A Bilingual Baby

A Bilingual Baby

martes, 25 de diciembre de 2012

Feliz Navidad y Auld Lang Syne

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Me encanta esta canción para estas fechas. Ya la puse hace tiempo en el blog, pero, como me parece perfecta para Navidad, aquí está otra vez. Quizás el título no os suene demasiado, pero seguro que conocéis esta canción escocesa. En muchos países se canta en la fiesta de fin de año y en muchos otros momentos trascendentales. Existe una versión en castellano llamada Vals de las velas. Yo aprendí la versión en catalán en el colegio, en mi época de girl scout :) ¡Feliz Navidad!




Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And auld lang syne?

[Refrain]
For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We'll take a cup of kindness yet
For days auld lang syne
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martes, 18 de diciembre de 2012

El rap de las mamás

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My son is singing in the Christmas concert at school. I'm stressed with so many things to do. This great video is dedicated to all mothers like me!



Voy totalmente estresada estos días prenavideños. Dentro de un rato, me voy a un concierto de Navidad en el que canta mi hijo, estoy superemocionada, pero también liada a tope, porque las horas que no trabajo ahora, las tengo que recuperar el fin de semana... En fin, me siento muy identificada con esta mamá y su canción rap, ¡mola mucho! ¡Dedicado a todas las madres!


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lunes, 10 de diciembre de 2012

First Position: la belleza y el sacrificio del ballet

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Esta semana, voy a hablaros de dos libros infantiles fantásticos relacionados con el ballet. De momento, para ir abriendo boca, os dejo este tráiler de First Position. En este documental, se muestra la lucha de bailarines muy jóvenes de distintos países para entrar en el mundo del ballet profesional. Mucho talento, mucha pasión, y mucho sacrificio (atención al foot stretcher que se ve en el tráiler, ¡qué daño!). Me encantaría ver este documental. Más información: aquí.

Have you seen First Position? It is a documentary showing the challenges faced by very young dancers from different countries whose dream is to be professional dancers. So much talent, passion and sacrifice! The foot stretcher is just scary! I'd love to see this documentary. More info here.

Personajes principales/ Central characters:
Jules Jarvis Fogarty, age 10; Aran Bell, age 11; Gaya Bommer Yemini, age 11; Miko Fogarty, age 12; Michaela DePrince, age 14; Joan Sebastian Zamora, age 16; Rebecca Houseknecht, age 17


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domingo, 9 de diciembre de 2012

Sorteos navideños en blogs

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Las ganadoras del segundo sorteo de Ben and Bella son Vanessa, de Asturias y Mercè, de Sant Feliu. ¡Muchas gracias! Si quieres participar en uno de los muchos sorteos navideños que organizan otros blogs, el de Las Cosas de Paula es realmente increíble, ¡hay hasta un crucero! Aquí tienes toda la información.

English: The winners of the second Ben and Bella giveaway are Vanessa, from Asturias and Mercè, from Sant Feliu. Thank you! In case you feel like entering some other giveway, Las Cosas de Paula blog is hosting a really generous giveaway, one of the prizes is a cruise! I guess it's only open to Spain residents, but here you have all the info.
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jueves, 6 de diciembre de 2012

The Gruffalo's Child

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Hace una semana, fuimos a ver la película El Grúfalo y lo conocimos en persona al salir del cine Verdi. Casualidades de la vida, la editorial Macmillan del Reino Unido me regaló unos libros hace unos días, y precisamente uno de ellos es The Gruffalo’s Child, una historia de Julia Donaldson ilustrada por Axel Scheffler.

A week ago, we saw The Gruffalo and we met him after the movie at Cinema Verdi. What a coincidence, the publishing house Macmillan from the UK sent me some books a few days ago and one of the books is The Gruffalo’s Child, a story by Julia Donaldson illustrated by Axel Scheffler.



La historia trata de un padre, el Grúfalo, que tiene una hija que es muy valiente. Creo que los niños pequeños se sentirán identificados con la hija del Grúfalo porque, por una parte, le gusta explorar y conocer amigos interesantes en el bosque, pero, por otra, también aprecia estar en casita y sentirse a salvo. Las ilustraciones tienen detalles graciosos, así que, mientras le leo el cuento, mi hijo me interrumpe para señalarme cosas que le han llamado la atención. Después de leer el libro muchas noches seguidas, lo veo perfecto como regalo para niños pequeños. Es un clásico y una apuesta segura. También es fantástico el cortometraje The Gruffalo’s Child, en el que ha participado Helena Bonham Carter. Muchas gracias a Macmillan UK por regalarnos este libro. Nos encanta la página web de The Gruffalo. Tiene actividades, juegos y canciones. Enjoy!

The book is about the Gruffalo and his brave daughter. I feel young children can relate to the Gruffalo's child because they love exploring and meeting interesting friends in the woods, but they also like to be home and feel safe. The illustrations of the book have very funny details, so, while I'm reading the book, my son can't help commenting little things that caught his attention. After reading the book many nights in a row, I think it's a perfect present for a young boy or girl. It's a classic. I also loved the shortfilm featuring Helena Bonham Carter. Thank you so much Macmillan UK for this wonderful book. Don't forget to visit The Gruffalo, you'll find activities, songs and games. Enjoy!

