Love and Chaos Part 5(H) Richard 2

22nd April 2021

photo by Martin O’Shea 2021

Part Five. Berlin. Winter 1994

Chris arrived home a little after three in the morning, being quiet, but not too quiet, hoping that if Richard were awake, he could tell him about the new look Czar Bar and how he had seen Jake, Gaptooth and a new German who looked exactly like David Hockney.

He opened the door to the main room, the light from the hall casting a dramatic beam straight up to Richard, arms sprawled, head at an awkward angle, half undressed, not moving, a quilt partially covering him but not a sound.

Chris’ heart stopped. He immediately sobered up and ran to the body, reaching for the pulse and holding his hand in front of the nostrils. The wrist pulsated, the back of Chris’ hand was chilled by breathe.

He got up and looked in the kitchen, turning on the light without any danger of waking Richard. There, on the table, were seven or eight cans of cheap beer, most of them empty and crushed. Then he looked in the bin, and there were three of four more empties.

Chris walked back into the room and did his best to make Richard comfortable, taking off the one shoe he still wore, his watch, in case he caught himself, and put the quilt fully over him, as the Ofen was going out and the room was getting cold.

He stoked up the Ofen and went to sit in the kitchen, taking one of the remaining beers and calmly drinking until his heart could return to a normal rhythm.

It had stirred up a painful memory, one that had haunted his childhood.

At eight or nine, Chris had found his elder sister on the bathroom floor, vomiting and screaming. Not knowing what to do, he just cried and went to hold her, joining in her screams.

And then he felt her slip away.

He sat with her until his parents came home, who told him that she had eaten too many sweets and was now sleeping, aware that this simply wasn’t true, that something very, very bad had happened, but not knowing why or what, except that he really did know what, but would never know why.

Sitting in his Berlin kitchen, sipping the gassy, tasteless beer, his heart still pounding, Chris was unaware that he was crying.

Richard had seemed so happy. He had been dancing around the flat, not complaining about the sudden drop in temperature which would mean another six months of chopping wood, wearing coats indoors and going into the cellar for briquettes.

He had caused a minor sensation at work, by thanking the staff when they brought him dirty plates and singing along to the radio. He was speaking to Chris about Biberkopf one night at the Ankor.

“It’s always on the same station,” he said of the work radio, ”and they only have about fifty records, which they play in various sequences. There’s a few classics, a few modern hits, and a whole bunch of shit. As for those new Elton John songs, postcards and that bloody cat …”

“That’s not Elton John. I know who you mean and it’s some American asshole.”

“Really ? Well, whatdoyaknow ? Oh, I heard that Crash Test Dummies song, you know the one ? Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm ? Fucking freaky goddamn lyrics, kids with weird birthmarks, and white hair. Never heard it before, but there was this drunk guy in London who was humming it on the tube, late one night. Actually it’s a really good song. Can’t stop humming it, myself. Oh, and what’s that Bryan Ferry song about Berlin ? Non-stop Berlin ?”

Chris looked puzzled, then understood.

“Oh, I know what you mean and every word is wrong ! Nearly every word. It’s ‘Don’t Stop The Dance’.”

“Think I prefer my version.”

“Me, too. More appropriate.”

And they burst into an impromptu rendition, much to the surprise of the cute, ginger-haired waitress, who clearly wasn’t impressed.

“I was thinking,” began Richard, “we should have a culture night, The Gang. I was looking through Tip at work, (Tip is one of two listing magazines, the other being Zitty. Both cover a two week period and come out alternate weeks. Tip is the glossier of the two) and there are so many concerts going on. Classical concerts and Opera. Looks quite cheap, too.”

Chris leant back, drank some beer and thought.
“All right. Yeah. The Opera. Let’s go.”

He got up and went to the magazine rack, taking the copy of Zitty (which was favoured by the alternative scene) and opened it to the music pages.

“Here, the Komische Oper, ‘Strange, or funny Opera’. They perform in German, I think. Yeah. Hey, look … Thursday and, yeah, great, Saturday, Carmen by Bizet. I could dig that.”

“You know Bizet never went to Spain ?”

“Would that be true ?”

“Aye, it would.”

“Well, I say. I’m gonna file that under ‘interesting but also boring facts’.”

“Well, you do what ya gotta do.”

The following Saturday, Monika, Chris, Gabi, Lorelei, Arizona Al and Richard all met in the foyer of the theatre. Arizona was last to arrive, and turned up in knee length purple boots, dark green velvet trousers, an old, brown leather flying jacket, and floppy hat, a thin, wooden instrument strung across his back.

He bounded into the theatre, jumping up the steps. He got quite a few interested and happy looks, and even gave a small performance, singing ‘Ring of Fire’ on his curious contraption.

“Hey, like my dulcimer ? Pretty cool, hey ? I did some busking on the U-Bahn earlier and made enough to pay for my ticket.”

The coat-check girl was also amused by the dulcimer as Arizona handed it to her, along with his hat and slightly effeminate, small shoulder bag.

