Vypracované maturitné témy z anglického jazyka
My name is Blanka Kurková and I have one brother, mother and stepfather. I have been studying Grammar school in Hodonín. I was born on 12th May 1978. I am quite tall and not fat. I have brown hair, round face with brown eyes and small nose. I was wearing glasses but I was on operation, so I don’t need them now. When I was a child, I was very cheeky and naughty. On primary schools I used to bring home notes from my teacher: “She fights on pauses.” “She broke the window. Come and repair it, please.” And so on. One day my classmate kicked me to face and kicked out my tooth. I was wearing braces those days and it complicated that situation. Now I stopped fighting with boys and find another was of dispersion. I am interested in modern music, especially dance-floor, rock and metal. I am not very fond of rave or rap but to be true, I have to say that some of these songs are nice too. I like going to the discos not for drinking there but for dancing. I love dancing although I have never gone to a dancing course. I play the viola, the violin, the flute and keyboards. This proves my interest in classic music. I love reading books, especially poems and long-short stories for they are short, clear, nice and deep. I don’t watch television very much. I choose only old films or films, which were awarded by some film prize (Oscar). Instead I visit theatres, I like musicals, classic and modern plays, operas and ballets. It is my most expensive hobby. And it is worth to mention that I am engaged to a to very nice boy Zdeněk.
My mother’s name is Štěpánka Kurková. She is 41 and she works in First Newspaper Company as deliverer. She is not as tall as I am and she is slim. She has dark brown hair and eyes and a tired face with small wrinkles. She is very pretty. She is strict and loves order that’s why she takes care of household. Her biggest hobby is cooking but she hates washing up, so my stepfather bought her a dishwasher. She is very interested in sawing and watching television, when she has a time. But she says that she never has a time because she helps my stepfather with work.
His name is Jaroslav Tesařík and he is 35. He is slim but not very tall. He is a businessman. He has a vine firm. He loves his job and it his biggest hobby. He also interests in electronics and loves improving things.
My brother is younger than I am. He is 14 and he is in the 6th form of primary school in Prušánky.
He is small and very slim; he has got short blond hair and blue eyes. He is not very clever. He gets bad marks in school, fives, fours and threes. Ones he gets only from P. E. He is very lively and naughty. He has many friends. He likes playing football with them and he is scout.
I live with my mother, my stepfather and my brother in a new house in Prušánky. We moved to this house in the beginning in September. It is attached house with two floors, garage, my stepfather’s office and, wine cellar and a small garden. On the first floor, there is a kitchen, dining room, living room and a toilette with a shower. In kitchen we have fridge, dishwasher, microwave oven, normal oven with cooker, small table and kitchen unit with dishes, bowls, plates (soap plates, dinner plates), cutlery (knives, forks, spoons, ladles, cooking spoons), frying pans, sauce pans, kettles, hood, sink, pantry. In the dining room there is a big table with four chairs and a cupboard with nice glasses. On the right side there is a sofa and under the window there are two palm trees. The living room is not ready yet. There is no carpet on the floor. Armchairs and two tabourets and the table are quite old. Furniture unit is decorated by many plants and on the shelves there are nice books. There are glasses and pottery pieces. There is also a bar and as it usual also TV set, video recorder with remote control and Hi-fi tower (record player, cassette recorder, CD player, radio unit). Upstairs, there are my brother’s bedroom, my bedroom, my parents’ bedroom and a bathroom with separate toilette. In my parents’ bedroom there are double bed, wardrobes and a TV set. In my brother’s bedroom a big mess all the time. In my room there are two beds, two wardrobes, shelves, desk, guitar and a lot of text- and workbooks. In the bathroom, there is a large bathtub, washing machine and washbasin. The stairs are wooden.
My daily programme:
Each of my days is full of learning and work at home. I have a break only in weekends. I get up at six a clock. However I go to bed usually at eleven or twelve, getting up is not a problem for me. Then I try to find something to wear. After getting dressed I put my textbooks and workbooks into my bag take it downstairs. There I wash my face and my hands and dry them with a towel. Then I go to kitchen where my Mum has prepared a breakfast for my brother and me. During eating I read newspapers. She is sorting them that time. At quarter to seven I must go to the bus.
It is in Hodonín at half past seven and I am here in school at quarter to eight. First lesson starts at five to eight. Then we have a small break. Usually I have from four to eight lessons a day, in average seven lessons a day. Each lesson takes 45 minutes and breaks are from five to twenty-five minutes long, they can take place either in our classroom or in specialised rooms, as a lab or gym. After my tuition I usually go to the bus station and wait for the bus. On my way home I sometimes do some shopping. When I come home I have to tidy up. When I am hungry, I take some from the fridge or my Mum sometimes has prepared a sandwich for me. Then I have to study, to make it more interest I listen to the music. I study till the dinner. After I read some book or watch TV or a video. But I am not watching television very often, only if there is really good film. To be true, I am very happy when the week ends and the weekend comes because I can do that things I am not allowed to do during the week. Of course, I have another big reason. My boyfriend comes back from university. I have been looking forward whole the week, so I am very happy. I can go to the walking, to the disco or to cinema with him. I also have more time for my hobbies, as a playing the guitar and the keyboard. On Sundays I sometimes go to church, I am protestant. In general I have to say that weekend is much better than the week.
Hobbies and Leisure Time
There are many types of hobbies. Some of them are rather expensive. For example some Hollywood actors like collecting cars, which is a very expensive hobby. Some of the hobbies are dangerous (rock climbing, bungee jumping or paragliding). Some are romantic and some very time/consuming. It also depends on do you mean by the world hobby. Somebody admires his work and says that it is his greatest hobby. But in general we can say that hobby is some activity, which we do for our pleasure and we like doing it. When we are bad tempered it cans change our temper positively.
At the beginning I have to say, that I haven’t got many hobbies or one great hobby, because for hobby you need time. I spent a lot of time learning and learning to school. Some times I can even say that it is my hobby, especially, when I learn Maths. I like it. I like solving difficult mathematical problems and it is almost same with Physics. I really like it. But this isn’t a real hobby, I think.
When I was younger, I spent a lot of my time with a scout group.
First I was only one of ordinary members, but when I grew up I became a leader of one of Girl Scout group. It was a really nice time. I was going to camps with them, we were making trips and playing games. But some years ago I had to leave them, because of my school duties. To be true I also lost the enthusiasm for doing this.
I also had another great hobby. I liked playing viola. Fist I hated it, but as time passed I started to love it. When I had an accident. My right shoulder had to be operated and I was forced to stop playing viola. Today when I listen to the classic music, my eyes watered. I am sad, because I can’t play. Maybe that’s why I love visiting theatres. I like visiting classical plays from Shakespeare, Molliere or some others. I like seeing operas from Giuseppe Verdi or Czech authors as Bedřich Smetana or Leoš Janáček. But nowadays I visit musicals and modern plays. I go every two months to Prague to see them. Some of them I saw two times. This year I saw four musicals, two operas and three plays. I can say, that I am a collector of theatre tickets. If I had enough money, I would go to some theatre to London and see Shakespeare’s renowned Romeo and Juliet in original.
To be true, since I started to attend this school, I didn’t only loose hobbies. I also gain one. It is our school magazine. I was an editor from very early beginning. I remember, when we had our first appointment and we were arguing about its name. After four years I became an editor in chief and now I am technical editor. It is a very difficult work but I love it. I spend a lot of time sitting in front of the monitor screen with my fingers on the keyboard and writing and making pages. I can say, that computer is my biggest hobby. It is also very useful today. I train my English, because many programmes are in English. If you want to operate computer, it is necessary for you to know English. You also have to learn some term. I am not only sitting in front of the computer, I also open it and repair it (when it is possible). I read special magazines about new software and hardware and I also can make some simple programmes on my own.
I have to admit that my hobbies are boy’s hobbies, but why can’t a girl have this kind of hobbies? It isn’t prohibited. Maybe people just can’t understand me. This is also a reason, why my friends are mostly boys. I can’t discuss a mathematical or computer problem with a girl. I never see any other girl, who is interested in computers or maths.
When I was on a computer tent camp, I was only one girl there and the boys were from the whole republic!
To be true I also have a one big hobby, which is typical for girls. This hobby is my boyfriend and beside a school he occupy the most of my time.
The American Literature
Although the roots of American literature reach to 16th century, the real history of American literature begins in the time of the American fight for independence.
1) The Middle Ages
James Fenimore Cooper – describes American wilderness and wrote Indian novels of adventure. His masterpiece is The Last of the Mohicans. It is about a war between England and France in an Indian colony. Some tribes of Indians were with France and some with England. On of English fortresses, called William Henry, is surrounded by French army and Hurons (Indian tribe). Two daughters (Cora and Alice) of the leader of the William Henry wanted to get in. They live many adventures and finally they reach the fortress. However they were successful, the older one, Cora is murdered by a bad Huron. Another famous books are The pioneers, The Pathfinder, The Deerslayer.
Walt Whitman – a poet of democracy, freedom and sexual love. He made the American poetry independent on European poetry. He influenced the whole modern poetry with rhythmical free verse which was his innovation. His most famous collection is Leaves of Grass.
Edgar Allan Poe – a poet and short story writer, critical essayist, the founder of both scienc0fiction and the detective story. He is said that he was a genius. His best poem is Raven – on a stormy night a tires student who has lost his love asks if he will ever meet her again in some other world. His doubts are underlined by the raven’s repetition of “Never more”. The student is in delirium tremens, and the raven got there by the open window. Poe also wrote wonderful short stories such as the Black Cat, The golden Bug, The Murders in the Rue Morgue,…
Herman Melville – the greatest symbolist, he sailed on seas for many years. His experience at sea were the basis for almost all his novels. The most famous novel is Moby-Dick, the symbolic story, Moby-Dick is a name of the white whale and it means evil.
Mark Twain – is one of the greatest US authors. He comes from the South and he worked as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi river. “Mark twain” is a river-man’s phrase meanings two-pathoms-deep. His real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens. He became famous as a humorist and story-teller. His best books are based on his own experience along the Mississippi. It is The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and the Adventures of Huckleaberry Fin.
These books describe the adventures of boyhood. Huck is a portrait of a frontier boy. He runs away because he is afraid that Aunt Sally will adopt him and civilise him, he is free and reminded free till the end of the book. He also took some inspiration from English history and wrote the well-known satire. He also took some inspiration from English history and wrote the well-known satire A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
2) 20th century
Upton Sinclair – the best novel is The Jungle and it is about working conditions in the Chicago slaughterhouse and living conditions of immigrants, whose labour is cheap.
Jack London – became very popular due to describing adventurous life at the time of the gold rush. His great novel is called The Call of the Wild.
After the WWI a group of writers known as the “Lost Generation” entered literature. They were influenced by the war, their experience resulted in disillusionment.
Ernst Hemingway – was awarded Nobel Prize for his famous book The Old Man and the Sea, which is about human strength for fighting both external natural things and bad sides of his character (“A man can be destroyed but not defeated”). After WWI Hemingway became a journalist. Among his best novels belong A Farewell to Arms – it is about WWI. It is a love story of an American boy served in the Italian Ambulance Service and an English nurse. Another famous novel is For Whom the Bell Tolls, and it is a picture from Spanish Civil War. Other novels are: Fiesta, Death in the Afternoon, A moveable Feast, Island in the Stram. Hemingway is a master in short story writing. He committed a suicide – shot himself.
