March 25, 2020

Travelling corner: My ‘little’ guide to Bath

We often travel to Bath, as it’s only 12-minutes away by train, so we use the opportunity to visit this town regularly. Personally, I really like the architecture of the town, its elegance, charm and uniqueness. I like strolling around Bath without an aim and popping into little cafes for a sip of tea. What else do we like to do in Bath?!

The Egg Theatre

This little theatre has a rich show offer for the little ones and there is a café/play area for kids to enjoy, too.

Swimming pool

We really enjoy the public swimming pool. There is a play pool for kids and, even though it’s small, there are plenty of options to choose from. The only recent drawback is the extra payable lockers, I find them quite impractical, especially when being with the kids.

Café au lait

This café is just opposite the train station and, if I travel alone, it’s always on my to-visit list J It reminds me of the Polish milk bars (‘bar mleczny’), mostly for its name and location, as it looks way more charming and cute. What do I treat myself or my family to when we’re there? Dark hot chocolate with coconut milk! Oh, that’s yummy!


After some culture, sport, and hot drinks, it’s time for fresh air. We can go walking, picnicking, flower spotting in the inside garden, or listening to live music (there is often a live concert in the park). Life is good, huh?

Bath is definitely one of my favourite English towns, what’s yours? Let me know in the comments below.

March 18, 2020

Travelling corner: Cornish Delight. A Weekend away in South-East Cornwall

Oh Cornwall, it feels so good to be there, even for a weekend. Today, I’m taking you to South-East Cornwall and we’ll stay in Looe and spend the weekend exploring this part of Cornwall (aka visit my favourite places).

Friday afternoon

I would start with some sea-bathing time and my favourite place (not far away from Looe) would be Seaton Beach. The beach doesn’t have beautiful sand (it’s rather greyish), but the sea is usually warm and beautifully sparkles as the sun sets down to the horizon.


I would start the day with a breakfast at Summink Different Café in Downderry. Their menu is rich in good foods, sustainable, often organic and simply delicious. My favourite is their 100 percent cacao soup with coconut milk (oh yes, that’s yummy!). From there, we’ll go to Freathy Beach which is a long stretch of sand with some amazing sea views (quick note that the beach is tiny when there is a high tide). You need to descend to reach the beach, it’s not very steep but may limit the amount of beach games and other necessities you take down with you 🙂


Today we’ll go to Readymoney Cove in Fowey. But, we’ll go by boat from Polruan. Polruan is a picturesque village with some marine-like town houses (and a bit of a steep descent to the quay!). It takes around 10 minutes to get to the other shore by boat, and we’re in Fowey! We then walk another 10 minutes and arrive at this small, yet charming beach (with cold water!) where we can enjoy the views of the sailing yachts and boats. We can then go for a walk to see the ruins of St Catherine’s Castle or relax and enjoy the scrumptious Cornish ice-cream (or both!).

You can read more about my previous travels to this part of Cornwall here and here.

That’s a nice weekend, huh? What was your last weekend in Cornwall like? Do let me know in the comments below.

March 18, 2020

Book review: WABI SABI by Beth Kempton

“The forest does not care what your hair looks like. The mountains don’t move for any job title. The rivers keep running regardless of your social-media following, salary or your popularity. The flowers keep on blooming, whether or not you make mistakes. Nature just is, and welcomes you, just as you are.” Beth Kempton

I had a different article planned for today. But, I’ve been reading Wabi Sabi for the last week or so, every day, to keep my mind occupied and to feel calm, inspired and hopeful. I needed to find strength inside me. I enjoyed the read so much, and I’m excited to be sharing my insights here with you today.

I learnt about wabi sabi for the first time in autumn 2018 when I came across the book Wabi-Sabi Welcome by Julie Pointer Adams (you can read my review here). I was so overwhelmed by the beauty of this Japanese philosophy, that I was sad when I read the last page of it. I felt very similar this time, I wanted to continue reading about this perfectly imperfect philosophy and enjoy the little pleasure coming from reading and learning about it.

Beth Kempton, the author, is a Japologist who studied Japanese at university and spent many years living and working in Japan. As we read on the first pages of the book, she considers Japan her second home.

