Wednesday, 7 December 2016

My Thai food safari

English: Shrimp Green Curry, Bangkok, Thailand...
Green curry
I went to Thailand to meet my husband last week. We enjoyed a lot of delicious Thai food in Bangkok. I would like to tell you about Thai food.

We ate a lot of spicy food in nice restaurants:

  • green curry - it has coconut milk, chicken, and vegetables in it. Delicious!
  • Tom Yam Kum - this is a soup, with chicken, shrimp, mushrooms, lemongrass, coriander, and chilli peppers. A little hot!
  • Thai noodles - Like Japanese ramen, but with different kinds of noodles. Cheap!
We ate lots of mangoes, mango sticky rice, and mango smoothies.

Closeup of pad Thai, a Thai dish made from ric...
Pad Thai
We tried Chinese Shark Fin soup (very nice, and a little expensive). I love Pad Thai (fried noodles with minced pork, spring onions, peanuts & lime juice). 

We drank mineral water because you can't drink tap water in Thailand - it's too dirty. 

I like Thai food, a little, because it's interesting. It is not too hot, and it is cheap.

Aoi

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

After reading - The Quest

Write about a holiday you have had when the weather has spoiled everything.


My family loves Matsumoto Yamaga who is the professional football team in Matsumoto. Last year, Yamaga was in the top category in professional football league in Japan called J1. We tried to go to the other team’s stadium to watch the game as much as we can.


In summer, there was a game in Sendai. There is a professional baseball team in Sendai, which is called Rakuten Eagles. Luckily, we found there was a baseball game in Sendai on the day before Yamaga game. For my son and me, it was the first time to see the professional baseball game. So, we decided to go to Sendai to watch both baseball and football games though Sendai is approximately 500 km away from my home.


It was the night game. We went to the official shop in town to get the team T-shirts and towels and we were fully prepared for the game. In the stadium, we enjoyed the game and the supporters who sang and yelled. In the 2nd inning, we saw the lighting in the sky then heard the big thunder. Soon, the sky became dark with thunder cloud and then it rained. We had to wait for the rain to stop. But, it didn’t stop raining. Finally, the game was canceled and we were announced we would get the refund on our tickets.


On the next day, the weather was good. But Yamaga couldn’t win the game.


We enjoyed a lot of good food in Sendai, but we couldn’t enjoy both games.

「The quest book」の画像検索結果

Monday, 21 November 2016

The best footballer I have ever seen

Logo
Matsumoto Yamaga
I usually watch games of Matsumoto Yamaga football club and rarely watch games of Japan football league called “J league” and other leagues in the world like league Espanola, Premium league etc.

So, I would like to explain a best footballer I have ever seen is Hayuma Tanaka of Matsumoto Yamaga football club. I think that his football skill may not be good as other football players, the points I respect him are as follows.

His leadership
He tells his many experiences to younger players to be good football player and many players respect him, but he respects all players regardless of age. Thus, the team is very well organized.

His sense of responsibility
When the team loses a game, he doesn’t throw other players in their fault and is thinking what he should do.

His positive thought / action
When the striker’s shoot doesn’t get a goal, the supporters will disappoint it. But he offers the striker a compliment on his shoot or his fighting.

His prompt switching
His position is “Side back” and its position is requested to have a lot of exercise volume because its position is related to both of offensive and defensive. His switching between offensive and defensive, so the team can make a lot of chances of goal and can reduce a lot of risks.

I would like him to work for team until his retire and after his retire.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Great Wall of China

