Friday, 31 August 2012

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - 31st August 2012

Tonight saw the return of Simon Carver to The Radio Verulam Film Guide. We were all very pleased to see him and he very generously gave us lots of presents from his travels.

Ok, that was a lie (sadly), but Simon was here in the studio to discuss the UK box office top 10, the new releases and the best films on free-to-air TV over the coming week.



Friday
Mamma Mia
9.00pm – 11.15pm
ITV2


Manhunter
9.00pm – 11.25pm
ITV4


Saturday
Michael
3.30pm – 5.30pm
Channel 5


Sunday
Red River
4.20pm – 7.00pm
ITV4


Monday
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
9.00pm – 12.00am
5*


Tuesday
Total Recall
10.00pm – 12.20am
ITV2


Wednesday
Role Models
9.00pm – 10.55pm
Film4


Thursday
Best in Show
12.20m – 2.05am
ITV2







Thursday, 30 August 2012

Chris' Film Club: The American President

Today is actor and television director David Paymer’s birthday. Michael Douglas is President Shepherd, a widowed single dad who falls in love whilst in the most powerful position in the world. Written by Aaron Sorkin and also stars Annette Benning, Martin Sheen, Michael J Fox and Richard Dreyfuss. It’s almost a prototype of Sorkin’s later series The West Wing, with some of the dialogue and even character names being used again in the TV show.


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Brilliant Things' - Stronger than Romeo review


The Irish/British duo release their fourth studio album to date. This album showcases the couple's strongest songwriting skills and what the pair do best - Idyllic pop.

A dose of good, clean-cut song writing with catchy riffs such as in 'Dance'/'Alone' and 'I Feel Alive' reflect the vocalist's rounded and crisp vocals perfectly. I would have liked to have heard perhaps more challenging vocals, however the easy-to-join-in- vocals and singable melodies ('I feel Alive') create a fail safe album to play to the 'rents.

I'd point this album out to  Radio Two listeners who are looking for something a bit more upbeat and more rhythm than the average David Gray or Shania Twain.  A definite love and feel for the Corrs (Greg French previously worked with the band) can be heard tied into the love of soft electronic guitar mixed with strings (The Fall) .

'Feels Like Summer', although perhaps predictable in parts is a fast paced and well built track that's up-beat and harmless. 'I Feel Alive' is similar to a pop-ier Shania Twain mixed with Corrs track. Energetic strings and polite chords create and feel good track.

The predictability of the entire album is an element which  poses the question whether predictability is good or not in a pop track? Yes, many songs follow similar chords progressions, common structures and faces limitations in vocal ranges.... In the case of this album however, I cant find a track that challenges my listening. Neither however does most Cher, ABBA or Motown tacks... So who says predictability is a weakness?

Tracks to pay particular attention include 'Dance', 'Feels Like Summer' and 'Pointless'.

Like the review?

Head to my blog: Vive's Verve for more reviews!





Chris' Film Club: The French Connection

Today is William Friedkin’s birthday. Friedkin directed this crime classic starring Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider and Fernando Rey. It was the first R-rated film to win the Best Picture Oscar. Hackman is ‘Popeye’ Doyle, investigating drug smuggling into the US, and it contains one of the best cinematic car chases ever.


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Chris' Film Club: Fight Club

Today is Director David Finchers birthday so todays film is Fight Club. The film stars Edward Norton as unnamed protagonist who becomes disillusioned with his life and he befriends Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). Together they start a nation-wide craze for ‘fight clubs’. Frenetic, visceral and darkly comic, it is full of great performances, stylish direction and cinematography.


Interior Design Feature with Gwendoline Alderton

Gwen made her monthly visit to the studio to talk about Holiday Treasures. She gave us advice on how to display our holiday memories once we've come home.


For more information and advice check out Gwendolines' website:

ga-interiors.blogspot.co.uk/

You can also follow her on Twitter!

twitter.com/GA_Interiors

Friday, 24 August 2012

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - 24th August 2012

Tonight Danny and Chris joined together to fight the forces of darkness and christened their new crime-fighting unit 'The Drive Time Avengers'. I know it isn't a very good name, but they aren't very bright, ok?

