Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Sights & Sounds of My Bulgarian Summer, Nigel One Year Older

Phew we finally have a break in the weather 27c today with mostly cloud & some sun, its a nice break. The heat has been intense here. Bulgaria had a yellow warning for dangerous heat, but that is nothing compared to what August will bring :D The last week or so has been up & down though with a mix of rain, overcast & blooming hot days. We are fortunate here as we miss big storms they tend to get the surrounding villages ;D
We have settled into a routine lately with shopping in the local markets for all our fresh fruit & vegetables. Twice a week we get in our supplies the rest of the time is taken up with the garden & renovation on the house. I personally love Wednesdays. We go to Polski Trambesh market & I buy as much as possible from the small stalls, people who are selling their own grown produce, the rest will be from the stalls that have purchased from local people. You can tell the difference believe me :D The markets are still full of luscious deep red Bing cherries, we buy 1 or 2 kilo's to eat between us Yum! Its also come into peach & apricot season so we are enjoying lots of fresh fruit at the moment, all my favourite's :D They are also teeming with Marrows, Courgette's, Cucumbers, Peppers, New Potatoes, gorgeous Garlic & Tomatoes all locally grown but under polly tunnels I would guess as mine are no where near ready, mind you we did plant them later than the locals! I have lots of tomatoes fruiting so it won't be long before I can start eating mine instead of buying them. I will then be inundated with them & making lots of soup to freeze for lean times & winter & freezing for using in chillie's & sauces :D Our courgette's are growing nicely too & they will produce many throughout the summer. We are also growing plum tomatoes this year so I will can them as I spend a fortune on jars of toms, I buy jars to re-use but for 1.5lev you only get 3 tomatoes in each!!!! There are also lovely big mushrooms being sold there & millions of chillie's. I love the markets & also go end of week to the Gorna Oryahovitsa market along with the supermarket for essentials & Lidle for meat :D but I like Polski the best, with two markets in one really. One side of the railway track is the clothes & everything from cherry pipers to gutting knives & guns, fishing paraphernalia to buckets with lids, secondhand power tools to brand new brush cutters anything & everything you can imagine :D I love browsing the stalls, the smell of hot doughnuts permeates the air whilst the sun is hot on the skin. Occasionally you hear an English accent & everyone, including them, shuts up till out of earshot :D:D:D We have all met the gruesom's here! The other side is fresh fruit, vegetables & live fish! There is also a restaurant & a portable food van. We go for lunch in the restaurant which we have seen built & developed since we have lived here & it is getting better & better, it also has a proper toilet which is well needed by then :D then when all the shopping is done its off to our favourite cafe for the best coffee for miles, but hole in the ground loo :(
Veliko Tarnovo market is great too, its an everyday fruit & veg market but the produce here is really good. This is where you get good quality & so cheap! It also has a shopping mall above it with a cafe with pretty good coffee, so a great place to relax after your partner has been laden down with heavy shopping :)
Bulgaria is great right now with the Sunflower fields coming to life, always an uplifting sight.
The Storks nests are filled now with chicks & the swallows are attacking us as we go up & down the stairs. We also have a nest built in the grape vine outside the kitchen & the little bird seems quite at home there, lets just hope the cats don't see her!
We have had wonderful dance shows performed by the fire flies who kept us rapt for days with their displays in the night gardens but alas now seemed to have left :(
The last few weeks the Grasshoppers & Crickets have been populating our properties & we welcome their lovely soothing noise alone with the toads who's ribbet chatter we love, it all merges together & tells us reassuringly summer is here :D
So Nigel has turned another year, which means a party in this house! The weather turned against us but that did not put us off we had a house party instead of the garden party that was planned. I didn't care at least he was here with me :) as last year he was working in UK & I was here in Bulgaria, sad times! It was a shame though as Nige had worked really hard making sure the pool area was trimmed & set out lovely, still everyone had a good time & we all fitted into our little house comfortably, all 13 of  us.

Sophie & Kamishka find space for a snooze ;D
Now I have a lack of photo's as even though we have found the charger to Nigel's very old digital camera (thank God) we have just changed computers, so most of what is relevant to here is on the broken netbook :( still hopefully now I can get everything sorted.
It is always a busy time when a party is being planned as I do all the cooking from scratch & this was no different. I had baked 36 muffins of three different kinds, a two tier apple cake filled with whipped cream for Nigel's birthday cake. There was two kinds of potato salad & two kinds of carrot salad as well as two different pasta salads. A huge chilli with rice, tarragon baked chicken drumsticks, cocktail sausages & a shopska salad. Friends bought Banitsa, one was homemade the others bought & cooked at home both were delicious. Pavlikna also made a walnut cake & Bev made a Crème Caramel neither of which was touched, along with a choc dessert I made which still languishes in the fridge!

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