Tag Archives: children

Embarrassing your kids is character building – for them.

Here’s a truism – your parents are embarrassing. But why? I guess the last thing you want as a teen working at your first summer job (looking after the pedalos on the Serpentine) is your Dad turning up waving an iPhone camera in your face… Not that my son’s acute embarrassment was going to stop me…

Oh God, it's Dad...!

Oh God, it’s Dad…!

 

Even worse than that I went to pick up my daughter from one of the many parties she seems to be going to at the moment and made the fatal mistake of actually walking into the party to find her! Such was her distress at my presence she sent me out & I had to wait in the car.

too cool to be seen with Dad

too cool to be seen with Dad

14 going on 24...

14 going on 24…

 

I’m sure I didn’t treat my parents this way. Mind you, they didn’t taxi me around all over the place. I had to get on my bike…, which did mean they never could keep tabs on me.

So as long as I remain chauffeur, my kids will have to continue to suffer me. It’ll do them good, I’m sure. Character building…

The sceptical look...

The sceptical look…


How quickly they grow up…

I know, I know, pictures of other people’s kids are really boring. I mean, who cares! It’s just another snapshot amongst the zillions of others… But I can’t help it. The pictures want to get out into the world. But I shall keep a tight rein – only one of each of the kids in the family. Promise… (until a later post, anyway).

 

A quiet moment

A quiet moment

 

What a smile...

What a smile…

 

He's just made 16. Growing up fast...

He’s just made 16. Growing up fast…

 

Grandad & Grandaughter

Grandad & Grandaughter

 


Generational battle on the slopes

Now, all that drinking and dancing malarky in the last post (see here) is actually peripheral to the main event of a skiing holiday. Which, of course, is to get the adrenalin going by carving down the slopes as fast as possible whilst looking as elegant as possible.

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Me. Going fast. But not elegant…

I have to admit, there is some rivalry in the camp on this point. And, to be honest, I’m losing on both counts. The problem is the teenage children. They’re faster, they’re more elegant, they’re more skilful. Godammit, they’re just better, and there’s bugger all I can do about it!

13, going on 23, and skis like the dancer she is.

13, going on 23, and skis like the dancer she is.

Handbrake turns, easy when you're 15.

Handbrake turns, easy when you’re 15.

Even the jumps hold no fear

The jumps hold no fear

Even a coxcomb hat doesn't slow him down

Even a coxcomb hat doesn’t slow him down

Youth of today

Youth of today

Luckily I can divert my put my pent up ambition to be the fastest slope-man to one side and admire the view. Stunning.

The mountain pass

The mountain pass

The volcano mountain

The volcano mountain

The run into St Christoph

The run into St Christoph

But then the boy whizzes past me at over 100kph and the race is back on! Elegance be damned – I need the speed!!!

Schuss, c'mon - Schuss!

Schuss, c’mon – Schuss!

 


Dancing underwater

I think I must be a very trying father. The kids start to complain the moment they catch sight of a tripod. If we go for a walk they demand I leave the camera at home. Not that I ever listen. And secretly I think they like some of the images…

A nymph and jewelled light

A nymph and jewelled light

This summer I got them to dance underwater for me. Immy went for the elegant look, Charles the muscular…

the joy of being a teenager

the joy of being a teenager

Dancing to her fingertips

Dancing to her fingertips

Me looking at him looking at me

Me looking at him looking at me

 

I wonder what the kids will think? They’ll probably remember how I got them to swim back and forth endlessly posing underwater. But given I’m a trying father I shall keep on trying. And one day they will see these pics as the joys of summer – good memories now the weather is deteriorating.

Immy and her shadow

Immy and her shadow


An emotional evening of dance…

 

Dance show-27bw_small

 

Josie is a dance teacher. Every other year her dancing classes put on a show. 24 dances, performed by the kids, on stage, full lighting & music, packed audience of Mums, Dads, Grans, Grandads, Aunts and Uncles (and in our case a slightly reluctant teen brother…). The show is very slick and professional. Pride bursts out from the audience. But the best emotions are on the stage, writ large by the kids…

There is passion and beauty…

Passion and Beauty

Passion and Beauty

Elegance and refinement…

Elegance

Elegance

Refinement

Refinement

Hesitation…

Hesitation

Hesitation

Fun and laughter…

Fun

Fun

 

Laughter

Laughter

 

There is calmness…

Calmness

Calmness

 

and confusion…!

Confusion

Confusion

 

There is belief…

Belief

Belief

 

And there is ecstasy…

Ecstasy

Ecstasy

 

And finally, there is love

Dance show-62bw_small

 

A big thank you to Josie. How wonderful to be responsible for all these emotions…

 


Dreaming of Summer and Ashes glory!

