It felt as if the wait would never end but finally Lucifer hit the small screens again at the end of September and boy, was the wait worth it.

“Everything’s coming up Lucifer”, “Liar, Liar, Slutty Dress on Fire” and “Sin Eater” have already aired. If you haven’t caught up yet, then don’t worry here’s a recap of what you missed.

For anyone who has lived in a cave for the last year, Lucifer (played by the delectable Tom Ellis) is the devil who takes a vacation on Earth but then instead of living with the memories and taking home a souvenir snow globe or t-shirt, thought it might be more fun to explore humanity and stick it to the man at the same time. The man in this case being the Almighty of course.

The conclusion of Season 1 saw Lucifer dying but making a deal with ‘Father’ (God) to send ‘Mum’ (the Goddess of All Creation) back to hell after she escaped in exchange for the chance to save Chloe (Lauren German). This brings us neatly to the premise of Season 2.  Who is ‘mother’ and what does she want. Episode 1, (Everything’s coming up Lucifer) has Lucifer paranoid that every dead body is his mother coming to take revenge for the time she was tortured in hell. To be fair to him, he didn’t do any of the torture – that pleasure was all for Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt) who seems hell bent (pun intended) on finishing what she started. Maze could never break ‘Charlotte’ (played by Tricia Helfer) in hell but Charlotte mentions that you only get the punishment you deserve in hell. Could it be that she was innocent, or that she was too powerful to be hurt by a lowly demon? She is the Goddess of All Creation.

Charlotte however, says she has no intention of taking revenge on Lucifer (well, she would hardly tell him she would play his emotions and then kick him when he is down.). When she lands in the dead body of a hot lawyer, she toddles off to find Lucifer and is
intent on showing him she hasn’t killed anyone. All she wants is what any other mother would want – to be with her boys again.

Lucifer doesn’t believe her at first and heads off to solve the murder of the body his mother inhabits without giving away the relationship to Chloe. Cue the typical Luciferisms of solving the case by only thinking of himself which leads to a few laughs through the episode.

Wlucifer3arning, spoilers ahead…

The story is complicated further by his brother Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) who has sworn to send his Mom back down to hell. Just a thought, why does Lucifer have a British accent while Amenadiel’s dulcet tones’ hail from the States? Fortunately for us, (and Charlotte) Amenadiel’s wings are going through an existential crisis themselves and look more like they’ve been in a scrap with a rather large cat than angel wings capable of flying to hell or heaven. Needless to say Amenadiel is not happy and in Episode 2, “Liar, Liar, Slutty Dress on Fire” has help from his former colleague to realise he has been acting selfishly. Even so, Episode 3 “Sin Eater” shows Amenadiel hitting the bottle hard. Is it living on Earth that affects angels in this way or maybe love? Amenadiel and Maze were getting jiggy in Season 1 and they may be more attached emotionally than either of them would like to admit. Will he swallow his pride and tell Maze or Lucifer about his wings? Either way, he is persuaded to go to Lux to intervene with Lucifer’s new house guest.

When Lucifer gets back to his apartment, his brother and their mother (Charlotte) have apparently made up but Lucifer has one more bombshell for her. His identity as a punisher has been reinforced with the latest case involving a serial killer and he has decided what her sentence will be (that boy really needs to focus on something other than his previous job!). He has decided he won’t send her back but her sentence will be to live with humans as a human. Unbeknown to him, his mother is not as human as he thought. In the final moments of Episode 3 she has the strength to throw a mugger across a street into a wall and from her expression, she is not unhappy about this development. The question is, what other powers will she develop over time? How will she fare with her human family? Can Amenadiel’s wings be fixed? Is it a punishment for his shenanigans in Season 1 of Lucifer or a side effect of living on Earth? Will Amenadiel and Maze make up? Why is Lucifer vulnerable in Chloe’s company? Will Chloe get the iron bar out of her proverbial and notice what is happening around her? Given that her marital problems with Dan, (Kevin Alejandro) is coming to a head, this may be sooner than we think. At the end of “Sin Eater”, Chloe and Dan realise that their marriage is at an impasse and Dan asks for a divorce. The end of their relationship opens up the narrative for Lucifer and Chloe to get together and for Trixie to play up or at least play her parents against each other. This begs the question, will Lucifer take advantage of the situation or has he grown over the last season or so?

