May 17, 2023

Travelling corner: My recently discovered beaches in South Devon, UK

Some of my favourite beaches are in South Devon, but they have one drawback: their waters are super cold! Even last summer, when the weather was hot, the sea water could be very cold. So which beach have I recently discovered?

Sugary Cove

It’s a hidden treasure for those looking for some quieter time on the beach and more wild swimming. The beach is shingle and rocks. It’s located near Dartmouth Castle and can be reached from Little Dartmouth car park (on foot) or Dartmouth Castle (by boat / car and on foot).

Blackpool Sands

It’s a family-friendly shingle beach with crystal clear water. The only drawback is that the shore is quite steep and creates bigger waves / some difficulty when getting to the water. I recommend barefoot walking on the beach, it’s a bit achy, but so relaxing afterwards.

Thurlestone Beach

It’s definitely my favourite beach in South Devon. We keep returning to it since we discovered it two years ago. It has a nice shore: shallow to deep, has a beautiful lagoon / marine / deep blue colour of the sea, and is super clear. But, it has one of the coldest water (I know, a shame!). It’s mainly visited by the locals, so there is a nice friendly vibe on the beach. Back in 2020, when I wrote about it here, the golf card park was free, now you need to pay a (reasonable) parking fee (as in summer 2022). I like coming back here so much: it’s a feast for my body and mind.

You can read more about my travels to South Devon: here and here.

What’s your favourite beach in South Devon? Please let me know in the comments below.

April 19, 2023

My 5 favourite dark hot chocolate cafés in Bristol and Bath

I don’t drink coffee and I don’t like the sweetness of the ‘ordinary’ hot chocolate. One day, I discovered dark hot chocolate and fell in love with it. Below you’ll find my favourite cafés in Bristol and Bath where you can treat yourself to it:

Ruby Jeans in Bristol

This family-run café is a cosy little place in Shirehampton, Bristol. It’s right in the heart of Shirehampton, a short walk from the train station and a walking path by the river Avon. My favourite treat there is dark hot chocolate and kombucha (why not!).

Two Ways in Bristol

This is my newest discovery—it’s in Clifton, not far from the RWA building. I loved their thick dark hot chocolate, it reminded me of all the cafés I visited in Prague one very cold winter, where I often treated myself to this delicious dessert.

Better Food in Bristol

My favourite deli is on Whiteladies Road, and they actually serve hot cocoa which has a more delicate and velvety taste. It’s usually my little treat when we go to Clifton. I’m so happy they put the seating space back inside and outside!

Society Café in Bristol and Bath

The Society Café was one of the first cafés in Bristol where I discovered dark hot chocolate. I like going to the café to do some reading and writing or just stare outside the window. And of course, to drink my delicious beverage. A very idyllic time!

Café au Lait in Bath

I already mentioned this café when writing about Bath. I haven’t been there for a while, but plan to visit soon. It’s a cute little place opposite the train station and their dark hot chocolate is my favourite.

Do you like dark hot chocolate? Do you have your favourite café in Bristol? Please let me know in the comments below.

March 22, 2023

Bilingualism: the sensitive part of it

You know I’m a huge enthusiast of bilingualism. All three of my children are raised bilingually (Polish and English). I read many books and publications on bilingualism and I feel I am a confident advocate for this phenomenon. However, what struck my attention recently were two stories where bilingualism became a struggle and I wanted to look at those examples to see first, if we can understand bilingualism better, and second, how we can implement bilingualism without sacrificing a child’s overall wellbeing.


Both stories had the same effect: the introduction of the second language affected the child’s speech. In one case, the child stopped speaking all together (in any language) and in the other example, the child started stuttering (mostly in the second language). They both were raised mostly monolingually, started nursery (second example) and then went to school in England (both examples). They were both sensitive children.


So now I’d like to analyse a few points here. The first one is an observation. When we want to raise our child bilingually, we need to be sensitive to their language development in two languages. If there are any amber / red lights flashing that something is not right, we need to analyse this deeper. If needed, we need to first speak with close family about it, then the nursery’s or school’s professionals or seek professional help. This is important to act upon any abnormalities as promptly as possible to avoid more stress for the child and also a worsening of the circumstances. 

Child’s personality

Every child is different. For some children, starting school with no language skills in the second language is absolutely not a problem, and after a few months, they’re nearly fluent, with many friends. However, other children may not react like that. If they’re shy, introverted or perfectionists, they may find it difficult to express themselves in the second language, to make new friends, or speak when knowing they may make mistakes. Also, we know that from around the age of 3-4, children are more prompted to make friends; if they lack language skills, this may impact their social interactions and make them feel worse or lonely.


