Monday, 21 July 2014

Champagne, XPlus and talking apes...

Our child-free weekend started very well on Friday night. 
We were lucky enough to be invited to the opening of the X Plus screen at the Showcase Cinema Delux in Derby.



Firstly, it was lovely to go somewhere new. Because we have a showcase in Nottingham we very rarely venture further afield for the cinema but it made for a great night out. 
The hubby is the last to associate the words 'shopping centre' and 'fun' but in the early evening the food court at intu derby had a lovely holiday like feel to it and so we enjoyed a bit of pre cinema grub.

The set up at the entrance to and the foyer of the cinema is very attractive and looks more like a swanky nightclub.

We were made to feel very welcome and enjoyed champagne and canap├ęs in the lovely bar before finding our seats in the new X Plus screen.

Wow, the sheer size of the auditorium and screen has a great impact when you first walk in. It feels more like a theatre or concert hall. The screen runs floor to ceiling, wall to wall and has a significant curve in it which increases the impact of the picture.



For me, the most impressive factor of the new X Plus is the sound. A clearly very proud gentleman from Dolby explained before the film that they had doubled the number of speakers in the auditorium and installed over head speakers also. To test the impact of the sound system the lights were dimmed and we heard the sounds of a storm building to such a climax it was actually a bit scary.

The film we saw was The Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. This is definitely a cinema film. When I say this I mean the greatness of this film lies in its awesome visual and sound effects. 
Who knew that Ape's could be so terrifying...Toby Kebell's Koba is the what nightmares are made of!
The story is a fairly simple moralistic tale- "Ape's do not kill Ape's" is a motto used amongst Ceasar's primate family. However Ceaser's fondness of the human race appears as weakness to a hate-filled  Koba who ignores the groups motto causing misunderstanding and ultimately war with the humans.

This film is for sci-fi and action film fans. The Clarity and realistic quality of the 3D images on the XPlus screen were better than any I have seen on cinema screens before. Hopefully the enhanced picture and sound quality is equal in 2D films also.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Lots For Tots Nottingham

Here is the summer edition of  Lots for Tots Nottingham. I have an article in it all about getting out and joining groups when you have a baby...

http://issuu.com/lotsfortots/docs/lots_for_tots_nottingham_issue_5

I didn't mean to

Possibly the worst excuse in the world has made its way into our house on a regular basis.

"I didn't mean to"  is used as a reason for doing anything that they know they perhaps shouldn't have.

Our boys are generally very well behaved. At home, however, where they are masters of their universe, they can often turn into little beasts.

I'm sure that they think that learning the meaning of 'I didn't mean to' gives them a free pass.

I didn't mean to shoot my brother with the nerf gun- really? Even though I saw you aiming at him?

I didnt mean to tip the whole tub of pens on the floor- hows that then? Did someone make you tip them?

I didn't mean to eat the other ones biscuit or drink all of their pop- classic.

What they really mean when they say it is that they didn't mean to get caught.

I might start using it on them....'I didn't mean to wash your hair' or 'I didn't mean to cook broccolli for dinner.'

Not sure it would go down very well

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Summer blockbusters anyone?

The other day I really fancied a trip to the cinema with the mother but was utterly disappointed at the choice of viewing. 

I don't get to the cinema nearly enough as I would like to, so when we do go it needs to be for something I know is for me (with the exception of 'East'- if you are reading this I can only apologise again Sarah).

There seems to be a serious lack of summer blockbusters this year. Usually there are two or three films being released over summer that are a must but so far 2014 has been quite disappointing.

Television viewing has been rather lame of late also. I have been grateful for this as I was completely hooked on reading Thornbirds which is a lovely, beautifully sad novel. Now I am inbetween books however there seems to be a lack of entertainment from the talking box on the wall. 
The only thing worth watching lately has been Fargo. An edge of your seat, can't wait for next week sort of series. Billy Bob Thornton plays the cool, calm, psychopath so brilliantly that he is genuinely terrifying and who'd have thought that bloke out of the office would end up a Hollywood star. Yes Bilbo Baggins, I mean Martin Freeman plays one of the main characters. A timid, pushed around man who takes a hammer to his bully of a wife's head and see's his life spiral out of control.

