Monday, 28 May 2012

Only Connect

a wall of pictures in our Budapest drawing room with 'Toft Church' shown bottom left 

Amongst our possessions is a ring made from the gun metal of a rifle, used during the Great War of 1914 - 1918, and passed down to us from grandparents. It is engraved simply 'YPRES'. A parent, as a young girl, received a prize at school from the Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III, who at the time was in exile and living in Chislehurst, now a suburb of London. More recently, our very dear young Russian friends attended the sale, prior to refurbishment, of The Savoy Hotel and presented us with a set of flatware stamped 'Savoy'. Such are life's little connections which both intrigue and, where we are concerned, endlessly fascinate.

A couple of years ago we purchased a small, Victorian watercolour of a church. Signed 'Toft Church' and 'Painted by an invalid', it sparked our curiosity. During the nineteenth century it was not at all uncommon for paintings, usually the work of gifted amateurs, to be signed in such a way. But as to the whereabouts of this country church, set in its rather ragged churchyard, a little research revealed it to be St. Andrew's, Toft, Cambridgeshire.

the church of St. Andrew's, Toft, Cambridgeshire signed 'Painted by an invalid'

To date the painting took a little more time. However, it would appear that in 1890 the tower of St. Andrew's collapsed in its entirety, presumably on account of poor construction, not to be rebuilt until 1894. Judging from the ivy firmly established at the ruined end, and the somewhat makeshift temporary building attached, we assume that our watercolour may be dated, more or less accurately, to around 1893. Thus a  small, but significant, connection is made.

This Friday we look forward to a totally different kind of connection with the arrival from The Netherlands of our Dutch friends for a short stay here with us in Budapest. And on Saturday evening, around the dinner table, British, Dutch, Hungarians, Poles and Croats will, drawing on a diversity of experiences, connect countries and cultures in a manner which, despite all the current economic difficulties, underlines the strength of European unity.

P.S. Apologies to E.M. Forster for both using and reinterpreting his words in the title of this post.

211 comments:

  1. It is always rather surprising to me to find out just how many church towers did collapse - and cathedral spires, too! That is one reason of course why so many were rebuilt in the 19th century. It also serves to remind us that life was run on very different lines in the days when most old churches were built.

    I too love making connections. And I hope you enjoy your dinner party. Thank you for this nice post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, much of the nineteenth century must have been taken up with the rebuilding of, amongst other things, churches, which probably accounts for some of the dreadful, often interior, restorations of the same period.

      Reading so many of your own posts we can easily see too your interest in connections.

      Delete
  2. Isn't it lovely to care naught for provenance, but to love to know the history?

    And the party---with such a gathering of delightful friends and interests and experiences---oh, my. You could dine out on THAT Dining In for a LONG TIME.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, we do so agree, Rachel, although just occasionally the 'right' provenance does add a certain charm to life!!

      We are much looking forward to the arrival of our Dutch friends and think that the planned dinner party might prove to be rather jolly. At least we hope so!!

      Delete
  3. What a wonderful discovery about the Toft Church! Love your entire wall!

    Hope your friends will have a wonderful stay in Budapest!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have to admit that finding something out about the watercolour was rather fun.

      Much is planned for the weekend with our Dutch friends - we just hope for fine weather as it is pouring with rain as we write.

      Delete
  4. I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoy visiting your blog. Your writing and photography take me to a place I'd love to be.

    I imagine that this Saturday will be an interesting and thought provoking evening of discussion with your multi-national dinner guests. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is so very kind and generous of you, Heather, and much appreciated.

      Saturday evening should, indeed, be great fun and the various languages spoken we hope will add to the interest.

      Delete
  5. How wonderful a wall full of pictures! We are very much into reasonably priced etchings. Do you happen to have any of them around? Art is so expensive today.

    In our globalized world it is rather usual to have guests from all over Europe. How fortunate you are to have such a variety of friends!
    We are sure the international dinner on Saturday will surely be a great success. It must be very difficult to satisfy all demands. You must possess a great deal of cooking talent!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are so pleased that you like the wall of pictures. And how intriguing that you too collect etchings as they are one of our interests and we have, lately, discovered a number by some fascinating early to mid C20 artists.

      We are much looking forward to Saturday evening. Sadly, as our regular readers and commentators will know, we have no culinary skills whatsoever.

      Delete
  6. What a lovely painting! I love pieces with mysterious back-stories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were rather pleased to have discovered it and decided against reframing it so it remains as purchased. Perhaps there are more clues yet to be uncovered by taking it apart!

      Delete
  7. Dear Jane and Lance,

    You are certainly flying the flag for European unity - sounds like it will be a fascinating dinner party on Saturday.

    I love your collection of pictures, your enjoyment of the little watercolour must be further enhanced by seeking out its provenance. Is the frame original I wonder?

    I can imagine you having so many wonderful and interesting things in your Hungarian apartment - all with their own stories to tell I'm sure.

    I bet its a scorcher of a day in Budapest?!

    Jeanne
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is, as we are sure that you will agree, Jeanne, wonderful to have friends who are representative of different countries. Certainly one of the delights of living, for the most part, abroad.

      The frame is the original in that we have not had it reframed or taken it apart. Normally we should prefer a watercolour to be mounted and then framed but in this instance we rather like it as it is.

      Fear not, Jeanne, it is pouring with rain!! A very British day!

      Delete
  8. how fabulous to uncover the story......I'm sure your Dutch friends will have a fabulous visit.....and the sun shines as it is in London for once!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is always exciting to be showing friends around who have not visited Budapest before. The problem will be in not trying to pack in too much. But then there is always a reason to come again.

      Delete
  9. What an impressive wall of pictures, Jane and Lance. It serves to accentuate the wonderfully high ceilings you must have in your apartment. In our old house the top row would be touching the beams!

    I love the tale of your artistic detective work and wish you the happiest of weekends with your visiting friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are absolutely right, Perpetua, when you say that our ceilings must be very tall. They are, and a direct contrast with our Brighton home where they are much lower.

      It is always, as we are certain that you appreciate yourself, interesting to try to unearth a little piece of history. One day, perhaps, we shall visit Toft and see the church for ourselves.

      Delete
  10. A wonderful grouping of mostly architectural pictures.

    Too bad you don't know more about the painter; he does seem gifted. In his hands, the angle, shape and bulk of those gravestones acquire a sense of vitality and motion--they remind me somehow of Munch's The Scream. (I know, 'vitality' is an odd word to describe a grave marker.)
    --Road to Parnassus

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When researching the painting we came across the archive of the Toft Historical Society in which there was a pen and ink drawing by a J. S. Clarke which looked to be of very similar style and period. So, the mystery artist could be him?!

      We were most intrigued by your comparison of elements of the watercolour with Munch's 'The Scream'. And, we know what you mean by the use of the word 'vitality' which, we agree, is most appropriate here.

