Mike in Finland

keskiviikko 8. marraskuuta 2017

Read the poems with the poet at Sampola


Read the poems with the poet is a new, short course that will take place in Sampola 4 times on Tuesdays at 19.30-21.00. The course will start on 30.01 and finish on 20.02. In the 4 classes we will read and discuss poems from my collection, Midas Touch, in English. I can supply copies of the book at 8€. It's also available on Kindle, which is a bit cheaper.

Here is the blurb from Sampola's spring term brochure:

In 4 classes we will read poems from 'Midas Touch', a short collection published by the class teacher, Mike Horwood. About 4 or 5 poems will be selected a week in advance to give students time to read and think about the poems. In the class students can compare their readings of each poem, describe what the poem says to them and how they responded to it. There will be the chance to ask the poet any questions about the poems and to hear what he was trying to do in writing the poem.

To join the course you can register via internet at Sampola's website starting from 12 o'clock, midday on 4 December, or by phone and in person at the office counter, starting from 2 January.

There are a couple of poems from the collection at the top of the right bar on this blogpage.

keskiviikko 18. tammikuuta 2017

Discussion topic for Sampola class on Tuesday 21 November


General Information:

The final class will be on 12.12.   There is no class on 05.12.

The topic for the next class on Tuesday 21 November is:




Gambling

Key terms: to gamble, a gambler, to place a bet, to bet on something, a stake, to raise the stakes, poker, a punter, a casino, roulette, games of chance, a one-armed bandit, fruit machines, slot machines


1.         Are there any legal controls on gambling in Finland?
Are there controls on who can play games of chance?
Are there controls on who can run a casino or gambling enterprise?
Is it allowed to advertise gambling services and venues?
Are there limits on how large the stake can be?
Are there private companies that run a gambling business?
Is gambling associated with criminal gangs in Finland?
Is the gambling business different in other countries?


2.         Is gambling popular in Finland?
What are the most common forms of gambling in Finland?
What do people bet on?
Is it possible to bet on the result of ice hockey matches?
What is the attraction in gambling?  
Is it just about winning large sums of money?


3.         Do you ever go to horse races or trotting races?
            Is it more exciting if you have placed a bet on a horse to win?
            Do you like to play card games, e.g. whist?
Do you play other games of chance?
Do you like to play the slot machines?
Do you play the lottery?


4.         Have you heard of any systems to help someone win the lottery?
Do some games of chance require skill or are they all just about luck?
What about other forms of gambling: poker or betting on horse races?


5.         How is the national lottery (Lotto) organised?
Who gets the profit?
How does the State benefit?
Are there ever disagreements over how the profit should be used?
What is the biggest lottery win in Finland?
Are the first prize winners´ names kept secret, or are the published?
What kinds of pressure might result from a big lottery win?


6.         Do you see any dangers in gambling?
What is the cultural attitude to playing games of chance?
Are some people opposed to it?
What are your own views?
Is gambling addiction a big problem?
What kind of help is available for gambling addicts?
Does gambling have social repercussions in Finland?
Has there ever been discussion about banning gambling?

What about some forms of gambling?

sunnuntai 25. joulukuuta 2016

All my books


All my publications so far with Ward Wood Publishing. There are two novels: The Finn's Tale and Arthur's Eventful Weekend, and two poetry collections: Midas Touch and Falstaff's Gut. The publisher's website (www.wardwoodpublishing.co.uk) has a brief description of each book and there are some excerpts on the pages in the right-hand bar of this blog.



They're all available in book form and on Kindle, from the publisher's website, Amazon, The Book Depository and other online booksellers.

maanantai 5. joulukuuta 2016

New work from students at Tampere University



I've just added more new work from students on this autumn's Creative Writing in English course at Tampere University on the public blog at:

http://writersatuta.blogspot.fi

New pieces include prose fiction, poetry and a new category: narrative essays, of which one example has been posted this autumn. There may still be one or two more new pieces appearing.


tiistai 6. syyskuuta 2016

Sampola discussion topic for Tuesday 29 November


This is our topic for Tuesday 29 November.


Proverbs 

1. Think of half a dozen (6) Finnish proverbs. Try to find very common ones and some that are less well known, or even obscure.
Translate your proverbs word-for-word into English.
Now work out how you would explain the meaning in English. Make some notes so you remember your explanations in next week’s class.

