In this interview episode of The Aussie English Podcast I interview my mate Nikki who’s an Iranian sheila Down Under about her experiences in Australia.
AE 357 – Interview With Nikki:
An Iranian 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 pete — 2 years ago
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Pete: What’re you planting at the moment anyway?
Ian: Just these two little plants here. One… they’re both groundcover dwarf-plants to hopefully cascade over the edge of the rocks.
Ian: And so, the idea of designing this garden is you put the bigger plants up in the middle and then the medium sized ones on the… on… in the sort of foreground, and then groundcover ones cascading over the rocks so that you get this vista look moving up looking at the plants.
Ian: This one’s only new. So, it’s got to take a year or so to grow up. One of the things we tried to do when building this garden was to put a mixture of flowering seasons in so there’s always some colour in the garden, but also some different textures and colours in the greens, the leaves, for… varying from sort of bright green through to grey colours, so that there’s always a mixture of colour and texture no matter what the season. One of the advantages we have in Australia about seasons is that we never have snow, certainly down here.
Ian: So, you don’t have to worry about cold tolerant plants, but the counter side of that is the ocean’s 400m that way. So, we get a lot of sea air and salt. So, you have to have the plants that are salt tolerant. And the other thing I try and do is find plants that are water tolerant so that they can put up with a lot of water if it rains heavily, but also (it) doesn’t matter if it doesn’t rain for a month. You don’t need to keep watering to keep them up. Sometimes you have some successes.
Ian: Sometimes you have some failures. The failures you just replace with something different. It’s always a challenge to find the best sort of plants for an area. We try and use some that are indigenous to this specific area because obviously they’re going to be used to the soil and the climate, but with artificial garden beds like this that are built up with a mixture of topsoil that’s brought in and the existing soil, you can never exactly tell with the soil chemistry what’s going to go.
Ian: So, it’s a bit hit and miss. You try to start with, but just try and get it right in the long term by replacing things that don’t work with things that do.
Ian: So, what have you got in here at the moment that you can at least remember you’ve put in here, and tell us why or…
Ian: Yeah, so there’s a variety of things from kangaroo paws. These aren’t flowering at the moment.
Pete: These ones down the bottom?
Ian: Yeah, but we can show you some out the front that are flowering. Through to these little lillies that have these long flower stalks, and they last quite a long time when they’re flowering, through to some other things like some of these daisy bushes that flower for about six months of the year, and they grow really quickly.
Ian: But also, some native grasses. Those grasses attract different sorts of birds and butterflies and things from the normal flowering plants.
Ian: (I’ve) tried to put a couple of trees, feature trees, in. This eucalypt here’ll grow to about 3 or 4m tall. Not very tall, but tall enough to provide a little bit of shade from the western side, which is over here. And also, to attract some birds in when it starts flowering. It’ll probably be 2 years or 3 years by the time it gets large enough to start flowering, but then we can put a bird bath and so on in here as long as there’s a bit of protection for the birds so that the cats, local cats, aren’t going to get them.
Ian: And, the rest of it just made up of some local and Australian natives, correas, grevilleas, some acacias, banksias, you know, classic Australian plant names just to sort of fill up the rest of the environment here.
Pete: So, do you find that the native plants make a big big difference for bringing in native animals?
Ian: Yeah, they do. There are certainly some non-native plants that will bring in birds and insects, because they flower with a lot of nectar in them, but often they’re short flowering seasons. And so, if something’s only flowering for a few days or a few weeks it’s not much use to you for a long term effect. So, for attracting animals in.
Ian: So, we try and use some of the plants that are going to have long flowering seasons, but as I said earlier also intersperse plants that have different flowering seasons.
Ian: So, hopefully when this’s a mature garden there’ll always be something flowering here to attract different birds, insects in, and we also have these rockeries, (they) are also a great place for, you know, spiders and lizards and things, which are also additional food. A lot of the birds we have around are honeyeaters. So, they’re attracted to the nectar, but most of them will also grab insects. Some of them (will grab) other small animals like small lizards and things. Not that I particularly am wanting the lizards to get eaten, because they’re really lovely to have around as well.
