Stockwood Park Revisited
Stockwood Park Revisited (13
Last month I visited Stockwood Park in Luton. This is a
favourite* occasional destination, and I always look forward to seeing
the park again and walking around the spacious grounds and formal
gardens. As it is an hour and a half's drive from where I live, that is
90 minutes of happy anticipation of the horticultural* delights to come
and photos to take, but also looking at the sky in the hopes that the
weather will remain sunny* and warm. Most of the park is open green
spaces, divided up by stands of mature trees, where people can play
sports, golf, walk and have their picnics. I like to see trees growing
with enough space to spread out and, after our wet winter and spring,
they and the grass were a fresh bright green. The red-leaved trees
offered some good photo opportunities with the sunlight shining through
the leaves, turning them every shade of pink and orange. The meadows
underneath were a sea of daisies and buttercups.
* “favourite” Compare with "favoured" where the Vr is reversed
* “horticultural” Optional contraction
* “sunny” Always insert vowels for sun, sunny, snow, snowy
Between the main park and the golf course is a sloping wooded
area which, being mid-morning, I had all to myself. There was no sound
other than the rustling of leaves and the birdsong, and with no-one
about there is more chance to see the woodland birds and also to take
some videos for the soundtrack of the birds calling and singing. Between
the criss-crossing paths there are swathes of cow parsley with their
lacy flower heads, and the extensive areas of nettles under the trees
ensure that the wildlife within is safe from human* interference.
* "human" Above the line, to distinguish it from "humane"
The best part for me is the Period Garden, a large square
enclosed within a high brick wall. It is planted with elaborate* low box
hedging, filled with coloured gravels and plants, and topiary shrubs in
blocks, blobs and spirals. Narrow paths of paving, brick and tile lead
one around the sections, in places edged with vertical tiles and
terracotta in scalloped and rope patterns. There are a few statues and
busts, three small crouching lions, and a variety of large stone pots
and urns. The whole area is packed with detail, and one has to slow down
and not rush through, in order not to miss anything. The sunshine showed
up the convoluted shapes of the box hedging, with bright green tops and
the sides in shadow. A graceful metal pergola forms a long tunnel, and a
row of climbing roses is in the process of covering it. This is
definitely a place to sit and contemplate the garden, preferably
spending a goodly time on each seat in turn to take in all the views in
* "elaborate" Compare with "laboured" which has halved Br
This garden is like a pattern book from which to take notes
and inspiration for the garden at home. Some years ago, a visit here
inspired me to rip out an untidy and high-maintenance flower bed and
replant with box topiary. The low hedge of evergreen euonymus and the
row of box balls in the back garden are now quite mature, and when they
are newly clipped they provide a neat and ordered contrast to all the
other lax shrubs that are allowed to flop about and grow into their
natural shapes. There is not a lot of work involved, as the clipping
takes far less time than the weeding of the flower bed did, and it looks
good all year, and especially welcome in winter.
One small area in the Period Garden is planted up as a
Wartime Dig For Victory garden, with Andersen shelter, rows of
vegetables and a chicken enclosure. The four chickens are all different,
obviously chosen for their smart plumage. They seem quite content in
their roomy pen, and take an interest in the stream of delighted
visitors, especially the children. They were not clucking when I was
there, but vocalising in that gentle cooing and squeaking that seems to
be a mixture of casually exploring what is going on, and anticipation of
something interesting about to happen or be discovered. We saw one of the keepers remove two eggs from their roosting
house, which she told us was the daily average. When she left the pen,
this prompted some investigations by the hens into their hut, and when
they discovered nothing amiss (at least as far as they noticed) they
settled down again to their normal routine of pecking and scratching,
but with one eye on the visitors in case a snack appeared.
Nearby are several long traditional greenhouses, mostly full
of potted plants. Although they are working greenhouses providing plants
for the gardens, their neat and tidy appearance had me imagining myself
lounging about inside on a summer day. I would clear a large space for
sofa and table, and settle down to read favourite books, listen to talks
on the Ipod* or maybe relax with the knitting basket to hand. No thought
would cross my mind of the tasks of watering all the plants, cleaning
all that glass or the annoyance of removing the flies and wasps that had
found their way in attracted by the jam and crumbs on my plate, or the
column of visiting ants making straight for my apple juice. On a rainy
day there would be no chilly breezes disturbing my comfort, and there
would be the entertainment of watching the scudding clouds and listening
to the raindrops drumming on the roof, cascading down both sides and
hopefully cleaning the glass at the same time.
