In this episode of Aussie English I interview my housemate Berfi, a Turkish sheila Down Under, and ask her about what it was like moving to Australia to study.
AE 349 – Interview with Berfi:
A Turkish Sheila Down Under
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About the AuthorI learn languages, teach Australian English, and love all things science and nature!
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By Admin — 2 days ago
AE 535 – Expression: A Fly on the Wall
Well, this is Outback Australia. Look at these flies.
Yeah, try not to eat too many, ‘cause if you get stuck, I think you’d get a feed off of these fellas.
Eventually, you get used to them and you don’t blink. That hasn’t happened to me yet. I still blink.
I don’t think they’ve got anywhere to go. (It’d) be a good place to test fly spray.
Anyway, Outback Australia.
G’day, you mob. How’s it going? Welcome to this episode of Aussie English.
Man, I have just gotten back from whisking Kel off, taking Kel, driving Kel to the station. So, I get to do that a few times a week as she goes off into Melbourne, which is about an hour and a half’s drive from here. Although, we don’t drive the whole way. I take her to the station. She gets on the train. The train takes it to Melbourne. She crosses the road and she gets to class. So, she’s up there at business school at the moment studying. Anyway.
So, I hope you guys are going well. Welcome to the Aussie English Podcast. If it’s your first time listening, it is an absolute pleasure to have you here. Thank you for joining me. If you are a long-time listener, thank you for joining me once again.
So, this is the Aussie English Podcast, the number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English. But if you want to up your English in general, it is a podcast that focuses on advanced English, so you won’t hear me dumb things down, you won’t hear me speaking incredibly slowly, apart from maybe in the listen and repeat exercises.
Remember, guys, if you would like to sign up to the podcast to get access to the transcripts and MP3s, you can do so at www.TheAussieEnglishPodcast.com. Just for the price of coffee a month. And if you would like to get access to my 50 plus online courses in the Aussie English Classroom, you can try that at the moment for just one dollar for your first 30 days. Go to www.TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com.
And there’s a bit of news, there’s a bit of news, guys. I have my guys working on merging these websites. So, before we get into the episode, I’ll tell you a little bit about that and what I’ve got planned. I want to merge these two websites together so that they’re all in the same place. (I) Don’t know why I didn’t think of that earlier. And then, I want to turn this into an app that you can use on your phone. So, you’ll be able to listen to the podcast directly and you’ll also obviously be able to sign up to get the transcripts and the MP3 downloads as well as sign up to the classroom too all through this app. So, that is coming this year. I’m not sure when. I going to do my best to get it done ASAP, but you’ll just have to wait and see. Anyway.
With all that aside, guys, big intro. Thanks for putting up with it. Let’s get into the expression episode today.
So, the video at the start there was from Gavin Clark’s YouTube channel. There’ll be a link in the transcript if you want to go check out his channel and have a few views. And it shows how numerous and invasive the flies in outback Australia can be. They have no sense of personal space. If you come to Australia, especially in summer, you’re going to be swatting your face, you’re going to be giving “the Aussie salute”, as we call it, quite a lot.
Anyway, let’s dive into an Aussie joke. And I had to tie this in with flies today for obvious reasons.
What do you call a fly without wings? What do you call a fly without wings?
Are you ready for this? Hold your sides, hold your sides, because it’s going to be funny.
What do you call a fly without wings? A walk. A walk.
Do you get it? Because a fly flies, and if he can’t fly, he can’t fly anymore, obviously, he’s got no wings, so he is “a walk”, because he has to walk. Oh my gosh! So, terrible! So, terrible but hopefully you guys like these ‘punny’ jokes, right. These jokes that are funny because they are puns.
So, today’s expression is “to be a fly on the wall”, and it was suggested by Vivian in the Aussie English Classroom group. So, good job, Vivian. It was a great suggestion. And she won by a landslide. She won. Everyone voted for her expression. So, I’m happy to be doing it.
So, let’s go through the words in the expression, okay. A fly. *Bzzzz*. A fly. I’m sure you guys know what a fly is. It’s a flying insect in Australia. There are heaps of different kinds of flies. They normally land on poo, on your food, in your face, everywhere, and they’re trying to, like, suck up moisture with their sucking mouthparts, right. That is a fly.
