Posts Tagged With: cbeebies

Nap time

Three images for today, two from ‘Sleep No More’. One I can’t get quite right, despite best efforts, but never mind.

The second one will only make sense if you’ve seen Bing. To anyone who has, it was kind of obvious.

And talking of CBeebies, anyone who was watching last week will probably have seen the episode of Topsy and Tim in which Mossy the dog shuffled off this mortal coil – an episode that I really didn’t expect to have me in tears, but there you go. Blame the hormones. In the days following the episode’s transmission, the CBeebies Facebook page has been awash with memes showing Mossup (the real life dog who played Mossy) Photoshopped into various places, leading to some confusion from stupid people (“Hang on, isn’t she dead?”) and at least one person saying “THIS IS NOT APPROPRIATE!”, when a better choice of words would surely have been “I WAS NOT EXPECTING THIS!”

Mossy_1 Mossy_2

So naturally, I did one as well. Because why not?

 

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Dinopaws Revisited

You’ll have to wait a few more days for the more substantial post I have planned; it’ll go up when I’m not thinking about packing for festivals. In the meantime, Dinopaws. Because Dinopaws is great, and it’s been a while.

Dinopaws_8

 

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Have I got Whos for you

By the time you read this I will be on my way to Pembrokeshire. This post, therefore, takes the form of one of those final “We leave you with news…” segments on Have I Got News For You.

First, archive and previously unseen images from the ‘Day of the Doctor’ filming sessions cast two of the Doctor Who actors in a rather unpleasant light.

Meanwhile, reports from Comic-Con suggest some inconsistent turnouts.

And there’s tension on the set of CBeebies favourite Old Jack’s Boat, when star Bernard Cribbins hooks up with Don Gilet.

See you in two weeks.

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In the Forest of the Night Garden

Let me tell you why, in the grand scheme of things, I’ll back the BBC to the hilt. It stems from the winter of 2009, when Daniel was quite literally a babe in arms, and on the occasions he had trouble sleeping at night (which was often) we would be beset by a screaming child, thrashing in his bed, at two or three in the morning or any other time of night that suited him. Absolutely nothing would comfort him apart from episodes of In The Night Garden on the BBC iPlayer, which had an inexplicably mesmeric effect. The inconsolable baby would become instantly calm and serene as he stared at the colourful characters and the gentle stories in which they were embroiled. I don’t know how Kay Benbow did it, but after that, I’m willing to forgive the BBC for just about anything.

In The Night Garden burst onto our screens almost a decade ago as the spiritual successor (and, in many ways, direct emulator) of Teletubbies. It featured a beautiful, tranquil forest populated by a cast of happy creatures of varying shapes and sizes. There’s the cave-dwelling Makka Pakka, whose stone-stacking and face-washing borders on obsessive compulsive. There is Upsy Daisy, who has a skirt that flares up, Marilyn Monroe style, when she wants to dance, and a bed that follows her around (which is surely a Dragon’s Den patent in waiting). There are the Tombliboos, who live in a bush in a sort of multi-tiered structure, playing loud music and constantly having to hitch up their trousers. There are the Pontipines – a family of ten, dressed a little like Catholic cardinals, living in a tiny house under a tree – and the Wottingers, their rarely seen, blue-garbed neighbours. Most intriguing of all is Igglepiggle, who doesn’t appear to actually live in the garden, given that he travels there at the beginning of every episode, security blanket in hand. There is thus the speculation that Igglepiggle is some embodiment of the consciousness of the sleeping child seen in the opening credits, perhaps an avatar of some sort. Well, they got the skin colour right.

Garden_avatar

The formulaic approach to In The Night Garden is part of its charm. The star-swept night sky bursts into flowers just as Igglepiggle’s boat ascends into the heavens, and then we’re in the Night Garden itself, where we are told to hang about while the Pinky Ponk catches up, or run in abject fear from the Ninky Nonk (why? Is it some kind of terrifying self-driving truck intent on running over whichever Pontipine gets in its way? Is this Duel, dressed up for the bedtime hour?). The characters have some sort of inconsequential adventure, they may or may not have a dance on the carousel, there’s a peculiar chant from the Tittifers (stop sniggering at the back there) and then we spend ten minutes saying goodbye to everyone. Nonetheless, particular episodes stand out. There’s ‘Sad and Happy Tombliboos’, in which the Tombliboos play free jazz, which makes everyone in the garden miserable. There’s ‘Mind the Haahoos’, an incredible high octane chase through the garden as the Ninky Nonk weaves in and out of the trees, only narrowly missing the giant balloons that inhabit the spaces in between. And then there’s ‘Igglepiggle’s Tiddle’, in which – oh, you figure it out.

