SIXTY YEARS

I have given speeches all my entire life but never given one as I am givng you tonight.

Sixty years have I lived on this earth and dedicated myself to the scientific advancement of mankind.  Unlike others before me, I am not a maker of gadgets but pure in my experimentation of the mind.

A man can be at the very height of his career in his sixtieth year and yet it can take only a single moment of indiscretion to cause his fall from grace.

Sincerely friends, if it can happen to me, then it can surely happen to you too.

In another five years on a cold Good Friday morning in the north London parish of Highgate, I swear Iwill draw my last breath and the world at large will come to wonder of my legacy both then and for years thereafter, as you might wonder now.

You might visit St. Michaels Church in the city of St. Albans and look at both my statue and the crypt where I shall be supposedly be laid to rest.

You might visit the country estate in the environs of St.  Albans where I shall shortly go to write up my memoirs and the substance of my legacy.

I am a man of royal blood, of that I am absolutely certain, and I was born to be a king.

By the same token, I am the Queen’s bastard, conceived by a noble woman who would produce no natural heir to the throne of England and by her lover, Robert Dudley, a beast of a man who would stop at nothing to get his way.

What dastardly thing did the Queen contrive in the summer of 1571 so that no rightful successor such as I could ever be allowed to fulfil his destiny according to God.

Contrived by the Queen’s conjurer-in-chief, William Cecil, later his son Robert, who made things happen as only they could..

I cannot put to words how I felt when my foster mother, Anne Bacon, a relation of the Cecils, let it slip that we shared no common blood but in truth that I had always known,

My few years to serve as asssistant ambassador in France as soon as I completed my scholarship at Trinity College Cambridge ought to have been recognition and deserving credit of a mother’s pride for a son as well as providing training for his future regal role.

Alas, nothing could be further from the reality as she set about distancing herself from me as a mother and embarking on a sham which stills mocks me to this day as it did then and will continue to mock me beyond this night.

France and the ambassadorial travels I made across the European continent were a whole episode in my life which I cannot and I do not regret.

I would not have met Queen Marguerite of Dubois and experienced the youthful exuberance of infatuation and love.

I would not have written the 154 Sonnets – was it really that many? – that gave testimony to true love and which I kept preciously secret until a trusted housekeeper came upon them in my absence and saw opportunity to financially benefit from their publication in 1609.

If I did not go to France, perhaps I might not have been inspired to provide the source, the material and at times the collaboration to many of the theatrical plays which many of you here tonight have enjoyed in all their gore and glory by the Shakespeare name.

If my dear beloved mother Elizabeth Tudor had not seen fit to refuse her consent to my intended marriage to Marguerite, how I might wonder how different my life would and could have been.

My Queen Marguerite, and she will always be such in my heart, was the most gracious and ingraciating woman I have ever  known.

It matters not to me one iota that she was a catholic and would have  had to divorce her King in order to be my partner before God and challenge  the constitution of the English state which I always felt,  it was my duty to rule.

Marguerite ultimately chose exile and lived out the remaining years of her life from a quaint, modest hostel on the banks of the Seine, as I shall live out mine with equal modesty in St. Albans when this speech is done and dusted and the consequences of it have been addressed.

It be a little less than six years since her mortal demise and I miss her dearly, my dearest marigold now resting peacefully in the garden of her eden.

My foster father, Nicholas, the Queen’s senior legal adviser and keeper by another name, a man quick to get the bottle, passed away while I was amidst the French commission and I was hastily withdrawn back to England.

My foster brother, Anthony, forever a confidante, was always supportive, even when the news broke that I would inherit nothing from Nicholas Bacon’s estate.

If fortune favours the brave, then I would suggest that I was always at least one stop short of the grant of the favour, for whatever reason.

Debt has plagued me almost all my life, yet I have enjoyed economic privilege, been educated well and I am not a man without means.  I am possessed by a need to give away what I have and I must admit it is a need which I do not know how to control.

My thanks to Anthony for more than once coming to my rescue and securing my release from a debtor’s gaol, a shaming but humbling experience for any man, whatever his status and station in life.

Of course, the plague of debt  had an impact on my second attempt at romance and to get married, inevitably so.

It is true that I was very much interested for the hand in marriage of Elizabeth Cecil, grand-daughter of William Cecil, niece to Robert, widowed at 20 by Sir William Hatton and snatched from my eternal grasp by Sir Edward Coke, a rival in all aspects of life ever since we first crossed swords..

A few years later, a couple after the passing of Queen Elizabeth and on the persuasion of your majesty King James, I did eventually marry, Alice Barnham, the fourteen year old daughter of a London councillor..

Our marriage has produced no children, through no fault of mine or hers.  It may just be an indisputable fact that I prefer bedfellows but I dare anyone to say I have ever solicited rent-boys or been homosexual by nature.

