My name is Peter Sidorov. I am 14 years old. I was born in Moscow, where I am still living. Our family is rather large. There are five of us: my mother, my father, my brother, my sister and me.
My father is 44 years old. He is an eye surgeon. He works in hospital. He is always very busy. He has very little free time. He likes his job. My mother is a teacher of literature. She works a lot. She is always busy checking up the compositions of her pupils. She does her housework and we always help her. My brother is 19 years old. He is a Law Faculty student. He is not married yet and has no family of his own. He wants to be an expert in the field of law that is why he works hard. My little sister is 10 years old. Her name is Ann. Although she is little she knows a lot of wonderful things. She is very clever and intelligent. I can talk with her for hours about the adventures of three musketeers, the Greek and Roman gods and heroes. She learns English. Her favourite books are "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-Glass" by Lewis Carroll. But I like his poem "The Hunting of the Snark". It is nonsense literature of the highest order. Children like this fantastic tale about Alice's adventures very much. The book is successful because it is not an allegory; it has no hidden meaning or message, either religious, political, or psychological. My sister has a good ear for music: she goes to musical school for piano lessons. Once I also attended musical school and learnt to play the piano. Sometimes we go to the Conservatoire with our parents to listen to solo concerts or symphonic orchestras.
I am always very busy, but when I am free I like to read books, play football with my friends or watch TV or video films. My favourite writer is J.R.R. Tolkien. I like his epic trilogy "The Lord of the Rings" very much. This book is about the struggle between good and evil forces for possession of a magical ring that can change the balance of power in the world. When I have a lot of free time I like to go to the museums and art galleries. My favourite painter is Nikolai Roerich. Roerich is known for his monumental historical paintings and wonderful landscapes of the Himalayan Mountains. His works of art are full of mysticism and symbolism. I like his painting "The Forefathers". This canvas, based on the Slavic legend, is inspired by the northern Russian countryside. It shows an old Slavic piper surrounded by bears against the background of hills.
My favourite movie is the "Star Wars". It is an inspiring fairy tale about the fight of the good and evil. The action takes places in the far away galaxy in the distant future. One can easily recognise the reality of today. The main characters arouse our admiration. Luke Skywalker can be characterised as a musketeer of outerspace. But most of all I like contemporary music. I am fond of almost every trend of music style. I like Russian music too, but not so much as British or American. I am not interested in music as a passive recipient. I can play the guitar and piano. I take part in a musical project with my friends. In our band I sing and play the guitar. We give concerts at our school. Recently I've started to practice drums and I've found out that I like it very much. Unfortunately, I can not devote as much time as I would like to music. I have to study and do other things as well.
I have a lot of friends. Friendship is one of the greatest things in the world. Nobody knows how to define it in a proper way. I think that friendship is the highest spiritual achievement of men. I believe that a person can be happy if he has a true friend. My true friend is Mark. He wants to be a pilot. Mark is a very interesting person. We find little difficulty in entertaining ourselves. Mark has a great talent for inventing games to amuse us all. I enjoy spending my free time with him. He is bright, well educated, kind-hearted, and cheerful. Mark is the only person with whom I can share my problems, ideas, and thoughts. He understands me very well, and he always tells me the truth. Mark's hobby is playing billiard and football. I also like to play these games. In each game I appreciate logic on which the development of the games based. We do these sports pretty well, especially football. To play billiard well it is necessary to practice it regularly. Recently our interests in billiard have faded and we play only football. Sometimes at the weekends, especially in autumn, we go to the cinema. We understand each other perfectly well. I am happy to have such a friend as Mark. Unfortunately in our society people often forget how to save someone's faith in kindness.
Speaking of our apartment, I want to say that it is rather large. We live in a very good place. Our apartment is located in a twenty-storied tower of flats in the northwest of the city. There is a park with a big pond not far from it. We have a four-room apartment on the sixteenth floor.
The living room with a window facing the park is quite large. In this room there is a bookcase, a sofa, a table with six chairs around it, and two armchairs there. There is a TV-set, a video-recorder and a tape-recorder in this room. On the walls there are three paintings. A thick carpet covers the floor. We spend every evening in this room. My parents' room is rather small. There are two beds, a dressing table with a mirror and a wardrobe there. On the bedside table there is an alarm clock, an electric lamp and some books.
I share my room with my elder brother. It is our study as well. We have a lot of books in this room. There are books on the shelves all around the walls. We have two desks. My desk is at the window. The computer is on the desk in the corner of the room. There are two sofas in this room. There are two chairs in our room. My sister's room is the smallest one. Her favourite colour is pink that is why everything in this room is pink. There is a piano in her room but it is black.
