Hip hop across the world by Angela Caldin

I look forward to Wednesdays because it’s the day I go and collect my 12 year old granddaughter from hip hop. I like to go a bit early so that I can watch her and her fellow dancers going through their latest routine. Last week they were practising a segment which involved very fast arm movements, flashing above and around their heads. It looked challenging and hard to keep in time with the music and each other. ‘It’s called waacking,’ said a mother standing next to me. ‘Why don’t you tell your… Read More

Mutating idioms by Angela Caldin

He did it off his own back You hear that a lot these days, so much so that it’s entered into common use. In fact, the original expression is ‘He did it off his own bat’. The bat in question is a cricket bat and the first activity that was said to be done ‘off someone’s own bat’ was to score runs. The idiom conveys the idea of someone doing something independently, without prompting. Each one worse than the next This phrase makes no sense if you pause to think about the… Read More

Dog rescue by Angela Caldin

I’ve recently discovered a new time-wasting Facebook-based activity which can keep me distracted from important tasks for hours on end. A while ago, a short video of an abandoned dog found in a precarious situation popped up on my newsfeed; an intrepid and persistent rescuer overcame enormous difficulty to finally succeed in saving the poor animal from its desperate plight. After a visit to the vet to treat wounds and combat infections, the rescued dog, plied with food and loving care, made a complete recovery and went off to a foster home… Read More

Similes and metaphors by Angela Caldin

What’s the difference? Both similes and metaphors are used to make writing more interesting by using striking comparisons. The difference between them comes down to two words. Similes use the words like or as to compare things: The thunder sounded like several fireworks going off at once. In contrast, metaphors directly state a comparison, as in Katy Perry’s song: Baby, you’re a firework! Here are some other examples of similes and metaphors: Life is like a box of chocolates. (Simile) My life is an open book. (Metaphor) The dancer’s hands fluttered like… Read More

No more new clothes! by Angela Caldin

I don’t usually make new year’s resolutions, but on 1 January 2021, I made one. It was this: not to buy any new clothes for a year. I subsequently discovered that lots of other people have made the same resolution, have written about the experience in various publications and have joined Facebook support groups to exchange ideas and encourage each other to continue. What’s the benefit? I’m still not sure of what the logic is behind this resolution or in what way it will benefit anybody at all. I’m no longer in… Read More