Back at the BB - , Back at the BB - , Back at the BBC!
Not sure how long I can keep this up. Not sure I’m clever enough to continue for very long. Maybe I’ll even get bored with it. But when I thought of the title for this blog I also got another idea at the same time.
You see, my title refers to an old Beatles’ song, Back in the USSR. The chorus of the song is ‘Back in the US - , Back in the US- , Back in the USSR’. I thought of it because I was so delighted to be invited back to the BBC for a month to write to all my old friends around the world, and, I hope, to lots of new ones, too.
So it occurred to me that I could try to hide one Beatles’ song title in every blog I write in December (probably four or five blogs at most). I won’t change the song title in any way but I won’t type it with capital letters or in italics. It will just be part of the text and your job will be to find it. For example, I might write:
I’ve had a sore throat and a high temperature, but today I feel fine for the first time in a week.
I Feel Fine is the title of a Beatles’ song, and I’ve hidden it in the sentence I wrote.
Don’t worry if you know nothing about the Beatles or any of their songs, or if you hate silly games like this. You’ll still understand the blogs. And I’m afraid there won’t be any prizes, but it could be fun. I’ll give you the answers at the end of the month.
HELLO! IT’S GREAT TO BE BACK!
How are you all? Where have you been and what have you been doing? Are you all still out there? Please post a blog and tell us your news.
Me? I’ve had a quiet year, although I did spend all last summer working in Ho Chi Minh City, in Vietnam. I was teaching at the British Council’s wonderful summer school there for a few months and I had a truly fantastic time. It was the first time I had taught children for over twenty years. My youngest students were only 9 years old. But their English was amazing and I have never had students who worked so hard or were such a pleasure to teach.
Ho Chi Minh City is hot. Sitting here in my cosy little house in west London, in December, with the central heating turned up high, and wearing a thick woolly sweater and socks, it is difficult to believe that there was no time of night or day there when I wasn’t uncomfortably hot – except at work, in my apartment or in large shops and cafes where there was air-conditioning.
I had so much fun there. I really enjoyed the work. I met lots of new people. I did the usual things tourists do, in my free time, and I soon got to love Vietnamese food – and their coffee is just perfect (I’m afraid I’m a total coffee addict!). I think I could easily have stayed longer. If it hadn’t been for my lovely daughter, I think I might have stayed for a couple of years.
But Lucy is still at university and needs a loving dad to come home to (and pay for everything!) during the holidays. She was twenty-one last month so I drove up to St Andrews, in Scotland, where she’s studying Art History, and we had a spectacular party. I’ll tell you more about it, and her – if you’re interested – later in the month.
I’ve visited northern France this year, and was in Paris for Bastille Day. I spent a couple of weeks in fabulous Barcelona, and I was in Geneva, briefly, to help Anglo-Russian friends celebrate their wedding (and the birth of their son). I’ve spent lots of time in Scotland – and I almost bought a house there in October. I’m going to be in the UK throughout December (so that I can blog with you) but will leave for Amsterdam on 30th so that I can spend New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam (we could meet up for a glass of champagne and burst a few balloons together, if you happen to be there then: details later in the month).
Right now I should stop (this is probably far too long). Here’s a little bit of help with some of the vocabulary I’ve used. Talk to you again soon. Looking forward to hearing from you. Bye for now!
Your old friend,
Some useful words and expressions
keep this up
continue doing this
a very famous British rock band from the 1960s (the members of the band were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr)
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Soviet Russia and satellite republics from 1917-1989)
part of a song which is repeated after each verse
it occurred to me
had a quiet year
not done anything very exciting this year
a couple of
very impressive; dramatic; exciting
a national public holiday in France (14 July)
for the whole of
happen to be
are, by chance or coincidence
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