2. Do you think your example proverbs contain useful wisdom?
Do you often use proverbs in ordinary conversations?
Have you used proverbs as a way of teaching your own children certain ideas or ways of thinking?
Why have proverbs become popular, i.e. what is the attraction of a proverb?
Do you think that proverbs have become over-used, i.e. are they now clichés?
Do you groan inside if someone quotes a proverb to you?

3. Do you know the origins of your example proverbs?
Are all proverbs old?
Do you know any modern proverbs?
Do they apply to modern life?
Do you agree that proverbs go beyond one person and time period?

4. What’s the difference between a proverb and a quotation?
Which would you be most likely to use?   Why?
Think of 2 or 3 examples of effective quotations.

5. Can you work out the meaning of the following English proverbs?
* It’s not what you know, it’s who you know
* Everything happens for a reason.
* There are plenty of fish in the sea.
* Two wrongs don’t make a right.
* The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
* No man is an island.
* Too many cooks spoil the broth.
* You can’t win them all.
* Time is money.
* There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.
* There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
* God helps those who help themselves.
* Many hands make light work.
* The grass is always greener on the other side of the hill.

6. Which of the above English proverbs would be appropriate in the following situations?
* Your young son or daughter has just lost a sports competition.
* A colleague tells you they plan to get revenge for their neighbor making a lot of noise last night.
* A friend is feeling depressed because they are going through a difficult period.
* A friend who applied for a job, didn’t get it. The job was given to the boss’s nephew.
* Your colleague tells you that they got very bad service at a restaurant yesterday.
* You are in a work team where all the members have different ideas about how to do the job.



torstai 11. elokuuta 2016

Pekka Kuusisto's Proms encore


Finnish violinist, Pekka Kuusisto, introduces Proms audience to a Finnish folk song and gets them to sing along in Finnish.


My darling is beautiful / She has blue eyes / but unfortunately they look in different directions.
bbc.co.uk

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04470vv?ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbc_proms&ns_source=facebook&ns_linkname=radio_and_music


torstai 21. tammikuuta 2016

Sampola discussion topic for Tuesday 12 April

This is the discussion topic for our next class on 12 April.


That’s good to know

All of the following questions relate to stories that have appeared on the BBC News website, although none of them concern main news events. Most are of what is known as ‘human interest’ stories and most are very short, though there may be more information behind them. For next week’s class you should first identify which stories/questions sound interesting to you. Then check out the details of as many as you want and be ready to present the information you have found. If you want to investigate any stories further, you can, and you may wish to collect details from other websites. Try googling some key words or names.

In the class, each person in your group will first tell what they have learnt about their stories and the team can discuss them. If there is time left, use your smart phones to find out about other stories that you haven’t already discussed.



1.         What is The Four Candles sketch and why is it in the news?

2.         Who are (or were) the Fearless Motorbirds?

3.         What happened to three golden cars in London?

4.         How were ancient Vikings traced to the S. W. tip of Newfoundland?

5.         How did children in Surrey help police to find two suspected burglars?

6.         Why did a British passenger pose for a photo with the hijacker of the Egyptian Air plane last week?

7.         Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak are the famous founders of Apple, but there was a third founder. Who? And why did he drop out of the company?

8.         Why are Finnish football clubs angry with their own Football Association?

9.         How could you get a photograph of heaven?

10.       What are the pros and cons of camel racing and could it come to Europe?

11.       How does Rowan Atkinson succeed in the role of French detective, Maigret? (You will have to go off the BBC site for this, but there is a link.)

12.       Why is Eddie the Eagle back in the news and is he pleased about it?

13.       How are self-identity and internet use connected?

14.       How could laser beams protect us from aliens and why might it be necessary?


15.       Why was the Accident and Emergency (A & E) department at a Middlesborough hospital so busy over Easter?

16.       Are teeth whitening treatments, and kits for home use, a good idea?

17.       Why is a farmer in Surrey demolishing a ‘Tudor castle’ even though he doesn’t want to?

18.       What happened when Elvis met Nixon?

19.       What is Blockchain tech? How can it make it easier to buy a house, a bottle of wine or play the lottery?

20.       Should you order your whisky ‘on the rocks’?


21.       Why are babies all over the world sleeping in cardboard boxes?