Tuesday, 19 June 2018

New Man in My Life, Enjoying time with the fella

I have a new man moved into my home, his name is Michoo and he is gorgeous.
I found him in a pet shop while I was buying dog food. I felt worried for him as he was looking forlorn and appeared to have been attacked. He is 1 year old and a beautiful Lutino Cockatiel.
He spends lots of time in my secret garden where all the birds are nesting. They come to see him and they chat away, you can hear him singing from the living room.
I'm waiting for some toys to come from the UK and hope to train him to come to me soon so we can let him fly around indoors.
I can't make up my mind if Sophie wants to love him or eat him, but she is used to him now and has never tried to knock his cage over. We chat to him and repeat little phrases in the hope that eventually he will mimic.

So I have been having a lovely time, on and off. Boyfriend is here so we have been enjoying some sunshine in the pool, dodging the weather which decides to throw a mighty storm at us on our way to the beach, typical, and having some wonderful, as well as some iffy, food out and about locally.
I love summer, it's my favourite time of year but oh so more special when you have someone to share it with romantically!

The heat has been amazing and this has brought with it a few stormy days. As we were headed to the beach we ran into a mighty storm with torrential monsoon rain, which flooded the roads, hail and huge winds. We followed the Bulgarians and stopped at the side of the road until the worst of it subsided, then continued through Bourgas to Sarafovo beach. We were brought to a stop again as the roads were flooded deep raging waters which the cars in front of us were just not sure of. We waited till some cars to the plunge, literally, and as they made it through alright the cars in front decided to follow, as did we. It was a bit scary!
Worth it though. As we got to my little hideaway beach with its lovely restaurant the rain had gone and it was lovely and warm with a beautiful breeze. This beach restaurant serves great food, especially the huge bowls of mussels cooked in butter and dill, absolutely delicious!

We are both looking forward to going back in a couple of days and this time I want to go in the sea.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Fly's, Plovdiv The Heat is Here

Bloody flies are driving me nuts and the dogs. I'm not sure if I have hundreds of baby flies or if they are flying ants? Then there are the horse flies as well as everything in between.

Anyway I guess summer is unofficially here. It is very hot, in the high 20's, low to mid 30's.
Obviously in this heat its all out get the pool ready, easier said than done. We're nearly there, i just need to hoover a bit more. New pump installed, rubbish cleared, water cleaned and clear, shocked to death, I just need the arthritis in my neck and hands to do one! I've had a lot of help getting it to this stage from friends and partner, for which I'm very grateful.

Good news my Beautiful sister Brenda is coming over in September with my oldest friend Sharon, just for a week, but I can't wait!!!! I have booked us into a hotel in Nesebur for 3 nights so they can experience the old Bulgaria too. I will enjoy blogging this as Nesebur is gorgeous. Before then I'm taking mum to Sozopol for week. My readers will know how much I adore Sozopol!
Sharon and I have been friends since we moved next door to each other when I was 5 and she was 6. We grew up together, went through our teens together and she was always there for me. Brenda has been in my life since she was 17 and I was 12. She may be my sister in law, but to me she is my sister, the only one I have ever had and I thank God for her! I'm so looking forward to spending quality time with these wonderful women x

I recently spent some time in Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second city and what a lovely place it is. Now everyone who knows me will know I hate cities, I may have been born and raised in one but I'm a country girl at heart. I worked in London but hated it, the anonymity of it all, being pushed over in the street etc. I know people who love it, we are all different. Now Veliko Turnovo and now Plovdiv, oh and Worcester I love. Why? Well they are very village like, but bigger LOL. Surrounded by countryside, lots of parks, an over indulgence of history, very cosmopolitan, loads of restaurants and cafe's, independent shops, everything I love.
I never felt the urge to visit Plovdiv but my boyfriend has a plan so we went to see if he could implement it.
I arrived with a completely open mind due to the fact that VT had my heart but boy did I fall for this beautiful place! I may even go so far as to say it has replaced VT for the ambiance and friendliness. The beauty far outstrips VT and the history is amazing being the oldest city in Europe let alone Bulgaria.
We were fortunate to be there for part of the Kapana festival.
The Kapana area is all cobbled streets full of restaurants, cafe's and little independent shops, artisan etc, right up my street!
The Mosque is featured in the centre with a cafe outside and there is Roman arena ruins around the corner. We didn't make it to the amphitheater
Next year 2019 Plovdiv is the European city of culture, there will be lots of events happening all year so this is a great time to go, BUT book your hotel early it will get full.

 Look at the sky on this photo above. It is not a rainbow as it has not rained forever

These top two photo's are from a restaurant in the Plovdiv Mall. I think its called Fancy
If you are there you MUST go here for the very best burgers and juices EVER!
oh and THOSE FRIES!!!!
These top two photos were from the Amsterdam restaurant in the centre of Kapana district. Beautiful food and a relaxed atmosphere We had a gorgeous meal here.

