Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Another day at the office

I had to sit for my portrait to be sketched this morning by Greg. He's been taking a lot of interest in drawing, and I've been giving him a few tips. Today's picture looked a lot like me (albeit rather unflatteringly so) and we'll have to keep him on the boil.

I've been listening to the Scottish Young Jazz Musician of the Year on Radio Scotland via the iPlayer which featured some excellent and talented teenagers. The guy below was not one of the finalists, but was featured on one of the associated websites - so below is a little piece of inspiration for Lewis....

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rock me baby!

I'm listening to BB King at Glastonbury on Radio 6, and just by chance I find this picture languishing inside a folder of images shot a few weeks ago at Waterside School. With her painted face and rock chick attitude she could easily pass for one of the Fleetwood Mac girls! Maybe I'll reprocess this one and tone down some of the distracting stuff in the background.

When we are out on our bikes on Saturday morning we often stop and look at this house on the Beaulieu River. Did a little research and as always there's a fair bit of interesting history. It was designed and built by an architect called Seymour Harris as his own home, and has since been refurbished by it's current owner Mike Browne - a paraplegic sportsman, who has a catamaran that he can sail singlehanded (around the world)! We actually watched him setting off one day but had no idea who he was at that time.

And this is inspirational

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Although we awoke to the sound of foghorn today, the sun burned through by the time we got to Bucklers Hard. Lewis and Kyle have been out testing the Feva to their limits, you shoud have seen their faces when they'd taken that spinaker out and hauled it back in again for the first time! It's been quite busy on the Beaulieu River, especially as yesterday was the Round the Island Race, so lots of big boats visiting the area. Terry and I were on safety boat duty, I'm going to get Terry one of those loud hailers so that he can properly heckle them next time!

All in all a very good days experience, and a nice picnic too for us all. Still can't believe we sat there in the sunshine lunchtime and didn't have a beer....

Saturday, June 25, 2011

After the fun bit, comes the chores...

After Lewi has been sailing he's often "too tired" to want to do the boring stuff like hosing the saltwater off his kit and pegging it on the washing line, but he's a good lad and gets on with it!

You'll notice the reflection of Norman Bates in the window.... he he!

This afternoon the boys were planning on racing at Calshot bit the wind was too strong again - so we've been sailing on the Beaulieu River from Bucklers Hard, and Lewis and Kyle have doing some capsizing routine and I've been at the helm of the safety boat... It's been a beautiful evening, birds everywhere and sailors everywhere at it's been the "Round the Island" race this weekend.

Friday, June 24, 2011


After Miranda has her bedtime story, I normally pop in to close the curtains for Greg. The light was bright and he was pretending to be deep in thought, so I grabbed a few photos before calling time on him. Never the less the book had still been finished by breakfast time today.

I'm listening to Beverley Knight

Thursday, June 23, 2011

miss demeanour

You'd be forgiven for thinking that bathtime was just a whole heap of fun, but those pesky faces are just the moments when she wasn't poking her tongue out at me! These are four images shot in 'Retro Camera' for iPhone, joined manually by your truly. You could forgive her anything when she's as pesky as this.

Some good reading tonight although I could hardly keep my eyes open...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tri-X a little harder next time

It was 7.15 this morning when it dawned on me that the alarm wasn't going to go off! Good job we have Lewis programmed to start practicing his guitar early or we may still be there. CJ is under the weather with the lurg, not that she ever wants to get out of bed.

It was sports day at junior school, but there was heavy rain this morning so Miranda's lot had theirs cancelled. Greg's half of the school managed to get their fun, and Gred came home with a 3rd place in the Javelin...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Historic Hythe

The kids love coming down to what they call "the beach" in the village. Unusual you might think to find a concrete beach, but this is part of unique Hythe.

It's really the slipway that was originally part of Cristopher Cockerell's Hovercraft business in the sixties, but before that it was home to the British Military Power Boat Company which in the Thirties and Forties built the finest motor launches for the Navy.  You can see one of the 100 class boats being restored on the LHS of the picture.

Above Lewis' head is the berth where we normally see all the Cunard ships; The Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria and the Queen Mary 2.

In the deeds of our house it says that we are not allowed to go across the water by hovercraft into Southampton. Apparently in the sixties they had visions of hundreds of commuters travelling over to the city, how this would have been less desirable that commuting in a car I am not sure....

Monday, June 20, 2011

An expotition to the North Pole

I have an old photo of Lewis and I reading Pooh Bear stories from when he was small, so this is an update of sorts. He was larking around with Miranda and the conversation moved on to squealing "I can swim, I can swim!!" at the weekend when we were at Calshot.

So at bedtime for her story Lewis read her an old favourite...

Tonight I'm off to see Andy Sheppard playing in Southampton with Ray d'Inverno at the Soul Cellar. I've not seen his name around for ages, although I did buy his last album on ECM and thought it was good.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

We've spent the whole day at Calshot today, and after several years of kayaking alogside them we've joined the Sailing Club. Lewis has been out in the water all day long with Kyle in the Feva, and greg Miranda and CJ have been out in just about every boat in the water. Here they are in an RS Vision, which Greg said he thought was a little skittish. Surprisingly he didn't say the same when he and Miranda were out in an 18ft catamaran in 28knots of wind. I can't begin to describe how much fun it was to stand on the shore with all three kids out voluntarily on the Solent in hellishly stormy weather, albeit with experienced sailors at the helm.

I'm about to hit the sheets, and expect to sleep soundly...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Let it rain

At bedtime Greg told me how much he'd enjoyed his bike ride this morning. It's nice to hear him reflect on it as a high point, as I've always enjoyed my Saturday morning BR.