This season is all set to be full of action and laughter and I for one am really looking forward to how this will play out.

What do you think of the season so far? Let me know by commenting below!

Lucifer returns to Fox with the Season 2 episode entitled “Lady Parts” on October 17 2016. It is available in the UK via Amazon Prime and Australia from FX.

Entering the world of picture puzzle books

register to join launch group

I’ve reached, gulp, that age where most of my friends have children, This is actually great as three years ago my own little boy was born and my friends all seemed to have babies at the same time.

He’s now three and a little too energetic for me but we get along. He runs around me and when I catch him, he gets cuddles.

He has now started to like puzzles and I want to give him some practice with counting, reading as well as tracing letters and numbers. I have been buying him puzzle magazines and realised I could do the same thing but wouldn’t it be nice if there was a story running through it?
Minkie 1 reduced size front coverWhile playing with a drawing app on my tablet, I came up with a little blue monster called Minkie. My son loved him so much, I did some more designs and came up with some stories. I’m not sure if this is TMI, but he got so fond of dear Minkie that he refused to put his ‘night-time pants’ on unless we drew a Minkie Monster on them. He then danced around the bathroom singing, Minkie on my winkie, Minkie on my winkie!

Anyway enough of my son’s strange habits. He will get me back for this I’m sure several times before he grows up (I’m easily embarrassed). I have finished one of the stories, tested them and I’m starting the launch phase of the picture book. To this end, I am looking for some friends who will help me launch this book in style.

In exchange for a review on Amazon during launch week, I am giving away free PDF copies of the book. These can be instantly downloaded when you register and select Launch Friends from the register page. I am also giving away an Amazon gift card to one reviewer chosen at random and a few other goodies.goodreads cover minkie space coloring book

As an added bonus, anyone that registers at my site, (you don’t even need to be a Launch Friend) can download a free MInkie Monster coloring book based on Space Puzzles: Minkie Monster and the Birthday Surprise.

Go on what are you waiting for? If you have kids of up to 6, visit https://minkiemonster.com/ to get the freebies!

Dropbox vs Google Drive

Dropbox vs Google DriveQuestion about Dropbox vs Google Drive.

Answer based on the Quora question:

Is Google Drive better than Dropbox

Both Dropbox and Google Drive offer storage and collaborative-working services They both have their advantages and of course their disadvantages. This blog post looks at some of these. Dropbox vs Google Drive, which would you choose?

I use both Dropbox and Google Drive for different purposes. This is the beauty of online storage, there is nothing stopping you from using one over the other or from using both. This can be for working on current documents or using backups.

Dropbox vs Google Drive: Drawbacks to sharing

The one single drawback that has put me off actually paying for Dropbox is the way they allocate their storage quota. What do I mean by that? Say you are using 1.5 Gigabytes (GB) of space on the free tariff but a friend needs to share a folder with you. Great, Sharing is easy with Dropbox. You set it up and where you had half a gigabyte spare before, now you suddenly have no space. Your friend’s folder is 0.5 GB. What happened? You were only using 1.5 GB last time you checked. Shared information counts towards your space no matter who shared the folder. Just for helping your friend you will now have to upgrade your subscription or remove some of your own stuff. This is why I call this a major drawback. If I pay for storage, then I want to be able to use that storage.

Contrast this to Google Drive. If someone shared a huge folder with you, it really doesn’t matter. That folder counts towards their quota, not yours. Share away my friends, I can take all your files! I probably wouldn’t want to but I could.

File sizes

A good trick with your Google account to get more space is to create your documents using Google Services. If you have hundreds of files created in Docs, Sheets or Slides for example. They will not count towards your storage limits.

Free Quota

  • Dropbox 2GB
  • Google Drive 15GB (This is shared with all the different Google Services in your one account).

Price comparison

  • Dropbox 1 Terabyte $9.99
  • Google Drive 1 Terabyte $9.99 (remember Google documents don’t count towards your limits so you effectively get more than this.)

You can collaborate using both services but Google Drive, in my opinion, has the edge in this regard. They are both great at synchronizing files across devices and are available on your mobile device.

