The Burrow

The first time I went to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour was in 2015, just after they had added the Hogwarts Express and Kings Cross set to the tour. At the end of November 2019 we made a return visit, mainly to see how different it was dressed for Christmas and with snow.

As you can see not too much Christmas stuff in the Weasley’s home The Burrow. I think that may have been a real opportunity.

The Weasleys’ home, known as the Burrow, is located outside the village of Ottery St Catchpole,. The Burrow was used as the Order of the Phoenix’s headquarters, due to the compromised Fidelius Charm placed on 12 Grimmauld Place, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows until it lost its given protection. The Weasley house has seven floors. It is also quite dilapidated, managing to remain standing only by magic. Despite the house’s rundown appearance, Harry remarks on his first visit that it was the best house he had ever been in and it becomes his second favourite place in the world (after Hogwarts). The well-hidden orchard nearby doubles as a Quidditch pitch for the Weasley boys and Ginny Weasley. A multitude of garden gnomes infests the garden of the Burrow. There is also a small hangar located there that Arthur Weasley uses as a workshop to tinker with muggle items that he brings home (much to Mrs. Weasley’s chagrin).

Carol Singer #366photos2020

Carol Singer #366photos2020 #366photos

This is one of a set of resin carol singer tree decorations. We bought these tree decorations over ten years ago from a now defunct Christmas shop in Weston-super-Mare and we have never seen them ever again in any other retail outlet. No idea who manufactured them or if they are still available.

Santa Kiwi #366photos2020

Santa Kiwi

As it is not yet twelfth night, our decorations are still up. This tree decoration of a festive Kiwi was a souvenir from a trip to New Zealand ten years ago. I bought a few and they still adorn our tree every year.

I have done a photo a day before in 2012, 2014and 2016. I did try in 2018 but i has a few technical issues so stopped after a few weeks. This year I am trying again. The photos will be posted to Instagram and then I will blog the photo too. Hopefully with more detail.

Three #366photos2020

Three

I have done a photo a day before in 2012, 2014and 2016. I did try in 2018 but i has a few technical issues so stopped after a few weeks.

This year I am trying again. The photos will be posted to Instagram and then I will blog the photo too. Hopefully with more detail.

This metal three was seen in Uphill where our local scout group was undertaking an easy New Year stroll.

My top ten tweets of 2019

GWR HSTLast year I posted my top ten tweets for 2018 and I did the same in 2017 and 2016 which was interesting to see which tweets of mine were popular.

The top tweet back in 2016 was this one for #WednesdayWisdom

Whilst top tweet for 2017 was this one from the 2017 ALT Conference and it was my sketchnote of Bonnie Stewart’s keynote on openness.

The top tweet back in 2018 was this one about the newly revamped WHSmith at Bristol Temple Meads complete with storage cage!

So in 2019, my tenth most popular tweet was this one about my son appearing on BBC Points West whilst working at Bristol Temple Meads as a GWR Apprentice.

In ninth place was a nostalgic tweet about a steam train visiting Weston-super-Mare ten years ago in July.

I did tweet a lot about the past this year, and will do less of it next year.

At number eight was a tweet about the phrase “digital detox” which gets bandied about a lot when people feel they need to take a break from services such as Twitter. If you feel you need to take a break, you probably do, but is it necessary to tell everyone about it?

Seventh was about about an incident at Oxford Circus. The tweet was picked up by some news outlets and my photo appeared on a news website.

The sixth tweet was about WHSmith in Bristol being covered in plastic last February.

I did find this reply amusing….

The reason was less worrying, it was because they were putting the Post Office into WHSmith.

The tweet at number five was one about  great women in edtech from March for International Women’s Day.

Fourth was another nostalgic tweet about the #140conf Twitter Conference  I attended in 2009 and was on a panel session with some great people.

And now the top three, with the third tweet was an early morning tweet celebrating that GWR were now using old HSTs as commuter trains, so we had more seats and faster trains.

At number two was a tweet about the revamped WHSmith in Weston-super-Mare.

So the most popular tweet of 2019 was this one about keeping the old Twitter.

So what does this tell us? Very little.

