Friday, April 30, 2010

Blown Away

Very windy tonight at Lepe, and this is as Miranda appears from the end of the tunnel - very quick eye contact and then she's gone again!

The boys played football on their own whilst Miranda and I went for a walk, it was that cold I think they were glad to run around

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Trancendental meditation

Another one of Lewis' images which caught my eye, and although I don't know where it was taken it's definitely "her outdoors" as distinct from 'er indoors!

And yes I know the skyline is crooked but I thought I'd let that come in the second lesson...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Self Portrait

I downloaded Lewis' photos for him, and thumbed through his images. He's using my old Nikon which has a rotating preview screen, so I can just see him making this one!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On the Black Hill

Lewis has been working really hard for his SAT's which are only a few weeks away now, and his effort has been paying dividend. This is a written piece he did in school which he was very pleased with as it won him a Headteacher's Award. (Just click on the pages if you want to read the words)

It's two diary entries written in the style of a young boy who experiences something traumatic at home.  Over the weekend he added another entry, and then marked his own work to demonstrate that he could snag it and improve his piece. When he read it out to me, I could hardly believe he could invest so much character into written words.
I'm listening to Harhazial by Eric Friedlander (Book of Angels Volume 8) This guy just blows me away...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Grillpan Mippy

Miranda has been dressed up as Grillpan Eddy this afternoon, so she's been scooting into my workroom to try and distract me, in the hope that I'll come out to play!

Darn that little mouse...!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Do you come from a land down under?

It was raining when we awoke this morning, but the kids were very frisky - greatly in need of a good run around. As we ate breakfast it cleared and we set off with a picnic for a walk around Rockford Common. I love this part of the forest as much as our side, but it takes a while to get over here due to all the windy roads and tourist traffic at Lyndhurst. On the upside we have a nice drive through some lovely bits of the forest.

We walked from Red Shoot Wood onto Rockford Common and then across to Mockbeggar and Ibsley Common. We watched the Lapwing and Curlew guarding their nests, and marvelled at the Skylark singing their hearts out.

As I write this Lewis is singing "Down Under" by the Men at Work, a current favourite. 'Do you speak my languange? He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite Sandwich.'

Saturday, April 24, 2010

You are what you eat

Every once in a while we like to have a feast, and as the weather has been fab all week, Caroline decided it was going to be Mezes - always a big hit for us.

Well she pulled out all the stops, everything homemade this afternoon whilst the boys played football in the park, and I took Miranda for a bike ride down to the village

Brief description of the pictured....
•Courgette balls coated with polenta •Spinach triangles wrapped in filo pastry •Falafel  •Houmous 
•Cous cous salad

 •Spinach salad with hunks of lemon
•aubergine in tomato sauce
•polenta cake
•figs baked with orange

Friday, April 23, 2010

All fall down

So, the end of another week and the skies are still blue, even if a lot more streaky than 7 days ago. I'm sorry but I'm finding the regular noise of aeroplanes very intrusive having enjoyed the peace and quiet of the last number of days very much. It's surprising how much you notice things when offered a contrast.

We had a great game of football on the beach tonight at Lepe, followed by a game of Rounders, as Miranda was keen to have her way. Two boys joined us which made it more fun. No sooner had I got Miranda to bed than she was asking me if I'd take her kayaking tomorrow (that's a reference to the fact that I didn't take her last weekend - manipulative she isn't)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Feed him to the Lions

Had enough of the Roman theme yet? I had intended getting a picture of us reading Grill Pan Eddy (by Jean Willis and illustrated by Tony Ross) as we've been having a hoot reading the book and I would like a reminder of it for the future. Maybe I'll have to get the kids to draw a picture of him and I'll record myself reading it. Not sure if I've enjoyed a book as much as this one...

For the curious this is Caerleon Amphitheatre...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


He's at the age when he understands that in order to get his own way, he needs to present the argument in his favour with skill and diplomacy.

"Dad, you know you were saying that it would be great to hear me play that song by....., well could we find the music on the internet and I'll try playing it tonight!"


"Gosh your dinner looks fantastic, I bet it's tasty too...." Be off with you, it's bedtime....

Monday, April 19, 2010

Poor Soldier

There was a rather forlorn howling at about bedtime as Lewis climbed the stairs to bed. Greg was in bed but had been unable to attract our attention. His jaw seemed  to have been locked in place, and he was in a lot of discomfort - (nothing I have to say, to do with this photograph)

We massaged it gently and sat his down to see how things panned out, and it clicked back into place. He has a real jaw full of misplaced teeth and gaps where others are pushing through, so we are left thinking that it's all connected, but how we're not sure.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Nothing but Blue

I found a few of Greg's records of our visit a week ago to the Caerleon Roman Museum, and thought I'd pop them on for the sake of posterity!

