Saturday, May 31, 2008

Man overboard

I'm going to need to get an underwater camera to record our aquatic adventures, as there's a limit to the number of drawings of our car I'm going to post!

The tide was up fairly early today so we were on the beach bright and breezy, as it was a glorious morning. Today we've been doing capsizing routines and Lewis has been getting used to the new boat. It was an almost perfect morning, by contrast to last Saturday.

We've also had a nice bike ride out onto the forest this afternoon, all polished off with a barbeque in the garden. Action packed or what?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Portrait of the artist

An ever rarer portrait tonight, because no one else seems to take up the challenge of photographing me.... I can't think why not, I'm such an agreeable subject.

Anyhow image copyright for the third night on the trot lies with Mr Dorrien Honky!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Fly

A very 'Martin Parr' view of our breakfast table, which shows me weakly dispensing Honey Loops, albeit over Weetabix!

I don't have too many images of me, let alone me doing some chores, as CJH would say - it makes a nice change!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The clan

Not often you get one of the whole clan, but this arrived in the email earlier today from Dorrien. It was raining then and it's raining now, which is quite unusual for us in the sunny South.

Behind us is the Sunderland Hanger at Calshot where the flying boats were based, and Calshot Castle... a stone's throw from the beach, and our current favourite kayaking location.

My musical recommendation for the day.....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lawnmower Woman

Taken on the weekend at Steve and Estella's house where we went for a barbeque, this is my longtime photo chum Alan being put through his paces by Miranda, as she raced her lawnmower towards the finish line!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Riding on the crest

The weather's been pretty foul again today, and when we awoke this morning, there was a fair bit of appetite for kayaking.... Only problem was the rain lashing down outside and (having checked on the internet) the severe weather warning....

I managed to persuade the boys to do some drawing instead, so we have this delightful interpretation of the THULE catalogue by Gregory to keep us entertained.

We did on reflection have a nice bike ride his afternoon around the village, and up to Applemore and back via the new £300k Hythe and Holbury cycleway (hard to believe they could spend quite so much money on resurfacing a section of pavement, and still take 6 months to not to finish the work... but there we go)

The paddling will have to wait. One day, soon....!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Just rubbed my eyes and remembered that I'd not loaded anything for the blog. I have got a nice picture that Lewis gave me earlier so I may load this later...we'll see. Today has been interesting in a few ways. The year starting afresh, and the weather improving we thought it was time to get a second kayak, so this afternoon we headed for Calshot to trial our new found freedom.

I thought it looked a little ominous when we arrived and despite a glorious sunny afternon, there were about 50 surfers all sitting on the beach, with barely one on the water... there was surf even on the lagoon!

Anyhow the kids were rearing to go, and we had a new boat to launch. I pushed Lewis off in his new Perception Sparc, and before I could get into my boat the look on his face said it all.... He was terrified, the water spinning him arround and driving him onto the rocks....

I put him in our boat and took the Sparc myself, but by this time he'd lost all confidence. The waves were bad but the wind was driving spray over him and it was near imposible to make a line out from where we were launched, and the North Easterly winds, quite unforgiving.

I took the kayaks futher out into the lee of the bay and we started again but after Lewis watched me capsize, he finally gave way and said he was beaten.

So our maiden voyage will have to wait for another day, and wait it will. We now also have a great book detailing sea voyages around the South West Cost by Mark Rainsley called "South West Sea Kayaking" - it's fantastic, and has just been published - buy it now before it's too late.

I'm really proud of the boys who have saved up £200 towards their Kayak - Thanks to everyone who contributed birthday and Christmas money towards their canoe fund, it's heped them to be really focussed on getting soemething they wanted.

Friday, May 23, 2008

So what's news then Greg?

I've been to football practice, but we lost Dad. But if we'd had that other boy from last week, we would have won!

What was the score Greg? .....Three nil...

Greg was a little deflated tonight, but he has indefatigable spirit.... "It doesn't matter if you don't win", he told me, "so long as you have fun."

That's my boy!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Din dins

Moments before tucking in, the crew assemble for a grubshot. Eating is one thing we don't have too much hassle getting our kids to do.

Something of a contrast to the mother and two children I sat next to in Knightsbridge earlier in the day. Both kids had an expensive plateful of food which they barely picked at the wrappings of, mother busy talking on mobile phone watched them without a single word of encouragement. They left not even mentioning the waste....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My blondy

One of the joys of having a computer used to be regular receipt of spam. I have pretty much conquered this in recent times, but of late I have been receiving one generic message referring to Blondy, and of course I get quite excited about a message concerning Miranda!!

Against the blue sky she's enough to brighten you dreariest days....

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

In the back of the net!

When the boys have a kick around it doesn't take long for it to turn to goal scoring, rather than civilised passing back and fore. Why kids prefer booting the ball, and then having to scrabble underneath cars and chase after the ball to retrieve it, I shall never know!

Miranda is just starting to show a bit of interest in football now, but beacause she's been so slow to catch on, the boys haven't really got a great deal of time for her when they are playing. Maybe it's because she keeps abandoning her baby and pushchair on the pitch....!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


As it's just come over by email from my sister, here's another one of the four of us from last weekend.

