Tag Archives: Mr Poppers Penguins

A great 2011 for A boy with Asperger’s

21 Dec

A boy with Asperger’s 2011

At the beginning of the year I wrote a two-part post covering all the stuff that had happened during 2010 (yes, seriously this took two post and most of it was nothing but bad happenings). So, looking back through 2011 and realising just what an amazing year’s blogging I’ve had, I just had to do it all again.

So here it is, the busiest year on the blog so far, A boy with Asperger’s 2011

January: Not the best month to be honest, we finally get that all important statement of special educational needs for Little man, only toilet paper would have been worth more. Nonetheless we fight to the depths of the earth and it’s amended later in the year and thankfully contains everything he needs thanks to those all important independent assessments & reports.

February: We finally get some good news, which I document in the post, “The end of a chapter” The mainstream school in-which Little man used to attend finally holds up their hands and we get that all important apology in writing, we therefore settle on the Disability discrimination case only weeks before the tribunal hearing. Another great high to February was the invite I received from Cadbury that saw me and a friend attend an excellent Adult only event (no not in that way) we actually tried to set world records doing normal household chores with a twist (making a bed, unravelling toilet rolls and more besides). This was also the month that I got to interview Colin an adult with Asperger’s who had a very interesting message for Mr Cameron.

March: This was a terrible month, the month that saw my eldest Little man (AKA, A boy with Aspergers) get punched in the stomach by a much older youth of eighteen, while playing at the park with a friend and his mother. Little man was just ten at the time and had said “The wrong thing” to a group of older kids, you can read the post “How could that hurt my little boy” for the full story. March was also the month I shared my concerns on the pending Green paper in the post “Aspirations or clever financial alterations

April: I’m contacted by the lovely Anna Kennedy in regards to her ‘Autism and bullying’ campaign, as a result of this little man appears in an ITV news report which I wrote about in the post “Little man’s television debut” which was perfect timing, what with it being autism awareness month. I also highlight how appearing on the television went to his head a little resulting in him asking everyone and anyone “Do you know who I am”

May: It was this month I wrote one of my favourite post to date “I’m no Vicky Pallord” I also discover that I’m nominated for a Mad blog award shortlisted in two categories, “Most inspiring blog” & “Blogger of the year”

June: Brings with it a fresh start for the Little man when the local LEA crave in before yet another tribunal, agreeing his place at his independent special school for children with autism and aspergers. This was also a really exciting month in the world of blogging, I was featured in two local papers, making front page news in “The Southlondon press” with the Headline “Mum sets blogging standard” & I was also featured in the “Newshopper” both highlighting the news that I had become a finalist in the Mad blog awards 2011. I also got to attend my first ever Cybermummy (blogging conference) and with it the blog received it’s first ever sponsor Londontown.com who paid for me to stay in a beautiful hotel on the night of the conference.

Nonetheless, although the above is all fabulously exciting, June was also a very emotional & overwhelming month, what with Little man adapting to his new routine and little sleep, it resulted in me writing this very open and honest post “falling apart

July: This was the month I started the Santa’s little helpers feature resulting in me working with some pretty spectacular brands, we were also invited to the multimedia screening of Mr Poppers penguins in London’s , Leicester Square. Alice-Sara brings her friend who are both  excited by the odd celeb spot. In the middle of the month me and the children attend the Pandemonium festival in Northampton to celebrate the release of kung-fo panda 2 as VIP guest of Cadbury. The children get to test the new mini games, Harley becomes obsessed by the panda himself and we eat lunch next to the ambassador of china (Yer, I was praying that Little man didn’t treat the guy and his family to a demonstration of a meltdown, “Asperger’s style”)! Myself and Harley my youngest also attended the Boots bump to Baby event in London’s beautiful Haymarket hotel where Harley took a shine to the lovely Rachel Stevens and the boots clothing range (from the pic below who would think his only 18 months here). July is also the month I treat readers to an up-date on the amazing progress Little man is making at his new school.

August: A busy yet crazy month as I celebrate the publishing of my three page article in the SEN publication (please check it out by clicking HERE if you haven’t already). Myself, youngest Harley, sister and her daughter get invited to the tots event of the year, “The lollibob” where we go VIP and the kids have a blast meeting the likes of Bob the builder, Peppa pig and Ben and Holly from the Little Kingdom.

