Monday, October 31, 2011

Saw head

Greg and Miranda had an inset day today, so they spent part of the day fetching a punkmin, and when Lewis got home they all helped harvest the content and carve the face. Tonight we've had stuffed figs, pumpkin gnochi followed by apple cake. Yum.

It's not every day I urge you to look at 102 photos but tonight have look at the Masks, Costumes and Halloween Exhibition on Lenscratch.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

You take the slide

A damp a murkely sort of day here today, so we've dug in a played with LEGO. Greg wanted to make a skate park, and although I did my best to persuade him that LEGO and curves did not really make out together, that's where we went. When they suggested making a Death Slide my eyes rolled over, but within seconds they had found a way of making one. In one shot I've got a Paramedic's stretcher on the floor, I'm sure I won't need to explain why...

We've managed to get out for a tootle this afternoon, but we didn't get back till after dark (the clocks having gone back)

Did I mention Lewis bringing us a cup of tea at 6.45 this morning?? That went down well, ...not!

I'm listening to Iba Diabate - Mouna

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wonderful tonight

Last weekend Lewis put Clapton's 'Slowhand' on the CD player when we were eating, so I chided him for not playing Clapton's music much any more. So this week we have had all my old faves with increasing confidence. Lay down Sally, Wonderful tonight and of course Cocaine... He can really put his heart into it when he tries, and knows how to bend a string.

We've been at the sailing club today, Lewis took out a Pico single handed in quite strong winds. Greg had planned to go with him, but strong winds had taken it's toll before they even crossed the starting line for the races, and Lewis proceeded alone with both main and jib. Watched him briefly battling with the winds before taking Miranda out in the kayak. We tried using two paddles but it was a bit tricky and I wasn't keen on capsizing today. My usual method is to give her the paddle periodically whilst I just sit behind her, taking in the ride. She's making good progress but today was very tidal and a bit cold and windy at times.

Excellent bike ride alone first thing, autumn colours are pushing through nicely in the forest.

I'm listening to Coeur de Pirate - Le long du Pirate via Bandcamp - It has a very easy to use audio player and it's a great way to access new emerging musicians (and download/buy their music)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Days with my children

As I load this picture I notice that I'm listening to Brad Mehldau playing "Young and Foolish", and I imagine the kids looking back at me questioningly...? It seems a good way to introduce a set of photographs I saw earlier by Colin Gray who has photographed his parents over a 30 year period in a very interesting way. One of the sets of images is currently featured on the Telegraph website, but his own website also shows an earlier project exploring his relationship with his parents from childhood through adulthood, and their relationship with each other.

Outstanding images, on a par with the set by Phil Todedano called "Days with my Father"

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Preview Screen

Yesterday was considerably nicer than today, I think we've had the lights on all day it's been so gloomy. And as you can see I took this one in yesterday's sunshine.

The kids are on half term break, and Miranda popped into my workroom and asked if we could go outside and take some photos in the garden. She had her camera (an old plastic film jobbie) ready, and out we went. As bold as brass she's taking photos, winding on and reviewing the images on the back; asking me what I think of them...

When we looked at the images on the computer this evening she even made reference to the (invisible) image on the back of the camera, so I thought I'd morph one in just to see her face tomorrow when I show her the blog!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Up a gum tree

She thought I'd left her up the tree, and was bawling at me to come to the rescue. Greg naturally was higher up the tree, giving her a running commentary on my photographic distractions. This was the look on her face when I poked my lens through the branches!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On a short piece of string...

I found this picture on my phone of Lewi sailing his Wayfarer, and thought it needed to go up. He's controlling the main and jib, and reckons he can even get the spinnaker to work too. It was great watching him from the other side of the pond when we'd left for a walk - endless people stopped and watched him at play. Grown ups with children mainly, but you could sense the satisfaction of watching a kid at play with his sailing boat....

Monday, October 24, 2011

Opening moves

Lewis in compassionate mode playing Draughts with Mippy.

They have been to the dentist today and Miranda was very pleased to discover the arrival of her first grown up tooth - a wisdom tooth. So I've spent all afternoon telling her that there must have been a mix up!

Lewis has been refining his trawler drawing in Sketch-up which is starting to look very professional. I'm going to try and export a walk through for the blog.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rans Wood

Been for a nice walk in the forest this afternoon, it's been the perfect autumn afternoon. Colours are beautiful, as they shift from greens to yellows. A bit like the Wayne Shorter concert I'm listening to via Jez Nelson on Radio 3.

The kids love playing on this rope swing, and they talk about all the crazy things they are going to do when they get to it. Quite a few walkers out today for a change. And still a few pigs out for pannage too.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Chuff chuff

Our neighbour John has been building a track for his steam trains in their garden. Today the kids had a chance to ride in them as it winds around between the trees, and even over the pond! It's a very atmospheric experience with steam billowing in your face and the sound of all that huffing and chuffing!

Lewis even got a science lesson on how the steam  engine functioned. All handmade in his garden shed.

This afternoon Lewis has been trying to sail his Wayfarer model at Hatchet Pond - he's made  sails, daggerboard, tiller and rigging etc and sails it with some long pieces of string.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Week

They have been busy getting costumes ready for Book Week in school. Miranda came running into the bathroom first thing to tell me she was dressing up as Rapunzel.

By the time I took this photo, just before they left, poor old Greg was begining to wake up to the perils of wearing a flimsy robe on a bitterly cold day. His winged sandals better suityed to  warm Grecian climes....

