Thursday, July 31, 2008

Witholding Pattern

There's a balmy atmosphere in the house tonight as Greg and Lewis get themselves geared up for the weekend. In this photo which I have been saving for week or two, they seem perfectly choreographed, the sea a backdrop to the main performance!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tanners Lane

Lewis and I stopped here on Saturday morning on our bike ride. It's a great spot overlooking Newtown on the Isle of Wight, and also down across to Lymington and Keyhaven. It's covered with Samphire and has lots of bird life too.

The sea breeze washed over as you cycle along the road from Bucklers Hard, and it's always beautifully tranquil - barely a grockel in sight!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Giddy Up!

Lewis and I were off to the beach recently, when we spotted this group perambulating along Frost Lane. Miranda now firmly fixed on Domino's back, able to wave excitedly and shriek like a banshee...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rock on Tommy!

The day ends as the day began. Sun shining, wind blowing, and the kids in frisky mood. Just got Lewis off to bed after posting his blog entry and I'm thinking it won't be too long before I head up the stairs after him...

We've had a nice afternoon at Calshot paddling around. Highlight of the afternoon for Greg was the desert island experience of finding 'barnacle reef' out towards Bramble Bank. That's what Greg called it anyway! The sea at Calshot can seem very murky, but today the water was very clear, and when we landed on the island out in the Solent, the colours of the stones colonised by baby barnacles and sea shells were fantastic. As chance would have it I didn't take the underwater camera, thinking that two kids would be enough to worry about. The electric green and yellow stones and the sealife hanging from it made Greg very excited.

Makes you wonder why you'd want to go anywhere on holiday when you live here?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Burning the trail...

Today's been one of those days to live for. Glorious sunshine, and a fab bike ride with Lewis out over the forest. We also trekked down the Beaulieu River and out past Sowley Pond over towards Lymington.

The sea breeze as we skirted the coast was very refreshing and we stopped off at Tanners Lane to see the sea. There was a family trying canoeing for the first time, so we were able to give them the benefit of our experience...!

All topped off by a delicious barbeque tonight as the sun went down, so a few sunburned faces, and few sleeping soundly in their beds tonight.

Pictures courtesy of the Olympus of the Hawk

Friday, July 25, 2008

Top Rider

Lewis wanted me to post a picture of him riding his new bike, but I've been too busy to take any. So he'll have to settle for a brochure image instead!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sunny Solent

This is the shot I took just before we set off on our canoeing trip on the weekend, and doesn't it look inviting. When you see this view, which I'll be honest we take a little for granted now, it makes you understand why the Solent is such a mecca for yachty types.

The water was so smooth when we set off that Lewis wanted to try for an isle of Wight crossing. I urged a little caution, but we still had a great paddle out to sea and down to Lepe...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bearing fruit

Last day in school for the boys for a few weeks, so they took in little 'thank you' for the teaching staff.

Lewis was very chuffed with his origami display boxes, and the content too! Greg's Gingerbread men the usual work of art, and just as tasty....

If you want to do something useful tonight have a think about Adrian Sudbury's campaign to get more people registered for Bone Marrow Transplant.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Breakfast Serial

Portrait of Mippy Moo having her breakfast, maybe I will publish these images of the kids eating in a book one day - it would make a great theme.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Twit tu woo

As the term comes to an end, the kids start bringing home stuff from school, although I think this was something that Greg did at home a day at a time and then took to school to bind...

watch out for other pages in the series...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Westerly ho!

We been having fun at Calshot again today in the kayaks, it's been a glorious day, and the sea wasn't too choppy. Which was ideal, as it's been the first chance I've had to use an underwater camera to take some pictures from the boat.

It's rather tricky composing when the sun is bright, and the boat is lolling around and you need to keep a hold of the paddle! There are a few other technical issues, such as the salt water drying rapidly in the sunshine, but this all adds to the fun.

Today it was fairly busy in the water, as we had to share the sea not only with windsurfers and dinghy racers, but also a mass sea swim - the sight of a hundred or so bodies thrashing towards you is quite something.

I've been lucky enough to have a loan of a camera from my photo chum Chris Hawkins, who any day now is going to be joining us for a kayaking session...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

'Er outdoors

We had a visit from Caroline's Mum and Dad today, so we've had a day of eating and drinking and sitting (and talking) mainly, but we did venture out to Denny Wood for a walk.

So here's an action shot...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Back of the Net

Greg was very excited tonight ..... "We won dad! And I scored a goal!" What a difference a little success makes to a smile on a face.

Not that the lack of it keep our little man down, but it's nice to see him in self confident form.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fifi - The Story

Seeing Lola's T shirt reminded me that I had a little picture waiting for an opportunity to load!

Greg wrote this a week or so ago inspired by Miranda's imaginary friend.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Top form

Lewis came home with a glowing school report today, which was very satisfying to read. I don't recall ever getting the adjective phenomenenal once, let alone twice in any of my reports!

