Thursday 31 July 2008

Milk out, Milk Off

Milk doesn't keep for long in Bulgaria, it is fresh and you pasteurise it yourself and it may keep for up to 5 days if kept cool.

The plan every week is to get cow's or goat's milk from the Skalitsa village, boil it and bottle it. This week the bottle used was a plastic brown beer bottle. this was brought back to Yambol and put in the fridge.

This morning I looked for the milk to put on my breakfast and it had been taken out of the fridge last night as Baba though it was beer. The milk was stale by this morning with the heat overnight. She couldn't tell what was in the bottle because of the dark brown plastic. No breakfast this morning in the house this morning, so a trip to the local bakery round the corner for a fresh banitsa.

Just my luck to have milk mistaken for beer.

Wednesday 30 July 2008

Lost Earring Stud

I was given a stud earring as a present a few months ago, I hadn't worn one for many a year but it was a present so I now wear it. It is very small and I have no problem with it, gone are the days when I get criticised for wearing one.

It was into another morning in the bathroom for a wash and shave as usual. Over the months I have been careful when drying my face and ears as the stud has a tendency to get knocked about with my usual brashness.

All done and dusted looking into the mirror, the stud had gone. The sink is next tot he toilet bowl as I prayed it hadn't been knocked into that. I searched everywhere on the floor on the ceramic base, it was nowhere. It looks like the luck was against me and I had to now move my search into the lavatory basin that had bubbled up with disinfectant after the last flush so I couldn't see the bottom.

In I go fondling around and then as if by magic I see the stud on the floor tucked in one of the joins in the ceramic tiles. Why didn't I see this before? Why didn't I find it before my hand went into the toilet?

Just bad luck I guess!

Tuesday 29 July 2008

Waste of Time (and Money)

The plan today was to meet someone at 10:00 in a Yambol town office to discuss link exchanges for my website. I work really hard on my blogging but I felt the time out of the blogging arena would do me good. Beside the meeting is to do with the business of blogging and could bring in some more traffic as the site in question was two Google PR places higher than my main website.

So time taken out, kitted out with my brain focused on business talk and bringing my latest published book I travelled to the town centre to the office.

Getting there the bad luck hit, the guy wasn't there and on ringing him to find out why, the reason was he wasn't feeling too good can I turn up tomorrow?

I was angry! Why couldn't I be emailed or text to say he was ill. I have wasted half the morning running around for nothing. I am not your normal expatriate here in Bulgaria who has all the time in the world, I had to take time out from my work, I have fast realised that time is money and this trip for nothing is costing me.

Bad Luck or bad manners?

Monday 28 July 2008

Bike Ride Plan

Back in Yambol and my mission today was to go for a bike ride at lunchtime. This was to be the regular routine now as I was getting fat from too much blogging, too much beautiful food and no exercise.

A lovely day, warm sun shining as I worked away for a few hours looking forward tot he bike ride.

Midday came and so did the storm clouds, at the exact moment I was due to get on my bike the heavens opened! My plans scuppered.

Every day in Yambol throughout the summer it had never rained at midday, always late afternoon or no rain at all. Forget rain dances in drought hit countries, just plan to go for a bike ride!!

I will try again tomorrow.

Sunday 27 July 2008

Car windows

It is a routine I go through every time I use the car in the summer here. Window open when moving windows shut when parked. The reason for this is quite simple, its hot so we have to have the windows open, that is the lada's cost effective and energy saving air-conditioning system.

The reason the windows are shut during parking isn't for security but for keeping flies and insect from coming in. there's nothing worse than driving off with bugs flying around in the car.

Today we took a guest back to Yambol with us and parked the car to get some provision on route. This Bulgarian didn't know the routine so the window was left open when shopping. By the time I'd got back to Yambol my feet and ankles where bitten to smithereens form the insect that has flown in and made a meal of me whilst completing the journey.

Now I have a few days of itching and scratching and sores just because of a break in the routine.

Saturday 26 July 2008

Delayed Banitsas

Today it happened in the Skalitsa farmhouse or the Bulgarian Gite as we like to call it nowadays. As I was just about to put the tray of Skalitsa Banitsas in the oven, the was a power cut. Half an hour before or half an hour after would have been okay but no it happened now.

