Einträge von Lis

All Double Dutch and upside down?

“That wazzock dared to gazump me; I’m gobsmacked by this sticky wicket full of codswallop that’s gone pear-shaped!” This sentence may not sound serious, but the situation that it describes is! The person is talking about the negotiations involved in buying a house. Translated into standard English, it would be something like, “That idiot dared to offer more money for the house after my offer had already been accepted; I’m shocked by this tricky situation full of nonsense that’s gone seriously wrong!” It sounds so peculiar because it is full of words, with origins ranging from the 1700s to the 1980s, that have two qualities in common: they’re all rather […]

Three Bucket Rule

You might have heard of the “bucket list” – the most important things you wish to do, see or achieve before you die! But have you ever come across the “three bucket rule”? It identifies that all people have exactly the same number of hours in a week (168) and that these can be put into three 56-hour “buckets”: 56 hours of sleep, 56 hours of work and 56 hours for “everything else”. A simple but astonishing calculation! But how do we divide up our buckets? Do you get 8 hours sleep 7 nights a week? Or, is your reality working in excess of 10 hours a day with a […]

The Globetrotter

This week we are happy to introduce our TIP TOP globetrotter, Nicole. Nicole has always had a touch of wanderlust, an urge to see the world, a desire to meet new people and to discover new places. It all started in Hackenheim a small village close to Bad Kreuznach where Nicole was born. As the youngest family member she enjoyed many advantages and had a very happy childhood. After her studies in Chemical Engineering, Nicole moved to England where she worked on her PhD in Chemistry. She was fortunate to be at an international research institute where she met people from all over the world and learnt about their cultures […]

School’s out !!

Everyone remembers that feeling, the end of school ….. holidays, free time, sunshine, long dreamy days and warm summer evenings without a care in the world. And that’s how it was for our TIP TOP classes when our courses finished at the end of July. After 15 weeks of hard work, concentration, commitment and perseverance all our students passed their tests and received their certificates with a feeling of real achievement and satisfaction. A job well done! As a summer gift and fun give-away, all our students received a pair of TIP TOP orange sunglasses which fold to a handy pocket-size, perfect to take with you on a bike ride or […]

Every second counts!

Did you know that 2015 will have an extra second? This is called a “leap second”. At 23.59 on Tuesday the 30th of June, clocks will count all the way up to 60 seconds showing 23:59:60 before rolling over to 0:0:0 on the 1st of July. This will allow the Earth’s natural rotation speed to catch up with atomic time. The Earth’s spin is gradually slowing down, caused by the strong gravitational pull between the Earth and the moon, making each day about two thousandths of a second longer than the last. The atomic clock, however, is absolutely accurate. So occasionally years have to be lengthened to allow the two […]

Perfect for a light summer lunch or dinner in the garden on a warm July evening …

TIP TOP recommends “Spicy lentils and pineapple soup” It’s easy and quick to prepare and the combination of hot chillis and sweet pineapple gives a lively, exotic taste. Enjoy with crusty bread and a cold, fruity white wine. Have a look at the recipe and try it for yourself! Bon appetit! What are your favourite summer recipes? Please share your ideas with us. For 4 people: 2 tins of pineapple rings (480g drained net weight) 2 small onions 1 piece of fresh ginger (approx. 4cm) 2 fresh red chilli peppers 200g of red lentils 2 dessert spoons of olive oil 1000 ml of vegetable stock (instant) salt and pepper to […]

UK …. zero points ?!

Bianca Nicholas and Alex Larke’s duo, “Electro Velvet”, will be representing the United Kingdom in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna … whether you like them or not! Their song “Still In Love With You” has caused controversy in the UK press with some critics claiming it sounds extremely similar to a tune used by “Birdseye” to advertise their potato waffles in the 1980s. (click on the link below to hear the similarities between the two tunes) The song, which adopts a swinging 1920’s style, has devided opinion amongst the British public. Some find it a catchy, quirky tune with fun lyrics, whilst others damn it as cheesy and […]

Can you match the photos of the flowers to their English names?

“March brings breezes, loud and shrill , To stir the dancing daffodil . April brings the primrose sweet, Scatters daisies at our feet.” At last spring has arrived, the sun is shining, bees are buzzing and the woods and gardens are filled with spring flowers. But do you know what they are called in English? Their names are often poetic like the forget-me-not or the lily of the valley. Or they may to conjure up images of wild and fanatastic animals like the dandelion or the snapdragon , which flowers in June. Others sound less exotic, like the delicate and beautiful cowslip , the sweet smelling violet or the white […]

A hot cross bun

                 “Hot cross buns, hot cross buns,            one a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns,           if you have no daughters give them to your sons,          one a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns”     This popular English nursery rhyme dates back to the time when hot cross buns were sold on Good Friday in streets and market squares. Vendors shouted out the price of their wares in a sing-song voice and customers came running to buy the delicious spicy treats. Hot cross buns are still traditionally […]

Today is Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day

Today, in many towns and villages across Britain you will see people taking part in pancake races! Dashing through the streets in fancy dress with frying pans in their hands, tossing pancakes into the air and (hopefully) catching them as they run. The rules are strict and anyone caught dropping their pancake is disqualified. One of the most famous, is that outside the Houses of Parliament in London where politicians dressed in crazy costumes compete in front of an enthusiastic crowd! Most of the events are held to raise money for charity. The tradition is said to have originated in 1445 when a housewife from Olney, Buckinghamshire, was so busy […]