Ok, that was a lie (the first bit anyway), but Chris was in the studio to talk about the box office top 10, the films showing at the Alban Arena this week and the best films on free-to-air television, as chosen by Chris.
Friday
ITV4
9.00pm – 11.00pm
Sunday
ITV3
9.00pm – 11.25pm
Monday
ITV1
10.45pm – 12.50am
Tuesday
Film4
7.15pm – 9.00pm
Wednesday
Film4
9.00pm – 10.50pm


Thursday, 23 August 2012

Chris' Film Club Singin' in the Rain

Singin’ in the Rain is arguably one of the best musicals of all time. It would be Gene Kelly’s birthday today (he would be 100). Singin' in the rain is full of classic songs and great dancing. They don’t do film stars like Gene Kelly any more.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Chris' Film Club Paul

Paul

It is actress Kristen Wiig’s birthday today. Paul stars two British comic-book enthusiasts (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) who travel across America in an RV and come across an alien, called Paul, who is on the run. Although not as good as Pegg and Frost’s Shaun of the Dead it is a perfectly enjoyable and funny film.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Chris' Film Club The Truman Show

The Truman Show


It is the director Peter Weir’s birthday today. Jim Carrey stars as Truman, a man who has grown up, unknowingly, as the star of his own reality television show. Carrey won the Golden Globe for this film and although he is ‘wacky’ in places, he is far more restrained than usual. A funny and often moving film one of his best.



Insomnia Arts Production feature with Jess Distill

Local bohemian Jess Distill was our guest on the Drive Time Show today, she came into the studio chat to us about one of her many projects she is a part of. The  Insomnia Arts Inclusive Theatre is a company that recently came into fruition since gaining funding from the O2 "Think Big Scheme".

The company successfully put on a local production of "Fame" at the Sandridge Theatre in Marshalswick, which is also the location of the auditions which they hope will bring in more musicians, actors, artists and anyone interested in working in theatre. Anyone can get involved, the only restriction is applicants have to of 18 years or older. The only other requirement is PASSION. For more details click on the following link:

insomniaarts.blogspot.co.uk/


She's always a member of popular local folk trio Said The Maiden. They recently played at the Bakewell Music Festival and are working hard on producing their debut EP. We look forward to hearing more from Insomnia Arts, Jess and Said The Maiden in September.

Follow Said The Maiden on their blog @ saidthemaiden.blogspot.co.uk/

Monday, 20 August 2012

Lifestyle tips - Lisa Pearson

Our guest this evening was Lisa Pearson who talked about the psychology of budgeting and gave us some money saving tips;

* Plan a budget for the family and stick to it
* Scale down your holidays - camping is fun and a cheaper option
* Have a money complaining diet - you are only allowed to talk about money if your dealing with it
* Don't get mugged by marketing/advertising campaigns and buy things you don't need and haven't budgeted for
* Save up for items or events - you will appreciate them more

Lisa has a blog where all this information and more can be found; www.mummywhispererblog.com

New Music Playlist w/c 20th August 2012

Hi Drivetimers

Below is our new music playlist for the forthcoming week:

Amy Macdonald - Pride
Ben Montague - Another Hard Fall
Blur - Under The Westway
Cheryl - Under The Sun
Elton John vs Pnau - Foreign Fields
Emin - Walk Through Walls
FUN. - Some Nights
Gavin DeGraw - Soldier
George Michael - White Light
Jay James Picton - Long May They Roll
Juan Zelada - Open Up My Eyes
Katzenjammer - I Will Dance (When I Walk Away)
Keane - Sovereign Light Cafe
Kristina Train - Dream Of Me
Lemar - Invincible
Matchbox Twenty - She's So Mean
Noisettes - That Girl
Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen - Good Time
Paloma Faith - 30 Minute Love Affair
Robert Cray Band - (Won't Be) Coming Home
Ronan Keating - Fires
Rumer - Travelin' Boy
Scouting For Girls - Summertime In The City
Simple Plan - Summer Paradise
The Killers - Runaways
The Script feat. will.i.am - Hall Of Fame
Tom Jones - (I Want To) Come Home

Items in BOLD are new additions

Our featured album this week is Contact by The Noisettes and this week's featured track is Long May They Roll by Jay James Picton, who will be a guest on Wednesday's show:



Chris' Film Club Pleasantville

Pleasantville

It is Joan Allen’s birthday today. Pleasantville stars Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon as two teenagers who get sucked into the fictional television world of ‘Pleasantville’, a black-and-white world of perfect harmony, until things start to become unstuck and the world starts to experience colour. This is a charming and original film. One to watch.




Friday, 17 August 2012

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - 17th August 2012

Tonight Danny was joined in the studio by Chris Aikman, and the two of them acted as mediators in a centuries long blood-feud between warring clans, eventually coming to a peaceful agreement that will see all of St. Albans south of Holywell Hill given over to the K'utak Clan in exchange for 8000 cows, 45 games consoles and a Ferrari.

