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Monday, 6 April 2015


The opening of the art exhibition seems to have gone off pretty well. Dave, John, Diana and Carol took their paintings (or textiles in Diana's case) the day before so they could be hung in a room all to themselves at the entrance to the gallery. There wasn't quite enough room for all of them as John had let his creativeness run away with him and had too many pictures, but most were found a space without compromising the others.
An almost bright start to the day

Absolutely no idea why this was written in trees on a hill.......

Dave decided to dress smart for the day and had sectioned his speech to let himself know he had to take a breath occasionally and off we went. A buffet with wine and beer was being set up as we arrived and though we were a bit early, interviews were already taking place for TV coverage so Dave didn't have any more time to worry and was ushered in to talk to them.

Talking to the telly people

John's wall, interspersed with Diana's textiles

Carol's wall

There was then a break while everyone was gathered and the ribbon cut to let us in for a look and the artists lined up for speeches. I have to say Dave stood out in his suit, even the Mayor of Ruse was dressed casually. So Diana (who is Bulgarian ) said something, then the Mayor, then Dave was cued, but before he could say anything another British person started to speak, no idea who he was but in the end Dave had all that nervousness for nothing as this chap said rather a lot and people were getting twitchy and talking amongst themselves. He was very relieved.
John's intended, Pearl, setting up the buffet

Dave, Carol, John and someone. Diana and the Mayor of Ruse, and the gallery manager

Carol was given flowers, lovely

Eventually here was a stampede for food and drink and we had time to admire the others' works. Carol does encaustic wax art ( wax on an iron to make pictures) and they are lovely. Diana does sculptures in textile, very clever. Dave and John both do wildlife and animals but in very different styles. Carol was the first to sell anything, with a friend of our's buying a picture for her husband (she has had a few commissions from Dave in the past) and Dave sold his lovely long picture of snoozing rhinos which I loved, very atmospheric. As requested by the buyer Dave was happy to donate 20% of the asking price to George Adamson's Wildlife Preservation Trust

We will have to wait for some links to the TV and radio interviews, no idea if we will ever see them as we do not have Bulgarian TV. And we have no idea what is happening about sales. We will find out in due course.

So now that all the excitement is over it is back to reality. The money for the painting went towards two new tyres for the car, the balancing was not right and we had a bald patch so that is now fixed. Went shopping while we were out and bought some English goodies from Lidl, brought in for Easter, so have mature cheddar and sea salted butter for a while, then went on to Kaufland and stocked up on wild garlic to make pesto to have in the freezer...yum. Very handy for a quick pasta or pizza topping through summer...and very nice with cottage cheese to give it a whack of flavour. I didn't use a recipe (no surprise there!) but whizzed up the leaves with lemon zest, almonds and hard cheese (some hard Manchego that had been forgotten and a bit of peccorino) and a glug or two of olive oil. I wanted it quite firm to freeze in tablespoon sized blobs.

Dave has managed to get into the garden and sort out trenches for the tomatoes while it is dry. It is, admittedly, early, but you just don't know what the weather will do. Today we have had torrential rain, with the poor people being flooded out again and snow in the capital, Sofia. So he is feeling pleased (though tired) that he did so much.

I am hoping, as the ground is definitely warming, that the seeds planted last week will germinate with the rain. The second sowing of peas are already up and the few I sowed indoors are well away and covered in flowers. The water bottles got blown off a couple of the courgettes which meant some shrivelled leaves, but the centre of the plants are fine and are growing new leaves already.

Two new signs of spring have appeared this week. Our village stork is back, probably wondering why as it crouches down on the nest away from a bitter wind, and Dave saw a couple of swallows.

After the success of the sprouted wheat, Dave has built a frame to take four or five trays of sprouts to keep the birds happy when the weather is too dry to sens up shoots in their pen. It was handy to throw in to the houses when we had to shut them all in when we were at the exhibition. All we have to do is find somewhere for it away from Bella...she loves sprouting wheat!

And now for the kitty lovers, Splash is recovering his movement at last. It got so bad he had to have injections every day. Such a sad little man he was. But he spent a lot of time lying by the fire (lit just for him) and is now pretty mobile again, though not yet jumping. We think that he has maybe been climbing the wood pile as he loves the shed for hunting, and a log has fallen on his back, giving him bruises. He is still a bit sore on his front paw too, but that doesn't stop him from suddenly appearing under my feet! Hopefully this week will see him mended.



  1. Lets hope a couple of paintings are sold before the end of the exhibition, but then if no more are sold it will save me having to paint the walls in the house (haha)

    I have added a page to my website at that lists all the details of each of the paintings currently being exhibited at Ruse Art Gallery.

  2. Congrats and I hope some more paintings are sold. Must have made a nice change from your normal day to day self sufficient type life! Glad to hear that Splash is improving, and that your veggies are growing.

    Isn't it funny how you think salted butter is a treat? I've been buying unsalted for decades, but when we moved to Brittany 90% of butter sold here is salted with sea salt made in this region, so we sometimes have to look hard to find unsalted! I only buy salted to put on asparagus, and the few times I had successful sweet corn crops (which I've given up bothering to try to grow, as they have so many diseases here, and get pecked by birds)!