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Thanks to everyone for the ratings especially the E's - much appreciated I am back! I have missed you all!

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since 07/02/2007


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 27/03/2017


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 A BRIDGE TO GREAT PHOTOS Please note: I am not a very technical person and am in no way a professional photographer, so therefore, I apologise if I miss anything out or get anything slightly wrong. I purchased this camera about a year ago give or take after my old camera decided to give up the ghost. I may not be a professional photographer, though taking photos is my hobby, especially since my daughter was born nine years ago. It is very rare that I am out without my camera – (to the annoyance of my family most probably!) - and so I wanted a good, solid camera that would take great photos, though at the same time, easy to use. I can not quite remember the price I paid for it, though it is selling in PC World for £249.00 which is possibly around the price I paid. It does say on PC World's site that it has been reduced by over £100.00, so I would definitely recommend looking around for price comparisons. Anyway, onto the camera itself... GET CLOSER TO THE ACTION A lot of people prefer camera phones, or the tiny digital cameras that can fit easily into a bag or even pocket, though I have always loved the feel of the 'big black cameras'. Perhaps, despite my novice status in cameras, it works to make me feel more professional! Either way, I spent a short time researching cameras and trying some out in shops before purchasing this particular one. I am not sure exactly what drew me to this one in the end, though I do know part of it was the ...

The X-Files - Series 4 - Complete (DVD) 19/03/2017


The X-Files - Series 4 - Complete (DVD) X Files – Season Four A/N: This is a review of the forth season of the X-Files only and not the DVD. EVERYTHING DIES 'The truth is out there' is no more...The forth season opens with 'Everything Dies' instead, showing how much darker the series has become since the beginning...Just a little trivia for you! The Cigarette Smoking Man: “The fiercest enemy is the man who has nothing left to lose.” As some of you may know if you have been following my reviews on this series, this is not the first time I have watched them, and recently, have come back for an X Files marathon. As I go through the seasons, though, my memory does become foggy and so in some cases, it is like I am watching it for the first time. The first three seasons seemed to whiz by as I became hooked once more on this series, though I find myself slowing more as I reach season four. Perhaps it is because I am all X-Filed out, though it may be more to do the fact that the series itself seems to have slowed its pace considerably, and in some ways, has gone back to how it was right at the beginning, just not as fresh. But let me start at the beginning... The X-Files originally aired its pilot episode back in 1994, and to date, it has released ten seasons plus a number of movies in between. Season four first aired in 1996 and continued through to 1997, airing 24 episodes which all run for approximately 45-50 minutes. Although some ratings did dip part way through the season, it became the highest rated ...

Inside I'm Dancing (DVD) 17/03/2017


Inside I'm Dancing (DVD) Inside I'm Dancing Please note: This is a review of the film only! Rory: “Rory O'Shea. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Besides the full vocal range, I have the use of two fingers of my right hand, sufficient for self-propulsion and self-abuse. You can shake me hand or kiss me arse - but don't expect me to reciprocate.” RORY O'SHEA WAS HERE I enjoy a whole range of different film genres and am always looking for new films to watch, whether they are new out or a number of years old. Quite a while ago, after watching 'Me Before You', my partner mentioned 'Inside I'm Dancing' as it held a similar story basis. I had never heard of it before, though after watching the trailer and also finding out that one of the main characters was played by an actor I love, I looked forward to watching it, and finally we found the timeto sit back,relax and put it on. It is worth mentioning that this film has been released under two titles; 'Inside I'm Dancing' and 'Rory O'Shea Was Here'. One thing that struck me when reading about this film before watching it was some stern criticism it received. The criticism was not focused upon the acting, nor the storyline, yet it looked upon the fact that two able bodied people played disabled people, saying that the parts should have been given to disabled people. Luckily I took no notice with this. Whilst I agree that abled and disabled people can both play parts in a movie, I do not believe that the intent of the film makers was to pass disabled ...

Assassin's Creed (DVD) 15/03/2017


Assassin's Creed (DVD) Assassin's Creed Movie Please note: This is a review on the film only! Cal Lynch: “We work in the dark to serve the light. We are assassins.” YOUR BLOOD IS NOT YOUR OWN A review on this film can be written in two ways as it is based on the games that can be found on many different consoles and has been a popular game for many years. Although I have some knowledge of the games, I never really played them so I can only review the film from the concept of someone without prior knowledge of the story from the games. I did watch this with my partner who has played some of the games so I will add his input in as well to give an idea from both sides. I had seen the trailers and was looking forward to watching this film, as was my partner (he probably more so than me!) and we both had certain expectations – mine coming from the trailer and actors involved and my partners from his knowledge of the games. The premise of the story is what appealed to me first of all. I have always liked stories involving any sort of time travel, and although the 'time travel' aspect in this film is not of the traditional sense, it still appeared exciting to me. As you may have already guessed, the storyline takes place in a few different time periods, but what you may not have guessed is that the whole story centres around the apple of Eden. Yes, you heard me right, the films core is an apple! Of course, there is a lot more involved in the storyline, though the main aspect is the hunt for ...