When I studied abroad in China 13 years ago, I have seen some of the Great Wall of China, which is one of the world heritage. I lived in Tianjin city at that time. Great Wall of China have been placed in several area of north China. Before I tried to go to Great Wall of China, I didn’t know that it consists of several fortifications and some place has already gone the wall. As I thought it should be one great wall continued from north-east China to north-west China like a dragon, I was very surprised and a bit disappointed of the fact. There were three famous places near Tianjin and Beijing city, which is Simadai, Mutianyu and Badaling. The Badaling is the nearest and most famous place because there is another famous place that is an emperor’s tomb in Min dynasty near the wall. When my mother came to see me, I take her to go sightseeing to the Badaling from Beijing by tour bus. The road to the Badaling and the emperor’s tomb had been developed and it was comfortable trip than I expected. We could get ropeway to go up to the wall on top of the mountains and enjoyed the view from the Great Wall of China. When we go down the mountain, we got truck and it was so excited. It was easy for us to go there but a lot of Chinese people go there and it was like packed train in Tokyo, it is difficult to walk on the wall or take pictures. On the other day, my friend came to see me and I took them to another famous place of Great Wall of China, which is Simadai. This place is very far from Beijing and a few people go there. However, the Simadai is most beautiful and exciting place of the Great Wall of China I have ever seen. Although it was a little hard for us to go there, we don’t have to take care of so many Chinese people. We enjoyed beautiful view from the top of mountain and the scared ropeway which is always shaking. Now these places are not same as the one I saw, but I would like to go Mutianyu if I have a chance so that I can go all of the famous Great Wall of China!

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Brazil - an armchair traveller's wishlist


I don’t have a lot of knowledge about Brazil where is very far from Japan and my images of Brazil are “Football” and “Carnival”.

During this travel in Brazil, I would like to experience famous Brazilian cultures and to know other aspects of Brazil which I don’t know at this moment.

The most interesting plan of this travel is to see a football game. Any category of football is fine for me. How Brazilian supports/fans give their team or their team’s footballers a boost? How Brazilian supports/fans lift football audiences or whole stadium alight? I would like to creative a positive atmosphere in a stadium of Matsumoto Yamaga football club even though the team is behind. And I would like to see football technique of highest level in the world.

Next. I would like to visit the “Fall of Iquazu” and “Barreirinhas”. It seems that there are so many attractive places to do sightseeing, but if we visit many famous places, we will spend much time to transfer because Brazil is big country. So, I will visit to limited places and will spend much time to see them enough. I have to check how far those attractive places are placed.

As for the food, I would like to taste Brazilian chocolate candy “Brigadeiros” and “Mate” tea from special cup made from fruit called gourds. I can drink “Mate” tea in Japan, but I think that the Mate tea sold Brazil in Japan is adjusted to suit Japanese taste and would like to taste real bitter tea.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Using smartphones to learn "Telephone English"

English: Large image of telephone switchboard....
 Photograph courtesy of Joseph A. Carr
I have a dread fear of trying to teach telephone English, especially in business classes. Why?

  • The more realistic the set up, the more impossible monitoring
  • Students know each other & understand each others' short cuts/linguistic tics
  • Students are expecting this call
  • There is usually some kind of hierarchy in the group
  • Not always possible to use phones 
  • Work arounds, such as Skype or Google Hangouts firewalled 
  • Odd number of students
Obviously, making phone calls & answering them at the office/on the road are everyday working situations, and vitally important that the user masters the absolute basics very well. There are stock phrases to be used, which to sound professional & proficient just can't be mangled. We need to hear the right phrases to trigger the required responses & manage the conversation forwards in a predictable fashion.

Things learners do that kill a telephone exchange:
  • get the giggles
  • panic attack & go silent
  • start nodding or just make sounds that other cultures do not understand
  • use their own language as much as possible
  • repeat poor pronunciation more slowly
  • lack empathy with the listener's level of English
English: This is an example of the angst cause...

Whether making the call, or answering it, learners simply have to 'learn their part of the dialogue' - an observation I heard years ago as a complaint about native speakers in Hawaii, who didn't function as expected from an Interchange 1 dialogue! On the phone, we do need to learn our lines.

So how to do this in class? 

Well, this may sound stupid, but use your phones! But no, I don't mean start calling each other - recipe for multiple overlapping snippets & malfunctions which you cannot control. The answer is still BYOD, though. Although slow adopters in Japan, most of my business classes now boast mostly smart phones. 
The preparation:

I created a set of very simple phrases I wanted the receiver of a call to use, on Quizlet (here). In this instance, I took out a key word or words. We had already listened to a short dialogue and filled in the blanks, as you do. I asked students to open up the set in the Quizlet app. A few stunned faces (I have only asked them to install the app every week since May)...mini hiatus while 'expert' users led their less coherent colleagues along the app store, password, install, register, join the class dance. OK, itself a learning moment! 

