A journalist has a strange story to tell.
I've never been a superstitious person ... never believed in ghosts or things like that. But, two years ago, something happened which changed my attitude. I still can't explain it ... somehow I don't think I ever will be able to.
I was living in Frankfurt ... in Germany ... where I was a financial journalist. A very good friend ... one of my closest friends... we'd been at university together ... was coming over from England by car to see me. He was supposed to get there around six in the evening ... Saturday evening.
I was at home in my flat all that afternoon. At about three in the afternoon, the phone rang. But ... but when I answered it, there was nobody there ... on the other end, I mean. Nobody. The phone rang again just a few minutes later. Again, nobody was there ... I couldn't understand it. Just a few minutes later, there was a knock at the door. I was in the kitchen, making some coffee. I remember I was just pouring the boiling water through the filter when I heard the knock. I opened the door and there was my friend ... Roger, that was his name. Roger. He looked a bit ... strange ... pale ... and I said something like 'Roger, how did you get here so early?' He didn't answer ... he just smiled slightly ... he was a bit like that. He didn't say very much ... I mean, even when I'd known him before, he often came into my flat without saying very much. And ... well ... anyway, I said 'Come in' and went back to the kitchen to finish pouring the coffee. I spoke to him from the kitchen, but he didn't answer ... didn't say a word ... and I thought that was a bit ... strange ... even for Roger. So I looked round the door, into the next room, where I thought he was sitting ... and ... and he wasn't there. The door was still open. I thought for a moment that he'd gone down to the car to get his luggage ... and then I began to wonder where his girlfriend was. She was coming with him, you see, from England.
Well, then the phone rang again. This time there was somebody there. It was Roger's girlfriend, and she sounded ... hysterical ... At first I couldn't understand her. She was still in Belgium, several hundred kilometers away ... and she told me that she was in a hospital ... she and Roger had been involved in a car crash, and ... and Roger had just died ... on the operating table ... just a few minutes before.
It was early afternoon, and the beach was almost empty. It was getting hot now. Most of the tourists were still finishing their lunch back at the hotel, or taking their afternoon siesta in the air-conditioned comfort of their rooms. One or two Englishmen were still lying stretched out on the sand, determined to go home with a good suntan, and a few local children were splashing around in the clear shallow water. There was a large yacht moving slowly across the bay. The girl was on board. She was standing at the back of the boat, getting ready to dive. Jason put on his sunglasses and casually wandered down towards the sandy beach.
1. Four, nine, seventy-seven
Fourth of September, nineteen seventy-seven
2. Twenty-four, eight, sixty-three
Twenty-fourth of August, nineteen sixty-three
3. Seven, seven forty-three
Seventh of July, nineteen forty-three
1. Ten sixty-six
2. Seventeen seventy-six
3. Eighteen one
4. Nineteen eighteen
5. Two thousand
6. Fifty-five B.C.
1. O-two-o-two, two-seven-four-one-four
2. O-one-four-eight-three-two-nine-double one
3. O-three-o-four-two-three-eight-double seven
4. O-one-double four-one-double four-double six
1. R.S.V.P. (French, meaning "Please reply.")
2. et cetera (Latin, meaning "and so on")
3. care of
5. p.p. (Production Phase)
6. i.e. (Latin, meaning "that is")
7. e.g. (Exempli gratia. = For example.)
8. P.T.O. (Please turn over.)
10. Co. (Company)
12. P.S. (postscript)
13. VIP (Very Important Person)
22. A.D. (Anno Domini)
23. B.C. (Latin, before Christ)
24. a.m. (ante meridiem)
25. p.m. (post meridiem)
26. MP (Member of Parliament)
27. BBC (the British Broadcasting Corporation)
28. VAT (Value-Added Tax)
29. TUC (Trades Union Congress)
30. AA (Automobile Association/Atomic Age/Associate in Arts)
31. RAC (Royal Aero Club)
32. PC (Personal Computer)
33. EEC (European Economic Community)
Man: I see that dreadful women's liberation group was out in Trafalgar Square yesterday. Hmm. In my opinion, they all talk rubbish.
Woman: But you can't really believe they all talk rubbish.
Man: Of course, I can. I consider that it is unfeminine to protest.
Woman: But you can't really believe it's unfeminine to protest.
Man: Women should be seen and not heard.