This has happened three times before and power cuts here don't happen that often, in this case I was up really early in the morning, around 6:30, you wouldn't expect a power cut that early, and on a Saturday as well.

The bad luck just knew I was baking at that moment. I suppose there was a bit of luck that they the power didn't cut half way through the cooking! They went in the fridge to wait for the power to come back, and it did after 20 minutes.

By the way, if you want the recipe for Skalitsa Banitsas check link out: Skalitsa Banitsa Recipe

Friday 25 July 2008

Morning Roll Call

Another toiletry observation today which made me reflect on past incidents surely the laws of averages dictate this shouldn't happen every time! It takes a new meaning to the term 'roll call' in the morning.

Because of these incidents I always have spare tissues in my back pockets, they're always there wherever I go as you will always need them at some point.

Last night my trousers went into the washing machine so this morning a quick dive into my clean shorts without tissues loaded. You know what happens next!

Here we go, into the toilet never checking the toilet paper stock as you go in. the end of the business and hey presto, no toilet paper and no tissues! If it is not bad luck enough to be without one lot it is a double helping of bad luck to be without the emergency supply of back pocket tissues. Obviously I got caught with my trousers down and that where they stayed as I called for help, that's the seemingly frequent morning 'roll call'!

Running out of toilet paper always happens when I'm there, why?

Thursday 24 July 2008

Wrong Key

Just as an experiment I did a practical survey to prove a point of bad luck. For the house we have two keys, one for the outside gate and one for the house door. Both are the same make and look and you cannot tell which one fits which door.

The reason I did this survey is I am totally convinced that luck is against picking the right key for the right door. So the test results cam back today after 20 openings of the gate and door.

From these 20 unlocking of the initial gate, 13 time the wrong key was chosen! Obviously 7 times correctly chosen. Is this enough of a swing to prove that it is bad luck? I feel that it does prove something, I'll have to put a bit of sticky tape on one of the keys so I know which is which!

Wednesday 23 July 2008

Cutting Time

It is always the same, another rush on and because of that things take longer. We were going out tonight as a day aftger birthday treat. Galia finished work at 5:00 we got back and relaxed for 30 minutes before we got ready to go.

Just as we started a knock a the door, a guest, that's normal here, every hour they're a guest here. the guest was an incessant talker and we knew we were in for a long talk even though we explained we were going out. This wasn't the bad luck, tnhis came later.

We got rid of this jabber woman and were now in a rush to get out and of course this means distaster I knew before I started that shaving was seeing red. I was right, no matter how slowely it was taken a big cut was made and it didn't stop bleeding as cuts do.

Every day I shave and no cuts for as long as I can remember, but going out on show tonight it happened!! Bad Luck mate,

Still enjoyed the evening though.

Small Shoskpa Salad

We went out to dinner this evening and the restaurant was quite posh, I never feel comfortable in these places and generally don't like eating out that much anyway. The food is never as good as it is a home and the cost is criminal, even at Bulgarian prices.

All six of us ordered a shopska salad as we waited for the dishes to arrive. I went to relieve myself at this point and came back only to find that all the salads had been put on the table alongside the glass of rakia, great, I thought. Then I surveyed all the salad and found that I got the smallest one! My most favourite dish and I get the smallest. I am absolutely certain this was not a case of conspiracy, but sheer bad luck. Again!

Tuesday 22 July 2008

Knot Fair

Every morning I get my laptop out, no rush just part of the normal routine. Today it was my 50th birthday and Galia gave me a present as we spent a bit of quality time together before work. What that meant was everything was running late.

The laptop was brought out and I knew if I rushed things would go wrong so I took my time. It didn't matter whether we we going to be late, this is Bulgaria, it is expected. so that further slowed me down.

This is where the bad luck just hits you, all the cables were knotted up. This had happened on a couple of occasions before and always when you are running late. It took a good 10 minutes fumbling around getting frustrated that the tangle wouldn't go. This made us even later and although it didn't matter it still felt that everything goes against you when you are in a rush.

Monday 21 July 2008

Broken Glasses

This happened about three years ago but I was drunk then so there was an excuse.Today it was just bad luck.

