Let me introduce myself.

This is me. My name is Graham. I am from a town in the North of Scotland called Inverness. I left there more than 13 years ago to go abroad. I have been living in Madrid for (1) the past six years and I used to (2) live in Rome. I prefer life in Spain but I do (3) miss Italian food. I am also proud of my roots. I am 35 years old but most people think I look older.

I have been teaching ever since (1) I left home. I have never been passionate about it but at least it gives me the chance to meet all kinds of people. It also means I have long holidays.

This year I have done quite a bit of travelling. I spent a week in Paris in July. I hadn't been (4) there for 14 years and it was great to be back. From there I *headed to Sicily, a region of Italy which I regret not visiting (5) while I lived there. I also went home to visit my parents, as I do twice a year.

Apart from travelling, (6) I spend a lot of time (and too much money) going out. Madrid has some great nightlife. I am not really a sporty person but I try to keep fit by going to the gym as often as possible. As with most people after the summer holidays, I feel more energetic and full of good intentions. I would like to take up a new activity (apart from blogging) but I haven't decided what yet.


That was a short introduction to me; now it's over to you. I'd like you to write something about your life; roughly the same length as my intro. You can send me it to my regular mail if you want me to display a photo of yourself. Come on - don't be shy/lazy!



Here is a pic of Audrey:















Read how she introduces herself; then follow her example and mine, by writing your intro too!


Maybe you have a few questions to put to Audrey as well.




Grammar:

(1) have + been + verbing (Present Perfect Continuous) + for/since: for activities that started in the Past and continue through the Present. 
We use for with lengths of time eg for 10 minutes, for 6 months, for ages, for the past 3 years etc. 
We use since with the time when the action started eg since 1995, since I was born, since last month, since he lost his job etc

(2) used to/ didn't use to + verb to describe actions that you did/didn't do in the Past and that you don't/do now.
Don't confuse with: to be/get used to + verbing!

(3) We can use the auxillaries: do, does and did in affirmative sentences to show emphasis or correct a factual mistake.
eg Paul: Chris never plays any sport.
Chris: I do play sport. I have tennis classes every Friday.
eg He does tend to arrive late.
eg You are wrong. I did attend last month's meeting.

(4) Past Perfect. Often used to show which Past action happened first.

(5) regret + verbing

(6) preposition + verbing




*Spotlight on Vocabulary:

to head:

  • Imagine you meet a friend by chance on the street; you can tell them: I am heading to the office but I have time for a quick coffee.Shall we go for one?
  • Imagine you see your colleague getting into his car; you can ask them: If you are heading my way, maybe you could give me a lift.

Comments

Audrey said…
Hey Graham!!
Nice to meet you in Internet! What 's a good picture of your! It is very dificult to me to write in english but I'm going to intent in your blog.
I spent my holidays in France with my family, I lived in the Atlantic Coast near Bordeaux.The most famous town of my region is La Rochelle. There are a lot of boats and a very big aquarium. I went to Bretagne, a region who look like at the Gallice's region in Spain. I loved this part of France because of the spirit's ambient!But I love Spain and I 'have been living here for 6 years!!
See you soon
Audrey
Graham MacInnes said…
Salut Audrey!

I am pleased to hear that you have decided to take up English again. I love hearing a French accent; it makes such a change from the Spanish one.

Hey Graham!!
Nice to meet you on the Internet! What a good photo of you! It is very difficult for me to write in English but I'm going to try to on your blog.
I spent my holidays in France with my family; I used to live on the Atlantic Coast near Bordeaux.The most famous town of my region is La Rochelle. There are a lot of boats and a very big aquarium. I went to Bretagne, a region which is similar to Galicia. I love this part of France because of the wonderful atmosphere. But I love Spain and I have been living here for 6 years!!
See you soon
Audrey

Note the differences with what you wrote; it was a good first attempt.
Now, why don't you send me a pic of yourelf to my mail and tell us about some of the many interests that you have?