BsrrvdkCAAA2aDS

The whole thing is voiced by Derek Jacobi, who does a cracking job, particularly with the singing. In The Night Garden contains the sort of nonsense language that would have made Spike Milligan proud, and those who level criticisms against both the characters’ apparent gibberish and the overall strangeness of the experience have broadly missed the point: this is not for you. It’s for your children, and children love it. They don’t just foist stuff like this upon an unsuspecting audience without checking it over. Kay Benbow knows what she’s doing. The phenomenal success of Teletubbies is testament to that.

“Honestly, though,” said my father, who mostly knows him as Cadfael. “All those ridiculous words. What must Derek Jacobi have made of it? What was he thinking when he recorded it?”

“The money, Dad?” I suggested.

(Side note: how to freak out your children, class 101. You show them the series three episode of Doctor Who in which Jacobi turns out to be the Master. And then you put them to bed with the songs and music from In The Night Garden playing on the iPod. On a loop.)

Anyway: I don’t know why I didn’t think of mashing up In The Night Garden with Frank Cottrell Boyce’s ‘In the Forest of the Night’ when it aired last autumn. Perhaps it was Edward’s recent fascination with the show (that’s In The Night Garden now, not the Doctor Who story, although he does like the tiger). Either way I spent much of Wednesday evening busy with Fireworks (my image manipulator of choice, although at some point I really ought to learn how to use Photoshop). It wasn’t plain sailing: I spent almost an hour getting the one with the Haahoos not quite right, but it is here anyway as an experiment gone wrong, and the rest aren’t too bad. At any rate they made my children laugh. Ultimately, isn’t that why I do this?

 

Categories: Crossovers, New Who | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The CBeebies Amalgamation

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks – or, I don’t know, just not in the U.K. – then you can’t have failed to notice the return of The Clangers, Oliver Postgate’s little piece of 1960s whimsy. Postgate – who (along with longtime colleague Peter Firmin) also gave us Ivor the Engine, Noggin the Nog and Bagpuss, among others – charted the adventures of a family of small grey / pink rodent-like creatures who live on a distant planet and who speak only in whistles, although thankfully Postgate is on hand to translate. (In true Blade Runner style, his voiceover was added only reluctantly, and he always wondered how the show would have been received without it.) The Clangers are aided in their adventures by the now iconic Soup Dragon, along with the Iron Chicken – and if you were wondering, the name ‘Clangers’ derives from the sound made by the lids that cover their underground holes when they slide them off.

The show was notorious for having some quite objectionable language (at least for a children’s programme) in one of its original scripts, as Postgate explains in Seeing Things:

“I could think of only one piece of bad language. One other episodes begins with Major Clanger trying to open the big sliding doors of the main cave-mouth. It jams and his first line is:
‘Oh sod it! The bloody thing’s stuck again!’
‘That’s it,’ said Ursula [Eason]. ‘You know quite well we can’t say things like that on children’s programmes.’
‘But…’ I said, ‘they don’t say it. They whistle it.’
‘But surely people will know?’
‘If they have nice minds they will hear him say “Oh dear me. The naughty thing is jammed again.”‘
‘Oh, all right then, I suppose so, but please keep the language moderate.'”

And, of course, when they released the ‘talking’ Clanger toy a few years ago, the phrase it emitted when its tummy was squeezed was…

Well, you can guess.]

Anyway, I was thinking about all this when a couple of Doctor Who-themed mashups came to mind. Curiously (or perhaps not) they were both from ‘Kill The Moon’:

.

I’ve said before that I probably watch more CBeebies than is healthy, and I definitely watch more Doctor Who than is healthy, and when that happens you start seeing the two of them together with alarming regularity. Edward is a big fan of Let’s Play, which I rather poorly described to Gareth as “Mr Benn, but with better sets” (“Mr Benn had great sets!”). The premise is that CBeebies veteran Sidney Sloane and relative newcomer Rebecca Keatley have some kind of house share thing going on: in each episode they take it in turns to put on a different costume and travel through a mystic portal into another world, in which they have an adventure as a chef or a builder or a clown, interacting with a bunch of archetypes, all of whom are played by whoever it is that has stayed in the house. It is great fun, even if some of the geekier characters played by Sloane are awfully like Whizz Kid.

