otherlanguages.org
. . . Languages & stuff

intro page in
English / Euskara / Hollands / magyarul / Portugues-Brasileiro / Romana / Svenska / Turkie

#

dictionaries, translation

#

other alphabets

non-alphabetic scripts

#

other links

#

endangered languages

#

sign languages

#

maps

#

songs and music

#

dead languages


*1

#

linguistic philosophy

#

artificial languages

#

AI, speech recognition

#

encryption, steganography

#

language history

#

calligraphy

#

cognitive psychology

#

mathematical linguistics

#

animal communication

#

language list

#

non-language links

to links pages [1] [2] [3] [4] /

phone texts to +36 -- --- ----

@ / links / languages? / pins / archive / book


*2


*3

*4
May 13th; Thursday. Senior military officer claims that civil war in France is now inevitable.

May 12th; Wednesday. Researchers claim ivermectin was an effective drug all along, just as some doctors were saying 14 months ago. Some Spanish & Latin American medics call for covid-19 vaccinations to be halted. Several US states have passed laws actively banning use of covid-19 vaccination papers as de facto passports: at least ten states so far.
May 11th; Tuesday. This belated crypto-based attempt to price internet use might be worthwhile. This would have been an obvious use of 1970s design time on TCP-IP, had computing back then not been run by obsessive quasi-socialists with no grasp of how resources get allocated.

May 10th; Monday. Innovator creates dummy laptop you can plug a smartphone into.
May 9th; Sunday. Edina recommends an adorable Russian animation character: Masha. Look out for the wolf dentists in their sinister battered van.

May 8th; Saturday. In conversation with Edina, I mention the nihilism of Mr Benatar, and we agree that the title of this book should have been 'Better Never To Have Written'.
May 7th; Friday. The disinfo campaign built to launch covid-19 hysteria. I bid farewell to Anne and catch a train to Szolnok, where Edina has just finished her visit to the dentist. We drive together back to Szeleveny.

May 6th; Thursday. Do some early-afternoon sleeping in preparation for this evening's night shoot at the film set. A New Yorker article Jessica recommended.
May 5th; Wednesday. Get to the end of another book of Anne's, a collection of short detective stories, 'The Department of Queer Complaints'. These are by Carter Dickson, a writer I vaguely recall mother strongly disliking. Very much at the crossword-puzzle end of the detective-mystery spectrum, the tales feature invisible weapons, non-existent rooms, footprints on top of hedges, invisible murderers and the like. Finding out how each impossible crime was in fact done is strangely satisfying. Published by Pan in the 1940s, the cover shows a revolver, a long slim dagger, a string of pearls, and a stack of one-pound notes from the day when the monarch made no appearance on our money.
Meet Jessica, back from Dixieland, for a lovely late lunch. We catch up on her extensive adventures of the last couple of years.

May 4th; Tuesday. A morning's work at the film set. All very smoothly organised and quite jolly. I get put into a coffin so I can emerge from it saying how comfortable it is. Nice piece via Robin about blockchain-authenticated artworks.
May 3rd; Monday. I finish a lovely book from Anne's shelves: 'J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens', written by May Byron ("with the permission of the author"), illustrated by Arthur Rackham. It seems Anne danced, acted, and sang in a wide range of shows (she simply cannot believe I have never seen 'Cabaret'), but toured the US several years with Peter Pan. Having never read or seen the original play I thought I should experience some of his hospital-funding hero's adventures in make-believe. Very touching, cheering, adorable, and poignant by turns, with exquisite drawings and the occasional colour plate of Rackham's distinctive washed-out autumnal hues. The adventure of defying 'Nurse' and hiding overnight in the park after the gates close in the evening is conveyed perfectly with the seriousness a five-year-old or six-year-old some time between 1900 and 1930 would view it. Listening to Anne talking about her years on the stage, I get the sudden feeling that the boy who never grows up is somehow a crucial figure in 20th-century myth, and I should look into this more.

May 2nd; Sunday. Anne's stylish flat is about 200 yards from a night shop I wrote about in this article. The same lads still staff it. They greet me like old friends.
May 1st; Saturday. Walking distance from Anne's, I get my second covid-19 test. Another slightly rushed affair where I again get the impression the goal is to be able to say to lawyers that all the cast were tested, while making sure to not actually confirm any of us have it. Not that it would matter if we had, of course. On a bus a couple of days ago heard this tune ('Red is the Apple') with a folkishly jaunty summer-hit tune, intentionally undercut by gloomy lyrics.



Recent weblog entries continued:

Who can translate the next 300 words into Korean or Hindi? Contact us and there will be revelry.

