Just a normal nights dinner- homemade onion rings recipe

Last night I got home a little later than usual, as did the boy (auditions for the school play!). As Ned had Beavers and Fifi had a school opening evening visit planned (can’t believe she is in the last year of primary school- madness!), the two youngest and wifey had eaten, leaving me to fend for the boy and me. I had a forty minute window between getting back from dropping Ned off at Beavers and having to go and pick Ned up from Beavers. Not so much of a window, as a chink of light creeping in from between the curtains really.

So rather than going for the typical egg & chips that had been suggested, I had a spring onion and cheese omelette with a side of hastily home made onion rings, and the boy had home made onion rings and chips.

Onion rings aren’t difficult to make, and home made ones are so much nicer than the manky frozen ones you bung in the oven.

The thing it’s easy to forget (or not know in the first place I suppose) is by the time the oven is up to temperature to cook frozen pre-prepared food, it’s entirely possible to cook something much nice yourself on the hob. In this case, there were even some onion rings left over for Ned when I picked him up from Beavers. This is the sort of stuff I wouldn’t have in the freezer compartment even if there was room, which there isn’t, as we’ve got about 6 bags of frozen pineapple chunks in there at the moment for some reason or other I’ve never fully understood.

And lo, there was WAR

Ned is taking to junior school (well year three) with aplomb. The focus on learning vs play lead learning in infants hasn’t fazed him and he’s still very chipper.

We get regular updates on how things have gone at school, and I have to say mostly they’re believable. The thing with Ned is you can always tell the cut off point where his retelling of events starts to veer into the realm of fantasy; it will be the football story where he goes from having a good game to scoring 87 goals and being carried on the shoulders of his team mates, or the maths lesson where he gets a prize for doing well, followed by a prize for the number of prizes he won.

So it’s in this context of tall tales, that we listened raptly to Ned’s tale of the school WAR. A child in year three who disliked someone in year four decided to declare WAR on year 4. An army was marshalled and there was much punching and kicking, with lots of blood spilt, as WAR was enacted upon year 4. Ned and his buddy were determined to not get involved (this was perhaps the beginning of the tall tale, who knows, Ned does follow some rules at school) but saw the carnage wrought during the WAR. The large foam play bricks were used to batter other children, there was shoving, and shouting, and it took all the playground supervisors to separate the factions.

In the aftermath of the WAR, the headmistress spoke to both years, threatening a ban on the play bricks forever, and various other dire consequences if they broke the terms of the peace treaty and the white caps patrolling the playground had to intervene.

The next morning the boy who instigated the WAR smuggled in a large supply of sweeties to dish out to his disaffected troops in an attempt to keep them onside and loyal through the phoney war period until proper WAR could be re-instigated. We didn’t get to the bottom of how this morale boosting manoeuvre worked out because there hasn’t been any additional WAR so far, and I had to get Ned off to Beavers, thus ending our discussion of WAR. I’ve reached out to Kate Adie, former BBC war correspondent, to see if she wants to join me on the front line but have yet to hear back.

Rudimental (DJ Set) to headline 21st edition of Nozstock The Hidden Valley

Nozstock The Hidden Valley is back for its 21st season this summer. Following on from last year’s spectacular sell-out 20th anniversary, the independent festival now reveals its main wave of artists.


Joining Nozstock so far are Rudimental (DJ set), Soul II Soul, The Skatalites, David Rodigan, Hollie Cook, Elvana: Elvis fronted Nirvana, Oh My God! It’s The Church, Henge, Jam Baxter, DJ Zinc + SP:MC, Turno, Notion, A Skills, Randall, Hospitality Takeover and loads more!

Last years Nozstock was pretty special, I absolutely LOVED Grandmaster Flash and a load of the other acts but Rudimental is a particular favourite in our household so it’s bound to be really exciting.

Nozstock is one of the UK’s longest running festivals. Set on a beautiful working farm, it is family-run, home-made and proudly independent. It’s a gloriously eccentric and decadently off-kilter brain-shift with incredible detail at every turn. A small festival with a big heart which continues to chart its own path, far away from commercialism and following the flock. Nozstock transcends the classic festival experience, creating its own sense of community and escapism for a few precious days. The Nosworthy family curate one of the UK’s finest portfolios of music and arts, with a huge focus on keeping families entertained in the Little Wonderland Kids’ Area.

Payment by instalments available, and you can find all the details below. I recommend watching some of the videos to get a good idea of how cool it all is!

www.nozstock.com / @Nozstock  / facebook.com/nozstockthehiddenvalley
youtube.com/nozstockfestival   /   instagram.com/nozstock

Last night I got told off by my mum- I’m 43!

