The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Disney latest live action movie is one Bryony and myself have been looking forward to see we saw the trailer though neither of us knew the story though both knew was a ballet and a book but didn’t know the story itself.

I was hooked in the open scene when you fly down Westminster Bridge pass Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey to the home of Clara Stahlbaum where she was setting a Mouse Trap (think of the game) Mouse Trap for a mouse with Fritz (her younger brother). The movie is set on Christmas Eve though I think this is a film you can watch all year round and not specifically a Christmas Film  though I’m sure from next year it will be a regular Christmas film on TV. It has a star studded cast with Kiera Knightly as the Sugar Plum fairy, Morgan Freeman as Drosselmeyer and Helen Mirren as Mother Ginger to name a few but it is MacKenzie Foy as Clara that steals the show with Jayden Fowora-Knight as Phillip with the Ballet pieces done by Misty Copeland.

The film reminded me a lot of a couple of other Disney films, Alice in Wonderland and Santa Clause 3 in places with a young girl being transported to another world (or in this case Realm) and toy soldiers being brought to life as well as Naria in a way but these were all good things and helped make the movie.

I rate this and think would be in my top 10 Disney films after Beauty and the Beast and Pete’s Dragon and one I will watch again (maybe in the cinema again as might see if can see in 3D too).

This is worthy of 🎬🎬🎬🎬

Gym Wear

Whilst been working out and on my walks I’ve been thinking about the differences between the different makes of my gym clothing and how there vary and thought I’ll make a post about them, I’ve decided not to do trainers as it’s not only the makes but the models that vary and everyone’s feet are different and as I had a ruptured Achilles my gait is different too.


I have several makes of shirts, Adidas, Puma, Nike, Under Armour (UA), ASICS and an unbranded (Roly) one I got as part of a virtual run I did. They’re all say have moisture wicking material whether called dry fit or something else but all are designed for running, the Adidas and Puma tops are slightly heavier than the others and not as loose fit, ASICS top is also a tighter fit than the Nike, UA and the unbranded ones, the only difference between the 3 was that the UA doesn’t seem to snag and was a lot freer however whilst this is good in the gym it’s not necessary better when out for walks. I’ve not paid full price for any of the tops as tend to get what’s on sale but the best value top has to be the unbranded one as for £12 I got the top, a medal (for completing the challenge) and a gym towel, the only top I paid less for my the Puma ones which I do like as more vented at the back and wore in the summer when was hot. However my favourites are the UA ones as are light, comfortable and don’t stick when are hot and sweaty in the gym, my least favourite which surprised me are Adidas as I loved their clothes but these seem heavier and more suited to football than running.


Shorts I was fussy about as when a member of Fareham Leisure Centre the shorts needed to have a pocket for my keys but now at PureGym it doesn’t matter as I use the lockers more as are in the gym itself and now don’t take my phone in. The shorts I have are Puma, UA and Everlast as these where brands that did pockets and really the only difference is that the UA ones are longer and have a thicker waistband that the other 2 but honestly makes no difference, in the summer I wore the UA as causal wear as well as walks due to them having a deeper pocket and slightly longer length but for Gym it’s whatever I pick out of drawer first. The only thing I don’t like is the inner brief so avoid shorts with these nowadays.


Now this was the surprising section and tried several different brands. My feet are a weird size as small 7 (whilst I can fit in a 6.5 they pinch my heel more). I’ve tried Adidas, Puma, UA, Karrimor, More Miles, Umbro, Sub and Sundried. I tend to wear low ankle socks but not the no show type as they don’t rub against my scar and are not getting caught between heel of shoe and my heel to rub, which makes a difference between getting a blister or not too. Karrimor and UA are more softer and cushioned but they tend to wear more quickly than the others, Adidas and Puma I wear as causal as they didn’t really have a cushion but they do a more cushioned pair but are about £10 a pair. More Miles started well as well right length right amount of cushion but after a few washes became harder and lost there softness. SUB (Brand found on Amazon and have their running hat) are advertised to be compression too but not found this and at first thought I had purchased the wrong size as felt big when walking but were the right size and fitted well it’s just felt light so felt my foot move a bit more in show then normal, by end of 4 miles I actually got to like them so will see how I progress with these. Sundried also another Amazon brand are the most surprising as these though don’t seem like it are the best I’ve tried so far, support across the mid foot (which I need) a good fit (rare for me) and the most comfortable. Umbro very disappointing with these as became stretched quickly and worn after a few sessions.

