Just another Magura sunset

One of the things I love about being here is the clouds. Are you a cloud-watcher too? The sort of person who looks for shapes in the clouds, luxuriates in the colours and textures, is happy leaning on a fence and watching for ages? What do you see in tonight’s offering?

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Icy white Carpathian January

Forget frost – this is the real Transylvanian, Carpathian, Central European start to the New Year… Hard winter, knee deep powder, frozen pipes, icy fingers, cats by the fire, sun making diamond dust of the snow… Happy New Frozen Year!

Launch date for my new book

Book cover, Din Liverpool in Carpati, Arabella McIntyre-Brown, TransilvaniaPut the date in your diary! Gaudeamus Book Fair at Romexpo, Bucharest: Saturday 19 November, at 5pm (1700 hrs) is the moment when my new book is  launched on the world. Come and join us! We have one or two lovely surprises for the launch itself, and of course I’ll be there all day to sign your copies (one for you, lots more for Christmas presents…). Meet some of the people from the book and sample a taste of Magura’s English corner.

The book is available from the start of Gaudeamus, which runs from 16-20 November, so if you can’t get there on the Saturday, don’t worry – the book will be waiting for you. I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

A day out from Magura

Our nearest city is Brasov – the most beautiful city in Romania, in my opinion. Medieval bastions, cobbled streets, elegant 18th and 19th century civic buildings and houses, stunning churches, parks and gardens, public squares, and the citadel. All set against the green darkness of Mount Tâmpa and the surrounding forest and hills.

Here are some things to do in your day out Brasov, before coming home to Magura for your delicious countryside dinner.

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Bliss to be warm

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After weeks of searching for firewood, I have enough to see me through till the New Year, at least. All too many people in rural Romania are struggling to find firewood this autumn, and those that find it have to pay twice or three times the normal price. It’s a scandal of old-fashioned proportions, with poor forestry management and pathetic governance of illegal logging.

So I’m extremely grateful, in this chilly start to autumn, that my neighbours have come to my rescue and found me a stock of logs for the winter. Tonight I’ve been cosying up to my soba and basking in the gentle warmth of a wood fire.

Shot across the bows

We’ve been warned! Yesterday we had our first taste of snow – wet and transient at village level, it left a dusting of powder on the higher forest slopes.

Magura, autumn colours, first snow, Transylvania

The first dusting of snow yesterday, above the first turning leaves

This morning, there was a proper covering of white ice on the mountain ridge and its rocky sides – hidden by cloud yesterday – but by the afternoon a warm sun had melted most of the snow. Bucegi was better covered, but still, not quite winter. But it’s coming!

Does the cover tell the story?

Din Liverpool în Carpati

Book cover, Din Liverpool in Carpati, Arabella McIntyre-Brown, Transilvania

So here it is – the book cover! Something a little different from the usual cover design in Romania? A huge thank you to Andra Penescu for such a bright and cheery statement of the book’s content.

I’m working on the back cover blurb, with the help of all your valuable feedback, so soon you’ll have both sides of the argument…

For now – what do you think, book clan? Imagine the book sitting on a shelf amongst other titles – would this cover make you curious enough to pick it up?

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