      Delete
  11. I suspect E. M. Forster would be pleased at this use of his phrase. Your connections here are richly evocative, for sure, and to end on the thought of a dinner with friends of so many different countries and cultures, what a magnificent thing. I was struck by the little water color and reminded of one we have here. My mate's father grew up on a farm in Rottingdean, on the cliffs near Brighton. A visitor painted a lovely little water color of the farm house and left it as a gift. It is now all that is left of the house, for the place where it stood has since washed away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When we are in Brighton, we are often to be found in Rottingdean which was, in the past, a great magnet for artists. Its position on the cliff and adjacent to the sea is, of course, wonderful.

      How intriguing about the watercolour of the farmhouse and, such a marvellous memento to have now that the house itself is no longer.

      Delete
  12. lovely arrangement, darlings! i'm sure y'all's dinner party will be as divine as both of you! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are pleased that you like the arrangement.As you may imagine, hanging pictures on the walls takes a great deal of time and, as we have no heads for heights, it is becoming increasingly scary!

      Delete
  13. Dear Jane and Lance, what a beautiful wall you have. And what is so wonderful that you made those little discoveries and connections. When that happens, it really feels like a special moment.
    And i love that your circle of friends is so diverse. It warms my heart that we are connectiing with people and celebrating the differences rather than judging them.
    Lovely post.
    I hope you are enjoying the sunshine. I am loving the hot weather in London.

    Red

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is those connections which, for us, are so very important and satisfying. It all becomes rather more special than simply having them hanging them on the wall.

      For us, one of the greatest pleasures of living in Budapest is having a circle of friends from such diverse cultural backgrounds. It truly does add spice to life and does, as you say, give meaning to the differences between peoples and, hopefully, a deeper understanding of them.

      As we write, thunderstorms rage around us!!!!

      Delete
  14. What a wonderful collection of pictures you have on this particular wall. I see you have added a new row from the snapshot on the top right of your blog.
    Upon entering a friends house many years ago I was astonished with the great number of 'works' she had on the wall. I enquired as to where one or another had come from and the most beautiful stories transpired of wanderings, findings, meetings, discoveries and losses and learnings.
    I never was one for pictures on walls until then and I then realised then they can map the story of ones life.
    Grab the flatware and get polishing, the guests are on their way. Have a wonderful weekend.
    Paul

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have, indeed, spotted correctly the addition of a new row of pictures on that particular wall - the result of some recent rearranging!

      What you say about pictures mapping the story of one's life is, we believe, very true. We always think that looking at what is on the walls does tell one a great deal about a person.

      Ah, polishing of the flatware - now we are coming back to reality! No rest for the wicked!!

      Delete
    2. Does - No rest for the wicked!! refer to Timea?

      Delete
    3. Oh, Rosemary,how well you know us. Not that Timea is in the least bit wicked!!!

      Delete
  15. Helle Jane and Lance,

    I love the way that the paintings are hung. In Belgium we call that " à l'anglaise" and this means in English style. Your mistiry English watercolor painting has something very special and I love the little story behind it. I'm sure that saturday evening gone a be a fantastic European night.

    Greetings from a sunny Belgium
    XX
    Jérôme

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were most intrigued to learn, Jérome, that this way of hanging pictures is known as the 'English style'. Clearly one cannot escape one's roots!!

      Saturday evening should be most enjoyable, as we are sure will be the whole weekend with our friends.

      Greetings from a rainy Hungary!!

      Delete
    2. Well, now THAT is amusing (I should add that this is the first time I've visited this blog...courtesy of Heather Robinson over at her "Lost in Arles" blog).

      I probably should contextualize this comment by stating that (1) given my vocation, it's probably nor surprising that there are at least several hundred pictures of various sorts in this old house & (2) I'm moving to much-much larger, 18th century house in 2 weeks & (3) having dealt with galleries for years, I'm accustomed to terms such as "double hanging" and even "triple hanging". For the record, most galleries (as opposed to auction houses and whimsy-shops) generally avoid double or triple hanging. Given the size of my current house, the walls are about as crowded as a sheet of postage stamps.

      In any case?....just last week, I was talking to a longtime friend about the "new" (it's 220 years old) house, with its extremely high ceilings and twelve rooms (not counting three stairwells) and she chipperly said "Oh! you won't have to keep hanging everything French-style!".

      What? I had no idea of what she was talking about. This household is half -French, and we have an old apartment in Paris and an even older house in Argeles....so, my notion of "French-style" hanging would be doing anything to get even a single damn picture to suspend from some remnant of 18th century plastering.

      I should add that my French mother-in-law has referred to my habit (by necessity) of hanging pictures three-deep as "English style".

      The final fact is that, as of today (and after reading the above comment), I've just realized that Francophones and Anglophones refer to cluttered (let's be honest here) picture-hanging exactly as they use to refer to syphillis.....

      The French called syphillis "The English Pox", and the English referred to it as "The French Pox".

      So much for "English Hanging" versus "French hanging". They seem to be exactly the same thing, and detractors are (as ever) eager to blame the matter on folks from across the channel.

      Now, I get to go peruse your archives. What a dleightful blog to have discovered (thank you, Heather).

      Sincerely,

      David Terry
      www.davidterryart.com

      Delete
    3. Welcome, David, and we are thrilled to note that you have signed as a Follower. We hope that you will continue to enjoy what we write. How delightful that the delicious Heather has connected us and now we shall have to seek you out!

      We are sure that you are right about the French/ English hanging style, it really is just a question of whom one is talking to, in which country and at what time. The answer could well be different on each occasion. In Hungary we find the same debate about French/ English gardens. To us, the style is definitely French, but to a Hungarian, it is more usually English. Ah well, vive la différence say we, but, most probably, a native of France may well say otherwise!

      Thank you so much for your kind comment, we look forward to welcoming you back here again.

      Delete
  16. There is nothing more spiritually nurturing than a gathering of friends around the dining table. As I age I realise that this is where deep, enriching and soul fulfilling moments happen. I wish you a wonderful time together with friends!
    Much Love
    Dianne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a wonderful way of expressing the gathering together of friends for a shared meal, Dianne. We do so agree that as one becomes older it is people who matter over and above all else.

      And thank you for such warm wishes.

      Delete
  17. 'And on Saturday evening, around the dinner table, British, Dutch, Hungarians, Poles and Croats will, drawing on a diversity of experiences, connect countries and cultures in a manner which, despite all the current economic difficulties, underlines the strength of European unity.'

    My dear Jane and Lance,

    The very thought of this round table in my imagination fills my heart -- one which always hungers after nobility and camaraderie.

    You have such a way, in your posts, of taking us on a leap-frog sort of journey through disparate worthwhile places, people and things. Beautifully braided, these words and ideas.

    Love,
    -Your Suze

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course, dear Suze, very much in our thoughts on Saturday evening will be 'absent friends', particularly those on the United States side of the Atlantic!! But one day, we know, you will be joining us and until that day, patience!

      Thank you so much for such a wonderful compliment about our posts. It is, as we trust that you know, more than appreciated.

      Delete
  18. I do like the sound of the gun metal ring.
    It is interesting how odd the church appears without its tower. As Toft isn't very far from us I might have to visit to see what the church looks like now.
    You weekend plans sound delightful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 'Ypres' ring is rather interesting but has never been worn by either one of us.

