As mentioned before, the neighbours had their golden wedding anniversary party in the village hall, and we had the honour of being asked to attend, along with our English neighbours.
Venka had asked if we could make some 'sweets' like the ones we made at Christmas. I felt really honoured that she asked. I had brought some fondant icing out with us and used it on the shortbread biscuits (sweets!) at Christmas but only had a little left, so used that to make some flowers, intending to make some more using recipes from the internet.
Dave had painted a picture of a golden oriole (for the gold connection) as they are common birds over here, first doing a google search to make sure they were not unlucky! And I made them a card, sismilar to one I had made for Dave's mother which had turned out so well, and found a verse which we translated into Bulgarian.
When we arrived at the village hall to find Venka looking lovely in a dress (didn't know she had legs!) with her hair beautifully styled by our English neighbour and Jordan dapper in a blazer. Biscuits handed over we sat and watched as people arrived, many handing presents to them. The tables were groaning with bottles of pop, cans of beer, a bottle of rakia (of course!) and another of their own wine, as well as the starter of the meal which was a lovely garlic yoghurt dip with chopped walnuts and gherkin in a filo basket, and cured sausage and cheese cut like crinkle chips. Jordan and Venka were summoned to the front where the MC/DJ/Singer made a speech, Jordan said a few words (not his thing) and Venka said lots, but also thanked the four of us for coming and wished us well.
And Venka danced and danced and danced. Not just a shuffle either, but skipping and jumping, where does she get her energy from? These people are nearly (if not) 70 and they work so hard, only this week they have been digging the garden and planting, and had the sheep killed and processed, working well into the evenings.
There was then a ceremony with a lady who appeared to be some sort of registrar or simlar. There was a cloth placed on the floor and strewn with flowers, another of Venka's amazing decorated bread creations and three glasses of wine. Jordan and Venka walked over the flowers joined by a serviette (?) and the lady read out lots of words, after which they broke off a bit of bread and all three drank some wine.
And then Jordan went back to his buddies and Venka danced and danced.
And Baba Danka joined in
The main meal was served. It had been brought in by the family lads in big trays, hot, but in true Bulgarian style had been left to go tepid before being plated by the ladies. As usual, lots of meat in the form of sausage, meat patty and a chunk of the unfortunate sheep, with pickles and cold rice. After everyone had been served young Jordan, the grandson, brought my vegetarian bowl of cold potato, boiled eggs, olives and stuffed peppers. Bless Venka. Then huge bread rolls to go with.
Then Venka got up and danced and danced, as did many others, including Dave, who danced with the lady who helps with the butchering, who he sees in the village often, Baba Danka from across the lane, Venka of course, Venka's pal, and Venka's daughter, not forgetting our English neighbour. Everyone was well oiled by this time and a couple went home, including a lovely chap who Dave often chats with, who is not well.
Next it was the cutting of the cake, which was adorned with fireworks, when lit they smoked out the room. More speaches in appreciation of family including beloved son in law, very touching. More rounds of the tables and Venka danced and danced......
The singer (off the telly!) mingled and sang and Venka danced. The visitors were starting to leave so sweet was served, a plate full of goodies including our biscuits and cake the English neighbours had made.
Then Venka did the rounds with a basket of sweeties, and I left them dancing while I went off to lock the chickens in. We had arrived at noon and I left around 5.30, exhausted by laughter and emotion (I cried a lot while filming as much as I could) and feeling as if we had been embraced in a big hug by the village we call home.
Apologies for the photo quality, I was opposite a bright light and not using a flash much as I was videoing at the same time.