Stepping into Wonderland

For the last, very long time, the Dads Sofa has taken part in the #MySundayPhoto linky ran by Darren Coleshill over at Photalife. After over 5 years, he’s decided to do something different with his Sundays, and as such the #MySundayPhoto is coming to the end.

Due to lack of time, weather, and chance to take new photos, I went searching for an image that would take the above into account, as well as the start of a New Year.

I wondered if Alice, exploring some sort of Wonderland would cover it?

Thanks to Darren for his contribution to the UK Photoblogger community.


List of Safe Christmas Meal Topics

Welcome to Christmas!

A Time of peace, harmony, and good will to all men.

And then there’s the gatherings of family from all corners of the country, and political spectrums. Squeezed around a table, having an amazing meal. The problem with this picture is that there are times when you’re not eating, and you are generally meant to be talking… or something.

So what should we be talking about? In a year where it seems that many countries are divided about… something, what is safe to be talked about at Christmas time?

Here is our ideas for safe – family friendly – Christmas Dinner conversations.

Any that should be added?

Mary, and Her Christmas Parenting Problems

All parents have some parenting problems of some shape or form. For most it’s a case of NEVER SLEEPING, but for others it could be something like the kids NEVER EATING (when they are meant to), or never ever having two tidy rooms in the house.

For Mary, as in Jesus’ mum, I guess it was a slightly different set of problems she had when Jesus was born.

The problems we could come up with so far are…

  • Many, many, unexpected guests.
  • Joseph nipping out with the shepherds to wet the baby’s head.
  • The place (presumingly) looking like a barn.
  • Dealing with a Talking Donkey. (According to a Nativity I’ve seen)
  • Possibly still fielding questions about the timing of the birth / marriage.
  • Just as she’s just getting used to parenting, a bunch of “wise men” appear. “Wise Men” who give some fairly questionable gifts for a small child.
  • That kid still flipping drumming.
  • Wanting nappies as a gift… and getting myrrh.
  • Wondering if the smell was baby or animal.

I guess I’m thankful we didn’t have to put up with a little drummer boy when the small one was born.

Anything you would add to the above?

When I Went Searching For Santa

There seems to be a load of things people don’t mention about being a dad, as a result you don’t find out about them until you’re a Dad yourself, and you’re living the stuff that people don’t talk about. (Still with me?)

For example, the massively wide range of jobs you end up doing, jobs such as negotiator, monster hunter, or human transport device. (Aka carrying on your shoulders).

The other evening, a local charity had arranged for Santa to wonder the streets of Exeter. As a result, I found myself walking the streets to find Santa. (This was to ensure he walked the roads we were hoping he would).

I reached the end of the road where I expected to find them, and as the reality of the cold air kicked in, I wondered why on Earth I was doing this.

It’s hard to explain the emotions felt as Santa and his sleigh turned around the corner at this moment.

But I very much felt that I had “found Santa”.

Twist in the tail? When he passed our place, the small one didn’t want to speak / see / smile at him. But Santa did have a sleigh, and the sleigh did have plenty of lights on, which we had to follow that around until we agreed to wave “bye”.

Obviously. Following the sleigh was all done on my shoulders…

That terrible picture above? If you look really closely, you may indeed also see Santa.

Carnival Games! A Nintendo Switch Review.

Welcome to winter. The time of the year when nights draw in, weather gets worse, and… well… colour wise it all gets a bit dull outside. Bursting through the winter colours, comes Carnival Games on the Nintendo Switch. (Quick disclaimer – whilst the game was free, all the opinions are my own)

Carnival Games is mostly Nintendo through and through. If you think back to the games that made the Nintendo Wii great, the party games that got people standing up and joining in? The classics like Wii Sports and Wii Fit? Carnival Games tries to fill the void left by those games on the Nintendo Switch.

Based around the idea of an American style carnival, you’re presented with a couple of minigames based around different styled worlds, Jungle, Space, Western, and errr…. Steampunk?  Some of the games work better in their themes then others. For example the scifi style race game, could only ever work in the space series of games, but “Cosmic Bowling” could have fitted in anywhere really.

With that in mind, the “Cosmic Bowling” minigame is additive mini gaming at its best. Simple, and quick. Like how its meant to be.

Thinking about the game, I do wonder if theres something about a Carnival that gets lost in translation to a English Audience? Basically the more you play, the more tickets you get – the more games you can unlock. Which, I believe is very “carnival like”, but, Yes. The more fun games are there to be unlocked. It feels that Carnival Games could have been better served by giving more up front, by giving all the games, and motion controls up front.

Perhaps make us work at the games to unlock harder levels or something, but don’t make me work at getting to the fun stuff. Please? I feel there is a massively  fun game here underneath the need to unlock it all. It feels like its the sort of thing that a game update could very easily fix.

The good news is that the small one enjoyed watching me play, and cheered on my gaming efforts. Which is always nice.

Perhaps though, I’m not the suited age range for this? Perhaps if you have a couple of kids who get the carnival thing better than I do, I can imagine it being a fab purchase.

Looking for a Devon Flavoured Christmas Card?


Christmas time is just around the corner. Sorry to point it out, but Christmas is really very nearly here.

Have you brought Christmas Cards yet? If not, can I suggest* this card featuring Exeter Cathedral in a winter scene?

As well as supporting a local Devon photographer, you’d also be helping to keep Dads Sofa running smoothly! Or at least as smooth as it usually gets.

This card is available from

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