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."

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Doorstep Delivery

I’m sitting on the doorstep, and I’m eating bread and jam,
and I’m not a-crying really, though I ‘spects you think I am.
I can hear the children playing, but they say they don’t want me,
‘cos my legs are rather little and I run so slow you see.
So, I’m sitting on the doorstep, and I’m eating bread and jam,
And I’m not a-crying really, though I ‘spects you think I am.

Marion St.John Adcock (1914) from ‘The Littlest One'

The little girl in the photograph has not been eating bread and jam, nor has she been crying She looks rather pleased with herself as she nurses her doll Rosie on the doorstep of the family home. This is my mother (born 1920) and pictured just a few years after the poem above was written. I have featured this picture before in Dolly Suite, where you can read more about Rosie and the terrible fate which befell her.

In the second picture, Mum and Rosie are joined by my grandparents and Mum’s brother Billy. There they all are framed in the doorway; a snapshot in time which captures a family group for posterity. Leafing through my albums I found we had quite a few doorstep or doorway shots and so I decided that this would be the theme I would choose from this week’s Sepia Saturday photo prompt.

Here’s Mum again, but this time with Dad, just outside the doorway of their first home together. When they were married in 1942 they lived with my grandparents and didn’t have a house of their own until some time after the War ended. This picture is taken in 1950 and Mum looks pleased with herself again - but so does Dad. They couldn’t afford to buy a house but rented a new council house in Nottingham. When the picture was taken they had been there two years and already made good friends with the neighbours.      

When my firstborn arrived in 1977 I stepped outside for a few moments so that the proud father could take our picture in the late Autumn sunshine. Once again this was our first home, a detached house in Lincoln where my husband was serving in the RAF and where I had my first teaching post.

Two older doorstep pictures are in a post I wrote about my paternal great-grandfather, the shopkeeper in ‘Open All Hours’. This is possibly the favourite amongst my blogposts and the nonchalant pose my Great-grandfather is striking is wonderful. Unfortunately, when the pieces was published in the Bygones section of the Nottingham Post last March, it was the one picture the editor chose to omit.  

Here’s another family favourite to finish with. This is the doorstep of my husband’s childhood home in Lancaster. It was a big old Victorian house with a porch large enough to play in. You can see the rather ornate tiles on which my son is sitting. My late father-in-law is cuddling my daughter, who has brought along her little red suitcase full of drawing paraphernalia. The clipboard behind her was made by her Daddy. My son probably had one as well but it looks as though he is intent on drawing on his bare toes, or worse still, his sandals. The patch of fur fabric peeping out from behind the red case is Blue Bunny, who now belongs to my grandson, and who has a post of all of his own in, A Makeover For Blue Bunny, over at my other blog. This picture was probably taken about 1981/2. 
Don’t hang around on the doorstep too long. Come inside for a real Sepia Saturday welcome. See what other contributors have chosen for their theme from Alan’s photo prompt below. And if you have any pictures of cats getting in on the act, lovers embracing, soldiers’ farewells, or interesting doorways, please share them with us.


  1. Hello Marilyn:
    What a wonderful collection of doorstep photographs which capture so many significant moments in your family's history. They really do have a marvellous sense of time and occasion.

    Our favourite is the one of your parents outside their first house. There is such joy in that image and all the promise of the years to come in their married life together. Lovely!

  2. These are heart-warming snapshots. I can think of so many photographs taken on the doorstep, I do wish I had ready access to the family albums One day soon I shall raid my parent's attic and share some of my favourite photos. They tell so many stories.

  3. What an enjoyable post full of memories and humorous observations. It also shows me what a poor observer and dull thinker I am as my response to the prompts always is too literal. I need to work on that!

  4. Doorsteps that make you want to join in. These days I tend to keep unwanted cold callers waiting on mine. Yours are much more inviting family shots.

  5. I have to laugh at Bob's comment, but I must confess I've been known (when alone) to not answer my door to strangers! Ha! Ha! I like this interesting path you led us on! Interesting and packed with lovely family photos, all truly a treasure for you and now us as well! Thanks again for taking on this Sepia blog! You are an angel!

  6. If you compare the 1st with the 3rd photo you can see that your mother's face hasn't change much in 25 years...

  7. I love your 1970s dress and hairdo.
    Thanks so much for taking on Alan's job.

  8. Yay! You are the first Blogger I've found who also recognises the delights of The Littlest one His Book! After 60 years, I had to have my copy rebound, to help it hang together. I hope it will now last at least another 60 years.
    Great pictures to go with your bread an' jam on the doorstep! hehehe!

  9. Doorsteps are often called stoops in the US and I have a similar series of family photos around the door of my grandparent's home. They are a kind of universal frame for any family snapshot. These were terrific. And thanks for accepting the assignment of Sepia Saturday director!

  10. What a great post, you are lucky to have such a lot of photos and not all formally posed like a lot of my family ones are.

  11. Doorsteps are an interesting theme and the are good ways of framing the people in the pictures.

  12. Hi Nell, oh, I enjoyed this post so much! Your precious photos span the years, and I like how you picked out doorsteps as your theme. I didn't even think of that part of the photo.

    Thanks so much for the great job that you are doing!

    Kathy M.

  13. Great thinking I had never thought until your photos how often pictures are taken of family gathered by the the doorstep. My grandmother lived in Lancaster so I might even have a similar doorstep in my collection. I love the idea of the red suitcase, have art will travel, its a charming photo.

  14. I adore walks down other peoples' lives through photographs. I simply adore the pic with your mum and dad at their first houses doorway. Her dress is fabulous, the sweetheart neckline was so flattering!

  15. i liked all these pictures and doors are a good way to pull the images together. (Call me stupid, but I couldn't see the last photo of the house in Lancaster, though. Something wrong with my computer maybe????)

  16. Choosing doorstep photos was such a creative choice for this week's theme. Enjoyed reading about your mother's doll and was sorry to learn it was given away. You can tell from the photos that she loved Rosie. Your doorstep photos are a family treasure. I especially like the one of your father-in-law cuddling your daughter and your son playing in the background. So sweet!

  17. What a lovely collection of photos. I also enjoyed reading about Rosie. I have some of my dolls packed away and hope that on day I have a granddaughter who will love them like I did :)

  18. An enjoyable post and a good spin on the prompt, I seem to favor your 1977 pic. It represent quite well the era, in fashion and hair style, and I like the strong contrast of your shadow as you embrace your new born.

  19. I especially love the pics of your mum - she's got the same expression as a proud doll owner and as a house owner 20 years later!

  20. Perfect for the theme. You tell such wonderful stories to go along with your photos. Thanks for taking over for Alan while he is gone.

  21. Your collection and memories would make a nice book for family members simply called "Doorways."

    I don't think I have any photos of family members standing on doorsteps. I do have a photo of myself with my neighbor in Hawaii dressed in kimonos with ornamental clips in our hair.