October 26, 2008

One Week

I'm back at work tomorrow after a great week off. I made Pumpkin risotto for K, went to the Markets with A and G, got a new washing machine and spent a few days with K, N and baby A in Warsaw, where I also spent a great deal of cash. It was really nice to get away, but also have a few days at home in Budapest to watch the beautiful Autumn unfolding. Now that the clocks have gone back, I am hoping that the darkness is not going to have too much of a toll on me this winter.

I'm looking forward now to a few days in Nice, where I am going to attend a conference, and actually give a lecture myself, which is more than a little nerve wracking. I started work on it today, and know that when the time comes I will be highly nervous, but I think that is a good reason to give it a try.

This is usually the busiest half term of the year, the run up to Christmas is manic, but I am excited about getting back to work and seeing what comes up in the next few months. The temperature is dropping and I have always love cardigans and cocoa that come with the cold weather. I'm feeling more positive than I have in a long time.

October 15, 2008

Don't sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me

Today was the first day that the sun was still dawning when I walked to get the bus to school. I get a bus everyday with a few people from work, and I have come to really enjoy those morning rides. Sometimes we are quiet, sometimes we chat, sometimes we end up on wikipedia to end a debate. Today I sat on the bus with S, watching the sun creep up over the buildings on the korut and she turned and asked me if I believed in soulmates.

Now, with the recent activity with J, who always swore she could never imagine herself getting married, it has been a topic that has been a little in and out of my mind anyway. Personally, I would rather spend my whole life thinking that there is some-one out there for everyone than write off the chance of a perfect person meant just for me. Having parents who met and married within 3 weeks has made me really believe in the idea that you just don't know where love will strike you.

On the bus, in the darkening morning, we both ended up sat in silence. Feeling hopeful, or feeling like a little girl with dreams of things that she doesn't understand. I love when the everyday philosophy of life tugs at your arm for attention at the wierdest moments.

October 13, 2008


It was such a fabulous feeling, piling all of us in the car and driving through the Hungarian countryside. I had been feeling full of cold all week and it seems to have mostly gone since my day outside shopping, so maybe I just needed a change of scenery and some fresh air. I didn't do loads of shopping, but I did really enjoy my day wandering and chatting with the people from school. The mall was pretty much like every outlet that I have been to, but in the form of an arcade, so we were inside and outside, which was lovely.

I only have another week at school before my holidays. I have a couple of days in Poland with K and N and little A and the rest of the time in Budapest to sleep in, watch movies, do lunch and wander a little more through the city. Hopefully a day trip to Vienna will feature in there somewhere too. I'm excited about my trip back to Warsaw again, as I always am, but it feels not real somehow and probably wont until next week when I am packing.

All, in all, I find myself very content at the moment. I am enjoying work, home and all the things in between. Finding that S was pregnant and that J was getting married have made me miss Yorkshire a great deal, but then, I always miss them anyway. It is part of being away. Red and gold autumn leaves along the highways of Hungary make it all worth while though.

October 10, 2008

Austria for the day

The joy of Budapest is that it is ridculously close to other gorgeous European cities and countries. From here you can drive to Krakow in 6 hours, Vienna in 3 or get a train to Zagreb in 2 and a half. Tomorrow seven of will load ourselves into a minivan and hop over the border to do some shopping in Austria. I am also planning a day trip to Vienna in the half term holiday to go to see the Klimt paintings on exhibition there and have a wander through the city as I have never been.

Although I am now in my second year in Hungary, I haven't really taken advantage of the proximity to other places, but after my first foray into the trains, buses and highways over the next couple of weeks I hope that I might find the energy ti plan a few more little outings like this. I would love to go to Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro after Christmas, I might start researching now.

October 05, 2008

You and Me

I've been trying to call J all afternoon, even knowing that it will cost both of us a fortune for the short call, as she texted on Saturday morning to say that her boyfriend has taken her to London for the weekend and propsed while they were there. Engaged and happy, I am thrilled for her. Fiftenn years we have all been friends, since I arrived in Doc Martins and black eyeliner to my University halls of residence in the September of 1994.

We have had many discussions over the years about meeting when we are all 40 and seeing who has the kids, who is on the fifth marriage, and who would be the rich career one. None of us has made any head way on the kids, or the career, but now two of the four of us will be married and that is all way too grown up for me. I still feel like I did when I was that girl who went into Js room and loved her R.E.M poster. Is the reason that growing old is so hard because inside we all really feel like we did at 18?

I miss her today, as much as I miss M and H, and what the four of us have meant to each other over the years. Over the years I have made some incredible friends and there are a few that I absolutely adore, but the three of them have seen it all over the last few years. I know that we will be friends the whole of our lives, far from some and closer to others. Big news provokes big thoughts, but above all that, I could cry with joy and happiness for her, as I know that he is only what she deserves.

October 01, 2008

Water Day

I got to work this morning to find that the school would be closed as there was no water. A couple of hours later I found myself on the streets of Budapest with the unnerving feeling that it was Saturday afternoon. No complaints from me there at all. What a strange thing though, to be given this little bit of freedom and not knowing what really to do with it.

So I did what I like to do best, I wandered and I let my brain run off into daydreams while I cooked Chestnut and Butternut Squash Risotto. I sang at the top of my voice while I stirred and didn't care what the neighbours might have thought of the crazy Yorkshire girl that lives next door. I got into my pyjamas and have stayed that way ever since.

Now, it is dark outside and even though I have to go to work again tomorrow, I have loved the tiny space that the water day created in my world. Budapest was shiny with promise today and life seemed so different for something so small.