My mother and father gave me this oil painting for my 50th birthday. It was by an Edinburgh artist, Robert Anderson and painted in the last years of his life (he died in 1885). The painting has been in our family for as long as anybody alive can recall.
I have been reading ‘Offshore’ by Penelope Fitzgerald (a favourite writer of mine) and came across this passage. As I read it, what I found myself ‘seeing’ was the painting that my parents had given me. I am very fortunate to share thoughts and feelings with more than a few ‘distant correspondents’: