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Clove cigarettes - rokok keretek (in the old spelling) - remind me of Indonesia, where I worked for a number of years and met my wife. The strong aroma was always present. Your Hungarian mulled wine sounds interesting.

Are you too young to have known clove chewing gum? I don't think they make it anymore. In the rural areas where I lived, it was available and when a shipment came it, the supply went fast. But I loved the smell and flavor. When I smell cloves, that's one of my fond memories,being a kid chewing clove gum.

I got a chill reading this. It just made me picture winter. I'm kind of looking forward to it (shh don't tell anyone).

In Holland we drank {glu vine} in little cups without handles in the winter. Had it for the first time in Austria.

Wonderful photos Agnes. The bagels look absolutely yummy!

Mm, hot mulled wine reminds me of Vienna. Isn't it just the best thing to help you warm up?

A spice girl? I like cloves cooked in things but I would skip the cigarettes made from them. Smells and memories do go together well.

Those are great spice smells! I drink a lot of Chai tea and I love the scent of it as well :)

ah, Christmas Clove!

Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

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Love the coffee/tea pot and your smile in the first snap - so bright, warm and sunny... as the Indian summer itself :)

Pretty cool!

Great to catch up with what you are up to Agnes ... you look happy. That's all that matters in the end isn't it? Mmmm .... mulled wine. Love it. (I'm missing winter already!)

I love the smell of cloves! I wouldn't smoke them either, but it's nice that he smokes something that smells so sweet!

Love your simple updates - packed with such good stuff :) xoxo Love to you A!

I still like the scent of cigarettes..after many many yrs. your photos are fun!

Oh how I love hot mulled wine! I first tasted it on a winter holiday in Prague. Delicious!

I like mulled cider and often make it in winter (or carry it on x-country ski trips). I'll have to try the mulled wine, but will skip the cigarettes--I'll stay with my 3-4 cigars a year

When I lived in Poland, we existed on mulled wine through the winter. I can still smell the nutmeg and cinnamon. Yum! The best memory I have is skiing down the nearby mountain, and stopping half-way for mulled wine and goat's cheese. Pure magic.

Great post Agnes. And thanks for getting the last hotel promotional piece in on time. The client reaction was LOVE IT! So kudos to you yet again. Better clear the decks cause I got more coming (an eBook of 91 pages needing cover and illustration). But....all the work is contingent on seeing regular blogs from Agnes! :)

@Ian: Your life sounds so interesting...

@Ernie: Good to know they liked the hotel spread. I liked it too and really enjoyed working on it -- what a great project!

wow! Cigarette that smells like Christmas..and yes it's just around the corner ;)

Can't stand cigarette smoke, but would like to see how that sweet smelling thing is.....

Sometimes there are hints in your postings of how you've become the person you are, Agnes. There's a hint in this one.

In it you're years younger than you are now, and it's a freezing Hungarian winter's night. There's snow on the ground, and you're standing alone, waiting in the light of a single streetlamp for your bus. The bus is late because of the weather, and you don't know whether it's coming at all. Nearby there's a bar with a "questionable" reputation. You remember the smell of hot mulled wine coming from the bar.

In your posting, you tell us that Lucky, your good friend (who loves the movie "Casablanca"), smokes clove cigarettes. The smell brings back memories of that cold Hungarian night.

Are they memories of anxiousness? Foreboding? Discomfort? Cold?

No. They're fond memories of Christmas and warmth.

Now I know where your fearlessness comes from, Agnes.

Hi Agnes! :) I can't wait to go to Hungary...Budapest is on my list next year...I will remember this post! Love the photos...cheers!

@Rider----quite true. Agnes is fearless but there is a hint of aprehension that the beauty or good that she sees or expects may not live up to expectation. I think she expresses that in her art. There are some who are simply artists and then there are those who live their life as art. For Agnes, I honestly could not separate the two.

I love your photos as usual. Hope all is well and you are enjoying the very end of summer. Take care.

@Rider: Somehow, every bus stop seems to have had some sort of a bar near it. Bus stop proximity + cheap, home grown wine + a clientele whose dreams have seen better days seems to be their formula.

I love the aroma of cigars. My dad used to have one every new years eve. :-)

Questionable gin joints, nothing like them and my kind of place.

