Books, fate and the weather
Hi Jin Lu,
Hello again. I'm back from Baltimore safe and sound and ready for some more blogging.
I've caught up with your posts and all the comments you've been getting about literature, fate and weather!
So here's my tuppence worth on those topics too, with a Maryland twist.
Literature – as some of you might have heard, the city of Baltimore gave the American writer Edgar Allan Poe a second funeral 160 years after his death.
I didn't make it to the funeral (too busy eating the best seafood I've had in ages with Vernon, the oyster shucker, at Nick's in Cross Street Market).
But I did find an interesting Baltimore/literature story. You know how mayors and city officials are always trying to think of memorable slogans for their cities? I don't know if anyone has ever managed to top the New York one,
but the poor officials keep trying. Apparently each mayor of Baltimore has tried to come up with a winner but none of their attempts has ever really stuck. The one that I liked the best was – Baltimore - the city that reads!
Fate – A while ago in a bookshop in London. I picked up a book (The Help by Kathryn Stockett). I thought it looked interesting but didn't decide to buy it. Who knows why? I already had a couple of books under my arm, I hadn't heard anything about the book. I don't know why; I just didn't buy it.
Then, when I was in Baltimore, I picked up a book in a bookshop (you've guessed it – The Help by Kathryn Stockett). But since I'm terrible at remembering book titles and authors, and the one in Baltimore had a different cover, I didn't recognise it initially as the same book.
While I was reading a bit about it from the back cover and the penny was just beginning to drop, a customer said, "Do you really like reading?" I nodded my head. Well, she promised the book I was holding was a fabulous read. The best one she'd read in ages, in fact. So call it fate, call it a lucky hunch but I thought, "a recommendation from a woman in the city that reads? You can't do better than that, can you?" So I bought the book there and then – only a couple of days ago – and am already half way through it and completely riveted.
And weather? We had it all. Sunny days and blue skies, heavy rains and howling winds. I didn't know if I was coming or going!. Here's a picture I took of a sailing ship in Baltimore harbour on one of the colder days!
I'd like to look at a few collocations (words that go together) from your latest posting Jin Lu. Collocations, as I'm sure you know, are words that go together. There's no real reason why they go together, they just do! For example, we say Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas but never Merry Birthday.
Do you know what the right collocations are here?
1. You can hardly judge if it's still autumn
a) hardly tell
b) often judge
2. I have several intimate friends
a) intimate sexual partners
b) close friends
3, I have been offered a perfect chance
a) an ideal chance
b) an ideal opportunity
4. I … have turned out a faithful soul
a) turned into
b) become out
That's all for now. Hope you're well. All the best,
safe and sound – (fixed expression) safe
my tuppence worth – my opinion
twist – particular way of looking at something (here, Lin Ju's blog topics)
shucker – if you shuck something you take the outer skin or covering off it. You can shuck corn or oysters. A shucker is a person who shucks.
memorable slogans – catchy phrases that people remember (for example, New York – the city that never sleeps)
to top – to beat or be better than
stuck – continued to be used
initially – at first
the penny was just beginning to drop – (fixed expression) – just beginning to realise or understand something
hunch – idea which is based on feeling, rather than on scientific proof or fact
riveted –not be able to stop looking at (or here, reading) something because it is so interesting
I didn't know if I was coming or going – I was confused
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