Monday, December 31, 2012

The candle at both ends

A late night last night in London and another one tonight seeing in the new year together.

Picture below is from last night in London outside Big Ben!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Domino gets some TLC

Very damp underfoot, and not really the best time to plod around the field but Mipp enjoys herself anyhow....

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Log on

This was Caroline and Lewis' take on Yule Log - part of out Christmas Lunch.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

mote controld tarantula

You 'll have to read yesterday's post to make sense of this one...

It's not a Bee....

Monday, December 24, 2012

All I want for Christmas

The little note appeared late in the day, she sidled up and said she'd been writing. "It's for Father Christmas" she said "where shall I leave it?"

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Shady lady

Needed to do a bit of provision shopping today, so we popped over to Portswood Road in Southampton to visit the International Supermarket and like all the best places it has a Waitrose too!

Really quite amusing to see how well they were doing in a worn down part of Southampton. I never go into one of their branches without thinking how well they do everything.

Also made a visit to the Art Gallety in town as Greg has been talking about Ben Nicholson all week. Sadly as the cuts take their toll the Gallery is likey to be open for just four hours a day so support this great place now whilst its still open...

Todays photo is Mirandas rework of a Frank Auerbach portrait on display as per the above.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Photo of self wearing birthday present from Joanna. This was the alternate take, the other being similar but drinking from a bottle of Talisker. Maybe I will save this for another day!

Like Clockwork

The game has been set up, Greg is pacticing his guitar and Mipp is reading her book. i even have my Vodka and lime ready to drink and time to take a photo...

Phew err

Friday, December 21, 2012

Copy and Paste

Miranda is never happier than when cutting and sticking, she could do it for a living.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Choppy seas

Lewis had another chance to crew for Geoff at Lymington this morning whilst I went for a bike ride. The breakers at Keyhaven spit were a marked contrast to the lack of wind a mile or two further up the Solent. C'est la vie...

I had a really enjoyable ride down the coast, with fab views over the water all the way down to Studland.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ancient History

Record shot for my mother mainly of me about to eat cake from earlier on the week!

I am listening to Wayne Shorter's Schitzophrenia, no connection intended.


Been out sailing today, it's been one of the most exhilarating rides of the year. Force 5/6 with very bumpy sea.

Only three boats racing unfortunately at Calshot which was a shame, but the triangle sausage course made it very exciting with lots of tacks and gybes to keep us awake.

Totally brilliant fun

The photo is from last week's trip to Keyhaven when Lewi was sailing at Lymington, which we are doing again tomorrow morning.

Printing press

The cards are still being printed, and the writing will have to start soon

We free kings

Miranda was King Melchior in the Waterside School xmas production, and she came bearing frankinscence.

As a special treat she performed for me on Thursday evening, and very hood she was too.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Jamie was not here

There has been talk of a need for a wood fired Pizza Oven in the garden, so it was interesting to connect a conversation with my Mum about a friend of theirs called Nigel Jenkins, and this video (which he made for a Cumbrian environmental group called PACT) about making your own Cob Oven.

Food for thought, as they say

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Seasons Greetings

The kids are in the kitchen making their Christmas cards, carrying on a tradition that goes way back. I used to hand make my own, paddling in the chemicals or similar to produce a personal message but now it's a simplified version that makes the grade - although I aways make own. This year mine were produced in Germay and arrived today by UPS probably earlier than usual, so lets see if I can get them out in the post too!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sporting chance

It's been a busy week on the sporting front with plenty more in store. In fact considering it's December we may be getting a bigger than healthy slice!

Last night Lewis was doing rugby training with Fawley Rugby Club and was selected to represent New Forest Under 14s in a match against Basingstoke RFC U14, so tomorrow after school he's travelling up to that match.

Meanwhile Greg has been playing in a football Six a side tournament against Waterside teams today. He also went on a night hike with Scouts last night not getting back in til after 9pm. He normally does fencing too but that has finished for the term I think. They beat Hythe Primary and drew against Cadland Primary....!

Come the weekend and it's good old sailing again. Can't see us getting flabby any time soon, although the food bills keep rising!

Monday, December 10, 2012

We'll all go Donkey Riding...

Greg came down with us on Sunday afternoon to walk Domino which was nice, as it meant I could walk alongside and take a few pictures. In the event I prefer the portrait version, but it was good to see them getting on with it together. We also took Rose (the Sheepdog) with us and I'm not sure which activity excited Mipp more...

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Living my life, life on a line...

