A Mother’s Day Poem For Days Gone By

I wrote a poem for my mum, to post on Mother’s Day and lost it, along with a lot more files and photos, when my hard drive crashed. I was upset, until my sister, Leeta said I could post this one, instead.

A Mother’s Day Poem For Days Gone By

By Leeta Chapman


Left-hand small, dainty and feminine, slightly trembling

Thin golden band slowly placed on wedding finger

Strong masculine hand gently lifting smooth white fingers to bridegroom’s lips

There, to softly place a kiss


These hands now a little older fingers not as slender

Nails neatly cut, shaped and painted palest pink

Hands that had raised seven children plus two foster babes

Nursed cherished parents, and crumpled tear-sodden hankies at their deaths

Now deftly guiding yards of gingham through sewing machine

Four little girls aged three to eight eagerly awaiting summer dresses

Seven children experienced those cooling fingers gently stroking fevered brows

Felt the bruising pressure of damp hankie rubbing at grime on faces

Hands that scrubbed floors, lit fires, soothed chilblains and changed nappies

Produced melt-in-the-mouth pastries, birthday cakes and Sunday dinners

As well as Christmas decorations, doll’s clothes little treats and most wonderful stories

They carried, held and lifted heavy bags of shopping

They washed and scrubbed at dirty clothes

Lifted scorching flat irons popping with testing spittle

Hands that had a few more lines but still had many miles to go


The hands, now resting quietly on sheets that are tidily turned down are once again pale and slender

Fingernails now longer, shapelier, and painted coral pink.

But the years have taken their toll

Knuckles enlarged, lopsided, twisting fingers into obscene shapes

Still proudly feminine and bearing the wedding band placed there over half a century ago

Placed there by the strong, masculine, hand that still holds the aged hand of my mother.

The last time I saw those hands they were finally resting.

Arthritic fingers, nails still coral pink, gently holding a crucifix.

But no doubt, somewhere already, they were busily making, doing, or mending something.


Are they making too much profit?

“Here you go” Mo said, as she handed me a package that had just arrived. “It’s addressed to you”

I held my hands out to take the package. Mo let it go and it fell through my hands and landed with a thud, on the table. It weighed a tonne. Well, not really a tonne, but it was the heaviest package I have ever received. Mo laughed, as I tried to retrieve it. I struggled to pick it up, even with two hands and had to lay it back on the table, in order to open it.

The box was very pretty and very hard to open, but we managed to tear the security strip together.

“Whatever can it be?” I asked. It felt a bit like Christmas.

“I can’t imagine” said Mo.

I opened the box and was absolutely amazed at the contents. Two huge, hard backed books, full of beautiful, top quality photos. One of fashion and everything else a person could want and one of home furnishings. Then I saw the catalogue.

The company was ‘Next’.  I had been on their site, while looking for clothes for our wedding. I was getting desperate, so ordered some trousers from them. I kind of knew they wouldn’t be any good but, as I said, I was getting desparate. I sent them straight back when (as I suspected) I saw they were skinny legged trousers. The days of me wearing skin tight trousers are long gone. So this one order, that got returned, warrents them sending me this package?  I may browse the home furnishing book, but I’m not interested in the others. They will all go to the recycling bin and that’s a criminal waste, in my book – pun actually was not intended, but I’ll leave it there.

If a company can afford to produce such expensive books and send out millions of them, in the hopes of netting a few more customers, they are making too much profit, in my opinion.


Photoblogging Challenge – ‘Tis The Season


December 2014

This months photo blogging challenge is – ‘Tis The Season

On 1st December, it was Mo’s birthday and I planned to take her out for a meal. That day the Coca-Cola Truck was in Sheffield, so I thought it would be nice to go and see it, to get into the Christmas spirit. It was a great time, in the city of Sheffield, with lots of lovely light displays, a santa’s Grotto and the Coca Cola Truck was a great addition, along with singers, dressed in santa costumes.


I decided to do a bit of sewing and make some Christmas cushion covers. It is the first bit of sewing I’ve done for many years and I did surprisingly well, though Jenny just had to help me out.


