Here’s To Strong Women…..and Magical hummingbirds……

Here’s to strong women.   May we know them.   May we be them.  May we raise them.

My Grandmother – Agatha Bowyer Griffiths – 1885-1972


It’s been quite a tumultuous time within my own personal sphere.    Having buried my Mother last December, – my dear Aunt Peggy moved on to be with the magical hummingbirds this month.     Her funeral last Thursday was a celebration of her remarkable life.       I have also lost two other friends……………all of which has caused much reflection.

20-11-15 - 1 (1150)

Our time on this precious planet is fleeting. – we must never forget this.

Having waded through all the bureaucracy which occurs at these times, I know that ‘this too shall pass……’ – and the magical hummingbirds will continue to drink from the sweet nectar of life  🙂

My Daughter – Christie Griffiths Reed  born 1975 –  Taking part in a Triathlon – Massachusetts, USA

1936994_160987251067_1030955_nI posted these two photographs of my wonderful Grandmother and her Great Granddaughter, my daughter, because they show so clearly that within a relatively short period of time… our world has changed.     How the lives of women have changed…..

My Grandmother, born before the two Great Wars….served in WW1 as a VAD nurse, – it is also during that war she met my grandfather,     Between the wars, she had four children, and was involved with the women’s suffrage movement in the UK.

Her daughters, my Mother and Aunt – served during WW11 both in the VAD as nurses.      One son was an army man and the other on the Russian Convoys.

I was most fortunate to have her in my life until 1972.     I was able to spend much meaningful time with her, for which I will be forever grateful.        I gave Christie her middle name after my Grandmother.

A magical hummingbird drinking from the sweet nectar of life……………………..20-11-15 - 1 (1094)When I went through my Aunt’s papers, I was delighted to find that her passport only expired last year – which means that she renewed it when she was 86.     She also volunteered helping ‘old people’ when she was in her eighties and early nineties.     What an inspiration.

It is the influence of these women, including my daughter,  that has given me courage to move forward when times haven’t always been easy – and I know that they will be there for me until I move onto the next adventure……..

I read this somewhere, and believe it to be true.    The beauty of collaboration between older and younger generations is that we combine strength with wisdom.    20-11-15 - 1 (1129)

During the last couple of months, I have made sure to paint every day and have filled two big sketch books…..There is nothing more therapeutic 🙂

It will take a while before I get into a flow.      I plan to catch up with comments etc. over the next two weeks and then I go to The Magical Town of Crickadoon for some R & R and of course painting.

And so my friends, I will now move forward with a sense of purpose and joy.

A Bientôt


75 thoughts on “Here’s To Strong Women…..and Magical hummingbirds……

  1. glasslass11

    Beautiful thoughts – and true. So sorry about your losses this year. Wish i could be there to spend some time with you and fill some journals. We would be the kind of friends that could spend hours together in a room and never have to say a word. ❤

  2. Sharon Dear

    I enjoy your water colors and thanks for sharing thoughts about strong women in your life. They give you strength to move forward.

  3. First Night Design

    Oh, Janet, I am so sad to hear about the people in your life who are no longer there but ‘praise be’ for strong women that number you (and me!) among them. It is extraordinary how things change in what is such a short time. The explosion of colour in your hummingbird painting is a balm for the soul. Big hugs. xxx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning dear Sarah….I have been t thinking about you a great deal and will be sending an email this weekend. I have been blessed with strong women in my life, and yes including you…..It will take a while of me to get back into the groove. I am getting there – it’s the paper work that drives me nuts 🙂 Sending you hummingbird hugs my dear friend. Janet xxx

    1. Laura

      speaking of strong women…my mom passed May 17. Her choice as she was on dialysis. You were one of her favorite people! I’m so sorry for your loss.