Anyway, the other day Sid was on an alien planet dressed as an astronaut, and I started making connections between the alien he’d encountered and some of the creatures from ‘The Web Planet’, even though they look nothing alike:

(I can more or less guarantee that a couple of hours after I post this, Gareth will email me and say “She looks like a ___”.)

Sid is accompanied on his travels by a robot dog, which (despite some variation at the base) looked awfully familiar. I don’t mind, of course. There are only so many ways you can do a robot dog – literally, as it turns out:

No, you really didn’t see this. Keep scrolling.

Meanwhile, in the Best Cafe In The World (TM), Big Cook Ben and Little Cook Small find themselves in a scene from an unwritten Big Finish ‘Planet of Giants’ spinoff.

 

And completely unrelated to Who, the Twirlywoo submarine is invaded by Tribbles.

 

I think I need coffee.

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The Dark Side of Flop: Bing meets Wolf Hall

IMPORTANT UPDATE: THIS VIDEO IS NO LONGER EMBEDDED.

TO SEE WHY, SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM.

TO SEE IT ON DROPBOX, CLICK HERE.

FOR THE TRANSCRIPT, CLICK HERE.

You know, when I think about it, I’m pretty sure this whole thing started with Mrs Doyle.

I knew about Wolf Hall already, of course, although I’d not seen it. “It’s weird,” they said on the social media pages. “That sinister bloke from that costume drama playing Flop!” Well, yes, but I had no frame of reference. And then there was the day that Bing found the dog in the park, and when her owner arrives to find out where she’s got to, it turns out to be Pauline McLynn.

Father Ted is twenty years old this year, which has led to an abundance of lists – popular quotes, memorable episodes, and a few of those animated GIFs that are so popular on Tumblr. There will be the “small, far away” clip and you can guarantee that at least one person will use the words “Down with this sort of thing” (and that the next comment, in turn, will read “Careful now”). But I know the scene I always think of when I see Pauline McLynn, and it is the one where she swears.

Distressingly, this clip omits Mrs Doyle’s departing remark – but the point is, the moment I heard Pauline voicing Gilly I wanted her to shout “RIDE ME SIDEWAYS, THAT WAS ANOTHER ONE!” at Bing and Flop. And it sort of went from there, really. It went from there primarily because I’m getting a little tired at the constant ‘Find your inner Flop’ mantras that seem to have become a thing. Flop’s a role model in the same way that Jesus was a role model. His approach is totally impractical because he has a limitless supply of patience, of the sort that human beings do not possess. Let’s also not forget that Bing himself, though young, is also an alarmingly obedient child, digesting and dealing with Flop’s advice and reproaches without question, each and every time. Not for Bing the strop in the supermarket or the insistence on having his bed all to himself, even if Pando’s fallen asleep inside it. When Flop tells him ‘no’, he listens, and he listens first time.

And look, here’s the thing – Flop doesn’t have a smartphone.* Perhaps Bing is set in a world thirty years behind ours, or even longer (have there been any stories in which the characters watch, or even want to watch TV? I genuinely don’t remember any). Flop appears to devote twenty-four hours a day to the servitude and care of his charge. Perhaps he’s like Davy Jones in the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie, cursed to ferry the Flying Dutchman back and forth to and from the land of the dead, or risk being turned into an octopus. (I am now entertaining the notion of a collectible Flop with detachable Cthulhu-like tentacles. It is an amusing, if disturbing thought.)

But I wonder, sometimes. I wonder what he’s really thinking. Someone, somewhere really needs to produce a blog in which Flop recounts the events of an episode of Bing from his own perspective, in which he whines about the rabbit’s stupidity, perhaps referring to him as ‘The little shit’. I would very much like to do this, had I the time, not to mention the inclination to stop-start view all seventy-six episodes of season one – again – so that I can make dialogue notes.

In the absence of that, this will do. Because it’s time we brought the zen-like sock puppet down off his pedestal. He’s been allowed to embarrass decent, flawed parents for too long. He and the other carers in the show are annoyingly, irritatingly perfect. It’s why it’s a shock when this happens in the iPlayer listings:

Bing

It was a mistake, of course, and I pointed it out, only to have the official Bing Bunny page say something random that completely missed the point. “You’re far too young for a Facebook account, Bing,” I remarked. “Does Flop know?”

