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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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

Monday 26th November, 2012
Category: 2012/11
Tags: sunshine vet fridge


Having got my car back last week I couldn't resist having a go at driving it and to my delight I managed okay... freedom at last!  So today I planned to get up early (i.e. before 9am) and head into Gabrovo to order the tiles for my balcony and to buy a few bits and bobs.  The alarm was duly set for 7.30am though in the end I awoke a bit before then.  On peeking round the curtains I discovered a very frosty misty morning though there were definite hints of the sun behind the fog and pale tinges of blue in the sky.  Could it be that the sun was going to make a come back?  I had a quick shower (I've counted, and if my plaster does indeed come off on the 5th of December and hopefully isn't immediately replaced with another, then I only have four more 'leg out the shower wrapped in three bin bags and propped up on a stool' showers to go!  It wasn't worth lighting the stove if I was going out so I made a mug of tea and headed back to sit in bed nibbling some morning coffee type biscuits, listening to the radio and doing a couple of kakuro puzzles.  Hey, it's my way of greeting a new day!

The sun was definitely making a valiant effort to break through and by the time I actually got out of bed again and dressed it was promising to be a lovely day.  By 9am I was ready so I left a bag with the empty beer milk bottle and this week's money behind the gate for the milk man and went to see if the car would start.  It took a bit longer than normal but start she did and I was soon off on my way to Gabrovo.

I stopped at Billa first to buy some bread and half a dozen bags of wasabi peanuts (I'm fully addicted) then drove over the bridge to the little row of shops near Lidl.  I adore these shops which sell all manner of DIY and household goods and could easily spend a fortune on unnecessary nicknacks.  Today I had my list though and purchased a galvanised bucket (for my kindling wood), an ice breaker (a sharp bit of metal on a pole which I presume I can use to smash my way across the patio when it turns into a skating rink), a new little besom broom (they're great for swooshing all the dust away on the patio) and 40 6cm screws which I need for my TV stand project.

In another shop I bought a nice big metal baking tray since my pottery one cracked last night when I was roasting lamb in it (spilling all my precious gravy juices all over the oven).  Actually, when I got it home it only just fits inside the oven, pressing against the glass door!

The final stop in Gabrovo was to order balcony tiles.  The tile shop is pretty much on the far side of the main road directly opposite the train station and has a good range of tiles as well as other decorative materials.  I chose a fairly simple terracotta coloured one with a slight roughened texture as I thought it would hopefully be easy to keep clean and not be one big green mass of algae after one winter.  Interestingly the Bulgarian word for these sort of floor tiles is 'terracotta'.  She took my phone number (that'll be a laugh when she tries talking to me on the phone!) and said they'd be in Wednesday or Thursday.

The sun was out good and proper by now and it was gorgeous driving along the main road to Dryanovo under clear blue skies.  In Dryanovo I checked with the vet that I could bring Molly down for her vaccinations and then filled up on fuel.  This little clip shows some of the route from Dryanovo to the village... yes, I drove slowly!

Video clip.

When I got back home, Baba Ivanka's relatives were there.  I always presume it is her daughter and her husband, but I'm not sure.  Anyway, I had told Baba that she could have my spare fridge seeing as her one has broken.  This will in some way go towards repaying all the hundreds of things she's given me and done for me over the seven years I've known her.  So today they came to collect it and in return presented me with a huge bottle of Baba Ivanka's home brew wine, which in previous years has been delicious - result!

I planned to take Molly to the vets at about 4pm so that left a few hours in which to lay in the garden and sunbathe again.  Yes, the temperature on the patio got above 30 degrees again and I spent a blissful hour or two snoozing on the sun lounger.  Molly had her own little sunbathing spot too:

Four o'clock came and I managed to get Molly into the carry box again with the encouragement of a few biscuits.  The visit to the vet only took a few minutes:  She had her first shots today which give her 50% immunity and then in 25 days time she goes back for the second lot plus a rabies vaccine which will give her about 90% immunity.  Then she'll just need booster shots once a year.  Apart from not liking being trapped in the basket for the journey, Molly was perfectly fine and off hunting in the garden again as soon as we got back.  I've still yet to see her catch anything substantial but she was certainly pouncing around and making short work of the remaining crickets in the garden.

By the way, do you remember the little cat who took to sleeping on the chair outside the door each night?  I took this photo last night - count the ears...

Tuesday 20th November, 2012
Category: 2012/11
Tags: cat bug oven


Just some random thoughts and events and pictures for today.

A few nights ago I was heaving myself up the stairs (literally) when just as I was nose level with the landing, this little beasty ran across in front of me:

My first panic stricken thought was 'baby scorpion' so I hobbled into my room to get Molly's water dish (she was sleeping upstairs post-op at the time) and, having thrown the water out the window, I scooped the bug up into the dish to study.  What if it is a scorpion? Could it sting? Is the warmth in the house making them all hatch out? I took no chances and, grabbing the remote for the video player, I smashed the creature to pulp and threw the bits away.  Only later, after googling, did I discover that it is in fact a pseudo-scorpion and completely harmless to people.  It feeds on other bugs, particularly ants, my sworn enemies! Poor little false scorpion; I should have nurtured it.  if I find any more I will set up a breeding program and then next spring... look out ants!

Molly is now completely recovered from her operation apart from still being bald on her tummy.  It took until the next day for her to fully recover from the anaesthetic though and as you can see she was a little clingy that first night:

Her little tom cat friend was worried about her (no, not that sort of friend) and took to camping outside the front door hoping to see her:

Remind me to spray the chair with flea spray before I sit in it again!

I've been making the most of having the stove lit for cooking.  This picture shows a triple bill of egg custard, banana and walnut cake and a jacket potato.  Mmmm yummy!

This less successful shot shows what happens when you try to reheat food at 300 degrees celsius:

Anyone got a Brillo pad?


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