Friday. Interesting revelations about the Swedish teenage girl who used publicity to bully Britain's government into declaring a "climate emergency".
Thursday. Men who try too hard to make themselves look good for the chicks, can in the process make themselves sterile, boffins warn.
Wednesday. Two articles about the Italian government's efforts to manoeuvre itself out of the euro-currency death-trap: rather like my entry to the 2012 Wolfson Essay Competition that never got read, boo hoo! First and second.
Tuesday. We keep on getting chilly, rainy days. About three days of grey British-style weather for each day of warm sunshine. Famed investigative journalist Seymour Hersh back in 2017 briefs one of our contributors on the CIA's bogus 2016 claims that Russians hacked the DNC e-mail servers here.
Monday. Revisiting the Bunny Rabbit Apocalypse video.
Sunday. Thoughts on the importance of Hegel Jargon for the left.
Saturday. Take bus to see Seamstress Aranka in next village to Robin's village with my disintegrating bag, 2nd supershirt project, and my threadbare black pullover. Walking back, a small friendly cloud shepherds me along perhaps two miles of sunbaked open road. Drifting protectively above me almost like a balloon on a string, its cloud-shaped shadow keeps perfect pace with my walking speed. The clouds look like giant dollops of ice-cream: dazzling white is always lemon flavour curiously enough, isn't it? On the internet, come across some songs by Plan B (or Ben Drew) from London. Surprisingly moralistic Mod Redux:
Stay Too Long /
Praying (Can that be FKA Twigs in the prison visiting room scene?) /
Darkest Place /
Traded In My Cigarettes.
Friday. El Trumpo announces counter-censorship measure. Crossing the Great Plain today by train in high afternoon, assorted cloud shapes stand seemingly completely still in blue skies: The Squirrel; The Clenched Fist; The Spanish Galleon.
Thursday. Today Britain votes in European Parliament elections, seeing as protracted EU foot-dragging, stone-walling, and sabotage has kept the country inside the trade bloc almost three years after the 2016 vote. A substantial majority for Farage's turquoise Brexit Party seems likely, though results only get announced after other countries vote on Sunday. Ballot boxes could go missing for days - not just hours as in 2015.
Wednesday. Michael finds charming interview with English historian David Starkey. Meanwhile, Mervyn King, former Bank of England governor, says a no-deal Brexit wouldn't be so bad after all. Quelle surprise, mes braves.
Tuesday. Physicist Leonard Susskind lucidly presents the hologram-universe theory. Bees are now talking to fish over the internet, it seems.
Monday. Jupiter's Great Red Spot now unravelling like an old pullover.
Sunday. Old but interesting article says earliest language African.
Saturday. Why natural resources aren't natural. Controversial!
Friday. 1970s TV: Alec Guinness recounts foreseeing James Dean's death.
Thursday. One of our contributors fears impending US/Iran war.
Wednesday. Old snatch of cartoon set to club track.
Tuesday. First green/white necks of basil seedlings nudge above the soil. After some straining and awkwardness in the kitchen (you always find out it's a two-man, four-hand job after the point of no return), I manage to get the two neon-tube cases reattached under the kitchen cabinet. Extra light radically changes mood in kitchen. Piece about naughty data-tweaking to make the global-warming case look plausible. Forbes also doubts renewables.
Monday. Wolves friendlier than dogs, men with clipboards find. I buy two new neon tubes from a completely humourless (therefore, in the Hungarian fashion, probably reliable and professional) lightbulb man near Nyugati station.
Sunday. Flat so quiet that a wet shirt dripping onto the bath tap handle creates a pinging noise
rather like a doorbell ringing somewhere distant in the building. Memories of the banshee.
Saturday. Alternating days of warm sun, and cloudy chilly rain. The coolest Budapest May & April I've seen for a few years. I visit a fitness gym where, because all the changing-room lockers had locks replaced by digital number pads, almost none work. A cheery mechanic explains he changed all the batteries only a week ago. Together we locate the two lockers in fifty which can actually close.
More concern being expressed that 5G wireless communications technology might be different and pose subtle
risks to health.
Friday. Buy seeds and plant them in six tiny pots in Michael's flat. Sweden's noble renewable-energy targets are harming the country.
Thursday. Michael leaves for London. Wake up at Robin's flat, after being surprised to find Letty already back from her London adventure. Strange allegation by an association of Catholic doctors that mass vaccination is being used as a cover for covertly sterilising millions of young African women.