Anyway, a few technical notes on that video. The longest component of assembling this one was actually watching Wolf Hall, which I did in the space of three or four days, thoroughly enjoying every minute (except when the rented DVD turned out to be scratched). I’ve written about the majesty of the BBC’s Hilary Mantel adaptation elsewhere, so we won’t dwell on Cromwell and his machinations for today. What struck me going through was how little there actually was, in the grand scheme of things – I’d expected Thomas Cromwell to be darker, somehow, forgetting that the whole point to his characterisation is a sense of enigmatic aloofness, with far more revealed in what he doesn’t say – the space between the notes, as Miles Davis used to riff when he was defining music.

Bernard Hill, on the other hand, was a gift from a multi-denominational God. He swears like a trooper. He had to be Pando; there was nothing else for it. The Duke of Norfolk spends much of his time harrumphing and shouting like a child; he has thus rather fittingly become one. There’s no set narrative to this collection, which is instead loosely grouped according to mood – although you’ll see certain scenes are split to keep the pace up. I purposely didn’t use every sound clip I obtained, realising (as I have of late) that less is more. It’s a lesson I could have done with learning on the Red Dwarf / Doctor Who crossover I did last year – one that’s earned its fair share of negative comments, comments which I fear with increasing certainty may be absolutely right.

But if nothing else, this hopefully throws up a subtext to some of Flop’s oh-so-perfect parenting techniques, as well as demonstrating the versatility of the frankly sensational Mark Rylance. Sadly, Pauline McLynn still doesn’t get to say “Ride me sideways”, but you can’t have everything. Maybe I’ll do a sequel next year when they adapt The Light and the Mirror. Patience. It’s a Bing thing. As for the rest of us, we’re all drumming our fingers.

* Edit: it turns out, as I discovered just this week, that Flop does have a smartphone, although it’s left marginally less intelligent when Bing breaks it. I’m still basically right, anyway.

BLOGGER’S ADDENDUM, 14 JULY

I received an email this morning informing me that the video has been taken offline by YouTube, in response to a legal claim from Aardman. This wasn’t one of those indiscriminate web-crawling automated takedowns that I can contest under fair use; this was a manual request. When I queried, the (truncated) response from Aardman was:

“With kids brands, the general rule of thumb is not to mix pre-school with adult comedy, this is the main reason in this case for removing the video, which we have done on behalf of the Bing team.

The secondary reason is your video is also an infringement of copyright associated with the Bing brand.

FYI – Some production companies are stricter than others with regards to copyright breach, some see it as promotion, others see it as property theft, different strokes for different folks basically.”

Under the circumstances, I won’t be contesting. He has a point, and all the parental advisories in the world (and there are at least two) probably won’t stop kids from clicking through. Ted Dewan’s Twitter approval counts for zip; Aardman hold the copyright, they call the shots.

The three most annoying things about this –

1. My copyright standing has been relegated, at least until January, and I have a strike on my account

2. I had to sit through a tedious and patronising ‘Copyright school’ video; the sort of thing I imagine speeding drivers have to go through

3. I dare not even put this on Vimeo, because they’ll probably do it again.

I have, however, made the video available at Dropbox, if you want to see or download it there. Alternatively, you could have a look at this transcript.

 

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It’s a Bing Thing

07056_2

If you watch as much CBeebies as I do, the adventures of Bing Bunny can’t have escaped you. Based on Ted Dewan’s children’s books, the series takes a peek into the lives of Bing, a young rabbit who spends his days getting into the sorts of scrapes that toddlers and small children find their way into with ease. Every episode sees the titular bunny face and eventually overcome some sort of problem – whether it’s learning to share, dealing with fear of the dark or apologising after dropping your friend’s shoe down the toilet (yes, really). The episode ends in true 1980s cartoon style (see Masters of the Universe / Inspector Gadget / etc.) with one of those monologues to camera, in which Bing reveals that “In today’s story we learned…” – well, more or less – before Flop joins him on the blue green yellow screen, summing up the tale with the words “Splashing / Sleeping / Myxomatosis. It’s a Bing thing.”

