Thursday, 21 April 2016



The two ladies pictured here are both 103 years old.

Both were born in 1913. Both had their greeting cards from the Queen when they turned 100. 

Both are great-grandmothers. 

Both, at their advanced age, have an air of beauty and are a shining example to us all of how not to fall down the dark hole marked "getting old". Both have caring daughters who they live with, and who look after them. The importance  of carers should never be underestimated; without the daily care they receive in the home, from a family member, should never, ever be forgotten or looked down upon. It's a true labour of love and a service to society as a whole.

The beauty of both ladies lies in the sense of serenity and focus which pervades their portraits. 

Both portraits were taken at happy events - a family get together for Nellie, the lady on the left; the first time of holding her new great-grandson for Sylvia, the lady on the right.
Although both of them knew they were being photographed, you could take some time just looking at their lived-in faces and speculate a little. As well as the photographer (me), might they have been looking at something nearby? Or could their attention be turned inward, maybe towards a distant event, such as the memory of something they did or somewhere they went long ago? Maybe, for Sylvia, the first time she held her own child; for Nellie, memories of what life was like when she was a child herself.
Speculate a bit. Did either of these ladies work when younger? What skills did they have? Did they travel and see something of the world? Or never leave the country? They have been housewives and mothers, but what was life like managing that without the gadgets such as vaccuum cleaners and washing machines we take so much for granted? Are they now widows? Have they lived alone? Cared for others? Done something unusual? Seen or owned things which now are only found in museums?

These beautiful senior ladies could be the inspiration for some creative writing (if you write) or a simply a trigger for your own memories of times past and family members you knew. Both of them deserve our respect.

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