When it comes to the cinema all is not lost.....Fury. 
The trailer can be seen at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2713180/

World War 2 drama, Brad Pitt, Shia LeBeouf, written and directed by David Ayer...the combination for compelling viewing I think. However, we have to wait till October to see it.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The Lenton Centre

Today we had our eldest son's 6th birthday party at the Lenton Centre in Nottingham.

I cannot recommend it highly enough for a fun filled children's celebration. 
For a very reasonable price we had the pool for an hour and then a big room for party food and music afterwards.
We were allowed to have up to thirty children in the pool but as some of our group are non-swimmers the life guard (who was on duty for the full hour) roped off the deeper area making it easier to manage a group of younger children. We had use of the floats and toys which were a massive hit.

The staff set up the tables and chairs for us in the party room and we were allowed in there anytime to get set up.

The birthday boy had a fantastic time and we will definitely be having parties there again.

For more information visit the Lenton Centres website at http://www.thelentoncentre.org.uk/Home.php

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Terrible two

Lately I have been having problems with my voice.

I have had all of the hilarious comments about me talking too much (namely from my darling husband) but I have decided my vocal issues of late can be put down to three things:

1. Let's get the first one out of the way....yes I like to talk. I love a good gossip, a natter, a chin wag, a chat, a catch up, which ever way you like to say it, I'm always doing it.

2. My job involves a lot of talking. If I'm not conducting ceremonies (which in some venues can require virtually shouting at times) then I am answering the phone, asking questions for a registration or taking someone's notice of marriage.

3. My boys.

Let's 'talk' about number 3.
I have never felt more outnumbered in my life. They have started tag teaming me on a regular basis. 
If the following words are spoken by either of them, then apparently it is ok to ignore me whilst laughing hysterically:
-poo (you can't beat the classics)
-bottom/bum (closely related to the first in the list)
-smelly (you're starting to see a pattern now)
-big bad Barry (if you watch Ben and Holly you might understand this)

"I didn't mean to", "it wasn't my fault", "he told me too", are all excuses that I hear on a regular basis that exhaust me!

They are either the best of friends or the worst of enemies. Both occasions cause me bother. If they are in good spirits with each other then they egg each other on to be mischievous. One of their favourite morning past times is to wait until I go to the loo and then play 'knock a door run'. Very annoying especially as they both usually end up in the bathroom with me. There is no escape!
 The worst of enemy occurrences means lots of shouting from all family members and usually involves one or both children ending up being sent to their room.

I have always worried about the time arriving when the boys all go off when they are older to watch the footy or whatever they are into. 
I'm starting to worry less about when that starts.


Saturday, 7 June 2014

The Big Screen

I love the cinema.
A couple of hours emersed in an entirely different world, surrounded by amazing sound and visual effects and your favourite actors. What's not to love.
Our eldest son is already a fan of the pictures and has been lots with us and his grandparents as treats.
During the last half term I decided to introduce the littlest little man to the world of cinema.
The only experience he had already had was a ten minute 4D Polar Express ride at Drayton Manor early this year. It did not go down well. The combination of the pitch black room, the humongous screen and the moving seats, fake snow and wind was all a bit too much for him.

This time we went for something a bit more gentle. Tinkerbell and the pirate fairy in 2D...it doesn't get much more gentle than that.

We got there nice and early to get a good seat and let the little dude get used to the surroundings. The only bit that he didn't enjoy was whilst there were no images on the screen. I think the anticipation of not understanding what was going to happen was the scariest bit. As soon as he started to realise that it was just like a big television, he started to relax. He sat on my knee for the whole film but that was just a good excuse for me to steal lots of cuddles!
He concentrated on the whole film and even danced to the pirate song. He did get slightly confused about who was controlling the big screen and at one point asked where the remote was!

I think the key to the success of this first cinema trip was being prepared.  His big brother and I spent the journey there explaining what we were going to do and what would happen. We took lots of snacks and drinks and I had a sneaky beety and trot (muslin square comforter and dummy) hidden in my bag in case of emergencies!

The cinema can be very expensive and I would have been reluctant to pay full price not knowing whether or not he was even going to enjoy it. At Cinemworld in Nottingham they have a weekly 'movies for juniors' screening which costs less than £1.50 per person. Great value!
See the Cineworld website for more info...http://www.cineworld.co.uk/whatson/category/junior