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"Waiting To Hold You" With Martin Johnston

Episode #58
English Level: upper-intermediate
Accent: United Kingdom (Essex)

Episode 58 Into the Story Podcast - Martin Johnston

About Martin Johnson

When Martin becomes a dad, he realizes how difficult it is when we can’t be with the ones we love.

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Quote of the episode

"Those probably were the best three days of my life when I think back to it... We, the three of us were in this room and it was fantastic".

Transcript

[00:00:00] Bree: Hey, it’s Bree.
[00:00:20] Your host and today on the podcast is Martin Johnston, host of the rock and roll English podcast. Originally from Essex, England, Martin moved to Sicily in 2010, where he taught English at different schools and eventually met an Italian girl and got married. And then came Valentine’s day 2021.
[00:00:52] Martin: Where were you on February 14th, 2021. Who were you with? You might not celebrate Valentine’s day at all, but one thing you probably remember are the restrictions on where you could go and who you could be with that year. The pandemic showed us how important it is to have the freedom to be together in the same space, breathing the same air. And how difficult it is when that freedom is taken away. They told me that my daughter had been born, so obviously it was a very joyful moment, but I was completely alone in a room at this point.
[00:01:36] On February 14th, 2021, Martin became a dad and learned how important it is to be with the ones that we love. And just how hard it is when we can’t be there.
[00:01:50] Bree: Please make sure to click the follow button on your podcast app so that you never miss a new episode of the show. And as always it’s free.
[00:02:02] Now it’s time to look at five words and expressions that Martin uses and today’s story. The first one is
[00:02:13] To shove to shove, S H O V E, is a verb that means to push something or someone roughly or with force, often with the intention of moving someone or something out of the way. For example, she accidentally shoved her friend while rushing to catch the bus.
[00:02:42] Or he shoved his passport in his pocket before getting on the plane. To shove.
[00:02:51] Next the expression to be over the moon. To be over the moon is to be extremely happy about something. For example, she was over the moon When she found out that she got the job she had been dreaming of. Or he was over the moon when he received a surprise birthday party that his friends had organized for him. To be over the moon.
[00:03:24] Next, a pram. P R A M. This is a British word and it is what you use to transport babies. And north America, we say stroller, and you can also say a baby carriage. So she took her baby for a walk in the pram. A pram.
[00:03:44] The next is the word, obviously. Now I know that, you know what obviously means, but in today’s story, Martin uses it as a filler word. He uses it in today’s story to make his points stronger or emphasize that something should be clear.
[00:04:07]
[00:04:07] Bree: I can’t give you any examples, but you will definitely hear him use it in today’s story.
[00:04:13] The filler word. Obviously.
[00:04:15] And the last one is to be a full on. So if something is a full on, it means that it is intense. Or extreme For example, the party was full on with loud music and dancing all night, or he experienced a full on adrenaline rush while participating in the extreme sports event. To be full on.
[00:04:48] Okay. If you would like an extended vocabulary list, the listening comprehension quiz and the transcript, then you can visit our website. I will leave you a link in the show notes. Okay. Let’s get into the story.
[00:05:04] Martin: So it’s the 13th of February, 2021. So obviously the next day is Valentine’s Day. So went to bed that evening not knowing that a real Valentine’s Day present was about to arrive because at just after midnight, I think it was, my wife woke me up and said, this is the moment, and she was talking about our daughter who obviously was arriving. So we had to jump in the car. We actually lived quite far out of the city and drive to the hospital. Now, February, 2021 obviously was Covid times, so there was a curfew. So getting in the car after midnight already felt like we were breaking the law in some way. Well, we actually were breaking the law, but I think we had a valid enough excuse to do so. So we drove to the hospital and obviously both very nervous. And the last thing you want there is someone to give you a covid test and shove something up your nose but unfortunately, that is what happened.
[00:06:20] Bree: When you’re about to have your first baby, everything feels unfamiliar. Despite deciding to go to a private hospital, neither Martin, nor his wife knew if they would be able to stay together or be separated. After the COVID test, they were taken upstairs to wait in a room. At around 4:00 AM someone knocked on the door and took his wife downstairs. He thought she’d be back in a few minutes. But then the hours started to pass by.
[00:06:53] Martin: so I’m waiting in this room. Obviously I can’t sleep. The doctor kept coming in and said, try to get some sleep, but how can you sleep when your wife’s downstairs and you’ve got no idea what’s happening?
[00:07:06] I often would hear babies come down the corridor crying and I would be thinking, is that my baby? Well, I don’t know what’s happening. So someone then came into the room and said, no, you can stay with her. So I went downstairs to try and find her, and then almost immediately someone then sent me back upstairs. So I went
[00:07:25] from being really happy, like I’m going to be there, and then having my world destroyed 30 seconds later when someone tapped me on the shoulder and said, no, you have to go back. And then I went back to my room and was walking up and down again. And then Someone would come in and say, for example, she’s in labor now, it’s going well, oh, just a few more minutes, probably half an hour, and then, oh, another hour.
[00:07:53] Bree: Martin feels completely lost and powerless waiting alone in this room.
[00:08:00] This continues all throughout the night and the next morning. But then around noon, the following day, someone came in to tell him. That his daughter had been born.
[00:08:13] Martin: It was a very joyful moment, but I was completely alone in a room at this point. And then they brought my wife back and I was expecting a big kind of reunion. And you know, I thought I was gonna hug her and everything and she was gonna be really happy. And so I saw her and I said, I’m so proud of you.
[00:08:34] I love you. And she said. That was the most traumatic experience of my life. We are never having another child
[00:08:41] again.
