Lisa's week: The joy of golden daffodils
It’s hard to believe that it’s the end of February already but here we are. March is upon us and I know that many of my students are hoping that this marks the end of winter and the promise of spring. Although listening to the rain beat against my windows while I write this makes me think that they have a bit longer to wait.
I’m a weather lover – good and bad – so I’m not the one to wish winter gone, but even I get a happy feeling when I see the beautiful daffodils that start bobbing their heads at the side of the road as the weather warms a little. They used to fill my house at this time of year, bringing some much-needed colour into the house at a positively grey time of year. So I was a little sad to develop a rather bad allergy to them in recent years making it necessary to get myself some artificial ones instead, which provide me with sunshine yellow all year round if I’m honest.
These beautiful flowers never fail to make me think of the famous British poem, “I wandered lonely as a cloud” by William Wordsworth with its opening verse:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
I can hear you wondering what’s the connection with the beginning of March and my love for this springtime flower? Well, 1st March is St David’s Day, which is the day when Wales celebrates its patron saint, St David. And the national symbol of Wales is the smile-inducing daffodil!
St David is the only patron saint of the United Kingdom to have been born in the country he represents and is said to have lived to be 100 years old, dying on 1st March 589 AD. He was canonized in 1120 at the peak of the Welsh resistance to the Normans who had invaded Britain.
Although St David’s Day isn’t a national holiday, it is widely celebrated by the Welsh with local food, the wearing of traditional Welsh costume, parades and displays of folk dancing. You will also see people wearing both daffodils or leeks (the personal symbol of St David) on this day. Wearing a vegetable, the leek, on your lapel may seem a bit strange but it is said that St David advised the Welsh warriors who were fighting the Saxons to wear a leek so that their own armies could be identified. When they won the battle, the leek became a Welsh symbol.
My father recently told me that we have a little Welsh blood in our family from long, long ago, so I’ll be looking over at my fluttering (artificial) daffodils today for sure and impatiently waiting for them to show their pretty faces across the country in the weeks to come.
Who could resist smiling at the sight of them?
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!