Last year it was all about how cold the UK got, this year we are all about the UKs hottest day on record. So this is an interesting English language learning lesson all about how the British handle too much sun.
Given we already have a podcast on why the British don’t plan for cold weather extremes, it only seems fair we do one for why the British don’t plan for hot weather. It’s not that we don’t care about the problems! The British are famous for complaining about the weather.
We British know that these extreme weather events do not happen often enough for the whole country to spend a lot of money fixing the issues we experience. So we would rather save the money and protest about the problems for 2-3 days and then forget about all it until the next time.
So what does all this have to do with learning to speak English fluently? Today the Adept English podcast is all about improving your English fluency.
slurp swelters thankyou
Hi there and welcome to this short podcast from Adept English. If you’re having difficulty moving your English language learning forward, if you’re finding it hard to become fluent in English, then we are here to help you with this. Tell your friends about us, tell your family about us.
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So what about the weather in Europe last week? It was a hot one! All across Europe there were really hot temperatures. It’s all cooled down now of course – today for sure it’s back to moderate temperatures and a bit of rain where I live. And my garden is saying Oohh, [slurp, slurp]… ‘Thankyou!’. We are used to our weather and our temperatures in the UK being ‘in the middle’, moderate. It’s quite warm in the summer, and it’s cool in the winter, but not often extremely cold or extremely hot. And we do a lot of complaining when it’s either very cold or very hot.
I’ve talked about this before – one of our podcasts, back in March 2018, podcast 100 ‘Why People In The UK Do Not Worry About Snow’. We’re not prepared for extremes of weather in the UK, because it doesn’t happen very often. So in that podcast, I was talking about how we aren’t very good at dealing with snow and ice, if you compare us to countries which have to manage snow and ice all winter. And that other countries sometimes laugh at the UK, because we are so bad at this. But the reality is it doesn’t happen very often, so it’s not worth spending lots of money on it – instead we just deal with the problems badly when it happens!
And so it was last week, when the temperature in the UK got up to 38C. It’s quite usual in offices in the UK for there to be air conditioning, but it’s not usual in most houses, or shops or restaurants. And there is certainly not air conditioning on public transport. ‘Air conditioning’ means when there is a system in place in a building to control the temperature of the air, whether that means the system is heating the air up, or cooling the air down. So in most UK buildings, we have heating, because it’s cold in the winter, but we don’t routinely have air conditioning to cool the air temperature in the summer. So when it gets to 38C, we aren’t really prepared for this temperature. Most people’s reaction to very hot weather like this, is to make for the nearest water and have a swim and if not a swim, at least ‘a paddle’.
A photograph of a man holding a baby you cannot tell the gender of the baby. Used to help explain English grammar she, he and they.
A paddle, P-A-D-D-L-E means when you get your feet wet for pleasure. So if you’re on the beach, and you take off your shoes and your socks and you walk in the water a bit, then this is called ‘a paddle’, which is a noun, or ‘to paddle’ which is the verb meaning the same. So last week, lots of people got out their paddling pools, so this is a temporary pool – possibly plastic, which you inflate – and fill with water, so that you’ve got somewhere to cool down when it’s hot. This is our solution to hot weather in the UK!
So last week, when the temperatures were really high, it was a bit of nightmare, really unpleasant on the trains and the tube, the underground system in London. On the underground, the tube, it’s normally quite hot in summer anyway. The tube doesn’t have air conditioning, so temperatures down there can be high and it doesn’t help that people are packed together. Very unpleasant. But there was a lot of worry about ‘rails buckling’ – and this disrupting the tube and the train services. So the ‘rails’, R-A-I-L-S are the metal pieces on the ground that the trains run on – as in the word ‘railway’. And the verb ‘to buckle’ means ‘to bend’ or ‘to break’, usually as a result of pressure or heat.
In fact, this didn’t happen – despite the 38C temperature, there wasn’t a problem with rails buckling on the railway. But instead there were problems with overhead power cables setting on fire. So ‘overhead’ just means high up, above the train. And of course a ‘power cable’ means the wire, the line through which electricity is delivered. So as I’m writing this podcast, three days after the high temperatures, it’s still difficult to travel out of London on the train to cities like Nottingham and Sheffield, because they’re still trying to repair the damage done by the hot weather! People had very long waits at train stations last week – and it’s still not back to normal now.
So will we be installing air conditioning because of our experiences last week? For most people, no probably not. It was 2003 last time we had temperatures this high – so we’ll probably just be very British about it and just sweat it out! Soon enough we’re back to normal temperatures – 20C to 25C is more normal for us in the summer. And while that’s a bit boring and we’re not always guaranteed to have sun in the summertime, those temperatures do mean that normally you can get on with your day, without worrying about the weather. However, I’m considering buying a fan for my practice room. That might be a good investment!
Do you want to understand more about the psychology of learning a language, why language learning can be difficult – and importantly, what you can do about it? Some people succeed in their language learning – and some people don’t. What’s the difference? If you want to save yourself effort, save yourself time – a little bit of understanding of how we all learn language is worth knowing, worth having. So sign up for our free course, The Seven Rules of Adept English. This course is free and it will help you understand why language learning can be difficult, why it’s hard to arrive at being fluent – and how Adept English can help you with this, how Adept English can make you a successful language learner.
Anyway, enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
https://www.express.co.uk/news/weather/1048399/UK-cold-weather-winter-coldest-on-record-uk-long-range-weather-forecast https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-49085806 https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swelter