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

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Saturday 5th December, 2009
Category: 2009/12

Slept till 9am. Cooked breakfast on the stove; is it still called a full English, or should it be a full Bulgarian? Rest of day taken up with more chores: Cleared half of the front border, drowned it in weed-killer, and covered it with weed roll. Have also chopped the tree back to a few stumpy branches. I've progressed to understanding short phrases on TV but whilst I'm translating them in my head I miss the next thing that's said and then I'm lost.

Friday 4th December, 2009
Category: 2009/12

Up at 6am for three hours cleaning of the lounge and doing washing from last time. Went to Gabrovo to order cigarettes and to register my M-Tel phone. This took some doing. The first M-Tel shop I went in looked at the form I had downloaded with some confusion and then told me not to worry as it didn't apply to me. Having previously been told similar (false) tales such as "No, don't worry about paying your council tax... electricity bill... water rates... you're British, it doesn't apply" I decided to try again elsewhere. Found the main M-Tel shop where she entered my details onto the computer and it was all done.

Went shopping at the market (I love this market) and then on to Billa for the rest.

Back home I did the annual propping up of the shed guttering, brought in a ton of wood and weeded the side garden. Decided to cook in the new wood burner oven for the first time. I'd bought a nice casserole dish in Billa so put two chicken pieces, some carrots, onions, peppers and various herbs and spices in it and put it in the oven. I wasn't sure about how long a jacket potato would take as I've never cooked one in an oven before. What if it took hours and hours? In the end I wrapped it in foil and put it directly into the flames instead. The results were deliciously tasty even if the spud was completely black on the outside.

Got the DVD working and watched Grease. Shower and bed at 10pm.

24th February, 2005
Category: 2005/02

Final day, time to take the plunge. Went back to look at the third house again, this time in the builder's swanky four wheel drive vehicle. Loved the journey again as for most of it I could see the mountain peaks in the distance, absolutely smooth white with snow. Kept picturing myself driving along in the summer and stopping off to admire the views 'on my way home'. At the house I took some photos and a video of the outside then the wretched camera said battery low! Two sets of spare batteries left back at the hostel of course. Thankfully the camera held out long enough to get some inside shots too.

I had some long discussions with the builder about potential layouts - where the bathroom would be, the layout of the kitchen, position of lights, sockets, stairs, type of flooring etc. I kept trying to recall the thousands of home makeover programmes I've seen, but this was a little more basic. "Yes, I would like windows... Can the kitchen have a washing machine..." and so on. Couldn't cope with discussing the garden and built-in barbecues so told him I would think about that later. Went for a drive around the village and saw another couple of foreign owned properties, the post office and a couple of shops.

Drove back to go to the lawyer's office to start the ball rolling. Had to stop off at the previous estate agent's to collect my company documents. Felt a bit guilty but Svetla was really nice and was excited to hear about the house. The rest of the day was spent trooping between the lawyer and the notary office. Had a couple of hours free so went for a wander. Bought some good luck bracelets then went for a pizza and to play with my G & M Bulgaria Ltd company stamp. Got talking to a couple who are booked on the same Heathrow flight as me tomorrow. They also hope to have bought a place despite the price of one they liked rising from 10k to 30k in the space of two days! They are actually hoping to come and live here.

The final signing of the preliminary contract with the lawyer and I now officially have a Bulgarian home (subject to searches etc). Got taken off for a celebratory drink by the agent and the builder. Felt myself getting horribly tipsy after two neat vodkas and I had yet to count out the 760 deposit. This ended up taking five attempts as I kept getting to 500 and then losing track (zero alcohol tolerance). Eventually gave up on discretion and counted out loud onto the bar, hoping the agent would keep track for me.

The deal done, the agent and his friend (who couldn't for the life of him fathom why the British want to buy in Bulgaria) drove me back to the hostel, stopping on the way to look at the big fortress which was all lit up beautifully.

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