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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Spring is emerging

At last we are seeing colour in the garden, and it really lifts the spirits. Admittedly there isn't much, but the cornel is in full bloom now, much to the relief of the bees. Now they can leave the chicken feed for a proper bee zone. We also have a lot of violets and dead nettle coming out, the anemone blanda have started to open too and anemone de caen has buds. Unfortunately not too many of either have come up, so may have to put more in next year.
The bees are happy with the flowering cornel

A couple of the many violets

Red nettle

Anemone blanda

Anemone de caen

We went out the other day and the difference in the fields is amazing, they have gone emerald with new growth and trees are starting to break bud, but unfortunately it was a miserable dingy day. We called in at the river for the first time in months and saw lots of herons, birds of prey, flocks of LBJs, egrets, cormorants and some small divers who wouldn't hang about for the camera. Neither camera coped with the poor light very well, but we really must try to use more than the auto setting!

The sun started to show itself on the way home
Fuzzy kestrel

Fuzzy heron

Fuzzy goldfinches

Dave looking longingly at the river. It's getting on for a year since he enjoyed a swim

Love the light on the water


Baba Marta day, the first of March, was a beautiful day as befits the first day of spring. We had seven martenitsi each, which really makes us feel accepted. They were from the neighbours and other villagers, and also a friend of Venka's who lives in the town. So now they proceed to get grubby until we see a stork. All the neighbours took advantage of the weather to gather on the lane for a much missed chinwag.

Baba Danke gave us a new pair of slipper socks each

Yesterday was the celebration of Bulgaria's independence from Ottoman rule in 1878, so we went round to the neighbour's to toast Bulgaria, eat pizza (just after dinner) drink rakia and coffee and have a good giggle. It's a hard life!

And today, another lovely day, Dave went to town to pay the miuicipality and car taxes, which have gone down slightly since last year, a snip at 85 pounds for the year. He came back with four large pelargoniums which cost two pounds each, then went into Veliko Tarnovo to pick up the frames he had ordered for the art exhibition next month. One of the artists has pulled out very close to the date which has meant a scramble to find another British artist to exhibit. The chap organising it has gone to a lot of trouble to get this thing going with TV and papers set to report, it's a shame that it was put in jeopardy for no apparent reason. Never mind, we have a new exhibitor with a very different style so it's all systems go.

Dave went over the chook pen with the rotovator today too which made for very happy ducks and chickens. they have gone to bed full of worms and things, so should be some extra tasty eggs tomorrow.

On the subject of ducks, I felt really sorry for Spotty the other day. She and Spt (still no names) were quite happily having a lovely bath when they were spotted by the gang of five and ousted from the pool. Spotty has new feathers coming through and hadn't finished he ablutions, so she made her ponderous way to the water bowl and finished off there. Bless her, she needs her beauty regime.

Today was also a big day for the cat, He graduated into a fully fledged farm cat when he was found playing with a dead mouse....and he had such fun that Bella had to join in....which set Bonnie off (briefly) Amazing what a bit of sun can do!
In the kitchen I have made the first batch of jam of the year. Dave had run out and I had some mixed berries in the freezer so he is OK for a while,. Next week we must go through the jars and find out if we have enough to make some jam and/or chutney. Unfortunately our man is not at the market yet and the only one selling jars has second hand of all different sizes.

I am desperately trying to keep up with the eggs at the moment but are still having to give some away. We are getting up to ten a day now that the weather has warmed up a bit.

Made some yummy bread today (we have been busy!) just the same recipe but flavoured and have plenty in the freezer for a week and a load of tasty cheese and onion, garlic and herb, wholegrain and oat and plain rolls ready to whip out for soup etc. The freezer is looking empty so a few more sessions will fill it up a bit and keep us going when too busy to make any.
The loaves aren't burnt honest, just a bad photo.


  1. those loaves of bread look good. Everything seems to be waking up after a long Winter at your place. Still lots of snow here.

    1. It certainly is Gill..but we have a few cm of snow forecast on Friday and showers for a few days. Still, we'll get there. As will you. I just love this time of year

  2. Its lovely to see all the flowers coming after such a hard winter and your cat is certainly going to earn his keep now! And you are inspiring me to get baking for the freezer, I've been putting it off and putting it off. Can't wait to see what you are going to be planting!

    1. I must keep baking....if I don't i'll give the eggs away and there is no point having chickens and not using them myself! Haha Found out recently that lemon curd freezes well too, so I suppose other fruit curds will. Watch this space!

      Snow returned over night and we still have weather warnings though it has now thawed and made sludgy mud. Should be the last of the bad weather though. Soon be moaning about the heat!