We were thinking of locking the chickens up and going to bed the other night when we got a call from the other side of the fence, and an invitation to go over for rakia. We went round in trepidation, knowing things are never that simple. And we were right. There were seven places laid at the table in the garden, where Jordan was nodding off in the heat. Out came Venka with plates piled high with tomatoes and a scattering of olives and grated home made cheese. The best rakia was dished out (grappa) and toasts given, plus some sickly sweet strawberry(it said on the bottle) pop. We normally eat fairly early, about six thirty, as I don't sleep well with a belly full of dinner. We are sick of tomatoes now, with having to deal with so many every day, and also eating them at lunch time every day, but it would be rude not to eat them. We tried to eat slowly, spending time chatting (!) to neighbours. One did speak a few words of English, which helped things along a little. She has a son working in England so is keen to improve her language skills. Her mother lives over the road to us, a lady known as Baba Danka, who insists on talking to us in fast Bulgarian, but luckily doesn't seem to need any answers. She is quite a characterful old lady, very bent and arthritic, though still very active and can throw a log with the best of them, and who always wears a scarf and drab clothes. For this evening, though, she had got dressed up and uncovered a lovely head of dyed, healthy shiny hair. She presented us with three dahlias as a welcome to Bulgaria gesture, in a colour Mum would have loved.
The builder has been out to see what can be done about putting some internal stairs in. At the moment we have outside stairs to the bedrooms and bathrooms, which will be awkward in winter. It looks as if we can make do with a small extension to the kitchen, making the bedroom window into a door (there are two large windows) and moving the kitchen window out. We will see what the estimate says.
The weather is very hot now. The dogs are finding the nights
uncomfortable, as we are, but we don't whine and pace and pant! Putting
the fan on helps, but only if you stop pacing. Bella is not keen on
fans, when it suits. In the garden many of the plants wilt alarmingly
during the day, but we are being trusted to water now, so we know most
of them are OK. The most alarming ones are the pumpkin/squash, but they
don't get water at all. It is amazing that they can look so dead when we
go to bed, but come alive over night.