Viorel steers horse Carina up the hill after delivering my life-saving firewood. Chivu and Vladut wave goodbye as they head home
Nelu and Dragos render dry wood into soba-sized logs
Another golden heap of beech and birch logs delivered from up the hill by Viorel and Chivu
The yawningly empty woodshed now has a growing heap of logs to fill it for the winter
My fabulous neighbours… Tica came down earlier to tell me that she and her husband Chivu have two cubic metres of dry wood that they could let me have; Viorel, the neighbour between us, has some green wood, and (pictured) has just helped Chivu deliver the first lot. Meanwhile, downhill neighbours Nelu and his son Dragos were chopping the remaining logs from last year to a length suitable for my wood-burning stoves.
What was beginning to look like a very chilly winter indeed – due to idiotic legislation and weak forestry management – has turned warm from kindness as all my neighbours band together to supply me with fuel.
Around the world, Transylvania has one name associated with it above all others. I’ll admit to coming here in the first place for a week’s holiday partly because of the toothy aristocrat, but it was more to do with 1960s nostalgia and my big sister than any Gothic tendencies. My sister Ginny liked the hoary old Hammer Horror films with imposing figure of Christopher Lee as Dracula, menacing nice English girls in leafy London suburbs… read more
The stage show I worked on in 1978: spooky, elegant nonsense