February 22, 2007

Lost for words

Writing about web page http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/yoursay/lost_for_words.shtml

Have you seen the section of the BBC language website “Lost for words” with people’s language blunders? Just seen that one I sent in has been posted:

Film Trailers

I was wanting to find out whether there was a trailer for the film I was going to see, and as I didn’t know what the German word for trailer was, I decided to make it up: Vorspiel. I reasoned that it would mean something like “before the performance”. However, it was clear from the surprised/amused look on the ticket seller’s face that I’d got it wrong. It turns out I asked whether there’d be any foreplay… oops! Trouble is, I still don’t know what I should have said – I just know I won’t be asking that again!

Helpfully there’s an editors note:

Editor’s note: You were on the right path. The German word for trailer is Vorschau.

February 12, 2007


Popped in to see Sarah on Friday and met Stan (aged 1 week). He has the unnerving ability to open just one eye to check out whether it’s worth waking up properly… which most of the time I was there it wasn’t! Hence the pictures of him asleep!!
Stan and Sarah
Stan and Sarah

February 09, 2007



We do get some odd adverts sent to us at Estates…

How to increase productivity

Anti fatigue mats
Would you believe it?!
If this is true, we can cut the work force by 10% overnight (and buy a few mats instead).
No mention of the evidence for such a claim though…

February 07, 2007

Spanish Test

A Mexican visiting the United States goes into a store to buy a pair of socks. He speaks no English and the clerk doesn’t know a word of Spanish.

Through pantomime, the Mexican tries to explain what he needs, without much success.

The clerk brings out shoes, then tries sneakers, then slippers, then laces, all to no avail.

Finally, he brings out a pair of socks and the Mexican exclaims, “Eso si que es!” [=that is it]

Says the exasperated clerk, “Well, for crying out loud. If you could spell it, why didn’t you say so in the first place”?

January 18, 2007

how to think logically

How can one develop the skill of crafting a persuasive argument?

Some people have a talent for this- fellow law students who went on to become barristers relished the opportunities to moot and argue. But it must be possible to develop this if you set your mind to it.

I think it’d help in writing essays if I was able to think more “eloquently”. I can gather material, do bullet points and a skeleton of the essay without too much pain… and then endure agonies to move from that to a coherent full-blown essay.

I don’t think it’s just being a perfectionist (though that is part of it!).

But I think if I had learnt to argue better, following through thoughts logically (I do tend to go off at a tangent when I’m talking!) that’d help.

Are there books? Exercises? How about the Mind Gym book- there might be something in that??

To be continued…

Are you happy?

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/cll/openstudies/day/

Got the following message this morning:

“The Pursuit of Authentic Happiness course has been cancelled due to lack of support. You will be refunded online.”

Well that made me laugh anyway! ;-)

November 13, 2006

more than a bimble

Stiff legs
We went for a 10 mile walk yesterday round by Long Mynd. Lovely and varied- with steep, grassy slopes, woodland and the Long Mynd heathland too. And it was a bit different to finish off the walk in the dark wearing headtorches (scaring the sheep as we crossed fields).
A good day and we were so fortunate with the weather as it looked as if we’d be in for rain at the beginning, but the shower soon cleared up and we enjoyed blue skies and sunshine for most of the day.
The only thing is that it was a little longer than my legs are used to and boy aren’t they letting me know ;-)

silver linings

silver linings

autumn colours

view from Long Mynd

One very unusual feature was the nuclear bunker. Dating from about the 1950’s, it’s little more than an underground room on the top of a hill overlooking Church Stretton- but its original function was for people to shelter and give updates during the nuclear fallout.

nuclear bunker

inside the bunker

first aid notice

inside the bunker



November 06, 2006

Red sky at night…

There was a simply stunning sunset over Cambridge last night…

sunset over Newnhamsunset
Newnham College at sunset

October 23, 2006

Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness

J. Keats

Ode to Autumn

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease;
For Summer has o’erbrimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,
While barrèd clouds bloom the soft-dying day
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river-sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

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