Mad November Days!

Those mad November days...

November is an inbetween time. Summer has been and gone. Leaves redden and fall. Days alternate between fading sunlight and ever present drizzle. Most of us associate this month with the build-up to Christmas. Halloween ushers in the long dark nights, along with a host of terrifying ghostly beings and annoying children making threats in exchange for sweets.  Black Friday offers Americans (and increasingly other nationalities)the chance to snap up bargains and save money on their December gifts. 

A quick search on google reveals that several strange celebrations also take place in November. 

November 3rd is Sandwich Day. This popular meal was supposedly invented by John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. By skipping long, drawn-out lunches and snacking on meat between two slices of bread, this compulsive gambler was able to spend longer indulging in his passion for cards. Celebrate this ingenious creation by pigging out on your favourite "sanie".

November 15th is officially Clean your Refrigerator Day! No kidding! Perhaps it would be better to not wait until this late in the year though, before washing out your smelly leftovers.

If you do get ill in the process however, you can always move on to Have a Bad Day Day (19th November) or have fun on  Our Uncles are Monkeys Day (on the 24th, in honour of Charles Darwin).

By this stage, all these weird holidays have probably left you bemused and worn out. Luckily, the month ends with Stay at Home Because you are Well Day (30th November). The creators of this day advocate calling in to work "well" and just taking the day off.

Enjoy your November!


Book day in the Language House library!

BOOK DAY 2018!

April 23rd is internationally recognized as International Book Day and here at Language House we are not ones to be left out! Having inaugurated our small but growing library last year, we spent the day doing what one generally does on book day: reading! Young learners were engrossed in our fantastic collection of adapted reading books while older students could challenge themselves with the latest bestsellers hot off the press! Have you got the reading bug?

Burns Night

Scotland's national bard

Every 25th of January Scots from up and down the country celebrate the birth of their popular poet, Robert Burns. Born in the 18th Century, in his relatively short life, Burns captured people's hearts with songs and odes inspired by the ordinary lives of the  Scottish peasants and farmers he grew up with. In recent years, the holiday is marked by a more general nostalgia for all things Scottish. How much do you really know about Scotland?  Take this quiz to find out!

True or False?

1:  On Burns Night, people traditionally eat a dish called "Haggis", a kind of black pudding inside a sheep's stomach.

2:  Edinburgh is Scotland's largest city.

3:  Many famous inventors came from Scotland, including John Logie Baird, the inventor of the television.

4:  Loch Ness is a very popular body of water in Scotland. It's famous for a rare breed of pink dolphin.

5:  William Wallace was a real historical character, portrayed in the Hollywood movie by Clint Eastwood.

Answers: 1: True 2: False (It's Glasgow) 3: True 4: False (It's famous for a monster) 5: False (Mel Gibson plays this role).

April is the cruellest month

Is April a boring month?

Winter has come and gone, everyone is suffering from hayfever and the summer is still months away. The poet T.S Elliot claimed in The Wasteland that "April is the cruellest month", and indeed you too could be forgiven for thinking that April really is a bit rubbish.

However, a quick check on google reveals that some pretty amazing stuff has actually happened in April throughout history. Here are just a few April milestones:

-Undersung Spanish explorer Ponce de León sighted Florida for the first time thereby claiming it for the Spanish crown.

-On April 4th Susanna M Salter, the first ever woman mayor, was elected in Argonia Kansas.

-On April 4th civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King was shot dead in Memphis, Tennessee.

-On April 12th 1961 Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space. This day is celebrated as "Cosmonaut Day" in Russia.

-On April 15th the famous ocean liner Titanic sank off the coast of Newfoundland. Over 1500 people drowned. 

-In April in 1564 William Shakespeare was born.

-On the 30th April 1967 Mohammed Ali was stripped of all his medals after refusing to join the US Army.

What does April mean to YOU?


Creepy words for Hallooween!

Love it or loathe it, but when the summer is finally over and you start to feel a familiar chill in your bones, it means it's time to dust off your vampire costume and get into the spirit of HALLOWEEN!

Let's take a look at some key expression for the season of the dead:

Feeling creepy? Do zombies and ghouls creep you out? Is your boss a creep?

The verb to creep is one of the lesser known irregular verbs (creep, crept, crept). Its literal meaning is to walk quietly so as not to be noticed. You might find a burlar creeping around your house or you can simply creep up on a friend to scare them.  The verb has given rise to the adjective creepy which just means something scary or disagreeable.   

Another interesting word is to shiver. We often shiver when we are cold (our skin shakes). At this time of year you are more likely to shiver when you feel afraid. You might say that something sends "shivers down your spine." A similar but rarer verb is to shudder. Again, you would shudder (or shake) if you felt fear.

Typically, at Halloween time people love to dress up. Remember that to dress up is not the same as to get dressed! Perhaps you get dressed every morning before going to work but you probably don't dress up! (Dress up = to wear special clothes or a costume).

So, watch out for flying bats, spine-chilling zombies or those annoying trick-or-treaters and go out and join in the horror!

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