Book reading

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Yesterday I read a book at the city library in the Pegasart building in the centre of Shizuoka City. The name of the book is ‘Puppy’, which is the name for a baby dog, and above you can see a picture of the puppy.

I read the book to the children and they repeated the words. They seemed to enjoy themselves. It was a happy and proud time for me, because I wrote the book!

Why shampoo?

Do you wash your hair with shampoo? Of course, every day.

But shampoo is bad for your hair!

Would you want to wash your hair in dishwashing liquid? Well, this is what you do. Shampoo is a detergent, like dishwashing liquid or bathroom cleaner, and it is made from oil. The only difference with shampoo is that it is not quite so strong, and has a nice perfume.

It is true that shampoo does clean your hair, but it also removes natural oils from your hair, which help keep your hair smooth, shiny and healthy. Your hair becomes dry and brittle, is badly damaged, and looks terrible.

Many years ago everyone used soap to wash their hair. Soap is made from vegetable and animal fats, and contains natural oils. It cleans your hair without damage.

But soap works best in soft water. Nowadays the water in most big cities is hard and alkaline, and soap does not work well in alkaline conditions.

So companies started making shampoo from detergent, which works well in all kinds of water. The shampoo companies quickly realised that their shampoo was damaging everyone’s hair, so they started selling conditioner, which replaces the natural oils in your hair. But conditioners are made with artificial oils which last only a day or two. So you need to wash your hair every day and use lots of shampoo and lots of conditioner, and your hair’s natural oils are lost.

Soap is much better than shampoo, the problem is the water.

If you live in an area with soft or medium water then it is easy to use soap, and you don’t even need any conditioner.

But if you live in an area with hard water you can still use soap if you put a little acid into the water to balance the alkali. For example you could fill a big jug with water and put a little vinegar (about a teaspoon) into the water, and use this for both washing and rinsing. This small amount of vinegar shouldn’t smell, but if you don’t like vinegar you could try lemon juice or even beer! If the water in your area is really hard then it may be best to use a little conditioner too.

This should leave your hair clean and shiny. You may find that you don’t need to wash your hair every day, sometimes warm water is enough. Your hair will clean itself with its natural oils and look even better.

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Mobile phone problem

Like most people I have a mobile telephone. Recently I have had some problems because the battery has a very short life and often needs to be charged. Here is a picture of the battery.

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So I went to the au shop to buy a new battery. The sales assistant tried to sell me a new phone. But I only use it for a few short calls every month. I don’t take photos (I use my ‘real’ camera), I don’t send messages (I use my personal computer), and I don’t play games, so I told her I would like to keep the same telephone.

The sales assistant said a new battery would cost 3,000 yen or 2,000 points. It seemed very expensive since my phone was free when I first got it. I thought about it and decided to use 2,000 points. The sales assistant checked on the computer and found that au did not have a battery to fit my phone! My telephone is less than 3 years old, but the sales assistant told me that most people change phones every 6 months or year (is this true?), so my telephone was actually very old.

By chance I noticed that I pay 300 yen a month for an internet charge. But I never use this! So I have spent about 10,000 yen on nothing since I started using my phone.

I asked the sales assistant to stop this service immediately, which she did. I reckon that if I save this 300 yen a month then next year I should have saved enough money for a new phone. But until then I will have to charge my battery every night.

Roggen Meyer

Today I had no classes in the afternoon. I wanted to buy some lunch and eat it in Sumpu Park, but the weather was too wet and windy, so I looked around for a place that was not crowded and where no-one was smoking.

I found the Roggen Meyer Cafe in Parche. It’s a small place next to the Roggen Meyer bakery. The cafe was empty and there were no ashtrays on the tables, so I decided to eat there.

Firstly I bought some bread rolls and pastries from the bakery, then I ordered a cappuccino. The waitress was very polite, and I was happy to sit and eat quietly.

Although the coffee was very very hot it tasted as bad as the coffee from Mr Donuts, but the apple pastry was delicious. It wasn’t so big, but it cost only 116 yen, and was full of slices of tasty apple. There was no cinnamon or other spices, just the taste of the apple. Perhaps it was a little too sweet, but it still was really good.

The name of the apple pastry was マイヤーズ (or Meyer’s), and I wondered if it was a speciality of this shop. So, when I was paying the money, I asked the waitress about the Meyer’s apple pastry. She had no idea, she hadn’t even noticed that マイヤーズ and Meyer’s were the same word. I realised that she was a part-time worker who had no interest in the products she was selling, shame!

Spurs are out

Many of you have been following my favourite football team, Tottenham, nickname Spurs, in the UEFA Cup this season. After winning eight straight games, Spurs lost to Sevilla 3-4.

Spurs lost the first game away to Sevilla 1-2 and drew the home game 2-2, so Sevilla are now in the last four, and Spurs are out, and it’s Friday 13th today!

The picture below is a shot from Spurs’ goalkeeper, Robinson, in the last minute of the game.

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To my new students

Welcome to my blog. This blog is for you.

I started it in September 2006. Many of my students were reading it last year, and some of them will probably continue.

The title of this blog is ‘Think twice’ and I hope the articles will make you think twice (or even three times) about everyday events in our lives. I try to write in easy-to-understand English, but there will be some words that you don’t know. So please use the link on the right side for an English to Japanese dictionary, it’s really easy to use.

If you want to write a comment, just click the word ‘comment’ and you will see a screen with a small box at the bottom. Write your comment in this box and click ‘submit’. You do not need to leave your e-mail address, just a name (or nickname). Or you can always tell me your comment after class.

If you want to look at the homework page for your class then click the correct place at the top of the blog. For example if our class is 1st period on Mondays, then click M1, if our class is 3rd period on Wednesdays, then click W3, etc.

Happy blogging!

Oh no, Spurs lost!

My favourite football team, Tottenham, is in the last eight of the UEFA Cup. Last night they lost away to Sevilla, 2-1.

However there is a second match at Spurs’  home ground next week, so there is still a chance for Spurs to progress, but Sevilla are a very good team, they won the UEFA Cup last season, and they are second in the Spanish League.

Spurs’ goal was from Keane, please see below.

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April

April is one of four months with 30 days. Its original Latin name was Aprillis, but the origin of this name is unclear.

It probably comes from the Latin word ‘aperire’, meaning ‘to open’, as April is the time of year when flowers open. But it may also be named after the god Aphros, which we know as Aphrodite (or Venus), the god of love, since in Aprillis there was a festival held for Venus.

April was originally the second month of the year, but when January was made the first month in 450BC April became fourth, and it was given 29 days. However when the Roman emperor Julius Caesar revised the calendar in 45BC April gained one day, so now it has thirty.

The first day of April is always the same as the first day of July (this year it is Sunday), and April’s birth-stone is a diamond.

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