The only item that I’m struggling to find something that’s comfortable is boxers/briefs as need something that’s cool, supportive, comfortable and doesn’t cause chaffing, UA 6 inch boxers has 3 out of 4 (the only boxers that don’t cause chaffing) as do Lapasa (another brand found on Amazon) Briefs however most I have found are not comfortable or cool which is annoying and not sure can justify spending £20 on a pair designed for running.

Tiffany – Pieces of Me

Back in 1980’s Tiffany was one of the Pop Princess after Madonna’s Pop Queen title along with Debbie Gibson (who I liked and still do), Kylie and Mariah Carey amongst others. They all still record and perform but on different levels, this month saw a new album from Tiffany called Pieces of Me. Having listened to her previous releases after her Hold An Old Friends Hans (her second album) and not rating them I was in mixed feelings about downloading it and listen but this is a very good album, it’s not sugary pop as her first two albums but it’s more pop then her previous albums and a grown up pop album, this to me would hold its head in today’s market but there is just too many female pop stars at present fighting over a shrinking market so I expect only her core of fans will get this or listen to it but I generally think this deserves to be heard more. Whilst a lot of new releases seem to have been rushed as don’t sound complete this feels like it’s taken time and is well put together. It doesn’t take you back to the 80’s as you would expect it stays modern and for an artist that’s been in the business for 30 years with its (and her) up and downs this is a good showing so I take my hat of to her.