It was a slightly ominous start to the day, cold and breezy with some strong gusts. Not the day in December I would have chosen for my first sail in a fast boat with some world class sailors.

If Lewi was nervous he wasn't showing it! He's not had much trapezing experience in any dinghy, even though he can talk all the theory like a second language. He came back smiling and notwithstanding a steep learning curve ahead, he didn't disgrace himself and has been dicussing his next opportunity!

The picture below is as they set off from Lymington at helter skelter pace towards the race area

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Fast Forward

Lewis was lucky enough to get some racing technique preparation at Lymimgton Sailing Club today. A very useful one on one with some talented and experienced dinghy sailors. He was glowing from all that conversation that only comes from specialist knowledge being shared.

The crowning glory so far as he's concerned is that tomorrow he's got himself a crew position on a 29er, so he'll be trapezing competitively with a very good helm. Does he look excited or what?

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Make Believe

"Can you show me how to do a capital letter?" she asks me..... "Oh you didn't do a full stop! Do a question mark, do it!"

Yes it's bedtime again and I am having fun writing a blog post with my arm around Miranda. She is calling out and I fed ip with all the interuptions. "You need to change the ip Dad" she says....

"Do the magnifying glass again" .... will she ever stop...?

We have been reading Melodie the Music Fairy (or rather she has) and now she is going to sleep.... zzzzz

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Take Five

It's something of a challenge remembering to try and get an image I can use on the blog, let alone having to brush off her Popsieness as she tries to wrestle the camera off me and get creative herself.

Occasionally I weaken and she repetedly takes the same photo about twenty times, sometimes they all have my head severed at the noseline....! Sometimes we get a useable picture, so maybe it's time for amotherr scribe portrait....

Sad to read about Dave Brubeck this evening, his piano playing particularly the Time Out album was a big influence back in the day.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Florence in school

Miranda has had several lessons in school about Florence Nightingale, and she wanted to show me the work she has been doing....

nice work Popsie!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Hands on teets

After a fantastic bike ride out on the forest this morning in the pristine frost, Miranda and I took Domino the Donkey out for a walk. Mipp has been asking me to do this ober the last few weeks but just never find the time. So we got the saddle and harness, amd brushed his coat, and we were off. Later we helped Barry to tend his feet, and we also trimmed Alice the goat's feet and collected all rhe animal poo off the field.

By now it was nearly dark so we had the joy of putting them all to bed. But this was not before Miranda had her first go at milking a goat!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Creating narratives

When Lewis was a baby I used to make books for him, and tonight Miranda found one and was reading it to me. She asked me if I would make one for her, to which I suggested she might like to make one for me....

Five minutes later I am on mu way to the garage for some more logs and she shows me the story so far!

Rust never sleeps...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Flash of light

Found this picture of a Laser on the kitchen table earlier, looks like something Gran was probably doing with the kids last weekend when we were up in London.

Tomorrow promising to be a reasonable day on the sailing front, tides in the middle of the day, a widely spaced double high, and sunshine the irder of the day..... now all we need is

W I N D .....

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Past bedtime

It's getting late it the day and I am waiting for the train to pullout of Waterloo after a night networking in London.

So I shall make do with a photo of Popsie instead of the cuddle I have missed out on!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Old dogs, new tricks...!

I have been teaching my Mum to text, and this morning had the very exciting experience of receiving my first one from her...! So now all we have to do is keep her in practice.

After giving her a lesson on checking what she's written before sending it, I realised that I had a typo in my reply message... doh!

She has been packed off on the train back to Wales and the house will be much quieter tonight I think... Missing you already Gran!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Last Supper

We have had a nice few days with Gran, but tomorrow she has to head home for Wales. Have been for a walk on the beach at Calshot, although it was a bit wet and unfortunately the tide was out otherwise she would have had a demonstration...! Tonight we had some tasty meze and cheese and biscuits in front of the fire.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Miranda has kindly loaned her bed to Gran, and is camped on the floor but it's all so much more fun when you have a new duvet cover. This one arrived from the Burkes and she's rather fond of it. Earlier she managed to get Gran playing a pirate game with gold dubloons - it was all going very well for Gran, but then her luck ran out. Gregory also started well but discovered that half his dubloons were counterfeit; and I who spent most of the game without treasure became a last minute winner...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Greg was very pleased with Gran's praise after playing his guitar. He has been practicing his rock star attitude now he's playing the steel stringed guitar mainly.

Not that he beeds any encouragement to have a cuddle with Gran....

