Sunday, 14 August 2011

The Barbie

The Barbie by A John Walters
The Barbie, a photo by A John Walters on Flickr.
Today was the long awaited barbie at Helmut's in the nearby village, Csákánydoroszló . Its about 6Km away so easy biking distance (so I thought).

I had arranged to see Steve at about 12 so off I went to see him at the appointed time. He was running late and said he'd be about 15-20 minutes and he'd call on the way. So I went back to my place and had a quick peek at my German books to see what 'Welsh' was in German. Looks like 'Welsh', which kinda figures.

Five minutes later I heard a screech of brakes and here was Hobo. He said that Steve would be about 10-15 minutes and we were to meet him in a pub before going on to Helmut's place.

Ten minutes after that I caught sight of Steve, out of the window, coming down the street but when I got out the house he'd sailed past! I hurriedly got on my bike and pedalled after him. He'd just gone around the bend (!) when I got on to the road and I wasn't able to catch up with him, even on the long straight boring bit to the next village.

I lost sight of him at the bridge to Csákánydoroszló so I then went looking for Hobos pub. There were two crossroads on this road, which eventually joins up with the main road into Kormend.Hmm, all the shops he mentioned were closed, as in shut up and gone away rather than because it was Sunday, so his directions to the pub weren't any use. When I ran out of village I turned back and went to the 2nd crossroads and spotted a likely looking pub.

I checked the bike stands but couldn't see Hobo's bike so I carried on. From the map I knew this road would eventually join the road with Helmut's house. On the way I saw 3 Storks wandering about. Never realised just how big they were.

I found Helmut's place by the rather clever device of checking the number plates for an 'A' rather than an 'H'! Saw Helmut and parked up the bike and made my way to the balcony around the back.

Found Steve and apparently he told Hobo to tell me he'd be about 15 to 20 minutes and to go with Hobo! Well, no wonder. (Hobo was AWOL for another 2 or so hours!)

There was plenty of beer and food. The Porkolt, Austrian style, was interesting. Tasted exactly like the casseroles my mother makes.

Around about 4 Steve went off to feed his goats and, as Hobo said he'd go soon, I hung on waiting for Hobo. Several hours later, after sunset it was time to go. It was dark, no lights on the bike, no street lighting between the villages, a full load of beer on board and a 2L glass jar of stew. The journey home had lots of comedic potential and I wasn't disappointed!

I only fell off the once and, later on, I had to get off and walk for a few hundred metres to get my breath back. At the time I thought I was only halfway back to Halogy so when I forced myself to get on the bike, by which time the seat had inexplicably turned into razor blades and shards of glass, and pedal a bit more I was pleasantly surprised to turn the corner and find myself only 100m away from my house!

Thursday, 4 August 2011


Rained all day today so time for house jobs as I can't get any gardening done.

I lit the fire and then went through a cycle of chopping wood, washing dishes and filling the stockpot with water. It was a bit of a losing battle so in the afternoon I just chopped wood so the next session I can just concentrate on the dishes and not having to relight the fire after running out of wood!

I also checked on the pear tree. Yesterday, or the day before, I harvested as many pears as I felt it safe to do. The ground was covered in pulpy pears and the pears were covered in drunk, aggressive wasps. The was even some wasp that looked at least an inch long. (Hornet maybe) Anyway, I thought it best to get the rest when its raining on the off chance there'd be less wasps.

A terrible crop to be honest. Before the rain started the other week, the pears were quite tart and small. By the time we had decent weather I just seem to have about an inch of pulpy pear mush around the tree. Next year I'll have to note the blogs so I got get the pears in regardless of the weather.

Effectively this is my 1st year with the pears as nothing at all grew last year.

I had a word with Steve about his wine press. This year I have what I consider industrial quantities of apples so I need a different approach to extracting juice.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Good Weather

Finally stopped raining today so I had a go at the lawn. The grass grows so quickly that I'd expect to flush out new tribes of pygmies or Japanese soldiers who think the war's still on. (The last would be pushing it a bit now as he'd probably be in hid eighties!)

I had an unexpected call from Steve to say his flight had been delayed (by a day or two!) and to let Hobo know. Using my psychic powers, I found him in the pub and let him know.

Eventually made my way home and started making Lecso (pronounced letch-o). I'd bought the paprika in the shop in the morning and let slip I was going to make lecso. All the locals seemed pleased that I was attempting it and wanted to make sure I had all the right ingredients. ( You've got onions? How about tomatoes?)!

Monday, 25 July 2011


After short commons on the weekend I caught the half eight bus into Körmend to get some cash. I also needed some things in the shops that can't easily be got in the village such as pepper. (On a side-note, the Hungarian for "pepper" is paprika but this refers to what we'd call in the UK either 'bell pepper' or 'chili pepper', but what we refer to as 'pepper', the stuff in condiments, is called 'fekete bors', which as near as I can tell is 'black powder')

Met one of the villagers and explained I had no money was was here to get some. Did my shopping and decided to go to a local bar for a drink while waiting. Its friendly in that the bloke behind the bar greets you as you come in and seems pleased to serve you, whereas the other pubs seem to act as if they're doing you a favour by letting you come in.

I had just calculated that I'd be able to have 3 quiet drinks before the bus came so had bought my 3rd when the village guy came in and bought me a drink! Well that was the evening cancelled, when I got back I just sawed some firewood for a bit!

Saturday, 23 July 2011


Its been raining the past few days so I thought I'd tackle the ironing and washing up. I had a simple plan to tackle it. Rather than do it all in one heroicpush, I thought I'd just do some washing up until I got bored, then tackle the ironing and then swap back. So, that's 1 cup and 3 spoons and a pair of socks done.

Monday, 18 July 2011

More Hay

Spent most of the day loading up hay in a handcart and taking it around to Steve's place. We cleared the lot with four trips.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

...While the Sun Shines

...While the Sun Shines by A John Walters
...While the Sun Shines, a photo by A John Walters on Flickr.
I heard a noise at the gate about lunchtime. When I got to the door, I spotted a bike but couldn't see anyone. Looking up the garden, I could just see Hobo and Steve disappearing behind my Walnut tree. They'd come to turn the hay over in next door's garden.