9. paper bag
14. (huge) waste
17. keeps out
The part of the text containing the answer is underlined with the question number given in square brackets . If you still struggle with FCE Listening, please refer to Listening tips.
[beep] Hi, Nick. It’s Jenny. Look, I’ve been trying to get hold of Mum all day, but I’m not getting an answer. I’m a bit worried. Can you pop round and see if she’s okay? I’ll call you later.
[beep] It’s Jenny again. Ignore the last message. I’m so sorry – I forgot it was her trip to Blackpool today. You went with her last year, didn’t you? Anyway, give me a call when you get home. 
Cut your shopping bill in half with Asdaway Savers. At Asdaway we’re doing everything possible to help reduce the cost of your weekly shopping bill. Now you can cut your shopping bill in half simply by switching to our Asdaway Saver products instead of more popular alternatives.  Of course, other supermarkets may argue that our prices are too low. But at Asdaway we don’t do things by half. Asdaway. Lightening the load for shoppers.
And now the story of a lucky coincidence. Local fireman Alan Bennet panicked yesterday morning when his wife went into labour and he found that his car wouldn’t start. With his wife screaming that the baby was on its way and it was too late for the hospital, Alan couldn’t believe his luck when a passing motorist stopped to ask him for directions  and turned out to be a doctor. Alan, now the proud father of a healthy 8lb boy safely delivered at home, said, “I hope I happen to be driving past the doctor’s house if he ever has a fire.”
Gordon: Mum, I’ve got to cook a special meal for my Food Technology lesson. Any suggestions?
Maggie: Why not do a roast? Beef, or chicken …
Gordon: That’s rather an ordinary meal, isn’t it? Anyone can do a roast.
Maggie: Then … how about a pasta dish? Everyone likes Italian food.
Gordon: Very tasty, but full of calories. We’re supposed to produce a healthy meal. 
Maggie: So, a salad – maybe a Greek one, or make up your own.
Gordon: Salads … yes, but that’s not really cooking, is it?
Maggie: Honestly, I don’t know what else to suggest! You’ll have to find a recipe yourself!
Yes, of course you can book a course. Classes are in the evenings.  What did you have in mind?… German? Yes, there are places on that one. What level are you at?… Well, that’s no problem – we have several levels, and we’ll test you when you arrive… The next courses start on the 21st. Come straight to reception, and Dr Schumacher will be here to meet you. Please send in the fees by the 16th. Yours will be £40 a term.
Can we ask members of the public to stand back, please? We appreciate people want to do all they can to help, but this is only making the job of the firemen more difficult. The flames may suddenly change direction and the building is in danger of collapsing , so keep back, please, and leave the road clear for emergency services vehicles. Thank you for your co-operation.
Alan: Jim – that tree in my front garden which I’m going to dig up. Do you want it?
Jim: Thanks for the offer, Alan, but actually I don’t think I’ve got anywhere to put it. Shame. Sorry, Alan.
Alan: Well, don’t worry, Jim. Steve said he’d have it if no one else did. It’s a beautiful tree, but I’ll be glad when it’s gone! 
Today we’re going to make chocolate fudge brownies. These are chocolate and nut squares, and they’re supposed to be moist and chewy. People often say to me their brownies fail because they’re too heavy. Well, that’s because they put in too much liquid. I find that once I start eating mine, I can’t stop, so I try not to make them too often.  I don’t want to get too fat!
Gordon: You don’t have to go far back to find a time when the most widely used packaging for food was a brown paper bag . In fact, I remember as a boy, some 40 years ago, when everything from bacon to biscuits to butter was measured out and then wrapped just well enough to get it home. Since then we’ve seen the development of plastics and other materials for packaging our food. We’re told this makes the food better and keeps it fresher.  Now, with me in the studio today is Maggie Forbes, who is head of packaging and presentation for the supermarket chain , Waston’s. Welcome, Maggie. Can you tell us, does the new packaging really help us, or does it create problems for us?
Maggie: Well, Gordon, it’s very easy to see the benefits of modern food packaging. In countries which don’t have modern packaging and transport systems, between 30% and 50% of all food deteriorates before it can be eaten.  It was probably the same when you were a boy. Nowadays in Britain and across Europe, only 2-3% of food is thrown away.  It saves a lot of money.
Gordon: That may be so. But do we need so much of today’s modern packaging? With freezers at home, surely we only need the brown bags to carry food home. Most of the plastics we see today are just thrown away and, far from being a saving, it seems a huge waste. 
Maggie: I think you’re being unfair there. Brown paper bags do very little to keep food fresh, clean or wholesome. They don’t stop food drying out and they can actually encourage the bacteria which make food go bad quickly. And if you want to chill food successfully in your freezer, you need a plastic which doesn’t let water vapour through.  Without a wrapping like that, food loses most of its water content in the freezer and is uneatable.
Gordon: OK, so they may be useful in the freezer – but what about products like milk, which aren’t frozen? Surely glass or even stone bottles were just as effective and could be used again? 
Maggie: Yes, they were certainly effective – but also very heavy.  I assure you, you wouldn’t want to carry all of your food home in glass jars. Glass and stone jars are also easy to break, as you will probably remember from your boyhood. The benefit of plastic is that it’s light and long-lasting. It also keeps in smells. You wouldn’t want your milk smelling of fish, would you? And lastly, it keeps out bacteria.  If we seal fresh food in good condition in plastic, then it’s certain to be free from contamination when you get it home. You probably won’t remember, but in your boyhood, food poisoning was much more common than it is today.
