Central Tilba – Like Stepping Back in Time

Here’s one from the vault – so to speak…
Central Tilba and Tilba Tilba are two villages just off the main A1 Princes Highway in Eurobodalla Shire, not far from the coast in southern New South Wales. It lies about 350 km south of Sydney and just over 100km north of Eden. Central Tilba has a population of about 300 only,  while Tilba Tilba has just under 100.

The town (more like a village really) was settled during the gold rushes of the nineteenth century and the place retains the look and feel of that period. While close to National Parks and stunning coastline it is the town itself that is the attraction. There is a beauty and quaintness to the buildings that have been well preserved. It is one of those picture postcard settings that attracts tourist from all over. Central Tilba is probably less than 200 metres off the main A1 highway, but it is a whole world away.

The petrol station, General Store, and Post Office.

As soon as you enter the town there is a small B&B attached to the Emporium (general) store which also serves as a post office and petrol station. There are plenty of café and places to eat as well as artisan shops selling all kinds of exclusive designs.

One of the many Cafés in Tilba
Stepping back in time inside the ‘General Store’
Post Office side of the multi purpose building.

Anyone remember those old sweet shops?

If you have a real sweet tooth this shop is like a dream come true. Another one of those ‘stepping back in time’ moments. Remember those old sweet shops with high shelves filled with big jars of boiled sweets etc? I am old enough to remember the ‘traditional sweet shop’ but I don’t recall seeing anything as impressive as the display of sweet jars in this place. Where else do you see this array of sugary, tooth decaying “treats” these days?

There were plenty of names I can honestly say I had never heard even of. Plus a fair few I remember fondly. Zoom in on these photos and see if your old favourites are here.

These kind of sweets are definitely not for me now; but back when I was Dani’s age I would have eaten my fair share. It’s nostalgic. It’s colourful. It’s a dentist’s holiday fund generator. It is classic Central Tilba.

Bloody Cars. Why?

One thing that really pisses me off about these places is the traffic. Of course we drove there too, but I mean allowing the cars into the main streets of picturesque little places. And there is only one main street to speak of here. In the case of Central Tilba, the local town council (or whoever deals with such stuff) could easily make a car park or two outside of the village and simply block off the main street to traffic. Jeez! They do it all the time in bust cities creating chaos and worse traffic congestion. Surely it’s obvious what they need to do here – and other quaint and historical village centres.

As so often in places like this the parked cars spoil the views.
The village pub/hotel. Again partly obscured by cars

Remove the cars from the streets and you could feel as if you were lost in time in Central Tilba.

Shops, 1950s Diner and an old Cheese Factory 

You can walk the town’s main street in 10 minutes but with all the places to step into it is easy to spend hours. Especially if you take in a meal and a drink. As small as it is this place has everything you need if you intend to make a base for exploring the nearby Gulaga and Kooraban National Parks, as well as the fantastic coastline only a few kilometres away.

Inside the retro diner

The old cheese factory
As with all small towns in Australia many locals gave their lives in war.

Dani’s 8th Birthday Party

Today is Dani’s eighth birthday. We arranged a party in the park for a gang of boys from Dani’s school.

After school Dani got changed into something more suited for messing around and then we headed for a local park. The weather had been pretty shit all this week and the forecast for this afternoon was not good. But luckily it cleared up, almost on cue, this afternoon. Great! Which just goes to show that you can never trust the short term weather forecast.

Birthday boy was first to arrive…

We set up our stall on one of the picnic tables they always build in public parks here and waited for the guests to arrive. Soon enough there were  nineteen hyper active kids. Fortunately we had booked an entertainer. “The Commando”. Basically some young bloke dressed in camouflage pants. Hardly Full Metal Jacket or Apocalypse Now material but the youngsters immediately did what he told them. Within seconds they were lined up and standing to attention.

Squid-ish Games

Our Entertainer then organised them into a couple of games that viewers of the popular Korean (Netflix) series Squid Games will recognise. First was a game of Red Light-Green Light. Followed by a good old fashioned game of Tug-of-War. Neither game had the deadly endings of the Squid Games programme of course but by now the gang of boys were really into it.

