The part of the text containing the answer is underlined with the question number given in square brackets . If you still struggle with CAE Listening, please refer to Listening tips.
Gordon: Annabelle, you saw A Secret Place the other day, didn’t you?
Annabelle: I did. Interesting, but the action’s very patchy – it falls apart here and there.
Gordon: There isn’t a thread you can follow all the way through , is there? I can see
what the director…
Annabelle: Yoshiki Muto.
Gordon: Yeah. I can see what he’s trying to do – it’s a complex layering of detail, but it just doesn’t come off.
Annabelle: Well, it’s a brave attempt. It works for me. Although I have to say, I still really prefer the original novel with its very delicate touch.
Gordon: I think, though, the film version taps into our emotions more. But what about the ending?
Annabelle: I’d have enjoyed it more if it hadn’t been for that powerful, pounding rock music, which was obviously supposed to emphasise what was happening on screen. But I did like the way I was on the verge of laughing, then almost crying, for that final two or three minutes. Very well done .
Gordon: Not that it really appeared to sort anything out for our hero.
Annabelle: Presumably he’ll turn up in a sequel soon, with the same old dilemma!
Gordon: Look forward to that then!
Interviewer: So, Alan, what’s the best way to get good public architecture?
Alan: Well, people don’t want to be challenged by architecture, that’s understandable in a way; I’m not one for saying necessarily that public buildings are an appropriate area where people should have a vote to say that this building should go ahead or not. Many of our greatest and most glorious buildings wouldn’t exist if that happened. Take St Paul’s Cathedral in London – at the time, people were very antagonistic and hated its horrid foreign style. Now everyone adores it ; it’s a landmark, a sort of emblem of the city, that wouldn’t have existed if public opinion had had its way.
Interviewer: Do other countries do better than us – either in terms of imagination, or in terms of the kind of decision-making we’ve been talking about?
Alan: Yes they do – in recent history anyway. The Netherlands is a prime example. A number of the world’s leading architects happen to come from there, but the important thing is that the people are very knowledgeable; they learn about architecture in school . They do have a good record for town-planning as well, but that’s hardly the point.
Interviewer: Why did you decide to publicise climate change in this way?
Lorna: Well, I was really upset about some countries’ failure to sign up to pollution agreements ; it felt like the science wasn’t getting through to the politicians, so I decided to look into what I personally could do. That led me to dream up a cartoon character called Mr Carbon – we all know somebody like him – he’s climate-ignorant and makes no effort to save energy. Factories are the obvious villains, of course, but I couldn’t do much about them.
Interviewer: So are we going to see him in scenes like we get in disaster movies?
Lorna: That’s pretty unlikely – you need a lot of alarmist nonsense to make a box office success. But the reality certainly gives cause for concern.
Interviewer: So you came up with the idea of another cartoon character, Mrs Green.
Lorna: Yes – now she pays attention to little things, uses low-energy light bulbs, doesn’t leave the TV on standby, goes in for recycling. And, can you believe it, as well as making a huge difference to her climate impact , she’ll save one hundred and fifty thousand dollars over her lifetime.
Interviewer: That’s incredible!
Stella Prime: Hello. I’m Stella Prime and I’m a mountaineer. I’m here to tell you about climbing Mount Everest in the Himalayas – the world’s highest mountain.
I was first bitten by the climbing bug when, as a journalist, I accompanied an expedition on the northeast ridge of Everest some years back. I wanted to write about what made mountaineers tick, and over the couple of months I spent with the expedition, I began to understand the sense of freedom and achievement that mountaineering brings , and I did lots of personal learning and exploration too. I think they were the happiest two months of my life.
Over the next three and a half years, I honed my newly acquired climbing skills on various mountains all over the world. People say: ‘Weren’t your family surprised by this new interest?’ Well, they weren’t, because I’d already done numerous similar activities of the sort people like to call ‘adventure sports’ , you know, hang-gliding, scuba diving and so on.
Anyway, eventually I gave up my job, let out my flat and joined the British Everest Expedition. To prepare physically for this, I trained at my local gym – that was the easy part – the bit I found trickier was the mental preparation  and I’d learnt that, whilst you have to be physically fit, that is really only half the story.
And there were lots of things that frightened me about Everest. One of them was the icefall that you have to climb through . A friend asked if there was any way I could prepare myself for it. I thought: What can I do – put myself in a fridge and look at lumps of ice?’
Everest is certainly not a place for cowards, and it’s also certainly not a place for life’s luxuries. You don’t carry anything that isn’t necessary because weight multiplies at high altitudes. The first time I went, as a journalist, I carried my perfume all the way, but it wasn’t necessary . You can forget baths and showers on a mountain as well. On my second trip, I didn’t even take my toothbrush above seven thousand metres . The only source of water is melted snow. To melt snow you need fuel and fuel is heavy, so you don’t melt snow unless you’re going to drink it.
The question I’m asked most often is: ‘How did you feel when you reached the summit?’ Well, I still get emotional when I think about it. Neither of the two climbers with me had been to the top before either. It was tremendously exciting obviously, but I think the overriding thing we all felt was a great sense of satisfaction . That is the thing that stays with me when I look back.
Since then, I’ve gone on to climb a number of other summits and I plan to tackle Mount Fuji later this year. And of course I’ve got my new career in TV – as a presenter on the programme Tomorrow’s World. I’m in demand on the lecturing circuit and my book about my ascent of Everest – Aiming High – is a best-seller . So, that’s my story. Now, does anyone have any questions?