Nine years today…

8th July 2010


My poor little car rolled into Magura, loaded to the gunnels, bringing me to the village as the newest resident. We trundled across Europe for 8 days, after leaving London SE1 on 1st July, taking the scenic route and having adventures in six countries.

The house was nowhere near ready, even for camping in.

And it was years before every room was habitable. But I had my books and other comforts, and I acquired cats.

IMG_6939First, skinny kitten Hobbs, who blackmailed me for biscuits and tins of food.

Then she became Mama Hobbs, producing three kittens in May 2011. Mouse, Buster and George grew to become handsome and all bigger than their mum. Officially the happiest cats in Romania.

I only survived thanks to my neighbours, who have been kind and tolerant of the odd English writer in their midst: they’ve fed me, entertained and helped me since I arrived.

There have been furry souls in need of rescue:

…and members of the neighbouring family, and occasionally a new and beautiful friend.


There have been visits from friends, strangers and family over the years, the strangers becoming friends, of course.

But every day there is beauty all around me, in every season, wild and domestic, rain and shine.

This is indeed a little corner of heaven, my stake in Transylvania.Stake_AMB 3D render with shadow


Surviving ebola: the Romanian solution

Two years ago I was enjoying some hospitality in Brasov, having made Romanian medical history by being the first ebola suspect in the country…


I had a high fever and had been in London three weeks earlier, which was within the incubation period for the disease which was ravaging parts of Africa. So someone pushed the button and the ebola contingency plan went into action.

Of course I had nothing of the kind, just a mean little microbe that did its best to eat one of my limbs.

At the time the hospital’s reaction seemed a little over the OTT but imagine the disaster had they not taken precautions and I had been infected…