The set up:

Reassuring nods as they scrolled across the flashcard function. Easy. Race each other in mad screen-tapping game mode (scatter) against the clock...pecking order established?

The Challenge:

I asked students to use the 'Learn' feature. 'Too hard!' - needed to toggle the 'term' button so they only had to write in the key word(s) and not the rest of the phrase!

Realisation:

Typing too slowly/deliberately - copying from books open. And why are we typing a telephone dialogue? USE THE MICROPHONE to fill in the answers/blanks!

Reaction:

'Cool! I don't have to type stuff', shortly followed by 'Oh, stupid phone doesn't understand me. I said "and you" but it reads "Andrew"... the dominant students cockily barking at their phones and reacting indignantly at the jumbled message received, looking around to see more deliberate & gentle pronunciation making better progress.

Relaxation:

 At this point all I needed to do was put my hands in the air and let the penny drop. Talk to the phone nicely! And as the teacher, I am totally absolved of any blame or shame game in picking on students' intonation, enunciation, elision etc. Fine tune your own pronunciation! Students wandered off to find quieter corners, they practiced and practiced more than they ever have done before with any dialogue - and importantly, with phone in hand & an unknown 'partner'.
English: logo of quizlet


We didn't get to the other half of the phone call (the caller) which was just fine with me. Nail the most important bits first, then we'll get adventurous!

Development: 
  • 'Harder' Quizlet sets (though of the same content/conversation), with caller 'terms' to match with receiver 'definitions'. This would really challenge sentence level pronunciation, with stress & intonation features etc
  • Use other apps eg Dragon Dictation to polish pronunciation further, again, without the teacher being involved in critique mode, but enabling/suggesting tweaks
Conclusion:

The students 'got it'. If their phones won't understand them, nobody else is going to! They needed to moderate their output to suit their listener, and not be critical of the listener eg 'He's from China' or something. Now they can see another function for their smart phones - a most excellent phone training device.

Jim was teaching from International Express Elementary (OUP) 3rd Ed. when this hallelujah moment struck. Check out "LunaTeacher" on Quizlet for plenty more creative uses of the site.






Friday, 28 October 2016

Postcard from...a safari, Kenya

Hello everyone!
Wildebeeste & Impalas

I stacked in Narita Airport about 30 hours!! but finally got the exciting and wild earth of Africa.

Today I met some group of elephants, gnus, giraffes, and lions!! They were amazingly beautiful.

This morning, I was able to enjoy the view of the Kilimanjaro clearly. The guide said it is really rare recent years.

Tomorrow I am going to enjoy a boat safari!!

Teruki, who is impressed by Africa!

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Postcard from...Hawaii, USA

A Plumeria cluster - perfect for lei making
I arrived in Hawaii "Big Island" yesterday.

We went to the volcano. Lava had erupted.

I am impressed by the wonderful scenery.

Mie

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Night at the Museum - film review

Ben Stiller claimed that he watched Tom Cruise...
Ben Stiller
Night at the Museum is a fantasy movie. It came out in 2006 . The director was Shawn Levy .

The story is about a rookie guard in a big museum in Washington D.C. That museum has a secret, which is that all the stuffed animals and statues and models come alive at night. The guard has lots of adventures and there are lots of exciting action scenes. Old guards want to steal something important.

I thought the film was exciting and made me feel nervous. My favorite character is played by Ben Stiller, but I also like the Pharoah and the Moai. The story was only 108 minutes but it is really funny all the time. This movie really good for children and parents.
Nanako (9)

Monday, 24 October 2016

My Neighbour Totoro - film review

The film "Totoro" came out in 1988. The director was Hayao Miyazaki. This film is a fantasy film.

There are two girls, Satsuki, Mei, and a monster "Totoro" in this film.One day Mei wanted to give a corn to mom in the hospital, but she got lost. Satsuki could not find her, so she asked Totoro to help find Mei. Totoro called "Nekobus", which took Satsuki to Mei. Then Nekobus took them to Mom in hospital. Everybody was happy.

