Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Night night

They were wrapped up in bed tonight when I got home, but I thought I'd better pop my head around the door. That characteristic squeaking noise let me know Miranda was waiting for a kiss goodnight...

The whole of Hampshire a blanket of snow now, all very pretty. I wonder if we'll have a snowball fight tomorrow?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Another few from yesterday before the snow disappears completely. And as I'm in London tomorrow, they'd better go up now. This captures some of the scampiferous fun that these two got up to, playing hide and seek whilst dinner was being cooked last night.

Had a roaring fire tonight in the hope of keeping the chill out, makes all the difference. All the excitement of the weekend has finally caught up with us and I think we all had/are having an early night.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

On thin ice

 Just got back from a weekend in Wales which looked fantastic with a thick layer of snow. Yesterday was Dorrien and Kalinka's wedding, and today was spent sledging down the field at Gran's house with the Ottolola clan.  It was just fab, nice and warm in the sun, slippery as hell on the field. If you want to know how slippery just ask Caroline who tried sledging through the chicken wire fence at the bottom of the field. We even had Gran on the sledge although I didn't get a photo!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


There's a marked difference between Miranda first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Now it's dark in the morning she's very sleepy to begin with, but conversely she loves to burn bright before she gives way to the night time.

A big hug or a raspberry on the cheek; don't do it, ....do it AGAIN Daddy!

Here she is sheepishly trying to persuade me that she doesn't want her photo taken. As if...

There's one of my photos published today on Aline Smith's blog LENSCRATCH

 This one's an alternate take that I may never get around to posting.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


It's been a lovely day here today but very cold. I had a bike ride down to the Marina lunchtime to get the old cardiovascular system going, but now a great deal of life there, just boats being pulled out.

When Lewis got home from school he was complaining bitterly about the temperature - frostbite he reckoned!

And a picture of Gregory for a change - anyone would think that he'd gone on strike...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pen and Ink

I scanned this a few weeks ago, having found it on the inside of a card that was being sent to Grandma!

This evening I found her register left on the living room floor with coloured pens lying next to it. She has assembled a small pad in which Lewis has written the names of all the children in her class. Miranda has been hatching in the present and absent marks with some diligence...

Sunday, November 21, 2010


At bedtime Miranda proudly showed me her Book Token from Juliet - "Look Dad it's my first Book Token!" What better prospect for a girl just starting to read and write...

We helped put the animals away down at Barry's tonight which we've not done for a while - there's always so many other things going on. Miranda did her best corralling those chickens, but it's tricky for small kids to understand the pack dynamics of small critters. Barry has however nearly managed to train Rose (the sheepdog) to do the job, so there's hope for the rest of us.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Took this before we headed west for a jaunt on Miranda's birthday. We had a nice blustery walk on the beach at Hengistbury Head followed by a picnic on the beach. We popped into Bournemouth for a hour or so at the Russell Cotes Museum, and then had a walk around town to see the lights etc. We stopped inh Boscombe for a very nice Thai supper, one of the best we've eaten. Miranda was very tired by the end and fell asleep instantly we were in the car!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Four no more...

From today I will no longer have a four year old, as it's Miranda's birthday tomorrow. She had a few friends around for tea today, and they had fun dressing up, blowing up balloons and shrieking loudly. They also made soap (yes soap not soup) I discovered later at bathtime, now that's not something you get in too many party bags is it?

She went to bed in a very excited state...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hythe Castle

We're going to traveling to old haunt of mine from my youth shortly - Dryslwyn, which is a trip down the Towy valley that we used habitually visit when I cycled very keenly as a teenager. Reason for the visit is a wedding, which will be lots of fun, but the reason for the post is I've just been doing a bit of local history and discovered a great website which tells the story behind the destruction of Dryslwyn

"The English assembled an army of over 11,000 men to suppress the revolt in a campaign that culminated in a siege of Dryslwyn castle that lasted over three weeks...."

Greg will be fascinated to see the images of the huge Trebucket balls that were unearthed at the site, and are on display in the Museum at Carmarthen...a visit will be necessary I'm sure!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hot off the Press

Miranda is standing behind me pressing the keys on her laptop (it's my old G3 Powerbook c1995 which no longer even powers up, but gives her hours of fun), she tells me she's doing the blog, so I'm thinking maybe I'll do likewise...

She dabbs away at the keys saying the sounds of the letters, and even makes an "Apple Sunrise" noise as it starts up. "What did you just write Miranda?"

"I'm not writing I'm doing my sums..." she says!

There's some amazing video on the BBC site of where we very recently had a fab picnic on the banks of the river in Lostwithiel

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Russian Dolly

Whilst Lewis was marching with his fellow Sea Scouts on Remembrance Sunday, Miranda was busy drawing with me. Her writing is really coming along too, and she loves demonstrating her abilities.