‘On’. I’m sure you guys know the preposition ‘on’, right. My hand is on the table. It is physically in contact with and supported by a surface. ‘On’.
The last word here a noun, ‘the wall’, ‘a wall’ is a continuous vertical brick or stone structure, right, something that encloses an area. It could be land, it could be the walls in your house, right, (they) are enclosing a room. But that is ‘a wall’.
Alright, let’s move on to the expression. So, have you guys heard the expression “to be a fly on the wall”, right. If I said to you, “Man! I would love to be a fly on the wall.”, do you think you know what that means, right. If you’re a fly on the wall, if we say that you are a fly on the wall, it means that you would like to hear what is going to be said or done without being noticed, right. So, it’s to be an unnoticed observer of a particular situation. And we’ll go through some examples of that in just a sec.
But expression origin wise, it alludes to the position, right, of being on our wall as a small fly and being freely able to observe some kind of situation without being noticed. And it dates back to about 1920-1921 when it was used in America in the Oakland Tribune, which I assume’s a newspaper, and they said “I’d just love to be a fly on the wall when the right man comes along.”.
So, let’s go through some examples, guys. Imagine, example number one, that you are an architect or an engineer or a scientist, right. You have a job, you have a career, as one of those. You’re working hard to advance your career. You know, you’re putting in the extra hours, the extra… you’re going the extra mile, you’re putting in a lot of extra hard yakka, right, meaning working hard, you’re working really, really hard, and your manager or your boss, the people above you, have a meeting each week to discuss their employees and discuss what needs to be done that week. So, you don’t get invited to that meeting, but if you wanted to go, you might say to the other employees, to the other architects, engineers, or scientists, “Man! I would kill to be a fly on the wall in that meeting. I would kill to be a fly on the wall and be able to hear what they’re talking about or to see what they’re doing, right, but without being noticed. I wish I could be a fly on the wall.”.
Example number two. Imagine you’re out with your mates, you’re having a drink, right. You’re sinking some piss, as we say, which means to be drinking some alcohol. So, you’re at a pub or you’re at a party or you’re at a barbie hanging out with your mates and you get a call from your missus, right, from your wife, from your girlfriend, from your better half, from your partner. She is raging up at you because you meant to be home with her for date night, but you forgot and you went out with your mates and you started drinking some beer with them. So, you hang up the phone and you say, “Look, guys, I’ve got to bail. I’ve got to go home. My missus is really pissed. She’s really angry and I need to hang out with her tonight or I’ll be sleeping in the dog house, right.” That means I won’t be in the bedroom with her, I’ll be sleeping somewhere else because she’ll be so angry. So, when you leave, your friends might all turn to one another and say, “Man! I would love to be a fly on the wall when he gets home. I would love to be a fly on the wall when he opens the door and she loses it. You know, I would love to see what’s going to happen between those two, all the drama, everything that’s going to go down, I would love to see that but without being noticed. I’d love to be a fly on the wall.”
Example number three. Imagine you are a coach of some kind of sports team, maybe a footy team, right, AFL footy, Australian Rules Football. Imagine you’re a coach and you’re trying to train your team with a bunch of new training techniques, you know, different kinds of drills, in order to sharpen their skills up and give them a better chance of dominating this year in the footy season. So, other coaches from other teams hear about this. They hear about your plans through the grapevine. They’d heard it through the grapevine, right. You know, they hear it through a whole bunch of other people, and they want to sneak into the stadium and see what you’re doing, to learn what you’re doing, to see the techniques you’re using in order to learn from them and beat you, right. Fortunately, they can’t get in, but I’m sure they’re all thinking, “Man! I wish we could be flies on the wall to be able to see what he’s doing, right. We would love to see what he’s doing, we’d love to take his ideas, to steal his ideas, to flog his ideas, to learn from them, and then beat him this season.”.
So, that’s it, guys. Hopefully now you understand the expression “to be a fly on the wall”. If you say you wish you were a fly on the wall, it means you wish you were an unnoticed observer of some situation, some particular situation.