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jueves, 29 de noviembre de 2012

Ben and Bella: Sorteo/Giveaway (2 winners)

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¿Recordáis que comenté este método para aprender inglés? Ahora, Ben and Bella quiere regalar un libro a dos lectores del blog.

Sorteo internacional. Fecha límite para apuntarse: 8 de diciembre de 2012 a medianoche (horario de Barcelona). ¿Qué hay que hacer para participar en el sorteo?

1. Ser seguidor de A Bilingual Baby a través de Google Friend Connect (+1 punto) o a través de facebook (+1 punto).


2. Haceros fans del facebook de Ben and Bella y dejar un comentario en su muro, por ejemplo, “¡Hola! Vengo del blog A BILINGUAL BABY y me gustaría ganar un libro de Ben & Bella”.



3. Dejar un comentario en esta entrada o enviarme un email a
abilingualbabyblogmarta gmail.com en el que indiquéis vuestro nombre (asunto: concurso ben and bella).  Os escribiré para confirmaros que me ha llegado el mail y, en caso de que ganéis, para pediros la dirección postal a la que os enviarán el libro.


Participaciones extra: si anuncias el sorteo en tu blog, añades 4 puntos más.

Si no ganáis el sorteo, podéis adquirir estos mismos libros y os los envían a casa, basta con escribirles a shop@benundbella.de.



¡Muchas gracias! ¡Suerte a todos!
-----------------

Open to international Readers! This giveaway ends on December 8/2012 at midnight (Barcelona time). How to Enter:



1. Follow A Bilingual Baby via Google Friend Connect (+1 entry) and/or via facebook (+1 entry).


2. Like Ben and Bella on facebook and leave a comment on their wall, for example: “Hi! I come from A BILINGUAL BABY and I’d love to win a Ben and Bella book.”


3. Leave a comment here with your details or email me (subject: giveaway ben and bella). In case you win, I will need a postal address so Ben and Bella can send you the book.


Bonus entries: Blog about this giveaway (+4 bonus entries). 

If you don’t win the book, you can buy it and receive it at home, you just need to contact them here shop@benundbella.de

Thanks! Good luck!
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jueves, 8 de noviembre de 2012

Sorteo internacional/ International Giveaway: Ben & Bella

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ESTE SORTEO ESTÁ CERRADO: Ha ganado el comentario número 1, Joanix. Por favor, envíame a martaplayita gmail com tu dirección postal para que el equipo de Ben and Bella te envíe el premio. Muchas gracias a todos por participar.

SORRY, THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. The winner is Joanix. Thank you!



¿Recordáis que comenté el método para aprender inglés Ben & Bella? Ahora, esa misma editorial quiere regalar un libro a uno de los lectores del blog.
Sorteo internacional. Fecha límite para apuntarse: 8 de noviembre de 2012 a medianoche (horario de Barcelona). ¿Qué hay que hacer para participar en el sorteo?

1. Ser seguidor de A Bilingual Baby a través de Google Friend Connect (+1 punto) o a través de facebook (+1 punto).

2. Haceros fans del facebook de Ben and Bella y dejar un comentario en su muro, por ejemplo, “¡Hola! Vengo del blog A BILINGUAL BABY y me gustaría ganar un libro de Ben & Bella”.

3. Dejar un comentario en esta entrada en el que indiquéis vuestro nombre y cuántos puntos tenéis. Por ejemplo, Marta García, seguidora GFC + seguidora por facebook (+2 puntos). No os olvidéis de poner vuestro e-mail. Si no lo queréis poner en el comentario, me lo podéis enviar por email a martaplayita gmail com. Solamente os escribiré en caso de que ganéis, para pediros la dirección postal a la que os enviarán el libro.

Participaciones extra: si anuncias el sorteo en tu blog, añades 4 puntos más. Deja el link a tu post o a tu blog (si lo anuncias en la barra lateral del blog).

Si no ganáis el sorteo, podéis adquirir estos mismos libros y os los envían a casa, basta con escribirles a shop@benundbella.de.

¡Muchas gracias! ¡Suerte a todos!

-----------------
Open to international Readers! This giveaway ends on November 8/2012 at midnight (Barcelona time). How to Enter:
1. Follow A Bilingual Baby via Google Friend Connect (+1 entry) and/or via facebook (+1 entry).

2. Like Ben and Bella on facebook and leave a comment on their wall, for example: “Hi! I come from A BILINGUAL BABY and I’d love to win a Ben and Bella book.”

3. Leave a comment here with your details, for example, “Marta García, I follow your blog via GFC + facebook (2 entries).” Don’t forget to leave your email. If you don’t want to include it, you can send it to me, martaplayita gmail com. I will only use it in case you win, so Ben & Bella can send you the book.

Bonus entries: Blog about this giveaway (+4 bonus entries). Please, leave the link to your post or blog.

