Conor’s Daddy and I are just back from spending Christmas in Budapest. Exploring the sights (and of course tastes) of the city helped us to get through a Christmas that should have been so different. We brought with us candles which we lit to remember Conor, his Grandad John, Conor’s little pals and all those missing from our homes. We also brought our “Christmas Conor” decoration and he ended up on a great big adventure.
There were no cakes baked for Conor this Christmas. There were however a whole new set of Hungarian treats to be tasted. This Chimney Cake was our favourite…
The Chimney Cake was sold at market stalls. Its a sweet yeast bread. The dough (similar to brioche) is shaped into a long strip and wound around a spindle and cooked over charcoal. It’s a bit like a BBQ. The cake is coated in sugar and melted butter while cooking. Once cooked you can pick a flavour to dip it in. We picked coconut. It’s eaten freshly baked and is delicious.
Budapest is an intriguing city. It has such a significant recent history. It regained independence only after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. While learning about its history it struck me that our generation in Hungary is the first in a long time to know only freedom as adults. Their children’s generation will have choices and opportunities that their grandparents could only dream about. It’s something those of us in the west have taken for granted.
In my old life I attended a talk by a bereaved mother whose young son had died many years before. I have never forgotten her describing how difficult she found what would have been his 18th birthday. Up until this point she had pictured him in a uniform attending their local school. Once she reached what should have been his adulthood she had no idea how to picture what he would have been doing.
This trip to Budapest and taking pictures of Christmas Conor’s adventures has me wondering what Conor would have become and what choices he would have made…
I enjoyed talking the photos of Christmas Conor’s adventures. They provided a welcome distraction from the grief that followed us over to Budapest. We nearly lost Christmas Conor in the castle moat and like every good mother I rescued him, spat on a tissue and cleaned him up! I now have 17 years to get used to the idea that I will never know what Conor would have or could have been. I know that what’s more important than any career or achievements, would have been that he was happy and loved.