[00:08:43] stayed in this hospital for three days trying to understand what to do with a new child. Now, those probably were the, the best three days of my life when I think back to it, I said to some of my friends that it was like a. family prison because we weren’t actually allowed out of this room because of Covid. We, the three of us were in this room and it was fantastic.
[00:09:12] Bree: After being separated, Martin and his new little family Enjoy three days of being locked in a room together. And then after a few days, they get to go home.
[00:09:25] Martin: when we finally got home I think that was one of, if not the proudest moment, I was so proud to take my daughter, show her all the rooms. I said, this is where mommy and daddy sleep. This is going to be your room. Everything was ready in her room. I took her around the house, and so obviously I think like any family, starting their new family life. We were absolutely over the moon. But even though I was so happy, I still had this strange feeling in my stomach of kind of excitement, but also fear. So I actually wasn’t eating at all. I don’t know why, but I just could not eat. And I hadn’t eaten basically since Sunday. And this is now like
[00:10:11] Tuesday. And then two days later, so on the Thursday, we had to go back to hospital for a checkup. Now as I mentioned, we lived out of the city, so it was actually quite a drive. It was kind of like 30, 40 minutes. And my wife Obviously after just giving birth was having difficulty sitting down, getting in and out of the car. We still weren’t so sure about like daughter in the baby seat, et cetera. So even going back for that checkup was actually quite difficult, just getting in and out, in and out of the car, driving all that way. Um, and then we finally got there. Obviously didn’t think anything of it. Just thought this is a checkup we went to go in and then they said to me, no, you have to wait outside Covid, only one person is allowed. So I went back to the car thinking, you know, they’ll be back in 30 minutes. Something like that.
[00:11:12] It’s just a quick checkup,
[00:11:14] Bree: Three hours go by. It’s 8:00 PM and Martin is trying to message his wife to see what’s happening. And then unfortunately his phone runs out of battery. Now he’s sitting in the car. It starting to get a bit cold and he has no idea what’s happening.
[00:11:36] Martin: And so I went into the hospital and asked the receptionist if I could use the phone to call my wife. But obviously the problem we have in the modern days, nobody knows other people’s phone numbers. And luckily I had been practicing this before our daughter was born ’cause I thought I might need this. And I think after two or three attempts I finally managed to get through to her and my wife told me that our daughter had jaundice. Now, as a new father, I had absolutely no idea what. This was, she told me though, it’s nothing serious.
[00:12:15] Lots of babies apparently have it. It just means their skin is a bit yellow and they need to stay under some lights or something like that. Apologies for the lack of the medical description here, but along those lines.
[00:12:31] Bree: His wife suggests he might need to go home for clothes for her and their daughter, but she’s not sure yet. So he returns to the car to wait for more instructions. At 9:30 PM. He goes back inside to call her again.
[00:12:48] Martin: I finally get through to my wife, and this time my wife is crying and so I say, well, what’s the matter? And. She tells me that since our daughter has this jaundice, she needs to stay in hospital and my wife isn’t allowed to stay with her. Now, we absolutely did not think for one single minute that we would be going to that checkup and leaving our daughter there. So my wife hangs up the phone and says, I’ll be out soon. So I take the car, I remember up this ramp, so it’s directly outside the front gate of the hospital, the front doors, so my wife can just come straight out. And then, so I’m standing there now. Right outside. Every time someone comes out, I kind of jump up and think, okay, maybe this is her.
[00:13:41] Maybe this is her heart, obviously beating quite fast. And then I finally see my wife come out, and obviously she’s pushing the pram, which our daughter was in, but now she’s walking out and the pram is empty. Tears are streaming down her face. the pram into the car. Obviously I’m trying to console her, but I myself am obviously extremely upset as well. So now we’ve got this drive back to our house. So it’s again, 30, 40 minutes. It’s late in the evening. We walk up the stairs and go to our lovely warm home, and that was a difficult moment we still, this is now Thursday, both still exhausted. Hadn’t really slept in days I hadn’t really eaten. So also physically, not in a great place,
[00:14:46] Bree: The next days are difficult, but finally on Saturday they’re able to go into the hospital To visit their daughter.
[00:14:54] Martin: So again, back in the car, 30 minute drive back to the hospital. But obviously we were really excited by this. But at the same time, it was quite difficult seeing our daughter because she had a kind of bandage over her eyes was under these lights. And then you only have a short amount of time with her.
[00:15:14] Obviously you try and make the most of it and then 30 minutes goes by and then they say, right, okay, you have to leave now. And I remember we walked out of the hospital and I remember quite specifically, ’cause I could see the window and I could hear one baby screaming particularly loud and I was a hundred percent sure that was our daughter. So A really difficult moment leaving the hospital. And we get back home. But I remember thinking at least this evening, I can just try to relax a bit. I can sit on the couch and just try to back to my normal self a bit, like eat a nice dinner, et cetera, instead of arriving at 10 o’clock at night like we had done in the previous evenings and try to eat. And then at about 9:00 PM we got a call from the hospital saying Uh, your daughter needs some more clothes. Now, we had actually asked that before on the Saturday morning, do we need to bring more clothes? They said, no, she’s fine. So that meant I had to drive back to the hospital. I said to my wife, no, you stay here because it’s too much for you.
[00:16:28] So I’d, I’d drive back and then. I was thinking on the way there, well hopefully they’ll let me see her. So when I got there, I had a plastic bag with all of her clothes and things in that my wife had prepared. And I said, can I just go upstairs and you know, just see her just for 30 seconds? And they said, no, you can’t.
[00:16:49] Did you feel angry at them?