Bing spends a fair amount of time hanging around with friends Pando (a panda with an amusing habit of removing his trousers at every conceivable opportunity), Coco (a larger and somewhat irritating rabbit, reminding me faintly of the Tweenies’ Bella) and Sula, a young elephant. His principal guide on this journey, however, is Flop (voiced by Mark Rylance – more on him next time), a sock puppet half his size and only vaguely rabbit-like in his appearance. This has led to all sorts of sorts of speculation as to the nature of the relationship between the two, including an amusingly tongue-in-cheek theory about biodomes and knitted guardians of a master race that you really ought to read. However, here’s the bottom line for those of you who happen to have stumbled in here because you’ve Googled it: Flop is supposed to be Bing’s carer, not his old man. He’s a sock puppet because he’s a sock puppet, although he resembles Bing in the same way that Amma (Sula’s carer) looks like an elephant. And he’s half the size because children tend to place themselves at the centre of the universe (this is the creator’s insight, not mine), so it’s all too feasible that what we’re seeing is Bing’s interpretation of what Flop looks like, not his actual appearance. (You know, like the scenes in Quantum Leap where a doctor or someone would look down at Sam Beckett and see a man with no legs or a woman about to give birth, rather than Scott Bakula.) I certainly hope Flop’s not that actual size, given that the houses in which the characters live are replete with full-size furniture, suggesting that Bing is destined to grow to be twice the size he is now.

Bing-flop

There are two chief complaints levelled at Bing by well-meaning (but ultimately misguided) parents. One is Pando’s tendency to disrobe, which can be explained away by the simple fact that small children love taking their clothes off. Seriously, you’ve got two boys under five and you didn’t see this coming? You didn’t? Well, come to my house at half past four on a warm weekday afternoon. Nakedness is abundant. The other is Bing’s use of incorrect words – terms like ‘gooderer’ are abundant – but moaning about this is frankly churlish. For one thing the animals speak exactly how real-world children speak – anything else would undermine the sense of naturalism and it’d just sound like those irritating stage school brats on The Green Balloon Club who always parse their sentences correctly –  and even if the kids get things mixed up they learn from the adults, all of whom speak impeccably. For another, teaching correct language is not the responsibility of the BBC, it’s the job of the parents, and at the risk of making huge generalisations I’d suggest that if your child is learning solely from the TV, rather than you, you’re not doing your job properly. For yet another, made-up words and richness of language and – for pity’s sake – HAVING TV CHARACTERS REFLECT REALITY – is abundant throughout this medium. Do these people stare daggers at Elmo because he repeatedly refers to himself (and others) in the third person? Did they whine about the made-up words on Dinopaws or the baby talk on In The Night Garden? (They probably did, so I think it’s a lost cause.)

Anyway, this is all leading to something I’m working on, and which I’ll tell you about next time. Suffice it to say that I’m very keen on exploring the darker side of this wonderful series, particularly Flop. But while you’re waiting, if you ever wondered what Bing and Flop would look like if they’d been dropped into the worlds of Lord of the Rings or Star Trek, you need wonder no more. I confess that I am rather proud of that third image, but I find it unfortunate that I have yet to come up with an inspired idea for a Doctor Who themed one. Still, there’s time. Which is probably also a Bing thing.

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“And when I turned round…”

Today’s Katie Hopkins wish fulfillment meme.

 

(The Cyberman, in case you were wondering, is from ‘The Wheel in Space’, and yes, I think that is an accordion.)

I wouldn’t mind, but I don’t even watch her on TV. When an appearance on This Morning or Loose Women is announced, I run in the other direction. I will not waste any more time on the stupid bint than is strictly necessary for a freelance journalist. I know she’s a pantomime villain who thrives on the Twitter hit count she gets from the media headlines (and the cheque from the follow-up interviews) and while I suspect most people get a sense of superiority from detesting her the same way they might have detested the Phelps family, I think it’s a great shame that we live in a world where a woman can say detestable things – most of which, I suspect, she doesn’t actually mean – and make a respectable living from it. It smacks of horribly misplaced priorities and too much free time. Still, for all the ranting about society at large, I do wish she’d shut the fuck up. As someone said last night, “If there were no Katie Hopkins, it would be necessary to – actually no. That would be fine.”

Anyway, by and large I restrict my viewing to Holby and CBeebies, because I don’t have to worry about the sociological ramifications of either of them. Actually, CBeebies was on last night, largely because Emily was trying to entertain a grisly Edward with clips from Boogie Beebies, which hasn’t been on for years.