      How splendid, Tracey, that you live not so far from Toft. We should be most interested to know what the church now looks like.

      Delete
  19. The Victorian era has produced along the years a huge interest on my behalf. Your little painting is fascinating and its history is even more captivating. If you get the chance to attend again such colorful and diverse gatherings of various nationalities, will you please represent Romania as well, on my behalf? :). All my love for Jane and Lance :). Looking forward to your future cultural delights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We too, Petronela, rather like all things Victorian and have acquired over the years much in the way of C19 furniture and effects. Not to everyone's taste, of course!!

      Naturally we shall be only too delighted to raise our glasses to you, and to Romania, on Saturday evening. Yours is a country we only know slightly, something we intend to rectify in the not too distant future.

      Delete
  20. You have some lovely paintings! X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is most kind of you. We rather enjoy seeking out new additions to our little collection.

      Delete
  21. I love the way you found a painting you like and then researched the history.
    Have a lovely evening with such a interesting group of friends.

    cheers, parsnip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was quite by chance that we came across the watercolour of Toft Church but it instantly appealed to us. Discovering its history was an additional bonus and gave it added interest.

      Delete
  22. Dear Jane and Lance,

    Your wall with paintings and prints looks very interesting. For example I would love to hear what the connection is with the Ypres ring and one of your grandparents. There is a lot more I would like to ask you, but I think I will keep it for myself a little while longer :-)!

    Your dinner party sounds like great fun! Are you celebrating the Queens diamond Jubilee? I hope you will have a good time :-)!

    Best of Love,

    Madelief x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We rather enjoy collecting pictures and have, very recently, come across one or two rather goodly finds in the way of Hungarian etchings which are now hanging in our spare bedroom.

      We are much looking forward to the weekend, and in particular Saturday evening. There is nothing we enjoy more than to have an informal gathering of friends around the table to share in conversation and, of course, food! That it is the Queen's diamond Jubilee is pure coincidence!

      Delete
  23. I love your curiocity since you share such intersting facts with us here..
    Have a lovely visit and dinner with your friends .
    with love from South Africa
    Colette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is, as we are sure that you would agree, Colette, always interesting to delve into the history, wherever possible, of old things.

      We send greetings from Eastern Europe to South Africa, a country we should much like to visit.

      Delete
  24. I too like the way you've hung the pictures, bringing them all together. It makes it almost like one large work in a way.

    When I lived in San Diego I used to work (UCSD) with our foreign students and the International Center. Sharing a meal with people from different countries is so vastly different than sharing with one's local neighborhood. The conversation is much more intellectual, intimate in a funny sort of way, and intriguing. I know you will enjoy your coming weekend greatly. Have fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do agree with you, Rubye, that hanging smaller pictures together is one way of giving to them greater impact.

      Your experiences in San Diego of how fascinating those of other nationalities can be is something we totally share with you and we too believe, like you, that somehow or other the conversation is always elevated to a different, more interesting level. We are much looking forward to Saturday.

      Delete
  25. I live so close to Toft! If possible I will visit soon and take a photo to send to you xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How lovely that would be. We should so love to have a picture of Toft Church as it is today. And you clearly live in a most interesting part of Britain.

      Delete
  26. I find it very exciting, looking for the story behind a painting. Although my local art dealer is the Red Cross second hand shop, I dare say I am also a collector. Your wall is wonderful. Your words are wise and very very needed, I believe for all Europeans.
    E.M Foster, surely, would be glad to know you are using (and reinterpreting) his words .

    Can't wait to read about your weekend : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have had some wonderful finds in the past from charity shops, such as your local Red Cross one, and we are always surprised at what attractive and interesting things people donate.

      Our lives, or so we feel, are always so enriched by coming into contact with people of other cultures and nationalities. And one learns so much!

      Delete
  27. If only the EU bigwigs could achieve such a meeting of minds as that which will take place around your hospitable table....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are times, as you must find also, when one despairs of what goes on at the meeting of minds in Brussels by those who have the task and responsibility of directing the countries of Europe. And for which we are all paying!

      Delete
  28. What a lot of incredibly fascinating things do you live surrounded by! And that includes the full variety of Europeans at your table this last weekend :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The most fascinating and interesting for us are the wonderful people of so many different backgrounds and cultures who we come across in our daily lives. We are, or so we believe, enormously privileged in this and all other respects.

      Delete
  29. What a wonderful wall of paintings.... Friends around the dining table one of the true pleasures of life, and I love people with different experiences and different cultures, what an exciting evening it sounds, rich with splendid conversation and much laughter. I am sure it will be a night to remember.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do so agree with what you say here, Susan, about friends around the dining table being one of 'the true pleasures of life'. On such occasions we feel ourselves to be so very fortunate and blessed in every way.

      Delete
  30. Hi, I love your wall of pictures and the way that they are obviously more than just wall decoration. How wonderful that you have a ring from the Great War that was passed down to you. We can't begin to imagine what it must have been like to live through that period in history. My Grandmother would never entertain a warm film, or book, she said that she had lived through two and that was enough. Sounds like you are in for a very nourishing evening on Saturday. I hope that you all have a wonderful time
    Janette xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is so very kind of you, Janette. Putting smaller pictures together, as we have remarked to another commentator, really does increase their impact.

      Sometimes, as you say, the thought of what it can have been like for those who experienced the Great War is almost too dreadful to contemplate. The poets of the First World War, who we continue to read, come so close to expressing the full horror. We can well understand your grandmother's feelings.

      Delete
  31. It will be wonderful to collect a mini pan-European assembly round your dinner table; I wish you a stimulating evening. I love these occasions, although we can't muster quite so many different nationalities at one time.

    Having just read this post, you have given me an idea. I must take another look at my special treasures, perhaps I can find connections which I have, so far, ignored. That would be most enjoyable and exiting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are much looking forward to Saturday evening, not least because with such different nationalities present there is almost certainly going to be lively and stimulating conversation. It is, we believe, living where we do that affords such opportunities and for this we are so grateful.

      Do have a look through your own treasures, of which we are sure you have many, and how wonderful if you feel able to share them in a future post.

      Delete
  32. I forget the c in exciting, silly me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are constantly doing exactly this kind of thing. But who cares? We don't!!

      Delete
  33. I love your display of pictures, and especially those which have a story behind them. I'm glad you were able to find out more about Toft church.
    I sure your dinner party will be wonderful and what a fantastic way of enjoying being Europeans together.
    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most of the pictures on that wall, and indeed elsewhere, have a particular story or connection which is, we suppose, why we have them. But this is probably the same with us all.

      The dinner party will, we are sure, be great fun; we are much looking forward to it.

      Delete
  34. Wowww you have friends from Holland...nice to hear...enjoy a happy week darling.....love from me...xxx..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And what is so wonderful, Ria, is that the Dutch friends are coming specially to Budapest to see us. Fun times lie ahead!

