|Venka, Yordan, Dave and Helen off to market|
|Supper with the neighbours, starting with pickles and rakia, then cold baked carp and chips and rakia (you get the picture) chunks of ham, then the still warm chocolate brownies I made which always go down a storm,|
|Yordan showing off his Liverpool scarf and hat brought back from the UK|
We have been continuing to enjoy sunny days, warm enough for those from the UK to want to sit outside for meals, and cold nights, close to freezing. But the fire is practically cooking us! Autumn is definitely here, with the colours of the trees deepening and the garden plants which are not happy in cold keeling over. We will enjoy the days for as long as we can with our visitors not able to get enough of our lovely Bulgarian sun.
|Home produced frittata, salad, bread and pickles in the sun|
We have cleared the main garden apart from the few over wintering veggies. The onions and garlic are growing strongly, cabbages hearting up well, sprouts ....well...maybe we will get some. One of the two kale plants has been decimated by cabbage white caterpillars but hopefully there is time for it to come back before it gets too cold, and the broccoli is looking strong. What we get from these plants will depend on how low, and how long, the temperatures go down. We have moved the chard which did not bolt, and the English celery (it was in the way) and the leeks are up and either processed or standing in water. The latter Bulgarian giants have suffered in the plot, they came up with little root and many had bites out of them. The English ones in the shade fared a bit better, but were not huge. The peppers and beans have gone to the goats. We have dug up the sweet potatoes and were pleasantly surprised at the yields, some were huge. But unfortunately the crickets have had a field day and left them with many healed pock marks, though the potatoes themselves are OK inside. We will definitely give them another go, and as for critters....I am hoping that nature will sort the problem out without interference from us or chemicals, but that might take a couple of years.
|All enjoying the garden clearout|
|These were some leeks Venka gave us, which I added to|
|And some celeriac|
|Leek chunks, slices and dice for the freezer|
|Digging up the sweet potatoes|
|Huge but pock marked|
|Huuuuge walnut from next door|
|And next to our decent sized ones. Our's are definitely superior quality|
|The celery is out with the carrots, beets, cabbage and chard|
|Yeuch! But we haven't had too many|
So the ground has now been ploughed and the chickens and ducks will be going out there to hoover up any insects and grubs, then dig in the compost and fertilise for us. It will be left to the weather to do it's stuff before Dave attacks it with the rotovator in spring.
|Angel ploughing with Dave and Venka in attendance|
|Raising the electric cable for the tractor|
|Bracken, Helen and Tilly look on|
|OI! That's not for you!|
Millie came into season this week, just to add to the mayhem. Dave went off to see a local Billy owner, who's boy is unfortunately under the weather, so off to another who was a bit small and was hopping about, very keen but rather ineffective. Eventually Dave left Millie with the goat herder who also had a Billy, but a large one, and she spent a happy couple of days in their company. The second day we let Tilly go too as she had been a nightmare on her own at home and we were worried she would injure herself. The peace at home was lovely, so quiet, and we thought that maybe it would be good for us and the goats for them to go out regularly. The charges were a bit more than we thought they would be but we paid a month in advance to see how it would go. Unfortunately the Goat herder decided he would see what he could get out of us and tried to charge again, so it was a short but hopefully fruitful couple of days in company for Millie and the goat herder has cut off his nose to spite his face and will not be getting a regular income from us. She was certainly mated, but by which buck remains to be seen. If we need to try again we will hopefully find our local man's buck in better health.
The other animals are generally getting on OK. Charlie is so full on friendly that Bracken has no idea what to make of him. But he still chases the cat if he turns his back. Spud is keeping out of the way but if Bracken gets too close he gets sworn at. Poor Bracken, he has no idea how to take the two such different cats! Our two dogs have accepted the huge black lab as part of the furniture.
|Saying hello to Millie|
|Checking out a new walk|
I had a birthday this week and we went into VT to have lunch, show my sister and brother in law where the DIY and electrical shops are. Helen has spent thousands in her head....but I have been here long enough to be rather shocked at her extravagance....after all the appliances in the house will only be about ten years old.....
However, not to be out done and being a bit of a birthday girl hypocrite, we bought ourselves a new TV as the one we brought out with us keeps switching itself off. The idea of not being able to watch telly on cold winter nights doesn't bear thinking of. We got the next size up, still smaller than most at 40 inches but it makes viewing with tired eyes much easier.
|Another pressie, a throw for my chair|
|And carpet to help Bonnie and I on the stairs|
|Lunch in the courtyard at the Hadje Nikoli|
|I had my usual trout with almonds|
|Such a pretty old street|
|My friend made me one of her lovely cross stitch cards|