what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Celebrating what has gone before

Every now and then I contemplate christening the elegant old house which has been home for me these past 7-8 summers – walkers occasionally give it an admiring glance but I discovered yesterday that it has acquired not only a new status (in a superbly produced little guide about traditional houses and skills in the area – entitled Carpathian Gate) but also a name "Burlacu Lucia".
A couple of charming young women arrived yesterday and presented me with a plaque about the house for installing on the fence at the road " (although I will have to question the idea that the house is late 19th century) - also a couple of copies of their little booklet in Romanian. 
They belong to a small foundation (The Centre for Mountain Ecology) which is doing the sort of work Daniela and I were bemoaning was all too little evident in the country....this is another example of their work from their site http://cem.ro/galerie/case-fundata/
One of the women was actually German, married to the Romanian who heads up the NGO

As you can imagine, I'm delighted that there are some people around here celebrating traditional architecture and skills.......For someone who earned his money these past 25 years from preaching the “modernist” agenda, I have developed quite a respect (if not passion) for the “old ways”… A few years back I did a couple of posts about this subject - http://nomadron.blogspot.ro/2012/06/village-tradition-and-solidarity.html and http://nomadron.blogspot.ro/2012/06/getting-under-skin.html and a little section of my library here is about village life this past century in various parts of Europe eg
- Geert Maak's Island in Time (2000)
- "Thin Paths - journeys in and around an italian mountain village" (2012) beautifully written with black and white photos giving it a WG Sebald feel...
The full list of such books can be found on a post I did last year about some of the relics found in our house when we bought it in 2000 and the extent of the work Daniela did to bring it back to life  
At my age it becomes particularly important to celebrate memories and traditional skills..I therefore liked the booklet on "craftsmen" on the NGO website - which reminded me of a lovely little booklet/notebook I have from 2010 ("Calet de notiste despre mesteri si mestesuguri" (ARHITERRA) which lists about 100 craftsmen throughout Romania - unfortunately it doesn't give a website although it does contain a reference to this French site .

Sirnea is a bit "off the beaten track" compared with the other nearby villages you will find in a lovely little glossy produced recently about a local poet and scupltor - "Legenda Branului". Indeed the village is almost in a bit of a "time warp" - which gives it an additional charm for me....that's the wrong word - but the life these people lived needs more recognition eg my old neighbour Viciu (age 89) down the hill was the postman in the 1960s and 1970s and delivered the mail on horseback - from Bran!!! He lost his wife last year and has this year been living with his daughter in Bran. It would be great if people could talk with him about these days and record it in a proper book about village life in the middle of the 20th century……..
Some of you may be interested in these flickr photos I uploaded today of the area as experienced last month by 3 relatives who spent a couple of weeks based here