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 Our visit to Silistra

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PostSubject: Our visit to Silistra   Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:51 pm

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Here is our Blog from our first trip to Bulgaria I will post as often as I can as there are 26 chapters for 2007 and 12 chapters from 2008 I am still composing 2009

Our visit to Bulgaria 2 Sept 2007

Chapter 1

Doug and Berni arrived in Bulgaria on 1st September 2007. We intend on staying for 3 months so I can have treatment on my back and make a full recover from a disc problem. Dougie is really excited and wants to get on with work in our Villa. He will fit a new kitchen and perhaps new windows and doors later on if we have enough money left over. We arrived at Varna airport and was met by our car hire man Danial - We have hired a car from him for 3 months, it turns out that we have hired an old yellow taxi. It's old but gets us from a to b. The cost to hire the car is 1335leva, about £500 pounds. It's a lot of money and we were told afterwards that we could have bought a good second hand car for that price. Ah well you live and learn eh!

We realised we forgot the keys to the Villa but as luck had it, we left Pleman our builder a set. It was 6am when we got to Silistra, we went to have coffee and waited till about 8ish to ring Pleman. We text, then rang but could not get a reply so we rang Mike and Jerry, our English friends in Silistra. They were going away for a few days to Fred's but said come over until Pleman gets back from Shuman later that afternoon. We were on our way over to them, when Mike rang to say Pleman will meet us at the Pizza place. Phew what a bit of luck eh!. 10 minutes later Plaman arrived gave us the keys and took us to a building merchant so we can get something to clear the weeds in the Villa.
The Villa looks good but needed a clean, so many cobwebs. The garden has 10ft of weeds, how are we going to clear 2000sq mts?? Our furniture has not arrived yet but, we brought a blow up bed in the case, along with the quilt cover it fitted into. We also brought some clouded plastic and tacks so we could cover the windows. It's ideal as you can't see through it, good substitute for nets for a while.

It was too early for us to go to sleep, although we were overtired and excited at seeing the Villa again. We knew we would not slept. So we decided to have a cup of tea . Then unpacked and then Dougie cleared the weeds so we can put the car inside the gates. however, we established a little bit later as we had no tools to flatten the ground, they were on the truck. We could not put the car inside, so we forgot about that so we left it outside the gates and continued to clear the weeds. It was really hot, wonderful in fact. 1 hour later the area where we wanted to put the car in was completely clear. Dougie then started to fit some security locks to all the downstairs windows. Then we decided to sit in the sun for a while. I tried to pull a few weeds but with my bad back, no chance, way too hard for me to manage, and Dougie told me off. Dougie had a sleep for a whilst. I pottered about in the Villa and outside - don't really know what I was doing, a bit of unpacking that sort of thing as I could not sleep. It was late afternoon when Dougie woke and as we had not eaten all day we had to find some food. We had no means of cooking at the Villa as all our stuff was on it's way with Oggi. There is nowhere in Bulgarka to get something to eat. There is a small shop but only open a few hours, so we had no choice but to back into Silistra to get some food. The pizza place was closed down so we went to the bar next door. there was no English people in Silistra at all so it was trial and error to make yourself understood. But the waitress brought us an English menu and we had a lovely meal, well worth waiting for. It was still rather early so we went for a walk down the town and down by the Danube. Silistra was still busy at this time of the evening. Then we headed back to the Villa as we were both tired by now. We slept through the night, which surprised me as I am not a very good sleeper anyway.

Day 2 Our visit to Bulgaria 2 Sept 2007
For the next few day we pottered about in the Villa. We did not see anyone around, then on the third day, two of our neighbours came to say hello. Two ladies introduced themselves as Ginka. We decided to call them Ginka D and the other named Ginka V (used first letter of their surnames) They seemed very friendly and happy to see us and hugged us as if we were old friends. They chatted away, although we did not have a clue what they were saying we kind of understood. They were looking in the direction of the gardens so assumed this was the topic of conversation, the grapes, the apples, obviously they needed sorting.

We did not know many words in Bulgarian and they spoke no English however, we got the opinion that they were very concerned that the car was parked outside was trying to tell us to put it inside. So I did what I could and proceeded to show Ginka D the huge drop between the earth road and the garden, I tried to explain we had no tools so we could not do anything until we got tools from England. She soon worked out the problem and said something in Bulgarian and off they both went. 10 minutes later she was back with a man and the man was her husband Ivan, what a lovely little man he was smiling from ear to ear, We took to him and Ginka D straight away. They are a lovely couple. Anyway after the introductions Ivan produced some kind of tool, then he Dougie proceeded to flatten the ground. A short while later the car has a place inside the gates. Ivan picked his tools up and said his goodbye, but would not take anything from us for his help.

Ginka D appeared next morning with some eggs and cheese, then Ganka V came with some grapes and cheese. It was than that Ginka D decided to give me my first Bulgarian lesson - she told me adza, adza holding up the egg. So I repeated it to her indicating I understood, she was tickled pink. I got my pen and wrote what I heard ADZA eggs, and domati, tomatoes. This went on for a while everything Ginka D picked up she told me the word in Bulgarian, hence the lessons began. The both headed off but over the next few day both Ginka's came to see us and continued to bring us gifts but would not take anything from us. Each day Ginka D gave me a few more words in Bulgarian. I was very proud of myself and whenever I had the chance I would read back what I had written and found myself learning and could understand some of what was discussed when we all met up again.