A bientot! :-)
Graham MacInnes said…
Ah, I forgot to mention that the photo of me was taken in Belle-Ile (for those that don't know; it is a beautiful island off the NW coast of France). I had a memorable day cycling around it. We then headed to Brittany. I agree with you,Audrey, that it is a beautiful region. I just got a little bit fed up of eating crepes!
Sonia said…
My name is Sonia. I´m from Madrid but I have been living in Las Rozas ( a village near Madrid) for the past 12 years. Everyday, I drive until to arrive at the office. It takes 40 or 45 mins and the same to return at home after to work.
I have met Graham because he´s the teacher for my English´s group in my company, now.
I´m a chemist and I have been working for "Ministerio del Interior" since 1992. I´m in charge of the nuclear emergency plans.
I´m 40 years old and I´ve got two little children. Last year wasn´t very good for me because I´ve been getting a divorce and I hope that next year can be better. Moreover, the eight is my lucky number!.
Graham said…
Hi Sonia!

I hope 2008 is a better year for you!

"My name is Sonia. I´m from Madrid but I have been living in Las Rozas ( a village near Madrid) for the past 12 years. Everyday, I drive UNTIL I arrive at the office. It takes 40 or 45 mins and the same to RETURN home after WORK."

"I KNOW Graham because he´s the teacher OF my English CLASS in my company now."

I´m a chemist and I have been working for "Ministerio del Interior" since 1992. I´m in charge of the nuclear emergency plans.

I´m 40 years old and I´ve got two little children. Last year wasn´t very good for me because I´ve been getting a divorce and I hope that next year can be better. Moreover, EIGHT is my lucky number!.

moreover = whatsmore
MIGUEL ÁNGEL said…
Hi Graham:

My name is Miguel Ángel. I'm 43 years old. I was born in Madrid in 1965's spring. I live on my own but I have one brother and one sister.

I have worked as a teacher of administration in professional education for 21 years and now I leave of absence from work. Nowadays I only work three hours in the afternoon in an administrative work.

In the mornings I am about to finish an italian course that I began three months ago. Next week I hope to pass the exam because for me it isn't easy.

I have been studing English for many years and at this moment I’m thinking about to go to England or even U.S.A. for a long time to improve my level of English and speak better than I do now.

See you.

MIGUEL ÁNGEL.
Graham said…
Hi Miguel Ángel!

I thought that you were only 38. You look younger than 43.

My name is Miguel Ángel. I'm 43 years old. I was born in Madrid in THE SPRING OF 1965. I live on my own but I have one brother and one sister.

I have worked as a teacher of administration in professional education for 21 years and now I HAVE leave of absence from work. Nowadays I only work three hours in the afternoon in an administrative JOB.(1)

In the mornings I am about to finish an Italian course that I began three months ago. Next week I hope to pass the exam because it HASN'T BEEN EASY FOR ME.

I have been STUDYING (2) English for many years and at this moment I’m thinking about GOING to England or even the U.S.A. for a long time to improve my level of English and speak better than I do now.


(1) a job / jobs ie countable noun, work is uncountable.

DON'T SAY: I have a work
SAY: I have a job.

DON'T SAY: I have 2 works.
SAY: I have 2 jobs.

(2) verbs that end with a "consonant + y" such as "study" don't lose the "y" when you add "-ing".
Only when you add "-ed" or 3rd person "s" does the "y" change to "i" eg studied, studies.

That was a job well done!

I think that it is a great experience in many ways to go to live abroad. You should go for it!!
Z-SecurityMan said…
Hi Graham!! This is my first comment...

Well, My name is Jaime and I'm from Seville, a city in the south of Spain.
I'm 30 yo, and I have been living in Madrid for 2 years. Before I lived in Seville for 28 years.

I'm a Security Information Consultant, and I really like my job. I'm working for more than 1 year in "Grupo SIA". The office is in Alcorcon.

I commute everyday to get to work. I don't like commuting everyday but in Madrid is really difficult to find a job near home. To commute I take the train and the undergraund twice for day.

That's all for now... I'm so tired and I'm going to bed...

See you soon!!
Graham said…
Hi Jaime!

So I have been living in Madrid for much longer than you.

What took you to Madrid? Was it your job or a mixture of things?

BEFORE (LIVING) HERE, I lived in Seville for 28 years.

I'm a Security Information Consultant, and I really like my job. I HAVE BEEN WORKING for more than 1 year AT/FOR "Grupo SIA". The office is in Alcorcon.

I commute everyday TO WORK. I don't like commuting everyday but in Madrid IT is really difficult to find a job near home. To commute, I take the train and the underground TWICE A DAY.