Google Drive and Dropbox are not the only games in town, don’t forget that Microsoft’s OneDrive is also good.

Reference: https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2375123?hl=en

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What do you think? Please comment.

Home library: Storing books with no shelf space

book shelves in a home library

Question about a home library.

Answer based on the Quora question:

What is the best way to organize books if I don’t have a bookshelf?

If there is no shelf space available in your home librasry then sometimes the only way books can be stored is in a box hidden in a cupboard, the garage or even the attic. The question then is how do you find a book once is it is stowed away? Fear not Ceri Clark, former Librarian has the answer.

I used to be the library manager of the Audit Commission which had offices throughout England. There were some books in the office where I worked but there had to be about twenty at the most, the rest were held elsewhere. There was no storage space available at the offices so a former librarian had negotiated a contract to store the books in temperature controlled storage in some mines in Bath. We used the library catalogue in conjunction with some spreadsheets to keep track of the books. Whenever someone wanted a book we were emailed a request by the library catalogue and then we told the people at Restore which box the books were in.

How does this help me store my books in my home library?

I’m glad you asked. The same principles that ran the Audit Commission library can be used for your home library but on a much smaller scale. Say you have 3 boxes filled with fiction and non-fiction books, you can use Calibre (free software downloadable from the internet)  to catalogue your books.

Cataloguing your books is as simple as typing in the barcode into the software and it finding the book information on Amazon or some other database. All you would then need to do is label the boxes something as simple as Box 1, box 2 etc or something more detailed like Non-fiction books. Remember to write the Box number in the notes section in Calibre and voilà, when you search for the book on Calibre, it will tell you which box the book is currently stored in. If you have more than one storage space you can add this information too. For example Box 2, Attic or Box 3, Garage.

Another advantage of using Calibre over say a spreadsheet is that there is a cover flow so you can see at a glance whether the book is the right one. You can also search by tags which will put all the similar books together on one ‘shelf’ so if you are researching a subject and you have a number of books in it you can easily see what you need quickly as if you were browsing a real shelf in your hallway.

I have a chapter in A Simpler Guide to Calibre which goes into detail on how this can be done.


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Raspberry Ripple Cheesecake – No Dairy, no Citrus and No Bake!

The coconut, raspberry ripple cheesecake that tastes nothing like coconuts!


Are you allergic to dairy? Have you been craving a squishy dairy-like pudding? No fear, this desert was designed for you. This recipe is also suitable for vegans.


For the base

  • 125g Vitalite (or butter if you are not allergic to dairy)
  • 150g Chocolate Chip Cookies (I used Foxs Chunkie Cookies Dark Chocolate)

For the Raspberry Puree

  • 200g Frozen raspberries
  • 60g icing Sugar

For the Cheesecake

  • 1tsp Vanilla extract
  • 400g Cream Cheese substitute (I used Vialife made from coconut cream but you can use Tofutti)
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • 320g Coconut cream

Anything else

  • You will also need lots of mixing bowls, measuring scales, rolling pin, whisk. sieve.

The Base

Step 1: Put your biscuit of choice in a plastic bag and whack it like it’s an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife.

Step 2: Melt the Vitalite (15 seconds in the microwave) and mix it with the cookie crumbs.

Step 3: Add the base to your individual dishes and put them in to your refrigerator until you are ready to fill with cheesecake.

The Raspberry Ripple

Step 4: Defrost the raspberries if they haven’t already done so and mix in the icing sugar until they look like pigeon poo.

Step 5: Push the raspberries through the sieve to remove seeds and put to one side.

The Cheesecake

Step 6: Empty the Cream Cheese into a bowl and give it a stir. If you can fit in a few gym sessions before doing this step all the better.

Step 7: Add the caster sugar and vanilla into the cream cheese and mix thoroughly. If your toddler hits your arm while you are pouring in the vanilla don’t worry it will still taste fine.

Step 8: Take out the coconut cream from the fridge and whip until there are soft peaks or you are seriously bored with beating it.

Step 9: Fold the coconut cream into the cream cheese mixture. Tip, don’t accidentally get your finger in the mixture. It is seriously distracting how awesome it tastes at this stage.

