2020 Grateful 7: A spring in my step

I hadn’t realised that I’d been holding my breath for the last few days. What does it say about America that the world was watching the 2020 presidential elections so carefully? As I saw the congratulations flow in, I wondered if it was all a tad premature. Were I queen, I’d have waited until all the votes had been counted. But I’m not. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe it is over. Read more

Ireland in Hungary

The Internet has probably been the biggest game-changer for diplomacy since Lord Palmerston heralded the first telegram as the death of diplomacy back in the 1850s. Read more

2020 Grateful 8: Shop in Ireland for Pure Clothing

My Facebook feed has suddenly gotten a lot more interesting. I’m having a great time window-shopping and marvelling at the wealth of talent spread across Ireland. Read more

2020 Grateful 9: Cash Concerns

I read recently that central banks are seriously considering their own digital currency. Plans are in the making. Since the start of the year, a group representing central banks from the UK, Japan, Europe, Switzerland, Sweden, Canada, the USA, and the Bank of International Settlements have been looking into what needs to happen to make this a reality, Read more

2020 Grateful 10: The Rule of Life

Generations of Benedictine monks around the world have been living by one rule for more than 1500 years: to have death at all times before them. Read more

2020 Grateful 11: Grateful Living

I was reminded recently of a 2017 interview between Oprah Winfrey and then 91-year-old Benedictine, Br David Steindl-Rast, whose TED Talk has racked up more than seven million views. Read more

2020 Grateful 12: Katharine Hepburn

I’m not loving much about life lately, but the prods the universe send me never cease to amaze me. Read more

2020 Grateful 13: Bajai Halászlé

For years, I’ve been living with the illusion that the standard for fish soup (halászlé – which translates literally as fisherman juice)  was what is made in Szeged, the third-largest city in Hungary with a population of about 160 000. The first time I visited the city, that’s was what I was told. And sure why wouldn’t I believe them? It was on every menu in every restaurant I ate in or passed by. Situated on the banks of the River Tisza and close to Lake Fehér, (white lake) Hungary’s largest saltwater lake, fish are plentiful. Read more

Painted with someone else in mind

I sent a picture of my latest art purchase to a friend. Their reply said it all. Art, they said, is very subjective. And it is. Read more

2020 Grateful 14: Revolutionary spirit

Back in 1956, October 23 marked the first day of a 12-day revolution in Hungary. What began as a spontaneous uprising with thousands taking to the streets demanding freedom from Soviet oppression and a more democratic rule ended badly for so many. Some 12 days later, on November 4, very early in the morning, Soviet tanks rolled into the city to put an end to this insubordination, much to the surprise and shock of those in the West who had lent little more than words of sympathy in support of the beleaguered Hungarians. It’s estimated that more than 2500 Hungarians died and that about 200 000 fled the country. Read more