If you don’t win the book, you can buy it and receive it at home, you just need to contact them here shop@benundbella.de

Thanks! Good luck!
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El meu primer festival: ¡viva el cine!

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¡Este festival que me encanta ha vuelto! Si tenéis niños cinéfilos, y estáis por Barcelona entre el 17 y el 25 de noviembre, os recomiendo El meu primer festival. Se proyectarán cortometrajes y películas para niños y hay historias para todos los gustos, desde cuentos belgas de animación, hasta películas de cine mudo de Chaplin, pasando por clásicos como Mary Poppins o Regreso al Futuro y cuentos más recientes como El grúfalo.
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lunes, 22 de octubre de 2012

Ideas para Halloween 2012: bruja en la escoba

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Me ha encantado esta brujilla volando en la escoba, perfecta para colocar en las bolsas de golosinas, pero también para decorar una fiesta (por ejemplo, poniéndola en banderines). La podéis descargar en el blog It is what it is.
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jueves, 18 de octubre de 2012

miércoles, 17 de octubre de 2012

The Perfect Alphabet Poster

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¡Por fin he encontrado el abecedario perfecto! Es este póster de la diseñadora australiana Nicole Arnett Phillips. Lo acabo de recibir por correo y me encanta. Supongo que, normalmente, este póster se utiliza para decorar habitaciones infantiles, pero yo lo voy a colocar en mi estudio. Me alegrará el día mientras trabajo, y también las tardes cuando mi hijo venga con sus coches, sus papeles y sus cachivaches. ¡Es perfecto para los dos!

I've finally found the perfect ABC poster! The artist who made it is Nicole Arnett Phillips. I've just received it and I love it! I guess the ABCs are usually nursery art, but I think this poster is going to go to my studio, so I can see it while I work and, in the evenings, my son can see it too while he's playing with his cars, drawings and tiny toys. It's perfect for both of us!
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martes, 16 de octubre de 2012

Ideas para Halloween 2012: murciélago

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Me encanta esta marioneta de murciélago del blog Made by Joel. Es una idea factible, con materiales fáciles de encontrar, y da mucho juego. Tiene más ideas para Halloween, como decorar el porche de la casa con escobas de bruja o hacer calabazas con globos, pero ya son algo más complicadillas. Además, todavía no vivo en una casa que tenga porche para poder dejar las escobas aparcadas :).
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lunes, 15 de octubre de 2012

Make Someone Happy, de Oh Joy

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Me ha encantado este vídeo de Oh Joy. Lo importante está en el interior, aunque el exterior esté así de apetecible :)

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sábado, 13 de octubre de 2012

Película para un día de lluvia: Otto

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Estos días lluviosos son mis preferidos para ir al cine. Probablemente vayamos a ver esta película infantil sobre dos niños que dibujan un rinoceronte que, luego, se convierte en realidad. Me gustan muchas de las películas que programan en la Filmoteca porque es imposible verlas en otras salas. Ahí vi, por ejemplo, Desayuno con diamantes.
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martes, 9 de octubre de 2012

¡Insulta como Shakespeare!

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Parting is such sweet sorrow,

That I shall say good night
till it be morrow



Del amor al odio hay un paso. Ya lo decía Shakespeare: “Love me or hate me, both are in my favor… If you love me, I'll always be in your heart… If you hate me, I'll always be in your mind.”

Os animo a insultar, pero con un poco de glamour. EShakespearean Insulter te da insultos muy elaborados. Mi preferido"Thou art unfit for any place but hell". Dicen que, cuando uno ha llegado a dominar un idioma extranjero, los insultos le salen espontáneamente. A mí me da la sensación de que, entonces, no es algo tan fuerte, es como menos visceral, que en la lengua materna. 

Últimamente, mi hijo pone a prueba mi paciencia diciendo palabrotas para ver mi reacción. Dicen que no hay que hacer caso a los niños cuando dicen algún taco. Vamos, como si oyéramos llover. Espero que pase pronto esta fase... 

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sábado, 6 de octubre de 2012

Sorteo/ Giveaway de Francesca Quatraro

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Ya he dicho varias veces que me habría encantado ser ilustradora. Hoy, gracias a Tongue Tried Bilinguist, he ido a parar al blog de Francesca Quatraro. Me encanta la alegría que transmiten sus ilustraciones. Mi dibujo preferido es el de la niña que sopla un diente de león. Me hacen mucha gracia también los coloretes gigantes que pinta. Precisamente estos días, sortea calendarios, cuadernos y postales redondas en su blog. Reglas: 1. Anunciar el sorteo en tu blog o en Facebook y describir brevemente qué te parece su trabajo. 2. Dejar un comentario en su post con el link a donde hayas anunciado el sorteo y tu e-mail. 3. ¡Cruzar los dedos! O tocar madera :). El último día para participar es el jueves, 11 de octubre. Resultado: entre el 12 y el 13 de octubre. In bocca al lupo!