Francis Scott Fitzgerald – is connected with the Jazz Age of the 20s. He wrote many stories about wealthy people, for whom everything is so easy because of money. His best novel is Great Gatsby. It is about a very rich man who earns all his money by smuggling. Hi is doing this because he wants to be on the same level as Daisy, his former lover. As Ernst Hamingway, also he committed a suicide (with pills).
William Faulkner – was awarded Nobel Prize. He wrote a cycle of novels dealing with all possible problems of the South: Light in August, As I Lay Dying.
John Steinbeck – won a Nobel Prize in literature. He tried to uncover the reasons of social injustice. His best novel is The Grapes of Wrath. It is a picture of a poor family, which is exploited by the fruit-growers in California. He was also playwriter. His famous play called Of Mice and Men.
Other his famous works are: The Wayward Bus, East of Eden, Travels with Charley.
Jerome David Salinger – expressed the feelings of the post-war generation in novel The Catcher in the Rye, which is about a sincere and pure teenager who is disgusted by the frauds and insincerity of people around himself. Salinger wrote also nice short stories – Nine Stories.
William Styron – is influenced by Faulkner and writes novels about the South of US. His excellent novel called Sophie’s Choice. It deals with the problem of Nazis concentration camps and conditions of human life in peace influences by a bitter war experience.
Alex Haley – is a coloured writer (African American). He is famous through his chronicle Roots, which goes back to the seventh generation of his ancestors. The first African, Kunta Kinte was enslaved and brought to America.
Joseph Heller – wrote Catch 22. It is an antiwar novel connecting absurd black humour.
20th century poetry is famous for a group of poets and artists who gathered around 1956 in San Francisco and are called “Beat Generation”. They practised free life, behaviour and new use of language. They were disgusted by corrupt, commercial and conventional world around them. They were influenced also by Zen Buddhism teaching.
Allen Gingsberg – visited our country several times, wrote Howl and Other Poems.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti – he is still living, he visited Prague, The Naked Lunch.
Jack Kerouac – he wrote the Bible of Beat Generation On the Road. This novel is about friends wandering on their motorcycles back and forth across the continent and shows us their “beat” characters. Work: Mexico City Blues, The Town and the City, Mag.
Eugene O’Neil – won a Nobel Prize. He is a playwriter. He shows the bad sides of human characters and the difficult conditions people in this world have. Work: Desire under the Elms.
Tennessee Williams – shows in his plays people’s crude, selfish, violent and cruel motives of their behaviour as well as their deep desire to love and be loved. Work: A Streetcar Named Desire, Orpheus Descending, A Ca on a Hot Tin Roof. See enclosed paper.
1) The Middle Ages
The oldest literature monument of the Anglo-Saxon period is the old Germanic legend about Beowulf. This heroic poem is about the strong and courageous pagan hero Beowulf.
is a professor of Oxford University. With his students he translated the whole Bible into English. He influenced Master John Huss and our Hussite movement very much.
2) The Renaissance and Humanism
Geoffrey Chaucer: Cantebury Tales – brilliant portrait of 30 pilgrims who travel to Canterbury and they were saying stories each other, each one said four stories.
But in fact there are only 23 tales.
William Shakespeare: is the biggest author of this period.
Christopher Marlowe: might became another Shakespeare but he had been killed. However he lived only a short life, he wrote many plays – The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, The Jew of Malta, perhaps he also wrote Henry VI, which Shakespeare revised and completed.
Sir Thomas More: He wrote Utopia – a vision of Imaginary Island with perfectly organised society.
3) 17th Century
John Milton: is the main figure of this period. His masterpiece is Paradise Lost, which is about the revolt of Satan against Heaven and God.
4) 18th Century
In the 18th century there is a big development of the society and economy, journalism, novels and drama developed very much. Literature became very popular.
Jonathan Swith: was a sharp critic. He wrote satirical pamphlets on all unfair events in British society. His most popular work is Gullivers Travels – allegory of Lemuel Gulliver's travelling thorough imaginary countries. He criticises politics in England, kingdoms, armies, bad politicians etc. He visits four quite different worlds. The first one is country called Lillipyt, where the people are six inches high, the second country is Brobdingnag, which is inhabited by giants. The third are Laputa and Lgado – philosophers and science, and the fourth one is with Yahoos, disgusting beasts in the shape of men.
Henry Fielding: journalist, lawyer and playwright. He wrote a realistic novel Tom Johnes, where he described the life in the 18th century England. Fielding is considered as the founder of the Modern English novel.
Daniel Defoe: was a politician, traveller and journalist. His most famous work is Robinson Crusoe. Robinson shipwrecked on a lonely island; he represents the qualities, which the middle class needed in capitalist competition to be successful.
Sir Walter Scott: is a founder of historical novel. He draw the themes for his romantic novels from old folk ballads, especially from Scottish history. Ivanhoe is from the period of Richard the Lionhearted. The other novels are Waverley, Kenilworth and so on.
The romantic period is known especially for its poetry ; the best English romantic poets are:
Samuel Coleridge: his masterpiece is The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner – a beautiful ballad about the mariner who shot the albatross and because of this the whole ship is cursed.
The mariner is the only one who survives and his penalty is to travel from land to land with suffering soul.
Lord George Gordon Byron: represent revolutionary romanticism – unhappy and usually lonely heroes fight for freedom and their fight ends in vain. Byron was a son of nobleman. He was physically disabled from hid birth. His main work is Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. The Hero travels all over Europe and make comments of the hypocritical society and unfairness in life.
Pervy Bysshe Shelly: represents also as a Byron revolutionary romanticism. His greatest work is Prometheus Unbound, based on an old Greek legend about Prometheus who steals fire from Olympus to give it to People.
6) Victorian Age (Critical Realism) – 19th century:
Victorian Age produced great novels criticising various evils of prosperous but imperialistic society. Among the best authors of this period belong:
Emily Bronte: Wuthering Hights
Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre
both of them dealt with moral and psychological problems.
Charles Dickens: described truly the life of poor people in England. He himself suffered in his childhood and his bitter experience can be found in his works. Among his major novels belong Little Dorrit, David Copperfild, The Pickwick Papers, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, Christmas Carol – see enclosed paper.
The First Half of The 20th Century
William Makepeace Thackeray: he wrote novels against snobbery and hypocrisy. His main novel is Vanity Fair.
Thomas Hardy: together with D. H. Lewrence represents the naturalistic trend in literature. He understands hard life of common people, hates hypocrisy and brutal egoism of the rich, his work is ironical and pessimistic.
Oscar Wilde: He was born in Dublin, Ireland. His father was a well – known surgeon and his mother was a successful writer. After a comfortable childhood, he decided to study classical literature in a College in Dublin. In 1874 he moved to a College in Oxford. After college he continued writing poems and he moved to London. He publishes here his first book simply called Poems (Many literature professors criticised him, they said he was not original, because he had used many words from other poets and writers). But in spite of this criticism he became more popular (he got a great reputation for the way he dressed, for his intelligence and conversation skills). In 1884 he married Constance Lloyd and they had two boys. Wilde wrote many stories for his children including The Happy Prince and The Canterville Ghost. The plays Oscar Wilde wrote after 1890 made him a legend. He wrote 4 comedies: Lady Windermere˘s Fan, A Woman of no Importance, An Ideal Husband and his masterpiece The Importance of Being Ernest.
He only wrote one novel – The picture of Dorian Gray. In 1893 he wrote a play in French called Salomé. He was criticised by London society and even put to prison (for 2 years) for homosexuality. The day he left prison he went directly to France and he never turned to England. He moved to Paris and changed his name. He died suddenly in 1900. Oscar Wilde was influenced by the French theory of l˘art-pour-l˘art. He is also known for his fairy tales – The happy prince, The nightingale and the Rose and the other.
The picture of Dorian Gray: Dorian Gray makes his life–style according to the rules of art. He loves the actress Sybil, because her speech in theatre is something new. When he discovered, that her art is only average, he stopped to love her and Sybil committed suicide. He loves himself so much that he doesn't grow old and his portrait grows old instead of him and it shows all his sins, although real Gray is still young and nice.
7) The first half of 20.century:
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: is the creator of Sherlock Holmes and he makes one of the grates detective story writers of all times.
Rudyard Kipling: was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature as a first British author. He wrote short stories about Indian, the sea, the jungle and its animals – The Jungle Book, The Second Jungle Book.
John Galsworthy: he got the Nobel Prize in 1932, he was a critical novelist, dramatist and shortstory–writer. His most known book is Forsyte Saga – describes upper middle class family.
James Joyce: he was born in Dublin, he wrote modern novels and experimental prose. Dubliners is a collection of short stories. His masterpiece is Ulysses – they wander around Dublin in the course of one day (Homer˘s Ulysses about 20 years) and all the characters in the book correspond to the character of the legend.
Georg Bernard Shaw: is the most famous personality in drama of this period. He attacked the whole society. In his plays he criticises the false morals of the society – Pygmalion (My Fair Lady), Mrs. Warrns Profession. He was awarded the Nobel Prize.
8) Contemporary literature:
A group called : Angry Young Men
John Wain: he expressed disillusionment and emptiness of intellectuals after W. W. II (as all angry young men – they are angry and dissatisfied with the establishment, criticise snobs and people in power). He wrote e.g. The Young Visitors.
Kingsley Amis: the most famous member of this group.
He is world famous for his Lucky Jim (the main character is Jim Dickson – a lecturer at one small university).
William Golding: he was rewarded a Nobel Prize in 1983. His most known book is Lord of the Files – the story is set to the future, when an air–crash leaves a group of young boys on an island. First they are happy without their parents and they try to form an ideal society, then they form 2 groups and the end is full of barbarian bestiality.
J.R.R. Tolkien: based the stories of his fairy tale novels on his profound knowledge of old Germanic and Celtic myths. He created a fantasy world of Middle-Earth where small hobbits seek happiness, goodness and live many adventures – Habbit, The Lord of The Rings.
George Orwell: wrote excellent novels criticising totalitarian society (Animal Farm, 1984).
Agatha Christie: is the most widely read author in the world. She is the queen of a detective story and wrote about 70 novels – The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Ten Little Niggers, Sleeping Murder, Curtain,...
Arthur C. Clarke: is a world-known science-fiction writer – 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Fountains of Paradise.
John Osborne – play Look Back in Anger – it was the beginning of the angry young men movement.
Samuel Beckett – a Nobel Prize winner in 1969, he is important both for drama and prose. His famous play is called Waiting for Godot.
Harold Pinter – is influenced by Kafka and Beckett, for example the plays: The Room, The Birthday Party.
The most successful play in history is Mouse Trap by A. Christie.
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TV and Cinema and Radio
Cultural life in our town is not so rich as in large cities. In spite of that, there are some ways of spending leisure time. I can go to the cinema, to the theatre, dancing or I can stay at home and listen to the radio, watch TV and read books. I am not a TV addict and I am not one of those who spend hours in front of the screen. Unfortunately this I can˘t say about radio. Radio and TV are for someone sources of information, for someone sources of entertainment or only a background noise.