Stuff: Top Ten Blog Posts 2019

Bristol HarboursideOver the last twelve months I have posted 68 blog posts to the blog. This is less than in 2018 when I published 89 posts. However most of the 89 posts in 2018 were from the Gromit Unleashed 2 trail across Bristol. I did post 24 televisual advent calendar posts in 2019 so this boosted the total.

Most of the top ten posts are nostalgic posts about Bristol in the 1990s…

There are in reverse order starting off with the tenth most popular post on the blog.

Remembering the Bristol Temple Way Flyover

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Five

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Six

Changes at the railway station

“the cafe on tv at weston super mare is it real”

Cinematic Advent Calendar #05 – Leon

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Four

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Three

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

Potions Classroom

The first time I went to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour was in 2015, just after they had added the Hogwarts Express and Kings Cross set to the tour. At the end of November 2019 we made a return visit, mainly to see how different it was dressed for Christmas and with snow.

The Potions Classroom, though a magnificent piece of film set design and full of amazing props, didn’t have a festive theme….

The Trial of Christine Keeler in Bristol

If you are watching The Trial of Christine Keeler you may recognise some scenes which were shot on Broad Street in Bristol. This is a screen grab of tonight’s broadcast.

The Trial of Christine Keeler in Bristol
BBC’s The Trial of Christine Keeler

You can see three old cars and this is the view down towards the Church of St John the Baptist on Christmas Street.

Here is another screen grab of Broad Street at night.

BBC's The Trial of Christine Keeler
BBC’s The Trial of Christine Keeler

As it happens back in January 2019 I was walking around the area on my lunch break so I took a few photographs of the filming.

BBC Filming The Trial of Christine Keeler
BBC Filming The Trial of Christine Keeler
BBC Filming The Trial of Christine Keeler
BBC Filming The Trial of Christine Keeler

I was impressed with the number of 1960s cars they had used to dress the street.

Televisual Advent Calendar #24 – Friends

We were on a break…..

friends logo

This is my 2019 Televisual Advent Calendar. I did a musical version in 2011 and a cinematic one in 2012. It is in no particular order and I make no apologies for the TV series that I am blogging about. These TV series have either made me think, I have enjoyed or have had some impact on me. These are scripted TV series, some are drama, some are comedy, some are both. I found it really hard to narrow this down to just 24.

The last in this series is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary that year, and that series is Friends. Though I have posted in no particular order I was tempted to have 24 as my 24th entry, however I realised that I only ever made it through the first season of 24 and then stopped watching it. So this entry is not about 24, but about Friends.

Friends

Friends was a comedy series which started in 1994 and went on for ten seasons.

I am the same age as the Friends characters, and I certainly empathised with their challenges and issues, though I never lived in New York. I was never a Joey, but could certainly identify with Chandler.

Chandler Bing

Another reason I guess I like this series, as with Fraiser, is that there is a fair amount of time where the action takes place in a coffee shop, this was in a time before coffee shops became the staple of the UK high street. I think there was an yearning to have a local coffee shop like Central Perk, even if you didn’t want Gunther to be the manager! I remember when they opened a version of Central Perk in London, going out of my way to have a look (and hopefully a coffee) alas, the queue was horrendous so I never even got into the place to have a coffee and sit on *that* couch.

I think after Friends finished, I stopped watching as many American comedies that I had before. It was like they were all trying to be Friends, but were nothing like it. I think that’s the reason I didn’t even look at or attempt The Big Bang Theory, as it felt like a nerdy version of Friends, and I didn’t see how it could even come close. Of course The Big Bang Theory is nothing like Friends, and was never trying to be Friends, and I think the passage of time helped too. So when I came around to watching The Big Bang Theory, my affinity for Friends had passed.

Friends

I have been amused by my eldest son (and his friends) discovering Friends for the first time, now the whole series is on Netflix. They really seem to enjoy it and seeing all the Friends merchandise in shops such as Primark, shows how popular it is.

So there we have it, that’s my televisual advent calendar for this year. It was hard to narrow down the list to just twenty four, but I am pleased with those I have chosen. I could certainly have done another twenty four…. hmmm maybe next year!

Get Friends on Blu-Ray.
Get Friends on DVD.
Get Friends on Amazon Video.
Get Friends on iTunes.