Languages dying out each week - who cares?

We do - otherlanguages.org is gradually building a reference resource for over five thousand linguistic minorities and stateless languages worldwide.

Thousands of unique language communities are becoming extinct. Out of the world's five to six thousand languages, we hardly know what we're losing, what literatures, philosophies, ways of thinking, are disappearing right now.

So?

We may soon regret the extinction of thousands of entire linguistic cultures even more than we regret the needless extinction of many animals and plants.

The planet is increasingly dominated by a handful of major-language monocultures like Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, Indonesian, Urdu, Spanish, Portuguese, English, Swahili, Russian, Cantonese Chinese, Japanese, Bengali - all beautiful and fascinating languages.

But so are the 5,000 others.

These are groups of people?

Linguistic minorities are communities of ordinary people whose native tongue is not their country's main official language. Swedish speakers in Finland, French speakers in Canada, Hungarian speakers in Slovakia - and hundreds more - are linguistic minorities.

And totally stateless languages are the native languages of some of the world's most intriguing, little-known, cultures. Like the Lapps inside the Arctic Circle, the Sards in Sardinia, Ainus in Japan. Cherokee in the US, Scots Gaelic in Britain, Friesian in the Netherlands, Zulu in South Africa. There are only a couple of hundred recognised sovereign states and territories, so 5,000 languages - more depending on how you count - are the native tongues of linguistically stateless people.

How could I help?

You don't need to learn an endangered language - any more than go to live in the rainforest to help slow its destruction.

A good start is to just tell friends about websites like this.

Broader public interest makes it easier for linguists to raise funds and organise people to learn these languages while there's time.

That's right. There are people who love languages and are happy to learn them on behalf of the rest of us, but they need support, just like zoologists, botanists, or historians.

Fewer languages still sounds good to me

Depends what you think languages are for. They're not just a tool for business. We never said you should learn three or four thousand rare languages - or even one. And which ones we make children learn in school, or whether we should force children to learn languages at all, is another question.


Typical scene in a European city; Chances are, folk here speak some sort of foreign language *5

A century ago - before we understood ecology, and when we cared less about wilderness, most educated people would have laughed at the idea of worrying about plants or animals going extinct. Now we understand how important species diversity is for our own futures, we are more humble, and more worried.

In the same way, linguistic triumphalism by English-speakers who hated studying foreign grammar at school is dangerously ignorant as well as arrogant. Few of us know what we are losing, week by week. How many people realise these languages have scientific value?

Scientific value?

You can think of these languages across the planet as beautiful cathedrals or precious archeological sites we are watching being destroyed. That should be motive enough.

But these five thousand languages may also hold clues to the structure of the human mind. Subtle differences and similarities

Wireless radio can be a great comfort to those unable to leave the textbooks in which they live *6
between languages are helping archeologists and anthropologists to understand what happened in the hundreds of centuries of human history before written history. And that is one of our best chances of understanding how human brains developed over the thousands of centuries leading up to that.

Study of the mind and study of language go hand in hand these days. The world's most marginal languages are actually precious jigsaw pieces from an overall picture of who we are and how our species thinks and evolves. Every tiny language adds another brightly-coloured clue to this academic detective story.

Yet researchers have hardly started sifting through this tantalising evidence, and language extinction is washing it away right in front of us.

And worst of all, most people have no idea that there is this fantastic profusion of cultures across our world, let alone that they are in danger of extinction. Even just more people learning that there are still five thousand living languages in the world today (most of us would answer five hundred or fifty) is already a huge help.

We English-speakers hardly notice English - it's like air for us. But every other language is also an atmosphere for an entire cultural world, and each of these worlds has people whose home it is. Each language encapsulates a unique way of talking and thinking about life. Just try some time in a foreign prison, being forced to cope in another language, and you'll realise how much your own language is your identity. That's true for everyone.

Minority languages are a human-rights issue?

One of the most basic.

Dozens of millions of people worldwide suffer persecution from national governments for speaking their mother tongue - in their own motherland.

Many 'ethnic' feuds puzzling to outsiders had as their basis an attempt to destroy a linguistic community. Would the Northern Ireland dispute be quite so bitter if we English had not so nearly stamped out the Irish Gaelic language, for example? Almost nowhere in the world does a language community as small as the few thousand Rheto-Romanic speakers - the fourth official language of Switzerland - get the protection of a national government. Next time you see some Swiss Francs, check both sides of the banknote.

But outside exceptional countries like Switzerland or the Netherlands, speakers of non-official languages have a much less protected experience.

