Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Lewis tucking into a few pages of homework, a pastime he particularly enjoys! He was telling me earlier that him and a few of the other boys made a tepee in the school grounds today. I can just see a few of the locals getting agitated about that...! He's been taking quite a bit of interest in architecture recently, and nice to see a variety of interests developing.

Monday, March 30, 2009


The boys watching the football match at Langdown playing field on the weekend. Hythe and Waterside YFC were playing another County side (Salisbury I think) and the action was quite exciting, Greg supporting Hythe and Lewis typically supporting the other side.

They got very animated at times, but I think I prefer the look of them studying the action.

Sad to hear today of the passing of Helen Levitt aged 95, a truly great street photographer. I especially liked her colour work, although her b/w images are very well regarded now.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Racing along....

She blazing along now, chasing he boys on her trike. Seems like only a few ago since she was belly-aching about not being able to do it. Now I only have to say "shall we go and see the ducks" ....and she's reaching for her crash helmet!

She's also started yumping off kerbs and I've even caught her trying to stand up on the pedals, as clearly the boys utilise this technique to outpace the other. She nearly went over the handlebars, and she's not tried it again...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Don't let the sun fool you!

It's been nice and sunny today, but boy has it been cold and windy. This morning our bike ride over the forest and down to the sea at Tanners Lane, near East Boldre was fab, but Lewis was pretty exhausted by the time we got back. This afternoon I took the kids out with Domino, and this one was just as we were getting back home along Shore Road. Miranda had been a bit sulky, but as we rounded the corner in the road she saw Audrey or next door neighbour and her mood lightened.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I want ride to my bicycle

The games we play don't change very much do they - this could easily be a scene from last week in our household with Lewis or Greg wanting to pull something along on a bit of rope. Of course we all wear crash helmets these days, but just look at that trike, they don't make them like that any more!

For the curious this my brother Christian circa 1972, the pussycat's name I do not recall - photo by my Dad.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Buildability Brown

I know that normally you don't get too many pictures of me on the Brown Blog, but this one arrived in my email this morning so it has to go on....

My Dad has recently had a retrospective exhibition at Tenby, and this was one of two pictures of me in the show. I can't really recall having seen it before it appeared in the show.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


From the same roll of film as 'Plastic Pants' comes this one taken, one presumes by Caroline. Lewis looks rather pleased with himself, but then again so do I!

Monday, March 23, 2009

James Boned

My bruther thinks that he is James Boned. He rases arawnd in his asten martin ptending to fir hid gun at the badees who are hiding bihind the setey. Now he's started riting a book called Dive anuther day. Its abawt cars and boats and playnes and a very pawerfel prismer of lite. Wen i am oldr iym gowing to be James Bond.

Just found the above in Greg's writing book and it made me smile - always a bonus on a damp Monday night!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tiger Lily

Not sure how this neg comes to be in my neg files but I found it, and thought it would fit into my nostalgic strand nicely...

I guess that I'd be about six or seven here, with our puss cat Tiger Lily.

Today it's been warm and sunny and we've lazed around, enjoying the fine Spring. Miranda's made great progress on her trike racing around like a demon - I even caught her trying 'no hands' in an attempt to copy Lewis. We spent the afternoon on the beach with the Tonka toys making a sand castle. I've caught the sun again, for the second weekend on the trot.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

No I haven't just got out of the Shower!

I didn't think she'd be keen to wear the plastic pants on her head, but when I asked her if she'd seen Lewis on the blog and he chipped in with "Oh Yeah the Plastic Pants photo!" - the rest just happened naturally.

With her new hat she found new identity and started behaving like a mad monk, or maybe it was Britney Spears? Anyhow we had great fun, and she even wanted me to go and get the camera - so here we are....

Friday, March 20, 2009

Big C

Found this one in amongst my neg files from about the same time as yesterdays post. It's an old favourite for a variety of reasons. As I recall my Mum had come to stay for the first time since Lewis had arrived, and we were just taking her to the bus stop for her return journey.

Just after I'd taken this picture we stopped for a cup of tea, and she sheepishly admitted having been to the doctors and the C word entered our vocabulary. It's been ten years since we learned to understand how valuable each day really is.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Plastic Pants

I've been giving Miranda a talking to about staying dry through the night, and I've promised her that I'll put a picture of what we did to Lewis to make him co-operate......

So Miranda, come on, get your act in gear.... or it's plastic pants for you too!

This one is just over 9yrs old I think as Lewis was unable to sit up properly at the time. Film doesn't have EXIF data recorded.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Good portraits are born in 'call and response', and you need to have exceptional human and technical skills to do it well. This one captures some of that feeling, as Mippy scoots off independently daring you to chase after her. The minx.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cabin Girl Tom

This one reminds me of the fun we had reading Pugwash on the weekend. The crew have mutineered, but Tom elects to leave with the deposed Pugwash, leaving the crew to fend for themselves.

Miranda was whooping as we explained the story, saying it was the little boy who really did all the work...!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Suntan in March

Been out in the kayaks today, and we've come back with a tan. Seems rather implausible, but hey we live in the south!