I think everything is good in this film. I like the music, design and the story. I don't think anything is bad. Everybody likes this film because Totoro is a fantastic character.

Yuto (12)

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Yuka, my best friend

Yuka's Toca Hair Salon make-over!
This is a photo of my friend, Yuka.

She's 31 and she's Japanese. She lives in Matsumoto. She's a good nurse.

She has long, orange hair with green & purple highlights, and she has dark eyes. She's always kind.

She loves snowboarding and does it very well. She goes to the mountains many times every winter.

I like her because I'm relaxed with her.

Megumi

Friday, 21 October 2016

Introducing my best friend, Megumi

Megumi's Toca hair salon make-over!
This is a photo of my friend, Megumi.

She's 34 and she's Japanese. She lives in Matsumoto city. She's a HCU nurse.

She has a bob haircut. She has orange & yellow hair & dark eyes. She is intelligent and always funny.

She loves music and she likes drinking alcohol. She can cook meals very well and she can play the piano. We like eating when she cooks dinner.

I like her because I enjoy her company.

Yuka

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

More thoughts on my trip to England

English: The City of London skyline as viewed ...
The City of London skyline 
I found many things about England through this trip.

England is a racial melting pot. The air of London is stale. Many people in London use bikes for commuting.

There aren't any high mountains in England. The underground in London is smaller than Tokyo's. There are so many Chinese tourists in London & the Cotswolds.

When we were driving on the motorway, we can see many Japanese cars, but German cars are large.

In England people drive on the left. In the morning & evening, London has traffic jams. London is a very busy city.

Post offices in London sell sweets & stationery.

There are old & new buildings in London, and new buildings are now under construction.

A road sign in Kent, reminding traffic to driv...
Keep Left
In London they are parking on one side of the road, in high-class residential areas too.

Prices in London are higher than Tokyo.

Takeyo

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Postcard from...London, England.

Dear Mr. George-sensei,

I am here in London. Very exciting city.

Yesterday I rode British Pullman. There, I met British Gentleman and his smart wife.

An today visited Cotswolds, I saw beautful old styled thatched cottage.

I have to go back to Japan two days after. I want to come back again. Bon (cat's name) is waiting for our back.

From Takeyo

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Postcard from...Yamagata, Japan

It was a pleasure to spend an afternoon with Ryan Hagglund's experienced staff at MY English School in Yamagata on Tuesday. It IS a long journey from Matsumoto, whichever way you slice it, but being able to hit the ground running makes the day easy to prepare for. Throw in a couple of pizzas and the odd donut...
SEs using Quizlet Live

Using Quizlet Live has proved to be a really enjoyable tool to get teachers working together quickly, and discussing aspects of eg performance feedback that might ordinarily not strike much of a cord. Getting examiners to argue the toss on courtesy or security for example, usually takes quite a lot of doing.

Grateful that even a teacher on paternity leave would give up some of that time to keep his credentials current, and for everyone's time in a week obviously crammed with interesting PD. Kudos to Ryan on pointing his school & staff in a very professional direction. Delighted we can continue to contribute to that bench-marked success with Cambridge Young Learners.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Postcard from ...Tainan, Taiwan

Hi Luna students! Did you miss me?

I made a very quick weekend trip to the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan. I went to meet some friends and to do some exploring. What did I discover?

Well, the local temples are very busy places, especially around the new moon (which was Saturday night) and the full moon. They are also noisy parades, with fire-crackers in the streets, music & girls pole-dancing on the backs of trucks! The architecture and colours reminded me a lot of Okinawa's Shuri-jo, which is actually not too far away. Another Japanese connection is obviously the pre-war occupation.

Tainan traffic is mad; the food is terrific. I enjoyed myself tremendously, but recommend much more time than a weekend. Two red-eye journeys in as many days means my head is spinning!

Hope you've all done your homework?!

Jim

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Postcard from... San Francisco, California, U.S.A.


