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By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.

Helen Hunt Jackson - September
The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.

John Updike, September
Learn English in September

Your diary in LE forum



  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    If you can be flexible about it @ech0pandit, why don't you just go along with what your body tells you from time to time. It sounds like your head is telling you to give up meat but from time to time, your body is rebelling. Given no one is forcing you to give up meat, why don't you be less hard on yourself and if you give in from time to time, cut yourself a bit of slack.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    The weather forecast was for rain today. Most people who were supposed to join me to go sketching in Ventigmilia, a border town in Italy about an hour by train from where most of us live, took a rain check. No one believed me when I suggested that since the weather forecast was reliably unreliable, because not only did it not rain, but the sun even came out a few times.

  • ech0panditech0pandit Posts: 349 ✭✭✭
    haha I hope the day wasn't spoiled because of the weather forecast, at the end they're just predictions.@mheredge
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    Exactly my view. I tend to ignore the forecast. For example, today it was forecast for storms and rain @ech0pandit. For once it was right, but by about ten o'clock, the rain had gone and it was a beautiful sunny day. It stayed nice for the rest of the day.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    It seems that some parts of France suffered badly in the storms yesterday, especially the southwestern side by the Atlantic. I did not know about the landslide in Nice but there certainly was some impressive thunder and lightening first thing in the morning.

    I spent the day indoor as snug as a bug in a rug, watching Harrow, an Australian series.


  • ech0panditech0pandit Posts: 349 ✭✭✭
    snug as a bug in a rug, hahah nice one, I hope you had a hot tea with you and some crisps to eat, here in India having fish chips with hot tea are taken or advised to take while you see the rain, you can try that next time it rains.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    Fish and chips with tea is something I'd envisage a London cabbie having for dinner. I haven't had fish and chips for a long time @ech0pandit, though I eat a lot of fish whenever I can.

    Tea certainly is a comforting drink however. Yesterday was a beautiful day, in complete contrast to the stormy day before. Today has started off a bit cloudy, with a few showers.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,817 ✭✭✭✭
    The temperature here is plunging to below zero values tomorrow, so we'll soon have the snow put till mid-April. It's later than normal, probably for a fortnight or month. The good thing is that I had the time on Sunday to change the tyres for winter ones. Dear daughter, though, has been driving on studs for three weeks already. The most depressing thing is darkness, we have dawn at 7:30 and dusk at 16:30, it'll be only worse till December 23.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    I noticed lots of snow in the hills behind me the other day, but it's most gone now, at least on the hills just inland. I expect there's plenty further in though @Practical_Severard. I only have to put up with the cold for two weeks though, as I'm off again, chasing the sun. I hate the darkness most of all. Here it is dark by 5pm.
  • YellowtailYellowtail Posts: 903 ✭✭✭✭
    I finished my annual task of drawing the new year card, for my mother to send to her friends. (I have stopped sending it myself for years.) It features the Chinese zodiac animal as usual, and this year it is mouse.
  • VokVok Posts: 2,145 ✭✭✭✭
    @Yellowtail would you share the picture with us?
  • Shishio13Shishio13 Posts: 172 ✭✭✭
    Things are complicated here in my country. Many people (I included) are tired of the bad government and they have been protesting since last week. Some spots of vandalism, lotting, blocking in the transport system, etc.
    Latam is now through hard times imo.
  • VokVok Posts: 2,145 ✭✭✭✭
    @Shishio13 what is so bad about your government? What have you been protesting against?
  • MichouxeMichouxe Posts: 9,489 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yesterday,me and my husband visited the new hotel in Mechelen, called "Van der Valk".
    The hotel is located in a unique property with a historish story. Where people used to swim or learn to swim.
    It used to be called the" ouwen dok"....
    The old swimming pool , for example is also preserved , Not for swimming , but as a beautiful large pond in the central hall.
    In my childhood we used to go to the pool with the school. We played in the water with large tires and the pool was overcrowded. It was not possible to swim.

    Worth a visit

  • JanjardJanjard Posts: 2,127 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
    Shishio13 said:

    Things are complicated here in my country. Many people (I included) are tired of the bad government and they have been protesting since last week. Some spots of vandalism, lotting, blocking in the transport system, etc.
    Latam is now through hard times imo.

    Dear @Shishio13 , I noticed your message between all the other messages. I think it is a heavy message. Out of your description I think it is probably quite a chaos in your region. I have seen harshly demonstrations on television, I suspect that you live in South America.
    I looked just on internet and found this images on the Guardian:
    You participate in the demonstrations, you told us. Can you still go to work or can you still study? I wonder where you live. I looked on the Internet to find Latam. I found out that Latam is an airline, but suddenly I realized that Latam means Latin America. Is this correct? Can you keep us informed of how you are doing?It was intense what you said, so we (and I am sure I am not the only person) would like to know how you are doing in this chaos.Take good care of yourself!
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    Be careful @Shishio13.

