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Improving Appearance

Most women all over the world are interested in improving their appearance. Here are some passages for those who care and wish to make the best of themselves — of their features, their skin and theirfigure.

What you have got to realise, however, is that true beauty is not just a matter of having a pretty face. It is much more.

Real beauty is the self-awareness that makes you. It is having sparkle, poise, serenity and confidence. It is having an awareness that makes everyone you come in contact with feel that you are a very special and attractive person. It is radiance that comes from good health.

Beauty is being able to make the best of yourself.

Putting it another way — there really are no plain people in this world. Undoubtedly some may have better features than others, but then, very very few of us can claim to come up to the current stan­dards of plastic beauty.

Each one of us can, or is, at least, capable of improving oneself, and exuding the radiant glow of an attractive and confident person.

A careless attitude about yourself and an abuse of the body are quickly followed by fading and weakness, whereas careful nurturing will prolong the years of youthfulness, beauty and comfort.

Give proper care to your body, and you can be vitally alive as well as stay attractive all your life.

Remember, nothing you do is going to perform any magical change overnight. Any of the treatments you follow for body care has to be regularly repeated in order to give it a fair chance to work.

As health and beauty go hand in hand, check on the list of ques­tions listed below to see if you qualify to be a member of the healthy group.

1. Do you have a good posture? There should be no sagging in the middle or drooping in the shoulders.;

2. Are your eyes clear?

3. Do you have a happy facial expression that is alive and lacks strain?

4. Are you fussy about your food? Do you eat well?

5. Do you sleep well?

6. Is the colour of your skin healthy?

7. Are your teeth in good condition?

8. Do you take a lively interest in living?

9. Finally — do you give the general impression of good health and vigour?

The answers to all the questions except the first part of question 4 should be an emphatic YES. However, if out of the ten "yes" an­swers you score right with seven to eight questions, you should be in fairly good health.

You need a full-length mirror so that you can look at yourself critically from the head to toe, keep a check on your figure and examine your posture.

Healthy eyes have a sparkle about them that is quite irresistible. Like your skin, fair and shining, clear eyes indicate good health. If you suffer ill-health or feel emotionally or physically low, your eyes become dull and strained-looking.

Sleep is very vital for clear healthy eyes. You need at an average at least eight hours of sleep in a day, without it, your eyes become dull, puffy and red. Dark circles also appear.


The style that you choose for your hair should depend on the type of hair you have and on the shape of your face.

However fashions may fluctuate, there are certain rules that do not change. Keep these in mind before you choose the style.

Keep fine hair short and fluffy.

Hair that is medium or coarse takes most styles well.

Heavy or thick hair must not be kept very long, as it does not hang well.

Study the shape of the face by severely drawing back all your hair. Remember, the right hair style can make you look more at­tractive by drawing attention away from your physical flaws towards your more attractive features.


Keep your hair fairly short — long hair tends to "pull down" your whole appearance. Go in for width at the temple — it helps to "broaden" your face. Fringes look good as they help to "shorten" the face.


Softness at the temples and fullness just below ear level suits a heart-shaped face best. Avoid a centre parting because it tends to emphasise your pointed chin.


Fringes and curls flicked forward help to soften "corners". Cut your hair short at the temples. Avoid a severe hair style.


The ideal hair length is just below chin level. Choose a straightish style with a centre parting. Avoid fringes, curls or waves.


An oval face can take most hair styles well. However, do keep your age and personality in mind.


Give width to temples and keep hair off the forehead. Short hair looks best.


Quite possibly you have an imperfect skin or imperfect features. But do not despair. Make-up applied well can do wonders for your appearance.

Perfect skin and perfect features are exceedingly rare. Most models in the glamorous beauty and fashion magazines have in fact quite unremarkable faces. It is make-up that makes them look so eye-catching and glamorous.

If, however, you are one of the rare and lucky ones to have a perfect skin and perfect features, remember that good make-up can make you absolutely beautiful.

Everyday make-up should look completely natural. Its primary object should be to correct colour faults of the complexion, disguise imperfections and accentuate good features.

When your skin is healthy and absolutely clean, make-up can, and should be kept light. Radiance, rather than a pink and white prettiness, should be your aim.

Use less make-up all the time for a fresher and younger look.

