Ecofarmer

re-settled in Hungary from Rochdale, Lancs, England, and into a little village, doing a bit of greenish farming hoping for a quiet life... but stuff just happens...

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

celebrations

(last Saturdays) Alan will be home alone from 4, as this year the women's they do is exclusive and quizless, which makes it less tedious, so I'll show my face. Besides, we get flowers!! (sort of compensation in ex-soc countries for not being equal...) I hope Erzsi comes down, too; she's feeling better and she's hardly ever goes anywhere. If it is this nice tomorrow, we might go the Pécs market, see how we feel. (later: she didn't come, but I managed to smuggle the flowers for her. There was a whole meal (sans cakes) and loads of good Villány wine and some rubbish about the history of international women's day -well the history wasn't too bad, but the report on how everything is ok, and sort of making out as if it was Mother's day versionB that was annoying). Alan's out digging and such all day, even when he says. is his day off. No cooking today, tons left of chard mulligatory soup, greek giant beans, vadas-sort-of rabbit and a little bit of egg-spagetti to soak up all that juice. No cake, though I have the horrible feeling we might get some at the women's thing. I have good kindle (Richard Ford: Canada) good book (Jókai: Egy az isten} loads of xwords and sometimes skeptic messing and ok, a tad annoying weekend Népszabadság. I might even walk the sheep family on the top of the sunny hill like yesterday. I might make a panoramic photo if I remember to take the camera

(today) Alan is helping Erzsi to get her 20 factory rescue hens this morning and she is a bit overexcited. Nice day. Been to Siklós yesterday to get rabbit medicine (mummy rabbit has some nasty stuff in ears) on The Day (42nd) we had a pleasant afternoon in Villany making it a lobster-less but very nice celebration, including sitting outside with our latte, warmed by the sunshine. Unfortunately the traffic doesn't seem to use the alternate route around the wine-cellar main street, which the rogue crew that wrecked our house were building. There are new posh establishments that need trying out "Halasi" had rakottkrumpli on the otherwise select menu We sat at their comfy chairs and did not need the thoughtfully provided blankets. We went in to our usual ones for wine and strudels and had nice chats with the locals. About kids living abroad, and how useful the internet/skype is. my panoramic views need sticking together. It is pretty, honest, even with its after-winter grayness.

roll on the spring!! (forgot to press publish on this from a few weeks ago?)


whatever the thermometer says!! We got the first of this years lambs, so there! To our wonderful Moxie, not three this time, so they are huge and beautiful, and boys I'm afraid, say no more, wink, wink. Crocuses are out in a shy sort of way, tulips just show lots of healthy leaves. The orange tree (inside) that was a gift from the bears has fairly continuously for the last few weeks dinky white flowers that smell amazing. Can't see any small oranges - maybe for that it needs a bee or two? Wonder hens - these are self raised - have been laying all through the winter and often 8-10 per day, we have to think about pickling eggs. Though with Easter egg collection coming, I'll be able to give away a few trayful. Now getting ready for table-tennis, as a compromise, Monday and Thursday morning is ours in the fitness room - which is not optimum, as often we are not here at this very time, but better than nothing. The future of the village unemployed looks bad - they cut the number of the communal workers drastically - you know, the election year is over - only 8 young and 3 adult starts this March; there were 23 places last year. There is a wooden outside scheme going to give work and a bit of training - there are benches and pick-nick tables springing up all over the public places. We were thinking of ordering some of these sturdy furniture, if the burocracy allows such a thing. The big news: Sharon and Marci are coming from far away, cold Toronto at Easter - which is so near! But before that we are off to Milnrow, to have a quiet celebration of dad's 90th, he wants the big deal in the summer.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

busó carnevals warning

we retraced the walk on the "Mohács island" that is not an island, remember the mosquitoes? Well, none of them this time, just general dilapidation of all those holiday homes on the Danube bank. still enjoyed the ferryboat (free for Alan!) the drink in the little also seen-better-days canteen and landlady still on the other side of the river. Lovely sunny if at time chilly days, the busó festival was mad and noisy, the little hotel comfy enough (and should be for the rather large seasonal price, who cares) hope to put fotos on the blog one of these days. If new laptop cooperates. just back home, Alan is out chasing sheep that fancied the greener grass on the path. xxx