Speakers of minority languages are often seen as a threat by both the governments and the other residents of the countries where they were born, grew up, and try to live ordinary lives.

They experience discrimination in the job and education markets of their homelands, often having no choice but to pursue education in the major language of the host state: a deliberate government policy usually aimed at gradually absorbing them into the majority culture of that country.

Mighty oaks from tiny acorns grow, of course *7

Most governments are privately gleeful each time another small separate culture within their borders is snuffed out by a dwindling population or a deliberately centralising education system.

The United Nations is no help. It is an association of a couple of hundred sovereign states based on exclusive control of territory, almost all of them anxious to smother any distinct group or tradition that in any way might blur or smudge the hard-won borders around those pieces of territory.

The usual approach by sovereign states is to deny their linguistic minorities even exist.

::

Mark Griffith, site administrator / contact at otherlanguages.org

back up to top of page

*1 image from , with thanks
*2 "Al-Araby" in written Arabic (read more)
*3 "What?" in American Sign Language; image from , with thanks
*4 "Big" in written Chinese  (read more); image from , with thanks
*5 image from , with thanks
*6 image from , with thanks
*7 image from 'B?ume', with thanks to  Bruno P. Kramer, and Franckh-Kosmos Verlag

useful:

.languages of the world
.Internet free speech
.weights & measures
.5000 English words
.2000+ Chinese char.s
.persian/english dictionary
.currency rates 1 2 3 4 5
.country domain names
.language-learning 1 2
.find old websites
.fine HTML tutorial
.webhost
.minimalist websites

