Pick your own fruit…

15.08.15 - Fruit Picking 2Today I went to a pick your own fruit farm with Tadpole, my big sister, and one of my nieces

Despite feeling a little under the weather, it was lovely to get out in the sunshine and pick our own fruit. We filled our baskets with the sweetest most delicious strawberries and raspberries (and more than a few were eaten while picking, as those jewel-like beauties were just too hard to resist!), and got in a little exercise at the same time – all good!

Our resultant haul was a lot cheaper and far tastier than we would have got from any shop, and we had fun doing it too.

Definitely a worthwhile endeavour.

15.08.15 - Fruit Picking 3It’s worth mentioning, when we got there, the sign said the strawberries and raspberries were “extremely limited”. I have to say their idea of limited wildly differs from mine, as there were loads to be had and we didn’t even have to look very hard – they were right there and easy to find.

If you have a pick your own fruit farm nearby, I highly recommend going along and doing a little Body Magic while you bag yourself some delicious speed food!

This is my island in the sun…

Today we took advantage of the sunny, warm weather and the long tide times, to visit Lindesfarne – an island about an hour’s drive from our home which is reached by tidal causeway.

The island is steeped in history – the monks built the priory there almost 1400 years ago (yes, you read that correctly – fourteen hundred years ago!!!), and the castle is 16th century.

It’s such a lovely place to visit, especially on a sunny day, even if you do have to wait till the tide goes out to get there, and make sure you beat the tide coming in again to get home (that’s part of the fun, really, although the tide times are all clearly posted, so it’s easy to make sure you can cross safely).

Today we all headed there with a picnic, part of which was eaten right out of my hand by a cheeky little sparrow – she was hopping very close to pick up crumbs, so I lay my hand flat with a bit of bread on it, and she just came right up to me, bold as brass, and ate it right off my fingers! Then we had a nosey round the old priory, which was founded by the venerable St. Aidan, and housed the Lindesfarne Gospels, which are some of the most beautifully illuminated manuscripts you’ll ever see.

We took a little stroll on the beach, where we collected some stones and very pretty shells, and spotted a couple of seals frolicking in the sea, which was very exciting.

Next, we wandered round the village and popped into several of the lovely little shops (there was one filled with the most delicious looking fudge, but I managed to resist diving in there and never coming out – only just!).

Then we ambled our way out to the castle, which was built around 1550, and is remarkably well preserved. It’s all spiral staircases and turrets and battlements, the way a castle should be. To be honest, most of the castles in Northumberland (of which there are more than seventy!) look like they were ripped right out of the pages of a book of fairytales – they are stunning!

After we’d worked our way round the castle, we headed to St Aidan’s Winery, where they make the world famous Lindesfarne Mead, a unique alcoholic fortified wine made on the island.

By this time, we were all exhausted with all the walking around (especially Choochie, who is only just coming up on 22 months old), so we headed back to the car, and all fell asleep on the journey home (apart from Hubby, obviously, who was driving).

We had such a lovely day, and I brought home a few little momentos – a leather bookmark for me (I love to collect them wherever I go), and a miniature bottle of Lindesfarne Mead as part of a gift exchange I’m taking part in this month. Tadpole bought himself a little compass (so he could find his way home) and a moonstone pendent on a leather thong, as well as those stones and pretty shells from the beach.

Cast/Recast: Blade Runner

In 1982, Ridley Scott presented us with a cinematic masterpiece view of the future. We’re now just four years away from catching up to the year in which it is set – 2019 – so I thought it might be ripe for a recast. Much as I would hate to see this classic remade or rebooted (some films should just be left alone!), if I were to make this movie today, here’s who I would choose for my cast…

Blade Runner (1982)

Character: Rick Deckard (human?)
Originally played by: Harrison Ford
Recast: Michael Fassbender

DECKARDSlightly rough around the edges, careworn, but with a gentleness to him, Deckard is a man of complicated character, and we’re never sure if he’s human or if he’s replicant too. Ford leaves big shoes to fill for this role, and Fassbender is one of only very few actors today who could fill them. I think he’d be perfect as our leading man in a remake.

Character: Roy Batty (replicant)
Originally played by: Rutger Hauer
Recast: Ryan Gosling

BATTYSwitching from violence to romantic poet in the blink of an eye, Hauer gave the leader of the escaped replicants a soul. His deadpan delivery of his final lines remain one of the most heartbreaking moments ever committed to film, and I think Gosling has exactly the right kind of look to be able to carry off the almost total lack of expression as he gives his heartrending monologue.

Character: Rachael (replicant)
Originally played by: Sean Young
Recast: Carey Mulligan

RACHAELWith her perfect, doll-like features and soulful eyes, Mulligan could portray the calm, yet confused Rachel with aplomb, infusing her with both softness and intelligence, making her a very tempting prospect for Deckard.

Character: Pris (replicant)
Originally played by: Daryl Hannah
Recast: Milla Jovovich

PRISEqual parts innocent and seductive, this acrobatic replicant needs to be able to kick ass, but also inspire sympathy. The role has echoes of Leeloo in The Fifth Element, and I can see Jovovich shining as this character.

Character: Zhora (replicant)
Originally played by: Joanna Cassidy
Recast: Christina Hendricks

ZORAHThis sexy-as-sin exotic dancer must have a body to die for, so who better than the modern day equivalent of Marilyn Monroe? Hendricks exudes confidence, and would be absolutely irresistible to pretty much anyone. Don’t you think she’d look awesome with a replicant snack draped around her shoulders?

