Saturday, October 31, 2009


Driving through  the forest this afternoon we saw a car with passengers fully decorated as ghouls, blood running down their chins ... the full works!

Reminds me of a night a full twenty two years ago that led to this engagement.

Tonight we ate roasted pumpkin seeds as a nibble, followed by spicy pumpkin soup, pumpkin gnocchi with blue cheese sauce, and a pumpkin pie for pudding. All were distinct flavour and equally delicious. We also had a bottle of 1996 Northbrook Springs, a locally produced wine which was quite delicious. Not on a par with a bottle of Ned, but certainly of a very high standard.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Catchy colours

Had a nice bike ride with Lewis this afternoon, as the weather has been fantastic today, and the forecast for the weekend is not good... We went from Fritham towards Gorley and across to Frogham, before sweeping north towards Downton and back.

The autumn colours are at their best, and the forest was surprising full of people. Half term I guess?

Bought some nice squash and other veg at the farm shop at Birchenwood Farm in Brook, and even a few bottles of wine and cider that he makes too. Wasn't aware that Pinot Noir was grown in the New Forest, can't wait to try it out.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Whenever we are out walking in the forest, there's one thing we all have to do.... Approaching a gate Lewis has to run on ahead, and open it wide so that the vehicle can get through... We each have to drive our Land Rover with an Ivor Williams trailer, or Log Lorry etc, as carefully as possible between the posts.

I used to find this activity mildly irritating, but I just love doing it now! Miranda's going to get knocked over if she's not careful....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

7 times 3 equals

After supper this evening I fired a page of maths sums over to Gregory. He's working on his 2, 3, and 5x tables, so it's early days yet.

However he toiled through the list, and gave it back to me... all right!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's been long time comin'

One of a number I have sitting waiting for an opportunity to post, so it had better get to see the light tonight... Miranda at Denny Wood, forging ahead!

Still can't believe we live here, ....have I mentioned that before?

Monday, October 26, 2009


Sometimes when you live with someone, you forget who they really are. I had a phone call earlier from CJ, and Miranda insisted on speaking to me to tell me about her bike ride into the village...and just listening to her warbling away as she told her story, her voice removed from the little girl I know and cuddle every day, was quite a revelation.

I'm listening to 'I'll Tell my 'Ma' by Van Morrison and the Chieftans....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Loyal foot soldier

This morning I took Miranda and Lewis out for a bike ride in Denny Wood. The colours were fab, and it was nice and warm.

Greg wanted to stay at home, and when we got back he'd finished his story about Roman soldiers.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pooh Sticks

It's been a fantastic afternoon here, the light making the autumn colours glow. We've been for a walk out from Rans Wood and over top Beaulieu Heath. I was trying to get a bit more of Miranda in this shot and almost slipped over into the pond!

This morning by contrast our bike ride was very wet, and rather blustery. Twice in one day would have taken the biscuit.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Leafy lanes

It's been murky and wet here today, so I expect all those lovely autumnal leaves from last weekend will be mushed before we get a chance to roll in them again.

This picture was taken in Denny Wood, and that pesky look is to say "C'mon Dad ...keep up!"

I'm listening to Erik Friedlander's Yakima from Block Ice and Propane

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

We came across these horses in a paddock at the weekend and Lewis was chuffed we could give them some attention.

After he'd done his spellings with me this morning I asked him to name me ten breeds of horse, and was surprised that he could reel off not just ten, but twenty with hardly a thought. There's something going in there.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What did you have for lunch Miranda?

"Cheese on toast and T'mato Soup, Dad"

I love these mucky faced portraits that reflect a certain time of innocence.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Twenty Eight

Realised that I need to try harder with a few more conventional portraits, so this one's just to remind me to work it a little harder...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Proper hills for a change.

We had a nice walk today from Corfe Castle down to the sea at Houns Tout. It was hilly pretty much everywhere along the way, which was nice for a change and the views were spectacular. This picture was just as we were leaving Corfe across the Common heading up to the pretty village of  Kingston.

We had our afternoon cake and tea overlooking the sea, and got back to the car as it was almost getting dark.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I'm in charge.

Comes a time when performance demands reward. Miranda not only managed to stay dry through the night last night, but she's been very assertive on her bike. So this afternoon after lunch I said I was taking them for a walk, but I also loaded Miranda's bike onto the roofbars.... when she trotted out to the car she absolutely hooted when she saw the bike. She's been saying that when she's a big girl her bike's going up there, but she was in no way prepared for seeing it happen!

