GG and I went to see ‘Avatar’ this evening in the cinema in Cardiff Bay. He’s been wanting to see it for some time so, thanks to the excellent babysitting skills of my friend Maria, I was able to offer to go with him.

There are many reviews of the film out there for you to read, so I’m not going to even try and write one here! Suffice it to say, I thought I’d made a terrible mistake for the first part of the film as it began in a very militaristic and combative way without really letting me make any connection with the characters. However, the plot warmed up after a little while, and once I began to feel some empathy with some of the people on screen, I enjoyed it much more. It was a good two and a bit hours into the film before I felt the need to look at my watch overwhelm me, and that’s the yardstick I generally use to determine how much I enjoy a film!

I’m glad I saw it, and glad that it was in the cinema (so I got to wear the really sexy huge 3D glasses!) but on the whole I don’t think I’ll be buying the DVD.


The Sound of Music on tour

I was lucky enough, last night, to go and see “The Sound Of Music” starring Connie Fisher and Michael Praed at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay. I went with my best friend Maria and a few of her friends and family, and we had a wonderful evening. The performance was truly stunning – the Mother Abbess’s rendition of ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’ gave me shivers!

It was very well cast. Having watched “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria” on the BBC avidly when it was originally on, I was delighted to have the chance to see Connie Fisher in the lead role. She didn’t disappoint. She really did manage to portray a Maria who might ‘climb a tree and scrape her knee’ and whose ‘dress has got a tear’! She was very believable as a young novice who isn’t quite mature enough at the start of the play for a life in the convent, and later on as a confused young woman who doesn’t quite know what to do with her feelings for Captain Von Trapp.

The children were really good, especially whilst performing the choreographed routines in ‘Do-Re-Mi’ and ‘So Long, Farewell’. Max Detweiler and the Baroness have much more to do in the stage version than in the film, including a coupe of songs.

All in all, the stage version was sufficiently different to the film that I didn’t feel the need to compare the two. All the performances were very good, and the evening passed incredibly quickly. Maria enjoyed it so much that she wants to follow the tour round the country and see more performances! However, we have more musicals to look forward to, as Maria has already bought us tickets to see ‘Les Miserables’ at new year, ‘Chicago’ will be in the Wales Millennium Centre in January, and, of course, there’s the Christmas pantomime to see as well!

World Wide Knit In Public Day

Yesterday was World Wide Knit In Public day. I had hoped to make it to the official Cardiff venue for it, on the lawn outside City Hall, but didn’t manage it this year. However, later in the afternoon yesterday, GG, the boys and Maria took me for an ice cream in Cadwalladers in Cardiff Bay, so I decided to make the most of it to hold my very own, one woman knit in public event! After finishing my very delicious passion fruit sorbet, I whipped out my knitting and got a couple more rows under my belt.

knitting in public

You can see the St David’s Hotel across the Bay behind me, thus proving that I did in fact take part in this knitting event! The only pity is that we missed the World Naked Bike Ride Day group visiting the Senedd in the Bay, as I could have got a photo of the two events combined!

Photo updates

To finish off my updates from the past few days, I have some photos to share.

sulky pigs

This is of Pinky and Curly, sulking because we had taken their ark away from them while we were in the process of moving them to fresh grazing. They decided to nap on the straw that we had left behind and pretend that their pig ark was still there!tail

This wasn’t intended to be a picture of a pig’s bottom, but ended up being one by the very nature of what I wanted to show you. Isn’t the curl in Curly’s tail just gorgeous! He has the perfect pig tail, with the perfect twist! I love it, and couldn’t resist taking this picture!

black chick

Mama Silkie had three chicks recently, and this is one of them. Jo is hoping to get them to be friendlier and more approachable by handling them regularly as chicks, so this was me holding the black chick at feeding time one evening.

2 chicks

And here are the other two. Aren’t they just the cutest things? I really hope I don’t turn out to be allergic to feathers!

dark bay

Obviously, this wasn’t taken at the farm, it is of course Cardiff Bay at night. Ten o’clock last night actually, when Jo, handsome and I were on a wild goose chase, trying to find out where the Doctor Who filming was happening. We didn’t find it in the end, which was disappointing for us all. We had been given a tip that the crew were parking in a particular car park in the Bay, and we found all the trailers and suchlike, but no sign of filming. So we thought we’d check the actual Bay area and the ‘Torchwood Hub’, but no sign. Ah well, c’est la vie!