Woman: But you can't really believe that women should be seen and not heard.
Man: Certainly. It's my belief that a woman's place is in the home.
Woman: But you can't really believe that a woman's place is in the home.
Man: Yes. And she should stay there. Women should look after men.
Woman: But you can't really believe women should look after men.
Man: Created to feed and support them. That's what they were. I'm certain that women are intellectually inferior to men.
Woman: But you can't really believe women are intellectually inferior to men.
Man: Not only inferior, but I know they can't do a man's job.
Woman: But you can't really believe they can't do a man's job.
Man: Yes, Maggie. That's my firm belief. But don't tell your mother I said that.
George's mother was worried about him. One evening, when her husband came home, she spoke to him about it.
"Look, dear," she said, "you must talk to George. He left school three months ago. He still hasn't got a job, and he isn't trying to find one. All he does is smoke, eat and play records."
George's father sighed. It had been a very tiring day at the office.
"All right," he said, "I'll talk to him.
"George," said George's mother, knocking at George's door, "your father wants to speak to you."
"Come into the sitting room, dear."
"Hello, old man," said George's father, when George and his mother joined him in the sitting-room.
"Your father's very worried about you," said George's mother. "It's time you found a job."
"Yes," replied George without enthusiasm.
George's mother looked at her husband.
"Any ideas?" he asked hopefully.
"Not really," said George.
"What about a job in a bank?" suggested George's mother, "or an insurance company perhaps?"
"I don't want an office job," said George.
George's father nodded sympathetically.
"Well, what do you want to do?" asked George's mother.
"I'd like to travel," said George.
"Do you want a job with a travel firm then?"
"The trouble is," said George," I don't really want a job at the moment. I'd just like to travel and see a bit of the world."
George's mother raised her eyes to the ceiling. "I give up," she said.
A manager is talking about the prevention of shoplifting.
Well, I manage a small branch of a large supermarket, and we lose a lot of money through shoplifting. I have to try to prevent it, or else I'll lose all my profits. A lot of shoplifting is done by young people, teenagers in groups. They do it for fun. They're not frightened so we have to make it difficult for them. Obviously a supermarket can't have chains or alarms on the goods, so we have store detectives, who walk around like ordinary shoppers, otherwise they'll be recognized. We have big signs up, saying 'shoplifters will be prosecuted,' but that doesn't help much. We've started putting cash desks at all the exits, we've found we have to do that, or else the shoplifters will walk straight out with things. Of course, that worries the ordinary shopper who hasn't found what he wanted. We also use closed-circuit television, but that's expensive. In fact, all good methods of prevention are quite expensive, and naturally, they make our prices more expensive, but it has to be done, otherwise shoplifting itself will make all the prices much higher, and the public doesn't want that!
Principal: We are very honored to have Tania Matslova here today. It is only ten o'clock and Tania has already done two hours of practice. And she kindly agreed to watch your rehearsal after that. She is very interested in the training of young dancers and wants to ask questions. Don't forget, however, that Miss Matslova has two performances today. She must not get too tired ... Miss Tania Matslova.
Tania: Good morning. We're going to be very informal, aren't we? Why are you standing? Move some chairs. Let's sit in a circle.
(sound of chairs being moved, excited voices and piano music)
Tania: That's better. I can see you now. And I want to congratulate you. Your rehearsal was very professional. I was impressed by your technique and your feeling for the music. I remembered myself twenty years ago. Do you think twenty years is a long time? It all depends. You must look forward to twenty years of practising six hours every day. Twenty years of traveling uncomfortably. Twenty years of going to bed instead of going to parties. Do you look forward to this discipline? I didn't know how difficult my life was going to be, but I wouldn't change it. The important thing is ... I'm still dancing. For me, dancing is living. I'm so sorry. I'm talking too much. Would you like to ask me some questions?
James: I would. I'm really worried about my career, Miss Matslova.
Tania: Please call me Tania. What's your name?
James: James, Tania.
Tania: So, James. Why are you worried?
James: I love dancing but I hate changing in cold dressing rooms. I don't mind practising every day. In fact, I like it, I enjoy exercising. But I'm fed up with going to bed early every night and refusing invitations to parties. I like travelling ... but not if it's uncomfortable. I'm confused. Do you think I should carry on?
Tania: It depends what you want, James. Would you rather go on dancing or would you rather live a normal, ordinary life?
