Tuesday 30 September 2008

Garage Door Broken

It was arriving home and as always the car was to be parked in the garage. So it was a case of getting out of the car and pulling open the big solid metal garage doors. As It did so there was a sudden jolt and a bang. The metal hinge at the bottom of the left-hand had snapped and the door was grounded.

The door now couldn't be opened as the one hinge at the top couldn't hold the weight of the door. Help was called for and we managed to get the door shut again, but the garage was effectively permenatly closed without an new heavy duty metal hinge welded on!

More time mre money and something that you don't expect to happen.

Monday 29 September 2008

No Volume Control

All morning I have been working on my laptop, and Baba had just started her lunchtime sleep while I worked in the same room. On entering one site a load of music came blaring out just as Baba has dropped off to sleep.

What made this more frustrating was that the volume control icon usually at the bottom on the taskbar couldn't be found! With this I had to shut the whole system down and reboot which meant that more snippets of music came on when booting back up as you can't adjust the volume until loaded!

I just hate websites that play music without warning, they should be banned!

Sunday 28 September 2008

First Bulgarian Wasp Sting

Since first coming to Bulgaria some three and a half years ago now I have never been stung by a bee or wasp. Today it happened coming from a bulgarian wasp! Mind you, it wasn't the wasp's fault it was just defending itself against someone who was about to destroy its family and community.

There is a big corrugated carton full of cardboard in the summerhouse. We save all our boxes and paper and the cardboard is stored there for the winter fuel starters. We wanted the wood burner working, as it was cold this morning so it was off to get some cardboard from the carton. What I should have done was check the box first, but half asleep early this morning I rushed and rummaged about only to find there was a wasps' nest there. As I backed off one just caught my hand and stung me. It was out of the summerhouse and shutting the door behind me leaving the wasps to settle down again.

Cream administered, the swelling is going down slightly, but it still hurts.

Saturday 27 September 2008

Dropped Mug

It is quite often we sit outside in the evening talking and drinking, not always alcohol but sometimes tea of coffee. This evening we had decided on teas and coffees all-round it wasn't that warm.

As the drinks were being served I took my cup after standing up to receive it and it slipped out of my grasp and smashed on the ceramic doorsteps. You would think that was bad enough luck, but it goes further that that. The ceramic tile had cracked as well and dislodged from its place.

So, it was not only the mess to clear up and a mug to replace but also the steps to be repaired the next day. It was almost dark right now so another job to do in the morning.

Friday 26 September 2008

Queues Again

Another very short queue in from of us where the others were long so we opted for that of course like a whippet after a rabbit. Another big wait as the elderly person in front wanted a glass of water. Everything evolved around taking care of this person now as a chair was brought along and all the surrounding staff pampered her. All her shopping, which wasn’t much was left unattended why shoe was being nursed. In the meantime all the other queues moved along and we again were stuck with the goods on the conveyer. We felt sorry for the woman but why does this always happen to us when we choose the shortest queue?

Thursday 25 September 2008

No Camera Today

The one-day or moment you think you won't need something and you do. how often does this happen? Too often as I went to pick Galia up from work, for the first time in ages I didn't take my camera with me. As I got there things weren't as normal, there had been some drinking going on. It was one of the worker's birthday and they had all been celebrating. Rakia, sweets and salami were all given out and they wanted their picture taken! Oh why does this happen, they had waited for me to turn up as they knew I always have it with me but not today!

Wednesday 24 September 2008

Sugar Wasted on the Floor Floored

Mixing the grapes juice, which is basically wine now after two weeks of fermentation, I had to add more sugar to make the alcohol content higher for distilling into rakia later. The bags are plastic and rip very easily.

Normally they are placed over the barrel and ripped and the sugar just drops into the pulp. Today that happened but it ripped just before it was over the mixture. The sugar went everywhere but in the barrel. Not just a waste of money but the clearing up job was horrendous.