And finally, this gorgeous boy has been my constant companion for the past few days while I’ve been diggin the vegetable patch, never leaving my side! He’s a lovely dog and it has been lovely to have his company. His name is Fabulous, and I really think he lives up to it!

Saturday – birthday present shopping and Earth Hour

Yesterday was a wonderfully lazy sort of a day. I had a lovely long lie in, then Cheeky and I went to town, shopping for Handsome’s birthday present. We were successful, thankfully, in quite a short space of time, so we were able to spend the rest of the afternoon ambling happily around the shops that we wanted to go to instead. We went and looked at the pet stall in Cardiff Market, so that Cheeky could admire the gerbils, then we went to the food hall in Howells to buy some chocolate. Cheeky has a cold and was losing his voice yesterday so the chocolate was medicinal! We sat in the public gardens beside the old library for Cheeky to consume a medicinal Lindt bunny, where I noticed this rather magnificent magnolia tree;

St John's church and magnolia tree

It kind of puts our little tree in the front garden to shame!

After we had finished ambling around town, we went down to Cardiff Bay to meet my friend and Cheeky’s Godmother, Maria. On our way, we stopped to take a quick self portrait in the mirrored water tower (otherwise known as the Torchwood Hub) outside the Millennium Centre;

Jennie and Cheeky

We then went for a rejuvenating cup of hot chocolate and a piece of cake. Maria came home with us in the evening and we all observed Earth Hour together. We lit candles in the sitting room, and used our wind-up torch if we wanted to go to any different rooms. I did my best to talk about the reasons for Earth Hour with the children, but I think that they may have been too excited, having their Auntie visiting unexpectedly, to pay a great deal of attention! However, we let them stay up late to sit in the candlelight with us. We all found it very relaxing – Cheeky found it so relaxing, in fact, that he fell asleep on GG’s lap!

All in all, it was a lovely day, and one that I look forward to repeating, with minor variations, in a couple of weeks when I take Handsome shopping for Cheeky’s birthday presents. Having both birthdays in April was extremely bad planning!

Wordless Wednesday

A fountain with a rainbow, in Cardiff Bay yesterday.

2008 International Food Festival, Cardiff Bay

 Yesterday we visited the Cardiff International Food Festival in Cardiff Bay. We’ve been (I think) every year since it started, and thoroughly enjoy it every time. A couple of times we’ve got a babysitter and made an evening of it, but as I had the day off work we decided to go in the daytime this time, and take the children.

 For those of you who are familiar with the ‘Torchwood Tower’, I expect you’d be surprised to see strawberries all over it! However, strawberries are the fruit chosen by Cardiff Council to represent their Cardiff Summer Festival season, and so there are strawberries everywhere. There are even little Ford KAs painted to look like strawberries, with green stalks stuck on the top!

 The weather started out fairly threatening, with short sharp showers, but by the time we left the sky was clearing and an unfamiliar colour was creeping across the heavens – blue! I was so amazed at this unexpected and overwhelming improvement in the weather that I had to take a photo to chronicle it, and decided to capture the contrast in colour between the Millennium Centre and the summer sky. Fabulous! Long may it last!

After we had eaten our fill and inspected all the different stalls we decided that we were having far too much fun to go straight home so we went to the cinema. Now, the cinema complex is probably one of my sons’ favourite places, as there you can go bowling, eat pizza and ice cream (although preferably not on the same plate!), go and see a film AND visit the Doctor Who exhibition (which you can see in the background, behind the ice cream cafe!). What more could two Doctor Who obsessed small boys want? Unless…

 …oh I don’t know, you were to find a real life proper road sign featuring a Dalek?! This is indeed a real road sign, dreamed up to advertise the way to the Doctor Who exhibition and is positioned just outside the entrance to the Red Dragon Centre in Cardiff Bay. I’m told that there are other such signs around the country near the other Doctor Who exhibitions. But seriously, a question to all ‘TARDIS’ fans out there, if you saw a sign telling you to turn right towards Daleks, surely a true Gallifreyan’s initial reaction would be to ‘turn left’ and run – ‘gotta love the running’! (Sorry for the two really bad Series Four references there, but I couldn’t resist!)