Monthly Review – October 2017


After a busy few weeks (definitions for the words/phrases in bold can be found at the end of the post) finalising my new ad (see below), I was finally able to get it going at the start of October.  Although preparing the ad had been a little stressful at times, especially when things didn’t work as they were supposed to, it’s exciting to see the final product and watch how people are responding to it.

So, if you see my new ad on Instagram or Facebook, I hope you’ll remember to like it!  Please feel free to share it with your friends and family too.

Countdown to Tokyo 2020

This month included what I consider to be a significant date in relation to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.  Do you have any idea what date that might be?  No?  Well, continue reading to find out.  If my calculations are correct, Tuesday, 25th October was exactly 1000 days until the Opening Ceremony!  That’s right, there are now fewer than 1000 days to go!  If you’re in Japan, have you donated any unwanted mobiles or small appliances yet?

Still on Tokyo 2020, but on a slightly different note, I was surprised and amused to read that some English teachers in Japan have been using classic British comedies, like ‘Fawlty Towers’, to help improve their students’ listening skills (click here for the full article).  This comedy revolves around a hotel owner, Basil Fawlty (played by the famous English comedian John Cleese), who is incredibly rude while pretending to be extremely polite to his hotel guests.  It makes for a funny sitcom, but isn’t a good example of how to treat guests in a hotel (or foreign visitors in your country!).


Tonight is Hallowe’en (more commonly spelt ‘Halloween’) and for the past few weeks a song has been playing over and over in my head.

It goes like this:

Hallowe’en’s coming on
and the goose is getting fat
Would you please put a penny
in the old man’s hat?
If you haven’t got a penny,
a ha’penny will do
If you haven’t got a ha’penny,
then God bless you and yer old man too.

This is a song children in Ireland used to sing during Halloween a long time ago (and perhaps still do).  Did you know that Halloween originated in Ireland?  My mum taught this song to me when I was a child and I always sing it when Halloween is approaching.

Do you celebrate Halloween in your country?  If so, how do you celebrate it?  What do people do on the night of 31st October?  Please let me know in the comments section below.

If you’d like some help with your English, you might consider studying with S. and L. English Lessons.  Get in contact today to arrange your free trial lesson.


a busy few weeks – a period of three or four weeks which were busy

finalizing – making final and definite decisions about something

adinformal for advertisement

get it going – get it started

preparing – making something ready

stressful – something that makes you feel worried and nervous

consider – think

significant – important

in relation to – in connection with

fewer than – [comparative of ‘few’ used with countable nouns] and means ‘a smaller number of’

on a slightly different note – is a phrase used when we want to let people know that we are going to chance the topic of conversation

revolves around (a hotel owner) – the hotel owner is the main character

sitcom – is short for ‘situation comedy’ which is a funny television (or radio) show where the same set of characters appear in various situations

originated – the place or point at which a new idea starts

Monthly Review – September 2017

Well, I can’t believe it’s already the last day of September!  This month has gone very fast, hasn’t it?  I thought I’d write a short post to tell you what I’ve been up to this month.

Updating the website

In addition to teaching my regular students, doing trial lessons with potential students and adding Instagram posts (click here to see the most recent ones), I’ve spent some time updating my website.  I wanted to simplify it so it’d be easier for students and potential students to find the information they needed.

All price plans are now listed in AUD (Australian Dollars) only.  There’s a new link on the Prices page (see above) to check current exchange rates.  If you want to find out exactly how much it will cost in your own currency, get in contact stating the number of hours you would like and a PayPal invoice will be prepared for you obligation free.

Looking out for magpies

September marks the beginning of spring and with it the local birds have been making their presence felt.  Magpies in particular have become quite noticeable as this is the time of year when they have chicks in their nests.  As a result, they become very protective and will swoop on anyone or anything they think might be a threat to their young.

When I was out walking recently, I saw a few ducks pecking at the grass.  Then I noticed a magpie keeping an eye on them.  It must’ve decided that the ducks were not going to hurt its young as it left them alone.

A few minutes later, though, I came across a couple of galahs that were pecking at a different section of grass.  I didn’t think they looked threatening, but a magpie suddenly swooped on one of them!  I don’t know where the magpie came from, but it seemed to appear out of thin air.

Watch out for the magpie!

If you’d like some help with your English, you might consider studying with S. and L. English Lessons.  Get in contact today to arrange your free trial lesson.


up to – doing

potential students – people who are not my students yet, but may become so in the future

simplify – to make something less complicated so that it’s easier to do or understand

obligation free – this means that although you have requested an invoice you are not obliged to (i.e. don’t have to) pay it

making their presence felt –  to have a strong effect on other people or on a situation (i.e. you can see and hear birds everywhere!)

noticeable – easy to see

protective wanting to protect their young from danger

swoop – to move quickly through the air, especially from a high position in order to attack

threat – danger

pecking – striking or biting by a bird with its beak

keep an eye on – to watch someone or something carefully

left (them) alone – [past tense for leave alone] an idiom which means to stop bothering someone or something

galahs – birds commonly found in Australia.  They are medium-sized birds with grey and pink colouring and are a type of cockatoo.

appeared out of thin air – appeared suddenly and dramatically