[00:16:54] I wouldn’t say anger. I, there was probably a bit of me that expected it. It was, it was just disappointment really. Just sadness was the overwhelming feeling at that point. And then obviously you’re in the car on your own, driving back 30, 40 minutes. I hadn’t slept, I hadn’t eaten. Lots of strange thoughts going through my mind, obviously. And then wake up on Sunday. And my wife’s parents were coming to visit who lived in Sicily as well, but they lived kind of like three hours away. My family, obviously were in England, so no one was allowed to travel at that point, so they certainly weren’t there. And my wife’s wife’s family came to visit, obviously hoping to meet their first granddaughter. They knew before that she wouldn’t be there, and it was a quite a strange day of all of us in the house full of baby stuff with no baby there,
[00:17:55] Bree: The nurse has told them that they can FaceTime their daughter. I’m sure that you can remember that during the pandemic, we all used video calls to connect with family and friends. But of course, video chatting with your less than week old child in hospital doesn’t feel quite the same.
[00:18:15] Martin: so you are looking at a phone, which is showing you like an incubator with our daughter who had a bandage over her eyes. They, they Pull the bandage down for one second. You, you hope that you can sort of get her attention just for one second, but it’s obviously a very difficult moment because it feels it. It feels as if it’s not even, it’s just someone you know kind of thing, like you’re phoning a friend kind of thing. And that’s not the case. It’s it’s your daughter who was in your house and you were so excited just a few days ago and now is in hospital with this bandage over her eyes and then Obviously it’s not like the call lasts particularly long because you’re obviously not having like full on conversations. So a couple of minutes and then the man hangs up, and that was the first and only time I saw my father-in-Law, who is a kind of man’s man. I saw him cry
[00:19:28] so then most of the room obviously starts crying as well at this point. But so that Now this is Sunday evening, so then we go to bed. We’ve been told that she should Mm. Always emphasis on the word should be okay to leave on Monday. So we go back again Monday morning and on the way to the hospital.
[00:19:55] This was the first time where it was a nice sunny day. A beautiful Sicily, sun, sunshine, driving there. I remember thinking It, it, they have to let her let her out today just because we couldn’t, we couldn’t continue like this. And I don’t know, I, I just had a good feeling.
[00:20:18] So again, obviously we get there. I try to walk in. I, I’m, I’m sure they’re not gonna let me in. And immediately someone stops me again. My wife goes in and I was expecting another three, four hours. To go past, and my wife then texts me saying, I’m coming out, get the car ready. So this time I drive up that ramp My wife comes out with our daughter, and the feeling was unbelievable. We were both obviously just so happy and As I mentioned, it was a lovely, lovely day, February, but I was actually wearing a T-shirt because it was so hot. Um, but that didn’t stop my wife dressing our daughter up like it was minus 50 because she was so worried that she would get cold.
[00:21:16] I think that’s a bit of an Italian thing. So then we obviously picked her up, put her in the car, and drove home And finally we could start our family
[00:21:27] life together.
[00:21:28]
[00:21:30] Bree: Two years after Martin’s daughter was born, even though they initially doubted they would, they ended up having another child. A healthy baby boy in England where they now live.
[00:21:44] Martin: Martin hosts, rock and roll English, a podcast where he chats with friends about random topics. Sharing real life stories in a natural way. And what’s unique is how he teaches his listeners about three different types of speech. Something he calls greenhouse garden, and jungle.
[00:22:10] the greenhouse is how people learn words. So imagine a greenhouse where .The plants in the greenhouse are words now in the greenhouse, each plant will be clearly separated, will not be touching the other. Okay? So when you learn a word like that, that is in no contact with other words, that’s normally how you learn or you hear a word on a dictionary definition, for example. So let’s take the word. Remember, if you click on a dictionary, you ask that to tell you how to say that word will be perfect. Remember Then we have the garden where the plants, which are the words, are now connected, but they are in a, in an orderly form now. That’s what you’ll probably hear on like the BBC where people speak clearly in a fluent and fluid way. And probably what I used today of how I’m speaking now, not because I’m talking to English learners, but simply because I want to be clear.
[00:23:17] If I were doing a speech in front of 100 English people. I would also speak in the garden way, and in fact, the garden is a great target for speaking, but there is also the jungle where it’s impossible to see where one word finishes and the next one begins. And certainly in the uk that is how the majority of people speak in their day-to-day lives. Now the jungle is definitely not. A good target for speaking. In fact, if you speak in the jungle way, then you will be much more difficult to understand. But again, especially if you live in an English speaking country, it is extremely important to be able to understand jungle English.
[00:24:05] So if I take the word, remember that I used earlier, said quickly, that would probably just be like, I remember. I remember, so you’ve lost the first syllable. For example, someone might think of the word member, like membership and think, what the hell is going on here? Things like do you just becomes like Jew, for example. And this is how you, how people understand completely the wrong thing because words have been mushed together and people understand something like completely wrong.
[00:24:39] Bree: I find it really interesting how Martin teaches these three different styles. They are all important, especially if you’re planning on speaking with native speakers and perhaps even living in an English speaking country someday.
[00:24:54] If you’re curious to listen to Martin and me chat, he invited me on the podcast. We spoke about stories and I even shared a couple of my own.
[00:25:07] You can check out the link in the show notes to listen to the full conversation.
[00:25:12] Okay folks, if you would like to join our community And hear me go further into the psychology side of each episode and also speak more personally about the lessons that I learned from our storytellers, then you can join our newsletter, just visit intothestorypodcast.com and click subscribe. And it’s totally free. Okay, that’s all for today until next episode, I hope that you have a good time or at least a good story to tell.