Wednesday. Mass deaths in Chinese pig population: some version of Ebola.
Tuesday. On train back into town finish Paul Sutton's curious poetry collection 'Parables For The Pouring Rain'. Bleak, offhand short verses about new housing estates in an England stripped of spiritual meaning or cultural content sit intriguingly with a several-page pastiche of a Sherlock Holmes story. Definitely unsettling. A bit like some of the writing in Trevor Holye's 1979 novel 'The Man Who Travelled On Motorways'.
Monday. Sleep 12 hours. Roger Scruton, recently denounced as 'Islamophobic' is in fact a friend of Islam, says Telegraph. Also my memory of his book 'West and the Rest'.
Sunday. Sleep 12 hours. Intriguing conversations with Bela, Zeno the Alchemist, and Andras, as he battles on his laptop to solve a computer problem with a factory gate at some remote location. Judit makes delicious crumpets.
Short article from Guy about the horrible phrase "going forward".
Saturday. Last night caught a late train into the countryside to Robin's, by a different route to Kunszentmarton. Because of this, have to change trains at the oversized white concrete 1960s station at Szolnok, with its long bleak, harshly-lit tunnel connecting all the platforms. Looking for a snack and a drink in the main building, at about 9pm I approach one sandwich counter. There I am confronted by a tall, leggy creature of perhaps 20 with ash-blonde-dyed hair tumbling down her back to brush a perfect bottom. She has a push-up bra under a tight shirt, a slim midriff with a jewelled pin in her exposed belly button, implausibly tight shiny black leggings (with large white capital letters written round the elasticated waistband) showing the shape of her alarmingly well-shaped hips & thighs. There's some sparkly dust sprinkled casually across her cheekbones. She's smiling, almost grinning broadly, lit up with happiness at her own glossy good looks. A macho male hovers at the counter, hypnotised, possibly the boyfriend gruffly guarding his glittering prize. I'm not quite tongue-tied, but am startled to find myself only just able to ask for some chocolate and a tin of Hell energy drink. An hour later, kind Gyuri picks me up in the darkness at Kunszentmarton station.
Today, get to meet Seamstress Aranka again in her Saturday hours with Belas's help, pick up a shirt and give her two more. Again, damp, cloudy weather, even in May.
Friday. Earth greener than 20 years back thanks to CO2. Meanwhile, one of our contributors runs a piece about Nick Bostrom's latest idea for a world government that would use global warming or something else as a pretext for controlling our lives completely.
Thursday. No, not now we aren't: last night slept 2 hours. Overview of Chinese/US relations.
Wednesday. Last night slept 8 hours. Are we back to equilibrium on the restometer? Around midday am at the quasi-Buddhist cafe waiting for a student. I manage to persuade a giggling waitress with tattoos and a fetching dyed-blonde bob haircut to secretly obtain the genuine cheesecake from a back store room for me to eat a slice of. Several times I've tried to explain to the staff here, as tactfully as I can, that their vegan cakes don't taste very nice (they're a bit like compacted doormat) but that the plain croissants and the genuine cheesecake (both of which run out in their first hour each day) are really delicious. I try to talk them round to the radical idea of getting in more of the food which their customers want to buy from them. Sometimes I go further and point to the cheesecake (on the rare days when some of it is actually at the counter), making yum yum noises and saying "Mmmm! Animal fats!!" - whereupon the quasi-Buddhist serving girls look at me reproachfully as if I'm trying to make them cry. Most days it's not there. Today the giggly blonde whispers to me that the good stuff is actually hidden in a back room - in case too many people buy it. "We're supposed to make people buy the vegan cakes first" she confides to me, nervously. She tells me this out of earshot of the others, brings me a slice of non-vegan cheesecake, and we furtively exchange money for the light fluffy delicacy with its creamy buttery taste before anyone notices what we're up to. Suddenly I have a flashback to Woody Allen in his standup days predicting that one day in the future tasty food would be shameful or illegal. Prostitutes would meet men down dark side streets offering to make them
hamburgers with real meat etc, and I realise we're actually there now.
We're not quite in Allen's more distant future though, where deep fat and cigarettes have turned out to be healthy after all. But give it time.
Mark Griffith, site administrator /
markgriffith at yahoo.com