New book about Magura

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My new book, Fericita in Transilvania: drumul din Liverpool in Carpati, will be published by Editura All in mid-November. All about my life in Magura – how and why I came here, and why I’ve stayed – the book tells the story of why an English woman left a world-famous city for a remote mountain village in Romania.

Follow the book blog to find out about the book launch, events, signings, talks, offers, competitions and more.

If you’re searching for the right Christmas present, this might be the solution…

 

 

 

Turning leaves, early frosts

In October 2011 we were sitting in the main square in Sighisoara’s ancient citadel, when we noticed the chestnut tree over our heads. The long drought over summer and a short burst of snow had confused the tree, and amongst the swelling chestnuts and the shrivelled leaves were fresh green leaves and white flowers. The poor tree didn’t know if it was coming or going. Lots more photos of autumn colour in the new gallery

Sibiu, Oct 2011 (in drought)with Sue and Niall

Confused chestnut, Sibiu, Oct 2011 (in drought) 

Two more photo galleries

For those of you who love Magura already, or who are looking for a great village to visit on your next Transylvanian trip, I’ve posted two more photo galleries of images in winter and spring.

Spring fever

Winter in Magura

Do go and have a look! I’ll put up some more photos soon…

 

Wildflower photo gallery

June’s wildflowers, blooming before the solstice, are pictured here in a new photo gallery to capture your heart and bring you to see the botanical treasures of Transylvania. Here are some of my favourites…

Spring weather switchback

 

After a week of solid rain and several weeks of wet, cold weather that has kept the peonies (bujor) in their buds and kept the daffodils out in bloom, we had a glorious weekend of warm, sunny, balmy late Spring gloriousness.

Perfect for a picnic on Sunday…

But this morning, after a beautiful start, the storm has closed in. Thunder is circling the house, the cats are hiding under the sofa, sheep are huddled by the barn door, and chickens have retreated to their shed. But it’s still warm, so the growing seedlings in my veg patch and the newly planted trees around the garden are lapping it all up and putting on new growth like it was going out of fashion.

A charming new-old book

The latest of my finds, The Romanian Furrow is Donald Hall’s delightful tale of life and work among peasant families in Transylvania. Written in 1933, at about the same that Patrick Leigh-Fermor was tramping amongst the castles and manor houses of the Carpathians, Hall was working in the fields alongside his hosts, living a thousand-year-old tradition of the seasons and the cycle of natural life. The book deserves to be better known – and is not entirely an echo of a forgotten tradition: even in Magura much of the seasonal cycle still rules families and village life. Attitudes and values remain much the same as they were 83 years ago. The perfect read for travellers who might be Transylvania-bound. Read more…

Romania Transylvania peasant life between the wars

Cover of The Romanian Furrow, by Donald Hall (1933)

Spring board

Mother Nature gets her colour palette out… After the warmest February on record, winter came back for another go in April, and again at the start of May, just to tease us. But the cats and I are relishing the splashes of colour amongst the lush green everywhere, even topped by a sprinkling of snow. My favourite time of year.

New video links

I’ve now loaded up a few links to videos about Magura and the surrounding area. Some of them are images of the village with no voiceover, some are mini-documentaries in Romanian, and there are a couple of American-voiced Dracula-based vids. If you make or find any good vids, do please let me know and I’ll be happy to post them here.

One of my favourites is the real-time drive from the edge of Zarnesti up to Magura – the road I take every time I need any shopping, or have to head off to Brasov, Bucharest or further afield. I love this road, but it can be a challenge if you’re not concentrating. If you’re thinking of hiring a car for your Magura visit, I’d get a high-wheel based 4×4…

What’s your favourite image here?

Enjoy!

Lost puppy finds a happy ending

 

You may have seen the story – a few posts back – about a lost puppy who turned up at my gate, starving and abandoned, on 5th November.

I tried to ignore him, but he wouldn’t go away even if I yelled at him to shove off. After a few days, he was obviously starving, and determined to stay around. So I fed him outside the gate, and he ate enormously, pathetically grateful, crawling to my feet, rolling over, showing his belly in submission, desperate for acceptance.

I surrendered. It had started snowing; he was shoulder deep in frozen flakes, weighed down by frozen balls of snow on his face and legs, and I couldn’t cope with the thought of falling over his starved and frozen body. I decided to…. Read the rest of the story

Photography course – capture Magura through the lens

In March, we have the chance to learn from a master in photographic technique and artistry, with the Magura landscapes to inspire us. The  workshop with Mihai Moiceanu will not only give us beautiful days of exploring the wild spaces and places around Magura, but to learn how to capture and exploit the limitless potential of imagery through the lens and then on the computer. Don’t miss it – only a small group – not many places available. I hope to be part of the group… so see you there?

Find out more here.