The book that made Magura famous

Grab the chance to get my book cheap, in time for Mos Craciun, with the lovely discounts at librarie.ro! The online bookshop is almost giving the book away – a lifelong present for the cost of a couple of coffees. How could you resist?

Book cover, Din Liverpool in Carpati, Arabella McIntyre-Brown, TransilvaniaReaders have said:

“…extrem de sensibilă în fața miracolului naturii, împovărată de un trecut cu lumini și umbre, frământată de griji cotidiene, o femeie despre care cred însă că nu e conștientă de farmecul pe care-l posedă fiind timidă și în prea mare măsură rezervată.”

“You lend us your sharp eyes and understanding. You make us understand ourselves better, you make us better understand you. You give us importance by understanding us better than we sometimes do. Your book gives us hope in a world where we have lost heaven.

A real painter in touch with the pure essence of things and beings. I found myself immersed into a dialogue with you, dear Arabella, about solitude, the energy that comes from living close to nature, the joy of being present to the sounds of the forest.”

I simply love the way in which it is written, the fact that the words can make me actually SEE/FEEL your world, is just brilliant!”

I’ve appreciated both your humour and your self-irony or the finger pointed at various strange characters you’ve come across … I got carried away…”

“The book is unlike anything I’ve read, full of emotion, in which the author puts her heart out for you, so it’s impossible not to be moved. And the language is so normal, alive, it’s like a friend whom you haven’t seen in a long time.”

“I had a ‘white’ night last night. I couldn’t take my hands off your book. It made me laugh, it made me cry or both at the same time. Regardless of what this country has been giving you, I am sure I speak on behalf of all of your Romanian friends when saying: “Thank you for what YOU give us.”

“Honest, deeply sensitive, beautifully expressed. What a fabulous book this is.”

“…the quality of your writing is top-notch and I adore the naturalness of your use of metaphor: ‘longing for dreamless oblivion cradled in the city’s roar’, ‘I’m a molecule on the skin of the earth’ and your precise punctuation, which gives your writing such a lovely flow.”

“Really, it’s wonderful – you’ve basically opened the door to a different way of seeing and understanding Romania.”

“…fascinating, and it reads just as you talk, flows so naturally. … Your chapter on Ginny was painful to read,  powerful and compelling as the reader joins you every step of the way as you navigate the darkest of times.”

Buy the book online here!

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Second book about Magura soon out

Book cover, Din Liverpool in Carpati, Arabella McIntyre-Brown, TransilvaniaAfter six years in Magura, I wrote a book about life in the village, why I came here, why I stayed. Non-fiction, it’s all true; factual as well as a little philosophical. A patchwork of impressions, stories, portraits and essays all written from my window on the world, 1,000 metres up in the Carpathians. One chapter told the story of a stray puppy who came to my door and begged to stay. Starving, and weighed down by balls of ice on his feet and face, he inveigled his way into my house and my heart until I found him a permanent home. The adventure wasn’t without its dramas, but all’s well that ends well.

FLOSS mock-up 3D COVERThis year, in November 2017, Booklet Fiction will publish a book called Floss the lost puppy (Floss catelusul pierdut). This is exactly, 100%, purely the story of my stray puppy… but I have turned myself into a Romanian girl and her family (much more interesting) who have to overcome some challenges to save the lost puppy.

It’s a bilingual book, in English and Romanian, to help children of 7+ to learn English (or Romanian) and perhaps to offer them some new ideas about owning dogs.

Now, when you read it, you can imagine the Thimble family living here in Magura (called Fân in the book) and sparing the life of the little black dog who begs for mercy at their door.

You can find out more about Floss, and read some early reviews, on the book blog here.

Thunderstorm magic – cool down

Yesterday, Magura had the best of a gentle thunderstorm (must have been violent off to the south-west) with a hail shower, distant lightning and rumbling thunder. This cool, damp greenery makes for relaxing viewing in these two little vids. In the first, you can hear the huge hailstones clattering and bouncing off the house; in the second, the birds, animals and insects keep singing as the thunder growls over the Bucegi Mountains. A classic countryside moment to cool down all you overheated city dwellers, sticky with humidity and longing for the cold sting of rain…

DSCF1982_2 cloud and sun

Sun and shadow as the weather changes

In limbo, longing for Spring

We’re not there yet… March is a limbo month: the winter snows have gone but the new grass and the colours of Spring are still waiting below ground, waiting waiting for the sun to warm the earth and give the signal to begin the growing season. But soon, soon!

A warm welcome on a soggy day

Three adventurous characters from the ancient deserts of the Middle East plunged into the dripping green forests of Transylvania for three days of culture shock. David Lowidt takes up the tale…

P1000433We – Roni, Moshe and I – were three mature walkers (some would say old) from Kibbutz Hatzerim in Israel who were looking to stay somewhere a little bit different. Off the beaten track, back to nature, simple life and conditions, see how the locals live etc. And that’s how I found this blog written by Arabella who lives in the beautiful village of Magura in the Carpathian Mountains, and she arranged for us to stay four nights with her neighbours Maria and Chivu Cotinghiu.

“We arrived on Tuesday 24th June 2014, late afternoon. It was chucking it down with rain and we had loads of wet clothes from the soaking we had suffered from the morning’s walk up to the Babela rock in the Bucegi Mountains, but it didn’t take long for Chivu to get the wood burning stove on the go, for Maria to bring us a plate of tasty cakes and for Chivu to start plying us with his homemade high alcohol content drinks. How could we not feel at home?”   Read more…