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Tuesday 11th June, 2013
Category: 2013/06
Tags: mice

My sister will absolutely kill me when she reads this... Sis, I'll buy you a HUGE choccy cream eclair to make up for blabbing!

We've had a little bit of a mouse problem here when they found their way into the big bag of bird peanuts and happily munched away for goodness knows how long before we discovered the problem.  So for the past week or so we've been baiting traps with Toffee Crisp (the mice cannot resist it) and have so far caught 7.  Some are much cleverer than others and have figured out how to lift the sweetie off the trap without triggering it, so we arranged a barrier of tupperware boxes around one trap so that in theory the mouse is forced to stand on the snappy bit in order to get the food.

This morning there came the familiar bang of a trap going off accompanied unfortunately by some nasty squealing.  I waited for a while hoping the little life would soon be extinguished and then listened outside the cupboard door.  No such luck.  The trap was definitely being dragged slowly around amid more tiny squeals.  The wretched thing was refusing to die.  I summoned the courage to peek round the door and discovered that the tiny little mouse had been caught by one of its feet and was staring at me in dark beady eyed panic. What to do; whack it over the head with a hefty stick or let it go? Guess which I opted for.  I managed to scoop it into one of the boxes and carried it as far up the garden as possible. As soon as the bar on the trap was lifted it scarpered off through the fence and away.

I'm now wondering how I will cope if I ever have chickens (which one day I plan to do).  If I can't deal with dispatching tiny vermin how will I manage with a big fluffy clucky hen which has loyally provided me with delicious eggs for a couple of years!  I can see me ending up with a garden full of hundreds of retired chickens.

Thursday 6th June, 2013
Category: 2013/06
Tags: language slang

Being a big social networking geek (okay, I know how to post a picture on Facebook) I've been taking note of how Bulgarians interact on Facebook, Twitter and the like.  Two major things crop up: frequent slang (and some very tasty new phrases) and the use of non-Bulgarian letters. So I thought I'd list a few of the things I've discovered so that the next time your elderly neighbour texts you and says '6e bade mn gore6t dnes, iska6 li da otidem nqkade po studeno, be?' you'll know exactly what to reply! First the strange new networking alphabet and abbreviations:

q = я (ya)

4 = ч (ch) This at least makes sense as the word for 4 is четири

6 = ш (sh) Again from the word for 6 - шест

​a can be а or ъ

g can be ж or г

c = ц

I can see your face falling... "But I've just spent two years mastering the Cyrillic alphabet in printed AND hand-written forms" I hear you wail.  It gets worse.

There are completely shortened words.

Words such as какъв, какво, какви are shortened to къф, кво, кви

mn = много (very/ many)

Very often two words will be written as one if that's how they sound when spoken, so да не becomes dane

​I like to think of it as changing from Windows 95/98/2000/Vista/7 to Windows 8. If you like Sudoko, crosswords, word searches and so on, then you'll thrill to the challenge I'm sure.

Now for the slang.  Well I'm still building up a supply of these, but one of the most common so far has been бе/бре which can be used at the end of a sentence and vary depending on context and intonation.  The friendly version would be something like 'Julie бе! Long time no see! How you doing me old china?'

Another common one is ...където ти подарих (where I gave you??) which should be които ти подарих (which I gave you)

Add some native speakers as friends on Facebook and browse through their timelines and see how much you can figure out.

What?  I promised tasty new phrases?  Shame on you! Oh,okay then...

Къф (remember the shortened words) човек трябва да си за да се ебаваш с брат си, докато той е мъртво пиян !!!

Hey, I never said I'd translate it for you too!



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