Tug-o-War. That brought back memories… An old favourite.
Dani’s Tug-o-War team

Gun Battle (sort of)

This was followed by a bit of ‘army training’. Running around and climbing in other words. All leading up to what the boys knew was coming. A Nerf Gun battle. Kids around this age just love those Nerf Guns. With safety in mind the Commando guy dispensed protective glasses to each ‘soldier’ followed by their six shooter gun and ammunition. Then basically let them loose to run around and fire at each other. Not quite what I expected but the kids seemed happy enough. Apart from the occasional one who took offence at being shot point blank in the face. Ah well these things happen at children’s parties eh? It could be worse. Or so the saying goes… In fact it reminds me of when I was 8 years old (yes, I can still remember that far back). Boys being boys, minimum health & safety and pretend guns. Great!

Handing out the weapons!

Once they were off and running it was like herding cats trying to get them back together. Eventually most ran out of energy and willingly returned to the food and drinks table. A short while later the remaining shooters ran out of energy or just got a bit bored – it was hard to tell. By that time the Commando had had enough. He had served his time and as a last act of valour made sure that the kids were all gathered for the birthday song and a slice of cake.

A birthday song and the birthday cake
Restocking on worn out calories.

After Cake

For a fleeting moment it occurred to me that for what they charged maybe we should have had real guns. Our new buddy ‘The Commando’ guy had cost enough. Obviously that is not practical but you probably get my point. Then again, the Tug-of-War was worth half the price alone. Great fun.

Rejuvenated after chocolate birthday cake
Taking over the toddlers roundabout.

Then the boys decided to mess about making their own entertainment. And it was a mess. There were some stubborn stains that may never be washed out. But they all seemed to enjoy it. And surely that’s the whole point eh?

Exhausted (well us parents were) we returned home where Dani opened his many presents. He did well. Another year gone in the blink of an eye. His second birthday in the land down-under.

Dani with the presents he received today.

Remembrance Day 2021

Today is Remembrance Day. Initially the day was to observe the end of World War 1 and those who gave their lives in that conflict. Over the passing decades this day has also come to commemorate the fallen in World War 2 and all conflicts. In the USA this day is known as Veterans Day.

I decided to go and pay my respects to my grandparents (World War 2) generation and so headed to the local cenotaph situated in a nearby park. The same place I attended the Remembrance Day service last year.

I fully expected to be subjected to local politicians grandstanding and making comparisons of the sacrifices of the World War generations with those of the recent Covid lockdowns. That actually happened last year. I managed to bite my lip back then but was not sure I would be able to this year. So I arrived at the local cenotaph just a few minutes before the traditional 11am two minute silence. However, when I arrived the place was empty…

The local Cenotaph just before 11am today.

Then with just minutes to spare a guy stopped and took the same photo as me. I asked him why there was no service and he told me that they had moved it indoors because of the threat of rain. To one of the rooms in the adjacent sports centre. I made it just in time for the two minute silence and stood just outside the open doors.

That was followed by the acceptance of several wreaths of flowers from various members of the community and forces. There were a few more words from the person hosting the service and that was basically that. I missed the opening part of the service and so I have no idea what was said by any local politician. I was spared a bloody lip – or worse, being arrested for speaking up.

The event was attended by about 30 people in total. Several were part of the organising group from the council. Remembrance Day is not as big as ANZAC day in Australia but it is still good that they recognise and commemorate it.

8 Years Old Tomorrow

Tomorrow is my son’s 8th birthday and we have arranged an outdoor party for him. Unlike today’s Remembrance Day service there is no indoor venue to move to if it rains. And all the weather forecasts say it will. It could be a wet one…

From Maths Problems to Twister

Maths Homework

Dani has been getting a bit of pressure from his mum to solve some simple maths problems at home. His mum and I disagree on this one. I am not too bothered. I am sure he could do better but at the same time he is not falling way behind. And he is still only 8 years old (well, almost). He does seem to struggle with some things I thought he had mastered but I also think he probably does better in the classroom environment.

