Wednesday 31 December 2008

Burnt Stew

Burnt StewToday we were to have some goat stew, it was put on a low heat and left to simmer for a few hours. We got called away by neighbours and what with one thing and another, our return was delayed. You have no idea how hard it is to say goodbye especially in the winter season and lots of time on everyone's hands in the village. On our return we discovered the stew had cooked but so had the pot. Most of the stew was burnt, there was just enough from the top of the pot for one meal as we had now bread and salami to suppliment it.

Tuesday 30 December 2008

Smoke Filled Room

Smoke Filled RoomA little gardening done today as the roses were pruned and cover up. About time and probably just in time for some cold weather is due soon. Back in the house the woodburner is lit. A burst of smoke just filters out of the burner when lit and not the fire is in full swing the room is filling up with smoke. There is nothing we can do other than let it burn out with the windows wide open. The soot had to be cleaned out of the vent leading out of the room. not a difficult job but we had to wait one hour in the cold room waiting for the fire to die down before we could do it.

Monday 29 December 2008

Broken Stable Door

Broken Stable DoorMy back is much better now but still not good enough to do any gardening. I walk aroudn on this sunny day in the village a coupe of days before the New Year kicks in and and feel quite relaxed. On my return back to the farmhouse I find that my stable door had fallen off in the wind. It had slammed itself and the bracket had shattered. I can't fix it right now as my back to too painful. another job to be done at a later date.

Sunday 28 December 2008

Rat Problem

Rat ProblemA Good night of sleep and it was a relaxing day, but the bad luck continued to hit as I tried to hook up on the Internet, there wasn't any! We had paid the bills up to date and we didn't understand why we had been cut off until we followed the cable to the roof and found that rats had chewed through it! Looks like no Internet until a return to Yambol town to get it fixed. Not good as we aren't due to return unit the New Year.

Saturday 27 December 2008

Back Seized Up in the Car

Back Seized Up in the CarTo the Skalitsa farmhouse today a I try to drive there. No problem until we get there and I have to get out of the car. I couldn't move. We had to get a neighbour to help me out of the car as my back had seized up from being in a seated position for half an hour. What made it worse was they kept making me laugh which really hurt as well. Once in the house the wood burner was lit and a hot bath had and a lie down thinking how long this painful back has to last.

Friday 26 December 2008

Boxing Day and Bed Again

Boxing Day and Bed AgainOn my feet today feeling much better, in fact the best for two weeks, but know that I have to walk before I can run. Gingerly walking around now the day seemed to go quite well, not too much pain, then a slight lapse of concentration trying to move a 10 litre bottle of spring water, it was back in bed again for a few hours to recover from the effort. Getting there though.

Thursday 25 December 2008

A Painful Christmas Day

A Painful Christmas DayChristmas Day and I can't move this morning, we did end up going to the Christmas Eve traditional get together and we enjoyed ourselves, but it was very painful all evening, even pain-killing injections and rakia couldn't stop the piercing pain throughout the night. The bad luck was that I had to try and sit in a chair all evening and that was extremely difficult.

Wednesday 24 December 2008

Christmas Eve and Still Ill

Christmas Eve and Still IllChristmas Eve and I still haven't bought anyone presents for anyone due to being confined to the house with my slipped disc. I should count myself lucky that no one expects presents, but my previous life keeps nagging me that gifts have to be given. Not much I can do about it right now though. We are meant to be guests tonight in another apartment, but it remains to see whether I can actually physically get there to see Christmas in with family.

Tuesday 23 December 2008

Sock Problem

Sock ProblemFeeling a bit better today, actually put my socks on myself, but I shouldn't have. The bad luck turned worse as the effort in dressing my feet with socks just made my back even worse and it is back in bed for the rest of the day. Looks like Christmas could be spent watching the ceiling.

Monday 22 December 2008

Expensive X-Ray

Expensive X-RayIf you are ill that is bad luck in itself but this always leads to more bad luck as yo have to do things that are much harder then normal. Just putting my socks on is a major problem. Today I have to have an x-ray, the bad luck it that I have to pay 100 Bulgarian Leva for it! Not a good time to be forking out money three days before Christmas.

Sunday 21 December 2008

Sunday - Day of Rest

Sunday - Day of RestSunday is meant to be the dayh of rest - too right. Still confined to bed with my back that still is giving me cronic pain, walking impossible, can't go anywhere resigned to laying with a loptop that keeps slipping off my lap. We should be relaxing in the village farmhouse but that now seems like a distant dream as it may be another 4-5 days before I can drive again - That's Christmas over with then! Not good fortune at all. New Year? Will the old man be dancing?

Saturday 20 December 2008

Weekend - Bed

Weekend - BedThe weekend has started, is the Saturday before Christmas and I am in bed. My guests have left the village farmhouse and I wanted to go there to prune and cover up the rose bushes to protect them through the winter. This is not going to happen as I am not in bed from laziness, but paralysed with backpain. Will this continue though the whole of Christmas? It feels like it right now as I have great trouble just getting out of bed right now. The worse thing is everything you do is based on bending down, as I have only recently found out!

