Showing posts from November, 2010

Saint Andrew's Day

Today in Scotland, and indeed in many parts of the world, people are celebrating Saint Andrew's Day.

The picture of the Scottish flag above is traditionally known as the Saint Andrew flag. It is thought to be the oldest flag in the world. It dates back to the 12th Century.

The origins of Saint Andrew's Cross and Flag

Whilst in Southern Greece Andrew stayed some time in the city of Patras where he healed many sick people. At the time the country was ruled by the Romans and he healed Maximillia, the wife of a powerful Roman General. She converted to Christianity.

Her husband was so angry at his wife becoming a Christian that he wanted to stop this new religion and ordered his soldiers to put Andrew to the death.

The origins of the St Andrews flag and cross comes from when Saint Andrew was crucified by the Romans at Patras (Patrae) in Achaea. His crucifixion was not like that of Jesus, but done diagonally on a cross of the form called Crux decussata which translates to X-shaped …

Battle of wills

RSPCA challenges decision to overturn will

Couple left charity their £2.35m estate, but court later awarded it to their daughter

The RSPCA today launched a high court challenge to a ruling that overturned a will leaving the charity a £2.35m estate after a daughter contested her parents' legacy.

In a case with potential implications for the charity sector, the animal rescue organisation said it had a duty to fight the ruling "to uphold the wishes of those that choose to bequeath it a legacy".

Christine Gill, 59, a university lecturer from Northallerton, North Yorkshire, last year won a high court battle to overturn the will in which her parents left their 287-acre farm to the charity.

A judge in Leeds found that Dr Gill's "bullying" and "domineering" father had coerced her mother into making the will, in which they left everything to the RSPCA and nothing to their only child.

But the RSPCA told the court of appeal that the judge was "wrong to f…

Lemon tree - present cont.

Here is a link to three previous posts on the Present Continuous which includes a translation exercise, a song to complete and a cartoon to watch. In the post with the cartoon there is a link to Agenda Web, where you will find hundreds of exercises to choose from.

Here's a song that you will all know but can you complete the lyrics:

Source: You Tube (Santiago Reinoso) Key Words: Fools Lemon Tree

I___(1)____ here in the boring room
It's just another rainy Sunday afternoon
I___(2)____ my time
I got nothing to do
I___(3)____ around
I___(4)____ for you
But nothing ever happens and I wonder

I___(5)____ around in my car
I___(5)____ too fast
I___(5)____ too far
I'd like to change my point of view
I feel so lonely
I___(4)____ for you
But nothing ever happens and I wonder

I wonder how
I wonder why
Yesterday you told me 'bout the blue blue sky
And all that I can see is just a yellow lemon-tree
I__(6)_____ my head up and down
I__(6)_____ _______ _______ _______ _______ around

Using archives and labels

Remember that you can also read and make comments about posts from the past; not just the recent ones! There are two ways to access past posts - either through the archives or labels.

Among the posts from Novembers past:

November 2009:
Giant of the airIberia/BA merger20 years on from the fall of the wallNovember 2008:
Palin's prank phone callBerlusconi puts his foot in it againNovember 2007:
Tennent's lager advertMy worst journey

What is your favourite post from Novembers past?

Among the labels are:
Confusing words such as fun v funny, ill v sick, trip v journey ....Madrid  from stories about Olympic dreams to lottery wins.Phrasal verbs a chance to practice your phrasalsVocabulary Practice a chance to improve your vocabulary

You can also find relevant labels at the end of the posts.

Which labels do you find the most interesting or useful?

I look forward to reading your comments on the old posts too even if it's just to say that you have read it!

Royal Engagement

Royal wedding: Prince William and Kate Middleton say time is right for marriage

Announcing their engagement Prince William said: "The timing is right now, we are both very, very happy." Miss Middleton added that joining the Royal Family was a "daunting prospect" but said: "Hopefully I'll take it in my stride."
The couple were speaking at a photocall hours after Clarence House announced that they planned to marry in spring or summer next year, delighting the couple's parents, politicians and well-wishers.

