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Essays

Put your hands together

Alan Townend

Are you sociable? Do you like making conversation? Are you gregarious (like the company of others)? Are you the sort of person who likes joining in or taking part in communal (group) activities? A lot
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What word would you use to describe somebody who never gives up, is decisive and continues doing what they want despite comments from other people? This is an adjective incidentally that is used very
In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII issued a papal bull (a sort of order or decree) stating among other things that the beginning of the new year would change from March 25th to January 1st. Most of the world t

That time of year

Alan Townend

A long, long time ago every evening for a whole week I used to put on a pair of large feathered wings, deliver a few lines from the pulpit in a church and pretend I was the Archangel Gabriel. I was ta

Christmas Cards

Alan Townend

Queen Victoria reigned (ruled) for most of the 19th century in the UK. It was a time of great splendour and also of great poverty. If you want a true picture of what life was like for those who had a
If you drive north up the motorway for about ten minutes from where I live, you'll come to what we call one of Britain's Stately Homes. These are large historic buildings that nowadays are open to the

Mobile crazy

Alan Townend

When I walk down the High Street in the town where I live, which is about 20 miles north of London, I sometimes feel I ought to pinch myself because I feel as if I have suddenly been transported into

French or English?

Alan Townend

Today you'll learn why so many French words have been absorbed into the English language:

The one date which schoolchildren in Britain never forget is the year the Norman French invaded the

A new season

Alan Townend

Recently, well no let's be honest, for many weeks strange things have been happening in the United Kingdom. Middle aged men are seen walking around self consciously in shorts so crisp and new they've
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