Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Chilly, Wintry & Sunny Days, Grippe

Photography by John Dennahy 15/11/11
What glorious weather we have had. It's cold 1.5c up to 6c during the day, although in the sunshine its been 20c! Nights are -7c variable. Beautiful, beautiful sunshine, meaning along with the wearing of hats, gloves, warm footwear & coats we are also wearing sunglasses! Before I left England I had replaced my glasses with reactalites, mainly due to the cloud cover then a spot of sun where the glasses were on & off like a yoyo, drove me nuts! Boy was I pleased when we moved here in the wintry month of January where sunglasses were the most worn item. We had a fantastic winter that first year & my glasses were never taken off! I managed to persuade Nigel to do the same when we went back for a family wedding & its stood us in good stead. Trouble is I need new ones now & our plain lens glasses don't get worn! As with most wearing of glasses the more I wear them the more I rely on them :-( When we lived in UK I only wore them to read or work on the computer but since being here they don't get taken off & now I need them to see properly. I have had vary focal's (not sure on that spelling!), for many years but rarely wore them for watching TV or just living, now I wear them I need them, doesn't this mean glasses are bad for you?
The B&W photo's on this blog are taken by a friend of mine, who says they are just snaps, lol, never! He has a fantastic eye for this countryside, comes from his love of it & a natural talent too. I think he has captured the morning riverside beautifully.
Photography by John Dennahy 15/11/11
See why I say I am so pleased to be living here, it is truly gorgeous at all times of the year, in all seasons. Love, Love, Love Bulgaria! I am sure if you have only been to the Black Sea tourist hotels then you will not have had the pleasure. If you want to experience the real Bulgaria then venture to the center to Veliko Turnovo or the mountain regions, you will have such a different outlook. I love the journey to Sofia from here as the views are amazing, I prefer it in a bus though, as I stress in the car :-) The mountains are viewed almost all the way they just get bigger & in spring we may be traveling with windows wide open as it is so hot & the mountains will still have snow & not just a little. Then the gorges, the greenery, ahhh truly breathtaking. Reminds me of my first trip to Switzerland its inspiring to say the least. I feel privileged to be living here & thank God most days.
Photography by John Dennahy 15/11/11
Its been a bit of a worrying time in the Newman family. I finished the last blog with welcoming baby William to the world. Poor little love had a poorly start! He thankfully is doing very well now. William was born with Rhesus disease & an infection. He was in special care for a bit & the antibiotics did their thing quickly. After undergoing lots of tests they found he has RD, but it looks like it may be mild as long as he is kept away from bugs & feeds well he should need no treatment. The next three months will be a bit worrying for mum & dad as it tends to develop in this time frame but he is being monitored closely by the community midwife & at the first signs he will get treatment. This will entail a blood transfusion & photosynthesis treatment.
Well I still have what Villagers here call the grip, this can be anything from a bad cold to full on flu. I have been grippe for getting on for 3 weeks now, It's somewhere between a bad virus & mild flu. Today is the first time I have felt like I may actually be getting better, fingers crossed.
It's doing the rounds here & it seems to be a bugger to get rid of! Nigel is one of those people who IF he gets ill it lasts for a day but he was poorly for a few with this, now however he is back to being Ok just with a slight cough. When I get a virus I can have it for months in varying degrees, due, I think, to having had ME for 9 yrs. I have been out of that for many years now but it still can affect my immune system :-( Not that bad here as we are hibernating most of the time over the next few months. The other problem is the sheer cold here. I had Pneumonia & pleurisy 3 yrs before we moved here & it took a very long time to get over. I thought giving up smoking would help me but actually it has made it more obvious! Its not being out of breath its being unable to fill my lungs, so even walking down the stairs (outside) & walking round the back into the house can render me gulping for breath on a very cold air day. So hibernation is the name of the game on very cold days anyway. What that actually means is I won't be doing a lot of walking around. Just to finish on the weather talk we were having beautiful weather but the last two days have been frosty all day temps not rising above -1.5c & the sky seems to have fallen down too, nasty, nasty weather. Inside however we are lovely & toasty warm between 23 & 28c,  so its summer clothes still indoors with wrap ups to go for a wee, (we have an outside staircase leading to a first floor main bathroom & a downstairs cloakroom which is just outside the door, nevertheless it's outside the door!
Since my last blog, I have done a bit of preserving & chutney making, & decanting of the Slivovitza & Visinata, which I have to say has taken it out of me lol. We are on the verge of bottling our 2 barrels of wine & then we will be making the Rakia (Brandy). Trouble is having space to store it in the cellar & bottles to put it in! All I want to do is get some baking & stuff done but I haven't even had the energy to finish this blog! I have started getting the Christmas stuff sorted. I have bought a duck for boxing day (never cooked one before eeekkk) & have ordered individual special cakes from a friend of mine here. The Visinata & Slivovitz has been filtered 3 times but still needs more filtering, still we are almost sorted on that.
A few of the decanted bottles lol
The plastic bottles are 2 & 3ltr bottles of wine that need decanting to make way for the next 2 barrels
I am trying out different ways of making sausage rolls.
First try at Bulgarian sausage rolls :-)
I'm very fussy & like homemade ones at Christmas but Nige prefers shop bought so I am trying to come up with something that we will both like! I'm also working out what else I am going to cook I like to plan in advance for Christmas & it can be difficult here.
Just when I thought I had seen the last of fresh picked peppers a bag full was sent home with Nigel from Pavlinka, along with two carriers of pears! O Boshe, lol, I love it but I have no space in my freezers for cakes so I now have to can them. I must kick myself to get working in the kitchen, I just haven't got the energy. Every day I say today I will do .... then every evening I say tomorrow I will do..... So tomorrow I will make sausage rolls, a pear upside down cake, yellow pepper bread, yadi yadi yah, we will see! 
So life here is rather chilly (in more ways than one, but that is not for this blog) at the moment. It's been rather quiet here as our friends are ALL in the UK at the moment :-(  We are looking forward to seeing Sue & Arthur soon as they are returning from their trip where they went for the birth of their new grandson & very excited on the imminent permanent move to live here of Dave & Irene. Soooo exciting, I love it when people start their adventure here. I can still remember our move & all the feelings & excitement as well as all the newness of the chopping of wood, storing of food & yes we got caught out with the snow lol. Stuck at midnight in the middle of nowhere in the Luton box van (terrible in snow), while Nigel tussled with the snow chains by torchlight. The chains which had never even been taken out of the box & instructions which had never been read. I remember laughing as Nigel threw his dummy out of the pram ;-D I guess I wasn't any help ;-/ It was bitter cold & snowing, pitch black & we were surrounded by forest & wildlife lol. I held my breath as we limped all the way home but at least they got us moving again, I for one was very relieved to get home that morning. When its dark here its very, very dark we don't have all the light pollution. On a clear night the sky is amazing as we are also directly under the milky way, fascinating. I can see dave & Irene will be doing lots of sitting on their roof terrace even in the midst of winter!  It was just one of our experiences in the snow!   
Thank you everyone that left lovely comments It lifts my spirits to hear from people who read these rambles...... Thank you  Dave & Cath Cascarino, I hope you both have a wonderful adventure when you move out here, you will love it for sure, it's magical!
Kay & Chris Anne, thank you both, I love writing them especially when I have something to say lol. Chris Anne, when will you be back? 

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