Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hard at work...

When I got home tonight Lewis was toiling over a drawing which looked extraordinary detailed. Upon closer inspection he'd drawn up a lorry and racing car with all the corporate graphic identity, so I'd better look out in case he fills my shoes.

Or maybe I could take him on as an apprentice? Now there's a thought!

Before dinner we listened to Lewis playing his guitar, which improves in self confidence and musical quality so rapidly, that it scares me. Keep it up Tiger, we're proud of you...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Before and After

And not content with hurling our offspring down the "death slide" two at a time, she threw caution to the wind, by giving the play equipment a proper load test.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hold on tight!

Children must be no older than 15, and no younger than 7, unless accompanied by a responsible adult - so the sign said....

This did no deter Caroline hurling Mippy and Lewis down the track, and Miranda naturally thought it was all great fun. The playground is just down the road from Grandad and Granma's house - we can go there again, says Greg!

Monday, January 28, 2008


I often take a load of frames that look quite similar, and usually there's one that stands out as being the shot which works better than all the others. This one has that magic ingredient...

Miranda - She's a mad as a box of Frog, and about twice as wriggly. She doesn't sit still for two minutes, but we wouldn't have her any other way - would we...?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Owl and the Pussycat

Greg reading Miranda a story at lunchtime....! She's looking more like a prize fighter than little girl, but that's not a problem to Gregory.

She's been wearing this particular hat in a Roman Centurion fashion as well, which is very comical. Quite bizzarre really as we've never managed to get her ty wear a hat before.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Hole in One...

The boys had a golfing lesson from Grandad today when we went to visit. So they have been practicing for a few hours with the automatic ball returner which has been great fun!

It was just like the old days "...can we turn the television on please...can we watch the football ....what time does Doctor Who start?" There was no Marks and Spencer cake though!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Mad Dad!

So why should the kids get all the fun? Greg and I have been reading a version of Kafka's Metamophosis, and you can see here the effect it's had on me!

Not sure if it improves my self image, but certainly the kids got a good laugh, and yes it just one more thing I can do that neither Greg nor Lewis can manage!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Otto on the blog!

Today it's Otto Brown's turn to be on the blog, as he's just spent his first day in his school uniform - and doesn't he look smart with his coracle emblazened on his breast!

"Have fun and learn lots Otto - the world will be your oyster!"

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Star Trekking across the Universe

Lewis and Greg happily lost in Lego, but unusually these are models that Greg has built. But I guess you can tell that by the warrior creature that's in the driving seat! I was telling Greg that the character was in fact a Fireman not a Warrior, but he was having none of it, pointing out all the detailing on the helmet to disprove me!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lost in thought

Greg deep in thought in a little delve into my archive from earlier this month. Taken at the Science Museum, this particular section is always deserted but the boys love watching the models, and fantasizing.

There was an old boy (of about 75) doing exactly the same when we visited, reminiscing the days when he picked vegetables on the back of a similar device, and ploughed the fields with small machinery like this. Them were the days, and of course I remember them too!

Monday, January 21, 2008


Lewis' continuing infatuation with the Bugatti Veyron takes the form of a watercolour pencil sketch for me, when I got home! He's also making a lego model of the same which has been broken up, and rebuilt several times already, as his obsession for the detail drives him towards higher standards.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

What's cooking?

Miranda cooking something tasty for baby this morning, the kitchen as you can see is in need of a good tidy up! This evening Greg was Mippy's 'waiter' whilst she prepared a variety of snacks for me!

Today we've been for a bike ride from Denny Wood over to Brockenhurst in search of pasties and Apple Strudel. The weather has looked a bit grey and ominous at times but it's been quite nice. There were walkers and cyclists everywhere, whigh is bizarre for January. You normally get a flurry on New Years Day, and then never see a soul until the fine weather arrives!

Saturday, January 19, 2008


The only problem with having a nice open fire is that you have to keep the log store full of split wood! This would be real work, as we discovered last week when we helped saw some logs at Barry's, but today we simply took delivery and stacked a load in the wood store! It was quite hard work, as Lewis and Greg will testify...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Let them eat cake

Miranda loves pretending to cook, and she's more than happy clattering the pots and pans around, in her makeshift kitchen. But you should see her go when she's doing it for real!

You'd be forgiven for thinking that we were all grossly overweight, with the enormous quantities of cake we have to devour - but there's just so many opportunities to eat the stuff, and when it's so tasty, it would be rude to refuse wouldn't it?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The wonderful Web

Discovered today that a load of images from the Library of Congress are available through, so you might care to have a browse through the archive. You can view some of these direct from the LOC website but they have an appaling interface which makes it near impossible to find what you want.

If you like photography, you'll love the ease with which you can access these beautiful images.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

That's andy

Lewis in an 'Andy Goldsworthy' sort of mood, shaping the beach at Lepe to his heart's content. We used to spend ages there with the Tonka toys in the olden days, but we've not done it for ages.

We must organise ourselves a Tonka picnic frenzy one day soon. It's funny how things seem so far away when viewed from the perspective of dark winter!

