Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year 2015

Happy New Year 2015 
to all HELC students past and present

Friday, 19 December 2014

End of the School Year

Today is the last day of the school year here at HELC. Some students are going home, some are staying in Hastings and some are going travelling in Europe. 
Here are some of my students with their leaving certificates. From the left: Ayako - Rie - Mitsuteru - Maican - Shugo - teacher Ania - Mohammed - Mikako.
We wish all our current students and ex-students a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year 2015.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Three Birthdays

Today, the 17th, is Shugo's birthday, he's on the left. Then on Friday the 19th, it is Mikako's birthday, she's in the middle. And tomorrow, the 18th, it is Abdullah's birthday. So we wish each of them a very happy birthday. 

Friday, 5 December 2014

Goodbye to Midori and Rika

From left to right: Rika from Japan - (seated) Maican from Spain - Midori from Japan - Abdullah from Saudi Arabia - Rie from Japan.

Rika is flying back to Japan tomorrow and Midori is moving to London to work in a language school teaching Japanese to English people.

Friday, 28 November 2014

A Foggy Day in Lewes

I went to Lewes on Wednesday (the) 26th (of) November. It was a little (foggy) but I tried (decided) to go there. Lewes is the county (town) of East Sussex and it is a civil parish and is the centre of the Lewes local government district.  
After I finished school, I went at a brisk trot to the station so I could get on the train on time.  I (was) worried about the weather if it was (going to) rain or not  but the weather responded to the (my) expectations of me.
It took about an hour (by train) from Hastings to Lewes. When I arrived at Lewes, I could see the bridge and there were a few small cafes in this street. I was very hungry and it was cold so I was looking (looked) for a cafe. I found a lovely and attractive cafe. 

This cafe was the Flint Owl Bakery which is in the High Street. I went to the Flint Owl bakery shop which is (also) in the High Street. When I came (went) into the shop, something smelled so good, it was (an) appetising smell. I had soup with bread there so I got a recharge of energy.

After that I walked to see the Lewes castle. (It was) as if I (had) wandered into a foreign land because I was in a thick fog. The Lewes castle was small as compared with the Canterbury Cathedral but it was lovely.
I like a big city like London. It makes me excited but, I like small towns too because I feel comfortable and relaxed visiting a small town. I didn’t use to be interested in European history but now I’m interested in it come to visit (visiting) a historical city. I think it is important to know the history of the place.
I’m impressed to see a lot of the historical places every time because the history has connections in the present. The times have completely changed but I want to inherit (the) tradition (of) each country. I explore a lot of places and I want to spend my life having a lot experiences.
Rie - Japan

P.S.   This is post number 500 on this blog

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

A Visit to Canterbury Cathedral

I went to Canterbury on 22nd November. I’ve always wanted to see Canterbury Cathdral so I was (really) looking forward to seeing it. It was a small (short) trip because it (only) took an hour from Hastings to Canterbury.
At first, a lot of small shops welcomed me. Some of them were very old so it reminded me of Rye. was looking around the streets for a while and then I went through the big gate which was made of (stone) bricks. It seemed the church was saying ‘’ welcome’’ to me because I got overwhelmed by the scale of it at first sight. 
I came (went) into the church after paying admission. I was surprised to enter (it) because it was very different from what I imagined. It was spacious in the church. It didn’t seem that the church had been built by (the) hand of people.  I wondered about it and it was more than 1,400 years ago since it was built. 

My favourite part was the stained glass windows of the cathedral. They were amazing and beautiful! Each piece of glass made a different picture. I sat on the (a) chair and thought about (the) people of that time. It made me flash back. To my surprise, the repair of the windows will cost approx. £2.25million and the Cathedral does not receive assistance from the government to help maintain this very special building. 
It was a nice experience for me because I’d never seen a building like that in Japan. I’m thinking about my next trip. I want to go faraway next time. I hope I’ll go to France this year.
Rie - Japan