I’m used to be told off, it’s a part of life but it has been a number of years since my mum actually told me off. I’m well into my forties now and had thought that I’d passed that stage of my life. It appears that I haven’t.

I tend to have a weekly chat with my parents on the phone while I’m walking home from work. Although they’re only based 18 miles away, with three kids and lots of activities at the weekend, we only see them once every couple of months, so it’s good to keep in touch.

While I was chatting to mum yesterday, I mentioned that it’s great to be able to see what the boy has had for lunch- he’s newly started at secondary school and his school dinner money is done via biometrics- in this instance a thumb print. We can log on to an app and see what he’s spent and what he’s spent it on. Mum was impressed, I could tell. Mind you, a lot of technology impresses her generation, but even so, she said it was a shame that they didn’t have that sort of system when I was at school.

I was a creature of habit in my school days. Packed lunch containing:

  • two slices of Sainsbury wholemeal bread made into a Marmite sandwich (cut diagonally)
  • a bag of crisps (Ringos, Farmer Browns, Hula Hoops, Chipsticks)
  • a biscuit (orange/mint/fruit Club or a KitKat)
  • an apple
  • a carton of drink (5 Alive, Umbongo or something similar)

Blithely, I mentioned to mum I didn’t actually eat my packed lunch very often, instead I sold it to Mark Giltrow. Mark was on school dinners but didn’t like them and preferred a packed lunch, so I sold him mine for the equivalent of a school dinner, pocketing the money to fund my obsession with comics and computer games. Along with my 55p bus fare home I didn’t spend, choosing to walk instead, this added a huge £8.75 a week to my income. That was enough to buy a Megadrive game once a month!

There was silence on the other end of the phone. The silence extended and became awkward. Them mum replied, “You naughty boy, no wonder you were hungry when you got home, honestly Alex, I’m cross with you.”

I had to point out that we were talking about something that happened 30 years ago, and as a 43 year old parent of three I wasn’t about to take a telling off for something that happened so long ago but there was little I could say that would mollify her. I was in trouble!

Nozstock the Hidden Valley 2018 Review

This year Nozstock celebrated it’s 20th birthday, no mean feat given how the festival market has burgeoned in recent years. The secret to their success is threefold- Nozstock has refused to grow to the size of a mega festival, it has great music, and it’s just incredibly friendly.

This year the weather gods were kind to us,it was gloriously hot and sunny where it had been rather wet the previous year. The weather does make a big difference at a festival, even one where they deal with the mud really well, and I have to say combined with the lovely local cider and the musical line up, this was probably the best Nozstock yet.

We started off Friday with We Are Scientists, before moving on to the Selector for a bit of ska. Both were ace, but simply a warm up for Chase & Status a bit later in the evening, who did an awesome set. Day time is quite chilled at Nozstock, with a mixture of mellow acoustic, folk, and guitar based pop/rock. Things get really banging in the evenings. The kids did well on the first night, managing to stay up until gone midnight.

On day 2 we were joined by the rest of our posse (the Friday had been year six leavers party, so my wife, the eldest, and one of our friends and their eldest came up first thing Saturday morning). The last sets of the previous night only finished at around 2/3am, so the morning was quite chilled. I’d made the cardinal mistake of not filling up my water bottle so had to start the day with a gin in a tin to wet my whistle – why not start as you mean to carry on eh? 

Although the family camping has always been great at Nozstock (restricted to people with actual families and not groups of teenagers on their own like a few other festivals I could name), this year it really outdid itself with a bespoke adventure playground and some football goals.  This is a really great addition when you have kids that get up at 7am and the festival proper doesn’t open until 10!

Of course the bigger acts were reserved for the (late) evenings but with the likes of Electric Swing Circus on earlier, it really wasn’t the case of having to sit through a lot of rubbish just to make sure you got to see the likes of GrandMaster Flash or Goldfrapp.

The thing that sets Nozstock apart (aside from the music, the food, and well lots of other things really) is the atmosphere though. It is so friendly. We had “merry” lads and lasses coming up and asking the kids who their favourite artists were, complementing us on making the kids wear ear defenders, and just being genuinely nice. There was none of the argy bargy jostling and queue jumping you see at larger festivals, everybody is out to have a good time and enjoy themselves.

Tickets are already available for Nozstock’s 21st Festival, and you can pick them up here at an early bird rate. Don’t forget that kids under 12 go free, so it really is an awesome opportunity to spend a long weekend chilling.