Besides we have a kitchen and a bathroom in our flat. In the kitchen there is a gas stove, a refrigerator, a sink with two taps over it, a cupboard, a table and six stools there. The bathroom is very cosy, too. There is a bath, a washbasin with hot and cold water there. My parents are hospitable. They often invite friends and relatives to our place. And everybody feels at home here.
My every day activities are quite routine. They do not differ much from these of any other pupil of our country. My working day begins at 7 o'clock in the morning when I get up. I do my physical jerks, wash, brush my teeth and comb my hair. Then I have breakfast. For breakfast I usually have corn flakes, tea or coffee and some jam.
At ten minutes to eight I leave for school. I go to school five days a week. It takes me ten minutes to get to school by trolleybus. At school I usually have from six to eight lessons. The lessons are over at two o'clock. I return home at three o'clock. I have lunch and take a short rest. I go for a walk with my friends. I am back at home at a quarter to four. At four I begin to do my homework. It takes me three hours to do it. My parents usually return home at seven o'clock. We have dinner at seven thirty. After dinner we go to the living room. There we watch TV or talk about the problems of the day. At ten o'clock I go to bed. In the morning I go to school. My school is a three-storied building with a gym and a water pool. At first I attended primary school. At primary school we did Russian, maths, English, drawing, physical training and music. And then after three years of primary school classes I went on to secondary school. At secondary school we study eight years. Six years are compulsory. This curriculum includes Russian, maths, English, literature, sciences and history. After the ninth form one must take four examinations: in Russian, maths, English and History. I want to enter the University that is why I'll study two years more and take five examinations on finishing the eleventh form.
Russian pupils have four holidays a year in autumn, spring, winter and summer. Autumn vacation and spring vacation are very short. They last only a week each. Winter vacation lasts two weeks. It is a good time for skating, skiing and hockey playing. During my winter vacation I like to go to the cinema, theatre, visit museums and art galleries, attend concert halls. Summer vacation is the longest one. It lasts three months. In summer I have so much free time that I can do a lot of things. I can have a rest in the country, go on excursions and travel. Usually in June and July I go to the village. There we have a little cottage. I work in the garden, go to the forest, swim in the lake, ride a bicycle and play different games with my friends. Our family is fond of travelling. In august when my parents are on vocation we like to travel. Sometimes we buy boat tours. But most of all we like to visit ancient Russian towns. We take the "Golden Ring" route. The ancient Russian towns fascinate us.
- Do you have grandparents?
- I have two grandmothers and one grandfather. I love them very much and often go to see them. My grandmothers are retired now. One of them was an engineer, another was an economist. My grandfather has not retired yet. During World War II he was a fighting pilot and he contributed to our victory over the Nazi invaders. When he has free time he likes to work in the garden.
- Do you have any other relatives?
- We have a lot of relatives. My aunts, uncles and cousins live in different parts of Russia. On holidays they often come to our place. Every summer we visit some of our relatives, and this means travelling a lot. We have a very good time together. I like family feasts very much.
- Do you have pets?
- We have two pets at home, a cat and a dog. Our dog is a very big Newfoundland called Charlie. We take our dog for a walk twice a day. In summer when we live in the village Charlie has a chance to run and swim a lot. At the weekends we usually go to the country to ski in winter. We always take Charlie with us. Our cat's name is Dina. Dina is very tender, she is my sister's favourite. Dina is older than Charlie, and although Charlie is several times larger than Dina, Charlie does everything that Dina wants.
- Do you often go to the theatre?
- No, I do not often go to the theatre. I like to go to the Bolshoy, Mali and Art Theatres. The Bolshoy Theatre is magnificent. It is famous for its excellent performances. The Bolshoy Theatre productions are always a success and have a very long run. They always make a deep impression on me.
- Have you ever been abroad before?
- Three years ago my classmates and I went to Great Britain to learn English. We lived in the host-families in Bath. We had classes of English five days a week three hours a day. We went to London every weekend. We visited Westminster Abbey, the National Gallery and the Tower of London. I liked the monument to Queen Boadicea. It is located not far from the Houses of Parliament. We also went to Rochester. There we visited Dickens's museum and a medieval castle.
- How do you spend your free time?
- -There are a lot of opportunities of spending my free time. When I have some free time I go to the theatre, cinema, museums, art galleries, concert hall, and disco clubs, play football with my friends or participate in one of our musical projects. I can read books, listen to my favourite music, or call on my friends. I can choose any of them. But unfortunately I seldom can afford myself such activities.