Nevertheless Perseus set off like a shivering man possessed. Later in the day he was full of beans again!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Miranda drawing a map of Noddyland on the weekend. I was intending scanning the finished picture, but I think she took it into school. She has always enjoyed reading maps related to stories that you find inside books, and she worked away at this one putting lots of detail, words and colour into it.

This evening we've been to the park as the boys wanted to play football, so whilst they kicked the ball around in a flimsy layer of sports kit, I shivered in a fleece and jacket. Autumn definitely here, and we've even had the heating on!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blow dry

Greg brought his design for a Christmas Card home from school a few days ago, which got us thinking about getting organised and making our own this year. So we've been planning how we are going to make them. When I told him and Miranda that we would need to make at least a hundred they looked a bit shocked at the thought of doing all that work!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A table with a view

I don't think most people would call this conspicuous dining, but our picnic lunch today in the spayed boughs of a large oak tree near Pigbush certainly provoked a few remarks from passers by! Reminded me of an old photograph of a picnic we had many years ago with my brother and his girlfriend in the Quantocks. Today's photo by Caroline who didn't have the stomach for the adventure.

We've had two really nice sunny days, wonder if it will last much longer. Our bike ride today was first class, Miranda must have ridden about 18 miles most of the time off road.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Lewis is off for a weekend aboard HMS Bristol; sailing and other manly persuits!

This is as we waited for the leaders at Sea Scouts to turn up, he's always early, no matter how hard we try to organise him.

It's always strange when we have a weekend without him, it's like there's something missing - which of course is what it is.

Autumn is here, it's quite chilly and the nights are drawing in. It'll soon be Haloween.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


She's so keen to do her homework that she does her spellings without any one asking her to do it, and under her own steam. I asked her to do them again for me as I ate my breakfast and she obliged getting them all right.

No wise cracks about there being only eleven, as you all know 11/11 and 12/12 both make 1.0

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ways of Seeing

Met up with my photo chums last night and was moaning about the fact that I use my DSLR and prime lenses less than I used to. But what you loose in visual quality you gain with spontanaeity with the iPhone.

Mipp's drawings continue to fascinate me at the moment, and the alignment in this image is very satisfying.

Greg, in the background, wondering why he doesn't get the same attention...!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

All Change

We were the first people at the Sailing Club this morning, Lewis was very eager to get going with his new sailing partner Tom. The wind was fresh and this was after they had finished their first race. In the second race Tom took a Topper out singled handed and Lewis went out with Greg in the Pico. It had picked up to Force 5 and Greg sustained a few rope burns during a capsize which brought their race to an end, unfortunately...

Miranda has been skinny dipping with Bouncer all morning. Everyone seemed fairly pleased with their day.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

New Boyfriend

Miranda has been asking me if she can ride Domino for a few weeks, but it's never been the right time, but today when I asked her if she wanted to go and see if Barry was there she leaped up in the air and kissed me. I'll taken that as a 'Yes' then Miranda...

She really enjoyed herself, and Domino even seemed to enjoy himself too. I had to lock Alice (the goat) in the shed as she always butts us, and although I can ignore it, Miranda gets really stressed by it all!

Earlier in the day I had a great sighting of six Crossbills in the forest, four red and two green. It's not often that you get a first sighting as spectacular as this. We also saw piggies at Pannage, the forest being full of haycorns this year and a marvelous old Buzzard swooping through the trees on our bike ride through Pigbush.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Ping Pong

Greg has been representing Waterside Primary today in Table Tennis at Testwood School. He's been taking part in a sports programme in conjunction with Noadswood School (Lewis' secondary school) to get the Primary kids focused on a transition to Secondary school, and he's loving it.

So this is his new team strip!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Swing out Sister

Both boys were very keen on swinging, and propelled themselves forward from an early age. Miranda has been somewhat more lazy; happy to be pushed but easily distracted. However she's turned the corner and a few times lately she's given it a good push, and I even managed to catch her in the mood for showing off!

Monday, October 03, 2011

A buck an ear

Greg has been learning his lines for his scout investiture, and tonight he's officially progressed to wearer of the knot. His New Forest East badge and another proclaiming him a member of the Buccaneer Pack will shortly go onto his jersey!

Since she came home from school Miranda has been painting pictures of Puff the Magic Dragon (which I think she must have been doing in school) and so before bed we have all been singing and playing the guitar in a Peter, Paul and Mary style, whilst Miranda does her best to remember the words...

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

When I was a teenagers we used to listen to Annie Nightingale on the radio, and boy did we think we were lucky even to get a glimpse of Pop star lives...! In the foreground is Caroline and Lewis in the Feva (white and yellow sail 3341)heading off to the start line and later Greg and Cameron in a Pico (yellow with blue sail) this afternoon at Calshot.

To be fair the wind was not great but the sun made up for it as we dawdled along. We all had a go and Lewis even thinks he scored some points....

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Not quite in the points

Something of a scorcher down here today, and I managed an excellent 40+mile bike ride in the forest this morning AND sailing this afternoon (...and I'm still awake). Lewis completed the first race of the day with Kyle at Calshot, but when we showed up Kyle wanted to sail his Topper, so I had a chance to go out with Lewis in the RSFeva. So Lewi had his first ever race at the helm and I was his crew - we finished 6th out of 8 boats, which gave us a smile! It was probably our nicest day down at Calshot weatherwise too, sunny and quite breezy, but not too hairy. Caroline and Greg went out with Cameron (who's training to be a Junior Instructor) in an RSVision.

Didn't take any photos in the water, but I did take a few at Church Moor this morning with my phone