This is something I have pondered about for a while now. My teen and I have always enjoyed going to the cinema and will talk non stop all the way home about whatever film we have just watched. My son has always been into his films and TV series from a young age, now at age18 he has developed into a great critic looking at actors, directors and how the film was shot, along with what he thought worked and didn’t. Its one of the things we really have in common and quite often he will ask to go with me rather than his mates as he knows I watch with a similar keen eye. I would love to start a blog/ Youtube channel or podcast with him as we have some great discussions after watching something either in the cinema, on Netflix or Now Tv………………..but to no avail……….he wont do it!
So, I have decided to do my own reviews on this little corner of the internet and hope they help someone along the way. They will not all be the latest releases from the cinema (although some will) but will also include binge worthy Tv series and those films released onto streaming services too. The aim is to help people find something to watch next, especially with so much on offer from so many streaming services it can sometimes be difficult to chose. I see people on Twitter a lot asking for recommendations of what to watch next and hopefully my reviews will point someone in the right direction along the way.
My son has always been one to watch on his Ipad as he can pop his headphones on and bring it around the house with him ( especially when he goes into cooking mode in the kitchen!). I actually get a lot of recommendations from him of decent films to watch, he has great taste and generally won’t be what you would expect from his age group. From about the age of 14 films such as Schindler’s List and Shawshank Redemption have been in his top 5. Even at the age of about 9 or 10 he would speed watch the likes of Jaws in about 10 minutes literally fast forwarding (think DVD’s) to the gruesome bits! His DVD and Blueray collection has the likes of American Psycho, Birdman and Saving Private Ryan, so not your typical collection for his age group.
I’ve specifically done this list of what to buy older teenage boys for Christmas because I have 2 boys myself. Therefore, I only have real experience of buying for them.
Anything I have suggested here I have bought my teens through the years or I know of friends who have bought their boys similar. Secondly, none of it has been sent to me to be promoted, so any companies I mention here I have actually used or bought from them over the last 9 or10 years.
I also think that teen boys are much harder to buy for than girls. Probably because I don’t have girls myself. I imagine with clothes, perfumes and makeup and jewellery most things can be covered for girls. Certainly a designer item could certainly be covered as a main Christmas present. I fully appreciate I could totally be wrong about this too. But I have only experience in buying for boys in this house and so I think that is where my expertise lies.
Now don’t get me wrong I am ALL in favour of this sort of stuff. I am that completely mean mum who doesn’t approve of underage playing of age 18 video games and inappropriate TV programmes……………even though my eldest is now 15 he still laughs at my ‘total shock’ face!
However, tonight it was a different story. I took my eldest to see The World’s End at Showcase in Bluewater. This was a treat just for him away from his pain in the arse younger brother, something for him and me to do together. He is a really good kid and looks after me well with my illness and I wanted to treat him.
When we got there though the ticket girl asked if he had any ID. At first I was shocked at this although part of me did understand, even though he stands at 5’10 and has the token facial hair and spots that go with his age. Now I know what your all thinking, some kids are older looking than others blah blah blah. But I am not that type of parent. I play by the rules. I realise why the rules are there after being married to a policeman for almost 20yrs!!
However, I REALLY do think my son looks his age now. He has shot up in size and demeanor and it really did not cross my mind to even think about ID. Yes the small print in the T’s and C’s say that people may be asked for ID however after he has had access before there I haven’t ever worried.
Tonight though something in me just clicked and I felt determined to push the point!!!
I asked to speak to the manager who just told me he would not go back on a decision the clerk had made!!! Surely as a manager he should have people skills, be able to listen and if necessary override a lower member of staff. I appreciated what he said about the cinema being fined if they were ‘spot checked’ by the council and so I offered to call home and get his passport number and Oyster card number that are traceable and legal documents that could be easily checked should the council ask. The manager even stated that he probably was 15 but now ID had been asked for he could not let him in without it!!!
SO NOT F**KING IMPRESSED!!
Really would a parent stand there and try and argue his case if he wasn’t the required age group? Would a parent offer to ring home for legal document reference numbers that are checkable? Would I offer my name and address and telephone number plus leave my driving licence to back up the surname and parent/child relationship???
In my mind- NO I WOULDN’T.
So why could a decent manager not see this- he did understand and agreed he looked 15 but because the ticket clerk had asked for ID he would not go back on that decision!! SPINELESS in my mind, a cop out from someone in a management position.