So, as usual, let’s go through a little listen and repeat exercise where you guys can practice your pronunciation, and then after that, we’ll smash out the Aussie English fact and I’ll let you guys finish up your weekend, okay. Let’s go.
A fly on
A fly on the
A fly on the wall x 5
I’d love to be a fly on the wall.
You’d love to be a fly on the wall.
He’d love to be a fly on the wall.
She’d love to be a fly on the wall.
We’d love to be a fly on the wall.
They’d love to be a fly on the wall.
I’d love to be a fly on the wall.
Good job, guys. Good job! There’s a lot of connected speech going on there with some contractions as well. And remember, I’ve just released a course in the Aussie English Classroom about spoken English where you will learn heaps and heaps of different contractions, how to contract words, how to use connected speech, in order to sound more like a native speaker, but also to tune in your listening comprehension so you can hear when native speakers use those kinds of contractions or connected speech, right. “I’d love to be a…” “I’d love to be a…”. So, anyway, let’s get into the Aussie English fact and finish up.
So, today I wanted to give you the lowdown on flies in Australia. ‘The low down’, that is like information about them details about them. The lowdown on flies in Australia. And I’m also going to tell you how flies will help turn poo into birds. That’s right. They can turn poo into birds.
So, no summer barbecue in Australia would be complete without a certain uninvited guest who always shows up before the meat even hits the barbie and begins to sizzle, and has you giving the great Aussie Salute to keep them out of your eyes, ears, and mouth. The Australian fly. However, there isn’t just one type of fly. There are estimated to be more than 30,000 species of flies in Australia more than enough species to make sure every single cubic inch of Australian airspace is occupied whether in the desert, rainforest, or at the beach.
Despite the extensive fly diversity in the Land of Oz, in the land Down Under, you’re only likely to come across four different groups of flies, which aren’t necessarily all equally as annoying. And these groups are: the bush fly, the housefly, the blowfly, and the mosquito. Yes, the mosquito is in fact a species of very specialized fly, right. The mouthparts of mosquitoes have obviously changed to become much more about injecting, well, piercing, and then sucking blood.
So, why a fly population skyrocket in summer. This occurs because of the warmer temperatures, which really speed up the life cycle of flies as well as other insects, obviously. So, it allows their numbers to explode into fly-swattingly irritating proportions. Their life cycle from egg to maggot to pupa and to adult is only between 7 to 14 days usually. So, imagine when that speeds up, right. Imagine how many can breed and how quickly their numbers can increase.
How long have flies been pissing off the average Australian? Well the earliest records show that from the moment Europeans set foot on the Land of Oz in Australia they were wholeheartedly welcomed by millions sweat-thirsty flies invading their eyes, ears, mouths, and any part of their body that they could get their suckers on to. Their aptitude at being a formidable nuisance was instantly noticed by Captain Cook who discussed them as being “horrendous”. Needless to say, though, Indigenous Australians would have been thinking, “Yeah, mate! No shit Sherlock! We’ve had to deal with these pesky things for 40,000 years or more.”.
Although, I am sure most of you think flies are incredibly irritating and you wish they would just buzz off–Get it? “Buzz off”.–they’re actually an integral part of the Australian environment and without them, we’d be up to our necks in poo.
So, what would happen tomorrow if flies just disappeared from Australia? Well, I’ve been a number of year thinking, “Pete, they’d probably just cross the ocean from Indonesia or Papua New Guinea from our neighbouring countries and repopulate the country within a few weeks.” Yes, okay. You got me. Well done. But let’s imagine that their return was indefinitely put on hold. Their absence would lead to a number of unpleasant and unforeseen issues.
So, there’d be a cascading effect on the food chain, right? And it would sort of be a cascading upwards effect, because flies are at the bottom of the food chain. So, you may not realize it, but flies are actually an integral part of the ecosystem because they feed so many other animals like spiders, reptiles, frogs, and birds, and other insects, and those animals would all be affected and they may die off. Animals that feed on these flies would all die if they no longer had food.
As this famine started picking up pace and more and more bodies started dropping–“dropping like flies” you might say–there would be no flies to lay their eggs on the carcasses of these dead animals as well as the poo that these animals had deposited prior to kicking the bucket, prior to dying. And normally, these eggs would hatch into larvae, into maggots, and then consume the poo or the rotting carcasses of these animals, and then themselves grow into nice juicy flies that can continue the cycle of life as they get eaten by birds or spiders, etc..
