Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Skipping merrily

One of those pictures that would have you believe life was easy and carefree... Which of course it isn't always - although it's fair to say that Miranda is a joy to be with at the moment. She's applying herself to reading and writing, is very conversational and fairly co-operative. So I'm just going to post this picture and ride the wave......

Monday, March 28, 2011



Miranda doing her spellings tonight

Sunday, March 27, 2011

We've been here before...

First big bike ride ensemble this year. We set off from Ringwood along the Castlman Trail, and got as far as Wimborne before having our picnic. The last time we came this way Miranda was on her small bike and we didn't get that far.

Today she was flying along. On the return leg whilst we were trying to hook up with Moors Valley Park without going on the road we even tried out (by mistake) a motocross circuit - which would have been fun for Lewis and I, but for Miranda it was too much to stay upright!

Right at the end we arrived at Watchmoor Woods where there's a killer MTB circuit, and everyone's batteries were suddenly recharged. Top day out.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Downhill too rapidly

It's been a gorgeous day here, warm sunshine and blue skies as we rode our bikes in the forest this morning. Lewis had a bit of an accident and has been nursing a badly gashed leg, even having to go to bed for a lay down after lunch. He's Ok though I think, mainly shocked by his lack of immortality.

Miranda has been quite mad all afternoon, asking to go kayaking at about 5pm when a sea fog had come in and it was getting rather cold. I'd said no several times but she was quite insistent  - it was still no though! Her reading is really coming along - she got 9 new books from the library this morning, and could read much of the first few from first glance. She gets tired after about three books and wants to be read to then...

Greg has spent all afternoon curled up with a book called Halo (by Zizou Corder) about a Greek girl who signed up as a soldier for a more exciting life. He'd finished all 350 pages by the time it was bedtime!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

High Five

Caroline had been reporting the good news coming back from her classroom teacher that Miranda's progress was good across the board. There was a shout and Lewis and Miranda reacted instantaneously, and I wasn't much slower in reacting (for a change)

Lewis has had his Naval inspection tonight at Sea Scouts, all went well apparently. You should have seen him with his polished shoes and hat swaggering down the road...

I have a fair selection of stuff in my iTunes collection from the late seventies, and one that always makes me smile when it kicks in is X-RaySpex - Germ Free Adolescent. The Guardian reports today that Poly Styrene had just restarted her musical career when she's had to take on the challenge of invasive breast cancer, so I'm wishing her well...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


At about 5pm Lewis popped in to my workroom and asked me if I wanted to have a look at what he'd make for tea. It all looked very tasty, pasta with carrot , tomato and pepper sauce, topped with breadcrumbs parmesan and fresh herbs.

"Where's Mum then?" I asked

"Oh she's in school, so she asked me to do tea tonight..., I'm just going to get the kids from Audrey's then I'm going to dish up" he said

Eyebrows raised... "OK Tiger, well done!"

There's a great story on the Guardian site today about the icon Athena poster of the tennis player, worth a look if you have a mo....

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dune Buggy

Spent the day at Studland, and walked through the dunes down to Old Harry's Rock's. Miranda was very small when we did this last, and we no longer have to hold her hand and pull her along!

This was at the lunatic energy stage, although later they did decide to embark on a major civil engineering challenge of diverting a river in the sand so it filled the moat of their sand castle. Warm and sunny all day, although not quite as warm as yesterday.

We had chips on the beach at Swanage as the sun went down.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


It's been a spectacular day here in the forest. Everything covered in frost when we left for our bike ride, and rather chilly too - but the sun warmed everything up fairly quickly. Clear blue skies with the birds singing madly has been the order of the day.

The boys played football in the park whilst Mip and I went for a tootle this afternoon.

And this evening Lewis and Mum made a delicious curry with vindaloo potatoes, a cauliflower and broad bean dish, spinach and paneer, lemon dahl along with yoghurt flatbreads... Nom, nom as they say!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Made up...

After a hard day at school this is how she came home, something of the Cat's whiskers about her... It was slightly amusing because I'd brought her a stressbuster toy home from an exhibition I attended yesterday at Earl's Court that looked, ...just a little like this. He was standing on my computer, and she had just noticed him.

I think it's been Red Nose Day today.

Next; my favourite story of the day....

"Before whinging about the price of petrol next time you pull into a service station, bear in mind it could be worse: ..........

