Lisa's week

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Lisa's week: The “Beast from the East” hits Western Europe!


We’ve talked about weather before. The Brits love talking about weather and just as a reminder, it doesn’t really rain every day over there, nor is London covered by a blanket of fog for most of the year. The weather in my hometown is pretty similar to the weather here in North-Rhine Westphalia.

However right now, Europe is experiencing a totally different level of weather and it’s got all of us talking. The weather front that is directly over us right now has been nicknamed as the “Beast from the East” in the UK where they love a good dramatic newspaper headline. However, this time around, it certainly appears true. This is really a beast of a weather front.

Scotland has been issued its first ever “red” extreme weather warning and much of the country is experiencing “amber” or “yellow” warnings. Red is considered to be heavy snow with a risk to life and damage likely, while yellow is the possibility of widespread disruption to travel due to ongoing snow showers. Weather causing significant risk to life is something new to me for sure.

Snowploughs can be seen clearing roads on the south coast that is often called its alternative name of the Riviera of England because of the mild weather the warm Gulf Stream brings. I’m sure it’s quite some time since they had any real snow! Even London is covered with a blanket of the cold, white stuff with Buckingham Palace Instagramming photos of the snow-covered gardens.

The UK is blanketed by snow as temperatures plummet to as low as 12° below zero in some parts of the country. Even the “warmer” areas are not expected to reach 0° but taking the wind chill factor into account, this can feel more like -10°C. The extreme weather brought to the country by the Beast from the East continues to batter the country, and travel, schools and power are expected to be interrupted over the next day or so.

Of course, it’s not only the UK to be affected by this cold snap. Nicknamed the “Siberian Bear” in The Netherlands or the “snow canon” in Sweden, the weather front has brought snow to parts of Europe better known for spring-like temperatures at this time of year. Pompeii, Rome, the French Riviera and even San Sebastian in Spain are experiencing the first snow for a very long time!

Regardless of the weather you’re experiencing right now, this introduction to an article on the BBC made me smile:

“The Beast from the East is unleashing a snow bomb super cyclone polar vortex monster storm.
Or "winter" as it used to be called.
Our obsession with the weather is nothing new. But the language used to describe it seems to have had something of a Hollywood makeover in recent years.
So what changed - how did the weather get a rebrand?”

(Source: BBC )

I’m really enjoying these cold days of real winter but I know that most of you will be looking forward to spring. It’s coming. Just a bit slower than you might like.



What is Lisa's week?

"We’ve (hopefully) been entertaining you so far with the meaning and background of a weekly English idiom and now we’ve decided to expand that a little to give me the chance to share some details that come my way in my daily life as a Business English teacher. I hope to find weekly tidbits of information and experience to tell you about such as British traditions that I (or we) celebrate, or typical mistakes made when speaking English, or even some of the funny things I come across in my daily life. We hope that you’ll enjoy the insight into the life of a Brit in Germany!"


Episode 1: The Queen's 90th birthday

Episode 2: What did you do last Sunday?

Episode 3: What's the best way to answer?

Episode 4: The sound of London

Episode 5: Not just a last resort

Episode 6: Quick tip of the week: advice vs. advise

Episode 7: Title talk

Episode 8: The Union Jack

Episode 9: Why Thursday?

Episode 10: Quick tip of the week - Are you watching or just looking?

Episode 11: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Episode 12: Don't forget to take you handy to the public viewing!

Episode 13: Up in the Highlands

Episode 14: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends

Episode 15: Pie in the sky 

Episode 16: Through the tunnel

Episode 17: Keep left!

Episode 18: Quick tip of the week - Rise vs. raise vs. arise

Episode 19: How do you say that?

Episode 20: Back to School!

Episode 21: Sweet cravings

Episode 22: Can you change a fiver?

Episode 23: Grabbing some "me time"

Episode 24: Typical Mistakes (part 1)

Episode 25: Fancy a cuppa?

Episode 26: Quip tip of the week - Fell vs. fall etc.

Episode 27: Things that go bump in the night!

Episode 28: Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpower, treason and plot

Episode 29: What's that badge you're wearing?

Episode 30: Bless you!

Episode 31: What are you thankful for?

Episode 32: Where's the larget Christmas Market outside Germany or Austria?

Episode 33: What's behind the door?

Episode 34: The joy of a Christmas cracker!

Episode 35: Does it all fit on the table?

Episode 36: Seeing in the New Year

Episode 37: How are your resolutions going?

Episode 38: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends - part 2

Episode 39: What will the Year of the Rooster mean for you?

Episode 40: Sweet Valentine

Episode 41: A Reminder

Episode 42: I'll have mine with sugar and lemon juice, please!

Episode 43: The joy of golden daffodils

Episode 44: To correct or not to correct, that is the question

Episode 45: The whole world's going green!

Episode 46: Idiom of the week - Raining cats and dogs

Episode 47: The joke's on you!

Episode 48: Left over from the Middle Ages!

Episode 49: More calendar food-based ponderings

Episode 50: We use German words too

Episode 51: Celebrating St George

Episode 52: The perfect start to the day

Episode 53: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 1)

Episode 54: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 2)

Episode 55: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 3)

Episode 56: Holiday season is coming!

Episode 57; ‘Tis the season (of Bank Holidays) – part 1

Episode 58; ‘Tis the season (of Bank Holidays) – part 2

Episode 59: Summer Solstice

Episode 60: Harry Potter turns 20

Episode 61: Quick Tip of the Week - live, life, live

Episode 62: Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Episode 63:  I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Episode 64: Stick a stamp on it!

Episode 65: Idiom of the week - Water under the bridge

Episode 66: I say QWERTY, you say QWERTZ

Episode 67: Doing your homework and making mistakes! (Part 1)

Episode 68: Doing your homework and making mistakes! (Part 2)

Episode 69: Joking around in Scotland

Episode 70: The first day of school

Episode 71: Let's go down to the Wiesn!

Episode 72: Celebrating language

Episode 73: It's a Harry thing!

Episode 74: My favourite time of the year

Episode 75: TED-Ideas Worth Spreading

Episode 76: Grinning like a Cheshire cat

Episode 77: Enjoying the downtime

Episode 78: Talking Tenners

Episode 79: Do you need anything from the Hight Street?

Episode 80: Just another few minutes!

Episode 81: Counting the cards on my shelf.

Episode 82: What sign are you?

Episode 83: Great if you have a sweet tooth

Episode 84: It's an acquired taste!

Episode 85: New Year's Resolutions

Episode 86: Quick Tip of the week - go/come & take/bring

Episode 87: My Luve is Like a Red Red Rose

Episode 88: Once in a blue moon

Episode 89: Learning by Listening - part 1

Episode 90: Learning by Listening - part 2

Episode 91: This is the travel news!