038 – Daily rituals part 3 – Real English Conversations

Hi English learners! Lori here, your teacher from Betteratenglish.com. In this episode of Real English Conversations, you’ll hear part 3 of my conversation with Kyla. We are talking about the book Daily Rituals by Mason Currey. In this part we talk about the routines and practices that many creative people have in common.

Now before you listen I have to warn you: this is a particularly challenging conversation. Here is why: because both Kyla and I read the book, we have a lot of shared information in our heads. When speakers have a lot of shared information, they often leave out details. They know that the other person already knows the information, so they don’t have to say it.

If only one of us had read the book, this conversation would have been very different. We would have had to do a lot more explaining, and mention a lot more specific details.

What does all that mean for you? As you are listening, don’t worry too much if some things are unclear, or if you feel that you are missing information. To help you out, I have marked the particularly challenging parts in colored text in the transcript. And at the end of the transcript, I’ve included a short quote from the book so you can read the part we are talking about.

If you want to read along as you listen, you can download the full transcript, including a bonus vocabulary lesson at betteratenglish.com/transcripts.

After the conversation I’ll be back with five questions you can use for speaking practice.

OK, let’s get on with the conversation!

Conversation transcript
Kyla: That’s right, exactly. And the amount…it seems a real recurring theme in the book is three hours. The amount of people that did, that worked for three hours a day that got all their…even – even the ones that didn’t have jobs that had their time completely open, a lot of them seemed to work for three hours. And the rest of the time would be, you know, visiting and going for long walks and…

Lori: Yeah, that was –

Kyla: …having luxurious dinners.

Lori: That was another really striking one – the role of walking.

Kyla: Yes.

beethoven 60 beans of coffee per cup
Beethoven was one of the many creative people whose daily routine involved strong coffee.
Lori: Because you had these people, like you say, they would work their stretch of – of three or four hours. I think– I think Beethoven is an example of this. He would– he would work, get up in the morning, drink his coffee. I think he was the one who counted the [coffee] beans. [laughs]

Kyla: He counted the beans! Yeah. [laughs]

Lori: How many was it in each cup?

Kyla: 60 or something?

Lori: Yeah.

Kyla: Was it 60? [laughs]

Lori: That sounds right. Yeah, he measured up precisely 60 beans for his coffee and would work. And then he would take these long, vigorous walks armed with note paper to jot down ideas, I guess. And I think it was also Beethoven who would, during his work periods when he would feel stuck, he would get up and go walk outside for a little bit and found that , kind of, unlocked his creativity.

Download the transcript for the rest of this Real English conversation, the vocabulary lesson and bonus discussion questions for speaking practice.