      1. janetweightreed10 Post author

        Good morning Laura….I am so shocked, and sad at the loss of your dear Mother. She was definitely one of my favourite people and a real mentor to me. Please e mail me at so that I can send you a long letter. I hope you are holding up OK – there is so much to do at these times. I am planning a trip to the States next year….from Boston/New England – to New York – West Chester and Atlanta…maybe we can meet up??? Sending love Janet xx

    2. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much – I always appreciate your comments. It will take a while for me to get back into the flow, but I am getting there…putting one foot in front of the other, and of course painting everyday….what would we do without the creative process — Janet x

    3. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you K…I always appreciate your comments. When I was forty years old I learned that it is women who are there and supportive……a lesson never forgotten. I am so grateful to have had and have the women in my life. Janet x

  4. Tish Farrell

    What a very wonderful photo of your grandmother – and to see the likeness threading through you and your daughter – such a deep and nourishing connection. So glad to hear you are painting every day. Take care. Tx

  5. Writing to Freedom

    Hi Janet and welcome home. This is a poignant tribute to the women in your life. I’m glad you’ve had support during the challenge of loss. I appreciate your courage, strength, and wisdom. Hugs, Brad

  6. Teagan Geneviene

    Such a lovely post, Janet — poignant yet inspiring. There’s a strong resemblance between your grandmother and your daughter. Thank you for the beautiful magical hummingbirds. I seemed to need the shades of blue in the finishing one.
    Take your time. We will be here when you return. Hugs on the wing.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much dear Teagan….yes the family resemblance is strong. I named my daughter partially after my grandmother, because she was one of the most wonderful human beings I have known, inside and out. She was a woman way ahead of her time…..but as I look at pictures of her pre WW1 it is clear to see what sort of restrictions women had in those days….just the clothes. I am sending you hummingbird hugs, and will be back into the flow soon. Janet xx

  7. Timi Townsend

    Dear Janet, I’m so sorry for your recent losses, but so grateful that you can still instill joy in every moment of your life, and by doing so, you give joy to those of us who follow your blog and love your magical hummingbirds and other paintings. I love the photographs of your grandmother and daughter. You are so fortunate to have such wonderful women in your family. Rejoice! ❤

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Timi, Yes, I am so very fortunate to have been surrounded by such strong and remarkable women. Even when gone they are with me as huge influences in my life. I think about you, and was very pleased to see that you are creating beautiful things again….will be back in the flow soon. Janet xx

  8. Sarah Sullivan

    Hello Janet, Your tribute to the strong women in your family is moving, thank you for sharing it. And I love magical hummingbirds, I hope I get to see them when my time comes. Take care!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Ben….such a true observation. I have seen this with both my Mother and Aunt who died recently….As they aged, one 93 and the other 97 – yes their bodies did weaken but their wisdom continued to blossom. Thank you for taking the time to ready my blog. Janet 🙂

  9. Katherine

    Beautiful,Janet.You look so like your grandmother.I hope you adjust to being without your mother and aunt.It’s not just them we miss but losing that generation and being the next one down.I hope you enjoy the countryside peace once you get away/Love Kathryn

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Katherine, yes, there is a strong family resemblance all the way through…..It has been quite a shock to realise that this generation of strong women on that side of my family are now gone…..however, they have left huge legacies and so they are still here with me. It will take an adjustment to get used to the fact that I am now ‘solo’ – (of course I do have my two beautiful children) I will continue to use my painting to guide me through. You of course, having had your own huge loss, understand completely. Sending love to you. Janet x

      1. Katherine

        You are a courageous person,Janet.But that does not stop you feeling pain.Nice to know your art work was helpful.It gives a shape to the day.I used to find knitting helped me.Love xxxx

  10. Pingback: Here’s To Strong Women…..and Magical hummingbirds | World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Andrea….Thank you. Both elements make sense of life to me….I am so grateful that I have had the wonderful examples of other strong women and of course my need and love to create. Hope you are enjoying a lovely and creative summer….I always appreciate your comments. Janet x

  11. kathryningrid

    Many big and heartfelt hugs to a woman who has impressed me from the beginning with strength and invention and beauty and joy. Thank you for all of it! May the hummingbirds always carry you through.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning dear Kathryn, – thank you so much for these lovely sentiments. Interestingly, as I move through this period, I feel my own strength being regained. I sense that it will open up many new areas of being and creativity for me. I think of you in your world,….where i know that the hummingbirds visit….and also think of you making the most delicious foods 🙂 Sending love Janet xxx

