Sunday, 22 February 2015

Plan Z, Chillyness, Future Planning

Poor Marko ( Venelin) he is doing a sterling job on tiling the shower room, but doesn't get aesthetics! I have cream tiles with two panels of coffee coloured as an accent. The shower will run down the centre of one panel and the second is on the opposite wall. Unfortunately he laid them off centre, I tried to cope with it, but just can't.  So I will have to buy another box ( I am 3 tiles short) and we will add another tile to the panel, this I will be able to cope with.  Blame it on a house with no straight walls or edges. I am smiling as I type, as Marko says plan Z.
It is looking fabulous though, so much better than before and worth waiting a year for. Mind you, had I known I had female friends who could tile I would have given the job to them. People tell friends when you are good at something, we all need a little help here!

It is not finished yet but here are some interim photo's.
This was the shower when I moved in

I am looking forward to it being finished and feeling like mine.
The hallway and loo has stopped for a bit due to needing to change some pipes and add a stopcock. All done now so work will resume soon, I think he is also swapping around a bit to stop being bored as he is working alone again.

So in amongst all the work in the house, sleeping and living in one room, pregnant dog worries, and all that this entails I have a major concern for later in the year when I will literally be abandoned financially!
There is no work in Bulgaria and to be able to live, like in any country, I need a certain amount of money every month to pay bills and eat.
The plans I had for a business have gone out of the window due to needing finances to make this possible.
To say I am stressed is an understatement LOL. I am tired all the time tend to fall asleep early and wake at stupid o'morning (this is how stress affects me)
So what are my choices? Well seeing as I have no home in UK, no right to help financially or even to use NHS, no money for a deposit on a bedsit etc and no where I can live in the interim, my choice is here or nowhere.
Very worrying so I am on the look out for an online job. A real one not spamming sales, pyramid sales, etc. Not so easy. The competition is huge with so many people wanting to do this type of work. So if any of you know of internet based jobs please drop me a line! I need a minimum of £50 per week but preferably £100 a week so I can live a bit of life too, but as they say beggars can't be choosers!

This years winter weather is so far removed from normality it is amazing. We have had a couple of cold snaps but nothing Arctic as yet. I have not been cold at all in my winter living quarters, so all the earlier work was well worth the effort and money.
Preparation is the key here. This can be difficult when it is your first or second winter after moving here. If you are moving over, listen to what your neighbours and new friends tell you. Preparation of your house will make all the difference. It is romantic when you are here with a partner as you have each other but living on your todd, freezing half to death in a dreary, draughty, ice inside of your windows and no inside loo house is no fun! I was like that last year in this house, due to not realising it was in such bad repair, and my friend has it this year. Thank God she has a good wood burner. The worst bit for me now is having to go upstairs for a shower but using a electric heater heats the shower room up enough.
I do love photo's of snow though, so here is a reminder.
So the snow has just gone and we have beautiful sunshine, blue skies but pretty cold weather. Nice to see the sun though, doesn't it make us all feel so much better! Fingers and toes crossed for it to continue in this vein for the next few weeks then Spring will be here and all will be right with the world.

Today it is really warm in the sun. Happy, happy, happy. Today is also a scone baking day. White Chocolate scones, Sultana scones and Vanilla scones.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

What a Difference!

I last posted photo's of the next stage of the renovations. So that day while I wrote my post, fiddled and faffed around Marko really got on with it. He was on his own for the first half of the day but then went off coming back an hour later with help. Here are photo's of the before and after, What a difference a little makes.....
 Waste water pipe from bathroom through the ceiling, along with all the other water pipes
 Unsightly brick wall and electrical wiring.
 Old wood window and waste pipe
 Gone. New double glazed small window installed

I am over the moon with the change even though there is still a lot to do.
The thing I am not looking forward to is all the painting that is ahead of me, especially all the doors. Walls no problem but woodwork and doors urghgrrr! Still I count myself very fortunate to have my own place and I am no longer wasting money on rentals.

Happy, happy

Monday, 9 February 2015

Renovation progress,

Well it has been some time since my last post, I really am absent minded, annoyingly so.
Christmas has come and gone, thank God for that. I was OK but wouldn't want to re live it again, lets hope I don't have to. I do hope everyone else had a great time and if not, I am sorry, it sucks big time doesn't it!!! It was the first ever Christmas spent completely alone. For a big Christmas loving person this was very sad, but I survived it.
I had a lovely boxing day with friends, fantastic food, then the snow came. Two weeks later I was still stuck in but had plenty of provisions so it was no hardship.

I quite like being a hermit in winter, shut away from the cold, wind and snow. Hunkering down on the sofa with a roaring fire, cookery books and the girls snoring next to me. I love being warm and cosy.  It was however lovely to get out in the cold but sunny weather for lunch with a friend, after over two weeks, it set me up for the next few weeks ahead.
Where I live it isn't just the snow that has us stuck in, it is also the mud. Like quick sand it sucks wheels and feet down into it's clay like grip, has cars spinning and slipping into tree's and walls or down into dips which then need towing out. I have to say I hate the mud more than the snow!

