Monday, 2 July 2012

In a village


The village where I spent the weekend - la Roumanie profonde

Lunch in a garden in a real villlaqe in a pretty but not particularly remarkable village fifty miles east of Ploiesti, listerning to traditional folk music on a transistor radio. 

The great Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor identified the transistor radio as the symbol of the progress he hated in Greece. Fermor was very fortunate to have been in time for a very different Balkans before capitalism and communism changed everything and we are very fortunate that he recorded his experiences in his wonderful, clotted, Ruskinian prose. In his day in Romania in the 1930s villagers wore costume and the radio and cinema, were only starting to subvert traditions. But I find transistors in Romanian villages, tinnily playing traditional peasant music or musica populara  absolutely charming. They make me feel  remote from progress and the world of telegrams and anger.

I watched a cow being milk and was given a bottle of the fresh warm milk in defiance of the damnable EU rules. Wonderful home cooking, great home made wine, peace and calm but too many eyesore houses built by agricultural workers returned from Spain or Italy with money but no taste.

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