Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra was one of the most popular entertainers of the 20th Century, he built his spectacular career in music and film acting. He rose to fame singing big band numbers and in the 40s and 50s he had multiple hit singles and albums which are now iconic songs such as “Love and Marriage” and “New York, New York”. He also developed a strong acting career and won an Oscar for his appearance in “From here to Eternity”. Although, sadly, Frank Sinatra is no longer alive his music is kept alive by his adoring fans and will continue to live on for many years.

Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey on December 12th 1915. He was an only child to his parents Natalina Garaventa and Antonino Martino Sinatra who called him Francis Albert Sinatra which he later shortened to Frank. Sinatra left high school without graduating as he was expelled for misconduct and made his living as a delivery boy at the Jersey Observer Newspaper. However, his passion had always been music and he began singing at the age of 8 for tips at a local nightclub but his professional singing career began when he was a teenager in 1930’s.

Sinatra caught the eye of Harry James, a big band leader who was well known for his trumpet playing skills and it was through Harry that Frank Sinatra recorded his first record “All or Nothing At All”. Following this Tommy Dorsey asked Sinatra to join his band, this proved very successful and they achieved 2 years at the top of the charts, despite this Sinatra decided to try a solo career.

This was a smart move for Sinatra as between 1943 and 1946 he had 17 top 10 singles. During this time he also made his first film appearance in “Higher and Higher”, and he won his first Academy Award in “The House I Live In”.

As Sinatra’s musical career developed his voice changed and he began adding a jazzy tone which was widely appreciated. In the 1960’s he became a founding member of The “Rat Pack” alongside Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. It was during this time that Sinatra began living like a rock star, he was heavily drinking, womanising and gambling and the press made sure that this did not go unnoticed. Despite his bad behaviour it was during this time that Sinatra released his classic hit “My Way” and it could be said that he was still on top of his game.

Throughout his life Sinatra married 4 times his first wife was Nancy Barbato, his childhood sweetheart and they had 3 children together. He also married Ava Gardner an actress, Mia Farrow and Barbara Blakely Marx. His first 3 marriages ended in divorce but he stayed with Barbara for 20 years until he died in 1996 of a Heart Attack.

There have been many tributes made to Sinatra over the years but as this year marks 100 years since the birth of Frank Sinatra the London Palladium will be putting on a show to celebrate. A 24 piece orchestra will be playing some of Sinatra’s biggest hits like “My Way” and “I’ve Got You under My Skin” and they will be accompanied by 20 dancers to make it both a musical and visual delight. For ticket information go to

Who Wants Perfect Characters?

matilda-dahlAs a reader, you’ll find your favourite characters are flawed. We like to recognise ourselves and in life we know that nobody is perfect. Flaws are endearing and make a character more interesting. With Pride and Prejudice, the clue is in the title, yet we love Darcy and Lizzy.

Snape in the Harry Potter books is the most complex of JK Rowling’s characters, yet one of the most popular. We are fooled into seeing Snape as a villain, and he is vindictive to Harry, though he protects him. We understand when we learn about his relationship with Harry’s parents, and in the final book we get the truth. This makes him fascinating. Continue reading

How To Handle Help

helping-childI have an adult student who won’t let me touch a single piece of artwork she’s working on. Why? Because her mother always re-did anything she ever produced as a child. Nothing was ever up to her mother’s standards!

I have a husband who would get very, very ratty if I ever pointed out some problem with his DIY handiwork. Why? Because his father was always telling him how to do things and criticising the job he had done!

