Dear All,

It's been a busy wek, a bit irritating due to little 'embetements' at times, but good all the same. Life seems to have found a rhythm now that isn't that different from Paris - dashing around from one place to the next and trying to remember where I'm s'posed to be and when. My diary is looking like abstract art.

With Summer School finished, I at last had a short induction, but by which time, I already knew half of it. Still, nice to sit in a classroom and let my mind go blank (legally for once). I was asked to do a talk on life in Romania, which some of you received - it went down like a pork chop at a Bar Mitzvah - at the end of a long 8h day of information overload, in an overheated classroom, the new teachers (all men) were on beer withdrawal, and the last thing they wanted was to hear me droning on.

A concert at the Sala Palatului with dear Fruhbeck de Burgos (sang Vida Breva with him): The choir was good (Spanish), orchestra awful (German - was stunned) and sop solo so warbly you couldn't hear the tune. I was so disappointed as Gabo hadn't been to a choral concert for years and I wanted it to be something impressive. Well, impressive it was, but not in the good sense of the word. Well, never mind as we then went to meet some of her friends who were all absolutely adorable - I'm sure I shall meet them all again. Oana's exactly my sort of person, nuts about animals (especially cats) and has a kind of sanctuary in her back yard. She's also trying to help save 400 dogs in a rescue centre just outside Bucharest who have to be found homes or they will finish up horribly... she's a Romanian Brigitte Bardot of sorts and I can't wait to go and meet her 37 cats!

This weekend I scooted off to see Sasha in Sacele, a lovely end to the week. it was really wonderful to be with her again as we haven't had much contact since June. We had a great time, between going to the club, working on lesson plans and programmes, making book lists, visiting her friend Anca's bookshop (it was closed so we had the whole place to ourselves - imagine, an entire bookshop JUST for us...paradise -  eating vinete and today a run round the mountains which was exactly what was needed before the madness of a new week begins once again.

I went to the club with Sasha on the way back to her house from the station, and nearly burst into tears (I did have a little weep actually, just as Rutzi rang) becaaaaaaause.... you remember the last whip-round of cash I did before I left? Well, that, plus some money from Maité made enough to AT LAST install indoor toilets for the children in time for the winter. There are four, two with sinks, two without... and they are fabulous. I couldn't believe I was standing there looking at them - and all you people at Euroclear who contributed to the collection made it possible. For three years I had a mission to bring an end to freezing pipis in the outside foul Turkish toilets, and at last, its happened. The work is nearly complete . The space between the building and the garden will be concreted over, and then that's that. The mouldy old water fountain on the ground floor that was out of action after a flood has a new lease of life, too. Thank you soooooooo much for your help and generosity. Do go and see the photos. You won't be able to believe your eyes. i had to keep pinching myself!!!

That was really the highlight of the week - to see what we'd managed to do and how we really can make a difference. I know we have done so at the creche, but this was such an impressive and much yearned for change that I was moved beyond words!

No Anglican church this week as I was away, but next Sunday I expect I'll be there and will give news on the choir if ever it happens!

Life with Nicu, Mandita, Tantza and Aurel (plus Kitzu and now Pépé (Mandita's dog) chug along much the same. They are all dears (except Aurel - don't like him much at all) and I couldn't have fallen into a better nest, all thanks to Lucia.

It was ever so cold in Brasov, but I expect it'll be a bit warmer here. I've been waltzin' around in a thick woolly jumper all weekend, and hope I can exchange it for a t'shirt now I'm back in the capital again. This week sees the last seven days of the Enescu Festival. I'll be sorry when it's over as it has brought a real bustle to Bucharest and some outstanding concerts. I'm on placement week til term starts up again on Thursday, so a bit of time to get my breath back.

Have a good week, and hear from you soon.

Thank you again Véronique for the great blog. I'm so pleased with it and it makes transferring photos so much easier.

Love to you all

Your correspondent from Bucharest xox