Monday. Wonderful meals of home-grown eggs and meat continue at Robin & Zeno's. Those white hens (apparently some kind of ancient Hungarian breed) continue to potter around unexpected corners of the gardens. They're usually in small scouting teams, investigating new segments of greenery like rather fat commandoes. The 2 shaggy white dogs, widow & daughter of the now-dead nutty komondor patriarch Lupi, sleep in various locations, sometimes with black-and-white cats curled up next to them or even on top of them. These cats, dotted all over the estate like random punctuation marks, are apparently offspring of Pom Pom. I learn from Zeno that incest among cat family members is common and not genetically dangerous. Curiously, all the dogs and cats seem to have learned that the hens are not to be chased, and there is no cat-and-dog violence either. Three cats are pregnant, it seems, so there will soon be litters of kittens. It emerges at breakfast that the seven plump wriggly handfuls of new puppy life are no more. They got zapped last night already.
Sunday. Chat with Zeno the Alchemist about science fiction as I clean resurgent fungus off the pork/beef sausages again, this time with a stronger vinegar solution. Robin a week or two ago referred me to the Terry Thomas character in a 1960s film explaining how wonderfully Zeno has transformed the farm & house, like a truly expert valet. He carefully separated out all the different types of screws and nails in the garage.
Saturday. Robin drives Jessica & me to his house on the Great Plain. I've been trying to find new homes for the younger komondor's mixed-breed puppies for a week now, and they're still adorable. Jessica resolves we must find a way to save them from being euthanased. Pig resurrection spurs non-sequitur brains-in-vats waffle.
Friday. British judge wishes carrying a mobile phone was compulsory.
Thursday. Should parents ask babies' permission to change nappies?
Wednesday. Microsoft sue a man for recycling old computers.
Tuesday. The city has been authentically warm and sticky for a fortnight now. Grass is thick and high, and trees are full of green even thought they still seemed bare just 3 or 4 weeks ago. Girls are in short frocks or sawn-off jeans. However, we hear that men online are contracting out the flirtation part.
Monday. Heady talk of a 'Master Algorithm', as if intelligence or consciousness was even slightly likely to be generated by a category of maths.
Sunday. To bed late, I cross the small lawn under a black sky filled with stars. In the completely dark the studio, I see a strange silently billowing shape up in the dark gallery area. Realise that Robin has taken a window out, a net curtain is ballooning and swirling over the empty window hole in complete silence. The wasps seem to have left but I stay on the lower sofa, wondering at the cool breeze the missing window sends round the large but formerly sticky & airless studio space. Quite inspiring article about some people who let a farm go completely wild.
Saturday. Back in the countryside, I shift down to the lower sofa in Robin's studio, leaving the wasps to their rebellious mutterings. It's Earth Day! Created by a man who killed & composted his girlfriend.
Friday. Finnish funkster Jimi Tenor glimpses Higher Planes.
Thursday. Never too late to start again: On A Clear Day.
Wednesday. We had a love, a love, a love you don't find every day; don't, don't, don't, don't let it slip away.
Human League cover.
Tuesday. An open problem in graph theory yields not just to an amateur mathematician, but to one who happens to be Mr Let's Cure Ageing, the Harrovian with the clipped voice.
Monday. If wasps played guitar they'd sound like this.
Sunday. Those wasps are massing near my head upstairs in the gallery of Robin's studio, probably building a nest. I keep waking up with 30 or 40 of them on the window pane next to the sofa. A bit Amityville, though they generally just make grumbling noises and only buzz near my head in ones and twos as a well-meaning way of getting me to arise and engage with the day. Last night I puffed candle smoke all over them, and they seem a bit hungover this morning as a result. A large white cockerel accompanied by (his?) four fat white hens wanders across the grass I can see through that pane - I had no idea the birds roamed freely outside the wired enclosure. Strange portents abound.
Saturday. The investigation of President Honey Monster continues to turn into an investigation of Obama, Clinton, & the FBI.
Friday the 13th. Exciting! The Day Of Unluckiness goes relatively well, apart from accidentally arriving at work in Obuda short of sleep and an hour earlier than the early-enough 8am. In more Dr Moreau news, researchers are growing tiny human brains inside rats. Are we concerned?
Thursday. A reflective piece about liberals versus "progressives".
Wednesday. A short update on the global warming story.
