Sunday, December 03, 2006

Special Notices for December

Sorry it's been so long since my last post -- I've been flat out like a lizard drinking!
Here are some important notices for December...
Be & Me Kids' Model Lessons in December
We are holding model lessons for our kids' classes on Tuesdays. Full details in Japanese are at Be & Me Kids

Service Lesson for December
Our December service lesson will be held on Saturday, December 16th, from 4:00 pm. Please note the later time than usual!

End-of-Year/New Year Holiday Dates
We will be closed from Friday, December 29th, to Wednesday, January 3rd. Have a great Holiday!
I'll post again soon -- I promise!


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Inner Sky

Every month our friend Simon hosts a live concert at Covent Garden, a really relaxed and friendly bar in Kita Horie. (Go there hungry -- they make great hamburgers!) This month's concert is helping to raise money to hold Christmas parties for kids in hospital. Lots of bands will be playing --it promises to be a great night!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Live Long and Prosper!

On this day exactly 40 years and 1 day ago (I intended to make this post yesterday but...!), the very first episode of Star Trek was aired on American TV. I was nearly 3 years old. However, American TV shows were usually broadcast 3 or 4 years later in Australia. I was 6 or 7 when Star Trek had its first run in Australia. It was groundbreaking (trying new things) TV, addressing such taboo subjects for the time as sexual equality & liberation, racial descrimination and integration, the futility of war, and even the explotation of the working class -- dangerous topics for the establishment (government & big businesses) to allow in the middle of the Cold and Vietnam Wars. (However, as a 6 or 7 year old, these topics were not the main attraction -- I was mostly interested in the monsters!) For this reason, the program ran very late -- around 11:00pm (just before the TV stations used to turn off for the night!).

[Oops! My boy's sick. He's calling me! More to come -- promise!]
A Poster Promoting the 4oth Anniversary I Spied on the Kintetsu Line

Friday, September 08, 2006

Groove Harvest

Let’s be honest: summer in Osaka is nearly unbearable – it’s so hot & muggy! Finally, there’s a taste of autumn in the air! Now is the time to turn off our air-conditioners and get outside – before it gets too cold!

A yearly autumn event that we never miss is Groove Harvest, a big outdoor music festival organised by our friend Simon, the man behind the monthly Inner Sky concerts at Covent Garden.

This year’s Groove Harvest is scheduled for Sunday, October 1st. There’ll be live Rock, Hip hop, Blues, & Salsa music, Hula Dance, Capoeira, & didgeridoo performances, lots of food stalls, and a flea market. Click on Groove Harvest to get more information in Japanese.

The background illustration for this flyer is by Rob Holbrook. A couple of years ago, Rob had an exhibition at our school. You can check out pictures from that event at the following link...

Rob's Work
Rob's Work
Rob's Party

Monday, August 21, 2006

Mondayitis on a Friday!

In English, many disease names end in “itis.” For example, hepatitis, laryngitis, tonsillitis, appendicitis, bronchitis – the list could go on forever!

Across the world, many workers and school students feel a kind of sickness in their stomachs on Sunday night as they’re getting ready for bed or when they first wake up on Monday morning. Do you know that feeling? It’s a physical reaction by your body caused by the fact that you don’t really want to go back to school or work. In English, we call this sick feeling “Mondayitis” – a sickness caused by Mondays!

Now, I love my job! No! I really do!!! However, last week it was Obon, a special period when Japanese people believe their ancestors come back to visit them. Our school had a 6-day holiday – a rarity these days! We didn’t go away. Instead, we stayed close to home and did something special every day: dinners with friends, a BBQ at a friend’s house, “super-slide” rides in the park, a trip to the beach, and even a couple of movies on DVD. It was great!

Our school opened again on Friday. I’ve got to be honest, even though I love my job, I found going back to work a little hard because I’d had such a good holiday. I was suffering from Mondayitis on Friday!

It’s Monday. I’ve been back at work for 3 days (I even worked yesterday!) so I’m over my Mondayitis now. I’m already forgetting what fun I had on my summer holiday. I guess I’ll have to wait until…

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Chastised, Scolded, Roused At!

To chastise, scold or rouse at someone means to speak angrily to someone because they’ve done something wrong or haven’t done something they should have.

Last night, our student Tomoko severely (very strongly) chastised me because I haven’t been updating this Blog often enough. Also, Yasuyo, Yoshi & Takumi have all commented on the fact that my last entry was at the beginning of July. I’m sorry! I’m a procrastinator & I’ve been flat out like a lizard drinking!

