THERE is a welcome rain and a not so welcome thunder outside my window as I browse online through The Chosun Ilbo. The Tip of the Day is apt for the moment: To prevent the address on an envelope from being smudged by rain, rub a candle over the ink.

Hmm, commonsense really, why didn’t I think of this!

 TOTD often contains interesting advice. For example, ants seem to have a thing against rubber bands; to get rid of them, sprinkle salt or place rubber bands where ants are frequently spotted and, to keep ants out of a sugar bottle, simply tie an elastic band around the neck of the bottle.

Another usage of rubber bands – place them beneath an ice-cube tray to prevent it from sticking to the floor of the freezer.

Then there are the myriad uses of vinegar. It comes in handy when you want to add a sparkle to chinaware, make a rigid toenail easier to cut, reduce the foul smell from discarded food, refresh wilting vegetables, remove ballpoint pen stains from clothes, brighten faded cotton clothes…

I sip my tea, laced generously with ginger and cardamom, and listen to the excited voices of children enjoying the first real showers of the season. Tea can do more than just add zing to a rainy day. Black tea can keep the shape and improve the taste of a boiling a pumpkin and tea leaves can be burned to clear the smell from cupboards. As for green tea, drink it and avoid garlic breath.

I shall certainly try this piece of advice next time I go shopping: To choose the umbrella that is right for you, check if the color matches your complexion. Well!

And the next one right away – To peel ginger, use a metal bottle-top.

Coming up directly; some more ginger tea, and a lot more rain.