Tuesday. Back in the Big Pogacsa, at Michael's place. Suddenly weather is getting warmer. A "very angry badger" closes part of a castle.
Monday. Looking out of an upper window in the studio, I vaguely realise that there is a subtle difference between the colour of the slices of sky between the branches of the bare tree depending, of course, on time of day. In the morning, when the sun is coming from that direction, the blue is sweeter, "higher". By evening the sun is the other side of the barn-sized studio, behind whoever is inside that window looking out, and the blue is more powdery, very slightly more violet. Closer to the opaquer, denser evening blue of a painting where the sunset is behind us. Yesterday, more baby chicks got installed in the smaller winter studio next door, and the orange-lit floor swarms with them day and night in the couple of feet low down under the heat lamps dangling on long leads from the high ceiling. Either black or cream, they crowd around like animated balls of cotton wool, fat furry apostrophes hopping, tumbling, and bouncing in the social melee. A peculiar effect from Saturday still sinking in, a sensation of freedom at giving back the keys to my former flat, despite the fact I'm dependent on friends and am now homeless.
Sunday. Around 11pm an early count of today's votes seem to suggest Orban and Fidesz are not only returned to power, but have obtained the 2/3 majority that can change Hungary's constitution to further entrench his party's grip on power. Slightly oddly, this constituency map erases the region's largest lake.
Saturday. I do a long day cleaning and packing, Robin turns up and we somehow pack his car. He folds his 18-year-old son Bela and me into the parcel-packed vehicle like some kind of 3D origami puzzle. Stopping for coffee at a petrol station on the way, Robin remarks how he threw a block of butter across a supermarket the previous day for his daughter Zsuzsi to catch, she dropped it, he called her 'butterfingers', and she didn't get the joke.
British firm designs a tea that tastes like biscuits dipped in tea.
Friday. Wake up in the morning at 5.25am out of a vivid dream in which I'm near the top of an office block which rumbles lightly and then the top 3 or 4 floors twist round about 90 degrees, come off the block in one chunk and then somehow crash hundreds of feet to the ground without killing any of us. Feels momentous, yet oddly enough not really frightening.
Important stories in recent weeks include prosecution of Sarkozy in France over missing money and the war on Libya, and a Chinese firm buying a stake in Deutsche Bank. The first suggestion is that Gaddafi funded his election, and then France attacked Libya with British & American help and made sure Gaddafi was shot dead. The second suggestion is that China is picking up influence on European policy by taking on some German bad debts.
Thursday. Dr D tells me more of the changes to the voting law that were made a couple of years ago, and discover that the prime ministerial candidate for the opposition socialists (and their election partner Dialogue for Hungary) rejoices in the name Gregory New Year Christmas (Gergely Szilveszter Karacsony).
Wednesday. As I shift bags of dust and junk out of the slowly emptying flat, I run into The Man Of Shadow on the ground floor several days in a row. We greet each other as though in some kind of unspoken alliance. A memory comes back from last September when all the power went out in much of the district. I was downstairs on the front steps enjoying the sight of the whole street in darkness and he was standing next to me soundlessly rolling a cigarette. After a moment's silence he asks me about a time half a year earlier when I'd locked myself out of my flat for the first and only time and went to him for help in his janitor persona. He'd advised me against climbing up the outside of the building and said regretfully he had no spare keys. As we now stood in the darkness he takes his first drag off the roll-up, and quietly asks in a voice of mild curiosity how did I manage to get back into my flat that night six months ago? I explained I persuaded my neighbour to let me practise on his door with a relatively bendy store discount card I have in my wallet, locating exactly where his latch was so I could find just the right height on my own door to slide the card in. Small crumpled man takes another puff on his roll-up, exhales, squints out at the power-cut-darkened city borough, and murmurs with almost donnish approval, "I was pretty sure you'd manage it somehow."
Tuesday. Back in Budapest, I was worrying about how to get the two giant plastic boxes Martin gave me off the balcony and into the rubbish, and then I find the upper parts crumble to the touch. My guess this is a UV light effect is confirmed when the parts of the boxes on the underside protected from daylight are much tougher and harder to break up.
Easter Monday. No nonsense today splashing aftershave on village girls.
Easter Sunday. Hristos Anesti! Christ is risen. A delightfully odd 1830s account of spontaneous life created in the lab.
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