Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pie Eater

Today we went on a bike ride at Deny Wood, we went all the way to Brockenhurst to get some pasties for our lunch. We got 4 types of pasties - vegetable, Spinish and ricotta x2 and potato, on the way back we stopped at the dragon and had some apple struddle and then we went home for a cup of tea.

This morning I made some macaroons and this afternoon I tried one with nutarella and it tasted scrumptious. Tomorrow were going to be having them in our lunch boxes.

Today's post is by Lewis

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hurdy Gurdy

Lewis' most recent tune is Hurdy Gurdy, and a very uplifting piece it is too! He needs to have lots of new tunes to keep his attention focussed!

Today we've been kayaking at Calshot and the surf has been up! It's been very windy, and the neap tides meant we could only get out on the exposed side of the spit. Lewis was petrified at first by the prospect of the waves, but after much persuasion I packed him off into the swell and he survived. I knew that the water wasn't too deep and that he'd learn a lot, and once he'd persecered for a while he loved the experience.

We both came back exhilarated and exhausted, to a nice barbeque... and bed not long after!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Footy Friday

The weekend's only just begun but Greg is looking fit for some action.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Close up of some of the tasty morsels that from time to time we get in the Brown Clan household. Miranda is becoming a dab hand in the kitchen, courtesy of the inspiration of seeing Lewis getting his hands mucky!

We now have to contend with comments like "......but Lewis, do you realise how much the ingredients for that will cost..... we're not made of money you know..!!!"

You can't knock it....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Liquid lunch

Gone are the days when a few beers lunchtime would be the dream. My idea of a lunch break would be paddling down the river, with my sandwiches tucked under the deck. Only problem would be getting me back into work.

Let's go!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The great pretender

Greg used to ask me to come a give him a good night kiss when I got home, so I started telling him that I always did, but that he was asleep....

So now when I check in on him, he pretends to be asleep so that he can catch me out. But he's an easy target to hit, as the bedclothes shake as he's so excited!! So Naturally I pretend that I know he's asleep...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fun loving Criminals

Mippy looking quite content with herself as she sits on her throne, with two bodyguards to protect her!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ideal limo...

We found this horsebox the other day, and it was an irresistable photo opportunity! There are days when a pantechnicon would come in handy but lets be honest, were unlikely to buy one.

Today's the sort of day when we would have used it, as we've been at the seaside, kayaking in Keyhaven. The sun shone all afternoon, but the wind has been howling. It was a bit much for Lewis at times, as he gets thrown around by the tides and currents, but he stuck with it in his own boat. Greg and Miranda both come out with me and it enjoyed the ride.

Mippy had a whale of a time as the waves broke down over the deck, whooping and hollering, as we headed out to see the swans and cygnets. There was a moment when we watched Lewis approaching a sage old Heron on the bank some distance away. You could see him edging forward and the Heron twitching slightly. Eventually Lewis pushed it too far and the Heron took off!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Badly drawn man

It's been a grey and uneventful day, by and large. Although I did have a nice quiet bike ride this morning, the weather has been rather bland and wet in places.

Lewis got a Haynes manual for the Passatt from the library this morning and told me he was planning doing stuff with the car - not sure I want to encourage him on this one, however keen I may be on seeing him build the engine of the future.

I found an interesting prototype of future energy generation whilst I was down at Calshot this morning - some kids are building a mobile turbine which floats in the sea. Must see if I can put Lewis in touch....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Biscuit barrel

Another close up shot of the cutting edge within the Brown Clan household. Greg having been caught with his fingers in the cookie jar.... Does he look guilty?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

And if you see a shark...


Miranda reading her books, and this one is always a favourite.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Summer's here

Self portrait whilst eating dinner in the garden, if only I'd managed to get Lewis serenading me with the guitar, it would have been the picture of perfection!

I'm listening to Charlie Haden and Pat Metheny playing 'Beneath a Misouri Sky' instead - a fantastic piece of music. Dismayed tonight to hear about the death of Esbjorn Svensson, who has died aged 44 - one of the most inventive pianists of our time.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Big Shot!

Here's a picture of one of the extended clan; Francis Burke - my nephew, and cousin to our kids. Here brandishing his new cricket bat, which we trust he's going to put to good use over the summer!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Late starter...

After a late night Greg can snooze well into morning. After a few years of being plagued by the dawn rises we now able to outsleep them on occasion!

Yesterday's canoeing session at dusk followed by late dinner meant Greg was exhausted, and even I had a nap this afternoon...

Tonight we watched the QE2 going ut for one of it's last voyages, before she heads for Dubai. What an elegant boat she was by contrast to the modern day 'container ship' cruise liners.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Another busy day, Greg stayed up with Lewis to have dinner with us as we'd been kayaking, and didn't get back until late. He even ate salad with his tortilla espanole, so not sure if he was feeling alright...

There was no one left on the beach but us tonight, as we watched three cruise liners going out to sea - The Queen Mary 2, Independence of the Seas and Sea Princess. The wind was very strong, and the wave were breaking over the deck. Greg as always was hooting away in excitement, but he started to get a bit cold before too long!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Action Man

I only just managed to get down to the playing field in time to see Greg in the dying minutes of the game, but he was there, giving it his all!