1) What do you prefer:
It is hard to say what I prefer. I think that cinema, theatre and TV have their own advantages and disadvantages too. I prefer going to the cinema when I want to see some new movie and I don˘t want to wait for it in television (for its broadcasting in TV). Sometimes I prefer going to the cinema when I am bored and there is nothing to do in the weekend. Watching movie in the cinema is something entirely different from watching it in TV.
In the cinema there is the strange atmosphere, but there is also one disadvantage – the tickets are quite expensive.
Watching television is very popular. You can watch it everywhere and anytime you want. You can watch many TV-programmes on many TV-station. Some people say, that watching TV is waste of time, but I think that it˘s unnecessary to say it, because everyone can choose those programmes he prefers or can switch off the television.
I think that TV is quite good source of information. You can get very cheep and fast summary of news. The news can be sometimes more concerned with entertainment than information, but every viewer have to choose the correct channel. Another kind of TV programme I prefer is e.g. documentary films. I˘m interested in nature all over the world, and it˘s very exciting to watch the life of animals, plants or other people in foreign countries. The situation comedies are my favourite too, but they must be good. I like to watch some good films on TV too. It could be the film I had wanted to watch in a cinema, but I had no time for it. The TV programmes I hate are e.g. soap operas. They are too long and boring and even very predictable. Another bad TV programmes are stupid competitions, where you needn't know anything to win some money. I think it is quite unfair, because if it˘s competition, you must prove something of your knowledge to get some money, not only by chance. Then I hate more and more advertisements. But sometimes some of them are so stupid that they are funny.
I like to listen to the radio too. According to my opinion it˘s very good source of information and mostly the big source of music. I listen to the radio as much as possible. I think it˘s not so big waste of time, because you can do many thing by listening to radio. The radio programmes I use to listen are: radio news, radio music charts, discussion programmes, commentaries, etc.
2) The history of film :
The very first films started to be shot in the beginning of the 20th century. They were mostly documentary films (they were something like recent TV-news). Later, although the films were still black-and-white and silent, there appeared first movie star. They acted entirely in comedies. (the most popular comedy actor were e.g. Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel or Oliver Hardy and many other).With the developing of television, the number of visitors of cinemas goes down. People are too lazy to go to a cinema.
Recently there appeared another competition for cinemas – video lending offices.
3) My favourite film, director and actors:
Rudolf Hrušinský, Vladimír Menšík, Miroslav Donutil, Jiřina Bohdalová,:…
Hate Jean Claude van Damme, Silvester Stalonne and all action heros.
4) Radio and TV in U.K. and in ČR :
In GB radio and TV broadcasting is mainly provided by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which has four radio and four television channels. The first channel presents almost news and information programmes, the second and third channels are for light programmes (such as films, soap operas or competitions) and the last one presents the cultural programmes. The channels of radio BBC have the similar kinds of programmes. In Britain there are also some independent TV e.g. ITV – Independent television, which is the biggest rival to BBC. BBC is financed by sailing of television licences and ITV is financed by advertisement.
The same situation is in our republic. There exist the competition between Czech TV – ČT (first channel – light programmes, news etc. and second channel – cultural programmes and programmes for minority) and independent TV – Nova, Prima, etc. Czech TV derives its income from the sale of TV licences and from advertisement too.
There are many radio channels in our republic: Radio Alfa, Krokodýl, Hit radio Publikum, Frekvence 1, Radio Jih, Vltava, Radiožurnál, ...etc.
Vltava – channel of classical music.
William Shakespeare is considered to be the greatest of all dramatists all over the world. He was born on 23rd April 1564, at Stratford-upon-Avon in Henley Street as the oldest son of glove maker John Shakespeare and his wife Mary Arden. He had one sister and one brother. William attended the local grammar school. When he was 18, he married Anne Hathaway from a nearby village Shottery. She was eight years older when he and already pregnant. They had two daughters – Susan and Judith and a son Hamnet. Hamnet and Judith were twins, but Hamnet died at the age of eleven. There are nearly no records of Shakespeare’s life during the seven years than followed except one mention that they probably still stayed at Stratford-upon-Avon. But in 1592 he came to London and joined a group of actors known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Man. Eight years later he bought his own theatre and named it the Globe Theatre, which was out door and actors played in the open air. It is also important to remind that in Shakespeare’s time here were no actresses and also women’s roles were played by men and one actor played more roles than one. First Shakespeare helped adapt or re-write older plays but later he started to write his own plays and he was very successful. Both the Queen Elizabeth I. and James I.
liked him very much. One day, during a performance off Henry VIII was the Globe destroyed by fire. The Lord Chamberlain’s Men the King’s Men under the patronage of James I. His plays were first published in 1623. After his son’s death he went back to Stratford-upon-Avon and lived a quiet life with his family. Now he was a wealthy man and he bought a handsome house, the second largest in the town. The strange thing is that the died on the same day as he was born in the age of 52. The legend says that he died after a louder and noisier birthday celebration with his friends. He is buried at local Trinity Church. Here is buried also his wife and other members of this family. There are only two portraits of Shakespeare, which are authentic and one of them is the bust in Stratford-upon-Avon at Trinity Church. Today there is the Royal Shakespeare (or Swan) Theatre, which is visited by tourists from all over the world.
Shakespeare was a big poet and wrote some nice sonnets, but the best know are his plays. He wrote 37 plays, tragedies, comedies, historical plays and romances, which is something between tragedy and comedy:
Tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth and plays which are something between tragedy and a historical play – Julius Caesar, Anthony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus.
Comedies: The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, As You Like It, Twelfth Night.
Romances: Pericles, The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest.
Historical plays: Richard II, Richard III, Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI.
Romeo and Juliet:
I think that this is the best known tragedy all over the world. It is about the unhappy love and death. The main character are Romeo Montague and Julie Capulet the only children of two powerful houses of Verona. These two houses hate each other. Romeo meets Juliet at the ball and fells in love with her although he knows she is Capulet. They love each other very much and ask Pastor Friar Laurence to marry them. Their love and marriage are secret. However, by unfortunate coincidence Romeo kills Tybalt, who is Juliet’s cousin. Prince of Verona sends Romeo to the exile and young Juliet stayed in Verona. She was forced to marry a young nobleman called Paris. She asks Friar Laurence for help again and he gives her magic drops after which she fells asleep for several hours and looks as if she was dead.
Romeo learns about Juliet’s death and he doesn’t know about the trick, so he boughs himself poison. He hurried to the churchyard and when he sees Juliet, he commits a suicide. Soon after Juliet wakes up and when she sees Romeo dead, she kills herself with his sword. Both Montague and Capulet Houses reconcile only after the death of their beloved children.
This is also a tragedy. Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark. His mother, a Queen, is a widow and marries Hamlet’s uncle Claudius. However the ghost of dead king appears and tells him, that it was the Queen and Claudius who killed him. He wants revenge. Hamlet writes a theatre play based on this story. But Claudius recognises that the play is about him and sends Hamlet to England to be killed. Later Hamlet comes back to Denmark, Claudius is alarmed and wants to destroy Hamlet. Finally Hamlet kills the whole family and he is also killed. I don’t like this end because it seems to me like modern action films with rows of dead. But I love Hamlets monologue:
To be, or not to be – that is the question: –
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? – To die, - to sleep, –
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, - ‘tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, - to sleep; -
To sleep! perchance to dream: - ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
Žít, nebo nežít – to je, oč tu běží:
zda je to duch důstojnější snášet
střely a šípy rozkácené sudby,
či proti moři běd se chopit zbraně
a skoncovat je vzpourou. Zemřít – spát –
nic ví – a vědět, že tím spánkem skončí
to srdcebolení, ta stará strast,
jež patří k těl, to by byla met
žádoucí nade všechno. Zemřít – spát –
Spát! Snad i snít? Á, v tom je právě háček!
To, jaké sny vy se nám mohly zdát
v tom spánku smrti, až se těla zbudem,
to, to nás zaráží. To je ten ohled,
jenž dává bídě s nouzí sto let žít.
King Lear asks his three daughters how much they love him. Tow older daughters say that they love him very, very much but the youngest daughter Cordelia says that she loves him according to her duty. He punishes her by giving her no property and banishes her out of his kingdom. A kind Prince marries her, although she is poor.
Old king divides his kingdom and all his property between his two daughters. Now he has nothing and one daughter sends him to the other because he is old and makes troubles. Finally they order to him not to visit their houses again. He is left in a cruel storm alone and he becomes a fool. Cordelia learns about that and with her army she comes to help him. But she is put to the prison and handed a day later. King Lear dies of a big grief.
Theatre – see q. 16.
Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and the biggest city in our republic. It is in the centre of Bohemia and it spreads out on both banks on river Vltava. It covers area of 500 square kilometres and has 1.2 million inhabitants. It is divided into 10 districts. It is seat of the President, government and it isn't only a political centre but also culture centre, traffic centre and the centre of industry.
Prague was founded in the 6th century by Slavs. This foundation is connected with Princes Libuše, who told that the future glory of Prague "would touch the stars”. In the 10th century was founded Vyšehrad castle. It was build as a temporary seat of Přemyslid dynasty. It is the oldest castle in Prague. In the 14th century lived in Prague the most famous emperor of Czech Monarchy Charles IV. He established there an Archbishopric in 1344, founded Charles University (1348) and New Town. He also promoted the building of Charles Bridge and St. Vitus Cathedral with 30 statues in Baroque style. It is the second oldest bridge in our country. In the 15th century Prague was the centre of the Hussite movement, which was one of the consequences of execution of John Huss. It was defeated on the Vítkov Hill. In the16th century was Prague the seat of Rudolph II, who invited artists and scientists there. In 1620 on The White Hill was defeated an uprising against Habsburg dynasty. And a few months later were 27 leaders of this uprising executed on the Old Town Square. Now there are 27 crosses on the floor. The Thirty Years War, re-catholicization and germanization followed. In 1918 Prague became the capital of Czechoslovakia, newly established state with President Tomáš Garigue Masaryk. In 1939 Czechoslovakia was split into Czech and Slovakia. Czech was occupied by Germany and it was refreshed in 1945. Since 1948 till the Velvet Revolution in 1989 was Czechoslovakia under the reign of communistic party.
In 1990 it split again into two republics.
Life in Prague:
Now Prague is the capital of a democratic state, consists of Bohemia, Moravia and Slesia. It is a big city and you can get there by train, that is the cheapest way, by bus or if you have enough money also by air. This way is mainly for foreigners. In Prague you can travel by underground, it is quick and relatively cheap or by bus or tram. Tickets are same for all this means of transport and you can buy a day ticket, three-day ticket or mount ticket, which save your money. On summer you can also hire a boat and have a trip on the river or you can hire a horse-cart or some of the sightseeing trams. The most expensive way of transport is going by taxi. It is quite big risk because the taxi drives cheat and charge more than they are allowed to. Taxis are not also very quick because streets are full of cars and buses. It isn't problem to get to Prague but the problem is accommodation. The cheapest are youth hostels. However, these hostels are very uncomfortable, you sleep with several people in one room and have no privacy and the staff is quite unpleasant. Hotels are more comfortable but also more expensive. The most famous hotels and the most expensive are Intercontinental, Forum, Palace and Savoy. A compromise between comfort and price can be bed and breakfast or private accommodation. In summer you can also live in a camp in tent. It is more comfortable and cheaper than a youth hostel but you must be careful about thieves. In conclusion we can say that life in city is faster than life in a village or a small town and people are more aggressive because they don't know each other even by sight. City is very anonymous, you live there without a face.
