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Woman: So, did you go to that play in the end?
Man: I did, and it was an interesting experience.
Woman: Really? Why’s that?
Man: Well, for a start, the theatre was in Pelham Street. Now I’ve walked up and down that street many times, but I never realised there was a theatre there.
Woman: No, nor had I. Has it always been there?
Man: Apparently. Anyway, it took a bit of finding; you go through a doorway, down a passage – you know the sort of place. And when you do get inside, it’s really surprisingly intimate – I shouldn’t think it holds more than about forty people .
Woman: And the play?
Man: Well, the show was a big success up in London last year – huge audiences – but unfortunately only a handful of people turned up for last night’s performance. I’m not surprised though – it was rather amateurish. They could have done with using at least a bit of make-up and learning their parts better . They just about managed to cover up their mistakes by really throwing themselves into their characters.
Woman: Yes, I know what you mean.
Reporter: Excuse me, sir, could you spare a couple of minutes before the conference to answer some questions?
Man: Well, if you could make it really brief.
Reporter: You’re always identified with ‘responsible’ tourism – how do you feel it’s different from normal tourism?
Man: Our trips have unique themes including culinary, spa, angling, indigenous peoples – plus those specially designed for groups with special needs. But it’s the tour organisation that really differentiates them from others. Take the Himalayas: several of our outdoor staff work only six months of the season but are well paid all year round . Then we always use solar powered equipment and make our environmental commitment known to every tourist…
Reporter: Do you believe people are willing to pay more for your kind of tourism?
Man: Not in the main, but I think they will be once their thinking is revolutionised: they just become aware of the global consequences of the choices they make . Then I think they’ll see that the future of the world depends on justice in commerce and industry and they’ll dig deep in their pockets – I must rush now, but come to my session!
Laura: So, Steve, what about next week’s all-important match in Melbourne – Australia versus Wales? The teams are pretty evenly matched, aren’t they?
Steve: Australia are certainly the favourites, but whether they’ll pull it off and by what margin is anybody’s guess.
Laura: A real cliff-hanger probably . And there’s huge interest in this match, but I understand the Welsh supporters haven’t been allowed enough tickets.
Steve: As usual, the authorities have given priority to the home fans, but that seems eminently reasonable to me.
Laura: There’s concern, isn’t there, about two of the Welsh players who are currently recovering from injuries?
Steve: Yes, and there’s still doubt about whether they’ll play, but even if they don’t, I reckon it’ll be a gripping match to watch. And to anybody listening who’s lucky enough to have tickets, Melbourne’s filling up with school groups and junior teams because the Australians are very keen to encourage their youngsters to take up rugby, so better make sure you book somewhere to stay right now . And, of course, you could consider becoming a member of the Welsh team’s fan club, although it’s a bit late to take advantage of their cheap flight deals.
Laura: Well, thanks for that, Steve.
Keith Assadi: Hello! I’m Kate Assadi, and I’m here to talk about my hobby, which is skydiving. So why do people want to jump out of a plane? In the UK, this is still seen as something done by crazy young people! But in the USA, skydiving is a hobby that has been taken up by people from all age groups , by anyone looking for excitement, from twenty-year-olds to people enjoying an active retirement.
I wanted to do skydiving as a teenager, but my parents weren’t very keen on the idea, and wouldn’t give their permission. So, my first jump was as a university student – when I was able to get a discount . Immediately, I was hooked! I couldn’t afford to do it regularly though, until I started working as a lawyer.
Why do I do it? Well, skydiving makes you feel great – you forget all your problems. There aren’t really any health benefits, although I know several business executives with stressful jobs who do skydiving to help them relax. Of course, some people start skydiving to help them get over a fear of heights . If they can face up to their fear – and jump out of a plane at a height of three thousand metres, it helps them to build up the confidence to tackle other things.
So, how do you start? The equipment for skydiving is specialised, and not easy to get in local sports shops. Nowadays, most people buy skydiving kit from websites  – there’s more choice and you can see photographs. Though when you’re buying second-hand on the internet, you should ask to see the equipment first. I got my skydiving camera that way and last week I got a helmet with a fifty percent discount . You need a good helmet by the way – it’s the most important part of your equipment.
For your first skydive, you jump from a height of over three thousand metres – strapped to an instructor who’s required to have done at least two thousand jumps before . You dive down in free fall, for thirty seconds… And when the parachute opens, you float down sedately – landing very gently! After that, most people can’t wait to have another go!
Still nervous? – Don’t worry! All trainee skydivers must wear an appliance known as the ‘automatic parachute’ – if s compulsory – so even if you black out, your parachute will still open on its own. These rules are for safety reasons. So… what’s stopping you?
If you’re interested, you need to get in touch with the Parachute Association, and you’ll find the contact details through your local airport . They’ll give advice on how to get started. You can learn to skydive over a weekend, but I suggest the best way is to do it over several months  – that allows you to build up your confidence gradually. Skydiving’s great. It’ll give you a whole new outlook on life!
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