      Delete
  35. Your wall arrangement is just artistically superb! I love to see pictures planned together in such a way -- with thought and artistic flair!

    There is nothing more meaningful to me than when friends, old and new, from near and far gather together to break bread.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Katherine. You are most kind.

      Everything which you say here about the meeting of friends we wholeheartedly endorse. And you, yourself, have had such wonderful similar experiences recently.

      Delete
  36. Hello Jane and Lance,

    I really love the "European unity" part, I was thinking about it just a few letter ahead :)
    The Toft Church painting is very beautiful and if it's dated 1893 it appears in very good shape.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We shall think of it now, Petro, as a 'European Unity' party - one, we hope, of many!

      Yes, the watercolour of Toft Church is in excellent condition - rather better indeed than our photograph shows.

      Delete
  37. I adore your wall of pictures. i suspect there is a story connected with each. I know the gathering of friends and cultures will prove to be the most delightful evening. Friends gathered around food, laughter and good drink make for a wonderful time. Enjoy! Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are actually right with your suspicion about a story behind each of the pictures. More material for future posts!!

      Yes, Saturday evening will, we are sure, prove to be great fun and, almost certainly, of much interest.

      Delete
  38. What a wonderful collection of paintings, etchings etc. They look so good,altogether on one wall. You have some wonderful things Jane and Lance. Such interesting pieces that you have collected or have been given over the years.
    I think that your gathering around your table on Saturday will be such fun too. Have a great time. XXXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is so very kind of you, Jackie. Believe us, they are nothing special but, as you say, acquired along the way. But it is the friends, and we know that this is the same with you, who matter most and who are, at the end of the day, of infinite value.

      Delete
  39. Completely unrelated... did you like the German film Gloomy Sunday, which is supposedly set at a restaurant called Szabos in Budapest?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For some reason we do not know of the film 'Gloomy Sunday' but will certainly look it up. There is, as you are probably aware, a large film industry here in Budapest and the city often features in films, quite often substituting for Paris.

      Delete
  40. Great detective work! When I buy old things I always think about who owned them, how they were used and why they were discarded.
    Enjoy your evening with friends x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Part of the fun of these kinds of 'finds' is discovering something about them. We too wonder why they ended up discarded and for sale. Such is the way of the world.

      Delete
  41. I love your wall of paintings and prints - beautiful - and momentarily, had bated breath for possibly another connection. For my grandfather is buried at Toft Church! However, as I continued to read, he is not in Cambridge, but in Knutsford. Still, it's a connection as far as I'm concerned. Thank you. Annie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so strange, Annie. And yes, in our 'research' we became aware that there was another Toft. Whatever, it is exactly the kind of connection which we enjoy.

      Delete
  42. And as we speak of the matter, one has to admire the magnificent only connecting you do here: your subject matter, your sense of inclusion, your zealous approach to shared experience and a kind word. EM Forster would situate a whole novel in your blog if he were alive to read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are truly humbled by your exceedingly generous comment, Mise, and especially from one who is not only the absolute mistress of the written word but one whose unfailing sense of humour and wit we so much admire and would, were it at all possible, wish to copy and emulate.

      Delete
  43. I think Forster would be most pleased with the connections you make, and would enjoy your company! I love the stories of that most precious ring and of the painting "by an invalid." Your wall of pictures is wonderful--I hope you will share more of it at some time in the future.

    xo,

    Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One day, perhaps in a future post, we will reveal a connection that we actually do have with Forster, but for that we must go back to the 1970s.

      We are delighted that you like the pictures, Jen, and thank you so much for saying so.

      Delete
    2. Oh what a tease--I adore Forster!

      Delete
    3. We too adore Forster. All will be revealed in the fullness of time!!!!

      Delete
  44. Things from family and friends like the ring and flatware hold such extra special memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do so agree with you here. And one never forgets from whom gifts came to such an extent that those people, family and friends, are forever present and with one.

      Delete
  45. I love the idea of a picture wall, when my oldest was growing up, we had a wall of her from her birth onwards... I feel a little sad for my Valentina as most of her pictures are on the internet, the digital camera or my blackberry. She has missed out a little on having those pictures we would put on the wall. I may look around and do a little wall for her:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a lovely idea to have traced the early years of your daughter's life, Launna, in a series of photographs grouped together. Yes, it is a little sad for Valentina for she is missing out in that respect in this very digital age.

      Delete
  46. Dear Jane and Lance,
    Lovely collection and connections . . . and how fun, for I shared in my comment on your last post ( Is it there? . . . I saved it this time so please let me know.) I shared a NYNY trip to see the Gertrude Stein & family collection at the MMOA. Hanging paintings in groupings . . . only different connections and paintings, of course. Yours are quite wonderful. How interesting to make a ring from a rifle that had doubtless taken out life during 'The Great War' . . . If only it were magic and could end all war. The stories that piece of metal could tell . . . and if all countries could sit around an elegantly dressed table (as I imagine yours will be) and share stories, good food and wine . . . how truly connected our world could be. I hope you have a delicious evening and perhaps you all may connect the dots and solve some of the worlds woes. Salut! Carol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comment on our last post is most certainly there, Carol, for which many, many thanks. To be able to see our reply, it is necessary to click on 'Load More' which is to be found just below the comment box. This seems to be the case where there are, with our replies, a total of more than 200 comments.

      The Gertrude Stein collection will have been hugely interesting and full of the most fascinating, often very strange, connections. Something which we should much like to experience.

      We have often thought the ring to have been a very odd thing to have had made. Would indeed it could restore life, particularly those whose lives were lost in a totally senseless carnage.

      One day we do so hope and pray that you too will be seated at our dining table. That, we anticipate, will be a very late night!!

      Delete
  47. Hello, Jane and Lance:

    I can see that you are masters of picture hanging; not everyone understands how to balance and space such arrangements. And since you both obviously enjoy architecture, I'll share what I see in your arrangement: the three center frames are progressively lighter from bottom to top, not unlike the progressively simpler window frames in much of Florentine architecture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark, you are exceptionally kind. We much respect all that you say for in our time of 'knowing' you we have come to realise that you are not only exceedingly cultured and erudite, but that you are in possession of a wealth of knowledge which, through 'All Things Ruffnerian', you are generous enough to share. We are most touched by your comment on the picture arrangement. Thank you.

      Delete
  48. it is such a great sensation when the light goes on and things come together such as with your drawing. It is quite a lovely one and wouldn't it be wonderful to know who the artist was?

    Your elegant wall of art is very impressive and I imagine even more so in person. Enjoy your time with your friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a lovely suggestion, Adrienne, that connections are made in the way of a light going on. And, yes, we should be most intrigued to know for sure who the 'invalid' painter was.

      Thank you so much for your kind comment about the arrangement of the pictures.

      Delete
  49. Hello Jane and Lance:
    I do love your stories surrounding history that have not be documented, but are found when looking into more intimate details. I would love to hear more about the story of the ring that has been past downed through your family. Wonderful.
    Enjoy your visit with friends!!!!
    Best,
    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It always intrigues us, wherever possible, to find out the history behind objects which have come into our possession, Suzanne. But we are sure that we are not alone in this.

