Thursday, 10 November 2011

Eating Out, A Lot! Going Into Hibernation Mode

First let me welcome into the world our 6th grandchild, Nigels third grandson, William Newman. He arrived this morning very early hours. Congratulations Kisty & Gaz & well done Kirst xxxxxxx

Well its officially autumn & the chill has arrived. The sun is still out on most days & we have had no rain for ages again. This is my kind of autumn & winter, I hope it may continue. The wood burner has been lit most days as its warmer out than in but some nights its not needed as the room warms nicely after the day & then with the oven/cooker its enough. We also have not needed to light the wood burner upstairs yet & just have a electric heater to take the chill off last & first thing. I am hoping on a repeat of last years weather where we lit the fire up till the beginning of Nov, then they were not needed for another month! Nigel & I were eating outside at a restaurant in Veliko Turnovo this time last year (yes he has been home a whole year now) in just our cardigans, at midnight! Well I'm not sure we will have this but it would be great to have a sunny dry winter this year!
So we are now heading towards hibernation mode. I quite look forward to it as I don't like being cold & with the fires we are certainly very warm. We have not gone down the very expensive route of central heating as these fires are too hot as it is & you have to keep the fire stoked up really hot to feed the radiators. We are lovely & toasty without, all through the worst of the winter.
I seem to be constantly talking or thinking about what kind of winter it will be this year, how cold, how much snow, when will it snow, hoping for a sunny winter, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Funny thing, this will be our fourth winter living here, & I have learnt one thing, it will be what it will be! I also have realised this year that I am quite looking forward to it & anyway...... No amount of worrying will change what is coming just accept hibernation like my tortoise do & be prepared as much as you can, hahaha that's funny! That reminds me we must get the gas bottles filled, just in case we can't get out it's best to have one in reserve :-) We have three, one for the cooker, one for the fire in the bathroom & a spare, which at this moment in time is empty!!!!!
We are in a time of electricity cut offs at the moment so I think they may be doing some repairs somewhere. You can tell as it goes off at 9 (although this morning was 8.45) & comes back on around 5pm. Not brilliant as we lose our running water, both hot & cold. So its out to the garden tap & on with the gas kettle LOL. That's just part & parcel of village life :-) When we first moved here the electric was off more than it was on but now its a rare occasion, thank goodness. Although, some villages are still really bad. We have a duel fuel cooker just for this reason, we can always provide a meal & have a drink. In the summer its no problem as we are outside all day & now I read or make chutney lol. Mind you I keep threatening to make it & just don't get round to doing it, so yesterday I actually did a batch & I have been given some gorgeous beetroots, so I pickled them also, for Christmas. I have a jar done already & really wanted to try them to see if I should do these the same or just go for plain pickles? Probably a bit too soon to open them as I don't want them to spoil before we are ready to eat them. Oh the decisions of the world on my shoulders hahaha. I chose to go down the same sweet pickle route & hope for the best
We have had a lovely time in the last few weeks, enjoying the company of friends while doing the Bulgarian yash pi :-) (eat drink). It started with meeting a friend, Sue from facebook. We had never met before but have been friendly for a while & when I realised she was going to be near Veliko Turnovo we arranged to meet up for lunch. We met Sue & her family at the happy man restauraunt & had a really lovely time, what a nice family, it was truly a pleasure to meet them all & I am really looking forward to getting together again next year! Sue was an absolute angel & bought me a copy of slimmingworld magazine complete with next years calendar which features a recipe on each month. I am still made up over that lol, you would think it was a rolex, but I am; 1, really very touched that she remembered & thought of me. 2, There is no way on earth I can get my hands on one here :-( Thank you so much Sue it is such a treat. My regret for that day is, even though I remembered to take my camera, the time went so quickly, I didn't get any photo's :-( The other thing that was a shame was Dave & Irene found us as we were all leaving. They had just arrived back the day before & were rushed off their feet getting carpet ordered & sorting out rooms & phones, but we went to their home that night to have a drink on Halloween woooooo wooooo No broomsticks were seen so I guess the witch thought better of it LOL. I am so excited for them, which I think is because, they are so excited about moving out here, its catching. I love seeing the joy & adventure, the excitement that is in the exploring the unknown & I love people who love Bulgaria. There is too much pessimistic rubbish about living here, it's not England, it's Bulgaria! People come here & expect to live as they did in one of the richest countries in the world, but this is one of the poorest developing countries in the world! I am not comparing Bulgaria to Africa India & the like, don't get me wrong, I mean as a developing