Thursday, July 29, 2010


The other evening the boys met up with two other lads at Calshot who were on holiday. It didn't take them long to challenge each other to a match; Northerners against Southerners!

They were running around furiously, all determined to get the ball in the other's goal, and although it was fun to watch we needed to get home as dinner was "'t wven"

I stopped the match, and it was great to see them all shake hands whilst they carried on the banter, threatening to come back another night and give them a good thrashing...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


On the weekend I managed to get Lewis sketching the Donkey from life. He said it was fun but of course he was frustrated by the constant movement. Today he's been doing some sketching from his horsey books; this one I thought was particularly nice, especially the rendering.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I did promise Miranda that I'd put this one up today, although I took it last weekend. She'd been sitting on my lap complaining that there were too many pictures of Lewis on the blog, although when I counted the appearances with her it seemed the only people with grounds to complain were me and Mummy.

We've been for quite a long walk today, out from 11 until 4.30 in the sweltering heat, but part of that was spent in the garden of The Royal Oak at Fritham, where we had a tasty lunch.

You should have seen Miranda bounding along right until the end - she amazes me sometimes, although she nearly fell aslpeep in the car on the way back!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

You can't blame me says the singer of the song

We took a variety of action shots last night at Calshot; first of all Lewis wanted "a good goal keeping shot" and as soon as I'd taken some of him leaping after the ball Greg wanted me to get some of him in goal too. But however much fun it is indulging in a certain activity, I always prefer the candid approach, there's something about just observing the world rather than making it tell a story

Wham bam, thank you ma'am!

We had an interesting WW2 lesson this afternoon when we had a Lancaster Bomber, a Spitfire and a Hurricane flying in formation over Southampton and along around the Waterside. They looked so small; to think what a major role they played in times gone by....

Friday, July 23, 2010


You'd be forgiven for thinking that Miranda loved all dogs; indeed she does get on well with dogs that are mild mannered. But jumpy aggresive or loud dogs deeply unsettle her, although most people are only able to say "He won't hurt you!" as they laugh at her alarmist reaction.

These dogs are in the care of Bernard, our neighbour who has a beach hut at Calshot and we often see on our perambulations. They are a bizarre collection, much like something from the cartoon version of 101 Dalmations - each with their own cardboard cutout personality...

Today was the last day of the school year for the clan, and Lewis' last day at Waterside Primary, we turn the leaf on another chapter.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Waterside School Drama

Tonight we've been to see Lewis and Gregory's school production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which was very entertaining! Gregory was part of the chorus line, and Lewis was one of the Dwarfs!!

Everyone enjoyed themselves, and the singing and acting was first class...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Greg's been doing pictures of Sharks for his friends, and yesterday we scanned a few of them to keep as a record. Whilst he was in my workroom I showed a few tricks in Photoshop, and promised we'd load one or two of them today.

These are pencil sketches outlined in black pen. He's got a real sense of visual style when he draws, especially when you can convince him to keep trying lots of ideas.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Going back

Lewis has been studying the Second World War at school, and today he's gone in costume with his sandwiches wrapped in greaseproof paper and a metal water bottle, and I gather they are role playing the evacuation from the city, experienced by children in the 40's. Each has a few belongings and a change of clothing in an old paper carrier bag along with a label stating their destination!! 

We had fun reliving the olden days over breakfast, and I think he was quite disappointed to learn that I didn't have first hand experience of WW2 (Gran and Grandan however, that's quite a different story)

And now bang up to date a link for Lewis and how it's done!

Walking across America

Monday, July 19, 2010

On demand

Took this one on Friday night at Calshot; you'll be able to tell from Lewis' Goalkeeping gloves that he'd really prefer to be doing something else!

However they are getting more obliging when I ask them to let me have a group picture. Miranda even gave me a kiss when I asked her today- whatever next?  It's quite a nice photo (if you zoom in...)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hello Kitty

Chatting to Gran earlier and she was describing the wet and windy weather down in Wales, so had to remind myself that the Sun shines mainly on the righteous (he he!) This one taken this afternoon whilst playing in Miranda's imaginary cafe with Greg, about 15ft off the ground in Stubbs Wood in the Forest. As you can see she has no self consciousness any more, it's an entirely natural world that she's inhabiting, aware of my camera and ignoring me, and enjoying it too!

We had a top walk today, with an excellent sighting of a 1M long adder with a girth of about 45mm, certainly the biggest I've seen in the Forest. We also saw a lovely lizard, although not well enough to identify it. I'm really proud that the kids all look out for critters and observe them (often seeing them first) but always carefully aware of the animal's safety.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Firing Range

Today we met the Rileys at Tyneham in Dorset, a former village sequestered by the Army for training purposes towards the end of the Second World War near Kimmeridge. Although they promised to give it back, the area is only open to visit on weekends. The photo is on Warbarrow Beach which offers spectacular views down towards Portland and over to Mupe Rocks.

