2019 Grateful 22: A lesson in passing

I write this from the ‘burbs of Milwaukee, WI. It’s morning here. The coffee is brewing and I’m checking emails before I leave for a day in the cemeteries. I like to do that – visit old cemeteries and see what those left behind have to say about those who’ve gone before them. Just ready to leave, I open an email and see that Budapest stalwart Alan Rees has passed away.

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The Surrealism of Equal Love

I’ve been known to use the word surreal when I’m describing some of what passes for politics in Hungary to people who’ve never been here. The reaction to the latest Coca-Cola Equal Love ad campaign being a case in point. Read more

Exercise your brain with Maths Chase

Boss is an avid puzzler. He spends a chunk of his day, every day, doing crosswords and puzzles. The crosswords I get; the puzzles I’m not a huge fan of. And I’ve never gotten the hang (or the point) of Sudoku. But he maintains to that keep your memory, you have to exercise your brain every day.  Read more

Adding some Scottish to the mix

The French philosopher Voltaire is reputed to have said ‘We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation.’ Presumably, he was talking about the French. Some three centuries later, the British in Hungary are looking in that direction, too, this time for ideas on how to revamp the long-established British Chamber of Commerce in Hungary (BCCH). Enter Duncan Graham, one of the city’s best-known Scotsmen, and recently appointed Chair of the BCCH, the first non-Hungarian to hold the position in 15 years. Read more

Two pints stage scene

Two Pints: Roddy Doyle’s Dublin on Stage

A few years back, when I first came across Roddy Doyle’s Two Pints, I gave a copy to two Irish lads in Budapest thinking that it was worth staging. We never did, but the thought was there.

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Bence Molnár wearing his golden keys

The Golden Keys

I was a fan of the 1980s American TV series Hotel, which opened with establishing shots of the legendary San Franciscan hotel The Fairmont. I’ve a great photo of a much younger me and my bestie Lori sipping Bloody Marys in the bar hoping to catch sight of Anne Baxter, James Brolin, or Connie Sellecca. Read more

2019 Grateful 32: Community Involvement

If I ever got to have a dinner with the dead, one of my invites would go to the economist Milton Friedman. His 1970 essay for the New York Times The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits – would make a fascinating discussion over the roast lamb entrée.  Read more

Not the Girl

It was 2006. Rhonda Byrne’s book The Secret had everyone dreaming the impossible dream. I read it, too. Just to see what the hype was about. I remember being singularly unimpressed that nearly all (if not all) her examples of asking and receiving, of visualising, involved bigger houses, faster cars, better stuff. They all seemed to be about getting and having rather than dreaming and doing. That said, it was a while ago and I could be misremembering.

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2019 Grateful 34: Country Music

Heading back from a party in Tát on Sunday, we took the long way home to stop by Zalacsány and the Örvényeshegy piknik. Billed as three days filled with music, theatre, literature, and children’s programmes, we caught the tail end of the proceedings – the Sunday afternoon.

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Krisztina Dávid shooting in Rio

Living on a battery: Krisztina Dávid

Eons ago, I hung out with a guy who, as a teenager, lost the use of his legs in a shooting in New York. Wrong time + wrong place + stray bullet = life in a wheelchair. Cursed as I am with a brazen curiosity, I asked more questions than considered polite when we first met. I was horribly patronising in my effusive admiration of how well he got around. He was simply living his life and there I was congratulating him for getting out and about! I cringe when I think of it. Earlier this year, I was introduced to World Shooting Para Sport (WSPS) European Champion Gold Medallist Krisztina Dávid. My admiration this time wasn’t for the fact that she gets out and about in her wheelchair but that she’s an international shooter, winner of Hungary’s first European Paralympic Gold in a sport I know nothing about. We met up last week for a chat. Read more