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How do you deal with a neighbour from hell?
May 30, 2016 LivingViewpoints
Until recently, I lived in an exceptionally quiet apartment block. Some weekends, the place was so devoid of human sounds I had the feeling everyone else had left the building. “Perhaps my neighbours know something I don’t,” I reasoned with myself one particularly quiet afternoon. “Maybe they’ve received a telephone call from the authorities telling them to vacate their apartments to avoid a North Korean nuclear device that is at this very moment falling out of the sky right above my postcode.”
I checked my phone. The battery was dead.
While everyone else would likely remain closeted in a fallout bunker of some sort, my hair would start falling out, and my breathing would become raspy. Eventually, my bones would become so brittle my fingers would probably snap off if I so much as tried to open a jar of pickles.
And yes, I know too much silence is not good for someone like me, but the serenity in my apartment block didn’t last much beyond that day. A week later, my next-door neighbour had sold her apartment. One minute she was living through the wall from me, keeping herself to herself, and the next the neighbour from hell had bought her place and had moved in.
I’ve yet to meet my new neighbour, but I know when he’s at home because he makes a lot of noise. If I didn’t know any better, I would say he wears steel-capped mining boots with studded soles while tap dancing on his wooden floors. It’s like Riverdance on steroids.
From the way he gargles vigorously every morning, and the noise he makes when clearing his throat, I would say he’s the sort of person who relishes making enormous crunching sounds when he’s eating toast, or cornflakes, or crisps.
When he returns from work in the evening, before he does anything else, he’ll switch on his TV. He turns up the volume so high I can sometimes tell what he’s watching. I’m sure the people in the next street also know what he’s watching. I just hope he doesn’t ever watch Riverdance on TV, because the noise of him dancing along with his Irish heroes, will probably tip me right over the edge, and leave me with no choice but to fill my ears with quick-drying cement.
Some evenings, Mr Clog Feet will exercise his musical inabilities by playing his electric guitar with the TV still on. To make matters worse, he knows only one chord, which he practises incessantly, over and over again. I feel like taking up guitar lessons myself just so I can knock on his door and say, “Please, let me put myself out of my misery by teaching you another chord.”
At first, I gave Mr Clog Feet the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he didn’t know anyone in the neighbourhood and was feeling lonely, thus the need for the TV as a form of companionship. Maybe he’s partially deaf. Maybe he was recently sacked from Riverdance (no sense of rhythm) and still yearns to be back with his colleagues.
But my resolve was about as strong as that of a kleptomaniac let loose in a department store without security cameras. Yesterday, I decided it was time to have a little chat with Mr Clog Feet before I started plunging pins into a voodoo doll in his likeness.
But I haven’t had an opportunity to have a diplomatic talk with him yet.
As I write this, he’s coughing quite violently, as if he has a giant fishbone stuck in his throat. Any other neighbour, upon hearing the horrendous racket he’s making, might rush into his apartment and offer to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre on him, but I know he just has a bad cold. I heard him coughing last night, and the night before that.
I’m not in a hurry to introduce myself to a man who might respond to my polite demands for silence by generously coughing on me, and showering me with his super bugs.
A few minutes ago, the alarm on my overly sensitive smoke detector went off. The setting on my toaster was way too high and I reduced a couple of pieces of bread to charcoal.
As I was flapping a towel below the detector, in a bid to disperse smoke I couldn’t even see, Mr Clog Feet began knocking on my living room wall.
“Could you please, cough, cough, turn that thing off, cough, cough, I’m trying to sleep, cough, cough,” he called out.
I hope his super bug attacks his Riverdance feet in such an aggressive manner that he has to have them amputated.

Are these statements TRUE or FALSE?
 Mary Schneider, the author of this article, lives in a semi-detached house.
She has already met her new neighbour 
Her neighbour’s name is Mr Clog Feet
She thinks he is a nuisance                                                                                                        
Mary is not looking forward to introducing herself to her neighbour                     

Complete the sentences below with information from the text
Mary’s neighbour _____________________________  there for several weeks. He is so noisy that he ________________________ her nerves. She thinks she is never going  __________________well with him.
Mary’s neighbour, who ___________________________________________, is a neighbor from hell.    
If I were Mary, I __________________________________________________________

LISTENING COMPREHENSION – Watch the video “How to be a good neighbour” and complete the blanks with ONE or TWO words 

Click HERE to download the video

If you move to a new area, you should introduce yourself to your neighbours because being approachable from the start might sort out any further problems that might arise
Knowing your neighbours’ lifestyle is important: if they work __________________ quiet mornings are very important.
If you live in a terraced or semi-detached house, try to place noisy appliances _____________________ party walls.
If you’re giving a party, you can _________________________ them, too
If you are having barbecue, tell your neighbours ________________________________ it would last.
In short, treat your neighbours as you ________________________ like to be treated

You see this announcement in an English language magazine . Write your article

What makes a good neighbour?
We are planning to publish a series of articles on how to be a good neighbour. We would like YOU, the readers, to write us an article, addressing the following questions:

·         What should people do to get on well with their neighbours ?
·         What would you do if you had a neighbour from hell?



You can download a printer friendly file from HERE

An article is a piece of writing on a particular subject which is written for publication in a newspaper, magazine or newsletter.

APPROACH: A wide range of approaches is possible, depending on the subject-matter. A light-hearted or humorous topic might be given a fairly personal treatment, for example, while a more serious topic would be treated in a more neutral, analytical way.

