A fresh start….

I am sitting on my favourite stairs, my laptop is in front of me. These are not the same stairs like once were, they needed to be tear down during the renovation of our old 90 year old house. Once our house was finished, I realised, that Mr. G., our architect designed new favourite stairs for me. The kind of stairs which have wide stepping stones to sit down on, from where I can see the Bakony mountains; ones that get the first morning sunshines and which are the perfect place to have my coffee. Mr. G. didn’t know that I wrote most of the blog posts for Taste of Memories sitting on the stairs at our front door, when the weather allowed me to do so. My perfect partners to writing were my apricot poodle, Beeper and something delicious from the kitchen, most of the time my actual blog post subject. 

These were always really ideal and peaceful moments which I missed so much while we were living temporary at my mother’s house, that I sensed almost physical pain. Sometimes the memory just popped up in some hidden corner of my brain causing strange inconvenience, other times the feeling of lack was as if the lighting strikes in. Neither of those were pleasant feelings. I travelled all around the world, lived in uncountable places and never thought that I would find a corner in this universe which I won’t want to leave. It happened, though. after a year long renovation we moved back to our old house- a fresh start in life and on blog www.tasteofmemories.com

Sometimes it seemed to me, that the moment when we can finally move back to our house, will never come, although all of the professionals were doing their bests who participated in one of our biggest life projects. We often need to face the fact in life: a desired thing or event won’t happen when we want it, but when it is the right time for it. We were waiting, and dreaming, and yearning and then suddenly the moment has come. With a borrowed camping mattress, garden chairs and table in the dining room. 

Obviously I feel happy but I was missing the kind of cathartic experience which is usually followed by a long waiting period. We are very busy with to-do’s: the house needs to be cleaned, furniture to be carried, boxes to be organised, kitchen furniture to be assembled, some old pieces to be painted. In the evening we jump into our bed dead tired, or better just softly and slowly descend to the bed, because we realise that if one jumps down on the camping mattress, the other one will definitely jump up. 

Moving back- as the renovation itself- was a project, and I like projects. They move me and give me dynamism. The problem is, I cannot stop at a certain point, because I am afraid that suddenly busyness will be replaced by a certain sense of emptiness that is maybe not a realistic idea but it seemed quite real to me. So just to be sure I was chasing one moment after the other one, ticked off items on my to-do list until an unexpected event changed everything. 

My master arrives in an unusual form. It is red, black and white, small and meowing. It is there in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening. I don’t stand cats. At all. They are egoistic, autonomous and pretentious. At least this is what I think. 

However, while organising the house I cannot stop myself peeking through the window to check whether she is still there. If I don’t see her, I quickly find an urgent obligation to do in the garden, and she quickly arrives from one of the bushes meowing and rubbing against me. She is young and very skinny. At the evening she is still there. When we arrive with Maria at sunset with crates of oregano we dug out from her garden, Áron welcomes us by saying: “ Gato is still here”our new family member, Gata www.tasteofmemories.com

“Oh, you have already named her, right?”, I am asking while my heart jumps, because I know very well, that Áron dislike cats the same way like me. “However, I think she is a girl, so better Gata”, I continue. (Gato is a male cat, Gata is a female cat in Spanish. Since I lived in Spain a few years, we like joking and using Spanish words, as a kind of nostalgia.) 

Finally we agree, if the cat is still there in the morning, she can stay. But until then no striking, no feeding. I am tough. I don’t need a cat. We will find an owner for her. 

I go to bed with this thought and this verdict is followed by one of the biggest, wildest, most persistent storm of my life with constant lightning, thundering and rain till the morning. I sleep really badly, I wake up every two hours and I am fighting a kind of nausea. I give up at 7.30, sneak down to the dining room and look out from the window to the garden. It looks like it never gonna stop raining. And suddenly I notice a small red, black and white, curled up fur ball on the window pane. 

I burst out crying. No doubts any more. Matter solved. 

Two hours later we are sitting at the vet with my red-haired man and red-haired cat, while our reddish dog is keeping her paws crossed because she happened to like this strange meowing creature. 

Since then I wake up very early in the morning to have enough time for our ritual. Gata is waiting for me on the usual spot, then she sits on my lap and we just watch each other. She is rubbing against me from right to left, from left to right, looks into my eyes and gives me a head butt. Then she curls up like a little fox and fells asleep purring. And I start watching the mountains, the sunshines or the storm clouds, I notice birds and the sounds of nature, which I ignored for so long because of veryyyyy important to do’s. after a year long renovation we moved back to our old-new house- a fresh start in life and on the blog www.tasteofmemories.com

Life is really strange. There is a quote from the movie “Weather Man”, when Michael Caine says to Nicolas Cage in the role of his father: 

“To get anything of value you have to sacrifice. The harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing. Nothing that has meaning is easy. Easy doesn’t enter into grown-up life.”

I first read this quote in Oddur Thorisson blog post on Manger and since then it often comes to my mind. Definitely life will be a little more complicated with a cat. To adopt her was not an easy step but it was the right thing to do. 

Our house is finally finished, but it became a home for me only first, when I could share it with her as well, who needed one as desperately as me. our new family member, Gata www.tasteofmemories.com

Judit Neubauer

Judit Neubauer is a food photographer, chef and writer living in a small village in Northwestern Hungary. Her bilingual blog, Taste of Memories is about life in the Hungarian countryside. While she is bringing new life into the 90 year-old house and orchard of 18 fruit trees she cooks and bakes her family’s old recipes and tries to preserve traditions and old knowledge about how to live in rhythm and harmony with nature.


2 hozzászólás

  1. Válasz



    Today we found a dead sparrow under the couch in our living room. That was the gift from our gata. Lisa is her name, and she came five years ago when I moved back, with my three daughters, to my home after my divorce. The oldest one moved out to live with her boyfriend. The middle one moved to study in Germany, and the youngest is talking about moving out. I do not think that Lisa plans to leave. She enjoys a house in a such a good way, sometimes too good for my taste… I wish you all the best in your new home.

    • Válasz

      Judit Neubauer


      Dear Kata, thank you so much for sharing your story! Lisa must be a cute girl! So far Gata only catches flies and fallen leaves, but I am ready to face some „nice” gifts from her too.. 🙂 I think dogs teach us how to love and cats teach us how to enjoy life, don’t you think? The way she sleeps makes me feel longing for a good sleep! 😀