Lessons in the "UK" Category

Immigration Tension in Europe

Today, let’s talk about the tension that is rising, right across Europe, regarding immigration. Well, let’s face it, it is. What’s more, week by week, it’s getting worse, thanks to the EU, and Mrs Merkel, the German Chancellor.

Western governments are only too happy to hand out benefits to anyone, who makes it to these countries. Top of the immigrant’s list is the UK, closely followed by Germany, Sweden and Holland.

Why don’t these economic migrants go and live in Saudi Arabia, or other Middle Eastern countries, or African countries that were once their neighbours?

Why not go to Eastern Europe? Because no one there wants any migrants. There are no benefits paid, worth taking about, in Eastern Europe. Mr Orbán built a fence. Austria is doing likewise. Why not France?

Many under 35s in the UK can’t do basic DIY skills

Recently, a survey conducted by UK store Poundland, uncovered the fact that many young people, under 35, don’t have key life skills. For example, a third of young adults, don’t know how to change a lightbulb.

A quarter, admitted that they would have to ask, to know how to boil an egg. They said it’s tricky to get it right, as ‘you can’t see if it’s cooked, or not, inside the shell’. Some, even tried cooking a boiled egg in a microwave, with explosive consequences. Another 13%, tried to boil an egg, in a kettle.

Remember Remember the Fifth of November

Today, we are going to talk about Guy Fawkes’ Night, or Bonfire Night. The event is held every year in the United Kingdom, on the evening of the fifth of November.

The annual commemoration is to remind us of the events of the 5th November 1605, when Guy Fawkes’, who was a Catholic, was caught and arrested in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament, while guarding the gunpowder that was to be used to blow it up.

English regional accents to die out – urban accents to increase

A report analysing language trends from the past 50 years has been published by dialect coach, Brendan Gunn, and Dr Dominic Watt of York University, who is a sociolinguistic expert. The two looked at major modern cultural influences, to help predict what the future might sound like.

The analysis said that English regional accents are likely to die out in 50 years. Whereas, urban dialects are likely to rise, in big cities like Birmingham, Manchester, and Glasgow. The Queen's English could soon be a thing of the past, due to immigration. Multicultural London English, which incorporates pronunciations from West African, Caribbean, and Asian communities, will spread across regions.

New Words in Oxford Dictionary

Today, we are going to look at some of the 1,000 or so new words that have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary in their September quarterly update for 2016.

Ones to watch out for are ‘moobs’, ‘gender-fluid’ and ‘yolo’. ‘Scrumdiddlyumptious’ and other colourful Roald Dahl words like ‘Oompa Loompa’ and ‘human bean’ are included in the latest edition to celebrate the centenary of his birth. Another of Dahl’s words includes ‘splendiferous’, which means full or abounding in splendour.

‘Moobs’ are a term used for unusually prominent breasts on a man. ‘Gender-fluid’ describes a person who does not identify with a single fixed gender. ‘Yolo’ is the acronym for the term “You only live once”.

New British notes and coins

Britain has a new £5 note. The Bank of England released the new polymer plastic £5 bank note into general circulation in England and Wales** on Tuesday. It marks the start of several big changes the Bank of England is making. The new fiver will see the Queen on one side, and Winston Churchill on the other. It will be 15% smaller than the current cotton-paper note.

For now, it’s only fivers that are changing. Plastic £10 and £20 bank notes will follow later. The new tenner will feature Jane Austin. It will enter circulation next summer. The new £20 note will arrive in 2020. The Bank has yet to decide on £50 notes. Be aware that existing £5 notes cease to be legal tender from May 2017!

**Scottish fivers will begin to change in late September and October.

Fancy a cuppa British grown tea?

Fancy a cuppa British grown tea? You might say they don’t have tea plantations in Britain. Surprisingly, yes they do. British tea is now grown in Scotland and Cornwall, and what’s more, it’s a rapidly growing business.

Climate change is one reason why this is happening. The cool, wet British climate is now ideal, as it is helping the plantations to thrive. British entrepreneurship and business is another reason. The result is, exports of British tea are now causing a stir in China and Japan.

At the Tregothnan tea plantation in Truro, Cornwall, yields are about 35% higher than in 2015. This is due to the very wet and mild winter and the perfect tea growing conditions this year.

Back to School!

Today, let’s talk about going back-to-school. It is September and the school holidays have now finished. It is time to start a new term. This could be at school, university or college, at language school, or even in the office. Students are now returning to lessons, following their summer break.

For schoolchildren, the new term may result in meeting new friends, as well as seeing old ones. It means a new school timetable. It will probably mean new subjects to learn, with exams to study for at the end of the school year.

A new term also brings new teachers, as well as some of the ones you already know and sometimes love. The new term can also include the dreaded word that no one likes – homework!

UK votes to leave EU

The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union. The historic vote took place on the 23rd June 2016. The result was that 48.1% of voters chose to remain in the EU while 51.9% chose to leave. The number of votes cast were 16,141,241 to remain in the EU; 17,410,742 to leave the EU.

England and Wales had an overall majority to leave the EU. London, Scotland and Northern Ireland all voted to remain. The turnout was 72.2%. It’s worth noting the vote shows that in England working class northerners revolted against cosmopolitan rich London.

British Astronaut returns to Earth

Recently, British astronaut Tim Peake returned to earth from the International Space Station (ISS). His journey back to earth was with two other spacemen on board a Soyuz space capsule that travelled through the atmosphere, with temperatures outside reaching more than 1,600°C (2,912°F).

Peake travelled home with fellow astronaut Col Tim Kopra from NASA, and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko. The three completed their deorbit to enter the Earth’s atmosphere at around 10am on Saturday June 18. The Soyuz space capsule landed by parachute on its side in a remote spot in the vast scrubland steppe of Kazakhstan 15 minutes later.