Shedding some light on the darkness?

I’ve been having camera trouble lately.

First my beloved Nikon compact bit the dust, again, so I had to rely on my – not very good – camera-phone.

Soon afterwards the flash  – among other things – on said camera-phone stopped working. although it still takes reasonable daylight photos.

Then salvation: I found my newly acquired Hudl 2 took pretty decent flash photos!

Until it was lost, in circumstances that are still somewhat mysterious.

It was when I went to use my camera-phone, my sole remaining workable camera, and saw nothing in the viewfinder that I could feel the first wave of despair crashing onto my photographic shore.

Strange though: it still seemed to work in selfie mode! Normal mode: nothing! Hmmm…

Then a penny dropped.

My little Ellie is very creative, and is fond of stickers. She’d found some colourful,metallic,  smiley-face ones and had used them to decorate – yes, you guessed it – my ‘phone.

M’lud, I present Exhibit A:

 

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An offending sticker has been removed; one that covered the camera’s back lens! It’s a shame as I disturbed the colourful symmetry of Ellie’s decorations – or ‘bling’ as she calls it.

So I stumble on with a more-or-less functioning camera, but at least one that’s ‘blinged up’!

In the meantime any contributions to my Camera Fund or my Tablet Fund are most welcome…

Wednesday Words

I’ll sing myself to sleep, a song from the darkest hour
Secrets I can’t keep inside of the day
Swing from high to deep: extremes of sweet and sour
Hope that God exists; I hope, I pray

Drawn by the undertow my life is out of control
I believe this wave will bear my weight so let it flow

Oh sit down!
Sit down next to me
Sit down, down, down, down, down – in sympathy

Now I’m relieved to hear that you’ve been to some far out places
It’s hard to carry on when you feel all alone
Now I’ve swung back down again it’s worse than it was before
If I hadn’t seen such riches I could live with being poor

Oh sit down!
Sit down next to me
Sit down, down, down, down, down – in sympathy

Those who feel the breath of sadness:
Sit down next to me
Those who find they’re touched by madness:
Sit down next to me
Those who find themselves ridiculous:
Sit down next to me

In love, in fear, in hate, in tears
In love, in fear, in hate, in tears
In love, in fear, in hate, in tears
In love, in fear, in hate…

Down
Down

Oh sit down!
Sit down next to me
Sit down, down, down, down, down – in sympathy

Down

“Sit Down” by James. Writers: Tim Booth, Lawrence Gott, Gavan Whelan, James Patrick Glennie, Philip James Selway, Jonathan Richard, Guy Greenwood, Edward John O’Brien, Thomas Edward Yorke, Colin Charles Greenwood, James Lawrence Gott
Copyright: Blue Mountain Music Ltd., Warner/Chappell Music Ltd., Stage Three Music Publishing Limited

Crazy With Twins

Outdoor Messy Play!

It’s the best place for it, in my experience. ‘Outdoors’, that is. The clue’s in the name: Messy Play. It’s messy!

It all started with an old tin of Smash* I found in the kitchen cupboard.

It was spotted.

“What’s that, Daddy?”

Such innocent little faces. Such a loaded question. Continue reading

The Story Behind the Photo

Jake & Ellie, balloons, a clown, the seafront: that was my Silent Sunday Photo yesterday, & a lovely one too I think.

What is it they say? “A picture paints 1000 words”. There are definitely a few words behind this one!

The town we live in was having a ‘Seafront Festival’ , promising rides, stalls & entertainment. There were plenty of stalls alright, & good entertainment, but only 1 ‘ride’ – a sort of long soft-play bouncy castle. Probably just as well actually, as it was £2 for 5 minutes, & of course with us everything is x2!

After an oom-pah band the entertainment was this clown, a Mr T Ricks. He did a great show: he was funny, had great rapport with the kids, made some balloons then did a great ‘Punch & Judy’ show. The twins, & the many other children there, loved it.

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We then wandered off for an over-priced lunch in a nearby cafe, then it was back to the seafront where Jake & Ellie selected their promised “1 treat & 1 toy” – both small! – each, the deal which had been thrashed out in earlier negotiations.

Jake found an ‘Angry Birds’ Pez ,which he loved, & Ellie a slurpy licky sugary juicy thing, which she didn’t. They both decided on loud horns for their toys. Oh goody…

I’d forgotten my earplugs! They sounded a lot like Vuvuzelas.

I hate Vuvuzelas!

After getting ‘tattoos’  – free from the lovely Mr Ricks – they decided they wanted to see his show again.

We’d grabbed a couple of (small!) balloons on the way – Jake a Spiderman one, & Ellie an Elsa & Anna one from her beloved ‘Frozen’. They were helium but were wrapped around their wrists so they wouldn’t fly away.

They were sitting down enjoying the show when their balloons become tangled in the wind. I stepped in to untangle them but somehow in the process Ellie’s came loose & flew off up into the sky!

She was very upset. She cried!

The lovely Mr T Ricks noticed, & actually stopped his show for her! He called her up, & made a special balloon, just for her! It took quite a while, & all the time he was making a fuss of her. And it really was a special balloon – a green-stemmed big white flower with a red love-heart inside the petal!

She still missed her ‘Frozen’ balloon but was very happy with her new one. Mr Ricks sir – you are a star!

We then walked back ‘home’. I was leading the way carrying Ellie’s flower balloon, Jake his Spiderman one, & they were tooting on their horns nearly all the way. We were like a mini-parade, & I was a little surprised all the children within earshot didn’t try to fall in line with us! We certainly got noticed!

We paraded all the way to – strange but true – the Library!

They do a weekly reading & crafting session there, 1 of the twins’ favourite activities. They made sparkly fish, & did a ‘monster-hunt’ treasure trail, & really enjoyed it all.

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Some trees we prepared earlier!

A great day, including a real Magic Moment, courtesy of a very kind clown!

For more Magic Moments just click the pic:

The Gallery: Animals

We’ve had a lot of sun here lately. In fact over the last few days it’s been a bit too hot! I had trouble sleeping last night & had to keep the fan on, & I almost dread getting in the car for fear of being turned into a roast dinner!

And in case there are ever any doubts about my Britishness – I was after all born in New Zealand – here we are in the middle of a blazing sunny heat-wave, & I’m complaining about the weather!

(I love it, really…)

This being Wales though rain is never far away & this summer we’ve had our fair share.

Going outside in the wet stuff seems to bother me, & most adults, a lot more than it does my children!

During a recent shower Ellie insisted on going outside into the garden. And I insisted that she put on her raincoat.

Another creature who’s very fond of wetness is that little slimy thing beloved of all gardeners everywhere: the snail. We found millions of them! Mostly on the flowers, busily munching away of course.

We decided then that we would find as many of them as we could & put them in their new home.

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We ended up having a lovely time! Ellie was giving each of  her new pets their own names: first Daddy Snail, Mummy Snail, Jake Snail,  then her friends, teachers,  grandparents, cousins, aunts & uncles – anyone we could think of. It was a great little game!

She seemed really pleased with her little snail-house, full of her new pets!

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I was also pleased that they were there & not eating up all the garden plants…

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Colour Me Madd

We were at soft-play. Jake & Ellie were having fun, but had been up & down the night before with coughs & so had a bit less energy than usual. This, as it did today, often results in their being a bit more clingy, & wanting to sit or play with me more than usual.

I’d got roped in to going down the slide with them, 1 one each knee: they thought this was a great wheeze!

We were heading up around for our 3rd go; I was in front, then Jake, who plonked himself on my right leg.

When she arrived Ellie wasn’t having it!
Continue reading

The Princess and the Poo

Jake was heading on upstairs & asked for my company.

What that actually means is that he wanted me to play music from ‘Frozen’ on my ‘phone while he had a poo. That’s become something of a tradition here. 

After ‘Frozen Heart’ (his favourite) & a little ‘For the First Time in Forever’ Ellie decided to join us.

“Hello Ellie”

“I’m not Ellie, my name is Shakora”

I don’t even know where she gets this one from.
Continue reading

Blackberries

DSCF3876For the first 2 years of your lives we all lived together in our big house in the Midlands. The “big old house”, with the big old garden.

You don’t remember it. I do.

I remember how I was your full-time, stay-at-home Daddy. For your first year with Mummy, and for your second year by myself when Mummy went back to work, with reduced hours.

034I remember it all so well. You don’t.
Continue reading

Does Hogworts take 3-year-olds then?

Jake had found one of his magic wands; he loves pretending to be a witch / wizard (yes, I’ve tried explaining; he doesn’t care!) & doing Magic.

He’d been using it to do magic spells on the Mummy, while she was preparing dinner.

Says the Mummy, jovially: “I hope you weren’t trying to turn me into a frog!”

Straight away he responded, quite matter-of-factly:

“No, I just wanted you to go away”.

Riiiight…

Well, at least his cheek comes with a sense of humour, I suppose…

Also, I think the spell he’s looking for is “Expelliarmus”, but it’s probably best not to tell him that yet – just in case it actually works!

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Wot So Funee?

Flashback Friday: Ruins Revisited

We went to our country park on Saturday, & walked past the part I posted about in my (first) ‘Flashback Friday’ post, the ruins of the 12th-century Abbey.

It’s sad to see that after all this time it’s still closed off & that nothing seems to have been done.

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Still, at least Jake & Ellie got to climb inside a giant stone mushroom thing & pull funny faces. As you do.

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BWA-HA-HA-HA!! NOW I RULE THE WORLD!! (Oh no you don’t…)

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Then it was on to the fairytale-themed playground, which I must photograph sometime: them carrying the joys & excitement of childhood; me carrying their scooters…

Another fun but tiring day out!

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mummy mishaps

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall