What a character… to be continued
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Bonfire night in Lewes, Sussex is a spectacular event marking the date the 1605 Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament was discovered. Our return to the UK certainly went off with a bang!
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An opportunity to sample the excellent wines of Szekszard and enjoy traditional Hungarian merrymaking to the sound of the hurdy gurdy, an instrument which has been playing at fairs all over Europe for the past thousand years.
I was delighted to be introduced to Csilla Sebestyen of the highly regarded Sebestyen winery in the Szekszard region. http://sebestyen-szekszard.hu/en/boraink/ She is an experienced sommelier who worked at the Michelin two star Andrew Fairlie Restaurant at the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland for five years. I am hoping to find a suitable venue for a memorable wine tasting event in Tunbridge Wells where Csilla can guide us through some interesting Hungarian wines and dispel some misconceptions. That will be one for the diary!
Bela is a man who lived down my street. He used to hang around outside the local 24hour shop and drink beer. I often rove around with my camera and ask people if I can take their picture. He refused me a couple of times but when a friend of his told him I took good pictures, he acquiesced.
A while later, his wife asked me if I could take their wedding pictures (about thirty years after the event) if she could borrow a dress from somewhere.
I said I would and Alvi and I went to their tiny flat with some lights and gear and photographed the wedding party which was in fully swing.
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Two months later Bela was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and passed away in the summer.
Had the humbling experience today of going to the May cheese fair with a homeless man of my acquaintance. I’ve long tried to arrange a time when we could take some pictures and he suggested that I go to the fair with him and there would be lot of free food and a good atmosphere. I looked out of my window at 2.30pm and saw that he was standing outside the bike shop across the street as arranged.
He told me that he had lots of friends there and indeed many of the stall holders greeted him. He had been a radio and television repair man when he had been working but was now retired. His pension amounts to about 150 dollars per month and he has no fixed home as his sister threw him out. A neighbour in the street lets him sleep at her house but during the day he can be seen around Budapest, riding the trams and buses. He has a white stick as he is now partially sighted and has a little difficulty walking. He always carried his medicines with him in case of a malaise. I was startled when suddenly this man who has so little gave a coin to a street performer then gleefully walked about the fair exclaiming how great it all was. He knows the dates of all the fairs – from Easter to Christmas and makes sure he goes. I admired his strategy for seeking out the
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