Hi Jim-sensei,


I'm in San Francisco. I got a chance to stay here for two nights during business trip.
Before I came here I thought it is sunny and warm. It is sunny, but windy and COLD than I expected.
It is like early winter!
I went to some view points and took pictures.
I'll share them once I return!

From Tomoko

Saturday, 24 September 2016

After reading- The quest



If you had a boat...
Write about a place you would like to visit by yacht


If I had a boat, I would like to visit the various horbours in Japan.
First of all, I would visit the famous harbours in the side of Japanese sea.
I would visit Wakkanai city in Hokkaido first and Otaru city next. In this way, I would go southward from Hokkaido to Okinawa.
The fish food is very delicious in the harbours in the side of Japanise sea. I would like to enjoy fising and eat the delicious fish a lot.


After going southward to Okinawa, I would take a lisence of scuba diving there.
Since the sea and fish in Okinawa is very beautiful, I would like to enjoy the scuba diving.

After enjoying scuba in Okinawa, I would move toward the north along the horbour in the side of the pacific ocean.
In the horbour in the side of the pacific ocean, I would like to enjoy the beach.
In the beach, I would drink beer and sleep to get sunburnt under the sunshine.
This will be the most enjoyable holidays.


However, it is very hard to realize these dream. I will need a lot of holidays, money and, of course, my yacht.
I also have what I have to take priority more a lot.
If I win a lottery, I would like to try to these travel by yacht.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Mary Read - a very wanted pirate!


There is a reward for Mary Read's capture (even though she might be a bit old now!)

Posted for Nanako

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Doh, a deer. My train hit a deer...

A nightmare journey I remember was three years ago, when I was only 13, going to Chiba to meet my granny.
Tokyo-Station-2005-7-21 5
Tokyo station - scary at night

I left Matsumoto at 6:45 by train. About three hours later, the train stopped at Tokyo. I waited inside the train for about fifteen minutes, but it didn't move. And then I heard an announcement that the train had crashed with a deer. The train couldn't move for about two hours. So I decided to take another train, but they'd all stopped already. I was too young, so I stayed at the station.

When I phoned my mum, she said to wait in the station. My mother's sister lives in Yokohama, so she came to Tokyo station to pick me up. In the end, I stayed in Yokohama for a night, and the next day I went to Chiba. I was very glad to see my grandmother and to be safe. The journey had taken 14 boring hours instead of four!

Posted for Tomoro

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Wanted: Dead or Alive



Please apply to Yuto for the Reward - proof of capture required.

Monday, 12 September 2016

A postcard from Hong Kong

Dear Damian

I'm staying in Hong Kong for four days, and today I'm going to go back to Japan.

I'm very excited!
I love the cluttered buildings, good foods and the beer cheaper than Japan.
I took many photos. They were more beautiful than sold postcards. So this is picture card.
Did you already leave Japan?

I look forward to meeting you in November.

Megumi

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Apollo 13 & Ken Mattingly

Ken Mattingly did not fly with Apollo 13
Write about his NASA career after this mission

In 1972, Ken got the chance to fly with Apollo 16 as a command module pilot. It was two years after Apollo 13 came back to Earth. Apollo 16 was the tenth manned space flight mission and he flew with John Young and Charles Duke. During the mission, Ken performed the extravehicular activity to collect the film and date packages from the module. He was the outside of module for about one hour for this activity. In total, he spent 126 hours on the lunar orbit. After his mission, he received the NASA distinguished service medal.

After he returned to Earth with Apollo 16, Ken involved in the space shuttle development project. In 1982, he got on the space shuttle named Columbia with Henry. It was launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. He and Henry did a lot of experiments during the flight. He got on another flight in 1985.

Hit total time in space is 21 days 4 hours and 34 minutes and retired from NASA in 1985. He worked at several private sectors and is now working at System Planning and Analysis in Virginia.

Monday, 22 August 2016

The Black Cat - expenses claim

This is breakdown of my expenses for May investigation.

If you have any unclear issue, please let me know.

Sometimes, I needed to arrive at each place before the murder or the Black Cat arrived at, so I needed to use air plane because air ticket was expensive, but I could get there earier.

