Improve English Fluency UK News Discussion: Ariana Grande, London Bridge One Love Manchester
In a rush? Jump straight to
Hi I’m Hilary and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English. As always, you will find a transcript
– a written copy of the words I’m saying, on our website at www.adeptenglish.com. Use the transcript to help you with any difficult sentences or words that you don’t understand. Once you’ve understood them all, listen again so that you can understand the whole podcast. If you’re new to Adept English – don’t forget to visit the website and see what other material is there for English language learners. Our aim is to help you become fluent in the English language, through improving your understanding, through listening. There are lots of other podcasts like this one and some courses for you to do. I’m working also on another course at the moment, so more news of that soon.
Well, I was all set to talk to you today about our holiday this week – to give you a short account of our travels as I sometimes do. But I must say that we had television news on for much of the time we’ve been staying away in our holiday house, because there is just such a lot happening in the UK at the moment. There was of course the aftermath of the Manchester bombing, at the Ariana Grande concert. ‘Aftermath’ just means the things which come after an event, what follows on when something, especially something horrible, has happened. So there were lots of people coming together in public places to remember those that had died in Manchester and those that were injured, but also in defiance of terrorism. Defiance means that you stand up to it, you show that you will not change anything because of it. And people in Manchester have very much wanted to show this. I’m not from Manchester, but I do come from a town very close by – so it was good to hear how people reacted – and to see how proud of Manchester they were. London isn’t the only great city in the UK.
This bombing, this concert bombing seemed a particularly soft target. A target is something that you aim for, or something that you aim to hit. So for example if you were shooting a gun as sport say, you might try to hit a target. You also have targets in a business – you might have a sales target, how many sales you want to make. Or you might have targets for children in schools. When we say a ‘soft target’ – of course, there’s no good target for a bomb, but a ‘soft target’ means it aims to hurt those people particularly who cannot defend themselves. Ariana Grande’s fans are mainly school girls aged 8 to 18. And sure enough, this group of people and their mothers were very much represented amongst the 22 dead.
We wake up this morning to hear that there has been another terrorist attack in London – a van running people over on London Bridge this time, and then an attack by the same three men with knives in Borough Market nearby, where there are bars, cafés , restaurants. These men apparently just went round stabbing people until the police shot them dead. People were hiding under tables in restaurants, fearing for their lives.
I’m not sure what this is expected to achieve? Do the terrorists think that we are all going to stop going to bars, cafés and restaurants, we’re going to stop our way of life and suddenly think that their extremist views are a good idea and we should follow them? Do they think that we are going to abandon democracy and freedom of speech and expression? Well, somehow, I don’t think that’s going to happen.
Someone on Twitter this week, was talking about the British people and about how they’re not easily frightened or put off going about their daily business – and this person tweeted an old photograph from World War II. What you need to know to understand this, is that there was a long tradition in the UK of milk being delivered to peoples’ doors. This used to happen every day and the milk would come in glass bottles and would be left early morning on the front door step. Slowly this has stopped – most people just buy their milk from the supermarket now, like everyone else in the world. But in the twentieth century, the milkman and his van and milk deliveries were a common thing – when I was growing up, bottles of milk were left on the doorstep every day except Sunday. Anyway, on Twitter the person tweeted a famous photograph to make his point. And the photograph is a picture of a milkman, during the Second World War. Around him you can see houses which have been bombed, broken up, rubble and bricks all around, smoke behind him. But there he is, bright and early, delivering his milk to those houses which are still standing. I’m sure in Germany too, which also suffered terrible bombing to their cities during World War II, there are similar stories of people just carrying on, amidst difficult circumstances. If you want to see the photograph, have a look at the podcast on our website.
Let’s not forget either, that this week on Wednesday there was also a massive bomb attack in Kabul, killing 90 people and injuring 450. And then yesterday, another 12 people died and 90 were injured because of a bombing at a funeral. People in Afghanistan have to face these risks every day. For us in the UK, going into London or Manchester is really not the same thing at all.
So yes, people will carry on with their lives, travelling around the cities in the UK, not making changes to their plans. I work in London one day a week and like millions of other people, I’ll be there just the same as normal next week. We may be inconvenienced, there may be delays on the tube, there may be armed police standing around, we may be a bit more careful, a bit more watchful. But it doesn’t matter, people will just carry on as normal!
So tonight there is a concert, another concert happening in Manchester – called One Love Manchester, where Ariana Grande and lots of other people will be performing – Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Coldplay, Usher, Little Mix, Robbie Williams, the Black Eyed Peas, Take That are in Old Trafford Cricket Ground. 50,000 tickets sold out within 20 minutes. 14,200 tickets were being held back for the fans who were at the original Ariana Grande concert. It’ll be screened in 38 different countries worldwide and is expected to raise £2M for the One Love Manchester Emergency Fund for victims of the attack and their families. Football teams Manchester United and Manchester City have also made large donations to the fund.
So good luck to them, hope it goes well tonight. Enough for now. Don’t forget to listen to this podcast a number of times. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon.