Tuesday, April 30, 2013

All the way to the station

Our neighbour John has a steam train running around his garden, and the kids love to do and make things with him. He has an engineering enthusiasm and skill set that I don't have.

So here's Lewi and John doing what they do, stress testing the loco


Miranda was rather pleased with her self portrait done with acrylics. She's really into the mixing of colours and I always love when they make pictures of how they see themselves...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Model Child

Greg has spent the day making and painting his model of a wartime truck, and Miranda has been pottering around in the garden planting things.

Lewis and I have been sailing at Calshot, where there's been a Kestrel Open meeting. It was peachey when we arrived with glorious blue slies and fair wind, but by the time we got on the water it was rather more ominous.

Black clouds and fierce gusty wind moved in and we had an exciting time. In truth I was more concerned that my hip would give way again, but we had the ride of our life. There is nothing like a good white knuckle ride, and as Lewis said later in the day as I shivered on the shore "that was good - best sail of the year!"  We finished second place in both races, so there's life in the old dog yet (and the young dog too)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Walking backwards (into a tree)

A little slice of my life. A walk with Miranda in the woods which I rather enjoyed... Walking backwards with a camera in hand is rather more challenging than you would think, and I have never known Domino walk so quickly. He's normally an old slowcoach, but the though of juicy grass (or was it because Miranda wasn't on his back) got him moving.

Nice bike ride with Lewis this morning too, the forest is full of life and it was lovely and quiet.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Beaver Towers

It's lovely now getting up and catching Miranda reading away in bed. It's quite a nice change from when she used to wind the boys up to giddy on the richter scale, although slightly worrying when the house is so quiet...(not).

So there she was stuck in to Beaver Towers and she knew I was trying to get a shot so she edges behind the book, just so that I am unable to get my picture.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hand Ball, Football...

I posted a similar picture from Llanstefan beach a while ago, and although I prefer the composition in this one, it was nice to get both the boys in the same shot. Anyhow I am posting it because Greg has been in a football tournament with Mr James and boys from Waterside Primary in Poulner.

Twenty two teams competing from across Hampshire and they finished in second place, just pipped to the post on the last goal. He didn't get in until 8.30pm and was rather pumped up with all the excitement. Well done Greg!

Great survival story at sea for the clan to read

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bonnie & Clyde

Fifty six years ago today my Mum and Dad got married, so I am sharing a photo of the happy day.

One of a whole series of great pictures of this day taken by my mother's Uncle Dennis, who gave me the negatives for these pictures some years ago.

There are a few other images in the Facebook family archive including a fabulous picture of my Grandfather (Grampy) and his wife Maud taken from their bedroom window. Grampy unfortunately was not allowed to leave his bed at the time as he was suffering from pneumoconiosis.

Happy Anniversary to you both.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

We've been here before

The sun was shining and the sky was blue so a plan was hatched to walk the coast path near Swanage. It's a great walk along the Plgrims Way with superb views and an interesting countryside, with the added charm of the steam railway phut phutting along. First stop was in Worth Matravers at the Square and Compass for a pint of Palmers, just ahead of our picnic lunch overlooking the rocks at Seacombe Quarry.

Then we came back past Dancing Ledge down to Durlston Head, where there was a helicopter rescue an injured climber. You may recall an earlier version of the above picture which proved irresistible (and seemed a very long time ago to me)

Lots to see along the way, and the gorse smelled fantastic - very reminiscent of the Big Sur. Highlight of the day I think was a beautiful male Yellowhammer who was happy to let us watch him sunning himself on a bush. He was spotted first by Lewis.

Dinner at the Duke of Wellington in Wareham was much needed, as was the Fossil Fuel from the Purbeck Brewery. Top glass of beer.

The story of how the Tin Can nearly wasn't

Saturday, April 20, 2013

On the Water

Excellent bike ride to start the day out on the forest. I heard my first Cuckoo of the year, although the forest seemed to be filled with them today!

The tides were not particularly favourable this weekend at Calshot, so there was no racing programmed. However the weather has been fab today so after my bike ride we set sail for Calshot.

Greg and Lewi went out in the Feva, and Mirnada and I did the safety boat routine with the kayak.

Sunny and gentle winds all afternoon risining to quite blustery as they came to leave at half past six....

Top day out(side)

Friday, April 19, 2013


It feels like it's been autumn for a long time, and although we are staring to see some warmer days when I found this picture last night I thought I would post it. The picture was taken late October when we were in Yorkshire, and I like the general vibe. Hmm, that's six months ago, c'mon sun.

Just been listening to Joshua Redman play Hide and Seek, and thought I'd add a link for the curious. So I just found this vid which in fact is better than the CD version... imho! Check it out...

Joshua Redman ts; Brian Blade dms; Peter Bernstein gtr; peter martin pno; christoper thomas bs

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Gritting his teeth

Greg found this stone on the beach at Scotts Bay, and he held it up for me! what you can't see in the photo is how heavy it was, because unlike the Lego version he made for me a few weeks ago, it's about 70mm thick...

I teased him that I needed another shot, and when he eventually let go, forgot that his feet were directly below. The stone missed his toes with millimeters to spare fortunately, and no amount of persuasion could get him to carry it back to the car for Mummy.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Photographs and Memories

Miranda was asked to take in photographs of things that she could remember from when she was younger, and this is  one of the images she chose.

