NEW YEAR, NEW ME?
It was nice to hear from one or two old friends. Thank you. It was also interesting to read Jo’s blog especially her confession about having a bit of a spare tyre at the moment. I know how she feels (although, looking at her photo I really can’t believe she needs to lose weight). My spare tyre would support a large truck! So I’ve got to get back into my running shoes, ignore the wind and the rain (at least it isn’t cold) and run off a few hundred calories every day. That’s one of my New Year resolutions (another one is to stop using brackets).
I thought you might like to see a photo from our Christmas. This is Lucy and me at home on Christmas Day. We’d already opened most of our Christmas presents but hadn’t had Christmas dinner when this was taken. We’re wearing party hats made out of tissue paper, which you always get in Christmas crackers. I hate wearing party hats. They make me look ridiculous, but I suppose they make everyone look ridiculous.
What did you get for Christmas? I got mostly books, CDs, wine and chocolate. I bought Lucy new clothes, books for university and a new laptop (her old one broke in October and it was going to cost more to repair than to replace!). I also needed three new tyres on my car (real tyres, not spares!), and then I got a letter from the Inland Revenue asking me, very politely, for more tax. Lucy needs help with her accommodation costs at university, and you should see my credit card bill for December! Money, money, money – everything costs money! (Another New Year resolution was to stop using exclamation marks!)
What are your plans for the New Year? New job? New house? Are you trying to give up anything? Smoking? Over-spending? Lucy is setting off for Amsterdam next week to raise money for charity. She has to get from St Andrews to Amsterdam without spending any money. If she achieves that, her sponsors (that’s more money I’ll have to pay out) will give a pre-agreed amount of money to Lucy’s charities (including cancer research, poverty relief and education organisations). I have no fixed plans yet but I hope to visit Sweden in the spring and work in Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City) for a couple of months during the summer. I’d like to cycle along the Great Wall of China, from Beijing to Xi’an (where I used to live) in the autumn. It’s another charity event but I’m not sure I can raise enough money – there’s a limit to how many times you can write to all your friends asking for sponsorship.
If the last few years have been typical then I will probably start to lose weight in April, look like a completely new me by July and have put all the weight back on again by December. Seems a bit crazy, but just think of all the fun I’ll have doing it!
OK, so I have failed to stop using brackets, I’ve failed to stop using exclamation marks and, so far, I haven’t been for a run today. I hope you’re still keeping your resolutions. Perhaps you’ll write and tell us what they are and how successful you’ve been while I try to find my running shoes.
Bye for now,
SOME USEFUL WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS
If you make resolutions to do specific things, you decide to try very hard to do them.
a pair of punctuation marks, like this ( ), which you put round a word, expression or sentence to indicate that you are giving extra information
thin paper used for wrapping things which are easily damaged or from which decorations and party hats are made
a decorated, paper-covered tube (containing a small toy, a joke printed on a slip of paper and a party hat) which is pulled apart (making a small bang as it tears) by two people at, for example, a Christmas party or Christmas dinner
a portable computer
the British tax authorities
this punctuation mark !
SOME WORK WITH PUNCTUATION
Punctuate the following sentences (don’t forget capital letters where appropriate):
1. can you lend me £20 until the end of the month
2. help she shouted as she fell through the roof
3. your friend george asked me whether he could borrow my car
4. look im sorry but i just cant help you right now she said slamming the door in my face
5. do you think this hat makes me look fat
no but I do think it makes you look ridiculous
1. Can you lend me £20 until the end of the month?
2. “Help!” she shouted, as she fell through the roof.
3. Your friend George asked me whether he could borrow my car.
4. “Look, I’m sorry but I just can’t help you right now”, she said, slamming the door in my face.
5. “Do you think this hat makes me look fat?”
“No, but I do think it makes you look ridiculous.”
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