Maths is one of those things that most people think they struggle with but is really only a matter of being able to apply it. I can remember plenty of kids from my school days who thought they were hopeless at maths. But in reality they were simply not interested and couldn’t see how it applied to their lives. Whenever I saw some of these characters years later in a pub their mental arithmetic skills would impress any college professor. I am talking about gambling.

If you asked them what the odds were on certain horses and how much you could win for a given stake they worked it out in a split second. They would even calculate how much tax you would pay (in the days when that was a thing in betting). Not only single horse, single races. These lads (and they are always males by the way) could work out complex bets involving several races before I could start to think what to write down mathematically. It was because they loved it. Gambling like this had become a part of their life and they enjoyed it. Now I am not promoting gambling here. Far from it. But my point is that the appliance of maths problems depends very much on the individual person.

We are all capable (in my opinion) but some people just need to find that thing to trigger their interest. If you asked them to write down their calculations they probably still could not do it. Or it would take them a long time. They do it in their heads. Using their very own grey matter calculators. It’s horses for courses – no pun intended…

Left from Right?

That was a maths related tale from my own past. Here’s another example. This is the kind of thing I see first hand, right now. There is a kid, a little older than Dani, living near us who does after school lessons in computer programming. That’s a thing now believe it or not. Yet incredibly he does not know his right from left. How do I know this you may ask? Well, even if you didn’t ask I am going to tell you. Twister!

Yes that Twister. The famous game from way back in the 1966. That’s 54 years ago. That surprised me when I had to look it up. I guess I thought it was a 70s game…

Anyway, back to the story… I was doing the wheel spinning and shouting out the commands. Left foot on Green, Right hand on Red etc… I am sure you all know it. The kid I am referring to really struggled and had to be reminded several times which side was left and which was right. OK, granted, in the heat of an intense game of twister we can all forget our left from our right. Right? But in this case I do believe the kid had genuine difficulty.

Yet the same kid is quite happy to learn computer programming skills. And no doubt struggles with some basic arithmetic problems at school. It just shows that teaching is hard if the kids are not interested. But how do you get them interested? A school trip to the racetrack is not the ideal solution. Some field trip eh? But maybe something like that is needed.

Youtube Gamers & Maths?

Maybe something along the lines of those boring (in my opinion) youtube videos showing you how to do things in certain video games. I know that Dani will happily sit for hours watching one of those people talking (crap) about how best to play some video game. In a way they are teaching, and the kids lap it all up.

If these youtubers could mix in the basic mathematics skills with their Minecraft (or some other crap video game) chats. everyone would benefit. The kids would not get pestered to ‘get off the screen’, the parents would be happy their kids are learning something.

I am sure if kids had to earn things in those video games by solving maths problems they would soon learn how to do it.

The Many Saints of Newark – Film Review

The Many Saints of Newark is a new mafia-style movie set in the late 1960s and early 1970s and was marketed as a prequel to the HBO TV series The Sopranos.

The Sopranos was the yardstick by which all other TV/Netflix series were measured. It was the best thing ever – until Breaking Bad came along. And since then there has been nothing quite on the same level.

The Sopranos

The tv series ran between 1999 and 2007. Yes. That long ago. It spanned six seasons with 86 episodes in total. Each one averaging between 45 and 75 minutes. That’s (on average) 86 hours of film. That’s a bloody long story.

I remember watching a few episodes here and there on TV and could not get into it. People who were avid fans always told me the same thing: “You have to watch them all“. Eventually I did watch all of The Sopranos. Gorged on it more like, when it was made  available on DVD. And it is a really great TV series.

The main character Tony Soprano, was played by the late James Gandolfini. His real life son Michael Gandolfini plays the young Tony Soprano in this prequal movie and definitely looks a chip off the old block.

