Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Phew Preserving Season, Loving Living in Bulgaria,

I apologise for the lateness of catching up with my blogs, life sometimes has to be put on hold, just to catch up with oneself.

It is really hot here now, with beautiful days intermingled with huge storms.  The best is when the day is just gorgeous with a late storm but sadly this is not always the case. Hey no complaints from me as it is a huge relief buy the time the storm arrives as my head is normally about to explode from the pressure build up.
I somehow have lost my fear of being alone in a storm, but two of my dogs are petrified, this means I end up with dogs all over me for protection.
Monday morning just before 7am they were all awoken by a huge exploding thunder clap. WOW it was huge and shook the house along with everything in it. All 4 dogs and 2 puppies shot in the air and ran the length of the room wondering what happened. Yes I did laugh!
It was a real hoolie of a storm with a few more explosions some normal claps and lots of loud rolling thunder.

Bulgaria is very beautiful right now with amazing wild flowers that I have not seen before, a myriad of colours everywhere. What is tantalising are the greenery of what will be the majestic sun flowers, fields as far as the eye can see, soooo looking forward to that. With the amount of heat and rain we have had they should be the best for 4 years. The air smells heavenly from the perfume of the Linden trees, beautiful. So right now going out and about in Bulgaria is just wonderful, gush gush :-)

Talking of the weather, well I am English ;-)  I have a feeling we will have a normal harsh winter this year. About time as the last 4 have been amazing. This both fills me with dread and a joy. We have suffered less than great summers, these last couple of years. They have been very wet with major flooding and loss of life and home, we need to get back to what is balanced and that means a harsh winter with a fantastic spring, hot summer, warm autumn.
I dread it only for having to get the wood in as well as being able to buy enough, oh and not getting frozen pipes. Other than that I look forward to it.

I have been blessed with another baby granddaughter since last blogging. She is identical to her sister in looks, a real beautiful chunky girl. her name is Lillia, so I now have 5 gorgeous granddaughters, I feel so blessed but sad to not be with them. To know I am missing out on cuddling my two gorgeous babies is very emotional but I look forward very much to at least seeing soon.

So workaway-ers are booked in for July and August, there will be some help with the grounds and painting, looking forward to that! Love to socialise and it doesn't happen much now. My fault as I am just not into hosting lots of meals right now, I will get my Mojo back though.

Preserving season is upon me, I missed the strawberries sadly, but have managed to get plenty of cherry conserve and jams made this week, next is Apricots then I will be inundated with plums, the small kind. White and red, delicious. I am also reddening up some chillies to make sweet chilli sauce.
I miss not growing them this year, it is just too much with everything else sadly, so my garden is empty of produce this year, other than the fruit trees :-)

Financially I am overwhelmed with the worry of not being able to pay bills and getting services cut off, BUT I am plodding on and trying to sell items to help me get on top of things. SO much to worry about but I am in the right place and absolutely love this country. The dogs have food which is the most important and hopefully the pups will all be gone soon which will lighten the load, I do love them though and it has been a privilege to have them in my life

Summer is Almost Over, Autumn is Coming

Wow where did that time go? I feel like I missed the summer this year and it was a doozie. Sunshine tropical heat, some amazing storms and no pool to enjoy it. I would like you to see the face I pull over this but I don't think it's possible to convey.

I am going to attempt a catch up over these months, in all aspects of my life (I hear you groan) and then see if we can get back on track being a good blogger.

Well a lovely summer was had this year, the first proper behaving Spring/Summer for four years. I guess this means a proper winter too? Autumn is popping it's head out every now and then just to remind me of the bleakness ahead. To say I am dreading winter this year is an understatement but it has to be done. Plod through one day at a time.

I have managed to sell one of the cars I was given as part of the separation. Hardly anything as there is so much needs doing to it but enough (hopefully) to buy the wood needed and pay for chopping/stacking etc, all the stuff that goes along with buying wood. Let me explain.....
So off to the mayor I will go to order the wood and pay up front. This gets me a truck full of however many cubics I want, in tree form. This is then dumped outside my gates in the road so no one can get past, they then get annoyed and abusive! So if say I get 10 cubics of tree's I am then meant to be able to move this by myself to the barn. I am 5'tall 56 unfit and overweight, it just is not going to happen!
So I have to find people to move it for me, then someone to chainsaw it into smaller lumps then someone to chop it for the woodburner as well as stack it (hopefully).  All this costs money on top of the wood costs. I will need at least 10 cubic and have just been told this month it is now 60 lev per cube. So I thank God that after all this time I have a buyer for the Kia.

Oh for a man in winter! Getting the wood in every day is the single most soul destroying thing. Having a dodgy back it gets a lot of damage at this time of year. I was very fortunate last year as Marko (Venelin) brought my wood in for me and anyway the wood store was right next to the kitchen so it was not too far to carry it in.  This year I hope to get a load stacked outside my front door under cover of the balcony. This will be enough to last a while, then I would ask someone to bring the next lot up etc. This will save me breaking my back and also falling in the snow as the barn is a long way from the house.

The other worry as winter sneaks up is winterising the other house and getting some of the furniture out.  I am concerned about damp getting to the sofas as there will be no heating in there. I also need to get the Omega over here I really need to get this sold, Fingers crossed!!!!

I have just gone outside for a wee, my downstairs loo is just outside the kitchen, I have to pop outside to go into the toilet until I can get that part built in. Anyway I went out and it is dark, the solar lights are flashing and the garden is bathed in moon light. I just thought I can't believe I am doing this, I am living here all on my own and loving it still almost 7 years on. My life may not be what I wanted, I may miss my family too much BUT I am living in a beautiful house with 2000m2 land of peace and tranquillity and I am managing all on my own!  Sometimes you just have to take a step back and look at what life is, not what is was or what it should be, to appreciate all that there is to be thankful for.

