‘5 months of joy’: True romantic covers Sheffield pavements in chalk messages for anniversary

A true romantic surprised her partner on their five-month anniversary by creating a huge trail of chalk messages through Sheffield proclaiming her love.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 10:04 am

Fiona Newman, who lives in Nether Edge, wanted to do something special to mark the milestone so she set out in the early hours to make the very public declaration of love using giant chalks from B&M Bargains on Chesterfield Road, Meersbrook.

The 45-year-old probation worker spent two hours covering pavements with hearts and messages including ‘5 months of joy’ and ‘I love you Jimmy’ written in huge letters.

The colourful trail started outside the 50-year-old musician’s home on Sheldon Road and followed his usual daily route during lockdown, leading to Heeley & Meersbrook Allotments.

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Fiona spent two hours writting the chalk messages. Picture Scott Merrylees

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“I wanted to open my heart, to show myself fully, and to show Jimmy how much he means to me. I also hoped it might inspire some other people and bring them a little joy,” said Fiona.

“I was doing a sprirtual seclusion for a week at the time, which meant turning off the internet and phone and not seeing anyone, even Jimmy, so I thought this would be a great way to surprise him and show him I was still thinking of him on our anniversary.”

Fiona told how lots of people had stopped to ask what she was doing while she wrote the messages on the morning of Tuesday, April 13, and someone even stopped to photograph her and say he would like to include the shots in an upcoming exhibition.

Fiona Newman surprised her partner Jimmy on their anniversary by drawing romantic chalk messages around his home. Picture Scott Merrylees

She said she and Jimmy met by ‘divine grace’ during lockdown, through mutual friends, and had instantly clicked as they found they ‘were on the same page on a lot of things’.

Jimmy described how he had been out for an early morning run during Fiona’s chalk-writing spree and was blown away when he saw what she had done.

"It was so beautiful. It’s typical of Fiona and also of the way things happen for us, because she had no idea of when I would be in or out that day,” he said.

Jimmy said he was bowled over by the romantic gesture. Picture Scott Merrylees

"When I first saw it I thought that’s nice, someone’s drawn on the pavement, but then I saw the hearts and the letter J and recognised it was Fiona’s handwriting.

"It was only later when I went to the shop and the shopkeeper asked ‘have you seen all those chalk drawings?’ that I realised she’d done more. I returned home, got my bike and started cycling around, discovering just how much effort she’d gone to.

"I was going round shouting to people ‘I’m Jimmy and I’m the luckiest man alive’. I was just bowled over. I couldn’t believe it.”

Jimmy joked that he’s starting to feel the pressure to make a similarly grand gesture as their six-month anniversary approaches.

"I’ve been thinking about what I can do. Where can I get a crystal carriage and some fireworks?” he said.

"But it’s not just about the big moments. Every moment we’re together is wonderful, whether we’re on the beach in Northumbria or just washing the dishes.”