Richard had the tickets and led them into the auditorium, finding the six seats, and was a little put out that Arizona sat down next to Lorelei, leaving him on the outside.

They all looked around the hall, admiring the décor and the atmosphere. The musicians could be heard tuning up, but were out of sight. Arizona Al lifted himself up, straining to see where the music was coming from, and turning to Richard, asked him,

“Hey, where’s the orchestra ?”


“In the pit.”

Arizona couldn’t contain himself, but jumped up and down in his seat, pounding the arms of the chair and inadvertently bashing into Lorelei.

“Hey, listen up, man, I just asked Richard where the orchestra was, and he said, ‘in the pit’. Orchestra pit ! I never knew what that meant before !”

They all enjoyed the show, Arizona especially, who watched it with a child’s innocence, and Richard was continuously nudged, poked and slapped.

After, they went to a bar in the old Nikolaiviertal, one of the oldest areas of Berlin, recently made over and gentrified, but still retaining a definite charm, due to the river Spree forming the western border, and the imposing, brick, twin-spired Nikolaikirche dominating the cobbled-streets of quaint shops and bars.

Gabi meet a friend, Heike, who worked in stage design and had also seen the new production of Carmen.

Chris said, “Oh, hey, did you know, Bizet, the guy who wrote it, never even went to Spain ? Isn’t that just the craziest ?”

The Gang all found this very interesting, and when Richard turned to look at Chris, he saw him lower his eyes and hastily take a long gulp of beer.

Before Richard left for work on Monday, he met Chris, just back from the studio.

“Arizona had a great time. Told me he made a connection with Heike.”

“Oh, you mean they got on well ?” asked Richard.

“No, dude, he fucked her. Twice, apparently. Said it was his first … ‘connection’ in Berlin.”

“Ah, yes, he broke his duck.”

“He wants to go out with us, again.”

“I bet he does. We’re not his pimps, you know.”

“You mean procurers ? Never mind. You know what’s opening this week ? Pulp Fiction ! The new Tarantino !”

“Man, I’ve been counting the days, big time.”

“We can all go, Saturday. It’ll be at the Odeon, English version with Kraut text.”

“I have to get to my terrible job now, but you get The Gang onto it. That is your mission, should you choose to accept it.”

Chris saluted, as Richard made his way to the elevated U-Bahn station and waited on the chilly platform for the westbound train.

So Arizona had made his first conquest. Chris had already been with a couple of girls, but, so far, Richard had struck out. But he was waiting. Lorelei had left her boyfriend. Maybe he had at least some small part in her decision ? She had sent over messages, had come to the Opera and he was sure she was expecting him to sit next to her. At the end of the night, she had kissed him on the cheek, and held his arm. He took all this as a sign that he only had to be patient and the girl he was so in love with would be his.

However, only Arizona, Chris, Monika and Richard made it to the cinema. Gabi wanted to see it in German and Lorelei was going with her.

Again, Richard was next to Arizona in the cinema but, once he realized Lorelei wasn’t coming, due to a choice of languages, he sat back, swigged his beer and waited for the excitement to begin. They had been surprised at the cast: John Travolta ? Bruce Willis ?

But from the opening scenes in the diner, and the title music, they knew they were in for one hell of a ride.

The twist contest took place, Richard digging Arizona in the ribs,

“Hey, this cat can really dance.”

Arizona jumped up and pointed to the T-shirt Tarantino was wearing in the kitchen scene, as he recognized the logo and began telling a story about it, making Richard miss untold lines.

The highlight of the night, however, occurred in the last diner scene. The Samuel L. Jackson character has a wallet embossed with the legend, ‘Bad Motherfucker’. The German translation for this, when it appeared, full screen in a classic Tarantino close-up, was, ‘Böser Schwarzer Mann’ (Angry Black Man.)The entire cinema erupted into spontaneously laughter, a reaction that Tarantino himself would have loved.

From that point on, they re-enacted lines of dialogue and added new words to their vocabulary.

Every time a customer ordered mayonnaise with chips, Richard let out an, ‘Errrchh, they fuckin’ drown ‘em in that shit, I seen ‘em do it!’, to the total mystery of the east German chef.

One night Richard got a call at work. It was Lorelei. She said that Monika was over at the nearby Café Haller, and was wondering if he wanted to come over, when he’d finished his shift.

He worked at double speed the remainder of the evening.

As clean and fresh as possible after a five hour shift in a hot kitchen, he walked over to the bar where Lorelei was working. She was finishing up her shift, adding up her dockets, and gave Richard a hug, as he cried out how good it was to see her.

As he looked over, he saw Monika waving from a far table. Next to her was a man in a leather jacket. Lorelei explained that it was ‘only’ Werner, a really nice, harmless customer, who was keeping Monika company and keeping the leeches away. She told him to go sit, and she’d send a beer over, and gave him such a lovely smile and wink.

