Amber & Paul are back on the podcast and we do the usual catching-up session and go off on a few tangents about Amber’s play, Paul’s showbiz life, marshmallows, microphones, tea & coffee, accents and more. There are videos for the intro and outro of this episode (below).
This episode sees the return of pod PALs Amber Minogue and Paul Taylor, which means that The Talkative Trio are reunited on the podcast once more.
Time was pretty tight for this conversation because Paul was working to a very strict schedule on the day it was recorded, which was yesterday in my flat.
As you’ll hear, Paul arrives a little bit late because he was having lunch with some TV industry people and then he has to leave before the end of the recording to be interviewed on the radio, because he’s so hot right now in the world of showbiz.
Amber has also been very busy recently doing various things including writing and rehearsing a play, so it’s been hard to get the three of us in a room together all at the same time.
As a result this episode was arranged at the last-minute and the conversation was completely unplanned. All I wanted to do was to catch up with the two of them and ask the usual question: What have you been doing?
You’ll hear that things carry on quite rapidly and there are plenty of the usual tangents – those moments when the topic suddenly goes off in a different direction.
It might be hard to follow, so to help you keep up, here’s a basic summary of the main things that we talk about. You’ll find these notes written on the page for this episode, including some words that you might hear in the conversation but not know. You might want to check these notes to see words that you might have missed, to check their spelling etc.
- First of all Amber tells me about the play for children that she’s been working on with our friend James Simpson.
- Paul then arrives, you hear the buzzer buzzing and he comes in carrying a bag containing a new iPhone 7, still in its box, which he collected from the shop earlier in the day. It’s a present which all his friends bought for him a few months ago for his 30th birthday, organised by his girlfriend. We all chipped in some money and got him a new phone.
- Amber tells us some more things about her play, including how it contains a few slapstick moments, meaning some funny scenes of fairly violent physical comedy involving a first-aid box and some marshmallows. Apparently at one point in the play James hits Amber over the head with the first aid box. By the way, a first-aid box is a box that contains basic medical supplies for administering first-aid, that’s why it’s called a first-aid box. It contains, things like plasters, bandages, antiseptic, tiny scissors, and maybe some other little medical things that you don’t understand etc.
- Also in the play they also fight over a marshmallow, which Amber wants to dip into her tea.
- This leads us to talk about dipping things into cups of tea, like marshmallows and biscuits, which then causes us to talk about what you put in your tea when you’ve run out of milk, which actually happened to Paul the other day. His solution was to use whipped cream as a substitute.
- That leads me to ask the question of whether you really can put cream in tea, and we agree that you can definitely put cream in coffee, especially a particular type of coffee which is served with whipped cream on top, which in France is called café Viennois – which I think translates as a Viennese coffee – or a coffee from Vienna.
- That causes me to ask what they call a Viennese coffee in Vienna, speculating that they might just call it a coffee, which leads to a similar question about the French phrase “creme anglais”, which translates literally as “English cream” – but in the UK we just call it “custard”.
I then ask Paul and Amber to explain to you my audience what custard is, and Paul suggests that instead of us explaining it at great length, you could just ‘google’ it.
- I remind Amber & Paul that it is necessary to explain some words sometimes, like the word ‘custard’, because this is Luke’s English Podcast and it’s probably a good idea to explain words sometimes.
- This prompts Amber to comment on the way that I seem to choose to explain words quite randomly in my episodes – like when I recently spent quite a lot of time explaining the word ‘flea’ in a recent conversation I had with my Dad on the podcast.
- We then go back to food and talk about typical English puddings which can be served with custard, including crumble, sticky toffee pudding and the oddly named ‘spotted dick’.
I refer to spotted dick as a dessert, which causes Amber to comment that this is the wrong choice of word and that I should say that it’s a “pudding” not a “dessert”.
- This brings up the slightly confusing and long-running debate about the correct choice of words to describe certain things in Britain, especially in relation to the dinner table. This all relates to British rules of etiquette and language in polite society, perhaps relating to French vocabulary we sometimes use in English. We don’t talk about this very clearly and it might be a bit confusing for you, and really the whole subject of the rules of British etiquette and social class deserves an episode of it’s own.
- Nevertheless, in order to clear it up a bit, here’s a quote from a book called “Watching the English” by Kate Fox. Kate Fox is a social commentator who writes about social behaviour in England, and “Watching the English” is a good book that explains many things about English life. This is what Kate has to say about the words “pudding” and “dessert” in English. By the way, both these words are used to refer generally to sweet food which is served after the main course. You have the starter, then main course, then the pudding/dessert. Your choice of the word ‘pudding’ or ‘dessert’ seems to depend on your level of class, and apparently according to upper-class culture the word “dessert” is vulgar. Kate Fox: ‘The upper-middle and upper classes insist that the sweet course at the end of the meal is called the ‘pudding’ – never the ‘sweet’, or ‘afters’, or ‘dessert’, all of which are déclassé and unacceptable’ (Fox, 2005, p79). So, according to upper-class etiquette, pudding is the correct term for the sweet course that comes at the end of the meal. Fine. Amber seems to think this is because the word “dessert” is of French origin, but I’m not sure. By the way, in some places (e.g. France and Japan) pudding is a specific kind of dish. For example in Japan ‘pudding’ is a sort of caramel or custard creme dish. In the UK it just means the sweet course at the end of the meal and can include all kinds of things, like cakes, pies, ice-cream, trifle, Eton mess, bread and butter pudding or even jelly. “What’s for pudding?” for example.
