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PostSubject: Itchyfeet's Blog   Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:52 am

First topic message reminder :

I haven't tried Blog Writing before, but have put our first reflections of living in Bulgaria down in print so that we can look at them in a few years time:

Our last pieces of furniture from our home in Turkey finally turned up here in Bulgaria this past week and our two leather sofas that we bought off of Ebay many weeks ago are being collected from the UK to come here in the next few days.  This will complete our inventory of things much needed for sustaining life here in this former Communist country.  Whilst this is going on some of our wood has also arrived and is pilled up just inside our gate, these come in metre lengths but have to be cut up to useful sizes in readiness for putting on our wood burner in the coming Winter.  This means that I have to cut them up with the newly acquired Chain Saw in the coming weeks before another great load turn up to be cut up, we expect to use somewhere in the region of 15 cubic metres of wood to stave off the cold.  Thermal clothes are in abundance in our wardrobes and are being held in readiness for the Winter to come.    So as you can see this is an action packed Ranch style homestead that we are currently living in.   Our massive gate which keeps unwanted intruders from our property has wooden staves rather like "
South Fork"
and we need a lot of strength to get them open.

Our life here has changed from being Townies to "
The Darling Buds of May"
- I have been fortunate in securing my own Katherine Zeeta Jones in the personage of Annette and she has shown that our own Zeeta is up to the mark and has even outshone the real one in many ways.  On the other hand of course I can't help but feel that I have been short changed from some of the exciting and exhilarating things of the real one, but I am not complaining!!   Must remember to go to Specsavers when I am next in the UK.

The house seems to be full of furniture, nick knacks and most things and there is still boxes and bags to unpack, goodness knows where they will all go.  We moved out from an apartment in Turkey to this big house of 200 square metres and we still need more room, strange, but it appears to be the case.   The dogs are happy and spend most of their time smiling and looking at us and commanding attention with nuzzling our legs and arms until we put our hand out and stroke them.  Ayla is due for her clipping of her coat tomorrow, she looks more like a sheep wandering around the field as her coat seems to have grown even more than last year and so to keep her comfortable and cool it all has to come off.

It is in to Veliko Tarnovo tomorrow to get an air conditioner apart from other things, temperatures here seem to be higher than Turkey and come July and August it will be impossible to sleep without something to keep us cool.   The grass and weeds appear to grow at an alarming rate and the strimmer has been working hard in an effort to keep the field to a reasonable height, this means that anything that is hiding in the foliage has to get the hell out or stand the chance of being sliced by the saw blade on the end.  Endless snails have been topped whilst this extensive task is going on.   The snails here are huge and resemble almost half the size of a tennis ball, it wouldn't be so bad if there was only a few of them but the field is covered in them, there must be thousands hiding in the grass and weeds keenly watching out for the strimmer to pass by followed by me wielding the massive machine across our large field wishing that I hadn't started doing the job.  We assume that the Storks come here to eat them and this is what makes up most of their diet, there is the green Lizards of course, they are about a foot long and although their bodies are green, their heads are blue and they can change colour according to what surrounds them. So in all, a great change from living near the sea in the Aegean region of Turkey and also a great change from living in the UK.
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:26 am

got a busy morning this morning so will look forward to a nice coffee break and a fab read - thanks Itchy can't wait to read it. g

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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:42 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
got a busy morning this morning so will look forward to a nice coffee break and a fab read - thanks Itchy can't wait to read it. g


Thanks Berni - I am still writing, my fingers are always itching to get at the keys!!

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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:53 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Anther great read itchy and well done to you, yes water can be an issue but we always buy a load of the large water bottle from kaulfland just incase and its a god send, you could always fill up some old water containers now for use in washing and the toilet which will help. There are plenty of good paints in Bg which you should be able to get either from a local diy merchant or if your luck a paint shop. I don't know where you are but there is one on the bazaar in Yambol and they have a great selection of very good paints and will also mix your color for you. Good luck and looking forward to your next installment.

Many thanks Andy, glad you enjoyed it. - We have a Praktiker near us, although 45 mins in the car to be exact and they had run out of Dulux last time we went to Veliko Tarnovov. Trouble is shops here don't re-order goods when they see the item is getting low on the shelves, so will try again next week in the vain hope that some have turned up. Opposed to that is a trip into Pavlikeni where there is an excellent DIY shop and they are always busy. I haven't seen Dulux there, but a good chance of them ordering some for me if I leave a deposit.

