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This week we’ve been enjoying the lovely warm sunshine in Plymouth!

We have also been putting some videos from our former students on our testimonials page at http://www.maycoll.co.uk/english/testimonials.htm

OK, let’s have a look at some of the more unusual things that have been reported in the British media this week:


  • A pilot who landed intact and alive after deploying a special plane parachute when his craft crashed.
    Read the incredible story here

  • Lovers of vintage Champagne, after two bottles originally confiscated by the Nazis during World War 2 were put up for auction.
    Read the story here


  • Residents of a London street which has been invaded by caterpillars.
    See the astonishing photos here

  • People involved in the launch of a ship in Wisconsin, US, after the launch went horribly wrong!
    See the video here


This week we’ve got a great video of a young man with a giant beard made of bees – see it here


  • The statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square is electrified to stop pigeons perching on his head.
  • Two-thirds of the world’s caviar is eaten aboard the QE2.
  • Google was originally called ‘Back-Rub’.
  • In 1381, Richard II made Chelmsford the capital of England for 1 week


“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” - Mary Shelley


So, that's the new for this week. And now the answers to last week's "Train Idioms" homework:


light at the end of the tunnel
a one-track mind
under my own steam
hit the buffers
ran out of steam
right off the rails
back on track
let off steam
on the right track
like an express train


1. The Government's first 2 years were very successful, but then everything seemed to HIT THE BUFFERS.
2. I don't need a lift, thanks Olga. I'll get there UNDER MY OWN STEAM.
3. We want to design a cheap, eco-friendly car. There are one or two problems but basically we're ON THE RIGHT TRACK
4. Our business has had a difficult few years but things are starting to improve. There's LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
5. The Conservative Party lost the election. Their campaign started well but it just RAN OUT OF STEAM a week before the election.
6. Since his girlfriend left him, Paul's lost his job and is drinking heavily. He's really gone RIGHT OFF THE RAILS
7. My boyfriend Tom just thinks about football all the time. He's so boring. He's got a A ONE-TRACK MIND mind!

8. Olga: Would you like a game of tennis tonight, Paul?
Paul: Yes, I'd love to. I've had a really stressful week at work. I need to LET OFF STEAM

9. Olga: How are things at work after the fire?
Paul: It's taken us 3 months to sort everything out but things are BACK ON TRACK now.

10. Olga: Did you see the football last night? What about Ronaldo's goal?
Paul: He's incredible. He's so fast, he's LIKE AN EXPRESS TRAIN. There's no stopping him.

And the riddle?

A horse travels a certain distance each day. Strangely enough, two of its legs travel 30 miles each day and the other two legs travel nearly 31 miles. It would seem that two of the horse's legs must be one mile ahead of the other two legs, but of course this can't be true. Since the horse is normal, how is this situation possible?

The answer:

The horse operates a mill and travels in a circular clockwise direction. The two outside legs will travel a greater distance than the two inside legs.

This week's homework is called "Temperature Idioms":


Complete the following idiomatic expressions using:

  • FEET
  • LOST
  • OUT
  • LEFT
  • COOL

1. got cold ?????
2. ???? me cold
3. ???? my cool
4. frosty ?????
5. in cold ????
6. as cool as a ????
7. in the cold ???? of day
8. poured cold ???? on it
9. ???? in the cold
10. keep ????


Now complete these sentences and dialogues using the expressions above.

1. During the Apartheid years South African sportsmen were left ???? because most countries refused to play them.

2. Paul: Now that you've had time to think about it what are you going to do?
Olga: Well, I suppose ???? I ought to go back home and try and find a job there.

3. Paul: I'll murder him. How dare he talk to me like that!
Olga: ???? ! Losing your temper won't help.

4. Paul: You don't look very happy. What's wrong?
Olga: I just presented my plan to the rest of the staff but they all ?????. They didn't like it at all.

5. Paul: Did you hear the news? A policeman has been murdered in the city centre.
Olga: Yes, apparently he was killed ???? in front of a group of shoppers.

6. Paul: I see that film you went to see at the cinema got a very good review in the newspaper.
Olga: You're joking! I'm amazed. I'm afraid it ????>

7. Paul: Sarah is amazing. She always seems so calm and in control.
Olga: I know what you mean. She's always ?????.

8. Paul: So, you met John's parents at last?
Olga: Yes, though I'm not sure they really liked me. They gave me quite a ?????.

9. Paul: Why did you have a fight with Robert?
Olga: Oh, he started saying stupid things about the war in Afghanistan. I got really angry with him. I suppose I ?????.

10. Olga: You left the girl standing at the altar! Why didn't you come?
Paul: I thought a lot about it and I decided I wasn't ready to get married. I ????.


Choose the correct word in the following sentences:

1. He's as COOL / WARM as a cucumber. Nothing upsets him.
2. His speech got a very LUKEWARM / TEPID reception.
3. My views sometimes get me into HOT / COLD water but I don't care.
4. They poured HOT / COLD water on my ideas. Naturally I was very disappointed.
5. I got COLD / WARM feet at the last minute. I just wasn't ready to do it.
6. Stop getting so WARM / HOT under the collar. We've got plenty of time.
7. Contracts are a HOT / WARM potato around here at the moment.
8. In the WARM / COLD light of day I can see it was a mistake. I'm sorry.

And finally, two riddles for you:

Riddle 1:

Pronounced as one letter,
But look and you'll see,
That really I'm written with three.
I'm read from both ends,
The same either way.

What am I?

Riddle 2:

They call me a man, but I'll never have a wife.
I was given a body, but not given life.
They made me a mouth, but didn't give me breath.
Water gives me life and sun brings me death.

What am I?

Have a great week.

Best wishes
Paul & Jill

Paul Stevens - Director (based in San Diego, USA)
Jill Tyler - General Manager (based in Plymouth, UK)

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