Saturday, 3 January 2009

Raining cats and dogs

I thought we would escape the vagraries of the English weather tucked away in the Abruzzo countryside, but it seems I was wrong. It is indeed raining "cats and dogs" today. This odd expression is considered rather old-fashioned nowadays and maybe even "naff". It is an idiom to describe heavy rainfall. While I am writing this post I have a lovely view of olive trees and bushes (Viburnum Tinus and Pyracantha) and the fire is roaring away, so I can't complain really. Believe it or not, originally coming from a maritime climate, I'm not too fond of rain. In fact, I can't stand it!

The "downpour" outside has set me thinking about all the songs which mention the rain. Do you know "I can't stand the rain" sung by Tina Turner? This particular song brings back memories of a journey by motorbike from England to Italy one year when it "bucketed down" for hours on end and this song was blaring away on the intercom system. I felt rather nervous as it was "tipping it down" but K was riding very carefully and expertly and my initial worries were assuaged. It was also the first time I had gone on the back of a motorbike for a journey which was 1300 miles long. I was also "motorbike phobic"in those days, so you can imagine it took a bit of courage to convince myself I was doing the right thing. Since that epic journey I have travelled from England to Italy and back by motorbike a further two times and I can honestly say that it was a character-forming experience for me. I was scared of doing it but I tried it and it turned out ok. I love the expression "feel the fear and do it anyway!" It's come in handy quite a few times in my life....

The photo above was taken last summer while out exploring the beautiful Abruzzo countryside. The motorbike is an Aprilia Caponord.

I have just found an excellent lesson - "Londoners offered BLT for SAD" - in Breaking News English which makes a passing reference to "rain cats and dogs". The article is about "S.A.D" (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and "B.L.T." (Bright Light Therapy). If I had a class to teach on Monday and it was raining, I would definitely use this lesson plan with my hypothetical students! However, as I do not have a class at the moment, I will dutifully file it in my computer and keep it for future lesson exploitation under the themes of weather vocabulary / health vocabulary/discussion topics.

Well, I have amused myself on this thoroughly wet and miserable day by writing this posting and I feel so much better now. I hope the weather wherever you are is as good as you want it to be.

Buona giornata! Have a nice day!

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