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Saturday, 20 December 2014

Christmas creeps up on us

Last Christmas was very low key and very enjoyable. No working long hours till exhausted, no spending too much money on food and presents. Lots of good wishes and the occasional drink with theneighbours.Lovely.

This year is a bit different as sadly one of our rear neighbours was taken ill and we have no idea what has happened. As we don't speak good Bulgarian and no-one speaks English, it is difficult to make enquiries as there is a real fear of misunderstanding and the possibility of inadvertantly putting your foot in it. We don't all seek each other out all the time and mostly just exchange pleasantries and wish good health and happiness for the coming year. Not sure what to do.

I thought we were going to do without a tree with having the kitten into everything, but Dave loves his tree, so we have taken a chance and tied it to the table. Splash and Bella helped in their own special ways, and even Bonnie was moved to check out the annoying singing and bouncing Santa. We are here most of the time so hopefully Splash won't have too much time to get into trouble. But he is very persistant!

Well tied down

So this weekend we will be marzipaning then icing the two cakes, the small one for Venka and Jordan....not sure what they will make of it, and will probably give it to the daughter so everyone can have some. The larger one for us and a slice or two for other neighbours. We will be giving mince pies and decorated shortbread to all the neighbours, the post office and milk lady (and man )

When Dave went to the post office the other day they had calendars and a tree with decorations on a table, and taking pride of place in the centre was the Christmas card we made for them last year, bless them.The post lady always makes a point of stopping and chatting when we are at car boot sales, she is interested in what we do.


We are looking forward to our meal, all home grown except for potatoes, flour etc and milk. The sprouts are looking good, if small, parsnips and broad beans in the freezer, nut roast waiting to be thrown together on the side at this moment (our own walnuts, onion, carrot, leek and herbs) Dave's goose breast and home made stuffing, bread sauce, apple sauce and medlar jelly. Followed by raspberry trifle made with the raspberries from the rakia and some frozen ones from the garden, fresh egg custard (the girls are still laying) and top of the milk cream, might make some meringues to have by as I have masses of egg whites frozen. Christmas pud sent by our friend in the UK, Nigel, So much stuff.

Frosty sprout tops, delicious. We have high hopes for the sprouts themselves

Dave had a wander into town the other day to pay the electricity, and while there accidentally found a Christmas card written in both English and Bulgarian. He says he couldn’t make me one as I am always around (!) Anyway, it’s a lovely card and I don’t know why people say they can’t get a decent one. It was a bit expensive maybe, but if a small shop in a small market town can go to the trouble to stock them we are happy to buy an occasional one, even though I make so many.

A winning scratchcard in the card...about 80p
We had a parcel from the UK recently (actually, two in one week, one from the craft suppliers)  We knew what part of it was, and because of this we decided to open that bit and keep the other box to open on Christmas Day, it will be the only one and all the more special for that, even if it were just a box of tissues! The parcel we knew about was a frame to make a shade for the standard lamp. We had to leave the old one behind as it got left off the removal van and we couldn’t fit it in the car. Since then we have made do with a paper one as a temporary measure, but awful though it was, we have never got round to doing anything about getting a new one....besides ogling after a couple that someone bought at a car boot sale. So, eighteen months later we have a lamp shade. Dave bought some fabric while in town...possibly  made for tablecloths or something as it had scalloped edges. A couple of metres cost 12 leva, less than a fiver, amazing value for such nice fabric, with plenty left for a couple of cushion covers. Bargain!
Bargain fabric
 Picture overload

The finished shade
Splash thought the old shade was for him, and spent a good hour playing in it. He is having a busy week, and is sleeping better as a result. With the sun out and doors open he is always running in and out, playing with an imaginary friend and climbing trees.

Cat basket
Dave has been under the weather. He had a cough and cold which went, only for it to return and settle on his chest. He’s feeling a bit brighter now thank goodness. He feels he should sleep downstairs so he doesn’t keep me awake, so has been staying down after letting the dogs out in the early hours....not that they need to go out, he always lets them out if he gets up. Trouble is if I do go back to sleep I don’t wake until seven which puts my whole day out. Five is quite late enough! It was seven when I got up this morning, but when I went out to the chickens there was an amazing sun rise. I gave Dave my camera with instructions to take some photos while he was walking the dogs and he obliged.

While he was at it he took a photo of the Christmas lights in the village. Minimalist they are! Hahaha.

The chickens are looking well, and with tomorrow being the shortest day we are hoping it will not be too long before the non-layers start again. There is still most of the winter to come, but combs are reddening and Sevi is getting friskier in the warm sunny days, which already seem longer without the murky, damp mornings. I think 21 December is possibly my favourite date of the year, when we are looking forward to spring, distant though it may be.
Dave has made the shed door into a stable door, we can have it open without letting chooks in/dogs out while out there

They have most of the garden to play in...but would rather stick close to a food source!

Cagney, looking fluffy

Chubba with her new coat.....

....with a full set of new bloomers

Sevi is looking splendid again

Quite a difference in size

The inside of the tiny 'wind' egg
And just to be annoying, we have had a few of these lately...don't they ever give it a rest? This one will not be bothering us again

 Sorry about the kitten overload....these are just a few that we have taken, like when Bella was a pup, we don't want to miss a thing


  1. Your cat pictures cracked me up xx

    1. Thank you. He is hilarious but I guess most kittens are. The trouble is deciding which ones to use which is why non cat lovers might be a bit bored when I put too many on

  2. Love the cat pix, so typical lol. The new shade looks very classy. And the sunrise pictures are incredible.

    1. Thank you. I think we may now have one for next year's Christmas card, naughty kitten!

  3. Merry Christmas! I can never get enough cute kitty pics and that first one where he's snuggled up under Dave's bum is hysterical! Great work with the lampshade too - it looks very posh. And your sunset pics are really pretty. :-)

    1. And a merry Christmas to you too. I hope you are feeling well enough to enjoy some of the holiday