Monday, April 30, 2012

Just like the old days

Lewis and Kyle getting the boat ready for a race... It was quite choppy, and rather cold but they stayed out for ages, and turned in a respectable sixth place. Four very keen Lasers out in front, although the boys had fun. It's not even a year since they started sailing together at Calshot, but they look like old hands!

Note to self - must get the numbers on the sail as it's quite important when they are racing....

Check out John Peel's record collection notes.... check out Hector the Dope sniffing Dog!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The day the world turned Dayglo...

Received this photo from my sister Joanna from last weekend, taken when we were enjoying a sunny interlude some fifteen miles from Aberayron. The smiles were due to it being "all downhill from here". Top ride...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

It's all in the jeans

I've been a bit busy this week since getting back from my bike ride across Wales with Tony and friends, but here's a picture of my nephew Dylan - doesn't he look just like my brother Christian!

I'm listening to Rihanna - Umbrella

Monday, April 23, 2012

Miranda has been studying wooden toys in school, so we entered into the spirit by sending her in with her Welsh teddy, originally given to Lewis by Gran when he was a babe. Teddy is made by Deans Toys, and his Teddy walker has long been a favourite in our household! She walked him to school and back, and don't they look proud.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Just getting myself organised for a bike ride with Tony Burke, which I have been looking forward to. Something of a late starter when it comes to cycling, he's made up for it by getting well stuck now he's in his prime!

I had a quick scan of the papers earlier and my eye was drawn to an article in the Evening Standard about London's most stylish cyclists - instantly I recognised the svelte lines of my beloved Freddie Grubb, and the crisp typography, which I sadly parted company with some years ago. I knew it was the wrong thing to do but couldn't see how I'd ever get usable spare part to rebuild it. Little did I think they would again become the height of fashion... Never mind my Marin is rapidly acquiring collectable status now too!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Must post this before it looses its relevance. Miranda jotting down notes having taken a few lessons from Lewis on what to do with the boat! He's been doing a project in school based around producing a presentation in powerpoint and video, and with Tom his class mate they have been producing a training manual on how to rig a Feva...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

All dressed up...

 Almost gave up trying to post tonight as Blogger has some kind of bug and the UI is very unstable. Still I had a nice photo of Miranda as a  Red Indian to share, so I will just post and run.  Have had a nice walk from Wilverley in a big loop around Rhinefield and over to Burley and back. Miranda has carried her fawn Brook all around our walk, talking to him all the way, she's definitely a little mad at the moment.

Music recommendation of the day - Richard Spaven's 5ive

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Maiden Voyage

First race (and first sail) in the new boat. Lewis was deeply frustrated that we were using the standard sails and no spinnaker, although he's over the moon really. Caroline crewed for him and they finished fourth and sixth in the two races.

My bike ride in the forest this morning was a bit more spring like in character although it's still very cold here. I heard my first cuckoo today, and saw my first lambs so we're heading in the right direction. I also had the opportunity to see the longtailed tit's nest in Denny Wood which was really quite a special occasion, all made out of bits of lichen and feathers... The forest seemed to be alive with animals emerging everywhere, including a herd of 40+ red deer which I chased for a while.

Friday, April 13, 2012


The boys dry-sail whilst Miranda and I mooch about on the beach at Calshot. Small note for Betty here as the boat to the left of the photo is an Osprey (designed by Ian Procter and sometimes built by Jack Chippendale) following our conversation last night. A very pleasant evening despite a deluge of rain just an hour before, so all not lost. Almost the end of the Easter hols, although we are planning on going sailing tomorrow.

I was talking to Greg a few days ago about the car making industry, and in particular talking about Uncle Den who spent his working life in the drawing office of car makers - this was after Greg had announced he was going to design a car in SketchU. Quite by chance on the BBC site there's a historical overview of this in words and pictures - so this link is for Greg.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Still trying

Came across this image in an old photobook, of Miranda and CJ getting stuck into some cooking at the hob. Reminds you of just how much legwork it takes to create an outcome. Miranda and Greg have both been helping with dinner tonight, a very tasty leek and potato pie.

We've had tremendous thunder and lightening here today, bright sunshine and deluges of rain - can't say we didn't need it.

 Spoke to Gran earlier she wanted Lewis to read this obituary about a local boat builder... Jack Chippendale

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Flying Thirteen

Lewis' trip to the dentist this morning made much more exciting by the news that we could take delivery of the Feva at lunchtime, so Tintin's first journey down to Calshot has taken place. Typically it was a fantastic day, sunshine, white horses and a boat, but sadly no safety boat - so we thought we'd leave it till another day for the maiden voyage. It was very tempting...

Popped into the art gallery in Southampton earlier as I waited for Lewi, some great paintings on show as usual. My treat of the day was seeing a few Hodgkin paintings and a Andy Golsworthy installation of horsechestnut leaves in a conker type arrangement.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Hiking Out

Greg practicing his hiking out at the park, as Miranda wildly spins him around (yesterday). Today has been rather frustrating as it's rained all day. After three days with almost zero wind, today it's blowing a hoolie. Lewis and I ventured down to the sailing club as there wasn't much else to do, but although a few boats went out it was too windy to use a club boat. "You can break your own bl™™∂y boat but you're not going to break a club one!"

Lewis very frustrated but personally quite content with that call. Had our boat arrived, I would have said the same.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Shootin hoops

Somewhat risky trying to get a shot like this of the boys basket balling this afternoon, not that I needed to worry. We had a few hours of football in the park and even Miranda had her studs on! She can ride her bike like billy ho, but I think Greg at 2 probably could boot the ball with more gusto... All good fun.

Also had a nice bike ride in the forest with the kids, but the skies (as you can see here) have been mainly grey and cloudy.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

The off

Racing at Calshot this morning, Lewis was first off the line and this was the view from the control tower as I was doing the honours with the OOD duties. Sadly they were becalmed before the end of the race and the tide started carrying them all away towards the Isle of Wight, so we had to abandon the race... A pretty sight nonetheless.

As of today we have a new boat, arriving later in the week - the kids very excited!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Just a few days ago

Main reason for posting this is the contrast in the weather. Last Friday evening we were playing in the sand, today I had a thick jumper and my winter jacket on at lunchtime! It has been sunny in places but cold.

Caroline and the kids have been out at a model steam event, joy riding... I had a peaceful day at home working having been spared a trip up to London for a meeting.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


One of those mad moments, that she seems to generate without hardly trying. If I'm fortunate to have my camera at hand I can shot 100 frames in the space of five minutes, and she'll be unaware that I'm even snapping away.

The kids are on Easter break at the moment, all busy making things. Lewis and Greg have even been working on the 59th Street Bridge song by Simon and Garfunkle. With the weekend approaching and four opportunities for racing at the Sailing Club, I told Lewis earlier in the week that my reception would be based on the progress he'd made on staging a duo with Greg....

"I'm feelin' groovy!"

Monday, April 02, 2012

Batman, Robin and Miranda Jane

So what's the chances of getting all three of them in one photo with eyes open, and smiles on their faces...? I took this on Friday at Lepe but only just downloaded it, the picture a refreshed version of one I did several years ago - in typical Brown clan stylee.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Skip to the beat

Gregory teaching Miranda a few licks on the guitar this evening - I think the tune was Rhinoceros Rock. She was very obliging, doing her best to walk her fingers, and count time as  instructed. I thought that reading the notes, all in the first lesson was a step too far, but she had a go!

Miranda made a new friend at the park this morning, a delightful little girl two years her junior called Lottie. Lewis and I have been kayaking this afternoon, we went from Calshot up to Ashlett Creek in the sunshine. V nice...