Ted travels to Forest Holidays in the Forest of Dean part 1

Dad wanted to take ‘future mom’ on a long weekend to celebrate her birthday. Just by chance, he saw an advert by Forest Holidays on TV, which looked fun

Forest Holidays offer nature-friendly holidays similar to CenterParcs but with fewer facilities. They have camps around England but dad chose the Forest of Dean on the English/Welsh border to make it seem like a proper trip away

Coming west along the M4, there’s a choice of route. Theres a longer route along bigger roads but the satnav took us cross country through small country lanes, which was a shorter route but a little more stressful for dad, who was driving. Having paid the toll to cross into Wales on the old Severn bridge, dad was then perturbed to find that we were staying back in England! Hehe Continue reading

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National Elf Service

Dad and his colleagues in the National Health Service are very proud to care for patients 24/7 all year round. So, as we all sit down for our Christmas meals, let’s raise a glass and remember all those patients who sadly have to spend Christmas in hospital and all those caring for them

Dad’s also super happy in Christmas week as he gets to wear his special hat and tell all this patients that he works for the National Elf Service!

Elf

I think it’s better than his previous attempts at Christmas headgear. The small hat definitely looks better on his colleague Continue reading

Dad cooks with Michelin-starred chef Michael Wignall at Season Cookery School

I would call dad a foodie but in truth, I think he’s more of a foodaholic! Maybe it’s those Malaysian genes but he loves food. All of it. Eating. Cooking. Reading about it

So, mom to be really hit the nail on the head with his birthday present this year. She bought him a cookery lesson and with a 2 Michelin-starred chef no less. Read all about dad’s brilliant day cooking with Michael Wignall here here


  

Film Review – Star Wars episode 7: The Force Awakens

Wow! Sitting here 8 hours after watching the latest instalment of the Star Wars saga, dad and my minds are whirling with so many thoughts that we hope we can get them down coherently on here

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First off, we must disclose that we’re huge Star Wars fan and have been eagerly counting the days until the film arrived. We’ve watched the trailers excitedly and they served to raise our levels of anticipation

 

So, Disney and JJ Abrams have already got us on their side just by the fact that they bought the rights to Star Wars and are now making the last 3 parts of the 9 part space epic that Georhe Lucas had originally planned, something we thought we would never get to see

However, we also have the highest expectations and standards to go with those levels of anticipation. We’ve been stung once with the crushing disappointment of Phantom Menace and so, there was a level of caution in waiting for the new film but the trailers looked good and promised much

Having thought about it, we’re going to split this review into 2 parts. Knowing how desperate we were to avoid spoilers before watching the film, we’re going to tell those who haven’t watched the film yet when to stop reading this review to avoid spoilers but we can’t do the review of this film full justice without mentioning some of the major plot lines

So, first things first. After all the hype and buildup, was it any good? I’m glad to report a resounding yes. With JJ Abrams at the helm, it’s a return to the action style we loved in the original trilogy. It’s pretty breathless at times and the director now has at his disposal the appropriate special effects capability to realise his vision, resulting in some especially stunning flying sequences. Dad confessed he had a lump in his throat when the X wings were flying over the lake to the rescue

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Pew pew pew

Set 30 years after the Return of the Jedi when we left the Rebel Alliance and Ewoks celebrating the destruction of the second Death Star and the death of the Emperor and Darth Vader, it soon becomes clear that things haven’t gone quite as well as hoped after that victory at Endor and our heroes from the original trilogy are scattered. We are therefore introduced quickly to a new cast of characters. Films like this, which involve a changing of guard are always a little tricky to balance but we think episode 7 just about gets this right

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Some of the new characters in The Force Awakens

Some of the most well known and best loved characters in the history of film make a return to our screen and we love the subtle way that JJ Abrams has done it. Some of best pulse-racing moments in the film come when, totally without any warning, the icons we’ve come to love so much are suddenly there, right in front of us again on the big screen. If we weren’t in a cinema with other people around us, I think dad may let out a squeal and applauded!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Official Teaser #2

‘Chewie, we’re home’

Some of the old characters have aged better than others and none worse than poor Chewbacca who has turned into large, slightly wimpy teddy bear, mainly for comedic moments as the comedy droid duo of R2 D2 and C 3PO have hardly any air time in The Force Awakens

 

Have Disney turned Chewie into too much of a princess?

 
If you’ve not seen the film, go and see it. You will not be disappointed. Whether you’re a fan of Star Wars or not, the action will still entertain and maybe even persuade you to go back and watch the old films. So, it’s a big thumbs up from us

If you don’t want any spoilers, please stop reading now. Those who want a more in depth discussion about the film, please carry on and Continue reading

Best Christmas tree ever. Yes, really. Take a look and see if you agree

One of dad’s work colleagues alerted him to this Christmas tree at St Pancras station this year. It sounded amazing and unique, so dad and I headed up to London to take a look

Although King’s Cross station is famously mentioned in the Harry Potter books and now forever linked by platform 9 and 3/4, dad and I think that the turrets of neighbouring St Pancras make it look more like Hogwarts


A kind policeman pointed in the direction of the Christmas tree, promising it that it was something special. As we came round the corner, the 2 storey tree came into view Continue reading

Strictly Come Dancing Final 2015

Dad and I are huge Strictly Come Dancing fans. Ever since Natasha Kaplinsky waltzed off with the series 1 trophy with Brendan Cole, we’ve been riveted to our TV every autumn. As the autumn leaves turn red and gold and the nights draw in, our hearts are warmed by the fact that it must be time for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing again

The Strictly formula and judging panel have been gently massaged over the years to give us the current format, which is pretty much perfect. The dance off now gives the judges the power to eliminate the weaker dancers, making for a better quality of dancer in the final

We’ve had some pretty amazing dancers and dances over the years. It’s been great to see people who’ve never danced grow and blossom over the years, to make that journey, improving gradually through the weeks. We’ll be sharing our favourite dancers from previous years in future posts Continue reading