OK, that's fine for your first comment. We can go over the mistakes tomorrow.
Lucía. said…
Hi, Graham

It is my introduction:

My name is Lucía (no Pilar).
I was born in Madrid I am forty five years old but most people think I look younger (It’s a joke) because I have got two son, the older is eighteen and the younger is fifteen.
I always have been living in Madrid since I born. I get married in 1990 and I have been living in “La bombilla” neighbourhood from this date.
My neighbourhood has a lot of advantages, the river’s Manzanares across it and there are lots of green places near of my home. Also, It’s got a station underground, Principe Pío, and it’s very near of the centre of town, you can go to centre for twenty minutes.
I have got a lot of brothers, ten, and I have many nephews and nieces. My father died 3 year ago and now my mother lives whit my younger brother.
I finished my biologic sciences degree in 1987 but I never have worked about it. I began working in 1985 year in a computer office, VISA ESPAÑA. I was working a lot of hours and I thought I would be happier if I passed an servant civil exam. I passed the exam in 2003 and now I can work my time job and I can stay with my sons and my husband more time.

I would like to say something about your introduce, I like your picture and I would regret doing yoga, it’s very interesting and relaxing. You can be fit doing this sport.

Bye,

Lucía.
Graham said…
Hi Lucía,

You will have noticed that I haven't called you Pilar for A WHILE. :-)

But I'm reading that you were born in Madrid and that you have always lived here - I SEEM TO REMEMBER YOU SAYING that you were from Barcelona. I'm confused!!!

Anyway, I'll leave the corrections until tomorrow. I'm tired so I'M OFF to bed. See you IN A FEW HOURS' TIME.
Graham said…
OMG! I've just realized that this post is four and a half years old. How time flies!

I think I GAVE UP the gym SHORTLY AFTER writING IT AND I haven't been back since. I also go out much less than I did then. It must be age!



My name is Lucía (NOT Pilar).

... because I have got TWO SONS, THE OLDER ONE is eighteen and THE YOUNGER ONE is fifteen.
I HAVE ALWAYS LIVED in Madrid / I HAVE LIVED IN Madrid SINCE I WAS BORN. I GOT MARRIED in 1990 and I have been living in “La bombilla” neighbourhood SINCE THEN.

My neighbourhood has a lot of advantages, the RIVER Manzanares IS ACROSS FROM it and there are lots of green places NEAR my home. IT'S ALSO got AN UNDERGROUND STATION, Principe Pío, and it’s very NEAR the centre of town, you can GET THERE IN TWENTY MINUTES.

I have got a lot of brothers, ten, and I have many nephews and nieces. My father died 3 YEARS ago and now my mother lives WITH my younger brother.

I finished my BIOLOGY degree in 1987 but I HAVE NEVER WORKED IN THAT FIELD. I began working in 1985 in a computer office, VISA ESPAÑA. I was working a lot of hours and I thought I would be happier if I passed A CIVIL SERVANT exam. I passed the exam in 2003 and now I can DO MY WORK and SPEND MORE TIME with my sons and my husband.

I would like to say something about your INTRODUCTION, I like your picture and I would SUGGEST doing yoga, it’s very interesting and relaxing. You can GET FIT doing this sport.

It's funny that you mention yoga. I know some people who do it and recommend it. I need something that helps me learn to relax.

Ok, take a note of your mistakes. Hopefully, you won't repeat them.

See you on Thursday.
Lucía. said…
Thank you, I had seen my mistakes. I hope won't repeat but it's dificult.

Bye, Lucía.
Graham said…
Hi Lucía,

I've seen in class that you are able to use contructions that previously you got wrong - and that makes me happy. :D


I HAVE SEEN my mistakes. I HOPE I WON'T repeat THEM / HOPEFULLY I WON'T REPEAT THEM but it's diFFicult.
Álvaro Otón said…
Good morning!

My name is Álvaro Otón, I'm already 29, 11 months left to be 30 :(. I'm from the south of Madrid, close to the river, where I've spent most of my life.

I've been working (or surviving) for 6 years at university in labs and workshops as a technician, but nowadays I need a change $.
Anyways, I've also spent 5 years living with a wonderful American person.

I'd like to improve my English a lot :).

Nice to meet you. C U
Graham said…
Hi Álvaro,

I wouldn't worry about turning 30. My thirties were, in some ways, better than my twenties. On the other hand, you'll find that the years pass much quicker as you get older.

You sound like a keen student. I hope you make the most of these classes. With a bit of effort, I'm sure you will make steady progress.

The only thing I'd point out in your comment is "Anyways". Keep it singular. As plural it is wrong though I think I've heard native speakers say it.