Toile… a French word meaning “linen cloth” or “canvas”….

A lovely repeated surface decoration printed on fabric… the scenes are quite complex…usually pastoral…depicting couples, children and animals in arcadia…

…a fabric that is a painting…full of life…tells a lovely story…a daydream…

…toile originated somewhere in the 16th century in Britain and France but in the last 10 years has undergone a resurgence in popularity…

…here in my own painted chateau I have a myriad of pieces covered in various prints and colours…

…toile can be sweet in blue…delightful in raspberry pink….and, positively, dramatic in black and white…

Turning vintage wing chairs into stylish “thrones” in the library…and always perfect with my little black dresses…

Strange Fruit

Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swingin’ in the Southern breeze
Strange fruit hangin’ from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant South
The bulgin’ eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burnin’ flesh

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot, for the tree to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop

A fresh look at the North

The stunning photographs of Beverley Cappleman give no clue that she took up photography as a serious hobby just over three years ago.

Before that, the mum-of-two from Newholm, near Whitby, had contented herself with taking snapshots of family and holidays, then waiting for the prints to come back from the processors. Her first camera was a Kodak Brownie 126, which many readers will remember as the most basic of point-and-hope cameras, even before the era of Instamatics, Polaroids and disposables.

Now her digital images of North Yorkshire, from peaceful pastoral scenes to the wild wind-whipped coast, are turning heads. Readers of Northern Life will have been impressed with her picture of intrepid anglers braving the waves on a pier, featured on the cover of Northern Life’s winter issue.

Beverley, 51, mother of grown-up sons Daniel and Sam, works as a pharmacy assistant at Boots in Redcar, a 45-minute commute from her home, and has no time during her working week to indulge her passion for photography.

But when she has free time, she’ll be up and away, often before dawn, to capture some new images. Husband Dave, who is also a keen photographer, is usually with her.

“We’ll take pictures at the same places, but we’ll see them differently and the results will be different,” Beverley says.

Beverley got into photography when Dave got a new camera and gave her his Canon 500D, a model favoured by novices who want to develop their creativity. At the time, she was finding she had more free time for a hobby, and dived into photography with enthusiasm. She admits she hasn’t yet mastered the technicalities of a digital single-lens reflex camera, and Dave helps her with them.

“My favourite shots are landscapes,” says Beverley, “but I can take a hundred before I get the one I want.” The worse the weather, the more dramatic are Beverley’s photographs on the coast. “I don’t care how cold or windy it is, because I can always wrap up, but I don’t have the camera out in the rain. If it’s raining, it stays in the bag.”

Beverley first learned about Northern Life’s Readers’ Gallery via Facebook and submitted some images. Although we did not use any immediately, we featured her picture of a cow in a landscape in the Northern Life calendar, then used her atmospheric shot of Whitby Abbey in our Readers’ Gallery. “When you used my picture for your front cover I was thrilled to bits and told all my friends,” she says.

Beverley’s work has earned her an offer to provide photographs for tourist postcards, so an even wider audience will be able to appreciate her photographer’s eye for a scene.

However, she remains modest about her achievements and has not put her work forward for any public exhibitions. “If my friends like one I’ll send it for them to print out, but I don’t print them out for myself and I haven’t got any on the wall at home.”

A look at the #photography of Beverley Cappleman A fresh look at the North The stunning photographs of Beverley Cappleman give no clue that she took up photography as a serious hobby just over three years ago.

#KanyeWest sampled this very powerful song. Im in awe of the powerful lyrics and the desire #NinaSimone had to express herself against all odds. I hope Kanye’s upcoming album will carry even more weight than the trap music this generation wants to vibe to 🤔.

“Southern trees
Bearing strange fruits
Blood on the leaves
And blood at the roots
Black bodies Swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hangin’
From the poplar trees
Pastoral scene
Of the gallant south
Them big bulging eyes
And the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolia
Clean and fresh
Then the sudden smell
Of burnin’ flesh
Here is a fruit
For the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather
For the wind to suck
For the sun to rot
For the leaves to drop
Here is
Strange and bitter crop” (at Guildford)


The idea of pairing renaissance nudes with garish, retro porn magazine graphics really interested me. I wanted to place revered works of art in a new context which made the viewer question the intent of the painting. I have always found it somewhat humorous and strange that some paintings which were commissioned purely for titillation are hung in galleries and admired for their artistry, not arousing content. Although there is definitely artistry to these pieces, they seem to have lost their original shock-factor. 

Manet’s painting ‘Le dejeuner sur l’herbe’ summed up my thoughts perfectly. He found the galleries of the day hypocritical in the way they admired Roman nudes, yet covered the legs of tables for fear of them being to sexual. Manet took a copy of a Rubens and placed the nude in a pastoral French scene of the day. It caused outrage when it was revealed because it was deemed to be crude and offensive. When I read about this painting it made me realise that maybe I needed a new approach, as we live in a world where we have become desensitised to sex. 

Colin Pantall - All Quiet on the Home Front

“Nothing much happens where I live. I look out and see the hills and fields of Bath folding into the valley of the River Avon. It’s a classic pastoral scene, timeless and full of natural life.
At the same time though, the hills around my family home echo with the past. It’s what the Celts called a ‘thin place’; a place where the space between living world and the spirit world is always present.”

Bush super PAC the biggest loser in ad wars

For the past six months, political TV ads have extolled the virtues of presidential hopefuls, tore down opponents and in one instance, set pastoral scenes to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel. 

So, which strategy worked? One things for sure: Iowans prefer nice over nasty.

Related story: Tracking TV ads in the 2016 presidential race

This story is part of Buying of the President 2016. Tracking the candidates, political committees and nonprofits that are making this presidential election the most expensive in history. Click here to read more stories in this investigation.

Copyright 2016 The Center for Public Integrity. This story was published by The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news organization in Washington, D.C.


I’m sitting at home
It is like a museum
Buddhas everywhere I go
I am a museum
There is dust in all my memories
In one room I’m like a Roman statue,
A warrior holding a shield
ready to defend my ego.
In another a pastoral scene as if at
a picnic. All is calm as we lunch on cheese
and wine.
My little room is my memories of growing up.
This is a little foggy since I’m eighty,
but I can see my mother, father and sister -how young
Memories are strung like a clothes line pinned to
a musty smell that tastes like metal.
My membership never expires at the museum
They know me at all the openings. You can come; the
charge is what ever you want to give.