A tour of Pompey
Hello. I hope you've all had a good weekend and did your homework! I spent most of Saturday studying in my little cell but then on Saturday night I went and painted the town red with my friends. We had a quick Indian takeaway and went to a couple of pubs and a club, but not necessarily in that order. It was a fun night and a well-deserved break from all that studying.
The next day some friends of mine and I hopped on an old Routemaster and toured the city with a very well-informed guide. He had a lovely Pompey accent, but he talked so much I'm afraid I've only retained about 10% of what he said! My head is still full of German adjective endings. Here are a few pictures from the tour:
This is the Warrior, an old ship built around 1860. It's black on the outside because it has an iron-clad hull. On the inside there are wooden panels. If you look closely, you can see it has masts (for the sails) but also a couple of funnels because it is also a steamship. At the time, people weren't too sure about steam-powered ships, so they also had sails, just in case! Here's another picture:
In this picture you can see some brightly-coloured flags running down the sides of a mast. If you look at those on the left, starting from the top, you'll be able to read the name of the ship: the first flag (the one with a red square in the middle, then a white square around it and a blue trim) represents the letter 'W'. The next flag represents an 'A', the next two 'R', the one after that is an 'I', the one before last is an 'O' and the final flag is another 'R' so you have Warrior, the name of the ship! Neat, isn't it?
This is a view of the city of Portsmouth from the top of Portsdown Hill. You can see the sea and the Isle of Wight in the distance, plus the Spinnaker Tower.
This is South Pier, which was rebuilt in 1974 after a fire broke out on the set of Tommy. The fire was supposed to have been caused by overheating of the lighting among the old wooden beams.
This is a view of the pier from the other side, with a landscaped bit of garden. There are lots of flowers and lovely gardens here, another reason why I like this city so much. I believe Pompey won the 'Britain in Bloom' competition last year.
It was a pretty windy day so it took me several attempts to get a shot of St George's Cross flying high. This is in front of Pompey Cathedral.
This is a picture of a kind of stone memorial for Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a British engineer (1806-1859) who was born in Portsmouth. He is best known for the creation of the Great Western Railway, several famous steamships (including the first one with a propeller - there's a miniature red one on the memorial), and lots of important bridges and tunnels.
After the tour, we went for a spot of lunch in Old Portsmouth, a part of town which is, of course, old, with cobbled streets and a lovely atmosphere. We went to the Spice Inn (a very old pub dating from the 1700s!) which is on Spice Island, so named because it was one of the first places that spices arrived on trade ships from Jamaica. We ate a Sunday roast whilst looking out over the harbour.
Tomorrow I'm going to be involved with some pupils from local schools who will be coming to Portsmouth University for an Able Linguists' Day. It's a chance for us to show schoolchildren the importance (and fun) of learning a language. These pupils are already studying languages at school (usually French, German or Spanish) and range from 11 to 15 years old. I have devised a tongue-twister activity for them which should be fun - here are a few:
Fischers Fritz fischt frische Fische. (Which means: Fisher Fritz fishes fresh fish.)
Es klapperten die Klapperschlangen, bis ihre Klappern schlapper klangen. (The rattlesnakes rattled until their rattles sounded weaker.)
Sechshundertsechsundsechzig. (Six hundred and sixty-six.)
What do you think? Can you say them? Can you say them quickly? It's a challenge for me, too! Here are some you may know in English:
A quick witted cricket critic.
I saw Susie sitting in a shoe shine shop.
Where she sits she shines, and where she shines she sits.
How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?
Have you got any tongue-twisters in your language? Lukasz, have you got any Polish ones we could have fun with?
I'll post the reported to direct speech homework answers in the next blog to give you all a bit more time to do it. Thanks to everyone for their comments and especially to Antonio from Belgium who wrote in and told us about online penfriends and Stephen Keeler who is currently appreciating the blogging!
Bye for now and best wishes to you all for the week. Will blog some more after Able Linguists' Day.
painted the town red It is an expression which alludes to the kind of unruly behaviour that results in a lot of blood being spilt!
Indian takeaway We didn't take an Indian man anywhere! We went to an Indian restaurant and ordered food to take away and eat elsewhere. Americans call it 'take-out'.
hopped on To hop on is to jump on. If you hop, you are jumping around on one foot.
Routemaster A Routemaster is the name for the old, red double-decker buses that travel around London. It is the kind that has an open back end where you can easily catch the bus by hopping on. There is a pole which you can grab as you hop on. Silly Sophie forgot to take a picture for you!
iron-clad hull The hull of a ship is the hollow, lowermost part, partially submerged and supporting the remainder of the ship. (If you look at the picture, it's the black part.) This particular ship was not made of iron (like the Titanic) but made of wood. The outside was covered or clad in iron to make it stronger. Furthermore, if you refer to something as iron-clad, it means strong or unbreakable like an iron-clad contract.
funnels The funnels are the chimneys where the steam comes out.
trim The trim is the border or edge.
Neat This is an American colloquial (informal) term meaning great or cool. "Hey, that's so neat!"
Pier As you can see in the picture, it is a structure built partly on land and on sea, usually for recreation purposes.
the set of Tommy A set is a film or movie set, the place where the director 'shoots' the film. Tommy is the name of the film that was being made there.
landscaped A garden which has been planned and designed.
St George's Cross The national flag of England (a red cross on a white background).
cobbled streets These kinds of streets are made from cobbles, stones in lumps about the size of your fist, put together rather roughly and haphazardly. It's quite bumpy. It's not at all smooth like tarmac. You can also use the expression to 'cobble something together', which means you arrange something together quickly and/or clumsily, like a piece of homework written at the last minute!
Sunday roast This is a typical meal eaten on Sundays. You can have it at home or in a pub. It's usually either beef or lamb with Yorkshire pudding (a kind of savoury puff pastry), gravy (sauce), roast or boiled potatoes, carrots and peas. You can either have horseradish sauce with the beef or mint sauce with the lamb.
pupils Another word for students, but younger ones, usually school-age. Not to be confused with a part of your eye!
devised Imagined, planned or created.
tongue-twister A tongue-twister is a phrase that is quite difficult to say so you almost need to twist or turn your tongue in your mouth to say it!
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