So I returned furious, after taking their names I have already sent an email to the General Manager and requested someone gets back to me.
OVER THE TOP? Yes probably, however, my teen is a good kid, we teach him right from wrong, he looks out for me and does lots for me due to my illness, so as a young carer he should be treated better I think- he does look his age so this did nothing for his self confidence!
Rant over- do you agree or not, don’t mind if you don’t but would love to know.
Yes we are one full week into our summer break. As we were finishing for the summer I decided to get a list of things together to accomplish over the holidays, some for the family and others selfishly for me! To check out my list here
So, one week in and already we have managed to:
*set the pool up with much nagging to the OH….
We have also completed our full day’s fishing with lots of fab catches:
After a full days fishing I also managed to fit in my pj’s day!!! Not through choice but because the fishing day had taken it’s toll so I spent most of the day in bed and stayed in my jim jams for the rest of the day LOL…………….still that counts surely!
Also earlier in the week we found ourselves child free for an evening- Yes you heard me right- CHILD FREE!! So we treated ourselves to the cinema, Gallery seats at Bluewater no less- lots of leg room, super comfy seats and complimentary snacks and drinks………..don’t mind if we do.
Well here’s to next week to see what I can knock of the list- wish me luck.
Has there ever been such a thing? ‘Child Free Relaxing’?
Those of you with children of baby and toddler ages will know that this consists of a quick wee alone, a 2 minute shower if your lucky, and catching up on ironing, washing up and house cleaning when they have managed to settle for the evening!!!
Tell me…………..am I wrong?
But funnily as kids get older and find their independence (my 2 are 12 and 15 yrs old now) you do tend to find more time to yourself. They sometimes meet friends at the cinema, or have a mate round to xbox with or even they just want a bit of time on their own in their rooms doing……….well nothing really.
Therefore you find yourself being able to get on with either the jobs you need to get done or chill out in your own way, like blogging, social media, reading, playing candy crush ( lol I hear it’s quite addictive *cough*), playing online apps- anything from solitaire to Chitchat online bingo , catching up on your favourite box sets or whatever takes your fancy!
For me, I take the time to treat myself to a yummy cappuccino while I blog and catch up on the social media that goes with it!! That means in the evening when everyone is home and around I do not have my head stuck staring at a computer screen! My other secret indulgence to relax (apart from eating chocolate and drinking wine of course) is listening to audio books. Not that I am lazy and cannot be bothered to read them myself but with M.E my head can fog easily after reading a couple of pages, so I go up to bed of an evening and have a book read to me!!! BLISS
Well if it’s good enough for our kids ie: we have all read to our babes when they were little haven’t we? It’s the same luxury- a soothing voice telling me the story LOL
Yesterday we had a very rare child free afternoon and evening! My eldest has gone to stay with his Nan and the youngest went to a friends for a sleepover. The world was our oyster so to speak. So we treated ourselves to Gallery seats in Bluewater cinema and then an indian takeaway when we got home!! Ok it wasn’t rock ‘n’ roll but we enjoyed a film of our choosing ( this rarely happens LOL) and we had an indigestion free meal without the constant teen bickering……………………….that in itself is a real luxury you’ll agree!
So what’s your way of relaxing when you are child free?
Disclosure: this post is in collaboration with Chitchat online bingo
I have read a few posts lately about the impending school holidays. Love them or hate them they just won’t organise themselves!
I have found it much easier and more fun to organise when the boys were a lot younger. I envy all of you with the 5-10 age group as there are LOTS of things you can do that cost NOTHING but a bit of time and planning- park picnics with friends, days at the beach, walks in the woods/ forests, kite flying…….and the list goes on.
However as they get older I find it becomes far more costly and a trip to the park is literally like you want to end their lives as they know it- SOOOOOOOOO uncool!!! Being able to get away with a ‘special’ trip to the cinema over the hols is now one of the main things they want to do……………….and money just does not grow on trees, whatever anyone tells you.
So I now find myself with a 15 and 12yr old, both boys ( and both mine- I didn’t just kidnap them off a random street), and the thought of trying to organise and keep a budget of any kind over the summer is virtually non existent.
However I will not be outdone, I will sort summer the summer hols, it will not break me *cough*. So here are a few things that I definitely want to include over the holidays, both for the kids, as a family, and some ‘just for me’ selfish ones thrown in too.