* “Ipod” and “Ipad” Insert 2nd vowel to
This cast-iron mangle with wooden rollers displayed in a
corner of the garden brought back memories of the old top-loading tub
washing machine* that we had many years ago. It had a fold-down wringer
that was firstly used to remove the soapy water prior to rinsing, and
then again to dry off after the rinse. The large one in this photo made
me wonder what exactly went through it, and I suppose the answer is
"everything" from clothing to sheets and blankets. Mangles were
notorious destroyers of buttons, as the rubber began to harden, and I
notice that this one has a screw handle to allow the pressure of the top
roller to be varied. It is very satisfying to see sodden clothes going
through, with the water pouring out backwards from the rollers, and the
very creased but halfway dry item emerging from the other side, but the
sentiment does not extend to wishing to have one again! This one is
embossed with "Ewbank Empress" on the side and "Herbert Starke Luton" on
the top part, and is an outdoor museum piece with local interest. It
would certainly test a modern non-crease shirt to its limits and no
doubt also deposit some grimy* and rusty stripes as it came out the
* Omission phrase "wash(ing) machine"
* "grimy" Insert last vowel as "grime" would also make sense here
We took a look around the Mossman Carriage
Museum, which is a large collection of ancient carriages, carts and
bicycles, as well as an exhibition of Life's Journey, showing toys and
equipment from babyhood to adulthood. Most of the carriages are original
items, but a few are replicas, some of which were made for motion
pictures. Looking at the exhibits set me wondering about the lives of
those who made, drove, owned and used these vehicles and what they meant
to the people of that time. They can only have seemed modern, normal and
of minimal interest, just like we do with our cars, buses and trains.
Although every item is given a brief* description, they
cannot be properly understood without knowing about the general
historical setting and how life was lived at the time. In the limited
space of a museum, this can only be hinted at on the information cards,
and one tends to just hurry on to the next item in the row. Many of the
vehicles have labels on stating "I am old and fragile please do not
touch" and of course in the gift shop this is reproduced to humorous
effect on the souvenir greetings and postcards.
* "brief" Always insert the vowel so that it is not misread as "number of"
As a change from the immobile and dusty remains of the past centuries, I
was delighted to find an exhibition of astronomy pictures - still dust,
but this time cosmic dust. The darkened room was full of large
reproductions of the best photographs, many of which were displayed not
as prints but shown on large flat screens, giving them the brilliance
that the subject-matter deserves. The colours were amazing* , with fiery
suns, luminous planets, fields of innumerable glowing* stars, and dust
clouds in wild swirling shapes with suggestive names - Pillars of
Creation, Sombrero Galaxy, Butterfly Nebula, Veil Nebula. All one has to
do is admire them, with no effort needed to wonder about history or
meaning. I could not decide which one would make the best wall poster or
mural, but I think the blue and purple star clouds are probably going to
get my vote. Once back outside in the sunlight, I had to admit that,
attractive as these images are, I much prefer to admire the abundant raw
materials of the universe once they have been formed into plants,
flowers, shrubs and majestic trees, not "old and fragile" like the
museum exhibits but new, fragrant and fresh every year. (1526 words)
* “amazing” and “amusing” Always insert the 2nd vowel
* “glowing” Insert the diphone so it is not misread as "golden"
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Football (21 June 2014)
If you are a football fan, you might* be tempted to follow the current
World Cup games for hours on end only to find that there is no time left
for your intended shorthand studies and practice. You only have so much
spare time* outside of your other daily duties, and it seems you might* have to choose between shorthand speed and football need! There is only
one solution to this dilemma and that is to write the football
commentary in shorthand as you follow your favourite* teams and
footballers. Most of the players names are not going to be in the
shorthand dictionary so I suggest that you either decide beforehand* how
to write them or just write the stroke that represents the first
syllable of the name.
