Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wood collection part II

If we hadn't been looking forward to the first day of collecting our fuel supply then certainly the second day with only our near psychopathic 1960's Zetor tractor driving neighbour as company held us with more fear.
He has a habit of gossip and uncensored chat, fortunate to me that I don't understand all or very little of what he is saying, unfortunate for Jana. 
As it happened the day was smoother, and the neccesary minimal that was required to be chopped was done.
With my back temporarily displaced it was time for that rewarding refreshment but not before an opportunity to meet some friends of our neighbour, probably the most stereo-typical Slovak countryside folk we had ever come across. Like walking on the set of a 1980's Czechoslovakian comedy film, and straight after a pig-killing session too, what more could be cliched!? The bubbly-friendly large breasted woman in her pinny and not much else stole the show, a short chubby man with fluffy moustache left to do the farm chores as we spoke, father and dopey son who bizarrely thought he used to work with me, and later back from factory work a giant son who dwarfed over us even when he sat down. Home made drink passed round, as I was driving I missed this treat, it made the whole occasion very friendly.   
One more day left to pull down, chainsaw and split, and then my body can relax until a return at the same time next year...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wood collection

Saturday was f**king hard work. 
I am glad this happens only once a year, although we still have the pleasure of a couple more days this week of doing it.
With the assistance of our neighbour with his tractor and the assured guide of one other experienced pair of hands the task was to get the trees to the ground, chainsawed to the desired metre lengths and most gruelling of all halved and quartered with the splitting axe. The aches and pains are still felt from this first day, my back feeling like a twisted §

Friday, September 21, 2012

Internet less

Due to the poor repair service policy at T-mobile we are without internet for up to 30 days. Now heavily reliant on an occasional working wi-fi zone in town or to sit with the middle-aged men ogling women in chat-rooms at the library, this will greatly reduce our activity on the blog. We will try to keep you posted as much as we can.
Just been to the 'Wood' office, queuing with all the bearded lumberjacks for our voucher to give permission to chop down our winter fuel supply from the forest. Tomorrow, a tractor, chains, chainsaw and lots of bread with salami at the ready... 

Friday, September 14, 2012

building work update

Our builder friends are now virtually residing in Havran Cottage as each stage of the house gets closer to an almost livable state. Our bathroom, which you see in the picture, now has wires and cables, which is certainly an improvement to the empty space a few weeks ago. A sign of productiveness amongst the chaos. Out here the general rule is that you should be able to do it all yourself, unfortunately as a foreigner I am still learning and therefore restricted to the fun jobs of digging out channels for our drain-off in the sweaty outdoor heat.                                              

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Sorry no pictures allowed where I am accommodated tonight, the airport. The joy of budget airlines at 'silly-time' o'clock as our main connection route. 
A lot has changed since I first started taking the UK-Slovakia journey, through two defunct airlines to the present experiences of everyone's favourite (according to them) Ryanair.
And it's not just the airline but the sort of passengers that take this route have changed or grown-up too. From nearly full planes of au-pairs, the odd boyfriend or two, and occasional entrepreneur to the present mix of young families with tearful babies, construction job-hunters and weekend staggers, it's funny how it begins to reflect the changes in the roles of Slovaks in both countries. And this over such a short period of a decade.
With its gleaming new terminal buildings at Bratislava, motorways finally linking and occassional Eu funded projects taking off, the next catchment for the airlines and for this country is tourism. 
There is still deadwood stubbornly resisting all the changes available in Slovakia, the sleepiness of the country can be a bit crazy sometimes, and the only acceleration you might only visually see is the Slovak car driver desperately trying to over-take you. Slowly though with more natives returning, more ideas will develop and hopefully take to realizing that the airport is not a means of escape. 
If this sounds like drivel, it's because it's late and I am tired and want to go home there too. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012


A regular morning walk around the apple trees to save the fallen crop from further hornet attack.
The sweet fruit scents arousing these giants, always suspicious of why we are taking away their all day breakfast. Trying to show we aren't afraid, they smell fear otherwise.
Attacks from all sides as the potato plants unsteadily begin to wilt in the heat and from the growing army of Colardo beetle bug (see 'Wiki'!). My only source to dismantle the bug population is to drown them in our compost bucket of pee and peelings.