      Alas those who could have told us something about the ring are now all dead. How important it is, surely, to question parents and grandparents whilst they are still alive.

      Delete
  50. Dearest Jane and Lance

    I love the symbol of the ring. There is no beginning nor end in a circle. I was saddened to read the signature on your painting "painted by an invalid". This is a beautiful gem of a painting and so beautifully drawn and painted with passion and energy. The name is actually irrelevant his (my assumption of it being a male painter) work has stood the test of time and has brought joy to all that view it.
    What fun you will have on Saturday and I am looking forward to hearing all about it. I feel that the Hattatt's coat of arms should include the wording "Only Connect" and if google translated correctly to Latin " The Hattatts'sTantum Coniungere"

    Time to connect to my pillow

    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rings do, as you suggest here, Helen, have this endless fascination in their circular nature. And perhaps for this reason they never fully reveal their secrets. Certainly now we shall never know the history of our 'Ypres' ring.

      We are so pleased that you appreciate the Toft Church watercolour for we should, most certainly, value your judgment in such matters. As you say, the artist's name does not really matter at all beyond passing interest.

      Helen, you are so wonderfully imaginative and we love your idea of the Hattatt motto. Please, please, get on that aeroplane for Europe. The beds are made up and the fridge is stocked. Meanwhile, pleasant dreams!!

      Delete
  51. Isn't it fascinating to learn of a simple object's journey through time and space, and how it may connect people from a more or less distant past and different country to our lives?

    And I don't think E.M. Forster would mind...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is, as you say, Meike, fascinating to consider the way in which even the simplest objects in life have a story to tell if only, of course, we are able to unearth it.

      Like you, we trust that E.M. Forster might see the broader picture; we rather think so.

      Delete
  52. What a story of intrigue, that painting is lovely

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How very kind, Gina. We are delighted that you too like the watercolour.

      Delete
  53. Hello Jane and Lance! It's so much nicer, I always think, to be able to enjoy things for their back story and connections, than simply for their value. In fact, more often than not, it is the back story that really IS the value! Have a wonderful evening at your dinner party - although with such an interesting and international group of guests, I'm certain that you will!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We could not agree more. Like you, the actual monetary value of an item is of no interest to us. In a world where so much is beyond the reach of all but the very rich, much pleasure is to be had from seeking things out which appeal and may be had for very little money.

      We are much looking forward to Saturday evening, as we are to the arrival of our friends from Holland on Friday morning.

      Delete
  54. Hello Jane and Lance,
    'only connect' is a wonderful expression, and completely apt, not only for this post but for the whole of your blog.
    A pity the 'invalid' in question was so self-effacing, but there's a sweetness to it too, to me, in these days where signatures and identities are rampant.
    I certainly hope the harmony and goodwill at your table this weekend will be mirrored in the wider European community, whose connectedness is essential for the wider world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Faisal, you always say, and we know mean, the kindest of things all of which is, believe us, so much appreciated.

      Yes, it is rather refreshing to think that the 'invalid' did not at the time consider his, or indeed her, name to be of any particular importance where the painting was concerned. Such a contrast, as you say, with today and the widespread 'celebrity' [ghastly, ghastly] culture.

      What of course we will lacking on Saturday is a very special and dear friend from the Antipodes. But one day!!

      Delete
    2. You can be sure, Jame and Lance, that if ever I get to Hungary, it would be a thrill to see you!

      Delete
    3. And when, rather than if, that day comes, then we shall very much expect you to be our guest. In the meantime, we so much enjoy our internet communications.

      Delete
  55. What a beautiful painting (and I'm fascinated by some of the other art on your wall, as well). I hope your upcoming international summit goes well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We hope that, at least, our summit will pass with smiles all round!

      Everything we have holds some degree of fascination or connection with us and that is why it finds its way onto a wall in our apartment. We are so pleased that you like the painting.

      Delete
  56. Oh, I do so love to find out the history behind things. My husband and I always look forward to watching a program called Histories Mysteries where people bring interesting old finds to these professionals who trace them back. It is fascinating.

    I am sure your dinner will be fascinating also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Histories Mysteries' sounds like just the kind of programme that we should enjoy too. It is fascinating what even the most humble of objects can reveal with some research.

      We recall from many years ago when we had a television a programme which investigated the layers of history to be found in particular houses. It was compulsive viewing as one imagined all the generations who had lived in these places and just what the walls would say if they could speak!

      Delete
  57. I'm sure that every piece of art on your wall has a special memory attached. I hope your dinner party does too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is such a very kind sentiment, Gaynor, thank you so much. Yes, every piece does have a particular connection with us. We could never buy something for 'decoration' alone.

      Delete
  58. Dear Jane and Lance - there is nothing I like better than solving a mystery such as your painting of Toft Church. As you say these things often lead to other connections and may be a visit if you are ever in the Cambridge area?
    Enjoy your weekend and have an especially enjoyable time on Saturday with your varied mixture of European friends, which I am sure will lead to a most stimulating evening.
    This weekend we have a whole raft of things going on with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We should certainly be seeking out Toft Church if we were ever to be found in the Cambridge area. It is many years since were last in the vicinity and we have no particular connections there, so a visit may not be any time soon unfortunately.

      Naughtily, but by design, we have managed to be absent from the UK for every major Royal Event/ Royal Birth/Royal Marriage in recent years. We shall, however, most probably raise a glass to H M The Queen at the dinner table!

      Delete
  59. Hello! Very interesting post! Have a wonderful dinner!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Amin!

      As the Eurovision Song Contest was in Azerbaijan this year, did you see it?

      Delete
  60. Hello Jane & Lance, good detective work on the Toft watercolour! Your drawing room looks like a little art gallery, it's beautiful. Hope you have a wonderful time at your multi-cultural gathering on Saturday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are enjoying covering the walls with pictures, but it is certainly taking some time. The ceilings are very high and so that does give a huge amount of bare space to be filled. It would have been so much easier to have gone for a minimalist look....perhaps next time round!!!!

      Delete
  61. Firstly I must thank you both for visiting, I SO look forward to reading your words when I come to my computer! How fascinating that you have a ring made from the metal of a gun stamped 'Ypres', what thoughts must spring to mind when you hold such an object... When I first went to work my boss had lost a leg at Ypres, at the time being only sixteen I just didn't understand or appreciate the significance of such horror, nor how lucky he must have been to have survived at all.
    I wish you both a wonderful Saturday evening with all your treasured friends, how lovely it will be to think of you all around the table. I imagine we might just hear all the laughter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Jane, you capture our thoughts so well with regard to the ring. So many memories, questions and emotions tied up in such a small and, what could be at first glance, insignificant object. The full horror of the First World War is truly devastating, so many lives lost in such barbaric conditions and a generation of young men wiped out.

      We very much enjoy visiting your blog and do so hope that your health is improving.