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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:42 pm

:Thank you:that was a fab read - you make me :LMHO:so much with your antics, these things can only happen to you

Dare I say it Looking forward to the next chapter Well done!!! H

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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:11 pm

[size=150:oesow4gj]What a Busy Life, But We Enjoy It

Our recent weather here has been approaching what the tropics are used to having, I find myself proudly looking at the newly painted windows I have done from inside the house, but not a chance of using a paint brush myself until the heat subsides.  The weather has been truly blistering, at this temperature the heat is no ones friend and certainly not mine, I wanted to do some work one day last week, but no chance when it was like that.  I see the temperature is 21C today in the UK with some of that stuff called rain, shame. The temperature has subsided a bit now over here and we are enjoying 30C now and of course not a cloud in the sky, but we will suffer it I suppose, whilst sitting here on the patio and gazing out on our field and admiring the scenery and enjoying watching and listening to the birds in the trees, no chance of me doing that I am afraid, too much DIY to do!!

The storks have gone, it has even too hot for them, the three chicks went first and the Mum sat on the nest all day looking fed up and occasionally called for them and after a week she threw the towel in and said "
I am off."
  Many of the birds have been hiding in the trees and don't want to be flying about in this heat either.  So that just leaves us humans and we have been hiding indoors and keeping way out of it as well.  It's a shame we wait all year for the sun and when it comes out we moan and disappear indoors.

But life is not as tedious as it would be for our parents generation, at least we can get on the internet and do what I am doing now and no, I am not doing it because I am bored either!!   It gives me a chance to air my brain and get everything onto paper before it is gone.  A phone call or the dogs barking finishes any train of thought and there yet again another literary piece of information has disappeared that may or may not revive itself.  Our parents of course, would be in a rather different position and would be trying to get the wireless on with the aid of the cats whisker, whatever that was, "
a cat's whisker, what the hell is that?"
  Or out would come the Crib board and the pack of cards and maybe some money to pass the time away.  Women folk had a habit of drying sheets with one of those old mangles, you know the one, it has a great wooden roller and whole thing is made of cast iron.  Whoever invented these things knew what they were doing, this was the forerunner to the tumble dryer.  I can remember my Nan putting a bed sheet through her one and it came out like hardboard the other side and stayed like that until it hit the wall and then it gave in and crumpled up and fell into a great tin bowl underneath.

The locals here are still collecting their goodies from trees lining their lane or getting what they call left overs from the farmers fields, so it is a hive of industry here at the moment.  Locals with renewed energy, vitality and purpose can be seen almost breaking into a trot and not a sign of their walking sticks in an effort to get everything into their barns for the forthcoming winter. They use those old carts which they have attached to their horse, mule or donkey, whatever comes out the barn first I suppose, knowing my luck it would be a grisly bear.  They pile these carts high with Lucerne and what remains of the cob plants which they use for bedding for their horses. The cob plants after the cobs have been picked are a good alternative to straw which they would have to purchase off a farmer I guess, but as they use it for bedding and they end up clearing a field, the farmer benefits as well. The Lucerne is also a good substitute for hay, I haven't seen much hay grown here though, but they would have no trouble growing it if they wanted.  The sunflower crop is now in and from what I hear it has been a good year, shame about the corn on the cob, the lack of rain and the blistering heat has taken it's toll on the crop and not much in the way of corn has grown.

Not seen "
Bernard"
today but he has left evidence of his days activities on the grass outside his house, whilst passing by his property with the dogs I could see he has been busy because their was a huge pile of plum stones outside, but no "
Bernard"
in sight, so he must have been in his distillery busy inventing another potion of his favourite brew, hopefully in readiness for himself and his very friendly English neighbour!!    One of his earlier brews this year was elderberry Rakia, we were at his house when he did one of his disappearing acts into the Rakia vault and emerged with the Elderberry one.   Glasses appeared and were thumped on the table and a quick pop of the stopper and the elixirer was poured ready for consumption, surprisingly it was wonderful stuff and he had to go into the vault for more before we left.  Bless him. He has also been brewing another Eldeberry Rakia, but this one is with berries, his earlier one was done using the elderberry white flowers, from my experience of sampling the former elixirer I can safely say the new one will be just as good. In the coming weeks, there will be a lot of thumping of an empty glass on the table and the magic juice being poured into a glass out in "
Bernards"
garden I am sure!!

