January 22, 2017 by Amy Hansford
We’ve been watching Legend this evening. The pixie one, not the apocalyptic one, or the gangster one.
Bit dark, isn’t it?
Not really a kids film, but not really an adult’s film either.
Cracking prosthetics though, and genuinely frightening moments.
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January 20, 2017 by Amy Hansford
I missed my daily deadline last night due to a very welcome visit from my lovely friend Emma. Before I knew it, I was halfway through a bottle of champagne and, when paired with a naked kebab*, I was no longer able to coherently blog. So instead, we thoroughly enjoyed what I now know to be Spy In The Wild.
The key USP with this programme is that they have managed to capture very natural (and fascinating) behaviour from the animals by combining cameras and animatronics. Robot meerkats, sloths and orangutans have breen created and discretely placed in the wild where they interact with the ‘real’ animals, filming their behaviour and interacting with them. In one scene, the robo-orangutan saws a piece of wood in half; the real orangutan then copies its behaviour, even showing off and sawing whilst lieing down. It really is brilliant to watch!
Newsround did a little piece on it too.
It really is brilliant watching. Our cat Echo agreed too – she was quite intent on catching herself a meerkat. Spoilers: she didn’t.
Spy In The Wild is on BBC 1 on Thursdays at 8pm. You can also watch it here on iPlayer.
* A kebab without pitta bread
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January 18, 2017 by Amy Hansford
In early December, my colleagues and I were sent on a three day First Aid At Work course run by St John’s Ambulance. It was really, really, really good. I last went on the course back in 2009 which was mainly a woman in a tweed suit talking at us in a warm, dimly lit room for three days where I tried not to fall asleep. This was a whole word away – funny, interactive, loads of hands on stuff, practical applications, scenarios – really good.
If you are considering going on a first aid course at any level, I highly recommend the St John’s Ambulance team – they have loads on locations all over the UK and are, as I mentioned, really good.
As a result, I bought two first aid packs – one for each car – and am also the First Aider for my area at work now as well as the Fire Warden. My workplace have a good handle on health and safety generally, so they’ve given me a bumper first aid pack to be kept in my desk and have monthly meetings for all First Aiders (big site, big FA team) to keep us all up to date. Realistically, the most I’ll be doing will be applying plasters and occasionally dealing with minor burns (we do a lot of cooking but I’ve never had any incidents). But it’d good to know stuff, right?
Imagine my excitement when the Health & Safety Manager walked in to my office this afternoon brandishing my very own First Aider flag. Genuinely! I think it’s brilliant – I’m chuffed that I get to have it on my desk, and I think it’s a great idea that it’s so easy to quite literally flag down a First Aider when you need one.
Let’s hope no-one needs me!
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January 17, 2017 by Amy Hansford
Towards the end of the run of “Aladdin & The Lost Christmas”, John asked me an important question. Would I, Amy Hansford, officially co-direct the following year’s panto with him?
A simple question, you might think. But not so. It took some thought.
My instant thought was ‘yes, of course, yes! I want to direct and be a part of the best little panto in Milton Keynes!’. But I’ve learned over the past year that I have to interview both my heart AND my head when making decisions. So I took some time to think.
Heart: This is so cool! I’m honoured! I’ve loved doing a bit of directing this year and I want to do more!
Head: Hold up – this isn’t just saying yes to next year. This is committing further than that. You can’t just jump in, do a bit, then walk away.
Heart: I know, but I love panto! And I love being in a position to help make it even better!
Head: Granted. So you’re okay with the extra commitment?
Head: This isn’t just being at every rehearsal. This is joining the production team for the show, making decisions, judgements.
Heart: Yeah, I want that. I like being able to steer stuff!
Head: Being on the audition panel.
Heart: That’s cool!
Head: Is it? Having to tell some people yes and some people no?
Heart: Um… not that bit.
Head: No. Still okay with it?
Heart: … Yeah. Yeah, I can do that.
Head: Okay, so what about keeping the cast happy?
Heart: It’s pantoland, everyone’s happy!
Head: Not always – you need to listen to everyone. Sometimes you’ll need to make a decision that’s right for the show, but it might put noses out of joint. It’s a tightrope. You’re doing a million things in the background and in your head, people only see what’s happening on the surface.
Heart: You’re making this less fun.
Head: I’m being practical.
Heart: But what about the fun? And spending time with my friends, and being part of something meaningful? And being instrumental in something that is an actual part of the Christmas tradition for families?
Head: About that – do you really want that pressure?
Heart: Of having fun?
Head: Of not ruining Christmas. Of taking on arguably the most successful ‘amateur’ pantomime in Britain.
Head: Sells out in advance, raises large amounts for charity, keeps ticket prices low to ensure everyone has access to family entertainment, keeps subs low to ensure everyone has access to being in panto, amazing costumes and sets and lights and sound, bespoke music…
Heart: Alright alright alright. Yes, I want all those good things. And yes, I will take on all the bad things.
Head: What about the year after?
Head: What. About. The.
Heart: I heard you. Yes. The year after. And the year after that. I’ll take it. All of it.
And so I said yes.
Onwards to Oz…
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