Step 10: Take out the dishes you are putting the cheesecake in and add three quarters of the mixture on top of the base you put in earlier.

Step 11: Dribble some raspberry puree in each of the dishes.

Step 12: Add the remaining cheesecake mixture to the dishes.

Step 13: Drizzle some more raspberry puree on top and add a raspberry for decoration,

Step 14: Put the dishes back into the refrigerator to set for at least a couple of hours. Get some handcuffs and cuff yourself to something away from the puddings until the time you planned to eat them.

Step 15: Eat and enjoy!

Q&A: Organising hard and paperbacks in the home.

qandasmallQuestion:  Home Design: What is the best way to organize books if I don’t have a bookshelf?

I don’t have money to invest in a bookshelf, but would like to better organize my books! I have perhaps 3 bookshelf worth of books, and would like to be able to browse them.

You could always box them up out of sight and use software called Calibre to catalogue your books. You could then browse them like a library catalogue but on your home computer. 

Calibre is very versatile and you can not only catalogue your ebooks but also your paperbacks, hardbacks, CDs, DVDs etc. Pretty much you can catalogue anything using the software.

I did something similar to this when I ran the English Audit Commission library. All our books were boxed up in temperature controlled underground caves near Bath. If anyone requested a book, I would look up the book’s location in the library catalogue. If it was in the boxes, stacked up in Bath, I would request that it be sent direct to the client. I had a very tidy library!

Calibre is very like a library catalogue. I love the ability to flick through the covers of my books or browse through genres, authors etc.

You can even use the isbns on the back of the books to get Calibre to automatically catalogue the books for you. All you need is a barcode reader, which an Android phone and probably an iPhone could do for you. You wouldn’t even need to buy a dedicated barcode reader.

A Simpler Guide to Calibre 0 catalogue ebooks and paperbacks
A Simpler Guide to Calibre has a chapter on cataloguing paperbacks and other physical media

While cataloguing, just type in the notes (or tags ) fields the box number and/or location where you put your paperbacks and you will easily find the book again in the future, just by browsing or searching your collection.
I have a chapter in A Simpler Guide to Calibre which goes into detail on how this can be done.

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A free copy of A Simpler Guide to Online Security for Everyone for subscribers!

Protect your online presence with this free simpler guide to online safety. Secure your Google account and online life…

GET YOUR FREE BOOK ebook cover
Are you worried about your online safety but don’t know where to start? Do you have a Gmail account and want to make it more secure? Do you want to protect your emails from opportunist identity thieves, hackers and scammers?

Then this guide is for you!

There are people out there whose sole job it is to steal personal and financial information. This book will give you step by step instructions on how to make it very difficult for hackers to get into your Google account or trick you into giving you the information they need to hijack your life.

Online security can be as simple as implementing a few easy steps which can be done at anytime but before a Gmail account is compromised. This book details how to pick and change passwords, enable two factor authentication as well as how to recognize security threats.

Gmail hacked? If you haven’t had time to follow the advice in the book then there are still things you can do if you find out quickly enough. While there may be situations where your account is unrecoverable, in this book there are steps you can take to minimize the damage a hacker can cause.

You don’t need to be a cyber security expert to protect your information. If you have secure email then this can wipe out the opportunist thief. Improve your internet safety and take a look at the free sample of this book.

A Simpler Guide to Online Security for Everyone is part of the Simpler Guides Series. Other books in this series (also available as paperbacks and Kindle ebooks) are:

A Simpler Guide to Gmail
A Simpler Guide to Calibre
A Simpler Guide to Finding Free eBooks
A Simpler Guide to Google+
Email Management using Gmail

This is a complete EPUB or MOBI copy of my Google Security guide that is available on Amazon. The paperback is 94 pages.

Available free from my mailing list.


Get back to the cericlark.com homepage

Inside Out Movie Review

5 starsThere are not many films my toddler will sit through, but Inside Out is one of them. Because my little ankle biter loved it, I would give this movie from Disney/Pixar 5 stars.

What did I/he like about it?

I enjoyed it as an adult but I loved watching my child’s reaction to it. He’s only two but he was getting emotional at some aspects of the film but then he did in the Penguins of Madagascar as well. If that film is on we have to cover his ears when the baby squid starts crying or they’ll be hysterics for ten minutes.

