As the year begins to draw to a close and Christmas and New Year approach, it’s a good time to explore how people around the world celebrate.
Did you know that while all countries that celebrate Christmas have Christmas trees, they’re not always fir? Sometimes fig or palm trees are decorated and lit. Nativity scenes [more…]
Did you know that November 21 is World Hello Day? Observed since 1973 in hundreds of countries around the globe, World Hello Day first came about as a way to encourage us all to use communication rather than force to settle conflict and discord. To participate in World Hello Day, all one needs to [more…]
Did you know that before January and February were added to the Roman calendar, around 713BC, November was the ninth month of the year? This is how it got its name; novem means ‘nine’ in Latin.
As the year draws to a close, you’d be forgiven for getting excited about December and all its summery, [more…]
Sometimes the day’s chores can seem overwhelming, but there are ways to create a fresh rhythm to life that has room for work, play and downtime…
Here we share ideas that can help to achieve a rewarding lifestyle balance as well as some valuable tools to help you stay centred.
1 Get up earlier
In his book The [more…]
Or should I say Hola? Because this column is about the Spanish language. There are approximately 405 million people in the world speaking Spanish as a native language, making it the second-most-spoken language by a number of native speakers, after Mandarin Chinese. Spanish is also one of the six official languages of the United [more…]
With spring marking the changing weather, when the cold winter winds are swapped for floral-filled days, it got me thinking about how the meaning of words also changes. One of the continuing controversies of my job is dealing with that fickle aspect of the English language, words that change their meaning – known as [more…]
While many of us crave the sunshine and heat of summer, one of the silver linings of the chilly winter months is that they offer the perfect excuse to cosy up at home and get lost in our silver screen favourites. As well as an almost endless source of entertainment, I’ve found films and [more…]
There is a common myth about how the kangaroo got its name. When European explorers first saw a kangaroo they asked a native Australian what it was called. The local didn’t understand the question and replied ‘kangaroo’ meaning “I don’t know” in his own language. The explorers took this to be the animal’s name. [more…]
I’ve often marvelled at the journey a word takes from its birth to its present usage, and one fine example is termagant, an answer I’ve clued before in a recent MegaMix crossword.
The word termagant means a violent, overbearing person, usually a woman. Synonyms we might use as clues are shrew, virago, harridan, formidable [more…]