78. Christmas – It’s all about Family (with James)

L: (laugh) Well, I haven’t really had… I’ve never actually had a physical fight.
J: Yeah, but you don’t… it’s not like you drink tea in the Ritz every day, is it?
L: No.
J: Anyway, let’s get to Christmas before we start arguing.
L: Faux pas, cliche, the other one I just… I think we should deal with is a cul-de-sac. The cul-de-sac is basically a road which you can’t… What is it? A road that has no end.
J: With no… It’s not a following through road. It’s just…
L: Road with no through passage. So…
J: We’re so bad at English.
L: Never mind. Doesn’t matter. It’s difficult to explain things sometimes. So a cul-de-sac is one of those roads where you when you drive to the end, you have to stop and turn round, because that road doesn’t continue to another road. So it’s like… A cul-de-sac means like ‘end of a bag’ in French, I think. The end of the bag, but in France they don’t use the word… They don’t use the expression.
J: To describe a cul-de-sac.
L: Yeah, they don’t use the expression cul-de-sac.
J: Interesting.
L: They use it for something else.
J: I think it’s a sort of posh, well faux posh word. See, that’s French again. Faux. The faux posh word given to sort of slightly run down housing areas to make them sound more posh…
L: …because…
J: …or it’s just my cultural snobbery.
L: I think in England when we use French words, it’s often used in quite a posh way. Like the French things are often considered to be quite posh and sophisticated.
J: We see the French as being sophisticated. So when we say cul-de-sac we think that’s very sophisticated, where actually in French it’s actually means the bottom of a bag.
L: Yeah. And…
J: That’s irony.
L: Is it? And also basically cul-de-sac is a road. I still can’t explain what cul-de-sac is.
J: You just drive down one and if you get to the end it’s just the end..
L: …the road just ends…
J: …and you have to turn round. That’s the cul-de-sac.
L: It’s usually like a housing estate.
J: A little housing estate, yeah.
L: Okay. Right. This is meant to be about Christmas.
J: I know.
L: It’s all right, doesn’t matter.
J: They’re learning, as long as they learning.
L: Yeah, exactly. And my listeners are always desperate for more content.
J: Are they?
L: Yeah. They are.
J: Really?
L: Yeah. Every day I get emails from people.
J: Saying “I can improve your size of your penis”, “Viagra for sale”. Things like that.
L: Yeah. But also I get lots of emails from listeners, who say things… by the way, listeners, what my brother just said was an attempt at humour. You might have not realised.
J: Everybody gets those emails, it’s fine.
L: They may not have realised that that was a joke.
J: That was a joke.
L: It was meant to be a joke
J: ___
L: Don’t talk… don’t mention my private parts.
J: Okay. Okay.
L: My brother got his disease, it’s called a sense of humour. It’s an English thing. We’re all suffering from it on this island.
J: That sounds a bit…
L: So, anyway. We were supposed to be talking about Christmas.
J: Okay, Christmas. We are, can I just point that, sitting right next to a small, but beautifully formed Christmas tree. And if I do this. (sound of baubles) Those are Luke’s baubles jangling, which are small silver and red balls which hang of the Christmas tree. I’m sure you’re familiar with them.
L: They are decorations.
J: They’re popular the world over.
L: James is now describing the Christmas tree, which is decorating my apartment, because it’s December and at this time of year it’s traditional for people to purchase a Christmas tree.
J: I think that’s pretty common the world over.
L: Yeah. I think it is too.
J: It’s a small little fir tree, because it’s a very small flat, it’s a very small tree. That’s one of the things about living in London – everywhere’s small. We’ve got some of the smallest accommodation in… well, I’m sure certainly Europe and certainly America.
L: Don’t know. We have the smallest accommodation in America. As far as I know…
J: Compared to America. Compared to the America or compare to the rest of Europe as well. London, because of the density of people… What am I trying to say?
L: What you’re trying to say is that our living accommodation is quite limited.
J: Generally small and expensive, but that’s not to do with Christmas.
L: And the result of that, I have to buy a small Christmas tree. Yeah. Right. So, the Christmas tree is decorated with things like tinsel.
J: Tinsel, that’s a Christmas phrase.You can write that down.
L: Tinsel, okay, I’ll write that down.
J: Which is a sort of I’m sure you know it. It’s a sort of synthetic, foil decoration, which comes in the form of sort of long string, glittery string stuff.
L: That’s right and also some baubles, which are the other kind of decoration, which hang. They’re like those coloured, silver or red or gold shiny balls, which hang from the branches of your Christmas tree. Baubles. These are key pieces of Christmas vocab.
J: Okay. Let’s move on.
L: Right. So, what’s Christmas all about for you James? What have you got planned for Christmas?