This weekend we've been paddling in the Kayak down at Calshot, and now we're a little sunkissed and exhausted into the bargain. We also had our first barbeque lunch of the year, as it was fab when we got back from the beach.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Gregory is to Lewis, what push bikes are to Porsche...

My matching pair of portraits of the boys from this week, are both great representations of their unique charm. Lewis can't help being serious, whereas Greg can't even manage a straight face when he's trying to bluff you in a card trick.

Today Greg wanted to give Lewis some money that he'd found, because he thought he deserved to buy himself a new toy. I had a right old time, trying to convince him to put the money in the canoe fund instead, but common sense prevailed...!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Footballer Fabio

Greg's been to football practice tonight and although his team lost, came home exhausted and exhilarated. Although this one was not taken tonight, he's by far the easiest to capture in a portrait. It does help if are handsome obviously, but attitude is all!

Tomorrow I'll put up the 'contrasting' Lewis portrait which makes these two Jeckyll and Hyde characters.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What a difference a day makes

The day began with darkness and rain, and for most of the day it's been miserable, so I thought I'd load a picture from last night when it could not have been more different...

Lewis likes standing on his stage, and the sounds of music played outdoors also appeals to me. The garden is looking great at the moment... well actually it's still raining and it's gone dark - so I'm talking tosh really!

If you liked the link last night to the 'other' Brown Clan photo, then you should also look at the photo that started it all, way back; ...also on my brother Chris' blog

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Three little piggies

It's been a great day here today, and I managed to get some photos taken of the kids in the garden before it was bathtime. Lewis even managed to take some of me eating my first 'al fresco' supper of the year, but sadly they were all blurred! He's usually quite good at this sort of thing but tonight's effort was not his finest moment.

I've been trying lately to get a few more images with all three in, but arranged images never do it for me. However if you are interested in he Brown Clan then you really must see one of the finest picture of 'us kids' on my brother's blog tonight

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Funky stuff 2

Juliet trying to remember if she could still do all those John Travolta dancefloor moves, whilst the rest of us attempt to keep our composure!

Monday, May 12, 2008

(Old bird) strutting her funky stuff

Just got back from a long weekend "up N'oth" celebrating my sister Juliet's 50th birthday.... Pleased to report that the old bird can still work herself around the dance floor, and yes I could still remember a few of the tunes....

This is Miranda, who not old danced the night away, (and made an old man very happy) but was still up at 2AM when we all went to bed

I'm less keen to report that she was also up at 6.30 the following morning ready to start all over again....

Friday, May 09, 2008

Read to your bunny often

Sad to read in the paper today that 6% of all kids still leave primary school unable to read or write. That's more than one in every twenty, takes some believing really.

It's all so easy really, just show them the way to go, and before you know it you can't stop their thirst for knowledge.

"Did you know Dad....."

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Down on the Beach...

This image is completely out of synch, but I found this last week searching for a landscape picture of the same location - Kilve in Somerset.

I don't think we had Miranda at this point, but in any case it is Lewis and Greg, being escorted across the rocks by Gran and Grandan during a weekend break we had organised in the Quantocks. The black and white conversion really creates the focus in the image - which could easily become one of my favourites.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Princess Fifipants

This is one of Miranda's incentives for producing "type 2" results on the lavatory - her Fifi stamp chart, which she loves updating.

God only knows who Fifi is, but bedtime is unimaginable for Miranda unless Fifi is tucked in alongside Noddy (and one or two thers) right beside her...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

There was three in the bed

I had to get home early tonight as Caroline had a school governer's meeting, and for a change I had time to take a few photos while it was still light. Lewis had been in the bath, but when he heard the little ones squarking he came looking for the source of the mischief....

Monday, May 05, 2008

How does my hair look?

Even on Bank Holiday Monday, we are saved the worst of the tourist invasions - that's one of the great things about our slice of the Forest. Calshot this morning was spectacular, and the beach was deserted, save for a few bedraggled locals walking their grandchildren, and us! The light is nearly always fantastic, and this morning was no exception. To be fair it was raining when we left home, but those few miles makes all the difference.

This afternoon we had a stroll at Ran's Wood, which was equally deserted and packed with life. We watched some baby deer for a while and listened to the cuckoo singing away. The kids played in a timber teepee for ages, never happier than when grubbing around, making believe.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Run that by me one more time

The lingering smell of vomit in the air after a few days of unsettled stomachs in the household. Tonight it's been Greg's turn again to be sick again, although everyone's had a go - more or less. It's been slightly odd in that they appear completely normal until it all goes badly wrong, so you suspect that it's just drama - but then the drama unfolds!

Otherwise it's been a nice day here with great weather, so it being Sunday we have been out on our bikes and up and down the Beaulieu River in the Kayak. There was a strong Easterly wind and the waves were breaking over the deck. Lewis is now very confident with the boat on his own, and he disappears at every opportunity up the creek, with his paddle. I watched him today deliberately getting stuck, pushing it as far as he could just to test the limits....

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I'd rather be...

Thanks to Alan Bowman for this photo of me blazing the trail... it's how I see myself in my mind's eye. Foot loose and fancy free, hammering into the sunset - and is this such an unreal aspiration?