Mobicip: Parental control app review

If you’re anything like me, one of the most used phrases that trips off your tongue at this time of year is “Will you please get off that screen?!” expressed with varying degrees of patience or frustration. During the Christmas holidays when the kids are off school enjoying some well earned downtime and its cold outside (baby!) it’s even harder to limit their screen time.  Many of you reading this will have no doubt bought your kids an iPad or other such device.  So a post about parental control apps is most likely timely.  Continue reading

20 December, 1926: a good year to be born…..

My father would have been 90 today.  Sadly he died 12 years ago, 20 years after the fateful day he suffered a terrible head injury.  But I don’t want to focus on that. I want to focus on his life, and more particularly, his birth year.

Throughout the year, certain men and women of distinction have been celebrated for turning 90.  And it dawned on me that my father shared a birth year with some truly amazing people of extraordinary talent. Some are, incredibly, still alive, others not. Continue reading

ADVENTure: inspiring poetry for Christmas and Advent by Mark Greene

AdventureCoverI came across this gem of a book last year but discovered it too late in December to tell you all about it.  If you haven’t already done your Christmas shopping this is a wonderful present for anyone who has a faith or loves poetry – or both.

The book is a collection of 25 poems and accompanying reflections on the people and events surrounding Jesus’ birth, designed to be read either each day of Advent or over the Christmas period. Each poem is written with deep imagination, literary flair, often with an unexpected twist, and always throwing new light on stories we all think we know too well.   Continue reading

Christmas Ads: the modern seasonal sermon

Still from Sainsbury's ad 'The Greatest Gift'

Sainsbury’s ‘The Greatest Gift’

As some of you know, I have the privilege of writing for the wonderful London Institute of Contemporary Christianity (LICC), specifically for their Connecting with Culture page.  The brief is to write a short reflection on a contemporary British cultural issue with a faith lens – all in 400 words!  My piece last Friday was on this year’s Christmas ads which I thought some of you might be interested to read. Click here if you are!

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Hogwarts in the Snow – a Christmas family treat, 2016

Hogwarts in SnowNow I know some of you who read this will have already visited the Harry Potter tour at the Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden, Herts.  But for those of you who haven’t yet had the chance or who haven’t been at Christmas, read on!

Between now and 29th January, the studio tour is given the festive treatment to create Hogwarts in the Snow.  All the usual features, props and sets are there, but with a Christmas twist.  The Great Hall is decked out with wreaths, Christmas trees and magically lighting plum puddings, Christmas cards (some made by the cast themselves during filming) decorate the Gryffindor common room, and a special display demonstrates how snow and ice is created for the film, making for a fascinating chemistry lesson. Everything is given a light dusting of snow, including the outside where we got covered in soap suds a flurry of snow as we stood outside the Knight Bus. Continue reading