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Friday, 9 May 2014

Everything has gone green

The countryside has changed a lot over the past week, helped along by the damp spring. The yellow of the rape has gone as it starts to ripen and turns green again, the trees are mostly green now with the odd one, as acacia, still having flowers. The brown fields are sprouting maize and the barley ears are standing proud. Flowers are appearing all over the place, as are insects. As our garden is much tidier this year we don't seem to have the singing crickets we hear when we go out with the cameras.

Wild rose

Little daisies

Some sort of thistle

Orchids, about two feet tall


Smart little moth

We have not been able to get near the river where we usually go to watch kingfishers, but we had a wander round the lakes near the next village and found a small colony of bee eaters and a distant pair of grebe which refused to dance for us, so presumably they are getting on with making a home. The day was made when a booted eagle put on a display, just about in range of Dave's camera. lovely.
Red backed shrike

A pair of crested grebe

Ortolan bunting

Reed warbler

Crested lark
Bee eaters

Booted eagle

The young chickens have gone to a lovely new home. They have moved up to a very small mountain village with the most breathtaking views. Not that they will bother! We spent a lovely day chatting with their new owner, meeting her dogs, cats, chickens, donkeys and horse. We looked around her two houses, both lovely but the one she is living in is stunning, with a huge chunky oak balcony which is perfect for taking in the views. It seems she has amazing sightings of wildlife, especially in winter when the surrounding forest drops it's leaves. This is the sort of place we were looking at when we first started ogling the properties for sale on the internet, before sense kicked in and we admitted that a village property lower down was much more sensible should Dave need to go back to the UK for any reason and leave me on my own, and also so that it is possible to get out of the village in an emergency in winter. We do not, for one minute, regret our decision. And now we have an invitation to go and stay whenever we want to, which is wonderful, but we couldn't take the dogs so will not be taking the offer up. But it is less than an hour away. Not only did she buy our chicks, but she also bought some cards and gave us cheddar cheese and walnuts to take away. What a lovely day, and we also gained some valuable information about living here from someone who has been here years.

Back home things are marching on. The potatoes are flowering, good news as we want them to flower before we are attacked by the dreaded Colorado beetle. We have strawberries ripening, though they are not the large ones we are used to. There are roses breaking bud, but they have a greenfly problem. Out and about there are huge bushes of early yellow roses everywhere. Our yukka has got two flower spikes, the ants will love them. We are managing to get something a bit different from the garden, the herbs are going mad, we have had pea shoots to go in our salad, Yum! We had some small beets and there are some carrots not far off. The courgettes will be edible soon, so we will not need to buy any more. We have had our first pick of young spinach, a lovely change from chard.
Rose bud with welcome friend


Growing peach

A little goldfinch singing in the garden

Courgette flower

And a muddy courgette
Our first pick of baby spinach

The goslings are growing at a heck of a rate. they follow Dave or Bella everywhere given the chance, but as they are getting bigger the 'lawn' is only available when we can supervise as they are tasting everything, including the flower plants we have nurtured from seed. Dave is taking them out on to the lane regularly to graze until they are big enough thet they can't squeeze through the fence at the end of the garden where the shumens are.
We wanna be togevver......

The chicks are all going out now. The last of the hatchings from this year means there are six to go out into the nursery. Cagney is getting more and more anxious as her little ones try to be more independent, going through the chicken fence to the peas and beans....much to the disgust of the ex-batts who are desperate to get out there. I hope they don't realise they can fly!
The egg on the right is large...the other...ouchy!

We had a night round at Jordan and Veka's the other day, it was St George's day, an important day in the life of farmers and smallholders in Bulgaria. Our British neighbours were also invited. It was a lovely evening but came on the same day that we had been out, and I had been up since 4.30 so I was a tad tired by the time we got to bed! Venka showed us some of their wedding photographs, and also a photo of a very young and handsome Jordan, at nineteen, making him 73 years old. We took them some of our fudge, vanilla and chocolate, which went down a storm with the sweet toothed Bulgarians.
One of Venka's famous frothy coffees, far too sweet for me

Next week we should be getting our bees. The hive was delivered a couple of weeks ago, it is in a fetching (!) shade of lilac. Our builder came round to interperate for us, but will not be around when the bees arrive which will be interesting as the beekeeper does not speak any English. Dave is doing lots of reading while he watches the goslings, and watching YouTube too.
In the kitchen I am enjoying using the freshest of herbs and salad. There is nothing as nice as sitting outside with a mostly home grown dinner, in this case, a frittata with some of our gifted cheddar, herbs, onion and garlic from the garden and our own eggs, salad leaves, land cress and pea shoots with a tomato from the morning's market, home made herb bread (parsley, chervil, fennel, thyme,garlic and rosemary) and minty yoghurt.

And because we needed to use eggs (honestly!) a lovely lemon surprise pudding. Yum!

And finally, a picture of the feed merchant's dog with her blue ear tag to show she has been spayed.


  1. Love hearing about your life, thank you for writing such an interesting blog.

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment once again Maggie.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Hi Gosia.
      What a lovely message, and from someone living in one of my favourite counties of GB. We are thrilled that your parents are enjoying the blog and yes, courage is needed , I would say a lot more if you have family to think about it. But it has certainly been a wonderful, if exhausting, experience so far and I hope it continues for a long while yet. I will be delighted to answer any questions your parents may have if I can, but please don't be offended if I don't give out my private email address at this time as we have had some odd people contact us in the past. Likewise it is probably not a good idea to post your/your parents address on a public site. As I say, I really don't want to offend anyone, especially when you write such nice things. I hope you understand. Regards, Sara

    2. Sure, of course. As soon as I'll get a list of questions from my parents, i'll post them straightaway. Thanks a lot for a quick answer, my mum is very excited haha. Have a good evening, i'll be in touch.

    3. Thank you for your understanding. Look forward to hearing from you.

  3. I deleted my email from the message, but here it is - reposted just with a small change. :)

    Hello! I'm a Polish girl studying in England-> Cumbria. My parents have discovered your blog recently and are absolutely in love with it! Since many years they've been thinking of starting a new life in Bulgaria. I guess your example may give them courage to make a change :)
    Best wishes and I'm looking forward to you answer-
    Gosia Gnyp