[00:00:00] Bree: Hey, it’s Bree.
[00:00:20] Your host and today on the podcast is Martin Johnston, host of the rock and roll English podcast. Originally from Essex, England, Martin moved to Sicily in 2010, where he taught English at different schools and eventually met an Italian girl and got married. And then came Valentine’s day 2021.
[00:00:52] Martin: Where were you on February 14th, 2021. Who were you with? You might not celebrate Valentine’s day at all, but one thing you probably remember are the restrictions on where you could go and who you could be with that year. The pandemic showed us how important it is to have the freedom to be together in the same space, breathing the same air. And how difficult it is when that freedom is taken away. They told me that my daughter had been born, so obviously it was a very joyful moment, but I was completely alone in a room at this point.
[00:01:36] On February 14th, 2021, Martin became a dad and learned how important it is to be with the ones that we love. And just how hard it is when we can’t be there.
[00:01:50] Bree: Please make sure to click the follow button on your podcast app so that you never miss a new episode of the show. And as always it’s free.
[00:02:02] Now it’s time to look at five words and expressions that Martin uses and today’s story. The first one is
[00:02:13] To shove to shove, S H O V E, is a verb that means to push something or someone roughly or with force, often with the intention of moving someone or something out of the way. For example, she accidentally shoved her friend while rushing to catch the bus.
[00:02:42] Or he shoved his passport in his pocket before getting on the plane. To shove.
[00:02:51] Next the expression to be over the moon. To be over the moon is to be extremely happy about something. For example, she was over the moon When she found out that she got the job she had been dreaming of. Or he was over the moon when he received a surprise birthday party that his friends had organized for him. To be over the moon.
[00:03:24] Next, a pram. P R A M. This is a British word and it is what you use to transport babies. And north America, we say stroller, and you can also say a baby carriage. So she took her baby for a walk in the pram. A pram.
[00:03:44] The next is the word, obviously. Now I know that, you know what obviously means, but in today’s story, Martin uses it as a filler word. He uses it in today’s story to make his points stronger or emphasize that something should be clear.
[00:04:07]
[00:04:07] Bree: I can’t give you any examples, but you will definitely hear him use it in today’s story.
[00:04:13] The filler word. Obviously.
[00:04:15] And the last one is to be a full on. So if something is a full on, it means that it is intense. Or extreme For example, the party was full on with loud music and dancing all night, or he experienced a full on adrenaline rush while participating in the extreme sports event. To be full on.
[00:04:48] Okay. If you would like an extended vocabulary list, the listening comprehension quiz and the transcript, then you can visit our website. I will leave you a link in the show notes. Okay. Let’s get into the story.
[00:05:04] Martin: So it’s the 13th of February, 2021. So obviously the next day is Valentine’s Day. So went to bed that evening not knowing that a real Valentine’s Day present was about to arrive because at just after midnight, I think it was, my wife woke me up and said, this is the moment, and she was talking about our daughter who obviously was arriving. So we had to jump in the car. We actually lived quite far out of the city and drive to the hospital. Now, February, 2021 obviously was Covid times, so there was a curfew. So getting in the car after midnight already felt like we were breaking the law in some way. Well, we actually were breaking the law, but I think we had a valid enough excuse to do so. So we drove to the hospital and obviously both very nervous. And the last thing you want there is someone to give you a covid test and shove something up your nose but unfortunately, that is what happened.
[00:06:20] Bree: When you’re about to have your first baby, everything feels unfamiliar. Despite deciding to go to a private hospital, neither Martin, nor his wife knew if they would be able to stay together or be separated. After the COVID test, they were taken upstairs to wait in a room. At around 4:00 AM someone knocked on the door and took his wife downstairs. He thought she’d be back in a few minutes. But then the hours started to pass by.
[00:06:53] Martin: so I’m waiting in this room. Obviously I can’t sleep. The doctor kept coming in and said, try to get some sleep, but how can you sleep when your wife’s downstairs and you’ve got no idea what’s happening?
[00:07:06] I often would hear babies come down the corridor crying and I would be thinking, is that my baby? Well, I don’t know what’s happening. So someone then came into the room and said, no, you can stay with her. So I went downstairs to try and find her, and then almost immediately someone then sent me back upstairs. So I went
[00:07:25] from being really happy, like I’m going to be there, and then having my world destroyed 30 seconds later when someone tapped me on the shoulder and said, no, you have to go back. And then I went back to my room and was walking up and down again. And then Someone would come in and say, for example, she’s in labor now, it’s going well, oh, just a few more minutes, probably half an hour, and then, oh, another hour.
[00:07:53] Bree: Martin feels completely lost and powerless waiting alone in this room.
[00:08:00] This continues all throughout the night and the next morning. But then around noon, the following day, someone came in to tell him. That his daughter had been born.
[00:08:13] Martin: It was a very joyful moment, but I was completely alone in a room at this point. And then they brought my wife back and I was expecting a big kind of reunion. And you know, I thought I was gonna hug her and everything and she was gonna be really happy. And so I saw her and I said, I’m so proud of you.
[00:08:34] I love you. And she said. That was the most traumatic experience of my life. We are never having another child
[00:08:41] again.
[00:08:43] stayed in this hospital for three days trying to understand what to do with a new child. Now, those probably were the, the best three days of my life when I think back to it, I said to some of my friends that it was like a. family prison because we weren’t actually allowed out of this room because of Covid. We, the three of us were in this room and it was fantastic.
