Part 1



Ghanerao Hotel sits at the edge of the Aravalli Hills in a small rural village dominated by craftsmen. It mixes English country-house tranquillity with Indian symbolism. The Ghanerao family have lived there for 400 years and today, Sajjan Singh and his wife have opened their home to  paying guests. The facilities are basic, with hot water arriving by bucket, but the spartan aspects of life at Ghanerao just add to its appeal.


One of my favourite hotels is the Hermitage Hotel on New Zealand’s South Island which I came across by chance when I was climbing. We had been flown up to near the top of a glacier and had climbed to the peak and then had to walk all the way down. When we finally reached the bottom, to my astonishment, there was this hotel. It was on its own in the most stupendously beautiful countryside, very wild and very high up. To come down the mountain battered and exhausted and find yourself in extreme luxury, with a man playing Cole Porter on the piano, was extraordinary.


On the south-west of  Mauritius, the Paradis Hotel is isolated on its own peninsula in one of the quietest corners of the island. If  you drive from here, the road winds along the coast past beaches with no-one on them  but  fishermen. The hotel isn’t small and there are plenty of takers for the free watersports, but you can easily escape from all the other people along nine kilometres of private beach; you have only to swim a few yards out into the Indian  Ocean and you can barely see the hotel for

palm trees. Sit on the beach in the evening when everyone has gone and as the light drains from the sky you’ll feel far away from everything.



The Ladera Hotel in St Lucia has one of the Caribbean’s most dramatic settings. Quiet and far off the beaten track, it stands at an altitude of 1,000 feet, its open rooms looking out between the twin peaks of the Pitons to  the Caribbean Sea – some view first thing in the morning! The style is colonial, with furniture in mahogany and greenheart wood, and four-poster beds screened with muslin netting.



This hotel, on Biiyukada in the Princes Islands is the perfect place to escape the noise of Istanbul. The islands are only an hour by boat, and are simply idyllic. There are no cars, only horse-drawn carriages and fabulous twenties wooden architecture. The islands are a cross between Key West and the Old South, and the landmark  building is the Splendid. All in wood, painted white with red domes, it’s a copy of a turn-of-the-century hotel on the French Riviera. Today it’s a little run down, but has lost none of its charm.



In the tiny village of Etoges, in the heart of Champagne, is a beautiful seventeenth century chateau. Surrounded by a moat with two swans, the chateau, until recently a family home, has 20 rooms which are all different, some with four- poster beds – one even has a large billiard table. There are special weekend rates for two nights with breakfast and dinner plus

complimentary champagne (their own brand – if you want to take some home).



The Fairview is that rare bird in Africa – a comfortable hotel that hasn’t decked itself out in feathers of upmarket gloss and tasteless luxury. It’s an indispensable staging post, always full of travellers recuperating from one safari and planning the  next.  Overnight guests have been known to arrive, take one look at the gardens, the bedrooms and the  dining-hall menu, and decide on the spot to stay for a week. There are even apartments set aside specially for those who make up their minds to settle in for a few months. The hotel’s leafy acres and scattered buildings are laid out on Nairobi Hill, a world away from the overhead bustle of the city centre. I don’t know of anv better place to sit and watch the sudden African sunset, sipping draught beer and looking forward to a hearty dinner – Praised zebra and two veg, following by jelly trifle.


The Duke of Windsor was the first to sign the visitor’s book at the Hotel Splendido. Ever since, a galaxy of the fabulous has drifted in and out of the hotel’s portals to play, stay and be seen: Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, Liz Taylor and Richard Burton. Nowadays, you are more likely to find yourself in the company of a soft drinks billionaire or  a   rubber-tyre   heiress.   But this old Monastery-turned-villa- turned-hotel is still, as its name suggests, quite splendid and  there is enough reflected glamour to perk up any weekend break. Deliciously simple food in the restaurant and the finest Persian rugs and homemade pasta.

Answer questions 1-15 by referring to the magazine article.

Indicate your answers on the separate answer sheet.

For questions 1-15 answer by choosing from paragraphs A-H on page 5. You may choose any of the paragraphs more than once.


