Breathe

Posted on 15th February 2012

Cold Air

I am just air
A breeze of coldness
Hold me if you dare
I have travelled far, I am breathless

This a poem written by Ethne, aged 7.

Considering she had no help with the words, it's quite a profound first poem. She wrote it on her MagnaDoodle, so Nicole managed to preserve the effort before it got erased :)

Well done Ethne.

File Under: ethne / family / people / poetry
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New Scientist

Posted on 20th May 2010

As mentioned in a recent post, Ark are back. They are currently putting the finishing touches to a new album, Wild Untamed Imaginings, which is now planned for a September 5th launch date. However, despite the band working on all the tracks for the album, there was one song that needed something a little extra. New Scientist has a school yard chant in the song, that in the original was handled by the band themselves. For the new recording they wanted to make it sound a little more convincing.

With all of us now having families, the idea was broached about have our kids do the backing vocals. Very quickly the idea of a Kids Chorus gained hold, and one sunny Sunday afternoon in late April we all (well apart from Tony and Tim) descended on John Jowitt's abode in Stourbridge, for an afternoon of recording. The kids were pointed at the garden and told to make friends, which they did with ease, almost as if they'd known each other for years, while the adults enjoyed food, drink and chatted about how long it had been since we'd all seen each other.

Midway through the afternoon, Mark and John prepped the mic and got all the kids together to record the chant. Originally they were going to do an indoor version and outdoor version, but the outdoor version went so well, we didn't need the other. The kids threw themselves into it and all had a lot of fun. After recording the chant, we let them loose on the garden again. However, unknown to any of the kids, Mark had left the microphone recording to take in some ambient sounds of the kids playing. Not quite sure whether they'll use any of it, but there'll be plenty to chose from :)

Pete, having missed playing with the Arkie Boys Football Club, tried to drum up enthusiam to form an adults versus kids football match. With John's house backing onto the Park, they decamped using trees, coats and jumpers for goal posts, with Pete, John and Mikey on one side and most of the kids on the other. My Dan was delight to score against the grown-ups, but in the end it was 4-1 to the Arkie Boys. A rematch has been suggested.

Click here for just a selection of photos from the afternoon. I'll be adding more to the Ark Appreciation Pages in the next few weeks.

File Under: ark / dan / ethne / music
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Down In The Park

Posted on 6th April 2008

Ethne & DanDan

Ethne & DanDan

After waking up to snow, we took the kids round to the park to throw snowballs and build snowmen.

Snowball fight!

Snowball fight!

Up on the hill it looked like a few people were even venturing down the slope on sledges. Seeing as it's a steep hill, they obviously felt quite brave. Some kite flyers were also having a good day up there too.

Meanwhile, DanDan made a snow angel and four snowmen, while Nicole and Ethne made another. Ethne made us laugh by adding a bum to her snowman, although it looked more like a pronounced tail. Should have added long ears and called it a snow bunny :)

File Under: dandan / ethne / family / rubery / weather
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Boat On The River

Posted on 10th January 2008

It seems that Nicole and I have a bit of talent on our hands. These two pictures were painted yesterday by Ethne at her playgroup. Apparently she's painted an even better one, which is currently hanging up in the room they use.

Considering she will only be 3 in a month's time, yet can manage to paint a recogniseable snail and a boat on the sea (complete with sun), is quite staggering, or maybe that's just my parental pride coming out. Either way, Nicole's artistic talents have obviously come out strong in Ethne, as she's always loved drawing and painting ... especially on herself!

Seeing as I don't have a cubicle at work in which to hang my kids pictures, adding them to my website will have to be the next best thing :)

File Under: ethne / family
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Summer Holiday

Posted on 6th August 2007

Ethne

Ethne

For the last week the family and I have been taking a well deserved break down on the South coast in Torquay, Devon. As the weather around Birmingham and Gloucestershire has been extremely wet this past month, we weren't sure whether the holiday would be a wash out too.

Thankfully, we caught two overcast days while travelling down and our first day there, but then we got 3 days of sun. Thursday rained in the morning, but then the sun broke through again. We only spend a day and a half on the beach as the rest of the time we spent seeing lots of sights, and there are plenty of things to see in and around Torquay. In fact there are so many we're now thinking about going again next yearso we can see the rest :)

I took several thousand photos, and a few videos, which I'll be trimming down considerably. But I thought it would be good to post a few entries that highlight some of the sights we got to see. After all if you're ever planning a trip to somewhere, it's always worth seeing what other people thought of the places.

We all had a good time and the highlights were many. However the most entertaining thing was watching Ethne pulling her "smelling face" whenever she bent to smell flowers.

File Under: devon / ethne / family / weather
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I Go Swimming

Posted on 9th April 2007

We took DanDan and Ethne swimming on Saturday to Cocks Moor Woods Leisure Centre near Kings Heath. Unlike a traditional swimming pool, they have a wave machine and huge slide for older kids to slide down into a small deep pool.

It was a shame I couldn't film them as the pair of them were hilarious. DanDan wouldn't let go, despite Nicole teaching him how to doggy paddle. I also took him to the deep end so he couldn't touch the bottom, and got him to swim all the way back to the shallow end. Even though he kept saying "I can't do it" all the way, he still made it. I think was quite proud of himself afterwards.

Ethne on the other hand couldn't let go quick enough. She took great delight in telling everyone afterwards, "I floated, Ethne floated" :) I think she's going to be quite a natural swimmer.

File Under: dandan / ethne / family
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