Saturday, 5 November 2016

Tongue Twisters in Autumn !

 Yesterday it was the most beautiful orange autumn day. I was driving Kate to the airport in Inverness and we drove through the most golden and glowing landscape. All the way from paradise through Lochcarron and Achnasheen it was glorious. It reminded me of the shatteringly beautiful drive through burnt orange lanes in the Connecticut fall, except this was home and not 3000 miles away! The rain began to fall within 15 miles of Inverness and by the time we got to the airport it was gloomy and drizzling.

I am off to work with the Poor Clare sisters in Arundel on Monday so I did not even need to do a food shop at the Inverness mega Tesco! I bought some picnic lunch comestibles and turned tail and drove back home again. Within 15 minutes I was back in the glorious blue skies and glowing oranges of the forests. In my rear window I could see the leaves falling and dancing in the wind. Where else would one rather be?

All the way home I was thinking of a new tongue twister to give to the sisters next week. Tongue twisters are tricky in the extreme, and extremely useful as singing exercises. Slowly sung they are excellent for enunciation and clear words, at a medium speed they are good for breathing, and presto they are very good for a flexible tongue and the tips of the lips. They are also great fun! My favourite ones at the moment are :

'Seventy seven benevolent elephants '
'Picking up a poppadom and crunching with your curry'
'30,000 thought that Thursday was their birthday'
'Copper bottomed coffee pot'

I have a very funny memory of being at a convent and teaching the first of these tongue twisters. Many of the sisters are not English first language speakers so I tax them greatly with these difficult phrases. One East European sister asked 'What does benevolent mean ?' I replied that roughly it translated as ' good', to which she replied 'The why we not sing "seventy seven good elephants" ?' The guffaw of laughter rang thunderously around the chapel. Whilst she slightly missed the point I always have an inward giggle when I use it nowadays.

I have used these many times in my teaching and masterclasses and they are always successful and hugely enjoyed by the participants. So I needed a brand new one for next week! After much thought I decided upon:

'Four furious friends fought fiercely for the phone !'

This statement rather sounds like my teenagers, or my grandchildren on a bad day!

The drive down to Paradise yesterday

A beautiful burst of autumnal sun



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