Tuesday 23 September 2008

Stud Catch Sunk

Earrings and studs never seem to be a problem to anyone else. Why then does all the problems land on my plate. Washing my face first thing this morning and my earring stud catch just dived into the sink and down the plug hole. This is the third one I've lost in the space of three months. What do you have to do other than take it off ever time you wash. Maybe I should.

Monday 22 September 2008

Paying An Electric Bill

Every find yourself faced with having to make a decision, think very carefully about it only to find that it was the wrong decision to make?

That is the story today as I had to decide whether to pay an electric bill this or leave it unit this evening and pay it after I had picked Galia up from work. there were two reason behind the though of which option to take.

The first was that the Bank in which we pay the bill in en route back from Galia's work place, so I would be saving time and fuel by doing it later. The second was that the is usually big queues in the morning and hardly anyone in the evening. My decision to go later in the day was based on those two reasons.

So all according to plan we park the car up and arrive at the bank only to find it is shut. It closes at 5:00 and we arrived as 5:20! It used to open until 7:00 until recently, not a good way to find out either.

Sunday 21 September 2008

Forgotten Twice

Sunday and not looking forward to going back to Yambol this evening, we would have loved to stay another night at the Skalitsa farmhouse, but work calls.

We normally leave at around 6:00 in the evening before darkness set it as my Lada lights aren't working. I'll have to fix them soon as it is law to have them on all the time from 1st November to 1st March in Bulgaria.

We leave but had to turn back after 5 kilometres as we had forgot my laptop! 10 kilometres for nothing as we set off again, would you believe it, 2 kilometres down the road we had now forgotten to turn the boiler heater off! Back we go again this time doing a thorough check that everything that needs to be done is done.

This has never happened before and was a double hammer blow.

Saturday 20 September 2008

No Water or Electric

Back to Skalitsa and a relaxing weekend coming up. There was no water supply, but we are used to that. We usually get out water from the well, a little inconvenient but no problem. Besides the well water is pure clean and free from stuff in the tap water that furs up the kettle.

Then the electric was cut off, just as I was to start the electric pump to top up everything with well water. The wait was on, how long do I give it before I take alternative action to get water in?

Two hours later with still no water or electric on I took the decision to go to the village centre with all the bottles and fill up with the spring water there. That's exactly what I did. It didn't take more than 15 minute to do this.

When I got back and brought the first 30 litres of water in I found that both the water and electric had started again. Doh! If only I had waited another ten minutes!

Friday 19 September 2008

Unpractical Shoe Laces

As it was cold I put my shoes on this morning, not sock less sandals. These hadn't been used since I was in cold England some four months ago.

As they were put on the shoelace snapped, never a good time to happen as I played it cool taking the lace out and re threading it only to find that the lace wasn't long enough to go through all the holes. So what do you do? Tie it up without going through the whole series of holes and that's what I did. It was a bit tricky as the lace was still very short for the rabbit to go through the hole when doing the knot, but I go there in the end.

As I got to the car, the knot had come loose so it was another bend over to tie it up again, snap! The shoelace broke again as I tighten it up. No far too short to have any affect it was back inside to put my sandals on and bear the cold of the morning.

By the way, we don't have spare shoelaces in the house; it's only me who wear shoe-laced shoes as Bulgarians in the main think this an unpractical type of shoe. They're right!

Thursday 18 September 2008

Cracked Window Pain

It was cold last night as the window was shut before we went to sleep. Usually it is wide open with just the metal blinds and net curtain to stop the invasion of mosquitoes coming in overnight.

This is not part of the routine as I normally open up the blind to let the morning light in at 6:30 every morning. Everything looked normal as the normal path to the window was made in the dark to open the blind. Then a smash! My head hit the window that was closed and a massive crack was made in the glass!

Not a good start to the day as the window had to be repaired in Bulgarian style with a button sewn on to keep the three way crack from caving in.

Wednesday 17 September 2008

Dog's Dinner

It is usually Baba and I in the house at lunchtimes, but today she had to go and see some friends and left me to cater for myself at lunchtime.

