Advanced Listening Practice

Having Everything Done - Transcript

Two friends discuss an inheritance and the work it has created.

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William: Hello, Monica, where were you yesterday?

Monica: Hi, William. My grandmother passed away. We were at the hospital all day.

William: Oh no, that's terrible. Were you close to her?

Monica: Yes, I was quite close to her. My mother died when I was young and she became almost like a substitute mother for me. I'm really going to miss her.

William: She must have been quite old.

Monica: Eighty-four! She had a long life and she wasn't ill for long, thankfully. I heard this morning that I'm going to inherit her house.

William: I thought she lived in a small apartment in town?

Monica: Yes, she did, but she kept the old house near the lake. It became too big for her to look after, but that house has been in our family for about five generations. She would never have sold it.

William: All those houses near the lake are very old. What are you going to do with it? Are you going to sell it?

Monica: No way! I could never sell my grandmother's house! I don't know, I think it's my responsibility to repair the place and pass it onto my children.

William: That's a good way of looking at it. There must be a lot of work to do on it though.

Monica: There really is! My brother said he'll help with the expense. I used to spend all my summers in that house. We'd get up at seven in the morning and have a swim before breakfast. I actually met my husband while fishing there, it holds a lot of special memories for me. I really want to get it looking how it used to, back to its former splendor.

William: What do you know about building and decoration? Will you do it yourself or have someone work on it for you?

Monica: I can handle a paint brush, but not much more than that.

William: What needs doing to it? When did you last see it?

Monica: About two years ago, and it was in terrible condition.

William: Is the roof okay? In these old houses, that can be the most expensive thing.

Monica: We had the roof totally redone about six years ago, so I think that's one thing we won't have to have looked at.

William: Is there a garden?

Monica: I wouldn't use the word "garden". There's a big plot of land out the back, but it's all overgrown. We'll have to have the grass cut back and the trees pruned. There's a big old hole where a pond used to be and we'll have to have that filled in - it's pretty dangerous.

William: Is the house secure? Are all the doors in good condition? It's a risk having a house standing empty for so long.

Monica: Yeah, you're right. All the doors are fine, but we'll have to have some of the windows fixed, there's a few broken ones upstairs. Some kids got into the house last year.

William: Oh, that's awful.

Monica: Yeah, they didn't do too much damage, fortunately. I think they were just looking for a bit of adventure. We had all the locks changed and it's been alright ever since.

William: There must be some great historical features in such an old property.

Monica: The wooden staircase is just breathtaking. We're going to have it restored because a lot of the steps are pretty rotten now and the banister isn't safe at all. But with a bit of love and a lot of money, it'll be like something out of Gone With The Wind!

William: Well, it doesn't sound so bad, Monica. You'll have to invite me round to see the place when you get it fixed up.

Monica: Of course, and if you know how to use a hammer and screwdriver, you're always welcome to come round sooner!

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