Nice weather for the ducks

There are many things associated with Britishness; a love of fish and chips, an obsession with the royal family. But perhaps more than anything else, British people have a unique fondness for discussing the weather. Even when no other topic of conversation exists, common ground and comfort with a British person can always be found by talking about the current state of the weather.

Being Britain however, the current state of the weather is often rather wet. This, when combined with British people’s love of talking about it, has led to some vivid expressions for rain. Here are a few of my favourite:

Raining cats and dogs – This is quite a common expression and is used to describe very heavy rain. I previously thought that the expression derived from a desire to portray the raindrops as particularly large (i.e. the size of cats and dogs). It turns out however, that the more likely origin is from a tendency in the past for heavy rain showers to wash cats and dogs into the street.

Raining stair-rods – Stair-rods are thin metal rods used to hold a carpet in place upon each step of a staircase. This expression therefore, is used to describe rain that is so heavy and constant, it takes on the appearance of upturned stair-rods.

Nice weather for the ducks – This expression can, in my opinion, be used to describe any sort of rain. It’s a lovely expression, since it attempts to put a positive spin on what most people would describe as miserable weather (a very British thing to do). Although I’m not sure about its origin, I expect the expression is suggesting that, if anyone is to be happy about the rain, it should be the ducks. After all, they are used to being wet. Rain to a duck is like… water off a duck’s back.


List of ‘how to’ guides

Since starting this blog, I have written a number of posts about how to do various things, from creating a silhouette to making a cardboard box. I thought it would be convenient to have a link to all my ‘how to’ guides in one place. From now on, whenever I post about how to do something new, I will add a link to this list. To view one of the guides, just click on the link.

How to fold a plastic bag

beforeIf you are anything like me, you will probably have loads of plastic bags lying around the house. These invariably make their way into a larger ‘mother’ bag with the aim of keeping the house tidy. However, they still seem to take up more space than they should and finding the right bag requires emptying the entire contents of said mother bag onto the floor, defeating its primary purpose. Anyway, if this is you, keep reading for today is your lucky day!

My flatmate Rie has been practice the art of plastic bag folding for a while now. Previously I have just accepted this without much thought and continued with my shameful mother bag ways. Today though, I finally learnt the secrets of plastic bag folding for myself and now I will share them with you in just six easy to follow steps.

You may notice that in the following photos, there is just one hand shown carrying out seemingly complicated and dexterous tasks. This was due to the necessity of holding my camera. If you are not taking photos of your own plastic bag folding attempts (perhaps for a similar step-by-step guide), I suggest you employ all available hands.

Step 1

Flatten the plastic bag (ideally on a flat and sturdy surface) by tucking in both sides.

Step 2

Fold the bag in half lengthways and then fold it in half again. Squeeze any air out of the bag as you do this.

Step 3

Fold the bottom end of the plastic bag at a 45 degree angle so that it make a triangle shape as shown below.

Step 4

Fold once again from the bottom of the bag, this time along the folded edge that you just created in Step 3.

Step 5

Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you reach the handles of the plastic bag. The number of times you will need to fold the plastic bag will depend on both its height and width.

Step 6

Finally, tuck the handles into the slit that has now formed at one edge of your folded triangle

afterYou should now be left with a neat triangle shaped package, saving you space, reducing the time spent searching for suitable plastic bags to line the bin with and impressing guests (depending, of course, how easily impressed your guests are).

Happy plastic bag folding !


I have searched using Google thousands of times now. Yesterday however, I achieved something I had never achieved before… a Google search yielding just 1 result (see the image below)! This is often termed a Googlewhack. Although a ‘proper’ Google whack consists of two real words (as opposed to my poorly spelt made up ones) and those two words feature in the text of the result in their entirety (as mine didn’t), I still think it was quite an achievement. Feel free to post any Googlewhacks you find in the comments.