We Brits are well known for obsessing about 2 things: the weather and cricket. Neither is at its peak right now. The weather is pretty grim, and so is the cricket… Which made me dream of the summer of 2005. Hot sun, a scorcher on the south coast, and Freddie blasting the Aussies…

Off the Dorset coast

Off the Dorset coast

What a great summer! And England was the place to be. It’s always a gamble taking a summer vac in the UK – it can be a disaster. But 05 was a belter, and we enjoyed it in Dorset which, after God’s county, must be the most beautiful place in the country.

Man o' War bay, near Durdle Door

Man o’ War bay, near Durdle Door

We had a place near Sturminster Newton. Now, of course, this being England, you have to be careful how you pronounce that name. It’s not as written, that would be far too logical. No, it’s ‘Sturm’ster Newton’. Typical! Ever wondered about Loughborough? 2 x ‘ough’ in the same word and each is pronounced differently. (Luffboro.) How ridiculous!

Dawn, near Sturm'ster Newton...

Dawn, near Sturm’ster Newton…

But I digress. The cricket! Yes, that was when England roared mighty and true. A right royal battle with the Aussies, swinging this way and that (the ball, the matches). Freddie, Vaughn, Warne and Ponting. Just brilliant. Of course we all spent our summer bowling googlies and smacking sixes.

I try bodyline on Charles, age 5

I try bodyline on Charles, age 5

Charles, age 5, treats the bowling with the contempt it deserves

Charles, age 5, treats the bowling with the contempt it deserves

follows it up with a leg break to get me for a duck!

Charles, 5, follows it up with a leg break to get me for a duck. The cheek!

Ah, that was fun. Even Mrs P was infected with the cricketing euphoria mixed with summer sun. Check out the style..

Talented woman...

Talented woman…

Immy, not deigning to play cricket, just relaxed in the sun.

She was only 3...

She was only 3…

Even when a cloud dared raise its head, it just created a dramatic vision to go with the sporting prowess of our cricketing heroes fighting for familial or Ashes glory.

Evening view towards Portland Bill

Evening view towards Portland Bill

That was the summer of 05. So what if we’ve lost the Ashes now, and it’s raining outside? The sun will come again. Bring on summer 2014!!!

Visions of summer!

Visions of summer!

 

(For my friends overseas. If all this talk of googlies and leg breaks is incomprehensible, then put it down to English eccentricity as exemplified by the wonderful game of cricket!)


Competition judges, you never can tell…!

OK, so it just goes to show that photo competitions are a lottery, and that even the judges are pretty subjective. There I was, worrying about whether to put in the set of nudes (see last post: Nude conundrum…., help ) and whether the first pic should go last or vice versa, and whether the full model pic was abstract enough….? And blow me down, the set didn’t even make it into the shortlist for the prize! Apparently the hand next to the breast was off-putting…. Crikey! The whole concept – moving from abstract to full body – didn’t come across at all. No resonating, nothing, just got passed over. Was the judge blind?!@!!^?

Opening night nerves

Opening night nerves

Luckily I had another set up my sleeve… Suddenly the judge was on form: Photo-journalistic treatment, nice technical mix of shots, sensitive black and white. Bless him, he even said it showed a personal vision. I was choked.

Rat-a-tat feet

Rat-a-tat feet

Of course I agreed. What perception! And then I looked at some of the other entries. By God they were good! Some of the printing was just exquisite. Some of the panels told a story, some were variations on a theme. Movement and progression vs description and contemplation. Fascinating variety of approach.

Young ballet points

Young ballet points

I can’t believe he picked mine! Must be a subconscious Strictly Come Dancing effect. But hey, it’s nice to bag a win once in a while. Time to celebrate with a beer!!!

Watching the show

Watching the show


Harvesting fruit, creating memories

The most delicious fruit

The most delicious fruit

When I was a kid I once spent a summer in France. I remember sitting in a cherry tree gorging on the cherries until I could eat no more. And picking deep purple figs that were deliciously sweet and squashy. The fruit of the south.  Quite different where I grew up in Yorkshire. The fruit is of the north, but just as delicious. And now is the time to indulge.

Ripe plums

Ripe plums

Last weekend was harvest. The whole family in the garden to get in the fruit before it fouls. A good moment, productive, memorable, everyone working together.

Umpteen barrow loads of apples

Umpteen barrow loads of apples

Enough plums to feed an army

Enough plums to feed an army

Good experience for the kids

Good experience for the kids

Soon he'll reach higher than me.