Monika stood up to hug and kiss Richard and Lorelei came over to sit next to Werner. He appeared to be in his mid thirties and had tight, curly hair that looked one moment blonde, the next brown. He had rather protruding eyes and slightly buck teeth, but was very friendly and pleasant, the kind of guy you can always depend on to help move furniture, or pick you up from a distant location.

Richard tried speaking in German, which was improving, but still very basic. Lorelei said that it was cute to hear him, so he continued, as long as possible. At one point, he saw Werner look at him, with the kind of look that said, ‘how can two fucks like us be with two beautiful women like these ?’

Before Richard had finished his first beer, Werner said he had to leave, and Richard shook his hand like he was an old friend.

And then it all went wrong.

Lorelei looked at Richard, smiled and got up as well.

Richard thought that he would be leaving with Lorelei.


Instead, she turned to him and held out her hand. They shook, then she went over to Monika, kissed her goodbye, and left. With Werner.

Richard slumped down, feeling lifeless and humiliated and just plain lost.

“I’m never going to be with Lorelei, am I ?” was his rhetorical question.

Monika looked at him with real concern, but didn’t know what to say, and began to feel both uncomfortable and genuinely hurt, as if she could not only sense, but physically feel his pain.

She offered to drive him home, and suggested they go somewhere to drink in Prenzlauer Berg. He agreed and she almost had to help him out of the bar and into her car.

As they drove, Richard thanked her for everything, and told her that he’d be all right. He asked her to drop him by an U-Bahn station, where there would be an Imbiss open and he could buy some beer. It was better if he were alone, but he told Monika that Chris was at home.

She let him out and he waved her on. He didn’t want her to see him buying as many cans as he could carry.

Subject Index: Video Clips used in ESL Classes

4th December 2020

Video Clips

ABC song // KG Safari 1 // 10 March 2019

ABC (Richard Scary) // KG Safari 1 // 2nd March 2019

Airport – passport control // Adult Speaking Class, level 3: // sun, surf, sand // 18th May 2020

Archimedes screw pump. Theory & in practice // Adult Professionals. Mechanics. Theme: Archimedes // 26th February 2020

Australian hero – Aussie slang // IELTS 5-6.5 // 21st August 2019

John Bercow ‘Order !’ // Young Learners 1 // 13th April 2019

Black Friday // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2

Blind Date TV dating show // Adult Speaking Class. Theme: Love & marriage

Blur (‘Parklife’) // Young Learners 1 // 16th March 2019

Boy wiggles ears // Adult C, L 3 // 12th December 2019

Adrian Brody as Dali (Woody Allen) // Young Learners 4 // 26th October 2019

George W. Bush leaves room // Young Teens // 31st January 2019

Chicago, Willis Tower // Adult professionals. Mechanics, Part 3 // 7th Feb 2020

Chimpanzee tea-party (1955) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPD_m2laITc

Christmas UK // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2

Class Rules // Young Learners 1 // 16th March 2019

Concorde // Adult professionals. Mechanics, Part 3 // 7th Feb 2020

Corona Virus Government video // IELTS 4 – 5 // Implementing precautions // 25th March 2020

Benedict Cumberbatch (voices and accents) // Listening: real-life clips //20th April 2020

Customer complaints // Adult Speaking Class, L2 Part 2

Damn fine coffee // IELTS 5-6.5 // 4th September 2019

Dickens ‘Christmas Carol’ // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3

Robert Downey Jr awkward interview // Adult C, L 3 // 26th November 2019

Dragon’s Den pitch (beard grooming) // Adult C, L 3 // 18th March 2019

Dynamo magic // Adult Class, Level 3 // 12th December 2019

Easter traditions // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2 // 1st January 2020

Ancient Egypt (for children) // Young Learners 2 // 1st June 2019

Engineering fails // Adult Professionals / Mechanics Part 2 // 23rd January 2020

Entropy // Adult professionals. Mechanics, Part 3 // 7th Feb 2020

Eyewitnesses // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Crime & Punishment

Four Weddings bad vicar speech // Adult Speak Class. Theme: Love & marriage Part 2

Friction // Adult professionals. Mechanics, Part 3 // 7th Feb 2020

Funny animals // Young Learners 1 // 26th May 2019

Germany: Top Attractions // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Germany // 26th Feb 2020

Germany: Top Ten Facts // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Germany // 26th Feb 2020

Germany: Krautrock // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Germany // 26th February 2020

Greek dancing // Young Learners 5 // 6th October 2019

How couples meet // Adult Speaking Class. Theme: Love & marriage

Inbetweeners (Jay on motorbike) // Adult Class // 17- 19 December 2019

Internal combustion engine // Adult Professionals / Mechanics Part 2 // 23rd January 2020

Introductions – what’s your name // Beginners’ English, Part 2

iPhone in a vacuum // Young Learners 4 // 16th November 2019

Job interviews // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Job interviews // 12th Feb 2020

