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.
So after asking the question, I was also inspired to take some videos. This country is smaller, a lot smaller that the US. Everything is cuter, cosier, more bunched up. More squashed. The Ironbridge videos of yesterday explain this, better than I can in words.
This beach in St. Ives, Cornwall, is more in scale with the UK. I guess it's less than half a mile wide when the tide's in.
OK, so I've made it easy for me to video blog. One thing I need, OK two more things I need, is some sort of queuing system in Radio, and more upstream bandwidth. I'm 3Mb down on cable but I'm only getting 30Kb/s up which when I'm trying to get up 10 avi files ranging from 17Mb to 1Mb plus their first JPEG image, that's 20 extra threads, on top of my existing 13... 33 threads in Frontier means she runs slowly. But with a nice orderly queue, things will go much nicer.
I'll probably not do so many vids in one go anyway. Still have to figure a way so that search engines don't go mad for my bandwidth.
I'm then presented with a list of shortcuts for the thumbnails, which I add to my post...
Esme and Bradley throwing rocks in the River Severn. But, it gets a little too exciting and she needs to go pee, "I'm desperate!"
Some bad background noise. Maybe I had my finger over the mic... Maybe it's too windy. This place used to be a warehouse. Now, it's the Telford Gorge's museum. One of many in the area.
Pan down the river. And Esme wants to go paddling to get a leaf. Madness, she'd be swept away by the current.
As we walk up a tree lined path along the bank, Esme recounts a story about monsters, finds a leaf, then Bradley finds one too.
Time to go home, says Esme, after I pan from the church at the side of the valley back onto the bridge.
I took Bradley up to the shop to get some pasties, and came back with a boat. I didn't think he'd use it much. He nearly wore it out. We dug streams and ponds in the sand for his boat.
Amanda made Bradley a sand boat, which he took the girls in for a spin, to the shops and to Flambards.
Bradley trying to catch a fish, while everybody else tries to catch a crab. The day before, it was just me and Bradley. We took fishing rods too. Our bait was sand eels, but as we hadn't caught anything, Bradley suggested strawberries. We didn't catch any fish with those either, though we had a few laughs from by standers.
Bradley, Alex, Francis and Amanda. Many crabs were caught this day. Using the fishing nets as landing nets increased the catch by double.
While pulling a Benny Hill 'dirty old man' face, with his stuttering shoeless run to the jumping in place, his walk backwards away from the pool, looking through steamed up goggles, counting the paving slabs, the run and leap...
He's funny anyway. Has natural comic timing, and plays to the crowd. But this was Bradley enjoying himself.
Preparations. There were numerous names for different jumps, which were all the same jumps to us. The funniest was the hands together, above the head praying dive, which was actually another leap.
He even learnt to 'sink' as both Esme and Bradley call holding their breath, and putting their head under the water. Here, he's searching for and picking up a penny. Initially, he couldn't reach with his arm bands on.
Esme learnt to swim 'underwater' from one side of the pool, under the child bar, encouraged by another 'dad.'
We were joined for the final week of our two weeks break by Amanda's two sisters and mother. That is, five more cousins, ranging from 18 months to 11 years.
I don't know what sign. I just asked him, and he doesn't know. Well, what can you expect from a three and ¾ year old?
Them in the tent. We usually awoke fairly early, around 8 or 9am, and the kids slept on a bit longer. Here they lie with Brad's teddy bear, 'Teddy.' And one of Esme's babies, I forget which one, not that I could tell at this resolution, nor right up close. All dolls look the same to me. Much to Esme's annoyance.
They climbed and climbed these rocks infront of the beach, though both Amanda and myself were dead worried.
A pose that makes her look more than her 5 and ¾ years. In front of a drawing in the sand of the sunshine.
We were camped miles from the beach, and often took the park and ride train, which had wonderful views of the coast, between the trees.
Still a bit of a sweat with little spades.
Bradley has is digger, and Esme sits atop her horse. She called it that. Quite nice listening to them both singing songs while they were sitting on it.
We always give Bradley an advantage, as he's younger than Esme by two years, and 40 younger than me (we've all got that competitive spirt after all.) Mostly, it's just a 5 second start in a race, but at gold he takes it too far, putting the golf ball about two inches from the hole.
No good trying, as we do, to explain fairness, 'only a game' type morals; he must win. Rather he must beat Esme!
This is from the harbour, on a wet day, yet still warm. We find a spider crab, which is a huge deal to small kids. Much excitement when we reported back to mummy.
Nice purples and greens.
Maybe I shouldn't mention such things ;-)
Will catch up with the pictures over this next week.