I have been FB friends with a guy for almost 9 years and his wife for the lat year and was absolutely delighted to be able to meet them for breakfast one morning in their favourite cafe. You know often when I meet people I'm usually disappointed as I've built up an image in my head,
(I'm guessing I am also a disappointment to many), but these were just as I thought they would be. I'm so pleased to have finally met them and hope to see them on future visits, of which there may be many.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Time Flies in Bulgaria, My Mum, Pool

It is true, time here is at double speed! I have no idea why?
The months since Christmas has flown by for my mum who is still not used to the speed in which time goes here. I used to think it was due to being busy, but no, even in these times of doing nothing it flies by, far quicker than in England. I have come to the conclusion it is due to being happy deep in our souls, that sense of belonging somewhere that even when we are not in a state of joy, in fact for me times of terrible blackness, in the past, there is still that inner knowledge of being home.
My mum is so happy here. She is in constant terrible pain due to a hernia of the bowel, but this does not take away her inner peace of belonging in Bulgaria. I'm so happy or her and I'm pretty sure we would have lost her before now had she been left in England, to be sure she would have been forced into a home.
Mum has been sitting on the new decking sunning herself, looking at the gorgeous view and wondering at how fortunate we are to be able to live with this.

Her life has been hard on a personal side and work wise. Mum is a worker, all her life from the age of 14 when she left school.
Most of my life growing up my mum would work 3 jobs, minimum 2. She is very artistic and creative, wanted to pursue a career in Window dressing in the West End of London, and was indeed an apprentice when this was cut short due to being called up during the war to work in a munitions factory, doing her bit. This is still a sadness of lost opportunity for her and she is always wondering how her life would have been if only.....

After the war the women were cut loose in favour of the returning men she continued to work in factories but this time behind a sewing machine. She has made mattresses underwear and became a fantastic seamstress. People would cut pictures out of magazines and newspapers, mum would make a pattern from looking at the pictures then make them a copy. As a kid mum made my outfits including smart suits with hats, coats, dresses etc. I loved my quilted head scarves in the 60's, so very Hollywood and in the 70's hot pants! I would strut my stuff in them when no one else had them, so on trend.
On Sundays mum would go to London to buy wholesale items to sell on at a profit, this money would buy Christmas and Birthday presents and my memory is of waking early to a cup of tea with Bourbon or choc coated biscuits with mum saying goodbye, me crying as I didn't want her to leave and her saying, Ill be back before you can say Jack Robinson.
Once home we always had a roast dinner at 3pm and then an evening tea. Mum would then either work in the local pub in the evening or be running up an outfit for someone on her treadle sewing machine.
Once I  went to secondary school mum was free to stop working in the pub during the day and pursue a 9 to 5 job in town. Mum got a job in the post room working for Bulova watches. Very shortly after her starting they held a test for every employee for use on new computers, the room full of floor to ceiling type where information was input and was on a card. She was one of two people who were promoted to work on this, and so started a great period of work and better pay for my hard working mummy! mum still worked in the local as well as the over 21 club, she was a good barmaid, very social and it was her love of socialising, holding dinner parties that got her known in her work life which led to her being employed at times to cater for work do's. When she eventually became a civil servant, working in the Home office Croydon, in the immigration dept, she became well known for her amazing baking and cooking skills. This she inherited from my Nan who was an upstairs/downstairs cook. So was born yet another string to her bow! Mum made my wedding dress for me when I married in 1980 it is still one that could be worn today.

 I remember these collars
 My wedding dress, and two dresses I had made (not the beach wear LOL)
 Mum's wedding outfit
 My beautiful dress
I love this photo as we have lost my brother who gave me away.
I am so happy I can spend these years looking after my mum, in  a country she loves with plenty of sunshine, a comfortable house with great outside living, she deserves this, has earned it and its my thank you for looking after me in  times she really should not have had to.

So I promised photos of the new safe decking.....

 The railings will be painted with Frenchic alfresco paint.

 Jon made a hand rail for mum, I will be painting this soon

 The pool edging has been repaired but will probably need replacing next year
 The wooden joists were also rotten in places.
We are so happy with the result and the wonderful workmanship by Jonathan Lamb (find him on facebook) who works in the Burgas and Yambol regions.

This contraption suddenly started to go up during winter. Typical no warning.
As far as I can make out is is a garage for buses but not for passengers to get them, a bedroom if you like.
Its a bit better now it has a roof on and the shrubbery has grown back.