But here’s one of the biggest problems. Tony’s character is hardly in this movie. That marketing slogan and the taglines about it being a prequal to The Sopranos is at best misleading. At worst it’s a bit of a con. When Tony Soprano was in the movie it never went anywhere. Nothing happened that mattered and if anything his character could have been left out completely. You would hardly have noticed. The main story centres around Tony’s ‘uncle’ Dick Montesanti played by Alessandro Nivola. The character is the father of Christopher Montesanti from the TV series.

Plot? Or Plots?

The plot is disjointed and has too many subplots and scenes that seem to have no relevance. That’s because they don’t. It is a very cluttered story line. the characters do not develop at all and it leaves you feeling confused most of the time. Then when you think it is going nowhere (which it mostly is) there is a decent action scene that wakes you up. But then it slides back into going nowhere again just as quickly.

It just comes across as poorly thought out and could have been better written. Clearly the two hour length – compared to the 86 hours of TV series – is not a long time but there are plenty of 2 hour movies that manage to play out a complete story. This is definitely not one of them.

If you are expecting the movie to show you the rise of young Tony Soprano through the ranks, how and why he gets there etc… Well prepare to be disappointed. The movie is mainly about his ‘uncle’ Dick – if even that!

Spoiler Alerts?

Well, no need for spoiler alerts really, as my advice is don’t waste your time and money on this movie. But anyway, here goes…

Tony’s uncle Dick kills his own father (also called Dick) who played by Ray Liotta. It happens early enough in the movie for you to think, “oh! Ray Liotta wasn’t in it much.” But that’s where you would be wrong. Because for some strange reason Dick then starts going to visit his father’s brother (Salvatore) who is in prison. And this must be his father’s twin brother because he is also played by Ray Liotta. FFS! Initially you think that these prison meetings are going to lead somewhere but they don’t. They go absolutely f*cking nowhere! I genuinely believe they were only added to get more value for money out of Liotta being around the set. There can really be no other explanation.

There are a couple of good old violent mafia film type scenes but not much else to shout about.

Even the ending is worse than disappointing. It is as if they have another two or three movies to follow. Well if they do I will not be watching them.

Critique

Really? If you have read this far do you really need telling? In a word: “Disappointing”. In two words: “F*#king crap!” “Don’t bother” LOL…

I will give this movie one star (out of 5). And that is pushing it!

Halloween 2021

It’s that time of year. Again. ‘All Hallows Eve’. Also known as ‘All Saint’s Day’ or ‘El Día del los Muertos’ in Spanish (especially so in Latin America). It’s Halloween!!! and that means dressing up in spooky costumes and ‘Trick or Treat’.

The kids love it. I can see why though. For me it is mostly about the free chocolate. But for the kids it’s at least equally to do with the dressing up.

The evening’s events began with some early planning. Dani and  few kids in our building decided to make a street map of the immediate area and mark out which houses had been decked out for the occasion. It would be their route map to treats later in the day. Not daft these kids eh? Determined to make efficient use of their time ‘trick or treating’.

Halloween Friendly Houses

The unwritten rule is that any house that has made the effort to decorate with anything related to Halloween is fair game for a bit of ‘trick or treating’. The others should be left in peace

In the morning we spotted one of the houses that made such a great effort last year also. Anyone afraid of spiders may want to look away. Even those of you who are not afraid of our eight legged friends might just get goose-bumps when you see this one. The scale of it is fantastic…

Arachnophobes look way!
Dani gives you some idea of the scale of this scary work of art.

Dressed to Scare?

The kids just love dressing up for Halloween. Even if you don’t particularly like this celebration yourself you have to like the fact that they love it. Personally I quite like it and always did. But it’s much better when the kids are over-excited by their costumes.

Ready to go Trick or Treating

No Tricks Required

All in all the group of kids – closely followed by us parents – visited some 20 houses. No tricks were required as each house we called at offered up some sugary treats which the kids grabbed at enthusiastically. If they ate half of what they collected the sugar rush would keep them awake right through the week.

