Wednesday 26 April 2006


During the Easter break, we drove out to Rochester and visited Diggerland. As you might expect, it's a theme park but instead of typical rides, all they use is standard construction machinery. Once you pay your entrance fee you try any of the machinery as long as you're five and above. The controls are a bit confusing at first but it doesn't take long to get the hang of it.

It's brilliant for the kids. Where else can they get the chance to operate heavy machinery? The picture shows Jenny and K* having a go on some of the bigger diggers.  The entrance fee is a bit steep at £12.50 per person as the lines can get quite long so you can spend a lot of time waiting for a go. If you book ahead on the Internet, you can get discounted family ticket. Given the cost, Jenny was determined to have a go on everything!

We also dropped by Bluewater Shopping Centre which is close by. It's one of the largest shoping centres in the UK - it even has a climbing wall and boating lake. Makes for a good day out.

Friday 21 April 2006


Last week both kids were home for Easter break so went to a few places. Our first trip was to the Explore-At-Bristol Science Center. There's no static displays; it's all hands-on. Very, very good and well worth the trip out there. Not as crowded as the London Science Museum. We also saw a 3D movie at the IMAX about sharks but it was so-so. The picture is a thermal image of R*.

It was the first time we had driven into Bristol as we usually just scoot past it on the motorway. First impressions were of a bland stock of post-war buildings but lots of bustle and obvious movement to renovate and modernise.

See Honey...

Movie Roundup

Back to blogging. First up, some of the more interesting movies I've watched in the last few months.

One of the best was Once Were Warriors.(Lee Tamahori, 1994) ..."a family descended from Maori warriors is bedeviled by a violent father and the societal problems of being treated as outcasts." Engrossing film but there's some very nasty violence. Highly recommended.

We just recently watched Crash (David Cronenburg, 1996). It's definitely "out there" as films go. I'd call it fetish porn with a plot. Weird people getting off on combining car crashes, mutilation and sex. Not for everyone but intriguing none-the-less. Don't ask me whether it's a commentary on the human condition.

Another weird film in a totally different way was The Happiness of the Katakuris (Takashi Miike, 2001) - a musical, comedy, horror. Yes, that's right. A musical and a comedy and a horror film all with English subtitles. The Katakuri family open a remote guest house but their guests keep dying so they hide the bodies. It features B-grade over-the-top camp acting and segues into claymation. I almost turned it off but the script is quite good as it explores the pursuit of happiness. Goofy fun.

I was very disappointed with the ending of Meet Joe Black (1998). Hollywood had to draw it out and make it sweet. Abysmal I enjoyed Memoirs of a Geisha (Rob Marshall, 2005) but it also had the wrong ending. Very entertaining though.

Sideways (2005) is an excellent "guy" film that still has me smirking at bottles of merlot. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004) was much better than I expected. Kingdom of Heaven (2005) is a good epic. All recommended.

Finally saw Once Upon A Time In America (2003 Director's Cut) and Midnight Express (1978). Classics.

We recently cancelled our subscription to Sky (UK satellite TV). We simply don't watch TV that much and Freeview is good enough. Instead, we've increased our DVD subscription service since we prefer films to the garbage on the telly.

Thursday 6 April 2006

Blog Housekeeping

I haven't been posting lately but I have been working on this blog.
I've consolidated my blog databases and migrated both blogs I write to
a new blogging platform called Subtext. Over the next couple of months, I'll be changing and tweaking the skin (UI).

If you notice any strange displays or behaviour, please let me know