August was also the month that saw chaos unfold in the devastating London riots. I organised a Lewisham riot cleanup on twitter with the use of the hash tag #lewishamriotclean and from then on everything went a little mad, what with being interviewed for the BBC breakfast show by Gabby in the back of a taxi on the way to Lewisham following a sleepless night due to the sounds of rioters looting the supermarket directly across the road. Then as myself and Little man (yes, he cleaned Lewisham too) stood in Lewisham with a dust pan and brush waiting for fellow locals who I’d rounded up with the help of social media to join us, I’m shocked to discover the BBC are there to greet us. Yes, they interviewed me and followed my progress throughout the day, I later cringed watching myself on the 6pm news, in a report that seemed to go on for ever. My use of the quote “Lewisham is cleaner than usual” following the councils own operation seem to be something of a hit and spread across the papers and internet like wide fire! The images of Little man clearing up outside JD Sports still melt my heart and make me mighty proud.

 

August saw us working with some great brands, Micro Scooter & Meccano to name just a few. Little man also has great fun testing sensory toys this month and I try to raise awareness for child mental health by opening up and writing “Just a Little girl

September: This is a month that holds some great memories for me, not only did myself and some of the other Mad blog award finalist find ourselves invited to TKMaxx London’s flagship store to choose evening dresses and accessories for the for the Mad blog awards ceremony but I also went on to win ‘Most inspiring blog 2011’ at the awards itself, which was held at the fabulous Talk-Talk experience centre in London’s Soho. Not only did I win, get to meet a host of other fab bloggers but I also experienced a great working relationship with my mad blog awards sponsor ‘OptiBac Probiotics‘.

With all the above going on I really don’t know how I managed to squash in one of my most popular post on the blog to date, “How well do you really know your child’s teacher

October: was a month that saw the blog working with some pretty big brands such as Sainsburys & Argos, I make two local papers again having been interviewed by the SouthLondon Press and the Newshopper on winning a Mad blog award! Little man takes over the blog, (well, kind of, he finally says how he feels in his first interview, for the blog) where he talks about his Asperger’s, discrimination, bullying, feeling different and acceptance, click Here to read.

November: I’m delighted to become a judge at the BBC Christmas ideal home show for the face of Argos competition which was an amazing experience. I’m invited to lunch by Sainsbury’s at the BBC NEC Winter food show where I also get to watch a live Master chef cook off, I have a great time and meet some awesome people at Liberty’s London when I attend a charity event and I also start working with the wonderful ‘John Crane’ and ‘When I was a kid’ check out the post ‘Joining Forces‘!

It was in November I wrote the post “Merlin’s Magical wand helping children benefit from the magic, well that is unless they have autism” which had 2,000 hits within a few hours and is the busiest post of 2011!

December: The last month of ‘Santa’s Little helpers’ I therefore launch the ‘Santa’s Little helpers, the big christmas countdown’ we feature loads of fantastic competitions with awesome prizes up for grabs. I also get invited onboard P&O ferries to take a trip from Dover to Calais alongside the lovely “Romanian mum where we shop till we drop, and to end such a fabulous year’s blogging, I’m lucky enough to be invited by the fabulous Tots100, to it’s big Christmas party at Butlin’s Bognor Regis where myself, friend and children get to stay in the beautiful Ocean hotel, though Little man finds the change a bit hard to bear.

Wow, there it is, what a year!

There’s been some massive ups and as you can expect one or two downs (what do you expect, this isn’t a fairy tale you know!) But you have to admit, it’s a massive improvement from 2010 that sadly along with 2009 saw much stress and heartache, which just proves, you never know what’s lurking around the corner!

I really do hope that ‘A boy with Asperger’s’ has provide readers with smiles, laughs, entertainment, inspiration, awareness and more!

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all my amazing loyal readers
We love yer!

The Premiere of Mr Poppers Penguins

27 Jul

A few weeks back I was delighted to receive an invite from ‘Thinkjam’ to attend the premiere of, ‘Mr Poppers Penguins‘ starring funny man ‘Jim Carrey

 The Premiere was screened in London’s Leicester Square at the beautiful Empire on Saturday the 23rd July .

I went along to this early morning screening with my good friend Donna and my daughter who brought along her, (I quote) best friend in the whole wide world! 