* "you might" Not phrased, to prevent misreading as "you may"
* “spare time” Halving used for the T of "time"
* “favourite” Compare with "favoured" which has a reversed Vr
* “beforehand” Optional contraction
I have been through some online commentaries and have pulled out some
footie terminology. The match described below is played by rather small
teams. The home team members' names start with the first half of the
alphabet and are Boyd, Byrom, Forkner, Gregg and Gurney. The away team
names start with the second half of the alphabet and are Pepys, Pitman,
Shelton, Taylor and Teeline. I rather suspect that player Teeline is
using a nickname instead of his real surname! On the touchline
substitute* bench are Bright for the home team and Sloan for the away
* "subs(t)itute" Omits the first T
The game kicks off sharp at noon, and Gregg immediately plays a great
ball through to Gurney, splitting the away team's defence. Pitman picks
the ball up 35 yards from goal and nullifies the threat for an easy
first goal for the home team. There is some nice play from Taylor as he
battles down the left-hand side, but his cross is over-hit. There is a
neat exchange of passes on the right, but Byrom misplaces his pass and
his effort is blocked by Shelton who heads it harmlessly over from 6
yards. This is a great start to a promising game. The home players head
towards goal, until Forkner overstretches for a loose ball and signals
to the bench that he has pulled a muscle. He is replaced by Bright from
* "subs(t)itute" Omits the first T
As the game continues, Pitman picks up the ball on the right and his
pass to Pepys is intercepted by Byrom who causes the unfortunate Pepys
to land awkwardly on his knees. He is taken off on a stretcher and is
replaced by Sloan. The referee has no choice but to give Byrom a yellow
card final warning and awards a free kick to the opposing team. Shelton
hits a beautifully-struck goal-bound ball, which is unfortunately
expertly palmed away by Gregg.
Boyd attempts an audacious 30 yard drive towards the goal, with the
keeper getting down low to save it, but Teeline rushes up for a strong
header and the ball flies high into the stands. Boos ring round the
stadium at this lost opportunity for the Gregg team, while the Pitman
fans cheer loudly. Shelton picks up the ball on the edge of the Gregg
area and looks to cut in and fire on goal, but it's well defended by
Boyd, who passes to Bright. The home team keep possession easily as the
half-time break nears, which can't come quick enough for the away team.
Gregg finally gets a shot at the Pitman net and scores the first goal of
the game, to a deafening roar from the crowd of Gregg supporters, and
pitiful moans from the Pitman crowd. The referee blows for half-time.
During the second half, the Pitman team continue to look threatening as
they keep the ball comfortably away from the Gregg team. The home team
are obliged to make a defensive change to ensure they avoid a battering,
but it is still a massively open match. Gurney clears the ball to Boyd
who plays the ball back to Gregg. The Pitman team are patiently waiting
for any gaps to open. Byrom picks out Bright on the edge of the box, who
chests it down to Gurney. Teeline miraculously picks up the ball on the
right and defends it against the counter-attacking* burst from Gregg.
Sloan gathers the ball easily but Bright tackles superbly although the
attack comes to nothing. The home team winger Boyd picks it up on the
right-hand side and is one-on-one with Pitman. There is a break in play
as Shelton receives treatment for what looks like a hamstring injury,
but he is soon back on his feet and no substitute is necessary.
* "counter" on its own is K + N hook and doubled, but the form shown here is
used where it makes a better join
The Gregg team are really picking up, to the sound of cheers from their
fans, but jeers from the opposing fans. They are passing the ball around
with great ease until Pitman makes a superb tackle and picks up the
ball, driving it into the bottom left corner. He feeds in to Shelton
whose low drive to the corner of the area is stopped well by Boyd.
Shelton once again picks up the ball, and heads towards the goal,
hitting it high towards the Gregg net but a fantastic header from Byrom
sends it back down the pitch. His pass to Bright is intercepted by Sloan
who passes to Pitman, narrowly avoiding a close tackle by Gregg. Sloan's
shot towards the Gregg net is well blocked by the home team but his feed
in to Teeline is successful, who rapidly gets a shot at the Gregg goal.
The ball grazes the post and lands squarely in the net, to the dismay of
the Gregg keeper. Cheers explode from the Pitmanites in the stands on
this welcome equalizer.
With only two minutes to go, play is rapid and furious, and Byrom
manages to clear before one of the Pitman team can get a toe on it.
Gregg misplaces his pass and his shot falls disastrously* short, being
expertly intercepted by Taylor. The ball is left to Pitman whose shot
deflects off the ball and out for a corner. The resulting corner falls
back to Gregg who hits it high and wide. Bright runs to attempt a header
but the full-time* whistle blows, and the game ends with the score of a
one one draw.