Ok, that was a lie, but Chris was in the studio to talk about the box office top 10, the films starting at the Arena this week and the pick of films showing on television this week.

Here is Chris' selection:

Friday
ITV3
11.05pm – 1.20am


Saturday
Film4
7.20pm – 9.00pm


Sunday
ITV1
10.20pm – 12.40am


Monday
ITV4
9.00pm – 11.25pm


Tuesday
ITV2
10.00pm – 12.40am


Wednesday
More4
9.00pm – 11.35pm


Thursday
ITV2
7.00pm – 9.00pm

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Chris' Film Club - Aliens

James Cameron’s birthday is today, arguably the most successful film director of all time. The film stars Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen and Carrie Henn.Aliens the film dramatically changes the style that its predecessor, Alien, set. The film Moved from horror to action and did so very successfully.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Film Club The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (US Version)

Today would have been writer Stieg Larsson’s birthday (he would have been 58). Larssons wrote the world famous ‘Millennium’ book series which have been turned into films. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (US Version) adaptation was very successful, it was directed by David Fincher and starred Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Stellan Skarsgard and Christopher Plummer. The film is tense, moody and often very hard to watch but a very good and stylish adaptation of the novel.

Juan Zelada (@JuanZelada) performs on West Herts Drivetime (available on Listen Again)!


Juan Zelada's new song Open Up My Eyes is our featured track all this week, and today Danny spoke to the man himself, and Juan performed a gorgeous acoustic version of The Blues Remain for us. Open Up My Eyes is Juan's fifth single, following the success of What Do I Know, The Blues Remain, Barman and Breakfast at Spitalfields. Having played the acoustic circuit for years, Juan was first spotted by the manager of a restaurant he was performing in, later signed by Paul Simon's record label, then released his first album, High Ceilings and Collarbones, in February. 'Open Up My Eyes' comes out on 27th August.

For more details, including festival and tour dates, see his website, juanzelada.com, and you will be able to listen again to the interview and performance on the Radio Verulam website for the next week: listenagain.radioverulam.com

(Photo by musicmafiauk on Flickr)

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Citizens Advice Bureau feature with Elizabeth Crampton

  Yesterday we had our monthly visit from Elizabeth Crampton who works at the St Albans Citizens Advice Bureau. She came in to speak to us on a number of current issuses including Packaged Bank Accounts.

  Recently Banks have suggesting Packaged Accounts to their cutomers. However what they haven't been explaining is how theses little perks and extras can cost up to £300 a year with little benefit to the customer. Tantilizing offers such as travel and motor insurance maybe not even be applicable to the individual. In 2013 new laws will be enforced that will make sure that banks have to check with these sales actually will apply to their customers. Until then there is nothing stopping banks from selling these dodgy deals on unsuspecting members of the public.So if you are tempted by such offers it's exstremely important to check the terms and conditions before your sign anything.

  If you do find yourself in such a predicament don't hesitate to first go to your bank and question if your sold a Packaged Bank under false pretenses. If you don't come to a conclusion you and your bank are happy with then the best thing to do is contact your local Citizen Advice Bureau.

  She then went onto the subject of Chip and Pins.  People with disabilties or memory probrlems may have difficulties using the chip and function but there is an alternative available called Chip and Signature Cards. All banks provide them so if all you need to do is pop down to your local bank and let them know that you need to change how you access your money. Remember never write down your pin number and never used a friend or loved ones birthday for those digits.

  Benefits cuts and caps are also a hot topic in the news at the moment. There has been reports on how there will be a number of changes on how people recieve benefits. However this will not effect those on retirement pensions. For more information visit the following links:

www.advice.guide.org.uk 

www.directgov.co.uk

www.stalbans-cab.org

Chris' Film Club Bow Finger


    Today is Steve Martin’s birthday. Martin is an American comedy legend, who made a series of hilarious films in his earlier years but has somewhat dried up. Bowfinger is probably his last good film (it was released in 1999) and it tells the story of an aspiring filmmaker who decides to make a film using a big Hollywood star (Eddie Murphy), but the star doesn’t know about it.Chris reckons this film is very funny and Eddie Murphy plays dual roles as Hollywood star Kit Ramsey and his hapless brother Jiff.