Blasters at the ready, we’re Lazer M.A.D!

On a baking hot Saturday a couple of weeks ago the boys and I drove down to Greenwich to sweat a lot in a concrete basement. I sweated so much I had to change every single item of clothing I was wearing. It turns out, having fun in the heat makes you sweat and we had so much fun playing Lazer M.A.D. that I must have lost a couple of pints of fluids.

Lazer M.A.D. is a blaster game that you can play in an underground bunker in Greenwich but you can also play at home, in your garden, or in the office (if your boss is understanding). I have to admit Ned’s enthusiasm and excitement as we headed to the event was probably matched by my scepticism- “toy” versions of almost everything tend to turn out to be rubbish, from low megapixel cameras, to drones that crash or fly off and get lost, the market doesn’t have a very good track record in making stuff that is good in anything other than an advert.

I have to say though that two weeks after the event, and two weeks playing quite a bit of Lazer M.A.D. at home with the kids, I’ve been proved pleasantly wrong.

Lets start with the equipment. In each pack of Lazer M.A.D. you get two blasters, with various modular attachments that affect the range and the rate of fire. you also get a little harness and a target (much like you would if you went to an actual Lazer Tag venue). The first thing that impressed me was the durability of the blasters and the add-ons. I could see that they had a bit of heft to them and didn’t look like they would break that easily. Build quality (and general style) is fairly similar to everyone’s favourite dart propelling blaster system and that’s no bad thing in my book. Each of the add-ons snicks on positively and after a few weeks of play haven’t i) been lost or ii) become loose.

Of course, like all these devices, the Lazer M.A.D. blasters aren’t really lasers, they use an IR transmitter that is pretty powerful and pretty focused. As a chap who has been on several 9/10 year old laser tag party teams, I really couldn’t tell the difference between the Lazer M.A.D. stuff and the “professional” gear.

Given that you can use the blaster in different modes, it’s great that you have to reload it (there is a pump action slider on the top, so you too can be Linda Hamilton from Terminator 2 and do it one handed if you really want to be). The target also shows the number of lives you have left, which is handy too.

Although there are no real set rules, since you can set the blasters and targets to “friend” or “foe”, it’s possible to play team games and also, if you set everyone to the A team on the blaster but the B team on the target, you can also play last man standing, or Fortnite in real life as the kids termed it.

Even with the two player advanced battle ops set we played with (and bought home with us), which retails for £59.99, you can have a lot of fun, although if you’ve got a few friends with a set, the fun exponentially increases. The price isn’t prohibitive either if you do want to add more sets to your collection and join in with your kids.

Ned, our six year old, loved Lazer M.A.D. more than I can really articulate. It took him most of the drive home to calm down, and the next hour or so getting excited about playing on his very own set. I was surprised and impressed too. Have I mentioned how hot and sweaty I got playing Lazer M.A.D? Yes? Well that’s probably testament to how much fun we had playing!

Lego City Mining Review and Giveaway With Smyths

It’s easy to get sucked into buying branded LEGO sets; I’ve got a big stack of Star Wars and Marvel Superhero sets stashed away for birthdays and rewards for the kids but Smyths have popped up with a timely reminder that their is fun in the LEGO universe outside of the film and TV tie ins with some LEGO City for review and another set for a giveaway!

LEGO City Mining is a sub set of LEGO City that focuses on the big rigs that, surprise!, do mining. All the characters come equipped with hard hats and some of the machinery is really cool- rock smashers, a tunneller with counter rotating drill bits at the front– and you can even recreate the Indiana Jones mine cart chase in miniature because there is a mine cart set too.

The boy and Fifi spent a fun filled weekend building a lot of bright yellow digging equipment and if you would like your little ones to build a lot of bright yellow digging equipment, now is your chance because Symths Toys have kindly given another set of the, um, sets to me to give away (LEGO City Mining sets 60184, 60185, 60186 and 60188).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • UK only
  • Winner chosen at random via rafflecopter
  • Prize is one LEGO CITY MINING BUNDLE worth £140 – No alternatives will be offered
  • The winner will be notified within seven days of the competition closing
  • The winner has 14 days to claim their prize after notification. If the winner fails to claim their prize within 14 days an alternative winner will be chosen

Getting some practical help from AXA PPP healthcare in facing my own fears!