Ian: And if you get water, permanent water, in, and we’re looking at some ways of putting that in, then you can attract frogs in as well. So, you can get a variety of wildlife in a garden by putting in the right environment there.
Pete: So, what are you specifically trying to get in too? Are there any birds that you’re targeting or that you want to definitely come in?
Ian: Honeyeaters and parrots mostly. This big eucalypt here behind us, that’s a Western Australian. It’s not an indigenous eucalypt. It’s a Western Australian eucalypt. But it has very large bright yellow flowers that attract the parrots in when… particularly lorikeets that are nectar feeders, but also rosellas that are seedeaters, once the seeds start to be created.
Ian: So, the same thing with this peppermint over here. (We’re) just trying to get a mixture of plants that will bring in particularly parrots and honeyeaters because they’re pretty, they’re noisy.
Ian: So, it’s good to have them around. But we also have some non-indigenous birds. I don’t particularly want to attract them, but again, they… they’re good for the garden as well.
Ian: If you have a look, this might be hard to tell with the shade in here, but there’s all these little dig patches around here. They’re blackbirds, European blackbirds, that are digging up in the garden looking for grubs and snails and things. So, they turn the ground over, which is a pain when you’re trying to grow small plants, but later on the more activity you get in the soil the better.
Pete: What’s the thing to your left, dad? Talk about that and why it’s Australian.
Ian: Oh, the deck out the front of the house? Yeah, (it’s a) wooden deck, with as you can see by the shiny and sort of wet look on it, (we) just oiled it yesterday. So, every year or so you’ve got to put more oil into it to keep the timber in good condition.
Ian: So, the barricade’s up here to prevent people from walking straight up onto it into the front door. One of the challenges when you’ve got one at your front door is how you leave it locked off for 48 hours before it dries.
Pete: So, why’s it such an Australian thing too, the deck?
Ian: I think a lot original colonial Australian houses were built with verandas over them and decks around the house. A lot of that before the days of air-conditioning people used to build so that you can open up windows any side of the house and have shade with cool air coming through the house when you… and particularly in the evening as it starts to cool off.
Ian: So, people’ve just had this tradition of building decks around their house. We’ve only got a very little veranda here. It’s really just an eave-overhang. We don’t really have room. And with a low roof (it) would be quite a low veranda if we had it on.
Ian: So, I did want to show you these kangaroo paws quickly, the small plants that we had around the side hadn’t started to flower yet, but this is what they look like. (You) get them in a variety of colours. The original natural native plants were yellow and red and green, but there’s not a whole lot of varieties that’ve been bred up that, Pete, if you come in close you’ll be able to see that the kangaroo paw is named for these little flower heads that… I’ll take my (glove off), that have this sort of hand going over just like a little kangaroo paw. If you’ve seen kangaroos they sit with their paws like this, and people thought that’s what the flower heads look like on these.
Pete: Awesome. So, can you tell us anything else about the other plants that you’ve got here in the front yard, dad?
Ian: Look. (This is a) banksia here. This one’s called Banksia robur. Obviously, it’s a small plant. It grows to about 2 or 3m tall and quite wide. The idea with this one was to put a plant in here to block off a little bit of the street view. We didn’t want to have a fence coming all the way down the side here and blocking this off completely. But that grows up and has very large flowers about 20cm high and they start off a dark deep greeny blue colour and then go brown and yellow when they open up. So, (they’re) quite beautiful plants.
Ian: The rest of them, again, are just a mixture of plants with flowers all through the season. There’s some small everlasting daisies that are really varietals. They’ve originally been bred from some native plants, but they’re called everlastings because the flowers can last for months, and if you also, if you cut them and dry them out they’ll last for years in, you know, flower decorations and so on, ‘cause they’re almost like a paper rather than the soft petals that you get (on other plants).
Ian: Other things that we’ve tried to do, again, are different textures, different colours. You can see the greys, the lime greens, the dark greens and so on in here, and some more different sort of grasses, particularly these wallaby grasses in here that while they look dead over summer…
Pete: So, they’re these little ones.
