Tag Archives: music



“A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2016.”

Campfires, wild swimming, messing about with guitars: we never meant to have Arthur with us on our romantic anniversary escape to a safari tent on Dartmoor, but when the the universe conspired against us we decided to go with it.

As it turned out, it was a magical weekend nonetheless. So many special moments for our little family, made especially so by the fact that they were never really supposed to happen.

We will go back one day, as a couple, to this little corner of paradise. But we would not have spent this weekend any other way.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity for The 52 Project. 



“A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2016.”

I wonder what it feels like to do festivals this way? Tucked up warm in your dragon costume, the music muted by ear defenders and a faint glow of fairy lights around you…

We kept expecting him to wake as we enjoyed ‘just one last band’, but he was just so deeply asleep.

I guess it must feel pretty awesome.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity for The 52 Project. 



“A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2016.”

Playing the drums in the kitchen, in his pyjamas. It wasn’t as early or as late as that may make it sound – just one of those days when the rain was beating down relentlessly and getting dressed, especially for a potty training toddler, seemed highly over-rated.

For months now Arthur has been drumming on anything he can get his hands on, so for his birthday we decided to take the plunge and get him a kit. And he loves it.

We may yet come to regret our choice; it is pretty noisy. But so much fun! I’m sure the neighbours will forgive us… One day…

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity for The 52 Project. 


Say it with a song

Arthur is having a very musical week this week. More specifically, he is immersing himself in the world of song: he appears to be a sponge for the lyrics he hears, and is managing to reproduce them pretty accurately with very cute (and sometimes very amusing) results.


He’s always been into music – unsurprisingly perhaps given the gigs and festivals we’ve taken him to and the fact we love to listen to music at home. But this love for lyrics – or the ability to remember them anyway – is a fairly recent thing.

It started when ‘The You and Me Song’ came on the radio. Now I love this song, but I’d almost forgotten about it when Jo Whiley used it to begin her show. She often does that to me – spins a tune that returns me to the recesses of my record collection and has me hunting for my old CDs. I started singing along, and Arthur was quite taken with it too. And before I knew it he was singing ‘you and me always, and forever’ over and over again. I’d like to think it could be our theme tune.

Then, with a bit of a cultural shift, came ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’. This one’s obviously been on his radar for a while, but he surprised me last weekend with an almost word and note perfect rendition of it – right up to the little boy who lives down the lane. I’m still impressed when I hear him sing it – which is good, because he sings it a lot.

The other thing he’s been doing is singing songs from the movies he’s been watching, and this is where it gets especially entertaining.

Like (I hope) most toddlers, he likes to boss me around, often telling me to ‘move it!’ if there is something in his way or otherwise not in exactly the right place. But this week, whenever he’s given me that order, it’s been like a little lightbulb has gone off in his brain, flashing up his favourite scene from Madagascar. And then, with a grin on his face, he launches into ‘I like to move it, move it, I like to move it, move it’. Seriously funny, though I’m not sure I should be laughing quite so much at my little tyrant.

This morning he had me in hysterics again. We were walking down the stairs in our pyjamas, me holding his hand as I am wont to do, and he began to sing ‘Let it go! Let it go!’. I responded in my usual gushing, proud mummy way – and he stopped, looked me very seriously, and said ‘let go’. I guess he didn’t want me to hold his hand after all.

I’m finding the development of Arthur’s language skills such a joy, and his ability to reproduce what he hears – and twist it to fit new situations – particularly fascinating. The fact that his current propensity for singing is turning our lives into one big musical is just an added bonus!

I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.


My word of the week this week is musical.

The Reading Residence

Word of the Week: Ukulele

Today the word that sums up the week that was is:


Those of you who’ve been with me since the beginning may remember that soon after Arthur turned one we bought him a ukulele in an attempt to satisfy his guitar obsession (and save his dad’s guitars!)

Well, turns out that was no short-lived fad – and recently he’s been taking his love of his ukulele to a whole new level. Arthur can’t bear to be parted from his ‘tar’ as he calls it (I think ‘ukulele’ might take him a while to master), so whilst we’re at home it’s never far from his side.

He’s been concentrating very hard on making sure his fingers are in the right place…


And generally loving getting lost in the music!


He’s adopting an increasingly amusing range of costumes to enhance his performance…


And even perfecting his rock star pout.


I, however, am starting to get increasingly aware that my total lack of ukulele skills are not exactly going to be very inspiring to him. I’ve bought myself a kids ‘learn to play’ book, but I’m really not getting very far… Fortunately together we’ve discovered some incredible players like Jake Shimabukuro, Honoka & Azita and The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. He’s been taking some general tips from Mumford and Sons too: The Road to Red Rocks has been this week’s favourite.


Arthur loves to watch and listen, either sitting very still as he takes it all in or dancing and playing along. And I’m just fascinated with his burgeoning love affair with this instrument – and very curious to see how it develops!


The Reading Residence