Anyway, back to Inside Out, I love the development of the characters. As Riley grows so do the characters representing her emotions. It is fascinating to watch their journey and how Disney has visualised our emotions and reactions to them and how they interplay together. I think I may have some pointers for when he gets older!

The animation is great and very imaginative. There are a lot of laughs, the best one can be seen on the trailer. Take a look on YouTube if you haven’t already seen it.


It was a brilliant, funny and imaginative film and a must see if you have a toddler. A totally deserved 5 stars from the Clark household.

Q&A What is the difference between marking a message as read and archiving it?

ceri's q and aQuestion:

What is the difference between marking a message as read and archiving it?

A read and archived message are different things.

You can have a read or an unread email that is archived.

When a message is archived, what you are really doing is removing the inbox label from the email. This means it is removed from the inbox. It can be read or unread at this point.

When you read or mark an email as read, Gmail will change the colour of the email on the homepage but the email does not move. It stays in your inbox.

If you like a blank inbox at the end of the day then archiving is the way to go. Itis a way of telling if you have dealt with an email. After all you might have read an email but left it to later to answer. If you have lots of email, you might forget which ones you have dealt with.

How to archive an email

  1. Click on the box on the left of the email you want to archive.
  2. Click on the Archive button which will appear at the top of the page. It looks like a small grey box with an arrow pointing down.

To find an archived message, look in the All mail label/folder.

see the question "What is the difference between marking a message as read and archiving it?" on quora

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Q&A What’s the best way to organize my inbox such that I can mark messages which I still need to respond to differently from ones which I am waiting on a response to?

ceri's q and a

Q&A How do I find my new emails in Gmail?

ceri's q and a

Q&A Is it allowed to use articles one finds on the internet and use them for ebooks that one later sell online?

ceri's q and aQuestion: Is it allowed to use articles one finds on the internet and use them for ebooks that one later sell online?

Q&A Why would anyone want to work as a librarian?

ceri's q and aQuestion: Why would anyone want to work as a librarian?

Q& A How do I archive drafts on Gmail?

ceri's q and aQuestion: How do I archive drafts on Gmail? There are draft emails that I’ve written. I don’t want to send them or delete them. I don’t want them clogging up my drafts inbox (which serves kinda like a to-do list). Yet I want to keep them just in case. How do I archive them?

Email Management using Gmail gets a 5* Review

Readers’ Favorite Review

Email Management using Gmail by Ceri Clark shows ways to automate one’s email organization, specifically aimed at users of Gmail. It helps one in doing more productive work, rather than fighting the monster of email overload. It begins with a general discussion on the use of Gmail, a quick start guide where the facilities available and how to set them up are demonstrated. Use of labels, filters, groups and related particularities are treated at length with an overview of housekeeping of mails in general. Operational tips and how to appropriately use these facilities are provided with an index for easy reference or retrieval.

Email Management using Gmail by Ceri Clark changed my ideas about Gmail. Though having been a Gmail user for many years, I learned many of the capabilities of this email service that would have made my life easier from this book. (I wish I had reviewed this book earlier!) Not only that, this book contains a lot of information, but also presented in a reader friendly manner. Use of bulleted lists, charts and figures, a summary at the end of each chapter, screen captures accompanying descriptions of procedures and a good index greatly enhances the value of this as a reference. This is a great help to all those who use Gmail. With helpful hints and recommended techniques for utilizing the available functions, this book can enable readers to get more from this email service with less effort!

Rating: 5.0 stars. Reviewed By Roy T. James for Readers’ Favorite

Are you drowning in too many emails? Are you spending too much time everyday sorting and dealing with your inbox?

Email Management using Gmail is a practical guide for sorting your emails and getting things done.

Whether you are using Gmail or another email account, the principles in this book will help your to check and organize your emails so that you can spend just 10 minutes a day dealing with them.


The steps-by-step instructions use the free email accounts from Google and cover labels, filters and the great spam protection that Gmail provides.

Whatever your priorities, the email management strategies in this guide will help you to save time. This guide is all about getting it done, sorted and out of the way.

Check out the preview or click cn the buy button to find out more.


