OK so it's 13 January today, but it's not too late for a New Year greeting.
First, business. I promised you answers to the quiz questions. As usual, Filomena has done some great work. She and Andrea also told us what they would do if they won the lottery.
Here, then, are the answers to the Christmas quiz questions:
1. Saturnalia was a time of innocence, sport and conviviality.
2. Ancient festivals are about merrymaking, charity and misrule. "Misrule" refers to the reversal of roles in society.
3. Jesus could be regarded as a subversive figure, one who upset the powers.
4. Examples of misrule and reversal of roles were "the boy bishop" (still celebrated in Hereford Cathedral in the West of England) as well as "the feast of fools", office parties and kissing under the mistletoe. Mistletoe is a parasitic bush which grows on many trees.
5. The Norse god Odin (after whom Wednesday is named) is said to have "ridden through the winter darkness with his retinue", or companions.
That's it! I urge you all to return to BBC Radio Four In Four, as there are many interesting interview clips, and they are all short - four minutes or under. We will listen to some of them in class.
Now for some Shakespeare. It's four hundred years since William Shakespeare died. But he is still very much alive and we feel his influence daily. To understand the man better, here are two sites to visit:
"Shakespeare Lives" - on the British Council Italy website, in Italian.
"Exploring English: Shakespeare". This site helps you to "Improve your English language skills by looking at the life and works of William Shakespeare and his enduring popularity."
I advise you to go for it! Sign up and do the course. For level B1 and upwards.
On that note: many thanks for reading this, and more soon!
Best wishes for 2016