[00:09:12] Bree: After being separated, Martin and his new little family Enjoy three days of being locked in a room together. And then after a few days, they get to go home.
[00:09:25] Martin: when we finally got home I think that was one of, if not the proudest moment, I was so proud to take my daughter, show her all the rooms. I said, this is where mommy and daddy sleep. This is going to be your room. Everything was ready in her room. I took her around the house, and so obviously I think like any family, starting their new family life. We were absolutely over the moon. But even though I was so happy, I still had this strange feeling in my stomach of kind of excitement, but also fear. So I actually wasn’t eating at all. I don’t know why, but I just could not eat. And I hadn’t eaten basically since Sunday. And this is now like
[00:10:11] Tuesday. And then two days later, so on the Thursday, we had to go back to hospital for a checkup. Now as I mentioned, we lived out of the city, so it was actually quite a drive. It was kind of like 30, 40 minutes. And my wife Obviously after just giving birth was having difficulty sitting down, getting in and out of the car. We still weren’t so sure about like daughter in the baby seat, et cetera. So even going back for that checkup was actually quite difficult, just getting in and out, in and out of the car, driving all that way. Um, and then we finally got there. Obviously didn’t think anything of it. Just thought this is a checkup we went to go in and then they said to me, no, you have to wait outside Covid, only one person is allowed. So I went back to the car thinking, you know, they’ll be back in 30 minutes. Something like that.
[00:11:12] It’s just a quick checkup,
[00:11:14] Bree: Three hours go by. It’s 8:00 PM and Martin is trying to message his wife to see what’s happening. And then unfortunately his phone runs out of battery. Now he’s sitting in the car. It starting to get a bit cold and he has no idea what’s happening.
[00:11:36] Martin: And so I went into the hospital and asked the receptionist if I could use the phone to call my wife. But obviously the problem we have in the modern days, nobody knows other people’s phone numbers. And luckily I had been practicing this before our daughter was born ’cause I thought I might need this. And I think after two or three attempts I finally managed to get through to her and my wife told me that our daughter had jaundice. Now, as a new father, I had absolutely no idea what. This was, she told me though, it’s nothing serious.
[00:12:15] Lots of babies apparently have it. It just means their skin is a bit yellow and they need to stay under some lights or something like that. Apologies for the lack of the medical description here, but along those lines.
[00:12:31] Bree: His wife suggests he might need to go home for clothes for her and their daughter, but she’s not sure yet. So he returns to the car to wait for more instructions. At 9:30 PM. He goes back inside to call her again.
[00:12:48] Martin: I finally get through to my wife, and this time my wife is crying and so I say, well, what’s the matter? And. She tells me that since our daughter has this jaundice, she needs to stay in hospital and my wife isn’t allowed to stay with her. Now, we absolutely did not think for one single minute that we would be going to that checkup and leaving our daughter there. So my wife hangs up the phone and says, I’ll be out soon. So I take the car, I remember up this ramp, so it’s directly outside the front gate of the hospital, the front doors, so my wife can just come straight out. And then, so I’m standing there now. Right outside. Every time someone comes out, I kind of jump up and think, okay, maybe this is her.
[00:13:41] Maybe this is her heart, obviously beating quite fast. And then I finally see my wife come out, and obviously she’s pushing the pram, which our daughter was in, but now she’s walking out and the pram is empty. Tears are streaming down her face. the pram into the car. Obviously I’m trying to console her, but I myself am obviously extremely upset as well. So now we’ve got this drive back to our house. So it’s again, 30, 40 minutes. It’s late in the evening. We walk up the stairs and go to our lovely warm home, and that was a difficult moment we still, this is now Thursday, both still exhausted. Hadn’t really slept in days I hadn’t really eaten. So also physically, not in a great place,
[00:14:46] Bree: The next days are difficult, but finally on Saturday they’re able to go into the hospital To visit their daughter.
[00:14:54] Martin: So again, back in the car, 30 minute drive back to the hospital. But obviously we were really excited by this. But at the same time, it was quite difficult seeing our daughter because she had a kind of bandage over her eyes was under these lights. And then you only have a short amount of time with her.
[00:15:14] Obviously you try and make the most of it and then 30 minutes goes by and then they say, right, okay, you have to leave now. And I remember we walked out of the hospital and I remember quite specifically, ’cause I could see the window and I could hear one baby screaming particularly loud and I was a hundred percent sure that was our daughter. So A really difficult moment leaving the hospital. And we get back home. But I remember thinking at least this evening, I can just try to relax a bit. I can sit on the couch and just try to back to my normal self a bit, like eat a nice dinner, et cetera, instead of arriving at 10 o’clock at night like we had done in the previous evenings and try to eat. And then at about 9:00 PM we got a call from the hospital saying Uh, your daughter needs some more clothes. Now, we had actually asked that before on the Saturday morning, do we need to bring more clothes? They said, no, she’s fine. So that meant I had to drive back to the hospital. I said to my wife, no, you stay here because it’s too much for you.
[00:16:28] So I’d, I’d drive back and then. I was thinking on the way there, well hopefully they’ll let me see her. So when I got there, I had a plastic bag with all of her clothes and things in that my wife had prepared. And I said, can I just go upstairs and you know, just see her just for 30 seconds? And they said, no, you can’t.
[00:16:49] Did you feel angry at them?
