Tuesday, 21 December 2010

NEF A2: 2 The story behind a photo

One of my favourite photos is of the entrance to the Temple of Ramses II in Abu-Simbel.
My husband took the photo in autumn of 2005, exactly on October 1, when we were on holiday in Egypt.
We flew to El Cairo. There we went sightseeing the Giza Necropolis, Memphis, Saqqara Necropolis, the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, and so on. After two days, we went by train to Luxor, the ancient Thebes, where we took a cruiser ship and we sailed for the Nile.
When we arrived at Aswan, we took a bus to Abu Simbel. I had waited for this moment all my life. The weather was very hot although the sun was rising, but we didn’t mind because the sight was amazing. I felt very small next to such grandeur.
I’ll never forget that moment. I’ll go back, I’m sure.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

NEF A1: 5 A holiday report

I went to Colombia last August with my family. We flew to Colombia with Iberia.
We stayed for twenty days in my parents' house.
During the day we walked around the city. We visited many beautiful sites. We loved going to the Monserrate. We took a lot of photos. At night we often took pies for dinner and we went to bed early. We bought a lot of clothes because they are very cheap.
We had a great time and the weather was good. We had good luck because it often rains in Colombia in August and it is usually windy; it is the kite month. I don´t remember having any problems.


I went to Salamanca last spring with my husband to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We went by car.
We stayed for a weekend in a small hotel near the university. The hotel was nice and quite cheap.
During the day we walked around the city and visited the University of Salamanca, museums, a castle and the Plaza Mayor.
We took a lot of photos. At night we went to a restaurant and had "cochinillo". We also tasted the sweets in Salamanca. We bought the traditional "frog" and "skull" from Salamanca. I bought a keychain with the frog from Salamanca for my son too.
We had a great time. Salamanca is full of history and full of Spanish and foreign students. We only had one problem: the hotel room didn't have a big bed ... but two twin beds!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

NEF A1: 4C Five classic love stories

Pride can stand a thousand trials
The strong will never fall
But watching stars without you
My soul cries

Heaving heart is full of pain
Oooh, oooh, the aching
'Cause I'm kissing you, oooh
I'm kissing you, oooh

Touch me deep, pure and true
Give to me forever
'Cause I'm kissing you, oooh
I'm kissing you, oooh

Where are you now
Where are you now
'Cause I'm kissing you
I'm kissing you, oooh

Monday, 8 November 2010

NEF A1: 3 My favourite day

My favourite day of the week is Sunday, because it is when we are all at home.
I usually stay in bed until 9:30. Then I have breakfast and watch TV. After breakfast I often take the dog for a walk. I like to be with my dog very much.
In my house we normally make a big lunch. After lunch we watch TV, we go to the cinema or visit beautiful places. We love nature.
In the evening we often speak to my family in Romania by phone or the Internet. We never go to bed before 12:30.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

NEF A1: 2 An informal e-mail / letter

Hi Oscar
My name's Yimi. I'm from Spain, and I live in Arganda del Rey (Madrid). I'm a lorry driver, but now I'm unemployed. I study English in my free time.
I speak Spanish and a little bit of English. I want to learn English for my children and because I like it.
I have a big family. I have a wife and children, also I have two sisters and a brother. My wife is unemployed and my children go to school. My sisters and my brother are at work. My father is retired and my mother is a dustwoman. My wife is 30, my daughter is 5 and my son is 2. My brother is 35, and my sisters are 30 and 29. I'm 34.
I like music, cinema and sport. I like going to my parents' house and watching films on TV with my family every Monday.
Please write soon.
Best wishes


Hi Laura,

My name's Adriana. I'm from Romania, but I live in Spain. I'm unemployed and I study English four days a week.
I speak Romanian, Spanish and little English. I want to learn English because I love it very much and I think it's an interesting language.
I have one sister. Her name's Corina. I have two nephews. My father is very ill. He's 68. They live in Romania. I'm married. My husband's name's Sorin. I have a son. His name's Deian. He's 18. He is a student of Environmental Science. I also have a dog. Its name's Cora. We love it very much.
Please write soon.
Best wishes,

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Happy Halloween!

Halloween was originally called Samhain and marked the end of the harvest season for Celtic farmers.
Watch video:
Haunted History of Halloween — History.com Video


A traditional song: Five Little Pumpkins


Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Rudyard Kipling's Poem ''If'' Read By Federer & Nadal

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!

–Rudyard Kipling

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Music from the USA: Eva Cassidy

You'll remember me when the west wind moves

Among the fields of barley

You can tell the sun in his jealous sky

When we walk in fields of gold

So she took her love

For to gaze awhile

Among the fields of barley

In his arms she fell as her hair came down

Among the fields of gold

Will you stay with me, will you be my love

Among the fields of barley

You can tell the sun in his jealous sky

When we walk in fields of gold

I never made promises lightly

And there have been some that I've broken

But I swear in the days still left

We'll walk in fields of gold

We'll walk in fields of gold

Many years have passed since those summer days

Among the fields of barley

See the children run as the sun goes down

As you lie in fields of gold

You'll remember me when the west wind moves

Among the fields of barley

You can tell the sun in his jealous sky

When we walked in fields of gold

When we walked in fields of gold

When we walked in fields of gold

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Reading books: Paul Auster

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away...

Emily Dickinson

Paul Auster is an American novelist and poet known for writing stories whose protagonists often try to find meaning in their lives. Solitude, coincidence, metafiction, intertextuality are subjects normally common to his works.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Burns Night

Robert Burns was born on 25 January 1759 in the village of Alloway, two miles south of Ayr. His parents, Willian Burnes[s] and Agnes Broun, were tenant farmers but they ensured their son received a relatively good education and he began to read avidly. The works of Alexander Pope, Henry Mackenzie and Laurence Sterne fired Burns's poetic impulse and relationships with the opposite sex provided his inspiration. Handsome Nell, for Nellie Kilpatrick, was his first song.

Hard physical labour on the family farm took its toll on the young Burns, who increasingly turned his attentions towards the passions of poetry, nature, drink and women which would characterise the rest of his life. He fathered twins with eventual wife Jean Armour, but a rift in their relationship nearly led to Burns emigrating to the West Indies with lover Mary Campbell (his Highland Mary). Mary's sudden death and the sensational success of his first published collection of verse kept him in Scotland. At just 27, Burns had already become famous across the country with poems such as To a Louse, To a Mouse and The Cotter's Saturday Night.

Burns Night

The Burns Supper is an institution of Scottish life: a night to celebrate the life and works of the national Bard on 25 January. Suppers can range from an informal gathering of friends to a huge, formal dinner full of pomp and circumstance. This running order covers all the key elements you need to plan and structure a Burns Supper that suits your intentions.

Piping in the guests

A big-time Burns Night calls for a piper to welcome guests. If you don't want all that baggage, some traditional music will do nicely. For more formal events, the audience should stand to welcome arriving guests: the piper plays until the high table is ready to be seated, at which point a round of applause is due. At a more egalitarian gathering - with no high table - the chair can simply bang on the table to draw attention to the start of the evening's proceedings.

Source & more info