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Sunday, 14 July 2013

The tomatoes are in full flow

The tomatoes we have enjoyed when holidaying in Greece have always been something to remember, especially when getting home to hard, sour, tasteless supermarket toms. I know some people like them sharp, but not me. But when you pick them in the sun and eat them straight away, still warm, they are amazing. So juicy and sweet. We are now in processing mode with a vengeance, but after being in the city again and doing the supermarket shop on a hot day a bucket of tomatoes is not what you want to see when you get home. However, they have to be done, so the easiest thing was to skin the big ones and roast them with onion and garlic while quartering the smaller ones for dehydrating. Dave liquidised the roasted ones while I made tea then the resulting liquid was bottled for use as sauce, soup or whatever. It's nice that Dave is showing an interest in that side of things, but I suspect the process is too slow for him really.

We now have our residency cards. These are the first ones. When we went to pick them up we had to fill in yet another form, pay more money, then have our photos taken for another card. Not sure why they can't just do that in the first place, but that's Bulgaria. Why do a job all in one go when you can do the process in lots of different stages....meaning lots of visits to the dreaded city. Now we have to pick the cards up in two weeks and then start all over again to register the car.

Dave has been diligently trying to recycle the cardboard boxes we used for packing. He rips up the cardboard and soaks it before pressing it into balls and drying in the sun. Goodness knows what the neighbours think! The idea is to use them as kindling to get the fire going....when we get one.

There is no recycling here as yet, though people do put their plastic bottles, which we have a lot of, into separate bags to put out with the rubbish. At least they can be left near the bin instead of filling it. We might have whinged at the rubbish collection and recycling in the UK but out here it is dreadful. We have a large wheelie bin in each street for everyone to use, but it is only emptied once a fortnight. Once emptied it takes about an hour for it to be refilled. What I don't understand is why people have to put garden waste in there, how selfish is that? Everyone has enough garden to make a compost heap and what won't compost can be burned, usually outside the gate on the road, possibly because all the plots are walled in so if the fire spread it wouldn't burn the house down.

The cabbages are now uncovered. We came home to find the wind had distributed the polystyrene around the garden, so used our net tunnels and fleece to cover them again. Venka came over with soup and courgettes (a bucket full!) and gesticulated that they could be uncovered and watered now. They look good. really perky. But I think Dave will have to put off clearing a patch for kale and psb till they are ready to go in, or the ground might get filled again.

The beans have started to flower, so hopefully we will have some fresh veg soon, other than courgettes and aubergines. I've sown some more carrots after the others got washed away and they seem to have germinated well. They have plenty of time to grow before the weather turns cold in November. The beetroot and chard are growing away, but the chard is fighting to get through the pumpkins, which you can almost see growing.

The biting insects are driving us mad now. You can't see them, but you can feel them and they leave nice little itchy raised lumps everywhere. We are doing our best to eat as much garlic as possible, but I don't really think it helps to keep the blighters away. We seem to have (almost) sorted the flies in the house though, by using plug-ins. We still get a few, and the wasps are starting to come around, but considering the chickens are right outside we don't do badly.

Dave has been up on the roof this morning. He borrowed ladders yesterday, but decided he couldn't get to the chimney, which seems to be where the damp is coming from when we get the torrential rain. But after sleeping on it he gave it another go before breakfast and managed to silicone around the flashing. We will see how it goes.

Talking to others, it seems that this extreme weather is unusual in summer and is coming from a different direction to normal winter rain. They have all had problems with flooding in some way, though they do say that leaks are a way of life with Bulgarian houses, don't know how true it is. When we viewed the house we took particular note that there were no damp patches, so are a bit miffed about this.

Bella has taken to climbing up behind Dave on the sofa again. It is something she has done since a pup, and now, when the dogs are trying to be closest to Dave, it means they can both be as close as possible at once. If one moves over to me, they both do. If we sit together, there is a problem of how to fit everyone on, so it has to be the big sofa which came with the house.

Bella has a way of letting Dave know she wants something!


  1. At the rate you are bottling, freezing, storing etc of all the many produce you have, I think you could start exporting soon. x

  2. Loving your blog and more than just envious. Have you tried sun drying tomatoes yet?