in the mail i received...

...a wedding invitation in ottawa this august.

ooh, in a moment i was searching for flights home this summer, wondering just out of curiosity how much it would cost for me to visit family and friends for a couple of weeks in august. i had no plans to go home until the holidays next christmas, but maybe things change! thinking, thinking.

i love the granny smith apple design of the invitations, thats what i really wanted to share. nice navy blue, green and white. my cousin has good taste.


sundays, might perhaps be my favourite day of the week.

last sunday: david and i baked rye faccacia bread all by ourselves. we've been meaning to bake our own bread for a while since we used to do it in peterborough but we also had a lot more time to keep an eye on rising dough. so we gave it a try. i used a recipe from heike at frogpondfarm. her daughter would bake foccacia bread someimes on weekends to sell at the winery. it was so delicious and it turned out nonetheless delicious for us. it was almost twenty degrees, no reason not to inaugurate picnic season with some sandwiches, orange juice, greek olives and apples from granny's house on the steps of the national museum.

this sunday: david and i went searching for gruyere cheese. i wanted so badly to make the perfect french onion soup. i couldnt find a real french baguette anywhere so i settled for a nice loaf of german bread. we found a nice bottle of cabernet franc and then the cheese. we tried three grocers and a gourmet cheese shop. of course they had it.. for the price of an arm and a leg. actually im not even sure my arm is worth so much. it costs 49$/kg! all i needed was a cup, but gasp. i decided to settle with a smoked french emmantal. the soup turned out delicious and fragrant. perfect with some thyme and david's perfect crutons. delicious food makes katie happy.

and alas since i had my film camera with me, there are no digital ones.
need to get film developped. need to find a scanner.



il y etait un statue criant dans le parc.

il y etait un statue criant dans le parc.

his cheeks are etched with forever tears.
maybe from the rain maybe just from age. a hat of melting snow too many dripped down his face in spring. he is an old cement man, you can already see his foundation cracking, the ivy loves to get her tendrils inside to grip and hold forever more and climb up, curling herself around his fare. its too early for that though. too early in spring for that. the ivy will cover in june. for now, it is just me and this cement man in a quiet forest. you can hear a peacock squawk in the background from the petting zoo. lets keep walking.

and so this cement man cries in the forest.


gypsy trash on a sunday afternoon.

david and i try to explore a new part of town every weekend. we look up a monument or a neighbourhood and poke our heads around to see what we can find. i have recently been enlightened to the street rules of garbage and gypsies. last week i witnessed groups of them late at night "squatting" on a pile of trash they claimed as theirs. they hold it and during the day they sort it for the valuables or useful items which they then sell from the other side of the sidewalk. they walk around waiting for garbage days to rotate and as soon as a new pile emerges they're on it. well. sunday was garbage day on ferenc körút and i spotted a really old suitcase still in good condition. we looked around and no gypsies were looking so we scooped it and started running the other way! one guy asked, 'hey do you know those two?' and starting to come after us. we took the first side street and lost ourselves quickly in the back streets.

we brought it home and fixed it all up, put some boot polish on the leather and its really a charm. it will fit nicely in our flat with our other vintage finds from here and there. from the label inside we were able to track down the story of the suitcase maker, a 'master' who taught 78 students his trunk making craft. hungarians are incredible artisans and you can tell this suitcase was made with care. Csango was the name of this suitcase company, you can see the ads we were able to find from google images. the text reads: Casango Henrik / master suitcase maker / Museum street 5 / The address is important, it is the only location to buy these suitcases, all others are fakes. (give or take, its a paraphrase from david's translation).

it is covered in travel stickers from hungary, austrian and germany from hotels to resorts. a nice collection and a nice find to say the least. i love little treasures like this and im actually impressed how much we were able to find out about our suitcase from the internet. its incredible. thanks gypsies for looking the other way.


once upon a time in peterborough

i lived in an old house downtown. with sometimes nine other people and a collie named molly. i am still not really getting it that i dont go to school anymore. when someone asks me what i do, student, is the first word out of my mouth even though its not true. now? i have the romantic title or writer, and the machine that goes with it. i sometimes imagine how romantic it must have been to write on a typewriter looking out through an open window to the street or a park. i hate sometimes to admit i sit in an office at a wheely chair and a desk with four legs, even if my computer work is interesting and i find little joys in knowing about destinations far far away and what airlines can take me there. a bird flies by and im distracted already. little sparrows and little swallows.

