[Short Story]The New Neighbours

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Molly lives in a small house in a quiet street.  She bought her house 20 years when it was new. Jim and Iris Waterson bought the house next to Molly’s at the same time. They were good friends and good neighbours for 20 years, but now the Waterson’s townhouse was empty. Jim and Iris have moved to Florida to live near their daughter and grandchildren.

I hope my new neighbours are as nice as Jim and Iris, thought Molly. I will be very upset if some young people buy the house. They will be noisy. They might have children. They might have pets.

A few days later a moving truck parked outside the house next door. Molly stood at the window of her living room and watched.

She saw sofas, armchairs, tables, chairs and beds go into the house. She saw the moving men carry many boxes into the house.  Then she saw a little bicycle. It was pink. A man carried it to the garden behind the house.

Oh no! she thought. A child!

Next the man carried a red bicycle into the garden. It was bigger than the pink bicycle, but it was too small for an adult. Another child! Shouting! Screaming! I don’t want to live next door to children.

Molly looked at her watch. It was time to go to the community centre. Every Friday, there was a concert at the community centre. Gustav Baer played the piano. He played beautiful classical music. He was a very good pianist. When he was younger, he was very famous. He gave concerts all over the world. Now he was retired, but he still liked to play the piano. So he gave free concerts at hospitals and retirement homes and community centres.

Molly put on her coat. She took her bag and went out of her house. She locked the door and hurried down the street. The men were still taking boxes and furniture out of the truck.

I don’t know if I will enjoy the concert today, thought Molly. I am so unhappy. I love my house. I love my quiet street. But now there will be noisy children. Everything will change.

Molly was very surprised when she arrived at the community centre. Gustav Baer was not there. “Mr Baer cannot come today,” the manager of the community centre said to everyone. “He is too busy. He will come next week. Mr Baer’s friend has come. He plays the guitar and he sings. Please enjoy the concert.”

The concert was very nice but Molly thought Mr Baer’s piano playing was better. After the concert she went home. The trucks had gone and it was very quiet.

Before Molly went to bed, she went outside to put some garbage in the garbage bin. It was very dark. There were lights on in the house next door. Molly could hear a piano. The music sounded beautiful. She walked over the fence and looked at the house next door. The lights were on in the house and she could see inside. I guess they have not had time to hang curtains yet, she thought.

She could see many boxes on the floor of the living room. She could see a grand piano, but she could not see who was playing it.

The next day, someone rang the doorbell Molly went to answer it. She was very surprised. Gustav Baer was there.

“Good morning,” he said. “I am your new neighbour.”

“You!” said Molly. “I thought it was a family with children! I saw the bicycles. A pink one and a red one!”

“Oh,” said Mr Baer. “They are my grandchildren’s bicycles. Sometimes they come to visit on Sundays. It is nice for them to have something to do at my house. If they have nothing to do, they get bored and very noisy. Most of the time, there will only be me living there. I’m sorry. It will be very quiet. I think maybe you like to have children and pets next door.”

“Oh, no. No,” said Molly. “Please come in and have a cup of tea! I saw you have no curtains yet. Maybe I can help you. I want you to be happy in your new home.”

[Easy English Blog] Sleepy days

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Everyone I know is feeling sleepy these days. This happens every April. When I see my friends and colleagues, they all say “I can’t get rid of my tiredness.” Everyone looks like they need to sleep more!

April is a busy time in Japan. The new school year starts, and many companies transfer workers to other offices or cities. Adjusting to a new environment and a new schedule is tiring. I think the weather is also a factor. It is getting warmer. I think this makes people feel sleepy too.

I have also been feeling sleepy, especially during the daytime. I try to go to bed early so I can get a good night’s sleep, but I still feel sleepy when I wake up. I feel like this every spring. I hope the feeling passes soon.

Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog]Car problems

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I want to go to the sea to see the cherry blossoms. In my city, there is a place called Cherry Road. It has many cherry blossoms and overlooks the sea. It is a very beautiful place. But I can’t go, because my car has problems. I am worried that it will break down. If it breaks down near Cherry Road, I will have trouble, because Cherry Road is in the countryside, far from the city centre.

Sometimes, my car won’t change gear. I can’t drive or reverse. It has happened three times. Tomorrow, the maker of the car is going to look at it and try to find the problem. I hope they can find the problem and I hope it is not too expensive to fix.

I bought my car a year and a half ago. I didn’t expect to have problems so soon. I hope it is nothing serious.

So, this year, I will just see the cherry blossoms around my house and in the city centre. Maybe I can go to the countryside next year.

Heather@ I Talk You Talk Press

 

[Easy English Blog] New website

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We have a new website. Well, it’s not completely new, just redesigned. The old website was designed back in 2012. I thought it was time for a change. We have more graded readers now, so I wanted to display more books on the top page. We also decided to link our Facebook and Twitter accounts to the website.

I am happy with the design. I always ask the same designer to design our site. He knows our business well, and always does a good job. He also made a smartphone version of the website. When we started, smartphones were not as common as they are now, so we just had a PC site. It is important to keep up with the ever-changing technology!

You can see our new website here.

Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog]Enjoying the sunset

Our city has a famous sunset viewing spot. Unfortunately, I don’t have the chance to visit it at sunset time, because I am still working. Last week, I was lucky. I had no work one evening, so I went down to the lakeside for a run. I chose the time so I could see the sunset as I ran. There were many people around so I had to be careful when I ran. I also had to arrive at the spot early to get a parking space. The car parks fill up quickly around sunset time. Here are some photos I took as I was running. I hope you like them.

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Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog]Mild weather

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We didn’t have any snow this year. People have already started changing their snow tyres back to normal tyres on their cars. I must change mine soon too. It is cold some days and warm the others. I’m starting to feel sleepier. I always feel sleepy in spring. I feel less motivated too. I work better in autumn and winter.

I have to think about ways to maintain my motivation and energy levels in this season. Of course, I’m going to exercise every day, and drink coffee every morning. This is my morning routine. I am usually OK in the mornings. It’s the afternoons when I start to feel sleepy. This is when the weather warms up. I don’t think I’m suited to warm weather, or hot weather in summer.

I hope the mild winter doesn’t mean we are going to have a hot summer like last year. I had to use my air conditioner every day for months last year. It was so humid I couldn’t concentrate on my work. And of course, I felt very sleepy. I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see what the year brings.

Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog]My pet

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I have a pet turtle. Her name is Lee-chan. She is 16 years old. For a long time, I thought she was a boy. But around six years ago, she started to lay eggs, and I realised she was a girl!

When I got her, she was the size of a 500 yen coin. Now, she is bigger than my hand!

Lee-chan and I have been together for a long time. We have lived in different places – different houses, different cities…my life changes, but she is alway with me. Even though we have been together for a long time, she sometimes gets angry with me if I try to clean her water, or try to brush her shell.

When she is hungry, she comes to me and waves her arms around. It is like she is saying “feed me!” In summer, she likes to sit on her terrace and sunbathe. Her terrace used to have a bamboo sheet covering it, but it got dirty. I need to buy a new one. At the moment, her terrace is just a white rack. She doesn’t seem to mind, but I want to make the environment more natural for her. I think bamboo is better than plastic. I’ll buy one today.

Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press