Tuesday, 8 December 2015

So much to do - a busy retirement!

Apologies to my two registered followers and to anyone else who will stumble upon it, but I have been so busy that to sit down and actually start to type and download pictures seems impossible.  Anyway here is an update.  Having moved into the house now - thankfully it is furnished because our stuff is still in the UK - we have decided that whilst the weather is un-seasonally brilliant we would concentrate on the garden and get the poly tunnel sorted out for Spring.  Heartfelt apologies for those whom are suffering in Cumbria.
 Yes it's under there somewhere
Clearing it slowly
We're getting there
Clearing the debris
The other priority we have is to, in the short term, increase the height of our wall onto the road...
(Don't know whether you can make out the wall but it has collapsed in various places)
.....because as the house hadn't been lived in for two years it would appear that we have lots of visitors on a daily basis:
Baba Turkey's 3 sheep (we call her that because she has turkeys too and Baba means Grandma in Bulgarian).  We think she is actually called Elenor
And these turkeys belong to another lady called Evanka
and we are not sure who owns this tailless cat!  Apologies for the photos because they were taken through a window.
A funny thing happened the other day, Baba Turkey took her sheep just up the road and she decided to lay down on the grass verge whilst watching them - seems weird for an old lady to do that on a bright but chilly morning.
We have got to grips with the central heating, There is a pump that needs putting on before you light the fire which has a back up battery sitting in my lounge because apparently we have power cuts when the weather is bad.  If you didn't have back up and the fire was doing this, then whole thing would explode!  But actually it is very efficient and we sit in our lounge very cozy on the clear frosty nights.

I took a picture of the first meal I cooked in my new house.  As you will all know, Lasagne is made with beef mince which when we went shopping, I thought I had ordered because it was the darkest mince there.  Turns out it was Pork and quite highly salted but I put plenty of bechamel sauce with it so it was OK 
For those of you at Impact - note the book on the table.  well it does for shopping lists and things!
and we did our first entertaining - Sister and BIL but that's me
We have also done some socializing.  We were called on by some neighbors who run a guest house and they suggested that we call in at the local bar on Friday night to meet some of the ex-pats. Unfortunately, because of all the work I had been doing in the garden, my sciatic nerve from my back down to my toes decided to let itself be known.  I had 3 days laid up with it until I decided to take it by the horns and try some more exercise.  It worked, after a few days I was up and about again and doing a bit more in the garden.  We did find out where the doctors surgery was but as they don't have appointment systems and we went of the one day of the year when they are giving children their vaccines, it was a waste of time as it was children first and they just kept coming into the surgery.  Luckily I sorted myself out.   The following Friday we did however go along to the bar and had a couple of beers each - you help yourself from the fridge and pay at the bar. 2,90 lv per round approx £1.04 for two litre bottles.  They do sell the infamous rakia but they also sell a selection of bottled beers (Becks, Stella etc) and a very nice Bulgarian beer.  We met quite a few people and a good night was had by all.  The following morning we had been invited to our immediate neighbors Radco and Pepe.  A panic phone call to my sister the day before and she came to the rescue with a lemon drizzle cake (always nice to take a cake apparently).
However, Radco and Pepe are the same age as us and are a little more modern as far as Bulgarians go so would you believe she likes to bake a cake as well
It was almost a madeira cake with chocolate swirled into it but there was also some fruit in it - very nice.
We managed to communicate quite well over coffee with the use of phrase books and the limited Bulgarian that we already have and the limited English that they have.  We took a piece of paper with us that we had translated into Bulgarian, explaining who we were, where we were from etc, etc.  I think they appreciated it.  Turns out Radco is a builder and so may be very useful.
A few more pictures from around the village:
On one side of the road a wall is built like this with bricks but I can't see any mortar
and on the other these are cob bricks!
We hear these every morning - he is a handsome lad, and we hear scuttling of critters in the roof space - probably edible dormice or pine martins.  
Just to finish, Sarah and Dave have been taking us to all the local supermarkets but certain things are a bit limited for example Lamb and Beef but yesterday they took us to a cash and carry called Metro and they have a wide selection of fresh meat.  Freezer suitably stacked up.  Graham even came across a baby whole suckling pig in one freezer - wouldn't see that in Asda.   We managed to get some aged rib eye steaks which I must say cut like butter.  I even managed to get some asparagus (but not British) and rather than chips, I served it with little fried potatoes, home-made onion rings and bearnaise sauce. - Yummy! 
Cheers for now
Helen, Graham and Bracken


  1. Starting to take shape and the inside looks cozy. What a bonus having the furniture and dishes, cutlery etc! Sorry to hear about the back problem, sympathize with you.

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