Now I’m facing my fears with the help of AXA PPP healthcare, I’m actually facing my fears with help from AXA PPP healthcare– I spent an hour on the telephone with one of their physiologists who is also a mental health first aider. It’s all very well girding your loins and setting your goals but sometimes you need a bit of help in facing, what many perceive to be, the peril. In this instance, my peril, in inverted commas, is the fear that I’ll have a premature death and leave my family to cope without a dad or husband (the kids without a dad, my wife without a husband before you get any funny ideas). Rather than thinking of this fear as a peril, I can harness it positively, by taking steps to improve my fitness and with a healthier diet.  Unlike Sir Galahad, who obviously needed no help facing the peril:

Lancelot:You were in great peril.
Galahad: I don’t think I was.
Lancelot: Yes, you were. You were in terrible peril.
Galahad: Look, let me go back in there and face the peril.
Lancelot: No, it’s far too perilous.
Galahad: Look, it’s my duty as a knight to sample as much peril as I can.

If there’s one thing I’m never backwards in coming forward about it’s talking about myself and the AXA professional Becky was super awesome in focusing the Alex stream of consciousness into the areas that needed it the most. In fact by the end of our session I was in full on Galahad mode and wanting to face the peril, no matter how perilous. It’s funny how some external input can really help you harness the positive potential of those fears full on isn’t it?

We worked through my issues, which were a mixture of diet, exercise and a lot of apathy, and Becky came up with a three point plan:

  1. Reduce weight to less than 100kg – as you mentioned breaking this number is a big barrier psychologically. Don’t forget you have already dropped a trouser size through the addition of walking to work so you are well on your way to achieving this.
  2. Increase activity level, keep up with football and walking to work but build core strength too. Could you link this with the children as supports, just like running with your 9 year old, could you find an activity to do with the others once a week too?
  3. Improve the quality of your diet, specifically lunches when you are away from your wife. Don’t worry too much about calories, let’s look into nutritious rich foods. Take leftover dinners to work or cook yourself something – don’t forget you enjoy cooking so hopefully this will be a positive aspect of routine rather than a chore. Planning is key here!

Right now my knees are aching something rotten; I played five a side last night and by the end of it was really beginning to suffer (I am 43 and overweight!) but I was still out today racking up the steps. And while steps don’t mean prizes, they do mean kilometres, and in the long run the prize is conquering my fear of an early departure from this mortal life, so I suppose it is a prize in a way. I walked to work so fast on Tuesday that the GPS assisted activity tracker I was using categorised it as a run rather than walking! Every time I feel like dawdling on my walk to work, I think about lying in bed worrying how my kids would cope with everyday growing up milestones- transitioning to secondary school, sitting their GCSEs, getting a first girlfriend or boyfriend- without me there to help them along the way. To be honest it’s still very easy to lay awake at night with those worries but I am at least utilising that fear to drive me on to a healthier me.

I was particularly impressed with some of the tools and resources AXA PPP healthcare gave me to help with this progress. There is a great resource called Food for Thought that Becky emailed me that not only did the normal sort of “eat brown bread because it’s better for you” jazz, but also had a mood & food diary, with specific minerals and foodstuffs that could help improve your state of mind. I never knew that processing alcohol, your body uses thiamin, zinc and other nutrients and this can deplete your reserves, especially if your diet is poor.

After my first hour consultation, I get 20 minutes a month to catch up to make sure I’m still on track. This weekend, I’m following advice and taking the kids for an excessively long cross country hike followed  by a nice swim to warm us all up!

To find out how fears can hold us back and watch a video by leading psychologist, Dr Mark Winwood, about ‘How to set your fear’ so you can turn it into a motivating tool, visit AXA PPP healthcare’s Own Your Fears website: www.axappphealthcare.co.uk/ownyourfears.

Nozstock 20: headliners announced!

Nozstock: The Hidden Valley celebrates its 20 th anniversary this summer!

  • The festival is very proud to announce its first artists, including headliners Chase & Status (DJ set + Rage), Goldfrapp and Grandmaster Flash
  • Live performances from The Selecter, Dub Pistols, Electric Swing Circus, Kiko Bun, The Lovely Eggs, Oh My God! It’s The Church and DJ sets from DJ Marky & G.Q, Black Sun Empire, S.P.Y, Audio, Dillinja, Randall and many more
  • The theme for the 20 th anniversary is Nozstalgia – anything from Gameboys and Ghostbusters to the Karate Kid and flared jeans
  • Festival takes place across an idyllic working farm set in beautiful countryside
  • Little Wonderland Kids’ Area returns with plenty of fun, magic and inspiration for children of all ages and their families – and it’s all free!
  • Nozstock runs from Fri 20 th – Sun 22 and July 2017
  • Tickets from £120 for adults / from £95 for 13-16 year olds / 12 and under free payment by instalment is available
    For full festival info go to: www.nozstock.com
  • Check out the festival’s video here

