July 31, 2019

Travelling corner: A day in Blackpool

Yes, we made it to Blackpool, the capital of ballroom dancing! The town is also famous for its rollercoasters, clubs and all the glitter, but as we travelled with our 2 daughters (which makes some difference on how much clubbing you can actually do!), we rather enjoyed other attractions of the town. Please see below how we spent our day in Blackpool!


I think I’m sentimental about trams/tramways, so we had to have a tram ride in Blackpool, especially since they go along the promenade with its beautiful views of the sea (plus it’s practical; you can get a 24-hour ticket and visit more in one day)!

Promenade & beach

The promenade is long, the same as the beach, but as the tide is high, the majority of the beach is under water (the beach actually disappeared in the afternoon when we visited the town), so the promenade gives the opportunity to continue walking (or bike riding) and enjoying the sea views.

The old pier & tower

There are three piers in Blackpool, if I remember correctly, and I think we visited the North Pier. It’s a vintage pier with some French-styled carousels and a unique relaxing and sun-bathing room. There was live music and some good dancing (!). And the view of the tower (which is circa 125 years old!) is breath-taking.

Have you visited Blackpool or other seaside towns in Lancashire? What did you enjoy most?

Kinga Macalla

July 24, 2019

Book review: Chineasy. The New Way to Read Chinese by Shaolan

Learning a language is a journey.

We love exploring different languages: how they work, look, and sound, and today we’re going to try Chinese. We’ll learn Chinese characters using Chineasy, a learning recourse created by Shaolan (Taiwanese now living in London). The idea behind Chineasy was born when Shaolan tried to teach Chinese to her own children. What is Chineasy? Its goal is to “allow people to learn to read Chinese easily by recognising characters through simple illustrations.” (p. 9). In other words, each Chinese character presented in the book has its own graphic design which feeds our imagination and makes the learning process easier and more enjoyable. What is more, we can also learn how to link characters, draw them or know their exact or historical/cultural meaning.

My favourite characters are: woman, boat, weapon, rain, river and numbers.

I also have a memory game which I plan to play with my friends this summer (I’ll report how we managed to memorise the Chinese characters 😉

You can learn more about Chineasy via their website:

Do you use a similar recourse when learning a foreign language? Let me know in the comments below.

Kinga Macalla

July 17, 2019

Book review: Le Mot Juste by Imogen Fortes

We read on the back cover: “celebrating the art of the French language”. Beautiful, huh?


Le mot juste is a collection of French words, phrases and quotations with their actual meaning, pronunciation and sometimes also literal translation. I think it’s a good way to refresh one’s French if it’s a bit rusty or to have a useful reference of the borrowed French words, such as la joie de vivre, je ne regrette rien, l’avant-garde, la crème de la crème, cordon bleu or le prêt-à-porter.

My favourite French words:

Un pamplemousse. A grapefruit

Au claire de lune. In the moonlight

Le coup de foudre. Love at first sight (lit. translation: a thunder bolt)

En faire tout un fromage. To make a fuss (lit. translation: to make a whole cheese out of it)

Plus tard ça sera trop tard. Notre vie c’est maintenant. Jacques Prévert (translation: Later will be too late. Life is for living now.)

Nous sommes nos choix. Jean-Paul Sartre (translation: We are our choices.)

Have you read a similar publication in the language you currently learn? Please let me know in the comments below.

Kinga Macalla

July 10, 2019

TV Review: The Protector (Netflix, 2018)

Magic, science, immortals, love…


I began binge-watching the Turkish fantasy series “The Protector” on Netflix back in March, and was devastated when the first series ended: only to discover that the second series was available a month later. Yippee!

The story? A handsome young shopkeeper by the name of Hakan Demir (played by Çagatay Ulusoy) discovers that he is the last of a lineage of heroes dedicated to protecting Istanbul from a race of immortals hell-bent on wiping out the human race. Torn between his newly-bestowed duties as The Protector and his feelings for the beautiful Leyla (Ayça Aysin Turan), Hakan struggles to come to terms with his destiny.

The acting is very good, and the story works like a mystical soap opera – dragging you in so you just have to watch the next episode! My favourite character is Zeynep, portrayed by the wonderful Hazar Ergüçlü, whose voice became the main reason I couldn’t pull myself away from the TV. The show is full of plot twists and you never quite know what is going to happen next. The beautiful settings don’t hurt either.

My rating 8/10.

Darren Cameron

July 3, 2019

Travelling corner: Wales with kids

I’m taking you to Wales today! To South Pembrokeshire, to be precise. We visited the exact same location when I was first-trimester pregnant, but back then I only wanted to sleep (and was too tired to explore anything). So we decided to visit Wales again as a family of 4 and today I want to share with you our favourite places/activities to give you some inspiration on what to visit/see/do with kids in South Pembrokeshire:


I’m a huge sea lover, so a nice beach is a must! It’s more for me 😉 , but I think my family likes it, too (happy!). We visited a few local beaches. Our favourite was Barafundle Bay (there will be a separate blog post on this hidden gem!) as the beach was sandy & clean, the sea was calm & greenish-blue, and it was just off the coast path. A bit further away was Broad Haven, it’s a large beach perfect for walking or playing some games/sports. We also walked to Swanlake Bay, but the beach was too rocky (on this particular day) to picnic. The sea view, however, was beautiful.The closest to our summer home was Freshwater East, it’s a long, sandy beach with a small river (perfect for little swimmers to enjoy) and with moderate sea waves (perfect for more advanced swimmers).

Coast path

How did we walk with kids? We took the younger child (6 months) in the sling and the older is a very good walker (4 years old)! One day, we made an attempt to walk to Swanlake Bay which wasn’t successful as we weren’t prepared for such a long walk and had to return home (yes, preparation is a key, especially when walking with kids). The second attempt was more successful (no, we didn’t give up!). Our other walk was to Barafundle Bay and Broad Haven. The walk is very pleasant and you can take a longer, zigzag route, following the coast, or you can take a more direct route, which is quicker.

Swimming Pool

We wanted to go to the fancy swimming pool (Blue Lagoon Waterpark), but the day we decided to go it was raining, so there were almost no tickets available. Instead, we found a tiny community swimming pool (Swim Narberth) which turned out to be just perfect for the little swimmers. There were many babies and toddlers, so the atmosphere was just right for our family of 4.


We also wanted to visit Tenby and, on a one rainy day, apart from eating ice-cream in the rain, we fancied treating ourselves to some culture, and the Tenby Museum & Art Gallery was an ideal place to go. The museum turned out to be family-friendly and had many exhibits for kids to explore. It was rather small, but packed with museum pieces and art exhibitions. And the views from the windows…

What do you recommend to visit in South Pembrokeshire, Wales? Please let me know in the comments below.

Kinga Macalla