New Music Playlist w/c 13th August 2012

Hi Drivetimers

Here is our new music playlist for the forthcoming week:


Amy Macdonald - Pride
Ben Montague - Another Hard Fall
Blur - Under The Westway
Cheryl - Under The Sun
Elton John vs Pnau - Foreign Fields

Eric Church - Springsteen
FUN. - Some Nights
George Michael - White Light
Honey Ryder - You Can't Say That
Jason Mraz - 93 Million Miles
Juan Zelada - Open Up My Eyes
Katzenjammer - I Will Dance (When I Walk Away)
Keane - Sovereign Light Cafe
Kenny Wayne Shepherd - Butterfly
Kristina Train - Dream Of Me
Lemar - Invincible
Matchbox Twenty - She's So Mean
Noisettes - That Girl
Paloma Faith - 30 Minute Love Affair
Robert Cray Band - (Won't Be) Coming Home
Rumer - Travelin' Boy
Scissor Sisters - Baby Come Home
Scouting For Girls - Summertime In The City
Simple Plan - Summer Paradise
The Proclaimers - Whatever You've Got
The Script feat. will.i.am - Hall Of Fame

Items in BOLD are new additions


Our featured track for this week is Open Up My Eyes by Juan Zelada:


Monday, 13 August 2012

The Noisettes' album 'Contact'



The latest material and third album from The Noisettes is finally available.

 Combining a pop feel reminiscent of the 80s with an up to date approach in showcasing the band's tight song writing skills such as tracks 1, 'Winner' and 'Let The Music Play' the band here demonstrates everything that makes the band such a stronghold.

Funkadelic beats in the bass, recognisable and remaining distinctive element of the Noisettes (remember Don't Upset The Rhythm?) especially in 'I Want You Back' and 'Let The Music Play' (where I especially enjoyed the grunginess of the keys and even likened it to a Gossip track).
Shingai Shoniwa's vocals also tie the noisettes nice package together for making them stand out. A dynamite on the stage, she's certainly an entertainer.

 More perhaps ground breaking track would be 'Ragtop Car' as they offer something just that bit extra to their regular feel (such as a country feel - oddly enough).  However, the material overall doesn't contain much of a push in an alternative direction to what the duo have provided us with before. Although, the bass dropped in 'Traveling Light' does provide an unexpected but pleasant drop in the middle of the serenading ballad.

If you are a pop thirsty bass guzzling musical monster then the strong choruses, catchy hooks and easy to sing along anthems will certainly satisfy your needs.

 Favourite tracks; Let The Music Play, 'Contact' and the delightful hidden track at the end of the record.

 Like The Noisettes? Then try Elton John's latest project with Pnau, Josh Osho, and Emile Sande.

Chris' Film Club - The Bourne Supremacy & The Bourne Ultimatum


As today is director Paul Greengrass’ birthday, Chris has chosen the 2nd and 3rd films from the original "Jason Bourne" trilogy.  These films star Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, a former CIA assassin on the run from his previous employers.  These films are fast paced and thrilling, Greengrass uses hand-held cameras to get into the thick of the action.




Friday, 10 August 2012

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - 10th August 2012

Tonight Danny and Chris Aikman decided that the studio was no place for a film guide to take place so instead they decided to hang out with pretty young women and eat cupcakes instead.

Actually, that wasn't a lie, because Danny and Chris were doing the show from Dixie's Cupcakery in St. Albans. There they rotted their teeth and discussed the box office top ten, the films showing at the Albans Arena from this week and Chris' pick of the best films on TV.


Friday
ITV3
11.00pm – 1.10am

Sunday
Film4
9.00pm – 11.10pm

Monday
Film4
11.10pm – 2.05am

Tuesday
Film4
4.35pm – 6.40pm

Wednesday
ITV4
10.00pm – 12.35am

Thursday
Film4
3.05pm – 5.10pm

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Chris’ Film Club - Amelie

Today is Audrey Tautou’s birthday and to celebrate this Chris has presented us with the film 'Amelie'. Tautou's stars as Amelie, a young Parisian who enjoys meddling in the affairs of others to make their lives better but often to the detriment of her social life. A charming and quirky film, good for a romantic night in.

Heritage Open Days - St Albans attractions open to the public; plus, summer holiday activities!


