If you’re Romanian and if you love your country, or if you’ve forgotten how amazing it really is; if you want to be reminded of how life is in the Romanian countryside, if you now live outside Romania and want your kids, your spouse, your friends to know more about the country… this is for you. If you’re intrigued by a foreigner’s point of view of your home, or if you want to read the name Transylvania without the clichés that usually follow… this is for you.
If you’re not Romanian but are intrigued by the idea of Transylvania, or if you didn’t know that Transylvania was a real place; if you want to know about packing up the kitchen sink and moving to the middle of nowhere in a foreign language, aged 50+, and on your own; if you’ve been through bereavement and feel that your head is full of fog… If you’re just looking for somewhere different to go for a couple of weeks… This is for you.
All these great images were conjured up by magician Matei L. Buta, friend and summer neighbour. Just show that the camera – if wielded by a master snapper – can lie through its teeth.
I’m a writer. Cat person. Idle gardener. Editor. Teacher. Journalist. Cook. Cloud watcher. Pyromaniac. Cat person. Reader. Twitterphobe. Birdwatcher.
Born and bred in rural West Sussex my first job was with an eccentric solicitor who taught me some genuinely useful things. Then I was a dresser at Chichester Festival Theatre and took a suede glove back to Ingrid Bergman after every performance. Then I went to London, naive and 19, and had lots of jobs, including wardrobe at the Royal Shakespeare Company and English National Opera, where I learned a lot about a lot. Left London in 1988 and decamped to Liverpool, where I spent a happy 20 years, being a business journalist and writing books. Then a chunk of my family died over 14 months and I couldn’t think, work or pay the mortgage. I moved to Wales for 15 months and lived with jackdaws, then migrated south to Transylvania, where I’ve lived since 2010, in a wooden house 1,000 metres up in the Carpathians. I wrote some books in Liverpool, and am now writing again in Transylvania. I also teach a specific thing about writing. I edit things for companies, essentially turning GoogleTranslate English into actual English. I watch clouds and birds, commune with cats, peer at wild flowers, dream about my ideal garden, spend too much time on Facebook, make chutney and listen to The Archers.
In November 2017, Romanian TV channel Digi24 (one of the most respected) came to visit me at home, and made an eight-minute film of their afternoon here. See what you think. Are you tempted to make a similar move?