Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Miranda playing on the slide in the park just after she had eaten her supper. The boys were playing football, leaving the coast clear for us to escape! I've just remember that I was going to put the one of me being pushed on the swing by Miranda, as I promised her - but maybe it will have to wait. This one I edited on the phone in Adobe Photoshop - the functionality is fairly basic but it's fun to use, and does nice b/w conversions.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Whistling in the wind

Joanna sent me a few photos from last week's visit, this one of Caroline teaching the kids how to make music! We'll be alright as long as she doesn't start teaching them to sing....

Caroline and I have had quite an entertaining evening listening to an old DAT tape that I made about 15 years ago of my grandfather in conversation with my mother and I. It's a hilarious recording covering all manner of subjects, which was intended as a test effort to record him secretly; the plan being to do it regularly over a period of time. As chance had it, it was the last time I saw him alive, so forms a unique record of his life. Not been able to listen to the tape for years, but tonight it was very theraputic and extraordinarily amuzing! I must try and transfer this onto CDs, so if there are any family members who want a copy, let me know.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Artist and Muse

Photograph by Caroline of the MippyBlogger and his Top Rider as they sit in the miday sun on the Pergola.

We tackled a small amount of gardening whilst the boys played football in the park and then we all had a lazy lunch. With hindsight the glass of cider may have been unnecessary, but I didn't mind one bit.

Lewsi has been playing farm this afternoon, getting some jobs done. The sheep dip pit needed some attention and the cowshed needed mucking out...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Off to work Dad.

Small excerpt of my playtime with Miranda, when half the house was still in bed. She seems to enjoy being the focus of attention, and even seems to act when she's aware that I'm recording. She can't wait to watch the playback - no inhibitions whatsoever!

We've been kayaking this afternoon, Miranda was very keen to get in the water again and has been nagging me for days. I did shoot some pictures but I may need to try clipping a few bits off the files as its difficult getting clean takes when using a waterproof bag! She's determined to paddle herself, even if it means drowning us all!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Out in force

It's been unbelievably hot here today, we even chose to eat our picnic lunch time in the shade. In April...

This photo is actually from yesterday when we had a bike ride out to Woodfidley from home, Miranda's longest off road bike ride yet. Today Lewis and I met them at the Reptilery, where we saw some lovely Adders, Lizzards and Toads etc

Lewis has been saiing with the Sea Scouts this afternoon, he's been across to Netley Abbey and come back grinning from ear to ear

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A walk in the park (by bicycle)

Got in from London and Miranda was keen to go out for a tootle - the sun was shining, let's go! now you can rest assured that I'm not proposing turning into a videoLog, although it's quite interesting to compare still images with small samples of family life. The kind of stuff that had i not seen this on video, I would have forgotten about completely by sun down....

When you compare the quality of this with similar pro equipment from only a few years ago its amazing what has been packed into a "mobile phone" The sound is excellent and the image capture very impressive.

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Ray Smith who's record shop I used to visit regularly in persuit of vinyl. The last time we were in London I walked past the old shop and pointed it out to Caroline. We used to chat about all sorts, and of course I was steered towards many great albums by this guy and I have missed him since the shop closed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Why iMan

A certain sadness at the passing of my old faithful mobile phone which has lasted about seven years. Phones are a symbol of conspicuous consumerism that I try to avoid where I can, but now I'm with it, or put another way with iPhone. So today's post is shot and loaded on my new dog and bone!

If you get a chance check out the video below by Tim Hetherington - the war photographer who's been killed in Libya today, it's not an easy one to watch but throws up an awful lot of questions faced by us as we either create or digest images in the media. Creativity in the firing line.

Diary (2010) from Tim Hetherington on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fifi with the Pink dress on

Magna is a strange name for a badly painted pink girls bike, but it certainly evokes the wind and explosive force that Miranda unleashes on her way down the road.

Sometimes it's a job to keep up with her; and I mean stading on the pedals and hot footing it after her - sprint style on a bike with slick tyres and 700c wheels

My objective will be to get some video footage next, hopefully with sound....

Monday, April 18, 2011

All together now

We don't get too many with all three together, and this almost has all three smiling! Taken at Corfe Castle yesterday with the famous five pictured at Kirrin Island, (near the railway station) in the background.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Worbarrow Tout

Took Joanna down the coast a bit today to see some sea and sand. We started off with a picnic at Tyneham, where we had a walk down the beach at Worbarrow - not exactly Whistler, nor very snowy, but a fine day none the less. We've also been on a trip down memory lane to Corfe Castle, which Miffy could just about remember.

We couldn't resist the usual chippies and a walk along the beach at Swanage at sundown.

Missed out on posting yesterday as we had a nice long walk in the forest across Ocknell Plain to the Royal Oak in Fritham. I'm not sure if it was the beerly lunch or the walk that caused the fatigue but we had an early night!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Daddy! Have you seen my hoof pick

Miranda suddenly realises that she's been discovered playing in her Tack Room. I think it may have been Lewis that put the idea in her head, and I have to be honest it does have the feel of one - I must let you know that I've seen a few in my time, even tried to photograph one once for a commercial job, and a narrow dingy hole it was too.