We paddled from Calshot up Southampton Water watching the birds in the reed beds, before popping in to Ashlett Creek to check out the boats etc. Lewis was lagging behind on the return leg so I asked him if he was OK. 'yeah' he said, '....but my arms are aching a bit!'

Later at bedtime I snuggled up to Miranda to get her off to sleep, and I asked her what she'd enjoyed best today, and her unlikely response was ' ...and did that Goosey really poop on your head Daddy?'

Yes Miranda that Brent Goose really nearly pooped on my head .... t'was a close shave too! It's amazing what kids take in and remember.

Friday, March 13, 2009


The end of an exhausting week, and I'm ready for a bit of fun on a see-saw. Anything in fact that doesn't involve racing towards a deadline.

This one's from a few weeks ago when we met up with the Ottolola clan.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The troll

One of Miranda's favourite reads at the moment is The Three Billy Goats Gruff. She's at the 're-telling it in her own words' stage, and it can be rather hillarious.

Greg by contrast, is at the 'if it's there it's meant to be climbed on/over/under, irrespective of whether I get wet shoes' stage. This can be equally amusing at times...

Happy days huh!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Larking around

Some photos just have a buzz, and this one definitely has it for me. The fraction of a second that the action lasts for relies on razor sharp reflexes; if you can't focus that lens, then you'll have missed the shot. That's what I love about photography, it's the capturing the elusive moment.

Of course I could use autofocus lenses but the pictures simply don't look the same.

I'm listening to Thelonious Monk Blue Monk

Monday, March 09, 2009

Rocking chair

At her age she's supposed to be sitting in her rocking chair with a blanket over her knees, but oh no most days you'll find Gran at the playground having fun.

Now did we ever tell you the one about Gran and the Tarzan rope....(and the visit to the Casualty Department in Carmarthen Hospital)?

Talking about Tarzan watch Stephen Fry Afrycam

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Rodwell Trail

We've been planning to do the Rodwell Trail for a little while, so as it was a fabulous sunny morning and we were up early, what better plan of action. The trail runs along the old GWR track connecting Portland with Weymouth and beyond, and offers spectacular views across the sea. It was quite blustery to begin and we had great fun watching the surfers on the bay, but half way cross the causeway the sky turned black and the wind built up to a fairly unfriendy gale. This was a bit of a challenge for Greg, and Miranda was none too pleased, but the Browns are not for quitting! We were pelted by hailstones and lashed by rain, and the wind at time knocked both Greg and Lewis off their bikes....

Taking shelter in a pub on the waterfront in Chiswell (The Cove House Inn)http://img01.beerintheevening.com/e9/e94b77863a75f9a1733f1828b4aad3bd.jpg, gave us a chance to regroup and watch the enormous waves breaking along Chessil Beach. Fortunately the pub had good food on offer and we had a tasty Sunday dinner, ..... and then the sun came out for the return leg!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

In training

Lewis' RSPB magazine has managed to convince him to do a sponsored activity in aid of the Sumatran rainforest. He has decided that he's going to cycle 50 miles across the New Forest, and so he'll be looking for sponsors any day soon....

This morning the training started in earnest, and Lewis had to admit that he was tired at about bedtime... "I think that ride has worn me out!"

Bring it on.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Just for a change

This morning when I came downstairs Lewis was already busy making a poster to promote St Lucia, so I guess it inspired this. I've been scanning some old negs of late, and this one was taken on my 40th birthday in Tobago Cays, having sailed down from Martinique past St Lucia to the Grenadines. The water looks quite surreal, but as any photographer will tell you Fuji Velvia never lies....

Only one thing that compares with being there....

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Eat up Dolly

Miranda looking rather angelic, and for once looking like she was enjoying having her photo taken. Her kitchen area is now called Smokey Joe's Cafe I am told by Lewis, who insisted on playing the tune at bedtime.

I'm listening to Concha Buika - Mi nina Lola

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Cost per Wear

Life is not a Sunday garment. You wear it every day and it looks it. Threads come loose, unravel, get plucked out. Holes torn and burned through carelessness or accident are darned sometimes inexpertly. The fabric is discolored here and there with blood, sweat and tears: stains that won't wash out. Not everything matches. Not everything fits. The cloth is patched and mended, threadbare but familiar and dear through use. We do not choose the fabric, but as the saying has it, you must cut your coat according to your cloth.

Some choices we make carefully, some hastily; some are thrust upon us; some we make without knowing it or knowing that we even have a choice. They all add up to make us what we are. Measure twice, cut once.

Monday, March 02, 2009


After years of asking Grandan to take photos of things on her behalf, Gran finally got off her backside and started taking her own. Well of course there's no stopping her now...

It remains to be seen whether she reached for the instruction handbook for the video recorder, or the iMac, but we live in hope!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Cooked breakfast

Miranda in her kitchen this morning, pinny and gloves on, saucepan in hand. It's a shame that this picture looses the context of her cooker and the pizza on a plate, but the other frames I'd shot were not quite sharp or expressive!

She kept referring to the pizza as bread, and I kept calling it pizza. She totally ignored me, and the next sentence included the word 'bread' as though I'd not spoken. It was after all about 9 in the morning....

Weather here has been lovely, spring continuing to bloom. The catkins are out, as are the snowdrops.