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1. One Sunday, when an iron cold and stillness had settled over London, when the false early
spring was less than a distant memory, Fibich took his hat, told Christine he would be back
in an hour or two, and went out for a solitary walk. He was profoundly uneasy. He walked
round a deserted Victoria, the cold white mist blurring the tiny milky disc of the sun. The
exercise of reviewing his life was proving monstrous in so far as it revealed the places in
which it had gone irredeemably wrong. He felt alienation from his son, from his wife whom
he would like to think of as his mother, without sexual overtones. He walked unseeingly
round the white pavement of Westminster Cathedral, although his lack of faith was so
extreme that he could not, unlike his wife, go inside the building. He walked into
Buckingham Palace Road, where listless snack bars were open for business, where Indianowned supermarkets displayed the cruel green and oranges of winter fruit. A tourist bus
disgorged a party of bleak but stoical Scandinavians outside the Queen’s Gallery. In
anguish he turned towards Belgravia, walked up Elizabeth Street, turned into Chester
Square. All was deserted. As deserted as he felt himself to be.
(Brookner 1992: 119)
2. You’ll go crackers about them.
Sainsbury’s Sweet & Sour Crackers have just won a Super Marketing Quality Food and Drink
Award. Made with red chilli, it’s the hottest thing in cold snacks.
(News of the World, August 17, 1997)
3. At 8 p.m. on the Wednesday on the following week, Ruth Rawlinson took little notice when
she heard the click and the creak of the north door opening. People often came in to look
around, to admire the font, to light a candle, to pray even; and she silently wiped her wet
cloth over the wooden floor of the pew behind one of the pillars in the south aisle. The
stranger, whoever he might be, was now standing still, for the echo of his footsteps had
died away in the empty, darkening church.
(Dexter 1979: 60)
4. That was Sunday and now it was Monday; Monday evening, thirty-six hours of blurred
misery. He heaved himself off the bed and to the bathroom, and splashed his face under
the cold tap. His reflection in the mirror was unrecognizable, his face swollen and bloated
like that of a drowned body that had floated to the surface. Two days’ growth of beard
showed blue.
(Sutherland 1994: 80)
5. Persse did not immediately approach the noticeboard with his petition, since a young
woman was standing before it in the act of pinning one of her own to the green baize. Even
with her back to him she presented an incongruous figure in this setting: jet-black hair
elaborately curled and coiffed, a short white imitation-fur jacket, the tightest of tight red
needlecord trousers, and high-heeled gold sandals. Having fixed her prayer to the
noticeboard, she stood immobile before it for a moment, then took from her handbag a silk
scarf decorated with dice and roulette wheels, which she threw over her head.
(Lodge 1993: 354)
6. As Morris Zapp and Fulvia Morgana flew over the Alps, dissecting the later work of Roland
Barthes and enjoying a second cup of coffee, the municipal employees of Milan called a
lightning strike in support of two clerks in the tax department dismissed for alleged
corruption (according to the senior management they had been exempting their families
from property taxes, according to the union they were being victimized for not exempting
the senior management from property taxes). The British Airways Trident landed,
therefore, in the midst of civic chaos. Most of the airport staff were refusing to work, and
the passengers had to recover their baggage from a heap underneath the aircraft’s belly,
and carry it themselves across the tarmac to the terminal building. The queues for customs
and passport control were long and unruly.
(Lodge 1993: 355)
7. (…an excursion has been arranged to the Dead Sea and Masada)…
The sun blazes down out of a cloudless blue sky on the brown, barren landscape. Even inside the
air-conditioned bus it is warm. When they step down on to the parking lot of a bathing station on
the shore of the Dead Sea, the heat is like the breath of a furnace…
Masada is, if it is possible, even hotter. After lunch in the inevitable cafeteria, a form of catering
that Israel seems to have made its own, they take the cable up to the ruined fortifications on the
heights where the Jewish army of Eleazar committed collective suicide rather than surrender to the
Romans in 73 A.D… The air is certainly no cooler there – the cable car seems to have brought
them closer to the sun, which beats down relentlessly on the rock and rubble.