Here's looking at you kid


@Lucky: And as our good friend once said, Lucky is as Lucky does.

i occasionally smoked djarum in grad school. somehow i had the mistaken idea they were healthier than regular cigarettes - ha. amazing olfactory image you conjure up of those cold hungarian nights.

The next time you're in Sydney,Agnes, I'll take you to lunch and tell you all about it. :-)

All I could think of when I landed on your page was the words, "What have you done for me lately. Ooooooh ooooooh oooooh yeah!" (I can't recall who sung this song and I am too lazy to look it up! :D

Agnes, It nice to be back on your page. You can find me here: http://nodelusions.blogspot.in/

I can see your world-class smile in the picture captioned "Indian Summer."

It seemed far too long since you last posted a smiling picture of yourself. So I searched your prior postings to make sure. I was right. I last saw your smile on August 7th, more than a month ago. Before then I saw it on or about March 20th, six months ago.

No wonder I'm feeling smile-starved, Agnes.

The smell of cloves and cinnamon is haunting, Agnes:)

U r looking great Agnes:-))!!!!
Those cloves...I can smell them here....love the pictures and the post!!!

Hi A. I love your photos. You look beautiful - as always. Hmmm, I smell Christmas through food that my mum cook and scents/perfumes, and gift wraps.


What are you up to these days Agnes?

Hi Agnes~ Budapest is on my list of places to see...next week I will be taking a fall hike in the Alps of Austria! :)

P.S. I have that hat too ;)

Dear Agnes and/or dear Ernie! I am terribly worried about Agnes. Is she ok??? I have not heard from her for a long time. Come to think of it, sweet Ernie, thank you so much for sending my package. Thanks a lot! Adri

@Adri: Oh so sorry and yes I am doing well & hope you are too! September was but a blur, nothing but work really. And @David: I do illustration/graphic type work but am also currently involved in a translation/interpretation side project.

hm.... haven't eaten a bagel in a while. looks totally delicious.

Oh I just love mulled wine. And bagels. We're having an Indian summer here too - but that's normal. Have a wonderful week.

Hey, Agnes, I wanted to write something about your September 17th comment (above) concerning the Hungarian bar's clientele on that long-ago, cold winter's night. You write that their "dreams ha[d] seen better days."

I wonder whether this is what you meant: "They were sad old men, Rider. They were sad because they lived their lives poor and under the Communists. Eventually all their dreams got crushed and died.

"And so I forgive them for all their sad and numerous faults."

@Rider: The communists were history by then but yeah, I guess their once overpowering presence did leave a permanent scar on people's dreams?

Central Europe had a bad time of it for the second half of the Twentieth Century. First the Germans. Then the Russians.

So, what should we think about the Hungarians in the bar who were born in 1970 or before? We should think their dreams were worse than permanently scarred. We should think their dreams were permanently crushed.

You were born in the next decade, in the mid-1980's, I know. Still, against the Hungarian background and history, your stoicism, your courage, your optimism, and your compassion are all the more remarkable, Agnes.

@Rider: Yes, "crushed" is probably a much better word. I was born in the '70s though, (sigh, but thanks for the compliment). I remember the '89 revolutions and the first free election.

You're living an extraordinary life. The '89 revolutions in Central Europe and Hungary's first real election are only a small part of it.


I hope you don't mind if I write a comment about your latest posting, "months turning into years." It just seems right to try to hide my comment back here.

I counted four stories in your posting.

First, there's the story in the photograph, where you're remembering and honoring Geoff on November 1st, a day of remembrance.

Second, there's the story of your and Geoff's love, and your dreaming about him.

Third, there's the story of your Aunt Agnes's love. View it through the lens of the decades, and it's a beautiful story.

Fourth, there's the intertwining of both your Aunt's and your great love stories.

It's that fourth story that's so troubling. And it's that story that displays your great talent as a writer, Agnes.

I was concerned after reading your "Months Turning into Years" posting. I was concerned when you told us about your and your Aunt Agnes's love stories.

I was relieved when you flashed your world-class smile in your "Today" posting.

Thanks for letting us know you're okay, Agnes.

@Rider: Thank you so much for caring. I am doing OK. Your comments are always so considerate.
I hope you're doing well?

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