When Jack Hammond, 88, moved from his flat in Hampshire, southern England, to a nursing home 20 miles away, he struggled to find someone to have a beer with. Nearly all the residents of the home are women and Hammond, a radar technician during the Second World War, felt embarrassed asking the ladies to go for a drink with him.
As a last resort, Jack’s son, Mike, put an advert in the post office asking for a man with similar interests and background to accompany his dad to the pub. He offered £7 an hour plus expenses.
Mike was so inundated with offers that he interviewed all the candidates by phone. He then asked a small group of men to join him and Jack for a trial drink in the pub. The successful pair Mike finally chose were Henry Rosenvinge, 58, a former doctor, and Trevor Pugh, 78, a retired kitchen fitter. They will now spend several nights a week with Jack chatting about military history and current affairs.
Pugh said: “I like having topical discussions and meeting new people and I’m happy to take him down the pub. We are both ex-army so we have that in common.” He will accept the hourly fee to boost his pension, but he will not take the expenses. On the other hand, Rosenvinge will do the job for free. He said: “He has a lot of stories and we are both from Lancashire so we have a lot we can talk about.”
Mike has no regrets because his father has stopped feeling miserable and lonely. Ideally, Jack wanted to be taken out for a drink seven nights a week but his son cannot go out with him that often. Jack will now be going five times a week — three with his new friends and twice with his son.
I.- Answer questions 1-4 according to the information given in the text. WRITE COMPLETE SENTENCES USING YOUR OWN WORDS WHENEVER POSSIBLE. DO NOT COPY FROM THE TEXT (4 marks)
1. Why did Jack need help to find a companion to have a drink with?
2. Why did Mike use the phone to interview the candidates?
3. How will Rosenvinge be paid?
4. How often will Mike take his father out?
II.- Are these statements True or False? Justify your answers based on information from the text, rewriting the original sentences in your own words or quoting properly (2 marks)
1. Very few men live in the nursing home.
2. Mike will pay Pugh £7 an hour plus the drinks.
III.- Find the words or expressions in the text that mean (1 mark)
- 1. hope, possibility, option: resort (p.2, l.1)
- 2. experience, circumstances, upbringing: background (p.2, l.2)
- 3. anecdotes, memoirs: stories (p.4, l.5)
- 4. concerns, worries: regrets (p.5, l.1)
IV.- Write a composition of about 130 words on one of these topics. Specify your option (3 marks)
- 1. “Most of our social events take place in pubs and bars. In fact it seems impossible to socialise without drinking. However, in European countries, the emphasis is more on the social element and less on the drinking one”. Do you agree or disagree? Justify your answer.
- 2. Moving to a new home or a new school can be a difficult time. Give advice to somebody who is moving to your home town and is going to attend your school.