When I started my bilingual journey, I was certain how I wanted to have it organised. We spoke mostly Polish at home and English was the language of formal education. However, when we started home-schooling two years ago, this whole philosophy was turned upside down, because suddenly, I needed to speak to them both in Polish and English. I did that (although, our bilingual system is still a bit chaotic; I need to rethink it!). I adapted and I’m glad I did that, because I could observe my middle daughter gaining language skills in two languages, and being more and more confident in using both of them. I could see her struggles and victories and I could comfort her or celebrate with her at the time. With a multilingual family, it’s important to remember flexibility when it comes to plans / routines / goals; we’re humans and we need to adapt our visions to the given reality. I’m not speaking here about giving up, but more about finding ways to accommodate new circumstances or adapting our plans to our children’s actual language needs.

How do you find your child’s bilingualism? What’s your language routine (especially if you’re home-schooling)? Please let me know in the comments below.

February 22, 2023

Goodbye 2022 and hello 2023

Happy New Year 2023! I know it’s already February and I’ve only now had time to sit down and write my first post of 2023! It was the beginning of our winter term at Bristol Language School that took most of my attention, but it was good to be available for last minute questions and enrolments. Thank you to all our students for joining our winter language courses.

Before writing this post, I went through my last year’s reflections and plans. It’s interesting to see what was important to me then.

So first let’s see what 2022 was like. It was both a challenging and also beautiful year. This year definitely belonged to our baby boy, as this was the year when our third baby was born: how we all fell in love with him! He’s so adorable, but we’d love to have a better evening routine, as he usually wakes up a few times in the evening (yes, evenings are me-time / me-and-hubby-time / work-time / doing nothing time, hence very important time for mama!). We still continue home-schooling. This was actually our second year of home-schooling; obviously, it was slightly different because of my last months of pregnancy, then postpartum and first months with our new-born baby. However, I think we managed to enjoy the home-schooling time together, although there were some little crises and difficult days (maybe even weeks ;). My girls had their 4th and 8th birthdays in 2022 and that made me think about time (also after reading Four Thousand Weeks); how it’s important to cherish those everyday moments and each other’s company.

In business, we celebrated our 10th year anniversary at Bristol Language School! Yes, the school was founded in August 2012! A little project that turned out to be an exciting hub for learning and improving language skills. There was an anniversary party, cake and wonderful guests. It’s amazing that we could celebrate this wonderful event together.

Personally, I didn’t have as much time for my passions, as my priority was my little baby. But, I’ve managed to read some interesting books, listen to podcasts in three different languages, writing inspiring blog posts for you here (!), do some wild swimming, cycling and long walks. Also, I was supported by my family and friends, which made this year a lot easier. I’m so grateful for that. I also became a dark hot chocolate enthusiast, so maybe I’ll prepare a post about my favourite cafes?

So, what are my plans and dreams for 2023? I think last year I talked about patience with my family and I think I was a bit more patient in 2022. For 2023, I’d like to bring more joy into our daily life, and maybe to express it in the form of playing music together, singing and dancing.

In business, I’d like to introduce a series of talks with interesting individuals on interesting topics. I also want to support our language school by creating a patreon’s site for the friends of Bristol Language School. I’m very excited about this project. You can find out more about it here.

Personally, I think I want to keep the right balance between all the different hats I’m wearing right now, and remember the importance of having time for myself. I also want to have a clearer vision for the daily or once-in-a-while rituals. Also, I’ve already started planning some sustainable family trips in 2023, of course!

These are my reflections on 2022 and visions for 2023. Have you made plans / visions / dreams for the New Year? Please let me know in the comments below.

December 14, 2022

Book review: Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman

Practise doing nothing. [p. 244]

I planned to write a long and thorough review about the most fascinating book I’ve recently read. But instead, I spent most evenings with my teething baby, reading one or two pages, before being too tired to read and simply falling asleep. But, as the festive season is approaching (and January!), I thought I’ll still write a short review and choose a few quotations to give you a little flavour of this intellectual treat.

Why ‘four thousand weeks’? As we read in the introduction: “[t]he average lifespan is absurdly, terrifyingly, insultingly short. […] Assuming you live to be eighty, you’ll have had about four thousand weeks.” [p. 3]

It points out the absurdity of our modern ‘better’ life: “Life, I knew, was supposed to be more joyful than this, more real, more meaningful, and world was supposed to be more beautiful. We were not supposed to hate Mondays and live for the weekends and holidays. We were not supposed to have to raise our hands to be allowed to pee. We were not supposed to be kept indoors on a beautiful day, day after day.” [Charles Eisenstein, p. 12]

“You breathe a sigh of relief, and as you dive into life as it really is, in clear-eyed awareness of your limitations, you begin to acquire what has become the least fashionable but perhaps most consequential of superpowers: patience.” [p. 170-1]

And I also want to mention my two fav words: happenstance and finitude.

