Got to grit my teeth
Spring is just around the corner here and a couple of warmer days last week indicated as much. Whilst spring symbolises daffodils in bloom, lambing, returning to greenery all around and general growth and liveliness in the UK, in Beijing it indicates something less pleasant. Beijingers have to get to grips with grit. To explain, spring is the annual sandstorm season and this entails a few months of dust, dirt and grit blowing around the city. On the worst sandstorm days, conditions are downright appalling because the sky turns a browny orange as it’s laden with sand and it’s impossible to breathe or even open your eyes properly. People either take cover until the storm passes; wrap chiffon scarves around their faces like full face turbans or wear face masks.
I read over the weekend that this year will be especially grim according to Beijing Meteorological Station because the winter was comparatively warm and there was little rainfall in the desert areas surrounding the capital. It’s predicted that we have approximately 11 days of dust storms ahead of us(and I bet this is a conservative estimate as we always get more bad weather than the weather office predict!). It feels like winter has dragged on for months but excitement for the arrival of spring is tainted by the knowledge that I’ll be eating mouthfuls of grit and blowing sand out of my nose.
Look at this picture of a sandstorm in 2007. Wish you were here?!
Ok that is my moan for the day over, just had to get it off my chest! Hope Nastaya is well and working hard, toiling away at my phrasal verb challenge;-) You said you opened a Facebook account, my friends have been crazy about Facebook for months and I wonder of anyone who works in an office in the UK ever does any work anymore-they all spend all day on Facebook!! It’s pretty useful for posting pictures and videos and quickly getting in touch with friends I must admit but some people find it as addictive and time-consuming as computer games. Beware Anastasia; don’t let yourself be sucked into the world of Facebook!!! (I think it’s great for nosy people like me to look at friend’s profiles and photos though!)
I liked the picture of St. Basil’s Cathedral. Is it possible to get married there?! Who designed it? I ask because I vaguely remember being told a gruesome story about the architect of that place. I don’t know if this story is correct but hopefully Nastya can verify if it’s right. I was told that the Queen or King of England asked the architect of St. Basil’s to go over to London to design and build a similar structure there. Whilst on the boat on the way to Great Britain, the crew who were following Ivan the Terrible’s orders pulled out the architect’s eyes and blinded him so that he wouldn’t be able to work again and no country (especially not Britain) would be able to have any building quite like St. Basil’s.
Waiting to see the invitations tomorrow, I bet everyone will have different opinions as ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. Does anyone have a similar expression in their language? If Alex has a job in London, what does that mean for you? Will you be moving there with him? Where and for how long? Tell us about Alex’s job and your plans for the future…Perhaps you are unemployed now as you are planning the patter of tiny feet by the end of the year: 0
As a final note for today, here is an extract from your horoscope for the Rat year Nastya, I read it in a magazine here yesterday and it seems quite apt for you (the pig)
‘Congratulations, as a pig this year you are endowed with the best love luck of all the twelve zodiac signs. Expect opportunities to blossom, since you’ll suddenly find yourself being perceived as more attractive and welcomed into the lives of others like never before. It’s time to start a serious relationship…’
sending you a big gritty grin :-))
PS Do you know what the title means? It's a 'grit' related idiom that fits with my topic today.
To get to grips with something to deal with a problem or challenge
Grit (n) small bits of stone or sand
Appalling (adj) really bad
Laden with full of/ loaded with
Grim (adj) very unpleasant
Meteorological (adj) scientific forecasting of weather
Conservative estimate a cautious/moderate guess often under the real number
Tainted (adj) spoilt
To get something off one’s chest to say something you have wanted to say
Toiling (v) working really hard
Vaguely (adv) unclearly
Gruesome (adj) horrific, frightful
The patter of tiny feet referring to the sound of a baby you might have in the future
Extract (n) a small part of a longer article or piece of writing
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