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)
May 2018 (2)
April 2018 (4)
March 2018 (3)
February 2018 (3)
January 2018 (4)
December 2017 (3)
November 2017 (1)
October 2017 (2)
All Diary Entries

NEW SITE!

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.

DIARY ENTRIES JULY 2018 ONWARDS

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

2018/04
Thursday 26th April 2018
Category: 2018/04
Tags: dentist chicken doctor

Dentists in any language are never a pleasant experience, well, not the dentists themselves but rather the weapons they deploy reminiscent of that scene from Marathon Man... Is it safe..?

Last week I finally got round to having one of my crowns checked out as the gum next to it was a bit sore, and it turned out (not surprisingly) that I had an astonishing build up of plaque which was causing the gum troubles. So I agreed to return today for a clean and polish. My concern is that maybe it's the plaque which is the only thing holding my teeth together, and as the dentist tied the big plastic sheet round my neck I began to wonder how much shrapnel would come flying out of my mouth once she got to work.

I needn't have worried so much. Other than a couple of sensitive teeth (I think I left fingerprints in the arm rests) the procedure went okay though once more I forgot to take a tissue with me to help make the frequent spitting into the little basin less of a slobbery matter. I've been instructed to continue brushing with Paradontax toothpaste, which tastes disgustingly like soap and is full of gritty bits, but will hopefully help stop the gum problem from returning.

As I handed over my 50 levs (cleaning isn't covered by the health scheme) she asked me if I wanted a prescription for antibiotics. What is it with this country and its addiction to antibiotics? They seem to be dished out like Smarties for all occasions, regardless of the current worldwide professional opinion that such overuse will eventually lead to their ineffectiveness. Needless to say I declined.

It's been a bit of a medical fortnight what with the dentist, vaccines for some of the pets, and my thyroid check up. For the first time here they actually did an ultrasound check on my thyroid gland as well as the usual blood tests before adjusting my medication slightly. I must make an effort to go back in six months like I'm supposed to instead of getting carried away playing in the garden and forgetting for a year or more. I got used to being mollycoddled in the UK with a nice letter arriving from the hospital saying 'an appointment has been made...'

Much less medical care and attention has been lavished on next door's cockerel, who has developed some sort of foot problem causing it to limp, and therefore secure its place as chief guest at the next chicken stew convention. Imagine my horror when my neighbour calls me over to help despatch said cockerel as her arthritis means her neck-wringing days are over. Being more chicken than the actual chickens I refused, but out of curiosity I find myself peering over the fence each day to see if I can spot the cockerel, or if some braver soul has been there to put him out of his misery.

Wednesday 18th April 2018
Category: 2018/04
Tags: car boot sale retaining wall veggies bugs

Last Sunday we had the first car boot sale in Gostilitsa, down on the stadium field. It's part of our ongoing efforts to raise funds for this year's HorsePower Festival on September 1st, and we actually had a great turn out of both sellers and buyers.

I had my own little stall with a few bits, out of which the plants proved to be most popular, especially the veggies.

Intriguingly, the guy who had been annoyed about my dog walking the other day, came over all smiles, shook my hand, bought the sander off me, and was very jolly and chatty. In my heart I like to believe this was an olive branch, but either way it feels very good to know I haven't made a mortal enemy in the village.

The retaining wall project is now complete, and I'm thrilled at how it turned out in the end (actually, I'm mostly thrilled that I can't make the bricks move when I try and push on them).

It's been planted up with a few herbs and strawberries which will hopefully take off and trail all over the sides to hide the bricks. If not, I might just give them a good scrub with a wire brush and slap a couple of coats of white paint on (the bricks tha is, not the plants!)

There's been a bumper crop of these little red firebugs this year, and they've taken to having mating parties all over my remaining winter cabbages, happily sitting there, bum to bum and chomping on the leaves:

Someone gave me a load of old net curtains last summer, so I've salvaged the good bits and had a go at wrapping the cabbages. I shall probably find that I've just cocooned the bugs inside where they can eat to their hearts' content without fear of predation from birds or other wildlife.

One cabbage has been left unwrapped, and if all goes to plan, that will be the sacrificial decoy.  I'm trying to plan my planting a bit better this year regarding companion planting, and have made a big list of which of my veggies do and don't get along. It turns out the spuds are surprisingly fussy, and will only tolerate my beans, but other things have been matched up in the veggie area. I'm most excited to see what my red sweetcorn turns out like - hopefully juicy and tasty!

To see pictures from today's blog, click here.

 

 

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.

 

 

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