2020 Grateful 16: Let down by my Rs

I don’t particularly look Irish. I don’t look not Hungarian either. There’s nothing discernable from how I dress or walk or laugh that sets me apart from most Hungarians I know. Except, of course, for when I speak. This is particularly pertinent at flea markets. In Hungary, flea markets are great unlevellers. Even for külföldiek (foreigners) who are well versed in how the markets work, there’s a two-tier system in operation. Read more

2020 Grateful 17: Gerald Hammond

My dead-people’s dinner table has had an extra seat added to it, somewhat surprisingly as I’ve only just found out that Gerald Hammond is no longer with us. I’ve spent a blissful three weeks or so reading the 13 novels in the Three Oaks series written by the Scottish author. Not believing in coincidence, the day I finished the final book, I read an article in The Guardian about the COVID rule of six not applying to shooting sports in the UK. The headline would normally have been as far as I’d have read, but having spent so much time with John Cunningham (Hammond’s protagonist), I’m giving more thought to game shooting and what’s behind it.

Read more

2020 Grateful 18: That light in the sky

Drawing the curtains in the front room the other night, I noticed a peculiar light in the sky. I watched it for a while, thinking it might move. Maybe it was a low-flying plane. Or a rogue satellite. It looked for all the world like an artist’s rendition of the Star of Bethlehem on a Christmas card. Read more

2020 Grateful 19: My git up and go…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I hadn’t realised how long until I started receiving messages this week asking me if everything was okay in my world. I forget at times that people read what I write and when I don’t post, they noticed. I find that flattering. Read more

2020 Grateful 20: Caimh McDonnell and Bunny McGarry

I’ve often wondered if authors get lost in the shadows of their protagonists? A case in point – I know sod all about Caimh McDonnell, but I feel like I know his guy Bunny McGarry personally. Read more

2020 Grateful 21: Owning what I do

Oh, what sad, silly creatures we are. We, humans. We who like to think we are intelligent, sentient beings who care about the world we live in, care about those with whom we live, care about the welfare of all. We don’t. All we really care about is money. Read more

2020 Grateful 22: Gutbai, Johnny P

COVID played havoc with my birthday week. I’ve so lost my sense of time that I got a start when KG asked me what I’d planned for the big occasion. I’d forgotten it was happening. I didn’t want to do anything in particular. For me, it was just another day. Then a mate from Chennai messaged me to wish me well and to send photos of the celebration. I told him I wasn’t doing anything. He told me to get out there and do something because he wanted photographs. I needed that prod.

Read more

2020 Grateful 23: Hiring in

A few years ago, a mate told me how they’d hired in a chef for the weekend. They’d visitors over and knew they’d be too busy golfing to cook for them. I thought it an extravagance and truth be told, I was a tad envious. But that was then. Read more

2020 Grateful 24: Storm damage

We had a doozy of a storm here the other night. It hit Zala county hard with reports of evacuations in some villages, major flooding in others, and fallen trees just about everywhere. We were lucky. We lost a teapot. Read more

2020 Grateful 25: Ain’t life a peach?

Himself, at the door of my office with a look of consternation on his face. Me, engrossed in editing a piece of text on a subject too dry to mention, trying but failing to ignore the hovering. Himself, with a proclamation: We have a bit of a peach crisis. Cue end of my evening. Read more