Everyday Life in Hungary

Magical July in Hungary

Lavender Fields

We are so lucky to have lavender fields in our little village. The farm opened their gates to the public last week and I could not resist taking a look with my camera and taking the obligatory pruners! I collected 3 bags of their heavenly lavender. The ladies running the field were very helpful and encouraged me to stuff my bags full! I had to watch out for the bees as there were many buzzing around also enjoying the lavender. The smell was divine and it was interesting to see the little tractor harvesting the lavender into large white sacks. It will later be processed into essential oil, soaps and honey. Lavender has many therapeutic qualities, I like to use it as a sleep aid. In its oil format I use it to treat burns with amazing results. It soothes the burnt skin.

Village Swimming Pool

Our little village swimming pool opened its gates at the beginning of July. For 2 years (because of the pandemic) it has been closed so we were thrilled to hear it was fully operational again. We have a good sized pool with a slide for the youngsters. Great value too…just over £2.00 for the full day. There is a large grassed area with trees, outdoor games, fire pits, oven and picnic benches. The local ice-cream man visits daily selling not just ice-creams but sweet yummy cakes too. A lovely place to spend the day…and just on our doorstep.

Haley our Siberian Husky

We are fortunate that a visiting vet comes annually to administer Rabies vaccinations to the local dogs. Haley does not travel well in the car so we very much appreciate this rural service. She has recently been shedding her winter fur which takes a few weeks. We are constantly brushing her to help her shed. Huskies, you would think, do not do well in hot weather as they are associated with a cold climate and snow. However, Haley would appear to love sunbathing in the high temperature we are having in Hungary at the moment. Her summer coat keeps her cool and she munches on ice cubes. She is a very active dog and loves to poke her head through the railings frequently to see what’s happening. When she is exhausted she takes a nap…but still has an ear open so as not to miss any action!

Sunflower Fields

Travelling around the countryside you cannot help but notice the many sunflower fields that line the roads. They are a staggering sight covering acres of fields with a vibrant yellow. Hungary is a big producer of sunflower oil and the flowers will be around for weeks with the farmers letting them dry ready to be harvested for their precious oil. We grow sunflowers in our garden but purely for the pleasure of looking at them. The finches love the seeds and are frequent visitors a bit later on in the year.

Residency Permits

The UK has recently left the European Union, meaning those of us who are British, living somewhere else needed to apply for residency status in our respective countries. Having already gone through this process before (when we first arrived 4 years ago) we expected this to be straightforward and easy. We had 12 months to complete this process (until the end of December 21) but there have been many difficulties with the Hungarian computer systems. Finally 6 months later we managed to complete the process and so now hopefully, we will retain our status in our adopted country.

Without a fridge during a heatwave!

We are currently experiencing a heatwave in Hungary…high temperatures of 38/39 degrees Celsius which is a touch uncomfortable. Imagine our horror and dismay when our Samsung fridge-freezer decided to stop working! We asked a Hungarian neighbour to contact Samsung on our behalf to arrange to get it fixed! Would you believe, 2 weeks later we have had no visit from Samsung, or explanation even though we have a 10 year warranty. We have ended up buying a very small fridge to tide us over until we can get our main fridge freezer fixed. There was talk that the part required was no longer available but I don’t know how true that is. I am certainly struggling with the after sales service from this company.

I am going to be a granny again!

What joy it is when your eldest son tells you “Mum you are going to be a granny again” I am so happy for him and his partner but slightly saddened I cannot go over to England and celebrate their news. They are expecting a boy (they have a daughter already) which is super news. I am for ever thankful for the internet and facetime, years ago we would not have had that privilege. My granddaughter will be 4 this year and starting nursery school soon, I do miss her. Maybe next year when this disabling pandemic is over (or controlled) I will be able to reconnect in real life.

So that was just a little update of what has been happening in our lives at the moment. This weekend is the annual Harvest Festival in the village. A wonderful occasion that I shall be photographing, watch out for the next blog entry. 😃

Haley our Siberian Husky

Husky on Heat – What To Expect…

Do you own a female Husky?

We do….Haley, our Siberian Husky is 3 years old and has given us much pleasure and companionship since she joined our family.