Listen to it – 🎤🎤🎤

PureGym – Fareham

I recently left the Gym at Fareham Leisure Centre and joined PureGym in Fareham which opened last week, part of the reason was costs as the Leisure Centre is near double the full price of PureGym but at present over 3 times the introduction offer and also when it does increase I should be able to use my health insurance to get 50% off yearly membership and partly I needed to get my mojo back and thought a Gym that’s geared as a gym would be better. The Gym layout at PureGym is not as cramped as the Leisure Centre though machine wise probably about the same amount of machines though the cycle studio is a bit more cramped but during my class this didn’t feel an issue though I wasn’t full. The Free Weight area is a lot bigger and at the back of the gym so doesn’t affect those using Cardio or fixed weight machines as you have the Studio in between which is also a fair size and can be used when classes are not in session so gives more room to do stretches and resistance band workouts. I went Thursday for an induction thinking that we’ll get shown how to use the equipment and certain exercises to do as this what I’ve had previously, come Thursday I was early and met Alex who then asked the questions I expected and he then took me to the Flexibility/Resistance area and explained whilst Cardio machines like treadmills etc are good the best results for fitness/weight loss is getting all the muscles working as well as getting the heart rate up, fair enough I thought and liked the idea of being shown what to do. We started with a Slam ball, these are weight balls that don’t bounce and a bit softer than medicine balls, he showed me how to squat to pick up, raise above my head and then slam the ball down (hence the name) from above my head, this is when Alex (my instructor) started talking about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and got me doing 20 seconds on doing this quickly followed by 10 seconds rest, he explained that you would increase the time working as you progressed and got used to the exercise. We did this for 5 minutes before moving on to the Kettlebells, these I have at home and do some exercises with these but again Alex showed me different exercises which involved squats again and getting the kettlebell above my head, this time was 60 seconds of exercise and 10 seconds rest after 3 sets of this I was shown another kettlebell exercise and another 3 sets done before moving to the Skierge machine (only machine used) where you pull ropes (pulleys) down as you would ski poles if was skiing, again we started slowly before doing 30 seconds fast before 10 seconds rest, at this time we were joined by someone else for the induction so it wasn’t just me now. I managed to get a breather whilst Alex explained the machine before we had a couple more goes before returning to the Slam Balls, by now I was sweating like a pig and arms/shoulders were hurting. We then went back to The Kettlebell but whilst Alex got the other person doing the exercise I did he got me to do the same with dumbbells before moving on to the Battlerope, I had never used this before though had seen and thought it can’t be that hard but after 40 mins of exercise and having a sweaty palm this was torture, you have a stance like you’re sitting a bit and then crack the rope alternately, the rope is looped round a pole so it always goes back to the other hand and when you crack it quickly it really works your arms but it also kills your thighs which did surprise me, we then did a quick look at a couple of machines before the end of the session, this had been the hardest I’ve worked out for a long time and my legs/arms still hurt 3 days later though I also did a cycle class (same as Spin & RPM) on the Friday (day after) but this helped loosen the muscles before they started hurting again. The Cycle class was good though maybe not as good as it used to be at the Leisure Centre but I’m sure these will improve but it’s the same workout minus the chart hits (still has music as you need it). Before my cycle I used the treadmills to warm up and found these very pleasant and found them not having screening on helped you actually concentrate on your workout, this is another thing I like about PureGym there is not a lot of TV so less distractions so you workout more intensively. The instructors I’ve met have all been friendly and very helpful. I also like the open plan and some lockers being available in the gym which I think is good as keeps the floor clear of bags. I’m sure I’ll be back Monday/Tuesday once I get swelling back of knee down as aching muscles I can cope with but after rupturing my Achilles the swelling and pain with tendons and ligaments I’m more wary off. Overall I’ve been impressed by the Gym and at present will certainly be going regularly again and have book Cycle again for Friday, I also like they have several 6:30am classes during the week which the Leisure Centre only had the 1, I may not attend them but if I wake at 5am as I sometimes do I might do. The only issues I can see having is a couple of the classes are £2 extra though I might attend them (Yoga & Zumba) I don’t like the fact they’re extra, the second issue is it might bag hot in the summer as couldn’t see any air conditioning especially in the Cycle Studio and it is really a big warehouse. The last issue which I think will disappear in time is there is not a great deal of classes at present and no Pilates or the equivalent to Body Balance. At presents it’s £10.99 a month (until December) and I think a bargain for a Gym membership and worth doing. My aching joints prove that even a couple of sessions help.

Final Score

Final Score is the 4th Sky Cinema Original Film that is shown on Sky Cinema channel the same day as is released in selected cinemas. Starring Dave Bautista, Pierce Bronsan, Amit Shah and Lara Peake; a group of Terrorist hold a West Ham crowd hostage (though they’re not aware of this) during an European game whilst trying to locate the brother of one of the terrorist. An ex-army officer stubbles across them whilst taking her niece to the game.

You could say this is a British version of Die Hard or Under Siege but this is nowhere near as good as either, whilst this is a good idea in theory the idea of all this going on in a football stadium with 35,000 people inside without anyone noticing is too far fetch which even for me thinks it’s okay to exaggerate in movies to make it a fantasy but this was too much (and I like superhero and star wars films). It’s an okay to watch as on Sky but I wouldn’t go to the cinema to watch. I’m going to give it 2 stars only because it does have a lot of action in otherwise would’ve only really be a 1 star.


10KM Walk

After building up to it slowly by doing plenty of 5Ks and more recently walks between 7 and 8 Kilometres I finally did a 10K walk today (though it ended up as a 11K) and though it might not be the most I’ve ever walk it is the most post achilles rupture and the most since I’ve had to give up sport. As with most of my Solent Walks I was joined by Jason and it was good having someone to chat to during the walk though does tend to slow you done but as I keep quoting a saying I saw a “30 Minute Mile is the same distance as a 12 Minute Mile” and also as people often remark it is also Mile longer than someone who is sat doing nothing, it all adds up and not only have I noticed the difference in my physique due to this walks my Diabetes Nurse who I saw this morning also commented on it, I feel a lot fitter than I used to as well, when I first started I was just glad to walk the 5K in an hour and after today’s walk I actually felt (and still feel) better than I did after the first 5K.

