Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter at Calshot Sailing Club

A few photos of Lewis out with Aidan in the Buzz, which he's enjoyed very much over the weekend. Fairly windy today with about 20 knots onshore wind making it very difficult to land - this is one powerful boat, and a handful to keep up.

Quite few boats out on the water nonetheless, racing over at Cowes, and off Hillhead

Bigger than the sum of the Parts

Occasionally I see a photo that just misses the point I would have liked it to make, and it fails to do anything other than make me smile. They are forever needling each other, trying to get a reaction, but there is a degree of physical contact in this that shows how much they get on (until the next punch up)

Saturday, March 30, 2013


Not a good place to turtle your 49er, or you will likey be replacing your carbon fibre mast. Still it was good to see these guys join us from the other side of the water where they now race.

Lewi was out solo in Pico today as his crew did not feel like getting into the cold sea. He finished third.

Friday, March 29, 2013


Found sitting in a pool of light on the landing when I got out of bed. Miranda playing with the old car mat, which must be one of Lewis oldest and most enduring toys...

No batteries needed, just add sunshine

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Orangina kid

No racing a Lymington for Lewi this weekend, although I expect we will have a race at Calshot on one of the days. The overall positions after the first four races in the series are up on Yachts and Yachting - with Lewi and Geoff in second place overall. (45 boats total)

The sun came out here today at about 11 and I thought spring had sprung - certainly the Magnolia tree is starting to bloom. However it only lasted about an hour, and then it was back to grey dark and cold again

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mole's discovery

Last weekend out in the forest I came upon a beautiful mole having a bathe in a puddle. My description of him to Miranda led her to make a little book with lovely illustrations without any prompting. She's so full of ideas and creativity, and has a natural sense of running with an idea.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Here's Zoro!

Greg took part in a Fencing competition at Ringwood on Friday with a few of his friends from Waterside School. They have an Instructor who comes into school, and it seems to be a popular activity. Greg of course loves it, and judging by his results (three wins and a draw) must be getting quite good at it. He says he's looking forward to when he can use a Rapier rather than a Foil (think stainless steel rather than plastic!)

Thanks to Vicky for the video clip...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Snow joke

Lewis was racing at Lymington early this morning so I used the opportunity to get out for a bike ride. Frankly I could have done with a lie in for an hour but too bad. After four hours in my lycra shorts I was cold and fairly exhausted, but when I looked at my phone there was a message from Joanna showing me the complete white out in Kyre.

Lewi and Geoff did well again finishing third in today's race. "Was it tough out there?" I asked him, to which I got a cocky look followed by an admission that his hands were still hurting from pulling the main sheet. My hands are still hurting eight hours later as I write this...

The picture I took yesterday of Miranda with an old copy of an Enid Blighton book.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Advetures old and new

Had a very fun day in Wimborne. What could have been a frustrating day, as our main activity, a visit to the east Dorset Musem of country life was unexpectedly closed.

Wimborne is a fascinating and lovely little town with lots of independent shops and foodie places to eat. We visited a small cafe which offered superb pasties, although not even a sign over the door to tell you who they were!

We visited the Minster and were lucky enough to watch a full scale orchestra practising, something I dont think I have watched before. Very useful for the kids to see others working to improve their piece of music collectively.

Our day was made complete with a visit to see the Rileys who we've not seen for a while. Although everyone looked older and more grown up than the last meet up, as ever it took just minutes to catch up on lost time. Before we knew it, it
as bedtime and we had to head for home. What a nice day out.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Enid Blyton spellings...

Makings spellings a bit more fun at breakfast time. Gaylands (where the Famous Five go to school) she particularly enjoyed, but also anything Timmy related... hence 'panting'

Thursday, March 21, 2013

She's magic

Can I show you my magishun tricks, she slurrs at me just before bedtime... Oh go on then, just two minutes!

What follows makes no sense, a cross between magic and Miranda's imagination on overload, as she sits behind her little stage and acts out her routines. I am reduced to tears and forced to send her to bed as my dinner is burning downstairs

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lady Writer

Point her in the right direction, then light the fuse and watch her go.....

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Misspent Youth

When we were young television was just coming to the world, and when most kids would probably have been better off playing with their train sets, our parents took us to play with real steam trains! Although I didn't grow up to be a train spotter I remember fondly my Dad's enthusiasm for these huge beasts that were being tossed assunder in favour of the mighty diesel engine.

My brother Chris has been digging up old photos from Mum and Dad's house, so I am posting this for my kids mainly to show them what we did as kids on the weekend "back in the day"

Of course my parents were proven right; television is the biggest pile of garbage, and this steam train is still going strong....

I am listening to Ben Wendel - Frame

Monday, March 18, 2013

Seven Seas

Lewis was rather pleased to show us a letter from school inviting him to be sole person to represent Year 9 from Noadswood in an interschool Science Quiz. It's great to see him shine, and makes us very proud of his broad range of ability.

Below is one of his sketches of something that keeps him focused....!

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Very nice it was too, and I might just post the recope if the chef sends me the detals

The end of one, the begining of another

Storytime in front of the fire with Miranda. She decided it would be nice if we had our own private island after reading about George's called Kirrin Island. So I reminded her about the little shell island that we often go out to off Calshot. It's a lovely pile pf shells that disappears from view at high tide which adds to the mystery of how to find it.

