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London Chocolate Week

Yvonne: Hello, I'm Yvonne Archer and this is London Life from bbclearningenglish.com!

Now don't get me wrong, chocolate's great but I seem to be one of the few people who can live without it. Here are some of the reactions I got about the news of London Chocolate Week. It seems that chocolate may be magical – so try to catch the special chocolate term that one person uses to describe herself and her family!

 

 

INSERT

Oh I think that's a great idea to have a chocolate week – ooh that's very nice! I mean I like chocolate, I don't absolutely adore it but I do, I have to say I'm very fond of it.

I do like chocolate, I could say I love chocolate.

Oh I love chocolate, especially very, very dark chocolate – very expensive chocolate – I love it. I come from a family of chocoholics.

 

Yvonne: Cath's from a family of 'chocoholics' – a whole family of people who are addicted to chocolate! So they must have it – and they really can’t do without it. Cath enjoys very, very dark chocolate – so chocolate that's made with lots of cocoa and that reminded me how much I enjoy the odd bit of white chocolate… chocolate with just a little bit of cocoa. So what's Nuala's reaction to that?

 

Nuala

Ooh no, oooh - I hate white chocolate. Ooh, it just gives me the creeps. No, I have to lick my teeth just to get the taste away.

 

Yvonne: No white chocolate for Nuala's birthday then! She hates it so much that it gives her 'the creeps' – it gives her a very unpleasant feeling when it's in her mouth. Nuala says she has to ‘lick her teeth’ after eating white chocolate – rub her tongue over her teeth to take the taste away as quickly as possible. Oh well, more for me then!

Mark du Market, a chocolatier – a chocolate maker – explains what he thinks are the best chocolates. Listen out for how they're made and for a very special ingredient that can't be grown or bought…

 

INSERT - Mark du Market

 

I would say it's the hand-made chocolate using the best beans and ask your chocolatiers, where do you source your chocolates from? You don't just want to look at the percentage; you want to see that the beans are of good quality and that there's passion behind it.

 

Yvonne: Mark thinks that the best chocolates are made by hand rather than by a machine. He says we should ask our chocolatiers where the cocoa beans come from – as he put, where they 'source' the beans – as well as how much is used in the chocolate. So, is there a high percentage of cocoa in the chocolate? But did you also notice that Mark says there should be 'passion' behind making chocolates? So the best chocolates are made by people who love making them.

 

The ancient Aztecs from South America discovered chocolate and thought of the cocoa tree as a source of wealth and strength. They used the beans like money but also crushed them and mixed them with spices to make a type of bitter- tasting hot chocolate drink. So it was very different to the sweet hot chocolate that we enjoy today.



 

But that's history and London Chocolate Week is all about what's new in the world of chocolate. So have our friends made any recent discoveries? Try to catch the different types of chocolate they mention:

 

INSERT

My favourites I think are orange dark chocolate and I also really like butterscotch chocolate.

Pepper and chocolate – wonderful combination – delicious. Cadmium tastes really nice, lavender tastes very good, rosemary, thyme, oregano…

I think organic chocolate is something that's quite new and that seems to be very delicious.

 

Yvonne: Well, as delicious as organic, fruity or even herb flavoured chocolates are, people still feel as though they shouldn't eat it? Try to catch the three main reasons why…

 

INSERT:

Chocolate is not very good to me. Not only does it make me put on weight and is bad for my teeth but it also, and believe it or not and I'm a man in my 50s - but I still get spots when I eat chocolate.

Well I suppose because it's fattening and I suppose people do say it's quite good for you. They say it's good for the heart and good for the blood but I suppose I do still have in the back of my mind that it's a bit too indulgent and I shouldn't really be doing it.

 

Yvonne: Do you also find chocolate 'too indulgent' – it's so enjoyable that you sometimes you eat more of it than is good for you? And did you catch the three main reasons why Kaz and Cath try not to eat too much chocolate? We heard how it makes them 'put on weight' - 'it's fattening'. We also heard how it's bad for our teeth – because chocolate is made with lots of sugar. And poor Kaz says that chocolate still gives him spots – something that mainly young people get! But somehow, I doubt that Kaz or Cath will ever stop eating their beloved chocolate.