Note: When more than one answer is required, these may be given in any order.

Which hotel(s)


is the owners’ home?

1 ……….


are not luxurious?

2 ……. ..


offer mountain views?

4 ……….


includes participation in leisure activities in its price?

6 ……….


is so pleasant that guests may stay longer than planned?

7 ………


is said to be attractive on account of its simplicity?

8 . . … .


are in buildings which originally had a different function?

9 …….. .

10 ……….

looks like hotels found in another country?



is described as being in a most unusual location?

12 ……….


has not been well maintained?

13 ……….


currently attracts a new type of guest?

14 ……….


is said to be untypical of hotels in that part of the world?

15 ……….


Part 2

Life was getting out of hand

Susan Harr unplugs her gadgets and rediscovers the joys of manual labour

A. It is a real strain on the eyes and concentrates the mind on what is really worth watching. We now spend a lot more time walking the dog (who never liked television anyway), reading, talking or pursuing other

B. First to go was the dishwasher. I had always felt that by the time we had collected enough dishes for a worthwhile load, put in the soap and the rinse aid,  emptied the filter of  the disgusting gunge it collected    and    filled    it with special salt, I could have done the lot by hand.

C. This makes me wonder just what ‘time’ technology gives us. The time to take up more activities for which we must buy more gadgets? If so, hats off to the marketing experts: but I think they are  conning us.

D. Quite wrongly, I had tended to think with horror of  the  women who sewed elaborate garments, robes, linen and household items by hand. I thought of those long hours, the strain on the eyes and so on.

E. These implications are obvious. The movement of my fingers uses nothing from the previous power supply being eaten up by our greedy race. A craft executed by hand does not pollute the environment.

F. I am not tied to a noisy, whirring machine, with my head bent and my back turned on  the world, and I can take my time over the garment.  In any case, I was always slightly  alarmed  by those electric machines that dash across the fabric towards your fingers. Best of all, I can pop the whole lot into a carrier bag and take it with me wherever I go.

G. Meanwhile I have regained control of my sink, where I plunge my hands into the suds and daydream while doing the washing up — an agreeable, if temporarily forgotten, activity.

H. We have come to believe that we could not do without it, and if we do resist the notion that our lives would be unmanageable without the appliances of science, we certainly do not want to relinquish them. Pity the generations whose lives were blighted by tedious and blister inducing toil. Even our brains are relieved of exertion by computers that not only perform miraculous calculations with amazing  speed, but now provide entertainment.

For questions 16-22, you must choose which of the paragraphs A-H  on fit into the numbered gaps in the following newspaper article. There is one extra paragraph which does not fit in any of the gaps.


Everyone is in love with technology. It gives us all those marvellous gadgets that make  life easier and leave us so much more time to do other things. A gradual, though not particularly subtle,  form  of  brainwashing has persuaded us that technology rules, and that it is OK.

However, a recent unhappy experience with my malfunctioning word processor — a £48 call-out fee, a labour charge of £1 5 per quarter of an hour, plus parts and replacements costs — has confirmed a suspicion that gadgets are often not worth the expense or the trouble. Are we as dependent on technology as we imagine? Bit by bit, I have been letting the household technology fall by the wayside as its natural and often short life expires.


So when the thing started making curious noises, which continued even when it was disconnected by a puzzled service agent, I abandoned it to the backyard, where it whispers damply to itself like some robot ghost.


Of course, there are some gadgets I would not like to be without. A year living without a washing machine convinced me of the value of the  electric washtu b. But there are others whose loss has brought unexpected delight. Feeling that we were becoming too apt to collapse in front  of  the television, or slot in a video, I sent back the rented colour equipment and we returned to the small black-and-white portable.


One of these, in my own case, is sewing; and here is another gadget that went by the board. My old Singer sewing machine is now an ornamental plant table, and as I cannot afford to replace it, I have taken to sewing by hand.


In fact, the time I now spend placidly stitching is anything but tedious, and the advantages are numerous. For a start, I can sew and listen to the radio — another rediscovered pleasure — or I can talk with family and friends. If it is a simple task, I can watch the programmes I do want to see on television, and alleviate my puritanical guilt at sitting in front of the box by doing something useful at the same time. And what a lovely, cosy feeling it is to sit by the fire and sew with a pot of tea for company.