Our field outside is beginning to look rather straggly and thoughts about using the strimmer come to mind, but obviously when it is cooler. It is just over an acre in English terms, but needs a lot of physical work to keep in any order.  Our friend Sandra had a go with the strimmer and found that it hurt her hips where she had been swinging it about, she didn't think she was the right shape to use one, but when looking at her you would think that she was the perfect shape and figure and could have a good old swing and have no trouble whatsoever.  I don't really have any trouble with the hips doing it and that's not because we have been in Turkey and I did the belly dance with the professional a couple of times, like most people do.  My problem is the back, the pain won't start straight away of course, that would be too easy to attend to wouldn't it, no it starts when I have got into bed and trying frantically to get to sleep.  So a stroll downstairs and into the kitchen to get the Panadol is the result of it all whilst not trying to waken the dogs, but the field is looking better for it, if only I could get some sleep as well! Shame.

Well, there we are, another look at life through the eyes of an Englishman living in this sometimes strange country, trying to fit into the community with almost absolutely no knowledge of Bulgaski whatsoever, but trying hard and saying "
Drasti"
to any passing Bulgarian whilst walking the dogs. They seem happy enough and so are Annette and I and that's all that matters.
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:04 pm

Itchy..your recipe for living here is exactly right! I'll pass you in the village street one day soon and not even recognise you as a non-Bulgarian native.
Your ability to adapt, make do and get done is an inspiration to everyone.

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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:40 pm

Great blog Itchy. I know what you mean about getting it all down before interruptions. That's why a writer's life is a lonely one -that's if you are writing a book of course with a thousand pages! My other half gets stroppy if I say 'wait a minute, I'm writing!'
So nice to read of someone enjoying life here and not moaning.
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:18 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Great blog Itchy. I know what you mean about getting it all down before interruptions. That's why a writer's life is a lonely one -that's if you are writing a book of course with a thousand pages! My other half gets stroppy if I say 'wait a minute, I'm writing!'
So nice to read of someone enjoying life here and not moaning.

Yes, you are right oldun - I can remember seeing a programme on TV showing where Agatha Christie wrote some of her books. It was in the heart of the country, in an upstairs room with a view of the landscape and nothing else, no TV, no telephone, no dogs and no neighbours. It would appear that this is perfect for no interruptions and when you get an inspiration of what to write there is nothing that is going to stop you writing it until you have finished, perfect!

I used to write a weekly column in an English newspaper in Turkey after being asked by the Editor to write an Expats column, I had never written anything until we went to live in Turkey and then I found I had the knack or gift or whatever you would like to call it to write. It was nothing to sit down before a blank computer screen and have no idea what I was going to write, after 30 mins the screen was full of literary composition that I had no idea I was going to write before I sat down. The Editor General also asked me to act as Editor when the full time Editor went on holiday for 3 months, I also found that interesting. In the UK I worked in the composing room of the Evening Standard in Fleet Street and was often resetting front page news that had been sub edited and so in a way I am used to setting a story, but not actually writing one until the journey to Turkey.

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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:33 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[size=150:35re48qs]What a Busy Life, But We Enjoy It

Our recent weather here has been approaching what the tropics are used to having, I find myself proudly looking at the newly painted windows I have done from inside the house, but not a chance of using a paint brush myself until the heat subsides.  The weather has been truly blistering, at this temperature the heat is no ones friend and certainly not mine, I wanted to do some work one day last week, but no chance when it was like that.  I see the temperature is 21C today in the UK with some of that stuff called rain, shame. The temperature has subsided a bit now over here and we are enjoying 30C now and of course not a cloud in the sky, but we will suffer it I suppose, whilst sitting here on the patio and gazing out on our field and admiring the scenery and enjoying watching and listening to the birds in the trees, no chance of me doing that I am afraid, too much DIY to do!!

