June 29, 2008
I just want to be by the pool, and the Greek sun at this time of year seems to burn you before you even get a chance to blink its rays out of your eyes. Stood by the road last night, loaded with water and pop from the gas station over the road, I was struck by how random my life is sometimes. A couple of days ago I was in my apartment in Budapest and now I am sweating in Athens. Funny where life takes you sometimes.
June 27, 2008
June 24, 2008
Even though there are clouds in the sky the whole of the outside shimmers with heat, like the haze of the desert in 'Easy Rider'. I am spending all the time I can in rooms with air con, the colder the better, and when I go home after work and open the windows all I can feel is the blast of a hot hairdryer in my face. My skin has started to gently turn a healthy brown under the suns glare and I have made sure to pack my factor 30 for my week in Athens.
I'm winding down gently and hope that I am able to be rested enough to get the most out of our holidays. I am tearing through some of the books that have lain untouched on my shelf this year so that I have an excuse to be able to buy some more when I get home to stuff in my Spain-bound suitcase. For now I just wish that I could see through the haze.
June 23, 2008
It seems strange to think of 5 whole weeks away from my little apartment and I am sure that the summer will fly by in a haze of friends and familiarity in North Yorkshire. Often, home is what I dream about and I simply cannot wait to be sat at the kitchen table with my brothers and parents waking up to a cup of strong Yorkshire tea and some company.
This year has gone by fast and I am cheered by the prospect of being a returner, not the new one any more. This summer promised to be full of sunshine, soft summer skin and relaxation. I just need a few more days before the reassuring weight of free time will come to rest upon my shoulders.
June 22, 2008
I'm sitting at Anne's desk in her bedroom, typing on her laptop as the minutes tick away and my flight gets nearer. Soon, too soon really, I'll be going back home to Warsaw, to my boys and to my life there.
All weekends go by quickly but this one's really flown by. Before I've had a chance to get comfortable, I'm chucking stuff in my suitcase again and checking that my passport's in my bag. I've really enjoyed my time with Anne and I've loved chatting with her. No subject's too big, no subject's too small. Every time I am with her, it becomes plainly obvious just how I miss her presence in Warsaw and in our daily lives. Each time, my brain schemes up a plan to get her back to Warsaw. But she'll stay in Budapest for now.
And what can I say about Budapest? It's been called the Paris of the East and it's not too far off. The architecture is stunning and it's amazing how great "Eastern" Europe can look when it's not been destroyed by war. The buildings do need a little love and care and paint, but you see the beauty that was once there. With a little more money, Paris of the East can shine again.
We went to the covered market and took the tram along the Danube (the Danube! Europe's gorgeous ribbon of water!) looked at Buda. We splashed in thermal baths, people-watching, discussing the stag parties and the passionate couples. We visisted the House of Terror and we cooked great food and talked late into the night. Today we visited the castle district, which is gorgeous but very touristy and had a lovely coffee and cake. The little I've seen of Budapest has made me want to come back with N and A. It is a beautiful place.
But, for now, I pack my suitcase, say good-bye and head back home. I wish I could pack up Anne and take her with me. Maybe next time...
June 17, 2008
Naturally, the actual aim and of the little trip is to gossip and drink coffee in our pyjamas, give K a chance to get some sleep and eat nice food. I just want to be prepared for the touristing extremes just in case.
June 15, 2008
The trip home was not so successful with C and I having a mammoth 1 and half hour journey back into the land of the living in our little Pest district that never sleeps. I returned home sopping wet and seemingly happy that I live in the coolest part of the city. Margit Hid felt like Brooklyn bridge, and I felt like the downtown Carrie to the Brooklyn Miranda.
Today I am happily sitting in silence reading 'Never let me go' by Kazuo Ishiguro, which has been on my reading pile for a while. Nothing else to do but listen to the cars go by, the click of heels on the pavement and find out where the story leads me.
June 14, 2008
I am back after another three day trip to the Hungarian countryside, this time a school trip around the Balaton. We visited Tihany, and went to a Monastery on a hillside overlooking the Lake, we went to Taploca and I rowed a boat through an underground cave lake, and we spent time in Sumeg, where I shot a bow and arrow. This year, the trips I have been on with the kids just seem to get better and better and the children that I have been away with are incredible human beings that it has been an honour to get to know and spend time with.
This trip was amazing, the parts of Hungary that I got to see have made me a little more comfortable with the place that I live and whether the next few months are a swansong, or if they are the beginning of something longer, the trips the last couple of weeks mean that I will be able to put into context my life in Hungary, which is something that has elluded my experiences here so far.
I am finding romance in every day things, even on a school trip. Some of the teachers paid a violinist to come and play for me, which was mortifying, but brilliant. I got to watch sunsets over a medieval castle, and see the students fall in and out of love in a day, even though they are only 10 years old. These trips make me so tired, as there is so little rest and sleep involved, but I have come back from both of them feeling refreshed and happy.
June 09, 2008
This time, we are off to a town near Balaton Lake. As with the last trip, I am looking forward very much to scooting out of the city and bus rides never fail to make me happy. I remember buses in Warsaw and Paris, I never wanted to stop staring out of the window and see which road the bus would drive down next. I have no idea how I thought that I would get away with two trips off with the kids in the last month of work without some serious damage to my already school year exhausted body and mind.
June 06, 2008
Seriously, when do you go three days with washing your hair, looking in a mirror or smelling of earth and fire smoke? As soon as I arrived on camp I seemed to transform into a model of a woman of earth, spending all my time next to the fire cooking gulyas and huge pots of hot chocolate for the 30 odd kids we took with us.
The sky never looks so clear, or the air feel so good as it does when you are outside and far away from the towns and cities where I spend so much of my time.
I am still incredibly tired, three hours sleep is apparantly not enough and two days after camp I still had my usual school wake up time of 5.50 am, so the weekend looming like a glorius white horse over the edge of a hill is a sight more welcome than that of dry clothes after we got soaked. Mind you, at Visegrad Castle I saw the sight pictured below, which made everything burn into my memory. This was one of the best school trips I have ever been on. If I can just get some sleep, I can start packing for the next trip on Wednesday to Sumeg.