Off on their flying carpet

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Shannon May and Isobel Shaw-Pritchard were my latest volunteers, and were here for two weeks working like madwomen on my beautiful new attic, under the eagle eye of master transformer Greg Helm. Favourite spot in Magura: La Ciocolata, the high spot of the social whirl and architectural gem. At the third attempt they managed to achieve an ambition of seeing bears at close quarters – at the bear sanctuary in Zarnesti. Travel well, girls!

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HelpXcellence yet again

Once again I’ve had a troupe of fabulous helpers and housesitters over the summer, enjoying the bubble of paradise that is Magura.


Angus, long-time resident of Romania, came for a week to entertain the cats and keep any huffy wolves from the door – and now is in Adelaide, south Australia, missing the mountains. Good luck Angus, and thanks…

As for my volunteers from the HelpX site, there have been a great quartet since June, who have shifted vast quantities of stone and earth, moved timber and made beds (garden, raised variety); cleaned windows and painted wrought iron; made shelves and a winter-proof dog kennel, and a dozen other tasks which I’m too feeble and/or feckless to do myself.

The house and garden are significantly tidier, smarter, cleaner, sounder, more productive and generally closer to the end vision than they were at the start of summer, so a massive thank you to Jaap (Netherlands), Greta (Australia), Carolina (Brazil) and Sean (USA). Here they are caught red-handed (except Greta – why didn’t I get a pic of you, Greta? Sorry!)