Galdo’s Gift: The Boovie, Children’s eBook Trailer from Tapocketa Studio on Vimeo.

 

Galdo’s Gift is a beautifully animated and engaging ebook for “children aged 5-10 years old, and the young at heart!”. It’s full of sumptuous illustration, charm, wit and narrative magic. We’ve been very fortunate to get our eyes, hands and minds round this new digital gem! The ebook experience is a new one in our household and it went down really well with our two boys, both of whom are looking forward to the upcoming release.

Created by authors and illustrators, Trevor Young and Eleanor Long and narrated by Brian Murphy, Galdo’s Gift is scheduled for an early February release. The book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on Mac or iOS device. We’ve pre-ordered our copy and I’d urge you to do the same. You can also download a sample which hints at the magic to come!

As an aside, most schools have access to iPads (if not Macs) and I can imagine KS1&2 teachers being able to use Galdo’s Gift during World Book Day or any other focus on literacy such as the BBC’s 500 Words story-writing competition which returns 15th January for its eighth year.

Galdo’s Gift is expected to be released on 8th February, 2018. Further details here

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Galdo’s Gift Trailer from Tapocketa Studio on Vimeo.

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Nightrider London 2015 is only four days away. I’m ready. I feel in good shape and frame of mind – like heck! Nervousness, anxiety and numerous colourful, vibrant and startling dreams about missing the start of the event, it’s all a bit odd and peculiar in my head at the moment. One of the amusing scenarios being played out in my dreams is one where my parents are walking the Nightrider instead of me cycling the course. Then there’s my youngest son, JJ, dressed as a Jawa in a sandy gorge pointing towards a finish line. Naturally, I wake up startled feeling very confused. I know my father likes long walk and Star Wars is never too far from my thoughts, but ……..

If I hadn’t trained these last four months (thanks again to Nick Lomax) then I could understand why these dreams are prominent during moments of slumber. I put it down to the fact I’m a worrier. In my preparations for the half marathon a few years back my anxiety stemmed from not wanting to be out on the roads when they reopened. Now, I’m worrying about traffic, the suburbs, staying awake and other minor details like needing the toilet or getting lost. Amusing I know. That the event is now only four days away means two things, firstly bring it on (fist pumps and manly grunting) and secondly, four days of my bleating on about worries and peculiar dreams to the long suffering Mrs Q.

Smashing through my fundraising target of £750 (<< nudge nudge, donation link <<) will keep me quiet, focused and energised! I have put in a lot of training miles and not once shirked a hill nor got off the bike and walked (there have been some beauties recently). By donating you are supporting the truly inspiring and necessary anti-bullying work of the Songwriting Charity. You are also giving my confidence a big boost. You have my heartfelt thanks for both of these generous gestures.

I am a firm believer in reciprocity so if you are fundraising for a project or charity close to you or loved ones please let me know. It’s the very least I can do in return.

P.S. Even George is giving his Dad a helping hand and is out training with him on the Cambridgeshire busway. Nice one son!

On this occasion I am out with fellow Nightrider participant Nick Lomax. Nick, Fergus and I are three Girton Dads and along with one Girton mum and 16 other riders, we are taking on the Nightrider London; 100km or 62 miles around London starting at Lee Valley VeloPark or Crystal Palace Park. It’s at night, on the roads and with London’s late night revelers, city custodians, workers and night buses running while we cycle our hearts out. Taking in the major sights and climbs, this is going to be one hell of a night of cycling.

Nick has been a rock and is a magnificent coach (salute), a role he has accidentally assumed owing to the many questions I continue throw his way about this and that. All of us are raising funds to beat bullying through the Songwriting Charity’s brilliant songwriting in schools programme, Bully Beat. It’s an effective programme, a wonderful way for building confidence and self esteem, and really is valued by the children and schools who invite us in to work with them. I’m very proud of the work we do at the charity and I’m very proud of the way my friends have got stuck in and supported our efforts. Please, if you see this and/or know about what we do and like what you see and hear, get your wallet out and make a donation to our appeal.

