Monday, March 31, 2008

Paint by numbers

Lewis has been having a watercolour lesson this afternoon with Grandad, and since the paint is still wet I'm loading the record shot of the two Aston Martins in a row!

Greg and Miranda have been having a go too, keen not to get left out of the action. However Greg had moved on to cuddling Gran on the settee by the time I got home so maybe that'll be tomorrow's picture.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Wrapped around her little finger

Grandan being led a merry dance here, as Mippy with reins lead him around the living room like a train.

Caroline and I have been away for a few days to Barcelona, and the kids have had a great time it would seem with my parents.

Friday, March 28, 2008


There's an interesting synchronicity here, as I received this photo this morning from Rena Thomas (my aunt, on RHS of photo) on the day that my Mum takes hold of Miranda's reins for a few days.

The photo also shows Gertrude Maud Thomas, my mother's mother and Juliet my older sister, who will be 50 in May. I only really know my Gran through photographs, but the similarities I see here between Juliet and Miranda, and my 'Gran' and Mippy's 'Gran' (so to speak!) are very interesting.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


The kids are rather hyper tonight as they have a few days with Gran and Grandan, as we are escaping to the sanctuary of a coastal retreat on the Mediterranean for the weekend. A bit of culture and freedom from the litle critters should go down very well....

Miranda was a little unsure of G+G at first, but it didn't take too long to wind them around her little finger.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


As the days get longer, and Spring appears, we have regular Donkey walking as a prospect to savour. This winter it has been very difficult going down to visit/engage with the animals at Barry and Janis', as the field is so muddy, with everyone getting covered in grime from head to toe...

Domino also is less keen on going for a walk now he's on his own, so we'll have to get him back on the straight and narrow again!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Mr Brown Jnr as he scratches away at another drawing! I love these 'candid' photos which I get by going in fairly close. The kids by now totally ignore me, and just get on with whatever they are doing, to the point where if I talk to them they just ignore me anyway. So I have to get in there shoot fast and loose and then withdraw before they poke a pencil in my arm!

Monday, March 24, 2008


Greg and I had a very refreshing walk in the forest this afternoon, the sun having come out for a welcome change. It's been like emerging from a cruel winter into envigorating spring, with signs of new growth evrywhere. We watched two Treecreepers playing games for a while, oblivious it seemed to our entertainment!

Later on we had great fun on the swing over the brook near Ran's Wood, and tonight's photo would have been of Dad, had it not been for the blurry photo - Greg (and Lewis for that matter) just can't get used to manual focus lenses!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The draughtsman's contract

I had promised to load Lewis' picture of a Bugatti, a Jaguar and a Ferrari to the blog tonight - a drawing that he's been working on for a day and a half...

He's been working very hard to get his measurements looking correct, and the drawing is now complete and coloured in too! maybe we'll have it scanned by tomorrow - who knows?

It's been a very cold and windy day again, although Lewis and I had a nice walk this morning in Bogland - a new part of the forest that was, ...well boggy to say the least! As we waded through we saw a few Lapwings (yes, you were right Johanna!) and we almost came face to face with a group of eleven Fallow Deer in their winter coats and resplendent with fine antlers.

This afternoon the boys have been jumping over ramps on their bikes, Greg as always tackling anything Lewis can manage with complete confidence - he's bulletproof I reckon! At one point I raised the ramp, and winced as he approached it - sure that he'd hit the deck. He flew over and looked back at me over his shoulder as he landed, a cocky grin from cheek to cheek.... You should have seen me grin too!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Drawing out genius

The wet and wintery weather has continued today so we've spent a fair bit of time indoors drawing and colouring. Lewis in particular was keen to get his entry for the Wild Things drawing and painting competition together.

This is Greg with his picture of a waterbird, which he studiously produced after reading through a Natural History book - the bird a slight hybrid I think!

We had a bike ride this afternoon, which unfortunately was cut short after the rim on Greg's bike wore through from the brake block abrasions - the only other time I have seen this happen was on my bike..... nice to know we get our money's worth from our cycling equipment!

Tonight reflect upon the passing of a great photographer - War as seen through the eye of the civilian...
Philip Jones Griffiths, born Rhuddlan, Wales, 18 February 1936 - died 18 March 2008.

