Flights of Fancy · Tuesday Reflections

My Sims 4 Challenge – Starting up!

Years ago my daughter got me into playing Sims, it is something I play every now and again but never seem to stick to the challenges but now I have decided to set myself a new one and I will be sharing it with you. I got the idea after watching this video…

So my plan is to redevelop the lots basing the Sims on the characters in my books. It will obviously be a slow project as I don’t have a lot of time to play but I will set aside one or two hours per week to do this then share with you how it is progressing.

If you have read the books then feel free to throw in lots of feedback, the first lots will be based on the first Queen of Ages trilogy book and feature the characters from there. I will start off with two households, Celdwady and Brawd, as father and son, then  Jacantha and Trywn as a married couple.

I don’t have the cheats so it will be based on the base game and the packs we have. if any of my author friends have SIms 4 and fancy taking up this challenge or readers if you wish to create a world based on characters from your favourite books share with me on social media what you create.

So let’s begin…

I have started with the Celdwady/Brawd household and I decided that instead of one big house I would create a collection of huts for them…

The photos are not brilliant, I must have removed the screen recording app I used before for screenshot so had to take it on my phone, I will remedy that before next week. There is a fourth hut to add as I intend having one as a kitchen-living area, one as a study, a bathroom and then finally one for the bedroom. They have both got followed the conservation path in terms of career, this fits in best with a Druidic lifestyle from the choices available.

As you can see the interiors are quite sparse at the minute because you really don’t get a lot of funds to start a house from scratch on a vacant lot but I will come back and play this a couple of times to get all the basics in before I start building the next household.

The interiors will take a little more work and moving things around but it is a work in progress, the worst thing was trying to create the actual sims themselves, although I have made Celdwady an elder no way does he look anywhere near old enough. The sim you can see in the photos is Brawd, I will do some pictures of the sims and how I set them up at a later date if anyone is interested.

I decided to set up the Queen of Ages Characters in The Magic Realm expansion pack but as I think there are only four or five lots it will mean trying to keep as many characters from each book constrained within the lots, maybe one for each book, then, one for the bad guy/guys.

Do you, or have you ever played Sims? Or any of the other games where you recreate life such as Second Life, I joined that to go to the Duran Duran Universe there and attend club night where the actual band members were online being the DJ. If you do or have let me know your experiences in comments and if you do a post showing off yours ping those links to me.

Telly Box Tuesday · Tuesday Reflections

Television Tuesday – Live From The RSC


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASomething a little different today, the show was actually a few weeks ago and I am also classing this as my film choice as well as I went to see it at the cinema, but as we have just celebrated the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare so after a couple of weeks to reflect I decided it was time to write a post.

I never studied Shakespeare at school, and I was lucky enough to come to know his work first not through the written text but by seeing acted out albeit on the screen rather than in person.  I believe that is where so many schools go wrong, they try to force children to read the words first and deny them the experience of seeing it live and acted out as it should be. Once you have seen Shakespeare performed it makes it so much easier to read and to understand the lilting quality required for the iambic pentameter. I am sure they will repeat it at some point or you will be able to buy a DVD but let’s start with the trailer.

It is of course fascinating to see how much the words of Shakespeare have pervaded through modern culture, phrases we use every day can be found within his plays, and of course each actor who treads the boards or stands before the cameras and performs those words put their own emphasis upon them, it is humorously shown in this clip, but it is worth considering how conventions are being challenged by the new versions created with women taking up male roles, and of course traditionally all roles were male as historically women were not on the stage when the plays were first produced, though maybe Dame Judi is a little old for playing Hamlet.