It was after lunch when I went for a little nap lying on the bed with my glasses laid by the side on the cabinet. About an hour later I awoke and got out of bed, my feet swung round an touched the ground only to find I had trodden on my glasses. Now I have a wonky pair of glasses that need tape to keep the arm on.

I don't have another pair as mention earlier they were trodden on as well. So it is off to the town optician for another pair, well it's about time my eye were tested again.

Why does bad luck always cost money?

Sunday 20 July 2008

Painted Nails

A painful finger nail for the next three days I know and another stroke of bad luck.

On an old door in the summer house on the farm there is flaking paint. Not much to write home about there then. But the bad luck happened this morning when I went to open that particular door. My hand brushed against the flaking paint on its way to the door handle and some fragments of paint impaled itself between my finger and fingernail. Painful.

When this happens you know that the pain will remain for days, just like over cutting your fingernails. What made it worse was I had to pry my fingernail and cause more damage trying to get the paint out. It would have gone sceptic if left there.

Saturday 19 July 2008

Overtaking Donkey and Cart

You drive for 20 kilometres and in all that distance you only pass one donkey and cart going the same way as you and one other car coming the other way. With all this distance and 30 minutes of driving the timing of over taking the donkey and cart is just bad luck.

Just as I was about to overtake the only car on the journey was coming the other way, I had to actually stop behind the cart to let the oncoming car go. Of all the places to get that 'only' car to pass it had to be when I was about to overtake!

This was so unreal, but happens time and time again!

Friday 18 July 2008

Ouch! +

Ouch! A common expression with someone wearing no footwear. It happen today at lunchtime as I walked into the kitchen are with the cool ceramic floor, a treat in such hot weather. But without footwear is this man asking fro trouble?

Too right as my steps took me towards the kitchen sink area there is a ceramic bar with a ceramic right angled corner to which my little toe took a shining.

Being an English toe, it did things in a hurry, if it was Bulgarian it would have been in slow motion, or not move at all if it wasn't necessary. But it was English as the split second after impact, the "Ouch!" came into play followed by a hollowing "Shit!" That meant that the hurt was much worse than a single "Ouch!" and that's really painful.

Stopping dead in my tracks at that point holding the stubbed toe, I cursed the luck of being English and rushing into everything like the English do, with the consequences of enduring pain for th trouble, this happens all the time as I survey the bums and bruises over other parts so my body from bumping into things and scraping against objects.

Bad Luck? Too right! Too often!

Thursday 17 July 2008

Ruined Clothes - Again!

Another beautiful meal in front of us this evening just before we go off to the Skalitsa country farmhouse for the weekend break, and to eat all the fresh food growing there!

Change of clothes before we ate to save time, oh I wish I hadn't done that!

It was my best shirt and brand new shorts and you know what is about to happen next if you read the title before the script!

Lovely ripe tomatoes, crispy cabbage and some mouth-watering cucumber, drizzled with sunflower oil, red wine vinegar and a slightly more than a sprinkle of salt was ready for action.

Well, the only action seen was the moan as the first speared mouthful of salad didn't get as far as my mouth. About 10 cm before the salad portion just dropped onto the front of my shirt and bounced onto my new shorts before hitting the floor.

What happened next was an absolute commitment to wearing the right clothes for the right moments and not try and rush into saving time. It just adds time doing it the English way trying to take short cuts.

Ivo, Galia and Baba Mama were speechless, they didn't need to say anything, they knew I knew what they were thinking as the shirt and shorts were added to the increasing collection of village clothing.

Bad Luck? yes, but maybe just a little bad judgement as well!

Wednesday 16 July 2008

Laced with Bad Luck

Okay, every morning we rise on time, get ready to go on time and the routine is always the same.

Today was different, we were running five minutes late because there was a power cut and heating up the water for coffee took longer having to set up the gas stove. Well you could say that we bad luck but power cuts happen often here, especially after a violent storm last night, so we do expect these things to happen.

The bad luck came into play when I had to wear shoes instead of sandal as it was wet outside. As mentioned earlier we were running late and as I was putting my shoes on the shoelace broke! Why does the lace break at this moment, this always happen when you are late or in a rush? any other occasion, no problem, today it snapped because Mr Bad Luck knew this was a good time to have a laugh!