James: I want to do both.
Tania: That, my dear James, is impossible. I'm fed up with getting up early. I'm tired of travelling. I've always hated leaving my family for weeks or months. But ... I'm a dancer and I look forward to dancing as long as I can. What can I say? If you don't want to be a professional dancer more than anything else, you'd better change your plans.
James: Thank you, Miss M ... er, Tania. Your advice was really helpful. I can see now that just being keen on dancing isn't enough for a career.
Principal: I'm quite sure you are all grateful to Miss Matslova for spending so much time with you.
Tania: James, please let me know what you decide to do. I think you are very talented but that isn't enough. It depends what you want. And that applies to all of you. You must make up your minds.
Jacqueling got out of the bus and looked around her. It was typical of the small villages of that part of the country. The houses stood in two long lines on either side of the dusty road which led to the capital. In the square, the paint was peeling off the Town Hall, and some small children were running up and down its steps, laughing. On the other side there were a few old men sitting outside a cafe playing backgammon and smoking their pipes. A lonely donkey was quietly munching the long dry grass at the foot of the statue that stood in the center of the square. Jacqueling sighed.
Due to fog we regret that changes have been made to the scheduled departures. Flight LH302 is now due to leave at 10:00. Frankfurt airport is closed and this fight will be diverted to Wiesbaden. Flight BA314 will now leave at 10:20 and Flight AI411 at 10:25. Please await further announcements.
"Hello. This is John. I'm afraid I can't make it this evening. I've asked Peter to meet you but he can't get away from work until twenty past six. It seems better if you met at 6:50 at the entrance to Waterloo Station."
... Well, you know there have been a lot of changes over the last few years. In fact, since 1978 the population has increased to about a quarter of a million. Unemployment is much better than in some cities. Now it's about five and a half per cent.
Yes, but in 1978 it was only about three per cent.
It's not bad, as I said. But there have been changes at the airport since we found oil. Since 1978 the number of aeroplane passengers has increased from 980,000 to 1,400,000. And over these last few years, from 1978 until now, the number of helicopter passengers has also increased enormously. It was 220,000 in 1978, but since then it's increased to 600,000.
This time last week Roy Woods, a bus conductor from Streatham, in South London, was worried about money. He owed twenty pounds to his landlady in rent. Today he is rich, for last Saturday he won 120,000 pounds on the football pools.
Last night he was interviewed on television by reporter Stan Edwards.
Edwards: Well, Mr. Woods, what are you going to do now? Are you going to give up your job on the buses?
Woods: Yes, I'm going to finish at the end of the week.
Edwards: And what other plans have you got?
Woods: Well, I'm going to buy a house.
Edwards: Have you got a house of your own now?
Woods: No, no, we live in a furnished flat.
Edwards: Have you got a car?
Woods: Yes, I've got an old Ford, but I'm going to buy a new car ... and my wife says she's going to have driving lessons!
Today, I'm going to tell you how to make stir-fried beef with ginger. This typically Guangzhou dish is one of the quickest and tastiest ways to cook beef. The ginger adds spiciness. Serve it with ham and bean sprouts soup. See page 64.
Ingredients: 350 grams of lean beef steak.
Quarter of a teaspoon of salt.
Two teaspoons of light soy sauce.
Two teaspoons of dry wine.
Half a teaspoon of sesame oil.
One teaspoon of corn flour.
One slice of fresh ginger.
One table spoon of oil.
One table spoon of chicken stock or water.
And half a teaspoon of sugar.
First, you put the beef in the freezing compartment of the refrigerator for twenty minutes. This will allow the meat to harden slightly for easier cutting.
Then cut it into thin slices of about one and a half inches, that's three and a half centimetres long.
Put the beef slices into a bowl. And add the salt, soy sauce, wine, sesame oil, and corn flour, and mix well.
Let the slices soak for about fifteen minutes.
Meanwhile, finely shred the ginger slice and set it aside.
Heat a wok or large frying pan and add the oil.
When it is very hot, stir-fry the beef for about two minutes.
When all the beef is cooked, remove it, wipe the wok or pan clean and re-heat it.
Add a little oil and stir-fry the ginger for a few seconds.
Then add the stock or water and sugar.
Quickly return the meat to the pan, and stir well.
Turn the mixture onto a plate, and serve at once.