      Delete
  62. I LOVE your wall of art!! The big one down center is my favorite with the building being off-center!
    Hope you've had a good time and made lots of memories with
    your gather of European friends. Wish I could have attended :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How interesting that you should choose the painting of the Welsh Castle as your favourite as it is one of ours too. We have never been able to pin down exactly which castle is represented in the painting and assume that it is probably a romantic notion of one that, in reality, is less attractive? Whatever, we love it as it reminds us fondly of our days when we lived in the Welsh March.

      Delete
  63. I LOVE connections!...makes my heart beat a little faster to find a meaningful treasure.....then they become...collections!....and another clue to the mystery....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We know just what you mean, Susan. It is like solving a puzzle and everything falling into place. And, of course, it is such fun to revisit these connections from time to time when interested visitors enquire about them.

      Delete
  64. Diversity of cultures and experiences... That is what living in Europe is all about! Oh the dinner parties we had during the first 5 years of marriage (in Israel, Britain and everywhere inbetween).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Europe is indeed a cultural melting pot and its endless variety and rich history continually fascinates and excites us. And, how very interesting that you have lived in so many different parts of Europe too. Israel we imagine to be particularly intriguing but we have yet to see it for ourselves.

      Delete
  65. Is it a romantic bent of our imagination that makes these connections so wonderful, I wonder? Would others take it for granted and not see the 'magic' in it? (Silly me - always talking about 'magic'. =])

    I see a magical connection in this post - two very dear blog friends of mine coming together. May I please come in spirit??? I'll be thinking of you on Saturday!!!

    A funny thing, though. The day before the Bishop arrived to visit you - we had guests who were internationally eclectic all on their very own. They were Hungarian missionaries to Greece through and American based missions organization. Hm!

    My mother, magical connoisseur extraordinaire =], minored in art in college and always has an eye out for the little gem of a painting. This reminds me of that. I've admired your 'grids' (sorry, I can't think of a word for it, at the moment) of paintings on your walls before. My sister and I discuss how charming this style of British decorating is and how much we want to use it on our walls but, so far, I've been too timid. But, saying that - I always admire and appreciate the photo of your drawing room - every time I come. So, seeing these paintings up close is a special treat for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps you are right and it is the 'romantic' in us all which allows the heart to beat a little faster when such connections are made. Certainly there are others for whom such notions are beyond their understanding, but then, we should find a difficulty in seeing the magic in trainspotting....!!!

      It seems strange to us to think that the way in which our pictures are hung is in a 'British Style' for we, quite naturally perhaps, know of no other. You may notice from the image in our sidebar that the works are advancing upwards as time goes on. The ceiling will be, of course, an end stop....unless we can find an inexpensive Michelangelo!!!

      Delete
  66. Rats!!! I wasn't finished with my comment and pressed the wrong button. Well.... I can't remember how much I'd written (heeeheeeheee) - probably enough! =D

    Therefore, nothing would be left to say but...

    Love to you both!

    er,

    Katy xxo =]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And, all we have left to say is that our dinner party would be complete if only you were there too. We shall raise a glass to you, of that there is no doubt......and, will your ears be burning!!!!

      Delete
  67. It all sounds so exciting Jane and Lance. Friends from different countries around the dinning table . A late night "sou a re " !! and lots to chat about. A few glasses of excellent wine , talking about putting the world to rights,lots of fun.
    Your painting of the church also a talking point. How fantastic to be able to date it back so far.
    Your wall is full of lovely photos and artwork.
    We learn all the time from blogging and life itself.. I never knew that The Empress Eugenie was exiled to Britain and lived in England. Another blog perhaps!
    wishing you both a wonderful week.
    val xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is nothing, Val, that we enjoy more than to share the company of friends in lively conversation at the dining table. It is, for us, one of the best things that life can offer.

      We were, of course, delighted to be able to find out more about our small painting and it would be absolutely perfect to be able to seek out Toft Church one day and see it for ourselves.

      Hoping that your week is going well too!

      Delete
  68. Dear Jane and Lance,
    please excuse me for writing so late; we had guests too, but though highly entertaining not an international mixture as yours were - you certainly had an interesting meeting!
    The painting of the church looks cute - and fits well into 'a wall of pictures'. To find out informations step by step is intriguing and part of the (hunting)game.
    And why not using E.M.Forsters epigraph to Howards End?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our dinner party is this coming Saturday, so we are enjoying exciting days of planning this week. Timea, our cook, is poring over her receipts in readiness!

      Our intention is to cover the walls of the Drawing Room with pictures but this is taking quite a time. Still, as you say, the fun is in the hunting out of suitable quarry!

      E. M. Forster is a favourite novelist of ours and Howards End continues to delight us no matter how many times we revisit it.

      Delete
  69. I'm sure your Dutch friends will have "een fantastisch verblijf" with you :-) and enjoy your dinner party I suspect it will be full of warmth, good food & great conversation.
    Never knew Empress Eugenie was exiled to the UK -- a great learning place the blogsphere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have alarmed us with the Dutch! Is it too late, do you think, to take a crash course and learn the basics before Saturday evening in order to impress with our fluency in a variety of Modern Languages?!! Could you fly over and assist?

      Yes, the blogosphere is a great place to learn.

      Delete
  70. Saturday’s dinner party sounds exciting, with such a range of guests. Here in Lanzarote we look forward to friends visiting their own holiday homes here this weekend, for a few days. No Dutch, Hungarian, Poles or Croats, but there will be Irish, English, Scottish and Canarians. Next week, our daughter will be here, and that’s a connection we very much look forward to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But all of this sounds to be very good indeed, Marilyn, and you clearly do have a good mix yourselves in Lanzarote. We imagine that you are really looking forward to the arrival of your daughter. Have fun.

      Delete
  71. Hi Jane and Lance,

    I loved your comments on connecting. I'm a firm believer that everything and everyone are connected in some way. It doesn't matter where you come from people all want to feel they belong and matter and fit in somewhere. I do hope you all have a fantastic evening with delicious food, good wine and excellent company and conversation. I'm feeling envious now, I would love to be there xx By the way, I love your wall of pictures, lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is indeed strange but true, as you say here, Joanna, the way so very many things in life connect and often in the oddest of ways. Belonging is, we feel, a very basic human requirement, and a totally understandable one.

      We are, indeed, much looking forward hugely to the arrival of our friends.

      Delete
  72. I was fascintated that one of your parents "met" Empress Eugenie. The Empress' connection to 2012 perhaps.The ring reminded me that Australian soldiers in WW1, gave Ypres the nickname of Wipers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We had not heard of 'Wipers', now we shall for ever refer to our ring in this way!

      Yes, one of our mothers was given a school prize by Empress Eugenie whilst the Empress was living in exile in England at the time and,no doubt, was looked upon as a 'celebrity' of the day!!

