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Fairy Tales don't have to have Fairies - MIX Session 24/02/2016


Fairy tales aren’t necessarily tales of fairies.

"It doesn't matter about being born in a duckyard, as long as you are hatched from a swan's egg" "The Ugly Duckling"


Today we bounced from futuristic speculation to the oldest of European traditions in a flash.

A few minutes in, we were sent a message – “Sorry, can’t make it today, still in the office” – and it was received on B’s new Apple Watch which she had got as a Valentine's present. . . . . Now that’s love!

Well I’m not so sure about that gadget . . . . . . . . . . .

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When is a fish not a fish? - MIX conversation session 10/02/2016

It’s funny how things turn out . . . . we started off talking about “franchises” . . . .  specifically the new Hard Rock Hotel which is being built here locally . . . and before we know it we are onto the Norman conquest of 1066 and who looks after the cows in a feudal society.

And on the way we cleared up the definition of “The English Channel”, often confused with “The Strait of Dover” . . . . which is where they built the Channel tunnel.

I was drawing a map, you see . . .

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Don't be a gooseberry - rhubarb rhubarb and parsnips - MIX Conversation Session 20/01/2016

Michael Pollan wrote a book about food called “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”. This book, among others has made him one of the most influential writers about food and farming today.

 He is professor of science and environmental journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. That sentence has the word “science” in it, but Pollan is a natural journalist . . . a communicator and a master of the increasingly necessary soundbite. He has boiled down all his years of research to just seven words . . . “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”.

Another of his soundbites that I particularly like  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation - MIX Conversation Session 23/12/2015

And so this is Christmas . . . . . and Antonio has turned Mix Bar into a PARTY PLACE. Three Christmas trees! And they aren’t little ones.

Trestle tables have been shipped in to accommodate the hordes of diners  and the bar is generally a rip roaring success.

Our conversation session on the other hand suffers from seasonal absenteeism as everyone has office parties, Christmas dinners to organise, visiting relatives and other festive commitments. So, as no one wants to miss it, we have decided to leave the Oscar Wilde play until after Twelfth Night   . . . . . . . Nooo, not the play “Twelfth Night”. We aren’t ready for Shakespeare yet in this group. I mean after Twelfth Night . . . . the night at the end of Christmas.

Nowadays Christmas in England is pretty much finished on the second of January, but . . . . .

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The Grapevine - Mix Conversation session 11/11/2015

“I bet you’re  wondering how I knew . . . about your plans to make me blue”

There were so many absences that we didn’t progress with the Oscar Wilde this week . . . . . .  instead we spent a while with some troublesome irregular verbs and a few idiomatic expressions like “wear and tear”  and “through the grapevine”.


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Cucumber sandwiches - Mix Conversation Session 04/11/15

Today we talked about diseases . . . tango, whiskey and alpha . . . Victorian society in England . . . afternoon tea  . . . and actually started the play.

Diseases? One of our company has a client with shingles (duration: about four weeks - symptoms: pain . . . and a rash) and she had the misfortune of having to listen while this painful condition was described in great detail. Some of us were surprised to find out that shingles is actually the chicken pox virus that has been lying dormant in the body since childhood. It reactivates at moments of high stress or when the immune system is weak, usually in older people. Apparently 90% of us have had chicken pox as children and could get it.

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And it's got a Haunted House in it - Mix Conversation Session 28/10/15

Today’s session was heavily influenced by Halloween songs for children. We have someone who teaches little children and apparently, singing songs about cricky cracky skeletons is a good way of teaching six year olds the parts of the body in English! There is also a spooky version of the gruesome old classic nursery rhyme “Three Blind Mice (see how they run)". It goes something like this:

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Don’t believe the hype. - Conversation at MIX bar, 07/10

This week we started off discussing hairdressers in La Palma, we moved on to the difficulties of driving on that beautiful island and somehow we ended up talking about the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

I thought I was being a bit cruel when I pointed out the irony of a car builder founded by Hitler and the Nazis, now eighty years later, concerned about their public image; but then one class member, who works for a well-known car hire company, recounted a true story that brought home a sense of the gravity of this tale of corporate greed, and thus vindicated my guilty conscience.

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Mix bar 16/09 - No one is you-er than you.

The teachers among us have settled down with their new classes, although there are complaints about staff shortages which make it tough for everyone. Times are hard.

Today we started discussing the 90's film "Groundhog Day" which one of our number has recently seen, and we ended up talking about neologisms . . . . . go on, pronounce that word, it's phonetically ogismic.

New words that have relatively recently been coined and have become established in the language . . . . . "Nerd" is a good example. It was originally a small animal from the land of Ka-Troo in a book written in 1950 by Dr Seuss.

Summer Course in El Medano 2015

In collaboration with Hesperia Spanish Language School in El Medano.

Throughout July and August of 2015 - see here

Hesperia Spanish language school

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Opera in Santa Cruz: Verdi's AIDA

AIDA by Giuseppe Verdi - Auditorio de Santa Cruz, 7th of March 2015

I was a little apprehensive about this one. I’d been used to the opera season on this island being in the autumn and here we are in March. And it sounded rather ambitious too, Verdi’s Aida . . .  that’s got a lot of singers in it  . . . .  and with a replica of the great Franco Zeffirelli’s production in 2001 commemorating the  centenary of Verdi’s death.

Advanced English Classes

English Conversation Classes

Conversation group for discussion, debate and cultural exchange.

EVERY WEDNESDAY - at 7:00pm to 8:30pm - first class free, come and try.

At - MIX lounge bar.

Check out what we're doing HERE on the forum

Class times.

Spanish Groups at

To be announced is . . . . .

  • a notice board to promote and inform about schedules and locations for language tuition in the south of Tenerife. English here / Spanish here
  • an interactive forum for consultation by language students. Forum here
  • a platform to discuss language and language teaching. Language and understanding lubricates the friction that is the inevitable consequence when different cultures rub together. Forum here
  • a website in the south of Tenerife, Canary Islands. Blog here / Tenerife here

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