the history of this blog is an interesting one, with many strings to its bow, if strings are to be the reason for it being. it started off as something for me to amuse myself with, since believe it or not back when this started it was quite a novelty to in fact have your own space on the internet.
friends and family then stumbled upon it, perhaps after i had mentioned it in passing, and thus it sort of became a good sort of conduit for spreading news and word of what we all are and where we are all doing it across the clan.
i still kept just posting things that amused me too, of course, and over the last couple of years this has led to a baffling, high and appreciated number of readers around the globe. i thus then request the excusing of that last group as i give the middle one more of the sort of thing that they probably visit this site for.
you would understand if my family and friends were of a mind that they had already had quite enough of me in person for one lifetime, let alone the recent spate of images of me here. to that end, then, some family pictures for you. at last, some of you may say.
let us start, then, with the other three in my immediate family, plus Lyla popping up in the background.
i am not at all sure if my (considerably) better half wishes to feature here, but not asking and doing is basically the same thing as having permission. my legal advisor and gent enthusiast Spiros will sort it all out if there are any sort of complications, i would expect.
James and William really took a shine to that pool. William in particular felt obliged to have a go at this "underwater swimming" business, which was briefly impressive since he cannot at this stage do the regular, more conventional swimming. it was but the work of a moment for me to jump in, fully clothed, and bring an end to this folly, with no harm done. phew.
here they are just chilling by the steps of the pool, a place that both worked out as being far wiser to remain to keep cool in the lovely weekend we had.
nice to catch them both looking at least sort of towards me, and indeed both smiling!
speaking of smiles, young Quinn has been sadly not featured as much as he could or perhaps should have been here, so here he is!
quite a happy chap, cousin Quinn is. he is particularly happy, it seems, when he is either eating or bashing something. if he can do both at the same time then he is thrilled.
to that end, whilst we did not bring him any food as such, we did get him a most magnificent contraption which sees a giraffe kick a ball with some vim if you whack the giraffe on the head. i can only hope Quinn gets many hours of joy from the giraffe bashing, and indeed that his Mum & Dad enjoy running around fetching the balls kicked away by the whacked giraffe.
Quinn also rather likes his cousins, which is handy, as they rather like him!
James has always had a shine for younger children, especially within the family. they quite take to him too, hopefully as it is they see him as a good role model and indeed a fun, patient and slightly bigger than them playmate.
William is equally enthralled with his most recent cousin too, but is also very excited indeed about all the gadgets and things on Quinn's walker ring!
when James and William are not around, Quinn of course has his sisters Ruby-Lee and Lyla to play with and indeed fuss over him. it is probably only a matter of time before they clock that Quinn would be an excellent real time, live doll to experiment with make up and clothes on, but for now they do not seem to torment him, or if you like enhance his already handsome looks.
not whilst there is ice cream to be had, at the least!
now then, Richard enthusiasts, much like Grant enthusiasts, have probably been disappointed over the last while that he has not featured here much, bar mentioned in passing with regards to all things historical. a lack of reason or potential for pictures has been the main motivator behind that, but i am pleased to say i can bring those enthusiasts out there an update. of sorts.
here he is, with Erika by chance in the background, giving a special message for the camera.
yes, i am pretty sure that what he is doing there is offering some sort of congratulations to that fine institute that is known as Sunderland for gathering 1 (one) point already this season; a quite remarkable rate of point collection when we are only in the 3rd month of the season.
i would suspect that any number of Richard enthusiasts out there are wondering if he is still what one might colloquially call a sausage man, or indeed Mr Sausage. the answer is very much yes. Richard's enthusiasm for sausage of any shape or colour has not diminished, and he is happiest when he is handling more than one at a time.
a picture of that for you? certainly.
beyond that, it was with great delight that i went off to watch James play in his first ever (sort of) competitive cricket match this week.
those that know me are aware that i value cricket above all other contests. blame it in part, or in full if you like for it does not bother me, for a number of early and influential years living and growing up in Australia. at that time, perhaps as it is now, in Australia sport equalled cricket. anything else was things that you did to pass the time until there was cricket. that to me is a superb value set.
going on his performance, though, the Australians may not be too keen to have to face James in the not too distant future, for he is quite adept at the skills!
as they are young, the mini-cricket is all about having a go at everything, with the importance being learning rather than winning. this is no bad thing, and indeed cricket remains the only sport where the game being the winner is first prize, who wins the match is incidental to a degree.
here's James having a go behind the stumps, then!
the coaches have commented that he is rather good, indeed above average, with most of the skills required to play cricket. this is good to hear, and indeed was wonderful to see, since he made a catch whilst out in the field; something that no one else in the tournament managed!
the tactics and the planning for fielding are not of as much interest to him as the batting and bowling. that is to be expected, really - i think the battle in the field is more for the older minds. with the children of an age where the idea of cricket seems to be to just hit the ball as hard as you can, field placings have not quite come into their thinking yet, although the coaches were doing their best to encourage it.
and so on that note, one of those "action shots" of James bowling.
he has, for what my knowledge of the game is worth, a very good bowling movement and style. it's certainly very accurate, with the ball challenging the stumps on just about every delivery. i try to encourage him to worry more about accuracy and less about speed at this stage, but usually he kind of discards that and goes full out for a fast ball.
yes, he has bowled me a couple of times. well, more than two.
and finally, batting. this James loves, and he does seem rather adept. i am sure a certain Yorkshireman in the garden encouraging him to keep his eyes on the ball has helped somewhat, but mostly it's his natural talent that sees him able to send the ball towards the general direction of the boundary at will.
and of course he really loves the mad dash scramble to make a run once he has hit the ball!
nice one James! i am very much looking forward to going and watch him play other games. i will go to as many that i can that he plays in. if one day he happens to tread upon the hallowed grounds of Lord's, Headingly, the SCG or even Eden Gardens, i will be there.
right, that will do for a brief-ish, quick-ish family update for family and friends around the world! for the more regular reader of my strange things, sorry, will try and do something silly and take pictures of it as soon as i can!
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!