1st
  • Air ticket from Cairo to Beirut airport 
  • Taxi fee from Beirut airport to docks 
2nd
  • Air ticket from Beirut to Athens 
  • Taxi fee from Athens airport to Piraeus 
  • Ticket of Boat “The Syria” from Piraeus to Venice 
This ticket is the one for first class because I thought first class ticket would be allowable to go into any place/any floor of boat and it would be easy to look for a murder who killed Pearson.

3rd
  • Water taxi fee from Venice dock to railway station 
  • Train ticket from Venice to Rome 
  • Hotel fee at Rome 
  • Air ticket from Rome to Cairo 
  • Taxi fee from Cairo airport to the flat where Salahadin stays 
4th

  • Taxi fee of round move between Beirut city and Jusef’s café because I needed to tell Jusef about Borkman’s death and his message. 

This time, I could protect very very valuable antiquities of Egypt and my investigation is worh to pay these a little expensive expenses. Thank you for your understanding.

Famous ships

Famous shipsWrite about another ship with an interesting story


Speaking of famous ship, British Luxury Liner Titanic comes to my mind.  It was filmized many times all over the world, but I watched “Titanic” only which was released in 1997 and got the Academy Award for Best Picture.  At that time, I focused on the love story and did not remember the ship itself well.  This is a good chance to investigate the ship.

Titanic was the largest and fastest passenger ship at that time.  It left England to New York on April 10th, 1912.  There were more than 2,200 passengers and crews on the ship.  It struck an iceberg in North Atlantic 5 days later and sank.  About 1,500 people died due to the accident.


After reading The Black Pearl
In the meantime, about 700 people were saved.  Millvina Dean from England was 9 months old and the youngest among the passengers.  She boarded the ship with her parents and brother.  Her father died, but she, her mother and brother survived and got back to England after the accident.  She did not remember the accident and had not been known that she was the passenger of Titanic until her mother told her when she was 7 years old.  

In her later years, she lived in a nursing home, but she auctioned off the items related to Titanic to make a payment.  Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet who played the leading role in “Titanic” supported her on the payment.  She died in 2009 and was the last survivor of Titanic passengers.


Friday, 12 August 2016

After-reading - an e-mail to a friend

Subject:Christmas

Time:22:50

Date:25 December

Hello from Germany!!

I'm staying with a family in Munich. I came here 1 December. My host family are Frank, Eva and two children. They are a very nice family.

In the middle of December we went to Nuremberg. It took about an hour from Munich. It is famous for Christmas market. There were many shops of Christmas ornaments. I bought some nice ornaments for you. Frank bought a big Christmas tree and put it inside the house. They put colorful ornaments on it. They also sent cards to friends and family.

The Christmas holiday has begun from yesterday: Christmas Eve. People stopped working early and drank together. Children left a stocking for Santa Clause when they went to bed. Frank and Eva went to church at midnight. They listened to the Christmas story and sang carols.

Today is Christmas Day. Two children wake up really early and found nice presents around the tree. Before we started to eat Christmas dinner, Frank pulled crackers. It made a loud noise. Dinner was turkey with potatoes and a Christmas cake.

Everyone looks happy. I've just remembered my family 's Christmas Day when my children were in elementary school. Alice,my dog was still young and cute. It was the happiest time in my life. Of course I have a good time today and I will enjoy my life from now too!

See you!

Olga




Posted for Olga

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Anne Boleyn writes

Dear Henry's next wife,

I am Anne Boleyn, Henry's second wife. I have been married to him for three and a half years. But, it is over now. I have to die soon.

I have been thinking what was wrong with me. Before I married Henry, I had wanted to be a Queen very much. I had done everything to marry him and he had broken with the Pope to marry me.

We were happy at first and we had a daughter, Princess Elizabeth. She was very smart and beautiful. But, he wanted a son, a future King. Recently I miscarried a boy, and he was very angry, although it was not my fault. He dislikes me now, and I have to die.

I recommend you to have many children, especially boys. Then he will be satisfied and he will not kill you at least.

