Image of the week…the family portrait

11th March 2021

“I’ll just go and get the…..”

Mary shuffles off to the next room, slippers grating the thick carpet as she escapes into the abyss of the darkened hallways. How she navigates the house in pitch black I’ll never know. I sigh with exhaustion and surrender. I have no idea what her treasure hunt entails this time..a hearing aid? A manuscript? . She regularly exits the frame without notice, wandering off to attend to an imaginary quest .

Annabel gives me a knowing glance and shrugs her shoulders. It says  “Just breathe, she will be back.”

It took three separate attempts to capture the ‘family portrait’.

It was important.

I’m sure many of us have reflected on the relationships we have with our close family over the past year. Many have lost loved ones, other rekindled dormant ties. There has no doubt been a myriad of emotions on offer when living with family in close quarters. Suffocating at the best of times the locked in lifestyle will have tested us all.


Annabel has more patience and tolerance than I have ever witnessed. We are opposites. I can’t hide my true feelings well without internally combusting and I live life with constant impatience. She is slow, patient and entertains any interaction with genuine tolerance.

If Mary blocked the bedroom door like a stickman I would contort my body around her limbs apologising on route ; whereas Annabel would hint gently that she needed the bathroom or ‘must crack on’.


I admire this kindness and respect and hope to learn from it. However, when an 89-year-old hovers over you whilst you are mid yoga in your pants and starts discussing insects; I think there needs to be a line.

Most animals have an endless commitment to the Pavlov affect, however on this occasion Kip had eaten so much cheese I could smell him.

The only frame I could salvage in the dim winter light was this one, but it does look classic which is what we were after. I hoped to create a painting and one that Mary would hang on her wall. Because for the past 7 months- this was a true family.