Simply appalled that following the news about Ivan Golunov’s dreadful arrest on a street I know and imprisonment on cooked-up cocaine charges, today one of our Cabinet ministers admits cocaine use and is interviewed as a potential leader of the party and consequently our Prime Minister.
It beggars belief that this dreadful hypocrite, Gove, has not withdrawn from the leadership race and resigned. We know, from the way he stabbed Boris in the back, that he has no honour and this confirms it. It is made even worse, as Marr pointed out that, under his tenure, the education dept launched a principle that teachers caught in possession of a class A drug would be debarred; Gove countered by saying this principle was introduced by someone else, and that of course he had never lied about his own drugs use, as indeed he had never been asked. Marr pressed him about whether he had lied in filling out the declaration to enter the US. Gove did not think he would be debarred should he become PM.
He cannot even claim that this was some silly thing he did when he was at school or in university. No, in Gove’s case he was 30 and he should have known better. However, we also know Gove makes a great play about his own Christian belief and practice – here was an opportunity for a man to do the decent thing and point to the great injustices elsewhere in the world. Like Gove, Golunov has been working as a journalist but unlike Gove, Golunov says he has not been playing around with Cocaine. Ironically it is Gove and not Golunov who thinks he is, therefore, destined for the top job!
This is on a day, incidentally when the Russian government starts to block VPN’s in Russia. This effectively stops voices from the West getting through to the locals in Moscow and elsewhere. We know that Russian TV censors and distorts what they publish, and soon there will be no alternative source of information. Incidentally, Kaspersky is all in favour of the VPN ban. Russian-owned Kaspersky, an almighty office-block that I pass every time I am driven from the airport into central Moscow, is one of the major internet security providers around the world. It is all very worrying.
WHAT GOVE wrote in 1999
below are some tips and vocabulary for writing and especially for getting through the IELTS exam
Everyone talks about grammar. At least they do in Russia!
I think this is maybe to miss the real problem in learning English.
One of the most difficult things for english learners is to master vocabulary. Most text-books focus on grammar, because that is something that can be tested and taught in a very formalistic way, but, actually, there is very little grammar in modern English.
The hard work comes from learning and using synonyms correctly. In terms of listening, that mastery of vocab is expressed in a knowledge of collocations- how words stick together. This means that we can anticipate the sort of things we hear because we are used to the way one word naturally attaches to another. Instead of listening to every single word, we listen to the sense of what is being said and anticipate which words will be used.
In terms of the two essays, the graph essay (1) needs to be clear and precise. The second essay needs similar clarity but evidence of development. Idiomatic vocabulary throughout as well as “linking words”
Here are some valuable
at the moment
in the past
at that time
when I was younger
I think one important thing is
I guess one difference is
I suppose the main difference between A & B is
Causes and Solutions
I imagine it’s because
it appears to be
I guess it’s because
the main reason is
it is caused by
I suppose the best way to deal with this problem is
I reckon the only answer is
the best way to solve this is
**there are three important points: firstly (A), secondly (B and thirdly, finally, (C) (this is my preferred option always- the tricolon) This can often come across as very formal so be careful!
like (use in speaking, not so much in writing. Do not over-use this word)
Being clear and precise
What I mean is
What I want to say is
As I was saying
contrasts and concessions
on the one hand (remember two hands) on the other hand
in spite of
another option could be/ might be
Linking words for writing
not only… but also
as well as
in that case
under these circumstances
Because of this,
thus, therefore, so
in that case
this implies that
if so, / not
in other words,
in the same way that
not only… but also
obviously (be careful- if something is obvious, there is no point in saying it, and if it is not obvious, then you have the wrong word!)
on the whole,
as a rule
Here is a rough speaking test:
– What is your full name?
– Can I see your ID?
– Where are you from?
– Do you work or study?
– Where are you studying or working?
– Do you like your school or your company?
– Do you want to change your school/company?
– Do you usually drink water?
– Do you prefer to drink bottled or tap water?
– Is bottled water expensive in your country?
– Why is that?
– Do you like shoes?
– How often do you buy new shoes?
– Have you ever bought shoes online? Why / why not?
Describe a part of your country that you find interesting. Please say
– What and where is it?
– How do you know about it?
– What activities do people usually do there?
– Why do you think this place is interesting?
– Why do people love to visit some parts of the country?
– Why do people want to settle in certain places?
– What are the main differences between places to visit and to live in?
– Why are people different in different parts of the same country?
Next time: vocabulary for Pie charts and graphs (Essay 1)
Here are some notes which were prepared for a school…do feel free to borrow as you wish.
the illustrations are fun
In Japan, in Buddhist temples you will sometimes see a basin called a “tsukubai” which is used for washing before ceremonies. It is also used in the tea ceremony People wash their hands or mouth at the “tsukubai”. It is on the ground so you must crouch. The word “tsukubai” means “to bow down” or “to crouch”
The tsukubai are made of stone and have a small spoon to scoop out water and pour it on your hands etc. both the person giving and the person receiving HOSPITALITY plays an important role in the ceremony.
The Japanese tea ceremony is part of this image of pure water Note the kanji (special ceremonial/religious writing) from the first picture and the translation below. Everything has a meaning
The tea ceremony (Cha-e 茶会) involves waiting. Guests come into the tea garden from an outer garden called the Yoritsuki. They wait in the KOSHIKAKE MACHIAI before they are invited into the teahouse.