Dear brethren before me, I am at heart a humble man and it has been my lifelong project to establish an intelectual community dedicated to the discovery of scientific knowledge for the use and benfit of all mankind.

Those who know me just a little know that knowledge is my province.

I am probably done as a lawyer, counseller, politician.  As Lord Chanceller, I have surely reached the highest station in life to which God is allowing me to aspire.

I vow to spend my remaining years devoted to the literary, scientific and philosophical cultural legacy destined to bless the modern world.

Edward Coke, I hold no grudge against you over the affair with Elizabeth or indeed the political humiliation you have had me endure for best part of twenty odd years.

Allow no man to challenge where my loyalty lies as I stand before you now and to deny that royal prerogative is superior to common law.

And yes, there is blood on my hands from the duties I have carried out.  I have played my part according to law to execute two people who were once good friends and who shared their genius so readily at the Good Pens Meeting I hosted back in Twickenham in 1596.

Richard Devereux, Earl of Essex, and more recently Walter Raleigh,

These sixty years, I have learnt to be vocal in so many different ways.  If I had been King on my mothers death, then certainly the name of William Shakespeare would not be up there in neon-flashy lights, if one day they ever exist.

Because I could not have devoted time to inspiring the Bard to write the plays and Ben Jonson, Earl Pembroke, to mention but two, would not be in the final stages of putting together a fantastic collection of the plays in one volume.

Yes brethren, good people, I am one just like you.

I have been a scholar.

I have been a lawyer,

I have been a politician.

I have been a diplomat.

I have been a scientist.

I have been a crytologist.

I have been a philosopher.

I have been a writer.

It is I, John Barclay, pseudonomously speaking.

It is I, Francis Bacon.  It is I.  Thank you very much.  And good night..

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HENRY JEPHSON AND LEAMINGTON SPA

My name is Henry Jephson.

I first came to the small town of Leamington Priors in the spring of 1818 as a raw medical student with aspirations of becoming a doctor.

I was attracted by the prospect of what salted spa waters could do for healing and curing people with certain ailments and afflictions.

Back then, Leamington Priors was a town on the south bank of the river Leam with a priory extending to the Elephant Wash.

Nearby was a small post office on the corner facing the largest parish church in the county of Warwickshire and there was close proximity to the access of spa spring water.

Bath houses, Inns and a Pump room were established as one Bernie Greatheed looked to cash in on land he owned to the north of the river.

The potential for development of a parade of shops and residences constructed on a grand scale was obvious.

The Willes family owned a large swathe of land on their Newbold Comyn estate to the east with a corn mill right down by the river itself.

I qualified as a doctor and established my medical practice on the upper part of the Parade.

As my reputation spread, clients would come from far afield and stay at the nearby Clarendon or Regent Hotel.

Queen Victoria herself made an official royal visit to Leamington in 1838, just two years into her reign.

Not only did I have the privilege of meeting her but I had the honour of treating her for some of her ailments.

I am in no doubt that she fell in love with the town and returned many times subsequently, unofficially of course, for a holiday ‘to take the waters’.

Queen Victoria was instrumental, I believe, in persuading the Willes family, notably Edward Willes, to turn ten acres of the meadowland next to the river Leam into a public garden and park.

I was somewhat flattered to say the least when the gardens and park were to be named after me personally in 1846 for supposedly having put the town of Leamington Priors on the map as a health resort.

Queen Victoria did not return for another official visit until 1858 when the town was renamed as Royal Leamington Spa by royal decree.

A momentous day indeed which led to a marble statue being erected of the great lady outside the Town Hall in her honour.

How much more could I have done? … Or would I have done? ….. If I had not gone blind two years later which forced my early retirement.

I don’t have any regrets as such about my life but losing my sight so early in my life is one of two things which disappointed and saddened me as a professional physician.

Here was I advocating cures to the needy but I had to accept Gods will for the impairment.

The second thing is not experiencing parenthood with my wife Mary.  I had always hoped that the ‘taking of waters’ would fix the shortfall in my married life but it was never to be.

The compensation has been, I think, in being slightly ahead of my time and being able to educate ordinary folk, both the paying clientele and the town needy, about basic healthcare.

I lived out my life at Beech Lawn, the mansion house which I had built behind the Parade in the 1830s.

I understand that after my death in 1878, my home became a Ladies Finishing School for a few years before eventually being demolished in 1946.

The town’s Fire Station is located on the site today.

Though I say it myself, the Jephson Gardens are a wonderful sight to behold at any time of year and I am extremely proud that such a ‘green flag’ legacy carries my name for generations to come.

Thank you all very much indeed for listening to my ramble, for that is surely what it is.

