Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jurassic Coats

There was a thick frost this morning when we awoke and the sun was shining, so we decided to head down to the coast for a blow. We walked from Kingston near Corfe Castle along the ridge down to Kimmeridge. The tide was out and we rummaged around in the rock pools before heading back along the coast to Chapman's Pool. Staggering views over the limestone pavement below, but the path was very muddy in places;  the final climb of a few hundred feet almost vertically, and in darkness was fairly challenging. Still Miranda managed the 10-12 miles admirably, in conditions that would have finished off most adults. Greg carried two large stones with fossils embedded back from the beach at Kimmeridge just to show his determination!

Our return trip home accompanied by the amazing sight of the wolf moon....

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Double Bubble

We found this 'his and hers' matching swings hidden away near Norley Woods. Not a great shot but it was fun doing two together. The sun was very low in the sky and very bright, and it's unbelievably wet underfoot despite being close to freezing all day, with ice everywhere...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Miranda Panda

Miranda's been talking to Macca Pacca on the Tombiblyphone about her blanket - seems she can't find it and was most concerned. I can hear her jabbering just outside my workroom door sometimes, and I swear she's been taking magic mushrooms most of the time, because I can't work out what she's going on about.

Talking about Magic Mushrooms I went to a party yesterday and someone had painted space invaders on the side of a building in a seedy part of London that used to be a mecca for all photographers - Farringdon; it brought back all the memories...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Laid back

I was reading a Paddington story at bedtime, and a certain Roman hero's name made an appearance. Gregory pounced on it and started telling me a whole lot of stuff about the guy and how he'd not helped his former hero....blah de blah!

"Greg I'm trying to read a story, and you're trying to tell me the history of the Roman Empire, c'mon this is really serious..."

Two minutes later, and he's rolling around on the floor again when I tell him what's happened to Paddington Bear now!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Life's a game of give and take

At tea time I was invited to join the kids for a starter of pasta with a delicious tomato sauce that Lewis had prepared, cooked and served up. He even fed Miranda when her interest was waning.

His garlic bread was pretty fiery too - payback time!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Beach Babes

Yesterday at Calshot, although it wasn't bikini weather! Lewis managed to take a whole card full of pictures, and of course by today he was ready to post them on his blog. Patience, none of it!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Lewis has been nagging me to do some photos in the darkroom, but is a bit of a work-up. But I'm getting a bit rusty, and there's a reason I do mainly digital photography -    t  i  m  e ....!

Anyhow today we've been playing with some of the treasure trove of cameras in my vault, and Lewis took a real shine to my MF cameras with laterally inverted images, doesn't he just look the part.

This afternoon he took my old Nikon digicam out, as I managed to fix the battery chamber problem that took it out of commission. Nice to see it get a new lease of life.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Book Worm

Greg was still reading his story in bed when I popped in after putting Miranda to bed. I left him to have 5 minutes longer, whilst I got on with a few things....

A 'while' later he appeared on the stairs and I thought something was wrong. "Is it OK if I turn the light out now?"

He'd read the whole book.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

When the rain stops

Miranda has been learning to get herself through the night dry, and last night she managed to wake up and get to the loo (and back into bed) without incident. Small beer maybe, but the sense of relief, even happiness that this brings is enormous...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Story Time

Another of my more successful attempts at getting the three kids in the same frame agreeably! Nice pool of light on Miranda, helps focus our attention on the intimacy of story time.

Lewis very pleased tonight because his boat design won the Year 6 speed test at Puttles Bridge today. He borrowed the design from Ellen McArthur, and added some polystyrene to help the buoyancy. It was only yesterday I was berating him for spending more time adding graphics to the outer surface of the boat than concerning himself with the performance. He's a winner!

This is what I am trying to record too

Monday, January 18, 2010

Parallel Lines

Really impressed with Lewis' singing tonight as he belted out 'Every breath you take' and I tried to get a candid photo with all his expression, but he spotted me first! He was very excited tonight as he's going on a school trip tomorrow to a local river where they are conducting scientific tests! They have all made boats and will be testing the buoyancy and speed capability etc of their vessels.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Act your age

I took Miranda for a bike ride down Shore Road this morning, as it was lovely and sunny. We stopped at the benches and Miranda did her usual 'ice cream' routine. I noticed her pick up some small sticks off the ground and was curious what they were for. She disappeared and was gone for some time at the picnic area. Eventually she reappeared and from some distance I could see her turning her head away from me. As she came closer, I realised this was because she was pretending to smoke a cigarette, and didn't want me to see... Needless to say, no photograph and I hope I never do!

Saturday, January 16, 2010


He's getting into Eric Clapton at the moment, and this evening's songs included Cocaine and Wonderful Tonight, but he's also working on Lay Down Sally. He seems to enjoy those rootsy songs with a gravelly voice. I'm looking forward to him asking if he can play in assembly again, his Headmaster will freak!

Must do some more recording when I get a chance!

Friday, January 15, 2010


There seems to be no end to the horsey activity that we can enjoy thanks to Lewis' inventiveness. Miranda is following Lewis over the jumps, which he made earlier!

It was amusing to hear Greg fantasizing about cars just before bedtime (Top Gear book in hand), and Lewis belittling the tripe being applauded. How things change with perspective!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Another misrepresentation

Another on of those images I'd better load before the relevance disappears. Miranda in her school production costume, and doesn't she just look angelic!

I'm listening to Erik Friedlander's live performance of Block Ice and Propane

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Blithering bumbollards

Shot this image on Christmas Day, but it was pipped to the post by a more boozy record! We've had some more snow today, just when we thought it was all beginning to melt; so lunchtime we sat in the study playing 'mobile phones' as the flakes dropped down. We had some remarkable 'conversations' including one with Gran who was up a tree in the garden. Miranda is so bizarre on occasions, I can't even begin to remember the tone of the language...

