in comparative sentences like this: ‘She is older than me’.
Your cousin is your aunt’s or uncle’s child. Your sister’s (or brother’s) children are your ‘nephews’ (boys) or ‘nieces’ (girls).
It is, perhaps, not very important whether you use British English or American English spelling – except in examinations. So I have not usually corrected words like ‘favorite’ (below) or ‘color’. Sometimes ‘spelling mistakes’ are actually typing mistakes. Use your computer’s spellcheck facility for important documents or business letters. Look again at the following, from your blog today, to make sure you know the correct spellings:
favourite [UK English] favorite [US English]
SOME RE-WRITTEN SENTENCES
Compare your original sentences with the following re-written (and corrected) versions:
I had planned to go out to take pictures of traditional Korean buildings but it was really cold outside.
I like to read listening to soft music. I think it’s also Stephen’s favourite way of relaxing.
As I told you before, my mum didn’t go sightseeing while she was in Beijing.
My mum went to many Chinese restaurants, in fact most of her visits were to beautiful expensive restaurants.
You know, Koreans like to relax in the sauna but I don’t because I can’t breathe properly in the heat and humidity.
I love the photos you took at The Russian Winter Festival.
I’m going to a bookshop after work.
SOME IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS
By using some of the following common expressions you can make your English sound more natural. Don’t overuse them, though.
[It doesn’t matter.]
…if you like.
[If you want to; if you would like to]
[There is no possibility]
[Not ‘Don’t be worry’]
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