Again I ask, it is just me?

Tuesday 15 July 2008

Dog Poo Strikes Again

That dog poo just hits you when you least expect it as it was trodden in today as I was about to get into the car! This has not happen for years why now? Inevitable I suppose, it happens to everyone at least once in their lifetime.

Why is it that there is never a good moment for it to happen in a crowded street with many watching it happen. The dilemma was, what to do next?

Well, this is Bulgaria not too many scruples here as some tissues were stretched for in the car and the business cleared up.

As I drove off with a relative clean right footed sandal, I just caught a glimpse of a dog. It showed its head peering round a corner. It took one look at me and the head disappeared back round the corner again. I'm bloody sure that dog knew all about it and was having a bloody laugh!

Monday 14 July 2008

Alan Key Misfit

This morning I wanted to disassemble a garden hammock before leaving the farmhouse and returning back to Yambol town. Everything was going well. taking it nice and slow, no mistakes or cut hands, already shredded up from yesterday's bad luck.

It came to the main frame which was bolted together. I merrily got the tool box out of the car boot, remembering not to lock my key in there today. This is when the task went pear shaped.

To unscrew the bolts the tools needed was a size 12 spanner and an alan key. Initially I tried just using the spanner on the nut but the alan style bolt just turned around with it, An alan key was needed, I felt the luck was turning.

In the tool box there were around 20-25 different sized alan key of all sizes. I guessed the size needed after the 4th or 5th guess the stress was rising and got even higher after all sensible guesses to size were used up. At this point taking other sizes was just going through the motions, there was no way on earth any of the other would fit.

So 20-25 alan keys and not one fitted the screw! By the way my house guests fitted this up so they must have used their own tools!

The hammock will remain assembled in the garden, it won't get stolen as there isn't any crime here in Skalitsa anyway, I suppose that a bit of good luck in the end.

Sunday 13 July 2008

Blonde today, Hairdresser tomorrow

Galia bought some hair colouring and it was tradition now that I use the left overs for my hair when she had finished covering here shortish hair. this is the Bulgarian way not to waste stuff.

Now I trust Galia but what I didn't realise until 30 minutes later after Galia first cleaned the hair dye off that it was almost blonde!

Well with my original grey hair it was going to be more blonde that Galia's finished colour; I was right, I am now a blonde!

It is off to the town hairdresser early tomorrow adorning a hat for a crew cut.

Saturday 12 July 2008

Car Keys in Boot

It has happened once before two years ago and I vowed for it never to happen again but it did. I was taking the toolkit out of the car boot and shut it.

Back to the house and only then was the realisation that I didn't have the key for the front door These were on a key ring along with the car keys. Where the hell were the car keys? you guessed, they were now locked in the boot.

On the last occasion I had to take the back seat out and fondle my way in the dark but last time the gas cylinder hadn't been installed. Not only that the car was lock and I thought I wouldn't even be able to get in the car.

Every cloud has a silver lining, last time I had to break the window winding mechanism to get in the car, this was still broken so the window just rolled down with a little downward pressure with the palm of my hand.

The sliver lining ended there as the whole seat had to be removed within the confines and in the darkness of the garage with a 40 watt light bulb above and no torch at hand, that was in the boot it was a task and a half on hand now.

One hour later the keys were recovered and my hand ripped to shreds going backwards and forwards against the metal braces. Groping for keys at the back on to the boot therefore the furthest point from the inside access point!

On placing the seat back after the key recovery the leads the radio speakers could only be reached to the left speaker, therefore no more stereo without taken the gas system out! Bloody Bad Luck all round really.

And all I wanted was my tool kit out of the boot!

Friday 11 July 2008

Not a Grape

A strange bit of bad luck today, as I look at out at the weather. It is a glorious, bright, sunny Bulgarian day looking outside at the farm. Everything is growing so well is a fantastic feeling.

So what's with the bad luck today Martin?

Well the weather is so good it's very good luck for the grapes. This means it's bad luck I'm not a grape. They are the happiest crops on the farm at the moment they drooling and swelling in the Bulgarian sun.