[00:16:54] I wouldn’t say anger. I, there was probably a bit of me that expected it. It was, it was just disappointment really. Just sadness was the overwhelming feeling at that point. And then obviously you’re in the car on your own, driving back 30, 40 minutes. I hadn’t slept, I hadn’t eaten. Lots of strange thoughts going through my mind, obviously. And then wake up on Sunday. And my wife’s parents were coming to visit who lived in Sicily as well, but they lived kind of like three hours away. My family, obviously were in England, so no one was allowed to travel at that point, so they certainly weren’t there. And my wife’s wife’s family came to visit, obviously hoping to meet their first granddaughter. They knew before that she wouldn’t be there, and it was a quite a strange day of all of us in the house full of baby stuff with no baby there,
[00:17:55] Bree: The nurse has told them that they can FaceTime their daughter. I’m sure that you can remember that during the pandemic, we all used video calls to connect with family and friends. But of course, video chatting with your less than week old child in hospital doesn’t feel quite the same.
[00:18:15] Martin: so you are looking at a phone, which is showing you like an incubator with our daughter who had a bandage over her eyes. They, they Pull the bandage down for one second. You, you hope that you can sort of get her attention just for one second, but it’s obviously a very difficult moment because it feels it. It feels as if it’s not even, it’s just someone you know kind of thing, like you’re phoning a friend kind of thing. And that’s not the case. It’s it’s your daughter who was in your house and you were so excited just a few days ago and now is in hospital with this bandage over her eyes and then Obviously it’s not like the call lasts particularly long because you’re obviously not having like full on conversations. So a couple of minutes and then the man hangs up, and that was the first and only time I saw my father-in-Law, who is a kind of man’s man. I saw him cry
[00:19:28] so then most of the room obviously starts crying as well at this point. But so that Now this is Sunday evening, so then we go to bed. We’ve been told that she should Mm. Always emphasis on the word should be okay to leave on Monday. So we go back again Monday morning and on the way to the hospital.
[00:19:55] This was the first time where it was a nice sunny day. A beautiful Sicily, sun, sunshine, driving there. I remember thinking It, it, they have to let her let her out today just because we couldn’t, we couldn’t continue like this. And I don’t know, I, I just had a good feeling.
[00:20:18] So again, obviously we get there. I try to walk in. I, I’m, I’m sure they’re not gonna let me in. And immediately someone stops me again. My wife goes in and I was expecting another three, four hours. To go past, and my wife then texts me saying, I’m coming out, get the car ready. So this time I drive up that ramp My wife comes out with our daughter, and the feeling was unbelievable. We were both obviously just so happy and As I mentioned, it was a lovely, lovely day, February, but I was actually wearing a T-shirt because it was so hot. Um, but that didn’t stop my wife dressing our daughter up like it was minus 50 because she was so worried that she would get cold.
[00:21:16] I think that’s a bit of an Italian thing. So then we obviously picked her up, put her in the car, and drove home And finally we could start our family
[00:21:27] life together.
[00:21:28]
[00:21:30] Bree: Two years after Martin’s daughter was born, even though they initially doubted they would, they ended up having another child. A healthy baby boy in England where they now live.
[00:21:44] Martin: Martin hosts, rock and roll English, a podcast where he chats with friends about random topics. Sharing real life stories in a natural way. And what’s unique is how he teaches his listeners about three different types of speech. Something he calls greenhouse garden, and jungle.
[00:22:10] the greenhouse is how people learn words. So imagine a greenhouse where .The plants in the greenhouse are words now in the greenhouse, each plant will be clearly separated, will not be touching the other. Okay? So when you learn a word like that, that is in no contact with other words, that’s normally how you learn or you hear a word on a dictionary definition, for example. So let’s take the word. Remember, if you click on a dictionary, you ask that to tell you how to say that word will be perfect. Remember Then we have the garden where the plants, which are the words, are now connected, but they are in a, in an orderly form now. That’s what you’ll probably hear on like the BBC where people speak clearly in a fluent and fluid way. And probably what I used today of how I’m speaking now, not because I’m talking to English learners, but simply because I want to be clear.
[00:23:17] If I were doing a speech in front of 100 English people. I would also speak in the garden way, and in fact, the garden is a great target for speaking, but there is also the jungle where it’s impossible to see where one word finishes and the next one begins. And certainly in the uk that is how the majority of people speak in their day-to-day lives. Now the jungle is definitely not. A good target for speaking. In fact, if you speak in the jungle way, then you will be much more difficult to understand. But again, especially if you live in an English speaking country, it is extremely important to be able to understand jungle English.
[00:24:05] So if I take the word, remember that I used earlier, said quickly, that would probably just be like, I remember. I remember, so you’ve lost the first syllable. For example, someone might think of the word member, like membership and think, what the hell is going on here? Things like do you just becomes like Jew, for example. And this is how you, how people understand completely the wrong thing because words have been mushed together and people understand something like completely wrong.
[00:24:39] Bree: I find it really interesting how Martin teaches these three different styles. They are all important, especially if you’re planning on speaking with native speakers and perhaps even living in an English speaking country someday.
[00:24:54] If you’re curious to listen to Martin and me chat, he invited me on the podcast. We spoke about stories and I even shared a couple of my own.
[00:25:07] You can check out the link in the show notes to listen to the full conversation.
[00:25:12] Okay folks, if you would like to join our community And hear me go further into the psychology side of each episode and also speak more personally about the lessons that I learned from our storytellers, then you can join our newsletter, just visit intothestorypodcast.com and click subscribe. And it’s totally free. Okay, that’s all for today until next episode, I hope that you have a good time or at least a good story to tell.

