Sunday 30 November 2008


Zzzz!Sunday at last and a lay in to 7:00 for me, I just can't sleep beyond 6:30 in the morning. Galia is different she can sleep to midday if she wants, but never does as I am far to active and noisy looking for things to do. Luck would have it that we were due to be at a friend's house for a meal this evening as they were off to Sofia for a month with relations for Christmas. We arrived at 8:00, by 10:00 I was fast asleep on the sofa and wasn't woken until we were due to leave at 12:30. I'd slept through the evening, but being Bulgarian they weren't offended at all. Galia on the other hand was full of beans, but then she had lots of sleep.

Saturday 29 November 2008

Saturday - I Know Now!

Saturday - I Know Now!First thing in the morning I make a cup of coffee for Galia before she gets out of bed, this is to go with the cigarette she has as her normal Bulgarian styled breakfast. No different this morning as the coffee is made and placed in the bathroom next to one cigarette and lighter. Back to the bedroom to get my work clothes on and a gentle kiss for Galia to wake her. It was at this point that something wasn't right; Galia didn't stir as she normally does. The penny right at that moment dropped, it was Saturday no work for Galia today, it was 6:40 in the morning, what do I do now. This happened because there is never any time here that we have lay ins, we are normally at the farmhouse non working days!

Friday 28 November 2008

Snap! Window Wiper Broken

Snap! Window Wiper BrokenScraping Ice off the window screen is something that you have to get used to here in the winter. This morning was no exception. Normally a bowl of warm water does the trick, but we had a power cut this morning and not time to get the gas bottle out. So it was all hand on deck with knives scraping the windows this time round. We would normally put a blanket over the window screen overnight but gypsies would steal them for certain. Not a pleasant start to the morning as one of the window screen wipers snapped in half as I tried to move it. More expense, but then what do you expect from a car anyway.

Thursday 27 November 2008

Cold Shower

Cold ShowerIn the shower, just before bedtime, it's really cold this evening and really looking forward to being warmed up before tucking myself in bed for a good night of sleep. All going very well indeed, then two or three minutes into the shower with lovely hot water, it turns into cold water as I shout out. There is however nothing anyone can do as the washing machine had started to draw the hot water. It was a quick exit from the shower freezing cold and into the kitchen, the only heated room in this Bulgarian styled house. so much for a warm prelude to slumber.

Wednesday 26 November 2008

A Big Ouch!

A Big OuchStill getting used to my new slippers I walked into the bedroom this evening and tripped on the carpet, my right footed slipper was dislodged, that wasn’t the end of it though. Being distracted by this my normal routine of avoiding the metal doorstop just wasn't there anymore as I tried to recover my balance and stepped on the obstacle. The pain of a metal stopped with full body weight over my right foot is indescribable. If I had trodden on it with the slipper on there would not have been an incident. Such cruel luck.

Tuesday 25 November 2008

Huh Men!

Huh Men!Five to five and time to go and pick Galia up from work. It takes 10 minutes to get there but she is late most days. I arrive a 5 minutes past 5, still no sign of Galia as I wait in the car. I normally go to the office to meet here and wait there but is bitterly cold and the car in now warm from the run. 20 minutes later, still no Galia. I ring her, she has been waiting 25 minutes for me at the tradesman’s entrance. I had forgotten that this was where I pick here up as from today. I drive the 500 metres to meet here; she is freezing. All I can do is apologise, 'Men huh', was her answer!

Monday 24 November 2008

Hot Potatoes

Hot PotatoesHot boiled Bulgarian potatoes, lovely with a little sirene (Bulgarian white goats cheese) spread on the top. We just couldn't wait to get tucked in, but we all wish we hadn't. We were talking Chinese for the next five minutes as this wonderful chemical free food was being juggled about in our mouths. It was piping hot, but we couldn't wait. We all had blisters in the roofs of out mouth later that evening wishing we had more patience.