There has been what I thought was a piece of roof lining hanging out from where the birds are nesting, just outside my kitchen. The above photo is the area. It was Jon who pointed out to me that it was in fact a rather large snake skin! We tried to pull it out but only part came away the rest is stuck there.  I am really hoping it has moved on after winter.

I am getting really excited now. The new pool pump is being picked up today and my friend Norman will be fitting it over the weekend, the other one burnt out last year

It was expensive, double what I had been quoted last year but had to be done, no pump no pool.
I went to the pool shop in Burgas and seemed to  get across my needs even though it was in pigeon Bulgarian and no English. There was a choice between two, one from Spain and one from China. After going away to think and discuss it with my friend Sarah & my man I have plumped for the Spanish make, no contest really it was a matter of price against quality  and quality won! They were lovely people and after buying the chemicals for the pool the owner gave me a pool thermometer as a gift. The pump will be ready for collection first thing in the morning.
So I will be undertaking the cleaning of it and hoping to get it up and running for next week.
My real excitement though is my new man is arriving back in Bulgaria for a few weeks summer break. He will be here Monday, so looking forward to seeing him again, its been 2 months now. We talk on the phone every day for hours and now he will be meeting Mum.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

One Year Along, Stress Free, Sort of

Gosh this last 11 months have flown by and so much has happened or changed, for the good.

I don't think I can put it all in order but lets see what has been happening. 
Firstly we just enjoyed a beautiful summer in the garden, swimming in the pool, soaking up the sun, meeting new friends and enjoying being hospitable again. I feel I'm in the wrong place every time I get in the pool! It is a life's dream to have one and with such a wonderful view I am overwhelmed every time.

I was so completely stressed after packing up two homes for the move that things have moved slowly really.
I have made some special friends since moving here and thank God for them. Mum loves it, she has socialised so much here and has enjoyed Rakia and Red wines, everyone loves her.
We had a lovely 93rd birthday party for her which was made up of Europeans, Italian, French, German, English as well as Bulgarians. Weather was brilliant and the booze was flowing. Mum really enjoyed it 

The Dr's have been brilliant and we have just the best GP! After being diagnosed with Gout, which was stupid as my symptoms were different, she had me properly diagnosed in less than an hour with Osteo Arthritis through X-rays, feel & observation. I was also diagnosed a while later with type two diabetes, no wonder I was tired and washed out all the time let alone feeling ill and strange most of the time. I also had a 5 yr overdue female issue sorted in record time! To say I'm impressed is an understatement. There is also a lovely hospital in Meden Rudnik, modern with helpful staff English translators and very accommodating Dr's. There is a very nice cafe on the ground floor for visitor and patients to use with good coffee and food to be had, limited hot food but very good all the same.
We've sampled lots of different restaurants and cafes and have identified a couple of favourites already, with many more to try. I have to say I do miss the restaurants in Veliko Turnovo, they are fabulous and so far nothing is up to par with them!

I have decorated two rooms downstairs but still have lots to do. I have also started to remodel the kitchen but have a damp problem stopping me from painting as yet. My next two projects are the loft room, making it a beautiful space to relax in and a fifth bedroom and also I have to seal the upstairs terrace floors as rain is seeping through to the conservatory, garage, kitchen and utility rooms.

Right now we are having a new deck made for around the pool, this is completely an unexpected expense but the previous decking was completely rotten. I fell through it twice last year so it is a must for mums safety and the safety of visiting family in August and September. So I guess the moral of this is even when you buy a completely renovated property it can still bite you in the ass!
Photos soon

Lots to do this Summer but the best news is I have met someone to share it with. I am a very happy lady right now, oh how things have changed! Ill tell more in a later blog.

Christmas was lovely we had old and new friends over, drank Champagne and Prosseco, ate Turkey, Goose and Pork with homemade Christmas pudding and Lemon Drizzle cake, opening pressies around the table. It was lovely.

The winter has flown by with only a couple of days I can say was really cold, probably four in total. Lots of sunshine and only a couple of days of snow, bloody fabulous!!!!!
I did have one problem, it was such gorgeous weather in November I would go to open the gate with no cardigan on and I did end up with bronchitis. Again my Dr was fabulous and nailed it.

Time has gone by in a haze, Spring is here again and Summer is around the corner. I was a very lucky lady and had the most fabulous trip to Dubai with my new man. It was fabulously hot, especially welcome as I left Bulgaria in snow! What a totally fabulous country, complete luxury and very expensive but I recommend you go, if you have not already, especially for a special occasion. Loved every second of it!
I have taken up restoring and up cycling, furniture. Loving painting and learning new techniques. I'm hoping to o into business in the not too distant future. I have sold a few pieces and my house is filling up with furniture to revamp. I will soon need a workshop and shop to display the goods.

Life is better......