Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Navidades Trágicas)

Tired of all those boring Christmas tv shows ? Why not watch  a good detective story  based on Agatha  Christie's  novel Hercule Poirot's Christmas ( subtitles in Spanish) ?  An interesting story which will keep you guessing right up until the surprise ending !!!

Summary of the plot

On the night before Christmas, cruel, tyrannical, rich Simeon Lee is found in his locked bedroom with his throat cut (cuello cortado) . Now Hercule Poirot must  solve the case and  prevent a clever killer from spilling  (verter) more blood. 

About the author

Agatha Christie  was born in Torquay in 1890 and became, quite simply, the best-selling novelist in history.She wrote 79 crime mysteries and collections, and saw her work translated in more languages than Shakespeare. She began writing at the end  of  the First World War, when she created Hercule Poirot,the little Belgian detective with the egg-shaped head (cabeza con forma  de huevo) and the passion for order .Poirot and Miss Marple have appeared in films, radio programmes, tv series and stage plays based on her books.
In 1971, Agatha Christie  achieved the highest honor possible to a woman in Britain when she was made Dame of the British Empire.

Monday, December 24, 2012


Dear students, from the Home English blog we want to wish you a Merry Christmas and pay homage to (rendir homenaje) our dear musician and song writer, John Lennon, who composed this beautiful and emotional song. We hope you enjoy it!

So this is Christmas

And what have you done?

Another year over

And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas

I hope you have fun

The near and the dear one

The old and the young

A very merry Christmas

And a happy New Year

Let's hope it's a good one

Without any fear

And so this is Christmas

For weak and for strong

For rich and the poor ones

The world is so wrong

And so happy Christmas

For black and for white

For yellow and red ones

Let's stop all the fight

A very merry Christmas

And a happy New Year

Let's hope it's a good one

Without any fear

And so this is Christmas

And what have we done?

Another year over

And a new one just begun

Ans so this is Christmas

I hope you have fun

The near and the dear one

The old and the young

A very merry Christmas

And a happy New Year

Let's hope it's a good one

Without any fear

War is over over

If you want it

War is over


Friday, December 21, 2012

What a Wonderful World !

 Playing for Change  is a global movement created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music. Watch this inspiring video of the song "What A Wonderful World" featuring Grandpa Elliott with children's choirs across the globe.  

Below are the words of the song . Join in the fun and sing along  !  ( Únete a la diversión y canta con ellos)

I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom (florecer) , for me and you. And I think to myself,what a wonderful world.(Y me digo a mi mismo , qué mundo tan maravilloso) I see skies of blue, and clouds of white. The bright blessed day,( el luminoso y bendito día) the dark sacred night ( la oscura y sagrada noche). And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.
The colors of the rainbow (arcoiris) , so pretty in the sky. Are also on the faces, of people going by, I see friends shaking hands (veo amigos dándose la mano) . Saying, "How do you do?" They're really saying, "I love you". I hear babies cry, I watch them grow .They'll learn much more ,than I'll ever know.( Oigo a los bebés llorar, los veo crecer, ellos aprenderán mucho más de lo que yo nunca sabré). 
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world. Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world. ...oh yeah !

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A traditional Christmas recipe

There are some traditional dishes that will always be associated with special occasions and cannot be improved: roast turkey (pavo asado) with stuffing (con relleno) at Christmas is one of them. A meal to satisfy the hungriest person!

No Christmas in Britain is complete without a traditional roast turkey, accompanied by mountains of roast potatoes. But be prepared to wake up early on Christmas Day, because you will need all morning to cook it. And the bigger it is, the longer it takes to cook. The secret to a great Christmas meal, apart from a good quality turkey, is delicious stuffing, a large variety of vegetables and lots of tasty (sabroso) gravy.(salsa hecha con el jugo de la misma carne)


Ingredients for 10 people

For the turkey

10 lb turkey

10 rashers (lonchas) of bacon


mixed herbs

salt and pepper

For the fruity stuffing (relleno afrutado)

turkey liver (hígado)