The final clip from the evening I leave for Catherine Tate, first known as a comic then for her role in Doctor Who she has also proved herself to be an exceptional actress


So on to the final clip for this section and it is not actually from the live night itself, but before I post it I want to just briefly discuss the experience of watching this in the cinema rather than on the TV at home, first I think it really did add an extra element for me on a personal level that I have been lucky enough to go there, the two photos I have used in this post were taken during the trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon for my daughters 21st birthday, but also the most overwhelming aspect of watching on a big screen was the sound. Every time the audience in the the are clapped it was like being there sitting in the audience but being the only one not clapping, the first time I did actually look round and double check that the people in the cinema were not actually joining in but no they weren’t.

I really would encourage people to try this option out if it is possible at their local cinema, there are several other plays they intend doing the live link to throughout the year as well as opera and ballet performances, it is a great way for those of us who live outside London to experience the best in theatre and live performance without it costing a fortune in travel and hotels.

And speaking of sound that brings me to this final clip, something I saw on FB the other day and decided would fit in well with this post and give people a very different idea of how Shakespeare would have sounded when first performed, personally would love to hear the balcony speech done in this accent, guessing might not sound quite as romantic when Juliet responds.


I found this video in the suggested list after watching a different youtube video, I confess the title drew me in but I kept watching for pure comic value…


So for this weeks song I am going to share a video and a link both by the same band, the lead singer of which is related to one of my friends, the band has just had a name change and under their new name of Bravado Cartel they are going from strength to strength. They are heading to the States as I post this for a brief tour before heading back to Blightly for a couple of festivals over the summer. I could not find the video for the song in the link which is raising funds to fight cancer so I shall share another of their songs and let you see them and then you also have the option to click the link and listen to the other song.

Telly Box Tuesday

Television Tuesday – Watching on I-player


Sometimes you catch a tiny bit of a programme and get frustrated you had not seen it advertised if you are in the UK and it is a BBC programme I-player can be a life saver. Sadly however I could not get any clips but this is the Radio Times link and UK viewers can get the programme links from their for a limited time span.

I loved this programme because it showed the behind the scenes process in a way you do not often get to see, there are many times when we hear about people getting away with terrible crimes and it is hard to understand why, therefore to see the other side of making those decisions the way they have to try to be impartial as they decide on charges and cases was fascinating.

In one a woman was assaulted by the boyfriend and the case is being dropped until she appeals, it turns out the reason was that witnesses did not want to get involved yet q few interviews later and things have changed and you cannot help wondering why the system failed. You can see a combination of factors in cases, witnesses, physical evidence, police reports, and see how these all go together to create the whole picture. Like in writing there is always a back story for every decision made, while we might not need to share them all sometimes it can be interesting to investigate a few.


I haven’t really watched any films as such this week, I have annoyed myself my misplacing the Game Of Thrones boxset of series 1-3 and the search for that could have made an epic movie by itself, and nope I have not found them so I know they are in a really safe place. I did intend to watch the new Bond film Spectre but that is still sat on my desk where the others should have been so hopefully by the time the A-Z challenge is over I will have watched that.


They played this as sort of an intro at the Kylie concert I attended I totally forgot about it until it showed up in the side bar as I searched for something else, I am classing this as the Youtube video rather than the song simply because it was part of a bigger experience than just the song, as you watch it I want you to imagine the DJ who was the warm up act has disappeared down into the stage, the lights are down. Then on two screens one at either side of the stage this appears and the concert begins…


After watching Boy George’s team on The Voice on Saturday night I ended up on Youtube watching lots of 80’s videos so I thought this week I would show a classic, I will also confess that in my naivety I the first time I ever saw Boy George on TV I was convinced he was far too beautiful to be a guy

I am also sharing and extra today and that is a friends new WordPress site where she will be doing book reviews, she will offer services fr both reviews and proofreading so please give her a follow, share and spread the love

Telly Box Tuesday

Television Tuesday – A Woman and a Van

I didn’t watch much TV the week before last but had recorded a few things so this week was a little bit of a catch up viewing week