I have never however seen a girl wearing a pink tutu inside a tack room...

Miranda and the boys have been in very high spirits this afternoon as Auntie Miffi is visiting us for a few days. Mippy thinks Miffy is going for a bike ride with us tomorrow - "it's very good for your fitness" she advised her earlier!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Alter ego

When they go out to play football in the street, they both become little toughies - you can recognise the playground macho coming through. Greg carries that "I'm being done down here" look very well, but he's quite a tough little cookie himself.

Meanwhile Miranda and I tootle around on our bikes, or throw a bit of ball, before bathtime.

I made Miranda read a different book this evening (Blue Sky Hunting), much longer and although the words were designed to be easier to read, nevertheless quite a challenge. She managed most of it before sighing "Dad I'm quite tired tonight...I want to go to bed!"

I got out a few short and familiar ones, and she was herself again, reading with gusto!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

There was quite a pile of books on the bed this evening after Miranda had run out of steam with her reading. To my, and her surprise we discovered that she'd managed ten books!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Floral Dance

Do you recognise the hand of Miranda! This was her Mother's Day card which I think she made at school.

The kids are off school this week on Easter hols, so my daytime tranquility has been undermined. I had a tootle with Miranda around the block whilst the boys played football, she goes off like a mad thing and it's hard to keep up! We stopped at the park and she had a go on the swings. She still maintains that she can't do the kicking on her own, although today a smallergirl came along and started doing it unaided - I thought that would do the trick - mysteriously she was able to do it on her own.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bo Mipply

Another scorcher of a day, but without the wind has made it very pleasant. I've been kayaking with Miranda this afternoon at Calshot. She found a little boy to play with, and they both took quite a shine to each other. He was six years old and captaining his own boat...

Lewis by contrast was doing his marching with the Sea Scouts dressed in full gear (which includes a thick jumper more suitable for outdoor on winter's night) - he complained, but only in a minor way. He knew it was his duty.

This evening we've had our first barbeque of the year in the garden, so although it's only 8.30 I am ready for bed.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Moo to you.

This rather charming picture of a Hereford graced Lewis' Mother's Day Card, and has been looking at us from the mantle piece all week!

It's been a fab day here today. We had lunch in the garden, after our bike ride, and as Miranda has been nagging to go to the beach decided to  go for a dip. It was quite blowy at Calshot so the waves were very choppy, but it was pleasant to get in the water for the first time this year. Also heard our first Cuckoo this morning in Dibden Enclosure, after seeing my first Swallows and Martens last weekend when I was on the Gower.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Different Direction

Our weekend was all mapped out; one minute I was feeling slightly prickly about letting Lewis go aboard one of our state of the art warships, as I'm not entirely easy about him being drawn into the military. We all know it's his life, and he's an intelligent kid, but.... I'm sure it looks fairly glamourous from the outside too.

The next minute the phone rings, and it's the organiser of the event responsible for carrying Lewis onto HMS Astute in the morning, saying it was cancelled due to a major incident on the nuclear submarine.

What's doubly odd about this is I was taking my lunch at Hythe Marina at about 1PM when the whole incident was unfolding, and although there a very clear view of the sub from there I didn't see any unusual activity!

But it's the lead story on the BBC tonight, and quite emotionally charged for us as he would have been onboard tomorrow morning. But as it says in the article "Eleven children were on the quayside at the time of the shooting and were due to board the submarine."  He's disappointed and we're all very shocked...

Read this story too on the Daily Echo site

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Natural poseur

I'd been trying to get a photo of her riding her bike dressed in this ludicrous outfit; you can't quite see the see-through tutu or her flowery knickers in this picture (which is probably just as well), but to cap it all with a cycle helmet would have been amusing to say the least, although she wasn't performing.

I settled for "Well stand against 'your tack room' (this here fence) and I'll leave you in peace"

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Book worm

It's been brought to my attention that he doesn't get a share of the limelight, so here's Greg getting stuck into a book. His favourite activity at present.

I've been in London today, and when I got in Audrey was looking after the kids as Caroline was out at a Governor's meeting. I sat down and Greg and Miranda sprang out from where they were hiding behind the settee - gee it's great to be back home!

Monday, April 04, 2011

On the Up

Just back from a few days escape on Gower and the Brecon Beacons, taking photos and riding my bike, so this photo of Lewis will have to be my reminder.

I had a very big hug from Miranda earlier, who told m that she'd missed me lots. I had a big hug from all of them to be fair, but little monkey seem to say it with so much more credibility!

Had a good walk with my Mum and Dad yesterday from Llanmadoc down to Delvid Burrows on the Gower, before having lunch at the Brittania Inn. Very nice food, and great service too - definitely worth a visit.