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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Going to market     8-6-2013
We had an offer we couldn't refuse the other day. We were asking about markets in the region and a lovely Scottish couple offered to take us and show us around one half an hour or so away. We met them in their village and had coffee and chat before we went. Trouble is there is so much to talk about when you have limited chance of conversation, and one sentence seems to spill into another, giving no chance of getting proper answers to questions.
So off we went in their car, with me in the back chattering  and Dave supposedly trying to remember which way we were going. He says he will find it again, but I remember how long it took him to find his way round Cheshire...... We were a bit late, of course, after all the talk, and it wasn't easy to park. We started with the produce stalls. Most were selling similar things, toms, cucumbers, courgettes, cherries, garlic and onions. Some had plants still for sale, and to be honest, next year I will probably buy some there when I don't need many, rather than have loads of pots everywhere. They all looked in great condition. There were few herbs, and that is what I am missing at the moment. I am sure I had some parsley, thyme and chervil seeds, but can't find them. I have planted chives and garlic chives which I use a lot of, but will have to search on line for a supplier. Need mint, sage and rosemary too. I didn't realise how much I used. The prices of things like garlic was amazing. For the equivelent of 30p you can get a bunch of five bulbs of green garlic, so much better than the supermarket dried up stuff, though they are smaller, probably due to being planted in the year they are pulled, rather than the autumn before.
Next stop was a flea market affair, where we ran into another British couple, then on to the regular market stalls seen everywhere. The last area was the chicken market, where there were day old chicks and ducklings, up to some rather sorry looking ex-batts, which I would love to have had if we hadn't already been promised some hens. If we manage to get rid of any surplus eggs we may go back for some at a later date. So all in all a very interesting trip, made easier by the lovely couple who took us there.
Next we went to pick up our car and we were off to a very tidy feed merchant for chicken feed. All the sacks neatly stacked with a picture in front to show what it was for. So much better than it being literally thown at us when we went to buy chick crumb last week. (We didn't dare ask for layer's feed after that!)  We got one 10kg sack of feed, lovely couple got a car full for their managerie! Then off across the road for buckets and feeders etc from a lovely lady who could give the hardwear shop keepers nearer home a lesson in manners and helpfulness. We will go back there when we need anything, a bit further but we can do other shopping at the same time. All in all a good day.
The village has been a hive of activity for the past couple of weeks, getting ready for their festival tomorrow.
 Lovely neighbour is also busy with church stuff and preparing for tomorrow, I don't know how she finds the hours! They are taking us with them tomorrow to attempt to show us what it is all about. The kerb stones have had a coat of white paint, every other stone. The zebra crossings have also been brightened. The fountain in the square has been scrubbed and filled, and marquees erected. Verges have been trimmed....and there are people scurrying everywhere. Such a shame that the empty buildings around the square are plastered with old posters and have broken windows. Then last night we were treated to a few hours of Bulgarian music and singing. Thankfully for these early-to-bed people they toned it right down at 10pm on the dot, though they were still at it at midnight. Time to get the cameras charged and ready.
We saw our first hoopoe in the garden today, sitting on an electricity post in the garden, with a mouthful of goodies, so must have a nest close by. Of course, no camera at the ready. It would be nice if he would pose like Wally woodpecker for his photo. They are really striking birds.
It's a bit cooler today with some cloud and a breeze, so Dave is getting on with some outside jobs, tidying up doors and windows and replacing fly netting. Bonnie has been getting all hot and bothered as she couldn't decide whether it is better to be upstairs or down, so was pacing between both areas. So we have shut the upstairs door and at last she has settled. She could do with taking a leaf out of Bella's book and chilling. Bella has surprised us both by turning into a really settled and happy girl. She loves to hunt anything that moves, as said before, and is ace at fly catching in the house (though I wish she wouldn't pounce when a fly is on my leg!) She spends a lot of time on her own, not using us or Bonnie as a security crutch, and if she goes missing she can be found under the overgrown box shrub on the 'lawn', happy with her own company, and where she can watch all areas of her territory

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