Finally, I want to use this opportunity to wish you a joyful and peaceful festive season and a very prosperous 2023. Merry Christmas!

November 2, 2022

Travelling corner: My summer 2022 in South Devon, UK

I know it’s already November but I still dwell on our travels in summer 2022. It was our second trip as a family of 5, so still a big adventure for us all. Also, at that time, I really felt I needed a break from our daily routine, so we decided to make the most of the summery weather and we headed to South Devon.

Little Dartmouth and Dartmouth

We decided to stay near Dartmouth, a river-side town. We recently enjoyed coming back to places we visited in the past. This time, we even started our trip with the exact same location. We parked our car in the Little Dartmouth car park and went for a walk. However, this time we took a different direction (but to the same final destination, as the routes link together later on) and we went towards Dartmouth and its castle.

Dartmouth Castle

The walk from the car park is not very strenuous, but the last part is very steep. You can also come by boat / car. The castle is beautifully located, just on the banks of the river Dart with the views over the river and Dartmouth town. I really enjoyed climbing the tower and visiting the medieval church of St Petrox. My children loved the little café next to the castle, as they had ice-cream (!). So we finished our castle trip sitting with our treats, and enjoying the river views…

Greenway House

That was an unexpected day trip! In our summer chalet, we were going through the local leaflets and we found a picture of a beautiful house. It turned out it was the summer house of Agatha Christie, aka my favourite author in my late-teens. That trip was the cherry (icing on the cake?) of our stay in Devon. Our little trip started with a boat ride from Dartmouth to Greenway House, or as Agatha called it, ‘the loveliest place in the world’. The summer house is a beautiful white building with a rich collection of items inside (apparently the family enjoyed collecting things and they collected cca  (what does this mean? About?) 12,000 of them!). Also, I could spot books in all the rooms I’ve been to (including the toilet!). Outdoors, we went for a walk in the garden and then down to the boat house. The boat house was the place to relax, set on the river with a small swimming pool downstairs, and a living room with a fire place and a balcony upstairs. I could see myself relaxing there!

These were the highlights of our summer in Devon. I also plan to write about our favourite beaches there too, so watch this space!

What are your favourite memories from summer 2022? Please let me know in the comments below.

October 5, 2022

Travelling corner: our first holiday as a family of 5

Yes, we’ve made it! I know going on a holiday is something we should be looking forward to, and we did. But, as our family became bigger recently, I was worried how the whole trip was going to work, if we were going to enjoy it, and if we’d manage to have a relaxing time. It was actually refreshing to go away, after giving birth, going through all the ups and downs of getting to know our baby boy, and learning about our new life as a bigger family. So where did we go to…?


We went to Pembrokeshire in Wales. We know this place, as we went there twice in the past (please read my blog posts here and here) and both times we enjoyed exploring local beaches and walking trails. This time we didn’t explore as much; we had 3 little trips: to our favourite beach, to the woodland garden (to escape the rainy weather) and to Tenby (for ice-cream ;). We also did a couple of local walks following the Wales Coast Path. Most of all, we spent time on the beach, walking, splashing, swimming and getting soaked wet (by the rain!).

I’m hoping to return to this part of Wales again, so I can explore this area better, and share my travel stories here with you.

Do you travel with your baby/ies?? How do you find it? Please let me know in the comments below.

September 7, 2022

Travelling corner: summer 2022 in family-friendly Bristol

It’s September. Welcome back! I wrote about some of my favourite places we kept visiting this summer for you. They’re family-friendly places, but can be visited by adults too.

Miniature Railway in Ashton Court

We had such a fun time! Me (and my family) enjoyed all the miniature railway rides so much that we returned to this place many times over the summer. I learned about this place from my friend, and she also learned about it by word of mouth. As one of the team members said, it’s one of the best kept secrets of Bristol 😉 So worth a visit!


Many of my friends recommended this place, but somehow we never visited it. Until this year! What a beautiful space, and so much fun for the children. My friend said it’s her new ‘happy place’ and I called it my new ‘secret garden’. It definitely brought lots of joy to our lives this summer.

