Saturday, June 30, 2012


Was talking to Miranda about Gran earlier and getting a telling off for not taking her down to Wales with me... So I am posting a picture for her taken on the beach at Llansteffan in typically Welsh weather.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Evening Series

It was blowing a bit of a hooley when we turned up for midweek sailing. Gusting quite strongly, but the lads all thought "there was no wind"

Fortunately the OOD's decided to allow us to race despite the ominous black clouds, so off we set!

We're getting quite good together on the water now, and although Lewis is frustrated by not having a spinnaker in his armoury, I'm getting handy with gull-winging us downwind. We were the first boat home, beaten by Chris in his Topper on handicap and it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. We managed not to capsize, Lewi even commented that it our Feva was just like a keelboat - "almost impossisble to capsize...!"

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fluffy Bunny

I took this at lights out time tonight (curtains closed time really, as it's summer time) just after Miranda reminded me about the person who gave her this teddy (on RHS). "Take a picture of Hamlet!" she insisted, so I did.

It's been a few years since we saw Johanna but Miranda was able to tell me who'd given the teddy to her, and why she liked it so much. Now that's making an impression.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dolphin Girl

We read this book last week and Miranda really enjoyed it. It's all about a little brother who gets all the attention because he's got a learning difficulty and an older sister who finds it difficult to understand and accept the fairness of this. The little boy eventually learns to communicate with a dolphin and then finally with his own family - a superb read, read superbly by Miranda.

I'm listening to Eric Reed playing beautifully on 'Honesty' from the album Something Beautiful

Monday, June 25, 2012

Matching Pair

Just one of many photographs from the early seventies of Christian and Joanna (my brother and sister) that I added to my collection of the brown clan. Suspect this was taken by Father Brown taken at Penyrallt.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Memory Lane

Back from a weekend in Wales riding my bike, taking photos and catching up on some family history with Uncle Jeremy and the clan. We had a good chance to explore some of the work he's been doing into the Thomas line of the family, as well as his latest work with the Hornbrooks.

Was able record some memories and observations, as we rifled through the old treasures. This photograph is my grandfather Robert John Thomas on his wedding day to Gertrude Maud Jeremy

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Lewis in the garden knocking six bells out of the swingball. He just stands there wacking it one way then the other, body hardly moving, arm gently rocking back and fore.... A nice sunny day, shame it was spent indoors, as I've been getting a presentation done for next week!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Days like this

Miranda's lovely Fathers Day card which shows the Feva blasting along, which was just what it did all day!

Lewis and I entered the race at Calshot and we finished second out of eight in pretty blustery conditions. It was a day day for sailing sunny and strong. The course was perfectly set for very atmospheric conditions - ie we got very wet!

We also had a good blast in the afternoon in Terry's Laser Stratos keelboat from Bucklers Hard right out into the Solent, as he was itching to get his boat out too. Best day in a boat so far this year and a tan to prove it!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Home cookin'

Greg and Caroline laid on a tasty spread of Meze after taking a trip to the International Stores in Portswood earlier. Even with the photograph to remind me I cannot tell you what each dish comprised, but I may get a prompt and be able to update you on this...! Needless to say it was delish and demolished in a fraction of the time taken to prepare...

I am also seriously enjoying this CD - John Ellis "Dance Like there is no tomorrow"

Friday, June 15, 2012

Two for the price of One

We've been without a telephone line for a week thanks to the difficulty in getting anyone in the utility world to dig a hole in the ground in case they damage their fingernails. The excuse we had before Christmas was the difficulty in getting their (BT) contractor to write a method statement, this time we didn't even get an excuse.... 

But at least we have broadband and in a few weeks fibre optic comes to our exchange.... maybe I won't drop them just yet.

So I have a backlog of bloggable material, including these two lovely pictures by Miranda. We'd just been drawing animals that she'd seen recently and the Penguin just crept in there, after a sublime conversation about Lewis in a wetsuit.

We are still watching the Blue Tit family and their four young ones as they come back to our feeder, getting more mobile by the day.

Really sad to hear about the death of Abram Wilson, a soulful trumpeter I saw play with Gary Crosby a while ago - London based although from New Orleans originally - just 38 from cancer. What a waste of all that talent.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

She's fast

Greg on Friday getting some sail training from Danielle Thomas, who is not only one of the younger members of Calshot Sailing Club, but second fastest in her class in the World. In November Danielle finished second female and 9th overall in the Topper Worlds, so we're hoping Greg was paying attention to what she had to say!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Very wet today but pleasantly warm. Some of the damp patches were absorbed by a visit to Poole Museum where Miranda made this Jubilee plate for their display.

Something interesting which I've never done before was to visit Poole Pottery. The business has changed hands a few times in recent years and the slightly tacky front of house at the factory shop disguises a real workshop where today there was a potter and a surface decorator at work. The kids were absolutely transfixed (Miranda especially so) by the craftsmanship of the two working away making a teapot, a vase, as well as various Jubilee commemorative pieces. They showed us the glazed pieces before and after firing and couldn't get over the colour shift. Poole Museum has a superb collection of Poole Pottery pieces as well as some examples of the commercial pottery and faience that the Carter business (which started PP) produced. Such a shame that a major part of their retail space is dedicated to such utter crap brought in from god knows where (whilst the real magicians hide at the back of the c 25,000 sq ft room)

See this interesting blog for more PP info

Also had fun watching the sailing in Poole harbour, Lewis able to discern more detail about the boats from about half a mile away, than I could if I was standing next to the boat. Really quite annoying when he makes some observation, and then about five minutes later we all catch on. If only he was so attentive to other things...

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Up yours...

Thought we'd escaped most of that Jubilee nonsense, until the look skywards after the racing at Calshot revealed every boat had been decorated... The three "Queens" are coming in first thing, and there's a big fireworks party and Red Arrows display over Southampton tomorrow night courtesy of Cunard as they head out.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

On Friday night it's Greg and Miranda's turn to get sail training, which Lewis has started helping to instruct. And then on Saturday morning at Saturday Club he and the other regular youth squad gets some race training. As the weather gets warmer this is a thoroughly enjoyable experience and the kids really enjoy themselves, and we didn't get back from the beach until 9.30 last night.

There's some good video footage by Sam Heathfield of our race on Wednesday night on Youtube, the best bit - Lewis and Me overtaking an RSVareo on the final beat towards the finish line (at about 2:41) - nice one Tiger!