  12. snowbird

    I raise a glass, and toast the strong women in your life, especially dear Aunt Peggy, what a woman! Time is indeed fleeting and hopefully the stress of paperwork is diminishing and you are able to move forward and get on with your own life. Just loved the picture of Christie, how like you she is….you are a beautiful family, inside and out. Hoping to catch up with you soon…until then, take good care of you friend of mine. Loved the blaze of colour and life of those hummers.xxxxxxx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Dina….Thank you so much for that..,.Aunt Peggy’s funeral was indeed a celebration of her life. I am at last coming to the end of paper work…three cheers for that. I know you know how tedious it is especially at a time when you least need it. I am now ready for the next chapter….I feel my strength being regained….and a sense that the creative juices are bursting to be released 🙂 I do hope I get to spend time with you before this year is out…..Hard to believe that it wont be too long before a year has passed since we had so much fun in Liverpool together. I hope that you, Hubs and all the furies are well and enjoying the summer. Janet xxx

  13. Jet Eliot

    I have been thinking about you, Janet, hoping the burial of your Aunt Peggy was going okay. I am so glad you are embracing the strong women in your life, past and present, and that you are painting with abandon, using your talents for meditation and solace. I really like all your paintings here so very much; the last one really dazzled me…I love the color combination, the swiftness of the bird, and the sweeping feet.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      And I have bee thinking about you….. Aunt Peggy’s funeral was a true celebration of her life. You will appreciate this, that at 86 she renewed her passport….it only expired last year when she was 96!:) She travelled right into her nineties and volunteered for old people when she was in her nineties. A wonderful inspiration for me. I am so grateful that she has been part of my life. yes, I am painting up a storm…and can feel the creative juices beginning to flow again. Hope you are enjoying this very special time of the year when subtle changes start to show – leading us from Summer into autumn. Janet 🙂

  14. inesephoto

    I am so sorry about your losses, Janet, and glad you find healing in work. These two photographs are beautiful – as is the one on your Home Page 🙂 Three strong women, a blessing and inspiration. xxx

  15. Janice Upfold

    The sun was not shining and it was an ordinary day.
    How can a day be ordinary?
    I had a list and documents to take to the bank.
    That was not ordinary.
    You see, I was officially changing my name.
    And you don’t do that very day, I hope.

    There were many travellers on the bus and I sat next to an ordinary woman, or so I thought.
    I watched with interest as the bus driver stopped at every opportunity to scoop up more passengers.

    People jossled for seats and soon it was standing room only, then no room at all.
    Nothing ordinary about that mid Monday morning in September travelling to Newport. IOW.

    “Is it always this busy?”, said ordinary woman beside me. Firstly, her voice bought me back into the moment, secondly, she sounded slightly American. Thirdly she seemed amused.
    This is no ordinary woman, I thought.

    We connected and my day was enhanced by this extraordinary and very interesting woman.

    Several days later……
    Hello Janet, how was West Cowes?
    Are you still travelling or back at your London home?


    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi Dear Jan…..what a lovely surprise to see your comment – and what a lovely comment 🙂 I had no idea when we met that it was such an auspicious day for you – Wow. Our stars must have been working overtime that day. I am so pleased to hear from you….and that we connected. Let’s hope the beginning of a new friendship. I arrived in Cowes – had a lovely fish and chip lunch and walk around….and took the ferry over to Southampton where I was picked up by my art school friend’s daughter in law…who drove me to Wimbourne in Dorset. I then spent several lovely days….when Maureen and I went out painting to some spectacular places. By the way I did tell her about our meeting.
      I definitely hope to return to the IOW soon….and rent a cottage, and also see you. We clearly have a lot in common, including sense of humour. My e mail address is If you e mail me, I will have yours – then I can keep you posted as to when I next visit. If you come this way, please let me know. As far as most people are concerned, I am still away, but actually I am back as I had to complete a watercolour trial for Winsor & Newton. Off to see John Singer Sargent’s watercolours (which are spectacular at the Dulwhich Gallery tomorrow….and lots of painting in the weeks ahead. Enjoy your wonderful new home on the IOW – Janet 🙂

      1. Jan upfold

        Hello Janet.
        Remember me.
        We met on the bus.
        How are you?
        I have a wall needing a big picture and I wondered if you have any prints of your hummingbirds?