So, that is why flies in Australia may be an incredibly irritating pest, you may have to swat your face a little bit when you get here and it’s summer time, but they are definitely an important part of the ecosystem in Australia, and we should all be thankful that we have flies here, because without them, we’d be up to our necks in poo.
Anyway, guys, I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. I hope you have an amazing weekend. I hope to see you in the Aussie English Classroom. And I hope to see you next week as well. Peace out.
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By pete — 2 years ago
In this episode I chat to you guys about changing your attitude when trying to do well in any given field. I argue that the best attitude to have is to look for reasons to say yes instead of excuses to say no.
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Walking With Pete: Look For Reasons To Say Yes Instead Of Excuses To Say No
G’day guys and welcome tot his episode of Walking With Pete.
Tonight I have just got home after I finished work. I went for a bit of a skate and as you may or may not know I’ve taken up the hobby of skateboarding again to see if I can apply the language learning approaches that I use and make the… methodology that I kind of put forth to learn languages, and apply that to skateboarding, and skateboarding was something that I absolutely loved as a kid. I always loved skating in the street with my mates and going to the skate park after school or on weekends and just spending a lot of time, a lot of hours there, bumming around, hanging out with friends and not doing a lot of anything apart from skating a little bit. And so, yeah, I decided to take that back up recently and it’s been a lot of fun. I haven’t really taken any big stacks yet. So, “a stack” is like a fall. If you take “a stack” usually on something like a bike or a skateboard, skiing, snowboarding, it tends to be when you fall on land. So, you wouldn’t really stack when surfing I don’t think but if you were riding a bike or riding a sta… uh skateboard and you fell over you could say you’ve taken “a stack”. “I’ve taken a stack”, “I’ve had a stack”, “I’ve stacked”. So, it can be a verb as well. “I um… I don’t want to stack today when I’m riding”. Anyway, I haven’t stacked yet. I haven’t had a big fall. I haven’t injured myself, which has been encouraging, it’s been good. So, that’s been pretty fun but for the most part at the moment I’m just trying to work on the basics and correct a lot of errors that I… that I acquired as a kid when I was skating and I didn’t really have any… have any friends to give me, you know, advanced advice. I didn’t really have any friends who were really really really good skaters, and knew proper technique and could break things down and give you a really good explanation for things, and I think this is where it kind of ties into language learning because, you know, you can just thrust yourself into a language, you can just throw yourself in, dive in the deep end as we say in English, you know, without any explanation for grammar and slowly over time as you speak the language and learn just through exposure you pick up the grammatical rules passively like you would in your maternal language. You don’t necessarily learn them specifically, explicitly, you don’t have them lined out for you, you don’t have them broken down and explained, but I feel like this approach is a little quicker. If you focus on an explanation for a concept, say a grammatical concept in… in a language and you nail it, you do really well at that grammatical concept, you practice it, you focus on it, you master it, and then move onto the next one, I feel like this is a much quicker way of advancing in a field, in a… in a language, in skateboarding, in any kind of pursuit that you are interest in mastering. If you do it like this where you master a specific area of that chosen field, that chosen area that you’re interested in, whether it’s skating or whether it’s language learning, it’s… it’ll get you a lot further a lot quicker. So, that’s what I’m trying to do at the moment with skateboarding. So, for an example, I… I used to have the wrong foot on the board when I was pushing with the other foot on the… on the ground to get moving. And so I’m trying to correct that and I have to use the other foot. And so it feels very unnatural for me but if I can do this it’ll advance my skating a lot quicker than if I were to just do what I used to and focus on my old bad habits. So, that’s what I’m doing at the moment. I’m focusing on just riding, getting good at balance, getting good at being able to push, go fast, get over cracks, you know, not fall over. So, just negotiate obstacles, get around obstacles. I’ve been doing that for the last week. [I’ve] been playing around a little bit with the Ollie, which is where you just jump the board up in the air. So, no… no real trick it’s just you get the board off the ground into the air. That’s an Ollie. So, I’ve been focusing on just riding and getting my proper Ollie technique down. So, like I would for learning a grammatical rule in a language I would go away, I would search YouTube video[s] or look up a textbook and try and find an explanation as to when and how I can use this, say, a tense conjugation, etc. in English. When to say “I would do something” as opposed to saying “I will do something”. So, I look for the videos for skateboarding and how to… how to push off, how to better ride, how to position your feet, how to better Ollie, how to position your feet while you’re ollieing and how to practice the techniques of ollieing etc. and I’m trying to just get the basics of that down. And I noticed, I put a video up and I noticed that straight after having looked at a little video that broke down how to Ollie better and breaking it down into several parts, each of which you can practice, I practiced all of those parts on their own and then I put them together to do the Ollie and I found even within five minutes, ten minutes, my Ollie had significantly improved. I’d learnt to Ollie a lot better just from having broken it down, practice the little bits in isolation like conjugating a verb tense in English. You practice each of them on their own so that when you actually have to use it in real life in a fluid dynamic conversation with someone it just happens naturally and you don’t have to pause and think, ah… etc.
