Where are you from originally?

I'm from a place called Blackpool..erm..which is in the north west of England.

Famous for being near the sea and for the lights.

Famous for being near the sea, the lights and having the largest, the tallest rollercoaster in the world...erm long, long time ago....

Is it?

Well, it was..erm..there was a big competition between Blackpool and a theme park in Tokyo. And I think it's actually the...the second largest now the world, yeah.

Ok, you you grew up there, you were born and you grew up there...

That's right, yeah.

And then did you come straight there...straight here from Blackpool?

No, not at all. I had a long journey. Blackpool when I was about 17, 18 joined the RAF, I was in the RAF for six years.


Yeah...ahh..then... a pilot?

Not as a pilot, no. Unfortunately not. No, just...although I have a snobby accent..I..I..I've not been a pilot. I was a...i was an RAF policeman, which is a glorified security guard, basically. Erm... and..

Did...did that allow you to travel, or was that...just in the UK?

Yeah; "Join the RAF and see the world!" I saw Inverness airport for a weekend in six years!, I also got to Italy as well for three months. journey which changed my life, y'know? I went over there, met an Italian in love, and...erm...(you'll) probably have to cut this one out!....and...

In case she might be watching.....

In case she might be watching, exactly! Yeah, I..I'm over you, by the way. (I) don't need you anymore!, decided to er...I..I.. had a bit of an aptitude for languages. I enjoyed learning new languages, and I wanted to do something with it; discover the English teaching world.

Did you speak any Italian before you went there?

No, I didn't, no. I just picked it up in three months, and er..well, I wouldn't say...I wasn't fluent, but I picked up quite a bit in three months.

Erm, when did you come here?

Eight years ago.

Eight years ago. And did you come straight to Valencia or somewhere else first?

Well, I wanted to come to Valencia, er...but I couldn't find a job in Valencia. I was offered a job in Torrevieja first of all. Erm, I spent the worst three months of my life in Torrevieja. And then I a call from Wall Street Institute.

What didn't you like about Torrevieja?

..about Torrevieja? Erm...

It's full of English speakers, isn't it?

It's full of English speakers, that's one thing. And also, I couldn't find anyone there who was my age. I don't think there were any births in Torrevieja between...erm...1965, because wherever I went I was the oldest person or the youngest person by about 20 years.

Ok, Torrevieja, and then from Torrevieja you

I came to Valencia, yeah.

Ok...erm..what's been the most difficult thing for you so far about making a life here in Spain?

Erm...I miss English food. I really miss the variety of English...well, maybe not English food, as such, but I...I miss eating food from different nations, and I think here, Spain..erm..generally people eat Spanish food..

Do you find it tasteless and bland?

Erm...some dishes I do, but in general no, I...I do like Spanish food but I miss the variety Japanese food on a Monday, Chinese food on a Tuesday. I mean, I could do that here but I have to pay through the nose.

What's the best thing for you about being a teacher?

Erm...mixing with people..erm..who are from a completely different culture, who are from a different culture, who have had a different upbringing to me, yeah, who have a different perspective on things. Er..I find it really exciting.

What's the worst thing for you about being a teacher?

When people who speak Spanish in class.

Don't you speak Spanish?

A little bit! If any students are watching, no I don't speak.....yeah, no, I don't like it when people speak Spanish in my class. It makes me..

Me neither, especially when it's not directed at me and it's among themselves.

Of course, yeah..

That's the worst.

Yeah, I think it...whether..whether it's directed at me or fact that they're speaking Spanish and they're changing the chip. They change the chip from Spanish to....from English to Spanish, and it's always difficult to change back again, y'know?

Erm...what advice would you give Spanish speakers who are trying to learn English?

Spanish Spain...erm..I would say..erm..take every opportunity that you can have contact with English, because I think it's possible to live here in Spain and...and not have any contact with English at all. I mean, even hotdog is translated perrito caliente er..I mean, so I think unless you go out and actively look for an opportunity to speak English it's possible to avoid it.

And how can they do that in Valencia, for example? could go exchange nights, the intercambio nights. Er...and they should be watching all films..Is that the camera? They should be watching all films in original language with subtitles. you agree?

Absolutely. Absolutely. With subtitles in English.

Not..not.. dubbed. Miras aquí. Not dubbed!

With subtitles in English, not in Spanish.

With subtitles in English, yeah.

So that their attention's not distracted by just reading the Spanish.

No, of course, but even at beginner's level I think it's a good idea to get used to the sound of the English language have the subtitles. Norway, wa..was it erm...was the television in Norwegian

I wasn't Finland?

Sorry, in Finland.

In Finland, yeah the..erm..the television was in...was in Finish. You mean the films...or?

Well, did you hear any English on Finish TV?

Oh lots of it! Yeah, lots of it.

Maybe that explains why their English at a higher level than...

It's excellent. Everybody in Finland seems to speak English, apart from the girl who worked in my local shop. Yeah, and I..I walked in there, Finish is a really difficult language as well, and I remember my first day I walked in there and said, asked for some milk, and she....'I don't understand'. So, I had to go 'moo..pss..pss..moo!', like that. I wanted to buy some...I needed to buy some toilet paper as well, but I thought, 'I'll leave that for another day".

What makes you happy?

When people don't speak Spanish....

In class. class. When Blackpool football club win a game. Erm...and....Sunday mornings when I...when I wake up don't have to go to work, and I can have a long leisurely breakfast. I can have an English breakfast, ok, spend hours and hours and Sunday newspapers.

What's an English breakfast? What's in it?

Sausage, bacon, baked beans..erm...fried eggs, or poached, ok? Erm...fried bread, because I'm from the North, and er..we...we don't think about healthy food, we just think about taste. makes you sad?

People who speak

It's a pet peeve.

...really upsets me.

Wayne, which...which famous person...erm...,dead or alive, would you like to have dinner with, and why?

Audrey Hepburn. She's gorgeous! She was gorgeous. No, I've a real obsession with Audrey Hepburn.

Yeah, I can see that. can see my obsession, or you...

No, I...I..I totally agree. Not...not because she's incredibly.....was incredibly attractive, but also she was a fantastic person.

She was a fantastic person, a wonderful actress, yeah.

If you could change something about yourself, what would you change?

Er..I'd become bigger. I..I'd be more muscular.

But you're very tall.

I'm very ta...I'm tall, but I'm not big, that's the thing, y'know? I'm skinny,...because I'm tall I look even skinnier, as well. So, I'd put some weight on, probably.

How tall are you?

Erm...6 foot, 3 (inches). 1 metre, 92 (centimetres).

I'm incredible jealous, I'd love to be as tall as that.

Really? Really? I'd like to have this sort of Greek-God type physique that you have.

Music concerts...nobody.. you can always see. Er...getting served at the bar...I're always there, you've got th...that height advantage. It's a proven fact that taller people are more successful in life.

Really? Is that true?

Final question.

Can I...can I have..erm...

Help yourself. of these? thank you.

If you had 6,000 euros to spend on yourself, what would you buy?

That's a really good question. I've got a lot of free time this summer which I don't want, 'cos (because) I need to work, really, I need to earn some money.

You're not going to do a summer school?

I am going to do a summer school, but th..there's a..about a month and a half after that when I have literally nothing to do....yeah September. Mid-August to mid-September before I start the Dip. And I...I would use that money to travel. I'd just travel, yeah.

Ok, thank you very much.

Thank you very much.

La Mansión del Inglés.
© Copyright La Mansión del Inglés C.B. - Todos los Derechos Reservados