Monday, 24 November 2014

The Hastings Arms

On 19th November I went to the Hastings Arms with my classmates. There were 12 of us. We were looking for a nice restaurant but we couldn't find one so we went to the restaurant which a man recommended. The restaurant was the Hastings Arms, in fact it is a pub in Hastings Old Town. 
We ordered (from) the menu. It took a long time because there was lot of choice on the menu. I chose falafel with pitta plate. It was not so good, but I enjoyed having lunch with my friends. We were very very hungry so we were quiet while we were eating it. To my surprise, all of the plates were a big serving of food so we shared it. After finishing lunch, we enjoyed talking. If I hadn't come to HELC, I could't have experienced anything like that. 
HELC students are very friendly. Maybe, it makes me comfortable. I had a good lunch time yesterday. Next time I'd like to try Indian spicy curry. It's coming winter, so I want to have something warm to eat. I always feel like eating rice and miso soup at this time of year.
Rie from Japan

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Hiroko in Melbourne

I've been in Melbourne in Australia as (on) a working holiday since November. At first, I was in (on the) Gold Coast to meet Kate from Russia who studied English in Helc with me (in 2012) and after that, I started working in (a) Japanese style hotel. I work with Japanese staff and (the) Austaralian owner so I speak Japanese and English. Haha.  I'll work at here for 4 months maybe so I've been pondering about how to study English in this situation. The worst thing is my listening ability. Anyway, I read books all the time. I hope my English will be better in here. How is Hastings?

[To ponder something = to think about it carefully and for a long time]

Hiroko from Japan and Kate from Russia on the beach on the Gold Coast

Hiroko waiting for a Kangaroo to arrive

Friday, 21 November 2014

Morning Class

From left to right: Eva from the Czech Republic - Abdullah from Saudi Arabia - Rie from Japan - Analice from Brazil - Rika from Japan - Midori from Japan - Maichan from Spain.
My name is Eva Cechova, I am from the Czech Republic (and) I am 26 years old.  My parents are 63 years old and they are pensioners now. I have two brothers and one sister, I am the youngest, (and) I have six nephews.  I live with my boyfriend and my family in a family house with a garden in a small village near Opava. I graduated from (in) Quality Management at Technical university. I am jobless at the moment (so) I am looking for my future job. 
I am tall [179cm], I have brown eyes and I wear glasses. I have long brown hair. I am very friendly, funny and nice. My boyfriend says about me, that I am sometimes outspoken, very active and moody. I like (the colour) purple colour and I love cats. My hobbies are swimming, reading, walking, watching TV and speaking with my friends. 

My name is Abdullah (and) I’m from Saudi Arabia. I’m 22 years old (and) I live in Jeddah city with my parents. I finished university and I studied media (and) I finished last year .
I have black hair and black eyes. I “think” Im friendly. I play football because it is good for my body and health and I like swimming and travelling.

My name’s Rie Aramaki (and) I’m from Osaka in Japan. I’m 22 years old, I’m a college student (and) I’m going to Canada after I graduate from college so (as) I’ve already got a visa. I’m looking forward to going there.
 I came to Hastings to improve my English. When I came here I was  very nervous for the first time but now I’ve been (am) enjoying  school life now.  This is a very nice place with lovely people.
I usually go out every weekend. My first weekend was terrible, because I went to Oxford without knowing how far away it was so I came home at nearly 11 o’clock (at night)! I was so tired, but I thought it was a good experience for me.
I want to explore a lot of British afternoon tea shops. I didn’t use to have sandwiches, but now I always have them for lunch. (Japanese) people who came to England said ‘I miss rice and miso soup’ but I don’t. I don’t know why. Am I becoming a British girl?  

My name is Analice, I am 34 years old, I graduated from Business University, I am from Brazil but I have been living in Norway for two years with my husband and my son. My son’s name is Gabriel, he is 8 years old and a lovely boy.
I am quite short, I have shoulder-length brown hair and brown eyes. I wear glasses, but sometimes contact lenses. I think I am a friendly, extrovert and talkative person.
I like staying together my family, traveling, eating out, meeting friends and trying different foods and knowing about different cultures.

My name is Rika Sato. I am from Japan and I live in Tokyo. There are many people in Tokyo. I have been living in Tokyo for 4 years. I am 23 years old and a university student (in) 4th grade. I study economics (but) it is difficult for me.
I am going to tell you about myself. I have long straight black hair and black eyes. I think I am a friendly person because I have many friends and I like talking with my friends.