The storks have gone, it has even too hot for them, the three chicks went first and the Mum sat on the nest all day looking fed up and occasionally called for them and after a week she threw the towel in and said "
I am off."
  Many of the birds have been hiding in the trees and don't want to be flying about in this heat either.  So that just leaves us humans and we have been hiding indoors and keeping way out of it as well.  It's a shame we wait all year for the sun and when it comes out we moan and disappear indoors.

Fab! as always g Now waiting for the one where you air your pipes g ready for the Silsitra Garden Party :Kilt:

But life is not as tedious as it would be for our parents generation, at least we can get on the internet and do what I am doing now and no, I am not doing it because I am bored either!!   It gives me a chance to air my brain and get everything onto paper before it is gone.  A phone call or the dogs barking finishes any train of thought and there yet again another literary piece of information has disappeared that may or may not revive itself.  Our parents of course, would be in a rather different position and would be trying to get the wireless on with the aid of the cats whisker, whatever that was, "
a cat's whisker, what the hell is that?"
  Or out would come the Crib board and the pack of cards and maybe some money to pass the time away.  Women folk had a habit of drying sheets with one of those old mangles, you know the one, it has a great wooden roller and whole thing is made of cast iron.  Whoever invented these things knew what they were doing, this was the forerunner to the tumble dryer.  I can remember my Nan putting a bed sheet through her one and it came out like hardboard the other side and stayed like that until it hit the wall and then it gave in and crumpled up and fell into a great tin bowl underneath.

The locals here are still collecting their goodies from trees lining their lane or getting what they call left overs from the farmers fields, so it is a hive of industry here at the moment.  Locals with renewed energy, vitality and purpose can be seen almost breaking into a trot and not a sign of their walking sticks in an effort to get everything into their barns for the forthcoming winter. They use those old carts which they have attached to their horse, mule or donkey, whatever comes out the barn first I suppose, knowing my luck it would be a grisly bear.  They pile these carts high with Lucerne and what remains of the cob plants which they use for bedding for their horses. The cob plants after the cobs have been picked are a good alternative to straw which they would have to purchase off a farmer I guess, but as they use it for bedding and they end up clearing a field, the farmer benefits as well. The Lucerne is also a good substitute for hay, I haven't seen much hay grown here though, but they would have no trouble growing it if they wanted.  The sunflower crop is now in and from what I hear it has been a good year, shame about the corn on the cob, the lack of rain and the blistering heat has taken it's toll on the crop and not much in the way of corn has grown.

Not seen "
Bernard"
today but he has left evidence of his days activities on the grass outside his house, whilst passing by his property with the dogs I could see he has been busy because their was a huge pile of plum stones outside, but no "
Bernard"
in sight, so he must have been in his distillery busy inventing another potion of his favourite brew, hopefully in readiness for himself and his very friendly English neighbour!!    One of his earlier brews this year was elderberry Rakia, we were at his house when he did one of his disappearing acts into the Rakia vault and emerged with the Elderberry one.   Glasses appeared and were thumped on the table and a quick pop of the stopper and the elixirer was poured ready for consumption, surprisingly it was wonderful stuff and he had to go into the vault for more before we left.  Bless him. He has also been brewing another Eldeberry Rakia, but this one is with berries, his earlier one was done using the elderberry white flowers, from my experience of sampling the former elixirer I can safely say the new one will be just as good. In the coming weeks, there will be a lot of thumping of an empty glass on the table and the magic juice being poured into a glass out in "
Bernards"
garden I am sure!!

Our field outside is beginning to look rather straggly and thoughts about using the strimmer come to mind, but obviously when it is cooler. It is just over an acre in English terms, but needs a lot of physical work to keep in any order.  Our friend Sandra had a go with the strimmer and found that it hurt her hips where she had been swinging it about, she didn't think she was the right shape to use one, but when looking at her you would think that she was the perfect shape and figure and could have a good old swing and have no trouble whatsoever.  I don't really have any trouble with the hips doing it and that's not because we have been in Turkey and I did the belly dance with the professional a couple of times, like most people do.  My problem is the back, the pain won't start straight away of course, that would be too easy to attend to wouldn't it, no it starts when I have got into bed and trying frantically to get to sleep.  So a stroll downstairs and into the kitchen to get the Panadol is the result of it all whilst not trying to waken the dogs, but the field is looking better for it, if only I could get some sleep as well! Shame.