The zoo

This is more a tribute to this place, as the zoo is now permanently closed, and will be moved to the Wild Place Project. I first visited the zoo when I was still a uni student, and later returned to it regularly with our children. I understand the logic that animals will have more space in the Wild Place Project, but I will miss this cosy zoo in the centre of Clifton.

What have you discovered this summer in Bristol? Please let me know in the comments below.

July 6, 2022

My extraordinary-ordinary life

My life became so upside-down since becoming a mum for the third time! My baby boy was born in March and since then we started our new journey as a family of 5 (three children + mama and papa ;). People constantly ask me: how is it to be a mum to three children?!? And I think they’re more petrified by the mere idea of having so many children than me actually having them. I so clearly remember asking my friend (a mum to 4 children) the very same question. That was 7 years ago! I wouldn’t think back then that we’ll decide to have a bigger family. Life is fascinating.

We’re slowly out and about, so new travel stories and recommendations to follow from September. Meanwhile, we enjoy our extraordinary-ordinary life, so simple and so rich.

Have a lovely summer, let’s squeeze the best of it 🙂

June 8, 2022

Travelling Corner: What I dis/LIKE about camping

As you may be planning your summer holiday, I thought I’d share my observations on the topic 😉 First, I need to confess that I’ll be very subjective, as I’ll be talking about camping which is one of my favourite forms of holiday accommodation .  Second, to balance my love-relationship with camping, I’ll also list some of its drawbacks. Finally, when I think about camping, I see my experience as slow and mindful. And to me this simplicity and sustainability makes all the difference when it comes to vacationing under the tent.

What I DO NOT like about camping


Weather can definitely influence our camping experience. If we’re in warmer countries, the hot weather can make it impossible to enter the tent throughout the day, let alone to keep fresh food at some reasonable temperature. If we’re in colder or very humid countries, it’s sometimes difficult to stay outside in the wet and windy weather, so we end up spending too much time inside our tent.

Dry clothes?

In colder or humid countries, it’s challenging to keep clothes and towels dry, especially if you go swimming (drying out swimming costumes), walking (muddy & wet clothes) or experience some sudden downpour (everything wet!). I don’t recommend keeping your clothes in cotton bags, as they absorb more moisture from the air, we used plastic bags instead, which was a better solution, but not so eco-friendly. Perhaps there is a better solution?

Feeling tired

When camping, we’re constantly outdoors and, in my humble opinion, that requires some stamina. We need to do some extra everyday walking to and from the kitchen, water tap and toilet. We’re also exposed to variable weather (from hot to cold, rain or wind) and we need to be prepared to wait longer for meals, as it usually takes more time to cook on a camping stove. And if you add to that some physical activities like mountain walking or sea swimming, your camping experience can be very full-on, not to say tiring 😉

Loud at night

Occasionally, there are parties at night or louder neighbours. This can be annoying, especially if you camp with small children or have returned tired after a strenuous walk. However, a polite request to lower the volume usually solves the problem. Also, the camp site management is available for help. 

Not ideal for babies

I prefer not to camp with babies and pre-walkers, because taking care of them requires a mum’s (or dad’s) full attention and then there is very little energy / time left for anything else. Perhaps a weekend away might be a good compromise?

What I LIKE about camping

Everything is different

I love the fact that everything is different: you sleep in a sleeping bag, cook on a camping stove and walk much more (to and from the camp kitchen / toilet / water tap). Your camping days have this specific rhythm where things instantly accessible at home become more adventurous on the campsite. But then, those daily rituals make you more present and mindful and as for me it’s the best way to properly switch off and relax. 


When you camp, you’re part of the camping community. There are other people with whom you can have conversations, ask for advice or help (e.g. when putting up a tent ;). It feels like everybody on the campsite is more visible and because of that more accessible / approachable. Personally, I really like this feeling of being part of the campsite’s tribe.


Camping can be so boring! And it feels so good! In this modern culture where we’re supposed to be connected 24/7, suddenly doing nothing can be a real challenge. But then the reward is even more prominent: feeling relaxed and connected to oneself.


It’s one of the best features of camping: you’re in nature. You sleep outdoors, breathe fresh air and can listen to birds’ concerts all day long. If you’re a nature person like me, nothing compares with the camping experience (perhaps, wild camping? 😉

The view

My favourite views from the tent: the sun setting into the sea, the Milky Way at night, clouds moving fast up in the sky, the endless stretch of the sea, beautiful mountain ranges, people laughing around the campfire. It’s an amazing feeling to ‘own’ such a beautiful view even for a short period of camping time. Beautiful memories.

Phew, that’s all I wanted to share with you today! Now, let me know what you enjoy most/ least about camping? Please add your comment below.