For much of the past twelve years, Budapest has been where I’ve shelved my books, but for the past few, my heart and home have been in a tiny village near the Kis Balaton in Western Hungary.
In his book, The Bridge at Andau, James Michener described Hungarians as the Irish of Eastern Europe. Perhaps that’s why I feel so much at home here.
I moved to Budapest on a whim. Little thought went into it. I’d spent a cold, snowy weekend here in December of 2003 and came back again in an unseasonably mild February in 2007. I was unhappy in my job and itching for a change. The idea took hold and six months later, I arrived by train from London , with two suitcases and two large framed paintings. The books would follow.
I’ve spent my life moving from bustling cities to sleepy towns and back again,. never quite sure which I preferred. Both have their plusses and their minuses. But with age came the realisation that everything is within reach and having the best of both worlds is possible. I’m blessed to have found my happy place, a relatively unknown part of Hungary that has everything I could ever wish for … and more.