reviews: ................. books {...or films here}

1 metrologie historique
2 postmodernism & the other
3 disaster (news on sunday)
4 money unmade (russian barter in the 1990s)
5 the sleepwalkers
6 e
7 the kruschev era
8 the end of science
9 don't you want me?
10 the carpet wars
11 zelator
12 life of thomas more
13 faber book of science
14 gilgamesh
15 out of it
16 guns, germs & steel
17 words & rules
18 figure in the landscape
19 life without genes
20 bede's history of the english
21 the nothing that is
22 zoology
23 journey by moonlight
24 heavenly serbia
25 ratkay endre
26 the handmaid's tale
27 the selective eye
28 a megismerese epitokovei
29 intention
30 thirty nine steps
31 princess
32 the pyramids
33 the etruscans
34 moonchild
35 paradise news
36 culture of time & space 1880 to 1918
37 szimmetria
38 babel orokeben
39 astro-archeology
40 a history of islamic spain
41 high gothic
42 among the believers
43 the renaissance
44 augustine
45 mcvicar
46 atomised
47 tangled wing
48 da vinci code
49 nature via nurture
50 termeszet szamai
51 decline & fall of roman empire
52 practical cheesemaking
53 the sufis
54 fra angelico at san marco
55 the cryptographer
56 they have a word for it
57 szamok valosan innen & tul
58 artistic theory in italy 1450 to 1600
59 darwin's black box
60 indiai ejszaka
61 cleopatra: histories, dreams & distortions
63 what mad pursuit
64 language, the learner & the school
65 writing the romantic comedy
66 the blank slate
67 dougal & the blue cat
68 diego velasquez
69 horse nonsense
70 a certain chemistry
71 deterring democracy
72 textiles
73 thief of time
74 bloodsucking fiends
75 right ho, jeeves
76 generativ grammatika
77 1st time i got paid for it
78 galapagos
79 othello
80 understanding media
81 mysticism
82 short history of french literature
83 best on the market
84 art of seeing
85 culture & imperialism
86 food of the gods
87 arabic-islamic cities
88 the alchemist
89 verbal learning & memory
90 building a successful software business
91 don't make me think!
92 memory
93 the u.s. & the arab world
94 hard times
95 spells for teenage witches
97 the pig that wants to be eaten
98 encyclopaedia of stupidity
99 seventy eight degrees of wisdom: part i
100 beach watching
101 the ancient greeks
102 brainstorms
103 seventy eight degrees of wisdom: part ii
104 utopia
105 technical writing for engineers & scientists
106 alphabet versus goddess
107 writing on drugs
108 news from somewhere
109 isp survival guide
110 petrus hispanus mester logikajabol
111 art of seduction
112 stet
113 penguin by design
114 the sense of being stared at
115 the golden ratio
116 dinamikus emlekezet
117 margins of reality
118 hopjoy was here
119 bump in the night
120 box of delights
121 color atlas of immunology
122 fashionistas
123 pi in the sky
124 a new kind of fool
125 one man's meat
126 greek fire
127 the buddha in daily life
128 beginner's dutch
129 private life of the brain
130 solar ethics
131 pedant in the kitchen
132 knots
133 the planets within
134 encyclopaedia of ancient & mediaeval history
135 consilience
136 the age of scandal
137 fashion: the 20th century
138 the tipping point
139 design literacy
140 the silent partner
141 hamlet
142 1421
143 the 1890s
144 godel's proof
145 rosencrantz & guildenstern are dead
146 beyond reason
147 little book of music theory
148 q-basic
149 alone of all her sex
150 social studies
151 eternal darkness
152 drawn from memory
154 a guide to elegance
155 medea & other plays
156 the future of money
157 cheese
158 grammars of creation
159 aquarian conspiracy
160 the climate crisis
161 true fiction
162 the making of memory
163 why most things fail
164 genetikai abece
165 finding fulfilment
166 genome
167 the broken estate
168 inigo jones
169 flashman & the dragon
170 from bauhaus to our house
171 100 great paintings
172 kis spanyol nyelvtan
173 the historian
174 tomorrow's gold
175 charting made easy
176 life after life
177 spanyol igei vonzatok
178 the eclipse of art
179 fire in the mind
180 the human body
181 out of control
182 possession
183 simplified chinese characters
184 the generation of 1914
185 intellectuals
186 world of late antiquity
187 riddle & knight
188 informacio kultusza
189 napoleon of notting hill
190 secrets: palm-reading
191 meet yourself as you really are
192 cat's abc
193 intro to spanish poetry
194 rise of christian europe
195 philip's guide to electric living
196 sins for father knox
197 celtic twilight
198 myths of love
199 snobbery with violence
200 just like tomorrow
201 7 basic plots
202 experiment with time
203 vile bodies
204 icons & images: 60s
205 fisher king
206 new jerusalem
207 born on a blue day
208 surveillir & punir
209 trial of socrates
210 how to catch fairies
211 conversations on consciousness
212 mind performance hacks
213 conscience of the eye
214 beau brummell
215 evolution
216 the outsider
217 raja yoga
218 rise of political lying
219 occidentalism
220 colossus
221 secret teachings of jesus
222 blue murder
223 nostrodamus the next 50 years
224 homage to catalonia
225 charity ends at home
226 palace of dreams
227 discovering book collecting
228 beyond the outsider
229 the last barrier
230 that hideous strength
231 indian sculpture
232 small world
233 evolution & healing
234 in search of memory
235 campo santo
236 llewellyn's 2007 tarot reader
237 dream of rome
238 why buildings fall down
239 the empty space
240 england made me
241 greek science in antiquity
242 science, a l'usage des non-scientifiques
243 utmutato tarot
243 hunt for zero point
244 william wilberforce
245 viktor schauberger
246 untouchable
247 the vitamin murders
248 straw dogs
249 elizabeth's spymaster
250 the hard life
251 the god delusion
252 the intellectual
253 undercover economist
254 quirkology
255 chasing mammon
256 early mesopotamia & iran
257 the strange death of david kelly
258 the pilgrimage
259 origin of wealth
260 maxims
261 the finishing school
262 the shepherd's calendar
263 islamic patterns
264 lost world of the kalahari
265 german short stories 1
266 electricity
267 liber null & psychonaut
268 born to rebel
269 wittgenstein's poker
270 will the boat sink the water?
271 romeo & juliet
272 why beautiful people have more daughters
273 the crossing place
274 the turkish diplomat's daughter
275 missionary position
276 lust in translation
277 teaching as a subversive activity
278 how german is it
279 empires of the word
280 warped passages
281 the power of now
282 ponder on this
283 sword of no-sword
284 narcissism
285 blink
286 shock of the old
287 basque history of the world
288 truth: a guide
289 who shot jfk?
290 newtonian casino
291 power & greed
292 the world without us
293 5-minute nlp
294 concise guide to alchemy
295 evidence in camera
296 4-hour work week
297 the rosicrucian enlightenment
298 de-architecture
299 how to lie with maps
300 a book of english essays
301 a time of gifts
302 the occult philosophy in the elizabethan age
303 le pelerinage des bateleurs
304 alchemy & alchemists
305 greenmantle
306 the hero with 1000 faces
307 goethe's parable
308 rhedeyek es fraterek
309 letter to a christian nation
310 the tryst
311 7 experiments that could change the world
312 mill on the floss
313 metastases of enjoyment
314 the isles
315 between the woods and the water
316 secrets of the great pyramid
317 life in the french country house
318 the china study
319 tarot: theory & practice
320 the roger scruton reader
321 alchemy & mysticism
322 picasso's mask
323 the rule of four
324 triumph of the political class
325 arts of darkness
326 neuroscience & philosophy
327 the art of memory
328 mind wide open
329 mud, blood, & poppycock
330 society of the spectacle
331 lila
332 de imaginibus
333 electronics
334 giordano bruno & the embassy affair
335 temporary autonomous zone
336 the human touch
337 the fascination of evil
338 the king of oil
339 dowsing
340 the book of j
341 the west and the rest
342 story of my life
343 plain tales from the hills
344 under the influence
345 modern culture
346 50 mots clefs d'esoterisme
347 giordano bruno & the hermetic tradition
348 development, geography & economic theory
349 das kapital: a biography
350 strange days indeed
351 hegel: a very short introduction
352 reflections on the revolution in france
353 history of sexuality: an introduction
354 why we buy
355 origins of virtue
356 the holographic universe
357 a dead man in deptford
358 obsolete
359 137
360 in your face
361 7 spies who changed the world
362 the noetic universe
363 why beauty is truth
364 imagery in healing
365 the craftsman's handbook
366 futurism
367 in the cards
368 dmso
369 les hommes et leurs genes
370 the franchise affair
371 the decision book
372 les harmonies de la nature a l'epreuve de la biologie
373 kibernetika
374 zuleika dobson
375 l'empire de nombres
376 circus philosophicus
377 some girls
378 number
379 island
380 how to get your ideas adopted
381 drive
382 emergence
383 rfid : la police totale
384 the tempest
385 aspects of wagner
386 view over atlantis
387 world atlas of mysteries
388 art of the dogon
389 genesis machines
390 the sirius mystery
391 the cult of the fact
392 anastasia
393 ringing cedars of russia
394 a whiff of death
395 spirit level delusion
396 wavewatcher's companion
397 the kybalion
398 elegance
399 death in a scarlet coat
400 architecture without architects


