We’re eight minutes into the film, when my daughter turns to me and asks if it’s started yet. Then she falls asleep.
“WHAT was the last film we saw at the cinema?” I ask the Missus over breakfast.
“Dunno,” she says. “Gone With The Wind?”
It’s fair to say it’s been a while since we graced the local multiplex or, rather, the one-screen place a couple of miles away, which the Missus prefers for its “cosy, olde worlde charm”.
I decide to rectify this by insisting, helped by the appalling weather, that this is to be the day of the twins’ first ever cinema trip.
“Paddington’s on at 2.45,” I announce. “We’re going.”
“Hmmm,” says the Missus, casting her eyes to the window but inexplicably failing to see the howling gale and sideways rain, “wouldn’t it be better to give them a run around the park?”
“We could do, it’s just that er, well...”
“You’ve already told them we’re going, haven’t you?”
“They’re currently chanting ‘cim-e-ma, cim-e-ma’ in the living room, yes.”
“Ok,” she says wearily. “You grab the camera and we can work on their pronounciation in the car.”
We arrive only five minutes late (something of a new personal best for us) but cause a bit of a logjam in the foyer because this is the first time we’ve had to pay for four people rather than two and we haven’t quite bargained on how pricey it is.
Then, when we plonk the twins in their seats, we realise they can barely see over the top of the seat in front of them and I’m despatched to ask if there are any booster seats, which mercifully there are. At least all that faffing around means we’ve missed the adverts.
There’s just time for a quick chat with the nice pensioners behind us who are even more excited than the twins that this is their first trip to the cinema before the opening titles roll.
About eight minutes into the film, my daughter turns to me and asks if the film has started yet.
She proceeds to fall asleep after about an hour, having spent most of it sucking her thumb and showing far more interest in the tub of homemade popcorn we’ve smuggled in.
My son, on the other hand, sits entranced for the full hour-and-a-half, chuckling periodically.
At the end, once my daughter has woken up, we get them to pose for pictures in front of the closing credits.
Predictably, the journey home sees a flurry of questions from my son.
Yes, Nicole Kidman’s character (he refers to her as “the lady”) was very naughty.
Er, she wanted to put Paddington into a cage (I decide not to explain that she wanted to have him stuffed).
Yes, it was funny when Paddington came down the stairs in the bath.
No, we can’t try that at home.
“It was a bit expensive though,” I whisper to the Missus. “Maybe we should just get a bigger telly instead?”
The Missus seems unconvinced. Still, at that price I’m glad we took those photos.