Thursday, 30 June 2016

Summer Arrived with a Bang, Visitors

Well life takes a turn, yet again, in my little world!

But first.......

I spent the winter learning a new skill, crochet, loving it.  I am still learning new things and I am pretty sure I will for the rest of my life, but for now I have a nice little stock of items for sale. Yes I am still trying to make a way to generate an income for myself, blimey it's HARD! Especially as I can't get to the car boots to sell. The photo's don't do them justice, but it will happen, plans are afoot.

These are a selection of some of the first things I made, I have got a lot better and have designed Many bags, fingerless gloves, leg warmers, baby items etc.
I am managing to read some patterns as I have had an order for a baby hammock. I loved making this and can't wait till it is received.

I made my Granddaughters and Niece's a bag each. The above bag was for my Gothy 10 yr old.
My 11 yr old absolutely loved her bag. I loved her reaction which included the words, OMG I LOVE it, I thought it was going to be some old granny bag, hahahahaha, exactly what I would have thought at her age
So this is what got me through the winter and the darkness, I even managed by torch light when the electric was off!

I had the most wonderful trip to England, the best time since I lived there. I think this showed me how far I had come. I didn't feel an outcast, I felt loved and accepted. I realise I am but it has been difficult to feel when I have been so vulnerable. So a new phase of my life, I am not feeling why me now, but instead how can I get through or around this.
Big thanks to the generosity of my family, who treated me to some amazing meals, in and out as well as all the love.
I met my two newest Granddaughters and what amazing babies they are. I re connected with my oldest Granddaughter, we had some special times together and I think we got a gist of who we were. It is hard for the girls to know me when they don't see me or spend time with me and obviously it is the same for me. I love that I got to KNOW a bit of her soul. Also I spent a little time with my son's oldest, the right in the middle Granddaughter. She could not remember me but I hold out hope that after this trip she will next time! I also had a lovely day with my newest Niece
I had an amazing family time, even getting together with my sister in law and Niece from my first marriage. We talked for hours, it was a lovely end to an amazing holiday with my sister Brenda in Tonbridge, the home of some of my happiest years.

Home in Bulgaria...... I came back with my mum who is 92 in August. She came for two weeks & extended it to three. We had a wonderful time, went out and about with friends, had a lunch here, at home,  with more friends. Took her to a Chinese restaurant, Afternoon Tea in a lovely chic tea room, Shopping in the Mall with dinner in one of the best restaurants in VT, shopping in the market with lunch in Polski Trambesh, Dinner with my Bulgarian family both at their's and mine and a trip to Burgas to view a house, lunch with the owners then time on the beach for drinks. Oh and lots of sunbathing in the garden  Mum loved being looked after and having company, as did I.  The upshot is mum is moving over and I will be caring for her in her twilight years. Giving her a social life, which she is sadly lacking in UK and a lovely relaxed life.  We off course will be moving as we will need to be near hospitals etc. A fitting adventure for the woman who has sought adventure her whole life. My mum an amazing lady......

We are now in the midst of a heatwave and have been for a couple of weeks now, with temps of 42c, 45c and 38/39c PHEW!!!!!
 I did start to make a mark on the garden but that, now, is a do over, again! Far too hot to get out there with the strimmer with no pool to cool off in, it would be foolishness.
I am looking forward to the day I have some air con, but for now I use standard fans which means no canning or jam making this year. I am though going to try pickled tomatoes.

So my mum is moving over, this means looking for a certain type of house. It has a lot of boxes to tick as we want one large enough for family to stay, mum needs her shower room, living space and bedroom on the ground floor, central heating is a must and it needs to be near the hospitals, shops and beaches as well as a couple of other things. Once mum returned home she became quite desperate to get back, so I have been searching, not easy! I did view another house and took Sylvia with me to get a different point of view. We went to a little beach, which I found with mum, and had the most gorgeous mussels while we watched kite surfing and I had a paddle :-)  I went back for a third time last week when picking my friend up from the airport, with all intentions of having another paddle but I couldn't walk on the sand, it was SOOOOOO HOT!

Right now I have a friend from England staying with me, it is great to have company again. We are out and about today, another hot one, I think we will be going around VT. I say think as we are meeting Sylvia in the Tea room in VT first and will decide on the day from there.

Well we had a wonderful day, bloody hot though!!!
We ate and drank our way around the historic and arty part of VT, came home with left overs for the girls and very tired.
The above photo's are from Tsarevets castle and surrounding village. This was the first kingdom and the original capital city of Bulgaria, where battles were won and lost. This is my VT, my city where I live right now. I will miss her very very much when I eventually move.
Take care of yourselves and have a wonderful summer with your families, they are so very special xxxxx

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Well What A winter

Well Here I am in March, winter was both bloody awful and also bloody gorgeous, more heat waves than anything, very weird.

Christmas came and went along with a so called friend,when will I ever learn? I spent Christmas day alone due to a complete cock up but I had a really lovely day. I felt very content and after snacking and having a cheese sandwich for dinner LOL I spent the whole day crocheting. It was lovely. Yes I would have preferred to be with family but as that is not possible, and considering the pain of the previous Christmas it was a truly peaceful day for me. Yet again Boxing day served as Christmas day. I did all the cooking and it was enjoyed. I even popped a real bottle of Champers but even though it was the real mackoy and costs a fortune I really don't like the stuff so I topped it with Orange juice and stuck to the one. Fabulous dinner though, there is just something about Christmas dinner, even without Turkey. I had bought a joint of beef and a joint of pork a couple of months before hand and both were delicious. I think I can say now though I am quite OK to spend Christmas alone and feel content, as long as I get to talk to my family!

