The Diamond Jubilee – Public Celebrations

May 31, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This weekend will see communities come together to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Listed are some of the public events that have been organised to help get families into the spirit of the Diamond Jubilee. They all sound like great fun and are hassle free alternatives to a street party.

Battersea Park Festival in South London is hosting one of the most anticipated Diamond Jubilee festivals on Sunday 3rd June. The retro themed festival will celebrate all things British focusing particularly on the past 60 years.

Battersea Park Jubilee Festival

Battersea Park Jubilee Festival

Battersea’s festival has all the regular features of a festival; live music and entertainment but also includes quirky twists. A classic car boot sale, a village fete and demonstrations from The Women’s Institute plus dance lessons, craft shows and a sing-a-long in pop up pub ‘The Diamond Geezer’.

The event is set to be a real knee’s up. Even better festival goers will also be able to see the Thames River Pageant from Battersea Park- click for more information. 

Hyde Park Jubilee Family Festival by Sainsbury’s is the perfect family day out over the Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend. The festival, which is open on both the 2nd and 3rd June, will be presented by Myleen Klass and Jon Culshaw with family friendly performances from the Disney Orchestra, Strictly Come Dancing and Warhorse.

Jubilee Family Festival in Hyde Park

Jubilee Family Festival in Hyde Park

Hyde Park’s family festival is spilt into four stages; Main Stage (perfect for the whole family), Kids Zone, Commonwealth Stage and Parade Ground. Across those area will be performances to suit the audience and honour the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. I’d personally like to watch Commonwealth dance performance live on stage and get a feel for the different cultures from countries within the Commonwealth as it’s an area of the monarchy that the Queen is incredibly passionate about.

For more information about the event including performers, event information and ticket purchasing visit Sainsbury’s Jubilee Family Festival website.

BBC Big Screens will be screening Diamond Jubilee events in cities across the country free of charge for everyone to enjoy. So if you’re in cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Edinburgh, Swansea or Cardiff go along to a BBC Big Screen and soak up the atmosphere of your entire city enjoying the Diamond Jubilee.

Big Screen Jubille

Watch the Diamond Jubilee with your entire city on BBC Big Screens

Watching via BBC Big Screens are great if you live in an inner city area and don’t have the space or access to host a street/garden party. And if the Royal Wedding is anything to go by I’m sure thousands of city goers will flock to the Big Screens to see the Diamond Jubilee celebrations unfold.

I’d recommend taking a picnic of goodies if you’re planning on staying for an entire day so that you don’t miss any of the jubilee celebrations- click for full listing of cities with BBC Big Screens covering the Diamond Jubilee.

An easy guide to throwing a Diamond Jubilee street party

May 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Street parties are the perfect way to bring entire communities together and this Diamond Jubilee weekend streets across the country will be lined with bunting and filled with party food for neighbours and friends to enjoy together.

If you want to organise your own Jubilee Street Party read my easy guide for hints, tips and advice.

people enjoying streey party

Get involved-

When I was growing up street parties were thrown for all royal occasions and they were an absolute ball. I’ve always found that the trick to the perfect party is getting everyone involved, even the children. Make a plan and draw up a list of things that need to be done for the big day then assign your neighbours specific tasks- this is a really efficient way of spreading cost, time and effort.

jubilee bunting

Food and Drink-

Food and drink are an essential part of a street party. For the Diamond Jubilee go all out with traditional British party food- Victoria Sponge cakes, sausage rolls, scotch eggs, trifle, finger sandwiches which can all be made from scratch. Work out which of your neighbours enjoy cooking and ask them all to bring something different. If no one volunteers to cook then order in from Sainsbury’s who are offering a Jubilee party food service.


Bunting is a must for a Diamond Jubilee street party so stock up on patriotic union jack bunting from supermarkets or pound shops. Ask a neighbour with a set of long ladders to hang bunting up sometime this week as it will set the mood for the weekend’s celebrations.

Other essential decorations are table clothes (ask neighbours to donate old table clothes which they don’t mind getting dirty), flags and crowns. Don’t be tempted to buy everything from the shops, save money by using the creativity of your grandchildren or young neighbours.  Encourage them to colour in flags and making bunting, this way everyone, even children have contributed to what will be a fantastic party!

jubilee bunting


Getting into the party spirit will ensure that everyone has a fantastic time so think up some party games which both adults and children will enjoy. Remember musical thrones from the Royal Wedding? It would work really well at a Diamond Jubilee party too.  And don’t forget a face painting station. Why not charge a pound and put the money toward the cost of the party.