 I decided it would be find, and likely best if my daughter had her friend stay over at ours on the Friday night, and both could be heard chatting in an extremely excited manner about the coming events of the following day. I had decided that it would possibly be to too much for Little man to contend with, given his hate of crowds, his dislike towards his little sister (So, not joking) and his reluctance to walk around London (Yes I wanted to hit the shops after the film) I decided It would be best that he remained behind with his Little Bro who both spent the day with their father.

 (However, It’s not all doom and gloom! The ODEON will be screening, ‘Mr Poppers Penguins’ as part of its, ‘ Special autism friendly screenings’ which I will elaborate on a little further on) 

 We arrived a little after nine to a stunningly decorated foyer, filled with many delights  for little excited children. both my daughter and her friend demonstrated their joy by whirling around and giggling excitedly. Face painting, ballooning modelling, and pictures were just some of what was on offer. There was food and drink and a host of Celebes plotting about. I turned around at one point to find that Ophelia Lovibond who plays pippi in the film, was having her picture taken behind me. ” Gosh, Little old me mixing with the stars! Whatever next?” Said with a cheeky smile and a bit of a giggle.

 So… The Film, “Mr Poppers Penguins what’s it’s all about and is it worth a trip to the Cinema during this years summer holiday?

 Title: Mr Poppers penguins

Director: S. Waters 

Release date: 5th August 2011

Genre: Family, Comedy

Rated: PG

Running time: 1 Hr 34 mins

The plot: The life of a businessman, ‘Tom Popper’ (Jim Carrey) is turned upside down when he inherits an unusual gift from his late father, an explorer who had little time for his son when growing up. The unusual gift of six penguins join Tom Popper at his swanky Manhattan apartment, work commitments begin to suffer and his charming and devoted personal assistant, ‘Pippi’ (Ophelia Lovibond) who has a fondness for the letter ‘P’ can be seen desperately trying to keep both Mr Poppers work affairs and penguins in order. 

At first Tom popper frantically tries to get rid of his new flat mates, who he later names, Captain, Stinky, Loudly, Nimrod, Bitey and Lovely. Well, that’s up in-till his son ‘Billy’ (Maxwell Perry Cotton) catches a glimpse of the little cute waddling six, mistaking them as a birthday gift.

 

The Penguins play a vital role in bringing divorced parents Tom and Amanda Popper (Cala Gugino) back together much to the delight of their Children Billy, and that of over hormonal teenage daughter ‘Janie’ (Madeline Carroll) who’s having a boy crisis!

But this isn’t before Mr Poppers has turned his apartment into a snowy ‘Winter Wonderland’ and become a father all over again when six penguins become eight.

All the time his business is going down the pan, what with him failing to close the deal and buy out, ‘Mrs Van Gundy’ (Angela Lansbury, better known in the UK for, ‘Murder she wrote’) an equally tough business woman who shows no signs of selling the restaurant he and his father would visit during his childhood, sees him get fired from his well respected position in his high flying job. 

Like most movies aimed at a young audience, there’s a bad guy. The Zoo director, ‘Nat Jones’ (Clark Gregg) is that guy. He has a sinister plan to get his dirty mitts on the Antarctic penguins by posing as somebody who actually gives a dam about the penguins welfare! There’s a touching scene that sees Tom Popper waiting anxiously for the third egg to hatch, “Penguin number nine” that sadly never gets to see life beyond its shell! With this, Tom hands over the remaining eight penguins and tries to convert himself back into the “workaholic” he once was, much to the disappointment of his ex-wife and two children. 

Releasing his mistake and families unhappiness, the whole Popper family gang, along with personal assistant ‘Pippi’ set out on a rescue mission to reclaim the penguins, which leads to ‘Captain’ (The first of Mr Poppers penguins) flying from the roof of the zoo and into the sun roof of the waiting get away car! (Yes, I know Penguins, they don’t fly! Trust me this one certainly does!) 

With lots of very loud squawking and, umm, Yes… Farting, beside a truck load

 of Penguin poop the film had most the audience holding their sides.

Our Thoughts 

My daughter and her friend are both 8 years of age and sat though the film with no problems except for the trip to the loo that needed to be made only five minutes into the start of the film, (Kids)!