Unfortunately they lost 3-0 but he came back beaming from ear to ear, and told me all about the exciting thing that had happened during the course of the day.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Captain Pugwash

Even though I often miss Greg going to bed these days, you can be sure that he'll appear at the top of the stairs to see me when I get in. That cheeky little face smirking from behind the covers as soon as I get up the stairs to give him a cuddle.

"Have guess what I've been doing today.....?"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sad news...

We had some very sad news earlier about Barry and Janis's dog Bentley. He's a lovely creature that we've had lots of fun with over the years, ...the number of times we've just stood there throwing the ball for him. But now he's gone.

So tonight we're thinking of all the magic that you miss when someone you love crosses to the other side.

Bye Bye Bentley....

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

When we're out on the water I usually have a close eye on Lewis to see where he has disappeared off to, but you can be sure that now he has his freedom he likes to assert his independence. Particularly when I have Mippy or Greg in the boat with me it's even easier to forget to tack his moves, but in a busy sea it's perfectly possible to turn around and be unable to spot him

I can't believe that he's gone from being in the front of my boat to out on his own in a frew few weeks really. So here he is, looking like he's been doing it for most of his life already.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Even Sunnier Sunday

Today has been so hot that when we sat down for our picnic at lunchtime and slapped on the suntan cream, you could actually feel your skin roast...!

We've had another 'full on' day with a bike ride down to the Marina this morning, followed by lunch and a whole afternoon on the water at Calshot in the kayaks.

We had fun exploring all the leads in the saltgrass, bird watching and getting stuck in the mud. We also found a superb isand with an extraordinary covering of perfectly formed shells. This was fantastic to see, contrasting with the shell beach by our house which is trampled by people who walk over it.

Highlight of our lunch was the chargrilled aubergine with houmous, which Greg refused to eat last night. It was delicious matey, and I'm delighted you turned your nose up!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Sunny Saturday

We've had a cracking day again today, the wether as good as last weekend. I had a jolly good bike ride out over the forest towards Beaulieau and Brockenhurst, before heading over to Rhinefield and Bolderwood. I came back through Millyford Bridge and Swan Green, with a little detour into Denny Wood.

This afternoon Greg, Miranda and I took Domino the Donkey out for a walk which he seemed to enjoy, so we must do that a bit more often. He's been a bit grumpy and stubborn of late so we've not been making the effort so much recently.

Tonight we had a barbeque, so were all cream crackered now. TFB....

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Big girl's bed

Miranda's enormously pleased to be in the big bed. She's been climbing out of the cot and settling herself in it a few times, so it seemed right to try her all night...

She was so excited telling me all sorts of stories at bedtime, about her day and where she'd been - it was hard at first not to mistake her for Greg, who normally likes to tell me what he's been up to.

When Lewis was going upstairs to bed we checked on Miranda, and she was fast asleep on the floor!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Stage 1

Lewis has his Stage 1 music exam tomorrow so he's been practicing his tunes, although he'd rather just make up his own music.

I must try to get some photos of Greg playing Lewis' other guitar as he's been getting some music lessons from Lewis of late....

Monday, June 02, 2008

Drawing Car-azy!

When I got in this evening there was a lovely picture waiting for me from Lewis. A picture of a classic Lancia Fulvia in rally mode, to go with the convoy of Ford Escorts that we saw on our way down to Weymouth on the weekend. Like the Mexicos and RS2000s with fabulous wide wheels, the Fulvia ticks all the right boxes.

I was thinking that I might colour in his drawing and load it on the blog, but it won't be tonight...

This picture from a few nights ago when I caught him drawing a 'Bernard-Manning-Mobile' - the epitome of bad taste and political incorrectness ... a rude Rolls Royce!

Sad to hear tonight that Bo Didley has died, about a year after suffering from a stroke. Lewis cheered me up with a few renditions of Roadrunner tonight, as a tribute...

Sunday, June 01, 2008


And today it's a great pity that we didn't have an underwater camera as we've been paddling around Fleet Lagoon, and it would have been great to record some of the sealife. We've seen oyster as big as the palm of your hand, and little shell bound creatures with crab like bodies visible outside from the shell scurrying along! Wormy things, fishy things and loads of beautiful seaweeds. We've seen all manner of bird life too including terns diving into the water for fish and cormorants sunning themselves on the pontoon...

Lewis and Greg have both been out in their new boat, and even Miranda's been on the water too. The Sparc has a very lively character and I was a bit worried that Lewis would be defeated by it's twitchiness compared to my boat which is more of a sea kayak than a white water boat. By the end of the day he's pretty much got the boat under control, and it's going where he wants.

Greg needs a fair bit more paddling me around first before he's fit to go on his own, but there's no faulting his determination. Today I've had him on his own with a long bit of string tied on for safety. And I've also had Mippy having a go at paddling me around today too! So look out Greg...