films

1 k-pax
2 very annie mary
3 wasabi
4 gosford park
5 arany varos
6 minority report
7 amelie
8 bridget jones' diary
9 arccal a fo:ldnek
10 monsters' ball
11 cube
12 man with no past
13 talk to her
14 szerelemtol sujtva
15 bowling for columbine
16 matrix3
17 zoolander
18 anything else
19 farenheit 9/11
20 8 & 1/2 women
21 madagascar
22 kill bill 1
23 dude, where's my car?
24 the woman in green
25 the hunger
24 nightwatch
25 de battre son coeur s'est arrete
26 wicker man
27 v for vendetta
28 courage the cowardly dog
29 casino royale
30 power of nightmares
31 charlie's angels
32 full throttle
33 foxy brown
34 paths of glory
35 airplane
36 between iraq & a hard place
37 mutiny on the bounty
38 flashmob the opera
39 octopussy
40 bakkerman
41 kiterunner


...............................................................................................................................................................
April 30th; Friday. Travel back into Budapest to stay some nights with kind Anne, a dancer, so I can do my second rather suspect covid test at 11am. Well-argued piece about the origin of covid-19.
April 29th; Thursday. Travel to Budapest and back to Szeleveny to sign my name on 68 separate sheets of paper. Too expensive to buy, but in the Chinese supermarket discover some intriguing Oriental bags of Kit-Kat bars in curious spicy flavours where they colour the chocolate pale green or bubblegum pink. Mostly Japanese judging by text on the packaging. So this Kit-Kat, not the original Kit-Cat Club that inspired the fictional Kit Kat club in 1930s Berlin, nor the real 1990s Berlin club inspired by the fictional one.

April 28th; Wednesday. Meanwhile, Mr Fauci seems to have recently restarted germ warfare research without presidential approval.
April 27th; Tuesday. Lucid piece from Koestler in 1972 comparing physics & (for want of a better word) magic.

April 26th; Monday. Remainers were "wrong about everything".
April 25th; Sunday. Thoughtful, interesting article: Why is Everything Liberal?

April 24th; Saturday. Apparently in French avocat means both 'lawyer' and 'avocado'.
April 23rd; Friday. Bake second pair of loaves using Diane's recipe. Not particularly close to getting the hang of bread-making any time soon. Edina is nonetheless very positive about the products of my dough-kneading efforts. We discuss Polanski's obvious obsession with the occult and this short note from Jacques Vallee of all people (real-life inspiration for this film character played by Francois Truffaut) raises the awkward thought that Polanski's interest in the dark arts is authentic and suspiciously personal.