Anyway, so that’s what’s happening with skating at the moment. [I’m] just sort of trying to see how I’ll go. I don’t know what’ll happen in the future but that’s where I am at the moment. Aside from that, what did I want to talk about today? I guess oh… it’s still tied in with the skateboarding, but the main theme of today’s episode was look for reasons to say yes and not excuses to say no. So, look for reasons to say yes and not for excuses to say no. Ah… what do I mean by this? I guess, this… this came to my mind when I was skating to and from work, and there’s a lot of uneven ground, there’s a lot of nice flat ground on the way to work, a lot of nice footpaths and roads that are really really smooth, so they’re really flat, smooth, they’re nice to ride on, they’re good to skate on, but then they’re often broken up by parts or paths that are really uneven, that are really bumpy and it’s really really hard to skate on. And so, whilst at the moment I’m just trying to work on ah… my riding abilities I keep telling myself, or at least I did keep telling myself at the start, maybe I won’t ride to…to work because there’s too many of these little areas where it’s too bumpy ground and I have to keep getting off the board, walking for a bit, then getting on the board, then getting off the board, then getting on the board, etc. etc. etc., maybe it’s easier if I just don’t skate, take it to work, and then skate when I get to work. But, that’s looking for an excuse to say no, an excuse not to skate, when… when I really thought about it I thought look it’s going to take a little more effort in that I’m going to have to put the board down, get on it, get off it, carry it, get on it, get off it, carry it, but every single time I do that, even if it’s for 100 metres, 200 metres at a time where I get to ride and I get to fool around, you know, practice my balance, it all adds up. It all adds up. So, I need to look for reasons to say yes instead of excuses to say no especially in the cases like this where it’s not a matter of a lot of effort, you know, putting down the board and skating a few 100 metres at a time and then getting off and carrying it for a bit, putting it down again, it’s a little bit of effort but it’s not enough to justify saying no. It’s not a big enough excuse for me to justify not riding the board. And by doing this, by riding the board, it all adds up. So, if I do this ten times over 100 metres on the way to work that’s a kilometer total, right? And maybe it’s five minutes, maybe it’s ten minutes all up on the board, and if I do that twice a day that’s an extra twenty minutes that I’ve practiced my riding, I’ve practiced, you know, my balance, my pushing, all of that that I otherwise would not have had the chance to do if I had made an excuse and said no I’m not going to ride on these little bits ‘cause it takes a bit more effort to do and I’ll just ride when I can when the environment’s perfect. So, I guess it’s like that. Don’t always wait for things to be perfect because a lot of the time suboptimal conditions, so that means conditions that aren’t perfect, for practice still add up. They still help you improve. So, it all adds up in the end and it all makes you closer to your goal of mastering the skill than if you were to accept that poor excuse to say that it’s too hard, I’m going to wait until things are perfect, you know. If a surfer only ever when out for a surf every time the weather was absolutely perfect, and the waves were absolutely perfect, he’d probably only surf ten days a year, maybe less. Whereas, if he says look I’m probably not going to catch any amazing waves today, I’m probably going to fall off a lot. I’m not going to be able to stay on these waves. They’re awful. The weather’s a bit off but I’m going to get out there and I’m going to do what I can. He’s going to learn how to paddle. He’s going to get better at riding crappy waves. He’s going to get a lot of time out there in suboptimal conditions where he may surf 100 days in the year as opposed to only ten. So ultimately, at the end of that year I think it’s a lot better to be the guy who finds the reasons to say yes and goes out in suboptimal conditions to practice, and in the context of language learning this could be going to a pub and speaking when it’s really loud and it’s hard to hear people, you know, and you want to have a conversation but it’s not… there’s not perfect silence behind you so you can’t hear every single word, you can’t hear the pronunciation of the person, you can’t hear the way that they’re conjugating verbs, it’s not perfect. It’s suboptimal, and it is easy to say well look it’s too hard. The conditions aren’t right. I would much rather find a one on one situations with someone in perfect silence