Bram’s birthday doodle

We don’t focus too much on Transylvania‘s top international star celeb, because there’s so much else to talk about than a fictional character.

But… when I logged on to Google this morning, I saw that Google was paying a birthday tribute to the Irish inventor of Transylvania’s most famous uninhabitant. It’s the 165th anniversary of Bram Stoker‘s birth, and this is how Google remembers him.

Google's doodle for 8 November 2012, the 165th anniversary of Bram Stoker's death

Batty doodle – can you spot all the references? Dracula and his luscious lady vampires, a wolf, a bat, a castle, spider and the grasping Renfield, Mina and Jonathan Harker… who and what else? Tell us…

Three cheers for the author of Dracula, the undead vampire aristo whose bloodless face has launched a thousand pale imitations, and 100 years after Stoker’s (entirely completed) death, the Count continues to bring thousands of visitors to Bran Castle, only a few minutes from Magura as the bat flits.

Cheers, Bram – here’s to you. Thanks, Google.

Vine iarna! Winter’s coming…

Last year we had a surprise snowfall on 11th October, before the apples had been picked. The weight of the snow on trees still in leaf was too much for some, and there quite a few broken branches around the village. This year the snow waited for another two weeks – it arrived yesterday as a herald of the winter to come.

My kittens weren’t fazed for long – the two summer-born kittens were out exploring and enjoying the sensation of paws sinking through the inch (2cm) of snow that fell in the first half hour.

This morning the sun came out fighting, blazing in a cloudless sky and driving the winter back. We have our autumn colours in Magura again, but more snow is promised tomorrow.

We’ll see. With luck we’ll have a few more weeks of autumn.

But winter is coming to Transylvania, and it’s rumoured to be worse than last year. The cats love it, the kids love it, and the snow brings lots of visitors to Piatra Craiului national park. Great for the winter sports fans, for visitors coming to track bears, wolves and lynx in the snow, and for walkers and climbers who love an icy challenge.

But for some of us, winter is time to retreat to the warmest room and dig out the thermal vests.