Another good thing about going around the streets is that the kids come across other groups either doing the same thing or having Halloween parties in some of those houses. More costumes to check out and more high pitched screaming with excitement. Not good for the eardrums but great fun.

It was a relatively early start as tomorrow is a school day and most parents wanted to get it out of the way. Sort of…

It doesn’t get dark here now until after 7pm so it definitely felt a little bit odd doing this in daylight. More than that it had been quite a warm day. Not the best weather for dressing up and wearing full masks or face make-up. Very different from a northern hemisphere Halloween.

Posing in the sunshine. Halloween is different in the southern hemisphere.

And then it was over…

And no sooner had it began; it was over. For another year…

Next stop, Dani’s eighth birthday.

 

Talking Shit (About Shit Video Games)

I had one of those great conversations the other day. While walking back from his swimming lesson. Sometimes I kind of zone out and let him ramble on. But I do need to pay some attention as he asks questions from time to time. He decided he wanted to talk about video games. Yawn! Oh no! I can’t stand them, but will play along…

His two top games these days are Minecraft (an old fave) and Roblox (a relative newcomer for Dani). But he still likes an old one I covered previously – here – called Virtual Beggar. For the record, I really can’t stand Minecraft nor Roblox. The latter seems to be the game of the moment right now with all the kids around his age, and I am sure I need to cover it in a future post. At least Virtual Beggar makes me laugh. Just the concept is nuts. But the conversation started with a question that threw me…

Diligence

“Dad. Do you know what diligent means?”

“Yes.”

“What does it mean then?”

“It means doing or checking things properly. Being careful. ” I thought that was good enough.

“Yes” he agreed; as if he was just testing me. “It means being very careful.”

“Well, yeah. Is there any other kind of ‘careful’?” OK, I thought; where is this one going?

“In Virtual Beggar…” (aha, here it comes) “…I had people working for me. And this one girl, I should never have given her a job. It said that she was diligent so I gave her the job. But she only made me one dollar per hour. One dollar per hour! So I had to fire her.”

“What?! You had to fire her? What the *#&%”

“Yes. I had to fire her. I could make twice that much money myself just from begging!” he said, in one of those tones where they are almost pleading with you to understand their predicament.

“Ah yeah…well…Mmm… Yeah. Fair enough. If you can make more begging well mmm…” What do you say to that?

“But it’s good to be diligent. I don’t think I was very diligent when I hired her though.”

“Ah well lad. You live and learn eh?” – still struggling to take it all in. “Maybe you need to interview them next time. Just to double check and be on the safe side eh? Diligence and all that eh?”

He pulled one of those faces and said, “No. (pause) I’m not going to interview them. It’s only a video game.” As If I had lost the plot. I think I had at that point.

Ah yes. It is just a bloody video game.

Then the subject turned to Roblox. And I switched to auto pilot/semi-conversation mode…

Halloween is coming…

And so tomorrow is Halloween. Dani’s favourite fiesta. This year it should be fine weather (unlike last year’s downpour) and there are plenty of houses near by decked out with all the scary decorations that shout ‘yeas, you can call here for trick or treat’. More on the spook-fest to come…

The Great Return to School (and other stuff)

Back to School

Today saw the great return to school across New South Wales. Although term 4 started two or three weeks ago (depending on which schools you use) only a small number of kids actually went in. The rest remained at home doing their remote classes online. Today, everyone went to school. And the extra traffic on the roads was definitely noticeable.

The lockdown began when the end of term 2 school holidays began. So, all of term 3 and about 25-30% of term four has been done at home for the majority of kids. Wow! That’s way more than the ‘long’ summer holidays!

Let’s hope that the children enjoy being back at school, even if they may not be allowed to do all the pre/post school activities they would like (for a while at least). It’s not right being kept at home to study alone. School is as much a social thing as a learning experience. Especially for the younger kids. How can we expect them to work and socialise together as adults if  they don’t do it as kids.

He’s still going out with that old bag…

Santa Claus that is. And over here they are already well prepared in the shopping centres. As evidenced by this photo taken in one such shopping mall last week.