The natural centre of Prague is Wenceslas Square, it is the heart of New Town. It is 750m long and lined with banks, department stores, boutiques, shops, hotels, restaurants, cafés, theatres and cinemas. At the top of the square there is a bronze equestrian statue of St. Wenceslas made by J. V. Myslbek. This is a favourite place for tourists and that’s why it is so expensive. There are many street-stalls with souvenirs from Prague, ridiculous caps, postcards and guides. Above there is a building of National Museum, which is renowned by its mineral collection. You can find there also exposition of Prague history, archaeological diggings drawings, models of architecture, etc. If you go straight down to the bottom of the square and turn to the right, you come to the famous Tyl (or German or Stavovské) Theatre.
It s a very nice building and behind it there is the oldest university in centre Europe, founded by Charles IV. in 1348 – The Charles University. It isn’t far from Old Town Square, the oldest square in Prague. In the centre there is monument of John Huss made by Šaloun. On the ground of the square there is a sign for Prague meridian. The most interesting for tourist is Old Town Hall with astronomical clock, made by Mr. Hanuš. Each hour you can hear the bell and see the procession of twelve Apostles and a skeleton the symbol of passing times. There is also quite well known Týn Church and Kafka’s bookshop. You can go down to the Jewish Town. Most of this town was damaged by Germans during the second year war. Till now only some synagogues remained. The best known synagogue is New Old Synagogue, it is the oldest and it is used for Jewish worship services, and Pinkas Synagogue. On the walls in this Synagogue there are names of victims of Nazi terror. Beside it there is a Jewish cemetery with a grave of Rabbi Löw, where you can give a small paper with your secret wish and it will come true. There is also a Jewish museum. You can go down to Vltava river and you can see there The National Theatre build in 1868 by public. When you go along the river, you came to Charles Bridge, the second oldest one in Czech Republic. On the both ends of this bridge there are bridge-towers, each one is different. This bridge is decorated with 30 statues in Baroque style made by Jan Brokof and Matyáš Brown. It is said that the statue of John Nepomuk make your dreams come true. There is a lot of artists and musicians, stalls with pictures of Prague and stalls with jewellery. The Bridge Street leads to Lesser Town square, where is St. Nicolas Church. When you go up along Neruda Street, you come to the Prague Castle, the seat of President. It is a monumental complex of buildings. The most renowned are Vladislav Hall, Spanish Hall and Rudolph Gallery. From the squares outside you can admire the City below with hundreds of spires. In the central courtyards stands St. Vitus Cathedral, made in Gothic style. It was found by Charles IV. in a connection with establishment of the Prague Archbishop. It is result of work of two architects Petr Parléř and Matthias of Arras. The most admired parts are St. Wenceslas Chapel and the coronation chamber. But the Prague Castle is not the oldest one. The oldest one is Vyšehrad Castle with Slavín cemetery where Czech artists, writers and rich Prague citizens are buried. Near it there is a St. Paul’s and Peter’s Cathedral.
In nearby park there are copies of Myslbek’s statues. Other interesting thing in Prague is Petřín Hill with Petřín Observation Tower, free copy of Eiffel Tower. It affords a magnificent view of the Prague. You can also find a Zoo in Prague in Troja or an exhibition place with theatres and Křižík fountain, which spirts the water in the tune of the musik in the lights of different colours.
Sports and Games
Sports are very good for active relaxation and are important for our physical and mental health or just for keeping fit. There are lots of types of sports and games. We can practise outdoor or indoor sports, in water or anywhere we want.
Outdoor sports are follow: golf, skiing (cross-country, down-hill, slalom, ski-jump), climbing, marathon-running, hiking, tourism, mountaineering, horse riding, rallies etc.
Indoor sports include: table-tennis, gymnastic, chess ...
There are also some sports which could be played both indoor or outdoor such as: tennis, ball games (basketball, volleyball), ice-hockey etc.
Water sports are: swimming, water-skiing, diving (mask, flippers, bodyglove – wet suit), water polo, yachting, canoeing or rowing. We can also divided sports according to the season they are practised:
Summer sports: swimming, ball games (football, cricket, golf, ...), athletics (sprint, high jump, long jump, javelin throw, ball throw etc.).
Some sports can also be practised in summer or in winter: athletics.
E.g.: Winter – in summer rest and preparing time for its season.
Winter sports: All sports connected with snow. Skiing, sledge, bobsleigh, biathlon, skating, snowboarding, speed skating, ice-hockey, competitive figure skating (single skating, pairs or ice-dancing).
People all around the world are interested in sports. Ball games are very popular everywhere.
U.S.: Basket ball is one of the most popular sport in USA. The very best players of this sport are blackmen and we can find here many basketball clubs in USA (NBA, Chicago Bulls, L. A. Lakers,...). Million of people like to attend matches, watch them on TV or listen to them on radio and cross their fingers for their favourite team. Another popular game in USA is ice-hockey. There exist NHL (National hockey league)which consist of many ice hockey clubs such as Pittsburgh Pinguins, .. In NHL we can find many Czech players, because they are very good paid here. Some of them are very popular – Jaromír Jágr, Dominik Hašek. According to my opinion money play a big role in this sport.
If a club has enough money, it has the best players and it always wins.
GB: Many sports have their origins in GB, that why Britain is sometimes called the cradle of sports. Two types of rugby, modern game of hockey, cricket, darts, tennis and boxing were invented there. The very national sports in GB is cricket, golf, soccer or lawn tennis. We can find some major sports in Britain: Wimbledon (the Grand Slam Tennis Tournament), The British Open Golf Championship, The Grand National (it is the best known horse-race).
IN OUR COUNTRY: has it˘s traditions mostly football. We can find football stadium in almost all town or village. Another favourite sport in our country is ice-hockey. Now we have the best national ice-hockey team in the world, because we have won the gold medal in Olympic Games in Nagano. The Olympic Games are the most important and the most famous – they are held every 4 years, they have their summer and winter parts which change once every 2 years. The first recorded O.G. took place in Olympia in Greece in the year 776 BC. There exist many legend about the origin of the games. They were so important to Greeks, that even the wars were stopped during they took place.
The last winter O. G. took place in Japan in Nagano, it was in February 1998. Czech Republic won one gold medal in ice-hockey cup. Kateřina Neumannová received one silver and one bronze medal (skiing).
My experience with sports:
When I was much younger, I learned swimming, cycling, skating, ...etc. When I was six I started to play table-tennis with my uncle, who learn this sport for many years now. In this time I also started to practice athletics. I kept practising it for about 5 or 6 years and I often go to some competitions. Later I became interested in various ball games. In summer I use to play volleyball with my friends and in winter I often skate when the lake is frozen over. Now I visited for few years (2 or 3)hours of aerobic and sometimes I go jogging in the evening.
I like to watch some sports on TV – e.g. ice-hockey matches, figure skating or athletics competitions.
At school we have our Physical Education lessons (three or two lessons a week). When the weather is good, we use to go out to the stadium, where we usually practice athletics. During the winter we usually go to a gym, where we practise gymnastic or we play basketball or volleyball.
DRUGS IN SPORTS
Many kinds of drugs are used in sports all over the world. Some are used to build muscles or give extra energy. Others kill the pain of injuries or calm nerves, but many are illegal.
Anabolic steroids – are used to build up muscles, they resemble male hormones.
Bodybuilders use anabolic steroids to look good in competitions. These drugs can cause health problems: liver cancer in men and infertility in women. You can become very aggressive.
Stimulants – make you feel full of energy and confidence, and you have the bigger stamina. It˘s amphetamines and cocaine, they are used by cyclists and basketballers and footballers. Problems: they don˘t create energy – they take it from your body. Users feel exhausted and washed-out. There is a danger of having a heart attack (collapse).
Beta-blockers – are drugs, which are normally prescribed by doctors for people with high blood pressure or heart problems. They help calm you down and relieve stress. Users: snooker players and archers – who need steady hands and cool nerves. Problems: with heart and blood pressure.
SHOPPING AND FASHION
Nowadays shopping has become a sophisticated art or science. It is a question of knowing what to buy, where and when. What to buy depends on your purse and you also have to decide, where you want to buy. There are big department stores, where you can buy almost every thing. Department store is a big building with many departures, such as Artist materials, Car-shop, Boys-wear, Girls-wear, Beds and bedding, Electronics, Furniture, China and glass, etc. and it is built in big city. The best known ones in London are Marks and Spencer, Selfridges and Harrods. Food products you can buy in self-service shops and supermarkets, which are bigger and sell also goods from the chemists and ironmonger.
On contrary there are specialised shops:
Greengrocery – fruit and vegetables
Butchery – meat
Bakery – breads and cakes
Tobacconist – cigarettes and tobacco
Confectioner or sweet shop – sweet and ice cream
Fishmongers’ – fish
Florist – flowers
Newsagent – newspapers and magazines
Men’s wear and women’s wear - clothes and dresses
Lingerie – underwear
Draper – cloths ah bedclothes
Wine-merchant (off licence shop) – alcoholic drinks of all kinds, liqueurs
Ironmonger – metal goods (tools, pots, pans, nails, etc.)
Dairy – milk products and eggs
Stationary – paper and office supplies
Jewellery – gold, silver jewellery
Toyshop – various toys (dolls, teddies)
Deli(catessen) – some exclusive and more expensive food (Saif)
Electrical appliances shop (electronics) – TV-sets, radio-sets, fridges, cassette recorders, etc.
Photographic and cinema articles
Grocery – food (tea, coffee, sugar, flour butter, cheese, eggs, jam, biscuits, tinned food) and kitchen needs such as soap, detergents and polish
Chemist’s (US: drug store)– medicines and ointments, toothpaste, combs, soap, cosmetics, razor blades, sunglasses, films or cameras. It has a counter, where you san buy something to eat or to drink.
Travel agent – trips aboard or inboard
Estate (US: real estate) agent – houses, etc.
Hi-fi shop (US: music shop or CD shop) – hi-fi towers, radios, CD-players, etc.
Chip and fish shop (US: French fries)
Health food shop – soja, wholemeal, full corn bread, musli, low fat food, sugar free
Post office – stamps, envelope, telephone-cards
Record shop (US: music store) – CD, LP, etc.
Shoe- shop – shoes
Boutique – clothes
Sport shop – leotards, tennis rockets, balls, helmets, bicycles, etc.
Optics – glasses
Household equipment shop
There are also some other places where you can do your purchase. One of them are corner shops run buy Indian or Pakistani families. Corner shop is a small shop in, or near a street corner. It sells food and newspapers. It is usually opened until late evening and on Sundays too. Another place is street market, where you can buy a very cheep. There stalls with vegetables, clothes, things for house, records, jewellery and so on. It is held usually once a weak by people from surrounded villages, some towns has a special place where are stalls every day. In a town there is usually a high street (in Hodonín it is Národní třída), where are lots of shops. The high streets in big towns look almost the same. This is because they are full of branches of big chain stores. One of the best-known chain stores are Marks and Spencer (in GB), Mana, IKEA and McDonalds (in CZ). Special kind of shop is Charity shop. People go here and give here things, which they don’t want any more. It is a kind of second hand shop, but there is a difference. All money from purchase goes to charities. So you can buy cheap and also help to others.
