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Monday 2nd October, 2017
Category: 2017/10
Tags: snake Gostilitsa Day cricket

It's a hugely busy time for the village at the moment with lots of celebrations and new initiatives taking place. Nadya, the mayor, was awarded a decent sized budget earlier in the year for various projects around the village including the creation of an outdoor museum and (importantly for me!) repairs to the little park opposite my house. So far the workmen have put on new metal gates at the two entrances to the park and have been replacing missing sections of the metal railing fencing around the perimeter. I'm pretty sure I saw some measuring going on by the old well there, so fingers crossed it too will be repaired.

There was a big flurry of tidying up by volunteers a few weeks ago in readiness for the village celebrations. Normally it's Gostilitsa Day on the 21st September each year, but this year was going to be extra big - 'Земляческа Среща' - which sort of means back to your roots. The idea is for anyone with connections to the village, even though they may be living far away now, should return on this day to celebrate their origins. So it was decided to hold the event on the 22nd September which is a national holiday (therefore no one would be working) and also a Friday which suits people better.

The area in front of the community centre became a huge stage for the opening speeches, folk singers and dancers and later on even a local pop star - Zdravko - and a laser show!

As you can see from his umbrella, the weather was dismal and pretty much rained the entire day which was a huge shame, but luckily there was a tented area in the square by the food stalls so there was some shelter for visitors. Even the rain couldn't put a damper on spirits though as everyone joined in the huge 'horo' dances in the square.

The next big event will be over the weekend of 13th-15th October when it's GostFest. On the 13th will be a demonstration cricket match between locals and the team from the National Sports Academy in Sofia. So far we've had two practice sessions with one more to go before the big day.

I've enjoyed having a little go too, and after practising 'bowling' fallen peaches into the compost bin I can now overarm bowl in the vague direction of the wickets. Not only that I managed to clip the ball on several occasions when it was my turn to bat. A far cry from those awful days of school PE lessons! Luckily there seem to be enough much stronger guys around to make up a team, so on the day I can just cheer from the sidelines.

The sun's shining at the moment but it is most definitely autumnal with the plants starting to die off and the chilly feel to the air in the morning. A bit different to even a week ago when I was still having to water the garden every other day due to the heat. It was during one such watering session when a little movement amongst the plants revealed this chap:

It was only when I studied him more closely that I realised he'd actually tried to squeeze through the tiny gaps in the netting and got himself well and truely stuck.

Luckily for me his head was caught up, so I could gingerly work my way along from the tail end, snipping his little body free. It was quite tricky at times trying to create enough space to get the scissors between his body and the netting as I was so worried about snipping him by mistake, but eventually we got there. He wasn't keen as I got closer to his head and started hissing quite a lot, so there was the nervy moment when I had my fingers quite near his mouth for that final snip to freedom. As soon as he felt himself being released he shot off under the compost heap again, hopefully having learned his lesson about the netting.

And finally, the renovations to the heating are all finished, and the stove was fitted along with the new pipes last week. After a quick lick of paint to the floor to spruce it all up it was time to fire up the stove and bask in the cosy glow:

Bring it on, winter!


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