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Happy Australia Day

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Happy Australia Day
Today is Australia Day, so in Australia it`s a public holiday. It`s summer there, so a lot of people will have barbecues or go to the beach (or both!).

In Japan it`s winter, so it`s too cold for the beach or a barbecue, and anyway, I have to work today. However, looking on the bright side (物事の明るい面を見る), tomorrow I won`t have sunburn (日焼け), a hangover (二日酔い), or an angry boss.

This is a photo of a gift my brother gave me. Can you guess what it is? The answer is in comments.

Natural English:
- Japanese usually say " 海に行く" (go to the sea) but in English we usually say "go to the beach" (海岸に行く)
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Star Wars 7

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Star Wars 7
Have you seen the new Star Wars movie? A couple of weeks ago I saw it with my two sons & a couple of friends. I enjoyed it, though my youngest son got restless (もぞもぞ) after a while (the movie is over 2 hours).

When I was a kid, my father took me & my younger brother to see `Star Wars - Return of the Jedi`, so I was happy for the chance to take my own sons to see a Star Wars movie too.


Vocabulary:
- "a couple" = one boy & one girl, BUT "a couple of ___s" = about two or maybe three ___s. It`s not exact.
#ブログ #映画

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Takayama

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Takayama
Recently my parents visited Japan. I took some time off work & took them to Takayama. We took the train there. It takes about 2 and a half hours from Nagoya.

We took a walk everyday. There are a lot of nice things to see in Takayama - temples, traditional buildings, mountain & river views, etc. I took this photo of a rickshaw (人力車), but we didn`t take a rickshaw anywhere.

It was lovely & sunny. Unfortunately I didn`t take a hat, so I got a little sunburnt.

Vocabulary:
- "take [took]" has a lot of meanings in English, e.g. 休む, 連れて行く, (時間が)かかる, 撮る, 乗る、持って行く, (薬を)飲む, and more...!
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Suzuka Circuit Theme Park

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Suzuka Circuit Theme Park
I: What did you get up to on the weekend, Teragoya Otto?
T: I went to a theme park called Suzuka Circuit. Do you know it?
I: Yes. They have lots of rides (乗り物) for small kids, right? Could you go on many rides?
T: Yes, but there were long lines (列) for popular rides like (様な) the roller coaster & boat ride. Fortunately the lines for simple rides like the police bumper cars & aeroplane ride were short, so my kids went on them a few times.
I: Did you go on the aeroplane ride, Teragoya Otto?
T: Er... maybe. Why do you ask?
I: Pffft... No reason (何となく)!
T: Hey! Don`t laugh - it`s a cool ride!

Pronunciation:
- 日本語では`theme` (テーマ)は`gamer`と同じ韻になります。でも、英語の発音になると`theme`は`dream`と同韻語なのです。
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Bairin Park Plum Blossoms

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Bairin Park Plum Blossoms
If you want to see plum blossoms in Gifu City, Bairin Park is the best place. I went there last Sunday. There are lots of different colours of blossom. I think my favourite blossom colour is dark pink - it`s very vivid & striking. If you want to go, now is the best time - hurry!

Grammar:
- My favourite colour/food/song/etc. OK
- My best colour/food/song/etc. NO
- My best (golf/game/etc) score OK
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Wedding Procession

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Wedding Procession
On Saturday, while I was getting books & things ready for my first class, I looked out the window of my first floor classroom & noticed a wedding group getting ready to cross the road. I quickly grabbed (= got) my camera from my bag. Then I took some pictures.

The bride & groom saw me, so I waved to them & they waved back.

Congratulations!

Grammar:
- 本を準備する = get books ready
- パーティーの準備をする = get ready FOR a party
- 食べる準備をする = get ready TO eat
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Kids Climbing Wall

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Kids Climbing Wall
My kids love climbing on things - the sofa, the furniture, me when I`m trying to read a book... So we were happy to find this free kids climbing wall on the first floor of Kirio shopping centre in Kisogawa. My kids could enjoy climbing while I could read my book in peace.

Vocabulary:

- The FIRST floor in Japan & America is called the GROUND floor in Australia, Britain, & some of Europe. The SECOND floor in Japan is called the FIRST floor in Australia, & so on.

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Osu Kannon Markets & Toy Cars

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Osu Kannon Markets & Toy Cars
I went to the twice-a-month outdoor markets at Osu Kannon in Nagoya yesterday. I saw lots of interesting stuff (= things) for sale. I found a nice metal patrol car in a box.

I checked the wheels, & opened & closed the doors. It was okay.
I asked the vendor, "How much is this car?"
He said, "300 yen."
I thought, "Hmmm, a little expensive for a damaged old car..." but then I found a similar red one, so I asked, "How about 500 yen for two?" & he said OK.

Soon after, by chance (偶然 に) I found one in the same series at another stall (屋台店 ). I didn`t have to haggle (ねぎる) - it was only 100 yen.

In this photo, the doors are closed, but you can open & close them. My sons like cars like that. Me too.

Vocabulary:

- open: 開ける  opened: 開けた open: 開いている
- close: 閉める  closed: 閉めた  closed: 閉めている
- Be careful; `close` is NOT an adjective 形容詞
- So: "Excuse me, Mr Shopkeeper. Are you open?" "Sorry, we`re closED"
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Teragoya Beach BBQ

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Teragoya Beach BBQ
On Sunday, Teragoya held a beach BBQ event in Chita Penninsula. About 35 people went. We cooked food on BBQs, ate, drank, chatted (in English of course!), then went to the beach & swam, played cricket & made things using shells.

The weather was cloudy, but fortunately it didn`t rain. Everyone had a great time. I slept really well that night....

If you came, thanks for coming. I hope you enjoyed yourself!

Vocabulary:

Past tense (過去形) English verbs 動詞 can be regular (= always the same) e.g. cook > cookED, chat > chattED, play > playED, or irregular (irregular = NOT regular) e.g. hold > held, eat > ate, drink > drank. Irregular verbs are more difficult to learn than regular verbs. Good luck!

We use the word `irregular` for other situations e.g.:
My sister is a nurse, so she has irregular days off
You have an irregular heartbeat - you should see a doctor.
His head is an irregular shape since the cricket accident.
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Ogaki Festival

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Ogaki Festival
On Sunday I went to Ogaki festival. I`d never been to it before. It was bigger than I expected, with more stalls (やたい) & people than I expected. As expected, the stalls were selling the usual things - shaved ice (かきごおり), fried noodles (やきそば), corndogs (アメリカンドッグ) etc. My kids especially (とくに) like chocolate-coated bananas (チョコバナナ). In addition to other food, they ate two chocolate-coated bananas each. I was surprised - they ate much more than I expected at the festival. I hope this means they had a good time.

Have you ever been to Ogaki festival? What did you think of it?

Grammar:
- expect = 積もり
- as expected = 予想通り
- [adjective形容詞]er than (I) expected = (私) 予想より[形容詞]
- more [adjective形容詞] than (I) expected = (私) 予想より[形容詞]
- more [noun名詞] than (I) expected = (私) 予想より[名詞] たくさん 
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