Kate Billington returns to LEP for the third time, to drink tea, talk about my pod-room, learning the bassoon, exam results, learning Chinese, responding to listener comments and talking about her videos on TikTok.
British Council Mini-English Lesson on For & Since
Previous appearances on LEP
Welcome back to Luke’s English Podcast. I hope you are doing fine out there in podcast land.
Kate Billington is back on the podcast today. Of course, you remember her from episodes 689 and 705.
If you heard those episodes I’m sure you will remember Kate and I know that a lot of you out there will be very happy that she is back again and yes, Kate’s return to this podcast is long overdue. She was a very popular guest when she was on the show before. So it’s great to have her back.
Some of you don’t know Kate because you haven’t heard those episodes but there’s no need for me to introduce her fully now in the intro because I kind of do that again during the conversation, except that Kate is an English teacher from England and we work together at the British Council.
People sometimes ask if Kate has her own podcast or YouTube channel or something, because they want to hear more from her.
Well, recently she started making videos for TikTok. We do talk about this during the episode, but that’s not until the end of the conversation, so I just wanted to give you a heads up about that right now at the start.
Kate is part of a team of teachers making content for the British Council’s channel on TikTok. You’ll see that they are making shorter videos (certainly shorter than mine) about things like British English idioms, culture and other entertaining bits and pieces. So, check it out – @BritishCouncilEnglish on TikTok. The link is on the page for this episode on my website.
So, what you are about to hear is another long and rambling conversation with a guest on my podcast. Hopefully you will stay engaged and entertained throughout while practising your English listening in the process.
All you have to do as you listen to this is keep up with the changes and tangents, and enjoy this conversational journey into things like how Kate helped me with the shelves in my pod-room, how Kate doesn’t agree with the way I arrange my books on those shelves, how it feels to be filmed while talking (and yes there is a video version of this on YouTube), we talk about Kate’s academic successes and failures (or maybe I should say “failure” because it seems there’s only been one, and I’m still not sure it counts as a failure), the Chinese classes that Kate has been taking recently, quite a lot of stuff about Korea (hello Korean listeners), our blood types and what they mean, how we both feel about getting older, and how we feel about certain other English teaching video content that you might find on TikTok, Instagram or YouTube. All that, and much more, starting… now.
An unedited conversation with Amber & Paul about toilet habits, Titanic (1997), weird videos on TikTok & YouTube and plenty more. Advanced level listening practice with the POD-PALs. Video version available.
The audio version ☝️ has about 15 minutes of extra rambling by Luke at the end, not included in the video version 👇
Hello, listeners, I hope you’re doing well today. Welcome back to my podcast. This is where you can do plenty of listening in order to improve your English. Because listening is a vital part of the process. You have to listen, listen, listen and generally get used to hearing natural English as it is spoken and my podcast can help you to do that.
In this episode Amber & Paul are back on the podcast. In case you don’t know, Amber Minogue and Paul Taylor are my friends who have been regular guests on this show for many years. They are both stand-up comedians from the UK, living in Paris, like me.
A couple of weeks ago, before I had a haircut, the three of us got together here in my room and had a conversation for this podcast. We didn’t plan the topic in advance. So you’re going to hear a lot of spontaneous natural speaking. We’re not slowing down or trying to use the easy words. This is just how we speak normally when we’re together. As you will notice, I try to explain things or clarify things as we go, in order to help you a bit, but still, it might be difficult, depending on your English level.
If you like you can think of this as a kind of listening test. Can you follow what we’re saying and keep up with all the changes in the conversation?
You’ll see that the episode title is Toilets, Titanic and TikTok which gives you a general idea of what we talk about.
We didn’t have a lot of time, so I just pressed record, and then quite quickly we found ourselves talking about toilets first of all.
So there’s a good 45 minutes of us talking about toilets.
By the way, in British English the word toilet means both the room and the thing in the room that you sit on.
In American English the toilet is just the thing you sit on, and the room in American English would probably be called the restroom or the bathroom, although when we go there we’re not resting or having a bath, but anyway… This is a conversation about toilets.
We talk about what people do in the toilet, on the toilet, near the toilet and even above the toilet in some cases.
So, be ready for some rather specific and possibly disgusting details about this topic.
I don’t know how you feel about this subject. Personally I find it quite fascinating to learn about this very private thing that we don’t always talk about, except maybe when we’re together with close friends like this.
For example, any women listening – do you know what happens in men’s public toilets? And men, do you know what goes on in women’s public toilets? I think we know what basically happens, but what about certain, other, unknown things?
For example, why is there usually a much bigger queue at the women’s loo (“loo” is UK English for “toilet”).
Do men always stand up when they pee or do they sometimes do it sitting down? And which one is actually easier or better?
How do other people deal with public toilets, which can be dirty or messy? And in fact, why are they so messy, especially in the toilet cubicles? What are people doing in there?
And have you ever argued, with someone you live with, about leaving the toilet seat up?
Women often get frustrated with men who leave the toilet seat up.
Toilet seat up? toilet seat down? What’s going on here? Why is that annoying? And who is right?
That’s just a sample of the kinds of things we’re talking about, OK?
So, brace yourself – toilet talk is coming, with some specific references to hygiene and cleanliness too.
Then, somehow we go from the toilet, to the film Titanic, and that will be generally less disgusting and problematic I think, although arguably what happened on the Titanic is much much worse than what normally happens in the toilet, but I don’t know your habits, I don’t know your life.
Then things get a bit more graphic again at the end of the conversation as we talk about some weird, disgusting and yet strangely satisfying videos we like to watch on TikTok and YouTube.
So here is an unedited talk full of tangents about tea, toilets, Titanic, TikTok trends and more, and here we go…
Ending Transcript (These are the things I say at the end of the audio version + a few spontaneous bits)
OK audio people, how was that for you?
Did you manage to keep up?
Did you learn anything new?
Do you have anything to add to this conversation?
Congratulations for making it this far. You just entered over 1 hour of English into your head. Think of the people who didn’t do that. They now have 1 hour less of English exposure.
As I said at the start, this conversation was fast (as usual) and there were probably things you missed.
I started the recording before we were ready to begin, that’s because I just needed to get started because we didn’t have a lot of time (Amber had to leave at about 3.30 as usual). So I just hit record.
Paul asked about which audience is bigger – the video viewers or the audio listeners. I said the audio listeners outnumbered the video viewers and so Paul said he wouldn’t do too many visual things, like visual jokes.
Then he pretended to take his trousers off (I guess this was in order to make a visual joke). In fact, he unzipped his jeans, but didn’t actually unbuckle his belt.
This led to Paul commenting that men only unbuckle their belt or fully undo their trousers twice each day, and then we were off and the topic turned to the topic of men undoing their trousers in the toilet, and we asked Amber about what it’s like for women to use the toilet when they are wearing a one-piece outfit, like a jump suit. Isn’t that complicated?
And that’s how it all started, you see. I guess if you’re still listening to this, you got that. I wonder how many people just gave up after the first 5 or 10 minutes.
Anyway, that’s enough waffle at the end.
Like I said before, leave your comments (if you have a comment section where you are listening – use my website if you can. The link for the relevant page for this episode is in the show notes for this – check your podcast app of choice. The notes will be there, including a link to the website page)
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Thank you for your support everyone! Let’s keep this thing going.
Take care out there in LEPland. Keep your chin up, keep a smile on your face if you can. Be good to yourself, be excellent to each other, have another lovely morning, afternoon, evening or night and I will speak to you in the next instalment, coming soon. Good bye bye bye bye bye!
What do you think listeners? Leave your comments below 👇
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