This summer Nozstock: The Hidden Valley celebrates its 20th anniversary, entering a small group of
festivals who have reached two decades of creating magic each summer. It’s a huge achievement for the
family-fun festival which is set across their working farm in the rolling hills of Herefordshire. It is an
event which has grown from a group of like-minded friends gathered together many years ago into a truly
mesmeric experience of wonder and enchantment for all the ages, including the return of the Little
Wonderland Kids’ Area – a huge family favourite.

Nozstock The Hidden Valley’s Little Wonderland Kids’ Area features a vibrant spectrum of children’s
entertainment for everyone to enjoy, which will be linked into this year’s theme of Nozstalgia. The festival
embraces a whole family festival experience from beginning to end, and this is a friendly welcoming
environment for both parents and little ones alike. All are welcome to get creative, be amazed by
wondrous stories, sculptures and entertainment, or roll their sleeves up for some physical fun. All events
and activities are free of charge in the Little Wonderland Kids’ Area across the whole weekend, as the
festival always strongly believes families shouldn’t foot the bill for festival fun. There’s even a bottle
warming service!

Click for bigger

Ella Nosworthy, who runs Nozstock with her father, says: “No-one is more surprised than us that we’ve
made it to our 20th birthday! We’re planning our biggest show ever to make it a real celebration, and we’re sure that anyone who has been to the festival will not want to miss this summer! We’ve bought back
some of our favourite and most memorable artists from the past 20 years. Our Nozstalgia theme is
whatever you feel fond about from the past. There’s lots of inspiration to get really creative!”

The Nozstock team are incredibly proud to be revealing the first round of artists joining them for their
momentous birthday celebrations. As ever, it’s a kaleidoscopic mix of headline names, up and coming
talent and seasoned stars forming an incredible range of styles across the event’s ten intimate stages.
Headlining The Orchard, electronic floor fillers Chase & Status are one of the most successful acts
associated with drum and bass, with multi-platinum albums, numerous charting singles, and working with
the likes of Rihanna. Electronic pop duo Goldfrapp are an enchanting force, releasing iridescent,
intriguing pop since 1999 across 7 highly respected albums. The Selecter are a 2-Tone ska band featuring
a racially diverse and politically charged line-up, whilst over a 20-year career the Dub Pistols have
worked with heroes like The Specials and Madness. Electric Swing Circus is a 6-strong fusion of saucy
20s swing and stomping electro beats, and The Lovely Eggs are a lo-fi psychedelic punk rock band.
Next up are the The Stiff Joints, a 10-piece ska army with a raucous infusion of ska, punk and reggae,
and as Oh My God! It’s The Church encourage all sinners to join them, Mr Tea and The Minions
bring their gypsy flavoured ska and swing. Mad Apple Circus is an original blend of horn-fuelled styles
and Buffo’s Wake are gypsy punk lunatics with a taste for the macabre.

Over in The Garden, rap royalty Grandmaster Flash was a member of his ground-breaking hip-hop
group with the Furious Five and developed never heard before turntable techniques; he brings his
incredible party-rocking acumen to the stage. Speaking of legends, Chali 2na MC, painter and founding
member of hip-hop supergroup Jurassic 5 returns to The Garden alongside Krafty Kutz; the multi
award-winning DJ and undisputed King of Breaks. Nozstock fave DJ Marky has worked with Madonna,
and Fatboy Slim as well as releasing his own albums fusing drum and bass with full-tilt club beats and
laid-back house grooves, and hip-hop duo Taskforce bring street stories and psychedelic flows, whilst
living legends Verb T and Pitch 92 will bring an odyssey in rhyme and funk. The dextrous lyricist and
M.C of High Focus Records, Fliptrix brings his seamless semantics, Serial Killaz are drum and bass
jungle producers signed to Playaz Recordings and London reggae artist Kiko Bun is surfing a dubby
resurgence all the way to the top. Not forgetting Pengshui, made up of hip-hop heavyweights Illaman,
Fatty Bassman & Prav. The festival’s birthday celebrations will hit their peak with Saturday nights ska and skank party, headlined by Macka B, who after 30 years continues to tour the world and break down
barriers and with Sunday’s special 20 th anniversary drum ‘n’ bass party.