Greg has had a good year too, although he's unexceptional in pretty much everything other than sport! He does seem to be making better progress of late with maths, but I think we've got some work to do to inspire him in the year ahead...

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I was going to load the lower picture at first, because we've not had an arty picture for a while; but then I decided to match these two frames as they are almost perfectly registered!

Today we've been out on our bikes in the forest, having had a nice ride from Bolderwood, through Slufters Enclosure across Ocknell Plain where we raced against the Forest Strongman Triathletes. We had a nice lunch at the Royal Oak in Fritham which was marred by a group of 'yuppie scum' ill capable of disciplining their children, and too busy to recognise the irritation of everyone sitting adjacent.

We came back across Fritham Plain, through Slodden and Broomy Inclosures, back to Bolderwood

Highlight of the afternoon was a stop off at the Reptilery where we saw Natterjack and Common Toads, Sand Lizards, Grass Snakes, Slow worms and Adders (and baby adders) and the like... We also watched a Hobby on its nest with three eggs almost ready to hatch, one of about eight pairs in the New Forest.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The other slice of life

A fab contrast to yesterday's pic - I can't think what caused the reaction, but suffice to say we force feed our children!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Yum Yum!

Greg demolishing his pudding at lightening speed...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Babe in a hoody

I'm very fond of the old saying - there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing...

By rights this photo should not have worked, as the wind was howling, the light was falling, and Mippy was moving around furiously trying to jump on top of me. Miraculously the picture is sharp, and full of vitality, with just the right amount of wind~blown~ness!

Always be prepared for action.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Cool breeze in de palm trees

It's been a little while since we've had a `Tonka Toy' picture on the blog, mainly because it's a bit tricky keeping sand away from my camera, whilst getting stuck in with the fun bits. This was taken through the car window just before Mipp and I joined them on the beach on Sunday afternoon.

The wind as you can see was pretty strong, ....great weather for windsurfing thought Greg!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Meg and Mog

Mippy intently reading her story at bedtime last night.... She was in particularly saucy mood at bathtime, but by the time I'd got her into her jimjams she had mellowed somewhat. She's still not particularly interested in having a cuddle, unlike both the boys who love the close encounter...!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Shark attack!

Knowing Lewis had done a picture for last nights blog posting, Greg was keen to make a contribution tonight. He's got natural drawing ability and does lovely pictures, which he colours in with relish.

He even found some research material from National Geographic to finish off his detailing, and I was so pleased with him that I'm going to put his finished picture up too....

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Yesterday after we had finished cutting the hedge me and dad went down to the bike shop to get me a new bike.It's a big mountain bike that has suspension that you can adjust on the move It also has disk brakes and pedals that have brilliant grip.

Today it was soaking and I was a little dissapionted to find it was soaking, but a bit of rain didn't stop us.we went out in the rain and drove to Denny wood and went from there to brokenhust. At brokenhust there was a lot of puddles, but my Giant Bolder was very fast and managed to get through all of them and all the way back to the car.

When we got back we had a Italian meal including risotto balls, potato cake,tomato sauce and a lovely type of bread. Gran and Grandan were very kind and sent us a £5 pound note each and a bracelet for miranda.

today's post is by Lewis

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Cagey tigers

Lewis and I had our bike ride down to Calshot this morning in fantastic sunshine with bick black stormy clouds overhead. The colours were extraordinary, as the green algae along the shore glows with radioactive luminosity. The waves were hammering onto the beach at Calshot, and even the Calshot 'cats' race was cancelled, so when I asked Lewis if he fancied a paddle after lunch, he turned to me looking a bit sheepish, and said he didn't think so...!

So we decided to cut the hedge along Frost Lane, and afterwards took a trip into the village to pick up his new bike, which we've been promising a while - the old one being far too small for a lad of his size.

You should have seen Greg's face when he saw it. Daddy will that be my bike one day...? Yes Greg, it will ..... What even the disk brakes?.... Yes Greg, even the disk brakes .......Wow!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Get set for the weekend

After another grueling day getting a boutique ready for business at Harrods, my mind is drifting towards he things that really matter! Bikes and boats and he smell of the saltwind in my hair. I'm ready to go...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

My old man's a dustman

He definitely wears 'gor blimey' trousers, and can also from time to time, be seen leading our kids astray...

Today it's his birthday, so Old Brown takes centre stage on the blog. Happy Birthday Dad!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

An alien ate Gregory's underpants

I love these glimpses into the world of a developing child. To see what they are capable of producing at a fixed point in time is what the blog is all about.

So enjoy what's going through Greg's head on the second of July, 2008!

It's official, .... they steal your underpants.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

This little piggy

I've been reading a book tonight about a long walk across the Sonoran Desert, and this looks like the foot of Red Indian shaped by the heat of the hot sandy floor. The book has images shot on Polaroid film by Mark Klett, about the apparent emptiness of the space and the stories that remain to be told by the landscape.

Check out also his fascinating project on the American West seen through the perspective of a lens and film.