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

Wednesday 27th June, 2012
Category: 2012/06
Tags: emigrating

Isn't it odd how wildly feelings can fluctuate even within the space of one day?  I seem to be lurching wildly from giddy excitement to feeling like I can't cope.  For example, a phone call to HMRC well, that's just about as depressing as it gets.  After pressing one option after another on the phone to even reach a suitable option, you're then kept waiting for half an hour and when you do finally speak to someone you discover that all they can do is spout the same jargon you struggled with on the website anyway. By this time you're so exhausted that you haven't the strength to insist on straight answers and ultimately hang up feeling more lost and let down than ever.  At the other extreme are the happy moments when little things slot into place and you see the jigsaw picture beginning to make sense.  Today I managed to sell a few of the furniture items I want to get rid of and signed my side of the paperwork at the solicitors.  Tiny pieces of the puzzle but all heading in the right direction.  These little positives far outweigh the stupid bureaucratic negatives.

Sunday 24th June, 2012
Category: 2012/06

The chaos seems to be subsiding a little, or is it just that I'm becoming used to seeing packing boxes everywhere I turn?  Had a bit of a tidy up yesterday (as much as it's possible to tidy up) and I can now see carpet space again and 95% of the TV screen which is a great improvement.  Bought 6 rolls of food cling film at Tesco to wrap some of the soft furnishings like the lounger cushions.  It works pretty well actually, mummifying items in cling film.  I remember a few years ago when I bought a few Ikea rugs and other odds and sods to take to BG. Because they wouldn't fit into a suitcase I simply piled them all up and cling filmed them with a thousand layers of food wrap.  I then tied some washing line rope around it to fashion a handle and dragged the whole thing across the airport to the check-in desk.  At least there was no danger of anyone accidentally taking my baggage off the carousel at Sofia.

I'm trying at the moment to put together all the legal things I need to sort out before emigrating:

  • Cheapest way to transfer money
  • Bulgarian bank account with the best interest rate
  • Entitlement to the equivalent of NHS treatment
  • Registering my stay, ready for a long stay permit
  • Paying NI in the UK so I get the full state pension (when I'm 95)
  • Telling the tax man I'm moving

The list seems endless and full of jargon that floats way over my head.  If I ever get my head round it, I will write a step by step 'do this, do that' guide which might help others who are going through this.  If...

Friday 8th June, 2012
Category: 2012/06

Just looking through the latest photos from the property management people.  I'm always surprised at stories of people who have a holiday home and are happy to just have a neighbour 'keeping an eye' on the place in their absence.  I worry far too much to take that approach.  I much prefer the monthly updates with photos where I can actually see that the house is still standing, sans squatters, and to be honest it's the only time I get to see my meagre supply of flowers in bloom. (Note the peonies in picture 3)

With the amount of rain they've had in Bulgaria lately it's no surprise that my garden was rapidly becoming the usual wilderness.  Cue Strimmer Man.  I've never met him, or his side-kick Rake Boy, but between them they do a fantastic job:


The garden before....



...the garden after.  I really want one of those industrial strength strimmers.

Foolishly, back in October when I was last there, I forgot to drain the last few drops of water from the water meter when I drained everything down for winter.  Consequently in the freezing conditions it froze and broke.  I now have a nice shiny new meter though, and apparently there's a shiny new meter reading man to expect, as the other guy, Stefan, has now retired.  I hope he wears the same blue boiler suit uniform though, or I'll have no idea who he is.  I have visions of dragging some poor innocent passer-by in to show him the meter much to his bewilderment.

The new water meter.


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