Just have to put in a plug for Bar Kokhba Sextet  - Lucifer (Volume 10 of John Zorn's Book of Angels)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Would you like an ice cream Daddy?

Most days if I'm working at home, I take Miranda out for a walk at lunchtime. We meander down the lane to see the animals and then along Shore Road to watch the boats going past. I cannot think of a time when Miranda has not climbed the four bar gate to lean out of the window of her ice cream van before she shouts over to me ...."Would you like an ice cream Daddy?"

Monday, January 11, 2010

Smurf u like

Greg and Miranda on 'The Dragon' yesterday, one of the forest features that means so much to us. It's almost as though we own it - as we rarely see anyone else play with it!

It has the sinuous shape in the Loch Ness monster, and the head is very realistic, but it's starting to age and the bough that forms it's neck is cracking and gaping.

Of course the kids love sitting on it's head, and climbing up it's neck....

Oct 2006 Feb 2007 March 2007 October 2005

In looking for older pictures of this I have found another real gem from almost exactly five years ago, so I'm making a link here

Sunday, January 10, 2010

All together now

It's a rare moment of syncopated activity, when you manage to get all four involved. (Five rarer still) The plan was a skating shot, and it was all going fine until they hit the deck in a tangled mess.

Still we had a very nice walk, from Shatterford to Matley Wood and over to Parkhill and back via Denny Wood. Very dark all day, threatening to snow more...

I thought I'd contrast this with a sunnier picture of Miranda from this evening as she practices her letters of the alphabet!

Saturday, January 09, 2010


The last few night we've had a magical sunset, and the glow over the snow as the rich light decays has been a marvelous experience. I've lost a bit of the colour here as I wanted to see Lewis, but I love that cold lonely and isolated feel to this picture...

The snowball picture I took today, but have just found on my camera, so thought it had better go up!

Friday, January 08, 2010


There's only really been a hardening in the weather today; colder meaner and bleaker. Not so much sun and the wind has bitten at any exposed flesh!

Miranda and I had a stroll lunchtime along Shore Road, and apart from a very brief game of 'ice cream' at the picnic site, kept moving just to keep warm!

This one taken yesterday in the woods, when Lewis just had to climb the tree to prove it was possible...

Thursday, January 07, 2010

One hundred years ago today

This delightful picture of a few of my clan shows my "Auntie Ila" (on far RHS) who would have been 100 years old today. Next to Ila is her husband Charles and son David, and her mother Elizabeth (Lily).

Ila was one of five girls, and was really my Mum's Aunt. Also included in the picture is her sister Muriel (who will be 91 this year) and her husband Dennis.

The other girls were Maud (my grandmother who would have been a 100 next year),  Bett (who lives in Lichfield) and Dilys.

Thanks for this timely reminder to Alison Cross....

Inspiration for the day - check out Nick Sinclair's 'Murmation' series

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Snow way to treat a lady

So the Christmas decorations all came down today, but the snow arrived to make up for it! The forest does look fab, but the roads are treacherous

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


I have usually played this with Lewis, but Greg loves doing anything like the big boys, so over Christmas we got him stuck in - he's pretty good too!

It's been snowing quite heavily tonight, about 3 or 4 ins so far. I wonder what it'll be like in the morning....

Monday, January 04, 2010

Home on the Ranch

Miranda playing with her Christmas present, crafted by our neighbour John Lockyear with assistance/encouragement from Caroline. She was rather delighted with the cooker and washing machine, and we'd briefed her that she needed to say a big Thank You to John when we saw him....

The opportunity came and we nudged Miranda, she walked over to John, and she said "Will you make me a dishwasher please..."

Butter wouldn't melt - what a child....

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Decided to have our last day of the Christmas holiday in London visiting the Natural History Museum. We managed to get there for opening as it's easier to find a parking space and usually avoids the worst of the traffic, but we were there until almost closing time too!

Loads to see but we really enjoyed visiting the new Darwin Centre - the Cocoon has been fashioned from a huge husk and the journey of life for creepy crawlies within is fascinating. We were given a live theatre presentation with real animals (Chameleon, snakes and scorpion etc) which makes a nice contrast to the static displays which we all know and love. Also spent some time in the huge Mineral section.

Top day out - and guess what it's free to get in....

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Every picture tells a story

I've been trying to capture this moment for a while, but some things that make me laugh don't always translate into images.

The kids love pretending to be horses, and this is something that Lewis started. He whinnies, jumps ditches, rides carriage horse and a whole lot besides, but this moment is when he decides to take off and whips his horse (his own bottom)! Such is his influence that they all now all do this simultaneously. It's the most hilarious sight seeing three children whipping themselves without complaint, not once but maybe twenty of thirty times as they hack around into the bushes and jump hedges. If there was a moment of pure happiness from the Christmas holiday for me it would be this!

Today Lewis and I had a fab bike ride early doors across the beautiful frosty landscape. Everything was white and frozen hard. The tide was very high at Calshot and absolutely loads of birds on the waters edge. I watched a Kingfisher hunting on the shore line which made me happy too, the light was awesome and every bird I saw looked extraordinary, especially a Curlew profile against the water as it took off.

Friday, January 01, 2010


One of Miranda's delightful sketches she did with me whilst Mum was out doing a grocery run ....!

Baker Boy

Time for bed really but just time fopr one quick posting at the end of the day. We've just seen the new year in with the boys, and the lasyt game we played was a Pictionary type game - just the usual make it as bad as possible if you want to win type!

Here's a picture of Greg from slightly earlier in the day when we were sketching when Mum was down at Waitrose....

Happy New Year y'all!