There is a wonderfully soothing quality about executing a  craft by hand, a great satisfaction in watching one‘s work become neater, more assured. I find things get done surprisingly quickly, and the pace of life suddenIy slows down to the rhythm of my own hands. I am also freed from one of the most detestable aspects of late 20th century life — the need to rush to finish an activity so that I can rush to the next.


The result of all this brooding is that I now prowl the  house  with a speculative eye. Do we really need the freezer, the microwave oven, that powered lawn- mower? Come to think of it, we could save an awful lot  of  money by doing without electric lights!


Part 3

Ordinary  people, ordinary lives

Most of us have photographs of our grandparents, but how many of  us  know what their lives were  like,  the  sort of people they were in their youth? The glimpses rare diaries give us are frustratingly incomplete, family anecdotes only half remembered. And

what will our grandchildren know about us? We often intend to write things down, but never get round to it. We may leave videos rather than photographs, but the images will remain two-dimensional.

Hannah Renier has come up with an answer: she writes other people’s autobiographies, producing a hardback book of at least 20,000 words — with illustrations if required — a chronicle not of the famous, but of the ordinary.

The idea came to her when she talked to members of her family and realised how much of the past that was part of her own life was disappearing.

“When I started I didn’t take it nearly so seriously as I do now, having met people who genuinely will talk and have led interesting lives,” she says. “They would say they are doing it for their children or for posterity, but they are getting quite a lot out of it themselves. They enjoy doing it.”

The assurance of confidentiality encourages her subjects to overcome any instinct of self-censorship.

“I had the confidence to be honest,” says a 62-year-old man who made and lost one fortune before making another. “I was surprised at what came out. There were things that hurt, like my divorce, and the pain was still there.”

“I did it for my family, so that perhaps they could learn something, but I have

not yet let my children — who are in their  thirties — read it. They were hurt  by things in my life and  there are a lot  of details which  I  don’t  feel  I  want  them to know at the moment. If they insist, I’ll let  them.  But  I  think  I’d  rather they read it after I was dead.”

He also recognised patterns laid down in childhood, which showed themselves in repeatedly making the same mistakes. It is something Ms Renier has detected in other people. “It’s amazing how many people really have been conditioned by their parents,” she says. “The injunctions and encouragements that were laid down in childhood have effects for the rest of their lives. They become caught in repeating patterns of behaviour. They marry the sort of people of whom their parents approved

or go in  the opposite direction  as a

sort of rebellion.”

“A lot of disappointments come out. Sixty years later they still are regretting or resenting things that were never resolved with their parents. There is no age of reason. If people had hang-ups in their youth, they still have them in middle age. They live their lives in an attempt to impress a parent who wasn’t impressed and if that fails some of them seem to be seeking permission to say ‘I can’t stand my mother’.”

Recorder rather than inquisitor, Ms Renier keeps her distance. “It’s not for public consumption and I’m not there as a very nosy person. People have got carried away and told me something, then said, ‘I’m not sure if that ought to go in’. I put it in anyway they can remove things when they see the draft. But generally people want to be honest, warts and all.”

“It’s not vanity publishing, it’s not people saying ‘Gosh,  I’ve had such  an interesting life the world’s got to know about  it.’  Things  are  moving  much faster than at any time in history and we are  losing  sight  of  what  happened in the past. It’s a way of giving roots.

We need some sort of link to our ancestors because people don’t sit around in an extended family any more. People want a little immortality.”

Each book involves up to 30 hours of taped interviews which Ms Renier uses as the basis to write the life story, rearranging the chronology and interpreting. Modern  technology allows her to produce everything except the binding with its gold lettering: choose your own colour of library buckram, pick your own title.

Fascinating to the private audience at which each book is aimed, the results are obviously not of the dirt-at-any- cost school of life story. Ms Renier organises her material logically and writes well; the final content is as good as its subject. The book that emerges does not look like a cheap product — and carries a price tag of nearly J3,000, with extra copies at J25 each. She receives about 10 inquiries  a week, but the cost — inevitable with the time involved — clearly deters many people.