Episode's vocabulary List

*vocabulary featured in podcast

CURFEW: A rule that says you must be home or inside at a certain time, usually set by authorities or parents for safety. For example, “During the pandemic, there was a curfew, so everyone had to be home by 9 p.m.,” or “When I was a teenager I had a strict curfew”

*TO SHOVE: To push someone or something roughly or with force, often with the intention of moving someone or something out of the way. For example, “She accidentally shoved her friend while rushing to catch the bus, causing them to stumble,” or “He shoved his passport in his pocket before getting on the plane.”

TO TAP ON THE SHOULDER: To lightly touch someone’s shoulder, typically to get their attention or to signal something. For example, “The teacher tapped on the student’s shoulder to remind them to stop talking during the lesson,” or “She tapped on her friend’s shoulder to show her the beautiful bird perched nearby.”

*TO BE OVER THE MOON: To be extremely happy or thrilled about something. For example, “She was over the moon when she found out she got the job she had been dreaming of,” or “He was over the moon with joy when he received the surprise birthday party his friends had organized for him.”

A CHECK-UP: A routine medical examination performed by a healthcare professional to assess one’s health and detect any potential issues. For example, “The doctor recommended an annual check-up to monitor her overall health and detect any early signs of illness,” or “He scheduled a check-up with his dentist to ensure his teeth were healthy and to address any dental concerns.”

MODERN DAY: Relating to the present time or era. For example, “Modern-day technology has revolutionized the way we communicate,” or “In modern-day society, people rely heavily on smartphones for daily tasks.”

JAUNDICE: A medical condition characterized by yellowing of the skin and eyes, often indicating liver problems. For example, “The newborn baby was diagnosed with jaundice and required medical treatment,” or “Jaundice can be a symptom of various underlying health issues.”

ALONG THOSE LINES: Similar to what has been mentioned or suggested. For example, “If you enjoy science fiction books, you might like other genres along those lines, such as fantasy or dystopian novels,” or “The proposal suggests implementing policies along those lines to address environmental concerns.”

TO GET THROUGH TO SOMEONE: To successfully make contact with someone, usually by phone. It can also mean to make somebody understand or accept what you say, especially when you are trying to help them. For example, “I tried calling her several times but couldn’t get through because her phone was turned off,” or “He’s been struggling to understand the concept, but I finally got through to him after explaining it in simpler terms”

WHAT’S THE MATTER?: A question asking what is wrong or troubling someone. For example, “She noticed her friend looked upset and asked, ‘What’s the matter? Can I help?'” or “What’s the matter? You seem upset—is everything okay?”

A RAMP: A sloped surface or structure that allows easy access for people with disabilities or for transporting goods. For example, “The wheelchair user was grateful for the ramp installed at the entrance of the building,” or “The delivery truck used the ramp to unload goods into the warehouse.”

*A PRAM: A stroller or baby carriage used for transporting infants. For example, “She took her baby for a walk in the pram,” or “The pram was equipped with a comfortable seat and a protective canopy.”

TO CONSOLE: To comfort someone in distress or sadness. For example, “She hugged her friend to console her after the loss of her pet,” or “He tried to console his brother by offering words of encouragement.”

TO NOT BE IN A GOOD/GREAT PLACE: To be experiencing difficulties or challenges in life. For example, “After losing his job, he wasn’t in a good place emotionally and needed support from friends,” or “She’s been going through a tough time lately and is not in a great place mentally.”

BANDAGE: A strip of material used to cover and protect a wound. For example, “She applied a bandage to the cut on her finger to prevent infection,” or “The nurse wrapped a bandage around the patient’s arm after removing the IV.”

