Living In Madrid. UPPER INTERMEDIATE

Living In Madrid:
by Angela Onescu on March 25, 2010

Winter has finally arrived in Madrid and even though we always know it’s going to happen it’s still hard! It’s even harder to wake up in the morning as the thought of leaving your warm and cozybed can make you feel worse. Now is the time to take out your coat and layer on the winter accessories. At this time of year you also start to see the Christmas lights being put up, the shops decorating their window displays, and some outdoor markets for the season.  However, the Christmas spirit is not as strong as it is in other parts of Europe since Christmas Eve and the holiday known as “Reyes” is more popular than the actual Christmas Day. This is probably because Spain remains a largely Catholic country. This holiday represents the moment when the three wise men came to bring gifts to Baby Jesus and it’s celebrated on January 6th with a parade around the city and people in the streets.

In the winter, as the days get shorter and colder it becomes harder to get out of the house at night or to make outdoor plans. But not in Madrid! Somehow that doesn’t affect people as much as you would imagine, as they usually manage take a moment or “hueco” out of their day to meet up and have a “caña” or beer. In fact, many cocktail parties are held midweek in order to get people out and about. Of course, those who have families don’t necessarily go out but may still meet up with a friend right after work. During the day there are also activities that you can do in and around the center. The museum area is fantastic for those who appreciate art as there are amazing collections to be seen. The Prado was recently expanded to include a modern attachment with a restaurant inside and the Reina Sofia has an extensive collection of modern art that can be appreciated even by those who might not be art fans. There is also the very cool

Thierry Henry: Too Hot To Handle
ADVANCED
Thierry Henry is probably the most unpopular man in Ireland right now after his controversial handball helped France eliminate Ireland in the recent World Cup playoff and spark the old debate about whether video evidence should be introduced into football. France captain Henry handled not once but twice, before setting up teammate William Gallas for the ludicrous goal that sent France to the World Cup and left millions of irate Irish supporters crying into their pints of Guinness.
The press labeled it theThe Hand of Henryand the incident evoked memories of Diego Maradonas infamousHand of Godagainst England 23 years ago when Maradona, now national coach of Argentina, punched the ball past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton to send Argentina into the semifinals of the 1986 World Cup, which they went on to win. While Maradona was almost proud of his handball, Henry apologised for his action and called for the game to be replayed although footballs world governing body FIFA have stood firm and let the result stand.
Of course I feel embarrassed by the way we won and feel extremely sorry for the Irish who definitely deserve to be in South Africa,” said Henry.

Why do Mondays Suck?
ADVANCED
Well possibly  I have this feeling , todayas my team ( Manchester Unitedgot totally destroyed yesterday against our arch rivals Liverpool and perhaps I feel a bit sad about that. Why do we waste so much of our brainpower on such trivial matters like the results of sportsThank God there are much more important things in lifelike, I don´t know, well anything apart from football. I am glad to say that I am the kind of football fan that isn´t really too interested in the other teams. I like watching good competitive games and that´s about it. I am very passionate about my team, my reason being is that it reminds me of my family and where I was born.
Anyway, today was a lovely autumnal and sunny day in Madrid and the clocks went back on Saturday so at least we got an extra hour in bed , which is always a good thing for me ( and probably the rest of the working population, who hate getting up on Mondays.)
I went for a run in the park in my pathetic attempt to try and lose some weight and enjoy the area of the park, where I live. I watched an episode ofDexterseason 4 andCalifornication’, which is a very funny insight into the life of an alcoholic, womanizing writer in Hollywood, played by David Duchovny. I officially hate anything to do with DIY as I have spent the last hour trying to put together a bed stand from IKEA

The weightloss bet
ADVANCED
Thanks so much to all of my colleagues, friends, acquaintances and any others who have asked if was pregnant over the last few months.
The answer is no, I was just overweight, but thanks ever so much for your concern. I suppose none of these people needed to ask if I had been having cravings, as those I speak to on a regular basis know I enjoy my German beer and am fond of the odd pizza and burger.
So , after having been being dissatisfied with my general appearance for well over the last year I decided I needed some motivation to get rid of the Michelin tyre that had decided to take residence around my waist. I had been trying to get someone interested in accepting a bet (una apuesta) from me that I could lose at least 6 kilos in 30 days. Over the summer a friend of mine was interested and then he wasn´t so I decided

eclinguistics.com