Julie has just arrived at Bob's house. She has bought a new camera. She wants Bob to show her how it works.
Julie: You're a good photographer, Bob. Can you have a look at this camera and show me how it works?
Bob: Yes, of course. It isn't difficult. But first you have to buy a film.
Julie: (scornfully) I know that. Here's the film.
Bob: Right. Now first you have to open the film compartment. Just press the release. Then you have to put a film cartridge in the compartment. Close it carefully. After that you have to push the lever until you see number 1 in the counter window. And then all you have to do is this look through the viewfinder and press the button. It's very easy.
Julie: Thank you, Bob. Let's try it. I'm going to take your photograph, so say 'cheese'.
Yes, I agree. Lovely breakfast. Very nice. Excellent coffee, especially, don't you think? Anyway, as I was telling you, it happens to me every time I go to a new place: I always end up paying twice or three times as much as I should for the first ride. But last night was the worst ever. The train got in at about eleven, so I felt lucky to get one—though it looked a bit old and battered. But he was so polite—and you don't get much of that these days: 'Let me take your bags,' he says. 'No trouble,' he says. 'It's a hot, sticky night,' he says, 'but don't worry, madam, it's air-conditioned,' —and it was, surprisingly— 'just relax and I'll get you there in no time.' So we went for miles down this road and that road and he pointed out all sorts of buildings and other sights that he said I'd appreciate when I could see them properly in the morning. And he told me that though this was one of the few cities in the world where a woman could go at that time of night on her own and nothing to fear, even so, it was a good thing I'd taken a registered vehicle, because you never knew, did you? Though I couldn't see any special registration number of anything, and I didn't think to make a note of his licence plate—and it wouldn't have made any difference, I don't suppose. So here I am. And as you can see, if you look out of the window, that's the station! Just across the road! Anyway. Well, it's a lovely hotel, isn't it? Are you on holiday too?
My problem is with my mother, who is now well over seventy and a widow and becoming very fragile, and she really needs my help. But where she lives, in the country, there's no work available for me—I'm a designer—and she can't come and live with me because she says she doesn't like the climate because it's too bad for her rheumatism, which is actually true—it's very cold here. And if I go and work there as something else where she lives, perhaps as a secretary, it means we have to take drastic drop in salary. So I don't really know what to do.
Tomatoes! Tomatoes! Forty p a pound. Yer lovely salad tomatoes today. Lots o'lovely mush. Fifty p half pound, and a punnet o'strawberries ... for one pound.
You have exactly three and a half hours before polling stations close. Three and a half hours, which means, obviously that you've got three and a half hours in which to cast your vote, a vote which I know you're all going to cast for Mary Hargreaves, the future member of Parliament. Mary Hargreaves has campaigned furiously and industriously over ...
Welcome to Tescos. May we inform our customers that today we have English strawberries on special offer at only sixty-five p a pound and raspberries at only forty-nine p a pound and loganberries at thirty-eight p a pound. We hope you will avail yourselves of our special offers.
(sound of applause and cheering in background)
We can't continue the concert until people have cleared the central aisle. The space ... We've got to keep the path clear for emergency services and we can't continue the music until it is cleared. Now, please, clear the central aisle!
End Apartheid! End Apartheid! Apartheid! Out! Out! Out! Free Africa! Free Africa! Black and white together! Black and white together! Apartheid out! Apartheid out! Out! Out! Out!
Er, now, a, a few points for all the stewards and demonstrators before we move off. Er ... er ... Can you be quiet, please! Now, will all the stewards please remember to walk on the outside of the column, on the outside, very important, and the demonstrators, please pay particular attention to the route. Now, we will be walking down Park Lane to, to Piccadilly and we will be going through Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square and from then on into Trafalgar Square. No right turns, no left turns, straight on into Trafalgar Square. Is that OK?
Any old iron? Any old iron? Anybody, iron? Any old iron?
He's quite a solitary type of person, really. You know, he spends most of his time at home, reading, listening to the radio, things like that. He goes out to the pub occasionally, and he does quite a lot of singing, too—he belongs to the local choir, I believe—but you never see him at weekends. He's always off somewhere in the country, walking or fishing. He does a lot of fishing, actually—but always on his own. Funny sort of bloke.
Miss Barbara Pream, the Head of Pushet Advertising Agency, is being interviewed for a radio program on women and work.