Thursday 10 July 2008

Boiler Broken

Just when you think your luck has changed, more bad luck comes your way!

The pump for my well was fixed up and running after a few stressful days trying to get it fixed. Everything was well with the world as the crops were watered and I went inside for the evening for a shower.

Wold you believe it my water boiler in the bathroom sprung a leak and there was water pouring out of the bottom of the system causing the electrics to blow. No working boiler with the mains water having to be turned off as the stop cock was jammed.

So, no water in the house, certainly no hot water therefore no shower, or water it the kitchen until the boiler is replaced!

Bloody bad luck or what?

Wednesday 9 July 2008

Filthy Guests

Is it just me or am I too fussy?

I had a guest staying in my house and they left the place in a disgusting state. Is this just bad luck? I don't know, but I do know if I am a guest in someone's house I would leave the place as I found it, it's not bloody difficult and the decent thing to do.

So why do I get the bad luck with people get here as guests?

Tuesday 8 July 2008

Barbeque Smoke

Barbeques are good but there is one thing that happens every time without fail and really infuriates me.

Each time wherever you stand the smoke follows you. No matter which of the 360 degrees you stand it is guaranteed that you will have smoke in your face.

On many occasions I will experiment, look where the smoke is drifting and stand directly opposite the direction. Within a few seconds the smoke changes direction and is it coming at me. Switch back to the other side, a few seconds later it has followed me there as well.

It doesn't matter which direction the wind is blowing, the barbeque smoke has a mind of its own.

Monday 7 July 2008

Small Door Big Sofa

So you have a new home and you want to furnish it, great. You buy some lovely furniture and can't wait to get it into your home. In the meantime you wait using an old stool in the evening. The anticipation of relaxing on a brand new sofa is uncontainable.

The day comes when the sofa arrives, but of all the luck, it is too big to squeeze through the living room door. the options are finally closed as the windows also are too small.

This has happened to me twice now!

Sunday 6 July 2008

New Clothes Ruined

Whenever you wear your best clothes out to dinner, something gets spilt on it and ruins them. Shirt or trousers, it happens everytime, even at home. The worst luck is when wearing old clothing nothing actually get spilt or dropped on these sets of clothes. Why does this happen?

Saturday 5 July 2008

No Stock

In Bulgaria, the stocks in shops are low, they just don't have the demand to keep their stock high. So, whenever we go to a shop for something specific it is always the case that what we want isn't there and our journey there is wasted. It happens all the time.

Even if we do find the product, we get back home and moreoften than not. it is either the wrong type or doesn't work. Instances of this have happened on countless ocassion.

Friday 4 July 2008

Treading in dogs muck!

Let's be honest, everyone has done it and it causes grief each time, there is never a good time to do it. I even did it on my wedding day as I walked out of the church into the church garden area. I even had the moment sealed for life in the wedding pictures with the stuff on my shoes! Not a good moment for it to happen.

If someone witnesses you doing it, that is even worse luck as they watch and become really quite curious how you deal with it. Just walk casually on, knowing people are watching or deal with the aspects of scrapping it off with whatever means it at hand.

If you are with friends or family, they will laugh of course but also tell you that it is meant to be good luck. Rubbish! It is truely bad luck to happen to you but it will again soon!

Thursday 3 July 2008

Women's Toilet

Whenever a holiday is taken and you don't know the language, it is always the case that you end up in the women's toilet!

This has happened many times and in most cases you don't find out until you walk out passing women going in!

Why don't all countries put pictures on the entrance door?

Wednesday 2 July 2008

Holiday Luck

You go away for a short break and pack everything days in advance and there is always something you wished you took. This time around it was toilet paper, the apartment didn't have any.

The worst luck of all was this is something I take time in, time out, and it is never required. On this occasion it was the first time ever it wasn't packed and the first time ever I needed to take it!

Tuesday 1 July 2008

Mobile Phone

I rarely use my mobile phone (GSM), maybe two or three calls a month a the emost. But even with little use it has, I carry it around with me all the time.

On the very rare ocassions I don't take it with me, either it is recharging or I have purposely left it at home thinking it wouldn't be needed, I NEED TO USE IT! It is unbelievable how this can happen every time!


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