Anyhow we went to Denny Wood and she cycled about 4 miles off road, and even when we got home she wanted to do more.... That's my girl.

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's Daddy!

My turn to have his photo on the blog tonight, but it's really just an opportunity to show off Miranda's picture taking skills! She took this one last weekend, with a manual focus lens, I'll have you know. Not bad for a three year old that normally has difficulty getting even my head in the frame...

That slightly vexed face, ...well I could explain...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

You spin me round

I'm starting to get opportunities to take photos as well as take Miranda out on her bike, so this is from our tootle around the block at lunchtime. All our (retired) neighbours watch her through their living room windows, you can see them beaming wishing it was them, as she propels herself towards the future...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


She's been on form today, which considering we had a few damp interludes during the night to attend to, is surprising!

We went for a bike ride around the block and Miranda managed to take a rectangular route with sharp consecutive corners about  twenty times before she got bored and wanted to move on. She's getting there, fast.

Fingers crossed for tonight, she's really excited about being a big girl....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Elephant's bottoms

Have to load this one from the weekend, of the final stages of preparation of some rather tasty tortelloni stuffed with spinach and ricotta. Caroline made three batches, thinking she was going to freeze some for another day...

Well you guessed, we ate the lot in three sittings. Served with a lemon and basil olive oil type sauce (I'm making that bit up as I can't remember exactly) and just too damn good to leave alone.

I'm a great fan of slow food.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Friends, Romans

Greg did me a few drawings on Sunday, so I'm posting his Centurions poised for battle for today's picture. Vicious little tikes they must have been...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Blown away

As Greg was poorly, Lewis, Miranda and I had a walk out from Bolderwood in a big loop towards Fritham and back via Ocknell Inclosure. This was our lunch break near Cadman's Pool where we watched the ducks and the birds, whilst the wind blew the leaves off the trees. Nine and a half miles and she did not complain once...trotting along with Lewis pretending to be whinnying horses!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hold on

I've got Miranda on my lap and I ask her what I should write "Big picture of Tarzan on the rope" she replies, and then gives me a kiss on the cheek.

Today we've been doing some more bike riding, and there have been a few firsts. She has managed to stop and get off her bike without falling over, and she has managed a few turns at the end of the street, and coming back too. We also tried cycling down to the village on two wheels but that was a bridge too far, although we did get more than half way. We are very pleased with the progress...

I love these pictures of Mipp on the rope swing, she's totally fearless.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Hanging on tightly

Greg has been a bit poorly the last few days. You can tell he's not himself by the way he cuddles up next to you. He's been sitting down quietly reading, minding his own business, and eve went to bed early last night. He must be poorly!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Pink Wellies

It's been grey and damp here today, so it's a wellies picture....

Miranda made me laugh today. We had a delivery of a few tons of firewood which was tipped from the truck onto the drive. We'd told Miranda she could watch from the kitchen window as it's a bit dangerous as all the wood blocks career out the back onto the ground.

Anyhow I forgot about her, until she appeared with dough all over her hands and pink wellies on. "What are you doing Mip?"

"I've come to help you put it all away....!"

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Aberteifi and Fish

Having spent the day with the Abercrombie development team in London, I'm inclined to say, I'm rather proud of my own production line...

Sunday, October 04, 2009

What would you like Greg?

A magic little vignette this one. First they both had to climb the tree, and then they are peering through an aperture in the branches about eight feet off the ground.... and just as it caught my eye, Miranda was offering Greg some of her wares from the cafe.

Now you know why she's holding on!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Autumn's here

It's been quite chilly here today with a fair bit of wind, and what with all the leaves coming down, I can feel a change taking place!

Our bike ride this morning presented us with a strong headwind which Lewis complained about several times. Although it wasn't until we got back and serviced his bike that we realised his disk brake was binding.

Greg's turn for a photo today, we've not seen his face too much this month...

Friday, October 02, 2009

Can we build a castle?

Miranda wanted to play with her bucket and spade tonight, she wasn't keen on playing ball. So we built ourselves a nice post-modern structure from a variety of beach debris, driftwood and bricks etc

There was no one on the beach and when we listened (accidentally because Miranda has been fiddling with the RDS buttons again) to the traffic report it painted a tale of real woe on the Motorway. We grinned and headed home for pasties and chips.

I'm listening to Erik Truffaz - Arkhangelsk (2007)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I'm a big girl now...

It's becoming a popular refrain, and who could argue with her? Only problem is she thinks that anything remotely childish is no longer applicable, apart that is from having a tantrum if she doesn't get her way...