Tag Archives: Family

Family Film Time – July 2017

Every week we have enforced family film watching time. Its partly to try and have a couple of hours down time, partly to be able to share our love of film with our kids, partly to have a tradition we hopefully will continue in the future. We take turns to pick. The participants are currently 39, 37, 7 and 4.

I say every week, but we’ve had a run of months where it’s not been possible to all sit down together. I can already tell you August is going to be a nightmare for this! So what did we watch in July:

The Simpsons Movie


I’ve seen it so many times already, usually getting to near the end before it all becomes so familiar. Wasn’t sure what the children would make of it – they haven’t ever watched The Simpsons. My son found all the slapstick elements of it HILARIOUS, and they both loved SpiderPig. A hit.

Ice Age


This film is from 2002! How?! My children wanted me to choose Ice Age 3, but I can’t possibly start a series of films in the middle. So the first Ice Age it is. I tried to help them understand the timeline of ice ages and times with dinosaurs etc. I probably shouldn’t have bothered. 😀

Pokemon: Destiny Deoxys


Of all the pokemon films I’ve had to sit through so far, this has actually been the most enjoyable. Yes, you heard me. I quite enjoyed it. I mean, I’m not going to watch it again by choice, or actually recommend it to anyone, but it was alright. The best character was Munchlax. Pure comedy gold.



This is Munchlax. 

The question I quite want to know is: How many more Pokemon films are there that my son has access to? I think he might have at least three more lined up…


Book Review: Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng

It’s not often that I finish a book feeling completely stunned by it. I managed to weep through the last 20 pages and I haven’t read anything that’s made me feel all the emotions, all at once, for a long, long time.


at Trinity College at Oxford University

Everything I Never Told You is an incredible portrait of a family in small town America around the 1970s – with a white mother, Marilyn, and a chinese father, James. They have three children, Nat, Lydia, and Hannah. We meet them on the morning that Lydia goes missing and turns up drowned, in the lake near their house, shortly after. At the time Lydia is 16, Nat is slightly older and is just about to go to Harvard, Hannah is around 10 or 11.

‘Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.’

– Celeste Ng, opening lines of Everything I Never Told You

We follow them through the aftermath of this tragedy, and revisit their past where we find out about how Marilyn and James met, how a crisis after they had 2 of their children occurred and how the fall out from that event follows them all the way to Lydia’s death.

At so many points in this book I was almost screaming at the characters to just talk to each other, just hug them, tell them what you’re bloody thinking. I could hardly bear it! When I say almost screaming, obviously I mean in my head. The title says it all. Everything I Never Told You.

There is racism that they all have to deal with. Additionally, Marilyn is an aspiring doctor when we meet her. She has fought against her mother and her 1950s housewife ways. She’s fought to be able to take sciences and then she gives it all up when she meets a man and gets pregnant. Marilyn finds this very hard to deal with throughout her life because she essentially does what her mother wants her to, and her dreams are shelved. She decides she can live vicariously through Lydia and heaps so much pressure onto her to fulfil her mother’s dreams herself. It was understandable, in a way, but she just took it all too far. She forgot that her daughter is a different person with her own ideas and ambitions.

As a mother of a daughter, a lot of this hit very close to home. Of course I encourage my daughter to do what she likes and I’m determined that she will know she has opportunities. I buy my kids sciencey things and have books about great, powerful women around the house.  It was also really odd that the mother has the same name as me. This is so rare, I think it’s the first time it’s happened to me! Freaked me out a bit!


my small girl looking at Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. 

The family set up and their relationships in Everything is such a big mess. It’s gut-wrenchingly heart-breaking at so many moments. And beautifully written. I absolutely loved this book. Poor Hannah is ignored at every turn by both her parents, and Nat suffers scorn from his Father because he reminds him so much of himself. James is obsessed with his children making friends and fitting in where he failed to. He has such good intentions but he carries it out so clumsily and painfully.


On the train to London. It’s more well travelled than most of my books 🙂

I had to wait to read the last part of this book. I just knew it was going to break me. I’d already welled up at so many other parts of it. In public, I should add! I waited to finish it when I would be at home, and undisturbed, and I glad I did because I just wept for the last 20 pages. Celeste Ng you have written the most amazing, emotional story. I loved it and I think it has also showed me how I must be careful to NOT be with my family as they grow up. I can’t recommend you read it enough.

Final thought, the cover claims it’s is like The Lovely Bones. It isn’t. I disliked that book and this one I utterly loved.