Big shops use self-serving, that means that you go around the shop and choose what you want. It is more economical for them and faster for customers. But at the small shops you buy everything at the counter, where you also pay for the goods you have chosen. You can pay by cash, by credit cards or by cheques. Credits cards are very widely accepted in Great Britain but unfortunately we are not used to use them in our country very much. I think it is better use credit card, because using them can limit the amount of pickpockets and disappointed customers. In bigger cities, especially Prague, the shops accept foreign credit cards, such as Visa Cards, American Express etc.
But the most spread paying in our country is to pay by cash. Our currency is one crown and it has hundred hellers. In GB they have ponds and one pound has hundred pennies, in US they have dollars and one dollar has hundred cents. So if you want to buy something, you must have money, nothing is free. Money you can earn, inherit, win, lend, borrow, win in a bet or steal but stealing money is not legal. You also can ask your bank to make regular payments from your bank account.
An average Czech family goes shopping every day to local self-service shop for necessary food. Once a week they usually do one bigger purchase for the weekend and from time to time they have to buy clothes, shoes, household utensils and equipment. People from villages go for shopping to the towns. A real shopping fever starts before Christmas when people try to buy mice and unique Christmas presents. Sometimes the use a catalogue for choosing things and buy them by ordering form and gets them by post. In south Bohemia there is a new established service. Post office “purchase into bag”, that means that old people can list the food and necessary things and put it on Friday to the post delivery clerk and on Saturday it is delivered to their homes in a shopping-bag. Purchase into bag is not very expensive and it depends on the distance from the shop.
There is a Czech proverb and sometimes it is true. First, nobody wants to be naked. This is one big difference between a man and an animal. We wear many various clothes for various occasions. I wear jeans and a sweatshirt, when I go to school but when I go to the theatre I wear dress and a cloak. Nowadays we have a bigger choice than in the past. The fashion is also different, but some elements came back after some time, for example wide trousers or short skirts or high boots with high thick heel. But to be true I am not very concerned about fashion now. Even if I would I would not been able to fellow it, because it needs a lot of money. Designer clothes are very expensive. Sometimes, when I see my nice-dressed classmates I think that it is a pity that we do not wear uniforms in the school as it is normal in Britain. Uniform usually consists of dark coloured skirt or trousers, white shirt and cravat. It would clean the differences between a rich child and a poor child but it has some disadvantages too (lost identity). But I can wear what I want, better to say for what I have money. I do not buy clothes in expensive boutiques and I never have them made.
I buy them in ready-made clothes or in street stalls or my mother sews them for me. Maybe you say that in street stalls there are clothes of poor quality but you can choose there also some good after a proper test (pulling, squashing, watching, tearing buttons). Sometimes I also buy clothes in second hand.
But fashion it is not only the clothes, that is also jewellery, belts, shoes, handbags, hairstyle and haircut, glasses, umbrellas and of course material, pattern and colour.
Clothes: jeans, trousers, pants, jacket, blazer, socks, knee socks, shirt, suit, tie, waistcoat, bow tie, cravat, blouse, T-shirt, polo-neck sweater, sweatshirt, cloak, rain coat, fur coat, winter coat, costume, skirt, stockings, underwear, panties, bathing costume, bra, pyjamas, nylon tights, dress, knitted suit, trouser-suit, cardigans-suit, jumper-suit, handkerchief, jacket, gloves, short-sleeved shirt, mid-calf length skirt, vest, culottes , leggings, beret, scarf, head-scarf, blouse, trunks, bikini, swimming costume, swimming suit, swimming trunks, goggles, bathing cap, gown, swimming gown, blanket, cap, hat, anorak, overall, apron, leisure suit, track suit, top, muffler, hood, mittens, bowler hat, buckle, wedding clothes, pullover, leotards
Jewellery: earrings, rings, bracelets, chains, brooches, necklace, pin, semi-precious stone
Materials: nature - leather, suede, denim, cotton, velvet, corduroy, sateen, muslin, linen, wool, fur, silk; man-made fabrics – rubber, nylon, polyester, fur fabric (fake-fur), poly-cotton; lightweight, fabric, terry cloth
Colours: bright, garish, pastel, dark, light, white, yellow, orange, red, green, blue, brown, black, navy blue, canary yellow, purple, pink, scarlet, beige, whitish, creamy, khaki, maroon, waterproof
Patterns: spotted, dotted, geometric, flowered, striped, checked, plain, printed, laces
Shoes: heel, sole, laces, top, upper, lace-ups, sandals, trainers, plimsolls, ski shoes, clogs, pumps, high boots, rubber boots, pull on, slip on, mules, stiletto-high-heel-shoes ankle boots, outdoor, indoor, slippers,
Vocabulary: make-up, lipstick, varnish (the nails), mascara, eyebrow pencil, cosmetics, complexion, shadow, powder, perfume, cologne, shampoo, tailor, sewing machine, hairdresser, curlers, fashion accessories, be in fashion, be out of fashion, clothing industry, footwear industry, thread, knit, sew, embroider, crochet, garage sale, sew on, needle, needle work, kilt is made of tartan, discard, smart look, clean, dirty, dry-cleaners, ornament, patch , fold, pleat skirt
Length: mini, maxi, mid-calf,
Wearing in summer, autumn, winter, spring…
Clothes for everyday work…
Clothes for wearing in theatre, school, wedding, sport…
English proverb: Manners make the man. X Clothes make a man.
Wearing at home…
Britain has a mild and rainy climate, although during the winter months easterly winds may bring a cold, dry continental type of weather. During a normal summer, the temperature occasionally rises above 27 degrees in the south, winter temperatures below –7 degrees are rare. The average annual rainfall is about 100 centimetres. Rain is fairly well distributed throughout the year, on average, March to June are the driest months. The coldest month is January and warmest are July and August with average temperatures of about 16 degrees. June has the best record for sunshine.
Climatic in USA conditions differ greatly, due to the large territorial extent of the States. Some parts of the USA are in the Temperate Zone, the southern part lies in the subtropical zone and in Florida there is an area that is tropical. In Alaska an arctic climate prevails. On western coast temperature change very little between summer and winter, the north central states have different climate in summer and winter.
Our republic lies in the Temperate Zone. We haven’t a sea. There are the warmest areas in Southern Moravia and the coldest area in the Giant Mountains. The average annual rainfall is about 600cm.
Spring, summer, autumn, winter – see above.
I haven’t got a favourite season, because every season is nice.
Travelling is the method how to get from one place to another place. People have used travelling for along time. One hundred years ago they travelled on horses, by carriages and of course on foot. Then they used trains, steam cars and steam boats. It was something strange and something new for them. Now is travelling very popular, common and necessary. There are two main ways of travelling. You can use your own means of transport and the other is to rely on the public transport. People and goods can by transported by land, by air or by water. Water transport is relatively cheap but quite slow. That is why it is used especially for transporting goods. There are cargo and passengers vessels, ferries and steamboats on the rivers, sees and oceans. But in general not many people have the courage to board a ship although the trip is not expensive, but may be they are afraid of seasick. On the contrary the fastest way of travelling is to travel by air and it is also the most expensive.
Normally people in our country take plane when they go abroad because our republic very small and it is not worth to take plane for such a small distance. At the airport we go through the passport control and security check. Our luggage are checked and then we wait until the plane is ready for take-off. Some rich people can also hire a helicopter, but now is helicopter uses especially for badly injured people. Land offers the greatest variety of means of transport. There are motor road vehicles and bicycles on the one hand and rail of the other. Cars and motorcycles are very popular however they are quite expensive to purchase and also the petrol is not cheap. For short distance is car fast enough but when you travel by car in a town, you can get to a traffic jam that is not pleasant, sometimes you can wait in a jam for a few hours. Modern cars has soft seats and a lot of space for the legs and sometimes even more comfortable than the interior of a plane. If you want to drive a car you must have a driving licence. You can get it after passing a special exam from driving and traffic rules in a driving school. When you travel you have to be very careful, because there are many accidents. A lot of people die in a car crash (Lady Diana), in air crash or shipwreck. In our country and in the most countries of Europe people drive on the left but in Britain and some other countries people drive on the left. Another disadvantage of using cars is that cars are very bad for nature. By using petrol they lets out poisonous gasses and we breathe it. They also contain some other danger substances as lead and sulphide dioxide. Buses, train, trolleybuses, trams (streetcars), underground (tube) are designed for public use. They are cheaper than cars but less comfortable and have some other disadvantages. For example, when you go by car, you can go any time you want but when you travel by public means of transport you have to fellow the schedule. You can get on the bus on a bus stop or on a bus station, that is a name for a main stop in a town. They can go either between villages or towns or in the town. London is famous for its red busses called double-deckers. In our country going by train is cheaper but also slower than going by bus (in Britain it is reverse). If you want to travel faster you have to pay a supplement, which is reacquired in EC, IC or express train, passenger train is without any supplement and it is sometimes called slow train. Railway stations are almost same.
They consist of a big hall with a ticket office where one can buy a single or a return ticket and a seat reservation, the departures and arrivals board, a left luggage office or lockers, telephones, waiting hall, a restaurant, a drink machine, a book-stall, a lavatory and toilettes, sometime it is decorated by some flowers and a little fountain. I think that busses in our country are unreliable. In big railway stations there are underpasses leading directly onto the platform, so you can get on a train safely. Train has a first class, which is more expensive and amore comfortable and a second class, which is less comfortable but cheaper. If you are a non-smoker it is better to look for a free seat in a non-smoker compartment. During the travelling you can chat with friends, observe the landscape out of the window, eat some food, play cards or sleep. When a conductor come, you hand him a ticket and he checks it. This is a big difference between Czech railways and a British railway, because there is no conductor in a Britain, but you give your ticket to a ticket collector after the journey before leaving the platform. Usually a train consists of passenger carriages, sleeping-car, dining-car, mail-van and a goods wagon. In big cities there is a very favourite way kind of public transport – underground. In our country it is only in Prague, and it is quite small, it has only three lines A, B and C. It is very fast, because it could get to a traffic jam and quite comfortable. In America it is called subway or tube. In towns there are also taxis, which a re very comfortable, take you exactly where you want to go, but they are very expensive. Young people usually have not much money and they use hitchhiking. It is the cheapest way of transport but also the slowest and quite dangerous. Many people can be robbed and girls can be abused. I hitchhike quite a lot, because my fiancé live in Tvrdonice and there is no bus or train connection between my village and Tvrdonice. So that is why I have to use this way of transport. But in some countries they do not know, what is hitchhiking – India. Some people love more romantic means of transport, e. g. going on a yacht, canoeing, gliding, hot-air, ballooning, windsurfing, skateboarding or roller-skating. In Europe it is very popular now to travel by residential cars in which you can have everything for your personal use. People all around the world travel for various reasons: They want to get to school, to work, for a holiday, for culture. And many of them like travelling because it is exciting. Travelling fever increase during holidays, when people go abroad. For going abroad you need necessary documents – valid passport and a visa, money, you change them in a bank or at an exchange office.
