Wednesday, September 26, 2012


For Lewis it was Postman Pat, but Miranda much prefers running her own Post Office. She can spend all day writing notes sticking them in envelopes, posting them in her letterbox, and delivering them to people who live in the street, ... and every now and again I get one too!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The back story

The other side of yesterday's picture, as Miranda talked Caroline through what she'd written - palpable look of despair!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Breakfast time scratchings

Miranda's story that she wrote at brekkies, ad a little picture of the car she's been playing with all week

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Had a jaunt down to Poole as there's always things to see to keep the kids happy. At the museum there was an Olympic sports featuring local people's achievements in the games over the years. This one showcasing double Olympic Gold medalist Rodney Pattison who's Cadet complete with spinnaker was on display. You couldn't dry sail the boat, but the boys had great fun playing with the rigging, and inspecting the construction of the boat.

We'd planned visiting the Lifeboat Museum too as a treat for Lewi, but sadly it was closed. It stopped raining for long enough to have a good look at the new Twin Sails bridge which is now open.


Lewi was a little frustrated that our racing did not go to plan. Caroline had made him a cake which we took to the sailing club, and the icing on the cake showed him crossing the line first, but unfortunately I think we came last in both races after suffering rigging problems. The final flaw in our plan was the lousy weather meant it was dark by the time we'd finished and Lewis' idea to have chippies on the beach fell by the wayside. We settled for an Indian feast at Aroma in Holbury, and for once we were unable to finish all that was served up...

Friday, September 21, 2012

It's behind you...

Lewis had already left for Calshot to see if he could sort out a few problems with the spinnaker, so we followed him down. Friday nights on the beach are great, time to chill and fool around whilst the sun goes down, and there's no one else there.

Greg is getting some practice hiking out, and Miranda doing what she does....

It was on a night like this about fourteen years ago that things started to change irrevocably, and Lewis joined us for the ride.


There's a certain joy in seeing this picture - it's one that I can relate to. When a child rides without stabilisers you are always behind it! The frustrations of holding pushing releasing, and quickly grabbing a camera to record the moment for posterity.

Back in the day this bike was ridden by both my nieces, Christabel and Elsbeth (who has actually just passed her driving test), and by our three children, and some time ago it passed to Amelia Hawkins who was riding a trike.

The photo arrived in my inbox yesterday to update me...

Greg riding it for the first time

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Camped out

Just got in from London, and given Miranda a cuddle before bedtime, so this seems like the right picture. I n truth it's a summer holiday picture taken in the garden in her Thomas the Tank Engine tent that she often plays in. Usually it's Greg or Lewi that's inside with her.

Because I'd been in London she brought her writing book to show me which contains lots of metropolitan highlights described and illustrated by her in class or at home. She's been telling me that she wants to go to London for her birthday, and she never misses an opportunity to bring the subject up. At bedtime she asked me had I been to visit the Queen, and I naturally went along with it. Short silence whilst she thinks about it. "You don't really go to see the Queen do you Daddy?"

Yesterday she lost another tooth which seemed to make her very happy. Time flies by, she'll be wearing braces next.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Note to self

Must get some new recordings of Greg playing his guitar so we have a reminder of the sort of music he's playing.

It's so easy to keep on moving, but the value of blogging comes when it captures a snapshot of time, which of course you can only see when the moment has passed...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bend it like Miranda

Many years ago 'before children' we used to go to the cinema and watch art house movies... one of them was the Bend it like Beckham film which Caroline bought earlier this week from the local library which was selling off its back catalogue on DVD. After watching it Mipp has been wearing football boots and expressing her desire to be premier league, and Greg let's face it just likes anyone who's a good sport. So for the second evening in a row I've been down the park with them whilst they chase the pigs bladder around.

We have also all been sailing for most of the day at Calshot. It's been very cold in the water - the first day when we've thought "Ooh it's getting nippy now." Maybe summer's over.... Greg was sailing a Pico single handed, and came third in their race. Well done Greg!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A few days sailing with Fordy across to the Isle of Wight before the autumn disappears. The trip out was pretty exciting with 30 knots wind over tide creating a massive swell. In our dreams we were crossing the Southern Oceans, but by nightfall we were in Newtown safely tucked up in the New Inn in Shallfleet eating and drinking...

Saturday was very still first thing, the wind just starting up by about 8.30 to take us back home. An excellent sail downwind mainly

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Years ago we only really went to the north coast of Cornwall, we did venture to the other side occasionally, it's just that we preferred the rugged and more isolated northern path and small towns and villages spread along it. Since we've had kids the southern shores have attracted us with warmer, less windy coves and sandy but busy beaches.

