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 Itchyfeet's Blog

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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   Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:27 pm

[size=150:iqh25ek5]"
Bernard"
Saves The Day!


My morning walk with the big dogs involves walking what I commonly call the "
Goat Run"
this is where Louie got "
nutted"
by a nanny goat. After turning the end of the road and right again I arrive at the bottom of our road come track, I then approach the Paskalevets Distillery otherwise known as Bernards. There isn't any steam or fumes arising from this active distillery, but there is Bernard who is usually waiting on his seat outside his property. His seat is made up of three piles of rocks with a piece of wood that spans the three rock piles, the seat is only six inches deep so a great deal of diligence is required when sitting down and standing up. Once Bernard and I have sat down he usually utters those immortal words "
Paskalevets Whiskey"
to which the answer is "
Da"
his reply is "
Ein moment"
and he disappears through his side gate and off to his Whisky Vault at the back of his garden and returns a few minutes later with two glasses of this wonderful liquid.

Although it is many years since BG's exit from any connection with the Soviet Union there is plenty of their old cars here. Lada cars are seen everywhere and are in real good condition considering how old some of them must be, the cost of buying one of them is a pleasant surprise to any would-be purchaser as they are a fraction of the price in the UK. I seem to have got the impression that they were now a classic car in the UK right now and command a good price, so an excellent opportunity for someone to make money with them I would have thought. I have done my bit with selling second hand cars and don't wish to return to the old days, especially as I would have to go back to work again!! There are plenty of Trabant's here as well, they were the car that thousands of people fled from East Berlin when the Berlin Wall was pulled down, I believe they are a classic car in the UK now as well. Old Russian lorries appear on the roads from time to time, they are usually loaded with loads of firewood, I feel sorry for the drivers of these machines because they look like something from another planet and have no power steering. The driver usually sits in the cab with a grimace on his face at the thought of having to turn a corner, his worries are confirmed when he attempts to turn the vehicle with yards of steering wheel to pass through his hands which are clenched hard on the wheel knowing that one moments lapse of concentration will take him over of the edge of the road and beyond, a journey into space so to speak.

Bernard, being a real gentleman, has adapted his way of speaking to me and when he means yes he actually nods his head and says Englisti and then shakes his head and says Bulgaski, so a perfect understanding has been accomplished with him and me. When I arrive and the Whiskey has been served to me, he takes Sofie's lead and sits down, she spends all her time licking him and asking him to be stroked and he is only too happy to oblige. This also means that in times of emergency that we only have one dog each to control, which is far better than me trying to restrain both of them. They are quite happy to sit with us and be good unless a cat appears from nowhere, which is what happened yesterday and Bernard was yanked by Sofies lead and he was splattered on the ground on his back, but still holding her lead, bless him. At the same I was yanked by Louie for the same cat and as I nearly went headlong across Bernard's now prostrate body, he grabbed Louie's lead in his prone position and brought the whole pandemonium to a successful conclusion, what a wonderful person he is to think of my plight flying through the air in his direction whilst he was laid out on the ground having suffered the equivalent of a body slam.

So Bernard was the hero of the whole affair and it wasn't even his dog that caused the havoc in this leafy nook, deep in the heart of Bulgaria. He got up none the worse for this experience with our dog's and laughed, this episode in our hectic day was followed by great excitement and a long chat on our experience with the dogs, of course another sampling of the elixir was necessary before I left for my homestead with them.
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:34 pm

Excellent blog Itchyfeet. I hope lots of people will read and take note of how interesting a life can be lead out here in the wilderness that is Bulgaria. I'm sure a lot of these little things that mean a lot goes right over the heads of some. Well done and have a very Merry Christmas with Bernard!
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:58 pm

Great post Itchyfeet, love your stories. T


Mrs Eq

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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:58 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Excellent blog Itchyfeet. I hope lots of people will read and take note of how interesting a life can be lead out here in the wilderness that is Bulgaria. I'm sure a lot of these little things that mean a lot goes right over the heads of some. Well done and have a very Merry Christmas with Bernard!

Many thanks for your comments oldun - A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you. I suppose I will be playing my Bagpipes on New Year's Eve, old habits die hard!!

g
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:02 pm

Great blog and lets have more when you have time but I can relate to this

Quote :
Bernard, being a real gentleman, has adapted his way of speaking to me and when he means yes he actually nods his head and says Englisti and then shakes his head and says Bulgaski, so a perfect understanding has been accomplished with him and me.

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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:18 pm

Very good Eric keep it up we all love to read stuff like this.
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:31 pm

Brilliant!!H H :Hearts:it Itchy thanks a million g ::

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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:27 pm

Many thanks to all who added to this post and to compliment me on the Blog. Glad you enjoyed my ramblings on life here in Bulgaria. "
Bernard"
is coming to our house on Christmas Day to enjoy a meal and I expect some more samplings on life here for us Brits compared to the traditional Bulgarian resident will come to light during his visit. In the meantime, I have another story to attach to this blog before Christmas and I laugh at it myself when reading it, so I hope you all enjoy it.
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:52 am

Looking forward to that g

And I'm sure there will be more after Christmas. Should be interesting. Are you going the whole hog with all the usual trimmings, like cranberry and bread sauce? That will be interesting!