(Extract from "The Piper Book of Beauty" by Chodev)

I. Read the passage and say what you think of it.

II. Choose advice which suit your type of face adding advice of your own if necessary.


Text I

British Weather

"Other countries have a climate; in England we have weather." This statement, often made by Englishmen to describe the special meteorological conditions of their country, is both typical of the English and true. In no country other than England can one experi­ence four seasons in the course of a single day! Day may break as a mild spring morning; an hour or so later black clouds may have ap­peared from nowhere and the rain may be pouring down. At midday conditions may be really wintry with the temperature down by about fifteen degrees. And then, in the late afternoon, the sky will clear, the sun will begin to shine and for an hour or two before dark­ness falls, it will be summer.

The problem is that we never can be sure which of the different types of weather we will find. Not only do we get several different sorts of weather in one day, but we may very well get a spell of win­ter in summer and vice versa. The foreigner may laugh when he sees the Englishman setting forth on a brilliantly sunny morning wearing a raincoat and carrying an umbrella, but he may well regret his laughter later in the day! And, of course, the weather's variety pro­vides a constant topic of conversation, and you must be good at dis­cussing the weather.

(Extract from "Modern English I for Teacher Students" by G. Graustein)

Text II

British Climate

Britain has a generally mild and temperate climate. It lies in middle latitudes to the north-west west of the great continen­tal land mass of Eurasia, but the prevailing winds are south­ westerly. The climate is subject to frequent changes but to few ex­tremes of temperature. Although it is largely determined by that of the eastern Atlantic, occasionally during the winter months easterly winds may bring a cold, dry, continental weather which, once es­tablished, may persist for many days or even weeks.

In Britain, south-westerly winds are the most frequent, and those from an easterly quarter the least. Winds are generally stronger in the north than in the south of the British Isles, stronger on the coasts than inland, and stronger in the west than in the east. The strongest winds usually occur in the winter. The stormiest re­gion of the British Isles is along the north-west coast, with over 30 gales a year; south-east England and the east Midlands are the least stormy.

Near sea level the mean annual temperature ranges from 8 °C (47 °F) in the Hebrides to 11 °C (52 °F) in the extreme south-west of England. During a normal summer, the temperature occasionally rises above 27 °C (80 °F) in the south, but temperatures of 32 °C (90 °F) and above are infrequent. Extreme minimum tempera­tures depend to a large extent on local conditions, but -7 °C (20 °F) may occur on a still, clear winter's night, -12 °C (10 °F) is rare, and -18 °C (0 °F) or below has been recorded only during exceptionally severe winter periods.

The British Isles as a whole have an annual rainfall of over 40 inches, while England alone has about 34 inches. Rain is fairiy well distributed throughout the year, but, on the average, March to June are the driest months and October to January the wettest. A period of as long as three weeks without rain is exceptional, and usually confined to limited areas. In successive years, however, remarkably contrasting weather conditions are sometimes experienced.

The distribution of sunshine over the British Isles shows a gen­eral decrease from south to north, a decrease from the coast inland, and a decrease with altitude. During May, June and July — the months of longest daylight — the mean daily duration of sunshine varies from five and a half hours in western Scotland to seven and a half hours in the extreme south-east of England; during the months of shortest daylight — November, December and January — sun­shine is at a minimum, with an average of half an hour a day in some parts of the Highlands in Scotland and two hours a day on the south coast of England.

In fine, still weather there is occasionally haze in summer and mist and fog in winter. Until about 1956 dense fogs containing smog and other pollution from the burning of coal used to occur from time to time in London and other centers of population. Since then, as a result of changes in fuel usage and the operation of clean air legislation, fogs have become less severe.

(Extract from "Britain. An Official Handbook")

I. Read and translate the text.

II. Work in pairs. Let one of the students read out some sentences from the text and the other student interrupt him, asking him/her to clarify things, to check the details.


a)Britain has a generally mild and temperate climate. It lies...

What do you mean "temperate "?

I mean it is free from the extremes of heat and cold.

Oh, I understand.

b) — The climate is subject to frequent changes but to few extremes of temperature.

Sony, I don't quite see what you mean by "subject to frequent changes"?

I mean that it has a tendency to change frequently.

