23/1/2018 Moving on

23/1/2018 Moving on23/1/2018 Moving on by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Ruby made us this amazing card in honour of a special assembly at School. She moved from the infants school to junior this last term, so the class got together to tell all us parents how they are finding it.

The jump between the two is quite big I think. Ruby has been finding the extra homework quite tasking, but she is getting used to to. She’s having a mostly positive time in the new building, and the few things she’s struggling with are being dealt with my her wonderfully supportive teacher.

We are very proud of her!

21/1/2018 New goggles

21/1/2018 New goggles21/1/2018 New goggles by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Ruby’s eyes have changed very slightly so new glasses are needed for reading and close work. She’s chosen two pairs from the ‘boys’ selection, because she is not encumbered by the stupidity of gender-specific spectacles.

I wouldn’t have let her have the Manchester United glasses if she’d picked them though. There are limits.

These ones are very much like mine. Matching face furniture!

13/1/2018 #didgotospecsavers

13/1/2018 #didgotospecsavers
13/1/2018 #didgotospecsavers by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Ruby has been wearing glasses for reading for a year or so now, and it’s time for her annual appointment to have her eyes retested. We always use our local Specsavers due to the good value specs, but also because we always get looked after there. They are great for a large chain business.

A new prescription has been decided on, so new glasses are in order. Specsavers, unfortunately, separate the girls’ and boys’ glasses into different displays. This is disappointing as many of the designs are not gender-specific (not that such a thing should really exist). Ruby tried on a good few pairs and decided on two from the boys’ designs.

She didn’t pick these, which I think look great on her too, but they were also from the boys’ selection. Ruby loves pink things and unicorns too, but she refuses to conform to stereotype.

Good girl!

3/365/2018 Aragog

3/365/2018 Aragog
3/365/2018 Aragog by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Ruby has a rule for Harry Potter: if you want to watch the film you have to read the book.

This was the case with The Philosopher’s Stone – which she loved reading and watching – and will be an ongoing rule through all of the books. This suits us as the books and films do get a good bit darker as they go along, and as the books take some time to read the films will be age-appropriate when we get to the end. We’ve just got to Aragog. Ruby is *really* looking forward to seeing him in the film! Next chapter: the Chamber of Secrets.

We might have to spend a few hours at the weekend to finish off the book!

1/365/2018 Star

1/365/2018 Star
1/365/2018 Star by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

It’s 2018 already!

It doesn’t seem 365 days since I started the last year’s worth of photos, so it’s almost a surprise that the year has rolled around once more.

My last 365 project was all square and all black and white all the time. I did this to purposefully constrain myself so that I concentrated only on creating interesting images. Unfortunately, I found the project became limited by this framework, and some of my images were a bit rubbish. So, I’m just going to let the muse take me wherever I may go this year.

I hope to spend a bit more time editing my images on my iPad Pro using Affinity Photo. This is an amazing iOS app that performs a huge number of powerful photo editing functions. I don’t know how they all work yet, but I will at least have a go at some masking and dodging/burning. Most images will be edited in Snapseed – my go-to iOS editing app – but I do want to try to be more adventurous and capable.

Ruby was by far the most numerous model for 2017. I suspect 2018 will be the same – she’s very photogenic – but I will try and get outside more and enjoy the countryside. Nottinghamshire has some fantastic green bits, so perhaps I will capture a bit more of it this time.

So, let’s start off with a photo of Ruby, enjoying a lazy morning on the New Year’s day, sat at my favourite window at our friends’ home.

I do hope that everyone has had a lovely, happy new year!

363/365 Just Dance

363/365 Just Dance
363/365 Just Dance by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

One of Ruby’s little Christmas Eve presents was this second-hand Wii game – Just Dance. She’s very much into dancing around like a loon to music, so she absolutely loves it.

It’s an old game so her favourite songs are missing, but there are some great tunes on here, including some Iggy Pop. It’s almost a musical education alongside a good escuse to get some exercise.

I did not join in.

361/365 Knackered

361/365 Knackered
361/365 Knackered by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

We are not used to all this excitement.

We have all had an amazing time visiting family. We’ve had more food than is generally sensible, had a quiz, enjoyed many beers (or whatever beverage was preferred) and stayed up late. Then, this morning, we walked all the way around Golden Acre Park while it wasn’t raining; a lovely way to spend an hour or two.

After a quick visit to an aged relative in a home nearby we headed back to Nottingham. We are all really tired. I cannot remember the last time I ate so much food, and so didn’t sleep the best last night. Ruby was up late chatting to her cousin. This is the result – a sleepy Ruby in the back of the car.


A quiet day is required tomorrow.

359/365 Science!

359/365 Science!
359/365 Science! by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

It is Christmas Day. Our presents are open and the turkey is currently turning the requisite shade of brown in the oven. What to do?

Obviously, the answer is to have a go at some sciencing! Ruby received some thoughtful gifts from friends and family, and my sister gave her a ‘Water Science’ kit. This contains a number of aqua-based activities aimed at the junior schooler, chief amongst them are a few that require the making of bubbles using some solution and gelatin.

Her she is with one of her proud experiments.

A lovely day has been had by all. Merry Christmas!

353/365 Smile

353/365 Smile
353/365 Smile by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

I have a very busy Christmas period with my brass band, but I’m not the only one performing carols at this time of year. My wife Jo sings with an amateur choir in West Bridgford called ‘The Tuesdays’, and they had a concert tonight. The event was raising money (over £200!) for the Alzheimer’s Society and went very well indeed.

Ruby got on stage (with most of the other children present) to help Jo with Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer, while I got to press play on the backing track CD for a few of the pieces. I always wanted to be a roadie.

We had mulled wine and mince pies afterwards, as is traditional, while the children ran around like loons, high on sugary treats.

350/365 400m

350/365 400m 350/365 400m by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

We are very proud of our little mermaid. Ruby has been going to Quackers Swimming School for a few years now and she’s tried hard, learned all her strokes and is now in the Advanced 1 Class.

She gets to spend a whole hour in the pool every Saturday morning, swimming up and down and performing a number of water skills. The end of term is near and we have collected her awards from her efforts over the last few months.

She’s done really well and has collected these two badges: 400m and Water Skills 4. I am fairly sure that I cannot swim 400m in a single go, but Ruby has done so. Amazing! She’s also learned enough activities to get the Water Skills badge.

Her strokes are all looking pretty solid, especially her front crawl and back crawl, and she often ends up swimming upwards of 30 lengths of a lesson. Not bad for 8!

349/365 Big Gob

349/365 Big Gob
349/365 Big Gob by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Ruby and I met with my Dad and Step-mum at the very impressive Eureka! The National Children’s Museum today. It’s a bit of a trek for us, but it’s an incredible place for kids, especially younger ones.

There’s a fantastic area called ‘All About Me’ where you find out about every single part of your body, just about. It’s age appropriate (no sexy-time shenanigans) but there’s a great area about childbirth, lots of models of internal organs, nerves and cardiovascular bits and pieces, and some enlarged bits of people parts.

My favourite was this enormous mouth, which Ruby enjoyed. She also liked making burps in the alimentary canal display (where she could also create bile).

There are lots of areas for the under 5s, loads of ways to engage the imagination (including a great work-related area) and some fantastic electronic games and experiments to do.

Highly recommended!