“Brother Jack Can’t Hold His Head Up Yet”

This morning I scanned the next six of Charle Keeping’s illustrations to ‘Dombey and Son’ – each one an example of the artist’s mastery of of mood in portraiture.

‘Mr Dombey, leading Mrs Dombey by the hand’

‘A stoical gentleman in a shaggy white greatcoat’

‘She sat down upon a heap of stones’

‘ ‘Let go, mother; let go’ ‘

‘She could not have taken a bird more tenderly and gently to her breast’ occupies a double page spread.

‘There was a throng in the state-rooms up-stairs’

Joined by G-Ma Elizabeth, Danni and Ella brought new baby Jack for lunch.

Our great-niece wanted to go straight into the library where her hamper of toys are kept. She was confused and delighted to find that they had already been brought into the sitting room ready for her

to unpack them all and tell Jackie all about them.

While feeding Jack on the sofa, Danni demonstrated multi-tasking by carrying on a conversation with her daughter who informed us that brother Jack couldn’t hold his head up yet.

Elizabeth took a turn at doing it for him;

while Danni moved closer to Ella who has not lost her pointing technique.

Jackie produced her usual lunch melange of cold meats, salads, and fresh crusty bread. Ella saw nothing awry with eating Tunnock’s teacakes and sausage rolls with alternating bites.

Jack, of course, had to flop this one out, which he did on his G-Ma’s lap.

We had given Jack a pack of nappies and a Boot’s voucher; Ella’s present was a set of Play-Doh which she put to use with Elizabeth.

A final feed, a comparison of noses, and one more story completed a very enjoyable afternoon.

Later, Danni sent me a photograph of Jack, sporting his penguin outfit, suggesting he might be suitable for Christmas dinner.

Speaking of dinner, tonight Jackie and I finished her wholesome winter stewp with fresh crusty bread and butter. She drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Malbec.


  1. Either รฝou posted later than usual, or I am up earlier. I have ne er been the first one 5o read, like and comment on your offering.

    I enjoyed coming along for a visit with the young ones. They are just adorable.

  2. Oh, my goodness! Ella has a baby brother! How exciting! He’s beautiful, as are the rest of his family. Ella is such a cutie with her curls and her bright eyes. Lunch looks wonderful and Elizabeth looks smitten. <3

  3. I knew the baby was due but somehow missed the big event.
    Congratulations to all the family and welcome to the newest member. ?

    1. Thanks very much, Sue. Danni had sent pictures on the day – but I thought she should have the pleasure of announcing to the world – four weeks ago on Monday.

  4. So wonderful to see an new addition to your family circle dear Derrick and so enjoyed all of your photos…
    The book and sketches were also a bonus to read and take in the fine detail of the drawings…
    Sending thoughts your way to both you and Jackie… Nothing beats a warming stew… We had one that lasted two days last week…
    Sending Hugs and best wishes dear Derrick.. So pleased to be back among WordPress and friends here again.. <3

  5. I don’t know about the illustrations, but you’ve certainly reminded me how good Dickens’ writing is. I’ve never read Dombey & Son!
    Wonderful family shots, Derrick.

  6. Mr. Keeping certainly is a master of mood. A lot of his illustrations scare me. Oh, but what wonderful family photos! It’s hard to pick favorites, but I especially love the photos of Ella and Elizabeth on the floor. I’d still like to play with Play-Doh.

      1. Aw. You play in other ways and will have so much to teach her in the years ahead about flowers, photography, and family history!

  7. Keeping’s fine illustrations show humanity with all their quirks and knobs – your photographs show beauty and love. They are delightful to see. What an uplifting visit for you all.

  8. The cherubic presence of Ella and Jack has been captured lovingly. Children are the radiant horizon in the ongoing journey of life.

    Charles Keepingโ€™s artistry is brilliant as ever.

  9. JACK! what cutie! And surrounded with love! <3 Love the penguin outfit! ๐Ÿ˜€
    Ella has always been a cutie…and now such a good helper, and such a good entertainer! ๐Ÿ™‚
    (((HUGS))) to all!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. WOW! he’s a cutie. Ella is all grown up and seems like she is going to be a loving and supporting big sister. Those sausage rolls look yummy and is that a marshmallow chocolate biscuit Ella was enjoying? Can’t beat those.

  11. The Keeping drawings are wonderful as usual, but the delightful family photos win for this post.
    Congratulations on the new addition to your family! (I missed or don’t remember if you announced his birth.) Ella is getting so big. I admire her eating technique.
    I’m sure everyone slept well after this visit.
    That last photo made me laugh. ?

    1. Thanks very much, Merril. I didn’t announce the birth, almost four weeks ago, because, although Danni sent me photographs within hours, I thought it was her right to announce it to the world. We certainly slept well.

  12. Dear Derrick,
    what extraordinary pictures, these drawings as well as the photographs of your grandchildren. Your grandchildren are that sweet.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Keep well and happy
    The Fab Four of Cley
    ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. What a selection of lovely pictures, Derrick. The youngest in our extended family has just turned three so no floppy little ones any more. I made a lovely winter stew yesterday too, it is unseasonably cold here.

  14. Beautiful family photos; I especially like the penguin outfit ?
    And smiled at the teacake/sausage roll eating pattern.
    Just gorgeous.

    1. I just skimmed through the comments attached to the video, and found this one, which made me laugh: “Hadnโ€™t heard this song in YEARS; it popped into my head (in HD sound, too) when I watched my newborn trying to…well..hold his head up.”

  15. I smiled all the way through this post! Keeping, Ella and Jack all are mesmerizing! So glad you had such a nice day with family, (((Derrick))) … thanks for sharing!

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