Saturday 5 December 2009

a test worth noticing

Fill in the gaps with the correct phrase from below and ONLY THEN click on the “gap” box to check your answer.

at short notice
don't take any notice
hand in your notice
sit up and take notice
until further notice

Living near the harbour, it was inevitable that Rafael would be drawn towards a life at sea.
He would watch the men loading up supplies, kissing loved ones goodbye, casting off into the sea, and then see them disappear into the horizon, some to return, some not.
Rafael's father was one of the ones who had not returned when he was but a baby. As a result, Rafael's mother was not happy with his interest in the sea at all and she endeavoured to bring Rafael up as genteel as possible. To this end, she made him wear ruffs and speak politely and read books on etiquette.
Naturally, the other boys teased Rafael about all this and his life at school was one long torment.
' of them,' advised his mother, but this was very difficult when they were punching him and throwing worms at him.
However, his mother's teaching and his classmates' teasing did nothing to diminish Rafael's appetite for the sea. Every afternoon after school, he would sneak down to the harbour and watch the boats and the sea and their endless undulating rhythm. When Rafael's mother found out, she was furious.
'The harbour is off limits,' she told him.
'But mother,' he cried, 'I love the sea!'
Upon hearing this, Rafael's mother finally had to of her son's obsession, and so, she felt she had no choice but to move as far inland as she could.

This was awful for Rafael, a kind of torment much worse than that dished out to him by the boys at his old school. Hundreds of miles from the sea, Rafael would spend hours gazing mournfully at the fields surrounding him, imagining - or was he? - that he could still smell the faint twang of salt in the air.
Many years passed like this, and with them Rafael's childhood.
When Rafael turned 18 and was finally free to do as he wished, he immediately took a job working in a bank. He could almost see the relief in his mother's face when he told her the news. She had been expecting him to run away to sea for years now, but here he was joining a bank. She was delighted that he had given up on a dangerous life at sea.

Rafael lasted 31 minutes and 15 seconds before he.
'O,' said his manager. 'This has come - you've only just arrived!'
'I'm sorry, it's just the shirt, the tie, the jacket, the chair, the desk, the walls, the people - I can't!' replied Rafael. 'They will kill me!'
As Rafael trudged home, he contemplated how he could tell his mother and how she would react.
But somehow, she already knew, and she was waiting at the gate for him with a kitbag ready-packed for his first voyage at sea.
'You're your father's son,' she said to his astonished face, 'and I couldn't be prouder of you. Now go.'

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Collocation of the Week by Dr Myers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.