As it turned out I ate someone else's lunch from the fridge today as Baba wasn't here there to feed me. It was in fact the dog's dinner which I thought it was a lovely stew. It tasted good at the time but turned out to bitter this evenig when I found out! I only hope tonight I don't get a call from nature.

The Bulgarian household were in fits of laughter all evening and I'll never hear the end of it as the tlaes is spread down the street to other family members.

Of course it was also bad luck for Alex the dog as well.

Tuesday 16 September 2008

Ripped Shorts

Tuesday is usually the best day of the week, firstly it's not Monday and you are still reasonably fresh from the weekend. Was this the story today? No.

A bout of bad luck came today with by shorts being ripped from some barbed wire I brushed past sticking out of a fence. The cut on my leg will heal but the shorts need a little TLC from Baba's sewing kit this evening.

no other shorts were in Yambol as they were all in the farmhouse in Skalitsa, so it was underpants all evening until the repair done.

Monday 15 September 2008

Another Flat Tyre

Another flat tyre on the Lada this morning as I worked to get the wheel changed as fast as possible to get Galia to work on time. Not sure what caused it as I plan to take it for repair tomorrow. More time more money and a pity I didn't see it the previous evengin when I parked up. You never seem to get a flat tyre at a good time. My hands are all messy and my clothes are marked as I didn't have time to change my clothes before working on the replacement tyre. Oh well, luck hits again doesn't it.

Sunday 14 September 2008

Lotto Numbers at Last

We finally got to see out lotto ticket but this time we didn't have the winning numbers! We had to bring it home with us and look up the numbers all over again as we hadn't wrtten them down last night as the ticket wasn't there.

Back home in Yambol after work and the numbers were found, we just had one number that matched and the troublsome ticket went in the bin, a great anti climax. But then like I said, we never win anything.

Saturday 13 September 2008

Lotto Wait

A lottery number was bought the other day, but only because we knew the owner of the lotto shop. the draw was this evening as we looked up the numbers to see whether we had won out fortune. Where was the lotto ticket? Was the question that was asked as the excitment grew. We had left it in a shopping bag at work and now we didn't know what out numbers were. It was no one's fault as buying lotto tickets was not part of out normal routine. It remains to see whether we win, I doubt it as luck never comes out way with these things.

Friday 12 September 2008

No Light

We were due to have out evening meal outside today as everything was prepared by the women and famly invited here to join us. It wasn't often we do this but the idea was a hit and all looking forward to the food, the drink and the family get together.

All ready at 8:30 as we were just about to start tucking in when the outside light bulb blew! We didn't have a spare and we had to go to neighbours to get one, then we couldn't unscrew the casing as the screws on it had rusted solid. so it was everybody inside carrying everthing that was laid out making out way in the dark.

Tomorrow another job needs doing as some oil was put on the screws this evening to try and loosing them overnight. It was only me who was upset, Bulgarians never seem to worry over such matters.

Thursday 11 September 2008

Cancelled Fishing

A call from Anton, Galia's son this evening asking if I wanted to go fishing with him on the Tundzha river. Great, I thought, this was a treat on this warm and sunny day. As he turned up that evening we were all looking forward toa few hours of fishing with the though of fish on the dinner table later in the evening. But, the bad luck hit again as we had found that we had left all our fishing gear in Skalitsa from the fishing we did there over the weekend. The fishing trip was cancelled and disappointment all round.

Wednesday 10 September 2008

Mosquitoes Back

The electric mosquito repellent had come into its own this last month. No bites throughout that period as it worked in the socket by the bed as we slept. This morning I woke to three bites on my legs and one on my neck and I wondered why?

Looking at the socket the liquid has now all evaporated with its continuous use. It took the mosquitoes to tell me it was empty so a trip to the shop for a top up before tonight, In the meantime I have to contend with annoying bites over the next few days.
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Tuesday 9 September 2008

Lamb Blood

We brought some lamb back with us from theSkalitsa farm to eat in Yambol during the week. It was frozen and to defrost slowly we put it in the fridge. We thought that the plastic bags it was wrapped in was water tight.