(Lodge 1993: 539)
8. Buy More
Pay Less
In Greece
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There has never been a better opportunity to buy a second home in the sun.
The leading developer in Greece offers financial services, professional and comprehensive
property management and rental income.
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Pano Lahania village will let you embark on a traditional greek way of living...”
(Daily Mail, September 30, 2005)
9. Philip returned to the house. Elizabeth and Darcy were up. They came into the kitchen in
their pyjamas, yawning and rubbing their eyes and pushing back their long matted hair.
Not only were they identical twins, but to make things more difficult Darcy had the more
feminine good looks, so that it was on Elizabeth’s dental brace that Philip relied to tell
them apart. They were an enigmatic pair. Communicating telepathically with each other,
they were uncommonly sparing in their own use of ordinary language. Philip found this
restful after his own precociously articulate and tirelessly inquisitive children, but
disconcerting too. He often wondered what the twins thought of him, but they gave nothing
(Lodge 1993: 147)
10. A bright idea came into Alice’s head. “Is that the reason so many tea-things are put out
here?” she asked.
“Yes, that’s it,” said the Hatter with a sigh: “it’s always tea-time, and we’ve no time to wash the
things between whiles.”
“Then you keep moving round, I suppose?” said Alice.
“Exactly so,” said the Hatter: “as the things get used up.”
“But what happens when you come to the beginning again?” Alice ventured to ask.
“Suppose we change the subject,” the March Hare interrupted, yawning. “I’m getting tired of this.
I vote the young lady tells us a story.”
“I’m afraid I don’t know one,” said Alice, rather alarmed at the proposal.
“Then the Dormouse shall!” they both cried…
(Carroll 1993: 61)
11. On fine days (he had little doubt) the view from his bedroom at Swiss Lodore would have
been most beautiful; but the mist had driven down from the encircling hills, and it was as
much as he could do to spot the grass on the lawn below his window, with its white chairs
and tables – all deserted. Some of his fellow guests had taken to their cars and driven
(presumably) in search of some less bedraggled scenery; but the majority had just sat
around and read paperback thrillers, played cards, gone swimming in the heated indoor
pool, eaten, drunk, talked intermittently, and ge-nerally managed to look rather less
miserable than Morse did. He could find no passably attractive women over-anxious to
escape their hovering husbands, and the few who sat unattended in the cocktail lounge were
either too plain or too old.
(Dexter 1979: 60)
12. She proceeded to demonstrate with expertise the removal of a prawn’s shell, while Fergus
watched her thin brown hands at work. The thought struck him that hands were amazingly
photogenic, that round this table alone there were enough varieties to build quite a
portfolio; Phoebe’s already ageing with brown freckle-like spots, Pa’s bony with long
fingers and prominent knuckles, Debbie’s which were smooth and white and had dimpled
knuckles, and Ma’s, beautiful apart from oven scars and short nails because of the typing.
He felt a stirring in the lower regions, weird excitement, and shifted uneasily in his chair
in case it was apparent, but everybody was talking.
(Sutherland 1994: 57)
13. Children force fortunes on beggars as the tenners rain down on a city
By Robin Young
SUDDENLY the cathedral city of St Albans was littered with money. People were finding it in
their gardens or stuffed into their letterboxes.
A householder, asked for a carrier-bag by a ten-year-old boy, was presented with a “tip” of £2,500.
Astonished local beggars were handed wads of notes by children.
In a city centre burger bar the manager, Andy Manning, 30, said three eight-year-olds entered with
a bag containing about £200,000. “They were not trying to spend the money, they were giving it
Detective Constable Shane Roberts was getting reports of hundreds of thousands of pounds in
Royal Bank of Scotland £10 notes turning up all over town. The source of all this largesse was
eventually traced to Aboyne Lodge primary school, where Jackie Pfister, the head teacher, was
able to show DC Roberts 50 boxes, each containing about £187,000 in notes.
