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...

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 (, 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- 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


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, 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.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

a day in the life...

a bit dark and rainy for the last two days, but warm - upto 20 during the day - it was 30 earlier in the week, when short-term wwoofer Miki Szilárd did lots of good works, did not let me do any dishes, alltogether lovely - 34 years old (like some other people) and our first Swiss, speaking good english with a delightful french accent. Even daddy liked him and told him he can come back. and was more left wing than us!! A rare occurrence. Oh, before I forget, Szondzs, we decided to stay home for New Years, to let you be for a few weeks... and the local do wasn't too bad last year. Have I mentioned, that Erika was duly re-elected 110:53 very good turnout us Kiskassa democrats... collected about a kilo figs, (got wet because the trees are junglish and were wet from rain) half kilo paprikas and 3 raspberries this morning... 23rd will be a 4 day weekend here, two sheep will make it to the freezer. probably into Erzsi's as this one is full. The one in the other house broke down a few months ago poor thing, it was a good sweedish make must have been at least 40 years old, bought it re-conditioned when in Hallcroft Gardens. taking cats to Siklós vet second shot of inocs this evening. If we can catch them. Very good hunters, they are now all over the place. Cirmi will be really large. thinking about leaving them out at night, they not keen coming in, even around midnight, they come in for a cuddle, sniff the food and off they shoot if we don't close the door quick enough.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

october raspberries extra

here is the evidence, going on the breakfast porridge to accompany the tablets...

Friday, October 03, 2014

pick of the day

Can those city people identify the three different things I collected a couple of minutes ago? Otherwise see duck family, goose nest and pumpkin still-life. I have a bad cold, we had to call of our trip, sadly.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

midweek extra

The other day we were surprised, with the missing muscovy, walking about proudly with 7 newish duckling following in line!! It seems, there was a secret laying and sitting location - good enough to be hidden from us and from the foxes. Also discovered in the sheep pen a neat goose nest with two giant eggs in it. So how come the sheep haven't stepped in it?? Alan now made a little frame around it, so this cannot happen in the future either, we have less sheep to do any trampling, as big mummy sheep and the bigger of the now adut lamb, gone visiting the daddy sheep in Újpetre.It is very late in the year for laying eggs, if a goose don't sit on them in a week, we have to eat all those eggs... Also we have little rabbit escapades, it turns out, it is a design-fault in this locally supplied special rabbit cage. Kittens having a good time giving them a chase at times - they are mostly on the front lawn, very idyllic scene... we catch them periodically with Lois's long serving Miscellaneous Animal Catcher and Holder Device (Macho for short) There was the village meeting last night - Erika a nicely and cleverly screened a little docu about her period as mayor - lots of good stuff happened in spite of the dire economic climate and special screwing of little powerless, poor villages. (I listed most of them in the blog). Afterwards nobody contributed, asked, moaned!! They were sitting there like schoolchildren in front of a frightening teacher! I think this is good for Erika - nobody could find anything to pick on her (in public at least) The one opposition candidate Gyuszi, the shopkeepers' husband, truckdriver and shopworker a few days a week - sat there like the others not saying a dickybird. He is a kind, popular man, but totally unsuitable for the job, I have no idea why he is standing, never mind. Hopefully, the villagers won't be stupid enough to vote for him (except his fairly large circle of relatives) Election on the 12th, watch this space. There are a better selection of candidates for rep than last time, even if yours truly is not standing...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

more activities

Erzsi is ok, it was basically a serious panic attack, she is back to what counts as normal for her presently. The brigade also re-materialised, when the rains stopped and did some cleaning, if not a lot, meanwhile there might have been trouble between them and the village, the mayor is coming when they get back today, we ask them to leave most probably. Other - I am sending a few updates about some of present live-stock. The first batch of rabbits qualified for the freezer status yesterday. Second just getting weaned. Stopped picking raspberries, only the unripe ones are ok now, The black reddishes are the new stars, cooked them into veg curry, very nice.Also, of course, for salad, grated with my version of kefir-saladcream. JUtka was in the region with friends, we visited where they stayed in Helesfa, nice walk, chat. Next day we joined them in Pécs -made it after 9 years into the mining museum, enjoyed it, though wasn't as scary as Lois made me believe. Then harvest festival this weekend - managed to miss last nights cabbage-bean meal - still recovering from Barna's chestnut pancakes; did smell nice... todays pensioners' day program and meal really did it for the weekend... though tomorrow getting corn from the co-op, Tuesday village meeting - the last one of the present "administration' of which I was proud elected representative - but that was it, got the t-shirt, I am not standing again. Wednesday we are going to the Opera House to see a special dance-festival evening of 3 first class ballet groups. Thursday we're supposed to be off to Budapest - I am due a weekend with the girls, Alan will be looked after by Jutka. it some how accelerated lately... Photos show the progress of the tangerine-tree, some of the above happenings, the green stuff still growing, the harvest march which included some wedding dress exhibits and Béla, who helped with the serving at the old people do.