Last night we were helping a friend’s son with his B2 Intermediate English exam. He is based at Bologna University and so far we have been Skype helpers, having his test papers on screen. This has not been quite as easy as one might imagine, not least because both Mr JCR and I were products of the ‘let’s not teach grammar’ movement of schooling.
We have had tutorial sessions with R, when he has been explaining to us why he believes a sentence is a complex sentence vs a compound one, and whilst he has been doing that one of us is on the ipad looking up exactly what he means by compound vs. complex. Mmm, we are more than a little embarrassed about this. Last night was harder, because he only had a paper version which he couldn’t share. The exercise was all about linking words and the correct use of though, even though, although, in spite etc, etc.
We had agreed he would read the text and then say the word ‘something’ followed by the 4 multiple choice options he had. So last night he was reading happily and said the word ‘something’, followed by his 4 multiple choice words which were and I quote “in spite of, despite, however, and fook”. We didn’t quite catch him quickly enough and he said I think the answer is ‘fook’. So after peals of laughter, we said no it can’t be ‘fook’ and asked him to spell the word – and it was T H O U G H. And he then said that he hated the word because it involved a th which Italians find almost impossible to pronounce, as that sound doesn’t exist in Italian. And also he didn’t know how to consistently pronounce ‘ough’ – the difficulties of learning English, highlighted brilliantly by R.
Now when the shoe is on the other foot, I have my issues too. I can’t say the word for waiter, nor organisation in Italian. Damn good job I never have to deal with a waiters’ trade association I guess.
Today’s run, not really feeling the love, but I put on my ‘Jan has been tangoed’ kit and out I went. Down the Slope of Hope, past the barking dogs. Usual swear word exchanged and up to the Hill That Kills, feet felt a bit leaden, I really needed a bit of a boost and usually this is where Anouska and Albino come in. I see them, they smile we exchange greetings and I move on, but I was a little later this morning and so missed them. But in Lovers’ Lane I saw Babbo Natale, in all black running kit with a white cap… maybe I am influencing him? He said buongiorno, so I carried on a bit happier, oh yes got buzzed by a serious looking cyclist – that will be Mr JCR then as he is on a training hill session today.
Fairly humdrum did my double loop of Villa Bali, Lovers’ Lane and the Hill That Kills, then went down towards the Bendy, Scary, Road. And what did I see – a red and black skinny minny runner. Running with his back to the traffic he was a real loper, all I had in my head at this point was Mr Lover Lover by Shaggy, only change Lover for Loper. I thought for all about a nano second that I could be inspired by him and kick my heels. But actually I wasn’t inspired, ‘fook’ he had a good pace.
Mr JCR passed me again and my leaden legs carried me through to 6.23 clicks. So today’s run hurt, every km in the bank was hurting, but even ‘fook’ it hurt I was proud because I knuckled down and did it.
Then on my cool down walk, back to my village who did I see in the distance but Mr Loper, Loper. But I never saw him come back – he must have a shortcut I don’t know about – that is next on my to do list to find.
Lucky You – Lightning Seeds
Everything Must Go – The Manics
Modern Love – David Bowie
Girls and Boys – Blur
You Love Us – The Manics
Rehab – Amy Winehouse
Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry
Is Vic There? -Department S
London Calling – The Clash
Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode
I Predict a Riot – Kaiser Chiefs
Strong – London Grammar
Einstein a Go Go – Landscape
Average Pace 7.26 mins/km
Elevation gain 47 metres