Soon he’ll reach higher than me.

Even Mrs P is in on the action

Even Mrs P is in on the action

Picking and storing the apples, stoning and freezing the plums. Enough fruit to get through the winter and into the spring. We’ve harvested the fruit and we’ve also harvested the experience. These are family activities that will linger long in the memory.

Pack it away carefully...

Pack it away carefully…

We do actually have a cherry tree in the garden. Been there for 35 years, and I’ve never got a single cherry off it – the birds eat them before they ripen. So my cherry memories will remain in France. Apples and plums belong to England.

(If you like food blogs check out: http://stowell.wordpress.com)


Rain, Pah! Water off a Brit’s back!!!

Some things you can control, some things you can’t.  The rain is of the latter persuasion. And OMG, central Europe has been in the deluge this week! We had 4 days in Southern Bavaria & Austria, and the sun did not shine… not once. (Apparently London basked in lovely weather…)

Salzburg almost goes under

Salzburg almost goes under

What can you do? We were there to celebrate: grandparents reaching 70, and granddaughter reaching 6! So sod the rain, carry on celebrating…

Nobody can resist a cake with candles...

Nobody can resist a cake with candles…

Now just so you know, that is no ordinary cake. That is none other that proper Sachertorte from the Cafe Sacher in Salzburg (almost flooded, basement being pumped out as we had coffee and cake – we didn’t stop…)

Water up above… Head below ground! the Salt Mines in Berchtesgaden are amazing – just dig the snazzy suits we had to wear, and the zoominess of the slide to get into the huge subterranean cavern! (And check out the GPs leaning back to get full speed on – eternal children…!)

I came here as a kid. Loved it then, love it now.

I came here as a kid. Loved it then, love it now.

In the 96 hours we were there it stopped raining for maybe 3 hours. So that’s when I ran around like a madman trying to take some outside shots before the next deluge hit.

The Obersee (2 mins later obscured by a storm)

The Obersee (2 mins later obscured by a storm)

the view from our hotel

the view from our hotel – of the Thumsee (you can see the rain clouds coming…)

tried to crop out the clouds, but even so they force themselves into my pic!

tried to crop out the clouds, but even so they force themselves into my pic!

(A recommendation – we stayed in the Hotel Seeblick, the friendliest, most kid & GP friendly, most delicious food, most wonderful views, most unbelievable good value for money hotel that I’ve stayed in…., ever! http://www.hotel-seeblick.de/Home/)

Now I know I’m a Brit, and by definition mood obsessed by the weather. 4 days rain was not what I had anticipated. But the area around Bad Reichenhall and Berchtesgaden is just SOOOOOO nice, that I forgive the rain,     just.

If you get the chance, go. And I wish you a sunny holiday!

the slightly bedraggled party

the slightly bedraggled party


New York Faces

People pictures. Why do we take them? To capture the moment of course. A 60th of a second pinpoints a memory. Last week I posted images of New York cityscapes. This week NY figures and faces. New memories.

Face of NY

Face of NY

I know they’re just snappy snaps, moments when the family indulges me and my camera, or doesn’t notice that I’m pointing it in their direction, again.

the wannabe actress

the wannabe actress

all round dude

all round dude, who’s stolen my hat, again…

happy grandparents

happy grandparents

for once, I'm in this one - feels strange....!

for once, I’m in this one – feels strange….!

the whole bunch

tourists in NYC

I did try to do some abstracty shots of the real locals – but to do this sort of photography justice takes time and patience, and works better when the rest of the family isn’t groaning in impatience when I pull out the camera…

Bubble man

Bubble man

shopper in the apple store

shoppers in the apple store

New York Face

New York Face

Ne wYork Figures

New York Figures

NY hot lips, I just couldn't resist...

NY hot lips, I just couldn’t resist…

I was here as a kid, 35 years ago with my parents. We did the same things, we climbed the towers to look at the views. Powerful memories that mean much to me. There are some photos, but not many. Film photography didn’t lend itself to the ubiquitous click click of the modern age. In effect there are more memories being created now than ever before. The kids aren’t bothered about these shots now, but maybe they will be in 35 years from now….

What a view!

What a view!

The view again.

Lucky kids, admiring the view

Rockefeller Centre - while they do this, we drink cocktails!

Rockefeller Centre – while they do this, we drink cocktails!

New York babe

New York dudette

So here’s to the modern photographic process and its ability to make memories. On the whole, it’s gotta be a good thing!

New York Mama

New York Mama

If you liked this post, check out: New York, no bruised Apple here… or the other US posts – click on the archive on the right hand side. Enjoy!