At first glance the notes were convincing but none had a watermark or metal strip, while all shared
the same serial number and had a 1 in blank stripe running down the middle. They did not, DC
Roberts found, come from a forger’s den. In 1991 the communications company Mercury asked
the Royal Bank of Scotland for permission to produce notes to use in a promotional campaign.
The bank agreed. The notes then lay forgotten in a warehouse for five years until a well-meaning
parent who worked for the company suggested that they be given to the Aboyne Lodge primary
school for use in maths and art lessons.
The school accepted but Chris Birkett, a county council spokesman, said: “To be honest we did
not realise how much there would be. It was decided to throw most of it into the school recycling
bin to save storage space.” But meanwhile childish hands were eagerly retrieving bundles of cash.
A Mercury spokesman apologised, while the bank said Mercury had been asked to destroy all the
notes. Police recovered all but about £30,000 worth and the notes will now be incinerated.
(Times, May 2, 1996)
14. I do not know how it happened, but after this encounter my half-hearted affair with
Wyndham began to grow more and more public. What a useful word the word ‘affair’ is,
so abstract and nebulous, so like what actually happens. I do not know whether people
started to talk, for it is certain that if they did, it would not be me that they would talk to,
but I gained a distinct impression of being watched. Wyndham was around a good deal, as
he was busy working on the new play. I kept meeting him in the street, and I always felt
that people could seize from distant windows the tone of our conjunctions. It is a small
town, and there was an actor lodging in every street. And every time I went near the theatre,
I would come across Wyndham, and madman Don Franklin once saw us embracing
halfway up the stairs to the dressing rooms. Although this was not in itself decisive, as
people are always embracing all over theatres for all sorts of unloving reasons, I felt that it
would get around. Also, Wyndham carelessly rang twice in the evenings after David had
got back from work: one time I answered, and had to explain that I could not talk, and the
other time Dave answered, and Wyndham had to ring off.
(Drabble 1977: 133)
15. Brenda stirred by bond
Brenda Todd wanted a secure home for her money when she sold her Alliance & Leicester windfall
She decided to shop around for a good account among the mutual building societies.
She felt that they were more likely to offer better rates because they do not have to pay dividends
to shareholders.
Yorkshire Building Society, keen to promote its philosophy of putting members first, caught her
eye with its new Mutual Benefit Bond.
It pays 7.25% gross until the end of December 1998, making it one of the best shorter-term bonds.
Brenda, 63, a part-time community helper from Bradford, West Yorkshire, says: ‘I didn’t want to
tie up my money for longer than two years so I was happy with the maturity date on this bond.’
She also feels that the bond is paying a high enough rate to remain competitive throughout its term
if other interest rates rise.
Many experts say now is not the time to invest in lengthy fixed-rate savings products.
Interest rates, which stayed steady in the run-up to the election, are expected to rise in its aftermath.
Fixed bonds lasting longer than two years are best avoided unless the rates are extremely attractive.
But Brenda is not putting all her eggs in one basket.
‘I have already enjoyed share bonuses from Abbey National and TSB and I am putting some of
my windfall from Alliance & Leicester in a few other building society accounts in the hope that
my windfall luck continues,’ she says.
Anyone following a similar strategy should check that savings accounts give full membership
rights to qualify for bonuses on takeover or conversion.
(Financial Mail, May 4, 1997)
16. The smell of apples
The moment you go down into the cellar, it hits you. So many apples, neatly stacked on upturned
crates. So many memories. Not that this sudden rush of nostalgia was part of the plan. But what
can you do? The smell is overwhelming. How could you have strayed so far from the bitter-sweet
taste of childhood?
The wizened ones are the tastiest, a rich flavour locked within the wrinkles of that cheating skin.
