Thursday, December 27, 2012


Sauerkraut soup and fish with potato salad for two days, no room for the turkey here. Homemade chocolate brownie (by moi) and a hot cuppa to round off a quiet christmas in Havran.
No rest as we strive to do more repair pointing mixture on the internal walls, sanding doors and frames to make them look older (as if they didn't look old enough already!), and general configuring of what is going to happen here next year.
The occasional game of cards or the increasingly competitive table football have been our festive treats.
Whilst Jana takes a deserved short nap with the cat, I look around this place and see a wheelbarrow next to our bed, terracotta tiles stacked in various corners of the house, two containers of sand in the bathroom, half a pumpkin left in the bedroom, electric wires still exposed in walls, several tools randomly found on the floor, an apple half eaten on a window ledge, and wood drying out in various positions near the kitchen stove, our central hub to all the chaos that surrounds. Soup was delicious by the way! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Our new companion on walks is our cat. Ever the adventurous, no tree too tall to climb.
Icy snow has hardened so much for it to be too difficult to even leave a footprint as you walk. The cat's dinky footprints so delicate as she patters along behind us. 
Sledging conditions are at a unprecedented perfect/dangerous level, so far one slightly cut nose, and one crash into a frozen solid haystack. 
As darkness falls and mist drops suddenly distant noises of crunching snow from the wilderness that surrounds us become amplified. This dares us to go beyond our gate to find the wild inhabitants. No sound allowed to be uttered as we wander up the hill above the house. Holding our breath, we listen out. A few more brief sounds and finger pointing into what direction it came from before the silence is broken by our dogs barking knowing we are still nearby and unfortunately the moment has well and truly gone. Still, a chance to trundle back home, warm the icicled toes next to the fire and reminisce  to our fearless feline who probably experiences this exhilaration everytime she goes on one of her walks. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

kicked off

As temperatures drop, the icy topped snow glistens in the clear and silent moonlit sky a sound of anguish can be heard within the walls of Havran Cottage as another goal enters the red team's net. I am not naming who out of us is on the receiving end of this one sided contest. 
Outside the sledging challenge is back with the lightening quick Havran 'piste' taking centre stage. Smooth and slick runs followed by the endurance testing climb back up the hill. 
The whistling from the stove's kettle signals a hot cup of tea whilst waiting for our inside wall's pointing mixture to dry a little more before application. Not all work work work here.  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


The pleasures of travelling to and from Bratislava Airport. The near empty brand spanking new terminal buildings for the four arrivals and four departures a day winter timetable (surely the quietest capital city airport in Europe..?). The now in-famous bus trip taking you from the airplane to the terminal building, 10 minutes to get everyone on the bus for the 11 seconds journey, it gives a driver a job at least. Your luggage can be found in the pile of bags near the entry of the conveyor belt as they are all thrown off on arrival into the terminal building. A chance to clamber over the static belt to retrieve your belongings if you are lucky. 
I'm not a fan of airplane loos so a visit to the airport's plush and squeaky clean ones is a must. And if you don't mind your bottom being washed by the constant automatic flush then there isn't a problem. Just to make sure everything has gone down two more flushes can be heard distantly behind you as you walk out. Efficiency.
Magazines and newspapers must only be bought based on eye view and without any peaking to what may be inside to entice you to buy it. You get a right telling off otherwise! 
The new road system outside is still a learning curve as drivers like to either park sideways across the diagonal parking slots or block the bus lanes for the benefit of passengers arriving who then don't have to use the crossing to get to the car park on the other side. (I could write a whole book on the parking skills of Slovak drivers but that's for another time).
Alas no more of those pleasures for me this year, my slippers have never felt so comfy as now.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Winter blues

Our cat has experienced the white stuff for the first time. Despite the early joy of catching snowflakes with her paws, boredom has prevailed and is now lapped up on the sofa near stove. Surprisingly warmer now outside after the previous icy winds but we are still cut off from civilisation until the in-fighting between farmers stops and decides who's turn it is to clear the road. Hour long walk to town otherwise..     

Sunday, December 2, 2012


It might be thought that our long absence from the 'blog world' was due to the previously as mentioned arrival of hot water and relaxation time in the bath tub. Not completely so!
With winter literally on the horizon, the rush to be prepared along with ever decreasing daylight has pushed us to evenings of extreme tiredness and early nights. 
Wood is now correctly piled high, the garden has been weeded and covered over as far as Jana's boggy boots could manage, apples finally all pressed or stored, shutters closed and good night..