 

So here's some good news: there are scientific reports which say that eating chocolate is good for the heart and that the husk of the beans – that’s the shell that covers each bean - might be good for cleaning our teeth!

 

 

London Life

Taxi!

Callum: Hello, I'm Callum Robertson and this is London Life. In the programme today – what do you think would be the most stressful and dangerous job in Britain, a police officer, perhaps a deep sea fishermen? Well no, according to a recent survey being a London taxi driver takes that prize.

 

As this taxi driver says:

 

Taxi driver

It is a really tough job, mentally, physically, traffic is getting worse and worse.

 

Callum: It's a really tough job – a tough job – it's really hard, really difficult, not just physically, but mentally as well. One reason is the amount of traffic. According to the driver it's getting worse and worse.

 

Taxi driver

It is a really tough job, mentally, physically, traffic is getting worse and worse.

 

Callum: In London there are a lot of traffic jams. Often the traffic runs very slowly because of this congestion. Congestion, this a word used to talk about the situation when there is a lot of traffic which can't move at a reasonable speed, congestion. For most of us if we have to sit in a traffic jam for a few minutes we get stressed and irritated. But imagine if you had to do that all day, everyday as your job! Perhaps then it's a little easier to understand why taxi drivers feel so stressed about their jobs.

 

Before we hear from another taxi driver, here's a little bit of background. One of the typically recognisable images of London is that of the black taxi also known as a black cab.

 

The word 'cab' is a shortened form of the French word Cabriolet. Originally they were horse-drawn vehicles and the 'driver' was known as a 'cabbie'. This term is still used today for a taxi driver, a cabbie. Cabbies and their cabs have to be licensed and to get a licence the driver in London has to pass a very difficult test called 'The Knowledge'.

 

To prepare for the test would-be drivers have to memorise routes and places of interest around central London. This is an area which has about 25,000 streets!

They need to be able to take passengers from A to B without having to look at a map and without having to ask for directions. From A to B – this short expression means from one place to another place. It usually takes nearly three years for drivers to learn the streets and pass the test.

 

One of the interesting side effects of being a taxi driver is that research has shown that parts of the brains of cabbies are actually larger than those in the general population. It seems as if learning all the streets and ways of getting from A to B makes part of the brain grow.

 

Now, let's hear some more from a London cabbie. Mickey Tarbuck explains why he feels that the job is stressful

 

Mickey Tarbuck

Well, during the course of the day we're in traffic all day long and the passengers that get into the back just want to get from A to B as quickly as possible and sometimes they put you in a position where as soon as they get in they say "I've got 15 minutes to get there" and straightaway you're under pressure to get 'em there.

 

Callum: Mickey says that stress comes from being in traffic all day, passengers get in to the cab and want to get from A to B as quickly as possible, they are in a hurry and that puts more pressure on. Listen again.

 

Mickey Tarbuck

Well, during the course of the day we're in traffic all day long and the passengers that get into the back just want to get from A to B as quickly as possible and sometimes they put you in a position where as soon as they get in they say "I've got 15 minutes to get there" and straightaway you're under pressure to get 'em there.

 

Callum: Mickey goes on to talk some more about the traffic. Earlier in the programme we had the word congestion. Congestion. A few years ago there was a new scheme in London to try and make the congestion less. This is called the congestion charge, and it means that people who drive in the centre of London have to pay a special fee – the idea is that if people have to pay to drive in the city then some might decide not to do it and therefore the congestion will get less. Listen to Mickey, does he think the congestion charge is working?

 

Mickey Tarbuck

It's not easy, with the road conditions now. When the congestion charge first came in, it worked, it was good, the traffic did ease off. But it seems to be getting back up to the levels it was when it came in.

 

Callum: At first, Mickey says, the congestion charge did work. The traffic eased off, eased off, it got less. But now, he says, the level of traffic and the level of congestion has got higher again to the level it was before the congestion charge.

Listen again.

 

Mickey Tarbuck

It's not easy, with the road conditions now. When the congestion charge first came in, it worked, it was good, the traffic did ease off. But it seems to be getting back up to the levels it was when it came in.