It is also very useful to know some foreign language, as an English or German. And I think that this is the primary purpose, why we learn them. The most beautiful places are Rome, Venice, London, Prague, Paris or Amsterdam. We can see there very nice buildings, temples, churches or castles. For a recreation and for having a rest we travel to beautiful scenery of Whales, Alps, and places around in Mediterranean Sea. In our country foreign tourists admire Prague. There are many monuments, which were built hundred years ago. There are lots of temples, monuments, churches, castles and old buildings. Etc. In Czech republic there are also some recreation places: Šumava, Krkonoše, Bílé Karpaty or Beskydy. But travelling does not only mean going abroad but also seeing interesting places in our country or commuting to work or to school. In our state there are many state and private travel agencies. Here people can buy trips, tickets for foreign busses or trains or reserve accommodation, which is very important. In thirst place there are hotels and motels, which differ in price and comfort. Before arrival you should make a reservation, book a room in it. You can get bed and breakfast or full board. In a hotel there is usually some of the hotel’s services – a restaurant, a bar, a coffee shop, a travel desk, a theatre ticket office, a hairdresser’s shop and beauty salon or sports facilities like a swimming pool or a fitness centre. The motels are situated mostly by the roads. The guests can park his car at the door of his own room. A special kind of accommodation for young people are youth hostels, where it is possible to stay overnight at a low rate but only for a limited number of times and also it is not very comfortable. Usually you got there only a bed and a toilette. Some tourists also prefer to stay at a farm or they rent a room on their own or in a camp. Of course when we travel we need luggage for our cloths. We can use rucksack, tent and sleeping bag. We use suitcase when we go by a coach and we need not carry it so often.
I prefer riding my bicycle, because it is cheap and do not spoil the nature. But it is a pity that you cannot ride a bicycle in winter.
Canada occupies the whole of the northern part of North America (except Alaska) and many islands (e.g. Baffin Island, Newfoundland, Vancouver, Prince Edward Island etc.). Canada’s area is about 10 million sq.
km., the second largest country in the world.
It neighbours with the USA (with Alaska and with the continental states on the 49th parallel and the Great Lakes Region is the largest area of fresh water in the world (Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario). There are famous Niagara Falls between Lake Erie and Ontario. We can find also other big and beautiful lakes in Canada, e. g. Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Lake, Lake Winnipeg, etc.
Canada has large mountain areas – the Rocky Mountains, the Mackenzie Mountains and the Melville Hills. The highest mountain is Mt. Logan in the Alaska Region (6050m). The longest river is the Mackenzie, other big rivers are the Yukon, the Frazer and the Columbia and the River St. Lawrence. The climate varies from Arctic climate in the North with winter temperatures, to moderate climate in the east and west. The north of the country near the Arctic is cold tundra with large and beautiful forests to the south.
Is about 26 million and density is one of the lowest. 89% of the land has no permanent population. More than 40% are of British origin, 30% of French origin, over 20% of continental European origin and the rest is made by Eskimos or Indiana. 60% of population speak English, about 30% speak French, the rest are the languages spoken by various ethnic minorities (Italian, German, Chinese, Native Indian). Many people in Canada are Protestants. They are divided into many sects and churches. The most powerful of the churches is, however, Roman Catholic Church.
The original inhabitants came to Canada some 10 000 or 25 000 years ago from Asia across a land bridge over what is now the Bering Strait. The first European here were the Vikings who discovered Canada more than a thousand years ago. During the Age of Discoveries (15th and 16th century) some navigators landed on the Canada coast. First it was an Italian Giovanni Cabot. Since the 16th century large territories were occupied by the French. It was Jacques Cartier, who gave a name to this land. He called this land according to the Indian word “kannata”. The Indian word meant only village, not the entire region as Cartier thought. But France lost this country in frequent wars with England during the 17 and 18 centuries. In 1763 Canada was ceded to England by the Treaty of Paris. Canada became a British dominion in 1867.
Canada has mainly coal, metal, oil and gas. Machine, building and chemical industries are highly developed. The main mining province is Alberta. Hamilton and Sydney are main centres of iron and steel industries. Ships are built on the banks of Great Lakes, in Montreal and Toronto. The Provinces of Ontario and Newfoundland have large paper mills.
Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia with their large forests provide wood for building, furniture and paper production. Almost half the land area of Canada is covered by forests. Although only about 7% of the land is suitable for farming, agriculture is the world’s fifth largest producer of wheat and the second largest wheat exporter. Other important agricultural items are livestock production, oats, vegetables, fruits, tobacco, dairy products and leather. Canada is very rich in natural resources as gold, uranium, other metal ores, oil and gas. Valid currency is Canadian dollar.
Government type and administration:
It is an independent federal parliamentary system with Queen Elizabeth II. as the head of state. She is represented in Canada by the Governor – General. The country’s supreme body is the Federal Parliament consisting of two houses. The House of Commons is elected every five years. The Senate consists of senators appointed by Governor – General on the advice of the Prime Minister. The leading figure in political life is the Prime Minister (Jean Chritien). Canada is divided into 10 provinces and two territories. The two territories are the Yuken and N.W.T – Northwest Territories. The biggest province is Quebec with the capital Quebec City. The population is mainly French speaking and the premier of Quebec wants more powers for this province. Other provinces are Prince Edward Island, Ontario (Toronto), Alberta, Brutish Columbia, etc. The capital of Canada is Ottawa. The biggest city is Montreal. Other large cities are Calgary, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Quebec, Halifax, Vancouver and Hamilton.
Canada is member of many international organisations such as the UN and its main special agencies (FAO, UNESCO), the Commonwealth, NATO.
Canada has its own national flag. It is red and in the centre there is a white square with a simple red maple leaf. The red stripes are symbolical of Canada’s position between the two oceans.
The Canadian anthem is called Oh, Canada.
Australia and New Zealand
Australia is smallest, youngest continent, with the lowest population density. It is a lonely and it is often said that Australia lies at the edge of the world, divided from other continents by long distances. We also sometimes called this Australia as a country of antipodes, but this is a mistake because a country of our antipodes does not exist in reality. Australia is allocated in south-east from Asia. The Indian Ocean is west and south the Pacific (Coral and Tasmania Leas) is east. Tasmania lies 240 km south.
Nearest is Indonesia, Papua New Guinea on north, Solomon, Fiji and New Zealand are on east. It is area is 7.7 million sq. k. Australia is an island continent. The Great Dividing Range along the eastern coast (The Australian Alps) has the highest Australian mountain Mt. Kosciusko. The western plateau rises to 607 m with arid areas in the Great Sandy and Great Victoria Deserts. The north-east have heavy rainfalls (it is an area often visited by destructive hurricanes) and Cape York Peninsula has jungles. Rivers that flow permanently are to by found only in the north, east, and in Tasmania. The Murray Rivers flows from New South Wales to the Indian Ocean, the second longest river is the Darling. There are three big lakes here: Lake Eyre, Lake Torrens and Lake Gairdner. The Australian climate varies from warm to subtropical. Australia has summer when we have winter and vice versa. The tropical forests in the north and north-east are displaced by savannah or grassland. The south-east is covered with forests of eucalyptus and other evergreen trees. The animals of Australia are numerous and some of them, like the kangaroo, koala bear, dingo, platypus, Tasmanian devil or barking lizards can’t be found elsewhere.
The population of Australia is some 16 million. Around 85% people live in urban areas mainly along the south-east coast. Deserts and the tropical northern part are predictably uninhabited. 95%of inhabitants are of British origin, 3% are made by other European ethnic groups and 1.5% are aborigines. Australian English and aboriginal languages are spoken here.
People lived there at a Stone Age level. They did not know of how to work the soil nor how to rear livestock. They had no plants suitable for cultivation and no original Australian animals were suitable for domestication. Thus, the Australians never became farmers or herdsmen. They made their tools and weapons only of wood and stone. The sole source of food was hunting and gathering. Men used to catch birds, snakes, crocodiles, and women with children used to pick fruits, caterpillars, ants, eggs and dig for roots. The dingo wild dog was the sole animal that became domesticated. The Australians were divided into about 650 tribes that spoke about 500 different languages. Each tribe usually had its own dialect, name and customs, its own territory and hunting grounds. Captain James Cook explored the eastern coast in 1770 when the continent was inhabited by a variety of different tribes.
It became a convict colony in around 18th century when immigration increased because gold was found here. The Commonwealth was proclaimed in 1901.
Main industries are iron, steel, textiles, electrical equipment, chemicals, cars, aircraft, ship and machinery. Australia belongs to the top exporters of beef, lamb, wool and wheat, although only 9% of land is arable. Other agricultural items are barley, oats, hay, sugar, wine, fruit and vegetables. Natural riches contain mainly bauxite, coal, copper, iron, lead, nickel, silver, tin, uranium ands zinc ores. Among the main trading partners belong Japan, the USA, the UK, New Zealand. Currency used in Australia is Australian Dollar. In Australia there are many big cities. Sydney is the oldest. Brisbane is the third largest. Adelaide lies in the southern part of the country. There are two universities and car-manufacturing factory here. Melbourne is one of the most beautiful cities. There are a lot of museums, galleries and parks. Perth is the important industrial city. Other important cities are Darwin, Alice Springs and Hobart.
Government type and administration:
The official title is The Commonwealth of Australia and it is a British dominion. It has a democratic, federal system and the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. represented by the Governor – General. The head of government is the Prime Minister. The Commonwealth of Australia consists of six states: New South Wales (capital Sydney), Victoria (Melbourne), Qeensland (Brisbane), South Australia (Adelaide), Western Australia (Perth), Tasmanian (Hobart) and two territories: The Australian Capital Territory (a part of the country surrounding Australia’s capital Canberra) and Northern Territory (thinly populated).
The Federal Parliament has its seat in Canberra and is divided into the Senate and the House of Representatives. Australia is a member of the important international organisations: UN, OECD and the Commonwealth.
New Zealand consists of two large islands (North and South Island) in south-west Pacific Ocean Nearest are Australia (on west), Fiji, Tonga on north. Its area is about 269 000 sq. km. Each of two main islands is mainly hilly and mountainous, the highest peak is Mount Cook (3764 m). The coast consists of fertile plains, especially the large Canterbury Plains on South Island. A volcanic plateau is in the centre of North Island. South Island has glaciers and 15% peaks over 3 000 m. The climate is quite pleasant. There is a lot of sun and it often rains there.
Summers are not too hot and the winters are mild.
Population is about 3.3 million people. 83%of the whole population live in urban areas. 85% people are of European (above all British) origin and about 9% are Polynesian. Officially English is spoken here but some people still speak Maori.
The Maoris, a Polynesian group from the eastern Pacific, reached New Zealand before and during the 14th century. Captain James Cook explored the coasts in about 18th century. British sovereignty was proclaimed in 1840 and the colony became a dominion in 1907. Now it is an independent member of the Commonwealth.
Food processing, textiles, machinery and forest industry are the main industries. Only 2% of land is arable and the main crops is grain. New Zealand is rich in oil, gas, iron ore and coal. The main trading partners of New Zealand are the USA, Australia, Japan and Great Britain.