However, I promise I’ll post a new entry here very soon. Really!!!

Tomoko Ticked Off! (And she knows aikido!!!)

PS Rouse at is Australian English, most commonly used with children. I've been trying to check the spelling but can't find it in any dictionaries. If you use it, use it with care!
PPS Ticked off means angry

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Flat Out Like a Lizard Drinking!

Sorry it’s been sooooo long since my last entry – I’ve been flat out like a lizard drinking!

In “standard” English (there’s really no such thing!), to be flat out means to be trying your hardest or to be very busy.

Here are some examples…

Even though he was running flat out (trying his hardest), he didn’t win the race.

We were so flat out (busy) at work, I didn’t have time for lunch.

To be flat out also means to lie very flat on something.

Here’s an example of that meaning…

He was lying flat out on the sofa, fast asleep.

It’s a curious fact that lizards can’t swallow because of the inside shape of their mouths. When a lizard drinks, it has to push itself against the ground – lie flat out – and flick water down it throat with its tongue.

In Australia, we like to make our English sound more interesting by using unexpected comparisons or by replacing commonly used words with well-known but unexpected ones. When we’re very busy we often say, “I’m flat out (busy) like a lizard drinking (lying very flat).” This comparison doesn’t make any sense, but we Australians think it makes our speech sound more colourful.

Next time you feel you have too much to do, say “I’m flat out like a lizard drinking!” It’ll make you smile, and that’ll make your work just a little easier to get through!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


If you walk to our school through Crysta Nagahori, you probably see hundreds of these posters every week…

As I sit here in my shorts, the drizzle of the rainy season outside competing with the sound of the fan whirring away in the background, I think that some kind of refreshment would be nice. But what about “re-flesh-ment?” That’s right! I said “flesh!” When these posters first went up in April, the message along the bottom was slightly different…
“Flesh” means the soft parts of an animal’s body, the muscle and fat – the raw meat!

Luckily, I took this second photo as soon as I saw the original posters. Only a week or so after they first went up, they were all replaced.

Someone made a little mistake that cost the advertisers the price of reprinting all the posters again. When you make a mistake like this, there are many things you can say. Unfortunately, I can’t teach you most of them here! Probably the best thing to say is, “Oops!” Next time you do something wrong, give it a try.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Rain, rain, go away.
Come again another day.
Little Johnny wants to play,
So rain, rain, go away!

I sing that nursery rhyme to my son every day it rains. Today is one of those days! It’s been raining non-stop since I woke up. My son loves to play outside. If he doesn’t play outside at least once a day, he builds up too much energy. All that unused energy turns into naughtiness – and then no one’s happy!

Luckily, today is one of my “lazy” days. I don’t have classes until the evening, so I was able to help my wife take him out. We went to a local shopping mall where we did some shopping (we bought a new rain cover for our son’s stroller!), visited a pet shop, had lunch at a family restaurant, and spent an hour or so in a kids’ amusement center. The boy’s sleeping now, so I guess that’s “mission accomplished!”

In English, we have many ways to describe rain. If it’s only raining a little, just a drop here and there, we can say, “It’s spitting.” If it’s a little heavier, just enough to need an umbrella, we can say, “It’s drizzling.” I guess a day like today would just be described as rain. However, if it were much heavier, we could say, “It’s pouring.” When it’s raining really, really heavily, we can say, "it’s raining cats and dogs!”

That last expression originated in England 3 or 4 hundred years ago. Back then cities were much dirtier than they are now. Buildings were built very close together, and people threw their kitchen scraps out their windows. Dogs & cats would live off the scraps that piled up between the buildings. When they died, their bodies stayed stuck between the buildings until very strong rains washed them out into the streets. When people passing by saw the bodies, they would jokingly say the bodies had fallen from the sky with the rain.

Next time it rains, try to describe what type of rain it is using one of the phrases above. In the meantime, spare a thought for me – I’ve got to ride to the station in the rain now, and it’s pouring!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Procrastinator

Welcome to the Be & Me Blog – at last! Hopefully, this Blog will be a fun place for the students of the Be & Me Eikaiwa Club, and other students of English, to practice reading.

Today’s key word is…


Procrastination is to think about doing something for a long time but to never actually do it.

I’m the King of Procrastination. This Blog is a perfect example: I created it in January, but haven’t got around to posting an entry on it until today, June 14!

Most of us are procrastinators to some degree. The secret to overcoming procrastination is to – as they say in the Nike ads – just do it!

The Procrastinator
"I'll be back – eventually!"