It's funny because the last time we took Domino out we met a young woman with a small child who wanted to sit on him and we spoke about taking Miranda out aged less than a year old, although we did make sure she was wearing a hat!

Well a few years have passed and she still likes taking him out, and we still can't make him walk more than a few steps without stopping for some juicy grass.

The picture below was taken in the garden eating the clipping from the lawn, before we headed off for the woods!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Artist in Residence

Had a nice visit down to my parents on the weekend with the kids. They always get very excited about a trip to see them, and Miranda had been talking about getting a painting lesson from Grandan for several days. So this is a record shot of them painting away merrily with almost identical painting sets, which made Miranda very pleased.

Miranda's abstract animal was totally her idea, which I though was interesting.

Woof Woof

Miranda caught hiding in the boot of my car!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

LTSC Early Points Series Final Heat

Sunday was the final heat in the Winter series which Lewis has competed in with Geoff Havers in a 29er. Here they are on Sunday morning in fairly fresh conditions, although Lewis and Geoff said they could have done with a bit more wind! They were the fastest boat across the line by 60 seconds, although on handicap they finished second. Overall they finished second in the series too, which I think is a fab achievement, so well done Tiger...

They are the boat on the extreme right hand side trimmed in Orange sails, Lewis trapezing to keep the boat upright.

Read the full report on Yachts and Yachting

Llanstefan Beach

Moody shot of the boys passing the ball on my favourite beach, this is Scott's Bay with the tide out on the weekend. We used to come here as children ourselves, although I don't think we ever had a rygby ball of our own. Miranda towed Gran and Grandan through the rock pools. The sandscape is different every time I come here it seems.

A few more pictures from our walk below.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Moody Miranda

Sometimes when things don't go to her plan, or she faces a lack of co-operation she has a face like thunder, so you'd think that she would learn to be a little more obliging herself. But she changes not!

This was taken near to Woodfidley in the forest when walking with the clan.

Pizza is about to be served, I sense it...!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Daddy Bear's Picnic

"Daddy you just sit there and I'll make you some dinner"

The conversation rattles on for some time, as I complain about how tough the pizza is, and the pile of mouldy dough builds up underneath a cushion.

"Shall I take a photo Daddy, now I can use your camera?"

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Gregory resplendent in his Welsh rugby shirt against the warm afternoon light at Rans Wood in the forest.

I am listening to Hanky Panky from Bonebridge by Erik Friedlander; beautiful woody textures in the cello.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Act your Age

It's not many Grandparents that you'll find swinging on a Tarzan Rope, but Miranda and I had a good laugh looking at this photo which arrived from Uncle Chris. It's funny how evocative a photo can be, but this image brings back very stange memories. It's taken in the woods by my parents house, where we used to play as children. I can recall those shapes and the bleached out landscape over Llanllwch even though its forty years more or less since we were doing this sort of thing ourselves.

Looking as though she's in training for a crew position on a 29er, don't you think?

At 78 my mother's not giving up just yet.

Two links today -  the first to the Guardian "Why is this Pit still open?", and the the following link is mainly for Gregory who is very interested in Roman history

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Miss Piggy

Took several photos of Miranda today when we were out riding Domino, but my favourite is this one in with the piggies (still wearing the hat)! I have some other shots which I may post later.

It's been nice and warm today in the sunshine, although we had a good covering of frost when we set off for sailing at Lymington at 8AM.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Shooting hoops

Spring must be here as the magnolia is out and there's signs of games in the garden! I caught Miranda playing farms in the flower beds too, but I have to post this grab shot with my iPhone which is better than all my efforts with an SLR last week in the park.

The temperature was forecast as 0 degrees but it has been very pleasant in the sunshine today. Highlight of my afternoon was a lovely polecat near Woodfidley, what a wonderful sight.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Master and slave

You'll have to work out who's in charge here by the size of the weapon....

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Tonka Boys

The boys working out at Langdown Playing fields yesterday - they had been squabbling so I set them running around the pitch to quell their grumpiness. I had lost my interest in getting a  photo of them playing rugby, but just grabbed a shot for the record, and I like the contre-jour effect. A brooding sense of drama untold!

Lewis has just given me his research piece that I set him on the design and manufacturing techniques used in the Topper and the reasons for it's commercial success. He was quite pleased with himself, and even came back to tell me he'd found an article on the Open University website with more information...

Miranda had fun earlier looking at her photos "Hmm I really did take some good ones Dad, didn't I,...so can I use your camera again...!"

Monday, April 01, 2013

His nibs

 A number of fun related aspects to my day today. Having got Lewis busy in the kitchen, and Greg busily esconced in some Sketchup, I had a nice request from Miranda if I would teach her how to use my camera. It would be very nice she thought if she could have a go.

Well the time was right, she was all mine. We started off with my fixed focal length lenses but as they have to be manually focussed present a bit of a challenge so I thought I'd use my old auto zoom lens which made things a lot easier. It was interesting to see that immediately she stopped composing and simply zoomed in, the sort of lazy technique that I so hate about zoom lenses. However she took some lovely pictures and being sharp are very usable. So I have a new icon photo (maybe even a passport photo) for the fifties... Although eerily within five minutes of posting this photo my iTunes throws up Hall of Stars by Kraftwerk .... "Even the Greatest Stars (dislike their face in the Looking Glass)", and I have to say Popsie it isn't true.

What do you think, black and white or colour? What's your favourite Miranda...