They walk down the garden path (ROJI) and they are made to feel they are entering a different world. Time is slower.
The Teishu opens a sliding door to the teahouse (Chasitsu: 茶室) to greet the guests
Guests begin the ceremony by washing their hands at the Tsukubai
The floor of the teahouse is covered with Enza (special mats)
People kneel on the floor
They are given tea by the TEISHU (tea maker/ host)
They eat WAGASHI (sweets) and drink tea.
THINKING ABOUT WHAT WE ARE DOING
The tea ceremony is about doing something very simple in a perfect way. It is about hospitality and it is about making simple things beautiful.
It is about THINKING about what you are doing.
Most of the time, we do not think about what we are doing. We listen to music. We talk. We think about OTHER things.
The tea ceremony shows us about conscious learning.
This is something that we practice in mediation.
Forms of meditation exist in all the main religious traditions.
Brahmins follow the strictest idea of ceremonial washing.
Many Brahmin wash in the holy river Ganges.
(the man in the picture is wearing the “sacred thread” or UPAVITA which shows he is following a guru or teacher. The sacred thread is won in the same way -over the left shoulder- that a woman will wear a sari)
Every year, up to 40 million people travel to the river Ganges to wash. (Pilgrimage)
A Pilgrimage is a journey where people feel they are doing something to get closer to God. Pilgrimage happens in all the main religions.
Hindus try to make one pilgrimage in their lifetime. The river Ganges is a favourite place of pilgrimage. It is sacred to the Goddess GANGA. Bathing in the river washes people of their sins and helps people to MOKSHA (Release from death as well or “awakening” and it also leads to a greater knowledge of themselves)But many people also travel to sacred mountains and temples linked to particular gods and goddesses
Some people believe in achamana which is drinking and touching pure water from the palm of the hand (this is an important p[art of Brahmin rituals but actually any Hindu can perform this ritual) when reciting special prayers called Mantras
It also involves putting a tilaka on your forehead
Special washing ceremonies called Punyahavachanam are used before marriage, Homa. Water is generally sprinked on people (ASPERGES)
Traditionally, the bride’s parents wash the feet of the groom before the wedding.
Abhisheka: a deity’s murti or image is washed in water, milk, yoghurt ghee, rosewater
It is an important part of the ritual of a coronation (does not happen very often now!)
When a death happens, Hindus may take a bath to clean themselves
Women often take a bath after they have a period.
Many of these traditions are shared across the various faiths.
Before praying, Muslims wash: they wash hands, mouth, nostrils, arms, feet and head It is called “al WUDU” الوضو In Turkish and Albanian, this is known as “abdest”, and in Persian as “dast-Namaz” (literally means: “Before praying” The word Namaz in Punjabi/Sanskrit/Persian means “Prayer”)
1) After receiving the bread and wine, a priest washes his/her hands in the Anglican/Catholic/Orthodox Church
2) On Ash Wednesday a mark is made with ashes on people’s foreheads. What do you think this symbolizes?
3) Catholics believe that Baptism washes away people’s “original sin”
4) Baptism is a form of “initiation” (Beginning)
Initiation: an important word. Do you remember we talked about the way we “initiate” a class- how does a class begin? When does a class begin?
5) In Judaism people often visit the MIKVEH if they are “unclean”, that is if they have been in contact with dead people, blood –
6) Many people in Christianity make pilgrimages to Rome, Jerusalem (2 million tourists a year), and in the middle ages, people famously travelled from across the kingdom to Canterbury where ArchBishop Thomas a Becket had died. A famous book called “the Canterbury Tales” was written about the journey and the stories people told to each other. Some of the stories are serious and some are very funny. The book is one of the first great bits of English writing by Geoffrey Chaucer.
Sikhs may visit the golden temple of Amritsar. Hindus may visit the Vaishno Devi Temple in the mountains of Kashmir. Buddhists may visit the Bodhi tree or life tree where Gautama meditated for 49 days before his enlightenment. 13 million Muslims visit Mecca every year. In Mexico, 10 million Catholics visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
7) Meditation. There are many forms of meditation in Christianity. In Catholicism, some people say the ROSARY (a series of prayers based on a string of 50 beads), some Orthodox Christians recite the “Jesus Prayer”, some Christians believe in silent prayer. There is a tradition in Sufu Islam of dancing (the Whirling dervish). In Hinduism and Buddhism people often use a simple word or mantra repeated over and over again. They feel this is relaxing and brings them closer to God.
Some people practice meditation without religious belief. It can be a very therapeutic exercise (therapeutic/ therapy- from the greek θεραπεύω I serve, cure, heal)
8) Sharing a meal, hospitality. Remember the story of Abraham and the 3 angels. In Christianity, Hospitality might involve “Holy Communion” where Christians celebrate their community together by sharing a simple meal. “Eucharist” simply means “thankyou”.
9) Images and words help us to “enter another world” and to concentrate.
10) Icons, statues and religious pictures are sometimes blessed and washed in Christian ceremonies. On the first sunday of Lent in Orthodox Churches, it is traditional to bring icons to church to bless them and carry them in procession.