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  Describe a time you spend with your friend in your childhood

  You should say:

  Who is this friend

  How did you know about each other

  And explain why you describe this time


  I am going to tell you about my first ‘best friend’ from childhood. I’ll explain how we met, how long we were friends, what we got up to and why I liked her so much, and I’ll try and explain our friendship so you can understand why we were so close.


  I first met my friend Tracey when I went to junior school. We were sat next to each other in class, I don’t think we chose to do that particularly, we probably just sat where we were told to on our first day of the school year, but we got on straight away and were firm friends from the age of about 8 until we left school to go to senior school aged about eleven. We happened to go to different schools at that point, and sadly our friendship drifted apart, when we were younger though, we were inseparable.


  Tracey and I had similar interests. We liked being outside, we liked horses (although neither of us went riding or had access to ponies back then), we enjoyed doing craft type activities (although she was really talented creating amazing pictures and artwork, whilst I just got stuck at the stage of colouring in!) My main memory is of us heading off together on our bikes for hours and hours at a time. She lived quite near a large park, so I used to cycle to her house, and then we’d go to the park together with a picnic lunch and spend all day playing games together. I’m embarrassed now to think how we galloped around pretending to be horses or whatever the game of the day was, but it was fun at the time. We used to try hula hooping and skipping too, seeing who could hold up a hoop for the longest of skip without stopping using a rope. I have a feeling she was more accomplished than me at both these activities too. Sometimes we would try to find and catch grasshoppers (we always let them go) or we would just laze in the sun until it was time to go home. It was very different then. There were no mobile phones, and people were much more relaxed about letting their children go off and play all day, I’m not sure if you could still do that. Still, we were very happy and used to come back to her house tired and hot and sunburnt, and if we were lucky her mum would give us lemonade to drink and sometimes cheese salad rolls for tea. Happy memories indeed!


  In terms of why we liked each other, well we just did! We enjoyed doing the same things, we could talk about anything to each other – complaining about school work or annoying parents and other such troublesome worries of the time. She had pet rabbits, and I had pet guinea pigs, so looking after our pets was a shared interest too. It probably helped that we lived quite close to each other and both had bikes too. We also both had a vivid imagination, it meant we could have remarkable adventures together pretending to inhabit whole new worlds that we had invented for ourselves.


  We kept in touch for a while, but both eventually moved on. I think she went on to become an artist of some renown, which was not surprising given her early talent for art. Whatever she does and wherever she ended up I hope she is happy and successful too, and I will always remember her as a brilliant companion from when I was young, I wonder if she remembers me too.


  What do you think makes someone a good friend to a whole family?你认为什么使一个人成为一个家庭的好朋友?

  It seems to me that the main element in order for someone to be considered a friend to all members of a family is having common values and interests. If these two characteristics are absent or not compatible, it's really difficult for someone to be accepted as a family friend or to hang out with.

  Moreover, if parents see that someone has a good personality and some basic virtues that support the notion of friendship, it is likely that they will like and accept this person to their family. In my opinion, family friends play an important role as there are many cases when parents consort with some people they consider friends, and many times it is likely that their kids also interact with those people.


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