Vocabulary, expressions and idioms

Expanding your knowledge of vocabulary, expressions and idioms is essential if you want to improve your English language skills and communicate. We think the most effective way of doing this is to learn in context.  Consequently, why not check out some of our topic situations?  Or, even better, you could become an Inglés Málaga online blogger in order to practise writing about the things that interest you.  If you want to become an Inglés Málaga blogger, then drop us an email.

The wonderful and weird hobbies: Gongoozling

wierd hobbiesImagine you have seen this announcement in a national lifestyle magazine:

‘Some hobbies are physical, some challenge our mental capabilities but some are just bonkers. We recently interviewed 1000 people about their hobbies and we think: Planking, Cosplay and Gongoozling are three of the most wacky and insane hobbies we’ve ever heard of’

To win a 4 day City Break to a European destination of your choice, please write about the strangest hobby you have ever heard of.  Keep it short; no more than 150 words please.

To give you some inspiration here is one of the aforementioned hobbies that  we think is just plain wacky:Water hobby





However, if you need more ideas, why not check out the hobby and interests section?

Ideal hobbies

formula 1For most of us, money and time prevent us from trying new activities and exploring different things.

So, imagine that money and time weren’t problems, what five things would you most like to have a go at and why?

My top five would be:

  1. Formula 1 driving
  2. Collecting cinema posters
  3. Playing Mexican dominoes
  4. Learning how to sing or play a musical instrument
  5. Playing hockey.  (Hockey, seriously is a great sport; and it definitely ticks all my boxes.  I’s a team sport, it’s extremely physical, very aggressive but strategic at the same time)

Hobbies and Personalities

hobbies personalitiesMost people believe that the hobbies you take up and keep up are a reflection of your personality.  In addition, it is also said that your hobbies give an indication of your specific skills and abilities.

With this in mind:

  1. What types of personalities and which skills and abilities do you think match the aforementioned hobbies?
  2. What do your hobbies say about your personality?

janette poolFinally, in my free time I am nuts about watching sport, doing adventure activities, disco dancing, opening bottles of wine and playing pool. So, do you think I’m a well-balanced person or do I need a therapist or maybe a witch doctor?


Hobbies and Health Benefits!

mind bodyDo you want to keep your body and mind in synch? If so, then you had better get an enjoyable hobby. Recent research has alleged that taking up and taking part in a hobby can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and sharpen the mind.

Many people think of hobbies as a diversion to help pass the time, but according to this research, hobbies also play an important role in the health and well-being of an individual, particularly the elderly, by reducing the risk of depression and dementia. Hobbies can be an effective tool in reducing stress and lowering blood pressure, and hobbies that engage the brain, puzzles for example, have been found to be effective in delaying the onset of Alzheimers.

OMG, I’m having palpitations and I’m about to self-combust because I don’t have any hobbies that engage my brain. Quickly Janette, think of something: jigsaws – no – dull as dishwater, crossword puzzles, no – too difficult (you actually need to know stuff to do them), memorising all the capital cities in the world, no – that’s just too nerdy.

Help me, help me now!

No, seriously, you could be the saviour of my future mental health. Please comment and give me some ideas. However, if your idea involves a WhatsApp application, you can forget it! I’ve just spent the weekend with a WhatsApp fanatic and it’s like talking to someone from another planet.

What’s the hobby?

hobby descriptionWhat are the hobbies that the following four people are describing? Perhaps: gardening, playing board games, windsurfing, train spotting, rock climbing, knitting, Scottish dancing, playing chess, making models, stamp collecting, bird watching, scuba diving, wine tasting, mountaineering. taking photos, basket weaving?

Which hobby do you think would be the most interesting of kids?

LISTENING: Train Spotting as a hobby!

LISTENING: Train Spotting as a hobby?
train spottingTRAIN SPOTTING, TRAIN SPOTTING, Train Spotting – someone is seriously pulling my leg.

What is it?

And, ( shut up!) is it a hobby?
Well, I’ve just watched the video and it isn’t surprising to me that train spotting is mostly an activity taken up by men. Basically, train spotting is a hobby where you do nothing for long periods of time. Train Spotting isn’t a hobby, it’s a way of getting out of doing the cooking, the cleaning and the shopping. I say, lazy, lazy, LAZY!
Oh, I know – please start complaining about my shameless stereotyping. However, I’m not the only one that thinks it’s weird. If you watch the video you are going to hear the following phrases:

  1. It’s a bit of an anorak hobby
  2. It’s a bit geeky
  3. As a hobby I think that’s quite disgusting actually
  4. I think it’s highly popular, if I had the time I might even do it myself although it does belong to a certain part of the anorak community
  5. I haven’t got the faintest idea what it is?

READING: Janette says: Chess and Croquet

READING CHALLENGE: Janette says: Chess and Croquet
chessAs I’ve just started playing chess, I’d recommend playing chess to enhance strategic thinking (not that I do any thinking when I play, I just attack, attack and attack)It’s cheap as chips and you can play it face to face or online as I am doing with my 9 year old nephew who lives in the UK.

It takes 5 minutes to learn the rules and then you can start the ATTACK. And, although you might sound more intelligent if you know the accurate names of the pieces it doesn’t bother me and I call them as follows: the cavalry, the horsey, the castle, the man with the pointy hat, and the King and the Queen.

Croque on the lawn
Janette and her brother rolling around on the lawn

Furthermore, I’d suggest playing croquet because it’s physical, (well, you do a bit of walking and lots of whacking things with a big stick) you compete against others teams which is always exciting; also, personally speaking, doing things with other people is always more fun than when you do things by yourself, and finally and most importantly, it’s easy to play this outdoor game while getting drunk, fighting with your team mate, falling over and still WINNING.

Yes, despite the fact that my brother and I are always blind drunk when we play (in the photo that’s me and my brother on the lawn laughing our pants off while other members of the family are strategizing about the next move), we have been the reigning champions of the O’Carroll Family Annual Croquet Tournament for the last 10 years. Our team name is called: The Blue Rollers and if you fancy challenging us then BRING IT ON! And, if you’ve never played croquet before, you really must have a go!