* “disastrously” Note that "disaster" uses doubling
* “full-time” Halving for the T of “time”
This was truly the game of the century, with fantastic
performances from the team members and no red cards, fouls or penalties.
Despite not producing a clear winner, it is obvious that all those
endless hours of skill building and speed practice have resulted in a
fast and furious game, with memorable feats of dexterity and stamina
that the fans have come to expect from such illustrious players, which
they will remember for a long time to come. Who knows, some of them may
take it up themselves and become the future victorious masters of speedy
play, achieving goal after goal through sheer tenacity, drive, endurance
and determination. They will truly be able to claim "We Are The
Champions!" (1143 words)
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Too Fast (23 June 2014)
I can recall as clearly as yesterday the occasion when my shorthand
teacher, Miss Jefferson, gave me and a fellow student a 200 words a
minute* dictation, without telling us what the speed was going to be.
She said it would be short and faster than usual, and asked whether we
felt up to the challenge. We agreed* , partly with trepidation and partly
feeling rather honoured that she had decided that we might actually be
able to write some of it. With the promise of it not being very long, we
could not let ourselves down by chickening out. She had obviously done
this before with past students and knew what the likely reactions would
be during and after the event. I am sure she had been waiting patiently
for the day to arrive when she could offer us this challenge and her
eyes were smiling and sparkling. She invited the others to try and get
some down if they felt inclined to join in.
* Omission phrase "words (a) minute"
* "we agreed" Inserting the vowel stops it being read as "with regard"
My friend and I had our eyes and minds firmly on
the pad, wondering what we had let ourselves in for, but ready to make
our superhuman* effort to concentrate and get as much down as possible.
There was not the slightest chance to hesitate, and if an outline was
unknown, it had to be skipped, and even known ones were written in a
wild scrawl. When it was over, Miss Jefferson asked if we had got any of
it down. We both said, yes but hardly readable. She very kindly did not
ask us to read back, as she knew we would be doing that at home, just to
see if we could retrieve one or two* words from the scribble.
* “superhuman” Dot Hay replaces the tick in "human" here. Insert the U
diphthong, so it is not misread as “superman”
* Omission phrase "one (or) two"
Then she told us the speed. Exclamations of shock and astonishment* bounced round the room and the exact term to describe us all at that
moment is flabbergasted and gobsmacked. We had actually agreed to and
taken part in something that was, we thought, entirely impossible for
raw novices like us, even though we were nearing the end of the course.
We had faced off with a 200 words per minute* passage and had survived
the encounter with life and limb still intact. Like the Victorians
travelling by train for the first time* , we had thought that the human* frame could not withstand going at such a ridiculous speed and that the
force of acceleration would squash us all flat.
* “astonishment” Optional contraction
* “words per minute” Compare with "words a minute" in the first
* Omission phrase "for (the) first time"
* "human" Above the line, to distinguish it from "humane"
The point was clearly not to practise unseen
dictation, improve our powers of concentration or stretch our note
reading skills. It was not even about learning to persevere through the
tough places and not let ourselves get behind. The scrawl was illegible
and no shorthand could be learned from this particular exercise. Its aim
was to change our view of ourselves, which I am sure has always been an
ongoing task for shorthand teachers. As a student my mind was full of
speed numbers, all with the appropriate* labels personal to me - easy,
not so easy, difficult, impossible and one labelled "probably never"!
Why would you bother working towards a "never" speed? The prior warning
that it would be quite fast allowed us not to get discouraged in the
first sentence, because it was not being presented as one that we ought
to be able to manage. Just doing it, regardless of the result, seemed to
deprive the number 200 of its intimidating appearance and put it firmly
in the "possible" category, admittedly somewhere near the end of that
rather long queue. Instead of being out in space, unreachable, it and
its lesser friends were now on the ground and could be reached if only* we took enough steps in their* direction.
* “appropriate” Insert the diphone, and the dash vowel in “proper” which
has a similar outline and meaning
* “if only” An alternative for the full "only" in some phrases
* "in their" Doubling for "their"
If you are studying on your own, you cannot really duplicate Miss
Jefferson's method, as it is not possible to spring a surprise on
yourself! The nearest way to get this effect is to record some half
minute dictations at various normal speaking rates. Allow some time to
elapse to forget their contents, then take one down at random.
