Additional Telephone Conversations
Дополнительные телефонные разговоры
CHARLES: Two-six-two, four-three-double four. Charles Farmer speaking.
JOAN: Hello, Charles, it's Joan - Joan Cook.
CHARLES: Hello, Joan, how are you?
JOAN: I'm very well, thanks. How are you?
CHARLES: Oh, not so bad, you know.
JOAN: Good. I rang to ask if you know anything about hotels in Brighton.
CHARLES: No, I'm afraid I can't be very much help to you there.
JOAN: Well, it's just that we've been thinking of taking the family to the south this summer and at this rather late stage we're trying to organize ourselves a suitable hotel. But I thought that you'd been to Brighton.
CHARLES: I have. Several times. But I've always taken a tent and done it the hard way. (1)
JOAN: Oh, I see. I didn't realize that.
CHARLES: Yes. Great one for the open air, (2) you know.
JOAN: Oh, it must be nice, but we could never contemplate it with our lot. (3) We're terribly disorganized as a family, you know, and we'd be in chaos in no time. And in any case the car isn't big enough to get all of us in and camping equipment as well, so we simply must find ourselves a nice hotel where they'll put up with (4) noisy kids.
CHARLES: Mm. You have got a problem. And it's certainly a bit late. But there are masses of adverts. Have you looked at those?
JOAN: Well, yes. As a matter of fact I was reading one advert only this morning in the Sunday paper which sounded marvellous.
CHARLES: For a hotel?
JOAN: Yes. Just outside Brighton. And I thought to myself "I'll give Charles a ring. (5) He may know it."
CHARLES: Oh, dear, I am a dead loss, (6) aren't I? But tell me about the advert.
JOAN: It said that this hotel was right on the beach, and that's essential as far as we're concerned, because the kids are really only interested in scrabbling (7) in the sand and popping into (8) the sea every five minutes, so we must be close to it - the closer the better.
CHARLES: I know just how it is. (9)
JOAN: And all the rooms have balconies facing the sea and overlooking the beach so it should be possible for mum and dad to keep half an eye on (10) the kids while they're playing and manage a quiet snooze at the same time occasionally.
CHARLES: Sounds too good to be true. (11) Expensive?
JOAN: Rather. But still the prices were a bit lower than in any of the other adverts I've seen, and yet the facilities were as good or even better. You know, even allowing for (12) a bit of exaggeration in the advert, it seemed to have a lot to offer. (13)
CHARLES: Had it?
JOAN: Oh, yes. And the food is good - according to the advert, again - but they're bound to say that.
CHARLES: Of course. The only way to find out for certain is to go and try it. And that's taking rather a risk. I tell you what, (14) though. It's just occurred to me - Mr. and Mrs. Croft from over the road (15) have been to that part of England several times, and I seem to remember them saying they always use the same hotel.
JOAN: Do they?
CHARLES: Yes. At least I think that's what they said. I'll pop around (16) later this evening, and if they do know anything that might be of use to you I'll get one or the other of them to give you a ring.
JOAN: Would you? That's very kind of you. They won't mind, will they?
CHARLES: No, of course not. I'm sure they'll be pleased to help.
JOAN: Well, that's marvellous.
CHARLES: Did you say something about taking the car?
JOAN: Yes. It takes a little longer. But there is no need to rush, because Doug's got an extra week's holiday this year.
CHARLES: Lucky Doug. But isn't it rather a long drive from Edinburgh - what with the children and the holiday traffic? (17)
JOAN: Well, strange as it may seem, the kids are very good in the car. And if you go by train or air you don't see much on the way, you're sort of insulated from all the lovely places you're passing.
CHARLES: Yes, I agree with you.
JOAN: But I'm sure you must have better . things to do than listen to me rattling on. (18)
CHARLES: Oh, that's all right. It's nice to hear from you. But I will drop in on the Crofts and ask them to phone you. Don't expect to hear anything until after nine, though, because they're usually out on Sunday until some time in the evening.
JOAN: Well, I shall be around (19) whatever time they ring. Busy getting things ready for school tomorrow. And thanks again, Charles. It really is very kind of you to go to all this trouble.
CHARLES: No trouble at all. Only too glad to help if I can.
JOAN: Well, thanks anyway. Bye-bye, Charles.
CHARLES: Bye for now, Joan.
- to do smth. the hard way - to have difficulties to overcome;
e.g. The manager came up the hard way - he started as an errand boy.
- Great one for the open air - I have a strong liking for the open air. The phrase a great one for is sometimes used to indicate strong preferences, as in Jimmy's a great one for football, etc. There often seems to be some humorous intent when the phrase is used.
- our lot - our family
- put up with - tolerate. Note the difference of meaning with put up to mean "accommodate", as in They'll put up noisy kids in that hotel.
- give Charles a ring - note the numerous verbs which have to do with making a telephone call. Some of these, beginning with the more formal and ending with the less formal ones are: Telephone X, Ring X, Give X a ring, Give X a tinkle.
- a dead loss - someone or something completely useless
- scrabbling - combines the notions of crawling in and scratching about in (копаться, рыться)
- popping into - going into. The implication is that it would only be for a short time. Pop in is also used of an informal visit, e.g. If you happen to be passing just pop in and see me, please.
- I know just how it is - a phrase used to express concern and sympathetic understanding
- keep half an eye on - pay some attention to
- too good to be true - так хорошо, что и неверится; невероятно
- allowing for - taking into account
- a lot to offer - a fixed phrase often used for referring to something which has a number of desirable features
- I tell you what - a colloquial way of introducing a suggestion
- from over the road - the equivalent in less idiomatic English would be who live on the other side of the road
- pop around - pop into
- what with the children and the holiday traffic - because of the children and the holiday traffic. This use of what with to mean something like "because of, in view of is quite common in conversational English; e.g. What with doing the housework and the shopping, I never have a moment to spare.
- rattling on - colloquial for chattering
- around - at home