[Easy English Blog] Ice cream van

Do you have ice cream vans in your country? When I was a child, I got excited when I saw the ice cream van. In summer, at around 4 or 5 pm, the ice cream van drove around the streets near my house. It stopped in every street for a few minutes. The van played music, so we could hear it arrive.

My house was in the middle of the street, so the ice cream van always stopped in front of my house. I heard the music and asked my mother for some money to buy ice cream. All the children in the street loved the ice cream van. They all ran to it and bought ice creams.

The ice cream seller had a price list of the different kinds of ice creams on the side of the van. I enjoyed looking at the pictures and choosing an ice cream.

I still remember the music the van played. When I think of it, it reminds me of summer and my childhood. I would love to see the ice cream van again and buy an ice cream!

By Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press – Easy English Reading.

[Easy English Blog] French Extensive Reading

I study Chinese and French, but recently, I have been busy, so I haven’t studied very much. However, I have been practicing extensive reading with an easy French book.

I am studying Part 1 of the book. The story is about two friends called Marc and Julie. Marc is French, and Julie is American. They talk about language and cultural differences. I have read Part 1 many times. Sometimes I forget that I am reading in French.

I tried reading Part 2, which is about French history. It was too difficult for me, so I went back to Part 1.

Extensive reading (reading a lot of easy books or graded readers) is a good study method. I think I will buy more French graded readers. For me, reading is more fun than studying!

By Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog] So much rain

Photo by Sam Willis on Pexels.com

It is the rainy season in Japan. Many places have had heavy rainfall. Some places have had flooding and landslides. The water has destroyed roads, houses and towns. Luckily, my city has not had any disasters. It has just been raining a lot.

Around 14 years ago, my city was flooded. There is a wide river and a large lake in the centre of my city. It rained so much that the river and lake overflowed, and the water flooded into the city centre around the station. Many shops and other places were damaged. I hope it doesn’t happen again.

I hope the rainy season ends soon. I also hope the people in the disaster areas can recover quickly. It seems that every year, the rain causes more and more disasters. The weather is changing. We have more rain, and summers are hotter than before. I am looking forward to the end of the rainy season, but I am not looking forward to the hot summer!

By Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog] Dog cafe

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The other day, I went to a “dog cafe” with my friend. It was my first time to go to this cafe. Customers can take their dogs into the cafe. There are bowls of water in various places of the cafe for the dogs.

The owner’s dog stays in the cafe. He is very cute. He sat next to me and let me stroke him for a long time. He likes people. He is very quiet and gentle.

I think the cafe is a good idea. People who like dogs can enjoy playing with the owner’s dog while they have a drink. People who are walking their dogs can take a rest and enjoy a cool drink.

There was only one other customer in the cafe when I went. That customer didn’t have a dog, but he is a regular customer. He said that he lives near the cafe and goes nearly every day. He likes to play with the owner’s dog.

When I was playing with the owner’s dog, I remembered the dogs I had when I was a child. I wish I had a dog! If I had a dog, I would be a regular customer at the cafe!

By Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog] Mexican food

Today’s Easy English Blog post is from Patricia in New Zealand!

Yesterday was a cold, windy and rainy day. We went to Petone to eat lunch. Petone is about 20 minutes drive from our house.

The main shopping street in Petone is called Jackson Street. It has many interesting cafes, bars and restaurants. We like Mexican food, so we went to Viva Mexico.

It was very interesting. The cook and the waitress talked to each other in Spanish. I know a few words in Spanish, but I was pleased that the waitress talked to us in English.

The inside of the restaurant was Mexican style. The backs of the chairs were covered in very bright coloured materials. There were also a lot of cushions. The cushion covers all showed pictures of Frida Kahlo. She was a very famous Mexican artist. She painted many pictures of herself.  She died in 1954.

We ordered enchiladas and empanadas. The food was very good and we enjoyed it.

By Patricia @ I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog] Green smoothies

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In February this year, I started making green smoothies. I make one a day. I wanted to increase my fruit and vegetable intake and become healthier. I enjoy making the smoothies, and they taste great!

