ENGLISH ‘B’ — Semester One, First Session
(phone rings)
Husband: Good afternoon. Instant Engineering. Can I help you?
Wife: Is that you, Ahmed?
Husband: Oh, hi, Muna! I was just going to phone you. I’m afraid I’ll be working late again
Wife: That’s OK. Actually, I’m calling about something else.
Husband: What’s wrong?
Wife: Well, I’m not sure, but I’ve just seen something unusual. You know the Canadian
family who live next door?
Husband: Yes, the Campbells. What about them?
Wife: Well, they’re away on holiday, aren’t they?
Husband: Yes, they’ve gone home for the summer.
Wife: So the house should be empty. But I’ve just seen two men trying to open their gate.
Husband: Really? That doesn’t sound right.
Wife: That’s why I called you. Do you think I should call the police?
Husband: Not yet. Have another look. Can you see anything else?
Wife: Let me check… Ah, yes, on the other side of the road, there’s a big yellow van with
something written on the side: ‘JR Paints’, I think it says.
Husband: JR Paints? Oh, wait a minute, now I remember! The Campbells are having the
house painted. They told me before they left. They gave me their keys and said the
painters would phone me sometime. But they haven’t, so I forgot all about it.
Wife: So what am I supposed to do?
Husband: Give them the keys, of course.
Wife: Where are they?
Husband: In the kitchen on top of the fridge. Oh, and by the way, before you give them the
keys, just check that it really is the painters.
Wife: Of course! I’ll ask them for their business card. And I’ll give them your number
again, so they can call you.
Husband: Great. Now, I must get back to work. See you later…
(Female): Good evening, listeners, and welcome to another programme in our series, ‘Disappearing
Jobs’. Tonight you’re going to hear from George Ramsden, who used to be a milkman.
(Male): I was born in 1942, and grew up in Sheffield, a city in northern England. My dad was a
milkman, and when he died, I took over the family business. Back in those days, everybody liked to have
milk with their breakfast. The problem was, most people didn’t have a fridge, so it was difficult to keep
milk fresh from the day before. So my job was to deliver milk to people’s houses early in the morning
before breakfast. I used to get up very early, usually at about four o’clock, and then drive around the
streets. My van had an electric motor, which was nice and quiet so I didn’t wake everybody up! In those
days, milk was kept in glass bottles, not plastic ones like today. I used to leave the bottles on the front
doorstep of each house, and take away the empty ones from the previous day. Then, every Saturday, my
customers used to pay their bills and give me their orders for the following week. As well as milk, they
could also ask for cheese or eggs if they wanted. It was hard work, especially getting up early on cold
winter mornings, but business was pretty good. Until the 1980s, that is, when everything started to
change. By then, more and more people owned fridges, and shops were open for much longer hours, so
there was less need for home deliveries of fresh milk. By the time I finally stopped working in 2002, I
was the last milkman in Sheffield! It’s a shame really — but that’s progress, I suppose!
1. “Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. My topic for today is ‘Endangered Species in Arabia’. I shall
speak for about half an hour, and then you’ll have a chance to ask any questions.” (M)
2. “Excuse me, I think there’s a mistake here. It says a hundred and fifty-eight rials. But I didn’t even
use my telephone during August --- I was away on holiday the whole time!” (F)
3. “It’s bit dark in here. Let’s move near the window, the light’s better there. (pause) Right now,
Nasser, can you move a bit closer to Saeed, please. Good! OK, everybody, ready? Smile!” (M)
4. “Right, where shall we plant these flowers? How about under that tree? They’ll get more shade there.
Now, you start digging, and I’ll get some more water.” (F)