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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Your chance to have kittens

If you’ve always longed to have kittens, now’s your chance! Here are two Transylvanian feral kittens, about 12 weeks old, happy and growing fast. No longer wild, they purr like Ferraris and are now pretty tame. The girl is still a bit shy but no longer feral. No more hissing!

Click here for a short video of them.

Click here for a second short vid.

They’ve been wormed, but I will take them to the vet for a proper check-up and neutering before I let them go. They should stay together, and need a loving home where they’ll get affection, play and good food as well as care when necessary. They’re already very different characters, but both very sweet.

Fig, the boy (grey tabby and white) is smaller, but full of spirit, and loves to play. Loves cuddling, too, and promises to be very affectionate as he grows older.

Mango, the girl (with orange splashes in her brindle coat) is the bigger, but shyer of the pair. A fierce huntress, though, judging by the way she plays with a thing-on-a-stick toy. Has a massive purr and will snuggle inside a dressing gown very happily!

I love them already, of course, but I have a family of four cats who are ridiculously happy as they are, and don’t appreciate newcomers (I’ve had this problem with rescue kittens before). And six cats is a lot of cat.

If you would like Mango and Fig to be yours, and will give them a warm, loving home and lots of affection and care, do please send me an email to abbspepper@gmail.com.

NB They (we all) are in a mountain village in Transylvania, rural Romania, so long distance adoptions will be expensive… (best to adopt locally, really).

Mango, Fig and I hope to hear from you.

More maps to orientate you

These are two of the seven maps I’ve uploaded to the ‘Where we are‘ page, which should give you a better idea of where we are, from Romania’s place in Europe to the coordinates of the village. Now you have no excuse for not finding us…

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!

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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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…