Afterwards would be the time to measure the speed, which for a half
minute passage will be the number of words times two. I would suggest
that these wild attempts are not taken all the time, as you would then
be constantly practising leaving gaps and that is not something you want
to get used to doing. Miss Jefferson only did this once, in order to
give our confidence a boost before the end of term exams and also to set
our minds on the correct path for the future when we left the college.
Your normal speaking speed is probably
around three words a second, which comes out at 180 words a minute. I
believe my passage was about half a minute, which produced two pages of
desperate scrawl, which would have been one page of neat writing at a
more reasonable speed. Half a minute seems plenty long enough
considering the effort being required. You would do yourself a favour if
you read out parts of the easier passages from the instruction book, so
that you have some chance of knowing the outlines. This ordeal is really
best undertaken by the speed aspirant, not by the beginner or those who
have not finished the instruction and review books, for whom
discouragement seems a more likely outcome. I can confidently say that
everything you do after that will seem luxuriously slow, at least* for
the next hour or two, and if you can read just one outline from that
superfast take, then I think a little smugness is an allowable treat as
a reward for all your hard work.
* “at least” and “at last” Always insert the vowel
The following paragraph contains one hundred words and if you record it
in 60, 40 and 30 seconds, that will be 100, 150 and 200 words per minute
respectively. There are several abbreviating devices and good phrases
that will help you on your way to smooth, even and fast writing and the
vocabulary is easy. I have repeated it at the above speeds on the
blogspot dictation that accompanies this article, in ascending speed
order, and the brave can go straight to the end one first to test their
mettle. You could take the easier path of printing out the shorthand jpg
and writing over the top of it, just to ascertain that your hand can
actually travel at that speed, but this would not be a test of your
skill as a shorthand writer* , as there would be little mental work
* Omission phrase "short(hand) writer"
Dear Mr Smith, Thank you for your letter which we received* yesterday.
As requested I am sending you information on our products which will be
available at the beginning of next month. We are confident that the new
lines will be a great success and we suggest that you place any order
with us as soon as possible. Our prices are very reasonable and we are
now able to send these items by special first class delivery if
required. I hope you will find the enclosed brochure of interest and I
look forward to hearing from you. Yours faithfully. (1191 words)
* Omission phrase "we (re)ceived"
The PDF of this article repeats the above paragraph JPG in a spaced out
version, with a blank line between each line of shorthand, so that you
can prepare and practise, before attempting your fast take.
Not only too fast, but too many
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Omission Phrases (29 June 2014)
Little bits missing but readable
Here is some material that practises lots of omission phrases. There is
no quicker way to write something than not to write it at all, as long
as the writer is thoroughly familiar with the phrase, and also there is
no clash with any similar ones. Trying* to recall a half-learned* phrase
can take longer than using separate outlines, and unless they flow
readily from the pen, they will be more of a hindrance than a help. For
this reason it is better to know a selection of common ones really well,
than to attempt to absorb long lists that may never or rarely be used.
The phrases here are taken from the Guide To Phrasing* , and so can be
considered completely reliable. If you have any doubt about using a
phrase in a particular sentence, it is better not to use it until the
ambiguity has been cleared up. I suggest you practise all the phrases
singly before taking it from dictation, as so many have been squeezed
in. Having done that I am sure you will appreciate what a time-saver
they are but only when they have been learned thoroughly and can be
written without hesitation. I would mention that it would be better to
finish the instruction book before taking on these more advanced
phrasing methods. A thorough knowledge of the basics is your key to
success which no amount of ingenious phrasing can ever replace in the
quest for speed.
* No diphone, as the "I" sound is part of the Ing Dot
* "half-learned" Using the F stroke in "half" allows it to join
* Guide to Phrasing in Pitman New Era Shorthand by June Swann, which is
a revision of The New Phonographic Phrase Book by Emily D Smith
Odd bits missing but readable
Last week I was very busy but I am sure that next week I will be very
much busier. I was resting at home for a time but then I realised that I
had more and more things to do. I was at a loss as to how to get them
all done, but as a rule I find making a list very helpful. First and
foremost I write the most important things, but within one or two hours,
the list grows larger and larger, and the page becomes longer and
longer. Now and then I have to stop, and make some alterations here and
there. I put similar things side by side, so that they can be done all
at the same time but sometimes there is not much between them on which
to make a decision.
Occasional bits missing but readable
I have to bear in mind that doing some of the items is out of the
question* this month, and they will have to be done next month instead.