The Oscars…

I was thrilled Leo finally won his Oscar but more than that I love the fact he took the opportunity to put across the serious message about climate change rather than just a gushing stream of thank yous. I mean of course he did that but he went that step further and spoke from the heart, mentioning the real experience he had in how far they had to travel to film in snow. I have not seen this film yet but I am really looking forward to it and hope that the human race can amend their ways before we reach this point but I am not optimistic. It did annoy me that the Oscars was shown on one of the movie channels limiting the number of people who had the option to watch it over here, technology did mean I did not have to sit up all night but I could only watch it as I have the movie and sports package (I get it for the rugby) but the other thing I do love is seeing the dresses, yes totally girly I know but it never fails to astound me that there are still celebs who obviously don’t have any real friends, I real friend would not let you go out looking a mess no matter what the designer or how expensive the dress!


I was in two minds whether to watch this I shall explain why in a minute…

It has been a while since I read this book and though I know I enjoyed it I cannot now remember all the details so when the film came out I had to decide do I want to watch it or reread the book first. I decided in the end to watch the  film first then reread the book, which I have just started today. I shall discuss more when I do the book review but I do recommend the film.


Now I know if you are here reading my blog you are not easily offended, but if you are of a more excitable nature you may wish to pop your hot beverage down before pressing play on the next video, Mina is an incredibly lovely friend, not only does she look fantastic but she actually arranges these Silken Burlesque Shows…

Now, you might wonder just how I can get from Mina’s nipple tassels to writing but actually a good striptease is like a good plot, you reveal everything slowly and in way which draws people in and tantalise them, and although at the end you might think all has been revealed, when you stop to think about things you see that actually just a little has been left for you to fill in your own blanks and maybe want a repeat performance.


A song performed at the Oscars

This is quite a hard video to watch but an important one, too many times stories of things being swept under the carpet or the victims getting the blame seem to pervade.

2. Tuesday · Telly Box Tuesday

Television Tuesday – Dark Comedy

Sorry I am late posting this but I forgot to hit schedule lol


So lets start off with something I watch every week when it is on…

I love the Voice because it is the Voice which determines the success not the look or marketability, I watch this while on the phone with my friend Debbie, we both sit in our respective homes and text back on forth numerous comments regarding our thoughts on performance, song choice and which judge they should go with, not all our texts would be suitable for a younger audience lol hence the reason we text rather than speak. This week was a battle round where they are supposed to go against each other but this to me was a perfect duet and I was gutted that they had to be split up, it would have been amazing had they formed a duet .


A comedy that begins with a suicide…

I remember watching this film when it first came out, well the first time it was shown on TV at any rate, I cannot believe it will actually be twenty years since this film was released in September, and though I cannot help but ponder the effect that technology would have on the formation of the club I hope that they never feel the need to remake it. The stars are each individually amazing, together they are outstanding and their chemistry is so good that I really cannot imagine another group of women being able to recreate it, plus lets face if few films give all the main roles to women past a certain age.


Something close to my heart…

I have contributed to a couple of crowdfunded projects and this is one of them am the producer Clare Eden is an amazing lady who I have become FB friends with, I have the beanie hat, sadly it does not suit me but I also have the signed Strangeness In Space art work you can see in the background, if you love quirky space/sci-fi adventures then check out the podcast, if you enjoy it (the episodes are free you can find them on i-tunes or at and consider joining us mirthlings.


This is also from the Voice but I will explain why in a minute…

I love this song, but it is one where I generally hate any attempt at a cover version, however this does work mainly because they both put their own twist on it and neither was trying to be an exact copy of Sinead. I am also going to share another song from the Voice because even though I love this record it is performed so differently that it took me a little way in to really click that it was this song, again taking something that has been done before and making if totally different and unique.