Well, there we are, another look at life through the eyes of an Englishman living in this sometimes strange country, trying to fit into the community with almost absolutely no knowledge of Bulgaski whatsoever, but trying hard and saying "
Drasti"
to any passing Bulgarian whilst walking the dogs. They seem happy enough and so are Annette and I and that's all that matters.

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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:29 pm

[size=150:1q70abyk]You are Never Alone!

HAVING a peaceful shower to start the day afresh seems an innocent thing to participate in, many of us do it and it seems to come naturally, maybe even singing like some of us do in the bath would also appear innocent as well.

Our friend Paul started his day like this last week and was busy showering when he happened to look up for the shower gel and noticed a scorpion happily clinging to the side of the shower watching this activity going on.  Not since he was a very young man did his body move so quick out of the shower and onto the landing.   Before setting off in search for help some clothes were required, because in his haste to get out of the shower he was now standing there naked, his wife Andrea confirms that this is not a pretty sight and he was not to go outside the house in his present state of undress. There was no possibility of getting back into the bathroom for a towel, after all there maybe another one in there and what if the shower one was now lurking just inside the door waiting for his return and ready to pounce on him. His immediate thought was to summon his Turkish neighbour who he imagined had probably encountered this situation a few times before and to retire the affending insect into the next life.

Clothes were put on his dripping body in readiness to pursuing his Turkish neighbour and off he went in search for him.  Whilst knocking on his neighbour's door Paul's knees were knocking together at the thought of where the scorpion may be laying in wait for their return to the house. The door opened and a quick explanation to his Turkish neighbour of what had occurred continued in broken Turkish and also some broken English, but eventually the full picture was conveyed to his friend.  

A few minutes later they were opening Paul's front door full of trepidation of what they were going to find in the house, especially in the shower cubicle. Once inside the bathroom the scorpion was spotted still in the same place that Paul had seen him, a long handled brush and dustpan were produced and the offending creature was squashed into the corner of the pan and they sped down the stairs and into the garden to dispatch the insect.

The scorpion had be to dealt with by one of them and Paul's friend elected to have a go, after all this is not an insect that you can just toss on the garden and forget about, one bite from one of these and humans are in for a bit of trouble to say the least, so for everyone’s safety Paul's friend stamped on it with his big boots, this unfortunately did absolutely nothing and the scorpion was actively racing around the terrace looking for an escape route and then a spade was produced and proceeded to chop up the creature into as many pieces as he could make it.  

Success, the scorpion had been dispatched and everybody could now breathe a sigh of relief and have a peaceful day. I know Paul well and if by chance he had been singing in the shower like some people do in the bath, the scorpion would have been out of his shower, out of his his house and definitely out of his town. Poor Paul can’t sing to save his life!  Thankfully Paul is still alive and well and will be singing at the Karaoke at our favourite bar again next Friday, my ears are already hurting at the very thought of it!
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:38 pm

:Clap:Really enjoyed that :Study:Itchy thanks for sharing. You are doing great g

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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:48 pm

[size=150:3l0l0qy4]An Ordinary Day - Never an Ordinary Day for us!

We are currently drilling and chopping a hole out of the downstairs bathroom wall in readiness for placing an electric ventilator to vent the room. Our friend Steve is in the bathroom drilling with a 14 inch drill piece and I am outside the wall to "
give him the word"
when the drill has come through the other side. In normal circumstances you would think this is an easy thing to do, but here in BG the walls are very thick and so far Steve has had the 14 inch drill and half the electric drill far into the wall and still not come through the other side!! I am the other side of the wall desperately looking for any sign of a "
break through"
, it's a bit like Ocean's Eleven"
- there is plenty of drilling noises and hammering coming from inside, but so far nothing has come through. So this little piece of work is going to take far longer than first anticipated, further chisels will have to be purchased in an effort to reach far enough into the wall to chop the stones out, but we will get there in the end.

