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This week we've been welcoming lots of students from France and Germany, and sending out lots of paperwork to our hardworking host families!

What have you been doing? If you have something fun to share, do tell us on Facebook

OK, let's have a look at some of the more bizarre things that have been happening in the news:


  • A US news team, who were reporting live about the disappearance of a local man ? only to have that same man walk out of the nearby undergrowth and start talking to them!
    See the video here

  • Bigfoot fans, as it seems more evidence has emerged of the yeti?s existence.
    Read the story here


  • A man in Waco, Texas, who was jailed for 50 years ? for stealing a rack of ribs.
    Read the story here

  • Gullible TV viewers, who were taken in by a ?mockumentary? about mermaids on US TV, and then immediately took to social networks to talk about it.
    Read the story here


This week we?ve got a great video of Robin Van Persie showing off his football skills in a kick-about with some kids! See it here


  • 100,000 mobile phones are dropped down the toilet every year in the UK.
  • In 2008, Usain Bolt set the record for the 100 metres with one shoelace undone.
  • 13% of Belarus is swampland.
  • Since 1700, new species of beetle have been discovered at the rate of one every six hours!


"I went to a restaurant that serves "breakfast at any time". So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance." - Stephen Wright


That's the new for this week. Now, here are the answers to last week's "Water Idioms" homework:


1. like a fish out of water - e) feeling strange and out of place
2. water under the bridge - g) past and forgotten
3. keeping our heads above water - d) just surviving financially
4. spend money like water - h) spend without thinking
5. land him in hot water - a) get into trouble
6. like water off a duck's back - c) no effect on me
7. watered down - f) made less forceful
8. doesn't hold water - b) is not credible


Paul: John says the two of you had a serious argument last week.
Olga: Yes, but that's all WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE now. We're friends again.

Paul: Have you found a better job yet, Olga?
Olga: No, not yet. Money's a bit tight but we're just about KEEPING OUR HEADS ABOVE WATER.

Paul: Why haven't you got a credit card?
Olga: I know it would just make me SPEND MONEY LIKE WATER.

Paul: What I like about Steve is that he's not afraid to express his opinions.
Olga: That's all very well, but his opinions often LAND HIM IN HOT WATER at work.

Paul: Weren't you upset by all the criticism you got at the meeting?
Olga: Oh no, I'm used to it. It's just LIKE WATER OFF A DUCK'S BACK.

Paul: I thought the President's speech was very weak.
Olga: Yes, I think it has been WATERED DOWN to avoid upsetting some people in his party.

Paul: The only thing which will help the economy is to raise interest rates.
Olga: But that argument DOESN'T HOLD WATER. Higher interest rates are bad for business.

Paul: After the meeting we were taken to one of those big London clubs.
Olga: I bet you felt LIKE A FISH OUT OF WATER !

And which of the following have been banned by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan?


1. Pork
2. Photographs
3. Playing Chess
4. Flying a kite
5. Pool tables
6. Pet pigeons
7. Clapping at sporting events


8. Riding bicycles
9. Showing their ankles
10. Wearing shoes that click
11. Attending school
12. Laughing or speaking loudly

The answer? All of them!!

And finally, the riddles:

Riddle 1:
What gets wetter the more it dries? A bath towel

Riddle 2:
Take one out and scratch my head, I am now black but once was red. What am I? A Match

Now, your homework this week is called Train Idioms.

Read the following text:

Trains run on railway tracks which are made up of rails. Trains cannot climb hills easily, so in the past tunnels were built through hills and mountains. If a train is derailed, it comes off the rails. At the end of the railway line, usually in a station are buffers. Sometimes, if a train does not stop in time, it hits the buffers. The first trains were steam trains, but today they are more likely to be diesel or electric. Very fast trains are called express trains.


Use some of the words in the passage above to complete these idioms:

light at the end of the ?????
a one-???? mind
under my own ?????
hit the ?????
ran out of ????
right off the ????
back on ?????
let off ?????
on the right ?????
like an ???? train


Use the idioms above in the following situations.

1. The Government's first 2 years were very successful, but then everything seemed to hit the ????.
2. I don't need a lift, thanks Olga. I'll get there ?????.
3. We want to design a cheap, eco-friendly car. There are one or two problems but basically we're ????
4. Our business has had a difficult few years but things are starting to improve. There's ?????.
5. The Conservative Party lost the election. Their campaign started well but it just ???? a week before the election.
6. Since his girlfriend left him, Paul's lost his job and is drinking heavily. He's really gone ????.
7. My boyfriend Tom just thinks about football all the time. He's so boring. He's got a ???? mind!
Olga: Would you like a game of tennis tonight, Paul?
Paul: Yes, I'd love to. I've had a really stressful week at work. I need to ????

Olga: How are things at work after the fire?
Paul: It's taken us 3 months to sort everything out but things are ???? now.

Olga: Did you see the football last night? What about Ronaldo's goal?
Paul: He's incredible. He's so fast, he's ?????. There's no stopping him.

And finally your weekly riddle:

A horse travels a certain distance each day. Strangely enough, two of its legs travel 30 miles each day and the other two legs travel nearly 31 miles. It would seem that two of the horse's legs must be one mile ahead of the other two legs, but of course this can't be true. Since the horse is normal, how is this situation possible?

Have a great week and I look forward to writing to you next Friday.
Paul & Jill

Paul Stevens - Director (based in San Diego, USA)
Jill Tyler - General Manager (based in Plymouth, UK)

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