Recently a student was trying to think of the word umbrella. They knew the French word (parapluie), but that didn’t help them to remember or figure out what the English word is. And as I thought about the word umbrella, I completely understood why: it actually has nothing to do with rain at all.
I’m not very good at being topical (watch out for a hot take on the word dotard some time before the end of the week!) This is largely due to the fact that I write my posts the day before I publish them. You see, I used to publish them as soon as I wrote them, but some days I was tired, or it was a little difficult to write exactly what I wanted to, and I felt pressured and annoyed and just wanted to get it done.
A quick update, 16.45pm: maybe more like two seasons in one day after all. What a difference
a day a few hours makes. And this isn’t the first spot of rain today.
You might not be able to see it, but there’s a light but persistent drizzle falling, and of course I didn’t bring a coat because it was such a beautiful morning. Harrumph!
This was the view from my bus seat at about 7pm last night, somewhere in the midlands of Ireland. It’s not an uncommon sight in Ireland, especially here in the west. What’s always seemed strange to me is that we appear to be surprised when it rains here, even though it happens most of the year round (and I include myself in that we). Any morning when I wake up and see it’s raining I’m disappointed, even if it’s been raining for five or six days in a row. Maybe it’s that morning optimism that makes me hope it might be nice!
Regardless of whether we’re surprised or not, we do like to talk about the weather, but I suppose that’s pretty universal. It’s a useful topic for small talk with someone we don’t know: it’s never controversial and it’s easy to talk about. Continue reading
It doesn’t look like that this morning, sadly. That picture was taken on my way to work a few weeks ago, at the start of a period of good weather that’s just come to an end. This morning is a more typically damp Galway morning, but I won’t complain after such a long period of good weather. I’ve had a slightly earlier start than usual this morning, as I’m currently on the bust to Dublin for work. It’s made me think about journeys, and mornings.
Naturally enough, we tend to associate the morning with beginnings. But it seems we think of them in more specific terms than that. If someone says the word morning, you’re probably more likely to picture something like the image above, rather than the overcast sky, green fields and farm buildings I’m looking at right now. Is that just because we’re more likely to think of something positive than something negative? Continue reading