Email Management usign Gmail is available to buy on Amazon at: http://cericlark.com/Amazon/EmailManagementGmaile

Q&A What is it like to have loss of eye sight?

ceri's q and aThe question: What is it like to have loss of eye sight?

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Q&A What is the best font for email signatures? Why?

ceri's q and aThe question: What is the best font for email signatures? Why?

Email signatures need to be clear and easy to read. Readers need to get pertinent information quickly and easily. Sans serif fonts are best like Arial and Verdana because they are clear and also because most if not all people will have them on their computers.

I would like to add as someone with visual problems that the size should be ‘normal’ or at least 12pt. Most important of all, grey writing and lighter coloured text should not be used. Even people with ‘normal’ eyesight can find these difficult to read.

The amount of time I had to highlight, copy and paste a signature into another document just to read it because someone thought it looked nice to use tiny, light-grey writing on the white background, well, let’s just say i could have been doing something much more useful!

If you want people to be able to read and use your signature, keep it simple, clear and with good contrast. Dark colours against a light background or light colours against a dark background.

This question was originally posted and answered on Quora. Only my answer is reproduced and may be slightly amended to make sense as a stand alone answer. If you would like to read other answers, please click on the link below.

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Accidental Immortal Update

Accidental Immortal Cover
Accidental Immortal Cover
Accidental Immortal Cover

Accidental Immortal was my entry for the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November last year. For those unfamiliar with the event, writers have to create a first draft of a book during November of no less than 50,000 words.

It wasn’t easy but my ‘vomit’ draft was completed in time. This year has seen me trying to complete the novel (read re-write it) to make it publishable. Unfortunately for me this is a slow process because I have a few Simpler Guides on the go and a healthy, happy toddler to chase.

From the original 50,000 words, the novel has grown to 65,000 and I’ve reached chapter twelve out of 37. The finished novel could be around 90,000-100,000 words. This is the biggest project I have undertaken and one that I am most proud of.

The premise is of an ancient Earth civilization that finds a way to colonize another world. Lynsey Walker is a twenty-something from London. Still at university she has taken a break after an illness. While travelling home she finds herself transported to an alien planet. This world has changed drastically over the centuries like our own. People, fashions, religions have all developed in unexpected ways. How will she survive, will she get home and will she find love?

Toys are taking over my life!

Spiderman faces off with Darth Vader
Spiderman faces off with Darth Vader
Copyright Ceri Clark 2015

I have a confession. I seem to be becoming a toy hoarder. My toddler sees a toy and I just ‘have’ to get it.

The latest additions to our toy family are the potato head family.

Now you may think one potato head is enough. Well I agreed with you but I wanted some extra bits to promote our toddler’s creative side. So bought the tub. This comes with an ‘extra’ potato head. The cynical side of me says they do this to fill the tub but give you fewer accessories which means you want to buy more.

…so I bought more. We are now the proud owners of no less than eleven of them. How? you may ask. Well it was an eBay auction to good to miss. So we not only have the standard potato heads but we now have baby, a carrot and a sweetcorn potato head.

The challenge this month, is not to buy any more toys. This should be easy as the school term is about to end and so will the toddler groups. I’m less likely to see a toy that I know he’ll love. …or so I hope!

The Nursery Rhyme Song, Humpty Dumpty is driving me crazy!

Humpty DumptyMy toddler’s current obsession is Humpty Dumpty. I get asked to sing this about (what feels like) a hundred times a day. While I have resorted to recording my voice and playing it back on my phone I’ve also combined it with his other obsession at the moment. So here’s the original and revised Humpty Dumpty verses!


Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

All the King’s horses and all the King’s men,

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.


Sheriff Woody sat on the wall,

Sheriff Woody had a great fall

All the cowboys and all his men,

Couldn’t put Woody together again.


Ranger Buzz sat on the wall,

Ranger Buzz had a great fall

All Zurg’s Minions and all of his friends,

Couldn’t put Buzz together again.


Mr Potato sat on the wall,

Mr Potato had a great fall

Mrs. Potato and all the toys,

Couldn’t put the Potato together again.


OK the last one doesn’t work very well. I only added it because my 2 year old heard me singing the first 3 verses as I was typing them and insisted I do one with Mr. Potato!

Can you guess the film! 😉