Thursday, February 28, 2008

From Peacocks to Pints I was teaching second conditionals to an English group and the word 'peacock' came in a text. They asked me what it meant and while I was explaining - bird, colourful tail, tastes like chicken (I don't know, maybe it does - I teach English not cooking) - I had an incredibly strong image of a pint of beer, of quaffing a pint of beer, of quaffing this pint of beer...

I told my students about my vision, they were bemused - actually, I believe they were thinking something like, "Himmels Willen, does he associate everything with a beer???"

It's all Freudian this association stuff isn't it? Well, if so, cheers for that, Sigi me old mate!

The thing is... there is a farm in Lydiate, just north of Liverpool, where we sometimes go to get fresh veg and stuff when we are over there... and there is a little pond with ducks and chickens and... peacocks.

First association.

Now, this farm can get a bit dusty, which can make your throat quite dry... and this is reason enough to stop, on the way back, at this pub, The Scotch Piper, about a mile down the road...

Second association.

This led, in a flash, to a marvellous malty memory of quaffing a pint of beer, that pint of beer above, a beer which swiftly became a favourite of mine.

Third (and best) association

The beer is called Sneck Lifter and it contains substances which give it problem solving qualities, or rather problem dissolving qualities. The first quaff, which should be seriously long and concentrated, gives you that pleasant ahhhhh-bloody-hell-that's-a-great-pint feeling; the second quaff, which can be equally long and serious but more sensuous than concentrated, makes all the colours around you seem to glow just that little bit more, and by the third these magic Sneck Lifter substances have reached the part of your brain where all your most awkward problems are kept and have begun to melt them slowly away and this produces the second, but in this case definitely capital AHHHHHHHHHH!!

So the example of a second conditional for the class was, 'if I were there, I would order a pint of Sneck Lifter.'

Dead easy English!

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1 comment:

Anji said...

So for inspiration for examples I just have to take to drinking beer?

I thought it might be a post about the Archers, they have peacocks at The Bull