Obon has passed and regardless of the hot weather, you will see less and less people swimming at the beach. About a decade ago, I was advised not to go swimming after Obon. This old-time myth says that enko (mythological sea spirits) would grab onto your limbs and pull you down, drowning you. However, about two years ago I was given another warning. After Obon, jellyfish tend to come closer to shore and that it would be dangerous to go out for a swim.
So even though I heard about this, I went to the beach anyway (call me a rebel 😊). The beach was pretty much empty despite it being a beautiful sunny day. I scouted the shallow waters and I spotted one jellyfish about the size of a small bread roll. I figured it was safe enough for my family to go swimming and so we had a fabulous day. I hope to go one more time before summer ends and will be super careful about the jellyfish.
One of Britain’s most popular game show hosts died last week, he was 89 years old. It’s been many years since I’ve owned a TV, but the news made me remember the shows I used to watch as I was growing up. There is such a wide variety of game shows from general knowledge quizzes to games of chance to obstacle courses. The scheduling would often coincide with tea time and many families watch these shows together. One of my was called “The Krypton Factor”, it comprised of several rounds, including: mental agility; response; observation; physical ability; intelligence and general knowledge. My brother and I would often try to answer the questions before the contestants! I thought that the most exciting round was the flight simulator, each contestant was scored on how well they could land an aeroplane – some contestants were much better than others – I found it very funny when a contestant landed far away from the target because I knew that, if I had attempted it, I would have been way off target too!
Speak a little English every day. The absolute best way to learn any new language is just to speak it. It doesn’t matter if you only know five English words or if you’re practically fluent — speaking English with another person is the fastest, most effective method of improving.
- Don’t wait until you “feel more comfortable” speaking in English — you probably won’t reach that level for a long time, so push yourself outside of your comfort zone and start speaking English today. You’ ll be amazed at how quickly your language skills improve.
- Find a native English speaker who is willing to spend some time speaking English with you — you may be able to offer them a language exchange, where they spend 30 minutes speaking English with you and you spend 30 minutes speaking your native language with them.
- If you live in an English-speaking country, you can practice by starting simple conversations with the people you meet, whether it’s saying “hello” to a shopkeeper or asking a stranger for directions.