Lewis has been out to a series of concerts at the Anvil in Basingstoke today with school. Tonight he said to us at dinner time "Do you mind if I go and look up a bird I saw when we were travelling through Michedever Forest"
There's not much I enjoy more than a walk across the forest or plains of the New Forest, and it's great when you get to realise that the things that matter to you, matter to other people too....
She's as wriggly as a barrel of monkeys, and as unpredictable as a grasshopper on a chilly pepper. But this morning whilst breakfast was being prepared I suggested taking a few photos, and Miranda said that would be fun. The only problem was a fake smile that I could not shift, and then the sun came out and for a few minutes I worked her magic...
When we got home from our bike ride this morning there was a message for Lewis from someone who had read about his sponsored bike ride, and wanted to contribute some money. They had tracked him down via the newspaper newsdesk.
It's been a lovely sunny day here, the heather is coming out in the forest and all the greens are still nice and bright. It was a bit muggy for cycling though, and we were all short of breath.
Just found this one of Miranda in my 'ready to go' folder, from a little while ago. It was taken at Swannage I think, and judging by the coat on a considerably cooler day than today. It's been something of a scorcher today, although we did have a bit of rain this morning too.
This one entirely for Gregory's amusement, as I was in London today looking at a project on Piccadilly Circus at the former Tower Records/Zavvi site and came face to face with this charming character. So I practiced my Kung Fu skills on him, and lived to tell the tale.....
OK, so I was unaware of the coincidence but it was a good excuse. Sunday was a trip down the Solent with the wind in my sails. Ian and I had lunch in the calm of Alum Bay with a spectacular view if the coloured sands on one side and the Needles on the other.
Bliss, almost.... but now it's all downhill until mid winter.
As I arrived home with the bike on the roof of the car, Lewis shot out and said he could tell I'd had new tyres from inside the house.... "and you've got me some new patches for my punctures - great we can go for a ride on Saturday then!"
It's a real achievement for me to remember to organise certain things like repairs on the bikes, before the next weekend falls into place. But for Lewis, it's at the fore front of his thoughts.
If this weekend goes to plan we should even get some sailing in too.
You can really feel the energy in this picture as they all push themselves forwards (or is it backwards). Miranda of course still fairly immobile on a swing, but she tries her best to push the pace! Makes you think about all the G-Forces on the swing when you see a picture like this.
I've been thinking about doing some cyanotypes recently as the days get longer and the sun brighter. I've even found some recipes for toning the little blighters. I've also found a few useful video tutorials on the web, so now I don't have any excuses. Watch this space!
We went for a walk in the woods on the weekend to wing on the Tarzan rope. Miranda insisted on bringing her buggy which made progress very slow, but the boys quickly took control by carrying it up the hills, and then racing back down again so they didn't get bored. This reminded me of some of the fun we used to have as kids racing my brother Chris' go cart at Penyrallt.
The end of another very sunny day, finds us mid barbeque and almost ready to drop. It's been very hot but with cloud banks passing over, which made it slightly more agreeable.
The boys and I paddled up Southampton Water this afternoon which was fun for a change, past the Marina and along Didben Bay. The boys found the boatyard on Shore Road the most fun as there's endless things to see going on there, including some enormous hovercrafts and some even bigger aluminium hulled 'super-yachts' (ie a £52M luxury power boat from Palmer Johnson)
Highlight of the afternoon for me however was watching a group of about fifteen or twenty beautiful terns dive bombing around our boat as we paddled along. They really are the most graceful creatures. I also found the cormorants at the boat yard quite spectacular to watch as they sat drying their wings in formation.
The bike ride this morning was a bit of a trial, and I must remember to book my bike in for a thorough overhaul. I experienced a snapped chain and two punctures out on the trail, but it was a nice ride with Lewis, nonetheless.
This afternoon we've been kayaking at Calshot. The lagoon was lovely and warm and Greg splashed around in the water for ages, and has started paddling on his own.
I'm listening to Bobby Womack's 'Facts of Life' - Nobody wants you when you're down and out...
I've been in London today for a meeting, and it's been great to see that despite a tube strike everything flows as normal. Lots more bikes, and lots more people on the street walking. One day soon they might ban the car next from our streets and we'll have a wholly enjoyable environment to enjoy...
I got so excited it made me think of this picture from the weekend!
Caroline has been trying to take the credit for Miranda's good looks for some time, but there are numerous who fortunately can see the true influences. CJ was commenting on the unknown source of Mippy's freckles last week, so this one's just to prove the point!
Some sad news tonight, as we heard that our old family fried Priscilla has died, she was one of life's lovelier people, and we shall miss her...
The weather forecast for today was very ropey, so I thought I was lucky having a bike ride at all. Lewis was keen to show me a new route he'd been planning in his slumbers, and we set off on the adventure. As it turned out the weather was fab and got better through the day.
Greg read a whole Harry Horse book before getting out of bed this morning, and he's part way through a second on by sundown....
There's a great interview with Sebastiao Salgado on YouTube that I watched tonight, concerning his latest project Genesis. It's made by the Graduate School of Journalism at Berkeley. Really worth watching if you have 90 mins.
It's been "Book Week" at school and today was the fun bit where they dress up for the day. Greg went as D'Artagnan, Lewis went as (Young) Bond and Miranda went dressed in Pink (ah she'll be a girl then...we live in hope?)
It's good to see them rising to the clan trying to catch me unawares, but strange to start finding me in amongst the pictures I take. It's a bit of a give away when Lewis has been trying as there usually one of me and then about two dozen views of cars and trucks. This one's by CJ....
Lewis loves putting the animals to bed at Barry's, it's part of his grown up time after Greg and Miranda have gone to bed. When I turned up last night he was already down there so I watched him from a distance, as he marched around attending to the variety of tasks; looking for eggs, feeding the ducks and goats, locking them away in their pens etc
When the milking shed door was opened, I didn't expect to see him get involved, but he really seems to enjoy the work! He might make a farmer yet.
Lewis was very excited when he got home from school today to find a parcel waiting for him.
He's recently reproduced some colour pictures from one of his Truck magazines, and in sending these to the truck operator, Drysdale Freight, has won their affection. Not only have they sent him photos of their current fleet, but a lovely model which I am sure will be pride of his model shelf. He's just gone to bed with a big smile on his face, and an instruction not to get up too early!