Always remember, your husband is a King of England. He is very powerful. He can do whatever he wants. I tried to control him, that was my fault. So, you should be obedient, hide your true feeling inside of your heart. This is my advice to you.

I beg you one thing as a mother. It is about Elizabeth, my daughter. Please be kind to her. Have mercy, please.

God bless you.

Anne Boleyn




Posted for Yasumi

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

A letter to your music teacher

Dear Mrs Lark,

How are you doing now? Once I was a student on Tuesdays. Do you remember my name? I'm Tony.

I left school when I was thirteen. Fortunately I worked on a farm. A farm's work was better than the shops and the factory work. I worked very hard at Mr Wood's farm. Mr Wood was like a father to me and taught a lot.His wife cooked avery good country food.

One day I found the old piano in a garage. Nobody taught me, but I could make music. I rememberd those wonderful Tuesday mornings. Your fingers flew like birds up and down the keys of the piano. We sang like birds, too. The piano changed my life.

Linda, Mr Wood's daugther taught me to read music. Mr Gordon, the teacher at the little village school also taught me hou to play the piano. And then I won the music competition. I was happy everyone supported me. I'm going to the College of Music for three years.Mr and Mrs Wood will send me there.

I'm really appreciate that I had wonderful Tuesday mornings.

Sincerely yours,

Tony




Posted for Hiroko

Monday, 8 August 2016

Saturday Night Live! Luna goes to town (again) - Bon Bon slideshow



And now we bring you a super-funky slideshow from Bon Bon!

Like it? Download it for yourself & show your friends right here - or just subscribe to Jim George on Youtube and keep up with all our audio-visual delights!

Keep up with us on Facebook too - right here


Another Bon Bon Boogie Night!

The first week of August, hot and steamy, drew to a close; Matsumoto's streets gave way to pedestrians and party-goers! Once again, tens of thousands of people turn out to dance the city streets and join in the fun...and right in the middle is little Luna, led by our merry band of mini-dancers in their smart red t-shirts...and they kept dancing all night long!

We had time to warm up, on Eki-mai, with nobody around - same as last year...but our good friends from the Nagano Pref. Children's Hospital were in front of us. Not sure if they enjoyed the special jelly Damian & Jim had concocted. Contents? Trade secret - but 'special'.

It seemed like a quiet night, and thankfully not too many idiots trying to barge through our group this year. Main problem was Alex occasionally getting too close to the white line in the middle of the road!

 Along the way we bumped into old friends & students dancing with other groups, and others joining us once their more boring teams went home early :) We added a Spanish coterie to our tails for the final swing around the whatever park, behind Yohashira shrine, and later heard stories of Seville & Barcelona while we warmed down over cold drinks!

Thanks everyone who joined us and made Bon Bon 2016 a lovely night out. We think you are great, and we love making this evening the centerpiece of our summers.

You will find all our pictures from the evening at the link below

https://www.flickr.com/gp/saint_george/X1NFwe


Friday, 5 August 2016

After-reading - A trip to England

I visited to England in October from 10th to 17th 2014, with my friend Junko. It was JTB (travel agent) group tour. Fright was Virgin Atlantic from Narita to Heathrow. We stayed 2 days in Manchester, next 2 days were in Coventry, last 2 days were in London. The first day We went to Haworth in Yorkshire. Bronte sisters are famous. We visited their home and walked the town. felt nostalgia. Old drugstore I bought mint soups. It was nice. and moved to The Lake District. There were very beautiful area. We could take a ship in Windermere Lake. We went for walked lakeside, and went to Peter Rabbit 's shop. I bought a picture book for my doughter. Of couse the weather changed to rain.

Next day We moved Liverpool. visited Liverpool Cathedral. and went to The Cavern Club. When The Beatles were not famous they played here everynight, the stage still now and visited Chester Cathedral. We bought souvenir at the Rows. The Rows were very old a two-story building. Street was very nice!