Government type and administration:
New Zealand has s parliamentary system where the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II represented by the Governor – General. The head of government is the Prime Minister. Elections take place every three years. The country is divided into counties. The capital is Wellington, other big cities are Manukau, Christchurch and Auckland. New Zealand is member of UN, OECD and the Commonwealth.
The flag consists of the British Union Jack in the left upper corner and four red stars in the Southern Cross constellation.
The United States of America – USA
The USA is situated in southern part of North America. Its neighbours are Canada on north, Mexico on south and the Confederation of Independent States in Alaska. It covers the area of abut 9 400 000 sq. km. Central plains are bounded by the Rocky Mountains and the Coastal Mountains to west, the Appalachian Mountains to east and alluvialplains around the Gulf of Mexico. The largest rivers are the Mississippi and the Missouri. It’s the third longest river system in the world after the Amazon and the Nile. The border with Canada is in its control part made by the Great Lakes Region. Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario share the USA with Canada. Lake Superior is the second largest lake in the world (after the Caspian Sea). There are big variations of climate. Temperatures change from the arctic cold in northern Alaska to subtropical warmth of Hawaii and the Gulf Coast States. On western coast temperature change very little between summer and winter, the north central states have different climate in summer and winter.
There are many national parks in the USA, especially in the Rocky Mountains Region, with beautiful and preserved nature e.g. Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Mount McKinley.
In the USA are about 243 million people. There are 106 major ethnic groups in the USA today. People living here are of all possible origins and all the races can mix here together (it is called “melting pot” “salad bowl”, “Pizza”). Now there are white people (78.5%), black people (12.1%), Asian (1.5%), Pacific islanders, American Indians and Eskimos (0.6%). The main language spoken here is American English but various ethnic minorities speak their original languages (Chinese, Spanish, etc.). American English differs from British English in vocabulary, pronunciation and spelling (flat X apartment, lift X elevator, Sweets X candy). The religious structure of the USA is variety. Practically all possible churches and sects exist there.
The main industrial items are manufacturing steel, car industry, electronics, machinery and clothing. Nearby half of the country is a farmland, however only 21% is arable. The main agriculture products are corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, tobacco, cattle breeding, fruit and vegetable. The USA is rich in the mineral resources as coal, copper, lead, uranium, gold, iron, mercury and oil. The main trading partners are Canada, Japan, Mexico and Great Britain.
Government type, administration and political system:
The USA with the president as the head of state is a federation of 50 states with 48 on the continent, Alaska in the North and Hawaii in the Mid-Pacific south-west of San Francisco. There is also one district, D.C. – District of Columbia – it means the land of Columbus – this territory isn’t a state, the state capital is situated here. The largest state is Alaska, the smallest is Rhode Island. The capital is Washington, D.C. Other big cities according to the population are New York, Los Angels, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia and Detroit. The USA is the member of all major international organisations: UN, OAS, NATO and OECD.
The Capital of the USA:
Washington D.C. has the 10th largest population in the country. It was the finest city in the world especial planned and built as the capital and the centre of the government. In the city, along the Potomac River, there are the most important buildings in the USA – White House – the residence of the American President, the Capitol – the seat of the Congress, the Pentagon – the centre of military forces.
There are no factories and industry in Washington and no building can be higher than the Capitol that is why we can’t see any skyscrapers there. There is a large airport and Georgetown University. Some famous monuments stand there: the Washington Monument, Lincoln and Jefferson Memorial.
The American flag and anthem:
The American flag consists of two parts – one smaller blue oblong with 50 white stars symbolising 50 American states and one larger oblong consisting of six white and seven red stripes symbolising the original 13 states which used to be the British colonies. the flag is sometimes called “Old Glory” or “Stars and stripes”. The American national anthem is called “The Star – Spangled Banner”.
Places of interests:
Health and Human Body
When you are ill, so you have to visit a doctor. Everybody in our country has the right to choose a doctor. There are two types of them, state and private doctors. Medical care is provided for our citizens from birth to death. Even before the birth there is prenatal care including medical check-ups and then maternity services. Soon after birth each child is vaccinated against such illnesses as tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and later smallpox. Each school child is under medical supervision, which means also a series of preventive medical and dental check ups, where the body is examined, teeth checked and eyesight tested. Common children’s diseases are cold, measles, mumps or chicken pox. The most common disease of all is cold, flu, tonsillitis, bronchitis or pneumonia. When you have flu. When you have a flue, you usually have a temperature, sore throat, cough and you snooze very often. You also have a headache and feel very weak and sick and even hoarse. You can go through it easily by staying in bed taking pills, keeping warm, sweating, gargling and drinking herbal tea with honey or lemon. But overcoming the illness can be very dangerous and the illness can became very serious and can have dangerous after-effects. When you feel unwell, you can see a physician doctor called General practitioner (GP). You can make an appointment with the doctor in his surgery time and you avoid of long waiting in the waiting room, which is often overcrowded. When the nurse comes out, you have to give her your insurance card and then she invites you to a consulting room. The doctor usually asks what the trouble is and then asks us to strip to the waist, because he must examine our chest and throat. He also wants to know if we have a temperature, a good appetite and here you feel pain.
Then he listens to our lungs and heart. He also wants us to open our mouth and say “Ah” to see if our tonsils are red. Sometimes he checks the blood pressure and the pulse, takes the blood or asks us to give him urine for lab tests. Finally the doctor diagnoses the case and therapy and prescribes a medicine. With prescriptions you go to pharmacy (at the chemist’s) and get antibiotics, vitamins pain relievers, ointment, syrup, herbs for a tea, spray, drops or gargle. Sometimes the GP send us to specialists: oculist, ear and throat specialist, and gynaecologist or for an X-ray examination. In more serious cases, if you get injured, you can call the doctor to home or to the palace of the accident. You can be taken to hospital by an ambulance. In case of unconsciousness of heart attack the patient is put on a stretcher. In a very serious car accident the patient can be taken to hospital by a special helicopter. Sometimes it is necessary to give first aid such as mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or to stop the bleeding or fix fractures. In the hospital the injured people are examined and X-rayed at a casualty ward and serious cases are immediately operated in the operating room. There are many departments: internal, surgical, dental, eye, dermatology, ear and throat, gynaecologist and a department for children. If the operation is planed, patient must pass several tests and the just before the operation he is anaesthetised by means of an injection of narcotic. After the operation a scar often remains. The patient is sometimes sent to a health resort or a spa for rehabilitation. There he undergoes water treatment, takes baths, massage, remedial exercises and drinks the waters. Not all illnesses can be cured. There are fatal illnesses like cancer or AIDS, which are incurable so far. But the best way to cure such an illness is not to catch it, because prevention is better than cure. You can keep your health by physical training, hardening the body, sporting, sufficient sleep, balanced diet and avoiding smoking cigarettes, stress and drinking big amount of alcohol.
History of Great Britain
Britain was part of the continent of Europe until about 6000 BC. Stone-age people arrived 3000 ago. In the 1st century BC arrived Celts. They worshipped many gods, and their priests were called druids. They believed the soul is immortal and offered human sacrifices.
England was added to the Roman Empire in 43 AD, the Romans army was lead by Julius Caesar. The Romans built camps, fortresses and roads.
Another Roman emperor, Hadrian, made on the border between today’s Scotland and England a wall as a protection against the invasion of the Celtic tribes from the North. In spite of Roman occupation, the old Celtic social system was not completely destroyed and the British language existed side by side with Latin. Trade flourished and Christianity was brought to Britain. Also London was founded by Romans.
After the withdrawal of Roman legions in 5th century waves of the Jutes, Angels and Saxons arrived from German lands. The Roman Empire split at the year 476. They drove Celtic people into the mountains of Wales and Scotland, and fought with the Danes from the 8th to the 11th centuries. Alfred the Great in wanted to unify Anglo-Saxon kings. He was very well educated (as well as our Karl IV.), ha also started to write Anglo-Saxon chronicle, the first prosaic piece. He protected the England but when he died, the Danish King Canute made Britain part of his Scandinavian Empire. His sons were too weak to reign at Britain and it became independent. There were some kings, one of the most important was Edward Confessor. After his death, his immature son became a king. But he was too young, so the most powerful man Anglo-Saxon Herold became a king. In 11th century was the last successful invasion by French speaking Normans led by William, Duke of Normandy, who became William the Conqueror after defeating Harold in the Battle of Hastings in 1066. William was brought up on the court of Edward Confessor and claimed that Edward wanted him to be a king of Britain. William the Conqueror established a strong central government and appointed Norman nobleman to high positions. He made London the capital town and built the Tower of London. In this time the Norman and Anglo-Saxon language and customs merged. They influenced each other.
Henry II gained a piece of French Empire in the South. He made Thomas Becket Archbishop of Canterbury and a few years later he let him executed. He had two sons Richard I, the Lion-Heart, the oldest son. He was killed in a war in France. His brother John I, Lackland is known for two things. He lost almost all the English possessions in France, only the town Calais remained. In conflict with his barons he was forced to sing the Magna Charta – a guarantee of rights and the rule of law. In Magna Charta stood, that nobody can be punished without sending to the trial. The time of Edward I was marked by his wish to win back power from the barons. He joined Wales to England. His son, Edward II., married Isabelle, a daughter of French king.
He had a son, Edward III.
The Capulet’s dynasty in France died and Edward III. wanted to be a king of France. This led to the Hundred Years˘ War (in the 14th century) and the defeat of England. At first, English won, at Crécy – the Czech king John of Luxemburg was killed there. But then Joan of Arc became a leader of French army. Later she was proclaimed as a witch and was burnt. After this war the English practically lost their power in France.
The Wars of the Roses took place in the 15th century. It was a long civil war between the House of York (whose emblem was a white rose) and the House of Lancaster (whose emblem was a red rose). King Richard III. killed all the men belonged to the House of Lancaster. The war began. It lasted 35 years and ended with the establishment of the powerful Tudor House. Henry Tudor was a member of House of Lancaster. He established Tudor dynasty.
Under Henry VIII., the protestant Church of England was established. Henry VIII. had six wives. He establish the Church of England and made himself the head of the Church, because he wanted to be divorced with one of his wife and marry another and Holly Father didn’t allow him to do it. After his death, his daughter Marry Catholic became a queen. She was very cruel and executed protestants. Sometime she is called Bloody Marry. Fortunately she didn’t reign very long, because she was too old.
Her sister Elizabeth I. became a queen of Britain. Britain became a major sea power, leading to the founding of colonies in the New World and the expansion of trade with Europe and the Orient. Elizabeth I. had no children, so her closest relative James VI., son of her old rival Marry Stuart Queen of Scotland (catholic, she was sent to the court, because she was leading an uprising against Queen Elizabeth), became King James I. of England and Stuart dynasty began. The Act of Union in 1707 united Scotland with England.
A struggle between parliament and the Stuart kings led to a bloody Civil War. The country was divided between the supporters of Charles I., who wanted to rule absolutely, and the supporters of Parliament, who wanted to limit the King’s powers. Finally Oliver Cromwell, the Puritan Army leader, established republic and King Charles was publicly executed. During the following period England was ruled by Oliver Cromwell as the Lord Protector.
The monarchy was restored in 1660 (Charles II) but The Glorious Revolution in 1688 confirmed the sovereignty of Parliament. In 1689 the Bill of Rights, signed by William III.
definitely put the power into the hands of the Parliament. Britain became a constitution monarchy.
