On the Tuesday as promised I also did more rotavating for my neighbour Venka and Jordan in preparation for planting potatoes. In return they fed me in the evening which saved me making something and as expected a couple of rakias were consumed helping me to sleep, which at the moment I do soundly until around 3am, but then I am going to be at 9am as I am totally exhaused.
The early morning starts before it is light gives me opportunities to do some cooking of writing of the blog, as once it is light it is all systems go sorting out the animals. This week I managed to get to make some raspberry and apple jam ready for sale at the car boot sale. After making it I have realised Sara was definitely underselling her produce for if I sell them at the price she asked it would not even cover the cost of making them so I am considering selling them at 4 lev (1.66), but speaking to my Bulgarian neighbour she says sell them at 5lev.
Raspberry and Apple Jam
I have also made more tealight holders, but not entirely happy with them when they are lit as the paint is transluscent and allow some light to shine through them. Still they are only prototypes and many people have shown an interest in them.
Prototype tealight holders
At last the migrating storks have returned to Bulgarian and after seeing one standing on the nest in the next village, now means the martinitsas, now somewhat grubby around my wrist can be removed and hung from a tree. I had placed Sara's martintsas on the cross on her grave and now after seeing the stork they have been removed and along with mine placed in the tree behind her grave. As I hung them up I tied one of hers and one of mine beside each other a the branch and then tied the two martinitsas together.
On the garden front due to the continued wet weather it has limited what work I can do out there. I have managed to sow carrot and beetroot seed. I tend to leave the lines in so I know where I have planted until they come up, but also to try and keep the dogs off the rows too much. I have also improvised the jam jars to protect the plastic spoons used as name tags from the attention of Bella who would suddenly appear with them in her mouth, which she used to do with the stick used as markers last year.
Carrots and Beetroot planted
Plant label protection from Bella
At last the strawberries seem to have got established
More spring flowers
Primulas (like little primroses) that I bought from the market and planted for Sara
The only hyacinth in the garden in flower, Mind you we do now have grape hyacinths donated by Violetta (a Bulgarian neighbour along with blackberries)
At the moment I am coping with being alone, but the grieving process of not having Sara here and the way missing her can suddenly 'come up and bite you in the butt' all has to be dealt with on a daily basis. The combination of trying to get ready for the 40th day service and cleaning up the house for family members arriving from the UK means that at the moment work is constant and generally keeps my mind on track going forward, but simple things can trigger moments of dwelling about Sara and then occasional tears. It can be from the simple gesture my neigbours and Bulgarian friends make such as they want to buy me small plants such as primulas to plant on Sara's grave, to Veska another Bulgarian lady at the gate holding a piece of lilac saying "za Sara" (for Sara) to finding the bottle of cologne Sara had which was called Tosca, the name of her beloved horse she had from when it was a foal, to the moments of solitude when suddenly you feel it is all too much being alone.
The lilac cutting given by Veska
Basically when I feel myself dwelling too much I force myself to get up, I dust myself off and then get on with the next task, but life goes on and so it must for the memory of Sara. Slowly but surely things in the smallholding are being adapted to enable me to continue and not be swamped with too many tasks. I am thinking ahead and have new plans of which some may come into fruition, some may not. time will tell, but essentially it is important that I stay positive and remember the good times Sara and I had together. Most of all I cherish the realisation that I actually knew what true love was and that I made Sara happy.
As an update the first carboot of the season that I attended, the first without Sara albeit that it was raining was a great success, not only that I dealt with selling without Sara, but that I pretty much sold out. My niece and her partners came with me for moral support and many of Sara friends came for a chat. The trouble is now need to get making more jam, brown sauce and tea lights.
How chuffed was I.
More chicks are due to hatch this week as the Light Sussex flock of chicks gradually build up in preparation for selling. Sadly due to a incubator malfunction I think many of the Indian Runner eggs may fail to hatch, but we will have to wait and see. Fortunately I now have another automatic more reliable one for the next batch of Indian Runner eggs that will go in at the end of the week. I am also now looking to buy another goat, hopefully an Anglo-nubian to enable me to produce more cheese in the winter, a time when it is not possible to work in the garden, to keep me occupied and develop new skills further in trying to achieve a little more of the self sufficient lifestyle that Sara and I endeavured to achieve.
So as you things are little hectic still to say the least and apologies for the delay in writing this latest update but I hope you enjoy.