Telly Box Tuesday

Television Tuesday – Getting Back To Routine

I have been very hit and miss blogging so far this year, not the sort of habits I want to get into so this week I am making an active effort to get back into the swing or scheduling and posting regularly, so what have I been watching…

Television & Youtube

I am totally obsessed with watching this, to the point where I subscribe to the Youtube channel and watch the clips as well as recording both the US and UK versions on my TiVo box

I decided to count it for both as I do watch it both ways, who ever came up with this idea is brilliant after all we have all pranced around at some point singing into a hairbrush or other object pretending to be someone famous, now we get to watch celebs do it as well, there have been so many clips that I could have chosen but I decided to just share a couple of my favourites.


I have not watched any films this week so instead I am going to leave you with my top three tracks from the Oasis greatest hits album that I have been listening to this week, peobebly not the ones you might be expecting…

2. Tuesday · Telly Box Tuesday

Splitting the Audience


So we begin with something that seems to have divided viewers from the comments I have seen…

Personally I thoroughly enjoyed this but I can see where people who had not watched all the previous series struggled with it. The idea of him taking a Victorian case to act as a form of mind palace was inspired and my only complaint is damn that Moffat and I hold Mark Gatiss equally responsible that I might have to wait a while year for another episode. I appreciate it involves scheduling these big name stars together but come on boys you could have at least had it written by now instead of being about to just start work on it. I do enjoy the way they play with the modern and canon views of Holmes and the juxtaposition of other characters both as plot devices and reflections of the roles they would have been expected to maintain in the the Victorian era fascinating.  One bonus feature was the inclusion of a quick clip of The Woman aka Irene Adler and for those who are interested I had read a very interesting article you can find here speculating as to whether she could have in fact been based on a real person.


This week there is no film, I sat racking my brains trying to think of one I have watched this week but the truth is there hasn’t been one. However you still get a clip, this was on over Christmas and though I didn’t watch it I, like a while generation or two probably know the whole thing more or less word for word, when it was on a friend commented on Facebook just how amazing to think this film is now over 75 years old and it just goes to show you cannot reproduce true star quality, no matter how many remakes, reboots or spin offs they try to make only one person will ever truly be Dorothy.


I love these even when they are picking at songs I quite like lol


I love both the song and the video for this

Telly Box Tuesday

Christmas TV

I want you all to know I did start this post earlier then I decided to decorate my bathroom, am now exhausted but it looks cool just need to decide on a new shower curtain now as the old one looks a little grubby compared to the fresh gloss paint, so I shall keep this short and sweet…


It can only be one programme…

What can I say without spoiling it for those who have not seen it yet, typical Moffat! you are dragged at a fast pace through ever possible emotion going, bitter sweet at the end but WOW! And if you are prone to the *feels* get your tissues ready before you begin don’t be lulled by the caper that begins the show.


Okay technically not a film as it is 4 hours long and was made to be shown in two parts for TV but near enough

I love this, my kids love this and for me it is the perfect Christmas film, shed a few tears while watching when the monster asked if there would be more Discworld films and I had to say that I doubt it in my lifetime, and also knowing that the man himself would not be there to appear in cameo.


Okay I am changing the rules and adding in an extra category, it will be either a favourite or something new I have just heard that week, for this week instead of a Youtube video you get one of each first up my favourite ever Christmas song then second a new song I heard last week which impressed me so much I bought the album


And finally the WordPress pixies have produced their annual report…

Questioning the World · Tuesday Reflections

Moving Forward.

Okay so it is the time of year where everyone gets annoyingly lovey-dovey, it is also almost a year since I joined the ranks of singledom index2though hopefully with far more grace than Ms Jones.

While I am certainly not in a rush to get back out there in the dating world I have recently started considering what I am looking for in a future partner and I have realised that I am looking for a person who certainly does not exist. In fact I think of the spell made in Practical Magic to find the true love with a person who could never exist to stop Sandra Bullock’s character from ever falling in love.

So let’s examine my impossible man…

imagesLets start with looks, and yes as I say I fully accept not only am a shallow but I am also aiming way above my own level, and yes I know I am not quite hideous but I am no supermodel either so Brad Pitt is aiming high, but I am even fussier than that as I like the young pre-Angelina Brad, you know long hair Legends Of the Fall Brad, I would also accept Thelma and Louise Brad or Interview With a Vampire Brad but not Fight Club Brad.