Mo decided to cook the Christmas ham a few days before Christmas. She sliced it and bagged it up in the freezer, to save on cooking time Christmas day. I have to say, it was/is a delicious bit of ham.


Here is one of the old favourites. A fibre optic lamp. Mo bought a couple for Christmas and I took this photo of one of them at night time. In fact I took lots of photos of it, showing all the colour variation and made a short movie of them. I used the Ken Burns effect and some classical music as the sound track.


Finally, a photo I took whilst out on our boxing day walk. It was very overcast and cold and this was the only photo that was remotely any good.


Check out the other photos in this challenge, by clicking the graphic at the top of this post.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

EDIT: Here is the requested link to the movie I made: http://youtu.be/m_jppZ1PvoQ

Christmas Tree Blues

Do you remember this photo, taken last year, when Jenny was a new member of our household?


She continually played in our tree. Thankfully, she mainly stayed inside the tree and did no real harm to the decorations or the tree. This year, though she isn’t a lot bigger, she is a lot heavier, so we were hoping she had outgrown it, as all our other cats had, by their second Christmas. We didn’t want any Christmas tree blues this year.

No such luck! We put the Christmas tree up and before I could even decorate it, she ran up the tree and managed to dislodge several branches, that were firmly in their place.


Jenny is not like any other cat we’ve had before and does just what she wants, when she wants, no matter how we try to train her to be obedient. We knew we were on to a lost cause with the tree, so rather than waste my time decorating it, to be ruined by Jenny, we decided to take it down. We have never had a Christmas without a tree, so I was really disappointed, until Mo said. “We’ll try our large tree”. I had forgotten that we had a larger, floor standing, tree. We had decided it was too much of a temptation for our cats and had packed it away some years ago.

We unpacked it and I started putting it together.

Jenny ignored me.

I hung the lights on.

Jenny ignored me.

I hung all the decorations on.

Jenny ignored me.

Mo came back from wherever she was and we placed the snow effect around the tree base.

Jenny came over, sniffed the tree and went away.

Jenny has ignored the tree completely!


It just shows you how good their memory is. She must have remembered playing in the other tree and seen it as her play ground, but this one held no memories for her and she has ignored it.  We were amazed and thrilled to have a stress free Christmas. WITH a tree.

What’s with all the Peeps?

You may, or may not know (or remember), that after Kathy’s first meet up with us, in the UK, I received a package full of naughty, but tasty, American treats. In that box were lots of Peeps, of different flavours and colours. I adore marshmallow, so they were more than welcome and I ploughed my way through them easily.  My favourites were the chocolate flavoured Peeps. I could have happily eaten a bucket full of those, so I’m glad that Kathy didn’t send a bucket full!

The other day, on Facebook, Jen tagged both Kathy and I in a photo of a human dressed as a Peep. Jen said she thought of us, when she saw him.

Today, while out shopping, I spotted these and immediately shouted to Mo, “Peeps!” I know they are not exactly Peeps, but it reminded me of them. Now I expect I shall be dreaming of peeps.

It’s a jolly good job they don’t sell them in the UK, because all my hard work and weight loss, would soon be ruined. I’d probably gain more weight than I’ve lost.

Peeps Feet

Is it a Peep?


No! It’s a feet warmer.

These are huge! I guess you put both feet in one. You surely couldn’t walk in them!


Can I ask a favour?

Since changing my host, I don’t know if my feed is reaching the feed readers. Could I please ask you to comment on this post, if you see it.  If I get no comments I will know that the feed isn’t getting to the readers, or it could just be that nobody is reading my blog posts anymore!  Who knows? My posts have been thin on the ground lately.

We’ll see.

I’m back, after changing my host


I’m back after a week of problems. I almost gave up and closed my blog, but here I am again.

While I was blogless, I also became computerless. I have no idea what happened, but everything went really weird for me and I had to reformat my hard drive. Stress, stress and more stress!