[Foto: ilustraciones de Francesca Quatraro]
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lunes, 1 de octubre de 2012

Little Free Library: una idea fabulosa

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[Foto: Little Free Library]


Me encanta el proyecto Little Free Library. Básicamente, consiste en construir una especie de minirefugio de libros para que cualquier persona lo pueda abrir y leer uno de los libros que has dejado. En su página web, podéis ver la ubicación de las más de 2.500 Little Free Libraries de todo el mundo. Me encantaría encontrar una de estas minibibliotecas en medio del campo, porque, la verdad, en Barcelona no me lo imagino.


I just love this project called Little Free Library. You can pick up a book and leave a book for others to read. It is basically  a box full of books. There are more than 2,500 Little Free Libraries all over the world. Wouldn't it be great to find one in the middle of nowhere? I just can't imagine something like this in Barcelona.


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sábado, 29 de septiembre de 2012

¡Descárgate nuestro libro de juegos del mundo!

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Games for Kids of the World es una recopilación de juegos de todo el mundo que hemos hecho varios bloggers de Pocket Cultures. Está disponible para iPad, y en pdf para pc y mac. Podéis descargar el libro gratuitamente aquí. Enjoy!

Games for Kids of the World features games from all over the world and has been written by different Pocket Cultures bloggers. It is available for iPad, and in pdf format for pc and mac. You can download it for free here. Enjoy!
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lunes, 24 de septiembre de 2012

People Living in Barcelona: Kim Jordan

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Kimberly Jordan was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with a BA in Sociology and Dance. Before coming to Barcelona, she was a professional dancer and choreographer in Las Vegas while also working in one of the cities best music recording studios. Currently, she is teaching dance classes in Barcelona with styles ranging from Street Jazz to Samba Reggae and Fusio to Hip Hop, while offering dance workshops from time to time. She also teaches English and has done some translation work for a few companies in Barcelona. Following her degree in Sociology, she would like to start writing for an English newspaper or magazine her experiences as a foreigner living and working in Barcelona.

1. What’s the thing you like the most of Barcelona? The accessibility to cultural events and happenings, not to mention the climate.


2. And the thing you like the least? The inefficiency in the administrative and bureacratical departments.

3. Do you miss anything from home? Mostly my friends and family.

4. Can you recommend us an American film? Traffic by Steven Soderbourgh.

5. Can you recommend us an American book? The Omnivore´s Dilemma by Michael Pollack.

6. Can you recommend us an American music band? This list is endless but some of my favorites include Sam Cooke, Jimi hendrix, Pearl Jam and Outkast.

7. What’s your favourite spot in Barcelona? I have yet to name it but I love discovering quaint, charming bars and restaurants throughout the city.

8. Do you do something here that you couldn’t possibly do at home? Teaching dance classes until 10pm does not happen where I live. The ability to travel so easily to the rest of Europe is also not an option. And living comfortably without a car and still being able to go anywhere in the city would be unimaginable in my hometown.

9. Is there anything you did back at home that you can’t possibly do now? Have the option to eat whatever type of food I fancy. There aren´t too many international restaurants here. 


10. Any tip for an American wishing to visit or settle down in Barna? And, any tip for a person from Barcelona wishing to visit or settle down in your home country? Get a visa!!!! If going to the US, be prepared for a complete change of day o day schedule. We don´t have dinner at 1030 pm:)


Thank you for the interview, Kim!

Update, Kim's last choreography for Heineken here.










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viernes, 21 de septiembre de 2012

Descubre el inglés con Ben & Bella

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Hace unas semanas, el equipo de Ben and Bella nos envió un pack de sus productos para aprender inglés destinado a niños menores de siete años. Es un método muy dinámico, así que le va que ni pintado a mi hijo, que va a preescolar y es bastante activo. Cada pack incluye lo siguiente: guía para padres, libro con historia + vídeobook, DVD con dibujos animados y canciones con coreografía y libro de pegatinas con vocabulario del tema en cuestión.

Nos dieron a elegir uno de estos temas: Zoo, Circus, Farm, Shopping, A Special Day y Going Places. Elegimos A Special Day porque las historias tratan sobre acampar, ir a la playa y hacer picnics. Así, aprendería el vocabulario de la playa y lo podría practicar después en vivo y en directo.

Lo que más le llamó la atención es que en el DVD, los personajes jugaban al veo, veo en inglés, que es un juego al que jugamos nosotros. También le hizo gracia que cantaran Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, porque él había aprendido esa canción en el colegio.

Como madre, lo que más me gusta de Ben & Bella es que a mi hijo le divierte. Puede aprender inglés haciendo cosas distintas: cuando quiere que le cuente una historia, le puedo leer el storybook; si le apetece cantar y bailar o ver dibujos, podemos poner el DVD; cuando quiere jugar, juega con las pegatinas y así aprende el vocabulario. Como traductora, me encanta que sea un método de inmersión tan dinámico. De esta forma, el niño comprende el significado de las cosas al verlas en su contexto mientras canta, baila o juega.

¿Cambiaría algo del método? Me ha convencido todo, simplemente, añadiría más pegatinas porque a mi hijo le encantan (y a mí también), y nunca hay demasiadas. Otros temas que sé que tendrían el éxito asegurado con mi hijo: dinosaurios o robots, dragones y caballeros medievales y deportes como el fútbol o el judo.
Si queréis más información sobre este programa fantástico para aprender inglés, podéis verla aquí.