Be sure to visit the Jephson Gardens whenever you are passing through Royal Leamington Spa.

Thank you once again most graciously from the bottom of my heart.

VOLCANOES FOR KIDS

This a short presentation about the geological phenomena we call volcanoes.

Long ago, it was the Romans who named it the mountain of fire.

So what is a volcano?

It is a large mountain with a crater at the top, inside of which there is a cauldron of heat created by liquid rock we call magma.

Think of it then as a portal to the inner crusts of the earth.

The whole thing exists on tectonic plates way down in the earth.

A volcanic eruption is caused when those tectonic plates collide and hot magma reaches the surface of the earth at the crater.

The magma now becomes lava and is spewed into the air.

Lava, hot ash, volcanic gasses and rock spew down the mountainside at lightning speed and at extreme temperature.

Many volcanoes are either dormant or extinct and some have never erupted at all.

Indonesia is a country in south east Asia and lies in the so called Ring of Fire.

There are many voclanoes in its vast archaepeligo of islands.

The most famous ones are probably Toba, Krakatao and Bromo.

Mount Toba erupted seventy thousand years ago and left a crater in the form of a huge lake  100 kilometres long, 50km wide and 500 metres deep.

Mount Toba is considered extinct.

Krakatoa is different.  It lies in the sea in the Sunda Strait between  the islands of Sumatra and Java.

Krakatoa was a dormant (sleeping) volcano until it suddenly erupted in 1883 and killed many hundreds of thousands of people.

Kratatoa is an example of a volcano which lies under the sea and causes tsunamis.

The original Krakatoa is now extinct but amazingly a new volcano emerged in its place which is called today The Child of Krakatoa.

Mount Arenal in Costa Rica is another more recent example of a dormant volcano having a sudden eruption in 1968 and leading to a loss of human life.

Mount Bromo, on the other hand in east Java, remains active to this day and is a great attraction on the Indonesian tourist trail.

Visit with care!

Volcanolgists talk a lot about Supervolcanoes, of which Mount Toba was one.  Yellowstone is one in the United States which is being watched closely while the last supervolcano to erupt was Mount Helena, also in the United States,  in 1980.

Volcanoes are obviously extemely dangerous to life of any kind living within say a specific radius but this does not deter some people from accepting the risks and living on the mountain slopes of a volcano.

Volcanic soil is rich in potassium and phosphorus, providing nutritients to fertile farmland and producing geothermal heat energy to warm water and run power plants.

There are about fifteen hundred volcanoes on planet earth today

The sight of an erupting volcano is certainly a spectacular sight but best of course seen at a safe distance and taking all necessary precautions.

That is the end of my presentation about Volcanoes.

Thank you for listening.

 

 

THE FANTA SODA DRINK

This is an IELTS talk about your favourite drink and why.

The student is required for about two minutes.

My favourite drink is Fanta.

It is sweet, fizzy and just fant-a-stic!

I guess it’s my fantasy drink

Fanta is a global brand created by Coca Cola but it was the Germans who came up with the Fanta brand name.

There are apparently as many as ninety different Fanta flavours worldwide now.

Amazing isn’t it!

My favourite fanta flavour is orange.

I don’t buy it all that often but I love it more than I can say.

Maybe I buy it at weekends once or twice a month.

I have been drinking it since I was a little kid.

Fanta can be bought at the shop in a can or a plastic bottle.

I never buy the can because once you open a can of soda, you usually have to drink it within a short period of time.

You can’t close the can once you have opened it.

The plastic bottle is different.  It has a top which you can put back onto the bottle after you have drunk some of the soda, so you don’t have to drink it all at once.

I know that the carbonated effects of drinking Fanta soda is unhealthy but to be honest, I don’t really care that much because I really like the drink and I don’t think it will do me any harm provided I don’t drink it too often or too much of it.

I always buy the medium size bottle which holds 600 milligrams of fanta soda and meets my budget.

I feel very happy when I buy a bottle of Fanta and I drink it.

Fanta is a great drink.  It’s a fun pleasure drink.  That’s all I can say about it.

SHOPPING AT THE MALL

This is an English language lesson to practice sentence building.

The lesson is aimed at elementary and junior high school students learning English as a second language.

The topic is Shopping at the Mall.

The student should practice both writing the sentences several times to understaand the structure of each sentence and then speaking the sentences aloud without reading them to achieve fluency of speech and general comprehension.

This is the lesson.

I like shopping.

I really like shopping.

I really like shopping at the mall.

I like to go shopping.

I really like to go shopping.

I really like to go shopping at the mall.

I really like to go shopping at the mall with my family.

I really like to go shopping at the mall with my family on weekends.

I really like to go shopping at the mall with my family on weekends and buy things.

There is a shopping mall in my town.