Not that you’d dream of eating them. That would mean transforming the suggestion of a smell into
the reality of a taste. For beyond the wonderful potency of that scent lurks something more
profound, something from within. The whiff of a better self. Autumn term. A page of scratchy
downstrokes and upstrokes in blue ink. Rain beating on the roof, and a long evening ahead of
The smell of apples is more than a taste of the past. Its pungent intensity may transport you back
in time, to a salt petered cellar, a dark attic. But its secret lies in making you live the past without
the present. Behind you, overgrown grass in a damp orchard. Ahead a warm breeze hovers in the
shade. The smell fuses every shade brown and red, with just a hint of acid green. It captures the
essence of the skin’s softness, its subtle coarseness. Even though your mouth’s parched, you hold
back. Nothing could make you violate that white flesh. Wait for October, for the ploughed earth,
the dankness of the cellar and the rain. The smell of apples is painful. It evokes a life of fortitude
and patience, which we’re no longer capable of recognizing.
(Philippe Delerm)
17. In regard to teachers, there are two directions to follow: the training of new teachers or the
retraining of experienced teachers. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, and some combination of the two may be the most effective procedure to follow.
New teachers who do not have to unlearn old behaviors may more readily accept and be
able to carry out Montessori beliefs and practices. However, there may be problems both
of supply and of replacing teachers who already have tenure. If experienced teachers are to
be retrained, they will have to be convinced that Montessori education is a better approach
to teaching than what they have known before. Already they feel underpaid, overworked,
and unappreciated, and they are on strike across the country. This is not hard to understand.
Teachers are discouraged because it is impossible for them to meet the demands being
placed on them. They are asked to spend their days in the exhausting position of having to
control and dominate children. They must herd, push, and pull them as one body through
a set curriculum. Only those who have had to attempt this inhuman and unnatural endeavor
could possibly appreciate the strain it places on the teacher who singlehandedly must
accomplish it. The experienced teacher may well accept the opportunity to learn a new
approach to teaching that would relieve her of this absurd burden. Experience so far has
shown teachers who have been exposed to them are interested in the highly sophisticated
techniques and materials for individualized learning Montessori provides, and in the
Montessori practice of grouping children into larger age blocks (see Appendix).
(Maria Montessori: A Modern Approach)
18. Battle Brewing in EU Over E-Cigarettes
By Gabrielle Steinhauser
Brussels – The growing popularity of electronic cigarettes has divided regulators and antismoking
activists just as Europe gets ready to tighten its tobacco laws.
European Union health ministers, meeting Friday, are expected to wave through proposals that
would classify most e-cigarettes – battery-powered devices that turn nicotine-laced liquids into
vapor – as medicinal products.
That would subject the popular alternatives to regular cigarettes to extensive health testing and, in
some countries, require they be only sold in pharmacies.
But the European Parliament, which has equal say on the new rules, is leaning toward much looser
regulation following months of aggressive lobbying by e-cigarette producers, vendors and users.
Indeed, the split comes just as big money is moving into the e-cigarette industry, which is taking
off on both sides of the Atlantic.
(The Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2013)
19. IT may not, perhaps, be out of place in this new edition of Three Men in a Boat to place
before its readers the enormous hold it has upon the reading public in Great Britain and her
colonies. Originally published in August, 1889, it has been year after year reprinted, until
there has been produced the large number of 202,000 copies. Adding to this the 5,000 of
the present edition, a total is reached of 207,000 copies. It is remarkable that during this
period there has been only one edition, and this published at the price of 3s. 6d.; the
publisher ventures to believe this is unprecedented. It is not as though, as is too often the
case with an ordinary novel, an enormous sale took place during a few months and then
ceased, inasmuch as in the present case there has been, and still is, a constant and steady
sale year after year. The present opportunity has been taken to re-set in new type the
letterpress, and to re-engrave (from the originals) the whole of the drawings. The publisher
trusts that Three Men in a Boat, appealing as it does so much to human nature both in its
pathos and its humour, will still continue its pleasant voyage, and find new friends in every
home in the land which gave it birth.
BRISTOL, March, 1909.