The kids have been off school again today, courtesey of another 'insect day' - I think they really should get their infestation problem sorted...

And on a completely different note, take some time tonight to think about the family of poor Jason MacIntyre, who will be without their hero...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A message to you, Grandan!

This little postcard was recently despatched by Lewis to Grandan after we'd visited Swanage. I happened to see it before it went to the postbox and thought it would make a nice blog post.

We were very impressed by his tidiness, and Grandan was chuffed to bits to receive the card!

Monday, January 14, 2008


Just one of the many faces that Miranda pulls. This one can be great fun when you are in the mood - the mischievous, provocative, and feisty phenomenon that is Mippy.

I wasn't saying that yesterday, was I!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Eaten by Dinosaurs...?

By bedtime we were a little overextended today. Mippy has not been a whole lot of fun, and we had endured rather than enjoyed...

Greg's reading after bath time though was enough to restore my faith in human nature, and we had a good laugh about Biff and Chip, as they faced up to the adventure of time travel. I've been waiting all day for the magic key to glow, and just like in the story, it does!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Wild at Heart

The boys birding on the Beaulieu River, free from the distraction that is Miranda. We had escaped briefly, and thought fit to hide in the hide, relishing the peace and tranquility.

There's quite a few birds to be seen this time of year as they make their journeys south to warmer climes.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Rocket readers and writers

Lewis was really pleased to tell me that he's won a Rocket Writers Award in school, for his efforts in Literacy - well done Tiger.

Also on the blog is Gregory, taken over Christmas (we have taken the decorations down now!) and another great photo too good to miss. I have been for a day out with my photo chums to Kimmeridge and am feeling particularly windswept, and a whole lot drier than at 10 o' clock this morning. Check out Flickr for a preview....

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The oldest swinger

Lewis was looking very forlorn this evening when I got in from work, his arm looking a bit swollen.... Fortunately it was a near miss, but he was very philosophical about the experience, telling me about all the things he would have been unable to do if he'd broken has arm.

Oddly whilst I was eating supper I could hear him singing a whole collection of songs, in the space he would normally be playing his guitar. This is something I have never known him do before, although when I cross examined him about the tunes he told me he'd learned them in school for the Christmas production.

And whilst we're on the subject, this morning as he ws practicing, Miranda joined in on the tambourine. Not just banging it but keeping time, so at about 7.30 this morning we all broke out into song in the kitchen....

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Light the blue touch paper

Greg interacting with the white heat of technology makes for a nice image of the thirst for knowledge, and the desire to solve challenges. This morning at about 7AM he was desperate to tell me all about a Chemistry lesson he'd been involved in yesterday, but my resolve in listening whilst trying to direct the tooth brushes, flannels, potty training, (not to mention myself too) proved a bit of a challenge too far. I wish I'd listened a bit more carefully now - Atoms and molecules to you too!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Miranda making light work of the jigsaw puzzles, she barks out the name of each piece as she races through, almost always knowing where it's going and which way up it goes.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Beat it!

Greg in classic action man mode from the weekend. Both the boys were flailing around waving their chainsaws around, but I did manage to get Greg to stop for a portrait, before nearly loosing my cool. They can be very frustrating when they charge around destroying old tree growth, and generally having harmless fun. We obviously try quite hard to teach them about nature, and they do take it in.... but boys will be boys! I know.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Baby on the Blog!!

Mummy and the boys are out swimming, and Miranda's been doing jigsaws with me. Now she's on my knee whilst we download the photos to stick on the blog, ...but before we have time to see the results she spots the thumbnail of dolly on my desktop whichh has been waiting for a quiet moment to go up.

She's shrieking "Dolly on the blog", and so Dolly is now on the blog!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Mr Cake-Tastic

After lunch today we were all slouching on the setees, enjoying an idle hour or so, when Lewis announced he was bored. Since we were perfectly happy we told him to go and use his imagination and do something useful... And blow me if he doesn't start baking a cake, the result of which is here, just before going in the oven, with very minimal assistance from 'er indoors!

The finished cake would be worthy of sleek Soho patisserie, both appearance and taste are fantastic. What a champion.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

In the Driving Seat...

Found this one a few days ago, and thought it needed to go somewhere useful. So it's on the blog...!

I was thinking today about someone who's committed to doing a self portrait every day for a year. And I came to wonder if I'd have the stamina to create an image of myself that would bear scrutiny from here to next Christmas. Not all gloom you understand - I did find one self portrait from about ten years ago and I'm confident I may look better now! However, I think that it will be a no....

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


A suitably minimal portrait to get the year moving. This is an image of a video projector sequencing and processing the images, and much like another Brown Brother's production the resulting image is composed partly by the reaction people get to seeing their own image. This one contains two of our clan - but which two?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Great Western Railway

We've been playing a few new games tis Christmas, and this is one of the favourites. It's called Great Western Railway, and involves traveling the extent of the old network in a Monopoly stylee. Lots of complex rules, and a great use of geographical knowledge, but no money changes hands! Look out for the Fat Controller, he's on the left....