April 22nd; Thursday. Visit Kunszentmarton with Edina.
April 21st; Wednesday. Article homes in on the results of early-2020's unscientific but curiously co-ordinated attacks on HCQ & ivermectin: safe, cheap drugs effective against covid-19. It's an important shift now to begin pointing out who really killed the people denied those medicines: eg. Fauci, WHO, others - not Trump.

April 20th; Tuesday. A review that changed my mind. This makes me want to watch what's still the highest-grossing-ever French film.
April 19th; Monday. On a whim, I type 'jigger wigger' into a search engine and learn this handy definition.

April 18th; Sunday. Wake out of a dream in which Michael the Greek is still alive, and busily presiding over a jumble sale (in an underground railway station of course) of assorted stuff, including stacks of panels of coloured plastic he has acquired in some way. As customers bustle around, picking out two-by-four-foot boards of translucent orange or opaque lilac fibreglass, or whatever it is, Michael & I discuss Christo, the Bulgarian artist who repeatedly wrapped things until summer 2020.
April 17th; Saturday. Finally, some good news. A BBC1 special 9pm broadcast starring the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg three days ago attracted disappointing audiences of barely more than 1 million.

April 16th; Friday. So exhausted after yesterday's non-adventure that I forget my postponed lesson with Balazs. Denmark becomes first country in EU to stop AstraZeneca vaccinations for safety reasons. For added excitement, the Danish official announcing the country's decision collapsed during her press conference.
April 15th; Thursday. Go to Kecskemet to visit cardiologist, discovering the sheer thickness of public-transport planners in Hungary. First bus is on time, the driver is cheerful, won't let me pay, jesting that it's my responsibility to hide under the seats if an inspector gets on. The second driver is quarter of an hour late, won't let me pay (with a weary hand gesture that expresses both that I am his guest and that all life in general is hopeless). Once in town, it takes discussion with four separate bus drivers, one of whom doesn't give me change, in order for me to reach the military hospital, not exactly a small feature in the Kecskemet landscape. There appears to be no bus from the railway station or coach station that goes directly to the military hospital. Once at the military hospital it takes me an hour and a half to see Akos, who is very kind and encouraging when I can see him, but by which time I'm in danger of missing the last coach back to Szeleveny. Then I find myself waiting at a Kecskemet bus stop near the military hospital for 3/4 of an hour, for a scheduled bus that simply fails to turn up, ensuring I have indeed missed the last coach back to Szeleveny. Then back at the coach station someone at the timetable information office tells me with evident pleasure I'll to wait two and a half hours to even start my trip to a town near Edina. Then the next-door railway station tells me I can get to the same town near Edina (a distance of about thirty miles) if I take a three-hour journey with two changes of train one involving an hour-long wait. Finally Edina finds a coach to another nearby town, Lakitelek, leaving in a few minutes (I phone her and my mobile decides to keep cutting out during the conversation), I get on it, and the driver refuses to let me pay. Patient Edina picks me up from Lakitelek. All for an hour-long consultation with my cardiologist which had to be cut short to ten minutes.

April 14th; Wednesday. Three articles in the Spectator: Douglas Murray on the closure of Britain's most moderate & sensible Muslim organisation. Simon Wood looks at the (lack of) evidence that covid-19 lockdowns ever made sense. Matt Ridley on the immensely stupid precedent of post-war food rationing under the young Harold Wilson, the 1940s "technocrat". This last article reveals what really enabled Germany's economy to surge ahead of Britain's in that decade of postwar recovery - scrapping government regulations.
April 13th; Tuesday. Under-skin microchip to detect covid-19 invented. EU planned "vaccine passports" 20 months before the covid-19 pandemic.

April 12th; Monday. Wake out of a dream in which Peter Ustinov is a cartoon owl, and is declaring that "I lived my life as I wished to!" surrounded by a busy host of other cartoon creatures, all under the sea for some reason.
My scales are still at Simon's, and Cardiologist Akos wants me to weigh myself for a few days and take some blood-pressure measurements. Since I found yesterday that the batteries have died in my blood-pressure device, today entails two main tasks. Job 1 is to buy four small batteries at the 'Feribolt' (one of the two shops, the one where the owner is called Feri). For Job 2, Edina sweetly drives me to a second-hand furniture emporium a couple of miles away where I obtain some 1970s bathroom scales in a handsome mid-blue for the sturdy sum of 600 forints.
Robin & Bela drop by Edina's later, risking getting captured crossing enemy lines when they cut it fine driving back before curfew.
April 11th; Sunday. This might be nifty. Or entertaining. 28 pages isn't much investment to ask, considering what it promises. Astral projection, CIA, travel to other dimensions. What's not to like?

