It’s raining cats and dogs here, too
Hello, Naheed and everyone reading!
I hope you are all well. Naheed, I read on the BBC website that there have been severe thunderstorms in Karachi. I see you’ve already blogged today, so that means you must be safe and sound. I hope your family and friends are all OK, too.
It has been pouring down here as well. It’s summertime in Britain and nearly time for Wimbledon, which means it must be time for heavy rain. This weekend it’s also Glastonbury Festival, a music festival in the southwest of England. All the festival-goers camp for three days and see loads of live bands. Unfortunately, the festival takes place in a valley. There have been torrential downpours and the place has turned into a mud-bath. You can find out more about Glastonbury here: Link to BBC news report on Glastonbury
In summer in the UK, temperatures reach a maximum of 32 degrees Celsius. It’s not really that hot compared to a lot of other countries around the world, but as I said before, we’re a nation of whingers. People soon start moaning if temperatures stay at this level for more than a few days. As for me, when it rains, I like to read the newspaper and have a cuppa. I prefer the autumn, when the sky is blue and the days are crisp and bright.
Naheed, I’ve been a veggi since the age of 16. I think there are probably three reasons why I don’t eat meat. 1) As you know, I’m an animal lover. 2) I never really liked the taste of meat. 3) My grandparents volunteered on a farm, and I remember playing with some really cute pigs when I was young. Then, those pigs were made into sausages. Boo!
Your breakfast of halwa sounds delicious. I think I could get used to Pakistani food! I have tried lassi before and it’s very tasty. Thanks also for the pictures – those buildings are really beautiful. Do you have a favourite building or landmark in Pakistan?
By the way, here are the answers to those informal words we use to describe food in the UK:
1) bangers = sausages
2) a sarnie = a sandwich
3) brekkie = breakfast
4) a chip buttie = a sandwich filled with chips (not very healthy!)
5) grub = a slang word for food in general. You’ll often see signs outside pubs that serve food saying ‘pub grub’.
Now on to grammar. Ruth asked me about the following sentence in my blog about Stonehenge:
I remember there being a mystical atmosphere, and my small mind was quite impressed with the sight it saw.
Ruth wanted to know why I had used ‘being’ in this sentence. I’ll try to explain.
‘Being’ is the gerund form of the verb ‘to be’. Gerunds always end in –ing, and we use them like nouns. However, when you use the verbs ‘remember’ and ‘forget’, there are some special rules to think about:
forget/remember + -ing refers to the past – we use it to talk about things that we have already done:
I’ll never forget visiting Stonehenge at the age of eight.
I remember seeing lots of tall stones.
forget/remember + the infinitive refers to the future – we use it to talk about things that we are going to do, or still have to do at the point when we remember:
Don’t forget to visit Stonehenge when you visit the UK next year.
You must remember to watch the sunrise next June 21st.
I hope that makes sense!
Seeing as it’s Sunday, let’s have a little fun with a quiz. You know that us British love to talk about weather, and with the downpours in Pakistan and the UK, it seems like a good time to introduce you to some phrases that talk about weather. Can you guess what they mean?
1) It’s boiling!
2) Nice weather for ducks!
3) Brrr! It’s a bit parky today!
4) It’s bucketing down.
5) It’s close!
It’s raining cats and dogs – this means it’s raining very heavily.
safe and sound – safe, uninjured
Wimbledon – the international tennis tournament in south London. People often joke that if it’s time for Wimbledon, it must be time for rain.
torrential downpours – extremely heavy rain
mud-bath – a muddy scene or occasion.
If you describe the weather as crisp, it means it’s a bit cold, but the sky is blue and it’s dry.
veggi – short for ‘vegetarian’.
Boo! – you can use this interjection to express your disapproval of something.
Answers to your comments
Ruth – ‘in terms of’ means ‘on the subject of’. It’s a useful phrase if you want to start talking about a new topic. ‘I’ll be asking’ is the future continuous tense. To form the future continuous tense, you use shall/will + be + …ing. We use the future continuous tense when we want to talk about future events that are fixed or decided.
Rocio – you can say ‘I am greedy’ (where ‘greedy’ is an adjective) or you can say ‘I am a greedy guts’ (where ‘greedy guts’ is a noun). We don’t use ‘greedy’ as a noun.
Ahmed – In the UK, we are on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). However, during the summer, we switch to British Summer Time, which is GMT + 1 hour. It’s not the meridian that affects how late the sun sets – it’s how far away from the equator you are. So, if you live in Norway or Sweden (far from the equator), the sun will set very late in summer and very early in winter. However, if you live near the equator, you won’t notice much difference in the length of the days, no matter what time of year.
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