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By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.

Helen Hunt Jackson - September
The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Chrysanthemums.
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.

John Updike, September
Learn English in September

Britain

mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
So what is Britain most famous for? Big Ben? The Tower of London? The London Eye? London? There's a lot more to the country than just London, though many first time visitors might not go much further than the capital. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London




Britain is full of history and has many areas of some of the most beautiful countryside, like the Derbyshire Peaks District, the Lakes District, Snowdonia, and everything in between really. There are many interesting towns and cities like York, Bath, Manchester - the list is endless.

Britain is not so famous for its fine dining, but this is changing and there are some good traditional dishes like fish and chips, roast Sunday lunch, a 'full English breakfast' that go down very well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_and_chips

Have you ever been to visit Britain? Have you been anywhere other than London?


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Comments

  • VokVok Posts: 2,145 ✭✭✭✭
    I've never been to Britain but I'm sure I will. Wait for me a bit I'm coming.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm in France @Vok, but any tips and I should be able to help.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    I feel sorry for my British friends today. They are flying back to very wet and cold weather in the UK.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,817 ✭✭✭✭
    There are a lot of pies and cakes on the Wikipedia's list of English dishes. But if I understand it correctly, the English dish which has no analogues in other cuisines is pudding.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    Puddings are very popular @Practical_Severard but some Brits also have the tendency to call all desserts 'pudding,' even ice cream.

    This article suggests that the use of the word pudding was more of a class thing, but I think it is also geographical as many people in the north of the country tend to refer to desserts as puddings. I had a very middle class friend whose mother was from Liverpool who always caught me out when she called ice cream 'pudding.'

    https://greatbritishmag.co.uk/ask-a-brit/why-do-brits-call-dessert-pudding/

    For me, pudding is the more tradition cake-like dessert, often served with custard or cream if you want to be more genteel.



    But reading wiki, they describe all sorts of desserts as forms of pudding.

    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pudding)
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    Billy Bragg sings a song about Britain which is a very interesting image of the country. It is easy to follow as the lyrics show up as he sings. Needless to say it covers Brexit.


  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,817 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
    I read that Birmingham has done to curry exactly what New York has to pizza and they even have a special sort of it called balti. The UK applied to the EU for balti to be recognised as a protected local food brand (such as Champagne) but they rejected since there was no a fixed recipe.

    Other peculiarities about the UK: buses get named with female names, railway sleepers (which go, say, from London to Inverness) are a sort of a luxury travel (£250-450).

    A bus called Anna (just over the left headlight)
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,817 ✭✭✭✭
    A stunning similarity between the UK and Russis is that girls might dress too scantily for a cold weather:
    UK
    Russia
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
    I didn't know about the bus names @Practical_Severard. I know that ships are regarded as female though.

    I think it is guys who normally wear t-shirts and shorts in the middle of winter, to show off how tough they are. I am surprised girls are following this trend, as I would have thought that they were too sensible to freeze to death. Rather them than me.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,817 ✭✭✭✭
    mheredge said:


    I think it is guys who normally wear t-shirts and shorts in the middle of winter, to show off how tough they are. I am surprised girls are following this trend, as I would have thought that they were too sensible to freeze to death. Rather them than me.

    Well, girls tend to follow this trend more than guys here. That's because they have another motivation, they want to show off how pretty they are rather than how tough. And how on Earth do you do it by wearing bulky winter clothes rather than skimpy ones? Beauty is a dreadful power as they say it here.
    This is an example of a woman under this influence (while there are two more rational behind her).


  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    She makes me cold just looking at her @Practical_Severard. There is a German lady I know who showed up on Sunday in a dress for our sketching event. I queried her choice as it was cold and she confessed that she only possessed one pair of trousers that were not dry, so she hadn't been able to wear them. She works as an accountant in Monaco (say no more), though I would have thought that she'd have possessed at least a few pairs of designer jeans. Meanwhile the rest of us were well muffled up, covered tip to toe in warm clothes.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,817 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    I have read that there are bad floods in the north of England @Practical_Severard. Boris dismissed them as not very important (I bet this lost him a lot of votes in Yorkshire). However I read just today that Britain has applied to the EU for money to help fund the relief work there.

    I think that this really takes the biscuit. They can't have their cake and eat it.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,817 ✭✭✭✭
    mheredge said:


    I think that this really takes the biscuit. They can't have their cake and eat it.

    They'll waive some papers claiming they're entitled to this money, of course. A friendly calf sucks two mothers.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    Well I jolly well hope that the EU tells them where they can stick their claim @Practical_Severard (colloquial English kicking in here).
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,817 ✭✭✭✭
    mheredge said:

    Well I jolly well hope that the EU tells them where they can stick their claim @Practical_Severard (colloquial English kicking in here).

    Oh thank you for the piece of vocabulary. Recently you posted a link to a video by "Facsinated Aida". I digged a bit deeper and found another video by which title is "Dogging". That's been a hoard of new words, including the very title. But very funny too, as well as the tune is captive.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    @Practical_Severard some English colloquialisms can be very crude. I think swearing in English sounds much ruder than in most other languages too.

    If you are thinking of a winter break, this article suggests some coastal retreats where even if the temperature won't very warm, the welcome should be.

    https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/nov/17/top-10-uk-coastal-retreat-hotels-cottage-break?utm_term=RWRpdG9yaWFsX0d1YXJkaWFuVG9kYXlVS19XZWVrZGF5cy0xOTExMTk=&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayUK&CMP=GTUK_email

    I went to Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk in the winter once and it was cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey @Practical_Severard.

