Saturday, 13 January 2018

Spotlight Saturday - Recording Memories

Firstly a very happy new year to you all! I can't believe that I haven't blogged since 16th December! We had such a blast over December and made so many happy memories but basically that meant I didn't have time to blog! However, I have now planned out the next 6 weeks, so I'm back!

Today I thought I'd talk abour recording memories. As you know, I am a very keen scrapbooker and photographer. I also, in the past, used a video camera - a lot. Back in the late 80's and through the 90's video recording was such an important part of my memory keeping and then it just fizzled out. I think it fizzled out because of two things, one was that my children were young adults and just didn't want to be video'd any more and also that recording memories changed with the advent of smart phones. Once we had those we would do a flash recording lasting only a few seconds, up to a minute and then it would be saved on the phone. I have also made sure that these files are saved on my computer as I would hate to lose them.

However, all those memories, starting with our wedding in 1987, Ben being born in 1989, Penny in 1991 and their formative years are mostly on VHS and I cannot watch them. We did buy a VHS to DVD video/DVD player back in the early 2000's and I did transfer some video to DVD. However there is still this lot that needs sorting.

I have gone through all the VHS tapes and worked out what needs transferring. This has involved watching some of the DVD's to find out what was on them - it was wonderful and I need to do this more often. I laughed so much at Ben and Penny aged 6 and 4! Here is a short clip which I recorded off the tv as I was watching and sent to the family on Whatsapp which gave them all a giggle!

Anyway, I have found a store online that does converting to DVD and I have sent off the VHS of our trip to Australia in 2000 to see how they do. If it comes back ok I shall box up the rest and get them transferred and then binge watch them! This is a job I have been meaning to do for about 5 years and this year is the year. After all, if I leave it much longer I am worried that the VHS tapes may degrade to the state where they cannot be copied.

Have you got VHS tapes? Can you watch them or have you had them transferred? Do you do much video recording on your phone? I'd be interested to hear :)

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Spotlight Saturday - Oh what fun we had!

Wendy, Sue and I try to go out a few times together each year apart from spending one evening a month together crafting. We decided this year as one of our trips to go to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. We gathered at my house and walked to the station and caught the train to Liverpool Street. From there it was a relatively short tube ride to Marble Arch where we safely crossed the very busy road into Hyde Park.

We had arrived just after 11am and it was not very busy at all! This meant that we were able to have a leisurely stroll around and get our bearings.
If you haven't heard of Winter Wonderland it is basically set up with a 'German' market with lots of stalls selling Christmasy stuff, fairground rides, an icerink and a couple of different shows you can watch. We enjoyed looking at the fairground rides although we didn't go on any!

We even came across a 'barbecue train' which of course I had to have my photo taken in front of and send to Hugh!
We had booked to go into the Magical Ice Kingdom at 12.30 - we had thought it was cold walking around outside - it was nothing to how cold it was in there! It was minus 11 centigrade!

However we thoroughly enjoyed looking at all the ice sculptures and took many photos until our fingers and toes got so cold we had to exit!
Having exited we really needed to warm up and have some lunch. As basically all the lunch places were outside we left Hyde Park and went onto Oxford Street and found a branch of Ask Italian and had the most scrumptious lunch and got toasty and warm! We then went for a wander up Oxford Street, looking at the window displays and then we went into John Lewis and up onto their rooftop garden for a while.
As time was getting on we then returned to Winter Wonderland as we had booked to go on the Giant Observation Wheel at 4pm.
Now, I am not a lover of height and I don't like swaying things at heights! Err, what is the Observation Wheel? Yes, a swaying high thing!
However I managed to take a selfie with the view in the background, a few photos of the view as the wheel rotated and some photos of Wendy and Sue who were sitting opposite me!

It was a fantastic view, but I was really quite scared! However, watching Sue and Wendy trying to take selfies and cracking up over the process soon took my mind off it! Once off the wheel darkness had really fallen and the Wonderland did look really pretty.

We had another wander, had a coffee (for Sue and Wendy) and mulled wine for me! We finally left at just before 6pm.

It had been such a fun day. We had laughed and laughed. We had walked miles! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and were really grateful to Hugh who picked us up from the station in the car! Now I have hundreds of photos to scrapbook in the New Year! Have you done anything fun with friends or loved ones this festive period?

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Spotlight Saturday - Harry Potter Studio Tour

Three years ago I went with the family to the Harry Potter Studio Tour for my birthday and absolutely loved it. You can read about it here. Since then there have been some additions to the tour including the Forbidden Forest and Platform 9 3/4 along with, of course, the train. Added to this the fact that I wanted to see the model Hogwarts in the snow and the Great Hall set up for Christmas, I decided that as Hugh and I had a long weekend break booked we would spend the day there and have some fun!

The Great Hall was really impressive set up for Christmas. We even got to see the Christmas puddings flaming!

Moving on from the Great Hall we spent a leisurely time looking at many of the sets and enjoying finding little details that are not so obvious on the film. It was nice this time too that there were 'cast members' who were stationed at some of the exhibits and gave you additional information.

We were really impressed with the first 'new to us' exhibit of the Forbidden Forest.
The spiders were excellent! They moved up and down into the tree canopy and there was some great theatrical lightening too!

And Hugh and I met a Hippogriff! We did bow to it so as not to offend it!

After the Forbidden Forest we came to Platform 9 3/4 and this made Hugh very happy!
There were lots of photo opportunities on the platform and a very nice American tourist also took a photo of the two of us!

As you can see, Hugh and I managed to push our way through the wall to get onto the platform!

Hugh found his luggage on the platform - well it does say HG (I think it might be Hermione's) lol.
And of course, what Hugh liked best, the train.

As we continued our tour we came to the outside lot area and loved the fact that they had fake snow falling. Also the fact that you can now go into the house on Privet Drive and see the front room with all the letters in it.

We had to have our photo taken on the bridge again of course.
And Hugh had to have a sit in the Ford Anglia and also ride Hagrid's motorbike.

We finished our tour with viewing the fantastic model of Hogwart's Castle which looked absolutely beautiful in its winter coat. It really is a stunning model.

So we had a wonderful day out - marred only slightly by the fact that on our return journey the M25 was closed and so a trip that took only about 75 minute to get there took us 3 hours to get home! I can thoroughly recommend this tour and if you haven't been for a few years there are definitely enough new exhibits to make it worthwhile going a second time.