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jueves, 20 de septiembre de 2012

People Living in Barcelona: Sergio Matamala

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Sergio Matamala was born and raised in Barcelona. When asked what he would like to be when he grew old, he answered, a hockey player! He started playing hockey at 5 years old, and was chosen for the national team, but had to leave because of a serious injury. Years later, he was working as a mechanical engineer, when he decided to quit his steady job and move to England to learn English and become an actor. After spending almost two years in Bristol, studying and working, he moved to London to study acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. At school, besides learning to do stunning performances, he also learned stage combat.

He now lives in Barcelona, where he works as a professional actor. If you want to see Sergio on the stage, he will be on tour with different theatre plays from January 2010. In August 2010, he will play in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and in September 2010, in Madrid. For updated info, please visit
Flyhard.

1. What’s the thing you liked the most about Bristol?
It was special because it was the first city I went to after I left my parent’s home. So, Bristol will always mean to me freedom and adventure. What I liked the most was that there were many open green spaces, with grass that you can walk on, you can lie down there, and enjoy.

2. And the thing you like the least?

The weather. There were too many rainy days. But of course you don´t have plenty of green spaces without rain. Damm it!

3. Did you miss anything from home?

What I missed the most was sitting outside a café, having a cortado and reading the newspaper.

4. What was your favourite spot in Bristol?

A bar called Arnolfini because of its atmosphere. A mixture of all arts, exhibitions, dance, music, film, theatre, located right in the centre of Bristol's harbourside. And there's something very powerful about water, water chills me out.

5. Did you do something in Bristol that you couldn’t possibly do in Barcelona?

To see good classical theatre, well directed and well performed. In Barcelona, there is good contemporary theatre, but in England, a great deal of importance is given to the emotional journey of the characters in the plays and less importance is given to the plot. I believe the best directors-actor's coaches are based in Britain. (Declan Donnellan, Joseph Blatchley, Trevor Nunn...). Nevertheless, lately, very good classical Catalan productions have been performed in Barcelona, like the ones directed by Oriol Broggi.

6. Is there anything you do in Barcelona that you can’t possibly do in Bristol? Seeing my friends and socialize in my mother tongues, in Spanish and Catalan. Also there´s something very powerful about acting in your native language.

7. Any tip for a person from Barcelona wishing to study in Bristol?

Just go there, dude.

8. If you were given the chance of going back to Bristol, what would you do that you didn’t do the first time?

I would party more. When I was living there, I focused too much on studying!

9. What was the most important thing you learned in Bristol?

That a young man must leave their parent’s house at 25 at the most. I also learned to order two beers with the palm of my hand facing the barman. If you do it the other way round, it’s the same as ordering a beer here with your middle finger.

10. Anything you would like to add?
You can visit this link (Sala Flyhard).

Thank you for the interview, Sergio! See you at the theatre!
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lunes, 17 de septiembre de 2012

Swings that make music: 21 Swings (21 Balançoires)

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I love this project of musical swings in Montreal. What an amazing installation. I wish they would do that in Barcelona too!

Me han encantado estos columpios de Montreal musicales y luminosos. ¡Qué maravilla! ¡A ver si se pasan por Barcelona! Esta es su descripción del proyecto: 

21 Swings Every spring, an interactive installation takes over a high-traffic area in Montréal’s Quartier des spectacles and sets a collective ritual. The installation offers a fresh look at the idea of cooperation, the notion that we can achieve more together than separately. The result is a giant instrument made of 21 musical swings; each swing in motion triggers different notes, all the swings together compose a piece, but some sounds only emerge from cooperation. The project stimulates ownership of the public space, bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds, and creating a place for playing and hanging out in the middle of the city centre. A traveling version of the project is currently being made for these collective moments to spread around the world. Created by Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiat





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miércoles, 12 de septiembre de 2012

Los entrañables vídeos de los Blair

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[Foto: Design Mom]

Me encantan los vídeos de Olive us. Desde que los presentaron en Design Mom, los voy recibiendo por e-mail y me alegran el día. Mi preferido es el del puesto de limonada. En esta historia, Olive, la tercera de los seis hermanos, no tiene mucho éxito con su puesto de limonada. Se lo comenta a sus hermanos y hacen unos pequeños cambios entre todos. Me hacen pensar en las vacaciones de verano que tenía hace años cuando tenía todo el tiempo del mundo.
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lunes, 10 de septiembre de 2012

Semana British: Keep calm y... pasea en barca por Londres

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[Este post participa en el proyecto Semana British organizado por Carmen y amigos.
Aquí tenéis las entradas del resto de los blogs participantes]