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

She came to stay

The kids are in very excitable mood as Gran is here with us for a few days. Bathtime is so much more fun with a soft soap to play games with.... but Greg spotted my camera peeping around the door, so the fly on the wall was caught!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mippy at Seven

Mipp had a few friends around for a birthday tea, and this is the cake eating part of the experience. There was also lots of the usual running around like mad things, hootering and hollering as you'd expect. She's been playing with her presents, so than you to all for thinking of her. Below is a snapshot of the 'tearing of paper' section of the day...

NIce review of Sonny Rollins gig at the Barbican from last night on the Standard website - which the cogniscenti should read. Sonny at 82 is back on form.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Cheese and Tomato Spider...

Greg has been out at Cubs tonight, and he came home with some badges which I think he said were 35 years old, I think he'd been given them by one of the older group of members! He was very chuffed with them anyhow.

Was a bit late getting Popsie into bed tonight, having made an up to date reading out loud,  and we listened to one we almost exactly a year ago. Then we got side tracked with a few more.... I'm not sure who gave us the Cheese and Tomato Spider book, or whose birthday it was, but it seemed like the right thing for tonight...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Winter / Summer - what is it?

A cold nip in the air for sure, but it was as flat as a mill pond on the Solent today for sailing. I had promised Lewi we would try to get out, as he's been doing alright on the Junior leaderboard.

Anyhow we got out and were joined by Greg helming a Pico and Miranda crewing for him.... the first time she has entered a race. Greg nearly managed to overtake us at one point but we beat them off with millimetres to spare!

Had to get a picture of Lewi loading the car with sailbags etc, I think I shall make this my screenshot...

Er did I mention we capsized? We hardly ever go over but today in light wind we did and it was bl@@dy freezing. I know that because Lewi told me so....

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The unfolding story

I love this little vignette from my family history session with Alison and Nick Cross, and their parents Den and Muriel. Also with us to explore old memories and stories were my mum, and her brother Jeremy. And at the end of a long day we were joined by Emily, Alison's youngest daughter who has just produced Chloe - the latest addition to our family tree...

Both Nick and Alison became grandparents for the first time within eight days of each other...!

We spent hours trawling old family photos a la recherche de temps perdu!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rushn Dolly

She disappears, and the first thing you notice how quiet it has gone. A sense of mild panic whilst you wonder what mischief will have ensued... But there she is busily drawing on the coffee table, coloured pencils and crayons at the ready, and a nice pile of drawings ready to give me.

Today she took part in a special Diwali assembly at school. Caroline managed to get time to go and see it and reported back that she was fabulous, very confident...

A link follows for Miranda to the street in Leicester that is also celebrating Diwali and also some of the puppets here

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rain on the Window

The kids were home with an inset day again this morning so I set them working. Greg was writing about two guys sailing down to New Zealand on their 49er, and Miranda got stuck into a bit of drawing. Takes some imagination to come up with rain drops falling on the windows, and they certainly made me smile...

I'm listening to Bridget Kelly - My Heart...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dawn raid

Woken from my slumbers just before seven on a Sunday is not my ideal start to the day. However the tides dictated an early start, and we had a challenge to go sailing with Ben and Tom in their new boat, so it was game on!

It was a beautiful morning, although rather still, and we had a really enjoyable sail. We also managed to dig into some maintenance issues such as replacing the mainsheet halyard.

This afternoon Miranda and I hace been out on our bikes to the park. Sha played with a little girl who was only two years old but very talkative and friendly.

Lewis has been checking out his position on the Calshot Sailing Club leaderboard this afternoon, and he tells us rhat he's in pole position. Just three more races he tells me, so he's going to take it steady to make sure he holds in to things! Sensible chap....
Just rediscovering some of my 12in singles on the web. I often pick these up from my vinyl collection, but can not longer play them since my Naim turntable powersupply gives me only 33rpm! Montana Sextet by Heavy Vibes, Bassline by Mantronix and (check out the vid) IOU by Freez

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Had a nice bike ride this morning with Greg, he was rearing to go! A cracking winters day, nice light and fairly warm, although a few showers too.

There was one sinking moment when Greg crashed off his bike onto the road, but fortunately nothing more than injured price and stinging hands.

The photo was taken after bathtime waiting for dinner, having a quick game of cards.

In the background you can  our pumpkin which Greg and Miranda carved - featuring a fatty batty and a witch! Unfortunately they carved a bit too much out and it's sagging a bit now!!