Archive for the ‘English’ Category

Londoners are very proud of London Eye, the biggest Ferris wheel around the world.

It might look impressive especially on a foggy night.


On the other hand, the view would be amazing on a clear sunset. I’ve got the chance to be on London Eye more than once (quite touristic, aren’t I? :-). And these are some new pix I took tonight from one of those capsules:






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For me, lavender is a special kind of plant. It’s hard for me to tell enough how much I feel about them. I love looking at their flowers. They are shining modestly in the sun, they are wild and cute, their smell is sweet and divine, their purple colour is just beautiful, especially in the sun and there are bees buzzing about… There’s nothing better than that relax feeling in such a lavender garden, sun glasses on, a cold drink, and a good companion…

I’ve got a tiny pot of lavender in the most sunny spot in my terrace. I’ve been given so much care and love. But sadly, it just won’t bloom…

Why why why???

Of course, I’m living in London. And now it’s end of August. The real summer ended in April… Since then, it has not been sunny long enough, despite my care and its healthy grow, it just can’t release the divine smell or cast a flowery spell… 😦

What else should I do now to save my lavender?

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Last Friday, BBC had an interesting article about Health concerns. It’s read: “Exercise ‘must be tough to work’! ” Sounds hard, isn’t it? After years and years of research, now they have concluded that an easy, gentle exercise (such as ‘a mere stroll to the car park’) might not be enough to keep you fit. As it’s said ‘No pain, no gain’, you need to break into sweat regularly to guarantee your fitness. Unfortunately, sometimes ‘pain doesn’t grant you gain’.

  • ‘Couch potato-ing’: Sitting in a couch, watching telly even sports wouldn’t help you. Seeing Micheal Johnson running at an incredible speed of 10m/s would make you extremely tired and feeling like out of breath, it’s actually not helping you at all. Even if from time to time, you might need to stand up and get some beer or snacks from the fridge, this wouldn’t assure you fitness. (Tough)
  • Going to the stadium for a game? Yes, this involves driving, walking, singing, shouting, etc. This might even make your heart pound extremely hard when your players almost score in the own goal or the penalty is granted for a dive of the ‘opponent team’… All this might be suffering. But it doesn’t mean you would be fit afterwards. (Not yet to mention, if your team wins, a lot of alcohol is consumed) (Tough & Sweat)
  • Going shopping: Going shopping involves a lot of activities, including physical and mental. It would be exciting for girls and exhausting for guys. You have to go in and out the changing rooms, elbow others out in the sale season, surf from one shop to another, even 3 hours of shopping doesn’t necessarily grant you fitness. For many guys, a lot of pain doesn’t mean gain here. (Well, it also depends what he might get from his beautiful companion :P) (Tough & Sweat)
  • Strolling on the beach: One of those sunny days on the beach, you and your pals (preferably of the same gender) have a walk on the beach. Having sneaky looks at people in trunks and tiny bikini might help you to break into sweat, but unfortunately, this doesn’t help you to be fit either. (Sweat)
  • Going to bars: After your roast dinner, you might fancy some pints? This is, surprisingly, a lot of work. You have to stand, order drinks, socialise with your mates or strangers in the bar, get out of the bar, walk a bit, find another bar, enter another bar, be a social charming guy, etc… This could be hard work. But unfortunately, it wouldn’t guarantee you anything healthy but a big beer belly… (Tough & Sweat)

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The free London business newspaper City A. M. published last Tuesday that the consulting firm Ernst & Young is to implement a scheme so its employees can take as many holidays as they want. Forget about 20 working days. If you want to take 30, do so. 40? No problem. That’s a good place to work.

The objective is ending the “attendance culture”. That is, in spite of being eight hours at the office, you might actually be working less than somebody else who is there just six hours. The aim is changing the concept of “going to work” by “doing work”. It is not about being in the office, but doing your duties and doing them well.

This brings me memories of when at school the teachers told us that we were not having compulsory homework anymore, but optional. Great! No more homework. But at the end of the term, the students who had been doing homework had better marks, and the teachers would help them more. Anyway, that wasn’t a big problem, because it was enough with a “pass”, and we weren’t there to make friends with the teachers.

