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 Itchyfeet's Blog

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itchyfeet
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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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scott
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:06 pm

Another good read and insight for those of us who are thinking about the move, at least chopping the wood probably took your mind off your poor cold feet.
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:12 pm

Keep em coming these blogs are what is needed to help others know the real life out hear and it's not a case of sitting on your bum all day watching the world go by, I think after reading all this more than once it really shows what it's like for all of us let alone someone new th bg. Than you and I'm looking forward to more from you with this quality of writing I'm sure others will appreciate it.
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:01 pm

Many thanks to all you Forums members who post comments on my blog, I enjoy reading them, so keep them coming.

Some of you have mentioned the use of a chain saw and I realised that I missed out some details with the wood cutting when writing the blog. So to keep you up with all the details I am adding some more blog for you entitled:

[size=150:9ucijhxh]A Winters Day down at the Farm!

After climbing out of bed and enduring the extended time it takes to get dressed in the Winter, I wander into the bathroom and then the long walk downstairs to our kitchen. The first thing is a cup of coffee and then a reach into the cupboard for the cornflakes, or if I am lucky Weetabix if we have any, it depends if we have been lucky to buy any in the past week or two. The only trouble is my brain works faster than my body first thing in the morning, perhaps this is something to do with age. Trying to do me and Annette a coffee and my cereal at the same time bearing in mind that the milk which has to be warmed up in the Winter of course, gets confusing with so many things going on and not enough hands to do it.

A steady walk to the computer holding the coffee and the cereal bowl is assumed, making sure that none of our big dogs gets in the way or bumps into me on the journey. Having started up the computer and looking at this Forum, then onto my Hotmail and then the internet news I am ready to start the day. Of course this is not reality, because half way through doing all this I hear Annette shouting from the other end of our L shaped lounge and saying "
Eric, I haven't got much wood left, can you get out in the garden and cut some more?"


More often than not, a few expletives are uttered before my walk back into the kitchen to put on whatever clothes are necessary to keep me warm and dry. Then out into the field and a walk over to the pile of wood covered with a plastic sheet.

At this point I must say to all members who are thinking about the move to BG, what follows is not the way to operate with cutting your wood, our lack of a barn and a cutting block which should be in a better place to axe wood makes my work much harder than it should be.

So having removed the plastic sheeting to get some wood into the wheelbarrow, the wheelbarrow is filled to whatever point that I know I can still handle it without tipping over sideways and spilling the full load that I have just loaded into the snow. Then the 40 yard walk with the wood into our lean-to which was built last year, it has no sides yet, but that will be sorted this year. I didn't think that having a roof but no sides would cause a problem, but snow sometimes blows sides doesn't it? As a result the entire lean-to can be covered in snow at times, including any wood that I had left in there from the previous day, lovely!!

Then I put the first log onto the sawing frame, start up the chain saw and away I go. The chain saw is supplied with a plastic bottle to ascertain the amount of petrol and two stroke oil to use on it. This bottle however, should not be left laying around for one of your dogs to get hold of and chew up, which what happened to ours. Of course the chain has to be fed with oil so that it moves freely, otherwise it comes to a stop and you are left wondering why it won't work!! Needless to say I have encountered that problem as well, after all this cutting and chain saw game is new to me!! Having obtained the proper oil for the chain which can be expensive and only bought from a DIY store or a garage, a friend told me he uses oil for cooking and this works equally as good.

So having cut the wood that is necessary it is loaded into my big plastic bin and off to the wood block I go. The wood chopping with the axe is going a bit better now after the past weeks practice with wood flying all over the place. Having finished using the axe it is then a good idea to clear up because small bits of wood are laying all over path and immediately near the chopping block. This is akin to your barber sweeping all the hair he has cut off your head during your "
trim."


So there we are, another scintilating episode of life, living here in BG in the raw so to speak and getting on with things in our Winter, whilst waiting for the end of February to arrive and then living life in a more pleasant warmth with the trees starting to show growth and the storks arriving until the end of the Summer.
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:27 pm

Glad to see you are getting the hang of the axe. g I'm sure Annette is too!!!!

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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:49 pm

Another nice read while eating my dinner, you seem to be getting the idea now perhaps you are becoming more Bulgarian
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:30 pm

Thank you again for sharing what is almost certainly part of the Bulgarian way of life although many moons a go it would have been said in the uk but you seem to be getting on well with your new life and maybe you will know on here as the axe man either way I wish you the very best for the rest of the winter and keep listening out for that voice of Annette
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:43 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Thank you again for sharing what is almost certainly part of the Bulgarian way of life although many moons a go it would have been said in the uk but you seem to be getting on well with your new life and maybe you will know on here as the axe man either way I wish you the very best for the rest of the winter and keep listening out for that voice of Annette

Thanks for your best wishes for us with the rest of the Winter. I am getting better with the axe after having used it for a week now, I look for the "
sweet spot"
in the middle of the wood everytime. However, a moments lapse of concentration this morning resulted in a piece of wood flying exit left from the cutting block. Our plastic bucket that was stood 5 feet away took the full force of the piece of wood and now has a big hole it it!!!