*OBVIOUSLY (FILLER WORD): Used to indicate that something is apparent or evident. For example, “Obviously, she was tired because she had been working all day,” or “Obviously, he didn’t understand the instructions given by the teacher.”

*KIND OF THING (FILLER WORD): Used to express that something is typical or characteristic of a particular situation. For example, “She enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and camping—nature-related things, that kind of thing,” or “He’s into science fiction movies and books—geeky stuff, that kind of thing.”

*FULL ON (ADJECTIVE): Intense or extreme in nature. For example, “The party was full on, with loud music and dancing all night,” or “He experienced a full-on adrenaline rush while participating in the extreme sports event.”

*vocabulary featured in podcast

CURFEW: A rule that says you must be home or inside at a certain time, usually set by authorities or parents for safety. For example, “During the pandemic, there was a curfew, so everyone had to be home by 9 p.m.,” or “When I was a teenager I had a strict curfew”

*TO SHOVE: To push someone or something roughly or with force, often with the intention of moving someone or something out of the way. For example, “She accidentally shoved her friend while rushing to catch the bus, causing them to stumble,” or “He shoved his passport in his pocket before getting on the plane.”

TO TAP ON THE SHOULDER: To lightly touch someone’s shoulder, typically to get their attention or to signal something. For example, “The teacher tapped on the student’s shoulder to remind them to stop talking during the lesson,” or “She tapped on her friend’s shoulder to show her the beautiful bird perched nearby.”

*TO BE OVER THE MOON: To be extremely happy or thrilled about something. For example, “She was over the moon when she found out she got the job she had been dreaming of,” or “He was over the moon with joy when he received the surprise birthday party his friends had organized for him.”

A CHECK-UP: A routine medical examination performed by a healthcare professional to assess one’s health and detect any potential issues. For example, “The doctor recommended an annual check-up to monitor her overall health and detect any early signs of illness,” or “He scheduled a check-up with his dentist to ensure his teeth were healthy and to address any dental concerns.”

MODERN DAY: Relating to the present time or era. For example, “Modern-day technology has revolutionized the way we communicate,” or “In modern-day society, people rely heavily on smartphones for daily tasks.”

JAUNDICE: A medical condition characterized by yellowing of the skin and eyes, often indicating liver problems. For example, “The newborn baby was diagnosed with jaundice and required medical treatment,” or “Jaundice can be a symptom of various underlying health issues.”

ALONG THOSE LINES: Similar to what has been mentioned or suggested. For example, “If you enjoy science fiction books, you might like other genres along those lines, such as fantasy or dystopian novels,” or “The proposal suggests implementing policies along those lines to address environmental concerns.”

TO GET THROUGH TO SOMEONE: To successfully make contact with someone, usually by phone. It can also mean to make somebody understand or accept what you say, especially when you are trying to help them. For example, “I tried calling her several times but couldn’t get through because her phone was turned off,” or “He’s been struggling to understand the concept, but I finally got through to him after explaining it in simpler terms”

WHAT’S THE MATTER?: A question asking what is wrong or troubling someone. For example, “She noticed her friend looked upset and asked, ‘What’s the matter? Can I help?'” or “What’s the matter? You seem upset—is everything okay?”

A RAMP: A sloped surface or structure that allows easy access for people with disabilities or for transporting goods. For example, “The wheelchair user was grateful for the ramp installed at the entrance of the building,” or “The delivery truck used the ramp to unload goods into the warehouse.”

*A PRAM: A stroller or baby carriage used for transporting infants. For example, “She took her baby for a walk in the pram,” or “The pram was equipped with a comfortable seat and a protective canopy.”

TO CONSOLE: To comfort someone in distress or sadness. For example, “She hugged her friend to console her after the loss of her pet,” or “He tried to console his brother by offering words of encouragement.”

TO NOT BE IN A GOOD/GREAT PLACE: To be experiencing difficulties or challenges in life. For example, “After losing his job, he wasn’t in a good place emotionally and needed support from friends,” or “She’s been going through a tough time lately and is not in a great place mentally.”

BANDAGE: A strip of material used to cover and protect a wound. For example, “She applied a bandage to the cut on her finger to prevent infection,” or “The nurse wrapped a bandage around the patient’s arm after removing the IV.”

*OBVIOUSLY (FILLER WORD): Used to indicate that something is apparent or evident. For example, “Obviously, she was tired because she had been working all day,” or “Obviously, he didn’t understand the instructions given by the teacher.”

*KIND OF THING (FILLER WORD): Used to express that something is typical or characteristic of a particular situation. For example, “She enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and camping—nature-related things, that kind of thing,” or “He’s into science fiction movies and books—geeky stuff, that kind of thing.”

*FULL ON (ADJECTIVE): Intense or extreme in nature. For example, “The party was full on, with loud music and dancing all night,” or “He experienced a full-on adrenaline rush while participating in the extreme sports event.”

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More about Martin Johnston and his story

Martin Johnston's family

Martin with his happy family 

Martin Johnston from Rock'n'Roll English

Martin believes that you should listen to different types of conversations in English

Martin Johnston is an English teacher with a rich teaching background and TEFL and CELTA qualifications. Besides enjoying reading and going to bed early, he also runs the Rock and Roll English podcast, with real life conversations with his friends.

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