May Day or International Workers’ Day commemorates the struggles and gains made by workers over the years and is a public holiday (bank holiday) in over 80 countries. Some of the rights workers have fought for include: an 8-hour working day, paid holidays, paid sick leave, the minimum wage and occupational health and safety.
What do you think about working conditions nowadays? How have they improved and how could they be improved further?
Struggles = luchas
The daily struggles of miners included health problems, dangers such as explosions or falls and exhaustion.
Gains = ganancias
One of the most important gains of the trade unions was to end child labour.
A public holiday/ a bank holiday = un día festivo
1st May is a public holiday in the UK.
Paid sick leave = días renumeradas por enfermedad
Paid sick leave was introduced in the 1980s.
Minimum wage = salario mínimo
Many companies still pay minimum wage to their employees.
Occupational health and safety = salud y seguridad laboral
Occupational health and safety is very important in manual labour jobs.
Happy 95th Birthday to Queen Elizabeth II! She is 95 years old today.
Why does the Queen have two birthdays?
The Queen’s real birthday is on the 21st April and the second – the official celebration – is on the second Saturday in June. This tradition started in 1748 with King George II – he wanted to be able to have a big public celebration but his birthday was in November when the weather is bad so he started the tradition of having a second birthday in June. As April is famous for its April Showers the Queen has continued this tradition with an official, public, outdoor birthday celebration in June.
What is Trooping the Colour?
The Trooping the Colour parade* marks the Queen’s official birthday celebration in June (although last year it was cancelled). This parade involves over 1400 soldiers wearing the iconic red tunics and bearskins, around 200 horses and 400 musicians. One of the main attractions is the RAF Red Arrows flying over Buckingham Palace.
*El desfile anual que celebra el cumpleaños oficial de la reina.
How does the Queen celebrate her real birthday?
Usually, there is a 41-gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21-gun salute in Windsor Park and a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London on 21st April to mark the Queen’s birthday. The Queen celebrates her real birthday in private with her family.
Red tunics and bearskins = el uniforme típico de los soldados de Buckingham Palace – la túnica roja y el sombrero negro llamado bearskin porque está hecho con piel de oso canadiense.
RAF Red Arrows = son el grupo oficial de aviones acrobáticos y usan estelas de humo de colores, pertenecen al Royal Air Force (la fuerza aérea royal).
Gun salute = un saludo que se realiza disparando cañones como un honor militar. Se usa para varios acontecimientos reales.
In the month of April there are frequent, short periods of rain which we call April showers – they are usually unexpected so you need a raincoat or an umbrella! An April shower can be a drizzle or a downpour so your spring plans, especially picnics, can get rained off… but as they say “April showers bring May flowers”.
Can you think of any more expressions to talk about the rain?
April showers = en abril, aguas mil (lluvias cortas pero frecuentes)
Remember to take a jacket – you don’t want to get caught out by April showers.
Drizzle = llovizna
Let’s drive to the supermarket – it’s drizzling.
Downpour = aguacero
I got caught in the downpour – I’m soaking*
*soaking = empapado
I am soaked to the skin – mojado hasta los huesos
Rained off = cancelado por lluvia
Lily’s birthday picnic was rained off.
And Now It’s Spring
The grass is green across the hill,
But yellow blooms the daffodil*.
It’s sunshine on a little stalk,
A friendly flower, I bet they talk…
Of little kids, too long inside
They burst outdoors to play and hide.
Tracking mud and bringing bugs.
Look, there’s footprints on the rug!
Tiny whirlwinds, these little tykes,
They skin their knees while riding bikes.
They rip and roar, they’re running wild!
What fun it is to be a child.
It grows warmer every day.
Shoo the children out to play!
Pick the flowers, play in mud.
Too much rain, here comes a flood!
My snowy, winter days are gone.
I mourn them, but I hear a song
Of birds in trees; wind chimes ring.
I guess it might as well be spring!
*daffodil = narciso (es una flor muy típica de primavera en reino unido)
bloom (v) = florecer
stalk (n) = tallo (de una flor)
tykes (n) = chiquillos (informal)
skin (their knees) (v) = depellejarse
rip and roar (v) = montar un escándolo
mourn (v) = estar de luto/lamentar
wind chimes (n) = carillón
(v) = verb, (n) = noun