In my free time I love watching drama, playing volley ball and travelling but I do not have much free time because I have classes every day. But I can go traveling at the weekend in Hastings, I often go to near places with my classmates like Brighton (or) London. 

My name is Midori, I’m Japanese and I live in Hastings now. Hastings is a very pretty town, I live with my host mother. I’m 26 years old and I’m at HELC studying English but I studied Biology at university in Japan. I’m going to work in a Japanese language school in London just next year, I (will) teach Japanese to British people.
I’m going to tell you about myself. I have black shoulder-length hair and black eyes, I wear glasses, but sometimes use contact lenses. I think I’m shy, but my family and friends say I’m a very friendly and positive person.
In my free time I love reading but I can’t read English books so I study English now.  I like  travelling. I have been  to many countries, My favorite countries are France, Spain and of course U.K !

My name is Maichan. I'm Spanish and I live in Asturias (in) Gijon, Gijon is a small city in the north of Spain. I live with my mother. I'm 30 years old and I'm working in a restaurant and its specialty is typical fish (dishes of) ‘Cantabric’ seafood. I`m  (have been) in my job (for) 9 years.
I`m going to a tell you about myself. I have short hair and brown eyes (and) I wear glasses. I think I'm a positive person, I'm friendly. 
In my free time I love reading and playing football. In Spain I don`t have (much) free time because I work every day, and I go to English classes in the morning every day. 

Monday, 27 October 2014

Afternoon Class says Goodbye to Theresa

From the left: Lorenzo from Rome in Italy - Mikako from Tokyo in Japan - Romana from a village near Zurich in Switzerland - Karoliina from Helsinki in Finland - Theresa from Bremen in Germany and Rie from Fukuoka (but now living in Osaka) in Japan. 

Friday, 3 October 2014

Class Profiles

From the left: Magdalena from the Czech Republic - Alice from Germany - 
their teacher but I can't remember his name!!! - Ryosuke from Japan - 
Theresa from Germany - Dana from the Czech Republic.

Hello, my name is Magdalena Holcova, I’m 20 years old and I live in a city near Prague – the Czech Republic's capital.  Currently I’m a university student – I’m studying  biology and I would like to be a botanist in the future. I love travelling a lot. I think I’m quite an adventurous and energetic type of person. I love visiting foreign countries, meeting different people and comparing our lifestyles, traditions and habits. I enjoy being in nature, hiking in the mountains, swimming in the sea, running alongside (the) river bank and admiring all the beautiful things around. Sometimes I can be little bit competitive and ambitious. I love to do things enthusiastically and properly and I’m annoyed when people around me don’t. My idea of the perfect life includes an interesting and creative job, a lot of hobbies, nice, supportive and extraordinary friends and first and foremost a happy family.

I am Alice from Germany. I studied law and now work as an assistant at the university. I am staying in Hastings to improve my skills of the English language, therefore I might describe myself as ambitious. Getting to know the English culture by staying with a friendly and open-minded guest family and actually enjoying the sunny weather with a lot of students from all around the world just complets this great opportunity of learning and travelling. I consider myself to be open-minded because I like to learn languages and to travel to different countries. Friends characterize me as independent and reliable, but unfortunately I  can be a little bit untidy and absent-minded in some situations.

My name is Ryosuke. I come from Japan, I live in Tokyo (and) I’m a university student, I’m studying economics. My hobbies are practising Karate and playing guitar.  I like UK rock 'n' roll music, particularly The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, so I chose Britain to learn English. I think HELC is the best place to learn English, because there are not a lot of students.
I’m a senior in university at present, so I have to do job hunting. I think English is an indispensable skill to search for a  job. I know I should study English hard, but actually it is difficult for me to improve my English skills. In the future, I want to be a rich man, get great fame (and) marry a beautiful woman so at the moment I should get a lot of good skills to work for a big company.

Hi, my name is Theresa. I’m 23 years old and I live in Bremen, Germany. I’m staying here for 8 weeks to improve my English skills. At the moment I’m looking for a new job. The reason I’m here is because I want to get a job in a purchase department in a wholesale company and there I (will) have to speak English very well. I’m enjoying my trip to Hastings which is a very nice city and you can meet a lot of friendly, lovely people. Maybe next year I’ll come again but I hope that I’ll be able to speak English better and I can try to go on the business course. My friends say about me that I’m open-minded, optimistic, generous but a little bit chaotic, but sometimes I think that’s good. ☺ In my spare time I go swimming twice a week, I like to meet friends after work and I love shopping. If I got a lot of money I think I would go clothes shopping every day. 