It was rather tempestuous this morning, sometimes bright and sunny, but within minutes great deluges of rain, gusty winds and I was afraid that it would be a bit much for Greg. As we headed out of Calshot into a very strong headwind I decided to cut a different route as I didn't want to put him off.

He was rather chuffed with his six o clock shaddow after taking his trainers off!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Easy target

Yesterday after the kids had gone to school I strolled into the kitchen and found this note in my place at the dining table. And on a Friday night when I'm winding down for the weekend I don't take much persuading to post it!

Thank you Greg...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dandy Warhol

Reprocessed version of a picture from the weekend when we visited the Art Gallery in Southampton. They had turned one of the galleries into "The Factory" and you could collaborate on a work of art, get dressed up, sit on the casting bench, make a movie etc.

Although I'm not overly concerned about my receding hairline, I'm now thinking that maybe a wig is not such a bad idea!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We plough the fields and scatter...

I would have posted this yesterday, but was out in the evening. Lewi was grinning from ear to ear when he got in from school. He was clutching his science homework when he asked me what mark I thought he'd got for his piece on Hydrogen powered tractors. He's been trying very hard the last few weeks, in particular since we made a connection between sailing and doing well (read conditional activity), but as it transpires he'd handed this in several weeks ago. You can't argue with 100% can you?

He's been starting his guitar parctice at 6.50 on weekday mornings so we now wake to the sound of scales coming through the floorboards.

He's our Numero Uno.

I'm posting this link for Greg

Sunday, June 12, 2011

It was blowing at 20 knots last night, gusting at 30 when Lewis and Kyle thought they were going out sailing. I'm sure they would have gone out, but the club had called it off. Instead they had a shake-down practice session without sails, Lewis here doing the helmsman duties!

Today we've been getting our culture quotient visiting the John Hansard Gallery and the Southampton Art Gallery to see the two Warhol shows on in Southampton at the moment. The John Hansard Show focussed on his film and photography works, with a spellbinding line-up of films of various people (Edie Sedgewick, Susan Sontag, Dennis Hopper etc) facing the camera, just looking at the viewer. Years ahead of it's time, and not bettered since for performance.  In Southampton the collection of mainly screenprinted works was also fab, including one room of large black and white canvasses, that spoke so strongly of colour it ws untrue. See it if you can.

It's been raining today - all day!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Flutter by

Found this picture of Miranda at her school fete from a few weeks ago, and thought I should post it before the moment passes.

She's been in high spirit this afternoon, and by bedtime I could tell she was fading fast. I decided to read to her or a change, and I nearly always slightly ad-lib when I am reading. Anyhow she thought it was very entertaining telling me that I wasn't reading it correctly!

She's not been able to keep up with words read at an adult pace before, but now seems to have a much higher rate of recognition.

Lewis has been to Chessington World of Adventures today as the last trip out in Activities Week with school - didn't get in until 8PM...

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Form an orderly queue

We normally have a tootle after teatime, and today we went down to the beach in Hythe where the kids threw a few stones into the sea. Then we came down to Shore Road to see if we could see Lewis, as he was sailing with the Sea Scouts. Miranda has that 'none too pleased' look about her....

Listened to a few great nostalgic strands on the radio today - first I accidentally chose Four Extra on the iPlayer, and it was an episode of the Men from the Ministry. After all these years it still sounded fresh, and I could feel my face aching from all the smiling by the end. A damn site better that listening to the Radio 4 Today programme.

Second strand was a feature on Radio 6 about Martin Rushent the record producer who defined the sound of the late seventies and early eighties for me in many ways. The Stranglers Rattus Norwegicus was one of my first big fave albums, which is now so worn and scratchy it's taken on new production values! Sadly he was another casualty of the grim reaper last weekend.

No more heroes any more...

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Something fishy going on

Dad if you do something for me, I'll do something that you want - what would you like?

What are you angling for Miranda?

A Fish Daddy, can we have a fish?

Err... no Miranda, we're not having a fish. But you could make one, or play with the fish we've got in the bath

runs away in tears...

....comes back 15 minutes later.

Dad I've made some fish out of Gold Paper!!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Fractionally better

Greg getting stuck in to some fractions, and trying to make them look easy. But there's always a few that catch him out!

Miranda has been to the Zoo today with a school trip (and Caroline too), I told her to make sure her label didn't fall off, so they knew which cage to put her in - she was having none of it!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Rocking the boat

Still have to pinch myself when I see Lewis out sailing on his own. Today he's been out racing with Kyle in an RS Vision at Calshot Sailing Club, the Pico they sailed last week is coming in just behind them. If they had a waited a few minutes I could have got the Queen Elizabeth in the background for Auntie Miffi...

Lewi is peppering his conversation with all the technical terminology like a seasoned pro already.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

And then there was three

We had a newbie on our Saturday morning bike ride today. Greg has joined the big boys for a the forest ride now he has his new bike. We did some trails and as much technical stuff as we could find - all good fun!

This afternoon we did some kayaking too as the weather has been top. Although it's been very hot, the wind was fairly strong and Greg was getting a little frustrated by being unable to keep his boat going in a straight line.

Miranda getting quite good at paddling, and even asked me to stop so she could 'have a swim'

Friday, June 03, 2011

Lovely and sunny today, so Caroline decided to do a barbeque this evening. So Miranda did her reading on the pergola with the sizzling in the background...

Miranda reading on 3rd June 2011 by jon-14