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Posted on 3:57pm Friday 14th March 2014
One of my favorite sayings about being a parent is that you must be your kid’s best parent, not their best friend. Far too many parents are concerned about being their kid’s buddy, being liked by their kids, and by their friends. Sure, it’s cool to be in the good graces of our children, but that is NOT our job. Our job is to educate, raise, and equip our children to live good and productive lives. Our job is not to be their entertainment director and master of good times.
Posted on 6:00am Thursday 13th March 2014
FEBRUARY has been a damp month but as we move into March the first glimmers of spring have started to appear. One of the most stunning has to be the blast of pale white blooms of the snowdrops in the wet woods of Hurcott.
Posted on 7:18pm Wednesday 12th March 2014
We have been very busy since our last update, preparing for the 2014 Regional Contest. Last Sunday saw us take to the stage in Bedworth in the Fourth Section. For those of you who don’t know much about the world of contesting, the areas involve all bands playing the same test piece and being anonymously judged by two adjudicators (who have to sit all day in a small tent-like construction!). With a draw taking place for order of play, it is a brass bander’s version of the F.A. cup, only much more competitive. The top three bands, as decided by the adjudicators, qualify to play at the National Finals in Cheltenham.
Posted on 3:32am Wednesday 12th March 2014
It's a theatre double feature! The most curiously named new musical in years officially opens this week as the Tony Award-winning 'Urinetown' arrives in London. I headed down to London to check the show out this weekend, and the result is my most comprehensive and detailed Theatre review ever!...
Posted on 2:01am Wednesday 12th March 2014
Former star of 'Starsky and Hutch' Paul Michael Glaser stars as Tevye in one of the world's favourite musicals, brought to life in this new production directed and choreographed by Strictly Come Dancing's Craig Revel Harwood. I headed over to press night at the Birmingham Hippodrome to review the show...
Posted on 9:00am Wednesday 5th March 2014
Titles are supposed to be the hook to a column, book, or movie. Maybe if this were a Spielberg movie starring Hugh Jackman, “Epiphany” would be a great title. I chose this title simply because it is what jarringly happened to me this past weekend, as again I’m writing my column on an airplane.
Posted on 2:01am Wednesday 5th March 2014
The Welsh National Opera bring the splendour and majesty of Verdi's 'La Traviata' to the Birmingham Hippodrome this week. I headed to review this lavish, sumptuous production which also acted as my inaugural opera experience...
Posted on 1:04pm Tuesday 4th March 2014
It is just possible that your energy company may owe you some money. There is £400 million sitting in Energy Companies accounts waiting to be claimed! To find out if you can claim back some of this money......read on......
Posted on 12:32am Wednesday 26th February 2014
I headed over to the Black Country Living Museum on Monday to check out the Press Launch for the Touring Consortium Theatre Company's 'Brassed Off', which will be running at the Wolverhampton Grand this April. Live brass music, traditional fish 'n chips, a trip down the mines and a tour on a vintage double decker were all part of the fun!...
Posted on 7:45pm Saturday 22nd February 2014
The ever-versatile Denise Van Outen brought her one-woman show to the Midlands this week at the Wolverhampton Grand, co-writing and being the sole star of this original piece on love, life and nostalgia. I headed over to review the show and see if it is a worthwhile trip down memory lane...
Posted on 9:39am Wednesday 19th February 2014
I am writing this column, again on a plane, two weeks after returning home from my incredible trip to 13 countries, 21 cities, in 38 days (mostly in India and Africa). I’m on a very short flight from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City. It’s a piece of cake in comparison to the 17-hour flight from Johannesburg to Atlanta, Georgia, which was just one leg of my trip home. Heck, there’s only a one-hour time change. We were 10-12 hours ahead on the other trip.
Posted on 6:00am Thursday 13th February 2014
THE year so far has best been described as wet.
Posted on 10:00am Wednesday 12th February 2014
Going from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to various stops in India is about as stark a change as one can imagine. Dubai is a 42-year-new country with unlimited resources and a tiny (indigenous) population of 1 million, while India has been around since well before the birth of Christ and its 1.2 billion inhabitants account for 18% of the world’s human beings.
Posted on 12:00pm Thursday 6th February 2014
I’m currently sitting in a hotel room in New Orleans, on the 26th floor, where I’m attending a conference about and for dads. A disturbing dream woke me up in the dark of morning as I hear the sounds of train-horns in the distance and know the Mississippi River is lazing by in one direction and Bourbon Street is in the other direction.
Posted on 12:10am Tuesday 4th February 2014
TV star Robert Powell brings Agatha Christie's Belgian super sleuth Hercule Poirot to the Midlands boards this week as the queen of crime's first ever play continues its successful UK tour. I headed to the Wolverhampton Grand for press night to review the show, and hopefully solve a murder in the process....
Posted on 11:31am Monday 3rd February 2014
My recent trip overseas resulted, as most such trips do, in many unexpected and enlightening experiences. It was an extraordinary adventure. What I truly did not expect was what happened back at home while we were gone.
Posted on 11:37pm Thursday 30th January 2014
Get your stilettos at the ready guys and girls as one of the most irrepressibly entertaining musicals ever rolls back into the Midlands this week as Priscilla comes to Wolverhampton. I headed over to the Grand to see if the show still had al its fizz, spark and fabulousness...
