decorative blue boxes
Monday, August 9, 2010 August (, )

And then I blinked, and it was August.

In this crazy country, where summer is at its height when it begins and at its worst when you need it most, August feels positively autumnal. Just to prove this point, the tree across the street has decided to start turning red. The days, too, are suddenly noticeably shorter. I cannot escape the feeling that summer is over, and that before long my holidays will be too. September, with its rush of busyness and inspiration, with its demand for focus and action, with its need for hard work and early nights, suddenly seems just round the corner.

I’m not ready, I tell the tree as I stand by the window. I’m not ready, I tell the darkness as it falls, a little earlier than it did yesterday. I’m not ready, I tell the books I need to read and the plans I need to make and all the things I need to think of. I’m not ready. I need more summer, more idleness, more dreaminess and purposelessness, more time to drift and to just be. I’m not ready.

The tree doesn’t say anything, and neither does the night. The books stare silently. And as I stare back, I know this in my heart: just as surely as I will never be ready, I am as ready as I will ever be.

posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 11:29 pm [someone said this]
Friday, August 6, 2010 Well, there was also the sunshine ()

Which way for the baths?

 The Szechenyi baths rooftops in sunshine

Yellow flowers, ochre walls, blue skies

Pool water

Which, on days like these, I sorely miss. The water, too.

posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 10:18 pm [say something]
Friday, July 30, 2010 Three and a half days ()

Fairy lights at the pit

Looking back, I like to think that the feeling I talked about in the previous post, of having arrived some place special was a premonition, and not my overactive imagination getting away with me. (Although, truth be told, the older I get the less convinced I become that there is a difference between those two.)

Because even though the three and a half days we spent there blur into a haze –a haze of swimming and sleeping and reading and eating and doing nothing much at all; even though no moment stands out except for one –walking through the city after dark and talking, urgently, breathlessly, effortlessly; even though I took no photos worth talking about; even though three and a half days is not long enough; even though it doesn’t make sense; even so: I left my heart in Budapest.

On Friday morning I boarded a plane knowing that strange things do happen, and wonderful things happen too. In three and a half days I’d made a friend and I’d fallen in love with a city; and in a small, or not-so-small way, nothing will ever be the same.

posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 10:40 am [say something]
Monday, July 26, 2010 Suddenly, magically, Budapest ()

Budapest station (one of them)

Departures board, showing a train to Thessaloniki

The city seen through the dirty glass of the station's gates

Despite the aforementioned midday nap I arrived in Budapest tired, confused and very nearly overwhelmed. I clang to my suitcase while Martijn wandered around in search of the new currency, almost wishing I didn’t have to go through the motions of getting to know a strange city all over again. But, determined to keep my resolution, I pulled out my camera and tried to capture the moment.

Martijn came back and pointed to the departures board: a train left for Thessaloniki in thirty five minutes. And –even though Thessaloniki, despite being my home town, has never felt like home, and even though the train took over a day to get there– this fact seemed, suddenly, magically, highly significant. Never before had my travels taken me to a place that was within reach of my hometown — my much-loved, so-very-familiar, yet-never-really-home home town. Suddenly, magically, I felt like we had arrived some place very special; like we had come full circle; like we were, this time, on our way home.

posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 7:50 pm [someone said this]
Monday, July 26, 2010 Another journey ()

The dining car!

This train had a dining car — a definite improvement on the previous one, and the highlight of the seven-hour, inch-slowly-through-the-plains, in-three-different-countries journey. That, and the midday nap.

posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 12:40 pm [say something]
Sunday, July 25, 2010 A study: the pavements of Prague ()

A heap of paving stones

Another heap of paving stones

Prague pavement

Prague pavement

Prague pavement

Prague pavement

Prague pavement

Prague pavement

Prague pavement

Prague pavement

posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 10:01 pm [someone said this]
Sunday, July 25, 2010 Prague (Day 3) ()

Prague trams

Prague cathedral window

Another statue of another saint

All the umbrellas in Prague

A cafe with an internet connection

Sunday brought some kind of peace; a birthday; and the realisation that the things I liked most about Prague were things you can find anywhere — tram rides, an umbrella, a good cup of coffee, chocolate and marmalade pancakes, an internet connection.

posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 5:30 pm [say something]
Saturday, July 24, 2010 Prague (Day 2) ()

Charles bridge from the side

The statue of St John of Nepomuk

Graffiti on the bridge

Spires, and photos thereof

Saturday brought grief, of the sort I had rather hoped I’d left behind. So much for new beginnings.

posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 8:12 pm [say something]
Friday, July 23, 2010 Prague (Day 1) ()

Wet tiles reflecting buildings

An orange rose

My reflection in a toy shop window

Spires and telephone lines

A pink oleander flower against a pale green background

What started out as a good photo day ended up as a dream come true. As we ran in the torrential rain towards a taxi, and, a little later, into the hotel’s rooftop swimming pool, I realised that –on that day, in its own strange way– my life resembled ‘Lost in translation,’ just like I’d wished it would all those years ago, back when I lived in Athens and I took notes on the beauty in the way that we were living and I longed with all my heart to grow up and do something with my life.

And all the heartache –the heartaches– of the past six years suddenly seemed worthwhile, for this moment alone: to see an outrageous, half-remembered dream come true and to know, without the shadow of a doubt, that I am doing something with my life, while the rain hit hard against the windows and I jumped into the swimming pool.

posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 9:04 pm [say something]
Thursday, July 22, 2010 Arrival ()

Prague station with pretty light patterns

Even so, I arrived in Prague on a bright, hot morning with the weight of the world on my shoulders.

posted by Dimitra Daisy @ 9:32 am [say something]
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