I’ve always loved (most of) the Star Wars movies. The prequel trilogy don’t count but the new films are pretty good and our kids seem to agree, they’re all big Star Wars fans too.
EA have the video game rights tied up and the visuals that a big budget studio can create are stunning, as this mash up of the speeder bike chase from Return of the Jedi with the actual game shows:
Although the movies have strayed into 12A terrotry with The Last Jedi, overall (running from Phantom Menace to Last Jedi), the ratings run like this: U, PG, 12, U, U, U, 12, 12A, which shows that the films are pretty family friendly. I love how the original trilogy are all U certificate, despite the arm severing, smoking skeletons, hands being chopped of and so on. Kids in the 80’s could deal with that sort of thing.
Star Wars Battlefront 1 & 2 are both PEGI 16. PEGI is the Pan-European Game Information age rating system, it aims to give consistent ratings to video games much like the BBFC does for films. Rating a game significantly higher than any of the movies it’s tied in to is an odd decision. Especially when the game doesn’t contain any blood or gore. You shoot people with blasters and use lightsabres. View Full Post
I have half a cold. I’ve had half a cold since well before Christmas now (perhaps even as long as October by some reckonings). I’ve come to live with my half cold through necessity though. It’s expanded to a full cold on occasion but then subsided back down to half a cold again.
It’s an odd half cold though, I’m not low level unwell and snotty across the board, rather I have a full head cold but only on the left hand side. I have sinus headaches on the left, a completely blocked left nostril, I can blow horrible substance out of my left side but the right is as clean as a whistle.
This has (perhaps fortunately) meant that my Christmas drinking has been somewhat curtailed, and I’ve returned to work this morning feeling no more than a bit blocked up (on one side) rather than ready to die from a combination of liver failure and sleep deprivation.
The kids haven’t been so lucky, Ned spent his birthday sounding like a mini Barry White, and the other two are coming down with colds just in time to go back to school later this week. Share and share alike, that’s what I say.
Christmas was in many ways quite a good Christmas. Expectations were managed pretty well, the kids got some stuff they wanted without bankrupting us, we did some family stuff, played some games, watched some movies together and generally chilled out without trashing the house completely. In the context of our household, that was pretty exceptional. Nobody got food poisoning, nobody had sick bug, and Fifi even managed to take me running almost every day (bar Christmas day itself). The kids even relented and woke up a little later than normal on Christmas day. Last year they were up at 4am, this year just gone 6am. It was still early but those extra two hours made the world of difference. My body clock decided the natural time for me to wake up is around 8:40am, so getting up at 7 for work today was more than a little bit of a struggle.
All that remains is to see how far the unfounded new year’s optimism can stretch- let’s see if I can make it to the weekend…
Nozstock The Hidden Valley – celebrating 20 years!
Friday 20th – 22nd July 2018
@ Rowden Paddocks, Bromyard, Herefordshire, HR7 4LS
Tickets: From £115 for adults / From £95 teens / 12s and under free www.nozstock.com / @Nozstock
Artists TBA January 2018
In July 2018 Nozstock The Hidden Valley will reach its 20th anniversary, entering a small group of festivals who have reached two decades of creating magic each summer. Starting from very humble beginnings its founding ethos remains part of the festival to the present, with Nozstock not only a genuine weekend of escapism far from the madding crowds, but also one which has kept the same flourishing spirit each and every summer; it’s a very family festival with abundant charm, integrity and authenticity at every turn, as well as amazing fun across the beautiful site set on a working farm in Bromyard, attracting one of the country’s most wonderfully diverse audiences whether newbies coming for the very first time or seasoned festival goers.
Curated by the father and daughter duo of Noz and Ella and a huge extended family who work across the entire festival, there’s a unique energy to Nozstock unlike anything else in the country. The festival features a huge range of entertainment, activities and inspiration for families and kids, with games, pop-up performances, and workshops at every turn.
It’s going to be an incredible weekend for everyone who comes Nozstock’s 20th anniversary!
Father hacksawed the toilet, but he’d no right to do so
Our toilet seat wanted removing
And Pa says it was stuck
Due to all the wee on the seat
And so he cursed and swore
He got his hacksaw out
Two spanners and a wrench
And with a terrible frown on
At it he made a rush
When Father hacksawed the toilet
You couldn’t see Pa for rust
Sawing it here and sawing it there
There was rust and plastic everywhere
Mother was hiding in the kitchen
And the kids were rolling on the floor
You never saw such a bloomin’ family
So stuck up before
What d’you think of poor old Father?