The book contains 8 chapters: first we learn about the origins and characteristics of wabi sabi, how to create simple yet beautiful interiors in our homes, the importance of connection with nature (shinrin-yoku aka forest bathing), the gentle reminder that everything is impermanent, imperfect and incomplete, how to overcome the fear of creative failures (!), how to maintain/create good relationships and to enjoy our career path, and finally how to enjoy the little moments in life.

My absolute favourite parts were the little reminiscences from the author’s past experiences; whether as a student, traveller, interpreter or researcher in Japan. They made the whole concept of wabi sabi more alive, funny and real. They added an emotional aspect to this wise Japanese philosophy.

Have you read a different publication on wabi sabi? Let me know in the comments below.

Kinga Macalla

March 11, 2020

Travelling corner: A day on the most beautiful beach (with kids!)

We went to Wales to finally visit Rhossili Beach which is often ranked as one of the most beautiful beaches in the UK. To give you some context, I’ll add that we went there with our two daughters. It was winter. Cold, windy, rainy… you know the weather (just ideal for a day trip to the most beautiful beach)?!

We arrived there mid-morning and our older daughter (5-y-o) wanted to go for a walk, but our younger girl (15 mnths) wanted to sleep. The youngest didn’t welcome the walking idea well; she was crying loudly. All of a sudden, the sun was out, so I quickly took some (3!) pictures (when travelling with kids and taking photos, it almost feels like having an analogue not a digital camera, you often have just one shot, done!). My youngest was still crying, so I decided to carry her (yes, the photo-shooting is gone and the sun, too!). We’re walking with a very unhappy child who is underdressed and without a hat… After 30 minutes of walking, we decided to go back to the local café, The Lookout, to warm up. It’s warm, cosy and it felt good to enjoy some quieter time after all the crying. Then my oldest daughter wanted to go to the toilet. There is no toilet in the café, so back to the carpark (and to the toilet) we went. After that we decided to see the beach. Meanwhile, our youngest was asleep and it started raining. Greg (my husband) decided to go back to the car with the girls while I continued walking in the rain to take some pictures (again 3 shoots max!). I rushed back to the car to see that my youngest had woken up and was unhappy, and my oldest felt kind of sick. We waited in the car for a bit, as it was super windy, then we slowly went home (we had to stop after 15 minutes, because somebody didn’t feel so well…). Yes, that’s the beauty of travelling with kids. But hey, the beach is truly spectacular!

What special place have you recently visited with your kids? Please let me know in the comments below.

Kinga Macalla

March 4, 2020

Learn a language: My new language challenge!

As I mentioned last week, I plan to challenge myself and to start learning a new language (!). I’ll use the blog to update you on my improvements, what resources I use and how I plan my study.

Group or 1-1

As a working mama, my free time is limited: I run the school, spend time with my family and with friends, travel and have some me-time (very important!). You may remember our blog posts, where we discuss which method of teaching may suit you better: whether to choose individual tuition or group lessons. Due to my irregular availability, I decided to choose individual tuition. I had thought about online lessons, which are usually slightly cheaper and you don’t have to commute to your lesson, but my work commitments allow me to be in Clifton, Bristol, regularly, so I have my 1-1 lessons with our wonderful language tutor, Patricia (who BTW speaks Brazilian and European Portuguese!).

Brazilian or European Portuguese

That’s another question to answer, before you embark on learning Portuguese. Personally, I love the sound of Brazilian Portuguese which is so melodic, so I was very tempted to choose Brazilian, but practicality won; I travel much more often to Portugal, so I’d like to be able to converse and understand European Portuguese.

Learning methods

I have decided to have my individual lessons weekly or bi-weekly. Between my lessons, I’ll try to learn every day (even for as little as 5 minutes), either to say out loud the phrases from the previous lesson(s), re-write them (yes, the power of hand-writing!), read aloud or actively listen to a video in Portuguese. I’m still working on a weekly learning schedule, but once it’s ready, I’ll share it here.


To learn some basics, I use these graphic YouTube videos and some real-life Portuguese. But, I’m still looking for more online resources to learn Portuguese, so if you have any recommendations, do let me know in the comments below.

Kinga Macalla