Karaoke (noise pollution) // Adult Speaking Class, level 2

Buster Keaton GIF // Young Learners, Level 5 // 6th June 2020

Kicked out of Starbucks // Adult C, L 3 // 18th March 2019

Kids guide to London // Young Learners 5 // 25th August 2019

Kids guide to HCMC //Young Learners 4 // 23rd November 2019

Kids’ parade USA // Young Learners 4 // 1st May 2019

Japan: 3 days in Tokyo // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2, Part 6, 25th January 2020

Japan: 7 cool things // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2, Part 6, 25th January 2020

Japan: 10 facts // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2, Part 6, 25th January 2020

Japan:Shinkanshen (Bullet Train) // Adult professionals. Mechanics, Part 3 // 7th Feb 2020

Joker (H. Ledger GIF) // Young Teens // 27th February 2019

Last Jedi trailer // Beginners’ English

David Letterman // Young Learners 4 // 1st June 2019

London

London cost of living // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: London 3rd March 2020

London street trader // IELTS 5-6.5 // 28th August 2019

London Top 10 Attractions // Teenagers // 16th December 2018 /// // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: London 3rd march 2020

London getting around (Oyster Card) // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: London 3rd March 2020

London How to use the Tube // Young Learners, Level 6 // 5th December 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/05/young-learners-level-6-london-screen-test/

London Tube (busy) // KG Safari 1 // 2nd March 2019

London Tube (rush hour) // Adult Speaking Class. Theme: Traffic

London Tube guide // Adult Speaking Class. Theme: Traffic

McDonalds ordering fast food // Adult Speaking Class, level 2

Making a video // Adult Speaking Class, level 2

Milk box fail // Adult C, L 3 // 18th March 2019

New Zealand Haka // Young Learners 5 // 27th October 2019

Not One Less // IELTS 5-6.5 // 25th September 2019

Olympics (Beijing) // Adult Professionals // 10th February 2019

Paris love-locks // // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Adverbs & expressions // 26th June 2020

Peter O’Toole // Young Teens // 17th January 2019

Phrasal verbs (family) // Adult Speaking Class. Theme: Love & marriage Part 3

Poland beer review // Adult Speaking Class, level 2

Poland tourist guide // Adult Speaking Class, level 2

Politicians attacked // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3

Pulp Fiction coffee shop // Adult Speaking Class, level 2

Queen Elizabeth II (Christmas 2011) // Listening: real-life clips //20th April 2020

Queen Elizabeth II (Christmas 2015) // Adult Speaking Class, level 2 // 15th May 20202

Queen Elizabeth II (corona address) // Listening Exercises, Corona Special // 6th April 2020

Rain forest // Young Learners, Level 5 // 6th June 2020

Richard III // Listening: real-life clips //20th April 2020

Romeo and Juliet // // Adult Speaking Class, level 3

Jerry Seinfeld GIF //Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: What type of person ? // 19th June 2020

Social Network // IELTS 5-6.5 // 4th September 2019

Spain, Pamplona running with the bulls // Young Learners, Level 6 // 5th December 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/05/young-learners-level-6-london-screen-test/

Ringo Starr being knighted // Adult Class, Level 1 // 5th March 2019

Snow // Beginners’ English, Part 2

Sir Kier Starmer (Labour leader, UK) // Listening Exercises, Corona Special // 6th April 2020

Supersize Me // Adult Speaking Class, level 2

Taiwan (four videos – WHO dodge, Tsai Ing-wen) // Taiwan: Listening Extra 12th April 2020

Quentin Tarantino awkward interview // Adult C, L 3 // 26th November 2019

Tarantino on Chungking Express // 16th April 2019 /// IELTS // 4th March 2019

Nikola Tesla // Adult professionals. Mechanics, Part 3 // 7th Feb 2020

Theseus & the Minotaur (Lego) // Young Learners 5 // 6th October 2019

Top Gear: Vietnamese driving school // Adult C, L 3 // 25th December 2018 // Adult Speaking Class. Theme: Traffic

Top Gear Vietnam // Top Gear Special: What can go wrong ? // 28th April 2020

Train, high-speed in China // Adult pros // Adult mechanics: What can go wrong ?

Train song // KG Safari 1 // 2nd March 2019

President Trump news (Viet subs) // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3 // 11th March 2020

Tuareg people // Adult Speaking Class, level 3. Theme: Travel // 11th February 2020

Universeum, Sweden // Young Learners 3 // 14th December 2019

USA – San Francisco // Adult Speaking Class, level 3: San Fran, Boston, Chicago // 18th May 2020

Vietnam

Vietnam on video Part 1 (3 clips: beer / weird culture / superstitions // Part 1 // 23rd October 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/10/23/vietnam-on-video-part-1/

Vietnam on Video Part 2 (Ha Noi & SG, Top Gear driving school, Floyd on pho) // 26th October 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/10/26/vietnam-on-video-part-2/

Angry Vietnamese woman // Adult Class, Level 3: Generally speaking // 28th April 2020

Cooking Vietnamese food // Vietnamese Party Food // 19th May 2020

Vietnam – country in transition // IELTS // 30th July 2019

Vietnamese culture (weird) // Adult Speaking Class, level 2, Part 6 24th January 2020

