‘Oooh look…Balloons’

IMG_9942“Well now just look at this weather today” my missus said to me this morning

“Shall we pop over to Chichester and pick up that doll’s house I won on Ebay?”

“Then we could maybe grab a coffee and take a look around; what do you think?”

So that was it…My morning was planned.

We arrived around about ten o’clock and once the van was parked we strolled through past the law courts and over into the town. There wasn’t that much activity over there today although there did appear to be a few premises which were very new to me; and many others having a face lift ready for the summertime sales.

After an hour or so though; having checked out a couple of the shops we sat outside ‘Macari’s’ and enjoyed a cup coffee together. Doing a bit of people watching as well of course.

Be rude not to though wouldn’t it?

As usual I had the camera in my pocket and was at this time making a few adjustments whilst my eyes scanned the town for possible captures.

Truth be known though this was to be one of those days where images were not to be so readily forthcoming.

Then checking the clock up on the ‘Buttercross’ we realised that time was getting on. And so we agreed it might be best if we grabbed a bit of grub for our evening meal whilst we were over there before taking a slow walk back to the car park.

It was then I noticed this little girl out with her nan suddenly spot these balloons tied up outside one of the local stores.

That was it; she was straight over there and trying desperately to untie the knots so that she might take them home with her. Frustratingly though the knots remained fixed despite her very best efforts.

And so eventually she gave up wandered away shrugging her little shoulders and holding tightly onto her nannies hand. Whilst at the same time though glancing back over her shoulder no doubt wishing that she had managed to remove those balloons and got to take them home with her.

But as with many things we might suddenly desire in our lives; it was sadly not to be.

Life can be so unfair you know?

‘Tipping Point’

IMG_9499Young Parents take a break to share a cup of coffee from the ‘Jimmy Bean’ Gourmet Food Truck over in Winchester.

This popular little truck stop seems to appeal to a variety of ages though more often than not its charm seems to attract in many young families like those in shot today.

As I have previously stated in other blogs I am always impressed with the amount of quality ‘family’ time which goes on these days. Fathers increasingly seem to be more actively involved and participative; even when it comes to doing the weekly shop.

This image above was one which attracted me as I walked through the high street. I happened to notice this young mother lean forward and deftly lift her young baby from the pushchair. Nothing too impressive in that I hear you say? But as you can see the pushchair; despite being adorned with shopping bags…remains upright!

Now anyone who has ever taken children out in such a mode of transport will fully understand that there is an extremely fine balance as to exactly how many bags of shopping one can successfully drape over the back of a pushchair before it achieves its critical ‘tipping point!’

Something which I have never quite been able to master despite years of practice.

I can recall countless times this happening to me with both our own kids when they were babies; and more recently with our younger grandchildren. The pure contortion of trying to hold a child up and over ones shoulder whilst leaning forward and bending one knee clumsily attempting to retrieve not only the pushchair but also the various items scattered over the pavement.

This young mum though; seems to have had no such issue. As previously stated her pushchair remains steady, upright, and balanced behind her.

Trouble is there are very few people out there who can even begin to appreciate the sheer skill involved in her having actually executed this show stopping extraction technique.

I of course was more than impressed. I wasn’t though all that sure if the Dad; (seen here draining the remains from his coffee cup) was all that impressed with me?

As I stood there directly in front of them all; my camera poised before me.

However I had committed myself by then and so had to pretend that the image which I was actually trying to capture was one which was far beyond both himself and his little family unit.

Not sure this proved to be all that convincing though; particularly judging by the rather inquisitive expression on his face.

But hey! At least I got the shot.

‘Come into the Parlour’

IMG_9882A recent trip over to Southsea and a walk along the Prom to South Parade Pier: I was pleased to see that the ugly nailed wooden hoardings at the front had at last been taken down.

This is one of two little shops which previously nestled either side of what was originally a large and vibrant penny arcade and games machine complex. This was usually always frequented by hordes of kids and parents alike; although now it is sadly no longer; merely another premises under review.

The larger main entrances onto the pier itself were then situated either side of these premises.

South parade Pier pier was a place which meant many things to many different people in this town and indeed it was underneath this very pier where many relationships were forged and where many Portsmouth children were conceived! (Well this is a naval town after all) If you follow my meaning?

The pier and the areas of pebble beach either side is where parents visiting the seaside would take blankets and a picnic and where their kids could could stroll safely and could purchase anything from beach balls to crabbing nets or cold drinks. They seemed to sell just about anything between them including brightly coloured ice churned slushies or cornets and wafers.