I asked both my daughter and her friend what they thought of the film! Both gave the same answer, “It was sick” Translation from Mum… I think you’ll find that actually means, “It was great, good, wicked, fantastic… take your pick!” Both also stated how they found the penguins both cute but equally funny.

My daughter, ‘Alice Sara’ shared her favourite scenes as being… The flooding bathroom scene that resulted in a floating penguin; the cute choreographed dancing scene, that saw Nimrod fall over, ‘YET AGAIN’ lastly the touching scenes where Tom Popper lies in the snow with the egg.

Her friend was equally impressed with the above (proving why these little girls are best friends) she also throw in the scene where Captain flies from the roof and into the sunroof of the waiting car, during the rescue mission form the Zoo.

My friend who is of course a grown up like me (no sarcasm please) shared her thoughts on the film as being that of enjoyment, yet a little confusion as to some of the points that made up the film. She made an interesting comment, by stating that some parts of the story line tended to become a little overloaded and were not really unneeded, stating that at times there was just a little bit to much going on. Still, like myself she giggled along to the film and at times even demonstrated a laugh out loud moment, as did 99% of the audience. 

I, myself found it a good family film that has enough laughter to hold an audience for the 1 Hr and 34 minutes it was screened. It made a welcome change from your, “Tipcally” cute talking puppy (that I’ve seen my fair share off thanks to that of my daughter)! Jim Carrey was fantastic, though I’ve seen this guy in funnier, ‘Liar, Liar’ being one example! Yet this film showed a somewhat softer side to Mr Funny and I liked that! When I told my daughter that Mr Poppers was in fact the same actor who played, ‘The Grinch’ & the ‘Mask’ she struggled to believe me, (though that could have something to do with him NOT having a green face for this title)! 

Though at times I found the story line to be somewhat predictable, my daughter didn’t and that to me was all that mattered. I must admit, what really made it something for me was that these penguins were the real deal! Yes, these were very cleverly trained penguins with some scenes featuring both the penguins & a combination of clever CGI (computer generated imagery) I think this was done in such a skilful way it was hard to work out which bits were actually CGI and which wasn’t. (Ok, all with the exception of the very loud opened mouth squawking shots!) It was easy to see why all the children in the audience, including that of my daughter and her friend, rolled about in their seats laughing loudly to the pooping and farting scenes… It was funny stuff especially to a couple of eight year old girls who couldn’t get enough of it! 

‘Pippi’ the assistant, played by, ‘Ophelia Lucy Lovibond’ was a pleasure to watch, as  was that of Mrs Van Gundy (Angela Lansbury) both Uk actress. Sadly I didn’t have a clue as to who Carla Gugino (Amanda Poppers) actually was having not seen her in any previous films (I know, This mum don’t get out much)! Jim Carrey, as mentioned wasn’t at his funniest but played a good part all the same

So, If you like Carrey, penguins and lots of penguin poop then this is the film for you! Some very funny scenes and cute penguin moments, you may even shed a tear or two when watching the precious moment between Carrey and the un-hatched penguin egg.

Would I add it to the DVD collection that’s already greatly over following?

Yes, I would!

Mr Poppers Penguins will be realised in Cinemas nation-wide from the

5th August 2011

I will be watching Mr Poppers penguins for the second time with my eldest son, aka Little man who has a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome.

Dimensions and ODEON have come together to bring us  ‘Mr Poppers Penguins autism friendly screening’ which is taking place at a number of ODEON cinemas across the country on Thursday 11th August 2011

There are 30+ cinemas involved in the screening and a full list can be found, ‘HERE’

What makes the screening autism friendly?

The lights will be on low

The volume reduced

You’ll be able to bring your own food and drink

You’ll be able to move around the cinema freely without having to worry about upsetting other public viewers

Tickets go on sale August 2nd and can either be purchased in the usual way form cinemas in your local area or online through the ODEON website “Here”

Support workers and carers go free with a valid CEA card. to find out more or apply click, “HERE”

Depending on the turn out and success within all 30 participating cinemas of the pilot screening of ‘Mr Poppers Penguins’ on the 11th August  will determined whether the green light will be given for other upcoming films in the near further.

We are going to our local ODEON to watch this great film while showing our support for this fantastic & much welcomed idea. Why should children miss out due to autism? If you ask me this is something all cinemas should have been providing for a long time.

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