At the end of the 18th century England became the richest country in the world, it was transformed from an agricultural to a manufacturing country – Industrial Revolution (Stevenson invited a steam engine, textile machines were developed).
The Napoleonic War meant a new struggle between the two traditional rivals, Britain and France. Admiral Nelson defeated the French at Trafalgar and in 1815 the French were definitely defeated by Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo. After Napoleonic War, there were some troubles in Britain. But the situation got calm, because the state policy was very good. A low about emancipation was passed. It meat that all people protestant and catholic had the same rights.
Queen Victoria reigned from the beginning of the 19th century till the end of this century. Large parts of Africa and Asia were added to the empire during her reign. She made changes in education, society, etc.
Through victorious World War I (1914 – 1919) Britain suffered huge casualties and economic losses. Ireland became independent in 1921 and independence movement became active in India and other colonies.
The country suffered major bombing damage in World War II, but held out against Germany after the fall of France in 1940. The war ended in 1945. During the decades after W.W.II Britain had to recognise the independence of the majority of its colonies – mainly in the 1960s. Nevertheless, most remained members of the Commonwealth. In Europe NATO, Britain being a member, kept the security of the Western countries.
The British Commonwealth and political system – see 30.
The American continent was discovered first around the year 1000 by Icelandic Vikings. They failed to establish any permanent settlements. Till 1400 native Indians were the only inhabitants. Five hundreds year later a great demand for spices, textiles and also a navigation error brought Christopher Columbus (an Italian mariner under Spanish monarchs) to the Caribbean Sea instead to Asia. The first English colony was founded in Virginia at Jamestown in 1607. In 1620 the ship named Mayflower brought 102 Englishmen, women and children to north-eastern region (now Massachusetts) where they found the colony called Plymouth. They were Puritans – members of a religious sect which wanted to reform the Church of England.
They called themselves the Pilgrim Fathers and wanted to build up a colony based on their own religious ideals. The winter was cold and about half of them died. In spring they planted corn and other plants (with help and advice from the Indians with whom they lived in peace). During the 17th century many colonists, mostly British but also French, German, Dutch and Irish settled in the country, mainly along the eastern coast. About half a million Africans were brought to America as slaves.
Foundation of the USA, The War of Independence (1775 – 1783)
British government started to charge new taxes on sugar, coffee, textiles etc. To cover the costs of the war against France. The colonists refused to pay taxes and so British soldiers were sent to Boston. In 1773 a group of patriots, dressed as Indians, threw a cargo of British tea into the Boston Harbor. This event is known as the Boston Tea Party. Americans began boycotting British trade. In 1775 the War began. Later George Washington (a Virginia planter) took over the command of a Continental Army. The Continental Congress began to work as a national government and on July 4th, 1776 they agreed on the Declaration of Independence written mainly by Thomas Jefferson. The War of Independence lasted till 1783 when Britain signed the peace treaty and recognised the USA.
Expansion and Civil War (1861 – 1865)
In this era of expansion social reforms became important, especially the abolition of slavery. There was a note on slavery being inhumane in the Declaration of Independence, but it was removed from it by southern delegates. About 60 years of never ending disputes led to the Civil War between the North and the South. It was the worst episode in American history. It started after Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860. Southern States protested against Lincoln being the President and wanted to leave the Union. Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which granted freedom to all slaves. The army of confederation was defeated by the army of union (the North won).
The end of the 19th century and the 20th century
Industrial growth started after the Civil War. Urbanisation was the major trend, especially in the north. During this period the USA became the world’s leading industrial power. Why America entered WWI? The war started in Europe in 1914. At the start of the war, the USA sold goods to both warring countries – England and Germany. In this time Woodrow Wilson was a president and he kept almost 3 years the USA out of this war.
But England, which had the strongest navy in the world, blockaded Germany. It meant, that war goods transported to Germany were removed. The Germans had a smaller navy than the English, so they used submarines, attacking underwater. First a German submarine attacked an English passenger ship, called Lusitania, and killed over 1 thousand passengers. America made a strong protest to Germany. Then the Germans sank a French ship, called Sussex, – it meant another warning. But attacks continued and therefore the United States entered the war on the side of England and France.
Prohibition – the twenties. The WWII: The war was declared against Japan in 1941 and president Harry Truman ordered the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Cold War period after WWII saw increasing mistrust between the US and the Soviet Union. There were several war conflicts e.g. Korean War, Vietnam War.
The USA continues to have one of the highest standards of living in the world.
Korean War – MASH
Vietnam War – The Platoon (Četa), Born on 4th July, Apocalypse now.
West Indies = Karibik
London is the capital of the United Kingdom. It is the 9th largest city in the world, its population is about 10 million. London is situated on the river Thames in south-east England. It was founded as a Roman settlement. The great fire in 1666 destroyed almost all the city. London is as well as our Prague important industrial city. To London we can get by various means of transport – aeroplane (there are three airport, the most important ones are Heathrow and Gatwick), bus (Victoria Coach Station), train, car or ship. This city is famous for its red double-deckers and old fashioned black taxis. For fast transport you can go by the Underground, which is the oldest one in the world. There are many places of interest. When I was going from Victoria Coach Station I was passing:
Buckingham Palace – the Queen’s residence in London since the Queen Victoria’s reign. On of the biggest London’s parades is Changing the Guards.
Before the entrance to the Buckingham palace stands a big statue of Queen Victoria – Queen Victoria Monument.
There are many parks in London – James’s Park, Green Park, Hyde Park (it is the largest one and it is known for its Speakers Corner, where anybody can have a speech at any theme except criticising the Queen).
Piccadilly Circus (there is a nice fountain situated in the centre of the square), Regent Street, Oxford Street are the most famous shopping centres.
The National Gallery – situated on the top of Trafalgar Square. There are paintings by nearly all the great European artists. It is free of charge.
Trafalgar Square – was named after Admiral Nelson’s victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar. Nelson’s statue is at Trafalgar Square situated on a high column. The square is very popular also for its fountains. Many meetings and demonstrations take place there. At Christmas time a big Christmas tree stands there and on New Year’s Eve people gathered there at midnight, sing and dance.
Whitehall – street, leading from Hoses of Parliament to Trafalgar square.
Downing Street 10 – the official home of British Prime Ministers, two horse guides stands before the entrance. Today’s Prime Minster is Tony Blair.
The Houses of Parliament – gothic style, in 19th century the old building had burnt down. The only part, which escaped the fire, was Westminster Hall. It is the political centre of the United Kingdom, the home of British Parliament. There is also a famous clock-tower with Big Ben situated. It is said that it got its name after one rather fat MP Benjamin. Big Ben striking is known all over the world, because it is used by BBC as a time signal.
Westminster Abbey – Britain’s Kings and Queens are crowned there. And England’s greatest poets, artists, statesmen and other famous people are buried there in the Poet’s Corner. It was built in a gothic style. Many stet occasions and also royal wedding take place there.
The City of Westminster – the oldest part of London around St. Paul Cathedral. It was founded by Romans in 43 AD. There are many banks and also the most important Bank of England, and offices.
St. Paul’s Cathedral – on of the largest cathedral in the world. It is great renaissance dome made by famous architect Sir Christopher Wren in 17th century. The Cathedral is known for its Whispering Gallery. Standing on the Gallery you can clearly gear what is whispered on the opposite side. During the WWII it was badly damaged by bombs. Prince of Wales and Lady Diana were married here.
The Monument – it is not far from St. Cathedral. It is commemorating the place where the Great Fire of London started.
The Tower of London – it was founded by William the Conqueror. Following kings added another parts to the fortifications. It served as a royal home, then as a prison, execution site and royal observatory. Now it is a museum where you can see Crown Jewels.
The Tower Bridge – one of the most famous symbols of London. It was built last century.
It can open in the middle and let large ships go through.
The British Museum – the largest museum in the world. There are the biggest collection of all kinds of animal and minerals and rocks. There is also a library, which is the largest in the world as well. Also here the admission is free.
The Post Office Tower – the tallest building in Great Britain.
The National Theatre – was moved to a new building. There are many other theatres and also the royal Shakespeare Company, which usually play in Stratford.
Windsor Castle – is the residence of nearly all the British sovereigns outside London.
Greenwich – there is the Royal Observatory and it is situated at the prime meridian.
Even if we are not concertgoers and experts, we live surrounded by music and we don’t realize it. We come into contact with music all our lives. When we are little we listen to lullabies songs by our mother and soon we try to sing some songs our selves. At school we have music lessons and we also can visit a special music school. I was also visiting one. First I play violin…bla, bla, bla…
Many children start playing the piano or a wind instrument, such as the recorder, the pipe, the flute, the clarinet, the oboe or the bassoon, or thy bow a trumpet, play the accordion or a string instrument (the violin, the viola, the violoncello or contrabass). Slowly these children became musicians. They have concerts and they often play to the piano accompaniment of their teachers. Later are these young musicians influenced by TV, radio and record music. Teenagers start to play the guitar, the banjo the bass, the drums or the keyboard. They also take dancing lessons. But the most of them remain only listeners to music.
Large towns offer a better opportunity to enjoy performances of serious or pop music. Sometimes they invite renowned symphonic orchestras with outstanding conductors and hold music festivals. The most famous festivals are the Edinburgh Festival of Music and the Arts or the Prague Spring Festival, which has been held every year since 1946. These orchestras have their repertoire music by noted composers of all styles and periods. The well-known composers are W. A. Mozart, J. S. Bach, G. F. Händel, Schiller, Chopin, Beethowen or our composers Leoš Janáček, Bedřich Smetana, Antonín Dvořák. We also can listen to church, organ and chamber music, operas, operettas and musicals. Stars of pop, jazz and rock music usually give their concerts in large concert halls or sports stadiums. Sometimes, especially at ‘Christmas time, festivals of country music and brass band music.
At Christmas we can listen to Christmas carols singed by a male, female or mixed choir.
When we are at home, we can listen to recorded music or to the radio. Young people like to buy or exchange cassettes, LPs or compact discs. We also can watch programmes on TV and there are also charts – Eso.
Concerts can be classical serious, rock, folk, jazzy and pop concerts. The concerts of serious and classical music take place in the concert halls. Prague spring festival takes place every year in Prague and it’s great event for all people in The Czech Republic. Many famous artists meet there. The best singer of classical music in the world is Luciano Pavarotti and one of the most famous contemporary violin player is quite young, she is called Vanessa Mae and she is from Singapore. Sometimes also charity concerts are held. At charity concert musician usually don’t take money and they are given to various charity organisations.
Elvise Presley – American singer and guitarist, the most influential performer of the rock-and-roll era. The best known is his hit Love me Tender. He issued many records.
Beatles – famous British pop group from 60s and 70s. The members, all born in Liverpool (I was there) were John Lennon (guitar, vocals), Paul Mc Cartney (bass, vocals), Georkge Harrison (guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums). They used songs written largely by lennon and Mc Carthey. They issued many album and almost everyone reached the number one in the United Kingdom charts. Beatles also starred in two films: A Hard Day’s Night and Help. To the worl famous songs belongs Love me Do, Yellow Submarine, Yesterday, Michell,….