Family Film Time – May 2017

Every week we have enforced family film watching time. Its partly to try and have a couple of hours down time, partly to be able to share our love of film with our kids, partly to have a tradition we hopefully will continue in the future. We take turns to pick. The participants are currently 39, 37, 6 and 4.



A surprising choice from the oldest child. I really like Tangled as far as Disney cartoons go. The horse is great. But the end is infuriating *spoilers ahead* so the whole family got a massive rant about how it was wrong of the guy to take the choice away from Rapunzel about cutting her hair. How very rude and presumptuous of him.



Minions are an entertaining watch for everyone. A safe choice by the littlest one this week.

the BFG


Ooooh I love Roald Dahl. Shame this version of the BFG is boring AF. *yawns*

We nearly watched:

Long Way North


which looks AMAZING. It looks beautiful and is 5* film. Of course I hadn’t realised there would be quite so many subtitles. Considering one viewer is 4, and can’t read, it was quickly decided to shelve it and try something else. I panic chose and we ended up with:

Shark Boy and Lava Girl


It’s actually quite good. And yes, that is a very young Taylor Lautner, of Twilight fame. I’m Team Run Away You Don’t Need Either Of Them btw


I’m so sorry

Martin Creed Exhibition – Harris Museum and Gallery, Preston.

Art is great. I’m no expert, and I think a lot of it is total BS. But it’s all still brilliant. It’s become particularly brilliant since I’ve been taking my children to art galleries.


neon excellence.

This Easter week we went to a Martin Creed exhibition at The Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston. There were paintings that looked very simple (like my 4 year old daughter could have done them), a line of cacti,  a light going off and on in a room, a video of people with different disabilities, unaided, getting across a zebra crossing, and a video of people making themselves sick on a floor (ewwww). Immediately we had a conversation about what is art. Everything can be art. My son, who is 6, said ‘art is creativity’ and I felt a bit smug. A bit ‘good job done’.

The next day my daughter asked me why some people have legs that don’t work. I didn’t realise at first that she was thinking about the zebra crossing video from the previous day. I got the link when she sat on the floor and started trying to move herself across the kitchen using her hands to lift herself back a little bit, like one of the people from the video. She was narrating it all, talking about it being difficult, wondering what could make someone’s legs not work, thinking about wheelchairs.


small child fascinated by videos of people being sick.

I never expected my children to mention what they saw again. We didn’t spend a lot of time there, and we certainly didn’t try and read all the descriptions. Just mooched about having a look, wanting them to just know these things exist and art isn’t just realistic looking paintings and sculptures. I think art should make you think, and this did just that.

The exhibition is on at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston until 3rd June.

Family Films – January

We’ve started a weekly family film in my household. Two hours a week where we hope to get some peace and quiet, while also subjecting our children to films we loved ourselves as children, only to be painfully disappointed and also shocked at the content of 80s films we thought would be kid friendly. Note to self: the 12 and 12A rating didn’t exist in the 80s, so PGs cover up to the 15 category.

For context, my children are 6 1/2 and 4. We are taking turns to pick the films.



Yes! My choice of film. Labyrinth is a marvellous film. Jim Henson puppets, David Bowie as the Goblin King, an Escher style maze, and a race against time for 15 year old Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) to get back her baby brother who the Goblin King has kidnapped. There’s brilliant, funny puppets. Peril! The Goblin King and a cute baby dancing with the puppet goblins. Ludo. Hoggle. And let’s not forget David Bowie and his magnificent pants.


A brilliant film for everyone!



Completely brilliant. We all loved this film about a little rabbit becoming the first rabbit police officer. Normally, it’s just the large animals that get to be cops. In Zootropolis (Zootopia for US audiences) animals are living together in harmony. There’s a scandal erupting about predators ‘going wild’ and Judy Hopps (our bunny hero) must investigate with the help of  Nick Wilde, a sneaky fox (or is he?).

Full Out


It’s main saving grace was that the littlest family member chose the film this week and it was nearly Nativity again.

This is a TV Movie about a gymnast who has a terrible accident and misses out on her chance at olympic glory. She’s not recovering very well and so joins a hip hop dancing group, obviously. Then she goes back to gymnastics and is great again.

It really wasn’t that bad. 🙂

Batman – Mask of the Phantasm


I’m so sorry, I had a tiny bit of a hangover this day and I fell asleep during family film time. I will, sadly, never know what this film is about.