Jenny Swatton came into the studio to let us know about the Heritage Open Days taking place in and around St Albans between Thursday 6th and Sunday 9th September. As part of the nationwide event run by English Heritage, a number of attractions which are normally closed to the public or charge for entry will be opening their doors. Full details on the Radio Verulam events noticeboard: radioverulam.com/noticeboard, and the brochure will soon be available on enjoystalbans.com and in the Tourist Information Centre. Highlights include Redbournbury Mill, the Abbey gateway, St Albans Cathedral and the opening of the 1830s courtroom for an exhibition by the Architectural and Archaeological Society, where there will also be a talk by the mayor of St Albans. The studios here at Radio Verulam will also be open on 8th September for studio tours!

Jenny also picked out some events occurring in the next couple of weeks. The signal box on Ridgemont Road is open this Sunday, and well worth a visit. The De Havilland museum is also open and hosting a special exhibition. For the kids, Verulamium Museum is running a session where you can make your own Roman fridge magnet, and St Albans Cathedral is also running events. Details of these and many other events occurring in the West Herts area can be found on our noticeboard, radioverulam.com/noticeboard.

Details of more events and attractions in St Albans may be found at enjoystalbans.com, or the Tourist Information Centre.

(Picture by stevecadman)

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Chris’ Film Club - U-571

Today would be the legendary producer Dino Di Laurentiis’ birthday (except he’s dead) but to honour his memory Chris has reccomended the film 'U-571'. He produced this somewhat controversial WW2 film about the capture of the enigma machine. It stars Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton and Harvey Keitel and was controversial because it presented the USA as having captured the enigma machine, whilst it was in fact the British. Regardless of this historical inaccuracy it is a tense, well-made film.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Chris’ Film Club - The Thin Red Line

Today, in 1942, the Battle of Guadalcanal began. This was the first major Allied offensive against the Japanese in WW2. Terrence Malick’s film is based on James Jones’ fictional book based around that campaign.It has a huge cast, including George Clooney, Woody Harrelson, Sean Penn, Adrien Brody, John Travolta, Nick Nolte and Jim Caviezel. Many more great actors were left on the cutting room floor.Long and gorgeous, it is one of the great war films.

New Music Playlist w/c 6th August 2012

Hi Drivetimers

Below is our new music playlist for the forthcoming week:


Amy Macdonald - Pride
Ben Montague - Another Hard Fall
Blur - Under The Westway
Eric Church - Springsteen
FUN. - Some Nights
George Michael - White Light
Honey Ryder - You Can't Say That
Jason Mraz - 93 Million Miles
Juan Zelada - Open Up My Eyes
Keane - Sovereign Light Cafe
Kristina Train - Dream Of Me
Lemar - Invincible
Madonna - Turn Up The Radio
Matchbox Twenty - She's So Mean
Noisettes - That Girl
Paloma Faith - 30 Minute Love Affair
Pet Shop Boys - Winner
Rumer - Travelin' Boy
Scissor Sisters - Baby Come Home
Scouting For Girls - Summertime In The City
Simple Plan - Summer Paradise
The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band - Butterfly
The Proclaimers - Whatever You've Got
Train - 50 Ways To Say Goodbye

Items in BOLD are new additions


Our featured track for the week is Dream Of Me by Kristina Train:


Monday, 6 August 2012

Chris’ Film Club - Source Code

It is Vera Farmiga’s birthday today and in tribute Chris has suggested the film 'Source Code'. Directed by Doug Jones and starring Farmiga, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Jeffrey Wright. It is an inventive sci-fi thriller in which Gyllenhaal is a soldier who gets dumped into the last 8 minutes of a man’s life, in order to work out who committed the train-bombing that killed him.

Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust feature with Sarah Buckingham


Today we were joined by Sarah Buckingham from the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, who was here to remind us what the Trust does as well as explaining to us what's going on. The Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, is one of a number of localized Trusts across the UK, called 'The Wildlife Trusts' that are the only Wildlife Trusts, which focus on the conservation of British Wildlife.

Sarah also reccomeneded a number of events going on which are free (being funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund), in and around the area, including a highly popular 'Bat Walk' for more details you can visit their website: www.hertswildlifetrust.org.uk

Also discussed was a few of the photographic projects that the Trust engage in; as well as the photo competition which is currently closed for judging, the annual Calendar and photos used on that and their interaction with the Harpenden Photography Club which will be leading to  'Living Landscapes' display in St Albans. Additionally if you have any interest in photogrphy you can interact with the Trust by signing on to Flickr and joing their group: www.flickr.com/groups/hmwt

Sarah is now giving us a creature to look out for each month so this month keep an eye out for the Common Blue Butterfly which is particularly active around August:



Friday, 3 August 2012

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - 3rd August 2012

Tonight Danny was joined in the studio by Chris Aikman and they decided to change their names by deed poll. From now on Danny will be know as James Horatio Tiberius Danno Bond and Chris will be Malcolm Elias Angel Leonardo Reynolds.

