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Cafetalk Tutor's Column

Tutor Samuel C 's Column

A lovely name, a lovely lane

Oct 21, 2020

This article is for higher level students of English. As usual, the vocabulary I’d like you to think about is in bold, but on this occasion I have not included a list of definitions at the bottom of my article. Try to guess the meaning of words and phrases from their context. Get in touch with me if you need help with the vocabulary.


I’m temporarily teaching English in Oxford and am staying in a dorm just a stone’s throw from my school. When I’m done for the day I take a stroll to a nearby supermarket. I find this daily walk helps me clear my mind.


I could walk along the main road. It’s in a leafy suburb of Oxford and seems to have an unending cavalcade of colourful double-deckers – I do enjoy looking at buses! But, instead, I take a series of footpaths which run parallel to the main road. This route has the charming name of Cuckoo Lane. Alright, a cuckoo is not a particularly charming bird; in fact, it’s downright horrible, but it has a charming call and is evocative of Spring.


Cuckoo Lane is well-used by the locals and due to its proximity to a university, private school and hospital it’s not uncommon to see students, school pupils and nurses making their way along this lane. Despite the footfall Cuckoo Lane is peaceful and a nice alternative to the hustle and bustle of the main road. I love looking at the hawthorn, oak, ivy and holly that border the paths and watching the squirrels leap from one tree to another.


As I approach the end of Cuckoo Lane I have to pass through a rather low tunnel. I am fairly tall so have to duck as I enter. Cuckoo Lane is not much of a shortcut to the supermarket – it might shave a few minutes off my journey – but that’s not why I take it.


l  How do you unwind at the end of the day? Do you go for a walk or do you do something else?

l  Do you have a path or road you’re fond of, and if so, why? Is it because of its people, sounds, smells, wildlife, vibrancy or peacefulness?

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