So I won't go into the ins and outs of it all but January found me without electric for 7 days, no water at all for two weeks and then eventually no water in the house for 10 weeks, but with a leaking outside garden tap. I am however ecstatic to report I have finally had a new pump fitted just two days ago and my life is so very different now.
That was hard, I am very thankful that the weather, other than 3 weeks of snow & freezing temps, was again kind to us. It has been quite a few years now since we have had what was then normal. Deep over 3 meters of snow, -27c and a few -38c along with being snowed in for weeks on end. So 3 weeks was a walk in the park. Melting snow for water when all the bottled water ran out, having a personal Niagara falls in the pump room, after the first de-freeze and a completely annihilated pump rendering my house water free still, but with a working garden tap, hurrah. The village water man, Plamen, charged me 40 lev to fit a piece of pipe that he had at home, stopping my own Niagara falls and emptying my purse to boot, thankful though.
So then I had the electric cut off and was without water, electric and ill with a mild flu all at the same time. I couldn't get a lift in to pay the bill and I was too ill to wait in the snow and cold to get a bus on one of the two days we have one LOL. Yep it was a BAD time but I coped valiantly LOL right up to the Friday, which was a bus day. I wrapped up warm and stood waiting for the bus, getting there early as they are likely to just go if they get there early. One hour later I finally realised that it wasn't going to come and just burst into tears I just couldn't cope from that moment onwards. The thought of having to wait another 5 days till I could get in to pay my bills.

Wow you really don't know what you have till it's gone, but I am still living in my bit of paradise.

Could be much much better but it's what I have and I have to accept my life is never going to be anything to write home about for most people.
Sometimes I do think about going back to England, problem is I have no home there, no income or help from anyone till I can sort those issues and the government will not help either as I have been out of the country for a period of time. My hands are so bad now that what job could I do? Then I think on the positives, there are always positives. My Granddaughters, ahhh all 5 grand babies, the loves of my heart and what life is all about. I would at least have 4 on my doorstep, I would be able to look after them and help my children with them. I would be able to see the two babies grow up, My mum 92 and now in the twilight of her years, I love her so much and want to be able to care for her. My children, all grown up with lives of their own but they still need a mum and my sister (in law) my lovely sister, who has been there since I was just 12 and the only sister I have ever had.
Yes family is what they call homesickness. It's not the country you are leaving, the job, your friends, it's the people you are attached to by your soul, and it physically hurts, lots. The friends you make here will never be as the ones you leave behind, NEVER and you will only keep a couple of those because people move on and you become a distant memory.
SO think, think, think and think again before you come here because it is not always easy.
There are people in Bulgaria, and of course other countries, who live a fantastic life here but that is really down to money in the long run. It is a beautiful, friendly (on the whole) helpful, peaceful, slow, amazing place to live but it can be hard.
The rate of ex pat marriage break up's is huge. I came here in a stable loving solid marriage, deeply in love with my soul mate my best friend and found myself alone and definitely abandoned. So when people use all those words to define how happy they are etc it makes my tummy roll over. Please people, but mainly women, it can turn in a heartbeat! Be sure either you have something to go back to (I didn't as there was no way I needed to, I had my amazing husband who could do anything, my best friend) or you have plenty of money to sort everything out and live. To get a divorce costs money up front. Try pinning down your ex here, it is impossible as you need money up front, even though there are laws! Try getting things sorted here is impossible leaving people in limbo unable to move forward.

Now please don't think I am negative Nelly, I am not, I am happy here, but sometimes like in winter, I miss my children, family and yes life in UK with water, electric, gas central heating and all the comforts we have grown to take for granted.
Would I still have come had I known what would happen? Not if I could have still been happily married and have my wonderful happy happy family life, no.  Will I go back? Not if I can help it NO!

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Preparing for winter

First job here was to get the wood burner flue's cleaned and the chimneys swept, easier said than done when you are a woman and add to that a two story house. The locals accept that yep you need the chimneys looked at but they are not going to volunteer their help, so it has been months to get here. The weather turned chilly and there was no way I could light the fire as I knew there would be a major problem, due to what I found when I moved back in. The Kamina in the kitchen/living room had dripped wet soot all over my lovely Oak table, completely ruining it so I gathered there was a major problem. The one in the bedroom looked OK but the smell of wood fires is still apparent up there as you open the outside door, and the bedroom walls are smoke damaged. Now I may not know a lot but I know I was looking at a situation!

A friend said he would get up there and clean them for me. Well they were both completely chocka block, the soot was compacted solid and two huge dead rats were found in the main one! I can't fathom how there was not a fire here last year! Very thankful to Anthony for cleaning them, I can now keep warm when necessary. I will need to put a couple of fire bomb things in to clean the sides off but that is no problem.
Also Paul has chopped some wood for me and brush cut some of the back area along with the dog compound which is no longer used. I am going to turn this into an area for ducks, yep I am on the lookout for some young ducks or older ducklings. When they are settled I will look for some ex battery hens to give a home to, I LOVE chickens and miss them big time!