Ian: They’re this little one here, yeah. It looks sort of dead over summer, but those seed heads will sit there for a few months. They’ll eventually fall off, and then as soon as the rain starts again in Autumn the plant, the grass will start to green up again and then reflower the next Spring. So, they’re a perennial plant that looks like an annual (plant), but they keep coming back.
Ian: So, these grasses are stipa. The… they grow on dunes and the sort of secondary dune at the back of the dunes at the beach, but they’re also good garden plants. But of course, being dune plants they’re very salt tolerant, they grow really quickly, and they provide this beautiful feathery, you know, seeding… (head).
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By pete — 1 year ago
In this episode of Aussie English I teach you how to pronounce all 20 Australian English vowels like a native speaker from Down Under!
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By pete — 2 years ago
In this Aussie English episode of Like A Native I teach you how using the phrases “Good one!” and “Nice one!” like a native is easy!
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Like A Native: Nice one!/Good one!
G’day guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. I’m Pete, I’m your host, I’m here today to do the second video of Aussie English where I’m trying to video these episodes now, and as we’ve talked about in previous episodes, kill two birds with a single stone. So, to kill two birds with one stone, one rock, whatever it is that you’re throwing is to get two things down with one bit of effort. So, I’ve thrown a single rock and I’ve killed two birds. I’ve taken the birds home and I’ve eaten them. So, I threw once and got two results. So, that’s what I’m trying to do here guys. I’m trying to produce videos for you guys. I’m recording the audio and I’m talking about these different aspects of English, and I’m just hoping to produce material that is useful for you. So, if you’re visual the video’s obviously going to be good. I’m going to try and put subtitles on each one of them, and if it’s more that you like the audio aspect, you can obviously listen to the podcast. So, when you’re out and about, when you’re walking and you obviously can’t look at the video on your phone or on your computer. So, (to kill) two birds with one stone, video, audio, let’s do this!
Alright, so, this episode is a Like A Native episode, and the different expressions or sort of mini phrases that I wanted to talk about today, that aren’t really interesting enough to do an expression episode on, are GOOD ONE! GOOD ONE! And NICE ONE! NICE ONE!
So, GOOD ONE is one of those phrases that’s actually said quite a bit by English native speakers, and it’s said as a form of encouragement. GOOD ONE! Or NICE ONE! NICE ONE!
So, let’s just define GOOD and NICE. You guys’ll know what this word is by now, or these words are* by now, but let’s just define them anyway. GOOD or NICE in this sense is to be desired or approved of. So, if something’s good, something’s nice, you desire it or you approve of it. GOOD ONE! NICE ONE!
Examples of how you would use this. So, imagine that you show you dad a painting. You’ve gone home and you’ve painted, you’ve spent the day with your, you know, canvas on an isle and you’ve been painting away and your dad comes in and has a look. If he really likes it, or if you say “Dad, check out this one that I painted today! This painting that I painted today.” He could say “NICE ONE!” as in “Nice painting”, NICE ONE! Or he could say, “GOOD ONE! GOOD ONE” that painting is good. It’s a GOOD ONE. GOOD ONE! And so you can see in that sense the word ONE is just replacing the noun. So, the noun here is the painting or a painting and instead of saying “Oh good painting!” or “Nice painting!” you can just say “GOOD ONE! NICE ONE!”.
Another example could be say you breed dogs, you breed Labrador dogs *woof woof* and one of the bitches, and in this sense it’s ok to use the word “Bitch” because “A bitch” is a female dog. One of the bitches has had a litter of puppies, and there’s one puppy that you really like. There’s a really big one, say, he’s not the runt of the litter, which is the smallest one. This one’s the biggest one. And say, he’s adorable, he’s really cute, he’s fun, he’s just lovely. And so, you want to point him out and say “Look mum! Look! This is my favourite puppy out of the litter.” Your mum could say, “Yeah! That’s a NICE ONE! Yeah, that’s a GOOD ONE!”. So, that one, that puppy is really good, it’s really nice, and they agree with what you have to say. They approve of what you have to say.
