Personal Stuff: If you don't know me - GO AWAY!!!!
To see a larger version, just click on any picture. Full name: Stephen Michael Hooker, nicknames: Acw, Zok. Born in Aberdare, used to live in 46 Peasant View, Godreaman, Aberdare, Mid Glamorgan where my parents still live. Also used to live in Selbourne (Selborne) Street, Chuckery, Walsall. Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree in Visual Communications from West Midlands College of Higher Education. Ran a business from The Custard Factory Digbeth.
A walk in the park
I take Bradley to the park with a loaf of bread, he walks down the grass, "Ack-acks... ack-acks-o... 'read." And patting his legs. I've got my back to the lake - I'm taking the pix. As we get close, they start heading our way, I don't notice, till one's at my legs, across the pond, getting out of the water, on the grass in front of us, we walk straight into a sea of geese. All geese point our way. "WhaAAAA." Shouts Bradley, at the top of his voice, hands, holding bread above his arms. Pick him up, and boot a path through the geese, to the other side of the lake, behind the fence. Got to watch your back there though, they sneak up behind you from around the side of the fence. As Bradley is keen to keep an eye out for, and squeals the alert, several times. This day a little boy, hanging around the entrance to the skittles shoos them away for us. And we give a few slices away to others there, gathered for the display.
He finds the organ, and in the few moments before this shot, was lightly tapping the keys with one finger on each hand, looked like he was in a musical, about to start the intro to a song. And he sings into the mic too. Well, kinda doo-dooo-oooo.
Sorta musical even.
In a parental, dull-as-fuck way.
I have a MPEG off the camera too. Must sort these out, gonna need some more web space soon. The curse of broadband :-)
Every time we go we've been taking a picture next to the giraffe measurement board. The oldest is to the left, taken September 8th 2002. And the furthest right is, from Sun, May 4, 2003 Must find the first, Bradley's first birthday - October 2001, and scan it in.
I think Bradley has grown the most over these last nearly 5 months. 4 inches over Esme's 2 inches?
Esme's brave enough to go inside and Bradley kept shaking his head when I was asking him to come in.
So, Bradley stands on the pushchair and shouts at the baby giraffes who come out. Esme and I stay inside and shout to the giraffes inside. I forget how tall these things are, and the size of their heads - wow.
A couple of nice pix. Bradley's standing within a window frame inches from hundreds of fish, swimming past his nose. The tank is as tall as he and 10 feet deep. It looks good top me and I'm sure it looks good to him, particularly the depth perception of the tank at the edges of your vision.
They like it in the chimp house. I tell Esme that the one sitting in front of us is the biggest and oldest. Why? She asks. And translates it into "why is he the badest?" He's been chasing and ooo-oooing at the others.
This baboon, or is it mandril, well this caused the biggest story with Esme. I was trying to take this very picture, as usual the camera takes some time to warm up. I ask Esme to turn around, she does, just before I squeeze the shutter, Esme jumps out of he skin. She's been standing inches away from this beast, separated by the glass, and the beast taps the glass, quite hard.
People in the crowd also jump. Someone says that it maybe because she had her back to him. Later as we go over the incident for the fifteenth time I say that perhaps it was because the monkey thought it maybe funny to say 'boo' to Esme. Another fifteen times later, 'why did the monkey make me jump? Maybe, I say, it was because you were rude, maybe it was because the monkey thought it was funny. Finally, she decides that it was because it was funny, not that she was rude.
We just missed the penguins getting fed. They see some whizzing past, as in the picture. And as I try to get more pix, they begin to pretend their on horses, and gallop around the enclosure. Bradley like this the most, as Esme disappears off to see the sea lions being fed, he gallops more, and shout to me for something, I wish I could understand what.
We arrive late, takes ages, as usual to get Esme dressed. 48 miles to Chester Zoo, we've been before. We dive straight into the cafe to get some chips. And I keep pinching chips off Esme's plate, she get wise after a while. Bradley drops each of his three chicken fingers on the floor, and has one of Esme's. It's good fun, we laugh, and laugh. I wonder if everybody else in the cafe thinks I'd a divorced dad.
On the way out we take another ritual picture on the brass envelope.
Bradley gets close up to some lizards, I tell him their like dinosaurs.
The blue at the top isn't the sky, "it's the deep blue sea."
Now that's red hair! Esme Gorgeous!
And Bradley' sense of dress, look at those wellies, and why is he wearing his hat like that? I don't know kids these days. I came home for some dinner and find them out in the garden, Esme needing to find the spades so she can dig up worms and Bradley tagging along waiting for trouble to happen.
That was then... I've got myself a scanner, and over the next weeks I'll be adding some old pix to this site. This was from October 31st 2000, now Bradley's two and two months. See the postings from the actual date of the birth.
Some people I work with have been shocked by these pix, can't see why myself. Nope, not at all.
I came home from work to see a mini nurse in the kitchen and a bigger fairy in the living room. Then, out from hiding appeared the pirate. Must get a photo of this, I thought. They're covered in chocolate spread, the most 'orrible food going - IMO. Esme has, in her hand, a piece of toast with this gunk on.
This was funny. Standing near the lake on the monument in Telford Town Park, the kids were feeding the ducks, well, the geese. But there were thousands of them. Well, it seems like tousands. Bradley can be seen terrified with his hands in the air so that the geese can't peck them.
Everytime one jumped on to the platform, of course, I'd push it off, accompanied with a tonne of screaming from the two of them.
Got some nice video of the two of them cracking the ice on puddles with their heels. But these are nice pics of the two throwing stones and sticks onto the ice on the lake in Dawley.
This trip was on a bright, crisp, frosty morning. Later, Esme would surprise me by saying, "Daddy, I was looking at that tree." A huge tree on the way, green and bare, caught in sunlight against a cloudless blue sky, looked truly spectacular.
A while ago I bought them a table and chair set from Ikea. One of the best buys ever for them. They paint on it and have their dinner on it. Now it looks a bit messy, but well, I suppose I could have stained it or varnished it, but it still would have ended up caked in play dough and poster paint.
We take a walk to the shops. I say, hold on I'll take a picture. As I step back, Bradley follows me and Esme gabs a hold of his hood and pulls. Naturally, Bradley doesn't like this. Eventually, I get him to stand so I can take the picture, but he's still crying.
Some other relatives who need mentioning. Amanda's Mum - Vi. Here looking proud. Though, I think she was trying to pose for the photo. And Stacey my eldest niece and Charlotte's sister. Stacey is 12, I think. And seems to be turning more and more into a broody teenager.