The Stars Were Aligned for a Century of New Beginnings. A post about art, and specifically artist Basim Magdy

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I don’t know much about art, ‘but,’ as someone once said, ‘I know what I like’. The classics aren’t really for me. I’ve visited the galleries of Florence, I’ve seen countless Madonnas and childs. I don’t feel much desire to see any more, thanks (yep, the pains of privilege etc.). I can appreciate – in a layman sort of way – that some of those paintings are exquisite, technically masterful. But do they make me feel anything, no? I guess as a faithless individual with – it would be fair to say – a suspicion and unease of organised religion, I’m not the target market. Continue reading


Doing the Circuits

Electricity, as I’ve mentioned before, is something of a problem for me.

It’s obviously brilliant, and pretty important to modern life and that, but I just don’t really understand it.

Recently, we bought our machine-obsessed son a kids circuit kit called Snap Circuits, and it turned out to not only be the introduction he needed into the world of electronics. It was what I needed too. Continue reading

Choose Life

Having kids is fun. It’s fun for loads of reasons. One of them is museums.

Adults can – and do – go to museums without children. There are perks to that. You can read the plaque thingies and take your time.

But museums with kids, especially museums for kids with kids, are the best. Often stuff you find exciting as an adult – a real human brain; a planetarium – become doubly exciting with kids – A REAL HUMAN BRAIN?! A PLANETARIUM!? – and you have to follow the enthusiasm. Continue reading

A trip to Eureka

First, some context. Eureka in Halifax is the ‘National Children’s Museum’. The hugely interactive museum (there’s very, very little that’s hidden in a glass case, and much of the stuff that is in cases you still interact with in other ways) is all about play and learning. The exhibits cover pretty much any interest a child may have – sound, how your body works, gardens, nature, playing shop (or post office or bank clerk), garages, and a whole house, with kitchens, bedrooms, attics and bathroom set up for play.

We liked the bathroom.


I’m not going to ‘review’ Eureka, because I don’t think that’s what this blog is about.

I am going to remark on what I find most remarkable about Eureka. Continue reading

Jealous of my own son

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It’s hardly a ground-breaking statement for a dad, but I love my kids, I want them to enjoy their lives, and  to find things that excite them. But sometimes – sometimes – I get jealous of them.

One of those times was when we first Leeds Young Film Festival earlier in the year, and got our hands on a Google Cardboard headset. That stuff is incredible, and I wish it could have been around when I was younger. Continue reading

A new understanding of what we mean by ‘art’

I have to start this post with a confession; I’ve never been what you’d call an ‘art lover’. There is some art that I love. Some. It tends to be the really ultra dramatic stuff. And by that I don’t mean expressing fearsome emotions or catching a moment of history. I mean stuff that is just physically big. The bigger the better. And ideally made of metal. And if it’s on canvas, it needs to be bright, bold, textured.

I am not a man who appreciates nuance when it comes to art. Continue reading