My love affair with Romanian entered a new phase a few days ago when we visited friends in the Bucovina town of Câmpulung Moldovenesc. These friends knew we were looking for a house in the region with idea of moving from the UK to Romania to live. At that time we were not thinking the chance of moving was better than 50/50; there were, and remain, many questions to be answered.

A traditional Bucovina timber house

Traditional Bucovina timber house we're considering

The friends, Cătălin and his wife Carmen, knew also that we were looking, for preference, for a house in traditional Bucovina style, with a reasonable plot of land, at a price we might be able to afford. We also wanted it close to a major tourist route for Maramureș and Bucovina, two regions of Romania where Romanian traditional culture is best preserved.

When we arrived they told us they might have found the house we wanted, a few minutes on foot from where they lived. For me, it was particularly interesting as it was basically built of timber. We set off to see it, noting the location was just what we wanted, on the major route but far enough from the road to not hear the traffic, on the edge of the forest but only a short distance to the town centre.

Crossing a rickety wooden bridge over a stream then walking a short distance along a ‘street’ of grass, we looked over a fence to see a house from a fairy tale. Built from substantial timbers, infilled with clay, it has none of the environmentally unsound characteristics of houses built of ‘modern’ materials. As I said recently on my ‘journal’ of the present trip to Romania – Dusty2Romania – I can sense immediately I enter a house built of timber, the only other form of construction giving the same sense of peace and well-being being a strawbale house, and there are few of those in Romania.

Preserving a 100+ year old house

This house has stood for more than 100 years and will probably, with care, stand for another hundred, certainly for far longer than I or Petronela are living. Most Romanians would, unfortunately, demolish it and build a concrete, brick and plastic monstrosity in its place. If we are lucky enough to acquire it, we would preserve the existing house, only building a sympathetic extension on the rear.

Today we made a second visit, measured the rooms, outbuildings, examined the legal documents of title etc and, most important, talked a lot with the 85 years old present owner, leaving already calling her ‘Bunica Saveta’ – grandma Saveta.

Maybe we are a step closer to realising our dream.

My French is not good and I don’t usually open reblogs, but I understood the following:

“130 millions de femmes sont excisées chaque année dans le monde”

which ‘ben‘ had reblogged from:

Solidarité Ouvrière


I knew there were many, but was shocked by the 150 million a year. If I was not aware of the extent of this, then for sure many others are unaware too. And this ‘news’ comes shortly after the growing awareness of the treatment of females in India, brought about by the recent arrests for rape and murder and the public protests resulting from this horrific act.

In the UK we are very aware that despite all the ‘hot air’ talk, many young women, and even girls, especially from the Pakistani community, are still forced into unwanted marriages and often suffer dreadful treatment, including massive physical abuse, as a consequence.

There are, of course, many other examples of these kinds of abuse.

We have a long way to go before we truly value the feminine half of humanity.

I don’t have a very large number of followers but I know that some of you do. Please spread the awareness in whatever way you can; feel free to reblog this is you wish.