I went to an all-girls secondary school – James Gillespies High School for Girls – in Edinburgh. I loved the school and hated the games mistress with a vengeance. So the phrase ‘it’s all part of life’s rich tapestry’ really resonates. It’s from The Games Mistress, a monologue Arthur Marshall.

Monday was International Mother Language Day and these are just a few of the searches I made this week and where they led. In Dutch, they say you have to bite the sour apple to get you to do that unpleasant task you’ve been putting off. It translates to ‘bite the bullet’ and finding that a bit too Clint Eastwoody, I looked it up and what do you know? The expression was first recorded by Rudyard Kipling in 1891! In the same translation, I used ‘stick to your guns’ which was a nice little consistency if not in any way connected.

Next up was ‘you’re kidding me’ which is a favourite with people who like to make literal English translations of Dutch expressions: it’s ‘make that the cat wise’. Then there was the visually intriguing way of saying that someone really irritates you: ‘they really yank my chain!’. Staying with the animal world for a moment, we get ‘Who rattled your cage?‘ if you’re asking why someone is upset or angry.

May all your tapestries be rich!