Magic: The Gathering 11/03/2017


Magic: The Gathering Magic: The Gathering "The dead make good soldiers. They can't disobey orders, never surrender, and don't stop fighting when a random body part falls off." Nevinyrral, Necromancer's Handbook Drudge Skeletons GREATNESS AT ANY COST Let me open this review by saying that I will only cover the basics of the game as if I was to cover every single aspect of this game and all its components, it will stretch for miles! I am hoping as I learn more about this game, I will be able to cover certain aspects or parts in greater detail. For now, let me introduce you to Magic: The Gathering. I am certainly not a professional in this game, so please excuse me if I miss something important in this review. I had personally never heard of it until last year when my now nine year old daughter was invited to a Magic tournament by a friend, to play doubles with her. My daughter jumped at the chance, even though she had no idea how to play. For this first time, she borrowed her friends cards, though since then, she has excitedly built up her collection and attends club every week. Magic: The Gathering has players of all ages, from approximately eight years old upwards. At the last pre-release afternoon, the oldest player at our local meet point was in his 80s! So, what is Magic: The Gathering? Let me start at the beginning... THE SWORD IS JUST A TOOL In essence, Magic: The gathering is a trading card game, though unlike most that fit in this category, Magic is so much more complex ...

Do you see your garden as a haven, a labour of love or a chore to keep on top of? 09/03/2017


Do you see your garden as a haven, a labour of love or a chore to keep on top of? THE HIDDEN VIRTUE THAT IS MY GARDEN Do you see your garden as a haven, a labour of love or a chore to keep on top of? “What is a weed? A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson must be a man after my own heart, or at least follows the same wave length as me in the garden. You see, I am certainly no gardener despite my great grandparents, grandparents and parents all having green fingers. I would say that perhaps it is finally skipping a generation, though my sister seems to have developed the taste for gardening, so the only conclusion I can come up with is that I must be adopted!! When I was a little ankle biter, barely bigger than the huge sunflower in my grandparents garden (which is possibly the reason these evil flowers scare me now as they watch your every move!), I used to spend hours playing among the other beautiful flowers in the garden, having teddy bear picnics among the beautifully tidy grass and skipping around the flourishing apple tree. My grandparents were always busy in their garden and took great pride in every inch of it. It was certainly a labour of love for both of them, and back then, it was for me too as I helped dig the weeds that my gramp taught me about, or watered the pretty flowers alongside my nan. I could spend hours and hours helping them out, never noticing the time go past. Unfortunately, both my grandparents have gone to sleep now, though I will always hold on to ...

Lion (DVD) 08/03/2017


Lion (DVD) Lion (2016) Please note: This is a movie only review A LOST BOY Saroo Brierley: “I'm not from Calcutta... I'm lost” I love movies based on true stories, though am not obsessed with them and do not generally run out to the cinema to watch them, preferring the cinematic horror experience to the drama experience (plus quite often my soppy side comes through with true stories so it is much better being at home when in floods of tears!), though planning a morning out with my mum and sister, it was decided that we would go and watch 'Lion'. I will be perfectly honest, from reading the write up, I was not overly keen on watching this movie at first, though I should remember to never judge a book by its cover, or in this instance, a movie by its trailer... As already mentioned, this movie is based on a true story, though it is worth mentioning that the movie also comes from the non-fictional biographical book written by Saroo Brierley, the man whose life story runs through the movie. I have not read the book so I do not know how close the movie is to the actual real life story, though from what I can see, it is very close indeed. The real life people also feature in the film at the end as well as usage of some photos. 'Lion originally premiered in September 2016, though it was not until January 2017 that it was released more worldwide. Almost straight away, the movie was bringing in exceptional amounts of money as well as receiving many nominations for awards. As you may ...

Marley's Ghosts (DVD) 03/03/2017


Marley's Ghosts (DVD) Marley's Ghosts Please note: This is a review of the first and second season combined as seen on the DVD, though it is not the DVD itself. The DVD can be purchased online from £9.95 as of writing this review. I SEE DEAD PEOPLE Marley's ghosts is a British comedy show which originally premiered on the 'Gold' channel in September 2015, with the second season following in October 2016, and even though I have only just come across it, it is not difficult at all to catch up as there is only two seasons to date (I am unsure as to whether there will be more at this point) and I do wonder whether they originally did not think it would be popular as the first season (if you can call it that!) consists of three, forty minute episodes and the second season having only six! Despite the lack of episodes, I found myself hooked from the beginning, so please do not let this aspect put you off. Marley's Ghosts follows (dum dum dum) Marley, a young woman who finds out she has a gift, albeit one she would prefer not to have most of the time! She can see ghosts! Yes, the storyline is a simple as that, but there is so much more to it, what with the fact that the three main ghosts, who take residency in Marley's home, are her former husband (who she had not divorced and realises she still loves), her lover (who died shortly after her husband) and her 'friend' the vicar (who died the same time as Marley's lover, and so Marley is suddenly overwhelmed by these over the top characters 24/7 ...

