Friday, 27 September 2013

Canadian Adventure: Stanley Park

I've been rather quiet on the blogging front because I've been on an amazing trip to Canada which I thought I'd share with you.

My Dad was going to Vancouver as part of a work conference and asked if I would like to join him (of course I would!). We had a very packed few days with lots of activities organised by the people who run the conference and then we also visited Victoria and Whistler.

I thought I'd split the trip into places because I have so many photos!

On our first day in Vancouver, Dad and I walked around and through Stanley Park. This was a really special day because Mum visited Stanley Park when she was about 19 with her Dad, so we were retracing their steps. We bought Mum a lovely eagle carving by a local carver to remind her of her visit.

Here are some pictures from the day:

The boats in front of our hotel

Vancouver Aquarium

The Totem Poles

Lions Gate Bridge

Huge trees!

Walking back into the city

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Recommended Read Children's Edition: 'Kensuke's Kingdom'

This recommended read is the children's book 'Kensuke's Kingdom' by Michael Morpurgo. To me, this is the ultimate children's book. I have yet to come across a child who does not love this story. It appeals to boys and girls, has adventure, danger, a desert island, and is a story of survival. Think 'Castaway' with Tom Hanks in, but for children.

If you have any children or need to buy a gift for a relative, this is an absolute classic. I'd recommend it for 9-12 year olds, but it would be suitable to read to 7 to 8 year olds as well, they just may need a little help. If you're a parent and read with your child before bedtime this is perfect because Michael Morpurgo really understands how children want to be kept on their toes in a book. Virtually every paragraph ends in a cliffhanger to keep you hanging on for more.

Even if you don't have children, or a child in your life, to buy this for read it!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Favourite Film and TV Day 7: The Princess Bride

Alongside Labyrinth, this is my favourite film. I really like IMDB's description of it:

"A classic fairy tale, with swordplay, giants, an evil prince, a beautiful princess, and yes, some kissing (as read by a kindly grandfather)."

This is one of those perfect films that appeals to children but there is so much more for grown ups too. It's a very tongue in cheek fairy tale. The book is just as wonderful. Another cult classic.

In fact, I want to go and watch it again...

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Favourite Film and TV Day 6: Labyrinth

I love everything about Labyrinth. It's got the lot:

Directed by Jim Henson
Produced by George Lucas
Conceptual designs by Brian Froud
David Bowie
80s music
80s outfits


And this (I want to go to a ball like this):

It's a cult classic and is my joint favourite along with tomorrow's film!

Friday, 6 September 2013

Favourite Film and TV Day 5: Maid Marian and her Merry Men

I'm sure i'm not the only one who thinks this, but children's TV really isn't a patch on what it used to be. There are so many TV shows from the 90s that I used to love but Maid Marian and her Merry Men is my favourite. I loved it so much that I used to tape them all so I could re-watch it over and over. 

It's written by Tony Robinson and is basically Black Adder for children (BRILLIANT!).

This is the theme song:

It's full of Black Adder style humour but with songs as well. Here's the Pancake Day song (which I do like to sing on Pancake Day!):

If you're a big kid at heart, or want to raise a child with an excellent sense of humour, this is the show for you!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Favourite Film and TV Day 4: Toy Story

I can remember seeing this one at the cinema and loving it. I also think it's one of the few films where the sequels were as good as the first film. 

The first one is still my favourite though because of how exciting it was the first time I saw it.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Favourite Film and TV Day 3: Northern Exposure

Bonkers but brilliant. I love any drama set in a small quirky town and this show does it brilliantly.

Dr. Joel Fleischman is, very reluctantly, sent to practice in Cicely, Alaska. In the first season we see the show through his eyes and meet all of the weird and wonderful characters in the town.

It's one of those programmes where you really need to watch it to appreciate how brilliant the characters are and tune into its off the wall humour, but here are a few clips to give you a taster.

Chris In The Morning the radio presenter creates pieces of art in the town. This is his Northern Lights:

Adam is the wild man who lives in the woods. Here he is telling Maurice, the former astronaut, about his conspiracy theories:


Ed and Chris trying to find Princess the crane a mate:

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Favourite Film and TV Day 2: Alice In Wonderland

I LOVE Hallmark's Alice in Wonderland film from 1999. It completely captured my imagination the first time I watched it, and has every time since.

I am a big fan of using puppetry and prosthetics wherever possible because I think it gives a film a much more 'real' feeling than CGI. This film is a mixture of live action and puppetry by Jim Henson's Creature Workshop.

As I'm sure you have realised by now, I am a big fan of hares, so it'd only be fitting to include a clip from the Mad Tea Party! Martin Short completely steals the show as the Mad Hatter.

A few years ago, I made my own drawing from the film:

If you haven't seen it, I'd definitely give it a go. It stays much closer to the book than the recent Tim Burton film, and I think it's much better.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Favourite Film and TV Day 1: Firefly

One of my all-time favourite TV shows is Joss Whedon's Firefly.

Firefly is set in the future. When Earth's resources became used up, other planets were terraformed. The Alliance decided that they should have control over all of the planets, but the Independents fought to keep their independence. The Alliance won, meaning that many of the Independents live on the fringes of the Universe making a living however they can. There's no way of doing the show justice without you watching it but it has Nathan Fillion, space cowboys and Whedon's signature one-liners. What more could you want?!

 Unfortunately it was doomed from the start, with its episodes being aired out of order when it was on TV for the first time. For some reason Fox then decided to cancel what was a fantastic show with a very strong fan base. I never saw it when it first aired, as it's an American show and we didn't have Sky at the time. But the fans fought hard for Firefly to be brought back, and a few years later Serenity the movie was made to tie in some of the lose ends left after its sudden cancellation.  

Unlike many shows that go on for a few series too many, Firefly was cut off before it even reached its prime, but the episodes that have been made are unmissable. Be warned though, you will be left feeling so disappointed that it was cancelled when you reach the end of the series!

If you are already a Firefly fan, well done! You pass my friend test! :)

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Stay tuned...

I haven't been very good at blogging recently, so I thought I'd do a little series of blog posts over the next week. Every day next week I will be blogging about one of my favourite films or TV shows.
These are either things that inspire me, or just ones that I really love.

I'm just trying to narrow my list down!

I haven't updated the Arty Days recently either. We're a bit behind because my parents went on holiday together a couple of weeks ago so we didn't have a visit then. This week, however, we went to Treefest at Westonbirt Arboretum. It's a yearly event that we'd never been to before, but it was really good fun. There were lots of different stalls of furniture, sculptures and jewellery. For more info about the day visit my Mum's post about the day.