Tolstoy, love letters, Mondays

He’s butting in on my thinking and doing today. I should be focussing on Latin America.

Truth is, after a long weekend of brain work, I just want to watch Dr Zhivago ( I know – not Tolstoy, but YKWIM) because there’s a cold, icy, Baltic wind and a very tiny bit of snow.

I managed to find Love Letters of Great Men Vol. 1 (pub SoHo Books, USA) which Carrie reads from, to Big in the first S&TC film. That lovely line of Beethoven’s at the end of his letter – ever thine, ever mine, ever ours  – always stays with me.

Here’s a letter by Tolstoy from the collection:

I already love in you your beauty, but I am only beginning to love in you that which is eternal and ever precious -your heart, your soul. Beauty one could get to know and fall in love with in one hour and cease to love it as speedily; but the soul one must learn to know. Believe me, nothing on earth is given without labour, even love, the most beautiful and natural of feelings.  To his fiancée, Valeria Arsenev.

If you can’t find the words…


War, Peace, Salami, Bread

I recommend reading and following Shaindel and George and you will find out why I have put them together with the book about peace (also worthy of a read). Please explore.

George’s tales of Langoustine are an absolute delight – witty and beautifully written thoughts and noodlings. George left Hungary in the 1950’s with his family and resides in the UK, writing and translating. He is currently working on a book about his mother who survived a concentration camp in the Second World War.

Shaindel’s book is a collection of poetry based on survivor children’s drawings about the wars they were subjected to. It also includes further poetry about war in its many contexts. Thoughtful, clever and touching. Delivered with dignity. Shaindel is a professor of English in the USA.

The short pocket book on Peace Studies is ideal if a quick look in to the subject is all you would like. It’s quick and easy to flick through.









I have also indulged in Hungarian salamis, Ukrainian (Kolos Bakery, Bradford) rye bread, and poppy seed bread (Hungarian) having finally located the deli in town which has these fine products.

A long chat was had about Slavia Stores and Krakus jams, long gone now. It would have been a perfect slavic shopping experience had there been some of their plum spread or rose hip jam. Oh and full fat cream cheese – the real stuff – that too is no longer around. Hungarian salami stands between me and vegetarianism! Thankfully it is rare and costly!

After some experimenting I can now make my own rye and caraway bread. Perhaps I will have to try making plum spread too.