Chapter 2 to follow

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PostSubject: Our visit to Silistra   Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:34 pm

Well done guy's I missed this I tell you what you 2 are begining to make me Dizzy, there is so much that you seem to do and yet you still go on against all the odd
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PostSubject: Our visit to Silistra   Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:57 pm

Thank you so much scott actually, I thought you were all getting fed up with my stories I have only anohter 26 to go and I have not even started on 2009's visit yet although I have posted on the website the delivery ie Garden Party date Sept 20.

Oddy

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PostSubject: Our visit to Silistra   Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:23 am

Hiya Guys

I have been so busy I forgot to update - so here goes chapter 12

Our month visit to BG Chapter 12 Tasks

Chapter 12 Tasks read2 read2

We decided to tackle the bigger one of the shed in the garden today. There are two, which were used for animals. The roof tiles are in good condition and will come in handy when we build the carport, assuming they are still here when we come back next year So, bless him, Dougie set to work taking them off and passed them to me one by one, so I was not lifting anything heavy. I stacked them in the area he had already prepared. We than started to knock the shed walls down, well push them and they fell over. The big bricks were saved and the rest will go for a rockery or such like. The wood was also saved as Dougie said its good firewood. So he stacked that up as well - We are recycling here in BG, don't think we ever gave recycling a second thought at home.

Knocking down the shed took up most of the morning, but we have done one side and will do rest over next few days. We stopped for lunch, then Dougie has decided he will cut the wood. So out come the bench saw and another hour or two he had cut all the wood, put it in the barrow and we stacked it under the balcony. Seems to be a lot of wood there now.

Ginka D popped down. She loves coming to us and seeing what we have done. She has taken a great shine to us both and can laugh and joke now with Dougie. She is such a lovely lady. I think by now, she classed herself as my Mama. She was well pleased we will use the wood for the fire and the bits Dougie threw in the rockery, she pulled out again and told him to use them also. He pointed out the 12’ nails, but no matter, she just brushed this excuse aside and said nama problem, dobra dobra, good. So he than had another pile of wood to cut, bless him. We are quite amazed really, as nothing is wasted here. I was throwing the jars in the rubbish and got told off for that. We also put the news paper in the rubbish, again this is not what to do, as it's used for starting the fire or packing. Leftover food and stale bread will feed the dogs. We are learning something every day

4th October and I feel much better now. Daily visits to the clinic have done me the world of good, but still have to be careful. No work today as we are going to Silistra to see if we have the post. Still no post yet. I posted a card to myself about 3 weeks ago now and I am expecting post from England, but no sign of the card I posted here yet. I think the lady in the post office was trying to tell me, there is another post office near us, but not sure. I will have to ask Ginka D. We had a wonder round the shops in Silistra It is a lovely little town and most people there now, know us the say hello or wave, some like to try some words in English too. People are getting used to us now.

When we arrive home, Old Simion had left his bag and hoe by the gate. looks like he intends on doing more work on the garden. Simion arrived a little while later and produced 6 sticks - actually they were vines. He than looked around and decided where he was going to plant them. He started to dig, than deeper, though he was digging his way to Romania bless him. Naturally. he intended on doing the work himself, as I tried to help and he just waved me off. So I though I would bring him water for the holes. He put the vine in and I poured the water in, instructed by him of course, wow! brill job eh He covered the vine sticks completely and put a few little sticks on top, just so we know there is something growing there. Then onto the next one. He measured the length of the hoe and started digging again. He did this 6 times, so now we got another 6 vines, what on earth are we going to do with all the grapes.

He was digging and planting and sitting and shaking and I was scared stiff he would hurt himself. Finally he had finished and I though he would head off home, but no, Simion then decided he wanted to continue to prune the vines again and wanted the cutters, so I gave him the cutters and left him to it. He really liked them cutters, mad a note to get him some. Personally I think he was pleased I went off, as he wanted to get on with it himself and I was in the way. The other neighbors said I should not cut the vines till later on, but I understand Simion is one of the people who has the best grapes in the village, so he knew well what to do. Anyway it did not really matter if they did not grow next year - as the neighbors kept us loaded with grapes and there are only so many grapes you can eat.

We are going to Silistra again tonight to the folk concert with Ginka, Ivan and Docho so looking forward to that now. Whilst I was getting ready for the concert I had a nice surprise. Gecco knocked on the door and he had brought something for us. It was post from England. When he went to Cello, the next village. The lady in the post office gave it to him for us. So there is a post office near. We will go there tomorrow and introduce ourselves. I will bring some chocolates to the staff as a thank you. We will be checking there in future. The post was from our grandchildren Rhys and Grace. They send a letter from each of them and some lovely drawings - Dougie is well pleased as he misses them and our Son Lee and daughter-in-law Claire very much. It was so exciting to get mail. Dougie is more settled now he has heard from them and they are all well. We miss them so much. I too, look forward to re reading the letters Claire send from themselves and the ones for the children. Dougie was in his element, perked him up no end. Our daughter in law Claire is a really nice girl. She is very considerate and is mad about Dougie, bless her. Nothing is too much trouble for her. She makes sure when writing, we also get letter from the children and keep us updated on everything. Lee and Claire also look after our house in UK too. It is so nice to get mail. You don't realized how detached you are from people, living out in the country. Normally you can pick a phone up or send an email, but when you have no connections apart from a mobile phone, it is difficult and more expensive.