Inglaterra es el país de mi música y mis libros preferidos, y el sitio por el que más he viajado. Tengo muchas ganas de volver a Londres y de llevar a mi hijo por allí. Me gustaría remar en algún río, o, como mínimo, dar un paseo en barca por algún canal de Little Venice. Después, podríamos ir a Candem a comprar cosas curiosas y tomar algo en un pub familiar en el que hagan conciertos en directo. Buscando por la web actividades en Londres para niños, he topado con una barca muy curiosa en la que hacen espectáculos. Está anclada en el Támesis y se llama The Puppet Theatre Barge. Abrió hace unos veinte años, tiene capacidad para unas cincuenta personas y ofrece espectáculos basados en cuentos tradicionales y en clásicos de la literatura inglesa. En diciembre, por ejemplo, se podrá ver A Christmas Carol, de Dickens. No sé por qué, me imagino que tiene butacas de madera y terciopelo morado. ¿Se oirán los sonidos de los bichos del río? ¿Se notará la humedad dentro del teatro? Siempre que me imagino en Londres, hace un sol deslumbrante. Quiero volver pronto, aunque llueva sin parar.



[Foto: The Puppet Theatre Barge, de su sitio web]
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lunes, 3 de septiembre de 2012

People Living in Barcelona: Jeremy Holland

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Jeremy Holland is from Los Angeles, California. In 2002, he quit his job as an account manager for a search engine, packed his bags and came to Barcelona. Aside from a six month stint teaching English to the Spanish Navy in Cádiz, he has lived here ever since, working as a business English teacher and writing. At the end of last year, a book of his, “From Barcelona Vol. 1: The Stories Behind The City” (ISBN 1905430744) was published by an imprint of Bookshaker, Native Spain. Married under the eyes of a virgin at Santa Maria del Mar and the father of a baby girl, he's busy balancing parenthood, marketing his book and blogging at From Barcelona; he no longer sleeps siestas.

1. What’s the thing you like the most about Barcelona?
The cosmopolitan nature of the city and its beauty; the serendipity, like a finding a neighbourhood party or a random parade while wandering the streets. I call it a goldilocks city, not too big nor too small, and it definitely has its own unique character and vibe. It's full of interesting characters and the local people are genuine and transparent, I've found.

2. And the thing you like the least?
The bureaucracy which is why I avoid it almost to the point of illegality. As a friend says, “Funcionarios look for problems where there are none.” Dealing with the local service in general can be frustrating at the time, but a funny Seinfeld moment afterwards, same goes for neighbours who drill at eight on a Saturday morning and then stop at ten. I'm annoyed by the Spaniards apathy given the current economic situation and a bit bored of the politics, but that's pretty much the same with the States.

3. Do you miss anything from home?
My family and friends of course. The transient nature of Barcelona makes it difficult to maintain friendships, so you value the ones you have more, I think. I miss the local wildlife like squirrels, birds other than pigeons and seagulls, raccoons and the space of Southern California. I also crave a good deli sandwich from time to time and the ability to eat Japanese noodles cheaply.

4. Can you recommend a film in English?
I haven't seen a film in ages. Anything by David Cronenberg or John Boorman is usually worth your while. I'm a big fan of The Big Lebowski and Oh Brother by the Coens. I tend to watch more TV nowadays. It seems like a bit of a golden age again. There's The WireDexter, and Sopranos, for dramas; How I met Your Mother, Flight of the Concords for comedies to name a few.

5. Can you recommend a book in English?
“Dracula” is my all time favourite and I think Bram Stoker is underrated as a writer in general. His complete works are available on Kindle and a great buy at ten dollars. T.C. Boyle is a contemporary writer whom I aspire to be like because of his versatility and ambition. If you enjoy crime and noirs, Jim Thompson for me blows his contemporaries like Elmore Leonard away, although James Ellroy's LA trilogy describes what the city was, and in less visible ways, continues to be like. “The Painted Bird” shows the brutality of human nature while The Dice Man made me question how to live life. And, of course, there's From Barcelona Vol. 1 for anyone interested in entertaining fiction about the city.

6. Can you recommend a music band from the States?
Queens of the Stone Age used to be, but Deerhunter is probably my favourite band right now, just in time for them to breakup. There are rumours Pavement is playing this year at Primavera Sound and I'm fighting with the missus over who gets to see them if they turn out to be true. HEALTH is a noise group from LA that made a great album last year so did Animal Collective and Desolation Wilderness. I've also recently discovered Dubstep.

7. What’s your favourite spot in Barcelona?
My favourite nights out were always spent in Poble Sec. I especially liked Calle Blai in summer and Montjuic, la Tinta Roja and Plaça Sutidor. The neighbourhood festival is cutre and not advisable while on hallucinogenics, but memorable and represents the seedy side the city has always had. I like the village atmosphere of Poblenou where I live now and the relative quiet of my flat; it's a nice break from the chaos of the centre.

8. Do you do something here that you couldn’t possibly do at home?
I'm able to walk places and live without a car, which is paradise but can be dangerous, leading to those Barcelona days when time stops as sunny afternoons at the beach stretch into balmy nights in the city that turn into bright new days back at the beach, especially in summer. I didn't do that back home because I'd be endangering someone's life driving, not to mention the threat of arrest. Living here gives me the freedom to work enough to enjoy life and concentrate on writing, which is the main thing.

