Tag Archives: holidays

Here comes Santa Claus 2

He screamed! We didn’t even get in the door. The poor Santa and elf didn’t know what to do. At least we still got the present.

He was a really good Santa as well.

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Here comes Santa claus?

We are off to see Santa today and I for one can’t wait. I have a shopping afternoon off work, we have booked in (yes, you need to book with santa’s PA for an appointment) and my son has no idea what is going on. It’s not a surprise, it’s just that he is not yet 2.

Last year was a disaster. We took the boy to a shopping centre, got there early, queued for ages and had to leave within seconds due to the screaming. Our expectations of a magical and festive experience were smashed to pieces by the piercing screams of our nearly one year old. To be fair to my son though what did we expect? There you go son, sit on this big fat mans lap in a strange place, try to ignore the massive beard and strange person (with big ears and a stripy outfit) taking your picture, just smile for the camera. New parents? You bet.

But what makes a truly great Santa? Here it comes…

1) real fatness. Santa must actually be fat. It’s no good shoving pillows up a skinny mans top as it makes him look like the voodoo head Shrinkers have got to him. Scary.

2) a good beard. It needs to be like goldilocks hair, white of course, but not straggly. The last thing you need is your Santa looking like Dan Ackroyd when he goes nuts in trading places. It also needs to look real, not stuck on, otherwise pulling of the beard will occur. De bearding Santa? A dream crusher.

3) the grotto. It needs to be cosy, warm and welcoming. The one last year looked like an evil Micky mouse lair. No wonder my son went nuts.

4) Santa needs to be old. A young Santa is just weird. Crows feet yes, deep, gruff voice yes. Youthful exuberance no.

I hope today goes well. To be honest I just hope it’s not a scream fest. Above all else though, I hope the picture is good. It’s a long time to wait for the next one.

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The best and worst Trilogy

What makes a good trilogy? Is it a good idea? is it something that gets better as you watch or read each one? Is it something that is well thought through? I am unsure what makes this magical thing of 3 great things, I can however tell you what makes a bad trilogy. Here are my top 3 bad trilogies.

1) The Godfather. This may surprise some, especially those that know me, but the Godfather trilogy is guilty of committing a terrible, terrible crime. The first Godfather film was amazing, made even more so by the fact I hadn’t seen it until the age of 25. I loved the interwoven story line, the effortless violence and completeness of it all. I loved it. Then came number 2. It was even better than the first and added another great Italian actor into the mix. The dual story lines went extremely well together and the whole ‘how times of changed’ angle was great. Number 3 was s**t. End of story. From such high expectations came a less than mediocre film. Why oh why!

2) Back to the Future (although the illustrator of the Squidge series disagrees). The first 2 films were interwoven so well that you couldn’t just stop at the first, although it dies stand alone very well. The ideas behind it, the great acting, and the fact that it makes you feel smarter than you are by being able to follow it. It hits all the right notes. Number 3 though, oh dear. It is all the things a western shouldn’t be and it really feels tacked on to the end as a money spinner. A flying steam-powered train? Really?

3) The Matrix. What a concept. seriously, what a concept. The real world isn’t the real world, the real world is a desolate waste land. Only one (the one) can save man kind. WOW. I walked out of the matrix thinking ‘how will they ever follow that up?’ The answer? Badly. I think that the idea of Zion was a very bad one, as did many other people. So much so that you can watch the Matrix de-zionised. check out U-tube. 

So then, to the best 3. Trilogies that I love.

1) Star Wars. It’s Star Wars, what else do you need? And yes, I am ignoring the prequels. Mr Lucas was given the green light on one film, even though he had 6 (or 9 if you believe certain quarters) he chose to start at number 4. He basically went for the best one for commercial viability. It gets better with both Empire and Jedi.

2) Lord of the Rings. Either the books or the films, I’m not fussy which. All films and books are wonderful, clever, linked and, as with all great stories, a tale of good versus evil. Now some people think they are a bit long and others liked them enough to buy the extended version. Guess which one I was! I would quite happily spend an entire day of my life watching back to back extended films. I have already done it with the 7 star wars films (I included the clone wars animated film).

3) Squidge: Little elf, Little bear. Ok, Ok, I admit it may not be the greatest of trilogies but it is close to my heart. It’s the story of an elf, a bear, some lemmings and a wolf pack. It was really fun to write, lets hope it is as fun to read.

Squidge: little elf, little bear.

That’s it from me. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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Merry blogging Christmas

It is the school Christmas fare today. Am really quite excited. The only downside is that it will be my job to supervise the kids. Let’s hope the sugar they ingest doesn’t kick in until they get home!

As its a Christmasy day I thought my new festive jumper would be in order. It has all the right elements for a wonderful Christmas garment. List time…

1) it is knitted. It may not be hand knitted or made by my Granny, but it is knitted none the less.

2) it is immediately identifiable. It is in no way subtle, it screams Christmas at the top of its woolly lungs. Here I am, be festive or leave my presence.

3) it is a once a year deal. I could not get away with it in either November or January. It will be nearly packed away on December 26th 2011 and I will be in anticipation of its return in from November 2012.

4) it is worn with a sense of irony. It’s cheesy as hell and I know it! I believe, or hope, that at 32 I am still young enough to say ‘check out how cool I am, I have a Christmas jumper’. I am sure that in the next few years I will have to revert to ‘look at me, I’m trying to be cool but I just look like an old man in a christmas jumper’. In a way though, I look forward to that day.

5) I can spill anything down it and no one will know. Kinda explains itself that one.

Any way, take a look. Is it awfully cheesy, or is it in fact cheesily awful?
I am sure the kids in my class will have an opinion. 20111209-073603.jpg

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I can’t do it by my elf

Hello all,

The books are still doing well and still 3 more on the way! I have been a bit remiss in not mentioning the illustrator for the Squidge series. Let me see if i can’t rectify that.

The illustrator of our fuzzy haired little friend is the very talented James Lightfoot. Working together, we managed to get Squidge just right, an action elf with a hint of cuteness. He also has created a wonderful new character that you will meet in the new book. A picture so good that he had to have a bigger role!

Not content with being a fantastic illustrator and graphic designer, he is also part of a successful London based band. Check out the links. The first 2 are some of his design/artwork and the last is his band website.

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.490800905152.392062.693465152&type=1

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150633537685153.692451.693465152&type=1

www.thehelmholtzresonators.com

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