"stair rods"? I've never heard that :)
"It's raining cats and dogs." would be an expression I've heard in English.
Stair rods is probably especially London slang. Straight rods to hold the stair carpet in place, but vertical of course. Welcome to cockney humour.
No, it's just intonation, but it is clear if it is a question or not. The speaker above speaks like posing a question.
And my most recent discovery is the word for people from mainland Greece - καλαμαράς, which my dictionary tells me is the word for a scribe, or pen pusher perhaps. The squid bit comes in in the use of squid ink used by these writers, squid supposedly being easily available to Greeks.
I am assured by my Greek Cypriot friend that a Greek will not be offended at being called καλαμαράς. Is she correct?
Yes we won't be offended if a Cypriot Greek friend calls us καλαμαράδες, but I don't know how I would take it from someone I don't know. The way of expressing it is the most important thing, someone can say it and laugh and someone can say it while yelling. That's a bit different.