Today let’s talk about summer. For some, it’s the best time of year. For schoolchildren, summer is the time of long school holidays. It’s also when many families go on their summer holidays.
Summer in the Northern Hemisphere in Europe is the season after spring and before autumn. The summer solstice on June 21 is the traditional date of summer starting. June 21 has the longest day and the shortest night. Druids like to meet at Stonehenge in Southwest England on this day.
Summer is traditionally June, July and August. It is when the weather in Europe is normally at its best. It is hot and sunny.
Recently a friend suggested I write an English lesson about inferior food being sold in Central and Eastern Europe. In other words products of lower quality, or the same product - but the contents having lower quality inside the package.
How can this be possible? Believe me it is! I live in Slovakia and I hear this story time and time again from my students and friends.
Many Slovaks like to go to Austria to go shopping. Why? Because food is cheaper, and of better quality.
Anyone shopping in Slovak supermarkets is likely to be sold inferior quality goods, like cheese, washing powder, coffee, milk chocolate, and Coca Cola. In Austria those same products are of a much higher quality.
Recently the UK woke up to news reports that Britain is defenceless to stop a new wave of illegal immigrants entering the UK. They are doing so by quietly slipping in to small harbours that are dotted along the British coastline.
Lax UK border controls are allowing this to happen. Why? Because the government and previous governments have cut back on the armed forces and border controls resulting in the UK only having three Border Force vessels to patrol the whole of the English Channel. It is unbelievable but true!
What this really means is Britain is poorly defended. Any group of migrants can now buy themselves a rubber motor boat in France or Belgium, climb in it, and head for any small port along the English coastline. No one will stop them, and if they do, they will be rescued and taken into the UK anyway.
Today, we are going to talk about Euro 2016. The football tournament will kick off at the Stade de France on June 10 when France play Albania.
England will face Russia, Slovakia and Wales in Group B. The Republic of Ireland will meet Italy, Sweden and Belgium in Group E, which is also known as the ‘Group of Death’.
Hosts France have got a favourable draw against Romania, Switzerland and Albania in Group A, while European Champions Spain will face the Czech Republic, Croatia and Turkey in Group D.
British Prime Minister David Cameron was recently caught on camera at Buckingham Palace in London telling The Queen that the leaders of some “fantastically corrupt countries” were coming to Britain for an anti-corruption conference.
Among the world leaders attending the conference at Lancaster House in London were the leaders of Nigeria and Afghanistan. When a reporter asked the Nigerian President if his country was corrupt he replied, “Yes”.
Representatives from the governments of Panama and the British Virgin Islands ironically weren’t invited to the conference. This is odd considering the recent publication of ‘The Panama Papers’ that highlighted the tax affairs of wealthy individuals from around the world who shelter their money in these countries.
May Day traditions in Britain include Morris dancing, the crowning of the May Queen and Maypole dancing.
Morris dancers normally perform on May Day. These are men wearing folk costumes and bell pads on their shins. They use sticks, swords and handkerchiefs that maybe wielded by the dancers during their dance.
The May Queen is a girl who must ride or walk at the front of a parade for May Day celebrations. She wears a white gown to symbolise purity and usually wears a tiara or crown. She is generally crowned by flowers and makes a speech ahead of any dancing taking place.
The Czech Republic in Central Europe has decided to change its official name to Czechia. There are many reasons for this. One is that Czechs are fed up with people always trying to shorten their country’s name to Czecho or Czechland.
The new name will be similar to its neighbour Slovakia – that is also known as the Slovak Republic. Some people might say that Czechia is too similar in name to the Russian Republic of Chechnya.
Czechia is shorter than its former name of Czechoslovakia - before the country split in 1993 into two countries – namely The Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Today let’s talk about the UKs top tourist attractions. Top of the list is the British Museum (6.8m) in London. This is followed by the National Gallery (5.9m). In third place is the Natural History Museum (5.2m).
The figures were compiled by the Leading Visitor attractions (Alva). Altogether some 124.4 million visits were made to 230 Alva sites last year. This is 3.2% higher than the year before.
The rise was due to increased interest in big temporary attractions in London – up 1.6%, and in Scottish attractions – up 5.5%. London claimed the top 10 most popular sites.
It may surprise you but today there are thousands of people around the world stuck in modern day slavery. It is a scandal that many governments are failing to tackle.
You might be thinking slavery was abolished in the 19th century. It was, only today it is once again flourishing. It is a global issue that needs resolving. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) recently reported that 21 million people, five million of whom are children, are victims of forced labour.
Today, let’s talk about the migration crisis in Europe. The EU leaders in Brussels have failed to solve the situation. It is now out of control. In fact, in Greece it is at breaking point.
East European and Balkan countries recently hosted a meeting in Vienna to discuss the migrant crisis. Interestingly neither Germany nor Greece were invited. The meeting initiated its own ongoing solutions to those of Brussels.
East European countries have sent police and troops to the Hungarian border with Serbia, and to the Macedonian border and Bulgarian border with Greece, where a barbed wire fence has been built to try to stop and limit the number of migrants allowed up the Balkan peninsular.