She is our first dog, so before we collected her I diligently researched her breed and general requirements. However, I neglected to do any research in relation to the in “heat” season of a female dog. My lack of knowledge in this area can be excused, Eric and our son Raphael had travelled many miles to collect our male Husky pup, surprisingly they came back with a black and white female pup…Haley!

Haley our Siberian Husky

I was a little distressed when Haley entered her first “heat” a couple of years ago, not realising the droplets of blood coming from Haley was completely normal and nothing to be concerned about. Remember I was a first time dog owner at that time!! I did more research and now thankfully can deal with everything that goes with this regular event.

What to expect when your Husky goes in “heat”

It is certainly wise to be aware of your dog’s cycle as her behaviour will change and so will her body.

Huskies mature at age 2 with “heats” every 6 months lasting about 3 weeks.

There are several general signs that indicate your Husky is in “heat”

  • Frequent urinating
  • Bloody discharge
  • Constant licking of swollen vulva

There are behaviour changes too, and as an owner you will notice these changes right away. Observing your Husky will help identify the different stages of the “heat” she is experiencing.

  • More alert than usual, but sometimes not
  • Rowdy excitable behaviour, charging around full of energy
  • An increase in appetite
  • Sleepy and a little anxious
  • A Husky in “heat” will wag her tail flirtatiously and hold her tail up high to invite male dogs

What to DO to help your Husky

Your Husky is going through huge hormonal changes within her body whilst in “heat”. This results in mood swings, anxiety and bursts of energy alternating with bouts of tiredness. Similar to the human female cycle. Here are 3 ways you can comfort, help and reassure your Husky.

  • Patience and understanding with lots of talking to each other
  • Cuddles with lots of love and attention, tickling behind the ears has a calming effect
  • Play with your Husky to burn off some energy, this improves their sleep
Raphael and Haley having a love

What NOT to do…

Your dog is emitting breeding pheromones and male dogs can smell her from miles away. To prevent pregnancy:

Fenced In!
  • Do not leave your Husky unsupervised in the garden, they are unpredictable and amazing escape artists
  • Do not walk your Husky off-lead. Huskies are stubborn and have poor recall abilities
Haley’s Garden

We get male dogs sniffing around at the front gates so know when Haley is in “heat”. She also exhibits all the above behaviours (and the naughty ones) and have learnt a lot about our Haley Husky!

At this point in our lives we are not sure yet if we will let Haley have puppies. We are still debating the commitment it would take.

Treats for good girls!

Our lives have dramatically changed since adding Haley to our little family in Hungary. Having a dog in our retirement is very fulfilling, she keeps us fit and on our toes and gives us a tremendous amount of fun and laughter. But I don’t think I am ready for multiple Haley’s!

Family Focus

Haley Husky

Haley our Two Year Old Husky

When we arrived in Hungary our son, Raphael, begged us to get a dog, specifically a Husky. Living in England we were limited on outdoor space so a dog was out of the question. My reasoning had always been, when we move and get a big garden we can have a dog.

Of course now here we had to keep our promise. I decided to do some research on pedigree breeds available in Hungary and found to my dismay that they were way out of our price range. I searched online for private sellers, and was nearly conned by a dubious man, wanting us to send money upfront so he could send a dog by special transport! Alarm bells rang, we did not proceed. Finally I found an ad for a Husky puppy located a six hour drive away on the border with Romania. Eric and a very excited Raphael made the long trip to pick up our new pup!

I was shocked to discover when they returned home that the male dog they had intended to buy was actually female! Nevertheless she was the cutest puppy I had ever seen. Understandably she was incredibly nervous and withdrawn for the first weeks but soon became accustomed to her new surroundings. A slight issue was that she had only been spoken too in Hungarian. We tried everything to train her to be obedient, in English, but with very little success. Eventually she adapted to her new language but we still have obedience problems to this day!

Four months old

Haley lives outside, in a kennel with a run and access to our huge garden. She is allowed inside as long as she is not wet! Haley is smart, loving and loyal. Her “boss” is Eric and with his stern voice will usually do as she is told.

Having a dog is a HUGE commitment and initially was a massive learning curve for us all. We have never been dog-owners but now would certainly be lost without her.