i still read texts my professors recommended and i follow syllabus (syllabi?) from classes im not taking, just because i love the structure of a reading course and what some friends are taking at school. here is my book collection in hungary at the moment. it was totally painstaking to choose which books to take and which to leave. but a recently acquired library card has solved it all thank you british council library. a few i took out are for an english class im teaching now. my first student.. ever.


granny's bedroom.

granny's room is full of little figurines that sparkle in the spring light, little mirrors and unfinished cross-stitches. train model boxes full of wedding photographs of couples she doesn't remember. david's granny was so beautiful when she was my age, when she got married. now i see her face more and more, her eyes are still young and her humour still fresh, even if i dont understand it sometimes. 

susi and i spent an afternoon on monday digging through old skirts and sweaters that have been stashed in the garage for nearly ten years. i brought a few skirts, a dress and a sweater back to budapest, washed them and i hope there are no little animals living in them. they still kind of smell. i wonder how to take out the smell.. perhaps a wash with baking soda on top of the detergent?


a nice tea party with david, granny and sus. ginger cookies too. she always serves her tea on a silver platter. she has them in several sizes. granny has great taste, she did good keeping a hold on the pretty things she liked when she was younger. they are trendy again.


faceless mysteries // ffffound goodness.

c'est lundi. happy revolution day.

i am dreaming of spring and the wind not blowing so strong my bones freeze. today i watched part of a historical movie depicting the beginning of the 1848 revolution in hungary that started in a small cafe, the pilvax which still stands a few streets over from where i live. i also drank for the first time some of david's homemade wine. light and fresh, perfect wine for a picnic. i think anyway. to me the nose had "hints of maple syrup and cherries."

hah. i think there is hardly anything nicer than sharing a glass of wine with the person who made it. i liked this most at frogpond, drinking a glass of wine with jens after work. its the same nice feeling here sitting with david's dad after lunch, eating sweet bread and sipping on some wine. 

im not sure what we're supposed to do on revolution day. except eat cakes and drink wine. shell walnuts and knit cowls. i think it is so far pretty productive. bank holidays are always appreciated.

 id like to have bangs like this. something casual and longish. i am waiting for my hair to grow longer a little bit though. its easy to do when i cant talk to hairdressers so i just dont go. seems my mum is the only one that ever understands what i want and i dont even have to tell her. she just snips and cuts and it always suits.would be nice to have hair long enough to tie up on the tip of my head.


how to sum a saturday thats not yet finished

saturday. day for museum day for coffee day for knitting and pizza dough.

sleep in and away.

an unsent postcard, delivered by hand.

a drawing of a picasso painting from the "pretty art" museum. its like people never saw anyone draw in an art museum before.

"for 80 more years hold his hand like that"

a homeless man said this to david and i today while walking down andrassy utca.

an espresso with loads of organic milk. half of a fair trade chocolate bar in the back of an english book store. outdated gq magazines with photographs of the 50 more stylish men in history... and what you can learn from them. entertainment. learn colloquial hungarian. nem kusi.

now the dough is rising in the over. dub step on the sterio. i love saturdays.


this is what today looks like

i look outside and its completely white. is it always true that the last snowfall is the hardest. in this case, i hope this is the last snowfall. i am a little anxious to see how the city is dealing with it. for now im safe on the third floor until its time to leave and i wrap myself up in my scarf and hat. i forgot my mittens today. what a day to forget one's mittens.

monday forecast: eight degrees.

tonight a dear dear friend is taking the train to budapest. im excited to share my flat with her for a few days, finally visiting place in this city i havent managed to see yet. i assume if this snow storm keeps up today and tomorrow we'll spend some time sipping tea and knitting, trading patterns and reminiscing about our granada days and other travels we've made together. susi and i used to cut and paste, paint and stitch together at art school.

im so happy for a break. just a little one.


she calls it flower architecture

i ffffound these images tonight while browsing around like anyone does and came across a particular lady making incredible things out of fabric, emersonmade she calls it flower architecture. whatever it is, its amazing. id really love a diy tutorial on these beautiful flower pins and arrangements. simple and completely charming.

