Welcome to West Meon
Hello, everyone! And welcome to another week. I hope you all had a great weekend.
Over the weekend, Ha told us about Vietnam – thanks for the pictures, Ha! I won’t let the cat out of the bag just yet by telling you the meaning of that Cockney Rhyming Slang. I don’t want to spoil it for Ha. Ha, are you going to give it a go?
Ha took us on a little whistle-stop tour of Vietnam, from north to south, and I just want to remind you about tenses, Ha. I get the impression that you write quickly, and you’re often in a rush, am I right, Ha? It’s difficult to fit everything in, I know! Everyone’s busy, busy, busy these days, aren’t they?
But if you don’t mind me saying, Ha, your particular problem seems to be tenses, so if you can spend just a little time thinking about which tense is right for which context, your English will improve dramatically.
For example, I’ve taken these sentences from your last blog, Ha. Can you tell me which verb (in the right tense!) would fit in these examples?
1) It was very sunny all day so I just stayed at home and ___________.
2) Tourism in Vietnam ____________________ more and more.
3) But I hope that I ____________________ you an overview of my beautiful country.
After Ha’s informative blog about Vietnam, I thought I would tell you a bit about the little village where I live.
My nearest village is called West Meon, and it’s located in the Meon Valley in Hampshire, in the south of England. As you’ve probably guessed, there is also a River Meon, which is why we’re in the Meon Valley. There’s also another village nearby called East Meon.
West Meon is teeny. The population is only about 700, but we do still have a few essentials in our village. For example, the most important part of any village is a pub. Here’s a photo of ours:
The pub is called The Thomas Lord, named after the man who founded the Lord’s Cricket Ground. You can get really nice local food and drink at this pub. It’s a bit posh actually. You could say it’s a gastropub.
We also have a small village shop and post office:
And this is our local church:
Some of our local houses are very old, like this one:
You can see the roof is made of a special traditional building material called thatch. Take a look at the picture below – can you see a couple of shapes at the top of the roof?
I know – you have to really look closely and it’s not very clear! Anyway, these are actually the shape of pheasants, made out of thatch. It’s said that each thatcher has his own personal ‘signature’. In this case, the person who thatched this house ‘signed’ his work with two pheasants. I’ve also seen houses in this area that are ‘signed’ with hares made out of thatch.
Oh, and the house above? It’s just been sold. I thought I’d be a nosey parker and look up how much it was on the market for. According to the internet, the price was £400,000. Aeeuuurrrggggh! (that's the sound of me passing out from shock)
Unfortunately, I don’t live in such an old or beautiful house as this. But maybe one day …
How would you all describe your local village or city?
Until next time,
give it a go – have a try
whistle-stop – (adj) describes a trip with lots of short stops
busy, busy, busy – for emphasis, you’ll sometimes see adjectives repeated three times in written language. It’s quite an informal style.
informative – containing lots of information
teeny – very small
essentials – the things that are absolutely necessary
pub – short for ‘public house’ although everyone uses the short form
gastropub – a pub that serves food that is much better than average.
thatch – can be a verb or a noun. Thatch is usually made of straw or reeds.
pheasant – a large, long-tailed bird that people shoot so they can eat it.
hare – like a rabbit, but bigger and with longer ears.
nosey parker -- someone who is interested in other people's business
on the market – on sale
to pass out -- to faint
Answers to your comments
Salah – yes, ‘fella’ is informal, from the word ‘fellow’. Women use ‘fella’ to describe their husbands/boyfriends. For a female partner, an informal equivalent is ‘the missus’ (i.e. ‘Mrs’).
Sarah (Canada) – yes, you can use the word ‘guy’ in British English. I think it’s probably true that the word originally came from America, but we all understand it now.
Wisarut – Yes, I’ve heard of Doraemon. So you like Japanese cartoons? How about Hello Kitty? ;->
Sarah (Saudi Arabia) – The Cockney Rhyming Slang for ‘husband’ is ‘pot and pan’, which rhymes with ‘my old man’. ‘My old man’ is another common phrase you’ll hear women use to refer to their husbands.
Ana Paula – thanks for the chamomile tea tip! My mincies are fine now, thanks. By the way, I like your new word, ‘mincies’ – maybe we can start creating our own slang?!
Jai – ‘you are supposed to be’ means ‘you should be’. You’re right, you’ll hear it a lot in spoken language.
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