April 10th; Saturday. Sleep 13 hours, to Edina's slight concern. Today do most of the work writing an article called 'Why I Am Not An Atheist', referring to Russell's famous book.
April 9th; Friday. Rescue my shirt from the tree below Victoria's balcony where it blew last week, leaning out over a sheer drop, wielding a Heath Robinson tool composed of two brooms I taped together. This takes 3/4 of an hour, but I win. Then try to find my cardiologist, without success. Then in the centre of town, after meeting my second ever Malna (Raspberry), this one a rather dishy production assistant, I get a costume fitting and a trial make-up application for my forthcoming role as a comic undertaker. After this, the trip back into the Great Plain from the Big Pogacsa goes reasonably well. Changing trains at Szolnok around 9pm, I pop into the white concrete ticket hall to buy snacks from the snack counter. Another wonderfully leggy girl, a brunette this time, is working there, though incredibly slowly. She shows me the chocolate bars, I ask for the yoghourt-flavoured one, and then she proceeds to slowly show me the bars again. Biscuit-flavoured? Thank you no, the yoghourt-flavoured one. Strawberry-flavoured? No, yoghourt, please. Finally we manage the transaction in time for my connecting train to Kunszentmarton, and she pouts at me reproachfully from under her long black eyelashes. Isn't it enough she's showing a gorgeous figure in her skintight pink velvet tracksuit? I expect her to be an intellectual as well? Of course she might be such a party girl that she hasn't slept in three days. Often the problem.
At Kunszentmarton, I have about twenty minutes to walk from the railway station to the bus and coach terminus, more than enough time. I arrive there and one bus is lit up. A helpful passenger says that will be my service at 20 past 10, but rather than getting on where it is standing, I should go and wait at another little platform in the middle of the square. Everything promises to go to plan. The empty platform has an illuminated dot-matrix sign saying 10.20pm, identifying the service as the one I want. Around 10.11, a driver gets on to the lit-up bus and peers curiously at me through his big windscreen. Then he drives off, leaving the whole square and its ten or twelve bus stops dark and deserted. The dot-matrix sign counts off the minutes. Another bus arrives and drives straight past. Darkness and quiet return. Another bus drives through, and silence is restored. Then at exactly 22.19 a bus arrives, pulls in where I'm standing alone, and the driver motions me to get on by the middle door. I do this. His cab is defended by coloured strips of tape, in case I go close to infect him with the deadly plague. Inside the taped-off enclosure, a middle-aged woman is nattering on her phone, the only other passenger. We pull out onto the road and I hesitantly say across three rows of seats to the back of the driver's shoulders that I'd like to go to Szeleveny. "We're going there," he replies wearily. I ask him how much should I pay? What do I owe him? "You don't owe me anything," he declares in a sad, exhausted voice, addressing the night-time road ahead. Half an hour of silence later, he stops a few yards from Edina's house, and we solemnly bid each other good night.

April 8th; Thursday. I catch the 5.30am train towards Budapest. Adventures ensue, including a covid-19 mouth swab conducted entirely without words. Assuming I cannot speak her language because I'm a foreign actor, the white-lab-coated dragon with the swab makes a noise like Aaaa-aah! to indicate I must open my mouth. Aaa-uu-ah? I reply, trying to open my mouth like hers. Aaah-oo-ah, she explains, poking a cotton-bud stick into the inside of my cheek. We make these noises at each other another couple of times, and I'm out of the building. Then I cross the river to retrieve Victoria's harp from a music school a bus ride away from the new metro line terminus. Oddly it starts to snow in big fluffy flakes to add a little atmosphere to my journey there and onward to Victoria's. After a short rest, she & I go out to two Vodafone offices to reconnect her phone and internet, the first place making us wait for an hour and then refusing Victoria's cash. Not ideal behaviour from them since the ATM hole-in-the-wall swallowed her bank card for no good reason several days ago. I persuade the second Vodafone office to finally (this is her 5th attempt) let her settle the bill she's been trying to pay for over a week.
April 7th; Wednesday. Robin drops by with one of my boxes, and Edina makes us all lunch. Edina is currently interested in Old Turkic runes.

April 6th; Tuesday. I explore Szeleveny, visiting both shops, one at each end of the half-mile-long main street.
April 5th; Monday. Travel by train to Szeleveny on the Great Plain. Kind Folklorist Edina and her cheerful boy Bendeguz are waiting there by the railway track to pick me up. She's had a book published:'`Napevo, Holdfalo' (Sun-Eater, Moon-Gobbler - Mythical Creatures of the Volga Turks).