Check regulations and alternatives-

If your street party means closing a road then ensure that you’ve got the go ahead from your local council. Getting the all clear does take around 4 weeks so if you’ve not asked your local council by now chances are you won’t get permission in time. If this is the case then think about alternatives. How about a garden party with your closest neighbours? Or using your local community centre for a bigger gathering?

Robin Gibb of Bee Gees dies aged 62

May 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Today we’ve arisen to the terribly sad news that Robin Gibb of Bee Gees has passed away aged 62 after a battle with cancer.

The singer songwriter who was famous for staring alongside his brothers Maurice and Barry in Bee Gees has been credited as being one of the ‘most important figures in British music’ for his long contribution to music and working on so many iconic records.

Robin Gibb 2010

Robin Gibb

Bee Gees were famous for their disco anthems in the 1970’s and many of their songs encompassed the time. I remember seeing the film Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta at the cinema in 1977 and was mesmerised by how infectious Bee Gees songs Stayin’ Alive and Night Fever were. Quite incredibly these songs are still instantly recognisable even today.

Along with writing and recording songs for his own band Robin Gibb also penned tracks for world famous artists including Dolly Parton, Diana Ross, Barbara Streisand, Tina Turner and Celine Dion over the years. Many believe that song writing was his most accomplished talent having written 23 number one records during his lifetime.

Bee Gees

Bee Gees- Robin, Barry and Maurice

Robin Gibb is an artist who I’m sure will be remembered fondly by the music world and general public alike- a very sad loss indeed.

St Patrick’s Day Party Food- Fruity Soda Bread & Irish Cheese

March 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Fruity Soda Bread-

Soda bread is traditional Irish grub perfect for St Patrick’s Day celebrations. Instead of serving plain soda bread treat your guests to a fruity version. Use any sort of dried fruit, a mix selection is usually a good option, and simply add it to the soda bread dough.

I like to serve my fruity soda bread with butter and or a sweet jam which is a good choice if you’re catering for children too.

Irish Cheese Board-

Whatever the occasion, a cheese board is undoubtedly the best way to end an evening of food and drink. For St Patrick’s Day I’ll be using a selection of Irish Chesses from my local deli “Brown and Green”, located in Trentham Gardens, as it specialises in all sorts of seasonal treats.

If like me you’re going for Irish cheeses I’d recommend using Coolea an Gouda style cheese, Adrahan which is soft with a rind and Coolea a traditional Gouda cheese; all Irish and all delicious.

Davy Jones of The Monkees dies aged 66

March 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Today brought sad news of another untimely death as Davy Jones of The Monkees passed away at his home in Florida yesterday aged only 66.

The only British member of The Monkees Davy Jones was adored for his cute looks and tongue and cheek personality back in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

Davy Jones

Davy Jones of The Monkees

Like many people I have very fond memories of gathering around the television set as a teenager to watch The Monkees TV show where Davy Jones and band mates Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael Nersmith would perform their now famous pop songs- Daydream Believer was a favourite of mine.

Cited as the ‘American Beetles’ the era of The Monkees was an fantastic time and I’m sure that many people will agree that Davy Jones played a huge role in entertaining young people across the world. A very sad loss indeed.

Golden Globes 2012 winners!

January 16, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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British TV and film did brilliantly well at last night’s Golden Globe Awards in Hollywood. Kate Winslet won ‘Best Actress’ for her role in TV series Mildred Pierce, Idris Elba won the actor equivalent for his role in the BBC TV series Luther. And unsurprisingly Downtown Abbey took home the gong for ‘Best Mini Series’.

Downton Abbey Golden Globes

It is fantastic to see British talent be awarded so richly- I’m over the moon for Downton Abbey as it’s one of my favourite shows. However, I was thrilled to hear that Christopher Plummer won ‘Best Supporting Actor’ after playing Hal, a father who reveals that he was gay after the death of his wife, in 2010 film ‘Beginners’.

Probably most famous as Captain Von Trapp in the Sound of Music, a film which has wonderfully captured so many generations, Christopher Plummer is now 82 years old and still at his best.

christopher plummer

Still working alongside some of the best actors in the world including Ewan McGregor and Daniel Craig, whom Christopher most recently worked with on the British film adaptation of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’. He is a continuing to add to his worthy collection of work despite his age.

It is fantastic to see an older person being acknowledged in an industry which is seemingly directed around youth and good looks. Huge congratulations to Christopher Plummer.

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