At The Bandstand Frauds are a post-hardcore band, whilst Average Sex have been snapped up by Tim
Burgess& label O Genesis Recordings. Elephants’ Grave stars Sonny Wharton; a firm fixture in the house and techno scene, whilst Dom Kane’s tracks have been supported by Pete Tong, Deadmau5, and more.
Dirty Secretz is one of house music & most exciting artists, releasing on Stealth and Whartone Records.
Friday nights welcomes Pro-Ject, providing the true house grooves, whilst in the daytime Ital Sounds
reggae collective are ready to provide the rocksteady rhythms.

The Cabinet of Lost Secrets features 7Suns’ music in an energizing blend of Afro, Latin, Caribbean, funk,
jazz and rock, The Pink Diamond Revue are an electro-punk duo who play in front of a big screen
projecting images they have cut up themselves from old B-movies, and Collective 43 are a multi-
instrumental congregation steeped heavy with New Orleans-street style and twists of blues and jazz. And
across the site there’s plenty more to choose from. Phil Kay’s unpredictable and freestyle approach won
him a Perrier nomination in 1993 and the award for best stand-up at the 1994 British Comedy Awards,
and Jayde Adams is a multi-faceted comedian of hilarious repute. The Wrong Directions Cinetent is
hosted by local experimental collective MASH Cinema, whilst The Sunken Yard are connoisseurs of a
very good time indeed. Puppetual Motion present a wide variety of visually stunning aerial acts and
Hummadruz are an ultra-violet theatre group dedicated to performing astonishing psychedelic spectacle.
Andrew Szydlo brings chemistry to life with his spectacular demonstrations, whilst the fabulous Little
Wonderland Kids Area keeps children of all ages enraptured throughout the whole weekend. A new and improved Craft Area wows with a chance to learn from the masters. Workshops on offer include
blacksmithing, spoon carving and plant propagation plus amazing demonstrations and communal
sculpture building with a fiery destiny…

 

Tickets from £120 for adults / from £95 for 13-16 year olds / 12 and under free / Booking fees apply /

 

I asked my kids for their favourite song and the results were gratifying

It’s a universally held fact that music was better in the day. It doesn’t matter which day you’re talking about, it was just better. Our parents complained about the rubbish we listened to, and no doubt their parents did too, just as we think most of the guff our kids generation is in to is rubbish.

So, over dinner the other night, preempting the 10 year old’s any questions session, where he likes to go round the table and ask people an either/or question, I decided to ask the kids what their favourite song was.

The boy, aged 10

I was impressed. I thought he might go for some Nerdest (they do songs based on videogames and are particularly popular on YouTube) or some bloke in a white suit with a plastic bin on his head called Marshmello but he actually picked Wonderwall by Oasis. Wonderwall is 23 years old now, and if a ten year old me had to pick a 23 year old song, it would have been from 1962 and probably If I had a Hammer by Peter Paul and Mary.

Fifi, aged 9

I have to admit I had no idea what to expect from my daughter. She quite often puts on My Old Man’s a Dustman by Lonnie Donegan, and does a little dance to it. Equally she likes current pop and rock. She initially gave one song but then changed it to another, so I’m going to include both here.

Dido I can deal with in the sense that it’s a nice song. Bobby Vee’s Night of a Thousand Eyes though?! It turns out her granddad gave her an iPod Shuffle that had both songs on it and those are the two that she really liked. How awesome is that? Not least because the Bobby Vee video is a bit bonkers.

Ned, aged 6

Although Ned has now progressed to the “confident reader, aged 5-8” section of Waterstones, getting things like song titles out of him still remains a challenge. And it was no different here as his choice was “the song with an elephant in the video”. That doesn’t narrow it down much, so we had to fire up the TV and let him browse the YouTube music videos. Just as well we did as I’m not entirely sure we’d have got to Paradise by Coldplay on our own.

There is something very cool about hearing a 6 year old sing along to pop songs.

The runners up

We spent the rest of the evening playing our favourite songs on YouTube, taking it in turns to pick a song out and make everyone else listen to it.

The kids came up with some great songs:

  • Bastille by Pompeii (or the aaaa,aaaa,aaaa song as Ned calls it)
  • Symphony of Destruction by Megadeth (the boy was born to this, it’s his anthem)
  • Wolves by Selma Gomez and Marshmello
  • The Chain by Fleetwood Mac
  • All the Small Things by Blink 182

And we had an entire evening without television!

The best thing about the whole impromptu music evening was the lack of really contemporary music, because lets face it, music today is rubbish