Winter started this week. On Monday the hills around the town were white, and on Tuesday this had become a covering of snow. It's nice now, mind you, but it's usually around 3 or 4 degrees when we leave the house in the morning.
The panic epidemic surroumnding bird flu is in full swing. Every day brings more news from the Danube Delta where the cull of chickens and ducks is in full swing. It sounds like they're killing wild birds too. I was talking to an environmental farmer last weekend says that the genetic erosion (his words) caused by the anticipated cull of poultry in the country would cause a far worse problem than not killing them and allowing H5N1 to spread. Apparently Romania, and Transylvania in particular, is home to a number of ancient poultry lines which have died out elsewhere in Europe. They will shortly die out here because they'll all be slaughtered in an anxious response to the spread of this bug. If I kept chickens, right now I'd be slaughtering, plucking and freezing all my stock, since once the flu gets here the government will kill them all anyway and I'm guessing the compensation will not fully compensate.
Csikszereda has a brand new town website, which I'm dying to share with you all, but can't as it's not officially available yet. I only know of it (and have seen it) because I know the bloke who did the coding. It's at www... no, sorry, I can't.
Amnesty International have slammed Romania and its treatment of the Roma and raised an interesting issue in so doing. From that report: "Mr Oosting also points out that once countries become member states, EU pressure for better human rights falls away." This is something that has troubled me before. It seems that being on the road to accession is quite a good spur to countries to clean up their act, but accession itself is the point when that act ceases to be actively cleaned up.
Off to Sighisoara this weekend for our annual romantic weekend in the beautiful medieval citadel to celebrate Erika's birthday. I really ought to get round to posting some pictures of the place - it has to be one of the most beautiful towns in Europe.
Phil Neville: A Job For The Boys
4 days ago