Interviewer: So, here you are, Miss Pream, right at the top of the profession in advertising. I suppose you have quite a lot of men working under you, don't you?
Pream: Yes, I do. Most of my employees are men, in fact.
Interviewer: I see. And they don't mind having a woman boss?
Pream: No. Why should they? I'm good at my job.
Interviewer: Yes, of course. But, tell me, Miss Pream, have you never thought ... about getting married? I mean, most women do think about it from time to time.
Pream: But, I am married.
Interviewer: I'm sorry. I didn't realize, Mrs. ...
Pream: I prefer not to use my married name in the office.
Interviewer: And your husband, how does he like being married to a career woman?
Pream: He has nothing to complain about.
Interviewer: No, of course not. By the way, what does he do?
Pream: Well, he prefers to stay at home and run the house. He enjoys doing that as a matter of fact.
Beale: Well, uh ... I'll come straight to the point. As you know, your uncle, Eduardo Gatto, died last December.
Bruno: Yes. I was very sorry to hear that, even though I hadn't heard from him for a long time.
Beale: Hmm. Did you know that he was a very rich man?
Bruno: Uh ... n ... no ... I didn't.
Beale: Yes. That's why I've come to see you. I ... I have some news for you.
Beale: He's left everything to you.
Beale: Yes. The sum comes to more than two million Australian dollars.
Bruno: What?! I ... I can't believe it.
Beale: It's all true. In his will, Mr. Gatto left clear instructions that I should come to London personally to see you.
Bruno: I ... I just can't get over it. I ... I feel it's just ... just too good to be true.
Beale: Oh, it's true all right. Believe me. However, there are certain restrictions about how you can use the money. Would you like me to go through them with you now?
Bruno: Yes, yes. Please do!
Beale: Well, first of all, you mustn't spend it all at once. The money will be paid to you gradually, over a period of ten years.
Bruno: Yes, yes ... I understand, but, before you go on, could you tell me how my uncle made all this money?
Beale: Pizza. You know, the thing people eat, with cheese and ...
Bruno: Yes, yes, of course! But how could he make so much money with pizza?
Beale: Well, he introduced it into Australia just before it became very popular. And he set up a chain of pizza restaurants. They're very successful. He was a very intelligent, good businessman.
Bruno: It's strange that he never wrote to us. Never. I know he was very fond of me.
Beale: But he couldn't. That was his problem.
Bruno: Pardon? He couldn't what?
Bruno: He couldn't ... Do you really mean he couldn't ...
Beale: Write. Even though he was very intelligent. And that brings me to the other restriction in his will. You must use part of the money for your own further education. Mr. Gatto was a great believer in it. He always regretted he didn't get one himself.
Cathy: I'm fed up with sitting on packing cases, Joe. Don't you think we could buy at least two chairs?
Joe: Do you know how match new chairs cost? One cheap comfortable armchair ... eighty pounds.
Cathy: Yes, I know. It's terrible. But I have an idea. Why don't we look for chairs at a street market? I've always wanted to see one.
Joe: All right. Which one shall we go to?
Cathy: Portobello Road, I think. There are a lot of second-hand things there. But we'll have to go tomorrow. It's only open on Saturdays.
Joe: What time do you want to go? Not too early I hope.
Cathy: The guide-book says the market is open from nine to six. It's a very popular market so we'd better be there when it opens.
Joe: Right. I'll set the alarm.
* * *
Cathy: Oh, Joe. Look at the crowd.
Joe: They must have the same guide-book that we have.
Cathy: But it's very exciting ... look at that old table-cloth and those beautiful curtains.
Joe: Aren't we looking for chairs?
Cathy: Yes, but we need curtains. Come on.
* * *
Cathy: Whew. I'm so tired that I can't even remember what we've bought.
Joe: I can. A lot of rubbish. I'll make some tea. You can have a look at our 'bargains'.
Cathy: Joe, the curtains are beautiful but they're very dirty.
Joe: What did you say?
Cathy: I said the curtains were very dirty.
Joe: Why don't you wash them?
Cathy: I can't. They're too big. I'll have them dry-cleaned.
Joe: And what are you going to do about those holes. Can you mend them?
Cathy: I can't. I can't sew. I'll have them mended.
Joe: How much will all that cost? I never want to see another bargain ... and we still haven't got any chairs.