It is sometimes hard to prevent oneself from making similar errors, even if not to the same degree. Your little child wants to wipe the table. You watch as smears are produced and parts are missed and the temptation is to grab a cloth and do a brisk and thorough job yourself. Ever felt that way? I certainly have and it has been a hard lesson to restrain myself and leave the child to be happy with their product. Continue reading


Wimbledon championship, simply called Wimbledon is the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. It started in 1877 at The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club when the only tennis event held at the tournament was the Gentlemen’s Singles, won by Spencer Gore. This event was watched by 200 spectators who paid 1 shilling each to watch the match. Continue reading

Independence Day

This weekend on the 4th of July the USA will be celebrating Independence Day. This is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain which eventually led to the formation of the United States. Although Independence Day is celebrated on the 4th it was very close to being a few days before as on July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, but it took two days for everyone involved to adopt the Declaration of Independence which was a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. Continue reading

1930s Musical Theatre – Glorious Escapism

ginger-fred-dancingFor many people, the 1930s world was one of economic depression, hardship and uncertainty. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 sent lasting shock waves throughout America, Britain and Europe. In Britain, closing factories meant widescale unemployment and poverty, particularly in the heavy industry areas. In 1936, 200 men marched for 26 days from Jarrow to London to protest and bring their plight to the attention of Parliament. There was a cold response and the issue was not even debated. Hitler ranted and raved in Germany. In 1936, a three-year Civil War began in Spain. The fascist-supported party won.

Our royal family hit an all-time low with the abdication and political scandal of King Edward V111. Continue reading

Summer Holidays

It is that time of year again, summer is in full swing and the summer holidays are fast approaching. If you’re thinking about going away this year and you haven’t already booked your summer holiday this blog will give you some fantastic ideas about where you can take your children for an unforgettable family holiday.

UK – Cornwall

Cornwall is in the top 10 for UK holiday destinations. It is situated in the South West of England and has a stunning coastline that stretches for 300 miles. There are many reasons that people like to holiday in Cornwall and here are just a few: beautiful beaches and breathtaking cliffs, amazing waves to surf on, fishing harbours and not to mention the scrumptious pasties and cream teas. Cornwall is very family friendly and the perfect place to take children. Continue reading

The Value Of Work Experience

Around this time of year, students who are mid A Level courses are likely to be offered a chance to get some work experience. This is usually a week’s placement with a company or organisation who may well have an established relationship of this kind with the school.

The question might be whether this going to be beneficial or a waste of time for your child? In answering that it might be best to consider what ‘work experience’ actually means in this context. What it is unlikely to be is a weeklong ‘job’ since one week is hardly enough time to learn any job let alone carry it out. So it’s more likely to be a week in a working environment but spending time with a number of different people in various departments. There is not likely to be much job content in terms of ‘doing work’ but there is a lot of opportunity to observe and understand what people do and how an organisation works. Continue reading


Since the beginning of time flowers have amazed us with their natural beauty and their enticing scents. Flowers are usually given as a gift for an occasion, however, they have so many more uses. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing but some flowers have historical and religious significance, they can can also be used for medicinal purposes and some flowers are even edible and served with food. Below are a few interesting facts about flowers.

A rose is probably one of the most well know types of flower, there are over 100 species of rose and it is often a symbol of love. What you probably didn’t know though is that roses are related to apples, raspberries, cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines, pears and almonds.

The lotus flower is commonly associated with purity and beauty in Buddhism and Hinduism, this because the beautiful lotus flower always looks pure and clean in comparison to it’s surroundings which is often a murky body of water. Ancient Egyptian scholars studied the lotus flower and noticed that at night time the flower closed and sank and when the sun rose the flower would float and begin to bloom again. As a result of this they associate the lotus with the Sun and rebirth. Continue reading

Father’s Day

Traditionally, Father’s Day falls every third Sunday of June in the UK. Father’s Day this year is on Sunday 21st. It is a day where people can honour their fathers and/or father figures such as Grandfathers or Step-fathers.

Father’s Day was first introduced in the USA in 1910 when a woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was inspired by Mother’s Day to plan a day dedicated to fathers. She was very close with her father who was a Civil War veteran and had raised six children as a single parent following the death of Sonora’s mother. Therefore, she wanted a day where she could show her gratitude to her father, so she embarked on a rigorous campaign to make Father’s day a nationwide celebration. Although it took some time, the day soon became popular and is now celebrated in many different countries. Continue reading