where I can hear everything. But as I said with the surfer if you wait for those kinds of conditions often they don’t come or they come very rarely and so you’re going to spend a lot of time doing nothing as opposed to practicing in suboptimal conditions, which still helps you move towards your goal of mastering whatever it area, whatever field it is that you are interested in pursuing. And I guess also it’s nice to have small… small parts, small portions of the day where you do things like this as opposed to waiting for big chunks. So, practicing a language ten minutes a day, half an hour a day, is often a lot better if you can do this every day than practicing for two hours once a week on the weekend, even if the two hours adds up to more time than you would’ve done if you’d done ten minutes a day, it’s a lot better to do it more often for shorter periods of time than less often for longer periods of time. And I feel like this is what I’m trying to do at the moment with skating where on the way to work I am choosing, you know, doing a lot of little… you know, one, two minute skates on nice areas, and I take a break, I let my feet recover, my legs recover, and then I do it again, I take a break, let me feet recover, do it again, etc. etc. etc., and it all builds up, it all adds up at the end of the day. And I think a really good analogy for this is Lucas Lampriolli [Luca Lampariello*], I think that’s how you pronounce it, the polyglot Lucas Lampriolli [Luca Lampariello*] that some of you may or may not know on YouTube has an analogy where he… he likens learning a language to fluency to filling a bucket a drop at a time. And so, you can see that a bucket doesn’t get filled all at once. It takes time and if you drop one drop of water in there constantly once a day the bucket will eventually get filled and you’re going to improve at a steady rate effectively. Whether it’s language learning or skating. If I do a little bit every day the bucket will fill itself in the end. So, I felt like that was a really good analogy and that’s what I’m trying to apply here with skating.
And I think too, one last note before I finish up this episode, it’s so much better to have that kind of attitude towards life and towards things that you’re trying to improve upon, that you’re trying to… to gain, to master, whatever it is in your life if you have that kind of psychological attitude towards things where you say I’m going to find a reason to say yes and not an excuse to say no. So, you get confronted with a situation that may not be perfect, that could be suboptimal, and instead of saying straight away nup too hard, too hard, as we say in English, or as we say in Australia, “Too hard basket” which means you’ve… you’ve straight away put that thing in a basket with “Too hard” written on it. So, we say “we put it in the too hard basket”. Instead of putting it in the too hard basket straight away because it looks too difficult, and that’s your instant reaction, if you work on trying to find a reason to put it in the “it’s hard but I’ll try it” or “it’s hard but I’ll do it” basket, you’re going to get a lot more done, you’re going to feel a lot better about yourself, and ultimately you’re going to advance a lot further in whatever field it is. And so, I feel like that at the moment with languages where I’m constantly trying to find how do I squeeze more in the day, how do I do more? Like, I could not skate this little bit of path because it doesn’t look perfect, but at the same time if I do skate it that’s twenty seconds, that’s a minute, that’s ten minutes more that I get to put onto my um… list of experience with regards to skating. The same with language learning and podcasts, listening to podcasts. Am I going to be on the tram for ten minutes, or am I going to be going for a walk for ten minutes? Screw it. I’ll put the podcast in. I’ll listen to whatever language podcast I’m listening to to work on my French, to work on my English, and bam that adds up. That’s another ten minutes on the sheet of my language experience. So, it all adds up. It’s a lot better to look at life that way, to find reasons to do things, to find reasons to say yes. Do little bits and pieces. It all adds up. You feel great about yourself. Whereas, I feel like if you find excuses to constantly say no nothing will… will ever get done and you get yourself in a cycle where you’re going to feel depressed, you’re going to feel useless, you’re not going to feel like you can achieve anything or that you have achieved anything when you’ve been waiting the whole time for the perfect conditions to come and they haven’t come. Whereas, if you’d been practicing in suboptimal conditions you would still have something to show for your effort at the end of the day.
