Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fishing Blues (an old song)

We've been talking about how the Native Americans helped the Pilgrims settlers to fish and hunt. So here is a favorite fishing song which I learned from my hero Taj Mahal, a great blues guitar player and singer.
The Fishing Blues
Went up on the hill about twelve o'clock.
Reached right back and got me a pole.
Went to the hardware and got me a hook.
Attached that line right on that hook.
Says you've been a-fishin' all the time.
I'm a-goin' fishin' too.

I bet your life, your lovin'wife.
Can catch more fish than you.
Any fish bite if you've got good bait.
Here's a little somethin' I would like to relate.
Any fish bite, you've got good bait.
I'm a-goin' a-fishin', yes, I'm a-goin' a-fishin',
I'm a-goin' a-fishin' too.

Looked down the river about one o'clock.
Spied this catfish swimmin' around.
I've got so hungry, didn't know what to do.
I'm gonna get me a catfish too.

Yes, you've been fishin' all the time.
I'm a-goin' a-fishin' too.
I bet your life your lovin' wife.
Catch more fish than you.
Any fish bite, got good bait.
Here's a little somethin' I would like to relate.
Any fish bite, you've got good bait.
I'm a-goin' a-fishin', yes, I'm goin' a-fishin',
I'm a-goin' a-fishin' too.

Put on your skillet, don't never mind your lead.
Mama gonna cook 'em with the short'nin' bread.
Says you been fishin' all the time.
I'm a-goin a-fishin' too.
I bet your life, your lovin' wife.
Can catch more fish than you.
Any fish bite, if you've got good bait.
Here's a little somethin' I would like to relate.
Any fish bite, you've got good bait.
I'm a-goin' a-fishin', yes, I'm goin' a-fishin',
I'm a-goin' a-fishin' too.

If you would like to hear the (original) Henry Thomas version of this song taken from the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music, go to:
This is probably the version that Taj Mahal worked with when he came up with his own version. You can find Taj Mahal in You Tube, I am sure. Good luck and keep singing! - David

Liverpool Light (Thanksgiving class song )

Here is the song we are going to learn for Thanksgiving Day. It is an old favorite of mine and tells the story of sailor who just wants to get back home from his long voyage at sea. The longing described in the song is emphasized by the very singable refrain. Bill Staines, the author, has composed many wonderful singalong songs. He is also a champion yodeller!

Liverpool Lightby Bill Staines

Cho: Singing, Shine, shine, Liverpool light
Shine on your children below;
Singing, Shine, shine, Liverpool light
Shine on your children below.

1) I've sailed this island for most of my life
All the way from the Minch to Dundee
And in Liverpool once I did take me a wife
And it's her that I'm longing to see (Cho.)

2) Three months ago April I left her with child
A child that was mine sure as she.
But she'd not complain, for she's gentle and mild
And it's her that I'm longing to see. (Cho.)

3) I've sinned a lot, for a sinner I be;
As a sailor, I've sailed in the storms.
But in Liverpool, that’s where I'm longing to be,
With her arms wrapped around me so warm.( Cho.)

4) When the light from your tower is all that I see,
And her footsteps they run to the door.
Then I'll lift up my glass and for all men to see,
I will vow to go sailing no more. (Cho.)

Greetings from Fran in Brighton!

Hi Richard,

I am working at a seaside resort hotel near Brighton for one month. I am a receptionist at the front desk of a four-star hotel. I have to devote most every minute to the telephone. I give the room keys to the guests and recommend interesting places to visit. I work from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. three days during the work week and from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. one day each weekend.

I enjoy this work so much because I am meet a lot of amazing people. I have to tell you a lot of fun anecdotes but especially I like this job because I can brush up my English a lot!



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sara's Spooky Story

Here is Sara's tale of a nightmare that seemed so real, she couldn't believe it was a dream. This story won second prize in the Halloween Spooky Story competition. Victor won first prize and Jesus B came in third. Congratulations to all three and thanks for giving us a fright! -- Your teacher, David


This story happened to me some years ago… I was only seven years old and I was a very happy child. Since that horrible life that changed my life.

I used to go to bed at 10:30 every night (when my favourite TV series finished). That day I went to sleep at the same hour, more or less. It was too cold because it was winter and it had been raining all day.

Before going to my bedroom, I went to say good night to my parents and they gave me a kiss. I was really tired but when I got into bed I was wide awake. I couldn’t sleep a wink so I was trying to think of beautiful things so I could get to sleep. Suddenly I saw some people moving into my bedroom. I thought they were Native American Indians dancing around something. I closed my eyes because I thought it was a nightmare but when I opened my eyes again they were still there.

I tried not to make any noise and I only felt fear at this sight. After a few minutes, they started making a bonfire with the wooden chair I always sat in to do my homework. They continued dancing. I thought they were part of a tribe and they were doing a ritual or something similar. I only wanted to cry and call my mom but it was too far. If I wanted to go to my parents’ room I had to pass through this mob. So I decided to close my eyes and cry in silence.

The next day I told this story to my mom and dad but of course they didn’t believe me. Nobody believed me but I am sure that wasn’t a normal nightmare because my eyes were wide open!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Real Application Letter by Fran (NI2A)

Francisco saw this ad for a job and wrote a great application letter which he kindly shared with his class. Thanks Fran! -- Your grateful teacher

ps If you get the job in Holland, will you still come to class here in Sta B????