9. Is there anything you did back at home that you can’t possibly do now?
Hang out at a friend's house and have a barbecue.

10. Any tip for an American person wishing to settle down in Barcelona? And, any tip for a person from Barcelona wishing to settle down in the United States?
If you're coming, just remember it's about making it and you have to pay you dues. Also, never complain you can't do it because of the language. It's a foreign country after all so make an effort to study Spanish, and if you plan on staying, Catalan. You don't have to become fluent but at least competent; doors will open if you do.

If you're heading to Los Angeles, be prepared to spend a lot of time in the car, be home by two am on a Saturday night and eat shiny, yet bland, fruit, but it is sunnier and warmer than Barcelona with less humidity and prettier beaches.


Thank you for the interview, Jeremy!
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jueves, 30 de agosto de 2012

People Living in Barcelona: Gary Crighton

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Gary Crighton is from Liverpool, England. He has a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Photography that he has wilfully ignored for many years. From 1994 to 2000 he lived in Dublin, Ireland, where he worked as an editor for a new media arts website and as a university researcher and lecturer for new media technologies (including digital photography). He has lived (warmly) in Barcelona since early 2000. When not sleeping, eating, watching films, listening to music, or reading, he works as a technical writer and localization coordinator for a rather large company. He isn't married and he owns no goldfish.

1. What’s the thing you like the most about Barcelona?

Probably the climate. Boring, I know, but having lived some thirty-three years or so of cold, wind, and rain, a little sunshine is most welcome in the twilight years of my youth. Of course, the food, location, culture, and history of the city play a big part (or so they say), but the big happy yellow sun in the sky is the glue that binds them all together!

2. And the thing you like the least?

Dealing directly with the tax office, the immigration office, or the Hacienda will invariably have me entertaining violent fantasies. I must have secretly plotted the untimely deaths of at least half of the civil servants in Barcelona (nothing personal you understand). Bureaucracy is a well-developed art form in many a country, but in Spain they’ve unquestionably taken it to another level (and added a large dose of attitude to the mix).


3. Do you miss anything from home?
Probably the only thing I really miss is the sense of humour. Spanish and Catalan humour is, um, different, and at times it’s fine (the dark genius of the yuletide caganer will never cease to inspire me), but there are days when I pine for a droll English wit.

4. Can you recommend an English film?

Let’s assume that by “English” you mean from the United Kingdom. A few arthouse suggestions might be Distant Voices, Still Lives and Of Time and the City, by Terence Davies, or Hunger, by Steve McQueen. These are hardly popcorn-scoffing, laugh-a-minute flicks, but they are breathtakingly cinematic. For more upbeat fare: The rise of Factory Records and the Madchester scene as told in 24 Hour Party People is a hoot, Dr. No is unbeatable, almost any "Carry On…” movie will leave you giggling like a pre-pubescent, Trainspotting (choose life) is the bee’s knees. For a Liverpool-Barcelona tie-in, Land and Freedom is well worth a gander…

5. Can you recommend an English book?

Indeed, what ho! The Jeeves and Wooster stories, by P.G. Wodehouse, are a fine way to while away the hours. Willing souls eager to learn the myriad imbroglios of a nice-but-not-so-bright English aristocrat (Wooster) and his too-clever-by-half butler (Jeeves) could do no better and may, in turn, discover what the well-dressed man wears. Ian Fleming’s original Bond books are unputdownable, Spike Milligan’s war memoirs will have you laughing so hard you’ll that you’ll (likely) pee your pants. And then there’s: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll), Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne), Peter Pan (J.M. Barrie) – rereading all of these as an (so-they-say) adult is a pleasure. The Harry Potter books aren’t bad, either…

6. Can you recommend an English music band?
I’m a man of a certain age (yes, that means old) and my taste reflects this – a few personal favourites might include: Echo and the Bunnymen, Joy Division, New Order, Brian Eno, David Sylvian, The Who, The Stone Roses, and the lulling boudoir misery of Nottingham band Tindersticks. I’m contractually obliged to mention The Beatles. Classical and classical crossover choices might by Micheal Nyman and Max Richter (who recently scored the excellent Israeli film, Waltz with Bashir). I have no idea what young people are listening to, but I’m sure it’s too loud.


7. What’s your favourite spot in Barcelona?
My bed? I suppose that’s a disqualification, but it is the honest answer! The second choice would be above Barcelona on Passeig de les Aigües, preferably on a bike (I’ll be damned if I’m dragging my bed up there).

8. Do you do something here that you couldn’t possibly do at home?

I stay warm, mostly. If I tried speaking Spanish at home they’d think I was a bit strange (but they think that here anyway). It’s not a case of “couldn’t possibly”, but Barcelona is a great location for escaping to the mountains – you can do that back home, but it’s not quite so easy and it will almost certainly rain. The sheep are equally cute on either side of the Bay of Biscay.

9. Is there anything you did back at home that you can’t possibly do now?

Yes, but it was highly immoral and I was much younger then.

10. Any tip for an English person wishing to settle down in Barna? And, any tip for a person from Barcelona wishing to visit England?