Anyway for those who are not local to this area; our beloved pier is presently under massive refurbishment updating and repair.

This is so good to see after many years of deterioration. It is after all our focal point on the seafront and is affectionately missed by many many of the people of Portsmouth and beyond.

Most can’t wait until it’s back in full swing and fully functioning again.

Meanwhile though the work continues on; and in the interim these two little shops are testimony that slowly but surely we are hopefully beginning to see things return to some sort of normality again?

Of course there is still some major structural work to be completed; but nevertheless it will be a big day for the city once it is formally completed and fully open again to the public.

So for me today it was such a joy to see these little premises back up and doing business once more

So I thought I should mark this colourful occasion on what has turned out to be one miserable dreary Monday morning. So here is our new look ‘ice cream parlour’ just to give you all a flavour of how things are going.

I intend to follow the progress of the work whenever I am over there from now on; and I will obviously keep you guys up to date. It’s exciting for Portsmouth you know? This place holds many memories which I will tell you about another day.

I hope these little businesses will do really well over the summer it will be interesting to see if this bright new facade helps entice and draw in those punters.

‘Silver Ball’

IMG_8813Hello there everyone. Happy Sunday evening to you all!

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours trying to get my pond filter sorted out. And as usual what at first seems like a relatively simple process; actually ends up becoming a mission in itself.

Anyway I decided that after a good hours intervention involving changing filters and cleaning the water pumps I should perhaps see how it looked the following day; which of course is today.

I woke up about eight o’clock this morning to a cup of of cold tea and headed downstairs to find my little missus already up with the lark and working away in the garden.

She was trimming shrubs and cutting back and generally getting things ready for the summer. By the time I got involved she had filled up two large bags with the cuttings from several plants and things and was suggesting that we maybe take a run up to the local waste disposal plant.

I then decided mainly through guilt if I am to be really honest; that I should help out. Do my bit as it were. Anyway I got well and truly stuck in and before too long my VW T4 was stacked to capacity with bins and rubbish sacks. There were suddenly snails and spiders appearing from a variety of places as I went to slam the sliding door; each wanting to explore their new home.

I even rescued a toad who had obviously been hanging on to some of the pond materials and then got accidentally loaded up.

We eventually arrived at the Disposal centre and it was one long line of traffic. “Brilliant” I muttered to myself under my breath. After about half an hour we had swiftly unloaded all our garden waste and were soon headed back for yet some more gardening.

Not though before a cup of coffee and a big bowl of fruit and cereal. By this time believe it or not it was just after 11:30 am. (Blimey…Where did that time go?)

Three more hours past during which time I grabbed my camera and tried to capture this image of myself sitting down on the steps with our home in the background; and watching my Koi as they all swam and chased each other around; obviously very excited by their ever clearing richly oxygenated pond water.

So I guess this is my family submission for today. Our garden and house look amazing. For a brief moment I felt like I was on holiday.

That was until I heard the missus shout out to me “Bob…Shall we do another run love?”

‘Blonde Moment’

IMG_9757 The sunshine certainly brings people out does it not?

I don’t know why but obviously the young lady sitting on the seat in this image was one of many young people I noted wearing their jeans with the knees torn open?

Now of course as I have always stated I am no expert when it comes to fashion but I do try to remain observant to any changes in trends.

Mainly because my daughter Jodie is into fashion design and illustration. (Why not take a look at her new website?

You will find it on radcreative.co.uk)

Obviously as her Dad I feel it’s my duty to support her in everything she does; so go on take a quick look why don’t you?

I think you will be impressed? Although she will probably just ‘tut’ at me now and say “Daaaad!” when I tell her what I have done)

So anyway I then decided that this image of these two friends or maybe sisters required a catchy title? Hence the one I have selected above.

But then I got to thinking that Saturday is a kind of unclassified day in terms of it having any specific topic heading. So in order to make it a bit more of a challenge for myself I thought I should perhaps try to include a cheeky caption on any future blog entries?

Just a bit of fun I thought; and maybe something which might give you a smile and a giggle or two.

So here goes folks…this is it!  My very first ‘Caption Day’ contribution for you to peruse and even comment on should you so desire?

Meanwhile might I wish you all a wonderful weekend and I hope that you each enjoy some pleasant sunny weather and get to spend quality time with those who love you.