Lisa's week

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Lisa's week: My favourite time of the year


I love this time of the year. You’ll (mostly) find me smiling every day. Yes, autumn is definitely my favourite time. September, October and November are just the best months. Followed by winter, spring and lastly summer. I’m most definitely a cold weather person.

I know, I know. You think that’s strange. That’s totally ok. You prefer the long summer days and the feeling of sun on your skin. I get it. Really I do. And I enjoy that too. But when the days get shorter, the sun gets lower, the temperatures drop, I experience that first day of needing a coat and cosy scarf, the mornings are mysteriously misty and the leaves start to turn colour, that’s when I start to smile. Isn’t it great that we are all so different? Imagine how boring life would be if we were all identical and we all liked exactly the same things!

Something that I’m asked quite often is about the difference between the names autumn and fall. I’ve always said that it’s just the difference between British and American English but according to some research on the internet, that’s not strictly true.

Apparently, the word “fall” was widely used in England until relatively recently with it originating from the phrase “fall of the leaf” which was typically used in the 17th century. The word “autumn” might have come into use in the 18th century and is a derivative of the French word “automne” or maybe the fact I found that it appeared in the 14th century from the Latin word “autumnus” is the real origin. It really doesn’t matter where it came from though, we now almost exclusively use the term autumn and the US uses the word fall.

This is the time of year when the colours are truly spectacular with the trees giving us a final display of glory before they enter their sleepy winter – reds, yellows, oranges, browns, golds. There are the rich red of the berries and the wonderful chestnut browns of the conkers to be collected from the ground each morning throughout September.

“What are conkers?” I hear you ask! That’s the colloquial word for horse chestnuts and in the UK, it’s an autumn activity for kids to collect them up to play a game on the playground of the same name. The conker is threaded onto a lace and then each player tries to strike the other player’s conker with their own in order to smash it. The more conkers you smash with your own still being intact, the more victorious you are and you will gain a fearsome reputation on the school playground with everyone wanting to have a go to win against you! But watch out for your knuckles if you’re playing against someone with a bad aim. If you look online for pictures of the game, you’ll be able to see exactly what I mean. It can be hard to hold your conker still and steady while the other takes aim to smash it to pieces!

My conker playing days may be over but if you want me you’ll find me outside collecting leaves, acorns and other autumn delights while I’m all wrapped up in my coat and scarf. Oh yes, and I’ll be smiling.


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!