Sunday, September 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Gran

It's my mum's birthday today, so here she is in her garden, chasing that little monkey Otto around. They are having supper with Chris, Alison and the Ottolola gang tonight, so that will be fun.

Today Greg and I have been canoing at Calshot, which he thought was great fun, although the seas were quite choppy, with the waves breaking over the decks and soaking us both! This morning we walked Domino with Miranda and the boys, and laid plans or a bonfire at Barry's for Guy Fawkes....

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Sometimes we wish she was captivated, ...but not when she's like this! Mip Mop in a good mood is great company to have at lunchtime - and here Caroline is getting some kind of reaction.

This afternoon we had a nice bike ride down to the Marina, and then came back via the playground. Mippy fell off the swing today after leaving go of the chains - I didn't actually see it happen, but I think Greg getting off his swing was the spur for her leaving go. Anyhow there was a quite a thud, followed by howling, ....and then she got up and chased after him!

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Sunshine Kid

Gregory looking particularly pleased with himself - that confident smile and cheeky grin daring you to respond.

Tonight at bedtime I couldn't get him to shut up, he simply wanted to jabber away about school, but my patience had all but evaporated...

He's a little nuclear submarine on a mission - we'll know tomorrow where he's headed!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Four by four

Not sure if this is more like Battleships than a game of chess, but these boys can certainly give you the run around. I shall have to get back to a new photo every day tomorrow, my routine having been paused temporarily by .....lethargy!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Grow up will you!

I found this gem in amongst the outakes of Lewis' beach bash from last Friday. His partner in crime is Jamie (Jim Jam) and don't they just look like they are enjoying themselves! Now if we made them play on small kiddies play equipment you can just imagine their faces....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lost in thought

Mippy lost in thought, as she wanders around the garden. If you catch her unaware she looks at you to as if to suggest "...oh what does he want now?"

And then of course she bursts into a big smile!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

It's been a bit of a weekender....!

It might look like we've been partying non stop, but the truth is we've just dragged it out bit to enjoy it more. We tucked into Lewis' birthday cake at lunchtime, and this year a rather nice chocolate cake was disfigured with all manner of motor racing memorabilia.

It looked like we were going to have a gorgeous day today, but the autumnal sunshine disappeared early on, and we've had the pleasure of a rather flat and gray afternoon.

Tonight however we are basking in the glow of a nice log fire, which is a nice change!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Birthday Boy!

As it was Lewis' 9th birthday today we decided to have a day out, and we went to Weymouth. It was fairly quiet in the town and along the beach, and we had a nice lunch in the harbour area next to the Devenish Brewery site.

The highlight of the day was a canoing session along Chesil Beach, or to be more accurate Fleet lagoon which is is the tract of water running 'inside' towards Abbotsbury from Portland. The weather was absolutely glorious with no wind. Lewis had fun paddling all on his own, which is a first for him, as Calshot, where we normally go is fairly challenging terrain.

I even had Greg paddling with me in the back seat for a good twenty minutes, before he decided he could manage no more!

After a little trip down to Portland Bill at the end of the day we popped into Weymouth to get some chips and a beer, before heading home.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Big Boy's Birthday Bash!

As it's Lewis' birthday tomorrow we decided to have a 'football and frolics' session at Lepe with a few of his friends. Lewis, Greg and I were joined by Jamie and Sean for Footie, Rounders and Chippies on the Beach, followed by a workout at the adventure playground. The spiders allegedly had a fun time...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Clan

I took the kids down to the park this evening to kick the ball around, and I was surprised how dark it was by six o clock! Nevertheless we had a good run around and Mippy was in monkey-mode, which was nice.

Tonight's photo is courtesy of Gran, who recorded us on the bench on Shore Road watching the boats go out - an activity we are unlikely to indulge in again much this year, as it's about this time of day that the big liners normally depart.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

How many brain cells?

Our bedtime routine is built upon storytime with Greg and then a cuddle in the dark as he tells me about his day at school.

"I had my first spelling test today!" announces Greg in a very excited voice, "and I got them all right!"

Now I would never have expected Greg to be happy about tests, but he obviously has been taking in the regular coaching and testing with Lewis each morning for his spelling tests over the last few years - and clearly it all g-o-e-s i-n!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dandelion and Burpdock

Every now and again a picture presents itself, and you simply have to grab it whilst it's there for the taking. Gregory is quizzing Mummy on what the Dandelion and Burdock is all about, Lewis is just nudging him to try it and find out.

Fentimans D+B is quite delicious - try it if you get a chance!

Monday, September 17, 2007

What do you think you're laughing at?

It being a Monday I have been out with my camera tonight, taking a few photos at Keyhaven. Summer is always hard work with a camera, as the light is less interesting, but as Autumn appears, and the sun sets a bit earlier, then the magic starts to return.

This one of Miranda is enough to put a smile on your face, so I'm loading it for Gran who was worried about her Northern Rock shekkels... she's a better investment who will always reward you well!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Story time

So Dad sat at the wheel again
come Miffy, in you leap!
that was a lovely day she said
and then ... she fell asleep.

The last page in Miffy at the Seaside. And it's a very welcome moment in the day when you can turn your back on the little critters and close the bedroom door.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Rockin and rollin'

This one also taken when we were at Gran's house, in the old rocking horse! It's Gran's photo too, although I'm sure I have another version of this.

Today it's been a fabulous day, ...ever since those golden rays hit the bathroom window. I had a refreshing bike ride out on the forest, hardly seeing a soul, other than in Lyndhurst as I flew through.

This afternoon Lewis and I went for a canoe trip fro Calshot up towards Ashlett Creek. The water was blue and fairly still, but the currents as usual fairly strong. Lewis did most of the paddling today, as he's getting much more confident now. Time to get him his own I think.