* Cinema trips- 1st to see Worlds End with the eldest ( as he is 15!) and 2nd to see The Internship with the 12 yr old (not my choice)
* Fishing day- this is already arranged with friends so I can say with confidence that this will happen- next wednesday to be exact!! ( I’m a fishing addict and proud LOL)
* See the Brainiac Live show that is showing at Bluewater and also up London hoping at least one of them will accompany me.
* Organise a huge swim day at a fun pool for both boys and whatever friends they want to bring. I have a 7 seater car so the more the merrier LOl
* Try the ‘Up at The 02’ experience, requested by my youngest- at £25 a ticket I have emailed them from my blog to see if they want a reviewer!! Cheeky I know but if you don’t ask you don’t get LOL- If not I will bite the bullet and let OH and youngest go.
* Take a trip on the new Greenwich cable car- with kids would be good but if they turn their noses up at it then just me and the OH!!
* A mammoth game of Monopoly as a family- this tends to go for hours and I can keep the arguing to a minimum by providing fizzy drink and sweets and snacks.
* Camping- we have actually booked this and are going for a week in Aug to the Isle of Wight!! I cannot wait
* Have some girlie friends round on a sunny evening to drink copious amounts of pink wine, talk crap and eat rubbish! ( even better get a take away)
* I would love a PJ’s day! Just for the sake of it, a lazy, not going out past the door, watching dvd’s all day just because I can!!
* A trip to my Mum’s in Plymouth- on my own LOL like that will ever happen!!! But you never know stranger things have happened as they say! My eldest is getting to go next week for a week on his own- to say I’m jealous would be the understatement of the day.
* Have friends round for a chilled out BBQ, everyone chipping in, kids off playing football out in the park and jugs of Pimms to enjoy for the adults.
* Get the pool up for the boys- I am nagging the OH as I type- he hates putting it up as It is huge- but may encourage youngest to invite his cronies round for the day!
* Sit in a lovely beer garden on a sunny afternoon enjoying a mega cold beer or G+T- this one with no kids and don’t really mind if it’s with girly friends or OH!
* Would love a day down at Dymchurch beach- a bit of a trek for us but worth it if you get the weather and time the tides right LOL
* A poker night! Ok maybe it’s not great to teach your kids to gamble but we love a game of Texas Hold’em in this house. We invested in a poker table with drink and chip holders!!
* A HUGE water fight while the weather is still hot, with friends as much more fun the more people you have- and we are lucky to have a huge park outside our back gate!! I feel a panic buy of water bombs coming on!
* Get to watch through the series 2 of The Killing in peace! I know I am behind on this but lets face it with it being subtitled I cannot exactly sit on Twitter and FB iron or knit while watching it LOL
* Become an expert in beating the teenagers butts at Swingball! One of the less energetic sports I can do LOL Just bought a new retro metal ‘old style’ proper one- BRING IT ON KIDS!
At the moment that is about it but I’m sure I will add some or change some along the way. Still hoping to get the teens dragged along involved in someway in at least some of my list, but only time will tell.
So wish me luck and let me know what’s on your list.
That’s the title of a newly released (this weekend) film that I had the chance of going to see.
It stars the legendary Clint Eastwood, Justin Timberlake and Amy Adams, and follows the estranged relationship between a father and daughter and loosely based around the sport of baseball.
Have a look at the down loadable link below:
Trouble with the Curve
This is a character based story and is a slow burner that simmers throughout enticing you to want to know what has made these characters how they are!
I like these sorts of films, you are not detracted from the story by loud, unnecessary stunts and noise. Clint Eastwood plays a fantastic ‘grumpy old man’ and actually you can almost feel his frustration as his general demeanor has changed so much from the ‘Dirty Harry’ suave days. Although he is cranky you want to slap and cuddle him at the same time. Amy Adams is a great counterpart to the dad. Successful but lonely striving for success in other parts of her life in order not to deal with the ‘father’ issue. Justin Timberlake, an acceptable eye candy, was a great fun, forward but like able character.
I’ve got to say the dads ‘old cronies’ club that seem to be at every game to are a fab bunch, showing that your sense of humour does not diminish as you get older.
Like I say, sometimes these stories are my favourites. The father/ daughter relationship keeps you captivated and it was nice that when the truth was out the relationship did not magically fix itself, but still kept you guessing if they would ever see ‘eye to eye’.
This is a heartwarming, enjoyable film great for a lovely quiet Sunday afternoon.
Here are some pics from the movie to get you wondering: