Lisa's week

lisas week teaser

Lisa's week: Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

The summer holidays in North-Rhine Westphalia are almost here and it makes me think back to my own days – long, long ago – of coming up to the last day of school for the long summer break and how things might be different today than way back when or even to here on the continent!

My mother sent through some photos yesterday of my nieces and nephews playing on the beach in Devon where she has taken them for a few traditional seaside days. There they are with their buckets and spades, making quite elaborate sand castles. So far so good – this must be one of the most universal things that children do at the beach although maybe the style of castle has changed over the years.

I remember that we were often taken to the north Devon coast, which was pretty much the closest seaside to Birmingham which is slap bang in the middle of the country. We had family there and would pack up the caravan and head down the motorway with all the other “millions” of families, traditionally getting caught up in traffic jams where cars would stand stationary for what felt like hours, even overheating and having to pull over to cool down – air conditioning was a thing of the future and on one of those hot days where everyone had the idea to go to the beach, we would be sitting in the car melting away trying to occupy ourselves with a book. It was not uncommon to see families brewing up a cup of tea on the camping stove while sitting on the hard shoulder!

When we finally arrived at our destination, the beach would be the first thing on the agenda of course. But this beach had no sea. Or so it felt to me. The tide seemed to be out all day, every day and we would go walking out across the mudflats to find it, only to return a few minutes later covered head to toe in the “mud” which had prevented us from making it out to the water’s edge. I was reminded of this last time I went to the German “Wattenmeer” which has the same situation with the tides and yes, I also saw kids heading out to find the sea to no avail! It would seem that this too is a universal activity.

It looks to me like this might be a subject to return to as there are so many things that come to mind but for now, I ask myself if they still have donkeys on the beach in England? I’ve never seen them in Germany, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t exist. But when we were small, there would always be donkeys available for a short ride across the sand. What a treat! What more would a child need – back then – than beach, sand castles, the promise of the sea at some point, a donkey ride and an ice-cream if we were lucky! And there’s the story for another day.

What are your childhood seaside memories? And how different is a visit to the coast today compared to way back when?


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