2020 Grateful 36: All about the orange juice

I’m beside myself with an enthusiasm I lost sight of about six weeks ago when the great stay-at-home started here in Hungary. Last night I sat through two hours of 11 incredible performances that wrung me dry. I feel a little like a teatowel that’s been lobbed around a washing machine on a slow spin. Read more

2020 Grateful 37: Birdsong

Meet Maryjane. For at least the last 12 or so years, she’s lived in a yurt in a field in France with her family. Instead of spending her life being ‘told what, when and how to learn, followed by years of employment being told what to do, just for the privilege of having somewhere to live and enough to eat’, Maryjane left England, moved to France, built a yurt and chose to live with nature. Read more

2020 Grateful 38: Bale bunnies in Zalavár

A couple of villages over sits the village of Zalavár. Zala is the name of the Hungarian county we live in and vár is Hungarian for castle. Back in the day, many centuries ago, Zalavár was a metropolis, boasting a monastery, a convent, a brewery, and a castle of course. Today, it’s one of a string of villages that loop around the lesser-known Hungarian lake, the Kis-Balaton. Read more

Were you there…

Each day this week, I’ve posted on Facebook a version of a hymn I first heard at mass last Sunday. Judging by people’s reactions, it’s an old familiar for many. Who knew. It’s often attributed as an American spiritual: the original author is unknown and it possibly combines Afro-American and white-spiritual traditions. A version of the song was first published in Old Plantation Hymns (Barton, 1899). Read more

RIP John Prine

His dad was a toolmaker, His mam was a homemaker. He was a soldier in the Vietnam War. He worked as a mailman when he came home. It was Chicago. It was the early 1960s. His name was John Prine. Read more

Unorthodox

It’s difficult these days to know who is right. Whose truth is THE truth? Is there even one truth any more? Was there ever? Read more

2020 Grateful 39: Watching

A friend of mine commented in conversation (WhatsApp) last week that they were having a difficult time scheduling their social activity. With so much by way of online concerts, plays, and movies to choose from, it was hard, they said, to find time for everything. Read more

2020 Grateful 40: One chicken and a bucket of yellow paint

When yet another friend posted/wrote something about having to cook now that they’re in isolation, I realised that many people don’t cook at all or cook very little. But now that eating out is but a vague memory in the distant past and takeouts have lost some of their appeal, this is the perfect time to start. Read more

You can’t make old friends

I had a flashback this morning to being in my granny’s house in Co. Kilkenny. My Aunt Nano was still alive. She had this great record player that closed up nicely into a box, like a suitcase. And she had several records, mainly country music. Mainly Kenny Rogers. I was fascinated with Lucille and the man she left with 400 children and a crop in the field. Read more

Reminiscent of another world

What I know about living under Communism I’ve learned from books. I never lived it. But I can’t help wondering how those who lived that life and had relegated it to the past are feeling today. Read more