The town where I live
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Hello and welcome to Learn English Vocabulary. My name is Jack and I’m making this podcast for you to learn or revise English vocabulary. You can find a transcript of this podcast on LearnEnglishVocabulary.co.uk. There’s a page for this podcast with the transcript, an activity and a task for you to do in the comments section.
Today, I am going to tell you about the town that I live in. I’m going to talk a bit about the town and then I’ll look at the most important vocabulary you can use to describe where you live.
I live in a small town. It’s an old town called Ludlow. Ludlow has a population of just over 10,000. There are a few primary schools and one secondary school. There’s a leisure centre with a swimming pool and gym and a golf course and quite a famous racecourse. There’s a little cinema that shows less mainstream movies, a small theatre where you can see travelling productions and a good selection of pubs and restaurants. Despite its small size and lack of facilities, Ludow is a famous place. It’s famous because it’s old.
Wikipedia says that there was a town here before 1138. I’m not sure what happened in 1138, but in any rate, it’s an old town. There’s a castle which has bits that date back to the 11th century and loads of buildings from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. There’s a clothes shop in the middle of town that’s in a building that was built in 1404 and a pub that’s from around the same time. It’s quite nice to think that you can buy a shirt or a belt and then go for a drink just as medieval people were doing 500 years ago.
Ludlow has a market square where you can buy fruit and veg and other foods in the week. At the weekend it’s an antique market.
There are some good restaurants in Ludlow. The town used to have a very good reputation for food with two Michelin starred restaurants, but they have both closed down now. The food in Ludlow is traditionally British. It’s good food, but there’s not the variety of food that you can find in any larger town or city in the UK.
A slow pace of life
Ludlow is a quiet place and lots of people come here to retire. In the centre of the town, you’ll see loads of older retired people. There’s a group of bikers that like to park their bikes next to the market square, right in front of the castle. There are some lovely bikes. Modern sports bikes and Harley Davisons and some older classic bikes like Triumphs and Nortons. The first time I saw these guys I was surprised when they took off their motorbike helmets and all had white hair.
One of the main reasons I wanted to move here is it’s a very safe place with a slow pace of life. It’s an ideal place to raise a family. My sons go to a lovely little primary school in the town. However, there aren’t that many people so there’s a lot of gossip and everyone knows what everyone else is doing.
A farming community
There’s not a lot of industry in and around Ludlow. It is a farming town and the most important people in town are the big farmers who own large tracts of land around Ludlow. I have never known this sort of community and was surprised to see school girls dressed up for their school prom, being chauffeured to the school dance in tractors.
The countryside around the town is beautiful. There are some great spots to go out for a walk or a ride and get into the country. Now, in the autumn, it’s wonderful to be able to go for a walk in the woods and see the leaves turn from green to brown.
Now it’s time to look at some language. I’m going to start with some very easy language you can use to talk about the different things you can find in a town. As all of these are simple nouns, I’ll fire them quickly.
In Ludlow, there is a theatre. This is a building with a stage and rows of seats for an audience. You can see a concert or a play in a theatre.
A cinema is similar to a theatre only instead of a stage, there’s a large screen where people can watch films.
This next phrase is a bit strange. A leisure centre is a building with a swimming pool and a sports hall, maybe some squash courts or a gym. It’s a place to do sport. I think they always have a swimming pool.
A racecourse is a place you can go to watch a horse race.
Ludlow golf course, a place where you can play golf, is in the middle of the racecourse. On race days when the races are running, I think people have to stop playing golf. In some towns, you also have a driving range where people go to practice driving, which doesn’t mean controlling a car, it just means hitting a golf ball as far as you can.
There are a few primary schools and one secondary school. A primary school is for children aged between 4 and 11 and a secondary school is for children from 11 to 18. In the UK, you can leave school at 16 and there are lots of colleges for children aged from 16-18.
Pub is short for public house. This is a building with a bar where alcoholic drinks are sold. Pubs also sell non-alcoholic drinks and they nearly all sell food as well so technically, they are also restaurants, but if someone invites you to the pub, it will be to have a drink.
More advanced vocabulary
I’m now going to talk about some of the more advanced vocabulary I used.
The population of a town is all the people that live in the town. Most of the time, when people talk about the population of a place, they are talking about the number of people who live there. The population of Ludlow is just over 10,000. I used to live in Cairo and Jakarta which each have a population of over 9 million. You can use population to talk about a specific type of people. So Manchester has a large South Asian population.
Facilities are the places and amenities that you can find in a place. So if you go to a five-star hotel, the facilities will include a restaurant, a bar, a swimming pool, a gym … The facilities in a town are all the things you can do and places you can go. There are more facilities in a big city than in a small town.
In the 11th century
I said that parts of the castle were built in the 11th century. This is something that really confused me as a child because the number in the year that indicates the century is always 1 lower than the ordinal number of the century. I’m guessing this is probably the same in other languages, but just in case it’s not, if something was built in the 11th century, it was built between 1000 and 1099. The sixteenth century was between 1500 and 1599 and we are living in the 21st century.
The medieval period was between the 5th and 15th centuries. Lots of buildings were built in Ludlow and the town layout was established in the medieval period.
Safe and slow
I said that one of the good things about Ludlow was that it was safe and has a slow pace of life. Pace is similar to speed or rate of progress or change. Cities, especially London in the UK have a much faster pace of life where people are always rushing around and have deadlines to meet and no time to waste. Ludlow is not like that. People here are not in a hurry and services are much more relaxed.
Lots of people come to Ludlow to retire. To retire in this sense means to stop working at the end of your career because you are old. Some people get to retire early if they have made lots of money. Professional athletes retire from their sports when they can no longer compete, but this is not the same as retire from working altogether.
One thing I miss from living in a city is the variety of food available. If you say that something has a variety, you are saying that there are lots of different things or that things are changing. If you are on a diet, it’s important to think about variety or you will get bored and it will be difficult to stick to your diet.
The last word I want to talk about today is community. This means the people who live in a particular area who are connected and share some common tastes or interests or activity. Community is generally regarded as a good thing because when people live in groups where they have the same interests or at least regularly talk and interact with each other, they can help each other. I used to live in a place called Salford Quays in Manchester which had fantastic facilities and an amazing variety of restaurants all within walking distance, but there was no community and nobody spoke to their neighbours or looked out for one another.
So there you have some information about the town I live in and loads of vocabulary you can use to talk about the places you live. I will put an activity on the page for this podcast on LearnEnglishVocabulary.co.uk and some discussion questions for you to get involved with in the comments section.
If you have enjoyed this podcast, please leave me a comment or a rating or a review. I love to hear from you and any comments or suggestions you have. So please visit LearnEnglishVocabulary.co.uk and say hello.
Thanks for listening.
Try to answer these questions in the comments section below and try to use as many of the words from the podcast as you can.
- Where do you live?
- Do you live in a big city, a small town or even a village?
- What is there to do where you live?
- Do you like living where you live?