Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Friday, 30 May 2014

Ay Me!


Here’s a thoughtful young lady in about 1912; in need of support, as her little legs probably grew tired waiting for the photographer to frame his shot. I wonder if there were any impatient sighs. Her hair is short as she’s only about two and a half, but look at that charming ‘kiss-curl’ in the middle of her forehead. She’s wearing a simple linen dress, appropriate for a toddler at that time, but a pretty little crocheted collar to take away the plainness. I wonder what colour her boots were, probably a soft brown leather. Who is this little charmer? It’s my late mother-in-law, Mary, in one of a handful of infant pictures we have of her.







































Here she is a few years later, as a young woman. She’s aged about seventeen, in the first one, but perhaps a little more mature in the one on the right. It looks as though she still needs support and it would appear that she is leaning on the same small table. She was always an elegant lady and before her marriage she was a fashion buyer for a large department store in Manchester; her sense of style is evident here. By now she would have learned to curb any irritation with the photographer and she is confident and relaxed. It doesn’t mean that a small sigh did not escape her lips at some point however.


Our Sepia Saturday prompt this week is of a thoughtful young lady, also clearly in need of support, as she leans on a faux mantelshelf. Perhaps it was the weight of all that hair that was too much for her! It reminds me of the quote from Shakespeare’s 'Romeo and Juliet’:

“See how she leans her cheek upon her hand.
 O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
 That I might touch that cheek!”

Says Romeo as he gazes up at his love on the balcony. Juliet of course is lost in thought and sighs:
“Ay me."

Grace Sutherland, here in the original cdv (1890) from which the prompt picture was taken, may well have been sighing “Ay me” herself. She was one of The Seven Sutherland Sisters, who lead an amazing life. You can read more in this Collectors Weekly article, where you can see more thoughtful poses and young ladies, leaning on a variety of objects.

Join other Sepians this week as they comb through their collections in search of the perfect match for the prompt

14 comments:

  1. I always feel uncomfortable standing still and unsupported. Maybe she felt the same way.

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  2. It's fascinating to see in the photos of her as a young woman features which appear fleetingly in her granddaughters' faces.

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  3. At least she doesn't appear to be telling the photographer to hurry up.

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  4. Toddler Mary looked adorable, and young lady Mary looks lovely. My sister's hair was only half the length of the Sutherland Sisters' various lengths & when she finally cut hers, she said the relief of the weight of all that hair off her neck was tremendous.

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  5. A very elegant lady. She looks as though she's straight out of one of the Women's magazines of the time.

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  6. Hello,

    What a charming trio of photographs of your mother-in-law. Such an attractive woman and clearly with a sharp dress sense. She looks very poised and elegant even from the tender young age but interesting how she is always propped against something. It does give a feeling of a lack of confidence in herself, reflected still further in the slight downwards look. Perhaps she was shy?

    In the first picture on the right of the child the chair in the picture is identical to the one we have at our desk and on which we sit to write.........amazing coincidence!

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  7. Absolutely adorable little child - and she grew up in to what i think is a very beautiful woman.

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  8. Great photos Marilyn. However I misunderstood the title at first and found myself saying "That can't be Marilyn, surely ...!"

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  9. A very attractive set and interesting how the hands are posed so similarly.
    As for Miss Sutherland and her 6 sisters, my question is this: How did they sleep at night with such hair? Coiled up in a pillow case? Spread out like a coverlet? They must have done something to prevent an accidental strangling!

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  10. Your mother-in-law looked elegant and stylish. She seems ready for the 1920s!

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  11. Mary probably felt more relaxed holding onto something - I know I do! Nice photographs, and a great alternative take on the theme.

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  12. Well this young beauty was blessed for sure. A beautiful child and woman. She destroys my inane theory that beautiful children grow into average adults.

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  13. What a beautiful woman, even as a child. Funny that she's being "supported" in all three photos. She's wearing the same shoes in the last two, so she must not have been too much older in the last one.

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  14. Three lovely striking portraits. Mary looks a very thoughtful person.

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