However the seed has been planted and tomorrow she says she is going to start writing her Fiesty Five story.

The forest is under a few feet of water too I discovered when I went for a bike ride this morning...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Very food indeed

Had another visit to the International Supermarket today to get some more exotic ingredients. It's such a good purveyor of all things unusual, and like Waitrose has superb staff.

Today we also visited the Thai cafe a few doors down on Portswood Road called Sara's and had some tasty soup and Pakora etc, follwed by a full blown Indian banquet in the evening. Highlight for the kids was the Indian sweets that Miranda had talked about in her Diwali celebrations at school.

Also had a visit to the Art Gallery in Southampton to get our culture quotient. Highlight of the afternoon for me was an excellent Robin Denny abstract in grey and blue.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Life imitating art

One of Gregory's sketches which I found earlier in the bedroom. It's a picture of our mantlepiece in the living room with a Father Brown painting pride of place.


Greg looking pensively out if the window at breakfast time having almost got himself ready for red nose day at school. Just the nose to sort out then...

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Gappy just got gappier! She's speaking like a zombie which makes her even more unsettling, but at least her big toofies are on their way through...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Walk in the Woods

We have been reading Famous 5 again this evening, and the more I read the more like George, Miranda would appear to be. She's even stated saying "That's what I would say!"

The forest is looking very bleak at the moment with a light dusting of snow, not quite the place for a moonlit adventure a la Kirrin Island...

Good job she's got Gran's wooly hat on..

Sunday, March 10, 2013


It's been the sort of weekend that Lewis really enjoys. Yesterday was a race training day with about 3 hours of learning start line techniques at Lymington, and today a full blown race day at LTSC. Bitingly cold and very windy standing on the shore line, but that did not seem deter those on board Orangina who finished first in the Fast Fleet. Here they are roaring downwind towards the Easter mark... Well done guys, keep it up!

Read the race coverage on Yachts and Yachting News 

Friday, March 08, 2013

Nine spotted Minibeast

We were reading the Hampshire Wildlife Trust magazine about Spring activities to watch out for in the garden, when Caroline found a Ladybird in the kitchen.

We had been planning making a ladybird out of Lego, but now we had a real one instead! Naturally she wanted to take it into school, so he/she/ it has now moved house....

Greg has come back from Osmington looking very tired and tonight he has a sleepover at the Scout Hut.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Away game

Greg still at Osmington, and the house has been lovely and quiet. I teased Miranda that it was quite nice at bathtime to have the sound of her chatting quietly with her plastic diver....

She was a bit reluctant to do her spellings this morning so i suggested doing Teddy Bear names for a change. I thought this was OK as Greg told me that his class was doing the words I had chosen for her a few days ago! (ought, taught, thought)

Wednesday, March 06, 2013


Miranda announced she was going to do some gardening on the way back from school. True to her word she got on with the job when she got home, tools wellies and action....

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Ossicones Bay

Just time for a quick cuddle before Greg heads off to Osmington Bay for a few days of Activities with his school friends. They are going to be doing all sorts of water based and outdoor stuff, and he's been looking forward to this for a while.

Miranda may have calmed down herself by this evening, who knows...

Monday, March 04, 2013

Mippy Longstocking

Breakfast time at the zoo this mornng just before setting off for school. It's Book Week and mipp was dressed up as Pippy Longstocking along with Mr Neilson, and Greg was Erugun or somesuch sword wielding ninja....nothing like but if fancy dress to lift the enthusiasm for school.

I am listening to Robert Mitchell Trio.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

No more porgie

It has been more than twelve years since we moved to Hythe, and we nestled in amongst the local community and all the animals at Barry and Janis'.

We have grown to love these creatures and they have become like family to us all. We often go down to see them and feed them or walk them, and from time to time a new face arrives or an old one shuffles. Miranda noticed George the pig wasn't there at feeding time, and was devastated to hear that he's not made it through the cold winter. He'd been looking very thin recently and was having difficulty hobubling around. After we left Miranda sobbed inconsolably whilst I gave her a hug. We will all miss George and I am including the last picture I took of him a few weeks ago with Miranda leading him to his pen...


There was a plan to go dinghy sailing today so Miranda and I cycled down to Calshot whilst the rest motored. It was a nice ride but we faced a cool and harsh headwind, and I was starting to worry about the challenge of the inshore wind.

By the time we got there the OOD had decided that 22+ knots onshore was boat breaking potentially and racing was called off.

Photo of Miranda is from later in the day when she asked me if she could show me what. she's been doing on Sketch up...!

Friday, March 01, 2013

Sketcher Upper

Lewi and Greg both enjoying working with Sketch up, as indeed did my brother Christian when it was a licensed product back in the day.

I recently set Lewi a project to draw up our house inside and out which he enjoyed. And he's also been working on some boat designs where curved volumes present a greater challenge.

He told us this evening that his teacher has asked him to do some drawings of Memphis product design for a project they are studying, just so happens we have a few of them in our house already courtesey of Joanna - a submarine butter dish and a stylised female bottle opener.

Greg has spent the day at a Tag Rugby tournament competing against 28 schools from Hampshire and Dorset. They fought their way to the semi final but just missed out, and boy did they look pleased with themselves. Well done Greg! And tomorrow he has another football tournament followed by a week at Osmington Bay activity centre.