Hi, my name is Dana. I am 47 years old and live in Pilsen, Czech Republc. I am in Hasting to improve my English and my motivation for it, especially for speaking and understanding live English.
I am optimistic and cheerful especially to my clients and friends. Some people say I can be a little bit bitchy. I think that's (a) good insight. But for me it is different to be (an) introverted and less sociable person, but both seem similar. I am reliable and industrious  when I am interested in it (but) I am losing (lose) motivation very easily when I start to be bored but (only) for (a) short time because I need to do a lot of things.
My nearest friends say I am independent, obstinate and adventurous. My mother sees (me) differently I think. She says I am too impulsive to stand in one place and too impatient to do only one thing, I think all (this) is true. I like to be by myself and try to be kind to myself. That's the most important partnership in life, I think. I like travelling, cooking, hiking, animals, films and theatre performances and a lot of other things.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

A Visit to the Old Town

Magdalena from the Czech Republic - Alice from Germany - Shoko from Japan enjoy a coffee in the café in George Street called 'Hanushka'.

Standing outside a house in the Old Town with a very pink door!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Afternoon Tea

Sitting in the Apothecary Tea Rooms in Rye having afternoon tea are Theresa from Germany; Ayaka from Japan and Emi, also from Japan. 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Last Night of the Proms

Every year, from the Royal Albert Hall in London, the BBC televise more than seventy classical music concerts over a period of eight weeks. These are called the 'Promenade Concerts' or the 'Proms'. 

The Last Night of the Proms is very special. The people attending the concert bring flags and wear Union Jack waist coats (see the conductor), scarves, dresses and so on. The last piece of music is always "God Save the Queen' but the one before is called 'Pomp and Circumstance, written by Edward Elgar. 

This is a very British event and it shows how music can unite people. The final chorus starts at 4:50/8:48 and everyone sings the chorus "Land of hope and glory, land of the free" together and there is a lot of patriotic flag waving.

However, it is not just the Union flag that is being waved - you can (if you look carefully) see English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish, Cornish, South African, Italian, Netherlands, Norwegian, Japanese, Canadian, Chinese, Swedish, Polish, New Zealand, Australian, French, German, North American and Spanish flags and more, and the conductor is from Finland! 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Favourite Buildings

My morning class who wrote about their favourite buildings, from left to right: Marie - Magdalena - Harumi - Lucie - Katsuya - Dmitry

Himeji Castle - Japan
A building I admire in my city is Himeji Castle, a large castle and one of the most famous places in Japan. This was built in 1346 as a fortress, then a lot of famous generals made this castle bigger and now, Himeji castle is one of the largest castles in Japan. This castle is also called “Shirasagi Castle” and “Hakuro Castle” which means white herons because of its beauty and the pure white walls. It was registered (a) UNESCO World Heritage (site) in 1993. 
What I like most about (it) is its size and perfection. The castle covers 23 hectares and has 74 buildings.  In addition, Himeji Castle has a tennsyukaku which is a space where people live. There are only 12 castles which have tennsyukaku and Himeji Castle has  the biggest one of all. Its height above sea level is 92 metres. The scale is also unparalleled as other castles. 
Moreover, this castle sustains its elegance and beauty even now because this castle has not been involved a hot war and it was fixed twice after WW2. Although other castles (have been) reconstructed, Osaka castle, for instance, was attached with an elevator, Himeji castle is not. In addition, it has a lot of equipment which was used in war, for example, there are many holes in the wall to shoot enemies with arrows from it. From the above, Himeji Castle (maintains) the appearance which you can feel the history and it is (known as) the best castle in Japan. 