The Blind Side (DVD) 28/02/2017


The Blind Side (DVD) The Blind Side (2009) Beth: “You're changing that boy's life.” Leigh Anne Touhy: “No. He's changing mine.” Please note: This is a review on the film only. AN EXTRAORDINARY TRUE STORY Although this movie was made back in 2009, it continues to be a timeless joy to watch, never losing its power or emotional value, and one I can watch over and over again, and so I did, watching it for the third time with my partner who had never seen it before. This movie is predominately a drama, though it is also based on a true story, so it can almost be looked at like a biography of sorts. It has featured in a book by Michael Lewis which covers the true story from his personal viewpoint as well as other points in the evolution of offensive football. I have not personally read this book and so my review is based solely on the movie. As I have already mentioned, this movie is based on the real life of the characters involved, and it also features personal photos at the beginning and the end of the real family. It has been said by the real Michael Oher that “Some things in [the movie] are the truth, some things are not. People have got to do things to sell it.”. This, of course, is usually the way with factual based movies, though it is also said that the film does resemble the actual happenings very well in the main. Something else I found interesting is that in the movie, Michael writes an essay called 'White Walls' and it was read out by his teacher. The interesting part is that ...

The X-Files - Series 3 - Complete (M-Lock Packaging) (DVD) 24/02/2017


The X-Files - Series 3 - Complete (M-Lock Packaging) (DVD) X Files – Season Three A/N: This is a review of the third season of the X-Files only and not the DVD. THEY'RE NOT COMING...THEY'RE HERE Scully: “What kind of business are you in?” Well Manicured Man: “We predict the future. And the best way to predict it, is to invent it.” If you have read my previous reviews on the first and second season of the X-Files, you will know that this is not the first time I have watched this series, though as the seasons go on, I do find my memory fading more. I can remember certain episodes, though this season was almost a fresh look for me. The X-Files itself began back in 1994, and back then, as well as today, I was hooked from the start. I never managed to watch all 10 seasons, though hopefully this time around, I will! Season three was first aired between 1995 and 1996 and contains 24 episodes which all last approximately 45-50 minutes each. This particular season was rated the highest since the show began and a number of the episodes received Emmy awards. I have had a look online and can not find a specific classification for season two, though season one was rated an 18+. For both the first season and this one, I would say that the 18+ rating is too high. I watched this as a teenager and still today would allow my teenage daughter (when she reaches that age) to watch it. It is worth noting, though, that there are some sexual scenes and references, though this in the main is done in a sensible fashion. The theme of violence also ...

The Railway Man (DVD) 17/02/2017


The Railway Man (DVD) The Railway Man Please note: This is a review on the film only. Eric: “At the beginning of time, the clock struck one. A drop of dew, and the clock struck two. From the dew grew a tree, and the clock struck three. Then the tree made a door, and the clock struck four. Then man came alive, And the clock struck five. Count not, waste not, the hours of the clock. Behold I stand at the door and knock.” REVENGE IS NEVER A STRAIGHT LINE I watch a whole host of different genres, though one in particular I have to admit I do not generally get excited about, and that is movies covering war of any kind. Whilst I do have a few I enjoyed, such as 'Schindlers List' (1993) and 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' (2008), they have to have some real emotion involved for me to really appreciate it. Not long after Christmas, once the bustle of Christmas programmes had died down, and I was left twiddling my thumbs in an evening and pretending the washing up was not piling high, I noticed this 2013 movie playing on television. At first, from reading the synopsis, which did not really appeal to me, I was tempted to turn the channel over, though I then spotted the name of one of my favourite actors; Colin Firth, and the tides turned. Perhaps I should give it a go! So sat down with my popcorn and hot chocolate, huddled under my blanket, I began to watch. It is worth mentioning that this is also a novel. I have not read the novel and so my review can only be written from this perspective. ...