I like my guys tall so over six foot is a must, and as well are in fantasy land here he of course will have the perfect body, not for me that is something like this,Awesome-Body-Of-Wade-Barrett think rugby player, wrestler, preferably with the tattoos. Actually any type of sportsman with muscles will do, as long as they stop before the veins pop out, that makes me feel a little queasy.

Right so far seems fairly simple, I need to find a sporty model who doesn’t mind a girl with plenty of curves, except this is where is gets really complicated, you see what I want mentally from a partner is not something that is as easy to match up. You see in many ways the things I am looking for in terms of personality and compatibility are far harder to find.

I need a guy who gets quotes like this without me having to explain it…


I want someone who understands this world without me needing to tell them about it…


I want I guys that will love me as much as this man loved his Elizabeth…


I want someone who has the brains and mental complexities of a genius…


And on top of all this he has to understand my kids will always come first, that he will find me sat at the computer at silly o’clock because I can’t sleep and so I am writing or chatting to friends on the other side of the world.  They need to understand when I sit staring off into space that sometimes it is better not to ask what I am thinking as the answer may be disturbing and involve a gruesome death.


Sometimes I think the only way I would ever find my perfect man is if I wrote him as a character, but then he would still not be perfect, after all perfection gets boring very quickly.

As I said at the start I am not seriously in a place right now to start a new relationship and maybe my wish list is indicative of that but should you have the phone number of a wrestling, geeky, sci-fi nerd then feel free to send it my way lol but until then I think the only men in life will be a monster and a timelord from Gallifrey and you know what I am okay with that.

Telly Box Tuesday

Television Tuesday – Wrestling Soaps


Okay before anyone starts I know it is not real!

But that being said, I love watching the wrestling, and this week marks 25 years of one particular character ‘The Undertaker’. I used to watch years ago but then there was a time I could not afford to pay for the sports channels, now as I get them for the rugby I have picked up watching wrestling again and I have to say I still love it. If you look at wrestling as a series sport then of course you will be disappointed but it is not the in ring action that really keeps it going, it is the writing, the story lines, rivalries and characters them selves.  If you consider the character of the Undertaker and allow one storyline per year (and in reality he may have two or three) and compare that to releasing a book each year, then there are very few series that keep going for that long and allow the main character to alternate between the good guy and the bad ass. Even more traditional forms of soap have very few characters that stay in a show for that long and have major plots on a regular basis.  If you want serious sport watch the Olympics if you want great entertainment then sometimes you have to just let yourself ignore the obvious short punches.



I have discussed this film before but have no idea what happened to that post it may have been as part of a challenge, it goes to show the importance of tags at a later date lol. The thing I love about this film as much as the film itself is the idea of a single second or action having the power to change your life opposed to the idea that fate will always bring you back to the same place.  Whenever there is a disaster there are always those people who just missed a plane, people who were running late cursing as the missed a bus or train only to later discover that it was actually a blessing. We have all driven past accidents knowing if we had been two minutes earlier we may have been in it. It is that idea of what if vs it was meant to be that I find fascinating, have you ever had a major life changing moment as a result of missing a bus or train?


Now I know Bunny can be a little annoying to some people but personally I love her quirkiness and that she encourages young girls to just be themselves and not worry about being ‘normal’, whatever that is supposed to be on any given day. I really like this series because we have all seen those products on TV that seem like they would be really cool, very occasionally we take the plunge and buy one, half the time we go on to be disappointed. I love that she really does put these products to the test, if someone tells her she has done it wrong she often does a second follow up video having tried viewer suggestions. She buys these products herself and has no qualms about telling it as it is, and inspires honesty, integrity and individuality as traits her viewers should value, plus the monster loves watching her as well.