You never saw such a bloomin’ family
So stuck up before
Hah, that’s the part I like
Hah-hah-hah-hah View Full Post
We went out the other day as a family. This is unremarkable for most families but it’s becoming an increasing rarity for us. The battle lines have been drawn. We were lucky enough to go to a press screening of Paddington 2 the other week but one child sulked all the way through because he wanted to stay at home instead of being dragged in to London for a cinema outing that would have cost us around 80 quid had we paid for it (and the snacks we had).
It came to a head on fireworks night where only one child actually wanted to come and see the fireworks. We’d been out most of the afternoon at a Playstation Event, playing games and stuffing ourselves with food. It wasn’t as if there was even a game or code for one in the goody bag Sony kindly provided, so there wasn’t really an excuse for wanting to sit around but the kids put there foot down. I know from bitter experience there is little or no point fighting this as our lives will be made a simple misery.
The next challenge is to work out how to stop this happening in the first place I suppose.
I’ve done the hospital run with a wife in labour three times in my life and on the final occasion, when I got chucked out of the hospital, I had a rather madcap journey back to it too.
So when Kia invited me to have a look at their new car, the Kia Stonic, and specifically how it worked in terms of a hospital dash and as a car for a new family, I thought it would be well worth a look. So I headed down to GWR Kia to find out.
I tried to go into the event with an open mind but I didn’t know very much about Kia, so I set about educating myself on the way there (I wasn’t driving!). Kia are South Korean. This apparently makes some look down their noses because all the best cars come from Germany.
This is odd because Samsung are also South Korean, and as cars get more and more packed with gizmos and computers, I would have thought hailing from the technological capital of the world (sorry Japan, you’ve dropped to second) would have been seen as a bonus.
I was trying to reconcile my preconceptions an hour later while familiarising myself with a Stonic, packed with features like key-less ignition, rain sensing wipers, reversing cameras and blind-spot sensors. I didn’t get round to using the Android Play stereo function as I was worried about being judged on my musical choices. But enough of this, lets take a step back for a moment. View Full Post
My last post was exactly one word short of 1,500 and it was about books. Books, and reading in general are a bone of contention in our house. The two older kids are reluctant readers, often preferring to do nothing and complain about being bored rather than simply reading a book.
While the surrounding distractions they have are undoubtedly greater than those or wifey had when we were growing up (we’re both avid readers), I think there is a danger that we look back on our youth with rose coloured spectacles and automatically condemn the amount of television and videogames available to us now as a reason why kids often don’t like reading as much. View Full Post
Last night we went on a secondary school open evening. The boy is in year 6 now. Somehow he has changed from a small boy looking belligerently at us to an almost secondary school aged boy who still manages to look belligerently at us. Time passes for us all.
The opening even was interesting. It was full of portents and omens for a start. As we sat down for the heads speech, the music department and choir did a rendition of Shine on You Crazy Diamond from Wish You Were Here, my favourite album. They even did a pretty good job of it too. Auspicious indeed.
Going round all the departments, it was clear that while the fabric of the building didn’t seem fundamentally any newer than the school I left in 1993 (that’s 24 years ago now), the overall approach certainly was. My class at Broxbourne School was so ill behaved, we never progressed past the recorder in 3 years of music lessons and the opportunities afforded us in basic education don’t seem as expansive as they do today for our kids, even in a climate of swingeing cuts and austerity. View Full Post
This school summer holiday is a bit of a landmark one in the ‘Cool household. The littlest is finishing reception and moving into year 1 and the eldest is finishing year 5 and will be starting his last year of primary school. Terrifying.
It’s also the first year that we’ll have faced the summer holidays as two full time working parents. Of course when we booked our summer holidays back last autumn, this wasn’t the case, I was working full time while my wife was on a 22 hour a week part time contract. This was loaded into two very long days, with a couple of hours on Friday morning as a top up as necessary. It meant that between us, a few days of annual leave and some grand parent involvement covered most of last years summer holidays. This year is decidedly different though. View Full Post
I feel like I’m doing this parenting lark right at the moment. On Saturday I had a great conversation with the ten year old about music. He told me the day before he had a conversation with a bunch of girls in his class about what they liked to listen to in terms of music. He said he was disappointed that they all seemed to like rude rap music (I think it’s probably grime, I could be wrong though) and not one of them had even heard of Fleetwood Mac, yet alone listened to Rumours (one of his favourite songs is the Chain), or the Scott Pilgrim Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, or the Eurythmics. He sadly shook his head and told me that they all had rubbish taste in music. View Full Post