The kids have all had a great time, and the weather has been fab. We also walked some of the coast path and popped into Swanage for a very pleasant supper of Chippies on the Waterfront!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Greg has been studying Germay in school, and this is his encapsulation of the national identity in a poster - I'm going to enquire if the Tourist Board might be interested in using this artwork?

He's getting two for the price of one tonight as Lewis has been hogging the limelight in the past few days, and of course Greg's achievements are just as important! This is his Andy Warhol inspired art project.

The kids all very excited tonight as were going to be meeting the Rileys again tomorrow...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sats all folks!

I may have gone on record as having said there's more to schooling than just good exam results, but that didn't dampen my excitement when Lewis rang me today upon his return home from school.

He (and one other girl in his class) achieved a perfect 5 across the board, so his efforts have been rewarded. We're very proud of him, our Tiger (well and truly out of the) Woods.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Poetry please

Found this on the side of the fridge, and although I've not spoken with Lewis about when it was done or the context, thought it should go on the blog.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Our Big Boy

It's hard to believe but here's Lewis, having just got back home from his leavers Ball at Waterside Primary. Doesn't he look grown up!

 They have been dancing and playing games, and enjoying the last of being the oldest of the pack for a little while. Lewis is still very excited about the prospect of the transition, and getting ready for the increased independence. He's been busily modelmaking with our neighbour John this afternoon, which he loves - I think they are making a wooden stables building.

I was talking to my old pal Duncan tonight, reminiscing the time when we chased the Tour de France around Southern Ireland, and Caroline was pregnant with Lewis. Just look at him now...

Monday, July 12, 2010


I managed to find a recent picture of Miranda on her bike, to give a flavour of all that determination. I have a few images of both Greg and Lewis riding this bike too, and it's hard to imagine how someone so small can managed to propel themselves forward across fairly rough terrain; had I not seen it happen!

She's wearing her cousin Miles' cycling strip, Lewis' old cycling gloves and riding Christabel's first bike... and the cycle helmet came from a table top sale for £1

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Denny Wood Chainsaw Massacre

We've been out in the forest today having a bike ride. Miranda was totally focussed, burning up the miles, trying to overtake Caroline or the boys at every opportunity. She really tries to excel, and when you see those little legs spinning the cranks around it gives you the most amazing sense of satisfaction. Even when you know that the exhaustion will set in and you'll be pushing her up the next hill!

After a great ride we stopped to play on the dragon, and as a variation on a theme I decided to play a game that was part orienteering part treasure hunt as the landscape changes a lot when the bracken grows. It was going well until Lewis cried out "Dad, somethings wrong, I've got a big hole in my leg!!" He wasn't joking, the bracken had slashed the front of this thigh open, and you could see flesh and blobules of fat poking through. The blood was pouring down his leg, not a camera in sight or a wet wipe, let alone a plaster.

So we've had a visit to Lymington Casualty department to top off the afternoon for some treatment (Steristrips rather than stitches). Fortunately he's fine and more disappointed about being signed off games for a few weeks.

This photo (which I only process last night) will have to do.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


There's a certain satisfaction in getting them into bed, downloading a few photos and looking at the world through rose tinted (Baron Mayor Rioja Rose is our choice this evening) receptacles. They're great fun but sometimes a whole day is a bit much - and it would be nice sometimes to lease them out for a small return!

I shouldn't grumble though some don't even get the stage managed performance of Greg and Miranda (not long after I'd threatened them with bodily torture; or Lewis' culinary assistance in the kitchen.

Interesting look at Haiti 6 months after the quake here

Friday, July 09, 2010

Baby it's hot outside...

It's been meltingly hot here today, and come four o' clock everyone was ready to hit the beach. There was only a few oldies there, and we certainly livened things up a bit. Considering her diminutive size, Miranda makes an awful lot of noise.

We seem to have had more than our usual share of fine weather this year, I'm wondering when the hosepipe ban will kick in!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

About last Knight

When the kids came home from school they were playing noisily in the garden. I went outside to see what was going on, only to find Greg and Miranda duelling wildly. Greg was in full regalia including facemask, whereas Miranda was wearing a pink floaty dress (but still thwaking him with a slightly larger sword. You can just tell from this picture who the culprit is, can't you!

Greg is reading himself Padington for bedtime story. I was listening to him chortling away in his room as I read Miranda her story tonight.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


A bit of a pause in the blog as I've been away for a few days taking photos in Devon. Managed to get the weather just right and had some walks on the coast paths, took photos and rode my bike to my hearts content, whilst CJ did the honours at home with the clan.

So this picture is a kind of self portrait which I caught on the beach as I was photographing the sand patterns...