Cesky Krumlov Castle - Czech Republic
Cesky Krumlov Castle is located in the centre of Cesky Krumlov (English: Bohemian Crumlaw). It is one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic. What I like most about it is that the castle lies on the banks of the Vltava, the longest river in the Czech Republic, and if you sail on a canoe or raft you have such a beautiful view of the castle. 
If you visit Cesky Krumlov you should definitely rent a raft or canoe and explore the town (from) the river, it’s the thing which is best about it. Cesky Krumlov Castle is a complex of 40 buildings situated around 5 courtyards and it is the second largest castle complex in Central Europe (the first is Prague Castle). 
The whole complex is open to the public. The castle was founded by the Lord of Krumlov before 1250 as a gothic castle. After him, the castle received the Rosenbers family in 1302. They had their seat there for 300 years. In 1602, the Emperor Ferdinand II von Habsbursg bought the castle for the Austrian princely family of Eggenbergs. They rebuilt the castle in the Baroque style. The next family who owned this castle was the Schwarzenbergs, but in 1947 all their property was nationalized (transferred to state ownership) because socialism came to power. In 1992, the castle was added to the UNESCO list (as well as Prague and Telc).
Lucie Jileckova

Kenchoji Temple - Japan
This is one of the greatest temples in Japan. Built in the 13th century, it is a historical piece of architecture made of wood. Although the temple is not as elegant as those in Kyoto, it has attracted a lot of people not only from across Japan but from around the world due to its large scale. That is because Kamakura was once a metropolis founded by a samurai, while Kyoto was founded by a noble person. 
The temple has several buildings on quite (a) large site, surrounded by greenery. And so, the contrast between the old dark brown wood and the deep green forest is very beautiful. However, its most attractive feature I should tell you is that the temple offers people opportunities to practice meditation. It is located in Kamakura, ten minutes walk from Kita-kamakura station. How would you like to experience meditation and think about your life in a quiet atmosphere?  Come to Kamakura and visit Kenchoji Temple.

The Municipal House - Czech Republic
The Municipal House in Prague is considered to be one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau buildings in the world. The palace-like building is situated near the Old Town and was officially opened on 22 November 1912. The most skilled Czech artists of the day decorated all the building with paintings, sculptures and stained glass. Their main idea was to create a splendid representative building for the Czech capital, Prague.  
Today, the building has a large number of concert halls, cafes and exhibition halls inside and going there is a great experience for every visitor. Outside, the building is painted white, decorated with a balcony, railing and a big dome. What I love the most about the building is the flower-shaped decoration, the beautiful murals and the magnificent Art Nouveau style facade and windows which together form the great example of the architecture of the beginning of the last century.
Magdalena Holcova

Rokuonn-ji Temple - Japan
Rokuonn-ji Temple is one of the most beautiful temples in the world. This temple is better-known as Kinkaku-ji Temple. Do you know The Temple of the Golden Pavilion which was written by Yukio Mishima? In the story, a man burns down a temple. The author describes the man’s feelings and why he burned it.

Rokuonn-ji temple reminds me of this story, and it actually was burned down in 1950 the author got the idea from this event, and it was rebuilt in 1955. It is located in Kyoto in a place which was purchased by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397, and after he died it was changed into a Zen temple by his son, according to his wishes. It has three stories and the top two stories are coverd with pure gold leaf. It’s approximately 12.5 meters in height. It was chosen as World Heritage Site of UNESCO in 1994. This is one of the most famous temples in Kyoto and people who visit Kyoto should go there. 
Marie Kato

The Sky Tower - New Zealand
Do you know what the highest building in the southern hemisphere is? To answer this question we should visit the only home of kiwi birds, the land of the Maoris and the fascinating islands discovered by James Cook in the second part of the 18th century, New Zealand.
The Sky Tower is situated in Auckland, the biggest city in New Zealand. It is a telecommunication and observation tower built between 1994 and 1997. The tower is 328 meters high or about 1,076 feet tall making it the tallest man-made structure in the southern hemisphere. How tall is that? Well, it is about 4 meters or 13 feet taller than the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris. 
What I find most exciting about the Sky Tower is its beautiful architecture and its safety. The tower is designed to face winds exceeding 200 km/h or about 120 mph. Also, it can stand an 8.0 magnitude earthquake which is very important since New Zealand is quite a seismic country.
Without doubt, the Sky Tower remains one of the most remarkable constructions of the country and one of the most amazing towers in the world.