EXPRESSING REQUESTS AND OFFERS
Asking people to do things
Husband: So anyway, I said to him that I didn`t think it was right just to give him the job like that without an interview and no job description …
Wife: Sorry to interrupt, darling. I think the baby`s crying. Do you think you could just go up and see if she`s all right? And perhaps give her some milk?
Man: Yes, madam, can I help you?
Woman: Yes, I bought these from here two days ago and the heel`s broken. Can you change them?
Man: Oh dear. I`m so sorry. I`ll just see if we got another pair for you.
Father: Turn that wretched music down, will you? Or better still, turn it off.
Child: Oh, all right.
Woman: I think we need an advertising campaign on television and in the press. I really want to push this project. John, would you mind looking after the television. Is that all right?
Man: Mmm, fine. Er… when shall we start?
Man: Anita, will you come here a minute? Could you tell me the file on sales in France? I just need to check on delivery arrangements. Oh, and Anita I`d love a cup of coffee if that`s at all possible.
Woman: Oh yes, Mr James.
Man: I`m awfully sorry to bother you. I`m sure people are always asking you this as you`re always standing here, but you wouldn`t have change for a pound, would you? It`s for the phone box.
Man: Here you are.
Man: Thanks a lot.
Interview between Ann Catchpole and Mrs. Olive Gibbs
Broadcast 9.11.82, Radio 4 �Woman`s Hour� �Released by Arrangement with BBCE Enterprises Limited�
A = Announcer
AC = Ann Catchpole
G = Mrs Gibbs
A Now at this moment, somewhere on the other side of the Atlantic, Olive Gibbs is probably chugging along the road, in the early morning in her tiny camping van. The travel bug came to Mrs Gibbs rather late in life. About 14 years ago, to help her get over the death of her husband she went on an overland bus trip to Katmandu. This fired her with the enthusiasm to travel more, but as she couldn`t afford to go on extensive organized tours, she bought a camper and took to the road alone. Now at the age of 72, she`s clocked up abut 75,000 miles on trip that have taken her to America, Australia and South Africa. Ann Catchpole met her at her home on the Sussex coat just before she was setting out on her current venture, another wander around American, Canada and Mexico, that`ll take about a year, and she`d been very busy that afternoon packing up the van, mainly, as she told Ann, with stocks of food.
G Of all the meals that I have during the day, my breakfast is the one that I like. It`s not that I have a large breakfast but I do like my toast and marmalade. I`ve got quite a few pounds of marmalade in my van at the moment, I should think I have about 10 pounds, and when that runs out and if I`m down in California by then I shall make some marmalade. I take English things like Marmite which not many other countries of the world seem to appreciate. I`m also taking crisp breads to the United States because I don`t care for their bread very much. And I take biscuits because I don`t care for their biscuits very much. But otherwise I can buy everything I need in the United States. But I don`t like sp… wasting my time shopping, so I carry as much as I can and visit a supermarket only when I`m forced to.
AC When you arrive in a country, for example, this trip that you`re going on to America, when you arrive, do you have a planned itinerary, or … or what?
G Well, I know vaguely which way I`m going to go, but I do change my direction if there`s something I hear about which I think I would like to see, or I don`t like the road I`ll go a completely different way. And at the beginning of the day I don`t know quite where I`m going to sleep at night. I wait until I feel tired or I wait until I see somewhere that attracts me and then I stop.
AC What`s the reaction when you turn up in your little camper, when you go into these vast American camp sites?
G Well, the first thing I do, and I do this deliberately, I make myself a cup of tea, and I sit outside my van because I think it, it pleases the Americans to see an English lady having afternoon tea. But as soon as I really… as soon as I arrive, especially in the United States or Canada, the men all want to talk to me about places they`ve been to when they were in the army during the war over here. Other people want to know and tell me about where their ancestors came from, and nearly always I have been to the places, or at least know something about them, because I do travel quite a bit in my own country as well as going abroad. In fact when I`m trying to unpack at the end of the day`s journey and get a meal in the evening, life becomes very difficult because people gather round and want to know all about me and it`s almost dark before I can get on with my unpacking and getting a meal ready. But I do try to get my cup of tea in first.
AC Not only are you a woman, traveling alone, you are now 72. I find that incredible. I mean it`s intrepid enough for anybody to set off on a long trip at any age on their own.
G Most people of course are rather surprised, but I`m very healthy. You see, I meet other people who do much more adventurous things than I do. I met a young couple for instance in the United States who were cycling round the United States, and camping. Now I would not camp in a tent. That I should never have a minute`s peace. I don`t think I should ever sleep but I always think if anybody wants to get at me they`re going to have quite a job in a vehicle and you know I can make quite a noise with my horn to attract attention.
AC Have you ever been frightened? Have you ever been in any danger?
G No, not real danger at all. The only time was in Zimbabwe, at that the time called Rhodesia, and I was actually camping in Zimbabwe by in Zimbabwe ruins. And during the night someone went by with a torch. It woke me up, and I just thought it was somebody going to a toilet, and I took no notice. But when I woke up in the morning I found that a lot of my papers had been taken, and the wallet in which I kept them. And of course I didn`t realize at the time what was going on. It must have been the noise of the door closing which woke me up. I suppose I`m very foolish but often I don`t lock myself in my van at night. Sometime I do if I feel at all nervous or if I`m in a camp site on my own, then I do lock myself in.
AC Where would you say in all your thousands of miles of travel on your own you`ve been happiest?
G In a way it`s difficult to say because each country has something special about it. But I think the beauty of south Africa is something that I shall never forget. I used to stand sometimes when I was there and say to myself, `Just look and look as much as you can in case you don`t come this way again.`