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England's weirdest region


crop circle South-western counties are the quintessence of what many people consider to be the traditional England. They are agricultural areas with little industry and few large cities that would spoil the landscape. At the first glance it seems that nothing has change there since Queen Elisabeth I reigned the country: green fields and pastures cover the land, every few miles there is a small village with houses built of grey stones; if William Shakespeare entered any of the pubs, he wouldn't feel out of place (if of course he didn't get terrified by the TV-set, electronic dartboards and Internet hotspots).
People who live in Wiltshire, Somerset and other counties that are known as "Wessex" are not like the city folk of London: they appreciate the slow pace of life, as well as peace and quiet. Although for some teenagers there is too much "peace and quiet", most of the locals are quite satisfied with their pubs, small-scale shopping malls, and community centres. Most of all, however, this is the place where common sense, wit and balanced approach to all the aspects of life are the most cherished virtues.
crop circle Funnily enough, the counties of Wiltshire and Somerset attract a number of visitors who are exactly the opposite. Every year thousands of tourists, amateur scientists and UFO enthusiasts come here to see the famous crop circles that appear mysteriously over the night, especially in the tourist season. There are countless theories explaining how they are made: they may be marks of UFO landings; possibly American satellites have been carving them with microwave cannons; elves (yes, the mythical creatures with pointy ears) may produce them during their nocturnal gatherings. The locals, however, are pretty sure that the whole thing was started as a practical joke by a group of farmers who had too much free time and a few pints of beer too many. And so, whenever they see somebody investigating the crop circle with fancy scientific gadgets, or lying on the ground to absorb some cosmic energy, they can't help sniggering.
Stonehenge is yet another of the local landmarks that attracts rather peculiar group of people. They arrive on specific days of the year, put on ceremonial clothes, and parade around it, chanting. They are modern druids who believe that Stonehenge is the spiritual centre of England (after all, according to a legend, the stones were magically brought there from Ireland by Merlin the Wizard). For years the authorities have been trying to stop them from conducting their rituals in Stonehenge, as it imposes threat to the historical site, yet after a legal dispute the druids are likely to be given access to their place of worship.
crop circle There are many other places in Wiltshire and Somerset where people dressed like students of Hogwart are not an uncommon sight. Among them is the town of Glastonbury - supposedly, the burial place of king Arthur - where it is easier to find a magic shop or a fortune-teller than a grocer's.
How do the locals react to all this magic and UFO stuff that is going on around them? They build hotels, open cafés and set up souvenir shops for tourists. What they really think, they will not tell, but the smiles on their faces say a lot.

crop circles

VOCABULARY

county - hrabstwo (jednostka terytorialna)
quintessence - kwintesencja
at the first glance - na pierwszy rzut oka
pasture - pastwisko
to feel out of place - czuć się nie na miejscu
dartboard - tablica do gry w strzałki
city folk - "miastowi"
pace - krok
community centres - dom kultury, centrum lokalnej społeczności
common sense - zdrowy rozsądek
wit - poczucie humoru
crop circles - kręgi w zbożu (według niektórych wykonane przez kosmitów)

countless - niezliczony
to carve - wycinać
cannon - działo
pointy - spiczasty
nocturnal - nocny
gathering - zgromadzenie
fancy - wymyślny
absorb - wchłaniać
snigger - chichotać
to chant - nucić, skandować
wizard - czarodziej
to impose threat - stwarzać zagrożenie
worship - kult

Vocabulary exercise 


1. He came to the party dressed like a ___________: he had a magic rod and a _________ hat.
2. The _________ come to our village to hunt, do fishing or swim in the lake.
3. There is an old ________ from the World War II standing in front of the ___________.
4. She behaved as if she didn't have any ________ at all. She was ________ her name on the desk while the teachers was looking at her.
5. Clean it with a sponge. It _________ water well.
6. I'm afraid we can't give you a driving licence - you ___________ to other drivers.
7.__________ times I told him not to ________ when aunt Anny is putting her false teeth into her mouth.
8. Fifty percent of land in our ________ are fields or _________ .
9. The toilet? Turn left when you get to the wall with a __________ on it.
10. Members of a mysterious __________ had a _________ last night at 3 a.m. in the local park. They were _______ and dancing. Finally, the police arrested them for indecent behaviour.
11. __________ the house look fine, but in fact it was in a really bad condition.
12. Cats are _________ animals: they see very well in the dark.
13. I really admire her _______ . She especially likes to make fun at macho men.  

Good advice


1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
2. On the other hand, the French eat a lot of fat and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
3. The Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
4. The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

Conclusion:
Eat & drink what you like. It's speaking English that kills you.  

stone hemge


Answer Key:
1. wizard; pointy    2. city folk    3. cannon; community centre    4. absorbs    5. impose threat    6. Countless; snigger    7. county; pastures    8. dartboard    9. cult; gathering; chanting    10. At the first glance    11. nocturnal    12. wit    13. common sense; carving

archiwum | JDJ Bachalski | oddziały | Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.


Lekcję przygotował Wojciech Wojtasiak

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© JDJ Bachalski sp. z o.o. 2006

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