“I thought it would be a more downmarket product than it is,” she says. “But the people I’ve done have all been county types, readers of Harpers & Queen, which is one of the magazines z here I advertise. They’re the sort of people who at one time would have had their portraits painted to leave to their descendants.

Read the following article from a magazine and then answer questions 23-27 . On your answer sheet, indicate the letter A, B, C or D against the number of each question 23-27. Give only one answer to each question.

Indicate your answers on the separate answer sheet.

23. According to the writer, most people

A. have no interest in leaving records for their grandchildren.

B. are unable to find out much about their grandparents.

C. find stories about their grandparents’ families boring.

D. want their grandchildren to know only good things about them.


24. Hannah Renier decided to write other people’s autobiographies because

A. she had already done so for

B. she had met so many interesting people.

C. she wanted to preserve the past.

D. she had often been asked to do so.


25. The 62-year-old man asked her to write his autobiography

A. so that he could reveal his true

B. because his family wanted to read

C. so that his children would understand him.

D. because he thought he was close to


26. Hannah is surprised that many of her subjects

A. regret the marriages they made

B. remain influenced by their parents.

C. refuse to discuss their  childhoods.

D. want to be like their parents.


27. The autobiographies that Hannah produces

A. follow exactly what she was told by her subjects.

B. are intended to be interesting to anyone.

C. look less expensive than they really

D. present the facts in a way that is easy to follow

Part 4

Take Five Careers

Rebecca Cripps meets five women who discuss their different professions: the highlights, the drawbacks and their typical working day


Name: Anne Age: 34 ANNE’S DAY

“I get up at 6.30am, go the gym at 7am, get  to work by 8am and start operating at 8.30am. I operate all Monday and Wednesday, as well as some Friday afternoons. Most standard head operations take three hours, but some operations take all day. I‘ve worked ten hours straight through on occasion without eating or going to the loo.

Deciding when to operate, and what to do, can be stressful. I don‘t feel particularly stressed when operating, but sometimes I worry about what I’m going to do the  next day. Brain surgery tends to be a last resort  for a patient, but when it works it’s tremendous, and more than makes up for the unsuccessful times. From 10am to 1pm I hold an out-patients’ clinic, when  I  explain the operations. I enjoy this and find it quite easy to talk to the patients. If they get upset, I comfort them, but time pressure can make this difficuIt.

I leave work between 6pm and 8pm. Some nights and weekends I‘m on call, and I always  carry my  bleeper.  On  holidays,  I wo rry for the first three days about the people I’ve left behind, and at night I dream I’m operating. I’m hopeless at switching off.”



Name: Marita Age: 31 MARITA‘S DAY

“I get up at 7.45am, leave the house by 8.20am, take the train to work and arrive at 9.15am. At 10.30am on Monday we meet to discuss what we’re doing, any problems or whether anyone needs help. We work in teams — in my team there are three senior designers, a company partner who oversees everything, and a junior designer. The work usually involves ten to fifteen per cent

design: the rest is production. I’ll be given a brief by the client — with luck the company will have clear ideas about what they want to say, their target market and the form of the project. I then spend three or four weeks designing, researching and developing the project.

After this I present my ideas to the client and once they‘ve agreed to them, we work out estimates and budgets, and I start commissioning photographers and illustrators. I liaise with the printers  and make sure the needs of the job are being met, and on time. I spend a lot of time managing people. I have to be able to communicate with a broad range of people, and briefing them correctly is essential. When their work comes in, I assemble everything and send it to the printers. Keeping several jobs going at once can send stress levels sky-high. Deadlines are always looming, and no day has a set structure. Lunch is at 1pm for an hour, when we try to get out to the pub. Otherwise I have sandwiches and work through. It‘s a great feeling if the client gives a good response to the designs you’ve done and you know the project has worked; it’s a great disappointment when you’ve worked really hard and the job gets rejected. I get home at 7.30pm at the earliest; often it‘s 8.30pm and sometimes much later. I find it hard to unwind when I get back, especially if  I’m very busy.”