I must get another block and put it somewhere else to use! I can see severe damage being caused if I carry on like this!


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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:06 pm

Rather a hole in a bucket than a hole in you!

Take care, or the wrath of Annette might land on you!

Mrs Eq

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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:10 pm

Another great read and as already said you be very carful I've seen a serious accident happen from chopping wood.
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Thanks Mate for this blog I'm really having a great time reading this and its giving me smiles when I should be feeling sorry for you especially your poor feet, I see your now getting the hang of the Axe so perhaps you could start a class on the forum and call the 'The axeman and his toes' Loving this keep on writing .
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:18 pm

Its interesting reading all what you write here and some of it takes me back to when I first landed on the soil of Bulgaria but its also worth mentioning that its amazing how different we all are? what I mean here I'm reading about your exploits which are similar to may own but somehow very different but the same? if that makes sens. I'm loving the way you write which to me is written from your heart and not your head so keep it coming.
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:34 pm

Many thanks for your comments.

STOP PRESS: Our dear friend Bernard has given us a chopping block and it has been placed in our lean-to, my chopping still goes through bad spells and bits fly everywhere, but thankfully nowhere near our windows!! Hopefully I will get better at it before the Winter is out.

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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:58 am

Good old Bernard, it's good to see he is looking out for you.

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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:53 pm

[size=150:1ga240dl]"
Bernard:"
A very Spicy Bulgarian!


Our neighbour "
Bernard"
spends all his time in the Summer bottling something or another, rather like most of our villagers living here, most of it is the drinkable stuff of course!! He is able to pick fresh lemons off his tree any time of the year, we were somewhat surprised every time he wanted a lemon he wandered into his lounge to get one. There was a good reason for this, as the lemon tree was fully grown and was enjoying life, but not in his garden, it was in his lounge! We have no idea whether the tree is moveable or spends all it's life in the lounge.

We have invited "
Bernard"
several times for a Sunday meal and also at times in the week. We have discovered that he has a weakness for spices and he has arrived at our house with his personal condiment set hidden about his person, rather like a Medicine Man in the Wild West. Of course he hasn't a horse and wagon to ply his trade and has no intention of selling any of them, his spices are delicious and made by him at his home.

He usually arrives with a selection of apples or small oranges to eat whilst we indulge in drinking his Paskalevets whisky, these are sliced up and placed on small plates for all of us to enjoy whilst drinking his beverage. The Pasklevets wine is uncorked and poured ready to consume whilst we are finishing cooking whatever dinner we have prepared for him, so then the scene is set for us to enjoy the dinner and prepare ourselves for whatever Bulgarian cultural or culinary surprise he has waiting for us!

The moment of truth usually arrives when his dinner is placed in front of him and several small plastic tubes appear from his pockets and they start to be spread out on the table around his meal, he invites us to enjoy his delights as well and we have found them very tasteful. Last week I cooked him a chicken curry, my curry's have a number of spices in them and to make the curry have some strength a reasonable amount of dried chillies are added to perfect the final taste.

So the magic moment arrives as the cooking is finished and the delicious rapaste is placed on the table in front of Bernard, then to our astonishment another of his hidden spices appear from his pockets and are sprinkled around the edge of the curry. Of course we accepted that he knew what he was doing and that what he had placed on his food was to his individual taste that would enhance the meal. However, what we didn't know was that one of his special spices was in fact chillie powder and when added to the chillie that I had already put in the curry had made the curry rather hot.

His spoon went into the meal and the first spoonful went into his mouth and then the expression on his face was something to behold, we, of course where completely unaware of what was going to happen, his lips were held very tightly together as if welded together and then his mouth opened wide in a gasp, I almost felt like getting the fire extinguisher out for him, but he reached for his glass and swigged a large mouthful of his Paskalevets wine and afterwards appeared to be OK. He consumed the remainder of the meal with great respect and in small mouthfuls with frequent swigs of his wine!! Poor soul, goodness knows what's going to happen next time he eats at our house! Is his desire for spices a Bulgarian tradition, or is it something very personal to his taste? We will no doubt find out the secret to his passion as time passes.
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PostSubject: Re: Itchyfeet's Blog   Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:07 pm

Priceless! I was wanting a cheer up, thanks Itchy. g

Mrs Eq

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