For those Barcelona-bound: don’t expect a walk in the park (other than in Ciutadella, of course). Barcelona is a great city to live in, but it’s a damn hard city to work in. It’s also increasingly expensive when taken with what people actually earn here. Plan well and bring lots and lots of money. When they leave the bottle of wine on the table at lunchtime – it is NOT obligatory to drink it all (even if it’s hard not to). For those Blighty-bound: take lots of warm clothes and a really good umbrella. Don’t cry with despair when you see how short the measures are for spirits.

Thank you for the interview, Gary!


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martes, 28 de agosto de 2012

Barcelona is Sweet: Papa Bubble

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If you happen to stroll near carrer Ample, in Barrio Gótico, don’t miss Papa Bubble. I love this candy shop. It is very original and, whether you have a sweet tooth or not, this tiny shop is worth seeing. Some of their creations may remind you of old-fashioned candies you were given as a child, while others are amazing modern sculptures made of sugar. They started making candy in Melbourne and then moved to Barcelona. Now, there are Papa Bubbles in Tokyo, Amsterdam, New York, Seoul, Lisbon and Taipei. First video: Papabubble Barcelona (in Spanish). Second video: Papabubble New York
(in English). Enjoy! [This is not a sponsored post, just something I like and recommend]

Si estás un día por el centro, en el Barrio Gótico, no te pierdas Papa Bubble. Esta tienda es muy original. Aunque no seas muy goloso, te sorprenderán sus creaciones. Sus propietarios empezaron a hacer caramelos en Melbourne y, posteriormente, se establecieron en Barcelona. Ahora, hay Papa Bubbles en Tokyo, Ámsterdam, Nueva York, Seúl, Lisboa y Taipei. Vídeo 1: Papabubble Barcelona (en español). Vídeo 2: Papabubble New York (en inglés). [Este post no está patrocinado. Os hablo de una tienda muy curiosa de Barcelona en la que hacen caramelos artesanales]





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lunes, 27 de agosto de 2012

People Living in Barcelona: Claire Dijulio

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Claire Dijulio was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. After completing her BA at Western Washington University with studies in Spanish language and literature, and obtaining her TESOL certification, she spent some time in Morelia, Mexico, teaching English to young adults. She is currently teaching English to children, teenagers and adults in Barcelona.

1. What’s the thing you like the most about Barcelona?
I love that the sun shines on an almost daily basis. I love sitting at the outdoor cafes and restaurants, exploring the unique neighborhoods, especially the Borne, Gòtic and Gràcia. I also love the easily accessible public transportation - foot, bicing, bus, metro, tram - you choose!

2. And the thing you like the least?It is a difficult realization and challenge to accept the lack of efficiency here... one example: 2 months waiting for internet connection and then strange charges that will take another who knows how long for a response. On another note, I am not a fan of the "embutidos". I've tried it; however it just isn't my cup of tea.

3. Do you miss anything from home?Of course! I have some of the greatest friends and a very dynamic family I miss. I miss my cozy bed! I miss playing on my soccer team, I miss my amazing yoga studio - haven't found one that compares yet. I also miss my favorite Thai and Japanese restaurants. I miss driving up to Bellingham, one of the best towns in the Pacific Northwest!

4. Can you recommend us an American film?Rent, it is a musical, but I love it! Grease is a classic.

5. Can you recommend us an American book? The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine M.D.

6. Can you recommend us an American music band? Pearl Jam of course! Very influential and straight from Seattle! They are great and still creating, entertaining and rocking out.

7. What’s your favourite spot in Barcelona?I always have a difficult time with "favorites". Park Güell is definitely top on the list! I love and hate the Boqueria - if it is packed with people (as it is many months out of the year with all of the tourists), I definitely avoid it. If not, I love mingling through the variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, sweets, spices, even the stinky fish and hanging meats.

8. Do you do something here that you couldn’t possibly do at home? Back home, I do not have the option of riding the train to work, a public bicycle system does not exist, I would not have the option of going to the beach in October and sunbathing, nor can I meet with friends in various plazas for a casual drink.

9. Is there anything you did back at home that you can’t possibly do now?Well, now that I have found brown sugar, I can bake some of my favorite goodies - banana bread and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies! ummmm. Food is always one of the main things that I miss from home, accessibility to all kinds of food, whenever and wherever. Grocery shopping on a Sunday is impossible here, and unfortunately it is my favorite do to get organized and run errands, and be productive - however not going to happen.

10. Any tip for an American wishing to visit or settle down in Barna? And, any tip for a person from Barcelona wishing to visit or settle down in the United States?
San Sebastian is a must! Meet the locals and enjoy a long lasting typical "comida". The Balearic Islands are always a high on the recommendation list as well touring around the city will definitely fulfill your continue spending time and absorbing the vibrant city.

The Pacific Northwest is beautiful, green, lively, relaxing and full of various ecosystems: Coast, Mountains, Islands, Lakes, Rivers, Cities, forests... and always some sorts of adventure available, delicious dining opportunity, theater or musical attraction and wonderful and open-minded people.


Thank you for the interview, Claire!
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