Today we've been kayaking at Calshot. It's been blissful. Has anyone else noticed how glorious it is without aeroplanes polluting our skies, leaving their noxious fumes and ghastly vapour trails behind...

I'm listening to the Wynford Marsalis Sextet -Here Now! on Bandcamp

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Barely half way through April and we've managed to spend another afternoon on the beach.

Today Lewis and I cycled around the forest and met the rest of the clan at Keyhaven for lunch. The sea was twinkling and the sky completely blue - not a cloud in sight!

After our picnic the boys did their usual racing around on the rocks and both managed to fall and graze their legs quite painfully - you can lead a horse to water... Now my arms have that slightly prickly "You've got sunburn" sensation.

Check out the Zagreb Guitar Quartet playing Bach

Friday, April 16, 2010


Miranda sharing shoulders with her cousin Lola from last weekend. This was after they'd all had turns being thrown into the air, squealing giddily for more before big bad Daddy stepped in and said .... "Enough!"

Being Friday and beautifully sunny, we've had a few hours on the beach at Lepe this evening, to get the weekend started. Very relaxing!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

She's trying...

Miranda is showing interest in writing, so hopefully we'll see this following through to the real thing. She's doing imaginary stuff for the time being in a notebook that Gran gave her recently.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Sound of Music

Got back late last night after an almost perfect trip down to Wales for a few days. This was the scene as we came down from the hills at the end of the day, with Cribyn as the backdrop and Miranda skipping merrily along.

There were fluffy lambs bouncing around all around on the lower hills, but we didn't see a single walker on Cefn Cwm Llwch. And it was so warm, that we didn't need even fleeces until the sun dropped away in the valley...

Dinner in the pub in Talybont on Usk, and a rather long drive home in the dark thereafter. Still it has to be done! Picture below is 50 photographs stitched together to make a big panorama, something of a contrast to the above...

A few other snaps from our trip out West to see Gran and Grandan...

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


We were just sitting down to dinner when Lewi wandered in with his guitar and started playing. It was like a breath of fresh air to hear him do a whole set effortlessly, yet with passion. Possibly the most focused set I've heard him play so far....

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Warning to progeny

Miranda was pratting around too busy to have her photo taken, so rather than waste my time I thought I'd work with a more obliging model. He was well behaved, smiled occasionally and complained only when his manual focus lenses failed to co-operate with his dwindling eyesight. Look out clan you may have some competition...

Monday, April 05, 2010

Bill and Ben

It's not often you find them in an orderly line, and less often still doing what they've been told to do...

We've spent the afternoon on the beach at Calshot after a typically gloomy morning. Other than very windy, it's been quite pleasant in the sunshine.

Watching the boats coming past with just a jib or a tiny reefed main, made me glad I'd not been out after all; it would be nice to start the season with a few nerves intact! I'm walking with a slight limp after spending the morning playing football with Gregory, and ahem, ...falling off the groynes as we walked along the beach!

Sunday, April 04, 2010


We've had some strange weather today, including sleet and fairly high winds at times. I was supposed to be out Sailing but it wasn't looking too good. So we had a nice blow walking from Milford down to Barton on Sea and back, before having chippies on the beach at Keyhaven at the end of the day - we had the best seat in the house, overlooking the Needles!. This is Lewis doing his exercises after eating...

Let them eat bread

This week we've had some great bread, so I thought it would be good to record some of it; and then if standards start dropping one day I can say "...Look we used to have really nice home made breads back in the Noughties...!"

And for anyone else surviving on a credit crunch diet I can heartily recommend Ciabatta with olive oil and Balsamic vinegar, a delicious and bulky starter for 5 for less than 50p.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Game on

Gregory very into playing chess at the moment, although his understanding of the game still rather limited. Lewis also very interested in playing but mainly in beating Gregory!

We've all been out for a bike ride in the forest today, and we've see surprisingly few people out for a Bank Holiday weekend. It's been rather wet (and fairly cold too), barely staying dry long enough for us to eat our picnic. Had the fire going tonight and the central heating on - in April....

Friday, April 02, 2010

Although she's been in good spirits much of the last few days, Miranda has been getting rather fed up with being under the weather and the itchy spots. I've been trying to get a picture of the devastation without making a big deal about it, and I rather like the expression in this one!!