Seeing her words reminds me of the Woody Guthrie /Vladimir Randunsky Books (which I think my sister Juliet gave us as a present from America) with their fabulous illustrations - My Dolly puts her hat on! Maybe I should try to get her to illustrate a book for me before it's too late and all that naivety has gone...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Love Hearts at The Store

Miranda is sitting on my knee, and when she sees the [photo she says "Wow that's really good Dad, do you think I look like Jennifer Jones!"

And I say " Yes! She won't leave me alone!"

I took this one just before lunch today, and Miranda also took some of me, so maybe I'll be on tomorrow....

I'm trying to think of something interesting to say but she keeps blowing raspberries (rather than love hearts) on my cheek!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I found this picture in Lewis' bedroom, and we've not had one of his pictures for a while.

It's a combination of his current interests; lorries (obvious really I know) and boats starting to appear too!

Last night I showed him the copy of "Ocean Going Wayfarer" by Frank Dye that I was given by my Uncle Jeremy when I got into sailing the Wayfarer. Lewis has just started with a Wayfarer, although it's come to an end of the season pretty much.

I was describing some of the journeys that Frank Dye made across to Iceland and Norway, and you could see Lewis making calculations about how challenging the trip must have been. I was so gripped I re-read the book myself after he'd gone to bed...

I was greatly saddened to read that he'd died earlier this year aged 82

Award winning Projects

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

I've seen the other side of you Babe

We've been reading Biff and Chip stories from the library again, and last night's tale was all about Measles. Every time I post an image of Miranda I see that little mark on her forehead, the one that says "I've had Measles!" and I'm occasionally tempted to Photoshop it, although I don't think I ever have. Many bits of filth I have removed in my time, from their grubby faces but imperfections are part of what makes us unique, and it's great to reflect on an age of innocence when we did not care one jot for such blemishes.

Monday, November 08, 2010


We have been amazed to see that Costa coffee are opening in Hythe; ...surely I've been thinking, their Property people must got the wrong Hythe? Even a plumb position next to Waitrose is not going to pull 500 latte buyers a day.

Maybe I'm wrong and we'll soon have a Jamie Oliver restaurant too, in which case Lewis could apply for the stand-in personality, because he's probably good enough with the kitchen utensils and damn if he doesn't look just as cool!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Side brakes

Out walking in the forest this afternoon with the kids and we found this little small holding with an array of old tractors and machinery. Not sure what the tractor is but it reminds me of my teenage years when I used to drive tractors around on the Convery's farm and the mud used to shoot up in the air from the back tyres, on account of the very narrow mudguards!

You should have heard Lewis and Miranda jabbering away as they peered through the gate at this one. They could talk tractors all day....

Saturday, November 06, 2010

What do you call a girl with leaves on her head? Miranda!

It's been the perfect autumn day, bright sunshine, black storm clouds occasionally and clear blue at other times - although quite still mostly. The colours in the forest are very dramatic this year, and I've managed to get some photos this afternoon

Thursday, November 04, 2010

A game of two halves

One of Lewis' thank you cards that I don't think I've loaded before, but it seemed appropriate as he's recovering from a knee injury that's meant he's missed football and also a cross country event this week. He's been very disappointed about this but has wisely listened to the advice.

The picture relates to his sports teacher at Waterside Primary whom he liked very much

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Thick as thieves

When these two get together it's near impossible for them to be serious - one or the other will act the clown which usually escalates until,like a ball rolling out of control down hill it crashes into something!

Greg was very pleased with himself today because he'd been awarded a leaf for this homework last night - all that effort paid off!

Another big result that I noticed earlier was he's started talking his clothes off at bath time and folding them on the chair in his bedroom. This follows a warning I'd given him a few times about the ragged pile I'd previously seen. Naturally I commented, and he smiled.... "I'm doing it every day now!"

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Multiple Identity

If you follow my Flickr stream you'll know that I quite like multiple exposures, particularly when they are made "in-camera"

This one I made on the weekend walking in the forest, and part of the attraction is that there's so many variables that it's almost impossible to predict what's going to happen - it takes you back to the days when you needed craft skills to make a photograph, and you can have great fun applying the theory and scratching your head at the results...

Greg spent ages tonight doing his homework, which was some research on the use and significance of the cross in different religions - it seems that one of the spin offs of Lewis diligently applying himself long and hard now he's at secondary school is the Greg is keen to keep up with his lead....

Monday, November 01, 2010

Changing Places

The Beech and the Chestnut have changed markedly in colour, the Oak and the Ash less so. This was from yesterday as Miranda and I larked around in the fallen leaves and the others shouted

"...come on you lot... hurry up!"

Miranda collected a big handful of leaves which she was going to make into monoprints, however she managed to loose them all, much to her annoyance when she suddenly realised. She was all for coming back to get them a second time!