As we woke the next morning and wenti nto the fridge, blood had seeped through and the whole area looked like the had been a massacre. Blood everywhere were it had leakedout of the bag. Another whole load of work cleaning out the fridge was needed because of this and other foods having to be rinsed, dried and put back into the frdge after the big clean!

Monday 8 September 2008

Ripped Sleeve

As I was walking past the front door on the way out this morning my shirt sleeve caught on the handle of the front door. It was a sudden jerk as I felt as the sleeve of my shirt give way and ripped fromt he force at the seam. A change of shirt and some repair work now was needed. More time but not money as everything in this Bulgarian house is repaired. Which these things didn't happen, it's not a 'cool' thing to happen either and lowers you ego.

Sunday 7 September 2008

Grape Juice

The grapes finally harvested in Skalitsa and put into a big barrel and we were off to Yambol with the thought of drinking the wine from the grape juice in one month’s time.

The plastic barrel has a screw top and we thought quite water tight as we put is sideward in the back seat of the Lada.

On arrival in Yambol we realised that it was not tight, as the grape juice had run all over the passenger seats and down the back.

We cleaned it up but knew that there would not only be the smell of grape juice that will turn pungent after a day or so in the heat, but that every ant, wasp and fly in the area will catch the scent and draw of sugar and invade the car, that was the worse part.

Saturday 6 September 2008

Morning or Afternoon Alarm?

This morning we had planned to harvest the grapes on the Skalitsa Farmhouse, something we enjoy every year as we set the alarm to go off at 6:00 before the wasps and flies awake.

All set after a late night of talking the nest thing we know is that is it 9:00, the alarm that was set on the GSM (mobile phone) had not gone off. It had been set for 6:00 in the evening! We now decided to harvest the next day because of this.

Friday 5 September 2008

No Charcoal, No Barbecue

This evening we decided to have a barbeque this evening and everything was set. lamb that had been slaughtered from last year defrosted from the freezer, beer bought and cooled and we were all looking forward to a Bulgaria feast.

On the point of starting the feast it was soon realised that we had run out of charcoal. The run around to try andf find a shop open was too late as it was past 7:00. Driving to a garage that sold charcoal was out as I'd already had a beer and didn't want to take the risk. So, everything set but no fire! It has now been put off for another day.

Thursday 4 September 2008

Not Okay on the Y-Front

I wear Y-front pants, that's always been the case. I tried boxer shorts once but they just get in the way of thing, crease and just dont' feel that the design is intended for what goes on there.

Today it wasn't realised until wanting to relieve myself before the journey to work. Because it is now dark first thing in the morning, I had put my y-fronts on back to front. Before I could do the business I had to half undress again before the business could be done.


Wednesday 3 September 2008

£260 Down the Drain

I found out today that the money I spent on keeping my book that was proofread for publication was a waste of money. £260 was spent on the service and when recieving a second opinion it was found that I have good ground to have a refund or a percentage of the money back. Getting a refund is very difficult as I am in Bulgaria and the proofreader is in England. I now have to spend out again to have it done properly with another £300+ having to be paid out.I just hope I get this money back on book sales. By the way £260 is two months wages for Galia here.

Tuesday 2 September 2008

Flying Ashtrays

In the car and I wanted some change which was kept in the ashtray. As it was pulled out the whole system flew out and aall the change, car fuses, paperclips and small keys were thrown all over the car floor.

It took 2-3 minutes to pick them all up and no doubt I will be finding bits and pieces missed over the next few weeks.


Monday 1 September 2008

Barbecued Peppers

Getting back to Yambol early this morning, I had packed some barbecued peppers over the weekend and had put them in a foil wrapped glass bowl in the boot of the car. As I made the final turn into the street where out house was, I had to brake suddenly as a dog had run into the road. I knew straight away by the sound in the boot that there was bad luck waiting for me at 7:30 this morning.

As the boot was opened it was true as the foil wrapping had ripped and the contents of the bowl had spilt all the peppers and juice not just over the floor of the boot. What made it worse was that the mess was all over all the clothes and laptop case I had brought back with me! What a quagmire!



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