Ok, that was a lie, but Chris was in the studio to present this weeks Film Guide. Here is the list of Chris' choice for the best films on free-to-air-TV this week:


Friday
More4
9.00pm – 12.15am


Saturday
ITV4
9.00pm – 11.25pm


Sunday
E4
8.00pm – 10.00pm


Monday
ITV4
10.00pm – 12.10am


Tuesday
Film4
11.25pm – 2.25am


Wednesday
Film4
9.00pm – 11.10pm

Thursday, 2 August 2012

How to entertain the kids over the holidays - with Helen Wills

We're a couple of weeks into the school summer holidays now, and what started as an idyllic quality-time-together opportunity may have turned into a furious battle to keep the kids entertained! Blogger and parent Helen Wills joined us in the studio to give us some ideas which children will enjoy, without costing too much...



Put up a tent in the garden - A cheap tent will only cost around £10, and provides hours of fun for children - just putting the tent up is good fun, and will take around an hour, then the children can take airbeds, a picnic, books and magazines into the tent. Helen even let the children go to sleep in the tent, before moving them safely inside!

Build a campfire - Collect some sticks from the garden and build a small fire to toast some marshmallows on.

A-Z photography treasure hunt - Lend the kids a digital camera (or camera-phone) and challenge them to photograph one object in the house for each letter of the alphabet. As well as keeping them busy for a good few hours, you can then teach them to upload and edit the photos, maybe uploading the photos to the web or to websites which allow you to print a photo book.

Treasure hunt - Hide some sweets around the house and equip the kids with photo clues or cryptic clues to help find them.

Obstacle course - Challenge the children to create an obstacle course in the garden out of objects from the house/garage - for instance, they could challenge each other to bounce a tennis ball or pump an airbed pump a certain number of times.

Scavenger hunt - Take the children to the park where they can collect leaves, seeds and grasses to make into a collage once they get home.

Helen also recommended Science Sparks (science-sparks.com) and Red Ted Art (redtedart.com) for more ideas, and make sure to check out her own blog, Actually Mummy at actuallymummy.co.uk, on parenting issues and advice, baking, crafts and toy reviews.

(Photo by geojanitor)

Chris’ Film Club - Attack the Block

Jodie Whittaker, is starring in ‘A Thousand Kisses Deep’ at the Arena tonight at 8pm. She also stars in 'Attack the Block' which is the film Chris is suggesting today. She stars in this sci-fi/ comedy with Nick Frost and a host of young British actors. Aliens invade London and a street gang in their tower block home stand in their way. Funny and stylish, it features great performances from its young cast and is a solid debut for director Joe Cornish.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Chris’ Film Club - American Beauty

It's Sam Mendes’ birthday today. In celebration Chris has recommended the film 'American Beauty'. This was Mendes’ cinematic directorial debut having worked in theatre for many years. Features many exceptional performances from the likes of Kevin Spacey, Annette Benning, Chris Cooper, Thora Birch and Mena Suvari. It also won Mendes and Spacey Oscars. The fikm is about Lester Burnham, who suffers a mid-life crisis and does not deal with it hugely well. A modern classic.


Faff-Free Cooking with Jackie Johnson – Muesli Flapjacks





My motto has always been ‘never trust a skinny cook!' I do like to share recipes that I know work for me. They are not necessarily of my invention – but I will always give you the origin and maybe the story behind them! These recipes are relatively easy to make – hence the title, Faff-Free Cooking

So todays treat is …. – Muesli Flapjacks – nice and easy to make with the kids on summer hols!

Ingredients

175g butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
150g Demerara sugar
200g muesli
75g Porridge oats
Handful of sultanas or other dried fruit or nuts – up to you!

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4 and grease and bottom line a 25cm x 20cm shallow baking tin.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat together the butter, golden syrup and sugar until it is just melted and the sugar still feels grainy in the pan
  3. Take the pan off the heat and pour in the muesli, oats and fruit/nuts. Mix well together.
  4. Put the mixture in the prepared baking tray and spread evenly and press down with the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake for 25 mins. When baked, run a knife around the edge of the flapjack to release it.
  6. After 5 mins, mark into 12 squares. Leave in the tin until nearly cool and then cut into pieces and continue to cool on a wire rack.