"I've enjoyed all the good things in life. While never signing any pieces of paper (I will never allow bourgeois society to dictate my emotions!) I've had two significant relationships that resulted in two wonderful daughters. As for falling in love, this happens on a daily basis..." Philip Jones Griffiths interviewed by Anthony Brockway, 2004.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The day started early with Mippy ready to rock, before my eyes were ready to open. The weather was rather unusual in that we'd had two very heavy rain sessions and two sets of blue skies before 8AM. So as it was a day off we thought we'd have a blow at the beach. We walked from Ashlett Creek down to Calshot along the coast, dodging a very high tide and a few showers along the way.

The sea lashing onto the beach at Calshot looked fantastic, and we watched the mad surf duders fo a while. We had lunch at the bar in the Spitfire Hanger and trudged back against the wind, all rather worn out!

The book in this photo is one that I used to read to Lewis a lot, but now it's Miranda's turn!

Make sure you check out a great photo of my clan (from about 38-40 years ago) on my brother's blog today

Thursday, March 20, 2008

...blondy hair

We're in the kitchen, and the words that Miranda says as I'm loading the picture is ".......blondy hair!"

By the time I have typed it the conversation with Greg has moved on to ".....mine, mine, mine,"

On closer inspection it would appear that they are talking about a little Easter chick, who is now flying around the kitchen.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wonky Tonk

Whatever he does, Greg does with style! That plucky charm and easy engagement with the camera always carry him forward, but wearing these fake and slightly battered Gucci style glasses, he looks more like an East Coast movie star than ever!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I've been thinking that I need to take more conventional portraits - naturally I think that all likenesses of an individual are portraits, if they reflect the character of the person or tell a story about that person, but I've been hankering after some portraits with stronger engagement so here's a starter.

After I've mastered the kids I might start on Caroline - now there's a challenge!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Flying a kite

Always makes a nice image to see kids playing with kites, and Lepe often has lovely dramatic skies to create a fine backdrop. If I had a bit more time/inclination I'd edit the sky levels a bit to make this more punchy, but I'm nearly done for...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dedicated follower of fashion

It's been wet, cold and rather windy here today, so and after finishing off a DIY project this morning, I thought a runaround at the beach would be the perfect antidote.

We certainly blew the cobwebs away, and it was bitter. Not that it bothered the kids who charged around as we played 'Hide and Seek'. At one point, Mippy appeared wearing these sunglasses, which she had found behind one of the beach huts. Needless to say she can't put them down now!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The artist in his studio

Now does this sound familiar? The kitchen table covered in painting apparatus and a tortured artist with a screwed up face poring over his artwork.

Here is Mr Brown the water colourist hard at work on his latest masterpiece. The scene a field full of tractors engaged in harvesting potatoes.... so by now you've guessed it's Lewis!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Eat up Dolly

Mrs Mippy giving Dolly some breakfast is a sight to behold. She sits there poking the spoon at her face, jabbering away, whilst Dolly quietly and obediently chews every last bit.

This morning it wasn't quite so straight forward when Mipp decided she was going to to have a tantrum after one of her toys was removed from the dining table. She wails like a banshee, but do we give in.... no!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Retraced a few old footsteps today when I went to Bradford on business. With a bit of spare time I called into the Hockney museum and absorbed some culture.

It's an great spot to visit, and the surrounding community built by Sir Titus Salt in the 1850s would be a top place to spend some more time. Just need more time now!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sunny side up

After a few nights of not sleeping through the night, our nerves rapidly become jagged and frayed. But soon the normal balance is restored and we're able to see the wood for the trees....yesss!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Brother, your time has come...

It's odd giving Greg a spelling test, it just doesn't seem right. We're so used to have Lewis doing all the boring stuff, whilst Greg plays around and acts the clown!!!

Joking aside, Greg has responded well to having to do writing and spelling and all the things that come with growing up, and we're also starting to see some subtle changes in his personality too, that go with the territory.

He's very eager to please, and loves it when he thinks he's got something right. Don't we all....!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Dune rider

Found this great little picture on the kitchen table waiting for me earlier, and I was instantly transported to another place - riding my bike across along the trail. Maybe when I'm a bit older I'll resort to a motocross bike, but for the time being I'll keep pushing those pedals up the hill!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Chocolate Brownie

Remarkably adept in the cake making department, Mippy puts the finishing touches to a chocolate cake just before we have lunch today. It's hard to reconcile Mippy, the girl who's not quite managed to control her bowels, with Mippy the dab hand with a cake mixer....whilst standing on a chair!