This is my favourite episode and I warn you that if you listen to that song in its entirety you are going to get a six-week earworm. Even now I can feel it once more burrowing into my brain, to the extent that I may have to go and listen to the theme from Space Pirates to get rid of the damned thing. Part of the appeal of Boogie Beebies lies in Boogie Pete’s ‘TV presenter you wanted to be your best mate’ appeal, in the same vein as Chris Evans (if you’re really, really young or inherently masochistic) and Timmy Mallett. He’s got that chirpy, not-quite London vibe about him. Still, it was Thomas who pointed out that Pete (Pete Hillier, now works for Stagecoach Northampton) was actually a combination of Mister Maker and the Tenth Doctor. Insofar as timings are concerned we’re in chicken and egg territory, but strictly aesthetically he does have a point.

Boogie_Pete

Not that Tennant’s the sort of chap to do frivolous dancing. Not at all.

 

And yes, you can’t unsee that…

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The Creation, Mister Maker Style

Well, it is a Sunday.



I haven’t done a video in ages. There was a flurry of activity in the first part of the year, amidst all the old Who watching and trips to the job centre. Somewhere along the line there was an acknowledgement that freelance writing is what I do now. Since then, any time I’ve not spent child-caring has been mostly working on a portfolio, or generating all those memes that occasionally do quite well on the internet. When the novel is finished, I will go back and look at a few of the dozen or so projects I’ve got stewing. But this one? Well, this one was Josh.

We have made it a rule to try and attend our local church on a Sunday, whenever we can – they’re following a thirty week series called The Story that takes you through the Old and New Testament, or at least the Hebrew-centred bits of it. The resources are a condensed version of the New International Version of the Bible and a selection of children’s adaptations. There are also DVDs and YouTube clips, at least some of which contain those time-lapse painting things that are always great fun to watch. Services with our children can be a minefield: the church is extremely accommodating, and there’s no judgement or criticism, only wide-armed acceptance and great love, but we often have to take at least one of the boys outside to calm down. Throughout all of this we are determined to stick to it, because if we can’t teach them to behave in public, who will?

Still, there are some weeks when you don’t make it, and on this particular Sunday, the day after our London visit, everyone was exhausted, so we had a quiet morning at home. And that was when Josh – who, like most nine-year-olds, is normally ensconced in front of Minecraft or CITV – surprised me, largely by showing that he’s actually been listening during those fidgety children’s talks. I’d not been up long that morning when he revealed that he’d spent about an hour on Mister Maker’s Magic Paintbox. Mister Maker, for those of you unfamiliar with him, is the onscreen persona of Phil Gallagher, a sort of Mark Speight on Prozac who dashes around manically preparing a series of artistic creations. He has a talking cuckoo clock (with no cuckoo), a gigantic arts and crafts cabinet and a huge following in the Far East. It’s a far cry from the leisurely paces of Tony Hart, but the boys enjoy it, as do I.

Anyway, the joy behind the Magic Paintbox is its replay function, in which you can spend a while making an image and then review the drawing process in all its sped-up Flash-based glory, while Mister Maker himself shouts encouragement in the background. And when Joshua – completely unprompted – told me he’d made this story of the creation of the Earth, I knew it was too good to just leave on the website. It was a story we had looked at very recently, as part of an Advent series that starts with the fall of man and ends as Mary and Joseph bed down in Bethlehem – it’s impossible to really appreciate the Christmas narrative without its wider ramifications, just as it’s impossible to really appreciate that iconic closing scene in Dirty Harry until you’ve watched it in context, or appreciate ‘Memory’ unless you’ve actually seen the whole of Cats. What struck me about this was how Josh had managed to get the whole narrative in there, and all the important points, while retaining an attention to detail that I couldn’t have managed at all. Suffice it to say that he’s a far better artist than I am.

I ripped the replay video from the web using Movavi Screen Capture, which I knew would come in useful someday, and then Josh recorded his narration on my phone. We knew it would work better with music, and The Truman Show – a deeply religious film on many levels – seemed an obvious choice. While I was uploading this to YouTube, Daniel was working on his own video, which I really ought to finish at some point, once I can work out what to do with his narrative. I may not get the chance to do videos much these days, but my children have, it seems, inherited their parents’ creative spark, and the knowledge that we did at least one thing right makes all the fighting and squabbling and sleepless nights utterly worthwhile.

And on that note, we’re off to church.

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Colin Bacon

I think we need to turn it down a bit after my expletive-filled YouTube rant the other day. So here’s a picture of Wibbly Pig. Well, sort of.

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