Monthly Archives: September 2012

Wang a Welly with Paddington Bear

Wang a Welly with Paddington Bear

Paddington Bear at NRM York 27 Oct-4 Nov

A must for Paddington fans, National Railway Museum (NRM) in York are holding a week-long Paddington themed-event this half term. Let’s get all the terrible puns out of the way first; it has to be done:

There will be marma-loads of supe-bear-b, bear-ific family activities for you to Peru-se:

Wang a Welly – remember Welly Wanging as a kid? Plus receive a medal for your efforts!


Interactive Family trail and Treasure Hunt


Craft Activities

Science Shows

Kids and their mums and dads can feast on home made marmalade sandwiches, tea and cakes.

For more info, see the website here or follow NRM on Twitter or Facebook


Creature Discomforts


Regrets? I’ve had a few. Pets? I’ve had ‘em all. Growing up in my family home gave Gerald Durrell’s menagerie a run for its money. My sister was a senti-mental vet nurse (that’s vet nurse, not wet nurse!) and she often brought her work home with her. Over the years, we had four dogs, eight cats, a chameleon, two rats and a load (a bundle?) of stick insects, most of which escaped and went up the vacuum cleaner. (Accidentally, so said my mum.)

One day after school, I came home to find a 10 foot boa constrictor in the front room. My brother’s friend had brought it round, seeing as our house was so friendly and accommodating to all the waifs and strays. My mum didn’t even bat an eyelid.

So when I got married to a man who’d had no pets at all, I thought I may never have pets again.  I toyed with the idea of getting a chimp, but we had kids instead.  Same difference, we thought. But then came the demands for a pet. First, we said “you can have one when you’re…er…six.” We hoped she would forget. But she didn’t. So when she was six, my husband bought a pond. Fish are pretty good pets; they don’t need to be walked and you don’t need to clean up after them. They don’t even need feeding every day!

But it appeared that the animal-mad gene had skipped a generation. My daughter wanted more. I got a job working on a farm, and for a while, she was happy, stroking lambs, holding baby birds of all kinds and even a hedgehog. My friend with C.F.S. used to foster injured hedgehogs; but after she became more disabled, it became a real problem. She’d probably never forgive herself if she ran over a hedgehog with her wheelchair. It would be kind of ironic, taking them off the busy roads and then…well, you get the idea. Terrible risk of punctures.

Last week, as we said goodbye to our old house (and pond) we knew we’d have to buy our daughter  a new pet.  And as fate would have it, the day we moved out, one of the fish expressed its disappointment by dying.

Now, I don’t like to admit this, but I’m terrified of fish out of water.  When I was a girl, a fish jumped out my uncle’s fish tank and committed hara kiri right in front of me. Remember that scene in Amelie, when her fish escaped and disappeared under the cooker? That was like a horror film to me.  So when my daughter presented me with a dead fish in her hand, it took all my strength to put it in a big matchbox and give it a decent burial.

We explained about life and death. She was pretty cool about it, having had all that experience on the farm at such a tender age.  But now we have to get her another pet. One that doesn’t involve too much effort or emotion,  not on my part, anyway.  I’m thinking maybe a tortoise.  No hairs, no noise, give it the free run of the garden; easy to catch, if you can find it, that is. There’s only one drawback. I’m terrified that I’ll put it in a box to hibernate over winter and forget where I put it…..


Arden Grange premium pet food

Eurotunnel le Shuttle


Film and TV legends descend on Cas Vegas


Castleford lived up to its local nickname Cas Vegas yesterday when the stars and their cars were out in force at Xscape for Knightcon 2012 .

Shoppers were given a rare (free) chance to see characters from Star Wars and Doctor Who, props from various B movies, and cars from The A Team, Batman, Back to the Future, Knight Rider, Only Fools and Horses, Dukes of Hazzard and Scooby Doo. OK, they were  all very convincing copies, lovingly made by enthusiasts, but it was good fun anyway. Cars, movie props and lookie-likies were provided by Hullywood Entertainment. With the sun beating down, we could have been in L.A.  Maybe.

Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo

DeLorean from Back to The Future

R2D2 bleeped at my daughter in a friendly manner:

“What does this button do? Uh-oh”

She preferred the ride on toys to the Star Wars convention going on in the background (I never understood the appeal of Star Wars, or Muppets in Space, as we call it.)






But she got more than she bargained for when a remote control dalek  suddenly came alive behind her!

“What’s this? I’m too young to appreciate this!”

“Mummy, what’s that dolly for?”