Sunday 23 November 2008

My MS Word What a Day

My MS Word What a DayToday I tried turning a Microsoft Word document into a PDF file to download to a company that want to see drafts of my third book in the making. Something that should have taken 5 minutes took 10 hours! There is a fault or bug with my version of MS Word and it wouldn't resize or be read by the converting programmes. I had tried everything from using different word processing programmes, five different PDF converters, even putting it all on a fresh template and editing the style again (took two hours,) but the same thing happened. I ended up going to a neighbour's house and converting it there at 10:00 in the evening. The deadline was met, just, but what a horrible day at work today.

Saturday 22 November 2008

Snow Break this Weekend

Snow Break this WeekendNo Skalitsa this weekend due to guest staying at the farmhouse, and I really do miss the pottering around the farm. We had decided to go somewhere this weekend as we hadn't been anywhere for 4 months, not complaining at all but there is noting wrong with a treat once in a blue moon. Of course the one weekend we decide to go somewhere (It was to be Stara Zagora) it snowed! Weekend was cancelled.

Friday 21 November 2008

Cremated Slippers

Cremated SlippersMy slippers have lasted two years having been worn every day, they are a part of me and even though they are close to tatters, I remain loyal with them. My Galia bought me a new pair as a surprise today. As I pulled the chair from under the table to sit down, they were staring me in the face. They were really nice but I didn't see the need as my old ones where still doing their job. That very evening there appeared a gaping hole in my old slippers as I took then off to go to bed. It was as if to say goodbye fair feet I knew and served you well. These will now be cremated in the wood burner along with my sandals that died two days ago.

Thursday 20 November 2008

'Action' Stations

action stationsLooking out of the window of the car this morning on the way to taking Galia to work, I saw a young man lying by the side of the road. I stopped the car straight away up and walked over to where he was and asked if he wanted some help. He got up smiling saying that students were filming him across the road and that they had to retake the scene because of my kind gesture. I did feel a bit stupid at that point as a policeman approached my car for parking illegally. I rushed back to the car and drove off before he reached me. Huh charity, I don’t know why I bother sometimes.

Wednesday 19 November 2008

End of Sandals

End of SandalsAs I was walking towards the house my foot slipped and I stumbled in one of the many potholes that are scattered throughout the roadways in Yambol. It was dark and I thought no more about it at that point. It wasn't until I got home and took my shoes off that I saw what damage had been done. The sole had spilt in half making the shoes absolutely useless. What was quite a coincidence was, that was the last time I was a to wear these 'sandals' as winter was here and my winter shoes ready to put on the following morning. Every cloud has a silver lining, or in this case a black cloud as the sandals are to be put in the wood burner for heating!

Tuesday 18 November 2008

Cut Finger from Waving Away Flies

Cut Finger from Waving Away FliesFlies are still around in this warm winter sun, the trouble is they are dozy and land on the front door where the sun has warmed it up. When you open the front door they all fly in the house, it's so annoying, but that isn't the bad luck. As the front door was opened this morning I tried waving the flies out and my hand when doing this hit the side of the front door and a big cut was made on my finger. The flies still got in the house and the pain in my finger still throbbing away.

Monday 17 November 2008

Internet Off

Internet OffDamn, no Internet this Monday morning as I was bright as a button an raring to start work early. The bill should have been paid last Friday but we just didn't think with the rush to get to the farmhouse after work. They don’t start work until 9:30 during the week days but that is a Bulgarian 9:30 which could mean anytime, possibly not even morning! so it was writing off line until lunchtime as I knew if I went there the office would be shut any earlier. When I did get there they informed me that they had opened at 8:30 to day as their boss was coming in. So a morning wasted because I presumed incorrectly.

Sunday 16 November 2008

Shop but Empty Shelves

We went to visit out local shop for some bread and beer. We knew there were new owners that had recently taken over so we were looking forward to meeting them. We knew who he was as everyone knows everyone else here. We enter the bar areas with a few people sitting, drink and talking as we waited for the owner to open the shop.

A few moments later he and we asked if he could open the shop, as we wanted bread and a bottle of beer. We followed him into the shop and found that all the shelves were bare. He explained that stocks were due tomorrow (Monday). So it was a failed shopping trip and we won't be here tomorrow. Looks like rice and rakia instead of bread and beer lunchtime.

