Actions and Activities
In this section we look at a series of everyday, nontechnical actions. Read the texts.
1. Dear Cinderella,
You jobs for tonight; sweep the chimney, scrub the floors, beat the carpets, hoover the stairs, dust the furniture, polish the silver, make the beds, change the sheets, tidy the house, dig the garden, clean out the fireplace, empty the rubbish, wash our underwear, mend the socks, darn the shirts, iron the laundry, cook the supper, do the washing-up, dry the dishes, put them away,
Don’t wait up for us. We might be late home.
The Ugly Sisters 2. Interior decorating
It was my first go at decorating. Everything started well enough. Scraping the old wallpaper off was great fun and didn’t take us long because we were able to peel off quite big strips.
What did take a long time was rubbing with sandpaper the walls to be painted and papered.
Our walls were so smooth in the end that Dad went round scratching them to make sure the paint would go on all right. He was a great organiser, Dad. Throughout the day he gave us useful tips like: ‘Just dip your brush in the paint’ and ‘Don’t squeeze out the paint from the brush before you apply it,’ and Just dab the paper with a wet sponge’. He also made us wipe each brush when we’d finished with it, then soak it in white spirit, wash it in soapy water and finally
rinse it under a tap. A real perfectionist he was.
There was great excitement late in the morning when we started unwrapping the rolls of wallpaper and
unpacking the tins of paint. I got the job of shaking all the tins, levering them open and stirring the paint.
Meanwhile Uncle Mac and Grandad were mixing the paste, unrolling the paper and spreading the paste on the back. I watched admiringly as they folded the paper, carried it to the wall, hung it delicately (with the two ends stuck lightly together) from the top, then
pressed down gently and smoothed out the lumps and bumps. I was terribly impressed.
It’s difficult to say when exactly things started to go wrong. I think it was while I was dragging some of the rubbish downstairs that Uncle Jack started
flicking his brush at Uncle Mac because he wouldn’t let him have the stepladder. I got back in time to see Uncle Mac drop the ladder and fling a dirty cloth at Jack. Jack picked it up and threw it back. Then it got out of hand. Grandad grabbed a brush and tossed it straight at Uncle Bill, who went over and tipped a bucket of paste all over Grandad’s back. Grandad then seized the empty bucket and stuck it on Bill’s head. Uncle Mac came and poured a bucket of cold water over Dad’s head. Dad snatched a brush from my hand and scrawled some rude words on the paper that Mac had just put up. Not satisfied, he went over and hurled a half-full tin of paint at the same wall. Still not satisfied, he climbed up the ladder, knocking
over the other brushed and spilling another pot of paint as he went, tugged at the paper on the only remaining clean wall and tore it into shreds as it came away in his hands.
After that, things went from bad to worse.
3. A Golf Lesson
Right! Now, place the tee in the ground - that thing in your left hand - yes push it down a bit more - no, pull it out a bit - no, put it back in - now, just press it into the ground - go on, just slide it in - stop! Good. Very good. Right now, rest the ball on the tee - try again - and again. Good. Well done. Fantastic. Now, there’s your club -
take it in your left hand - no, your left hand - hold it quite firmly - no, don’t grip it like that - let go of it - just grasp it like this, not too firmly - relax. Wonderful. Right, now wrap the fingers of your right hand round here - can you tuck your scarf into your jacket? We don’t really want that round the club, do we?good, well done. Now move your hands backwards and forwards a little - wiggle your fingers a bit - relax. Right, stand here and bring the club back over your shoulder - no, the other shoulder - come on - swing it back, relax,
twirl it round a bit - now, in a moment, bring it down fast and try to hit the ball right here in the middle. Try and strike it just - ouch! Yes, try and wait until I’ve taken my hand away next time - right, better insert the tee again - it’s over there - good. Pop the ball on the tee.
Get hold of the club again. Good. Now, don’t lift your head - raise your right elbow a fraction - keep your eye on the ball - right now, go! - O.K, well, you go and fetch the club from those bushes and Ill try and
replace this piece of grass,’
1. You might like to add some more similar verbs here.
2. Remember, too, that as soon as you have the name of a tool in English, hammer, screw, measure etc., you probably have a perfectly good verb as well: to hammer, to screw, to measure.
1. Write or give oral instructions to a partner on how to do the following things.
1. put up wallpaper
2. put an electrical plug on a lead
3. serve in tennis
5. bowl a ball in ten-pin bowling
6. shave or make up
2. Write or tell your partner how easy it was for you to do the following things yesterday.
1. plant those seeds in your garden
2. clean out the guest room
3. get your car started
4. make a desk for yourself
5. paint the top floor window
6. clear the drains