Everything would have been* much simpler if I did not have to take into
account my family's point of view on the subject. They want to know
whether or not I have taken into account their wishes and viewpoints.
Fortunately there is no difference of opinion between us and our
standard of living has continued to improve. Some of them agree that it
is a sign of the times, and directly or indirectly they all benefit from
my work. With regard to the information in our hands, at first sight it
can be difficult to know whether it is right or wrong, but up to the
present I believe that I have made the best decisions year by year. It
is more or less* in line with our long-term plans but neither more nor
less* than a miracle that we have done so well.
* "question" also has an optional contraction as Kway + N hook
* Omission phrase "neither more (nor) less" The word omitted "nor" is
the correct version of this phrase. If the speaker says "or" instead,
then full outlines must be used.
Fair bit missing but still readable
In connection with my job at the technical college in the City of
London, I am sorry to say that I have now come to the conclusion that it
is not as good as it was in the past, and I will be considering all the
facts of the case as regards my employment there up to the present
time. It is one of the most high-pressure jobs I have had to do. My
doctor will often call attention to the matter and for the sake of my
health I am considering my position within the company. This is one of
the most important decisions that I have to consider. At first I did not
know whether or not I should make a change, but in the circumstances,
and taking into account all the facts of the situation, I have now come
to the conclusion that it would be better to make a firm decision. No
other way would produce such satisfactory results and it stands to
reason that our decisions are based on information rather than just
opinion. I will be extremely sorry to say goodbye to my good friends but
I am very pleased that this well-paid position will now be open to one
of my colleagues. I am sure there is a very good chance, in their
opinion, that this will produce satisfactory results for everyone.
A lot missing and obscured
but just readable
I have borne in mind everything that I have achieved so far. In regard
to my future, I am now 55 years of age, and from my point of view within
a few months I will have brought this phase of my working life to a
satisfactory conclusion. My family have said that they certainly have no
objection and a low pressure* life is much more convenient for us all.
Our travel will no longer incur heavy expenses, and there are no other
great expenses to take into consideration when we are planning our
expenditure. In fact, we made a list of the necessary expenses of family
life a short time ago which seems to have confirmed our opinion on the
financial information. In this manner, I hope to be able to join my
family as early as possible in order to enjoy the sights of the West End
of London, followed by a tour of the British Isles for several weeks to
study the native animal life in all parts of the country. We enjoy
travelling both at home and abroad, and from time to time like to spend
a few weeks away in order to refresh ourselves. There is no other thing
that we would prefer to be doing and it is a perfectly satisfactory way
of spending our holidays.
* "low pressure" Insert the vowel, as in this context it could be
misread as “leisure”
Numbers must never have bits missing!
As regards my home life, now that my days are more favourable for
learning new subjects, I will be taking up shorthand writing, and if
possible I will use it to produce a book on foreign affairs and the
political life of this country. I will also be writing a book about my
early days on the other side of the country, working in the engineering
machine shops making parts for British ships. Generally speaking, I am
glad that all these things have taken place, and that my future is going
in this direction. There are so many other things to do and much more to
see. I am sure we will all look forward to our times together, now that
I no longer have to go backwards and forwards to the technical college.
The Prime Minister's recent changes in bank rates, taxation and the rate
of exchange have produced very satisfactory results for us, and we are
almost certain to make gains in some measure, especially on our savings
with the Post Office.
Too much missing**
For the most part we are very happy with everything and are hardly
likely to want to go back to our old way of life. I can confirm that
this decision has now been made and we are on the move once again.
Although the job was a first-rate one, it is most important* not to miss
out on other opportunities and we hope that our decision this week will,
in the course of time, make for a long life full of worthwhile
activities. In our opinion it seems important* that we use all this
extra time during the course of the year to undertake the items on our
list from beginning to end* , starting tomorrow morning. I am very
pleased indeed with how things have turned out and there is no reason
why we should want it to be any other way. I hope that within three or
four months we will be enjoying ourselves to the best of our ability and
in six or seven years we will have entirely forgotten the state of
affairs as they used to be for a major part of our lives. (1369 words)
* "it is most important" versus "it seems important" Always insert the
vowel of "seems" and/or the vowel in “most” in these phrases
* "from beginning to end" If you add Tick The to “from”, then the phrase
would be "from the beginning to the end"
** It's a shop that hires out tools to repair things with!
In the PDF of this article, the omission phrases are listed showing
which parts are left out.
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