Hello on this dark and gloomy evening,
The rain continues to pour here in Matsumoto, and all I can see out the window are the traffic lights. They hover like two glowing eyes in the mist. Which reminds me of a ghost story.
In England, there are many moorlands - these are very rainy, foggy areas of barren countryside. In the South of England, the moors are yellow, and in the North they are red - because of the plants that grow there.
The moors are known as windswept, frightening and very beautiful landscapes. They are also mysterious places, which is why many ghost stories are set there.
Each moorland has it`s own ghost story - there is the `The Beast of Bodmin` and `The Demon of Dartmoor` - but all of the ghost stories feature a `Hellhound`. These are large black dogs with glowing red eyes and a blood-curdeling howl. The stories say that anyone who stays on the moor at night will be haunted by the Hellhounds.
The most famous ghost story is called `The Hound of the Baskervilles` by Arthur Conan Doyle. The story follows the Detective Sherlock Holmes as he tries to unravel the mystery of the Hellhounds. An old and cruel family who live on the moors are cursed and the Hellhounds haunt every member for hundreds of years.
Luckily for me, I don`t have to worry about Hellhounds here, because Japan has it`s own, more frightening ghost stories - such as umeboshi.
Hello again from Peter at Matsumoto Amity
The sign-up list for the special Halloween event is filling up very quickly, so please remember to ask a teacher about joining in - and for a chance to craft your very own creepy, hairy pet spider!
The most common insect in the UK home is called the `Daddy Long-Legs` (あしながおじさん). It`s small and very clumsy, and I think it looks like a piece of string with wings. At this time of year, thousands and thousands of Daddy Long-Legs come inside the house and spend their time bumping into the lights. It must be very frustrating to be a Daddy Long-Legs.
Today, we put up our Halloween decorations and began preparations for parental observations, taking place in November. I hope everyone will be pleased with our student`s hard work.
During Adult classes this week, we also discussed how to sound more natural in English conversation. Instead of saying `eto` (ええと),try to be indicisive in English, and say `err` or `umm`. For example, if you`re trying to think of an excuse for why your homework is late, I will be much more impressed and understanding if you begin with `err..`.
Hello from Peter at Matsumoto Amity,
Calling all little monsters, ghouls and ghosts, witches and wizards! We are currently preparing for a special Halloween event on October 31st. There will be all kinds of spooky English activities, including crafting your own pet spider. Please ask a teacher to sign up.
In the UK, we also celebrate Bonfire Night in Autumn. On this night, November 5th, families and friends go outside in the freezing cold to watch fireworks, eat pies and mushy peas, and light enormous fires. Like many festivals and celebrations, the meaning of the event has changed after hundreds of years. Today it is an event for friends and family to spend time with one another. It is one of my favourite nights of the year, but we have to be careful of the hedghogs, a small, spikey animal that is native to the UK. They often fall asleep in piles of Autumn leaves, and don`t like the fireworks as much as I do.
In Matsumoto, it`s cold and rainy outside, so it`s perfect weather to learn English. Today`s English phrase is "break a leg" (幸運を！） This is a common English phrase to wish someone good luck (幸運を！）. To all students studying for the Eiken test this Autumn - break a leg!