April 4th; Sunday. Careful, detailed late-March article by Iain Davis about why we should disbelieve covid-19 death figures.
April 3rd; Saturday.'Why Is Everyone In Texas Not Dying?'' More common sense and rational science about the covid tantrum. Meet Oluwafunmilayo and we sit on a sunny bench facing the leafy Margit Island across the Danube for a natter.

April 2nd; Friday. A nice Unherd piece about the tediousness of modernists like Virginia Woolf.
April 1st; Thursday. Finish a book of Victoria's: 'The Queen's Conjuror', a biography of astrologer, cryptographer, and all-round 16th-century wizard John Dee, put together very nicely by Benjamin Wolley. The recurring sadness of his life, and the repeated struggles to find a stable income or profitable business come over clearly. I would have liked to read more about his cryptography and code-breaking for Elizabeth. The slightly malign and shadowy court presences of Cecil and Walsingham, the Tudor spooks, is also covered. Wolley handles reasonably well the difficult business of what actually happened when Kelley & Dee summoned demons and angels together in Bohemia.


page top

diary entries by month

2021
April 2021 / March 2021 / February 2021 / January 2021 /

2020
December 2020 / November 2020 / October 2020 / September 2020 / August 2020 / July 2020 / June 2020 / May 2020 / April 2020 / March 2020 / February 2020 / January 2020 /

2019
December 2019 / November 2019 / October 2019 / September 2019 / August 2019 / July 2019 / June 2019 / May 2019 / April 2019 / March 2019 / February 2019 / January 2019 /

2018
December 2018 / November 2018 / October 2018 / September 2018 / August 2018 / July 2018 / June 2018 / May 2018 / April 2018 / March 2018 / February 2018 / January 2018 /

2017
December 2017 / November 2017 / October 2017 / September 2017 / August 2017 / July 2017 / June 2017 / May 2017 / April 2017 / March 2017 / February 2017 / January 2017 /

2016
December 2016 / November 2016 / October 2016 / September 2016 / August 2016 / July 2016 / June 2016 / May 2016 / April 2016 / March 2016 / February 2016 / January 2016 /

2015
December 2015 / November 2015 / October 2015 / September 2015 / August 2015 / July 2015 / June 2015 / May 2015 / April 2015 / March 2015 / February 2015 / January 2015 /

2014
December 2014 / November 2014 / October 2014 / September 2014 / August 2014 / July 2014 / June 2014 / May 2014 / April 2014 / March 2014 / February 2014 / January 2014 /

2013
December 2013 / November 2013 / October 2013 / September 2013 / August 2013 / July 2013 / June 2013 / May 2013 / April 2013 / March 2013 / February 2013 / January 2013 /

2012
December 2012 / November 2012 / October 2012 / September 2012 / August 2012 / July 2012 / June 2012 / May 2012 / April 2012 / March 2012 / February 2012 / January 2012 /

2011
December 2011 / November 2011 / October 2011 / September 2011 / August 2011 / July 2011 / June 2011 / May 2011 / April 2011 / March 2011 / February 2011 / January 2011 /

2010
December 2010 / November 2010 / October 2010 / September 2010 / August 2010 / July 2010 / June 2010 / May 2010 / April 2010 / March 2010 / February 2010 / January 2010 /

2009
December 2009 / November 2009 / October 2009 / September 2009 / August 2009 / July 2009 / June 2009 / May 2009 / April 2009 / March 2009 / February 2009 / January 2009 /

2008
December 2008 / November 2008 / October 2008 / September 2008 / August 2008 / July 2008 / June 2008 / May 2008 / April 2008 / March 2008 / February 2008 / January 2008 /

2007
December 2007 / November 2007 / October 2007 / September 2007 / August 2007 / July 2007 / June 2007 / May 2007 / April 2007 / March 2007 / February 2007 / January 2007 /

2006
December 2006 / November 2006 / October 2006 / September 2006 / August 2006 / July 2006 / June 2006 / May 2006 / April 2006 / March 2006 / February 2006 / January 2006 /

2005
December 2005 / November 2005 / October 2005 / September 2005 / August 2005 / July 2005 / June 2005 / May 2005 / April 2005 / March 2005 / February 2005 / January 2005 /

2004
December 2004 / November 2004 / October 2004 / September 2004 / August 2004 / July 2004 / June 2004 / May 2004 / April 2004 / March 2004 / February 2004 / January 2004 /

2003
December 2003 / November 2003 / October 2003 / September 2003 / August 2003 / July 2003 / June 2003 / May 2003 / April 2003 / March 2003 / February 2003 / January 2003 /

2002
December 2002 / November 2002 / October 2002 / September 2002 / August 2002 / July 2002 / May/June 2002