Thursday, 28 May 2020

Emerging from Lockdown Bulletin - a Walk in the Buda Hills

I don't know about anyone else but, after attempting cheerfulness for some time now, I'm beginning to give in to melancholy. I want to be carefree again, and I don't see how that will happen, even when our local lockdown in Budapest eases even further than it already has.

For me the problem is that I have had a glimpse of how quickly everything can change and how little humanity is in control of anything. There has been a great deal of death resulting from this new form of coronavirus, but, curiously, for me it is less the awareness of the death toll itself than the surprise of the overnight switch to confinement and the concomitant curtailment of the sense of boundless possibility that has brought a rather hard-to-shake awareness that time is limited and death awaits us all - added to that is the sad thought that although, as someone I used to know was fond of saying, "We only get one shot at this vale of tears you know, old girl", at the moment it is not possible to enjoy that one brief shot of ours to the absolute full.

Anyway, sensing my increasing gloom, my husband suggested we go up into the Buda hills and walk through the beech forest to a church that is on the route of what is called the Maria Way.

To begin with it was great to be up there, even though it was as cold as early winter and rained for part of the time. Unfortunately though, after a while I felt myself wanting to come home again, growing ludicrously afraid that bits of virus might be flying through the air and into my respiratory tract, intent on killing me. I don't know if anyone else has similar mad anxieties, but I hope that eventually I'll overcome them so that when we really are told everything is safe again I'll be able to believe it and head out happily into the world.

I'd have to admit that this notice right at the start of our stroll, warning of the dangers of African swine flu and imploring us to report any dead wild boars that we might stumble across, didn't exactly calm me. I decided I wouldn't point it out to my husband as that way at least one of us might enjoy themselves relatively unclouded by fear of disease.

To distract myself from thoughts of illness, I took some pictures and although they are pretty unexciting I will post them here below. Before the virus arrived I had decided that it was rather tedious of me to put pictures on my blog of where I'd been, that all I was doing was creating an endless dreary digital slide night. Now though, I've realised that, at least while we are all somewhat circumscribed in where we can go, it might be quite nice to make some posts that remind anyone interested that, when we are able to go out and about again, there are still so many wonderful places to visit and so many paintings and works of art longing to be looked at.

So today I'll share my pictures of our walk the other day - (prepare for mainly beech trees) - and in the coming days I will try to sort out all the other pretty things I've seen and photographed over the last year or two, but until now not included here - (prepare for large quantities of architectural detail and some paintings).

The gateway to the Maria way from Normafa

My attempt at being artistic with wet leaves

Setting out

As a child my mind was filled with this sort of thing - could it be a ragwort? 

A beautiful tree but too tall to fit into a picture 

I can never resist a lost pet sign - this one, on a post opposite the church, is two years old. I wonder if anyone has ever found a lost pet thanks to one of these things. 
The church we went to find - it was locked thanks to the virus, needless to say

The church's history, for those who understand Hungarian

A tree that made the trip worthwhile

The path home


  1. I love 'We only get one shot at this vale of tears' – covers so much of life so succinctly. The white flower, by the way, is bladder campion.
    The one piece of good news I've read today is that the big Titian exhibition at the Nat Gall is being held over till the gallery reopens. A bit of social distancing at a blockbuster exhibitn like that would be welcome...

    1. Bladder campion, now there's a name to conjure with. I agree about the Titian but what I really really want is to be able to a Beethoven concert without any inhibitions about social distancing et cetera. I think a concert audience is humanity at its best but concert audiences tend, sadly, to be made up of older people and, given that that is the section of the population who get sickest if they catch this new virus, I fear for the future of classical music. I'm probably repeating myself, but my great hope is that we will wake up one day fairly soon and be told that the virus has attenuated to the extent that it is no longer a danger. Failing that, a vaccine will be produced.