After 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.
This 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.
Not set in Magura, but news from a Magura graduate. This is Bertie on sofas… Easter in Wales with my family – and Bertie – who was the star of the weekend.
He was brilliant with everyone, especially the kids, who fell completely in love with him within the first nano-second.
Then we went to see friends with dogs, and went for a walk to the sea. It was the happiest hour of Bertie’s life, to date. First there were large open fields, full of skylarks. Bertie – Vicki yelling at him to come back – hurled himself after larks which rocketed up from the spring wheat, drawing him at full pelt across the furrows.
Then… there was the sea. A mountain dog from Central Europe, Bertie flung himself into the salty Bristol Channel as though he were a born seadog. His new friends Bruiser and Button joined in too, and the humans stood and admired their energy.
Sopping wet and deliriously happy, Bertie came flying up to me as if to say thanks for introducing him to this liquid heaven – before he galloped back down for another soaking race along the strand.
Vicki put him back on the lead to thwart any more larking about, and we headed back for warmth and a rub dry for the dogs, crab salad for us.