Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Today it's my Mum's birthday, and I think she's sunning herself in Sicily - so we'll all have to wish her a Happy Birthday via the blog! Gran we hope you are trekking down to the the Internet Cafe (or Internettio Cantina) to pick this up!!

This image I found on file from a recent visit, with Gran getting stuck in to a child friendly version of Metamorphosis...!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

What a way to start the day!

My day began this morning with a nice cup of tea in bed and Gregory giving me a lovely drawing, which happened to be of .... Dad gowing down a wartefall ....

And it's been a very pleasant day too, bike riding and kayaking.

At the moment Lewis is playing his guitar, and it's all very soothing - that's the way I like to remember it (in my own mind at least)

Saturday, September 27, 2008


It's funny to contrast this picture taken in the height of our summer with our afternoon on the beach today. This was Cornwall and it was wet and windy, but today has ben spectacularly good again. Lewis and I had a top ride in the forest before lunch, and then Greg, Lewis, Miranda and I spent the afternoon at Lepe, building castles and playing with the Tonka toys. There was a nip in the air by tea time but it's been clear blue skies and scintilating water as a backdrop to our fun and games.

I didn't take my camera, as I fancied getting stuck into the ground works, and cameras and sandy don't go together very well.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Flying colours

So tonight we've actually m,anaged to get a shot of the paper planes in action! The wonders of a glass of wine to galvanise action. Even more surprising was that the glass of wine also helped me to understand the instructions and solve one of the cunning folding techniques that we've been struggling with.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Flying along...

This last week or so the boys have been obsessively making paper planes (although no photo sadly!). It's a variation on the origami theme, and all good training for the Whitewings project that the boys are itching to get stuck into! Maybe this weekend...

Tonight I'm listening to some bespoke tunes check it out for ourself...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Top Rider

I took this one as we were 'steaming' down the old railway track that runs from Freshwater to Yarmouth.

Not sure if I should apologise here to the man on a bicycle who had to swerve to avoid us as we took these pictures - ....it's rather tricky, don't you know... riding two abreast on a narrow bumpy track with a DSLR in one hand, never mind about looking where you are going!!!

I'm listening to a great new find tonight 'Plukk' by Trygve Seim, one of those creative Norwegian Jazzers.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


"A common Frog can jump up to 50cm. In March and April the frogs lay 2000 to 3000 eggs which sink to the ground and rise to the surface. They hatch into tadpoles, and the tadpoles turn into frogs."

By Greg - Spring 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Red Peril

Portrait of Lewis on the day he came into the world, ten years to the day. It seems a long time since he first joined us, and who knows what we'll get up to over the next ten years before, as he remarked this evening, ".... I'll be old enough to leave home!"

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nine not out

Asked what he fancied doing for his birthday treat Lewis said he wantes to do something with boats or bikes.... so we decided to go to the Isle of Wight. You couldn't really have asked for a nicer day, the weather has been fab and we've found a few new trails along the way.

We found a nice café at Colwell, so we had our brunch at the water's side, toasted gently by the sunshine. This was a beautiful spot more like the Caribbean than the South Coast.

After playing on the beach at Totland we headed over the hill towards Freshwater, stopping briefly at Farringford to have a look at Tennyson's house which overlooks Julia Margaret Cameron's place a bit lower down the valley.

We had a nice lazy time on the beach at Freshwater, a spot of afternoon tea, and then we rode back along the River Yar. Supper at Gossip's in Yarmouth with a view over the departing Ferry terminal was topped off by a magnificent red sunset as the boat pulled into Lymington.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Zeds in the bed

Story time for Miranda and Greg, - I managed to get Miranda off, but fell asleep before I could get Greg into bed.... Fortunately (as Caroline was out this evening) Lewis had been tasked with making Pizzas tonight, so dinner was in the oven by the time they came and woke me!

Totally zonked on account of having been cycling in the forest with Lewis this morning, and kayaking with the whole clan at Calshot this afternoon. The weather has been spectacular, although a slight nip in the air by about 5pm. As a special treat for Lewis who'll be ten on Mnday, we're planning on riding down the river Yar tomorrow to Freshwater, so we'll be having another action packed day, and hopefully a swim too!

A barrel load of monkeys...

Momentary bliss as the clan gather for a cuddle. It's like this all the time.... honest!

Today we've had a glorious day, just like summer - only a bit late! We're hopeful for a nice weekend as it's Lewis birthday on Monday so we'll be trying to do something fun along the way.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


There's a beautiful simplicity in this image, which underlies the contrast with my last post. I love the way the boys are focused on some activity just out of the frame, and the sailboat pulls your eye back into it, continuing along the horizon and back out the other side. The symmetry of the shore line and the horizon, breaking the space almost neatly into thirds.

Every picture tells a story...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Full tilt

As we're on a kayaking theme, I'm posting an action shot from a few weeks ago when we were at Weymouth. The sea was quite choppy, and I had my camera to hand, so this one's quite a nice record of the teamwork that goes on from time to time...!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday is Funday!

