Last day. A new course, new challenges

It was the last day of my English course. I didn’t have a final exam, but I went through a long questionnaire, like I did on my first day. The results confirm my English evolution! According to the teacher, I uploaded two levels if we consider this blog category about my English course in Birmingham, which I had been writing down off hours.

Learning English for five hours a day and writing some ideas on this blog every day it proved to be very convenient for my English learning. The intensity and customisation of the course was guaranteed by the program “Live and Learn“, which was found by my wife Isabel. The dedication and patience of my personal teacher Steph it was the clue. I think driving on the left hand side, drinking Burton craft beer with good friends and enjoying these pleasant summer temperatures here have done the rest.

We had an special activity every day in my English course. For the last day, we had a farewell lunch with my family and my teacher at Cambaz Bar & Grill, a Mediterranean restaurant in Sutton Coldfield near Birmingham.

But it isn’t our last day in England. To check out different English accents we have a few days to visit some friends near Cambridge. And the course doesn’t really end there. We’ll meet for a Skype chat every Friday until I find a new English course in Barcelona. This is the challenge, to link the course and never stop. Come on!

Day nine. Charity shops in the main roads

Charity shops are often popular with people who are prudent or economical in the consumption of consumable resources such as food, time or money. They are a type of social enterprise, where goods sold are donated by members of the public.

Their popularity increased because many charities can repurchase objects used to resell at competitive prices. Charity shops receive overstock or obsolete goods from local for-profit businesses too. Some charity shops also sell a range of new goods which may be branded to the charity, or have some connection with the cause the charity supports. For example, Oxfam stores sell trade food and crafts.

In Sutton Coldfield there are a lot of charities shops in the main streets and comercial roads. The outside activity for today; to walk and discover charity stores. Here are some pictures from Birmingham Road Wylde Green.

Day eight. Past, present and future in the Thinktank Museum

Today we went to the Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum, located within the Millennium Point complex on Curzon Street. The museum shares the Millennium Point building with Birmingham City University. It is in the Digbeth district. This is an old industrial area in the south of the city. But now we can see new infrastructure under construction and work to regenerate the old industrial buildings into apartments and offices.

There are two general collections: on the one side science and industry, and on the other side natural science. In the science and industry collection we saw vehicles to transport, machines and mechanical devices, technological development. In the natural sciences we saw an important collection about zoology, botany and geology. But we visited the Thinktank Museum from the past to the future, and this was even more interesting.

My English teacher Steph filled her car to go to the city centre. We were accompanied by Estela, her son Aaron and his friend Vicente. Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum caused great expectations and I think its impossible to disappoint anyone.

Day seven. Let’s go shopping with the alphabet

The exercise was more complicated in my English course today because it was to do with memory. We can exercise our innate ability when we play as children. So we played the alphabet game with things we can buy:

“Yesterday I went shopping and I bought an apricot, some bread, three carrots, a packet of dog biscuit, half a dozen eggs, some fruits, a bottle of gin, a tube of hand cream, an ice cream, two bottles of orange juice, one knife, a kilo of valencian lemons, a jar of marmalade, a news paper, two cans of olives, one bag of potatoes, one queen fish, a packet of rice, six pork sausages, a half kilo of tomatoes, one yellow umbrella, one wool veste, a bottle of red wine…”

Although someone else came to help us, we stopped here, because there aren’t any words which start with x, y or z. When I arrived home I found these in a small dictionary, the list was very small for these letters. We could buy one xylophone, one yacht and one zoo although with this complete shopping list we would be spending money like water.

Day six. Something that some people don’t know

We started the second week English course in Birmingham with an outdoor interesting activity. But before we talked about the weekend. I had a busy weekend with my daughter and my wife.

On Friday afternoon we walked in Sutton Park, in Sutton Coldfield. It is an important and is the largest urban park in the Midlands. A railway line runs through the park, but it is an important site for wildlife and conservation. We enjoyed the natural countryside that has survived for hundreds of years. On Saturday morning we drove from Sutton Coldfield to the Black Country Living Museum; an open air museum of historic buildings and industrial activities in Dudley.

On Saturday afternoon we went to Burton, to have dinner with friends, who we haven’t seen for a long time. And on Sunday we went together to the baptism of little Arthur. In England you have the feeling that everything starts very early: at two in the afternoon we finished and returned to our house near Birmingham. Before, we ate an authentic pig roast at Burton Rugby Football Club. We covered a lot of miles, but we didn’t get lost when we went driving because we have a new sat nav! Well done Isabel!

We could talking about the weekend, but the coffee is over and my teacher put a challenge on the table: What is DIY? Of course, I couldn’t find any thing on the net. Internet and dictionaries are not allowed on this course, but we can go to find the answer outside!

We went to a big commercial area B & Q. First we made a tour of the entire commercial area to review vocabulary and seeking signs of the three letters. Then I asked a young uniformed girl, but she just knew that there is a website www.diy.com. Finally, one more experienced employee explained this expression; do it yourself, also known as DIY.