Posted on 9:00am Thursday 23rd January 2014
I am sitting on a full flight, flying home from Johannesburg, South Africa to Atlanta, Georgia on the world’s longest non-stop flight at 17 hours, give or take. We have to go through Customs in Atlanta and then another flight to Los Angeles and my adventure will be over. I just finished watching “Rush,” the movie about the Formula One racing rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. It was powerful, but the baby won: the baby that has been crying for much of this flight.
Posted on 11:43am Monday 20th January 2014
For the past few weeks I’ve been traveling overseas, largely on a cruise-ship. As often is the case, cruise lines bring aboard guest lecturers, usually experts in travel that speak about the places the cruise will visit. But, on this particular cruise, in addition to those ubiquitous and familiar lecturers, they invited an especially fascinating scholar and exceptional speaker, Dr. Robert Schrire. His topics have been loosely related to politics but more specifically about how the past and present will impact our future.
Posted on 1:33pm Friday 17th January 2014
Ok, when i said a couple of weeks i really did not expect i would be writing this blog half way through January 2014. Were now into a new year and i'm happy to say that things could not get much better, i'm loving College and i'm happy about that and i'm happy to be me basically, nothing major or exciting has happened but that's ok as i'm just enjoying life at the moment.
Posted on 9:00am Wednesday 8th January 2014
We all know that a great keyword is sex. I’ve actually found that money is even better. Hmmm, maybe I should use both? I was having a discussion with a friend about sex appeal and how men and women view each other differently in this regard. In the course of the discussion, I reflected on four women – famous women/actresses – each of whom I’d met and/or worked with in my former life in showbiz.
Posted on 3:10pm Monday 6th January 2014
The new year brings its own challenges and frustrations. For many it can be a difficult time.....but as always Citizens Advice are here to help, however we could also do with extra help.....read on..
Posted on 7:16pm Tuesday 31st December 2013
This time a year ago, I attended the Worcestershire Youth Cabinet elections session where I drew up my two manifestos - one for Youth Cabinet, and the other for Youth Parliament; when the elections came up, I was challenged with the question of whether I wanted to sit on the Youth Cabinet or Youth Parliament, in the hope that I could best serve the Wyre Forest; I chose Worcestershire Youth Cabinet.
Posted on 10:35am Tuesday 31st December 2013
Most parents know that there’s one thing they can do that will embarrass their kids the most. ANYTHING. Simply being dad or mom is embarrassing to our kids. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we’ll stop trying to change our own behavior. It’s impossible because whatever we do, however we change, it’s going to embarrass our kids. To a degree, that’s our job. Maybe they’ll become independent that much quicker simply to get away from our embarrassing actions.
Posted on 8:00am Saturday 28th December 2013
There are a lot of “P’s” that help in life, but Pride is NOT one of them. I often extol the virtues of passion, persistence, and pharmaceuticals (just kidding), but pride is one of those things than usually gets in the way of our success.
Posted on 4:57pm Thursday 19th December 2013
Panto season has kicked off here in the Midlands as former King of the Jungle and comedian Joe Pasquale teams up with the nations number 1 female impersonator, Ceri Dupree, and Lucy Evans (Coronation Street) to bring 'Sleeping Beauty' to the Wolverhampton Grand this Christmas and New Year.
Posted on 2:51pm Wednesday 18th December 2013
No, this is not a column about race. The other N-word is nepotism. It often has a negative connotation but I actually have been re-thinking the word; how nepotism is practiced and felt today, and how I’m going to take this idea and expand it into helicopter parenting. A reach? But, of course!
Posted on 2:19pm Wednesday 18th December 2013
With just one week until Christmas Day, high street retailers are preparing for their busiest weekend of the season. This time last year, consumers spent up to £5 billion on last minute Christmas shopping, according to the British Retail Consortium.
Posted on 8:57pm Monday 16th December 2013
One of the years most astounding, ambitious and celebrated musicals arrives in Birmingham for a Christmas and New Year residency, so here's a preview of the spectacle to be expected in this terrific show, featuring interviews with it's lead stars...
Posted on 3:21pm Monday 16th December 2013
Craig Bateman, your Member of Worcestershire Youth Cabinet reviews the last three months leading up to the festive period
Posted on 10:27pm Friday 13th December 2013
As Peter Jackson's second epic instalment of his Hobbit trilogy arrives in cinemas today, I headed to the London screening on Tuesday to review the ongoing saga of Middle Earth's unlikeliest hero...
Posted on 6:32pm Friday 13th December 2013
Disney's timeless classic Mary Poppins comes to Blu-Ray this Winter in the form of a lavish 50th anniversary HD upgrade. I sat down to revisit an old favourite and see what additional goodies this anniversary edition had to offer...
Posted on 12:00pm Thursday 12th December 2013
No, this is not an announcement for the new high school edition of the classic sit-com, “Friends,” with Joey as the class clown, Monica as the class slut, Chandler as the class nerd, etc. Nor, is “The Movie” being made. This is about the impact teen friends have on our teens. Let’s face it, that impact can be more powerful than whatever dads or moms have to say. The teen years are so wildly transitional and mercurial that it is essential for parents to understand what influences their teenagers.
Posted on 7:00am Thursday 12th December 2013
DECEMBER is here and the natural world is setting itself for the rigours of the winter season. Most of the trees will now have lost their leaves after one of the most gloriously coloured autumns I can remember.
Posted on 8:25pm Sunday 8th December 2013
Disney release their wintery-themed latest animated classic in cinemas this weekend, but can it keep up with the standards set by recent success stories 'Tangled' and 'Wreck-It Ralph'? I headed to the London press screening to check it out...
Posted on 9:59am Friday 6th December 2013
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