Thanks for your blog. Like you, I am looking forward to the weekend. Today is exceptionally stormy, really unpleasant and a bit frightening. The weather forecast is for better weather tomorrow. I hope so.
I’ve been writing all morning, and trying to ignore the wind. I’m glad your blog has arrived. Now I can focus on something else for a while: the things that make us happy. For you, it’s ice-cream, movies, e-mail, wine, clothes and blogging. What makes me happy? Let me think…
1) Lucy. She’s a good daughter. She’s clever, helpful, funny, loving and I think she has good values.
2) Running. When the weather is good – dry, not too hot, not too windy – and I am running (jogging) in the park, I find it easy to forget problems and enjoy the open space. I live near an enormous royal deer park so it is easy to run away from the traffic. I see herds of deer, very close up, every day.
3) Friends. I love sitting around a table with friends, and a bottle or two of good French wine, talking about nothing special late into the night. If there’s good music to listen to and good food to eat, that can make it even better. It is good to know that there are people who like you.
4) Home. I love travelling. I have travelled very widely around the world. I enjoy being a foreigner. I like visiting new places and meeting new people. But it’s always very nice to come home. I have a very small house, but I like it and find it very comfortable. I am always happy to be home.
5) Money. We say that money can’t buy happiness. But if you have no money – or not enough to be comfortable – it isn’t easy to be happy, I think. I buy lots of books and CDs. I like to buy good food. Good wine is not cheap. I go to the cinema and the theatre as often as I can. I like live music, too. Like you, I rather like expensive clothes, even though I can’t really afford them. Most of this isn’t really necessary, but it makes life better in so many ways. None of it is free.
6) Independence. I work freelance. That can be a problem when there is no work. However, when I have work I can usually decide when to do it. In my life there are very few times when I am obliged to do something I don’t want to do. I’m lucky, I know, but it’s also how I’ve tried to arrange my life.
Well, Soyoung, the wind is getting worse. So something which would make me happy right now would be if the weather improved. I hope it’s not too bad where you are.
There are a few language notes, below, as usual, Then, maybe, you can relax, in a new sweater, with a tub of ice-cream and a good movie with a couple of friends, followed by a bottle of good wine. No? Well the weekend’s almost here.
PS: I like your use of the word ‘Mancunian’. For people who don’t know, it means someone who comes from Manchester. Well done, Soyoung.
SOME USEFUL WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS
a radio or TV programme, or feature in a newspaper, saying what the weather will be like the following day or for the next few days
If you ignore someone or something, you take no notice of them.
moral principles and beliefs
large wild animal (the male usually has large, branching horns or antlers); check the word in a good bi-lingual dictionary
family groups (of deer)
FOCUS ON TENSES
I have selected some sentences from your blog. Let’s focus on the correct tense forms. Look at your original sentences and then compare them with the re-written (and corrected) versions below. I have typed in bold the parts of each sentence which need to agree:
I have appreciated your kind comments on my blog since we started.
I’m facing a difficult situation at work where my manager wants me to do more work.
I will feel better soon.
I ate ice-cream after work last week.
I call them sometimes and frequently write e-mails to them.
I rarely drink with my mum because she doesn’t like to drink alcohol.
I make a shopping list and a budget before going shopping.
I have never had ‘global’ friends I’ve never seen before.
You have no idea what a nice surprise it is.
If you need more help with tenses, you should check the forms and functions of the different tenses, in a good grammar book. Then, it could be a good idea to buy a good, self-study grammar practice book (with answers) which focuses on tense forms.
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