    This could be why I'd avoid like the plague any of these places in the winter months.
  • VokVok Posts: 2,145 ✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge once I've asked a German to teach me a phrase or two and he struggled to give me any proper equivalents of English swear words.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,817 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
    mheredge said:

    @Practical_Severard some English colloquialisms can be very crude. I think swearing in English sounds much ruder than in most other languages too.

    This is just the the native speaker effect which is that a native speaker has an emotional connection with the words of his mother tongue. I guess that's because he's acquired them in a sitiation where he was taking part, especially if the words were addressed at him personally. While a second language student usually picks words from books or films.

    My British council teacher referred to the F-word as 'eff-you-see-key' which was a thing of curiousity to me, I haven't been having an emotional streak in my feeling about it. On the other hand the student girls of that class weren't quite comfortable with the Russian C-word.

    As for the "Dogging" song, I can't imagine it performed in public in Russia. That's not just because of the authorities, though it'd be illegal indeed, but rather about what the public can accept. Though there are several hugely popular music videos with swear words by "Leningrad" who are known for using them in their lyrics. But those words are used as exclamations rather than to describe a sexual intercourse.
    Post edited by Practical_Severard on
  • VokVok Posts: 2,145 ✭✭✭✭
    @Practical_Severard that's true. I remember asking a native speaker to say a 'can't' word with a shorter sound just to register the difference in pronounciation and I was quite surprised when he went betroot actually saying it. For me it was just two words that sound almost the same way, but he's obviously more emotionally connected to them.
  • HermineHermine Posts: 8,908 ✭✭✭✭
    The other day I found an Oyster Card in one of my jackets. And I can well remember the woman at the counter told me to get the refund I should do it at home, because it s worth more than 10 Pounds.
    Has any of you done the same
  • VokVok Posts: 2,145 ✭✭✭✭
    @Hermine no plans of going back to London again in the future? Save as a souvenir otherwise.
  • JanjardJanjard Posts: 2,127 ✭✭✭✭
    London has many beautiful old buildings. What struck me in London decades ago was that many of the old buildings in the busy center were all blackened by soot or other black stuff.
    It was long ago and I think it will be much better at this moment.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    I think they have mostly cleaned up now @Janjard. A long time ago they used get nasty smog which probably blackened many buildings. But I think these days they try to keep the city looking spick and span to encourage the tourists.

    Hang onto that Oyster card @Hermine. It stays valid however long you have it, and next time it will come in handy. I always keep it with some credit so even if I arrive in London at one of the airports, I already have my ticket ready to go and don't need to worry about waiting at the ticket machine.

    You can use your bank card in the same way as an Oyster to pay your fare, just by swiping it at the turnstile, but I don't think it is as 'clever' as the Oyster card if you are travelling around using many buses or trains in a day. There is a cap on the Oyster, meaning than if you are hopping on and off transport in London, it can work out a lot cheaper.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
    The Hotel Gleneagles in Torquay might not however be somewhere that would feature on your bucket list unless you want to study English eccentricity.

    John Cleese (two minutes)


    And for for stories of the the hotel (eleven minutes):
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    New coronavirus cases detected in the UK and Mallorca are linked to a cluster in a ski resort in France, health officials have confirmed. Apparently a man who contracted virus in Singapore at a business conference in Singapore then visited France were he met a British group at a ski resort. This middle-aged man from Brighton was found to have the virus when he returned to the UK at the end of last month. He had returned to London Gatwick Airport from Geneva on 28 January on an easyJet flight.

    There are two other cases linked to this cluster. Two adults – one diagnosed in the United Kingdom and the other who was diagnosed in Mallorca. They are linked to a stay in the apartment in Les Contamines-Montjoie.

    The group had been staying in two apartments in a ski chalet in the Alpine resort area near Mont Blanc when they were visited by the Brit who had attended the conference in Singapore.

    There is an appeal to passengers who were seated in the vicinity of the British man on flight EZS8481 from Geneva to Gatwick on 28 January to provide guidance, but as he's not experiencing any symptoms, the risk to others on board the flight is believed to be very low.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/09/fourth-person-in-uk-tests-positive-for-coronavirus
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    What a sad state of affairs. I guess everyone had just better learn English!

    "Britain is to close its borders to unskilled workers and those who can’t speak English as part of a fundamental overhaul of immigration laws that will end the era of cheap EU labour in factories, warehouses, hotels and restaurants."

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/feb/18/uk-to-close-door-to-non-english-speakers-and-unskilled-workers?utm_term=RWRpdG9yaWFsX0d1YXJkaWFuVG9kYXlVS19XZWVrZGF5cy0yMDAyMTk=&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&CMP=GTUK_email&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayUK



    The following phrases come to mind:
    shoot oneself in the foot
    be your worst own enemy
    foul one's own nest
    a rod for your own back
    cut off your nose to spite your face
    cut your own throat
    dig a hole for yourself
    dig your own grave
    overextend yourself
    sign your own death warrant
    someone has made their bed, and they must lie​/​sleep in it

    Or just more simply: mismanage/mishandle/mess up/blunder/botch/bungle
  • VokVok Posts: 2,145 ✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge I've heard that Boris after Brexit wants to implement a similar immigration policy as in Australia with IELTS and a points system.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    I have heard that there is thought about some sort of points system @Vok. The problem is that Britain desperately needs unskilled workers and so any kind of points system will not address the problem of labour shortages in areas of work like agriculture and hotels and restaurants.
  • HermineHermine Posts: 8,908 ✭✭✭✭
    Our local newspaper doesn't give up telling us stories about the English royals. No-other nationality who has Queens/Kings installed get such attention to their doings.
    Pinned on the wall are: Harry and Meghan, Andrew, and two grandchildren-in-law. I deliberately didn't use their title, just why I don't know them.
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