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 The neighbours' 50th anniversary

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Equinus
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PostSubject: The neighbours' 50th anniversary   Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:46 am

We have had the great privilege of being invited to our lovely neighbours' 50th wedding anniversary do, with the added honour of being asked to make some decorated shortbread similar to the ones we made for the neighbours at Christmas. And what an amazing emotional time we had.

It was held in the village hall, a rather damp and neglected cellar where we had the village seasonal do a few weeks ago. But the feeling was warm. We were already acquainted with many of the guests, which surprised me, and our immediate neighbours, also English, were invited too.

When we arrived at noon with buiscuits and home made present and card (a painting of an oriole done by Dave) the room was already filling up. Venka looked amazing, twenty years younger than she is after having her hair done and wearing a dress, something we have never seen her in. Every table was laden with bottles of pop, their home made wine and, of course, rakia. Each place had a plate with a filo basket filled with the most amazing garlic, walnut and gherkin yogurt dip, surrounded by cheese cut like crinkle cut chips and the usual slices of flat sausage.

Those of you who have lived in BG for years will probably know what happens on these occasions, so apologies if I get it wrong.

The happy couple came round and greeted everyone with glass in hand, then the MC/DJ/singer (someone off the telly!) gave a speech, to which Jordan responded briefly (not his thing) and Venka spoke at length, finishing with thanking us (!) for being part of the celebrations. They then did another tour of the tables, collecting small gifts, single roses or cards with money. Family members came round and pinned to everyone a single snowdrop. The dancing started, and although Jordan doesn't (he has my sympathy) Venka danced and danced, and not just a shuffle, but hopping and skipping like a twenty year old, and she carried on for hours. She must be 70 or near, and has had a busy week digging, planting and dealing with the sheep they slaughtered this week, never mind all the cooking and preparing of food.

There was then a ceremony of some sort where the couple walked over a flower strewn cloth, joined together by both holding on to a napkin and a lady read words and shared wine with them, then broke a very elaborate bread creation. We couldn't understand a word but it was very emotional and I had tears streaming down my face. Then Venka danced.....

The meal was served, the usual sausage, burger, pickles and cold rice, with a big chunk of the unfortunate sheep sitting on top and a huge bread roll. I was last to get mine, and being a veggie Venka had done me a huge bowl of cold boiled taters, with olives, hard boiled eggs and stuffed peppers, bless her. Every so often she got up and danced, then went back to her food. There were lots of tender family moments. They are a small family, having just the one daughter and one grandson, but very close and loving.

More rounds of the tables and Venka danced. Even the lady from across the track danced, and she can barely walk. And Dave danced too, spreading his favours to include family and friends of the happy couple.

There were more speeches, some of it aimed at their lovely son in law who they obviously adore, and the cutting of a cake complete with indoor fireworks (maybe not the best idea given the location) Jordan had his photo taken with the man off the telly and handed him the bread creation. Then they danced again before the sweets were handed out, several small cakes...and our biscuits...arranged on a plate. A few people left and Venka continued to dance. She then came round with a basket of sweeties for everyone to take. I left then to go and lock the chickens in before the martens came looking for an easy meal. Dave came home an hour later, leaving Venka dancing.

It really felt that were had been given a big warm hug by the village, but especially the neighbours and their family. We laughed and cried until we were exhausted and most of all, felt so priveliged.

The lovely neighbours, Venka and Jordan.
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oddball
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PostSubject: Re: The neighbours' 50th anniversary   Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:51 pm

Ah how lovely H H Thank you so much for sharing really enjoyed that

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PostSubject: Re: The neighbours' 50th anniversary   Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:09 pm

It's events like this that make it so lovely in this country. I wouldn't swap it for all the world. T
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PostSubject: Re: The neighbours' 50th anniversary   Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:33 am

Lovely story , really enjoyed reading it. It just about sums up these incredibly welcoming and friendly people .
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Equinus
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PostSubject: Re: The neighbours' 50th anniversary   Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:42 am

Agree with you all. It takes a bit of getting used to after living in the UK for so many years where nobody really bothers with anyone else if you weren't born there.

I am getting used to it and like it!

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PostSubject: Re: The neighbours' 50th anniversary   Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:03 pm

Hello all especially Equinnus. Lovely read and made me a bit homesick again for Bulgarian village life. I do miss it and your story was so reminiscent of many of our village festivities. The Bulgarians are so hospitable and its so sad to read the media hype about immigration. There is such a skewed idea of Bulgarians in Britain in general and it makes my blood boil.
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PostSubject: Re: The neighbours' 50th anniversary   Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:15 pm

All that aside for the moment..how are you and Tom getting along?
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Equinus
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PostSubject: Re: The neighbours' 50th anniversary   Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:47 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Hello all especially Equinnus. Lovely read and made me a bit homesick again for Bulgarian village life. I do miss it and your story was so reminiscent of many of our village festivities. The Bulgarians are so hospitable and its so sad to read the media hype about immigration. There is such a skewed idea of Bulgarians in Britain in general and it makes my blood boil.

Hi Oldun and nice to hear from you. I agree with you there, we have been made to feel so welcome despite all the media hype. The only time it has come up so far was when an English woman from our village went to hospital with her Bulgarian neighbour who had had a bad stroke and the doctor was more interested in asking why the English hated Bulgarians so much than the poor victim.

Keep in touch.

Sara

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PostSubject: Re: The neighbours' 50th anniversary   Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:02 pm

I don't want to hijack this thread so will start a new post later but suffice to say that we are really well. The caravan site closes down for 6 weeks so I found a really good deal and we are in Malta!!! Very quiet on the restaurant work front until March so we both are having a great warm, break and our dog is on holiday in kennels.
We are in touch all the time with our Bulgarian friends via FB so I still follow village life on this forum. s
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PostSubject: Re: The neighbours' 50th anniversary   Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:39 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I don't want to hijack this thread so will start a new post later but suffice to say that we are really well. The caravan site closes down for 6 weeks so I found a really good deal and we are in Malta!!! Very quiet on the restaurant work front until March so we both are having a great warm, break and our dog is on holiday in kennels.
We are in touch all the time with our Bulgarian friends via FB so I still follow village life on this forum. s

Good for you Annie and Tom, enjoy yourselves and I am please to read that you are living life to the full ::
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PostSubject: Re: The neighbours' 50th anniversary   Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:44 pm

This is what friendship is all about, a garden party at our villa half ex-pats and half Bulgarian, Fantastic atmosphere
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