This English lesson is a conversation in English about news in the UK. All you have to do is sit back and listen to the native English speaker and comprehend what you hear. Listen to the lesson several times until you understand all the vocabulary and you comprehend the meaning of the sentences. Simple conversations, like this one, can be difficult to follow when you are learning to speak English. Practice listening to conversations in English will help train your brain to recognise the sounds and English speaker makes, even before you understand all the words.
The lesson picks a topic, in this case about pensioners in the UK news, Adept English lessons do this to make sure the content in sufficiently engaging that you can
listen to the lesson many times. It’s repeat listening that informs your brain that the noises and sounds you are listening to are important.
This is one of the first steps to learning a new language. Informing your brain that this unfamiliar noise you are hearing is important. Especially are you are hearing noise all the time and your brain is usually doing you a favour by tuning out all that noise. It takes a little time to encourage your brain to recognise these new English language sounds as something that needs to be stored as important information.
To all those people who are finding it difficult at the moment, the sun will shine on you again, and the clouds will go away.
⭐ Captain Sir Tom Moore
It’s funny but while this listening to the various videos and comments made by the people mentioned in this lesson. I realized with age comes obvious wisdom, and some comments really made me think about what is important in life. However, I also saw that with age comes stubbornness and how badly that can turn out for some people.
Stubborn Wisdom Gutter Parish Excitement
|And I've (I Have)||3|
Hi there and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English.
In the UK, we are all still at home, locked down because of the virus and the pandemic. I think that I went out once this week, to buy bread and I’ve been at home other than that. So not much is happening. I’m lucky I can continue to work and I’ve done lots of work seeing clients online. And I’ve been working on a new Adept English course.
And we had our guttering replaced – but that’s about as much excitement as there has been! Guttering, GUTTERING - it’s part of your house, which runs along the edge of your roof to catch the water, when it rains. Oh and my elder daughter is looking for another flat in London. She came back home because of the pandemic, but is looking now for her next place to live.
So apart from that, there’s nothing really very interesting going on – and I think that generally people in the UK are feeling a bit bored! They’re fed up of being indoors and there being ‘nothing new’ – every day feels the same. Perhaps you feel a bit like that too? Obviously, it could be worse – we’re warm, we’re safe, there’s food in the fridge and we haven’t caught the virus – yet, anyway. But lockdown is getting very boring.
So perhaps we have to take our entertainment from what we see happening in other places through looking online, watching the news etc. We can’t go out and we can’t do very much ourselves, so maybe it helps to know what other people are doing, and what’s going on! So today, a little news round-up from the UK, with the theme of ‘elderly people in the news’.
So this week, a video of a parish council meeting went viral in the UK. A parish council meeting – this means a meeting between parish councillors – so it’s very, very local government. A quick lesson in local government for you, in the UK? Underneath central government, which for us comes from Westminster in London, there’s a system of local government.
So first it’s at county level – so ours say, is called Surrey County Council and they take care of schools, roads, transport, social care – all of that. So this is the higher level of local government. And beneath county councils are borough councils – so each county council area has in it lots of little borough councils. So they’re at a more local level.
Borough councils take care of things like planning permission for building, ensuring buildings are safe, looking after playing fields and trees. They organise domestic rubbish collection as well, for example. So our local borough council is called Surrey Heath Borough Council. And we pay quite a lot of tax to them every month directly for their services. Beneath the borough councils is yet another level. These are the parish councils – so again each borough council will have under it a number of little parish councils.
And these councils are run by people who meet locally, to talk about things like the local litter bins, the public toilets, who’ll change the time on the public clocks, the village hall, maintaining cycle paths, war memorials etc. So it’s really, really local. And the word ‘parish’, PARISH originally meant the geographical area served by a church. Now most people in the UK don’t go to church any more, but the word ‘parish’ has survived to describe these little areas for local government.
A photograph of a medieval beautiful Parish Church In Bonnieux Village, Provence, France. I could not find a photograph of a British parish church for this English lesson.
People who serve on the Parish Councils do it voluntarily – they don’t get paid. So it’s usually older people who’re retired, who may have lived a long time in the local area. So this week, the video that went viral was of a Parish Council meeting in Handforth, near Wilmslow in Cheshire.
It’s lots of mostly elderly people on a Zoom call, arguing with one another. And using this function of Zoom to remove people from the call, when they get frustrated. They’re shouting at each other and generally behaving very badly. It’s quite a funny video – not very edifying perhaps.
Even if you don’t understand what’s being said, have a look because you’ll get the sense of the ‘bad behaviour’ amongst pensioners. The woman running the meeting, called ‘Jackie Weaver’ was apparently called in to manage the unruly parish councillors. Usually this sort of stuff happens ‘behind closed doors’ – but this week, someone recorded the Handforth Parish Council Zoom meeting and posted it online for us all to see! Aaahh! Some red faces, I think, after this one!
It was sad this week to hear in the news last week that Captain Sir Tom Moore died in hospital of corona virus, aged 100 years. He’s the man who last spring raised £33 million by doing sponsored laps of his garden. The media’s attention was caught by him – he was a retired army captain – and was seen doing laps of his garden with his ‘walking aid’ – what used to be known as a ‘Zimmer frame’, raising money for charity – or for the NHS, rather than charity.
I think what people enjoyed was that he showed what’s called ‘that typically British war-time spirit’ – he served in India and Burma in the Second World War, after all. People liked his positivity – an example of a quote from him about the pandemic ‘"To all those people who are finding it difficult at the moment, the sun will shine on you again, and the clouds will go away."
This is the useful perspective of someone who’s lived a long time – and seen a lot. Although, it’s sad that he died, especially as it was from the virus, there was still time for him to be knighted by the Queen herself last July – hence his title now being ‘Captain Sir Tom Moore’. It was the first ever socially distanced investiture – an ‘investiture’ is a conferring of a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth.
Another story about an old person in the UK this week, a woman of 103, called Hilda Richards, from Wrexham in North Wales was given the vaccine. What’s unusual about Hilda is that she’s old enough to have lived through the Spanish ‘flu pandemic in 1918, though she was a baby at the time! She also served in World War II – as a nurse this time. And she was this week, talking about her experience of nursing World War II soldiers with burns.
Memories are better than dreams. There’s no use sitting by the fire when you’re old, saying 'I wish I’d have gone there!'. Go!
⭐ Hilda Richards
After she and her husband retired, they did a lot of travelling. A quote from Hilda Richards that’s worth listening to. She said ‘My husband used to say ‘Memories are better than dreams. There’s no use sitting by the fire when you’re old, saying ‘I wish I’d have gone there!’. ‘Go!’, he used to say, so we always went!’, meaning they travelled a lot. We should listen more to people who’re old – they’ve spent time working out what’s important in life and they offer us a long-term perspective, when we’re so often taken up with what’s short-term.
Anyway, that’s a little round-up of ‘elderly people in the news in the UK this week’, which I hope provides some entertainment value for you, in lockdown. And some vocabulary about local government in the UK, if you ever need to know that! Just thinking about that boredom, time on your hands?
You could be using the time to work through our Course One, Activate Your Listening! You could be working on your understanding of English conversation, English vocabulary and doing some English speaking practice with me on the course? Just an idea…..but check out our courses page at adeptenglish.com! Anyway, I hope you stay safe and stay well.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.