arent they lovely?

lace covered rocks.

lace rocks from mary made me

pretty rocks covered in lace. i think these are the nicest paper weights i've seen. paper weights or just sitting on a shelf, holding down the table cloth in a windy day in the yard, or on my balcony now that i dont have a yard. one more simple project to add to my ever-growing list of diy projects i want to do soon. at some point in the free time i dont seem to have. next time i head to granny's house, ill scope out the attic for old pieces of lace, i know shes got some curtains, and the garden for some smooth and good-shaped rocks for this.

mary writes that she glued felt to the bottom to hold the lace in place.


pattern drafting & libraries

an original design by the lady behind the wildflowers::pretty  blog. the dress is perfect for spring. it has two things i love on a dress, buttons down the front and cute sleeves. i think its absolutely adorable. she promised to make up some more. id love to learn how to draft up pattern as well, im going to check out the british library this weekend to see if they have any pattern books, maybe some embroidery ones too.

i miss that most, i miss sitting in the library and taking out a pile books, so many that i cannot barely carry them. i like renting cds and dvds from the library, old botanical bibles and foreign language dictionaries. i havent been to a library in months now, its about time i get a library card here and find an english library. at last.


saturday was a walking day, sunday is a walking day too

i finally took my film camera for a walk yesterday. through the sunny streets (not to be confused with warm sunny streets since it was only 2 or 3 degrees) and to margaret island. you can get there by bridge and then walk all the way up and down it. it is the largest island in the danube in budapest. covered in little forests with big old trees that have their trunks protected by ivy. in the 12th c there was a monastery and a small church still stands there. it has a bell which is believe to be the oldest in hungary.

there are dogs everywhere, finally stretching their legs. i always scoffed before at people keeping dogs in budapest's city centre. i know how small apartments are here but seeing to many owners with their dogs off the leash and playing around with them was nice to see. margaret island is a great spot and its right in the centre of the city, almost. we explored the little zoo there too which was full of squawking peacocks and funny hoofed friends, walked along the banks and were entertained by a dog, choki, trying to get his red ball that had fallen into the water. i still dont know if he got his ball or not.

our first big walk of spring. what a feeling. i like to walk and walk so long that your legs hurt when you get home. we were gone three hours and covered a lot of ground. our legs got tired from not moving all winter. if this is how spring will be, welcome! i love it.

it is equally sunny out today too. so i proposed to go shopping for some more spring-like second hand goodies. i know just the place too.


fixed gear bikes. again.

aujourd'hui c'est vendredi.

david went to the hungarian bike expo and now we're dreaming of fixy bikes again. especially since the weather is turning nice. recently ive found out about a new phenomenon, which i think is mostly still in japan but it is fixed gear bike polo. it looks somewhat hardcore but how fun is that to smash a ball around, weaving in and out of other cyclists. id like to give this sport a try.

giorgio vianini  (both images)

spring also means that critical mass starts again. hallelujah.


wednesday the third of march

last year at this time i was stressing over an art exhibition, sewing papers to muslin and trying to learn how to drive standard. good grief. this time this year i am overwhelmed in hungarian antics and occasional homesick thoughts about canada, trying to really adapt to an office job.

i really thing wednesday is the hardest day to get through. and im glad it is finished, almost.


lazy / busy / occupied / hmm

i can say that i've been really busy this last week, hardly having time to write emails or hand-written letters or anything internety but when i look in my moleskin actually most of the pages are blank, a reminder here a reminder there. not so much.

i feel at least somewhat productive, finally making a long scarf out of all the yarn i found at granny's place. mix and match, textures and colours. i was inspired by this scarf i found on at swim two birds. i think its mix is very lovely and so im working on my own.

does anyone knit on the metro? i was thinking to start doing it on my morning commute. its only about 20 minutes but i could get some rows in here and there. i was just wondering if anyone knits and walks or knits and commutes. i wonder if it is too weird for hungarians to see someone knit on the metro. i would be surprised too.

scarf from at-swim-two-birds 

my scarf in the works

i am craving spanish avocadoes and im thinking about granada again. a good friend from halle who i met in granada might come for a visit in a few weeks from germany. i couldnt be more excited to have her here for a long long weekend. she even travelled to canada to visit me. susi makes some really nice installations too.