The X-Files - Series 2 - Complete (M-Lock Packaging) (DVD) 14/02/2017


The X-Files - Series 2 - Complete (M-Lock Packaging) (DVD) X Files – Season Two A/N: This is a review of the second season of the X-Files only and not the DVD. THE HUNT FOR THE TRUTH CONTINUES If you have read my previous review on the first season of the X-Files, you will know that this is not the first time I have watched this series. It began back in 1994 and it did not take me long to fall into its grasp. I was hooked. Unfortunately, life got in the way and I never finished the full 10 seasons nor all the movies in between, so now I am revisiting my younger years and returning to this amazing series, starting my marathon right from the beginning to the end (hopefully!). The second series of The X-Files first aired between 1994 and 1995 after they were strongly prompted to continue after the successful finale of season one. This season comprises of 25 episodes and each one lasts approximately 45 minutes. I have had a look online and can not find a specific classification for season two, though season one was rated an 18+. For both the first season and this one, I would say that the 18+ rating is too high. I watched this as a teenager and still today would allow my teenage daughter (when she reaches that age) to watch it. It is worth noting, though, that there are some sexual scenes and references, though this in the main is done in a sensible fashion. The theme of violence also runs through the season and some younger viewers may find some scenes a little scary as this season does take a slightly darker view. The X-Files ...

The X-Files - Series 1 - Complete (M-Lock Packaging) (DVD) 12/02/2017


The X-Files - Series 1 - Complete (M-Lock Packaging) (DVD) X Files – Season one A/N: This is a review of the first season of the X-Files only and not the DVD. THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE STIILL The X-Files began all the way back in 1994, with the most recent come-back season airing in 2016 (season 10) and a whole mix of movies along the way. It is a series I remember well from my teenage years, once I was finally allowed to watch it, and I have recently revisited the series, watching it all from the beginning once more, and continuing further than I ended up watching before. I never got to the truth of everything in this amazing series, and so to use the tagline of the show, 'the truth is (still) out there' for me. This first season I remembered quite well, and after watching it once again, found that it still appealed and entertained me greatly, despite the 'old' feel to it. From that very first pilot episode, I was hooked once more. An X-files marathon was definitely on the cards. The first season comprises of 24 episodes, all ranging between 40-50 minutes. It does have the classification of 18, though I do not think that this is apt for the season. I would recommend parental consideration first, though, for younger teenagers as there are some darker moments within the series. One particular episode; 'Squeeze' (episode 3) is one that I remember as it features a man being able to squeeze through small vents. At the time of watching this when I was younger, we still had the old fashioned vent heating and I do remember it giving ...

Hughenden Manor, High Wycombe 27/01/2017


Hughenden Manor, High Wycombe Hughenden Manor High Wycombe Buckinghamshire NB: This review covers the manor and a small part of the extensive grounds Come the end part of December, there is Christmas and there is New Year. That bit in between is often full of eating things you probably shouldn't and a whole lot of wondering what on earth to do! So instead of simply sitting around this past December, I decided to actually do some things with my partner and nine year old daughter, and one of these things was visit Hughenden Manor in Wycombe Buckinghamshire. I had seen it on my travels and on the lead up to Christmas 2016, I noticed many advertisements of their fairytale Christmas and heard some lovely reviews of the place, so decided to take the short journey to see for ourselves. *************** *************** ************* DIRECTIONS AND VISITOR INFORMATION *************** *************** ************* Hughenden Manor is situated in the beautiful English countryside of Buckinghamshire, in High Wycombe (HP14 4LA), or rather on the outskirts of the town, approximately 1.5 miles from the main centre of the town. It is situated upon a hill, so do be aware that if you are walking here you will face a small yet steep climb to the manor itself. There are a number of ways to get to Hughenden Manor, though if you do not know the area the best route is to head straight twoards the main part of Wycombe, following signs for the Eden shopping centre (the main shopping area in the town). You will then pick ...

Frozen Sing Along Live, Dominion Theatre, London 27/02/2015

An Expensive Cinema Trip

Frozen Sing Along Live, Dominion Theatre, London Frozen Sing-A-Long at The Dominion Theatre The hit Disney animation ‘Frozen’ which has proved an almighty success, first hit our screens back in 2013, and has grown in popularity to a much higher degree than anyone ever expected. The DVD sales have grown from the simple film to sing-a-long versions, with CD’s following, costumes of all different designs flooded from the shelves, toys hit shops and pulled young children towards them with excitement, and the film once again hit the big screen, this time, in a sing-a-long version in theatres. A/N: The Sing-a-long experience travels around different theatres in the UK, and although the experience will be similar in many ways, the venue will be different at different times of the year. My review covers our experience at The Dominion Theatre in London. Please also note that this is not a film specific review, nor is it a theatre specific review. It combines the two for the whole sing-a-long experience. *************** *************** DIRECTIONS AND VENUE *************** *************** The Dominion Theatre can be found within the heart of London in Tottenham Court Road and can be very easily found, sitting on the junction of the address road, Charing Cross Road and Oxford Street. If you are travelling by train, the closest station to the theatre is Tottenham Court Road tube station which lays directly below the theatre itself and easy to spot, literally a few seconds walk from the theatre entrance. It is also only a ...
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