So, that’s probably enough for today’s episode guys. Just remember try and find reasons to say yes to whatever it is that you guys are working on, to whatever it is in life even if it’s seeing your family or going out, as opposed to trying to find excuses to say no. It’s a better way of thinking. It’s a better psychology to have. It’s a better way of looking at the world. Chat to you soon guys. All the best.
Check out all the other Walking With Pete episodes in the playlist below.
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By pete — 2 years ago
In this Aussie English Expression episode I teach you guys how to use the expression TO HAVE A BLAST like a native Australian!
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Expression: To Have a Blast
As usual, I am here videoing the Expression episode now. I’m trying to play with this little lapel mic. I’m trying to see how this goes. So, I’m using this in a few episodes. And, yeah, I’m facing my window, (I’ve) got the light on me. Hopefully these episodes are a little nicer. Although, you have the backdrop of my desk. So, not the nicest thing to look at, but beggars can’t be choosers, and I’ll save that expression for another episode.
Today’s expression is TO HAVE A BLAST. TO HAVE A BLAST. Obviously, you’re going to know what the verb TO HAVE means. That’s one of the first things anyone learns in any language, whether it’s English or not, you learn how to use the verb TO HAVE, TO HAVE SOMETHING.
A BLAST is just a (an*) explosion, a massive sound, some kind of bang, A BLAST. If you light some dynamite and throw it somewhere and it goes off, it explodes, it makes a bang, that’s A BLAST. That’s A BLAST.
So, the definition of the phrase TO HAVE A BLAST is just to have a great time, to have an amazing time, to have an incredible time, an awesome time, to really enjoy yourself. So, obviously, then this is associated with events or some kind of thing that you’ve done for the day, that you have had a lot of fun doing, that you’ve really enjoyed, that you would say WAS A BLAST. And, so that event WAS A BLAST. You can say that. But you yourself HAD A BLAST at the event. So, you HAD A BLAST and the event WAS A BLAST.
This is also similar to the expression A BLAST FROM THE PAST and I went over this in one of the 1-Minute Expression episodes. So, I’ll make sure I link that below. And so, yeah, it’s similar to that idea. Just to go over it quickly, A BLAST FROM THE PAST is just something or someone that evokes, that causes you to have a sense of nostalgia. So, you think of something from the past that you loved when you were young and you were like, “Oh man! Remember… you know, having these chocolates as a kid, this brand of chocolate. This was friggen amazing! You know, like, that IS SUCH A BLAST FROM THE PAST.”. Anyway, go watch that video if you want to see more on that.
Let’s go through some examples, guys, about what we could say when we’re trying to use the expression TO HAVE A BLAST. And again, this is going to be associated with doing things, with having things happen to you that are related to events, whatever it is.
So, for example, number 1. This is probably the most common example. You go to a party, and someone says at the end of the night, you know, you’ve been drinking, you’ve been seeing old friends, you’ve been partying hard, dancing, maybe got a little crazy and you took your shirt off. Anything could have happened. You had an amazing time thought. And at the end someone says, “Oh! You went to this party last night.”, you know, “How was it?” or at the end of the party itself they could say, “How was the party? What did you think? Did you like it? Was it fun?”, you know. It could be the person who actually ran the party, it could be the person whose house it was who organised the party, and they could be asking you, “What did you think?”. If you really liked it, if you really enjoyed yourself, if you had an amazing time you could say, “I HAD A BLAST! I HAD AN ABSOLUTE BLAST! It was an amazing night. What A BLAST! I HAD A BLAST!”.
