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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year

We would like to wish all our readers a Happy New Year and hoping for a healthy and prosperous 2014. And I hope you will all stay with us as we continue into winter with not much to report.

Well, into the new year and it seems I am turning sociable. I have to say we thoroughly enjoyed the village do.When we arrived we greeted like good friends and shown the tables by the woodburner which had been reserved for the English contingent. We paid 6lev each for our do, but how they managed to cover their costs is beyond me. There were bottles of pop on the tables and a huge bread roll to go with a meal. We bought our own alcohol though there was a bar, and the wine our neighbour gave us for Christmas was just the thing (even I had some). There was also a band. I have to say the village hall has seen better days, but the atmosphere was great.

The day kicked off with a welcome speech and this was translated by a young girl into English which was very kind. Soon there was a smell of cooking and the meal was served. Good job I took something with me....

Then the dancing began and it was lovely. The steps looked simple enough but ex-pats who had been there years said they were very difficult to pick up. It was nice to see everybody having a good time and they were keen to see the Brits join in. And they did and were patiently shown what to do.
We had all bought home made draw tickets and the draw began while the band had a rest. The prizes may not have been the expensive items we may have seen in the UK, and were predominantly packets of herbs, sweet bars and toothpicks, but the excitement was priceless, from the Bulgarians and the Brits (who won an embarrassing amount)
Our winnings, a pack of poppy seeds, a pack of bay leaves and a citrus juicer
A friend dancing with her Bulgarian neighbour, a really lovely picture.

Zoom in (real dimensions: 1024 x 768)

There was another speech wishing the village a happy and healthy new year, then the dancing started again. I don't know where they get their energy! Dave was a little the worse for wear by this time and decided he would like a go at the dancing (not his forte!) He is tall so has long legs which refused to be controlled. But one of the men generously sent his daughter to try to sort him (and another Brit) out which she tried to do while he watched anxiously. The rest of the dancers split off to give them space, and all did their dance in a line. I managed to get a video to show Dave this morning and he was touched at how they had tried to help. The video is hilarious!


This is the link to the video, it's worth watching till the end where the Bulgarian chap takes a photo. Love to know why!
At the end the band played a couple of British songs at which time I had to leave to shut the chickens in. But it was a lovely experience, the villagers are generous in every way, with their patience, their drink (hic...)and their welcome of the newbies (us)

Dave unfortunately burned his hand while putting wood on the fire...not a good idea when the worse for drink, and it has turned quite nasty.
On a sad note, when the couple who live next door went home they were approached by a large dog which worried them. But the next day there was an old GSD dead on the lane. It was in good condition and I hate to think that he might have been someone's loved pet asking for help. It seems he was poisoned and has been just left. So terribly sad.

In the garden we have had a new bird. It was a lesser spotted woodpecker, which was sharing a tree with a greater spotted woodpecker. That makes three with the Syrian, and we would love to see a green.....

The veg still in the garden is looking very sorry for itself and we are realising why the villagers do not have winter veg. We have had a spell of prolonged sharp frosts, but the days have been really sunny and mild so defrosting the surface and the cabbage etc. The only things still looking OK are a few lettuce and some chard under the protection of a wall. The sprouting broccoli still has sprouts, the cabbage is rotting and the kale is....deadish.

On a good note there are sprouts coming on the onions and the anemones are coming up.

The little greenhouse we brought out has gone up where the pool was, but it is a bit early to sow most things. However, with a mild January forecast we will sow some broad beans, peas and sweet peas. If they don't survive February we will start again.
We had visitors for lunch today, our first since being here. I did pastries to supply stodgy carbohydrates, veg for vitamins and sugar for energy. They had been out the night before for New Year (we didn't, because of the dogs and fireworks) and we told them to turn up when they felt up to it. They left with full tummies, a goody bag and in good spirits. It was a lovely day.
And finally, a pic of Bonnie lab checking out the fridge. It must be torture for the dogs with all the lovely smells wafting around the kitchen. But they don't thieve, they are so good.


  1. Great blog, I'll be back. Ilona

  2. just found your blog via Ilona.

    Gill in Canada

  3. I also found your blog through Meanqueen, thoroughly enjoying it, I am drooling at the lovely veg and all the walnuts and beautiful, plentiful food! What a wonderful life to be living, you must be very happy! Thank you for sharing it.

    1. Hi Lucy, lovely of you to comment. Yes we are happy and we have never had so much (mostly) healthy food to hand. We are really looking forward to the year ahead, I am sure there will be frustrations as well as successes. Watch this space!

  4. A great bit of music and dancing, it is very similar in sound and style to some of the Greek village entertainment... which is a particular favourite of mine. Where in Bulgaria are you, is it near the Greek border?

    1. This style of entertainment suits me in my old age too...not that I can dance, I can barely hobble. But I love to watch the generations get together, nobody minding what sex they are dancing with, all having a great community celebration...even if smiling is not a priority! Our neighbour is truly amazing the way she can skip about for hours at 70+

      Unfortunately we are not near the border with Greece, we are in central Bulgaria near Veliko Tarnovo, a very rural village but a lively one. I don't yet miss my annual Greek holiday, this life is just fine without it, but I do miss going out for a meal occasionally....preferably Greek!