There are many shops and stores inside the shopping mall.

There is also a department store, a supermarket and a cinema at the shopping mall.

There are many restaurants as well plus a sports club, a creche for young children and a Bank ATM centre.

There are escalators and elevators.

The escalators and elevators help me get around the shopping mall.

I can buy clothes, books and toys when I go shopping at the mall in my town with my family on weekends.

The shopping mall in my town is modern, new and well organized for the shopper.

The shopping mall in my town is usually crowded when I go shopping with my family on weekends.

I can do a lot of shopping at the shopping mall in my town.

I can do window shopping too.

I like shopping a lot.

I like shopping very much.

How about you?  Do you like shopping too?

Let’s shop.  Let’s go shopping.

Let’s go shopping at the shopping mall in my town.

Let’s go shopping at the shopping mall in my town to buy things.

Let’s go!

SYMBOLS OF INDONESIA

This is an English language speech aimed at elementary school students learning English as a second language.

Good morning everyone.  First of all, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to address you all

The topic of my speech is is the Symbols of Indonesia.

There are many things which symbolise the nation of Indonesia.

The first symbol I am going to talk about is GARUDA.

The Garuda is a mythical bird resembling a hawk or eagle whose proportion of feathers represent the exact date of Indonesian independence.

Seventeen.  Eight.  Nineteen.  Forty Five.

There are seventeen feathers on each wing, eight feathers on the lower trail, nineteen on the upper tail and forty five feathers on the neck.

Next I will identify the KERIS as an Indonesian symbol.

The word ‘Keris’ is actually pronounced as ‘Kris’.

It is not a sword or a knife but a uniquely shaped dagger made by a specialist craftsman called an Empu and is a valued heirloom or Pusaka of the Javanese man.

The effectiveness of the Keris was once thought to be enhanced  by mixing the metal of the dagger with nickel taken from the meteorite which crashed in Prambanan in 1729.

The RAFFLESIA is certainly regarded as an Indonesian symbol along with the white jasmine and the moon orchid.

It grows in the rain forest of Sumatra and is the largest flowering plant on earth with a diamater head of upto a metre.

It gets its name from first Singapore Governor Stamford Raffles who found it in 1814.

The Rafflesia is unusual in that it does not have any leaves stems or even roots.

It is used in traditional medicine, promoted on tourist brochures and on postage stamps..

The JATI  TREE is undoubtedly a national symbol too.

Teak is much valued as as a stable woodworking product, easy to turn and shape into furniture and ornamental design.

Being the perfect wood, it combines the strength of oak and the water and insect repellent properties of western red cedar with the rot resistance of black locust trees..

The Jati teak is also used across Java in the construction of JOGLO HOUSES.

Joglo is a traditional Javanese house of an aristocrat with a large roof which slopes away from the centre of the house by a series of columns.

Some people would say it has the grandeur of a mini palace.  It is one of the most easiest icons to recognize on the Indonesian landscape.

BATIK, is traditional dress code for the Indonesian people, especially on Fridays and for special events.

The clothing has many colorful designs using a method of hot wax impressed on the fabric.

UNESCO have recognized the heritage of the Batik since 2009. and 2nd October is Batik Day in Indonesia.

Indonesia has its own unique style of entertainment with WAYANG..

Wayang is a dramatic performance using either wooden leather or shadow puppets or human performers wearing masks to tell a mythical story from the folklore of Indonesian history.

The most popular of all the stories told in Wayang is the Ramayana and the relationship of Rama and Shinta.

Now I want to mention the DURIAN.

The formidable thorn covered Durian is called the King of Fruits  and is believed by locals to be an aphrodisiac, possessed of erotic properties.

Indonesian people love eating Durian and are attracted to rather than away from its extraordinary pungent and odious smell.

Indonesia would not be Indonesia without JAMU.

Jamu is a herbal medicine made from roots, bark, flowers, seeds, leaves and fruits.

Honey, royal jelly, milk or chicken eggs.are usually added to make the taste sweeter.

The Jamu lady can be seen daily both morning and evening carrying a bamboo basket  around the local area filled with bottles of jamu on her back.

Jamu is an absolute symbol of Indonesia.

The PECI is an Indonesian symbol for sure.

It is a small round black hat work by the Indonesian man of any religion.

It was habitually worn by Indonesia’s first President, Soekarno, and has been worn by all male Indonesian Presidents since.

Finally, I must mention NUSANTARA.

I consider Nusantara a symbol of Indonesia because the word itself is taken to mean Archaepeligo and the estimated thirteen thousand islands of Indonesia make up the worlds largest archaepeligo.

There are many people who think that Indonesia should indeed be called Nusantara.

That is all from me about the symbols of Indonesia.

I hope you enjoyed my speech.   Thank you for listening.