      2. janetweightreed10 Post author

        Good morning Jan. I was literally thinking about you the other day and our meeting on the bus on the Isle of Wight. E mail me with what size etc you are looking for… Hope all is well in your world. I am sure it’s very beautiful right now especially with this early spring…..Hope to see you again on the IOW. Janet x

      3. Jan Upfold

        Hello Janet. My apologies for not getting back to you. I’m looking for a big print . About 70 cm x 60 cm. I will then put it in a bigger frame with a bordered mount. It would be great if you can email a few examples that will work, preferable landscape but could also be portrait. I’m busy with a small extension build and looking after someone dear to me who is near the end of his life. It’s mostly a privilege, but I can get a bit distracted sometimes. I hope you are well, do you have any plans to come this way. It would be a giggle to meet up and I have a spare room? Best wishes. Jan

        On Tue, 19 Feb 2019, 10:14 My Life as an Artist (2), wrote:

        > janetweightreed10 commented: “Good morning Jan. I was literally thinking > about you the other day and our meeting on the bus on the Isle of Wight. E > mail me with what size etc you are looking for… > Hope all is well in your world. I am sure it’s very b” >

      4. janetweightreed10 Post author

        Hi Jan….No need to apologise. I am away for the next two and half weeks….will contact you when I get back. Was just talking to a friend about giving a course on the IOW maybe next year or so…….It would be lovely to see you 🙂

      5. Jan Upfold

        Hi, May I ask if you just supply the print and I will get it framed please? Best wishes. Jan

        On Mon, 8 Apr 2019, 16:53 My Life as an Artist (2), wrote:

        > janetweightreed10 commented: “Hi Jan….No need to apologise. I am away > for the next two and half weeks….will contact you when I get back. Was > just talking to a friend about giving a course on the IOW maybe next year > or so…….It would be lovely to see you :)” >

      6. janetweightreed10 Post author

        Hi Jan….I am back from Portugal and now off to France. I am afraid that the print will have to wait until end of June….I hope that’s not too late for you. Let me know – best to e mail me at Sending love and thinking of you on the beautiful IOW Janet 🙂

  16. davidjrogersftw

    You have so many comments here that you will reply to that I almosr hate giving you another, but I have to tell you how moving I found this tribute to your grandmother, mother, and Christie, in fact all the women in your life. It is a beautiful, simple, brief elegy to good women whose smiles I’ll bet were as lovely and bright as Christie’s. I too wish them Hummingbirds.

    I often think of generations of my women–my Welsh aunts Meir and Sarah, my Mother Bernice ( a quiet, shy little woman), sisters Ruth and Sharon (who was so close to me and died at 37), daughters Stephanie and Alice (mothers of four of my grandchildren), and of course Diana, love of my life (beautiful, loyal, kind.) Last Saturday night she and I went to see my grandaughter Rachel starring in The Sound of Music in her grammar school show-(she sang, she acted, she whirled and danced)—another accomplised woman in the family. I wonder how many lives she will touch as sweetly as those other women of yours and mine did..

    I know you will feel in Crickadoon the joy you always feel there among its natural beauty of hills, and the beauty of your friends of many years. .

    Fond wishes

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning dear David,

      I am so grateful for the women that have been in my life…..they have influenced me greatly and non more so than Grandmother Griffiths.

      And you to David…how fortunate you have been and continue to be with Diana in your life. It is not everyone who finds that very special partner in life.

      I see each generation of women as a foundation for the next….Christie just celebrated her 44th birthday and has indeed developed into one of the most wonderful human beings I know. My own Mother and Aunt died a little over two years ago…and again both gave me so much in their different ways.

      I have a wall of photographs in my flat in London of family members on both sides going back several generations….and in those moments when I am feeling confused or not sure….I look at these pictures and am immediately given strength.

      As we speak I am preparing to leave for Portugal on Monday. I will think of you and Diana when I am there.

      Many thanks my dear friend. janet 🙂

  17. davidjrogersftw

    Please do think of us and we will think of you among your friends in that beautiful place. My children are about Christie’s age. I think that age is a particularly dynamic time in a life. A lot happems in your forties, I think–striking out in new directions, critical changes, new satisfactions. and accomplishments.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      It’s very interesting that you should say that. Christie is indeed going through some major changes and wanting to explore new avenues. I can remember the forties being a very interesting time. Thank you David.


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