Now, my ride is the damn fine BTWIN TriBan 500SE. And I have this terrific bike at my disposal courtesy of long-time and most brilliant Songwriting Charity supporter Itper The Education Recruiter and their very generous sponsorship of the bike’s purchase, thank you Tim, Diletta and the team!

Coupled with a discount applied by the awesome team at Decathlon Lakeside. The guys at Lakeside have been nothing short of epic in their help, and eagerness to participate in the event itself! Looks like our Nightrider team is complete! Thanks to Adrian Bordas Roldan, Cycling and Workshop Department Manager, Decathlon Lakeside.

RecklessKettle

William knows he’s at sea. He’s definitely in a boat, or is it a bed? Why are the stars disappearing and what will the Archbishop say? If only the women in his life would stop bickering long enough to help him find his way home.

Join Reckless Kettle on a magical voyage and an irreverant retelling of a very true story.

Filled with live music and song, puppetry and humour, this is a heartwarming show about relationships and coming to terms with life and death.

For anyone who’s ever had a parent.

Update* Thanks to everyone for sharing this post. The Songwriting Charity does indeed have two places remaining for anyone willing to raise some funds to help us get more Bully Beat workshops into schools. All we ask is you honour this commitment to raise a minimum of £175+ if you secure one of our spaces. All details are here on the charity’s website.

I honestly thought getting back on a bike and going cycling would be easy. My blog is called Frequently Wrong for a reason! Preparing for the Royal Parks Half Marathon was hard. And I secretly harboured a desire to take on the London Marathon even entering the ballot for a place this April. Thankfully I failed in this attempt to take on 26 miles of running. Known for  my inconsistency when it comes to personal fitness, I thought heck, that Nightrider sounds a laugh, I’ll do that.

Six weeks later I am yet to pull a truly impressive stint on the roads, managing to cycle only 48 miles spread over four outings, the most recent one being last Sunday’s 14.56 miles with fellow Nightrider debutant and Songwriting Charity  trustee, Sharon Hall (see picture above).

I have three reasons to be cheerful;

  1. I’m enjoying being out on the roads and totally get the reasons why people find cycling so addictive, cycling is liberating;
  2. I have been most fortunate to have secured my first road bike through a sponsorship arrangement with Songwriting Charity corporate partners Itper the Education Recruiter. Tim Miserdeghi, MD agreed to Itper sponsoring mine and Songwriting Charity CEO Nathan Timothy’s wheels. Courtesy of a generous discount offered by Decathlon Lakeside, we are proud owners of brand new TriBan 500 SE BTwins;
  3. And finally, I’ve never embraced challenges of this nature and this is my second in two years. Yes, I concede it isn’t like sailing round the world or jungle trekking, or running 26 miles. The thought of cycling at night on London’s roads, a distance of 62 miles in traffic does make me nervous and represents enough of a challenge for me. I have a considerable amount of preparation to do before I am fit enough for this event. Yet strangely, I am really excited about participating in the Nightrider.

My plan is to cycle at least 20-25 miles this week. And increase the distance and variety of the routes as the weeks roll on. That’s the plan………

Personal fitness is one motivator for this lunacy, but the prime motivator is to help raise funds for the charity I devote much of my time to, The Songwriting Charity. I hope you will consider supporting the work of the Songwriting Charity, specifically it’s highly effective Bully Beat programme by making a donation via my commission free fundraiser profile:

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/johnquinn3

See you all soon.

JQ

SWCharity

Thank you Jacqueline Kench for contributing this month’s guest blog about her experience with the Songwriting Charity.

“I’m a Primary School Music Teacher. There aren’t many of us around. I teach only music, in a large Primary School in Bracknell, Berkshire.

In recent months at school, children had been coming to me at lunchtimes having written their own songs. I am fortunate enough to have time each week with a small group of Gifted and Talented children, and had given them enough knowledge about chords for them to write their own songs. One song in particular stood out, and I met with the 9 year old girl who had composed it in a recording studio over the summer to get the track down. You can listen to it at https://soundcloud.com/jacqui-kench/summer-song . It was a fantastic experience for the girl, and gave me a real glimpse into how much children can…

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