      Delete
  73. Well, dear friends, I believe it is the connections that bring meaning to it all....
    And how exciting to be able to spend an evening with such an international group...oh, to be a fly on the wall (so to speak, of course)... ;) Wishing you a most glorious evening, full of laughter and rich conversation...
    I love your art wall, it is beautiful!
    Thank you so much for your heartwarming message...I do feel very blessed to have this "connection" with you.
    Love and blessings,
    - Irina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We too, Irina, find enormous support and friendship through the connections we make with you and so many other bloggers. It is so strange how even in this virtual world of the Blogosphere one can feel very real empathy with so many others.

      We are delighted that you like the 'art wall' and only wish that you could also be present at the dinner table, for that would add a further international dimension!!

      Delete
  74. Nicely hung, your pictures. My husband would love that - he deplores how I just bang a nail into the wall, willy nilly, and hang things haphazardly. You should see him set to with ruler and spirit level and a planned arrangement. We are like chalk and cheese.

    Hope your dinner party is a roaring success...bound to be. I rather fancy being a fly on the wall chez toi, on Saturday. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, yes, we should certainly be at one with your husband over the hanging of pictures. In more complex arrangements, the works are laid on the floor first to be sure that the spacings and levels are just right before we approach the vertical!!

      Thank you for the good wishes about the dinner party. We are beyond excited already so goodness knows what state we shall be in by Saturday. In the meantime, Timea has her head buried in cookbooks!!

      Delete
  75. I'm another who treats the hanging of pictures as an art. I have what my husband calls s 'spirit level' eye ... he finds it most annoying. But perhaps you share my inability to live with anything that's not hung straight? We dabble in collecting prints, in a very small way. I would have told you we have one of a pretty street in Budapest, but someone recently identified it as Krakow. Does that count as a connection? I do hope so ;D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, Annie, we are most definitely of like minds when it comes to hanging pictures....measuring, eyeing up, levelling and permanently adjusting....that is our way of doing things too!

      And, how strange that you should mention Krakow since not only is this the home town of our Polish guest on Saturday but is also our destination, together with our Hungarian friends, for a short holiday in July. Connections, connections, connections!!!

      Delete
  76. Dear Jane and Lance,

    What a marvelous post, it is truly amazing how we “connect’ with people, places and objects and you have so eloquently described the phenomenon.

    How resourceful and astute the pair of you have been in ascertaining a reasonably accurate dating of your lovely watercolor. Should I every have the good fortune to acquire a like piece of art work I may just burden you with a request on dating it. Hmm, this may require you to hang a little plaque over the door, “Hattatt Fine Art Historical Investigations”.

    Finally, should I ever find myself in attendance at a lavish dinner party I would regale the assemblage with, as I would preface my story a falsehood of a tell, about a certain international pair of cat burglars who when not plundering the great collects of objet d’art, would amuse themselves with the absconding with flatware from hotels. Then close with, “truly a fancifully tell I’m sure”. And then sit and watch as eyes glance at silverware then to the hosts and then back to silverware again. I most entreating thought.

    My dears, thank you again for another wonderful and dream inspiring post, please have a most wonderful and beautiful day. – gary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest, dearest Gary you are too kind about our watercolour as we well know that you have the most wonderful artistic eye and art works for which we sincerely hope that the Fox Paw Gallery Room will be a reality one day. However, should you need our 'detective' skills, we shall be more than happy to come and look at your works at very close quarters and arrange, possibly having first shipped them to Budapest,for dating!!!!!!

      And, if only you were closer to join us on Saturday, how thrilled we would be. Well, having said that, there is still time.....only one, or two, well, at the most three flights separate us!!! The dinner party may not be lavish, but we are absolutely sure that we should have such fun together and fanciful tales would just be the start of it!!!

      Thank you so much, as always, for your most kind and generous comment. Hoping the sun is shining on your piece of paradise at Fox Paw Lodge.

      Delete
  77. Dear Jane and Lance,

    What delightful heirlooms you have collected, each with a story. The mystery and intrigue of past generations has been well-researched by you two. Reaching to an artist of more than a century ago gives me a thrill.

    The story of the ring could be the start of a novel. I have tried to gather all the old stories from my family to pass down to children and their children, leaving a legacy of family history and relevance. As I get older I promise not to tell them over and over again as I remember my grandmother doing. I guess that I will have to make an electronic spreadsheet to keep up with the number of times each story has been told and to whom (really just kidding here!).

    Your stori and "artifacts" are all the more delightful as you have them wrapped in the place of Budapest!

    Bises,
    Genie

    ReplyDelete
  78. Hi Jane and Lance,

    Sounds like you have some wonderful possessions! That watercolour is really lovely. I think it's fabulous that you were able to make the connection and discover where the actual church is located. I always think it's nice to have a story to go with a picture.

    Hope you a great weekend with all your European friends!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do so agree, Clare, that if it is possible to attach a 'story' to a picture, then it really does make it that much more interesting. One day we shall hope to visit Toft and see the church for ourselves.

      Delete
  79. Hey Jane and hey Lance,
    You can relax now. Yes indeed, I've finally arrived to leave you yet another one of my much sought after and indeed, cherished musings.
    You certainly kept us in the frame with this one. I shifted a series of paintings to other locations in my home. Now, I truly feel my 'art's in the right place'.
    That last painting is most intriguing. And I wouldn't think of it as being "invalid". It seems quite valid to me.
    And thus, dearest Gary now leaves your wondrous site to spread further joy and goodwill within the great blogging community.
    Take care and smile.
    Gary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As always, Gary, not only do we welcome your comment, eagerly, of course, awaited, but are as ever amused and entertained by it, not least the extended metaphor where we 'hang' on every word.

      Delete
  80. A fascinating connection of art! I love the likes of yours myself and my walls prove it, I dont think I have a single place left for another frame, which I know I will have more of. :)
    Your little country church is fascinating, it made me think right away to Wordsworth, somehow, a poem is so fitting for this piece!
    I would love to see your ring, it sounds jampacked with history!
    As for our dear European unity, you hit the nail on the head. We'll all be watching, I think, and connecting at heart!

    Hugs,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like you, Kasia, we enjoy collecting pictures when we see something which we like at an affordable price. But, as you probably find, when a new one is acquired it generally results in some kind of rearrangement.

      The ring is rather fine but, alas, we do not really have much of its history - simply inherited from grandparents.

      Delete
  81. Hello Jane and Lance

    It is fun: the way one thing leads to another. I am rather fond of doing a little detective work on the bits and pieces I come across in antique shops and while trying to make connections, new fields of interest suddenly open-up and the internet makes it all so much easier.

    Anna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do so agree, Anna, that when it comes to all forms of research the internet has revolutionised life and so much information is readily available at the click of a button. But, as you say, one thing leads to another and then.....!!

      Delete
  82. Amazing you found the location of the church and can date it as well, too bad you don't know the invalids name, kind of sad really, but humble too. The painting has a nice frame as well. They all look great grouped on the wall, there is a real art to groups such as those you've shown

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we too thought that there was something rather humbling about someone able to paint that well and yet who felt no necessity to leave his or her name. We kept the frame we bought it in as we felt that it was completely suitable and we like the way it is slightly distressed though age.

