Day to day events mostly cataloguing my complete lack of understanding and common sense!

To save space, the most recent blog entry will have relevant pictures in it, but after that the photos will be moved to Flickr for storage, and a link to them added to the blog post. If you want to see all the photos anyway then visit the Gostilitsa Flickr page here.

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June 2018 (1)
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There is now a separate site with information on living in Bulgaria, including:

  • An introduction to Gostilitsa and all it has to offer
  • Day to day practicalities of shopping, paying bills, banking, insurance
  • Healthcare matters for people and pets
  • Public transport and issues relating to car ownership
  • Becoming a Bulgarian resident and learning the language
  • Tourism, public holidays, festivals, places to visit, hiking routes

Click here for the link.


Unfortunately I've been having an increasing number of problems with storage on this site, so I've decide to continue the diary section elsewhere. Click here for the link to the new site.  The old diary entries will remain here for anyone wishing to delve into the murky past

Tagged with "snails"
Friday 13th April, 2018
Category: 2018/04
Tags: asparagus snails bean seeds mulberry tree garden wall

I only just realised today is Friday the 13th, and perhaps that explains why I've been told off twice in as many days. Yesterday I was indoors late afternoon when I heard sounds of chainsawing coming from next door. A quick peak out the window showed branches being lopped off the mulberry tree at the bottom of their garden. One of the sisters who owns the house had mentioned some months ago about getting her brother-in-law to do this as the estate agent had mentioned it was making the garden look too cluttered for potential buyers. So, now the planned tree-felling was taking place. Mr Chainsaw shouted for me so I went out into the garden.

Do you want these branches? he asked, pointing at several which were due to fall on my side of the shed roof anyway. Sure thing, I told him, I can always make use of kindling.  He began pushing the branches over into my garden. This is all because of you, he said, accusingly. It's blocking your view. I was momentarily stunned before telling him I'd said nothing about the tree at all, and that the sister had said she wanted it cutting down for the house sale. And do tell me what else I'm guilty of, I continued. He rapidly conceded defeat. Well, it's an ugly tree anyway, he said, they grow too big.

Complaint number two came this morning. I'd been awake since about 5am and so decided to take the dogs for an early walk up to the top of the village (just in case there were any new tasty pickings at the dump). It must have been about 7.30 when we set off, though already quite hot. We had our walk (I came back with a Flintstones story book) but just as I was opening the gate a car came to a flying halt outside. It was the farmer from the house along the street. Your dogs woke the baby up, he said. Why don't you go and walk down there (pointing towards the stadium). Apparently when his dog barked upon hearing mine passing, the baby was startled awake. So it was your dog who woke the baby, I clarified, your dog barked. He wasn't happy. Walk them after 8 o'clock and not so early, he said before driving off. Do you know, if he'd just mentioned it in a slightly politer manner it wouldn't be so bad, something along the lines of sorry to bother you but do you mind walking the dogs after 8 if you're coming past my house... Perhaps my brain is still too entrenched in British niceties.

I've been busy DIYing in the garden again, this time trying to create a bit of a disguise for the septic tank area. I've had a few tubs of herbs around there but fancied the idea of making a retaining wall so that the fumes might not drift up towards the patio so easily, and being in full on cementing mode, having just finished capping the second part of the garden wall, I decided to crack on with the project. It's extremely rough and ready, and will probably collapse the first time a cat jumps on it, but in my mind's eye it will be an oasis of lovely scented herbs trailing down, mixed with a gaudy display of summer flowers.

When I moved the bricks that the tubs had been standing on I was shocked to find a very well established snail colony.

It's a wonder I had any herbs in those tubs at all! I was going to throw them all over the fence for Baba Ivanka's chickens, but then I relented and transferred them to a patch of undergrowth in the park.

The veggie planting is still moving along nicely, and the other day I planted some bean seeds. I have a stunning collection of assorted colours of bean seeds given to me by Ivanka, and have previously randomly sown them, but then never knew which seeds the nicest beans had come from. So, this year I am being a bit more methodical. I've selected 4 varieties and have sown them in twos along the bean poles. I've also made a photographical record of the beans so I'll know exactly which seeds the pods come from. Clever, huh?

My little asparagus plants are in their third year now and so I'm able to harvest the little spears for the first time. Very tasty they were too!

To see pics of snails, asparagus, a million tree branches, and more, click here.



Monday 13th March, 2017
Category: 2017/03
Tags: weather snow dairy snails

I have completely and utterly jinxed the weather in so many ways: shaving my legs, wearing shorts and vest top, boasting in the last blog entry...  So now I'm sitting looking towards the nearby hills which are completely enshrouded in mist and watching slushy snow settling on the grass and feeling all cut off and miserable. I have high hopes for the weekend onwards though as my daily scrutinisation of the weather forecast promises sunshine and warmth, ahhh.

I shouldn't be surprised really as every March so far has produced a flurry of snow at some point, it's just that those early glorious days of sunshine lull you into a false sense of 'summer's here' and I so want to be able to sit outside again.

My early planting schedule may have hit a bit of a setback, though the planted areas (leeks, parsnips, carrots and radishes) are all covered over with plastic sheeting and, aside from the radishes, have yet to germinate so maybe they'll come bursting through once the temperatures rise again. The indoor planting is faring better with the tomatoes all looking strong and healthy and peppers just beginning to come through.

I'm not at home very much these days as I'm looking after other people's pets whilst they're away and tend to just pop down to mine to feed everyone and sometimes light the fire to keep the house warm (Alfie and Bella enjoy a prolonged sniff at my shoes and trousers each time I come home whereas the cats just want to fly indoors as if there's some kind of banquet being laid on in there) .

It was during this past week that I learned something new about the dairy down by the Yantra river. It was a dairy for many years and then seemed to shut for a while (during which time I availed myself of the broken pallet boards to make my compost bin). A while ago it seemed to be back in business and I assumed as a dairy. Apparently not. I've been told that the business there is now snails of all things! I don't know if they're breeding them or if it's just a processing plant for ones found in the locality, and my informant seems to think they must be headed for Spain or France as there isn't a huge demand in Bulgaria for them. It makes me think that I should stop slinging the huge beasts I find nibbling my flowers and veggies over the fence and start driving them down to the ex-dairy to turn into stotinkis. This time next year, readers, I'll be a millionaire. Lovely jubbly.


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