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)

Weekend in the country for city group

This summer we’ve had visitors coming and going like wasps to a picnic. To close the season in early September, a group of expats living in and near Brasov came to Magura for the weekend. Drinks and dancing at Roxana’s house followed by supper for 12 and a movie show chez moi on Saturday night, then the next morning a hike round the village viewing spots, and lunch (again at my place) for 17 on a gloriously sunny Sunday. Only one Brit (apart from me) in the group: a happy mix of French, German, Ukrainian, Russian, American and Romanian. Lots of energy and great ideas, amazing stories and lovely gifts – a promising group.

If you have any memories you can share here, do please leave a comment (if you have a photograph to add, please email it to me).