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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
Chrysanthemums.
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.

John Updike, September
Learn English in September

Monday Night Owls - 19 November 2018 - The last lighthouse keeper of Capri

NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,353 Teacher
We read an article about the last lighthouse keeper of Capri:

http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20181005-the-last-lighthouse-keeper-of-capri


Vocabulary Top 10:

leave his post - leave/finish the place where someone does a job or the place where a soldier or guard is told to be

grotto - a small cave

glitterati - people who are famous, wealthy, and attractive

bask - to lie or relax happily in a bright and warm place

snuffed out - to cause the end of (something); ALSO to cause (something, such as a candle or cigarette) to stop burning by pressing it with your fingers, covering it, etc.

stalwart - very loyal and dedicated

tip someone off - to give useful or secret information to (someone)

fittingly - appropriately; in a way that is appropriate for the situation or purpose

constellations - a group of stars that forms a particular shape in the sky and has been given a name

cot - a narrow, light bed often made of cloth stretched over a folding frame



Have you ever been to a lighthouse?
Do you think lighthouses and lighthouse keepers are still useful nowadays?

Comments

  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 2,129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Honestly, I have to say that the whole story sounded, to me, a bit like an account intended to move the listener to tears... sigh... given the adversities the lighthouse keeper will have to experience in the days to come.

    Maybe this comes from being Italian myself, then well accustomed to the way some of my countrymen keep complaining for anything, doing things bigger than they really are.

    I mean, working as a lighthouse keeper, doesn't seem to imply a sweat, a job where you have to roll sleeves up and frequently wipe sweat off your forehead.

    Actually, it appeared the sailor spent more time in pastime than in effective work. It was a sinecura, where you get paid for doing little job indeed.

    I appreciated reading about the idyllic atmosphere and scenery of the spot, the extreme tip of the Capri's island, nonetheless, to me it all has to do with a romantic life more appropriate and belonging to the nineteenth up to the first decades of the last century; a quite different era.

    The lighthouse keeper, might well exchange light signals, by means of a torch, with local fishernmen, but guiding large cruiser ships to the harbour is all another matter, quite out of time.

    You may also not need anyone operating a look out tower, in order to launch maydays to the Coast Guard's crew, helping coordinate a rescue operation, anymore.

    People on motor or sail boats, let alone yatchs, nowadays, have at their disposal technological pieces of equipments, such as satphones and exactly localizing GPS devices, so that the lighthouse's keeper binoculars and paper diary are just obsolete stuff.

    It's true, however, that in some cases, even the more sophisticated maritime technology, little can to avoid wrecks and tragedy.

    Take for instance the catastrophy of Costa Concordia cruise ship, which capsized and sank off Giglio Island, Tuscany, on 13 January 2013.

    The captain, just switched off the alarm of the computer navigation system. He said he wanted to navigate by sight, because he knew well the seabed near the island.

    The cruise ship collided against a line of rocks, which, in the aftermath of the disaster, the captain pretended not having been charted at all.

    I'm afraid a strong beam flashing an alarm, can be in vain, when it has to deal with criminal irresponsibility though: whether manned or unmanned it doesn't matter either.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Costa_Concordia_disaster



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