So being the women we are my friend and I were working 6 - 8 hour days getting her kennels ready to open with a deadline looming. That was hard work in 40c heat out of the sun. By the afternoon we were in full sun! All good fun and it was ready for the deadline.

The day of the deadline was also in a week that we had to run around every day sourcing, buying and shopping for a wedding  reception. We had the whole reception to organise. Flowers, food, decorations for the buffet room as well as garden decorations and the drinks. We had a week to do the lot. I have to say it was really hard work as the temperatures were really high and cooking everything for the buffet was murder but we did it and I was really proud of fulfilling the remit. The reception was another matter and completely exhausting but all the guests came to congratulate us on the food and we had massive approval from the Bulgarians who said they had never had food anywhere near as fantastic, very proud moment!
Unfortunately we were too busy to take photos so only have 3 not very good ones.

 Two tables chocker block with food, both sides of the cake

I feel very accomplished this year, even if I have nothing to show for it, that is no matter the feeling of pride in what I have achieved, however small, is amazing especially when my confidence and whole being has taken a smashing. I feel like I am  starting to find me again

I had a order for a little girls birthday cake. It was for the cost of ingredients and to see if they can fix my pump. I love doing this it feels good to be able to get help for payment in kind. At the moment I am cooking a curry for a couple of guys who are going to clean my chimneys and chainsaw the wood I have in the barn. They are very kind to help out.

In August a friend, James,  who I had been talking to on messenger for 18 months, came to stay and helped me paint my kitchen along with the shelves. I absolutely love it! It is not finished as I have to paint the doors and decide what to do with the kitchen units. Do I paint them cream or pastel green to match the shelving???? I was ecstatic to find a satin wood paint in the green, so I may take the plunge Every time I look in Praktiker there seems to be more and more. When I first moved here there was almost nothing, even food was difficult. Now don't get me wrong I do not buy "English" food unless it is for things like Indian spices or baking ingredients. This is rare.
Right I digress, so the next step is to decorate the living area, I think I will wait though till after winter so it will be nice and fresh in spring. I will keep it the same colour-ish as I love the Asian feel of it

My lovely girl Lilly, who is as soft as a brush but very protective of her home and family kept getting out. She can be quite scary when she barks and I had a neighbour round threatening to shoot her. I had tried everything to stop her but the fence is compromised and without money I cannot fix it. I decided after trying every other way that until I can fix the fence she will have to be tethered while in the garden. Now I know a lot of people do this with their big dogs but I never have, so it was a big decission but one I had to take to keep her safe and stop Lilly from scaring the neighbours.  I am happy to report she is quite happy and in fact has no problem with it. She does not try to escape, will wait for me to put the chain on and is in and out as normal. She is a house dog but loves to be in the garden too. She has made a bed in one of the barrels, bless her. She tells me when she wants to go out, when she wants to come in etc. I am really happy with her. can't wait to get her off the chain though!

The little seating area outside the kitchen door has been my little oasis, prettied up with solar lights. Believe it or not I had some beautiful flowering tubs in the summer, that is until my pups and dogs destroyed them by digging them up or sitting in them. I gave up trying to save them in the end. My mantra for the garden every year seems to be "There is always next year" but then the next year never changes much. Now there is no help I despair of ever having a nice relaxing place. I will not let this upset me though as long as I have an area of tranquillity in the sunshine I will love it. Really would love a beautiful garden though!

This has also been a year of boot sales to raise the money to see me through after the bills are paid. It is most difficult trying to earn a living here, who knew that the business we set up and the jobs I got would end with me being left destitute while Nigel has more than plenty. Anyway enough of the negative nelly, I am constantly thinking about what to do, as is my friend. Baked goods seems to be pretty difficult unless I can get my dream Tea room one day. I get such compliments on everything but as we all know food treats and meals to take home are a luxury product and can work out expensive compared to the crap bought from shops. I shall continue with this when I get orders though.
The next project is in the crafty vein.

I have had some really funny times this year which has put laughter back in my soul. Still a bit up and down but lots of fun and dare I say it JOY. Lots of little adventures (that's when things go a bit wrong) hahaha.
Managed to get so terribly lost after a trip to Ruse, which is about an hour or so from me. Coming back took 6 HOURS we left at 9 arrived home 3.15 am! Don't even try asking where we went??????
Loved watching the night of the shooting stars. Oh my goodness the night sky here is amazing, mostly due to little or  no light pollution. So of to the village cheshma we went, (local spring, ice cold spring water constantly running, great for cooling feet off in as well as drinking it as it comes out of the rocks), as no light at all there just blackness in the countryside. It was fantastic, we just didn't know what direction to look they were all around us. Had frogs and other guests with us, which made us jump as well as smile. Oh I love it here sooooo much!
Another time we were great storm chasers. High up in the hills picking wild flowers we could see the storm coming. We picked a spot to stop and watch as the darkness descended, screaming as it hit, then realising that the hail stones hitting us were the least of our problems. We were parked right where the torrent of water was coursing down the hill bringing all the debris with it, washing away our footing and we were liable to be swept over the precipice we were on, yep it was funny but scary too.
Went to the best BBQ, such a laugh, such a good time.  I have a completely new circle of friends, which is really great!

We have had some amazing electrical storms  this year as well as the thunder and lightening kind, love it! If you don't live here yet you are in for a treat, I have never had such wild glorious storms in UK.

So to sum up the present. I am sort of looking forward to winter, not being snowed in for weeks though. Looking forward to the confinement, working on projects, being cosy with my girls, losing weight (yes back on the diet!) and the joy of getting out and about as the weather allows. I have come to like my own company, love being lazy, having time to organise stuff etc.
Fingers crossed it will all go well ;-)