This morning we had a nice kayaking session at Calshot as it was very calm and promising sunshine. The sunshine didn't materialise although it was beautifully quiet as we paddled through the saltgrass at high tide. We could hear Mummy and Miranda jabbering away in the boat from a fair distance, every sound carrying....

Both boys love paddling in the mud and spartina, trying desperately to get stuck in the gulleys. Me, I just like being chauffered around! I've been waiting for Sunday mornings like this!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Nice to see you!

Lewis and I were out on our bike ride this morning, and we'd stopped for a baguette at Beaulieu, when we noticed that someone had pulled up in the road alongside the green. It was the Riley clan who we met down in Cornwall, and what a surprise!

So this afternoon they came back to our house and the kids had a nice time playing together.

Exhausted the kids have gone to bed without any complaints!

This is Beth - isn't she lovely!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The draughtsman's contract

Hard at work on another technical challenge, Lewis said to me "I'm looking forward to my favourite day of the week" Half asleep I replied "...what 's that then?"

"Saturday ...bike riding day!"

One day he'll be an expert at working the crowd.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Walk a thin Line

We've walked to the end of the spit hundreds of times at Calshot, and the allure of tight-roping along the groynes never seems to diminish. The only variations are who's on, who's off and who's three miles behind because they can't keep up.

Mippy being particularly slow at present, but oh, does she have to do it too?

It's been a nice sunny day here in Hythe, and I was able to squeeze in a walk with Mippy lunchtime, which was fun.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Green Woody

I've got a set of ten of these pages, which Greg did for his Nature Week studies, and I've been meaning to post a few every now and again...

It looks for bugs in a tree, and ants in the ground. They make their nests in a hole in a tree, and they lay five to seven eggs. It has a familar voice that sounds like laughing

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

First day at School

Today another milestone, Miranda's first day at Pre-school! Seems like only yesterday that she was crawling around on her hands and knees....

By all accounts she enjoyed herself, and is looking forward to going back again.

Tonight I've been stretching my brain watching the content on the BBC website relating to Cern - nice to find something new to think about!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Play it again Sam!

I was just looking for a photo to describe the day, when in wafted Lewis playing his guitar. So I'm being serenaded with Roadrunner as I think of something to say!

Today we've walked Domino the Donkey and had a jolly fun bike ride out on the forest with the boys. We have found a few interesting circuits that they love doing which are infinitely more satisfying than a BMX track. Greg came back looking like a mud monster, I wanted to take a photo of him but Mum had stripped him of his griminess by the time I could blink...

We've been listening to a South Korean guitar player today called Sungha Jung who's been inspiring Lewis to practice a bit longer - Sungha does three hours a day, and is pretty good! Check out his rendition of Mission Impossible

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Crazy for Maisy

It's been wet and windy here today, and Mippy's been fairly stormy too! She's got this tendency to either be lots of fun or spectacularly whingey, and sometimes both at the same time. Today we have the four seasons....

We did have good runaround at the beach but by bedtime we were glad to see the back of them! I could barely kep my eyes open to read the story, but a few glasses of wine later and my senses were repaired.

I was goinhg to post some really moody pictures of Mipp, but they were so miserable I couldnt think what I;'d write to go with them so.....

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Wet Suit

Fresh out of the brine, with the cold wind blowing..., but he's still able to raise a smile! This one was taken on the Monday at Weymouth after his kayaking session with Mum.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Where's she gone?

Snapped this one whilst Miranda was strutting around in her swimming costume whilst waiting for Mummy and Lewis to get back in the kayak at Fleet Lagoon.

"Where Mummy gone....where Mummy gone....!"

I love these sort of images, fragments of life in a big landscape, seen from my perspective.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Naughty but nice.

It being the weekend of the 31st August, we had a little camping trip to celebrate Caroline's naughtiest birthday yet! We've just got back from Hook Farm in Uplyme in Devon where we had fun and ate too much nice food. We also did a fair amount of outdoor stuff and dodged the showers along the way.

Highlights of the trip were a bike ride in the hilly terrain that took in the Axminster carpet museum, followed by lunch at the River Cottage Canteen. This epic day had quite a few highlights ending with chippies on the beach at Seaton at sunset.

Saturday we walked into Lyme Regis down the valley from Uplyme, and enjoyed a mixture of music festival and fossil finding on the beach. Again more nice food at the Town Mill Bakery, which as it turns out is one of the major suppliers for 'Hugh's' restaurant. The pizzas were delicious, almost as good as the ones we get at home!

Sunday began with an enormous thunder and lightning session at dawn, followed by a deluge of rain which cleared out most of the campers on the site. Bloody light weights....! We waited for the rain to stop, had a jolly fine cooked breakfast and then had a great day visiting Colyton and Beer, taking it fairly easy in the main. We liked Beer a lot, but curiously didn't drink any whilst there. It's a great old fashioned sort of place, boats parked up all over the beach, and the light over the water was exceptional. Later we went back into Lyme and had a birthday supper at the Bay Hotel with the clan, before playing sandcastles on the beach.

Monday was characterised by more eating of delicious food procured at Bridport, followed by kayaking at Fleet Lagoon near Weymouth. And yes, ...more food there too ....before we finally came home!