A Sad Day In The House Of Rae

Yesterday was a very sad day for us.  In the morning we got a call from a vets saying that Brooklyn, our 10 year old cat, had been dropped off but was DOA.  She went missing over a month a go and we did everything we could to find her but it looks like she had wondered a long way from home.

I wasn't going to post an actual photo of the dead cat but Shona caught this great shot of one of our new kittens checking out the funny smelling thing on the table.


So after school we went out to the garden and dug a grave.

The girls reactions were very different.  Charis needed to be cuddled a couple of times during the process.

Whereas Seren was excited about digging a hole but sad at the same time but wanted to smile for the camera but was too sad to smile properly.


After burying the kitty and saying good bye we marked the spot buy planting and oak tree, placing a candle on the old stump and sticking a spinny windmill in the ground.  

It's funny that the ritual and significance of meant different things to our 3 children.  Our Invisible Son wanted to put the windmill in the centre of the grave but this upset Seren so much we had to move it to the side.  She saw the stick of the windmill as sticking into Brooklyn and hurting her somehow and was unconsolable until it was moved.  Invisible Son realised that death is death and there was no way to hurt Brooklyn anymore.

Anyway, we have two new kittens to replace the unreplaceable Brooklyn which are about as cute as any thing can be.  But goodbye Brooklyn, we will miss you...

Seren Learns To Climb

Yesterday we went to Dovestones Reservoir and after our picnick and icecream we went for a walk up a stream.  Seren refused to be carried and although I offered to hold her hand, pick her up after falling and generally help her along, she wasn't having any of it...

Oh by the way I'm looking for accommodation in London for 22nd August. It's expensive when you have kids you know... Any suggestions?

Charis' Birth Video Three Years Late

Three years ago, when we were on holiday, Charis decided to be born a few weeks before she was due. As we had my camera with us we decided to make a short video diary of the birth so Charis could watch it when she was old enough to understand. Unfortunately she was very ill, ended up in the Special Care Baby Unit and we lived with her in hospital for over a week. This meant that our short video diary turned into a 3 tape epic which has been sitting on a hard drive ever since.

We finally got around to making this short version for Charis' third birthday present. On first viewing she got quite upset because she doesn't like seeing people with plasters and needles sticking out of them, but since then she has watched it loads of times and loves it.

Predictably we used "Wires" by Athlete as this song means a lot to us for all the obvious reasons.

Film 08/52 - My Week In Video

So this week I have been busy again but instead of going out of my way to shoot some original footage I decided to see what I already had. When I set myself this years rules I said I could only use footage shot that week. With this in mind I looked thru my camera phone, the videos from our stills camera, some video I shot for another project, etc. mashed it all up together and ended up a mini-microcosm of my week in video.

In the film you may see:
A toad I found.
Charis filming herself and Seren accidentally while trying to take pictures.
Me turning a rucksack into a camera bag.
Me kayaking down Town Falls in Llangollen badly and swimming.
Vert Kayaking (a new extreme sport I discovered)

The music this week is from the album Maxi Single Ride by Borea. The track is called Lazy. Yes this is a comment on my effort this week...

Film 07/52 - Stills Only

I know this video is late but I was on holiday last week so there was no way I could publish it before now! And I also didn't have a video camera so the only footage I could use were our "holiday snaps." These totaled over 400 and used 1.2 gig on my hard drive which goes a bit beyond holiday snaps but i don't know what else to call them.
So here is the result...

Obviously I didn't take all the pics (most were Shona's) and I didn't include every photo we did take but the video definitely gives a good impression of what we got up to (which wasn't much actually, just wondering from tea shop to cafe to restaurant occasionally visiting an odd castle, abbey or tourist trap.)

By the way, don't you think Seren is one of the cutest little squishy babies ever? Well I do.

If you like the film please link to it in any blogs, twitters, websites or facebook thingys you can, either at this page or using youtube.
I like it when my projects are seen by lots of people and people do seem to like them when they find them. Thank you.

Film 03/52 - Juggling Babysitting and Filmmaking

So what's the story behind this film? Well it starts with me leaving the filming way too late, one of my little girls being ill and the other being hyper. This meant that I had to shoot the film at the same time as keeping them both happy and healthy. This is more challenging than it sounds.

The experimental part of the video comes from the simple challenge of making a film filled with movement only using a static camera. I was planning on shooting this video at the Durham Juggling Club, with loads of juggling, passing and devil sticks on each "panel" but then I got a bit carried away with passing and I never got around to getting the camera out my bag. So in my living room I tried (unsuccessfully) to recreate the atmosphere by using myself as the only juggler.
The effect is a good one, especially as i tried to accentuate the parallax by moving the camera between each shot. Though I was the one juggling and the one who put in all the hard work making the film, I personal think that Seren steals the show this time.

Next week will be the last in my short "Juggling Video" series then I'm on to some other theme, probably trying out some effects using the slow motion setting on my camera. These films may feature juggling, but not by me, as the limits of my juggling skills have been reached.

Thanks for the feedback everyone! Keep it coming.

As Easy As Falling Off A Log?

Today we went on our traditional New Years Day walk in the countryside somewhere. Charis decided that she just had to bounce on the branch like her <fake>big brother!</fake> Fail!

Check out Shona's new photo blog: shonarae.blogspot.com

Disclaimer: No children or animals were harmed in the making of this film. Not intentionally anyway... No really she wasn't hurt! It was her own fault anyway, she should have held on stronger... only joking, it was my fault. No it wasn't! It was no ones fault. It was an accident, a calculated risk or a bet that paid off. Or didn't pay. Depends how you view it really. Well you view it on youtube obviously...