(Some history as requested) The monument on the way to Szigetvar is of the sultan Suliman, the Magnificant about the greatest of Turkey. And the one he'd overcome, that of Zrinyi Miklós (who famously "run out" of his Szigetvar and got heroically slaughtered rather than giving up, like a realistic person would) He, like most Hungarian heroes in fact was of a different ethnic origin - croatian. The only real ethnic hungarians are the ones the Austrians claim their own, like Liszt Ferenc. Going on to kifli, it is actually comes from a German word, kiffel or some such, so it was probably Viennese origin as you said, as the turks were beaten back from there successfully. Not like the Hungarians, who as you know, couldn't get themselves together at and after the catastrophic defeat at Mohács. Also the Mohács "busójárás" festival/carneval was started by the Sokac people (type of Croat) who were settled around Mohács in the 17hundreds, quite a bit after the turks gone - probably brought it with them rather than inventing it. So again, it was not heroic hungarians frightening the turks away with their satanic masks... still, it is very good fun. I bet they'll stay friends with you, like everyone tends to who spends even a few hours with you!! Even if you are basically a curmudgeon, together with my awful husband, who is doing his morning round outside in the unseasonal beautiful not even cold sunshine. He dug up the garden with his little machine that started easily this year, and I can see he is bursting with the pleasure of doing some onion planting today... the pigeons are probably eyeing his effore twith interest. We got a really noisy cockerel, well, we have two, but the boss is obviously the noisy one. often starts 4am - even did it in the middle of winter when the sun was at least 3 hours away yet dammit. It's too beautiful creature and seems appreciated by the hens, otherwise it would be for the pot. ps. never believe anything of Alan stories, you should know that by now!! A few Budapest/Kassa/Venice fotos got mixed in the Mohács ones just to confuse you.

Sunday, February 08, 2015


made it into February. Ping-pong crisis resolved with a compromise; monday and thursday mornings the place will be opened, we'll see. Cannot check it out till Thursday, we'll have busy times coming. We have two appointments in the Siklós hospital, one for my heart - just to make sure it's doing a proper enough job - and Alan's gallbladder, which sometimes is bothersome. Thursday evening is puppet theatre time (http://www.markuszinhaz.hu/), we found them one day by accident, after re-discovering the Apollo movie-cafe, in an odd little shop, and invited in by the spectacular moustached owner, who told us about this next for-adults performance to do with a Rejtő novel, and apparently lucky, as there is only room for 40. And for sunday 15th we booked two posh hotel days for Buso festival in Mohacs, which Alan has never seen. The sun is shining as I type on the old keyboard which goes with our New Laptop we getting through the usual not-quite-as-it-was hiccups - Marc barc I suppose the Hungarian character arrangement will have to wait - meanwhile I have to toggle and use the new keyboard for one and t'old for the other when writing longer or official texts. Otherwise it is marvellous - much quieter than the old box, which the Siklos people refused to put together again, which is sad, because it worked if Alan kicked it in a the friendly way. Temperature around zero. silly racka - the one with the twirly horn - gone to freezer - no kids for 2 years and hurting other sheep and dangerous for hopefully expected new arrivals. Lots of big rabbits gone to the same resting place I'm afraid. Yum-yum. got fotos - showing this year's xmas tree facing the outside world, winter raspberry and grapewine corner, the new laptop setup, and Bears! The orange-tree is flowering!!! I forgot to mention in the last blog - after long years we met up in Budapest with Julianna and Roy - very pleasant hours spent partly in Alan's fav cafe and lunching in their fav eatingplace, very reasonable and very nice food, name escapes me as per usual, near Corvin on Blaha Lujza.

Friday, January 30, 2015

still here...


longest blog hiatus for a while for no apparent reason - the usual existential crisis (being lazy)? anyway, as per occasional routine, I copy here my this morning's e-mail to Lois. all sounds very traumatic - puts into perspective my annoyance with the Mayor Erika, who decided that it was too much to ask to use the village table-tennis facility during the day when nobody else is interested. In the evenings The Youth are there with very loud crap so called music etc. They do want the place for themselves, which is fair enough, as nobody but us wants the damn table. Her "I got the power" tendency reclaimed her again - I hoped she got over it, but no. Also, I get a bloody e-mail from good eva, claiming that god wants hungary to become like it was a very long time ago, because look (map was attached) a temperature pattern shows so, if you use your very biased imagination. So I had to tell her, that I do not want to occupy Croatia I have the feeling I have the Croatians on my side in this, unusually united. I do not want war and camps, like all those maniac old-fascists who send such e-mails. Hungary is bigger than a dozen European countries, who used to be much mightier in their particular allegedly glorious past, e.g. Denmark. We have enough problems with the place with the present boarders. We already been in two horrendous wars, and lost, about time to learn from this part of history dammit. ah, well, at least the Greeks seem to be trying something, good luck to them, but I am losing all my optimism concerning the intelligence and future of mankind. the farm is ok, lodgers happy, racka is to go to freezer this weekend before it can do harm to expected new lambs, hens are laying like there is no winter - which there isn't a lot of, no seasonally cold days since the beginning of the month. Our stay in Budapest was very pleasant indeed, Jutka's place is getting very comfy, kids stood the birthday dinner in Szép Ilona, again, a very joyful evening. Seen to movies - Pride and Birdman, good stuff. more health checks next week, hippo also getting a go-over by our nice car-fixing Attila in Siklós. Getting new laptop next week, as both, the ancient PC and kifli are on their last heroic days.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

happy new year!!