Example number 2. Imagine that you go to a music concert and it’s a band you’ve never seen before. You aren’t sure. “Is it going to be good? Is it going to be an awful?”, you know, “I don’t know what this music’s like, I really hope it’s good.”. You end up going and you love it. You have an amazing time, you really enjoy yourself, you had your beer, the music turned out to be exactly the kind of music that you love listening to. You had no idea beforehand. Your friends had just brought you there and they’d said, you know, “You’ve got to check out this band, but we’re not telling you who it is. You’ll just come and you’ll…” Maybe you were a little skeptical at first and you were thinking, “Oh… it’s going to be horrible.”. Anyway, you had a great time, and at the end of your night your friends could say, “Well, what did you think? It was pretty good wasn’t it?” and you could say, “Far out, man! That WAS A BLAST! I HAD A BLAST! I HAD AN ABSOLUTE BLAST! What a crazy band. They’re amazing. It WAS A BLAST. I HAD A BLAST!”.
Example number 3. Could be that you try surfing for the first time. And this happens obviously where I grew up, you know, you would see people getting taught how to surf all the time on Ocean Grove main beach. If you haven’t seen that Google Ocean Grove, down near Geelong, so in Victoria, Australia. Ocean Grove beach. And there were… we used to have cars that would show up, or big trucks. Trucks? Maybe, vans. And they’d be filled with Malibu surfboards. So, the big surfboards and the ones that end in a round sort of tip that are really easy to stand on, not the sharp ones. Those are Malibus. Anyway, those trucks or vans used to show up all the time with trailers or just full of all the wetsuits and the different boards that you can use, you can hire, and you could get lessons on how to surf. And so, you would go to the beach on a lot of these days in summer and you would see a whole team of people out in the waves, not necessarily out the back of the waves, so in the really really big surf, but towards just the shallow end of the beach with the very very small waves that you can still catch. And these guys are learning how to surf, you know. Maybe they’re awful. It doesn’t matter. The whole point is that they’re in there. They’re having a go. And they’re always… they were always laughing, smiling, and you would see them come out and, you know, I would walk up and say, “What did you think? Was this your first time surfing? Did you love it?”. One of them could simply say in return, “It WAS A BLAST! I loved it. I HAD A BLAST! Surfing IS A BLAST! I HAD AN ABSOLUTE BLAST!”.
So, those are some of the examples, guys, for how you would use the expression TO HAVE A BLAST, and that was all obviously in the past tense. You could use this in the Present Tense, I’M HAVING A BLAST, I HAVE A BLAST when I do something. Or you can use it in the Future Tense, I WILL HAVE A BLAST tomorrow at this party, I’m sure. It’s going to be good. I know I’M GOING TO HAVE A BLAST.
And, just to change things up a little bit here, guys, I’m going to make this a substitution exercise where I’m going to use a number of different synonyms for A BLAST. So, in the case of A BLAST as in a good time you could say, an incredible time, a great time, an amazing time, etc., etc.. I’m going to go through the different pronouns in this example, and the first sentence is going to end with, for example, “…a great time”. And I want you to change that into “A BLAST”.
So, you’ll work it out. Let’s dive in.
I had a great time.
I had a blast.
You had an incredible time.
You had a blast.
He had a splendid time.
He had a blast.
She had an awesome time.
She had a blast.
We had an amazing time.
We had a blast.
They had a terrific time.
They had a blast.
So, that’s really all there is to it guys. A BLAST, a good time, an amazing time, an incredible time. You went to something, you really enjoyed yourself, or maybe you’re going to something and you know you’re going to enjoy yourself. That is that you are going TO HAVE A BLAST. Something WILL BE A BLAST. The event’s going to be amazing. It’LL BE A BLAST. You know you’re going to have a good time. You’LL HAVE A BLAST.
Anyway, make sure you comment down below and use this in an example. Try and use this in language. Try and use this every day, you know, in order to learn these things you have to be using them. And also, jump on Facebook, send me a message, send me a comment, just say hello. I love hearing from you guys. Tell me what you’re up to. Tell me what you’re doing with English at the moment. Have you got anything that you’re finding difficult that you would like an episode done on? Can I answer any questions for you? And until next time guys, all the best!
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Check out all the other recent Aussie English Expression episodes below!
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