As far as I know, working Saturdays and even Sundays is quite common in big consultancy firms such as Ernst & Young, or getting to the end of the year with some holidays still remaining. They have a pyramidal structure, with many junior employees and fewer seniors. That means when promotion time comes (so called Round Table), it is not enough with a pass. You have to be better than the rest. I am sure knowing that, you are going to take many holidays (!?!)

And while you are lying on the beach, sipping your Caipirinha, you will be thinking about Smith and Johns sitting in their chairs at the office, working like little ants, working six days a week, receiving taps on their back by your managers, covering your duties, talking to the clients assigned to you. And when the promotion comes, guess who is going to get promoted and who is going to get permanent holidays.

When I started my work at a smaller consulting company my manager informed me that they started at 9 AM in the morning. Naively, I asked “and what time do you leave?”, to which he replied with a wide smile. Clearly, this scheme of taking as many holidays as you want is a great idea… but I do not know for who.


(Sirventes is the author of the blog Un mundo perplejo (in Spanish), who is joining us from time to time to share his experience in London)

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I didn’t know much about English culture before I’m here. I was told that Englishmen are polite, frank, have good sense of humour and so on. But I’ve never heard anyone say that they should be famous for flattering…

G’morning, beautiful.
How are you today, gorgeous?
You o’right, lovely?

How can one answer these questions without being blushed? Well, in fact I am, and I always am. It has been years but whenever somebody calls me so, I’m blushed. It’s just automatic.Some nerves in my brain tell me that they can’t take it…

Now imagine, you are working with some Englishmen. When you are doing something for their favour, these are what you could hear:

Excellent work, mate.

You are fantastic!

Perfect, mate.

You are a genius!


You are wicked!!!

Superb! Bravo….


Well, here is the moment of truth. Take my advice: Don’t be happy too soon. You know why? Because after this, there might be a big “BUT” …
What? Hold on. If something is perfect or excellent, there shouldn’t any BUT… that’s why it’s called “perfect”. “Perfect means flawless”!!!

…so misled… 😦

I was thinking of several explanations for this, I come up with these 2 reasons:

1. One of the first pages in books about “How to criticise people”, they said: Always appraise others first, and then criticise. And I think British are “excellent” in adapting this tactic in practice. So just enjoy “the calm before the storm” 🙂

2. Or, Englishmen are famous for having very good sense of humour, I guess this is just one of those… (Hmmm…)

What do you think?

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Panic gripped the streets of London this morning when patches of sky took on an unusual blue colour and a ball of fire appeared above the city. The phenomenon, known as ‘The Sun’ and commonly found in Mediterranean countries, unleashed a terrifying heat and brightness upon the capital, causing many pedestrians to take off their hats and scarves, while motorists were able to turn both their headlights and wipers off. Gordon Brown urged people to be calm and return to work as normal stating: “We’ve seen this sort of thing before but it never lasts.” There are forecasts that ‘The Sun’ could be seen throughout the weekend but a spokesman for No.10 said, “I wouldn’t hold my breath”.

(collected – to share a smile)

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I’ve just bumped into this article, I find it quite amusing.

60% of the employees in the survey sample admit that they do not work full hours as they should. An average of 2 hours is lost. Of course, they had tons of personal things to sort out in working hours.

Not surprisingly, the top wasting time activity is to surf Internet for personal use (about 45% among 10,000 surveyees ), followed by chit-chatting with co-workers and conducting personal businesses.
Especially some of them are very brave to admit that they apply for another job in the office. (I wouldn’t argue with the result of this research at all.)

In many offices, HR and IT Department have worked together to ban several websites and chatting applications, but I guess it’s not enough, technology has taken an advance step. Now, Yahoo and Google has launched their chatting application online, i.e. we can chat as if we are surfing the internet. How brilliant and creative people can be to surpass the barriers set by employers.

I would bet this research was done before the creation of Facebook. As Facebook is now such a trendy & “kool” thing to do, we would feel as if we were left aside by not living on Facebook. For many, it will take more than 2 working hours/day spending on the page and updating their mood, typically: “Tom is bored”, “Sam is flirting with Alice”, “Ann is tickling herself and giggling” etc…

Oh, and they should have added another wasting time activity as “Updating personal blog”…. :-[

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