It’s been a while, thank God, since I’ve felt the black cloud of depression, the sort that that requires doctors and medication. My heart goes out to those who are battling the beast during this pandemic or living with those who are. It can’t be easy. Sure, I have days that start and finish in nothingness with nothing much of note happening in between. Those are the days I have to remind myself to be grateful that I woke up at all and that what I woke to could be a helluva lot worse. I have nothing to complain about. Nothing. At. All.
With our collective powers of being concentrating on staying home, I forget that for me, by virtue of where I’m living, that isn’t meant literally. I can still go places and see no one but still see something. But truth be told, I can’t be arsed. It’s too much bother.
The more I stay home the harder it is to work up the wherewithal to leave. What was a weekly trip to the supermarket is now a fortnightly excursion. I’m secretly glad that friends are not entertaining visitors because I don’t feel the need to visit. Himself is much more sociable. He heads down to the other house to watch his plants grow or fix the tractor or meet the chap who helps take care of the gardens. He goes off for walks and hikes with a mate. He does the pharmacy and village-shop runs as he’s a known face. Me? I’ve recently progressed to spending an hour in the garden in the afternoons. In fairness, up till now, the pollen has been so bad I couldn’t stick my nose outside without wheezing up a lung and losing my voice but whatever was bothering me has gone and taken with it any excuse I might have had to stay indoors.
Having read yesterday that live concerts could be off the social calendar in Hungary for another 12 months, he figured he had to rethink his days. My days of going nowhere were collateral damage.
Let’s go over towards Dióskól. I want to show you the view of the Balaton from the tower.
I’d finished a meeting and was about to start on the last chapter of a report I’ve due tomorrow. Dióskól? The view? Really? But it was a statement and not a question. He knows that had it been a question I’d have found a reason not to go.
Do you fancy going… No.
Would you like to go…No.
Wouldn’t it be nice to go…No.
We went. We drove through Zalavár, home of the bale bunnies, and across the dyke, before turning left and heading into Zalaszabar and then taking a right to make our way back into the hills.
Zalaszabar is part of the Zala wine route. As we climbed up the hills we passed lots of little vineyards and old cellars, some neglected, others in good nick. Wild rose bushes were all over the place. I found one little house for sale that I’d like, had it some grapevines that came with it, and I wasn’t on the verge of another renovation. I made note of the number if anyone is interested. According to the village website, back in the 1890s, Sabar wine was awarded a gold medal at the London Wine World Exhibition. We made note of a few we’d like to visit.
Near the end of the narrow road we’d travelled are two towers. Sadly, the place was littered with other people’s rubbish and the day was hazy so the view of the Balaton and Badacsony wasn’t great. Another note was made to come back on a clear day with some bin bags. Still, as we sat on a wall looking down over the valley, the change of view was lovely – just what I needed.
On our way back we detoured to have a look at Zobori adventure park which is set for a soft opening this weekend. I wish them well. A third note was made to come back for a go on the hullámvasút (rollercoaster). It’s quite the enterprise. I’d seen the signs but had never been curious enough to check it out.
In looking for information on the fabulous full-sized wooden carving of St Rita, near the bus stop in the village, I discovered that there’s a mass in Budapest for single and divorced people on the first Tuesday of every month in St Michael’s. How did I miss that???? St Rita of Cascia was an Italian widow who became an Augustinian nun. She’s the patron saint of sterility, abuse victims, loneliness, marriage difficulties, parenthood, widows, the sick, bodily ills, and wounds. She’s also the patron saint of impossible dreams – I needed to meet her today. I’ve no idea how she found her way to this small Hungarian village, but there are stories online of her connections to Texas oil and baseball.
And for all that, I still missed out on what the village is arguably most famous for: it’s home to the first public statue of the great football player Ferenc Puskás. Yet another note made.
It was good to get out. It was good to see something different. It was good to get back that sense of exploration. I’m grateful that himself didn’t ask a question but just said…