Charming short article in The Guardian, by Rena Effendi, about the living tradition of haymaking as part of the still-extant peasant lifestyle of Transylvania. This picture (also by Effendi) was taken in Maramures, where the haystacks are tall and thin.
Here where I live, in southern Transylvania, the haystacks are fat and stable to withstand tougher winds.
Another article, this time in the Financial Times, suggests that Transylvania is the new Tuscany. An Italian living in the Saxon villages is extolling the ancient ways of Saxon Transylvania as being reminiscent of the old Tuscan lifestyle.
I’ve just found this video from the Romanian Cultural Institute’s event at the 2018 London Book Fair. I was very much the easy-reading grit in the academic literary oyster… My bit starts 1 hr 11 mins in.
Another jolly interview, thanks to Transylvania Beyond – lots of photos in this one.
Thanks to the Romania Journal for some keen questions in yesterday’s interview. I opted to be candid, since cautious answers make for an anodyne read…
What do you think – should I have responded more neutrally?
On the first day of Bookfest 2019 in Bucharest, I had an audience to talk about my book A Stake in Transylvania. This is how much I enjoyed it.
Thanks to Bookfest’s clever photographer…
And at the very end of the day, as a very unexpected bonus, the British Ambassador introduced me to one Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania. And to my great surprise, he recognised me… “Is it possible that I’ve seen you in a documentary?” he asked. “It’s possible,” I replied. Here’s the evidence (the Prez is the tallest in the line-up)
Dahlia’s Pet Detectives (Dalia si micii detectivi) will be in the spotlight at the end of next week (Thursday 31st May, Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd June) when my new book is launched at Bucuresti’s Bookfest (Romexpo).
If you read Floss the lost puppy, you’ll recognise the village of Fân (Hay) where Dahlia and Chip are neighbours and schoolmates of Thea and Tudor Thimble. A completely new story, but set in the same Transylvanian village, high up in the Carpathian Mountains.
I have a Pinterest board devoted to pictures of cats like Onyx, and crows like Gossip. So you can see what Dahlia’s friends look like as you read their adventures…
I’ll be waiting to meet you on the Booklet Fiction stand on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at midday, ready to sign your copies. Come and say hello!
Read more about Dahlia and her friends here!
Beautiful TV presenter Ioana Mihalca and her expert crew came to see me in Magura last month, and made a charming 8-minute film from their afternoon’s visit. They also talked to my neighbour Roxana, and my friends from Zarnesti, Dan and Luminita Marin.
The resulting film was broadcast on the show Bonton at the end of November.
What do you think?
I’m donating royalties from my new book, Floss the lost puppy, to two fabulous animal charities here in Romania.
Every book you buy will help save a dog (or a cat) that is homeless, sick or injured.
Romania Animal Rescue is an amazing group of vets at the Centre of Hope in Bucharest – see what they do every day to save dogs and cats.
Eli Pet Transport is a Romanian-British charity that rescues dogs from all over Romania, socialises them till they’re ready for a new home, then takes them to the UK to their new families.
All the people involved are stellar human beings who have devoted their lives, their homes, their careers to the welfare of cats and dogs.
If you love animals, buy a book, donate direct to their websites, spread the word about what they do, teach kids about the value of pets and how to care for them – help in any way you can…
PS: You can find out more about Floss on his website, and read reviews of the book here.
The latest Floss review came in today, from Alex Tatulescu who lives near London. I hope you can read the image – it’s so nice to read his letter as he wrote it.
In case the image isn’t quite clear enough, you can read his review here.
And yes, Alex, I’ve already started the next book. It’s set in the same village, but it’s a very different story! Funny, and a bit bonkers, with some proper baddies. I don’t know when it will be published, but keep your fingers crossed!
I’d love to see you! I’ll be on Booklet Fiction’s stand at Romexpo from midday on Friday 24th, and at lunchtime on Saturday, too. Come and say hello, and get your books signed.
A perfect Christmas story, set in the mountains near Brasov. A bilingual edition, so a great read for Romanian and English-speaking kids aged 7+.
Readers of all ages love the book – read some reviews!