Sunday, 20 October 2013

Going to bed with the chickens

I was a little unwell at the beginning of the week but by Tuesday was feeling better, although a little washed out. When a friend asked me how I was doing I replied "nothing that a good night's sleep wouldn't cure". "Ah!" he replied "You are going to bed with the chickens", apparently in his native Portugal this means having an early night. Andrew & I liked that so it has joined our repertoire. We were also trying to think of a phrase for an early night in English but could only think of those for an early rising.

Foreign idioms can be a hazard to anyone who, like me, is trying to get to grips with another language (I keep a notebook to hand to jot any down that I find). Some translate, the French also have 'the cherry on the cake' and 'elbow grease'

Via Tesco

but what would I do when confronted with a man with sea urchins in his pocket? Apparently not expect him to buy me a coffee - he's mean with money. Now dropping sea life into a conversation would probably alert me to a possible linguistic hurdle but to find a man 'avoir du chien' would have me  looking around and reaching in my pocket for doggy treats. Apparently it means having a certain charm.

Charming AND has a dog!

My favourite is the French 'L'heure entre chien et loup' meaning dusk. It's a favourite time of day for me as it holds a sense of anticipation edged with a slight hint of danger as the light slowly fades.

The foreign phrase I use most often is not French but Italian. I'm not given to swearing much, partly it was drummed into me as a child that it was VERY BAD but also that it is a lazy use of language. But should an oath fall from my lips then it is likely to be "Porca Miseria!"

Not much 'miseria' here!

I could list more but would love to know yours - and any useful references would be much appreciated!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

How do I know autumn has arrived?

It's not because the leaves are beginning to turn and the rosehips are in full colour.


Or that, after a late start, the apples have been harvested and only the windfalls are left.

After the harvest

Nor that the first autumn storm has hit

Friday afternoon
or soup has replaced salad.

French onion soup
No. It's that my neighbour has issued his yearly invite to his field to pick these.

Which got topped & tailed.

Ready to go
And got mixed with sugar and gin.

All shook up
And are now sitting in a dark cupboard doing their magic.

If you want quantities:

70cl gin
175g sugar
300g sloes