Vietnam (first impressions) // Teenagers // 12th January 2019

Vietnam – 5 weird things // Adult Speaking Class, level 2 // 20th December 2019:

Vietnam – 5 weird things // Adult Speaking Class, level 2 // 28th December 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/28/love-and-marriage-the-best-bits/

Vietnam – 7 fun facts // Beginners’ English

Vietnamese beer review (Sai Gon Red) // IELTS // 21st January 2019

Vietnamese beer review (Sai Gon Red) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKr6Cj-Xr9g&list=LLfquznE0joCgmA3v1PIQ0CQ&index=8&t=1s

Vietnam (safety in Sai Gon) // Teenagers // 20th January 2019 /// Adult C, L 3 // 5th September 2019

Vietnamese cop on speeding bus // Adult C, L 3 // 25th December 2018// Adult Speaking Class. Theme: Traffic

Vietnam (unexpected things vlog) // IELTS 5-6.5 // 14th August 2019

Vietnamese urban myths // Adult Speaking Class, level 2, Part 6 24th January 2020

Christoph Waltz ‘Inglorious’ // Adult Class, L 1 // 26th February 2019

Wedding fails // Adult Speaking Class. Theme: Love & marriage

Wedding language // Adult Speaking Class. Theme: Love & marriage Part 2

Wedding parties (Jewish & Mexican) // Adult Class. Theme: Love & marriage Part 2

Arsene Wenger zipper fail // Beginners’ English, Part 2

What happened next ? (video clips) // Young Teens // 31st January 2019

When the band comes marching // Young Learners 1 // 26th May 2019

Mark Wiens eats VN breakfast // Young Learners 2 // 25th August 2019

Mark Wiens Kolkata, India // IELTS: Hello, India // 24th January 2020

(// Young Learners 4 // 9th November 2019) // Adult C, L 3 // 8th October 2019

Workplace fails // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Work-place problems // 5th February 2020

IELTS: Introduce your answers, and speaking review.

21st July 2020

I Think I'll Go Home and Mull This Over Before I Cram It Down My ...

A good introduction is not just beneficial but imperative for an impressive IELTS response. Therefore, this blog will mainly, although not exclusively, focus on a strong opening gambit, an attention-grabbing prologue.

Useful expressions

If you need some time to think, employ one of these ‘time-buying’ expressions:

That’s a very interesting question 

Well, there is so much to say about that subject, where shall I start ? 

It’s funny you put that question to me because earlier today I was just thinking about …

Let me think …

How can I put it …

Well, I would say …

Quick warm up: What do you do in your free time ?

I meet my friends for coffee

One of my favourite things to do, if I have some spare time, is to hang out with my closest friends

Which answer do you think would impress the examiner ?

Now … your turn

Where would you like to visit in Viet Nam (or your own country) ?

DON’T answer immediately; introduce the answer by repeating or rephrasing the question:

Vietnam has many beautiful places but my choice would be Hoi An.

Vietnam is famous for it’s beautiful beaches, vibrant cities and amazing nature but for me, Hoi An is the one place I would love to explore.

1 Tell me about your hometown

Thank you for letting me introduce to you my hometown which is Da Nang, one of the biggest cities in Vietnam, although it is much smaller than Ha Noi or Sai Gon. 

2 Talk about a film you like

Talk about cinema or films in general DON’T immediately talk about your favourite film.

Watching films and going to the cinema is one of my passions, so choosing just one film is going to be terribly difficult, not to say impossible. However, if I have to select one film, it would be ‘Lost in Translation’, with Scarlett Johannsson.

3 Do you use computers at work or school ?

Laptops are an incredibly useful piece of technology. They can be used for work, hobbies, music and to stay in touch with friends.

Practice: try forming introductions for these questions

Home

  • Do you live alone or with friends / family ?
  • How long have you lived there ?
  • Is there anything you don’t like about living there ?
  • What sort of accommodation would you like to like in ?

Shopping

  • Do you like going shopping for clothes
  • Is fashion important to you ?
  • Do you have to wear a uniform at school or work ?
  • Where do you normally buy your food and why there ?

Free Time

  • Do you do any sporting activities ?
  • What do you like to do at weekends ?
  • What would you change about your daily routine ?
Nanci Griffith - Once In A Very Blue Moon (1986, CD) | Discogs
Once in a VERY blue moon by Nanci Griffith

Review … from my recent classes, make sure you have learnt these words and expressions:

Keep your nose to the grindstone' - meaning and origin.
Put your nose to the grindstone

endeavour (to try) // outcome (the result) // ubiquitous (everywhere) // tedious (boring) // fascinating (very interesting) // sky-high (expensive)

once in a blue moon (very rare) // put my nose to the grindstone (work especially hard) // achieve on merit (to get something by working for it) // burn the candle at both ends (work day and night) // give or take (about, approximately) // big time ! (absolutely, totally, very much) // I’ll mull it over (I’ll think about it) //

although // additionally // therefore // moreover // having said that // on the other hand

Rewrite the following using IELTS-language:

English grammar is (adverb) boring and I spend about two hours a day studying grammar. I work all day, and go to evening class and then study. I study all day and night.