 

Callum: So next time you're stressed out and stuck in a traffic jam, spare a thought for the cabbies who have to spend most of their working life in them.

That's all from this edition of London Life.

London Life

Grumpy Londoners

Jackie: Hello, welcome to London Life with BBC Learning English and me, Jackie Dalton.

 

Growling pussycat

 

Jackie: Do you ever feel a bit like this in the morning? Well you're not the only one and it's now official, Londoners are the most grumpy people in England when it comes to getting up in the mornings. 'To be grumpy' means to be in a bad mood. When I'm feeling grumpy I find everyone else really annoying and get very cross when my bus to work is late – like it was this morning.

 

Well, a new survey by the Sleep Council shows that people living in London are more grouchy in the morning than people in the rest of England. Listen to this news report. What percentage of people in London spends most of their morning in a bad mood?

 

News report

Londoners are the grumpiest in the morning compared to anyone else in the country.

That's according to researchers at the Sleep Council, who say nearly twenty per cent of us in the capital stay in a bad mood for up to four hours after waking up.

 

Jackie: Did you catch that figure? Nearly twenty per cent of Londoners stay in a bad mood for up to four hours – that's a lot of people! I asked three people who moved to London in the last few years whether they agreed that Londoners are especially irritable. What did they have to say?

Listen out for some more words meaning 'grumpy'.

 

Interviews

Londoners are definitely more grumpy.

I don't know about grumpy, but I find them kind of quiet and sullen and surly and sort of sulky, even.

On the tube in the morning, Londoners look really serious and nobody is smiling and it's a really solemn atmosphere.

As long as anyone's had a cup of coffee they're not too bad, but I don't think you should speak to anyone before they've had their morning cup of coffee.

 

Jackie: Well, that's pretty unanimous; we are a miserable bunch here in the capital. Did you spot any new words? We heard 'sullen', 'surly' and 'sulky' – all good words to describe someone who is grumpy. We also heard 'solemn', which means very serious. So what is it that makes people miserable in the early hours of the day?

 

 

Interviews

Well, I'm pretty good in the mornings, I don't really get to grumpy but I think if my routines is disturbed in any way, I can get quite grouchy about that.

I think I'm quite grumpy in the mornings especially if I am still sort of half awake and have people ringing me in the morning that makes me grumpy.

If I can’t get into the bathroom in the morning, that makes me grumpy…if I've run out of milk and I can't have my breakfast and if I'm late – if I'm running late.

 

Jackie: No milk, not being able to get into the bathroom, being late – all things that get people into a sulk. Life just seems too difficult sometimes!

 

Jackie: Another finding in the research was that women are generally more grumpy in the morning than men. Why could that be? Let's hear now from Judith Holder, who has just published a book called The diary of a grumpy woman. Why does she think women are more grumpy in the mornings?

 

Judith

Well I'm not surprised that women are more grumpy… are you, really? I mean, we've got so much more to do and I think most women actually feel if they don't do absolutely everything then it's not going to get done, nobody else is going to do it and I think that's the main kind of thrust of it, isn't it?

 

Jackie: Judith thinks women are more irritable in the mornings because they've got so much to do. What sorts of things have they got to do?

 

Judith

We are our own worst enemy because we've got to have the beds made and the dishwasher on and I'm sort of like a bad tempered Mary Poppins in the morning, kind of doing all these things that really I'm the one that cares about.

 

Jackie: Judith complains women have to do things like make the beds, put the dishwasher on. Although she does admit that women are they own worst enemies – now that's an interesting expression. 'To be your own worst enemy' means to behave in a way that causes problems to yourself. Judith is arguing that actually the beds don't really have to be made and the dishwasher doesn't really have to go on. But women create their own problems by convincing themselves that these things do have to happen. Women are their own worst enemies. Now let's hear from another author, Mike Gayle. What's his advice?

 

Mike

I leap out bed with a smile on my face and I'm ready for the day. I think it's just about being a bit more chilled. You don't have to get everything perfect, you don't have to get everything done.

 

Jackie: Some good advice from Mike there: just be a bit more chilled – relax!

It's not the end of the world if the beds aren't made and life is there to be enjoyed.