PHP DEVELOPER Eures reference: 4739811
The PHP Developer shall design, program and maintain software, offer support to the customers in relation to this software.
He/She is responsible for the design of the functionality in different layers of an application, responsible for reading, interpreting and translating functional and technical designs to an implementation, providing an accurate, well-tested and robust implementation in accordance with the system architecture and design. - Good communicative skills - Team player - Analytical and initiative - Enthusiastic attitude to grow in the position - Able to make good thoughtful decisions with a strong sense of responsibility. Experience with Javascript, XHTML, CSS, SQL is required.

Fran's Letter

Job application

Dear Sir / Madam

I would like to apply for the job of PHP Developer (reference: 4739811), last week advertised on Eures website in the international section.

At the end of 2007, I graduated in computing engineering and I developed a website about logistics distribution as part of my degree final project. I spent eight months programming in PHP, CSS and Javascript. As part of this job, I improved my communicative skills, because I needed to understand whole functional requests.

As you can see from my CV, I have worked as a software designer in Apple for two years. This job required to be well-organised, courageous and have capacity to work in a team. I am currently working as a freelance web developer. I implement complete websites with all types of characteristics such as chat, forum, database access, or virtual shop.

I believe that I possess good skills to make decisions with a strong sense of responsibility and I am hard-working and decisive. I can speak English at an intermediate level. Last year, I studied English in Dublin for three weeks. At the moment, I am studying in the official languages school.

I enclose my curriculum vitae. Thank you for taking the time to consider this application and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Yours faithfully,

Francisco S

Monday, November 9, 2009

Jesus B's spooky story: lost in a dark night

Once, when I was a teenager, two friends and I decided to walk to the next village across the mountains. It was summer and it was very hot, so we set off late in the afternoon. When we were in the mountains the night fell and we soon got lost. It was a very dark night and we were wandering trying to find our path for a long time, but we could not. At about 12 we felt tired, thirsty, hungry and so frightened. Then we sat down on a rock and decided waiting there until sun rise. Suddenly, we heard some voices not very far away and we quickly stood up.
“Ehh, Ehh. Is there anybody over there?” we shouted.
No answer. But a little red light could be seen on the other side of the mountain. We ran fast to the light and when got there isn’t anybody and there is no light, but the path was exactly there. Voices could be heard again, farther.
“Wait for us, please”, we shouted, but we did not get any answer.
We still walking fast until the end of the path. There we met the owners of a house sit down close their front door home.
“Have you seen anybody going up or down this path a few minutes ago? “, we asked them.
“We have stayed here almost an hour and nobody have gone up or down this path”, they said.
“Of course”
We never knew what really happened that night, but I have never walked in a dark night again. Jesus B. NI2B.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Fran from NI2A wrote this lovely essay about a long-time friend.

My best friend is Juan. We met at school when I was ten years old. We were in the same class. One day a teacher asked me a difficult maths question. I really hated studying that subject so I didn’t know the answer and I felt very nervous about this situation. Suddenly, Juan was standing up and he said the correct answer. I recovered and when the class finished, we were speaking two hours and that afternoon we met to play tennis. He won the game but that didn’t matter because that day was the first day of our friendship.

We look very similar in physical appearance despite the fact that I’m taller than Juan. We’re both thin although we like going to McDonald’s! Our hair is short and dark and our eyes are small and black, but we don’t have similar taste in clothes. He likes wearing bright clothes and I like buying dark clothes. He looks like 60s pop singers such as John Lennon. We’re very keen on playing sports. He’s good at tennis but he’s bad at football. I think he’s the worst football player that I’ve ever seen. We both like going clubbing and having lie-ins at the weekends.

Our personalities are different. He’s much more disorganised than I am but Juan is very funny. I think he’s the funniest person that I know. He has a really good sense of humour. He never looks worried about problems. He thinks all problems have good solutions. On the contrary, I get nervous about problems. He’s doesn’t mind helping people in bad moments. He’s a very good person and I hope we will be friends forever. I think I should learn a lot of things from him.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Victor's Very Scary Halloween from Lomo Espino

My scary tale happened in a dark classroom with an electronic white-board. No lights... well, one or two soft lights, no more. No moon and two dogs howling: “Ouuuhhh!!!”.
The teacher, Dracked Shea... from Rumania, was speaking about... about... I don't know about what … but everyone in the classroom understood what he was saying. I really tried but I couldn't.
Suddenly, he lift up his right arm and began to extend it. He was pointing in my direction with his extremely long, bony finger. So, I hid myself behind Rodolfo.... from La Palma. I was frighten, really frighten. I started to tremble. My legs were trembling. I was trembling with fear. My hair stood on end and a cold sweat dripped down from my forehead.
The teacher, Dracked Shea... from Rumania, wanted my blood. His eyeteeth were raising... two or three centimeters long. I couldn't breathe.
Then, Dracked Shea said with a deep, calm and horrible voice:
-“VĂ­ctor... from Lomo Espino, what do you think about my opinion?”
-”Aaaahhhh..... Aaaaaaahhh”. I tried to pronounce a word, any word but it was impossible. My throat and mouth were absolutely dry.
He asked again but with no results. I couldn't look up, my eyes fixed on on my book. Then, he shouted very angrily: “Wake up and answer!. Wake up and answer!. Again and louder: “Wake up!. Wake up!
Finally, I opened my eyes and saw my wife. At once, Uufff!, I could breathe. What a nightmare! by Victor NI2B (from Lomo Espino)