- I try to explain all of this, but I can’t manage it, instead saying “This is tangent city” when I realise that we keep going off on mad tangents and it’s probably quite confusing for the audience – that’s you.
- Our talk of pudding then causes us to start talking about Pudong, an area in Shanghai, and specifically the Pudong River in Shanghai. Paul tells us a bit about that and then there are a couple of references to the slightly rude sounding English words ‘poo’ and ‘dong’ before things settle down a bit and we start talking about Paul’s recent showbiz news, including how he is going to be interviewed on a radio station called “Oui FM” later in the afternoon, so we go from poo to wee in just a few sentences.
- At one point Paul nearly uses quite a clever word – ‘concise’ but then doesn’t use it, preferring instead to choose a more simple way of putting things “using the least words possible” (which means to be concise).
- We talk about responses to Paul’s recent videos including a few YouTube comments & some criticism he received from a serious person in an email (the criticism was in the email, not the person – you can’t put a person in an email).
- Things get quite geeky when I then start talking about cameras and microphones and the challenges of capturing good audio when you’re recording videos.
- There’s some talk of different types of microphone, including boom mics, lapel mics, dynamic mics and shotgun mics but then Amber decides it’s all getting a bit too geeky and we move onto something else.
- We make plans to hang out again on Thursday on the set of Paul’s TV show while they’re doing some filming, and we decide to record a podcast while we’re there.
- Following on from my recent episodes about accents, I ask Paul & Amber what their accents are, and what they think my Dad’s accent is, and Amber declares her love for my Dad.
- Then Paul has to go for his radio interview on “Oui FM” and leaves, and Amber & I carry on and talk a bit more about her play before having a massive conversation about Christmas which will probably be uploaded in a forthcoming episode.
So, I hope that helps you understand what you are about to hear from the Tangential Trio. But, now, without any further explaining – here is that conversation as it actually happened!
JINGLE + CONVERSATION
Amber and I started talking about Christmas there and we went on to talk about it for ages – like over an hour of chat about Christmas shopping, games, food, family traditions and everything else relating to the festive time of year. That conversation will continue in the next episode, maybe the episode after.
We talked a little bit about Paul’s English in that conversation.
People sometimes say “Paul’s accent/English is influenced by his French”.
It isn’t. Certainly not his accent anyway.
That’s one of the interesting things about Paul. When he speaks French there is pretty much no trace of an English accent in his speech, and when he speaks English there is no trace of a French accent.
LEP Moscow Get-Together
Well, the very first LEP Moscow GET-TOGETHER has just happened! The first of it’s kind, it seems to be a historical :) event in Russia! Everything went great, it was awesome to chat in ENGLISH with like-minded people!!! Personally I felt as if I had known all of the participants for ages – open, nice and smiley friends! I hope somebody else could feel a similar thing.
First, we got to know each other, which was the main achievement! It was interesting to know when and how everyone had found LEP one day, which episodes were our favourite ones, which experiences in English language learning we had (useful Internet resources, grammar books, pronunciation etc.)
A couple of pics and a short audio message from us to you are attached.
Thanks again and again for that announcement and actually for everything you do!!!
We hope to provide more listeners with a chance to meet and speak regularly and one more way to let them know is to “friend” your group on FB with ours www.facebook.com/groups/734996946664425/ and VK vk.com/clubnu1 .
Have a nice Monday, Jedi-Podmaster!
Here are those Moscow LEPsters saying hello!
~ well done everyone!
Thank you especially this month to Antonio for managing everything.
There is an email now for the Orion team. Just write a comment on the page for the transcript collaboration and Antonio will let you know what to do.
Make sure you read the rules.
Transcript collaboration page: teacherluke.co.uk/episodes-with-transcripts/transcripts/
Daniel Goodson – My Fluent Podcast
A LEPster podcast in which you can join Daniel in his quest to become better and better at English.
Daniel interviewed one of the managers of the Transcript Collaboration – Piotr from Poland
Zdenek’s English Podcast
Also, on the subject of LEPster podcasts – Zdenek Lukas continues to do his show, called Zdenek’s English Podcast. Recently he’s been doing episodes about his experiences studying for the DELTA (Diploma in English Language Teaching for Adults) which is a seriously challenging postgraduate qualification in English teaching, which involves not only a lot of writing about linguistics and teaching methodologies, but also plenty of assessed teaching sessions too. It’s a difficult course with many challenges and many things to learn. You can listen to Zdenek talking about it on his podcast in some recent episodes.
Get it here audioboom.com/channel/zdeneks-english-podcast
Join the mailing list for direct access to the page for every episode, and for any other content I put up, including videos that I might start doing with my new camera soon.
That’s it! Cheers!
Here’s one of Paul’s “What the F*ck France?” videos. This one’s about how it’s difficult to learn French.
Here are a couple of bonus videos of me recording the introduction to this episode, and a failed attempt at recording the outro too (I forgot to press ‘record’ on my audio device!)
They’re in black & white because I think it looks cool. The gorilla ↴ is pink, ok!
Thanks for watching. I’m just experimenting with videos at the moment, but if you like them, I might do more.
The Russian Joke appeared in US TV show Parks & Recreation – watch until the end
Jazzy xylophone tune & piano tune by BenSound – www.bensound.com
Other music by me, or by my brother James Thompson.