This time we spent more time on the north coast again, this beach is Portheras Cove near Boscastle, and a cleaner, sandier spot it is hard to find (well OK Hayle is certainly sandier at 3 miles long). It's a blissful beach, and the kids loved dodging and running to the waves, but the power of the sea here is phenomenal. This came a few days after Lewis had underestimated the power of the sea at Jangye Ryn, and so we were taking no chances... But even so one wave came in and dropped a huge amount of water throwing Gregory about 25 feet onto the rocks. Once you're over the water just carries you along until you stop. Fortunately I was there to grab him but he was very shocked and had cuts all over his legs and blood running down them. I also had to watch a dog ( a big black lab) being sucked back into the sea by the same wave. It managed to survive but was a potent reminder.

I was looking at his knees yesterday and said "Greg your legs are a mess, what have you been doing to them..." to which he replied "It was Cornwall Dad remember...!"

Ah yes I remember now....

It'll be all light on the night

Just received this picture of me from Monday night by Steve Street and lit by Alan Bowman. We often lark around with cameras and torches before having a few beers and "chewing the fat"

Clearly I am a frustrated rock star, suspect that whatever I should have practiced more when I was younger...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dennis the Menace

Lewis drying the spinnaker as we prepare to put the boat away at the end of the weekend. We managed to get some small tears in the sail, and have a some repairs to do already - not good!

We have a new boat in the pound, a Laser 3000. He's already telling me that it's the next logical boat for us to have... (in his dreams)

Played swingball with Greg this evening, who wads full of Andy Murray references as we played - thinks he's got a chance of being the next big thing. "Did you notice that I haven't missed a shot yet Dad?" he asks after his fifteenth slam and my non-return...

I'm listening to Fuglsang Blues by Lars Møller on Phobia - rocking....

Monday, September 10, 2012

Shades of Autumn

A particularly fine bike ride through the forest on Saturday morning, the heather loosing it's intense pink colour and the leaves on the trees starting to die. Very warm, but highly enjoyable with not quite so many post Olympic cyclists now - almost back to normal!

Caroline and I were OOD at the sailing club in the afternoon, and Lewis raced with Gregory as crew - that's a first! They finished, with both smiling...

Sailing on Sunday night was a different story - very stormy and although it was Caroline crewing for Lewis in the race, they capsized several times but also finished (five boats didn't) in the gusty conditions.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Cornish memories

When you return from a summer break, you think that the sunkissed windblown feeling will last for months; that you'll be recounting all the fun and relaxation for ages...

So I'd better start with a few random recollections.

On the campsite we had been observing the swallows and swifts flying around, they seemed so content as they went about their existence - so whilst Mum was getting the dinner ready I had the pleasure of helping Miranda build a nest for them. It was all her idea, and frankly I thought she was bonkers (I thought I was bonkers too if truth be told - drink beer or make mud pies???) although now I look at the picture it's one of those things about her that I really like. Slightly batty determination...

 And next up is one of Miranda's photos. The clan (all except Lewis who has stormed ahead up the coast path) as we climbed up from St Agnes towards Perran Porth. We had started near Wheal Coates near Chapel Cove. It's a spectacular walk taking in sights of dozens of old engine houses and stamps, enormous vistas over the sea towards Wales, endless breakers hammering onto the shore. The thought of those poor buggers who toiled under the sea to extract a thin strip of rock, in horrid hot conditions, with little more than a cornish pasty to sustain them for 14 hours at a time, doesn't bear thinking about....

Our walk took us to a very nice ice cream parlour in Perran Porth, where the grown ups had cream teas and the others a little of what they like best....

I could quite easily plot our holiday using photographs of us eating, and it might be a good way of remembering the trip, but I think it would probably give you indigestion... It's amazing that even after a cooked breakfast every morning, a packed lunch or a healthy cream tea we were ready for a dinner on the campsite by six.

This year we met up with my old college chum Nick Sinclair and his wife Helen who stayed on the campsite and together we chartered a Cornish Shrimper for a sail around the Falmouth area. We managed to cruise around to St Mawes and St Just, and also watched the 29ers National Championship out on the water. Lewis unfortunately missed out on this as he was still at Fowey racing with the Terry and Kyle. But we had a great time with Greg taking the helm for much of the time, and me learning how to raise and lower the gaff rigged sails.


Greg's birthday supper in the pizzeria in Truro was big hit... cake, candles and party poppers! And the biggest Calzone he'd ever seen.

The above smiles were due to the food at Johnnie's Cafe in Hayle. Miranda's pancakes in particular were of the highest order, and she kindly shared some with us all.

We visited St Ives just as the Classic Boat festival hit town so we saw lots of gaff rigged boats arriving, sadly we didn't stop too long in town as it was too busy. The charm of olden days has gone and it has been ruined a la Padstow. Still lots of other places to go which of course we did...

Monday, September 03, 2012

Fowey Regatta 2012

Just back from our summer hols in Cornwall, the above picture of Lewis who spent a week sailing with Kyle and their racing coach Terry Lankford. Lewis again made some new friends there and even managed to win a few races. This year he was sailing a Laser and they enjoyed all kinds of weather from sunny and windless right through to black and stormy with high seas. Sometimes all in the same day!

We joined Lewis for one day's racing, but full credit goes to Terry for all the the kind support he's given Lewis.