Before we went to the concert I dropped the video camera and tape into the shop so they can make a DVD of the concert we filmed in our village. If it is on DVD we can all watch it, I can invite a couple at a time to dinner, then we can watch it together. The shop said no problem will be ready in a few days will cost 10lev. I thanked the man and off we went to the concert.

The concert was very good, well acted out. It told the story of how Bulgarian and Russia united after years of fighting. It was hard to follow, but we enjoyed it very much. We met the Mayor of Silistra and our neighbors daughter who is a reported;
she also came to meet us. In fact, everyone we know had family coming, so we met them all too look. The concert finished about 9.30 and the others did not want to go for a drink in Silistra so we suggested the next village and they were up for that. We called in the the small shop/pub in the newer part of our village, about a mile away for us, but it still comes under our area. We stayed about ½ hour although we could have stayed a bit longer, but we were all tired. Amazing how tired you get here in BG. It is a long day. We, (meaning me) get up at about 7.30. Dougie is up since 5am and by 9 9.30pm we are ready for bed again. Blooming highlight of the evening now, (going to bed to sleep) The days just fly by here. Well another day tomorrow

Chapter 13 to follow

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PostSubject: Our visit to Silistra   Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:26 pm

Lovely story again from you tow terrific people you seem to have some much passion and energy look forward to the next chapter
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PostSubject: Our visit to Silistra   Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:05 pm

Well done Bernie and Dougie you really did have a lot to do and your still doing it once again I take my to you both

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PostSubject: Re: Our visit to Silistra   Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:23 am



Morning Guys

I appear to have neglected this section so sorry but been so busy with the Orphanages, Home for Elderly, Woman's Refuge collecting, sorting, washing, packing, labeling, storing, loading and unloading vans, that have not had time to update. Will do this soon only another 15 chapters to go g so brace yourselves c

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PostSubject: Re: Our visit to Silistra   Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:41 pm

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Morning Guys

I appear to have neglected this section so sorry but been so busy with the Orphanages, Home for Elderly, Woman's Refuge collecting, sorting, washing, packing, labeling, storing, loading and unloading vans, that have not had time to update. Will do this soon only another 15 chapters to go g so brace yourselves c

Berni Angel

:Howdy:Berni
I thought I had a lot of enegy, but you beat me all ends up :Clap:There are no words that can explain where you get all your get up and go attitude from. I have noticed that you are on the forum after midnight and again at 6am in the mornings, so tell me how and when do you get your beauty sleep. I think I speak for everybody on this forum when I say, you must be super human, :S:I just wish I could take, what ever it is that you take that gives you all that enegy
You should transfer your story and get it published as a book in both English and Bulgarian, I am sure it would sell well
Having been involved with the design of front covers and photographs in books I would be more than willing to help and support you if you decided to go to print one day, so if you can find time keep on the old :Searching:and carry on doing what you do best
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PostSubject: Re: Our visit to Silistra   Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:52 pm



Ah diddles Willow, you make me blush Yes I do work full time too so that is why you see me up early and to bed late. I forgot to mention my secret hero H H Dougie...... H H he is a real little gem :Angel1:and the truth of the matter is he is the one who keeps it all manageable and he will be home tomorrow :Great:We are just two ordinary every day people doing what we can to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

Now that book is a good idea g I will get onto the publisher and see what she says. I have done 36 chapters and at some stage will get round to finishing the chapters from last years visit,about another 10 chapters :Winky:. I will expect to be famous soon g

Thanks a million for your comments you are a little ray of s T

Berni &
Dougie s

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PostSubject: Re: Our visit to Silistra   Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:05 am

[quote="
oddball"
]

Ah diddles Willow, you make me blush Yes I do work full time too so that is why you see me up early and to bed late. I forgot to mention my secret hero H H Dougie...... H H he is a real little gem :Angel1:and the truth of the matter is he is the one who keeps it all manageable and he will be home tomorrow :Great:We are just two ordinary every day people doing what we can to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

Now that book is a good idea g I will get onto the publisher and see what she says. I have done 36 chapters and at some stage will get round to finishing the chapters from last years visit,about another 10 chapters :Winky:. I will expect to be famous soon g

Thanks a million for your comments you are a little ray of s T

Welcome home Dougie and I hope you have had a good trip. :Sunny:The forum have been looking after your other half and keeping her in order, but tell me, what keeps her going. If I look at my own wife then I suppose I should know the answer, as she maintains that women can do three things at once whereas we men can only do one, your Berni certainly qualifies for being one of those elite women. I always remind my wife that behind every good woman there is a good man and I know that is very apt to you two hard working, dedicated people

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