Next day We moved Cotswolds visited three small villages. William Morris said 'Here is most beautiful village in England' to Bilberry. Still now beautiful. And moved to Stratford-upon-Avon. We could visit the Shakespeare's house.The day was raining, so we took a rest in the tea shop during freetime. After dinner we went to Tesco near the hotel, it was big supermaket. Enjoyed shopping! Next day we visited the Roman Bath, World Heritage and saw Stonehenge too! There were mysterious and miraculous stones. Before I watched some photo, people touched stones, but now we could not touch with ropes.

Last was London! we visited British Museum. There were many artistic goods from all over the world. Very exciting! And watched Bigben, Westminster Abbey. We had a plan to afternoon tea in the Orangery Kensington palace, but restrant had another reservation. It was very sorry to us, too bad! We changed another hotel's tea. Palace's museum shop was very interesting. We bought Prince George's memorial plates for sale! This afternoon we went to Liberty shop, Junko love making handcraft, a desire to go! We enjoyed shopping in Regent Street. We wanted to go Harrods but no time to went and we wanted to stay more one day in London! Almost night we went to hotel's Bar  drank local draft beer. Very very good England beer! Hotel's breakfast were very nice and we could eat Roastbeef, Fish and chips, cottage pie, afternoon tea. We enjoyed English foods. I think trip is enrich our life. England travel was good experience for me!




Posted for Yoko

Thursday, 4 August 2016

After-reading - A famous kidnapping story

The famous kidnapping case is Guriko Morinaga case. It was happened 18th March 1984. The boss of Ezakiguriko company was kidnapped in his house. He was with his children in the bathroom,but they kidnapped only him. They demanded 10billion yen and 10kg gold bars to his family. But 3 days after, he was released. He had no damages.

After that, they threaterned the Guriko company. They send confection with patassium cyanide, they demanded much money. They changed the target. They threaterned many food companies, Morinaga, House, Marudai, over one year. They made themselves Known Kaijin 21 mensou. A lot of things were left behind. But it was unsolved. No one arrested.

Another story, the photo was showed us. It was alike suspect. It was similar my high school history teacher.




Posted for Misuzu

Castle - TV series review

N.B. May contain spoilers!

Castle TV series features a beautiful detective Katherine Beckett and a mystery novel writer Richard Castle, who solve unusual crimes in the city of New York. This series was created by Andrew W. Marlowe, and originally released on March 9, 2009.

Female protagonist, Kate Beckett had a painful memory and trauma about the death of her mother. The case had been unsolved, and that was why she chose her current career. The first episode starts with a murder case which seems to resemble the murder case in Castle’s novel. Detective Beckett comes to contact Castle and asks him for help. Intrigued by the beautiful, mysterious Kate Beckett, Richard Castle starts working together with her two other male colleagues to solve strange challenging cases. Interestingly, Castle argues that he is going to investigate as many murder cases as possible in order to release his new novel series featuring an attractive female detective named Nicky Heat. As story goes on, Beckett is almost close to her mother’s murderer, but at the same time she has to face the devastating fact, losing her trustful boss and naerly losing her own life. The story is very thrilling as well as romantic. Richard cannot help fall in love with Beckett, supporting her in the back. Where are their relations going?

Richard Castle
Richard Castle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The great strength of this TV series and what makes the series different from other detective stories are the speed each episode moves and discloses the murderer, and the attractiveness of each character. Richard leads a life with his beloved daughter, Ashley, and his eccentric actress mother. Beckett’s colleagues, who are Ryan and Esposito, who support her and work with her doggedly. Each of them has their own private life and they are presented during the series. There are eight seasons. The only weakeness I notice is the unsolved case of Beckett’s mother, which remains unsolved until the end.

Posted for Shizue

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

After-reading Christmas in Prague

I write to you Josef, that your wife is dead. On Christmas night she ran to the border to enter to Austria. Just before crossing the border the guards shot her. She carried Pavel –your baby son, and my grandson on her back, and fortunately he is alive! You had better not to come back to Prague. It’s too dangerous for you. I made a firm resolution to bring up Pavel instead of my daughter. I am going to educate him to be a good man. Someday the country will change better, and you and Jan will be able to get a chance to see him. I wish your new life be peaceful and may the blessing be upon you.

Stanislava




Posted for Misako