Saturday 15 November 2008

Freezer Defrosted

Freezer DefrostedBack to the Skalitsa farmhouse and up early in the morning as usual to start some cooking again but as I entered the kitchen I felt a cold sensation on my feet as my socks had sapped up water that lay on the floor. Looking down, the whole floor area next to the freezer was cover in water. The freezer door hadn't been shut properly and had almost completely defrosted. So it was lots of cooking this weekend as much of the freezer's contents had to be used up. Not what we planned at all.

Friday 14 November 2008

Pliers and Flying Drawers

Pliers and Flying DrawersWe needed a pair of pliers as I was fixing a plug that needed the wires to be more secure. The pliers are kept in a drawer along with all bits and pieces such as screws, tape, tape measure, many odd prices of wire, string and loose ends which may be of use one day. The drawer tends to stick and needs a good tug to bring it fully open. I knew this as I approached. As I gave it a big tug, the drawer came out smoothly, so smoothly that the whole draw when flying from its shelf and all the contents, along with the drawer spilled all over the floor. We found the pliers but then had to spend the next five minutes picking up all the other contents and replacing them back in the drawer. Of course if I had not given a a big jerk the drawer would have jammed anyway!

Thursday 13 November 2008

No Power Cut

No Power CutIt was dark all of a sudden as we were sitting there talking over dinner this evening. We have had a power cut we all thought. It was a candle out as we knew these only last some 10 minutes or so usually. We carried on with out meal and talking.

Half an hour later, the light still hadn't come on as we now were getting frustrated as we wanted to watch some TV and do the washing up. Another 20 minutes past as I decided to go outside to see if anyone else had a power cut. As I went out I automatically switched another light on in the hallway, it came on. We didn't have a power cut at all, the bulb had blow in the kitchen! Still we had a candlelit dinner.

Wednesday 12 November 2008

Grated Knuckles

Grated KnucklesGrating a pumpkin to make some pumpkin dessert is something I love doing. We don't have a food processor here and have tot do it by hand with a metal hand-grater. All was going well but we don't like waste and that where the luck ran out. Grating away right to the end of the pumpkin then my knuckles ended up being grated. Plasters administered but not before all the pumpkin was processed. This will be sore for quite a few days, but the pumpkins tasted nice.

Tuesday 11 November 2008

Goodbye Mudflap

Goodbye MudflapAnother slight accident on the car happened today and another part that is missing. I needed to reverse up the chicken yard to collect the cart that was used as a trailer. Everything went fine until I hear a loud crack and a sudden halt. On getting out of the car that had now stalled to see what had happened, it had reverse back onto the stone sink used a s a chicken drinker. This couldn’t 't possibly be seen as it was very low down. There by the side of the wheel lay my mudflap, the cracking sound was the metal bracket attaching the mudflap to the wheel arch that had snapped. Another scar on the car, but then it's a Lada so it doesn't matter too much.

Monday 10 November 2008

Failed Alarm

Failed AlarmWe noramlly get disturbed at the weekend for forgetting to switch off our alarm clocks on our GSMs (mobile phones). We wanted undisturbed weekend mornings so we made a point with both phones by having their alarms deactviated. It worked a treat as we stayed in bed for two mornings beyond the usual alarm call of 6:30! It was Monday morning and we had not put our alarms back on last night so we slept an extra hour to 7:30 and were both running late around in panic by being an hour behind schedule. You just can't win!

Sunday 9 November 2008

No Matches, No Lighter, No Fire

No Matches, No Lighter, No FireIt is Skalitsa again and the evening called for the wood burner to be lit at around 7:00. It wasn't too cold, but enough to warrent a bit of extra heat in the living room. Everyitng was prepared, the paper the carboardm the twigs from last year's vine cutting and a couple of logs on top. We often fight as to who lights it but today was different as we both search for the matches. We couldn't find any, no worries we'll use Galia's lighter, but that had run out only a couple of hours ago and no other lighter inthe house. We could have used the gas hob which has an electric ignition, but that had been broken by our previous guests staying here. We couldn't light the fire so it was off to the shop to buy another lighter, that had shut for some reason. We searched the street for someone who had a light and finally got one from a herdsman on his way down the hill. What a series of bad luck!