This is my recipe: 1 banana, half a carrot, 6-8 spinach leaves, 1 tablespoon of powdered barley grass, 1 tablespoon of powdered kale. I don’t mix it with water. Instead I used 100% fruit and vegetable juice from the supermarket.

I sometimes change the recipe. Sometimes, I add blueberries, pineapple or apple for a different flavour. I enjoy trying different tastes, but I think my basic smoothie recipe above is the best.

How about you? What do you do for your health?

By Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog] A strange year

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We are halfway through 2020. It is turning out to be a strange year. There is a global pandemic, and many countries have been in “lockdown”. This means that people can’t go out freely, and have to stay in their houses.

Here in rural Japan, we didn’t have lockdown. We were advised not to travel to other prefectures, and not to go out at weekends and in the evenings. Many restaurants closed, and started a takeout service. Some shops closed early.

Now, most places are open and operating normally. However, we have to wear masks when we go to public places and clean our hands before we go inside. In some places, like the local community centre, we have to write our name and purpose of our visit on a form near the entrance. At a sports facility I go to, we have to write our name, address, phone number and body temperature on a form before we can go inside.

The city I live in has been lucky. There have only been around 25 cases of COVID-19. I hope there are no more cases. I hope the situation around the world improves. I wonder what the last few months of this strange year will be like….

By Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog] Too many feijoas

Today’s Easy English Blog is from Patricia in New Zealand!

Do you know what feijoas are? Another name for feijoa is ‘pineapple guava’.

Feijoas are a fruit. They come from South America.  In about 1900 they were grown in California and then about 100 years ago people started growing them in NZ.

They grow well in most parts of NZ. There are many feijoa trees in gardens in NZ. I have two. They are very pretty –I like the leaves and the flowers. In April, the fruit is ready to eat.  It is an unusual fruit. It has a unique tatste. Some people love feijoas and some people think they taste very bad.

This year I had many feijoas on my trees. They are all ready to eat at the same time – there are too many for me to eat. I tried to give some away – but the people near my house didn’t want them! There were two reasons.

Some neighbours don’t like them. Some neighbours have their own feijoa trees so they have too many to eat  – they want to give some to me.

I don’t like to waste food so I have frozen a lot of fruit. They make great cakes,and muffins and my neighbour told me she has a good recipe for making feijoa ice cream. So I will have many sweet treats from my freezer later in the year.

[Easy English Blog] Teddy Bear Hunt

brown teddy bear on brown wooden bench outside

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Today’s Easy English Blog is from Patricia in New Zealand!

Coronavirus has changed our lives.   The government asked everyone to stay home.  The rules are very tough.

People can go to the supermarket or the pharmacy. They can take walks.  All the schools are closed. Young children are very bored. Their parents take them for walks but walking is very boring for small children.

Someone in England had a good idea.  There is a famous children’s book by a man called Michael Rosen. It’s called ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’.

The idea is to put teddy bears in the windows of your house. When children are walking with their parents they can look for teddy bears and count them.

When I am walking I look at the windows of all the houses. In our neighbourhood many people have put teddy bears in the windows.

But I guess some people did not have teddy bears – so they have put other soft toys in their windows. I have seen Disney characters, Pokemon, My Little Pony, koalas, gorillas, toy dogs, pink cats……

Other people have pictures and messages in their windows.  Everyone is trying hard because life is difficult all over the world right now.

Do you have the teddy bear hunt in your neighbourhood?

[Easy English Blog] Murphy’s Law

Today’s Easy English Blog is from Patricia in New Zealand!

person holding a chalk in front of the chalk board

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When you studied science in school, you learned some laws.

F= ma

P1V1 = P2V2

e=mc2

 These were very useful for passing science tests.

 But people say there are laws in our daily lives as well. I think some of these are very funny.

Murphy’s Law says – “if anything can go wrong – it will.”

There are many different ways of saying Murphy’s Law. One version that I like, is this one…

If you are eating toast with jam on it, and you drop the toast on the floor, it will always land with the jam side downwards —

 Do you agree?