This morning Lewis, Greg and I had a fab walk from Lepe out over the fields across to Exbury via Stone Quay. The sunshine has been great but it's been quite cold too. The weather has been quite freaky with heavy black clouds one minute and toasty sunshine the next. Shore Road looked spectacular at about teatime, but alas no camera to hand...!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Hot stuff

Tonight we had a tasty curry for dinner all together. Our menu consisted of popadoms with chutney and raitha, followed by bombay poatoes and a coconut flavoured vegetable curry, dhal and some aromatic basmati rice and chapattis. Everyone loves curry in our house so this is always a big hit!

Lewis joined me for my bike ride this morning which was nice - we rode down to Calshot and back via Lepe where the sea was very choppy. Highlight of Lewis' day was a field full of tractors and assorted potato harvesting equipment. It's not often we seen nine tractors and one telescopic loader all working simultaneously. The freshly turned soil was a magnificent sight, as was the white blanket of seagulls chasing the worms! Lewis was so inspired he did a picture on the watercolour paper that Grandan gave him....

Friday, March 07, 2008

Hitting the high notes...

I'm sure there's a pretentious Latin word for school newsletter, but instead I thought I'd impress you with Lewis' artwork which he prepared as a representation of his Tudor studies in school. It's a kind of self portrait with bodily hair - inspired I guess by Grandan?

More noteworthy news in the form of three mentions in the aforementioned newsletter for the Brown clan. Lewis and Gregory both achieved best artwork in their year in a competition, and Lewis also had a special mention for his fancy dress competition as Peter Pan's shaddow!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Foreground detail, background pattern...

Greg and Lewis are like chalk and cheese in the dramatics department. Greg has an abundance of self confidence, and can't wait to dress up in some exuberant fashion. Lewis by contrast is a wallflower, challenged by the prospect and experienvce of being Peter Pan's shaddow.

OK, so Greg and pirates are an easy target, but Lewis took one look at himself and freaked! However he did stay the course, and by tonight despite a heavy duty scrubbing, the remnants of the make up are still giving him an extremely unusual appearance.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Ha ha!

One of the things it's difficult to capture is how people interact with each other. This one is Greg reading to Miranda in bed, as she hoot with laughter.

The morning light this time of year is great, and a very welcome spectacle by contrast with getting up in the dark - don't you think?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

One eye on the clock

We had an invite in the post today to my sister, Juliet "Toots" Guthrie's 50th birthday today. On the cover, a picture of a little girl wearing traditional Welsh costume, and a cheeky grin similar to the one Mippy displays here. Fifty years old - where did all the time go?

This one taken whilst chasing Miranda around the bed on Sunday morning in the glorious sunshine, whilst she pretends she doesn't want her photo taken.

I'm listening to Scritti Politti - "You don't need cardiology to have a change of heart...!"

Monday, March 03, 2008

15 minutes

Lewis practicing his rock star look, as he's earned himself a new guitar. This one a full sized model - a steel stringed French Four Seasons beauty, which makes a lovely noise - courtesy of Lewis naturally!

Lewis' next challenge is to help Gregory learn to play, and maybe even get me to be able to play a tune! I'll live in hope for the time being.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


breakfast, a simple meal of bread and fruit fashioned in the sign of the cross....

This was our brekkies this morning made my Lewis, and they were particularly delicious. When you taste buns like this, it really makes you wonder why people eat the crap that the supermarkets foist upon us?

I stood next to a woman in the Waitrose yesterday whilst her daughter begged her to make cakes, and the excuses the trollope made after another were shameful. I was tempted to offer the little girl the opportunity to come home with me but thought otherwise.

Today we've been flying our kites at Lepe, making the most of the very windy weather. Fence panels have been left on the floor, as there's more forecast for this week....

Saturday, March 01, 2008

My Lucky Number's One

Remember Lena Lovich? Something tells me my lucky number's gonna be changin...

It's been cold and windy here today. We had a very stormy start to the day with the trees beating against the windows of our bedroom, and I came across a number of fallen trees m my bike ride across he forest. There was a debilitating headwind for the first hour and a half, but the sunshine was fantastic. When I got back the kids were in the garden playing in their T Shirts, so clearly a lot more sheltered here than out on the forest.

Tonight in the bath at sundown Greg was teasing me about smacking my BTM, and since then Miranda has been unable to stop saying hand, .....Daddy's bottom ....Oooow!