    Yesterday I was in Marseille to talk to travel agents about sustainability and how important this is to their businesses. It was a very interesting day and little ironic given the workshop was at an airport and support edby the cruise ship companies that call in at Marseille.
  • Shishio13Shishio13 Posts: 172 ✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
    @vok About 18 months ago a political party of right extreme won the presidential election. The current president is like Trump but much more incompetent. Unemployment is rising, hundreds of social leaders (mostly indigenous or countryside people) have been killed, and the government is also breaching the peace agreement signed by the last government

    @Janjard Jajaja yes, Latam is the name of one airline but it's also a short word for Latin America. I live in Bogota which is the capital city and where the protest are stronger. Good thing for me that I can work from home but in this days the transport is a nightmare. Thousand of people have had to walk coming back from their jobs to their homes. I just hope things gone will well soon
    Post edited by Shishio13 on
  • VokVok Posts: 2,145 ✭✭✭✭
    @Shishio13 no wonder then people are up in arms about the new government. Keep safe.
  • walterwalter Posts: 693 ✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
    Dear Diary,

    I writing there after a long time. I didn't have some motivation for continuing to learn English. All the methods which I used to learn English become boring for me. I must say that I achieve to improve with my English, but not at the level which I want. Also, I realized that is better to learn every day even only five minutes than to learning nothing.

    Also, I started thinking a lot about my career. This job which I currently do is becoming a little boring. I learn everything which I can to learn at this job. But if I want to find a new, better job I must know English good. I must do some changes in my life. First I plan to start with my exercises again, and that I will do. Secondly, I planning to find English tutors. I imagine to go to Eglish classes two times of the week and to do exercises three times of the week. For those goals, I know that I must to invest a lot of energy, but every change in life requires energy. I hope that I will fill my goals.
  • VokVok Posts: 2,145 ✭✭✭✭
    Welcome back @walter . I agree that even five minutes of practice a day is better than nothing. Small efforts can make a big difference. Don't get disheartened.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    Learning languages takes patience @walter. Last week we were discussing what it takes to learn a language in my speaking sessions. You might want to have a look at some of the videos we were looking at on the subject.



  • JanjardJanjard Posts: 2,127 ✭✭✭✭
    @Walter Also a fun and good way to improve your English is Duolingo. Have you tried that site once before?
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    Yes I use this to try to learn Italian @Janjard. I get a bit fed up with it though, as I still don't think it can beat a classroom and teacher. But I think my biggest problem is that I need to practice everyday.
  • MichouxeMichouxe Posts: 9,489 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
    I agree that a little learning every day is better than spending many hours in one day.
    But learning too much per day is not a good case.
    At least for myself: I have sleeping problems, headaches, loss of concentration, forgetting everything, etc....
    But as I said, I speak for myself.

    It is not easy, I regularly fall back to wanting to do too much, also under the influence of other students their better results.

    Duolingo is good, but nowadays it is more of a competition , getting the bronze, silver, gold and various gems! I do have other things to do....
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    I think it is particularly dangerous to study late into the night, at least for me, as I will certainly have trouble sleeping @Michouxe. You should never feel pressure form others to do more than you are comfortable doing. It is not a competition. Which might because I don't like Duolingo very much.
  • walterwalter Posts: 693 ✭✭✭
    @Vok hank you for the welcome. I will try every day to listening, writing or reading in English some materials which are interesting for me. That practicing will not be last all day, but it must be every day. As you say: "Small improvements, big differences"

    @mheredge Thank you for the videos. My problem is that I achieved some level of English which I could alone and now I think that I need some help from tutors. Although, I know a lot of words in the English language my grammar is bad as my speaking.

    @Janjard Yes, I was trying to study English via duolingo, but that app is not very interesting for me. Anyhow, thank you for the suggestion.
  • MichouxeMichouxe Posts: 9,489 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge, Walter, Janjard.
    I learned the most from Duolingo! At first I wasn't really motivated to learn another language. But I started for fun. It's just a pity there won't be any new sentences.
    I also find it difficult to learn new words without a program like Duolingo....
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    I find it difficult to remember the spelling of words unless I write everything down, which Duolingo doesn't really seem to lend itself to. As I have a poor memory for spelling, I get many of the answers wrong so it becomes tedious always getting the answers wrong for one letter out of place.

    I am thinking of packing my Italian grammar book and pocket dictionary for reading while on holiday. If I study well in the next two months, I might be able to cobble together the odd phrase @filauzio, and try to talk Italian to those wonderfully patient Ligurian sketchers at their February meeting.
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 2,055 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just be kind not to learn more of Italian language in two months time, than I did of English language in a lifelong study, so far @mheredge.
    Otherwise, it wouldn't so much seem as though I was being kind of a slack, as rather than I am an authentic dense learner.
    I would feel definitely shamed out of any further Ligurian Urban Sketchers' meetings, by either lack of drawning skills, or failure as a polyglot. :#
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    I am not sure two months will get me very far, especially in Asia @filauzio. However I need to ask one of my friends who I will be staying with whether he knows any Italian, as he might be able to help me a little.

    I'm hoping to make the most of the sunshine today to get out. I will be visiting a small gallery to see an exhibition on Mercantour, a valley near the Italian border where there are prehistoric rock paintings and where there has been rural settlements ever since. I will take my sketchbook and see if I can capture a scene down at the port where the gallery is located. A couple of other sketchers have said they will join me.

    And Nice is now on the map in the French Urban Sketchers' world at least, our group now renamed as Urban Sketchers Nice, which should make it easier for people to work out where we are and because the French were a bit funny about us naming ourselves as a region.
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