Tuesday, 31 May 2016

“Sure you know yourself”

THE time when an Irish person could both simultaneously dodge a question and answer it may be coming to a close, as an international court ruling has demanded an explanation for the expression “sure you know yourself”.
For decades, people from all across Ireland have skilfully steered conversations to their liking by simply responding to any question or query with the catch-all phrase.
“Sure you know yourself”, originally coined by Michael Collins in 1921 when someone asked him how he got on in England, is both an answer to a question and a deflection; something no other phrase in the English language can lay claim to.
However, overuse of the phrase in recent times has led to a UN ruling that either the statement be explained in full, or struck from use altogether.
“No, we don’t know ourselves,” said Mbutu Costello, chief spokesperson for the UN “nonsense-deactivation” committee.
“Please replace this statement with one that makes sense. You can’t just keep using it in conversation while acting like it makes sense. We appreciate  that it’s easy to withhold information about yourself by dodging direct questions with a nonsensical phrase, but it’s annoying and nobody likes it”.
The Irish government is to fight the ruling, stating that it is every Irish citizen’s right to be able to tell you to mind your own fucking business without sounding rude. 

Friday, 27 May 2016

A Great Poem

You`re The Girl In The Book
From Sean Gunning`s book, No Samaritan. Out now £8.70 email gunningdavid@hotmail.com

Wednesday, 25 May 2016


Structure, structure, structure!
One of the great things about teaching IELTS is that most of the questions are similar, and even though they increase in level of difficulty throughout, they can all be written to a structure. With the writing tasks, ensure that students include all the necessary information in an essay, such as thesis statementtopic sentences,supporting ideaswell-constructed paragraphs and a conclusion with no new information. Achieving this formula is the half-way point to achieving a decent score. For writing, one of our favourite tasks is what we call a ‘Mini-Essay’. A Mini-Essay builds the students skills by focusing on the structure rather than the overall content. The student must write an introductionbody paragraph and a conclusion.
Practice, practice, practice!
The final tip about the IELTS test that the students must do to succeed is to practice as often as they can. Doing exercises and practice tests is helpful, but can lead to burnout over time. Students can also gain a strong understanding of grammatical structures, speaking and listening from a wide range of media sources. Watching the news should be able to help students with vocabulary relating to science that may come up on the reading test, while providing them with a range of different accents. Reading magazine or news articles is a great way to improve the pace of reading.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Park Life

This photo was taken on May 5th 2016 while out walking in Walpole park in Ealing.

 I like the contrast of the bright pink blossom and the dark green tree behind it. The  water in the duck pond also reflects the pink blossom and the bright blue sky.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

English Grammar The Third Conditional

If + past perfect, would + have + past participle

If I had Paid attention I wouldn`t have got lost.