....There now. Don't you feel better paying £1.32p per litre?"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Clowning around

A spirit of high jinx in the house tonight, as the kids get themselves wound up for Red Nose Day tomorrow. As we snurkled down this evening Miranda asked me

"and are you really excited about Red Nose Day too Dad?"

I am Darling, but not everyone in the World is happy tonight. I was thinking about the photo in the Guardian, I'd seen earlier in the day that nearly melted me down....

Also some nice photos of Poppit Sands to have a look at too by Michael Jackson.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Setting off

Managed to catch Lewis as he heads off towards school with his guitar and books in hand. Brings to mind Homeward Bound which he often plays in fact...

"I'm sittin' in the railway station
Got a ticket for my destination
On a tour of one night stands
My suitcase and guitar in hand
And every stop is neatly planned
For a poet and a one man band

Homeward bound
I wish I was...

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Lola Lambkins from Christian Brown on Vimeo.

 This is the sort of stuff I'd be putting on the blog if I had an iPhone, and I still lived in deepest darkest Wales. So good I had to pinch it for my own blog! Make sure you've got the sound  r i g h t .....UP!

Friday, March 11, 2011


I was just coming out of my workroom this evening when I was met by Mippy, clutching a piece of paper

"Look I've made Auntie Miffy a card, it's all my own work!"

I love that naive look that you just can't fake. You will however notice the space between the words that is starting to appear naturally now, and the odd capital letter, even if not in quite the right place!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Model Child

It's getting light enough in the evenings to be able to take a photo of the kids after work.

The kids even managed to get outside and kick a football around after tea. Sadly I was still trying to clear some stuff off my desk, but maybe tomorrow. Lewis very excited that he's going to Ferny Croft (outdoor activity camp in the forest) with the Scouts tomorrow evening - and they are playing capture the flag in complete darkness...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Let's party (all over again)

We had an invite in the post from Elsbeth to her eighteenth birthday party shortly; barely seems a few years since we were pushing her around in a pushchair - I can certainly remember photographing her and Christabel in the bath like yesterday, as a homage to the photo of me and Juliet in the bath at Blaen Bowy!

Miranda understandably very excited about the prospect of being pampered and having her hair braided again, we'll see...

Monday, March 07, 2011

Shopping List

Just one of those little games that we play to encourage Miranda to do some writing. Let's write a shopping list shall we, let's think what do we need to get

Fish and Chips
Fize pop

OK, so whose going to the shops?

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Deja vu

CJ was out on a course yesterday morning, so the gang went out for a bike ride together. We found ourselves down at the Marina just when big crowds started turning up, for what was the 75th anniversary of the Spitfire over Southampton. We've had a few of these fly-overs in recent years and it's hard to put in words how evocative that sound of the Spitfire is.

When we got back there was just enough time to make soup and cheese scones for lunch - all very nice, but made particularly amusing by Miranda producing one of her reading books books with this picture in it! Well nearly....

Thursday, March 03, 2011


Sometimes it's difficult to know whether she is the young and very naive little girl, or the plucky very self confident and downright cheeky little so and so, that she can also be.

Of course there are many other moods of Miranda, but it's job sometimes knowing who you are dealing with.

She was round at Audrey's this evening, and I went to get her at 6 for bath time. She was supposed to have read her books to Audrey, but had refused apparently - so I asked her to do it before we left. She refused, so I offered her a ... good smacking. A stormy look preceded the most delightful reading. The empire strikes...

Lewis had a good parents evening, by all accounts from Caroline. He has a clear set of objectives to work on, and some good progress in the bag. Nice one Tiger...

I'm listening to Andrew Hill's Time Lines - the last recording I think he issued with Greg Tardy on Clarinet and saxes, Charles Tolliver on Trumpet, Eric McPherson on Drums and John Herbert on bass. It's as good as his best music from the sixties - very enjoyable.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


Poor old dragon, they just hop onto his head and ride him like crazy. Six or seven years ago he was in good shape, but the core of his trunk has rotted away and the spiraling strands of hardwood around his neck gape angrily now. It's just a matter of time before he breathes his last fire. What'll we do then?

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Rupert the Bear

Miranda has a small Rupert that she often plays with, and on Sunday morning she did a nice drawing of him. I rather like all the detail in this one including his lovely scarf and dapper trousers. His arms would appear to be a little stunted, but isn't his face a delight...

There's a great photo of the children's cousins on their blog tonight - check out the St David's Day vibe in Welsh Wales - nice one OttoLola

The end of the road for the Shoe Tree