Monday, June 28, 2010

Found this earlier when I was tidying my "Desktop" from a few weeks ago - it's a scan of Lewis' book review of Kes. It deserves a reading even if it's just for the warning towards the end!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

We've had a busy day today, and I'm ready for bed at 10PM. The boys played football in the park this morning, although Miranda and I did swinging instead - a whole lot more relaxed.

I also wanted to squeeze in a visit to the Art Gallery in Southampton as it was the last day of an exhibition by Robert Wilson. Saw some great pieces as always, what a brilliant venue this is. My highlights today were a big Peter Lanyon painting and an exquisite black and white photograph by Hiroshi Sugimoto. I have photographed the sea for many years but obviously need more practice, having seen this print today.

Later in the day we headed to the beach and played around in the kayaks, and swam in the sea. It's been very hot...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ready for the off

Nearly didn't take any photos tonight as Lewis was busy snapping away with his camera. Unfortunately later in the day he managed to knock the camera off the table as it appears to have died, which is a shame. Lewis was very upset, but it is quite old and (for a ten year old digital camera) took some very good photos.

Caroline slaving over the barbeque, dinner a matter of minutes away!

We've been on the beach at Keyhaven today, it's been scorching. The sea was blue like the Med,with a glorious cool breeze...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dip in, dip out...

Thirty degrees as we got in the car at 4.30pm today, to set off for the beach. A top evening chasing the marine life around whilst the kids played water volleyball.

I always seem too find something that I've not seen before. Tonight it was the turn of the crabs hiding under the sand, playing a game of cat and mouse with me. Also it was fascinating to watch them using their body as a sail to catch currents to avoid danger. They can move at amazing speeds, both on foot and on the fly.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Al fresco

Not often you get us all in one photo, and even less likely that we'll all be paying attention.

Had a meeting in Southampton earlier today and had a look around the Art Gallery whilst I was there. A fantastic exhibition of photographs by Robert Wilson on display. You can see them online here but they don't compare with seeing the prints which were jaw-droppingly beautiful

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Off roader

Never happier than when he's racing through the forest, this is Lewis in the woods at Watchmoor.

We've been to his new school tonight for a sort of a parent's induction. Great to meet such engaged professionals who left us confident that this will guide him through the next big phase of his life. He's going to be cycling to school, beginning to make the the transition to independent chappie so soon...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Full tilt!

There was a few of these that I couldn't choose between, and although this one wasn't my first choice - it has all three of them in and so it's going up! They were doing sprints up and down the beach, and because they wanted to pretend to be giving Miranda a chance, were doing slightly exaggerated body movements. Lewis is in front though in every picture, you can be sure of that!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Good Life

I was chatting to Miranda in the garden last week about various things in our garden as we played a game of Igglepiggle - we got to the Veg patch and I asked her what the various sprouting plants were, and nearly all of them she could identify, and those that she did not know she guessed an answer to.

This photo from a few days ago will have to serve as the only record we now have of colourful little beauties. 
Straight from the garden and onto the plate, is there a better way to eat?

Sunday, June 20, 2010


We've been on the Hampshire Riviera at Hengistbury Head today, and consequently a bit sunkissed. The kids have had a great time in the sea, racing up and down the beach, throwing discuss and the like. So in true Olympian style, Miranda is entering into the spirit!

For the latter part of the day we called in to Poole and had a beer on the Quayside followed by dinner at our favourite Turkish restaurant.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thinly spread

Miranda at bedtime looked remarkably like this, despite having had a bath just before we had dinner! She was wearing a nice layer of Lewis' homemade spinach and ricotta lasagne from ear to ear...

Whilst we were playing football in the park this afternoon I watched Miranda on the play equipment from a distance playing with another girl. She successfully swung the monkey bars from start to finish and then managed to propel herself on the swing. It's amazing what she can pull off when she's able to show off isn't it... Eating her dinner all by herself, well that's another matter.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Let them eat cake

It was just about beach time when I emerged from my workroom, and I found Lewis busily making a cake - I think it's a date and orange sponge, but I'm sure he'll tell me it's much more complicated than that when he reads this...

It was as black as the Ace of Spades upon the beach, but we didn't actually get wet. Hopefully we get a downpour overnight then it'll be fine for our bike ride tomorrow. Hurray it's the weekend!

This morning Lewis wrote a review of a Zara Phillips biography that he's just read which seemed to focus on rather more of the social life than the horses. We're wondering what narrative the book contained, as we'd naively assumed it was a 'girl meets horse' sort of story. Whatever he was quite discrete!

Greg has met and spent time learning from Korky Paul, the illustrator who did all the Winnie the Witch books in school today. Naturally he's been showing off his talents, so we might have an illustration tomorrow...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Here's lookin at you kid...

He's my best correspondent when I'm taking photos, always game for some fun. He's really developing Lewis' appetite for reading too, at the moment. He keeps disappearing, and when I go and look for him, find him curled up with a book. It's quite strange because they have all wanted to be entertained for years, and now they are often quite happy on their own.