Character: Leon (replicant)
Originally played by: Brion James
Recast: Jonah Hill

LEONThis may come as a surprise, but this was actually the first part I cast in my head. We had just sat down to watch Blade Runner for the first time in years, and from the first scene with Leon, I thought to myself, “Jonah Hill would be perfect in that role!”, and my recasting began! I wanted all my replicants to look soulful, to blur the lines between human and replicant, so that their fight for their right for continued existence would be all the more poignant. Just look at Hill’s face. Look at his eyes. Wouldn’t he be compelling? I’d love to see him in this kind of role.

Character: J F Sebastian (human)
Originally played by: William Sanderson
Recast: Peter Dinklage

JF SEBASTIANDinklage has gone supernova off the back of Game of Thrones, and his stellar talent would mean he could play the role of the shy, retiring genius with a condition which means he ages prematurely, without making him remotely creepy (which I think would be a pitfall some other actors might fail to avoid). Strange as the pairing may seem, I think the scenes between JF and Pris would work wonderfully between Dinklage and Jovovich.

Character: Dr Eldon Tyrell (human)
Originally played by: Joe Turkel
Recast: Colin Firth

tyrellTyrell, the genius who has built up the large Tyrell Corporation, is the man who built the four-year lifespan into the Nexus 6 models, but also the “guardian” of Rachael. I want him to be capable of being ruthless and business-like, yet sympathetic. He also needs to be someone credible as a distinguished man of means and high intelligence. I can think of no better candidate than Colin Firth – a man of many talents.

Character: Captain Harry Bryant (human)
Originally played by: M. Emmet Walsh
Recast: Giancarlo Esposito

BRYANTAs captain of the Rep-Detect department of the Los Angeles Police Department, Harry Bryant is charged with the recovery of the escaped Nexus 6 replicants. He always seemed a little weathered and jaded to me, and I can picture Esposito fitting the role perfectly.

Character: Gaff (human)
Originally played by: Edward James Olmos
Recast: Takeshi Kaneshiro

GAFFI toyed with the idea of several actors in the role of the mysterious origami-folding Gaff, including Benicio del Toro and Chen Chang. In the end, I went with Takeshi Kaneshiro, as I think he would bring a sleek, slick air to Gaff, and he would certainly stand out as being completely different to Deckard.

So, there we go – my own personal wish list for a reboot of this seminal sci-fi classic.

Do you agree with my choices? Either way, I’d love to know. And if you’d cast someone else, leave a comment below with your choice and reason for casting them.

Hair today, gone tomorrow…

22.05.15 - World Goth Day 1 (1)
These lovely locks are coming off!

My Great Grandad died when I was six months old. He was diagnosed with cancer and told he had weeks to live, but he hung on in there to meet his first great grandchild. I never knew him, but I knew ABOUT him. A couple of years ago my Uncle Cas died of pancreatic cancer. It was sudden – very unexpected – we hadn’t even known he was ill. It was a shocking loss. He’d been there all my life and then suddenly, he wasn’t.

In recent years, my Auntie has beaten breast cancer, Grom has beaten skin cancer twice, and my Dad has beaten prostate cancer too. You could say cancer kind of runs in my family.

It’s a scary thought, but I don’t think I know ANYONE who hasn’t either had cancer or knows someone who has fought it or died of it.

So, I’m taking part in the BRAVE THE SHAVE challenge.

A year from now, I will have all my hair shaved off.

This is for all those who have fought and won, for those who are still fighting, for those who lost their battles, and for all the families who have to watch their loved ones go through it.

I’ll also be donating my hair to Little Princess Trust, a charity that makes wigs from donated hair for those who have none of their own for whatever reason, hence I’m growing it for a year beforehand (it’s currently almost a foot long, but I’d like to really give it my all and have another five or six inches extra to give!).

My target is £365 – £1 for every day I’ll be growing my hair. £1 for each day between now and the day it all comes off! Of course, I’d LOVE to smash that target, but it’s a place to start, right?!

My locks will be lopped on 2nd August 2016.

If you’d like to sponsor me,
you can do so at my

All money goes directly to
Macmillan Cancer Support.

Happy anniversary, honey

Happy twelfth wedding anniversary to my lovely Hubby.

I’d have got less for murder, but then I would have had to dispose of the body, and who has the time or energy for that?

Just kidding!

It doesn’t seem like twelve years. Sometimes it feels like five minutes, other times like a century. But in a good way.

I love you, honey.

Signing the register
Look how young we looked!

When work outs don’t work out

cddotiSo, I thought I’d put Choochie down for his nap, then do the Camilla Dallerup Dance Off the Inches DVD (which is an hour long). Except Choochie refused point blank to go down for his nap. Not one to be put off, I decided to put on the DVD and dance around my 22 month old toddler.

But he’s hit a clingy phase, and screamed the whole time unless I was holding him.

The upshot is, I’ve only done half the DVD, but I’ve done it while carrying the extra weight of a small child in my arms. I am now sweating like a beast and running a bath. Of course, now I’ve switched off the DVD, he’s quiet, but you can bet that if I put the DVD back on, he’d be screaming to be held – cheeky little beggar!

Ah well, at least I got in a semi-decent work out and worked up a good, hard sweat!

10.07.15 - Asda pocket tap
Butter wouldn’t melt!

End of year school report

11053636_10155725734010386_2154273092184096816_oTadpole came home with his end of year school report and results to his Year 1 phonics test. Let’s just say we’re incredibly proud of our eldest son!

He got a fantastic 39/40 in his phonics test, and is above expected levels in most areas of the curriculum (and at expected level for the rest).

He also brought home a medal for participation in sports day (everyone gets one of those) and a curriculum award (not everyone gets that one – you have to have done very well to get that!).

We couldn’t be prouder of him!