We had the six monthly heart checkup for Alan in the Heart Centre in Pécs, with the running test, again very satisfactory results, better then last time. no need to go for a year and can stop one of the medicines. We had a celebratory dinner with some prawns on toast for starter - a mistake. Alan was sick as a pig till four am so not a lot of sleep last night, though of course he had a nice slumber now since 4 am (noon now) while I had to feed etc the bloody zoo. Erzsi helped though she had a fall and done her back a bit last night. With all drinkers needing defrosting for the rabbits, and carrying water from the kitchen, as water is switched off in the back so that the pipes won't freeze, and I have no patience with Alan's ingenious waterwheel to get the non-frozen rainwater out - it is a tad tedious. Also my tom is a bit off, too, but for me it means no appetite and a slight nausea/headache. and I have to cook the piece of lamb I got out the freezer and marinated for days. Put it in the slow cooker, hoping we'll be better eventually - well, otherwise I just have to freeze the curry... problems, problems... But otherwise, the holidays were lovely with Szonya and Drew, with only one outing I think to Siklós and Villány. They seem to be happily settled now in the apartment in Budapest, we'll have our first trip up end of next week all being well. The New Year's party was pleasant enough with good food and too much drink and competing fireworks in the middle of the street. Found a beautiful bantam chicken in the chapel next door, put it with the rest, this morning it sat with Bonzo, maybe the others wouldn't let it in with them being a stranger (poultry can be like that...) kind of Bonzo (who's been tied again, he seemed to be actually too warm inside, but when in his favourite place - in the gap front door, he was keep going out to the street - not very far lately, but still a nuisance and danger) to look after it... well - have a nice year, which is only possible if we overlook the reality of an even sadder, badder and madder world... We had the Dutch estate agent around - a nice youthful chap with a geography as well as a law degree and a Hungarian wife - he seems fairly enthusiastic, but don't know if we appeared on his website yet. We are not abating our breaths...

Sunday, December 28, 2014

lazy snowy post-xmas day


Szonya and Alan are scraping/shovelling snow as we speak, though it's still coming down, if not as heavy as this morning. All the xmas days gone pleasantly, the tree is pleasing if smaller than before, lots of good food, all had turned out splendid, except a slight mishap ending with a bit of crunchy mince pies. Fotos - show a happy Bonzo, who was allowed in due to the weather this morning, Alan says he found him under a snowdrift - if so he was pretending, as when I went out he managed to walk-about and eat breakfast perfectly all right. Well, so far he's been behaving well and is happy, which helps us overcome the absence of cats - Folti also disappeared a few days ago, again not turning up for breakfast and no sign whatsoever. Alan is sure these sad disappearances are due to the large owls he's been seeing lately.

Monday, December 22, 2014

seasons greetings


lets get over the bad news, Cirmi disappeared about a week ago now, just failed to turn up for breakfast one day - and that's that. We are a bit upset as it was the personable and intelligent favourite - sorry Folty, you are sort of a normal mischievous cat and so we just can't love you that much... Weather stayed mild, Alan did a lot of cleaning/pruning outside, I attempted a decent xmas cleaning inside. Made the xmas cake, decorated -not the best ever, but passable. Made about 4l mulled wine this evenin, Alan bought tonnes of weird beers. All ready for Szondzs and Drew arriving on xmas eve. We got all the food and drinks - excepts stuff I forgot such as bacon for the cover of the turkey-roast. We cheated and bought one - Erzsi's turned out to be rather small and skinny. However - we will really lord it with some of her quails! We have some ham, too, so we won't go hungry... Hope all the global readership of this blog will have a merry time without such overindulgence that will probably happen in this household... by new year's kidlings are going back to Budapest to enjoy their nice apartment in the very close vicinity of Szimpla. We are going to the local NYE party, like last year, loads of booze, stuffed cabbage and controllable range of music. Hm - is there any point in going on with this blog? Are we petering out?? the picture is not wintery as we had no such thing yet, I probably posted this already - the plants in the kitchen window.

