In the middle of January we moved home again, to our third and probably final resting place in Budapest.
The move was prompted by Helen's return to the UK in April, and the consequent desire to find somewhere cheaper. We had really enjoyed living overlooking Szabadsag ter for 18 months, watching the tourist groups, the dog walkers, the pairs of policemen endlessly walking round and round the Soviet war memorial, and, of course, monitoring the growing fortifications around the US Embassy.
So I spent some time in November looking at potential new apartments and reconciling myself to living somewhere smaller, darker and less convenient, although I was keen to move further from the office so that I could cycle more and get to know a different part of the city.
But I didn't find anywhere I liked until I suddenly started looking in Ujlipotvaros, the lower end of the XIII District, and immediately found a fantastic place overlooking the river and at half the rent.
So the deal was done and one cold day in mid-Jan I helped three likely lads move all our belongings the 2 km up the road. It took three trips and 8 hours, the long time being largely due to the difficulty of betting stuff out of the old apartment, as the Embassy’s ring of steel meant that they could not get their an near the front door. I had then to stay outside and watch the van while they moved stuff, and of course it chose that day to snow for the first time. So it was a rather chilly experience.
By 5 I was in the new apartment, surrounded by boxes. Home-making had to start again.