HEADINGS: Articles should have a title which makes the subject matter clear but which also catches the reader’s eye and makes him or her want to read. Newspapers and magazines often use dramatic statements or word play in titles for this reason.

LAYOUT AND ORGANISATION: It’s important to have an interesting introduction and a suitable conclusion to “round off” the piece, and to organize the information into paragraphs which help the reader to follow the argument or understand the different aspects of the subject. In addition, articles often include an outline of the story or the topic near the beginning so that the reader begins with a general picture and then reads on to find out more information.


ü Read the question carefully and plan your article before you start to write. Pay attention to who you are writing the article for. If it is for your school magazine, you may use an informal style. If it is for a magazine with a wider readership, you may need a semi-formal style.
ü Write down some interesting, colourful language that you may want to use. Remember that the purpose of your article is not only to inform but also to entertain the reader.
ü Think of an interesting title.
ü Use interesting details, examples or anecdotes to ensure that your article has a personal touch


Why the Best Success Stories Often Begin With Failure
One writer’s unexpected bout of unemployment inspired him to catalogue the misadventures of those who came before him

Long before the iPhone made him the god of gadgets, Steve Jobs launched his tech career by hacking land lines to make free long-distance calls.
Bob Dylan’s band, the Golden Chords, lost a high-school talent competition to a tap dancing act.
Behind every success story there is an embarrassing first effort, a stumble, a setback or a radical change of direction. It’s these first clumsy steps on the road to fame and fortune that fascinate writer Seth Fiegerman, who edits the blog OpeningLines.org, a collection of case studies on the origins of famous careers.
“When you see someone who’s very successful, you almost imagine that it was a foregone conclusion, that they’re a genius, that they were destined for great things,” says Fiegerman, who began the blog in 2009, after an early setback in his own career. “I think the big takeaway is failure and setbacks, far from being uncommon, are in many ways essential.”
After Fiegerman, now 26, graduated from New York University in 2008, he landed a dream first job as a research editor at Playboy magazine. But he had worked there for just half a year when management announced that most of the staff would soon be made redundant.
As unemployment increased, Fiegerman felt adrift. He began to explore the Playboy archives, discovering a valuable collection of interviews with celebrities ranging from Marlon Brando to Malcolm X. Many of these successful people shared tales of their less promising early days, and Fiegerman quickly became obsessed with these origin stories.
“It kind of paired well with this feeling that I had of, ‘Oh my God, what do I do?’” Fiegerman says. “And I found comfort, in some ways, reading about the obstacles that famous figures had to overcome.”
He began devouring biographies and soliciting interviews with writers and musicians he admired, using the blog to document the fits and starts that began the careers of the famous and the infamous. Success, he learned, was less a matter of innate talent and more the product of perseverance, a willingness to stumble and stand up again and again.
“You kind of assume that great geniuses [are] like Mozart,” Fiegerman says. But few successful people were child prodigies, and prodigies don’t necessarily find success. “Most people don’t stick to it.”
Author Jennifer Egan stuck with it. She told Fiegerman that her first novel was so bad even her mother hated it. But Egan kept writing, and her writing got better—in 2011, she won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel about growing old in the digital age, A Visit From the Goon Squad.
Knowing about a hero’s early flops and foibles might disillusion some fans, but Fiegerman finds comfort in rough beginnings. “The only thing that would have disappointed me is if I’d researched all these guys and women and found out that they got it right on the first try, because, OK, I did not,” Fiegerman says with a laugh.
Like his subjects, Fieger­man found that his own early setback wasn’t permanent. He landed a new job in journalism, and today he works at the tech news website Mashable, covering, appropriately enough, start-up businesses. While he has less time for the blog, he hopes his collection of origin stories will help other young people realize it’s OK to fail.
“I hope some of them benefit from it,” he says. “But if nothing else, I feel like I benefited from it a little bit.”

The highlighted words refer to the world of _________________
2       Find  antonyms or near antonyms of these terms

·        READING COMPREHENSION  - Are these statements TRUE or FALSE?
1.      Fiegerman believes that failure is necessary for success                              
2.     He wasn’t interested in how people  started their careers                           
3.    He thinks that successful people don’t usually come across obstacles    
4.    Flegerman won a Pulitzer Prize some years ago                                                
5.  Nowadays he is working  at a website                                                                                 

4  USE OF ENGLISH – Complete the sentences using information from the article
1.       Long before  Steve Jobs became a millionaire, he ____________________ land lines to make free calls
2.       Flegerman ____________________________________________________ since 2009.
3.       If you want to be successful, _______________________________
4.       If young people read his collection of origin stories, _________________________________________
5.       Jennifer Egan’s mother thought she was hopeless __________________________________________

4  LISTENING COMPREHENSION – Listen to Steve Jobs talk about success and fill in the blanks with the missing information
o   People who don’t love what they do will eventually ___________________________
o   Successful people ____________________________ when it gets _______________.
o   Unfortunately, most people _______________________________________________
o   Being smart is as important as having  _______________________________________

Download the video from HERE

You see this announcement in an English language magazine .

What is success?
We are planning to publish a series of articles on how to be successful. We would like YOU, the readers to write us an article, addressing the following questions
  • ·        What should people do to be successful? 
  •          Can you mention any successful person’s origin story?

Write your article


"The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist" by A C Doyle

(You can download it from HERE)