Mrs Eq

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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:20 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Looking forward to that g

And I'm sure there will be more after Christmas. Should be interesting. Are you going the whole hog with all the usual trimmings, like cranberry and bread sauce? That will be interesting!

Mrs Eq

We are having the usual Christmas Dinner trimmings with home made chestnut and cranberry stuffing and Bread Sauce, what Bernard will make of these will make life interesting for us we hope.

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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:44 am

Looking forward to more of your ramblings on life here in Bulgaria
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:21 pm

[size=150:2oml56ba]Marooned in our Snowy Oasis

Well here we are in the white stuff!! Yes, it's snowing and we have had snow for about 5 days now, no going to the nearest town for food, it's good that we have stocked up with food and water for the eventuality of being marooned!! I've just looked outside the door and it is 18 inches deep or more!! The daily chore of cutting the wood has to be started very soon, I am never buying that metre length stuff again, it takes ages to get the wood to the cutting block and the chain saw continually needs topping up with fuel.

The dogs have enjoyed it though, albeit poor little Badger and Ayla could only just manage to trudge about and see where they were going because they are small, bless them. Louie and Sofie had no trouble with it and sat there in the snow when they had finished their necessaries waiting for Dad to let them back in the house this morning, but they were walked around our field yesterday afternoon and it was deep in snow then.

I managed a car run to the Post Office and bar yesterday in slushy snow with ice gathered here and there, so the car was in 4 wheel drive in second gear all the time. Couldn't walk on the roads, I have already slipped and fallen in the snow and fell down with a thump. Whenever we fall over it always happens in slow motion doesn't it, as we head for whatever we are going to land on we have time to think why did I walk there, or what the hell did I do that for? But for me it was instant, one second upright and next on the deck looking dishrevelled, feeling sorry for myself and rubbing my hip and thinking what the bloody hell happened there! Of course snow was stuck to whatever part I had fallen on and my coat and jeans where now covered in snow.

So a quick turn around and a start was made to head home when a voice shouted "
Eric"
, when I looked around there was Bernard standing outside his gate and waving, so I walked over to talk to him. He was carrying a stick which he had much pleasure in showing me, this stick looked ordinary except that at the bottom was a nail prodruding from the base, this was to keep him stable whilst walking in the snow.

The words "
Paskalevets Whisky"
was uttered by him and a careful walk was assumed to get from his gate and into his lounge where the fire was belching out warmth. A bottle of elixir was produced and poured into two glasses and a quick "
chin chin"
and the first sip was consumed. Much talk was made about him and me falling over and the injuries we have both suffered, when suddenly the electricity went off at his house, which meant that ours was now off as well up the road. So a quick slug of what was left of the elixir and I headed back home because all manner of things go wrong when the power is cut and Annette was halfway through cooking a joint of beef.

The wood burner was blazing away, but had the UPS system cut in or was nothing happening, a quick check was made but the heat was not sufficient to make the pump work and so the fire was allowed to keep low while I wondered what to do about it, then hey presto the power came back which was an absolute blessing.

We had a power cut of 14 hours last week and it was not nice, no power, no fire, no lights, it is no fun. Our generator that we bought was filled with petrol and after many attempts it refused to start and so no luck there and we sat in our freezing house after lighting some candles. I phoned one of our Bulgarian friends who lives in the village and she had spoken to the electric men and they said that another part was needed, but they hadn't got the part with them and had to go to Pavlikeni in the snow to get it. To their credit they came straight back to our village and installed the part and we had power at last..

What a sad story this all looks, but that is the Winter I suppose and we have the Winter Solstice tomorrow, so after that we will have more daylight each day and hopefully things will get better with the weather. Can't wait to go shopping again and that's a man saying that!
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:45 pm

This is just what ex-pats-to-be need, a tale of proper life with the problems we can all encounter and need to be prepared for.

Thank you very much for taking the time to write, and I for one am looking forward to more wintery tales. g

Including what "
Bernard"
thinks of the delicacies of a British Christmas dinner, and of course what you all get up to over the season. Hopefully this may encourage others to post their experiences too. (Hint...)

Mrs Eq

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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:30 pm

I agree with all you say Eq, its always good to read real life experiences and yes what a great idea lets here what the Bulgarians think of our traditional crimbo.
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Sun Dec 23, 2012 2:58 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
:Great:Including what "
Bernard"
thinks of the delicacies of a British Christmas dinner, and of course what you all get up to over the season. Hopefully this may encourage others to post their experiences too. (Hint...)

Mrs Eq

Bernard has changed our life for the better here in BG, it is so refreshing to have a Bulgarian neighbour who is so helpful and friendly. I can't imagine doing a blog that doesn't include him in some way or another. He has done a few things with us over the past few days and some writing will be done about that in a day or so.

s s
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