Written in association with woodburner suppliers

Saturday 8 November 2008

Bleeding Nose Bad Beer Taste

Bleeding Nose Bad Beer TasteNine times out of ten I work from home, it is only around an hour or two a day I find myself outside either driving or walking around town. In all the time I have been here I have never had a nose bleed. Today was the first it has happened for many a year, and for no reason at all. So why does it happen when I have just sat down in a bar and about to have a beer with Galia? Bad luck I guess. What's more it didn't stop until we actually left the bar, it totally ruined the taste of the beer as well!

Friday 7 November 2008

Bad Milk on Cornflakes

Bad Milk on CornflakesThis morning for breakfast I was really looking forward to my cornflakes, I hadn't had them for over a week as we had been swamped with home made banitsas. It was the cornflakes it the bowl and some ice cold milk from the frdge poured over it, then a big spooful of sugar that followed the milk on the top of the meal. The first spoonful was taken and then spat out, the milk was off. If only I had tried it before putting it on the cornflakes! What made it worse was that was the last portion of cornflakes that had been contaminated.

Thursday 6 November 2008

Leaking Water Bottle

Leaking Water BottleWe drink mineral water when we want a glass of water and it comes in a ten litre plastic bottle. It was really hot this lunchtime as we went to get the bottle from the cupboard. We just couldn't understand it when we picked up the bottle and found that all the water had gone. We questioned everyone as to who had drunk it and put it back enpty but no one would apparently own up, but for a very good reason. As we looked back intot he cupboard all the floor was damp. The bottle had a leak and had leaked all over the floor. It was a mopping up exercise as normal after every other bout of bad luck.

Wednesday 5 November 2008

Door Open - Flies In

Door Open - Flies InWe had thought that the season of flies was no and truly over as we relaxed out defences with them. But today they pounced back. As the warm weather had returned over the last week the flies must have been breeding as this evening we had a house full of flies. Our normal shut the door after you routine had diminished and we paid the price as we spent most of the evening being bombarded with dozy flies that had followed the light into the house with the from door wide open.

Tuesday 4 November 2008

Stains on Clothing Again - One Olive

Stains on Clothing Again - One OliveIt is a reputaton that is increasing with the amount of clothing I ruin by spilling food or drink down. This morning a simple food on the way out, not even sitting down at the table to eat in fact on the move. There was a bowl of olives on the side as I dipped my hand it to pick out one on the way to out. It was put in my mouth nad bitten and all the oily juice squirted out over my top! One single olive is all it took to ruin this set of clothing today. Not funny at the time but is now I am writing about it. It doesn't chance the fact though that the t-shirt will now be another set of clothing only fit for village life.

Monday 3 November 2008

Shoulder Bag Ripped

Shoulder Bag RippedMy shoulder bag is taken with me everywhere I go, today was no exeption as it has all my car documents and identity card and passport as well as my camera GSM (mobile phone) and wallet in it. Today as I went to get out of the car this evening after I had parked up outside the house on the pavement (well that's what they do here) the shoulder strap got caught on the gear stick. I didn't realise this as it was picked up and tugged. The shoulder strap just ripped out of the shoulder bag leaving a gapping hole in the side of the bag deeming it useless. No doubt Baba will try and repair it this evening!

Sunday 2 November 2008

Net Curtains

Net CurtainsIt was on our way back to Yambol when Galia said she wantred to buy some net curtain for the kitchen window en route to our Yambol house. So. directions were given and the shop found after illegally parking, but this is Bulgaria so it is okay. We entered the shop and after only five minutes I knew my luck was on a downer. There was a fashion promotion going on and Galia was hooked, She spent nearly an hour shopping as I sat there bored 'sh**less'. Not only that, I was dying to go the toilet as well! After all that she never bought anything anyway.

Saturday 1 November 2008

Bloody London

Bloody LondonThere is a calendar on my kitchen wall in the Skalitsa farmhouse. Every months it shows a diffrent City from around the world. October's picture was of Paris. As it was the 1st of November I turned over to a new month and staring me in the face was bloody London. I can't wait until the 1st of December to get that depressive picture turned over.


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