Monday, December 01, 2014

ps december... so what?


just so pictures. Cirmi'll be enormous.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

proper November gloom


no sunshine for 2 days now! Temperature hovering above zero. About the tennants - maybe it'll be ok, Thar the algerian and Budapest wife, Bea. I like Tahar, simple, quiet yet intelligent - in my opinion. Bea is another matter - don't know if I trust her altogether. Too lazy to get an education and opportunist - is my unusually negative opinion - hopefully proven wrong. Tahar probably very proud of her - very pretty in her way and considering not so young (around 40) She was very Catholic and blond when first arrived, then changed into islam - Tahar was into doing the 5 prays/day - but now I don't know, she declared herself proud rightwinger when they were here to settle the contract and the moneys and had a chat. Who knows what she means by that - she is rather ignorant. It is still a mystery how they communicate as she speaks no other language but Hungarian, and Tahar is good at French. English, Dutch and Arab... he is picking up Hungarian, but not that good yet. Anyways, they are keeping the house clean and warm and payed in advance - shaped the inside to Bea's liking - see what happens if they see first month's electric bill. The other thing that is a bit dodgy, that they had fallen out with Mustafa, who as far as I know, selling all his Hungarian companies and properties. When I subtly asked him by e-mail a sort of reference, he said he has nothing to do with the former employee and childhood friend Tahar, (and Bea) which is a tad worrying. Well, it was a favour on our part to start with - they needed accommodation quickly. If there will be anything fishy - they go. I think, considering the price of heating, they could get much cheeper place in Pécs. But Bea works as a nursary assistant in Újpetre at the moment. The garden is getting tidier, Alan cur the grapes and the raspberry, the figs will be done in the spring this time. We still got the useless racka as Erzsi/Tibi had no time to chop it yet, but loads of ducks and extra new-adult cockerels are going to the freezer - well, Erzsi's cause ours are full... Been to see the last Pecs operetta production (Én és a kisöcsém= me and my mate) ok, not as good, bit more irrelevant than the previous ones. Had nice meal in Korhely before the performance with Jenő and Guni, very pleasant. meanwhile - been to a village presentation/lecture about the local (100km from here) facility of burying the secondary radioactive materials produced in the Paks powerstation (also cca 100km) under the only giant enough granite mass in Hungary. Fascinating technology and expense etc. While they do that, the -real- r.active used rods with the zillion half-time, are not transported to Russia since the EU stopped such trains (well the Russians just chucked them in the Bering sea anyways) they were stored in those special swimming pools at Paks, until no more room. Now they are hanging up like maturing ham, circulating cold air around, not good Danube water. But rest easy, there are military airplanes ready to shoot anything that get into its airspace... I've been -so- reassured... Hm - hope prospective hostel and eco-farm buyers are not reading this... probably off to Budapest next weekend to checkout the apartment in Kazinczy and have a few days there for a change. Village xmas tree is up, Pécs is full of the usual kiosks much earlier than usual. I suppose with the dark, foggy and fairly cold surround they are not out of syncr. I made a good lot of decent mull wine.

Friday, November 21, 2014

back


it was a very decent outing - the only worry was having dad been a bit wobbly, ups and downs - like somebody else I shouldn't mention - but he and Muriel are quite well in fact, and we had a nice time. Budapest and London was great, too, Szonya took as to Bloomsbure theatere to a "science show-off" with researchers talking about their subject in a "stand-up" fashion, very entertaining, often funny and on top of all that informative, too. Met some of Szonya's colleagues, nice pubs, food. Wemet the usual friends up North, weather was ok. Back here we found ourselves with new tennants - more about that next time. Just turning winterish now, Alan just put in all the extra curtains and stuffings between the double windows. But had last raspberry still - a very large one, I let Alan have it in the middle of his porridge. A big bawl of paprikas from the greenhouse - most greenish, but a good few proper yellow ones - plus 2/3 bucket of figs - vow. I made my first fig-jam. Erzsi looked after things nicely and even tidied the larder, that vas ready for it. hm - sorry maybe this blogging had it - can't make it more interesting - even though our life still is, honest. the chocolet fudge pudding and the cider were had in the Gallows, very pleasant afternoon with Adele and Andrew. I forgot to mention, that we were spoiled rotten by everyone, starting with Marta and Szonya, and finishing with Judith, who put us up and taxied us all over the place. And it was so lovely to see Evelyn well and beautiful and clever. A new non-taxi taxi compani to remember in Budapest, can be booked on bestroad.hu, ride from Airport half price of the now extraordinarily expencive official lot.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

antique treasure


no, not Alan, but the lamp he found last Sunday walking Pécs market. Man said it was from a synagogue, I think it is small for that, and internet info says was used for sabbath at homes. It is a whale-oil lamp, if you believe the catalogues anyway, he is chuffed. Well, the new season got here, stays around 10C during the day, but dismal rain&wind stopped. Should break wallnuts, hunt down still occuring figs and raspberries, process black reddish (can be used like kohlrabi as well as reddish for salad) and chard still going strong, as is amazingly paprika in the poly-tunnel. but I feel like not doing anything today, got a good book on kindle... fire is going, heating is going, curry in the fridge. I am comfy and I'm fed up with all this produce looking at me accusingly. Next weekend we are off to Budapest and to Milnrow, returning around the 17th nov, if you won't hear from me.