Friday, September 14, 2007


We've had a nice evening on the beach at Lepe tonight, but as I've been out all day all I can manage is one of Gran's photos that she recently sent me. The Brown Clan, or are they the Pink Clan?

"Share water - Bathe with a friend" as the sticker on the bath in my parents house used to say!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Betty the Yetty

I haven't picked up my camera today, so I'm putting up one from a while ago when it was my Mum and Dad's Golden Wedding Anniversary. This picture has caught my eye a few times, and as Gran wrote me a letter which arrived this morning, she's going to be the subject of today's posting.

To be truthful she was sending Greg his Teddy Bear back, who'd been having a little holiday in Wales. It's amazing he managed to find his way back to our house....!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

All the world's a stage

I spotted Lewis through the bedroom window as I was putting Greg to bed. Normally he goes off and does his 20 mins practice in the study, but he'd obviously decided the garden was a more suitable location.

I was just about to pull the curtains, and watched him pretending he was on the stage (a big oak log in the garden), and I had just enough time to get my camera and grab a shot before I was detected!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Brown Clan!

Now it's not often you'll see the Brown Clan assembled in their home patch for a photocall... But today in the post I received just such an image, and I'd forgotten posing for my Mum when she was down recently!

So here we are, suitably decomposed, on the promenade in sunny Hythe. I must try to take some more photos with us all in, I must try to take some more photos with us all in, I must try to take some more photos with us all in,...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Gregory's incentive scheme....

Tonight at bathtime Miranda had been sitting on the potty, and Gregory kindly said that there would be a reward of £10 for a suitable deposit from his canoe money pot. A little generous I thought, but that's Greg for you.

You can barely imagine the hooting and hollering when Miranda stood up, and she'd done her first Wee on the Potty. Naturally we're all over the moon, and as you can see so was Miranda...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Who'd be a farmer?

Charged with passion, the boys have returned from rural Wales and created their own country patch in the vegetable plot. First of all the ground was cleared and then freshly mown grass (with a pair of scissors) was distributed across
the field.....

Lewis has been religiously spinning the grass now for about a week, and much to my amusement it has turned into hay!

The highlight of the week was the baling session today, and I am left feeling like the idiot for being slightly skeptical. Kids are wonderful, just when you think you need re-invention, they show you what you've been missing!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Manon des Sources

There's a scene in the above film (or maybe it was Jean de Florette) that this image reminds me of. I think the character is carrying baskets of flowers in the film, but who cares? One of those pictures, you just know when you take, is going to hit the mark!

This was Miranda today as she carries her watering cans around the garden tending to the flower pots.

Today it's been very warm here, almost like summer again. The garden still very green.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Idle Pleasures

On the beach at Lepe at sundown, and the never ending entertainment of stone tossing into the sea, captures Greg's imagination. Which is mildly surprising, as when we were away on holiday he managed to throw a large stone straight up in the air, and then catch it with the bridge of his nose. He still has a slight bump to record the event.

Weather today was glorious, and the sunset rich and fairly calm, although it's dark by eight o clock. Hey! ...winter will soon be here!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Through the looking glass

I spotted the kids eating their supper in the garden, as I came out of my workroom, so I tried taking a few snaps incognito. The unaware shots don't really compare with this one which is just as they became aware I was tracking them. A shame really as they looked so lovely, having a very grown up chat with each other.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


As is commonly the case, I first heard a gurgling noise approaching my workroom and the padding of feet. Normally it's a clue that someone has left the stairgate open and I need to despatch Miranda back where she belongs.

Today however she appeared at my workroom door with a large box of blackberries, and the evidence that they had been fully tested for quality.

She absolutely adores fruit, and blackberries in particular are as adictive as catnip to the pussycat.

Does she look pleased with herself or what?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Tom, Dick and Harry

This one is a humerous redraw from the weekend, when we visited the OttoLola clan in Carmarthen. News from the day appears to suggest that whatever Lewis suffered from on Saturday, he left as a calling card for my brother Chris and his family - all have been sick today!!

Not funny we know, as Caroline spent the night being ill, and I am currently feeling the strain myself, going shortly to bed.

I don't think Miranda was to blame, let's be clear, but we don't know do we?!!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Extra Day off (...for the lucky few!)

Caroline almost despatched the boys to school today, but she had overlooked that school teachers seem to get a load of 'insect' days to brush up on their skills. Anyhow the day was put to better use by doing something constructive, rather than just catching more nits.....

This was Gregory's birthday present from Auntie Juliet and Uncle Nich, which has given Lewis just as much pleasure, as you can probably tell!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

We're all going on a Summer Holiday!!

Well in case you were wondering what had happened to the witty posts and the charming photos from the Brown Clan, ....relax, we're back (....from our summer hols)!

This year we went to Pembrokeshire to chill out and get close to the real coastline. The weather was great, and we had a great time doing as little as we could - other than walking the coastal path, playing sand castles on the beaches and consuming as much Welsh food and beer as we could muster.

We stayed at West Hook Farm at Marloes which is the most Westerly campsite in West Wales, ....any further and we'd have been on Skomer Island! Our somewhat exposed campsite caught the North Westerly winds and we did wonder if we'd survive the Force 5, 6 and 7 breezes that were recorded. I'm sure I could have slept through it, had Caroline not been hanging on to me with chattering teeth....

The weather improved as the days rolled by, and our second base was overlooking Poppit Sands on the Cardigan coast. By now we were totally chilled, and with hindsight, wished we'd not bothered coming back.

A few photos below to remind us of some of the stuff we did, and the places we chilled out at!.