We’re exhausted this morning, and worse, it’s a local holiday in Bologna, where I live.
October 4th is San Petronio – he’s Bologna’s patron saint. The enormous unfinished church in the even-more-enormous central piazza is named for him.
On this day each year our Italian school is closed (courses of one or two weeks in length are discounted if there’s a public holiday – longer courses cost less per week anyway, so aren’t further discounted), and we stay at home and do the cambio armadio.
When I taught English to Italians, students used to ask me how to say ‘cambio armadio’ in English – would it be ‘change wardrobe’?
Well, literally yes. But, I’d explain, sometimes when you translate something you might have to actually spell out what you mean. ‘A change of wardrobe’ could have something to do with a new job or lifestyle, for instance. Or mean a visit to IKEA. Horrors!
Depending on where someone lives, it might not be obvious, as it is in Bologna, that ‘cambio armadio’ means putting away all your summer clothes, swimming costumes, sandals and so on, then to replace them in your wardrobe with the more robust, winter attire that you stored away in the spring.
When I lived in Britain, jeans were good for summer and winter. Socks and t-shirts, too. So I found the practice of ‘changing wardrobe’ in April/May/June (depending on the weather) and then again on San Petronio laughable at first.
One sweaty summer and the following freezing winter convinced me that I was wrong, though it took a few years until I had enough suitable clothing to make putting away one lot to make space for the other lot a desirable way to spend a public holiday.
But anyway, climate change (to U.S. readers, a ‘complotto’ to undermine their thriving fossil fuel extractors), and so after the hottest ever summer, and the hottest ever September, it seems like we’re in for a hot October, too. Thanks, Texas.
So no ‘cambio armadio’ today, though that’s just as well, as Bug is keeping us busy. Bug, if you missed Monday’s article, is our new house guest, the new Roomie, if you wish. Don’t worry that you missed something – I’m being deliberately vague about the details, but that means you have to read between the lines, and/or guess.
I daresay Bug will inspire lots of useful thoughts about language and language-learning, and so article ideas, for as long as he remains with us. But today I’m too sleep-deprived to say anything interesting. Therefore, just a little house-keeping.
The club, as you will know I hope, is basically a mailing list. Currently there are in excess of seventeen thousand ‘members’, and the more the merrier! Except…
The system that manages the club’s mailing list, and those for the other sites I run, charges monthly according to the total number of subscribers.
If we’re pressing up against the limit, or ignore it, suddenly that’s another couple of hundred dollars a month of outgoings, which is not nothing, given that these articles and the content on the club website are free.
A simple solution is that every month or so I’ll access the mailing list system and delete all the ‘unsubscribes’, which keeps the total down. But as – happily – more people tend to subscribe than unsubscribe, the club list, which is the biggest, grows anyway.
So a couple of times a year (THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART), I’ll filter all the email address for club members using two parameters:
1.) Joined before (a date six months previously)
2.) No opens since (the same date six months previously)
I just did that this morning, and the result was about eight hundred email addresses, so people who’ve been on the list for six months but probably haven’t opened any of the emailed articles.
That second part isn’t certain, as not all devices allow our system to know if someone has opened the email or not.
Likely enough, though, those 800 people just aren’t interested, meaning I can lower my risk of spending out extra dollars while making space for others who are. See?
Conclusion: if you’re reading this, and haven’t in some way cloaked your identity (i.e. VPN, ad-blocker, etc.) you’ll probably hear from me again – hopefully something interesting and related to learning Italian – on Friday.
While anyone who hasn’t opened an article for six months, and has been a ‘member’ for longer than that, may not. Ciao ciao to them.
N.b. When I’ve mentioned this in the past, I get loads of people writing to beg me not to delete them, as they’ve been busy, ill, or away and promise to try harder.
Don’t worry! If your email does somehow get deleted (first check your spam to make sure my articles aren’t ending up there…), then you can just join again.
Our club is free, joining takes just seconds, and if you don’t agree with Groucho Marx, then you have nothing to fret about.
A venerdì (maybe.)
Did you read/listen to Tuesday’s FREE bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news?
There’ll be another bulletin tomorrow (Thursday).
Subscribers get each bulletin, via email, as soon as it’s published, so don’t have to remember to look at the EasyItalianNews.com website.
The point of emailing free Italian reading/listenening material – three times a week, every week – is to make it easy for you to read/listen as a habit.
Isn’t that nice of us?
And better still? Subscribing is free.