Prince William asked for Miss Middleton's hand in marriage while they were on holiday in Kenya last month, and the wedding will be held in the spring or summer next year.

She will then move in with her husband in Wales.

This afternoon it was confirmed that the Prince proposed with the blue sapphire and diamond ring that his father, the Prince of Wales, gave to Diana, Princess of Wales, in February 1981.

Diana chose the ring, which cost £28,0…

Essay mistakes

The essays that I got the other day were good but not without a few mistakes. Correct the following sentences.
I am studying English two years ago.English is very difficult; sometimes I don't understand nothing.I like talking but I like more listening.I'm civil servant and I only work in the morning.In my free time I love play padel.I play tennis and I like too to dance.I have blonde hair and black eyes.I love my job because is very creative.I think I am a positive and glad person.I'm not very talkative. I prefer listen.I live with my childrens, Maria and Javier.I love going to the concerts or listening direct music in small places.

Armistice Day

Armistice Day silence falls overs Britain as millions honour the dead
Two-minute silence to honour those fallen in combat since the first world war provokes a mixture of respect and protest

Ninety-two years after the guns ceased firing on the Western Front, Britain today remembered its war dead, as millions observed the traditional two-minute silence to mark Armistice Day.

Crowds gathered beneath glowering skies at war memorials throughout the country to lay wreaths of Flanders red poppies, marking the end of the first world war and commemorating the fallen of conflicts past and present. In shops and offices, railway stations and airports, heads were bowed on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

At the Cenotaph in Whitehall, Big Ben's chimesyielded to the lone buglestrains of the last post, heralding the silence during a service attended by the archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, defence secretary Liam Fox, veterans, military associations and schoolc…

Essay / class mistakes

Here are some sentences with mistakes that I have taken from homework or heard in class. Correct them.
I am married with Javier. We got married ten years ago.I am working here since 19 years.I have a really tired job.I think the English are too much polite.The Germans are hard working and are always in time.Everybody think I look like my father.Spanish people don't look up to other nationality.Most people hope come back to Spain one day.Did they immediately have successful?He was educated by his mother after his parents separated.

Just as Spain is about to ban smoking ...

THE Netherlands has become the first country in Europe to overturn its smoking ban.

A new liberal government is to allow smoking, though only in small owner-run bars with no other staff.

Here one of the Dutch campaigners, from the Foundation To Save Small Bar Owners, explains why he is so pleased with the change :

We had a blanket ban on smoking brought in here in 2008. It unfairly attacked small bar owners who couldn't afford to build outdoor smoking areas.

And small bars, or pubs as we call them too, are a huge part of Dutch life. There are more than 3,000 of them.

So two smokers' rights organisations decided to join forces with the bar owners.

We felt it was a bad law.

I know of many bars that never even put their ashtrays away. But now it is official and people are delighted.

The latest polls say between 70 and 80 per cent of Dutch people are behind this partial lifting of the ban.

This is great news for small bars and the common man. Lower-class people tend to drink …

Papal visit

Pope Benedict XVI begins Spanish visit in Santiago
Pope Benedict XVI has arrived in the pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela at the beginning of a two-day visit to Spain.

He was greeted at the airport by Crown Prince Felipe and Church officials.

The Pope will celebrate an open-air mass outside the cathedral and on Sunday travel to Barcelona.

There he is due to consecrate the Sagrada Familia church, still unfinished more than a century after Antoni Gaudi designed it.

This is Benedict's second visit during his papacy, and a third visit is planned next year for World Youth Day, a sign of how important the Vatican considers the health of the church in Spain.

Only 14.4% of Spaniards regularly attend mass, and legal changes to allow divorce, gay marriage and abortion have caused concern to the Catholic church.

But 73% of Spaniards still define themselves as Catholic.


In Santiago, the Pope will pray at the tomb of St James, the focus of pilgrimage to the city for many centu…

Remember remember the fifth of November

Tomorrow night is Guy Fawkes Night in the UK.

Listen to this programme on the 400th anniversary of this special date.

Try this Bonfire Night crossword.