Friday, 19 February 2016

It's here................

Well finally our belongings have made it to Hotnitsa.  My Sister and Brother-in-law arrived to give us a hand, nice and early but the stuff arrived quite late so there was a lot of waiting around.  Then it was action stations!
As things we're so hectic this is the only glimpse of the truck we could take - lovely picture of my lilac trees though - will post a picture when they are in full bloom.
The Range Rover arrived in the articulated truck to Bulgaria but was driven from the home of the chap who organised the move so that he could use a smaller vehicle - I was wondering how an articulated truck could get down our lane?
Our first glimpse of GJs beloved car
Simon, the removal chap, walked up the drive and took a sharp intake of breath. It's a long drive he said.  I don't know why I felt so sorry for the two chaps he had working for him because GJ, Dave (the brother in law) and I all worked just as hard as they did and my sister Sara was ensconced in the straw bale house organising the drop down of boxes.
About 2% of the total haul
And the room that will eventually be my kitchen was also filled
As predicted, Elenor our neighbour came out for a look. She spotted my new cooker and asked if it was a washing machine.  Simon explained that it was a cooker and her eyes widened.  Bulgarian cookers are usually part of the fire, like a rustic version of an Aga.  She walked away muttering something about bread making and I hope she is not expecting nice loaves to pass her way - people who know me, know that I can cook quite well but not bake!

As the week progressed, the weather picked up again and the temperature gauge was showing close to 30°c in full sun so although we should be emptying boxes, more work was done in the garden.
All the way along this fence there were suckers from a tree called "tree of heaven" so called because they reach for the stars.  GJ got useful with his chain saw.
But Bracken still thinks its time to play...

  It's amazing how a green plastic bucket can keep him amused for ages.  However, we have now experienced our first rain in Bulgaria.  We went down to the local bar on Friday night where we get to talk to some ex-pats.  We stayed slightly longer than we normally do (Bulgarian beer flowing) and when we left to walk home, the heavens were opening.  Although we only live a 5 minute walk away, we got absolutely soaked as we hadn't prepared and taken an umbrella. Oh well, there are no kebab shops on the way back to shelter in (very British joke).

It now seems that Spring is in the air....
Our first crocus
and daffodils....

Last Sunday, even though it was Valentine's day, in Bulgaria, it was the day of the vine.  This is traditionally the day when the vines are annointed with some wine to encourage a good harvest for the forthcoming year.
Our neighbours, Radco, Pepa and their son, blessing the vines. See Radco wearing a vine hat.
If this year's yield is as good as last, then it should be good wine.  Certainly, last year's wine was good when we tasted it, or is it just that Radco is a good wine maker? 

On Wednesday we went shopping.  When we had the snow, it became apparent that I needed a much larger freezer and whilst we were in the "Technopolis" shop, we thought we had better look at an Air Conditioning unit for our bedroom (advised that it is necessary here).  On Thursday both were delivered and on Friday (today) the Air Conditioning is being fitted.  Some things happen quickly here and the fitters arrived at 8:30 and all finished by 11:30................happy days. 

Now that's what I call efficiency.

Our neighbour from opposite, Elenor, caught GJ when he was outside and handed him some more eggs (the second lot we have had from her) and some snowdrops.  In the UK, traditionally we don't pick snowdrops but Sara tells me that they are supposed to symbolise spring and it is tradition to give them to people.  They are also connected with the March festival of Martenitsa, whereby, on 1st of March, Bulgarians give one another (and the ex-pats) red and white strings to wear on their wrists or a red and white talisman to clip to their jackets.  On the last day of March or when you see your first stork, this is then hung from a tree.
 We have been looking into chicken coops.  This is what I would really like but watch this space as in the Spring GJ will be attempting to make me one like this.
(Може би)
 Maybe he is just thinking about it here...

Some random pictures:

 Bracken has been so busy!

 Spring and all the buds are showing now on the fruit trees

This is a green woodpecker - couldn't get close enough and this is taken through a window - very interested in the garden and it was joined by 2 lesser spotted woodpeckers.
and now we finally have a bench outside the gate - another important Bulgarian tradition.

Til the next time....
H, GJ and Bracken 


  1. Holding out a hand from Scotland. Adored your sister sharing her new life in Bulgaria. My thoughts are with you all!. Oh bloody hell!
    So sudden guessing heart or accident
    Huggs xxx

    1. Sorry I didn't see your comment before now. Yes it was quite sudden, she had been breathless for a few days and we all thought it might be a chill or chest infection but Sara being Sara would not go and see a doctor. She was attempting to get dressed when she collapsed and an ambulance was called. The ambulance didn't make it. I am comforted in the fact that she didn't suffer unduly but am sad that she was relatively young (only just 59). Between her husband and us, we will try and live out the dream.