I think I understand.

c) — In fine still weather there is occasionally a haze in summer.

What is a haze?

It is a thin mist.

I see.

Text III

The Weather

This is the most important topic in the land. Do not be misled by memories of your youth when, on the Continent, wanting to de­scribe someone as exceptionally dull, you remarked: 'He is the type who would discuss the weather with you.' In England this is an ever-interesting, even thrilling topic, and you must be good at dis­cussing the weather.


For Good Weather

'Lovely day, isn't it?'

'Isn't it beautiful?'

'The sun...'

'Isn't it goigeous?'

'Wonderful, isn't it?'

'It's so nice and hot...'

'Personally, I think it's so nice when it's hot — isn't it?'

'I adore it — don't you?'

For Bad Weather

'Nasty day, isn't it?'

'Isn't it dreadful?'

'The rain... I hate rain...'

'I don't like it at all. Do you?'

'Fancy such a day in July. Rain in the morning, then a bit of sunshine, and then rain, rain, rain, all day long.'

'I remember exactly the same July day in 1936.' .

'Yes, I remember too.'

'Or was it in 1928?'

'Yes, it was.'

'Or in 1939?'

'Yes, that's right.'

Now observe the last few sentences of this conversation. A very important rule emerges from it. You must never contradict anybody when discussing the weather. Should it hail or snow, should hurricanes uproot the trees from the sides of the road, and should some­one remark to you: 'Nice day, isn't it?' — answer without hesita­tion: 'Isn't it lovely?'

Learn the above conversations by heart. If you, are a bit slow in picking things up, learn at least one conversation, it would do won­derfully for any occasion.

If you do not say anything else for the rest of your life, just re­peat this conversation, you will still have a fair chance of passing as a remarkably witty man of sharp intellect, keen observation and ex­tremely pleasant manners.

English society is a class society, strictly organized almost on corporative lines. If you doubt this, listen to the weather forecasts. There is always a different weather forecast for farmers. You often hear statements like this on the radio:

'Tomorrow it will be cold, cloudy and foggy; long periods of rain will be interrupted by short periods of showers.'

And then:

'Weather forecast for farmers. It will be fair and warm, many hours of sunshine.'

You must not forget that the farmers do grand work of national importance and deserve better weather.

It happened on innumerable occasions that nice, warm weather had been forecast and rain and snow fell all day long, or vice versa. Some people jumped rashly to the conclusion that something must be wrong with the weather forecasts. They are mistaken and should be more careftil with their allegations.

I have read an article in one of the Sunday papers and now I can tell you what the situation really is. All troubles are caused by anti­cyclones. (I don't quite know what anticyclones are, but this is not important; I hate cyclones and am very anti-cyclone myself.) The two naughtiest anti-cyclones are the Azores and the Polar anti­cyclones.

The British meteorologists forecast the right weather — as it really should be — and then these impertinent little anti-cyclones interfere and mess up everything.

That again proves that if the British kept to themselves and did not mix with foreign things like Polar and Azores anti-cyclones they would be much better off.

(Story by G.Mikes)

I. Discussion points.

1. What topics besides the weather are most important in Russia?

2. What other conversational formulas would you recommend to leam by heart in order to look a person of sharp intel­lect?

3. What other groups of population besides fanners deserve better weather?

4. What else interferes with the right forecasting except anti­cyclones?

5. What would you prescribe to the Russians to be much bet­ter off?

II. Choose the most unexpected answer and think of an unexpected prize for it.


January Brings the Snow

January brings the snow,

Makes our feet and fingers glow.

February brings the rain,

Thaws the frozen lake again.

March brings breeze loud and shrill,

Stirs the dancing daffodil.

April brings the primrose sweet,

Scatters daisies at our feet.

May brings flocks of pretty lambs,

Skipping by their fleecy dams.

June brings tulips, lilies, roses,

Fills the children's hands with posies.

Hot July brings cooling showers,

Apricots and gilly flowers.

August brings the sheaves of corn

Then the harvest home is borne.

Warm September brings the fruit,

Sportsmen then begin to shoot.

Fresh October brings the pheasant,

Then to gather nuts is pleasant.

Dull November brings the blast,

Then the leaves are whirling fast.

Chill December brings the sleet,

Blazing fire and Christmas treat.

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