European country. People forget this is an ex iron curtain, part of the Eastern block. That brings with it lots of history & medieval towns, Roman villages, unspoilt terrain, mountains, rivers, lakes & a flattened people. We should embrace this land with gusto, enjoy its freshness. Bring hope & friendship & enjoy the hospitality of the people who own this beautiful land. We have traveled a lot all around the world & this country is up there in the beauty stakes, I can tell you! So come to Bulgaria & enjoy its beauty & move here for a great life with great peoples, there is never a dull moment, you will get very frustrated at times but keep the adventure & you will have a whale of a time :-) We struggle financially but I can tell you, there is so much more to life than money!!!!! My only regret in all this is not having my family near, I miss them terribly!!!!!!!
The restaurant in Borovo
Sitting on Dave & Irene's fabulous roof terrace star gazing & looking for the broomstick's on halloween, while drinking Amaretto & coke yum yum.
What makes you think Nige was chilly ;-D Irene had the perfect solution ;-)
 Have thoroughly enjoyed the last few weeks & we are really looking forward to Christmas & plans are in the making. It will be our second here, as we went back to UK on our first. Last year was spent with our Bulgarian family & it was a nightmare so this year we are doing the English Christmas with English friends. It's just too much of a tradition I guess! We have had Christmas day in South Africa, on a plane, in Thailand all of which I would do again but I don't ever want to repeat last years fiasco! I will have Bulgarians to me though :-) Last year Yovo wanted a very traditional English Christmas dinner so he killed the turkey & I cooked it, the roasties & stuffing (made with turkey offal YUK), made mulled wine & also took along mince pies & Christmas pud with cream. The whole lot was ruined as "No mulled wine Joanna, hot Rakia" & "First Joanna salata" Needless to say dinner was ruined, so I had to hastily change Boxing day around & get a joint out of the freezer so we could have a decent Christmas dinner after all lol.
It was village day/weekend in Peychinovo, this is the village where our English friends live & we also have some Bulgarian friends there as it is Yovo's family village where he was born & raised. Sue & Arthur went to a big party with their friends & we think we were invited but we were both feeling under the weather & Yovo wasn't going till the following day so we were not quite sure. Typical English because really here in Bulgaria if you just turn up you are given a kings welcome, I was very sorry to miss it as it sounded very lively :-) The following day Nigel went over early as he was helping Arthur, who is building a new kitchen, so I got a lift with Yovo, Pavlinka, Svetlana & Anton. All of us squished into an old Wartburg hahaha still it was quite comfy! The car takes the roads really well & nothing frightens it lol Typical Yovo gets me to his house early, before anyone is ready. We then  get to Polski Trambesh 30 mins early to meet Svetlana off the train, she lives in Gorna Oryahovitsa, which means a lot of standing around kicking our heels. Mind you it was a lovely day so I took some piccies lol & it was really nice to spend some time with them all :-))
Anton, Svetlana & Yovo's Wartburg
Yovo with a packet of waffers he bough for us to all snack on while we wait
Anton helping Svetlana from the train, very sweet.
Nigel found Mr Mole, but unfortunately the cats got to him first :-( I know it's silly, if you have moles the only way to rid is to kill them but its still very sad, he was lovely & now is at the bottom of my septic tank providing bacteria to break down the nasties, a bit different to trying to nick our crops & pushing up mounds everywhere!
Yesterday was very busy for us both & as we were quite poorly we didn't do ourselves any favours but needs must. Nigel pulled up the last of the tomato, pepper, aubergine & squash plants then dug over & planted our garlic for next spring. That will now be left & sit nicely under the snow when it comes. Then in spring it jumps to life lol, brilliant. I picked the last of all the chillies & pulled the plants & canes. They are really hot this year these ones will be dried & flaked, that way I have more control on how much goes into a dish, I nearly blew my head off the other day when I put a little of the chillies I ground into some couscous, lol, not only did my mouth burn but my throat & chest too :-D At least I found out on just me....
     I would like to thank Busy Bee Designs for your really lovely comment on my last blog, Thank You! It really lifts my spirit when I hear back from readers. Sometimes I wonder if anyone reads it & always worry whether it's any good. So a big thank you Duke too I'm glad you like the photos :-)


  1. i love reading your blogs and agree about bulgaria as bulgaria as the saying goes when in rome !! keep it up xx

  2. I love reading your blog... keep it up! xxx

  3. Once again another great blog, we look forward to them and makes our up and coming move to BG in march all the more exciting.
    I read htem aloud to my wife and we both eagerly await the next update.
    Keep up the good work and keep posting the pics.
    Dave & Cath Cascarino
    See u on Facebook .x.

  4. You are so welcome Jo, it was lovely to meet you and Nige in person and hope we get to meet up again next year. Keep blogging love reading about life in BG. xxx


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