Thursday, 3 March 2016

A sad start to Spring but looking forward........

As all the followers of my sister's blog will know it has been taken over by her husband after the very sudden sad loss of the lovely lady herself.  I will not dwell on my loss because I hope that the few people who do read my blog will know that I try to keep things up-beat and Dave,  my sister's husband is saying all the sad things that we are thinking.

Dave's blog address is

Well apart from the afore mentioned sadness, there is still a lot to be celebrated here in Bulgaria, not least the start of Spring.  Yes it starts at least one month before the UK and when it starts it starts.
I believe this is a wild plum tree.  They are everywhere and the blossom is magnificent.  We had a bit of damp weather the week before last and we decided to try and do some decorating.  Because I have unpacked alot of clothes, it was decided that the first room to do was the box bedroom which I want to change into a dressing room.  This room had been painted bright blue!  Several coats of paint later I now have a brilliant white dressing room but it's not quite finished because the weather changed again for the better and we had to use our time outside.

I will show you the room when it is finished!

Outside again and we have been continuing with the tidying and preparation of my growing beds.  Because we now have all GJ's tools and garden equipment we worked in earnest.  GJ decided that he needed to get his work space in order before we carried on with things and so we bought two free standing shelving units to go into the straw bale house.  Sounded easy, these slot together units but not if they are made in Bulgaria!
When we finally did get everything together and the straw bale house a bit more organised we were ready to roll.

I decided that the first few things that needed planting were Beans (various), Peas (various), Onions, Potatoes, Garlic and Sunflowers.  These have mostly been direct sown but I have started some off in pots first so I can see what fairs best at this time of year.  I built trellises for the climbing beans and peas with bits of wood from the stocks collected so far. 

The sunflowers have been planted at the bottom of the growing tunnel because from there  to the back wall of our neighbour's house will be where we will keep the chickens when we are ready for them and I thought 1) they would make a curtain and shade things planted down there a little and 2) I'm sure the chickens would love a peck at a sunflower head now and again.
Whilst we have been working in the garden we are constantly accompanied by a flight of sparrows.  They chirp so loud, its like being in  an Avery.
We also come across some unusual guests......

As I watch the forecast in Windermere as well as here, I cannot help but feel sorry for their weather and hope that some of ours gets sent over to them.  Maybe then they too can enjoy lunches in the garden!

But not wishing to gloat and on a serious note, the 1st of March is a very significant date in the Bulgarian calendar.  It is the festival of Baba Marta meaning Grandma Spring and with this all your friends and family are given red and white armbands or lapel pins.  Your are to wear these until either you see your first stork or the first blossom of a fruit tree when these, the Martenitsa's are hung on that tree.  Here are my gifts:
 The parsley was given to us by Elenor, our neighbour from opposite.  She clearly had nothing to give when we took some daffodils and a martenitsa over to her, but give she must and the parsley was added to that nights' dinner.  I love the humble simplicity.

I hope that anybody reading enjoys the above even though there has been so much sorrow.  Sara's very Bulgarian funeral was very touching and she is buried in a cemetery in her newly native village.  This brings great comfort to Dave who is determined to keep things going as Sara would have liked.

Til the next time...

H,, GJ and Bracken xx


  1. Nice post Helen, nice to see that you are getting into the spirit of Bulgarian hospitality. Yes I have s couple of rakias after rotovating our neighbours garden for them they were adament they feed me, but I did only have two rakia, honest. Indeed sad times but as you say time to look forward.

  2. First, I wanted to say how sorry we were to hear about the loss of your sister. Glad to see her husband is taking over the Sara's blog. I live in Kentucky and it so interesting to hear about your life in Bulgaria. In our fast paced world, it is nice to learn of the humble and simple way to live. The salad looks SO good! Spring is struggling here. Loved the plum tree. Juliet

  3. chestita bab marta - I have been thinking about you lots and glad you are staying positive. I am wearing my martenitsas although i have to say I am praying for a bit more winter before the spring takes over as I was really hoping for some easter bookings. The ski slopes in Pamporovo are still holding out ok despite there being no snow since January but they really do need some now :(
    I have now booked my flight back home - going on 21st March as I'm missing my kids loads - 6 weeks is a long time to be apart. However i do love it here. One day I may just follow your lead if I can persuade Richard.

    1. Pippa, have been following your posts and know you are having good fun. Don't miss Windermere as much as you for obvious reasons but a little is still there and we are not looking back.

    2. Pippa, have been following your posts and know you are having good fun. Don't miss Windermere as much as you for obvious reasons but a little is still there and we are not looking back.

  4. So good to read your post and see that you are moving on from such a terribly tragic and sad time. I've read Sara's blog from the beginning and enjoyed it so much. I think Dave will do her proud by continuing on with the blog. I enjoy your blog and am looking forward to all the things you plan to do with your place.
    Janice in W. Canada

  5. Many thanks, it's nice to know that people do read it even if they are too shy to make a comment. There will be more time passing between posts because I seem to be so busy that it's hard to find the time to sit and write it.

  6. Nice to see progress in your new place and look forward to seeing more.