I almost never have any free time. If I have free time, I go to drink coffee. Coffee shops are everywhere but in some the prices are not cheap.

My friend Tom never studies. His uncle will give him a job, but I want to deserve my job. Tom is (adverb) lazy. I tell him to try to study grammar, to work very hard / but / he never listens. He thinks video games are very interesting. He (adverb) says he’ll think about it but nothing changes

so the result will be a ‘FAIL’

AE 456 - Expression: Burn the Candle at Both Ends - Aussie English
Unique coffee spot La Viet in Da lat, Central Vietnam | Coffee ...

Coffee shops in Sai Gon are ubiquitous although in some, the prices are sky-high.

Finally, if you did well :

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, July 26, 2019 ...

IELTS Review: The basics you should know before your test.

25th June 2020

Want to migrate or move to the UK for work? | IDP IELTS

IELTS

Useful words and expressions

All IELTS students should have these words and expressions in their vocabulary, and be able to use them confidently and correctly.

Adjectives

absent-minded / eye-catching / mouth-watering / second-hand

ubiquitous / sky-high / visually stunning / spectacular / 

10 Best Korean Restaurants in Singapore: BBQ, Bibimbap & Fried ...
How would you describe this Korean food ?
THE BEST Tiong Bahru (Singapore) Hotels with Free Parking of 2019 ...
The prices at this Singapore hotel are …
19 Best Coffee Shops in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City - Back Of The ...
Coffee shops in Sai Gon are …

Adverbs

quite / rather / somewhat

considerably / significantly / remarkably / undeniably

 

Asia's Most Visited Countries
The number of tourists visiting China is … more than those visiting Vietnam

Discourse Markers 

Additionally / as well as / furthermore / moreover

Therefore / consequently

On the other hand / having said that / although / despite 

Top 10 Most Beautiful Korean Girls In The World
Describe this Korean lady using at least two discourse markers.

Expressions / chunking phrases

At the end of the day / Am I pronouncing that correctly ?

Turn a blind ear / it fell on deaf ears

Friends and family / According to …

Same thing, day in, day out / You get what you pay for / a waste of money

Bored Office Worker, Annoyed Businessman At Workplace Stock Photo ...
How does this man feel about his job ?

Like / Dislike

Like:

I absolutely love … / I’m crazy about … / I (really) like / I’m into / I haven’t heard (seen/read) this before, but I think it’s great / I’m a big fan of … / I’m quite keen on /

No strong opinion:

I don’t mind / I have mixed feelings about …/ It’s OK / I don’t really have any strong views / feelings either way

Dislike:

I hate / I can’t stand / I don’t really like / I think it’s awful / I detest / I’m not a big fan of … / I’m not that keen on …

What do you think of:

T-ara - K-POP
T-ara from South Korea
India Capable Of Winning All ICC tournaments, Says Brian Lara ...
The sport cricket
Everyday items, Street litter 3D Models 2nd_World
Litter, trash, rubbish on the streets

To buy time

Photo of thinking young asian beautiful woman posing isolated over ...
Remember … never leave silence; use these time-fillers:

That’s a good / interesting question

Let me think …

Well, I would say …

How can I put it … ?

Sentence building

Use adjectives to describe nouns

adverbs to describe adjectives and verbs – give more information

opinion phrases

linking words to connect positive to positive or positive to negative

reasons why an action is being done

I like coffee

Winston the Wolf enjoys Jimmie's coffee as Jules and Vincent look ...

I like coffee so much because it tastes great and makes me wake up although too much will stop me from sleeping at night but, in my opinion, the benefits far out weigh the disadvantages.

Using Relative Clauses

who For people: This is the man who sold me the fake Rolex ! 

which For things: We tried fish and chips which is delicious.

where For places: Let’s go to the shop where we saw the great bargains.

Whose Possessive: That’s the singer whose record we heard last night.

The car, whose driver was young, won the race.

Exercises

We arrived at a nice beach ______ we could swim and lie in the sun.

A man ______ mobile phone was ringing did not know what to do.

The patient, ______ had a serious disease, was taken to hospital immediately.

Smithsfield is a small village ______ people live a quiet life.

A boy ____ sister is in my class was in the bank at that time.

I know a person ____ can speak seven languages.

We visited the church _____ is in the middle of the square.

It is a protected area of land _____ you can see a lot of interesting wildlife.

This dress is made of silk, _____ is a very expensive and delicate material.

A police officer _____ car was parked at the next corner stopped and arrested them.

Listening Websites: A list with links can be found on this page:

https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/01/23/listening-skills-tips-and-links/

Adult Speaking Class, level 2: Extended personality exercises.