So, it can be said both seriously, in e.g. someone’s shown you a painting or the little kid’s grabbed their puppy and said “Mum! Look at this puppy!” and you could say seriously “GOOD ONE! NICE ONE!” or you could say it sarcastically. So, if someone does something stupid in front of you, say they’re joking around in the kitchen and they pick up a plate of food and they’re like “La la la” and drop the plate on the ground and it smashes. You could literally walk up to them and say “GOOD ONE…”, as in “Good job. That was… what you were doing was really good. Well done. Well done.” And you could also say “NICE ONE, dude. NICE ONE. We were going to eat that plate of food. We were going to take it out side. We were having a barbecue. You picked it up, you decided to be an idiot and joke around. You dropped the food. NICE ONE. GOOD ONE. Good job. Well done. Here’s a round of applause.” So, that’s how you could use it both seriously and sarcastically.
To go through some examples. I mean I just went through two but we’ll go through a few more in depth examples.
Someone tells you a joke. So, whatever the joke may be, if you like the joke you could say “Haha! GOOD ONE!” or “NICE ONE! NICE ONE!”.
Someone takes an amazing photo or paints and incredible painting as we said before, or some kind of art and they’re showing it, if you really really like it you could say “Oh! That’s such a GOOD ONE!” you know “Oh! That’s such a NICE ONE”. And so, you could be saying to someone next to you if they didn’t actually paint it themselves, you could say “This is a NICE ONE. This is a GOOD ONE.” But if the painter themselves is there and you want to tell them that you really approve of what they’ve done you could say, “Man! NICE ONE! Man! GOOD ONE! This is brilliant! GOOD ONE! I approve. Brilliant. GOOD ONE! NICE ONE!”.
Another example could be that someone tries to show off and fails. So, this is going back to that use of it sarcastically. Someone tries to, you know, an old man at a family gathering is trying to be silly and he gets on his grandson’s skateboard, and he tries to do something on the skateboard to sort of show off and say, you know, “I can do this better than you kid!”. And, instead of succeeding in what he’s trying to do he falls straight off the skateboard onto his arse. So, he falls off the skateboard, lands on his butt, and he’s not hurt but he looks like an idiot. You could say that, or everyone around him, could say “Oh… grandpa NICE ONE.” You know, “Oh… grandpa GOOD ONE. You idiot. Good try. GOOD ONE. NICE ONE.”.
And the last example could be that someone has accidentally bumped into a vase that’s on a table, you know, again this is that idea of they’re not showing off in this example but they do something clumsy, they’re careless, they’re reckless, they knock a cup, you know, or a vase or something sitting on a table off the table and it smashes. And say, you really liked that vase. It was a vase that was given to you by your parents or your grandmother or something. You could turn around and be like “NICE ONE. That was really important to me and you just smashed it. NICE ONE. GOOD ONE.”.
So, hopefully that clears up how to use these phrases guys, NICE ONE and GOOD ONE. Just to recap, just to go over it again, to use GOOD ONE or NICE ONE you can use it when talking about something that you desire or that you approve of that you agree with. Someone shows you something that they’ve done like a painting “GOOD ONE, NICE ONE”. Someone shows you something like the puppy, they could hold it up and be like “What do you think of this?” and you go “NICE ONE! GOOD ONE! I love it. NICE ONE. GOOD ONE” or you can use this sarcastically when someone does something stupid whether it’s embarrassing themselves by trying to show off like grandpa “NICE ONE grandpa… GOOD ONE grandpa…” or it’s their careless, a little bit reckless, maybe clumsy, and they accidentally break something or they accidentally do something that’s inconvenient, you know, you could be “NICE ONE, dude. GOOD ONE. GOOD ONE.”.
So, that’s the phrase, or the phrases, NICE ONE and GOOD ONE. And as usual we’ll go through a listen and repeat exercise here at the end guys where I’m going to say each of these phrases five times and I want you to listen and then repeat it exactly as I say them. Don’t worry about the context. Don’t worry about thinking too much about what they mean. This exercise here is to help you improve your pronunciation. So, just repeat it exactly as I say it, after me.
Listen and repeat:
Good one x 5
Nice one x 5
So, that’s it for the episode today, guys. I hope it’s helped. Let me know what you think, and just chat to me guys. I’m here to help you. I’m here to serve you. If you have anything that you’re worried about in your English at all ask and I’ll be there to help you guys. Until next time. See you later.
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