      Delete
  83. Darn, I think my comment was lost, I must remember to be signed into google before I comment. How amazing you could locate the church and date the painting, it has a nice frame too; sad you don't know the name of the invalid, too humble to sign their name. The grouping on the wall looks great have a great visit with your friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have not deleted this second comment simply to demonstrate, Linda, that just occasionally we all do have the power to outwit Google. But not often we fear!

      Delete
  84. Loved your splendid connections......
    EM Forster did get it right in so many ways. My mother found his books dull because the people 'were so much like us' ---fine literary critic as she was.
    Yes, family treasures are a delight.
    We have a medal somewhere that is engraved "GOOD LUCK TO THE LOWESTOFT FISHERIES"
    hm.............
    And I have never been to Budapest.
    I do think you'd love New York.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Possibly the appeal to us of Forster's novels is the fact that one may easily and readily identify with the characters, something your mother felt to be somewhat tiresome. What, we wonder, did she feel about Henry James, another writer of much the same period who we also greatly admire?

      Now, Elizabeth, your 'Lowestoft Fisheries' medal - something we could all wish for!!!

      And we, as you know, have never been to New York but the prospect excites us enormously. Budapest, for our part, is well worth a whirl!

      Delete
  85. It looks like you have some interesting paintings hanging in your home. When we look at property I always view it with a view as to where will we be able to hang certain favourite paintings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We always feel that people's pictures speak volumes. Now, having said that we are not at all sure what the selection shown in this post says of us. Better not to go there!!

      Delete
  86. Hello Jane and Lance! What a lovely treasure you have there. I love such frames, those steeped in history and legends. Your accounts of the connections fascinate me to no end and I would love to see that ring some day, even though it'll be just in cyberspace!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like you, Suman, we so enjoy all aspects of history and are always pleased when some item or other in one's possession has its own story to be unearthed. Maybe the ring will feature one day!!

      Delete
  87. A fabulous/intriguing/priceless collection of art in your lovely drawing room, Jane and Lance. A huge joy visiting your fascinating site with stunning images. Enjoy ... your plans/guests sound delightful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is so very kind of you, Joey, but we do assure you that there is nothing priceless about any of it!

      We are now very excited about the arrival of our Dutch friends, early tomorrow morning, and have had fun planning the weekend, including the dinner party on Saturday night.

      Delete
  88. Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod oder Gloomy Sunday
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0155722/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How really thoughtful of you. Thank you so much.

      Delete
  89. Hello Jane and Lance ~ That is some excellent sleuthing to date your painting within a three year window! We have two art historians in the family and they have similar stories...I find each discovery fascinating!

    Have a wonderful visit with your friends! Be merry and solve the problems of the world!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How wonderful to have Art historians in your family with all their fascinating insights that they will be able to give. In another life, that might well have been chosen career paths for us, but for now we content ourselves with being amateur detectives!!!

      Delete
  90. Hi!

    I greatly appreciate works of art especially paintings.

    I'm sure that this meeting with friends of various nationalities will be very interesting. I wish you a nice dinner.

    Kisses from Rio de Janeiro

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are delighted that you like the art work. We cannot think of a room being furnished without it.

      Thank you for your kind wishes, we are certain that we shall all enjoy a wonderful time together and are looking forward to it very much indeed.

      Delete
  91. Long live all the connections - be they cultural, economic and political. Let no man - and certainly no financial speculator - break them apart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alan, these are very much sentiments after our own hearts. With so much bad news about the European Union it is easy to be cynical about it all but when one sees international friendships breaking down the borders of countries, then that really is a very special thing in our eyes!

      Delete
  92. Greetings Jane and Lance,

    It does appear that my comment made on the 30th from 32,000 feet above the midwest USA was lost in cyberspace...

    Your collection of art is fascinating regardless of the "nationality" of its wall arrangement - hah! I think that reading your followers' comments is part of the delight in visiting with you here.

    What great detectives you are to pinpoint the place and date of your self-defacing artist with his poignant artist's signature. Hearing the story about the amazing ring with its mystery and intrigue just compels me to talk to my parents, capturing all the tales.

    I believe that EMF would forgive your use of his words as it is the connection with the past, with other cultures, with other ideas, with people across the globe that expands our enjoyment, knowledge, and enrichment. I only hope that we can pass the creative treasures and the stories to the next generation.

    May you both have a very "connected" weekend with friends.

    Bises,
    Genie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, dear, Genie, comments disappear the whole time with us too. Sometimes just swallowed whole and at other times making a reappearance some hours or days later. What does Blogger do with them, we ask. Perhaps there is a whole room of lost comments in Blogger headquarters and Blogworkers beaver away trying to match them with their rightful owners?!!!

      We do often regret that we did not ask enough of people at certain times in our lives for as one does get older one does value these first hand life experiences that will never be repeated in one's own lifetime. So yes, capture all those tales from your parents and treasure them!

      We do love the way in which our lives cross the paths of others from so many different backgrounds and cultures here in Hungary. Sometimes it can lead to difficulties and misunderstandings, but, without a doubt, our lives are very much the richer for these encounters and friendships.

      Delete
  93. How I wish to be at that dinner table! You are very interesting and knowledgable people. Your blog posts are always such an education for me. Enjoy your time with your friends. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are delighted that you find interest in what we write. It is now Saturday morning and it is so exciting thinking of the evening ahead. The pudding is done, the drink at the ready.......the rest must take care of itself!

      Delete
  94. Well, go and stick your head in your work and you will miss a thing or two - can't believe I missed this but can still send wishes that you make connections with your visiting friends and create many wonderful memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Helen, thank you so much for your kind wishes. If only you could be there too....fixing the Martinis ......and then we should all be sure to miss a thing or two!!!!

      Delete
  95. I love to think that the act of creating this little painting gave "the invalid" some modicum of comfort. It's a gem...all the more so for the qualified anonymity of its author.
    I am moved and delighted by it. --ERS
    PS I, too, have been having some blogger comment posting issues of late. The one I just wrote to you that preceded this one evaporated. Grrrr.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We all seem to have been having Blogger comment issues, but we are delighted that this one made it through the ether!

      We are so pleased that you like the picture, we thought that it was charming too. As you say, the self effacing nature of the artist signature makes it even more delightful.

      Delete
  96. Dear Jane and Lance - only connect...connections are wonderful, especially those that are by divine intervention. Which is to say, all of mine, I truly believe. Hope your time with visiting friends is full of fabulous memories in the making; God bless you all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One cannot help but feel at times that there is a hand mightier than human ones alone which guides and makes paths interconnect. And, on occasions, such as the time when our paths crossed,one really does feel that one's life has been made the richer for it.

      Hoping that you are well.Take the greatest care!

      Delete
  97. What a beautiful painting. I do enjoy lovely art like this pastoral looking church. Thank you so much for sharing a little bit of your world with us!

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are warmly welcomed and appreciated. We shall reply to each one individually since we value establishing a dialogue. However, we do not publish anonymous comments.

PLEASE NOTE: On occasion when comments are in excess of 200, then it is necessary to click on 'Load More' to view all comments that have been left.