20th June 2020

To practise and develop the use of adjectives when describing people:

Personality adjectives

Positive

funny / dependable / generous / witty / friendly / solid as a rock / reliable intellectual / light-hearted / life and soul

Negative

aggressive / a screw loose / hard as nails / unreliable / unpleasant / scary / serious / arrogant / boring mean / bossy / impatient

This man is ….

This chap is …

She is extremely … 

He doesn’t look very …

Add the missing word or words :

1 She gives money to charity. She is ……..

2 He never says ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ and never smiles. He is very …..

3 He is crazy ! He has …….

4 German cars are always …….. and ……..

5 She thinks she is better than everyone. She is so ………

6 The dog wants to bite everyone, he’s very ………….

7 You can believe what he says, he’s ………………

8 His girlfriend always tells him what to do. She’s incredibly ………….

Daisy and Anna
Peter

Speaking practice:

Ed How long will the pizza be ? I’m starving (very hungry) 

Bill Don’t be so impatient ! It’ll be here soon. Who’s coming tonight ?

Ed Anne, Daisy and her boring boyfriend Peter.

Bill Don’t be mean, he’s not so bad. He’s just a little serious.

Ed He’s really generous. He bought Daisy a new laptop.

Bill Yes, but from China. They are not very dependable.

Ed Anne’s very funny, always telling jokes. She’s so witty.

Bill She’s too intellectual for you and also too gorgeous!

Saying what you think – expressing opinions

I think …

In my opinion …

I feel that …

He / She / It seems ..

Will Vietnam win the World Cup in the next 20 years ?

Which is better ? Barcelona or Real Madrid ?

What do you think of these clothes:

Phrasal Verbs exercises

16th June 2020

img_uugs_seishun_namida_049 | Japanese kawaii idol music culture ...

To make the lesson come alive, have the students act out scenes or give them a set time to make up sentences containing as many phrasal verbs as possible.

Same as Shakespeare … English is meant to be USED and SPOKEN … not just studied in a dry text book.

So, without further ado:

COME ON, MAN! GET WITH THE PROGRAM! - Mad Samuel L Jackson | Meme ...

Phrasal Verbs

Put

the cat out / the fire out / up with it (something unpleasant) / on a happy face

it in your own words / up or shut up ! / it away / it another way

Get

well soon / over it ! / on with it / away with murder / on the bus

stuffed ! (impolite) / with the program (US) / some fresh air

Make

a career move / your move a pig’s ear of something / a wish /

up for lost time / the best of something / fun of someone /

Do

the right thing / away with that old technology / your best /

a funny walk / the dishes / your hair

Bring

it on ! / it to me / “my bow of burning gold” (poem) / about change

it up at the next meeting / a smile to my face / up children well

Take

turns speaking / it up with the manager / up my trousers a little /

a good look at yourself / a hike ! / medicine / a deep breathe

Spike Lee Do the right Thing – Analysis of the riot scene – Au cas ...

phrasal verbs:

look after/ think about / wear out / give up / grow up / takes after 

tell off / look up to / hang up / go for / passed away

Phrasal verbs work like normal verbs, so they can be used in the infinite (look,think), the past tense (I wore out, I looked up to ..) and in continuous (I am hanging up now).

Make sentences using phrasal verbs in:

present tense 

past tense

present continuous

Examples

I need to think about that for a while. (present)

He gave up smoking ten years ago (past)

We are looking after our niece today (present continuous)

Phrasal verbs

verb + particle e.g. find + out = find out (learn something)

The verb can be present, past, future or continuous:

I give up

I gave up

I’m finding out about HCM City.

I will (I’ll) find out about the cost.

buy out / up

call off

carry out

give up / away

CLUE: first identify what tense is being used

They were __________ free samples

The computers are down; we have to ________ the meeting

A soldier has to _______ orders

The company was ______ by a Japanese company

The stocks are very low, we should ________ as many as we can

Don’t ________ on your dream 🙂

Make sentences with these phrasal verbs:

take care of // hold on // move on // take over // think it over 

Phrasal verbs:

look after // think about // give up // grow up // takes after // tell off // look up to 

Which phrasal verbs fits here ?

She really …………. her father, they are so alike.

I can’t go out, I have to ……….. my nephew.

Mandarin is too hard, I just …………. (past tense verb)

Many Vietnamese ………………. Uncle Ho

I’m not sure which bank is best. Let me ………. it and get back to you.

I had to ………….. my son because he ate all the cakes.

My manager is very immature. He needs to ………… and quickly !

Phrasal verbs

give up / go for / grow up / hang out with / hang up / look after / look up to / tell off / passed away / takes after /think about / wears out

Izzy is talking to Kate on Skype. Izzy can’t go out on Saturday because she has to

____________ (take care of, be responsible for) her little sister, Georgie. Izzy says she’ll __________ (consider) bringing Georgie too. Georgie interrupts, and Izzy has to

_____________ (end the phone/Skype conversation). Georgie’s hamster has ________

(died) and she’s upset. Izzy says she loves her little sister but she __________

(makes her tired).