I don’t care what anyone says. It’s too early for this!

I couldn’t bring myself to take any more photos of Christmas decorations. It’s just not right having them this early. Maybe this long lockdown has confused people. Normally we get that annual spook-fest over with before people start gearing up for Christmas.  Speaking of which…

Halloween approaches.

While Christmas is being advertised Halloween is not getting a fair crack of the whip this year. That said, I do think people in and around the area are making a good effort this year. There are plenty of spooky Halloween decorations adorning a lots ff houses in the area. More so than I remember from last year. And why not? The kids need to be kids. They need a bit of fun. Maybe it’s a kick-back against the lockdowns and the kids not going to school. Who knows? But I think next Sunday the kids around here will have some fun on Halloween. There will be a post dedicated to that one of course.

Swimming Lessons

Meanwhile the weather has been improving. Well, we are in the middle of spring down here. Swim schools have also been starting again while indoor and outdoor swimming pools have been allowed to reopen. This term Dani is returning to swim classes – outdoors. And what a great setting to be improving his swimming.

That’s Daniel in the middle practicing his kick holding a float.

Getting The F*#k Out of Sydney – Finally

Getting the F*ck Out of Sydney. 

At last. This weekend we were able to get out of Sydney. Not out of “Greater” Sydney, but at least out of the fecking city. It’s been too long. For me anyway. A lot of people like Sydney but for me it’s just OK. And it’s only OK if I know I can get the hell out of it at the weekends…

So where could we go and still be in “Greater Sydney”? Well, actually, a place that has been on my radar for some time now. In fact ever since one year and one month ago! When we visited Wattamolla beach in September 2020.

The place? Bundeena in the Royal National Park and a coastal walk to Wedding Cake Rock.

Bundeena

Situated on the south side of the Hacking river estuary the small quaint little town of Bundeena can only be reached via the road that goes through the middle of the Royal National Park. One road in, one out. The only other way to get to it is via the water. A small ferry that runs between Bundeena and Cronulla (on the north side of the estuary). It’s more of a village than a town really. A nice little place.

The small ferry arriving at Bundeena
Bundeena beach
It’s not unusual to see some odd street names around Bundeena.

Wedding Cake Rock

The oddly named geological attraction on the coastal walk out of Bundeena is the main reason most people go there. The name is obvious once you see the rock formation.

The path there is stunning all the way. As famous as this part of the world is for its beaches, most of the coastline is actually taken up with sheer cliffs and crazy ragged rock formations.  When we arrived at the Wedding Cake Rock it immediately looked disappointing. Which sounds a bit unfair, so let me explain.

Spectacular scenery like this lies all along this coast.

The rock itself is fenced off. For the protection of idiot tourists who may want to jump on it for a photo opportunity. And let’s face it there are plenty of them out there these days. Way more than ever what with Instagram and all that crap, they all want to star in their own movie. So the fence is there to protect such idiots because the ‘rock’ itself looks like it could fall into the sea – which is some way below – at any time.

Fenced off for our own protection…

That said, you can still get a decent view of it although perhaps not quite good enough for that “money shot”. But in reality none of that matters because the getting there is spectacular enough in itself.

As you can see this thing is going to crumble like real icing off a cake!

You can see right away how it got its name. It’s almost like layers of icing sugar. But also looks like a stack of old mattresses from one angle. To be fair there are probably better shots available on the internet somewhere but these were the ones we made today.

More like a stack of old mattresses if you ask me…

Even if – or more exact, when – this rock crumbles into the sea, this coastal walk will still be well worth the effort.

Some rocky cliffs that are slowly but surely breaking up and falling into the sea. A bit like  the Perrito Moreno glacier
I just love being out of the city. I could sit here all day.

The coastal path walk goes on for another few kilometres as far as Marley Beach. We stopped and turned back a little before that. Even so, in the end the round trip came to 11km! More than enough for Dani’s spindly little legs. He was totally knackered!