One of my afternoon routine's is take the dogs for a walk when it has got cool enough for them and me to go out on one of our daily excursions out into the open air and whatever sun is still shining. Today my venture to the gate and outside and beyond was interrupted by "
Bernard's"
face appearing over the wall as I walked out to our huge gates to exit the property, he was attempting to get our attention in his usual way and had decided that half hanging off the wall enough to look over the top and shouting "
hello"
to us was sufficient to get our attention. However, his whole approach to saying a "
hello"
threw the whole household into chaos, our two small dogs who were remaining in the field saw this figure over the top of the wall and the apparent wailing in an attempt to get our attention and decided that a good old fashioned bark the place down was an adequate response to the situation. This of course was combined with me and Steve trying to get the big dogs out of the gates and into the big world beyond and they broke into a lunge towards this unknown figure whose legs were dangling from the wall. Luckily, they recognised his bare legs and his rotund figure and knew immediately that this was "
Bernard's"
body that had confronted them and proceeded to lick him instead of chewing his legs off!!

Once he had climbed down to ground level and walked to the path, there was a friendly shake of his hands with me and Steve and we all proceeded to start on the planned dog walk. However Bernard was carrying a sack and wishing not to be rude we both didn't ask him what this sack was doing in his possession, albeit that he often carried something in his hands as he walks past our house in search of some goodies that happened to be hanging off the surrounding trees to the paths and tracks that are all around our village. So onwards we went until he stopped at a friends house to ascertain whether they were at home or they were out somewhere else, anyone else would obviously ring the bell on the gate, but whilst walking beside him he suddenly disappeared and his legs where once more dangling in mid air as he peered over their wall to see if they were at home, this must be a Bulgarian custom I have decided. His friend appeared and a huge bucket full of chilli's was produced and these were poured into his sack and a very thankful hug was given for his sackful of goodies and we proceeded with the rest of the walk. As we got to Bernard's house he uttered those immortal words "
momento"
and his hand signalled that he wanted us to sit down on the seat outside his gate.

Several minutes passed and then the elixirer appeared in two glasses for me and Steve and the words "
Bulgaski Whisky"
were uttered by Bernard and a swift clink of our glasses and the BG equivalent of "
bottoms up"
and then a small sip was taken by us to see what his latest distilled liquid would do to our stomachs and not least the back of our throats. Once this was taken we prepared ourselves to drink the rest knowing that our dinners would now be ready, but not wishing to upset our host we took our time to drink our glasses dry. Whilst this was occurring, the two dogs had decided that all this was going to take ages and first of all they sat down and then laid down in disgust that we were enjoying ourselves and that their dinner was waiting for them as well. A steady poise was taken by me and Steve to raise our bodies to our feet after drinking Bernard's latest potion and a lasting and thankful "
merci"
and "
chow chow"
was given to our Bulgarian host and a careful walk was assumed to get us safely to our house 100 yards up the track. Once inside, Annette greeted us with her lovely dish of chicken stew and we sat down to a lovely and thankful meal to be followed by treacle sponge pudding, my favourite!!
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:29 am

[size=150:2ihgz4tk]The Weather is Changing for the Winter

Well, we have rain and Annette and I find ourselves looking out the window at it, but really wanting to be out there in the sun and doing the last things that will be possible before the weather closes in for the winter, we certainly can't complain about the weather, we have had a brilliant year of sun with a tiny bit of rain. This apparently is in contrast to the British weather, which we understand has been a year of rain with a tiny bit of sun, shame . . . if you want the sun you know where to come!! Finishing the last pieces of crazy paving and the varnishing of everything that has been crazy paved before the rain sets in again is a priority to get done. After that of course, it is back to the paint brush for indoors, the painting has been put aside while the weather was hot and we could work on more important things in the garden, sorry field!! There is plenty to paint and the usual moving of furniture and covering over with cardboard wherever necessary is important to keep the paint off of things.

I suppose the winter will give us a chance to regain our energy that has been used ever since we came here at the end of February. We have been extremely lucky with Steve and Sandra who have paved the way for us to get the house inside and out into a good state for living in and not have to worry about the freezing weather that will undoubtedly appear sometime in the new year, if not before. We are full of trepidation with regards to living here this coming winter, because this will be our first one here and we have no idea what to expect at the moment. The heating works well, but what effect will it have when the temperature goes down to minus 20C or so? How will we feel when it is that cold and what state will the roads be in to get food and necessary things that we need to survive here.