I am still working on this blog. My post section isn’t working. I can’t see any formatting at all, so this could end up looking awful. I will be un-installing and re- installing plug ins, in the hopes of getting it back again, so my blog could be coming and going for a while.

Why did I ever change hosts?

Finally! Wedding Photographs

I know I’ve kept you waiting for this post, but I’ve also been waiting, for some of the photographs. I’ve just received them, so have finally selected some for you.

I won’t write a lot here. I’ll let the videos speak for themselves. The first is a small selection of the almost 500 wedding photographs that were taken. It’s good to have photographers in the family.

You’ll want your sound on for these videos.

The first video is fairly short. Just click the photo below to watch it.

flower heart

A selection of photographs

This next video is the complete ceremony, tears ‘n all. It’s a 30 minute video, so you might want to watch it when you have a bit of spare time, or even fast forward bits, but make sure you catch Mo’s wedding vows. Click the photo below to watch it.

table with champaign

The ceremony

I hope you enjoyed watching. It really was a perfect day!

Photo Blogging Challenge – Black and White

Top-banner.jpgSeptember 2014

This months photo blogging challenge is – Black and White

I would have liked to take part in this challenge, but I have been far too busy, preparing for our wedding, to go out taking photos. When this post goes live I will be away on honeymoon. Just four days away, but it will be very enjoyable, to spend time at the coast again.

As a token gesture for this challenge and as a follow up from the ‘colourful’ post, I give you a few, very old, black and white portraits of mine.  I only have four. I have lost so many paintings and drawing over the years.  I hope this makes up for my lack of getting out there, with my camera and I promise to do better next month.

The first is a copy of a Rembrandt self portrait. This was one of my first and technically not very good.

Rembrandt Self Portrait

Rembrandt Self Portrait

This next one is of Joan Baez. This was an old LP cover shot. Unfortunately, I glued the paper to board and over time the glue yellowed and bled through the paper. I tried to remove the yellowing in Photoshop, but it was hard to do without removing some of the actual pencil work.

Joan Baez - Album shot

Joan Baez – Album shot

This next one was something I wanted to try out. It’s from a famous painting (I can’t remember the artist) called ‘Veronica’s Cloth’.  If you stare at the eyes, they will appear shut at first and then they will be open (or the other way around).  It’s not too easy to see in this small version, but I had to take it off our wall, because it unnerved some visitors.

Veronica's Cloth

Veronica’s Cloth

Finally, this little girl was a commission for a well known hairdresser in a London salon. I never met him, or knew who he was. It was all handled through my boss at the time who, no doubt, made a very handsome profit on my meagre charge.

Portrait commission

Portrait commission

My apologies for not sticking to the rules, but I think I had a good enough excuse, this time.

If you want to see more black and white entries, just click the graphic at the top of the post.

Photo Blogging Challenge – Colourful

Top-banner.jpgAugust 2014

This month’s Photo Blogging Challenge is – Colourful

It looks like I’m a bit late this month. The time is flying past now.

I came across my fifth photo from last months ‘baseball’ challenge. I had forgotten I took it. But it fits in nicely with this months challenge. I give you a colourful, base ball!

colourful 1We stopped for a cool drink, while we were out in the heat a couple of weeks ago and I thought how colourful Mo was looking, as she sipped her orange drink.

colourful 2Worrying that I wouldn’t get time to go out on the lookout for colourful photos, I took this one. I love this colourful fruit. We’ve had it for many years and it’s as fresh as it was when we first bought it.

colourful 3I was coming down stairs and saw our neighbour’s garden through the window. I was struck by how colourful it was, so the next time I went out I grabbed a few shots with my iPhone. I must admit that the photos didn’t do it justice. I love yellow flowers!

colourful 4By now, I was getting a bit desperate, so I took a shot of one of my colourful paintings as a standby. I give you, my standby photo. A portion of one of my paintings.

colourful 5That’s my five for this month and if you want to see more colourful photos, click the image at the top of this post.

Bottom-Banner.jpgEdit, for those that asked. Here is the full painting.