Marley beach at the far end of the coastal walk.
Good safety warning. But Dani was too tired to care at this point.

Then back to Bundeema for a beer and meal form one of the (relatively) many restaurants/cafés. For a day out of the city this was the perfect antidote to the four month long lockdown. And of course any part of the Royal National Park is always worth a visit.

The ferry departing, as seen from Bundeena beach

How Do We Expose the Santa Fraud?

It is getting close to Dani’s birthday. His eighth. Less than a month to go and we are considering presents for his birthday and others maybe for Christmas. Even though the shops have only just reopened here in Oz (after the lockdown) some already have Christmas trees and decorations out. Even I was amazed at that. But that’s not the point here… He will soon be 8 years old and still believes in the fat man with the beard, red suit and (more importantly) the sack of presents.

It’s great in a way. Better than great if I am being honest. But I think he needs to know before finding out the hard way…

How do you tell your kid(s) that Santa isn’t real?

He has known for some time that the giving of gifts at Christmas time comes from the Biblical story of The Three Kings turning up bearing gifts for the new born Jesus.

Whether you are religious or not, that is the simple truth. Being Spanish he knows and celebrates the Three Kings and knows where that comes from. He is also inquisitive enough to wonder, or rather question himself, as to where Santa comes from and why he exists. Understanding one and not the other has already led him to question the Santa story in the past. A ‘problem’ his mum dealt with.

I just don’t want him finding out the hard way and being ridiculed for it. Not having any older siblings he is sure to find out from the kids he plays with at home or school – all of them older than him. Kids can be cruel and if he is not careful he will stumble into a huge pitfall. And why should he be careful? He is a Santa believer! But for sure some kids will pick up on something he says in the next month or two and the game will be up. And he may not forgive us…

It wouldn’t be the first time… 

It’s a bit like the time last year when his class was discussing science stuff and the question of the hardest thing known to man came up. “Diamonds” said one of the girls in his group. “No it’s not” he replied. “It’s vibranium.” Ouch! That’s what comes from watching too many Marvel Comics movies with his old dad.

He was noticeably upset by the whole episode as he explained to me later that day when I walked him home. He had argued with the other kids and even his teacher that “vibranium” was in fact the hardest thing on the planet. Then someone (a fellow super-heroes fan classmate) explained that it wasn’t a real thing. He was obviously embarrassed. I want to save him from that embarrassment again. If possible…

A Couple of Ideas…

We have two plans. First is to watch a movie (or two) where the existence or reality of Santa is questioned. There is a subtle hint towards this in one of my favourite Christmas films Elf. And a more obvious querying in another great, more recent, Christmas movie The Christmas Chronicles. Dani loves both of those too so I will watch them with him and see what questions he comes up with. Then break it to him gently – ish…

There is also a scene in the movie Gremlins – a film he would probably like to watch – where one of the characters explains how she found out that Santa wasn’t real. That may be a more crude way of getting it out there.

The second plan is linked with the first. After breaking the bad news I can tell him that we need to make his mum believe that Dani himself still believes. Then we can buy her a present and label it “From Santa”. It’s that old double bluff thing. He likes that sort of thing. Hmm…maybe he will then be ready to watch The Sting; another great movie. But I am drifting off track a little now…

One alternative – I read about – is to just rip off the sticking plaster, hard and fast. Get it over with all in one go. Santa, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, the lot! Expose all of those frauds. But maybe not WWE wrestling though. Not just yet…

It’s an interesting angle but I am going to go for them one at a time. Oddly enough that bloody tooth fairy has hardly earned her (or his) stripes in our house. This kid has still only lost two milk teeth!! That fairy still has some serious money to hand over.

Come to think of it, that elf on the shelf isn’t earning his keep either. Maybe it’s time to blow his cover too.

So, over to you…

Does anyone have any ideas on this tricky subject? Is there a quick and easy way of doing this?

Footnote: There are a few posts on The Three Kings. Such as here , here and here by the way. The donut post is a good one LOL, I had forgotten about that one…