The naked truth....
Hello again! I've had a busy Monday, but I want to update you on my weekend, which was quite eventful. I had heard about a demonstration which was taking place in central London so on Saturday I headed down to Hyde Park to see what was happening. The demo was a chance for cyclists to show their contempt for our car-obsessed culture and campaign for more cycle lanes and facilities for those on two wheels. The twist to this particular demo.... most of the cyclists were stark naked! Quite a novel way to get people's attention I'm sure you'll agree...The procession left from the park and headed down Piccadilly, the riders in all their glory, wearing nothing but their birthday suits.... The best thing about it wasn't the riders themselves, it was the faces of gobsmacked onlookers who had no idea what was going on, or why the streets were suddenly full of naked cyclists. There's a picture below - it's not the best photo, but it gives you an idea (some of the others were a bit too revealing...!)
Cycling down Piccadilly in the buff...
...In fact, last week, a lot more Londoners did start using bicycles, but that was only because there was a two-day tube strike. Around 3 and a half million people use the tube in London every day, so when they go on strike it causes mayhem - people crowd onto buses, get on their bikes, walk, get their rollerblades out - anything to get into work.
On Sunday, I met some friends in Bushy Park - that's a royal park in the South West of London. We were lucky to have great weather, and it was good to catch up. I promised them I'd put a picture on my blog, so here you go....
If you are in your birthday suit, you're wearing what you were wearing the day you were born - nothing.
gobsmacked - gob is a slang word for mouth, but gobsmacked means shocked/astonished
Once again, thanks for all your comments. You had some interesting things to say about culture. Gabija from Lithuania said that culture is of huge importance and is probably everything that humans can create in order to develop their spiritual life and true worth. Jeronimo from Valencia, Spain pointed out that culture is related to the way we behave and that we should always try to be polite with other people, but that culture is very complex and much more than a word. Meanwhile, Kuldeep from Jammu made the very interesting point that culture is related to geographical conditions and weather, which helps to determine what we eat and wear for example.
Taru mentioned a Dutch writer, Geert Hofstede, who came up with a 'model of cultural dimensions' which is often used as the basis for intercultural awareness training, particularly in the field of business. Finally, Hyoshil from the UK mentioned that learning a language can help to understand different cultures. By the way, did you correctly predict the winner of The Apprentice Hyoshil??
Cheikh Vall from Mauritania asked about a lovely expression: 'like herding cats in a thunderstorm'. Herding an animal means trying to control a group of animals and make them go in one particular direction or towards one particular place. Shepherds and sheepdogs herd sheep, cowboys herd cattle. So, as we know, cats are fairly independent spirits and like to do their own thing. They also don't like to get wet and may be afraid of thunder and lightning. So, theoretically, herding cats may well be almost impossible and cause complete chaos. Any activity for which it's really difficult to get people organised can be like 'herding cats in a thunderstorm'. It's not a very common expression, but it's certainly very expressive!
Adek from Poland asks about the difference between 'at the harbour' and 'in the harbour'. In this case, both are possible but which one you choose depends on what you mean. If you are going to the harbour in order to take a boat somewhere, if it is your point of departure on land, then you would say AT - we met at the harbour. If, however, you are on a boat or arriving by boat, you can describe yourself as being IN the harbour. Remember, IN often describes a position relating to a 3-dimensional space (in this case, a body of water) whereas AT usually talks about a point (of departure) - at the airport, at the station etc.
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