Google+




English for everyone

The end of the story by Jack London

Jack London

Jack London

Four men were playing cards at a table made of rough boards. They were sitting in their shirts, their faces were covered with sweat. But their woolen-socked and moccasined feet were frozen. Such was the difference of temperature in the small cabin. The iron stove was red-hot; yet, eight feet away, on a shelf, lay frozen meat and bacon.
The men played whist: the pair that lost would have to dig a fishing hole through the seven feet of ice and snow that covered the Yukon.
“It’s cold,” said one of the men. “What’s the temperature, Doc?”
“About fifty,” said Doc. He was a slender, dark-haired man, healthy and strong. He had black and clever eyes. His hands were fine and nervous, made for delicate work.
Suddenly there was a knock at the door and a stranger came in.
More »

Scarlet sails of love

love

We are shaped and fashioned by what we love. (Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe)

St Valentine’s Day is the day for exchanging love messages, chocolates, roses, and promises.
Nowadays it is celebrated all over the world and millions of people receive Valentine cards on February 14th. Originally, Valentine cards were only sent by men to women.
The oldest existing Valentine card can be found in the British Museum. It was sent in 1415.
Your heart beats faster when you are in love. This is why the heart is considered to be the centre of our emotions and is always used to illustrate love.
More »

Red Nose Day

Red Nose Day

Red Nose Day


“Why not have fun and help people at the same time?”
For one day every two years, Britain goes crazy. People all over the country (even police officers and teachers) wear red noses and do silly things. It’s Red Nose Day — the day when doing really stupid things can raise loads of money for charity.
British comic Lenny Henry came up with the idea. Other comics liked it and in 1985 a special organization — Comic Relief — was set up. Comic Relief involves the public and celebrities in fun events and charity.
The symbol of Red Nose Day is the clown nose. Each year a different red nose is sold. Since 1985 there have been all kinds of noses: boring plain ones, the ones that looked like faces, then the ones that squeaked, then the ones that changed colour when they got hot, then the ones that stuck their tongues out when squeezed…
Buying a red nose is one of the ways of giving money to Comic Relief.
More »

The Mississippi — America’s greatest river

The Mississippi - America's greatest river

The Mississippi — America’s greatest river

The name of America’s greatest river, the Mississippi, is made from two American Indian words: misi (great) and sipi (water). It is 3,778 km long and flows from the US state of Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. Its tributary, the Missouri River, is 3,767 km, and together they form the largest river system in the world.
Hundreds of years ago, Native Americans lived along the ‘Father of the Waters’ and used the river for trade and travel.
The first Europeans to reach the river were Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and his party in 1541.
Until 1803 the Mississippi River was the western boundary of the United States; the land beyond belonged to France and Spain. The French controlled a large territory known as Louisiana (after King Louis XIV of France). The ruler of France at this time was Napoleon, and Americans were afraid that he might send French soldiers and settlers to Louisiana. President Thomas Jefferson decided to buy the land. Luckily, Napoleon was about to go to war with Britain and needed money. For fifteen million dollars he sold Louisiana to the United States!
The Mississippi River starts at Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota. It is a pristine, sparkling place, and the waters from which it comes are very clear and cold. The river is so narrow here that you can walk across it in 15 steps.
More »

Christmas and New Year superstitions

Christmas and New Year superstitions

Many people are superstitious and there are a lot of superstitions connected with Christmas and New Year’s Day. Most of them appeared in long-ago times. It was before the arrival of Christianity in Europe.

Christmas superstitions
If the wind is blowing on Christmas Day, you are in for a good year.
If you want to have good health throughout the next year, eat an apple on Christmas Eve.
If you want to be happy, eat Christmas pudding on Christmas Day.
If you wear new shoes on Christmas Day, it will bring you bad luck.
If you refuse a mince pie at Christmas dinner, you will have bad luck for the coming day.
If you cut a mince pie, you’ll “cut your luck” too.
More »

The Landlady by Roald Dahl

The Landlady by Roald Dahl

The Landlady by Roald Dahl


Billy Weaver had travelled down from London on the slow afternoon train, with a change at Reading on the way, and by the time he got to Bath, it was about nine o’clock in the evening, and the moon was coming up out of a clear starry sky over the houses opposite the station entrance.
But the air was deadly cold and the wind was like a flat blade of ice on his cheeks.
‘Excuse me,’ he said, ‘but is there a fairly cheap hotel not too far away from here?’
‘Try The Bell and Dragon,’ the porter answered, pointing down the road. ‘They might take you in. It’s about a quarter of a mile along on the other side.’
Billy thanked him and picked up his suitcase and set out to walk the quarter-mile to The Bell and Dragon. He had never been to Bath before. He didn’t know anyone who lived there. But Mr Greenslade at the head office in London had told him it was a splendid town. ‘Find your own lodgings,’ he had said, ‘and then go along and report to the branch manager as soon as you’ve got yourself settled.’
More »

Ticket to Rio by Ray Bradbury

Ticket to Rio by Ray Bradbury

Ticket to Rio by Ray Bradbury


They walked slowly down the street at about ten in the evening, talking calmly.
‘But why so early?’ said Smith.
‘Because,’ said Braling.
‘Your first night out in years and you go home at ten o’clock.’
‘Nerves, I suppose.’
‘I’ve been trying to get you out for ten years! And now you insist on going home early.’
‘Mustn’t crowd my luck,’ said Braling. They turned a corner. ‘Honestly, Braling, I hate to say this, but — marriage has been awful for you, hasn’t it?’
‘I wouldn’t say that.’
‘But she almost forced you to marry her when she learned that you were going to Rio’ — ‘Dear Rio. I never did see it.’
More »