Lisa's week

lisas week teaser

Lisa's week: Bless you!

The cold season has arrived. Have you noticed?

I’m a relatively healthy person but at this time of year, there are an awful lot of colds around and I feel as if I’m coming down with one right now. I can feel that my nose is blocking up and there’s a tightness in my chest as if a cough (pronounced /kɒf/) is preparing itself to makes its presence known. I’ve got a tickle in my throat, which feels as if it might well turn into a sore throat. And then there’s that aching bone feeling. Not good. Not good at all. Now, I’m being a little dramatic but I know that you know how I feel.

So, do you have all the words to describe the average winter cold? Well, to be honest, we don’t go into so much detail unless we are talking to a pharmacist or a doctor but there are some basics that we might tell those around us.

Of course, you might sneeze a lot, and the typical response for that short explosion of noise is “Bless You!” although you might be surprised to hear that “Gesundheit!” is well known around the English-speaking world too. Then there’s the high temperature (we reserve the use of the word “fever” to being very ill, maybe even in hospital), the shivers and the headaches. You might even have blocked sinuses, which can be very painful and make your eyes feel like they are popping out!

Your nose might be blocked or running, and of course, it will be bright red to inform the world of your sorry infliction!

A typical English remedy for a bad cold is to be tucked up in bed with a hot water bottle and a steaming hot honey and lemon drink with a Vicks Medinite to ensure you get a good night’s sleep.

That’s about as much detail as we share which I tend to find is less than Germans do. I often get asked in class for vocabulary for many more symptoms for colds and other basic illnesses. I think this is a cultural difference and we are more general in describing how we feel and what ailments we have.

So I think this is just a cold. Back to normal in a day or two. And if you ask me how I am, I’m likely to do the very British thing and just answer, “Oh, you know! Can’t complain!”


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?