This year, like last, has been nothing like our normal winter. we are just on our second lot of snow and only about 3" so far, bit different to our 3' drops most of the winter. The temps have been great too with just the 2 weeks of cold after Christmas about -18 or -19c a lot higher than our normal -27 up to -38c which we normally get. It is chilly now but really only -4 or 5 at the moment. The forecast for February is fabulous with sunny days. Long may it continue!

So the renovations have been sloooooooooow. I am in the kitchen/diner/come winter living room. Managed to get in a few days before Christmas. It is great I live in this space only, just going upstairs for the bathroom. It is cosy, warm and comfy. I am really happy with it. Come Spring I will go back into the living room and sleep in my bedroom but right now I am living as the Bulgarians do, keeping warm and wood usage down.

Still needs shelves put up, bits and bobs but it is really workable.

The next stage, living room, is almost finished. The floor tiles are laid the window and plaster is done and the fireplace is made. The problem came when the grout was being done. The colour was really horrid, so I asked for it to be taken out and now have to find a better colour, the local hardware stores do not have enough of one colour, so it is a trip into Gorna or VT to get it.  The we ran out of yacht varnish with just a couple of inches to go. we will get back to that at a later date.

The next stage on from that is now under way and I can't wait to get it done as it is an eyesore, the one completely unfinished area that was neglected for 25 years. 
 The concrete slabs which made up the door step have been removed and a proper step will be made.
 Damage floor from the flood in September.
 This old window has been removed and a new smaller double glazed window has been fitted. 
 Stone floor to be laid, plaster board toilet walls.
 Pipe from shower and sink along with water pipes to be boxed in and a false ceiling put up.
 So this is the back hallway leading out to the garden. It also leads into another large room which I am using as a walk in larder. It can be made into a full on bathroom if needed. The room you see above is being made into a downstairs loo. The pipes along the ceiling are being boarded in and the floors laid to stone.  Then it will be all be painted in the Spring/Summer, along with the rest of the ground floor.
This has turned out to be a huge job which should have been finished in December but I am now looking at March.  Once the front hall floor has been finished the bathroom is being tiled then that will be it for the foreseeable future.

The sun is shining the snow is glistening and my emotions are healing. No longer is it 1 step forward 2 steps back. I am facing an unsure future, but there is nothing I can do about this. I am in Gods hands now more than ever before.............

Moving Forward, Keeping Warm

I apologise for posting this months after I had written it, I hadn't realised I had not clicked publish!

Well my life is moving forward emotionally as well as home. Renovation, Revelation and Regeneration seem to be my life right now, and boy am I loving it! About blinking time.

So  Renovation, Well after a time which seemed to take forever (and will not show) yesterday we moved forward, probably about the same, but it really made a difference. Looks like it is coming together now. Still a long way to go but now it will be building up instead of tearing down.
Sink base built waiting for stone cladding

The start of the insulation
My lovely new window shelf.
The kitchen has been moved back in place, though temporary placement of units due to it all needing to be moved back out once the dining/winter living room is finished.
The sink waste will be here later this week, so no more chucking the washing up water in a bucket, thank goodness. I can cope with it all, but not having hot water or ability to just empty the water down the sink is a waring on me. Funny what such a little thing creates such annoyance, yet the bigger disruption doesn't.

A new tap arrives today fron England, transported over by "On the go" who I highly recommend. They transport goods from UK to Bulgaria & vice versa. Excited about that, I know sad hahaha.  Also on the way is a Welsh Griddle OH SOOOOO EXCITED about that. My family is Welsh so I am half welsh oh and half Irish so my personality is kind with a killer temper if my family is crossed!  Anyway there is a family recipe for traditional Welsh cakes, comes down the faily from my Nan to my mum but from Great Nan to Nan. I have no idea how far it goes back but my mum is 90 and Nan would be 115!
Mum has had her griddle since she was young, nan bought one for each of the girls (3) I have been trying to get it off mum for years but she just won't let it go. I can understand as it is a beloved memory and when she can lift it, or get someone to lift it for her LOL, she still bakes killer cakes. So I decided to bite the bullet and buy one. I know it won't be as good as mums (they were/it is sooooo heavy) but I am going to practice till I get it perfect. Also I will be teaching myself to make Muffins and crumpets. I am excited because it opens up new recipes for me to try during winter. 
I tried a new thing the other day with a Pork knuckle, apples and beer. Have to say YUKKKKKKK!  I won't be doing it again! 

I have been feeling poorly the last week banging virusy head, eyes and feeling weak. I am happy it hasn't developed any further and that it has come at a time when staying in is the order of the day, due to lots of snow.  It snowed non stop for two days, nothing yesterday then more on and off today. Taken me by surprise. I knew it was going to snow, but it is October so I thought it would be a sprinkle then be gone the next morning. Well how wrong was I.  I don't mind though because the coastal areas have terrible flooding again and deaths. There are many areas near me that have had a lot more snow too, so I consider myself fortunate. It has been really quite cold though today it seems warmer, so hopefully we are on the right track back to double figures for a couple of months. Who knows what winter will throw at us this year?????