Gordon: But plastic takes so long to break down in the ground – plastic bags take over a hundred years! This is so bad for the environment.  I believe that until we use less packaging, the future of our world looks grim. But now we’ve run out of time, so perhaps you could come again, Maggie, and we’ll continue this fascinating discussion.
Yours is an artistic and creative personality and you work best independently, achieving a great deal. But those of you with a job which involves routine should beware.  You will feel like being carefree and irresponsible, and this may cause difficulties in your employment. In your personal life, however, you can be less cautious and let your fun-loving imagination take over.
You have a powerful and forceful nature and the influence of the planet Mars at this time makes these characteristics even stronger. So make sure you think carefully about your dealings with others, and avoid upsetting them with your behaviour and attitude. You are naturally skilful in financial matters and someone will ask you for a loan . Don’t do it! Instead, give them some good advice on how to budget.
Your sign is that of the romantic and the dreamer. You prefer to sit back and think about great ideas rather than carry them out. But now you are under the influence of the planet Pluto and it’s time to take decisions and be more positive. This will be especially helpful in your job, where advancement is a real possibility and you could go further up the ladder of success.  Beware, though, that this new-found energy doesn’t threaten your usual good health. Get plenty of sleep.
For those of you born under this sign, partnership, either romantic or professional, will be most important this year. You don’t naturally make decisions easily but this could be a good time to make up your mind, especially where romance is concerned. For those of you thinking about choosing the right partner to settle down with, go ahead and propose – there’ll never be a better time . Love is in the air!
You are a naturally shy person who finds it difficult meeting new people and forming relationships. But things look more positive for you this year, and situations will arise where you feel more confident about widening your social circle. Don’t be afraid to give it a try, and you’ll find your lonely days are at an end.  Go out and enjoy yourself.
Interviewer: Dr Ramsdale, you’ve come here today to tell our listeners about the importance of living a healthy life. Why do you feel so strongly about this?
Dr. Ramsdale: Well, it worries me a great deal that, even though we’re richer and better educated than previous generations , we don’t enjoy such good health as our parents and grandparents. Every day, my surgery is full of patients suffering from illnesses which could have been prevented.
Interviewer: What exactly do you mean by this?
Dr. Ramsdale: Many people have developed diseases as a result of the way they live. If they’d eaten more sensibly, these could have been prevented.
Interviewer: Can you give some examples?
Dr. Ramsdale: Of course. If you eat food with a lot of fat, say fried steak or rich creamy sauces, you’ll develop heart disease.  Now, you don’t have to eat fried food, you can grill meat instead, and substitute yogurt for the cream. If you did, you’d find your blood pressure would go down almost immediately and you’d have more energy.
Interviewer: In the news these days there is a lot of publicity about teenagers becoming obese.
Dr. Ramsdale: Yes, it’s incredible to see the difference from only twenty years ago. Now, teenagers eat so much junk food and prefer sugary drinks with so many calories that they’re becoming fatter. They don’t eat regular meals, they’re always snacking on crisps or chocolate… schools should be doing more to advise them on a healthy way of living. Why not have special cookery classes – for girls and boys – and also teach them about nutrition? 
Interviewer: But don’t growing kids need to eat a lot?
Dr. Ramsdale: Eat a lot of the right kind of food, otherwise kids will grow in the wrong way. But you know, it’s not just the diet that’s the problem, but also the lack of exercise. When I was young, we walked to school and played outside all day in the summer. Now kids are couch potatoes, watching TV from morning to night or playing mindless computer games. 
Interviewer: But life was much safer then. I wouldn’t want my children playing in the streets with the terrible traffic we have – and I want to know where they are… keep an eye on them.
Dr. Ramsdale: True – but by overprotecting and pampering our children, we are making them less independent and less able to cope with life. We give them everything they want, but we don’t prepare them for real life.  If only we could get schools to organise more games lessons or after-school activity clubs … The kids would be much fitter. I do feel let down by schools these days – they have their priorities wrong.
Interviewer: Earlier you mentioned people were more stressed these days. Why is that?
Dr. Ramsdale: There’s so much pressure to succeed in life, both in careers and having possessions like expensive cars. There’s a lot of competition between people and this results in stress or depression. What you can do is perhaps get some counselling, but again, if you eat well and take regular exercise, you will feel fitter and able to cope with difficulties more logically. All too often, doctors prescribe pills as a solution, but I truly believe in looking at your lifestyle first and altering your routine, before resorting to medicines .
Interviewer: So … I gather your approach to curing illnesses is to analyse your current way of life and try to substitute a healthier diet and exercise routine.
Dr. Ramsdale: Exactly that. Some people say that they can’t afford to follow a healthy diet, but if you buy your fruit and vegetables from a market you’ll find you’re saving money. And you don’t have to go to a gym or join a fancy tennis club.  Walk to work, or buy a bicycle, or join a weekend hiking club. Not only will you get fitter and lose weight, but you’ll make new friends. Don’t look for excuses not to change your attitude to health. And the healthier people become, the fewer patients I’ll have to see in my surgery. Then I’ll be able to concentrate on those who are really unwell.
Interviewer: Dr Ramsdale, thank you for your advice – I’m sure our listeners will be inspired to throw away their frying pan and start to live more healthily from now on.