Meanwhile, Sam is wondering why Izzy doesn’t want to _____________ (spend time with) them. He thinks Izzy should bring Georgie to the cinema, but maybe Izzy won’t ________

(like, agree to) the idea.

Izzy is annoyed because her sister is trying to look like her, but Kate says it’s sweet that Georgie _____________ (respects and admires) her big sister. Izzy disagrees that they are similar; Georgie ______________(is similar to an older relative) her dad, whereas Izzy is more like her mum.

When Georgie asks Izzy to get her a hamster, Izzy gets angry. She tells her sister 

to ________ (become an adult). Georgie says their dad will _______(Izzy)_______

(speak angrily to Izzy because she’s done something wrong). In frustration, Izzy says 

“I __________ (admit defeat)!”. Fred and Sam take Georgie to look at some kittens, then they all go to the cinema. Georgie is the only one who isn’t scared by the film.

Now – let’s get down

(have a dance and a great time)

What songs can you find that use phrasal verbs ?

Lighten up, it’s the laid-back sound of 70s California

Adult Class, Level 3 (mixed): You practice what I preach.

17th September for 23rd September. AEF 3 pp. 50 – 51

Last week, we covered past tense – simple, continuous and perfect. However, that is a lot to take in, especially for students who are not so confident. Looking at charts and learning the jargon can be daunting and far too theoretical.

This problem has long been identified and addressed; grammar, as theory, reduced to a minimal. Grammar, used in writing and more importantly speaking, maximised.

Therefore, my policy in this block of lessons (four per block) is to reduce book work, simplify the theory and try to allocate at least half the lesson to student-talking time.

Last night’s lesson seemed to work well; the Socratic approach which makes the students collect information and then collate it into a presentation. This was followed by students reading to each other in small groups, with some useful expressions to use … and repeat and repeat and …yeah, you get the idea.

Let’s go to work !

Image result for go to work

But first, back to basics. Some students are not fluent in the three forms of basic verbs:

Grammar – verb practice

Here’s the 15 most common:

infinite \ present // past // past participle (verb 3)

1to bewas werebeen
2to havehadhad
3to dodiddone
4to saysaidsaid
5to gowentgone
6to getgotgot/gotten
7to makemademade
8to knowknewknown
9to thinkthoughtthought
10to taketooktaken
11to seesawseen
12to comecamecome
13to wantwantedwanted
14to useusedused
15to findfoundfound

Regular verbs, just add -‘ed’. However, as you see, in this list only one common verb, ‘want’, is regular.

NOTE: ‘to be’ is different: I am hungry You are hungry She is hungry.

Now, practice: In groups of three or four, they have to ask each other questions in order to feel more natural using the past tense. Lets’s start simply with the simple past:

What did you do today ? PAST SIMPLE

Each student takes turns describing their day. Always give ideas, as some students spent too much time thinking of what to say, whereas the purpose is to speak.

Related image
Related image
Image result for go to school
Image result for easy rider bike
Related image

I will also board: buy / drink / surf the internet / help parents / cook / do homework

To make it more interactive, the students can ask follow-up questions, such as, “What did you eat for lunch ?”, “What time did you start school ?”, “How did you get to work or school ?” etc. Groups can monitor each other to make sure past tense is being used properly.

NEXT: Past Continuous. Subject was doing something in the past ….

Example: Last night I was listening to T-ara:

Image result for T-ar

However, we usually use past continuous to say we were doing something WHEN something new happened.

EXAMPLE: I was listening to T-ara when someone knocked on my door.

The structure is Subject + was or were + verbing, followed by past simple

Try this: dream // alarm clock ring

He was dreaming when the alarm clock rang.

Now – practice: Make a sentence from these pairs of photos:

Image result for reading
Image result for telephone ring
Related image
Image result for rain
Image result for angry teacher
Image result for pulp fiction jules eating
Image result for pulp fiction honey bunny

Finally, the past perfect. Two things happened in the past, one before the other.

Image result for Kafka
Image result for Berlin 1920

The students ‘met’ Dr Kafka last week.

Dr Franz Kafka had lived all his life in Prague until he moved to Berlin in the 1920s.

Subject + has or had + verb 3 then use past simple.

Try these:

John Lennon – in The Beatles / goes solo in 1970

Image result for john lennon beatles
Image result for john lennon imagine

Dali – paint over 1 500 paintings / dies 1989

Image result for dali
Image result for dali tomb

Bringing it closer to home, Bac Ho (Uncle Ho Chi Minh) – work London / meet these young Germans.

Image result for uncle ho in Paris
Image result for uncle ho in russia

Finally, for presentation, the students can be arranged in four groups (draw playing cards so students work with new partners). I will give them ten minutes to work together and make a short presentation, with all members speaking, about the above four historical figures. Those who draw Ho Chi Minh should have an advantage, so I will be expecting more from them.

Presentations should include:

Date and place of birth.

Why there are famous

Give examples of their most famous works or activities

Where they lived

When and how they died.

ALSO – why we should remember them.

Then, I will turn to the books and hand-outs, before returning to some speaking practice before the end.