1 medium onion, chopped (cortar en pequeños trozos)

1 clove of garlic (un diente de ajo)
10 slices (rebanada) of bread, without crusts (crosta) soaked (puesta en remojo) with milk

½ c. dried apricots (albaricoques secos) chopped

½ c. dates,(dátiles) chopped

½ c. flaked almonds (almendras en láminas)

1 glass sweet wine

tsp coriander powder (cilantro en polvo)

salt and pepper

Note on British measures:

lb = 1 pound = 453g

tsp = 1 teaspoon(22) = 5ml

c = 1 cup = 240ml

Instructions for the stuffing

 Finely chop the onion and garlic and cut the liver into small pieces. Fry the onion, and when it begins to turn golden, add the garlic. After a minute, add the liver, salt, pepper and coriander. When the liver changes colour, pour (vierte)  in the wine, simmer (hierve a fuego lento) for a minute and remove (retira) from the heat.(fuego) Mix with the rest of the ingredients and stuffthe turkey.

Instructions for the turkey

Preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC. Rub (frota) the turkey with salt, pepper, herbs and butter and place breast (la pechuga) side down (hacia abajo) on a baking tray (bandeja para horno). Cover loosely (sin apretar) with aluminium foil and transfer to the oven – it will need 18 minutes for every pound. Baste(rocia con su jugo durante la cocción) frequently to stop the skin (piel) burning. Remove the foil an hour before the turkey is cooked. Half an hour before it is done, place the bacon over the turkey. You can test if it is cooked with a sharp knife – the juices have to be clear.

Watch this video to see other different ways for stuffing the Christmas turkey.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Best Of Times, The Worst Of Times .

For the past 25 years, Anthony Griffith has performed throughout the world on stage, television and the big screen . In 2003 he participated in "Moth Stories" ( a nonprofit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling) where  Anthony shared a heartbreaking story about the death of his daughter in 1990.

This is  how the story starts:

Charles Dickens classic A Tale Of Two Cities  starts off with a phrase "It was the best of times and it was the worst of times". In 1990 I moved from Chicago with my family to L.A to seek my fame and fortune and a couple of weeks of being there I got two important calls. One was from the tele-coordinator from "Tonight's Show " , offering me to have a spot as a comedian on "Tonight's show" and the second call was that my daughter's doctor had called to say that her cancer had resurfaced...

Watch more true stories told live at:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Office Christmas Party

Christmas is a jolly (feliz) time of year; it is a time to celebrate and be merry (contentos) especially with family and friends. There are parties and holidays to enjoy, and these days the company or work Christmas party can be a significant event at this time of year. But is the company Christmas party like the other parties you enjoy with friends and/or family during Christmastime? Even though (aunque) there is usually music, decorations, a casual dress code, food and alcohol, work parties are not the best moment to let your hair down (soltarse la melena) and get drunk, because they are still business functions before anything else. In order for the office party experience to be a successful one, you need to moderate your drinking and your behaviour (comportamiento) so that you stay in control. After all, you don’t want to do anything too embarrassing (vergonzoso) that you will regret (arrepientas) the next day at work when you have to face (encontrarte de cara) your boss and all your workmates.

However, it’s not all bad news. While Christmas parties are first and foremost (en primer lugar) business functions, they are also social occasions. You can always use a situation like the annual party to help advance your career by showing that you know how to handle yourself in these situations and by taking the time to talk to bosses and other colleagues, when you might not normally have the opportunity to do so. So, here are some tips to help you make the most (aprovechar al máximo) of company Christmas parties and have a positive, even fruitful (provechosa), experience.

Below are just a few possible conversation starters to help you at this year’s and future Christmas parties.


So, what do you think of the decorations?

Aren’t the decorations great/pretty?

They did a good job with the decorations this year, didn’t they?


These hors d’ouevres are delicious, aren’t they?

Mmm. The food looks good, doesn’t it?

So, have you tried the pâté//guacamole/cheese snacks yet?


The band is good isn’t it?

