"A pinch and a punch..."
My late wife taught me – over thirty years ago – a little rhyme for the start of a new month. Today it is 1st February, so I woke Lucy at seven o’clock, as usual, with this:
A pinch and a punch
For the first of the month.
[“My Dad is so predictable – and, at times, just a little bit tiresome. And he’s lying: it was six-thirty!” – LUCY]
I know, it doesn’t even rhyme properly, does it? As you say it, you’re supposed to first (lightly!) pinch the other person and then (even more lightly!) punch him or her. It’s supposed to bring them good luck for the new month. Maybe it’s a Manchester thing (that’s where my wife was from). I certainly knew nothing of this rhyme when I was a boy growing up in the north-east of England.
Are there any rhymes or rituals for a new month, in Korea?
So, it’s February. That means just one thing for me this year: Kilimanjaro, in only thirteen days from now. This morning I bought a waterproof, windproof, insulated jacket and a small rucksack for my big adventure. Everything costs so much! But I don’t think you can do this kind of trip without good quality clothes and equipment (I’m leaving the pink shoes at home!).
Yes, it’s February – so it’s still winter. Or it should be winter. But, Soyoung, I’m writing this at two o’clock in the afternoon and I’ve been out in my car all morning – with the top down. Right now, I’m writing this with the kitchen door wide open. The sun is shining. My garden is full of crocuses. There is the sound of birdsong in the air. Soyoung, I do believe it’s spring!
Perhaps I should go for a run before the sun goes down and the temperature goes with it. So I’ll just write a few language notes at the end of this and then I’ll start preparing for my last blog to you.
PS: I went to see Venus yesterday, and I enjoyed it very much. However, I think it's probably an old man's movie.
SOME USEFUL WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS
If you ‘pinch’ someone you squeeze a small part of his/her flesh between your thumb and first finger.
If you ‘punch’ someone you hit him/her hard with your fist.
NOTE: In this rhyme you’re really only supposed to just touch the other person very gently, or even just mime pinching and punching.
A ritual is an action or a series of actions (or ceremonies) which are carried out as part of a cultural tradition.
Something which is ‘waterproof’ will not let water pass through it, or will not be damaged by water. There are several other compound adjectives like this, for example: fireproof (some materials used in the kitchen should be fireproof), shockproof (a good watch should be shockproof), windproof (a good tent should be windproof).
made from material which will stop heat escaping
the things which are needed for a particular activity (for example, writing equipment, painting equipment, sports equipment, camping equipment). NOTE: ‘equipment’ can never be used with an ‘s’ on the end (it is always plural in meaning but takes a singular form of the verb, for example: Her equipment was getting wet.)
spring flowers (from which saffron can be collected)
A FEW SENTENCES TO CHECK AGAIN
Look again at the parts of your blog, Soyoung, where you have written sentences like these. I have re-written them, with corrections and some other small changes. Check them and make sure you know how to use them next time.
I’ve just finished work.
I’m waiting for my colleague who hasn’t finished yet.
I waste almost two hours a day travelling to and from work in the rush hour.
We all have different mother tongues and only have one thing in common – that we love learning English with the BBC.
My uncle is the Korean ambassador to France…
I only hate one thing, and that is racism.
I think it’s very important to understand others’ cultures before making judgements.
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