I had planned the walk on Strava but fine tuned it this morning on Map My Run as I’m compare the apps to see what I find best and am finding it really annoying that some things only work with Strava and some with Map My Run and the Apple Watch Workout App doesn’t allow viewing via web so am currently stuck using the 3 apps. When I start Pure Gym the end of the month when the Fareham Gym opens (Hopefully) it is linked to Strava but not Map My Run, I have found Map My Run the better app for doing Routes on  the web so for planning but have had issues with using it on my Apple Watch where it started my Walk 13 miles away (When I did the last walk at home/work and do the next at the other) as the GPS was slow to update.

Anyway back to the 10K, I started at home and went to the far west of Fareham (Ranvilles Lane) before then going to the north of Fareham (Highlands/Kiln Road) before heading back into town before walking back home, the planned route was 10K but as often find when doing these routes these are rough estimates as sometimes the path going slightly longer than the road which I think these are based on and sometimes like today we do a slight detour as the path we take isn’t yet on any maps. I think this was the first time I have ever walked the whole length of Highlands Road in one go and have now planned to walk the Deviation Line walk as we walked past this and it has always fascinated me as until recently never knew much about it as when you drive past the Car Park it’s name never triggers anything and by the time you’re home you’ve forgotten about it. The walk we did has a climb for much of the first 5K with a small drop during this before you then walk downhill quite quickly before it then rising slightly again as we return back to the start, though the only real noticeable climb is right at the start during the first Kilometre and then between 2 and 3KM before then becomes just a steady climb which you don’t really notice. When I saw the time of just under 2 hours for the 11K I was at first a bit disappointed but after working it out at 3.54mph including having to wait to cross roads that’s pretty good going especially as the average walking pace is around 3-3.5mph and our splits where pretty much consistent which I always take as a good sign. I can now also claim my 10K medal.

Besides planning other different 10K routes to make sure my walks are varied I am going to try and do this walk at least once a month. So tomorrow we go North of the M27 to Knowle and Funtley which I have never walked to before, I just hope my trainers will be up to the terrain as I don’t have any trail shoes since most of my walks have been on tarmac so use my Adidas Cloudfoam trainers though tomorrow I will use my ASICS trainers that used to use for Gym (I have another pair of Cloudfoam for the gym now 💡).




The Happytime Murders

Being seeing the trailer for this for a while but never remembered the name until the posters/trailers started being played in the foyer at Whiteley’s Cineworld but one I had to see to see what it was like as grew up in the Muppets Era and have also seen the Avenue Q musical, this was billed as an Adult Muppets (like Avenue Q is) but to be honest I was disappointed with the film, yes there was some very funny parts but it lacked any real cohesion to keep the story going and the audience entertained. PI Phil Phillips is a Puppet and and ex-cop and the reason why Puppets are not allowed to be cops, Detective Edwards (Melissa McCarthy) is his ex-partner and when members of the Happytime Gang started getting killed they reunite though the FBI suspect Phillips as the killer and finally Phillips shots the killer to bury his demons and get’s his old job back as a cop.

As mentioned there is some funny scenes and stupid scenes that make you laugh (a Puppet Sex Shop where the first murder happens is an example) and you also get spoofs from other films (Basic Instinct cross leg scene) but these are too far apart and most of the film drag, it only really started to flow towards the end when Phillips was avoiding the FBI and then when Edwards helps him escape to catch the real killer, in fact the credit scenes where you see behind the scenes and how the puppets where moved was probably just as good as the majority of the film.

I don’t know whether I got my hopes up for the film as I hoped it would be a film equivalent to Avenue Q but this was nowhere near this but personally I would wait for this to come to Home Media to watch then recommend to see in the cinema.