The DJ is excellent isn’t it she/he?

The music is great. Do you think you’ll dance later?


Wow, there are a lot of/not many people here this year, aren’t there?

This is a nice/beautiful place to have the party, don’t you think?

Hi. Are you enjoying the party?


Christmas is a crazy/wonderful time of year, isn’t it?

So, how’s your Christmas shopping going? Have you started/finished yet?

So, are you spending Christmas here or away?

So, are you taking some time off over Christmas?

Hopefully some of these tips will help you have an enjoyable and possibly beneficial time at your next work Christmas function. After all, Christmas only comes one a year…

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Jokes

- Mum, Can I have a dog for Christmas ? 
No, you can have turkey (pavo)  like everyone else! 

- What Christmas carol is a favourite of parents? 
“Silent Night” .

- What do you call people who are afraid of Santa? 
Claus-trophobic .

- What do monkeys sing at Christmas? 
 Jungle Bells.

-When you stop believing in Santa Claus  is when you start getting clothes for Christmas.

A multi-national company held a reception to celebrate Christmas. The waiter gave each guest a glass of champagne, but on inspection, each guest noticed that their glass contained a fly (mosca) .

The Swede asked for new champagne in the same glass.
The Englishman demanded to have new champagne in a new glass.
The Finn picked out the fly out and drank the champagne.
The Russian drank the champagne, fly and all.
The Chinese ate the fly but left the champagne.
The Israeli caught the fly and sold it to the Chinese.
The Italian drank two thirds of the champagne and then demanded to have a new glass.
The Norwegian took the fly and went off to fish.
The Irishman ground (p.p. de "grind" moler) the fly and mixed it in the champagne, which he then donated to the Englishman
The American sued (demandóthe restaurant and claimed $50 million in compensation.
The Scotsman grabbed the fly by the throat and shouted, 'Now spit out all that you swallowed.' (escupe lo que te has tragado) .

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

May All Your Wishes Come True

Are you struggling (te cuesta) to express your wishes (deseos) in English for all those Christmas cards you are going to send by email for all your English speaking friends this Christmas? Do you want to make it an extra special Christmas for them? Well, don’t panic, because Home English has come to the rescue (ha venido a rescatarte). In our first December post, we have everything you need to know about expressing wishes, so that you can express your desires when you write your Christmas cards. We have also included a brief (breve) history of the first Christmas card.


 I Hope

a. Present Tense after I hope

It is common to use the present tense with a future meaning after I hope. The most typical construction when you use hope is: I hope + subject pronoun + verb. Here are some examples:
I hope + present verb tense

I hope you have a great time in Reykjavik.

I hope she has better luck in 2006.

I hope we can see Björk perform live on New Year’s Day.

I hope I see all my cousins on Christmas Day.

I hope all Iceland’s Father Christmases bring some wonderful presents before Christmas.

2. May

May is also used to express hopes and wishes. It is followed by an infinitive without ‘to’, and this expression is usually found in formal contexts. Pay attention to the following examples:

May + rest of the sentence subject + infinitive without ‘to’

May you enjoy many years of happiness in Iceland.

May the coming days bring you lots of love and peace.

May the New Year be a wonderful one for you and your family.

3. I Wish

Another popular way to express your desires is through the expression I wish. The word order is: wish + object pronoun + second object. We can see this in the examples below:

wish + object pronoun + object

I wish you a Merry Christmas.

We all wish you a quick recovery.

Wishing you all the best in your new job.

The First Christmas Card

The idea for Christmas cards originated in London in 1843, when Sir Henry Cole (founder of the Victoria and Albert Museum) decided to commission (encargar) John Horsley to paint a card showing a family enjoying a Christmas feast, with two scenes on the sides showing the feeding (comida) and clothing of the poor. Sir Henry thought that printing (imprimir) Christmas cards was a good solution to giving a seasonal (estacional) message to all the people he knew. Around 1,000 of these cards were printed with the message “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to You”.

Finally you can watch a very educative video on how to make a decorative Christmas Card