 

 

London Life

Royal Albert Hall

Yvonne: Frank Sinatra, Pavarotti and The Beatles all performed here – and even Winston Churchill spoke here. Today, join me, Yvonne Archer on a visit to the Royal Albert Hall with London Life from bbclearningenglish.com!

 

The Royal Albert Hall is a wonderful, round building in London which was officially opened in 1871. It was named after and 'commissioned' by Queen Victoria's husband and Consort, Prince Albert – so he arranged for it to be built and paid for it. Prince Albert's dream was that the country should always have a place to celebrate the arts, industry and sciences. But did The Royal Albert Hall make his dream come true? Let's hear from a tour guide…

 

CLIP FROM GUIDED TOUR

Everything Albert dreamed of came true. And do you know, even today, this area is still known as Albertopolis. Isn't that lovely? I want one of them. What do you think?

Yvonne: Sadly, Prince Albert died 10 years before the Royal Albert Hall was finished, but as it's still being used today, I think it's fair to say that his dream did come true! Here's another chance to hear that short clip again, but this time, try to catch the unofficial name for the area where The Royal Albert Hall was built…

 

CLIP FROM GUIDED TOUR

Everything Albert dreamed of came true. And do you know, even today, this area is still known as Albertopolis. Isn't that lovely? I want one of them. What do you think?

 

Yvonne: Hmmm – I don't think Yvonneopolis has quite the same ring as Albertopolis, do you? As we heard, the area where The Royal Albert Hall is built is still known as 'Albertopolis'. This suggests that it's one of the most important buildings in the area - and that Albert was a man of the people.

 

The suffix 'polis' – spelt P-O-L-I-S… comes from the Greek for 'city' and the Latin for 'belonging to the people' – so as the tour guide suggested, it's a lovely suffix to add to a name. Other places which also make use of the suffix 'polis' include the Acropolis in Greece, Teresópolis and Petrópolis in Brazil, which are believed to have been named after Teresa and Peter of the Portuguese royal family. And of course, who can forget the Metropolis in the film "Superman"?!

 

Is there an important place or building where you live that uses the suffix 'polis'?

Who's it named after? And is there anyone who you think should be honoured in this way?

 

IDENT

 

Yvonne: Linda Clifford is the longest serving steward at the Royal Albert Hall and is now Head Steward. She started working there in 1986 and told us about two very special ladies who visit the Hall once a year. Who are they – or at least – who do you think they were?

 

Linda Clifford

There are several ghosts. Two ladies that walk just below us on a certain day in the year. Now I've been here when the lights have been switched off. I have to admit, it's quite creepy. The doors creak and you could turn around and – maybe there was something there?

 

Yvonne: Perhaps the two ladies were performers who appeared at the Royal Albert Hall in the past. And maybe one of them could even be Queen Victoria?! Well, whether you believe in ghosts or not, Linda says there are several at the Royal Albert Hall… it's 'haunted'! So with the lights off, the ghosts and the creaking doors, it's a 'creepy' building – it's a bit frightening and eerie.

Linda Clifford

There are several ghosts. Two ladies that walk just below us on a certain day in the year. Now I've been here when the lights have been switched off. I have to admit, it's quite creepy. The doors creak and you could turn around and – maybe there was something there?

 

Yvonne: Probably best known as the venue for the Proms, the Royal Albert Hall can seat 7,000 people and over 300 performances take place there each year. But what type of people do they hope will come to those performances? Listen out for the terms 'cross section' and 'narrow section' which mean opposite things as the Chief Executive at the Royal Albert Hall explains…

 

Chief Executive, Royal Albert Hall

What we're looking for is a balance of programming over the course of a year that enables us to provide something for everybody so that we can reach young, old – really, an entire cross-section. Because the one thing the hall is not about is being elitist and only appealing to a narrow section of the audience.

 

Yvonne: Performances at the Royal Albert Hall are carefully designed to 'reach' or attract all types of people. The Chief Executive says it isn't 'elitist' – so it isn't just for very rich, powerful and privileged people to use. And that was certainly Prince Albert's dream!

London Life


Date: 2015-12-17; view: 750


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