Living here will be completely different to living in Turkey where we had paper thin walls and could only really heat the lounge, the rest of the apartment was freezing cold in the winter and the ventilation was crap. Black mould used to grow on the walls and we had to wash the walls with Domestos to keep it down, this was undoubtedly the reason our lovely African Grey Parrot Oliver died as a result of breathing in the mould which had grown behind a huge cabinet out of sight to us. Here in Bulgaria our house has walls which are two feet thick or more and retain any heat we use to keep the place warm and no damp.

Bulgarians are used to living here and know what to do and how to keep themselves warm and comfortable until Spring appears and the place warms up. I have seen Bernard's kitchen, which is also his lounge and also his bedroom, the only thing not in this one room is the toilet, perhaps he has a Dunny somewhere in the garden, most of them have. Going outside in the freezing cold to use the Dunny is not my idea of fun, sitting there with my bum freezing would not appeal to me in any way, how they manage we will never know.

The dogs are nonplussed by the rain and are eager to get out there in the garden, Ayla and Badger are already in the garden and have been for about an hour and they are soaking wet and nearly black, what condition they will be in when they come back to their room is anybody's guess. Louie and Sofie have looked out through the window on our kitchen doors and are half interested in getting out there, but they will be getting their normal walk and nothing else today unless it dries up for them.
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:20 pm

Great read mate keep it coming I love to read about other peoples experiences in Bg.
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:03 pm

[size=150:11643tt1]"
Batten Down the Hatches!"



"
I am a Lumberjack and I'm OK"
. . . or that is how I feel right now anyway! I have never cut so much wood in all my life, we have around 8 cubic metres of the stuff in the barns and under cover in the garden and it all has to be cut up at some point and used on the wood burner, we also need to buy more to get us through the Winter.

We haven't entered the Winter yet, but when we do it will be full tilt at getting the wood indoors and onto the wood burner, the Winter's here can be harsh and we are hoping this next one will not be as bad as the last one at -30C. The thermals are at the ready and will be put on our bodies when needed, the Summer was glorious and this year has been brilliant for the sun shining endlessly.

Our main aim at the moment is to organise our back-up system for the pump on the wood burner, if we have a power cut the expansion tank for the radiators oozies water like a water main and has gone through our ceiling three times so far, but has now been moved to the loft area, but at the moment it is not lagged. So we are getting Seski our Bulgarian friend's husband to move it into the bathroom where it will be done properly, not how our original builder has done it, which is useless and very worrying for us.

So it is now a case of "
battening down the hatches"
in the garden by finishing what needs to be done and bringing all our tools from various parts of the field come garden and putting them away somewhere until next Spring. We are also buying and hanging curtains to keep the house warmer indoors, seeing an empty dark window at night time does nothing to make you feel cosy and comfortable when seen from indoors. The sun sets here at the same time as the UK, but BG time is 2 hours in fronts as we know, so we are only 4 weeks away from the Winter Solstice as is the UK and daylight is at a premium until we are past the 22nd of December when it will start to get lighter again, thank goodness!!

When I walk the dogs each day, I can hear wood being cut all over the village where the villagers are in their barns getting the firewood down from a metre length to something short enough to go in their wood burners. The Mayor organises wood for residents here for the Winter, albeit we haven't bought any from him because his wood is more expensive than wood we buy from other sources. Average cost for wood is about 50 Leva a cubic metre, that is £20 in English terms, sometimes transportation on top of that price. What a boring subject this is!!

Next year will see more changes in our field because we need to get some chickens and build a chicken coup, we have never had chickens before, so this will be another learning curve for us. Of course somewhere to put them would be handy and we have the base where the original owner kept his chickens, but no coup as yet. So a bit of searching around on Google for designs of the wretched things is necessary before I get to put some wood together and attempt to make a one I suppose!!

Some attempt will be made to reinstate the burnt out barn next to the house, this was burn out by the last owners son 12 years ago when he fell off his trolley. The walls are still there and part of the ceiling, albeit the ceiling will have to be removed because it is dangerous, but the walls are OK and need building back up to the height for placing a roof on the barn. It is not something I will get too involved in, age is now against me with doing these sort of things, especially where climbing ladders is concerned.

So there we are, another exciting and exhilarating episode of life in the raw, rather like living life as our ancestors did years ago, not back as far as the cave man of course, although I always enjoyed a good Club Night!!
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