Posted by: Valerie | September 29, 2009

Damp and dreary days

After a protracted period of glorious autumn weather we seem to have been projected into November. Much torrential rain and high winds. The leaves are leaving! I hope some stick around until after Thanksgiving. We’re so looking forward to having my son James and Angela his wife with their 3-month old baby, Deklin. This is their first trip with the baby. Oh, and Magnus the biggest Golden Retriever in the world will be coming for the swimming in our lake. He doesn’t seem to care about the temperature of the water.

So these damp and dreary days have not excited us into too much activity. I have spent two solid days trying to get a proper PDF of Joe’s book for the printer and my brain hurts.

With nothing really interesting happening at the moment, I think I’ll write about Joe. Joe and I are both widowed and have been together now for seven years. He is mainly a cheerful dear soul who tells rotten jokes that only he laughs at. He loves music and plays on his keyboard from time to time. At an auction recently he bought a clarinet but doesn’t know what to do with it – there is a book on order! I may want to go and visit the family in Ottawa while he gets to grips with it!

When we met Joe told me he was the most patient man on earth – this is completely untrue.

Almost 53 years ago Joe left his home land of Hungary with about 200,000 other refugees to make a new life – just wait, the book will evenutally get printed and blogged. He still suffers from pangs of home-sickness and goes back to visit fairly frequently. I went with him in 2004 and had a wonderful time seeing the country but of course, not speaking the language was a big disadvantage with all the relatives. Although Budapest and the cities are completely sophisticated, rural life still belongs to another era – as witness this guy ploughing his field with a horse. I took that photo in 2004! T.SZ.M. ploughing

Joe and I both love to travel and would happily bum around, living out of our suitcases for a large part of the year. A couple of years ago we went to England for my daughter Anna’s wedding in Tunbridge Wells, a trip to Wolverhampton where Joe lived for many years and then a Eurohop to Rome. We stayed with wonderful Italian relatives of Joe’s. Their English was almost as bad as our Italian but somehow we communicated happily and even made jokes! I fell completely and utterly in love with Rome and, having thrown my coin into the Fontana de Trevi, am constantly thinking of another trip.


  1. Wolverhampton?–no wonder he became a Manchester United fan. I try to be a Middlesbrough or Newcastle fan but both have been relegated from the premiership league.

    Keep up the good news, Val–will look forward to Joe’s book.

  2. I, too, am looking forward to Joe’s book. :o) Am really enjoying getting to know you through this blog. So, when are you coming to stay in New Zealand. We speak tolerable English, just! We even make jokes, although sometimes they may seem a little odd.

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