Name: Linda Age: 42 LINDA‘S DAY

“I get up at about 7am most days, but two or three mornings a week I meet a long-haul flight from Heathrow or Gatwick and get up between 4.30am and Sam. At 10.30 or 11am I mig ht go for a bike ride, or swim. Because chauffeuring is a sedentary job, I have to watch my diet and exercise quite carefully. I

usually have a big breakfast, though,  and just have snacks during the day. People often ask me to recommend restaurants, nightclubs or shops, so I have to know my way around. Luckily, a lot of the jobs are pre- booked, so I get a chance to look routes up beforehand. Not everyone is polite. Some passengers are anti-social, some arrogant, some downright rude. But most of the time people are very well behaved  and I‘ve built up a good rapport with my regular clients.

There are times when I hear a conversation in the car and have to make sure my eyes are firmIy on the road and my ears shut. Sometimes the press have tried to make me talk about clients I’ve carried, but I won‘t. I work a seven-day week, up to fifteen hours a day. I have to be careful not to get too tired. I try to get to bed by 11pm.“



Name: Tracy Age: 27 TRACY’S DAY

“I get up at about 7am, leave the house at 7.30am and get to my first job. My assistant and I spend most of our time maintaining gardens we originally designed and landscaped. We do a few commercial jobs but most of our work is in  private gardens. We spend about an hour and a half at each house. At about 11am we get hungry and go to a local cafe for a big breakfast. I often look at my watch and wish it was earlier and that time didn‘t pass so quickly. In summer I may wo rk until 10pm; in winter until 4.30pm.

The business office is at home, so when I get back I listen to any messages and respond to any calls. If someone wants their garden landscaped, I’II usually arrange a consultatio n with them in the evening — at about 7pm or 8pm. We specialise in  using old materials, such as old bricks and unusual plants, to make gardens look as if they were built a long time ago. But sometimes people have a set idea of what they want, and it can be pretty horrible. Still, it’s very satisfying

when we do a complete landscape from start to finish and then see all the blooms come out.

It’s hard to relax in the evenings because I can always hear the business line when it rings. I never have any trouble sleeping because the work I do is so physical that I’m always exhausted at the end of the day. I wouldn’t say I’m very strong, but I’m fit. Physically, it’s a very tough job, but it  does let your imagination run wild.”



Name: Zena Age: 27 ZENA’S DAY

“I arrive at the site by 8.30am. I’m assistant resident engineer at the site, so I’m looking after the building of a  coupie of bridges  and a retaining wall — which prevents people driving off the road into a quarry. I check that the contractors are working to the schedule and specifications, with correct safety systems    and    minimum    environmental im pact. I help to co-ordinate the site professionals and find solutions to any problems.

The contractors start work at 6am, so my

first task is to find out from the clerk of works what’s been going on since I left the night before. The rest of the day is a reaction to whatever he tells me. Usually there’s some paperwork from the contractors to look at, or there mig ht be design queries to answer. Lunch is usually for half an hour between 2pm and 2.30pm, but I tend to grab things to eat as I go along. The contractors have set mealtimes and when they’re off eating it’s easier to check things on site. Because we’re checking their wo rk it can cause conflict, so our relationship has to be as open as possible. I see the duty resident engineer once a day. However, if something really important comes up I don’t wait to tell them before I act. I usually leave the site at about 6pm and I’m on call all the time.”

For questions 28-45, match the statements on the left below with the list of women A-E.

You may choose any of the women more than once.

Note: When more than one answer is required, these may be put in any order.


She accepts failure as an inevitable part of her job.


She has to make sure that regulations are being



It is very important that she give people the right directions.


She dislikes some of the people she deals with. 


She has to be available for contact outside working hours.  

32……..          33 ………..

She sometimes eats and works at the same time.

34……..          35 ………..

She finds that every day is differently organised. 


She sometimes refuses to answer questions.


She feels she needs more time for a particular aspect of her work.


She sometimes makes decisions independently.


She finds it difficult to stop thinking about her job.

40 ……….   41 ……… 42………..

She values the approval of her customer.


Her comments on other people’s work may be



She obtains most of her work by following up earlier jobs.