If you want to take a train trip across America

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

As easy as falling off a log

I found this image on my camera, evidently taken by Caroline, of Lewis riding the log. It looks easy, but keeping your cool as you fly along that log is quite a challenge, and I didn't know that he successfully managed it until I scanned the images from the weekend. I must remember next time to ensure that I turn off the motordrive, next time I let her use my camera.

Lewis is itching for a return trip... naturally!

Four legs beats Two! - a link for Lewis

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm your biggest fan...

Just got Miranda and Greg to bed, and she's calling Lewis to play Dido. I love it when they take an interest in music, and when it kills three birds with one stone it's fantastic.

You will hopefully notice that the blog's had a facelift, although I've yet to commission the new masthead image - a competition may follow It's difficult enough getting all three kids in one photo, let alone getting it into a long narrow frame!

Ah! It's "Brown eyed girl" now, and dinner's nearly ready...

Monday, June 14, 2010


I might be able to stretch this theme to last until the end of the week, since everybody wanted to know if their picture was going to be the one on the blog. I've had Lewis, Greg and Miranda all ask me, and even Mum wanted to know if the pictures she'd taken came out (quaint expression from the days of film)

So Greg is going first, like a bat out of hell! Get a good look at his face by clicking on the photo (that's an overly explanatory note for my Mother who is technically challenged...)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

We heard Frank Skinner on the radio earlier talking about rediscovering his mojo - well we've never lost ours! Out on the trail today, with the clan. Miranda has cycled further than even last week, and she even sparked up when after about ten miles, we found a mountain bike activity trail (a seriously dangerous one). Lewis and Greg wanted to explore a bit and you guessed it, Miranda joined in to!

You're going to have to log in later in the week for an action shot...

We cycled from Ringwood down the Castleman Trail and the around the environs of Moors Valley Country Park, and finally Watchmoor Bike Park before the return to Ringwood...

Saturday, June 12, 2010


It's been another cracking day here. We had a nice bike ride first thing and lunch in the garden, and this afternoon we've been on the beach at Calshot. It's a great place when the tide is dropping out because the kids can play without any fear of getting in trouble. We walk out to the islands as they form, and there's loads on sea life to explore. Today we had our first ever sighting of a live cuttlefish - what an extraordinary creature! It scurried around our feet and didn't squirt us with it's ink.

This morning we also had a chance to revisit the site of the Kestrel nest near Ipley with Lewis. There's still  one young left in the nest (although last week there was quite a few squarking fom the hole in the tree), and although we hung out at a safe distance to watch for the parent, it didn't came. A few weeks ago we watched it bringing fresh rabbit for the little ones. Something we won't forget seeing.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Time for another series of composed portraits - this one taken tonight at Lepe as we played at the end of the day.

The weather has been humid and grey all day, although as we arrived at the beach at 5pm everything was covered in about 2ins of water - clearly it had been raining hard. Within minutes the steam was rising off the ground and the sun came through, and we've had a glorious evening strolling along the shore. You can't beat Lepe on Friday evenings.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

She started it...honest!

Some people react to a camera more than others, and some react unpredicably. I was thinking that I'd post this to tease Miranda with, but I have to say I quite like the image now I see it on the page.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Hang on a minute...

As she develops a robustness for activity which never quite matches the boys', it's fun to test her and see how she responds. She never used to be able to hold on, but now she even has a go at climbing, however when I took this the wind was howling, and she wasn't too keen on clinging on for too long!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Back to school blues

The kids were a bit grumpy about returning to 'school mode', although Lewis did get up early and write a review of KES by Barry Hines, that we watched on YOUTUBE recently, and then he subsequently read. He's going to load it on the Library Intranet website when he's down there next.

I actually took this photo when we were down visiting Gran and Grandan, and as she rang tonight for a catchup, thought it would be a good one to post...

Link for Lewis ...

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Top Rider III

Another nice sunny day here today, so we decided it was time for Miranda to have her first full scale off-road cycle ride in the forest. Picnic packed we set off from Denny Wood with high hopes... She set off like a mad muppet chasing Gregory and Lewis down the dusty trail. We had lunch at Standing Hat, played on the swingrope for a while, improvised a game of cricket with a sticks and contretised horsey poo, and generally had a mad time. The return journey via the Frohawk Ride went just as smoothly, but she was tired for the last section, but her spirits lifted when we came within sight of the Dragon. She's my Top Rider...

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Knights in White Satin

We've been down to Templecombe today to visit Pete and Chris, and quite by chance there was a medieval day in the village. So we watched the battle enactment and sampled a different form of camping life. It was was a really low key and well organised event, with loads of educational content, although I'm not sure if Greg needs any more encouragement to shoots bows and arrows...

Friday, June 04, 2010

Photographer of the moment

Greg has been stalking the garden again this evening. He's really getting to grips with my manual focus lenses (this one a telephoto) and taking some nice shots. It's the end of half term, and the sun's been shining, so we had a barbeque in the garden - some are more frazzled than others...

Thursday, June 03, 2010


The kids are on half term holiday this week, and there's a feeling of high jinks in the air. The weather has been balmy and much splashing in the paddling pool and bike riding has been going down.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Thunderbirds are go

I like this grab shot of Gregory as it looks like he's flying his imaginary spacecraft. So where would you like to be headed tonight?