Lisa's week

lisas week teaser

Lisa's week: Seeing in the New Year

I’m not a fan of New Year’s Eve. I find it a little melancholy to be honest. But there are a few traditions that belong to the evening in the UK that you might not find here in Germany and I have to admit, that every now and again, I miss them.

For a start, we don’t watch Dinner For One! In fact, I’d never even heard of it before I came to Germany, nor had any of my family. And I’ll tell you a secret… shhh… I don’t find it funny! At all! It’s funny to watch the Germany laughing at it and that can be infectious, but the piece itself just isn’t funny for me. So most years this isn’t part of my New Year celebration if I can avoid it.

But coming up to 12 midnight in the UK, people will often make sure that they have the BBC on the TV or the radio so that they can hear the chimes of Big Ben which will be broadcast across the country. They are a familiar sound to everyone, even those outside London, because they are used for one of the main TV news programmes. But on 31st December, they are somehow even more special with the low, deep, resonating sound that matches my mood!

So, the first thing I miss are those infamous chimes at 12 and then, it’s traditional to sing the Scottish song, Auld Lang Syne (loosely translated to “for (the sake of) old times”). The song is a poem written by the very famous Scottish poet Robert Burns and is set to the tune of a traditional folk song. It is sung by English speaking people around the world and at larger events is always accompanied by bagpipes. It isn’t only sung on New Year’s Eve, but this is the most typical time to hear it.

The first line in the song “Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?” is a rhetorical question asking if it’s right to forget old times and the song is all about reminding us that we should remember our long-standing friendships which is so very fitting for the turn of the year. People often link hands while they are singing and while many of us may not know more than the first verse and chorus, you can be sure that everyone will join in whole heartedly. It often brings a tear to my eye as I find it a very emotional reminder about those we might have lost over the years.

It’s been a few years since I celebrated the turn of the year in the UK. Maybe in 2017 it’s time to go back “home” and catch up on the traditions that have a place in my heart.



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?