Friday 19 December 2008

Journey of Pain

Journey of PainStill out on my back and I have to pay the internet bill as they have cut us off. No one about to do it for me as it is too far for Baba to walk, so it is in the car with serious pain and a drive to the Internet Company's office. The road are being repaired so the bumps are more pronouced than normal making the pain even worse. After paying the bill it was the return of pain as the road were negotiated again only this time I got stopped by the police, they found out I was English and let me go just delaying the jurney back to the house. It was a relief to lie down again.

Thursday 18 December 2008

Knock! Knock!

During the day we don't normally get many callers at the house, they usually come in the evening when they know we are all there after work. Of course I am out on my back with a slipped disc and Baba is out paying the bills in town so what happens? We have a series of callers at the house and I have to crawl to the front door and shout across the yard that I can't come to the front gate. Three callers, the water meter reader, the postwoman and a gypsy who wanted his bottle filling with water. Baba comes back early afternoon and no more callers! Why does this happen?

Wednesday 17 December 2008

Slipped Disc

Slipped DiscI'm normally a very healthy person, not much wrong with me, but on occasions some things happen and you know that you are going to be in pain for days on end right at those moments. This happened today as I was screwing back my front headlamp on the Lada as it had come loose from all the pot holes it had been bumping along on over the last few weeks. As I bent down to view they lamp, by back sounded out a 'Click!' A moment of sharp pain came about and at that moment I knew my disc had slipped. It was a slow and painful crawl back into the house and out on my back for the rest of the day. This will be the case right through to the weekend. It makes blogging especially difficult right now.

Tuesday 16 December 2008

Dried Out Pen

Dried Out PenIt is not often that I get to write with a pen nowadays. Everything here is word processed. no letter written or even cheques signed (they don't do cheques here in Bulgaria.) This afternoon I was asked to add my signature one of my book from an Engish couple who had just bought my book from one of the Yambol bookshops. They recognised my picture on the back and stopped me in the street basically for my autograph - Fame eh! "No problem" I said as I went to get my pen from my male handbag. It hadn't been used for at least six months and as I tried to sign the book, it just wouldn't work. The ink must have all dried up during the hot summer months. It was off to a shop to buy a pen in order to fulfill my obligation as a famous writer and sign the book. Of course this story is now is writing material so not all back luck today.

Monday 15 December 2008

Bloody Gypsies!

This was the first time I had been the victim of crime in Bulgaria since I've been here. On getting into the car this afternoon to to the factory run something just didn't feel right. I drove off and turned up at the factory to pick Galia up when I realise what was wrong. One windscreen wiper was missing. I have only recently bought a pair of new wipers and now one had been stolen. I can only put it down to Gypsies as no Bulgarian neighbours would do this kind of thing. It is probably being sold for one Lev in the streets of Yambol right now. What do I do now, buy another one and wait for that to go missing? A chance I'll have to take as the police will pick me up and fine me if they see it missing! Bad feeling, but I'll get over it.

Sunday 14 December 2008

Leaking Pipe

Leaking PipeA long lay in this morning on as we slept through a cold night, the bedroom was freezing as we were thankful that we didn't have to get up at 6:30 for work today. By 9:00 there was still no sign of the sun coming out so we decided to spend more time in bed. We wish we didn't. The water pipe outside had frozen over night and with the morning and a slight defrost was spurting out water by the gallon into the yard. We didn't know about thins until a phone call from a neighbour told us. We spurting out of bed on the news and spent the rest of the morning fixing the leak. Never a good time for this to happen but that was out relaxation on our day off over. Tomorrow more repairs when the shops are open for a new pipe to be fitted.

Saturday 13 December 2008

Money or Sanity?

Money or Sanity?Saturday and again stuck in Yambol this weekend as guests are still occupying our farmhouse in the village of Skalitsa. Not being unkind but we hope that they can leave well before Christmas week as we want to spend some time there and have some quality time alone. The phone rings, it is an English family, they want to rent the farmhouse out over the Christmas and New Year weeks. We dearly would like the money and this is the fourth request we've had from various people. Just like the previous three, I had to say sorry but no. I didn't know these people either so that was the decision made easier, Iwill not take the risk like before. What luck, we really do need the money, but also need the space.

Friday 12 December 2008

No Smoke, But Fire!

No Smoke But Fire!It was half past seven in the evening and at home for the night. It was bitterly cold outside, we didn't want to venture out this evening but just have an early night cuddled up in bed. We had a problem though, my partner had run out of cigarettes, she usually has some spare, but they got smoked the other evening when guests were around. I offered to go to the town centre and buy some as the local shops shut at 7:00. My partner insisted that she'll manage without them. The bad luck you may think was for my partner - you're wrong. The back luck was for me as my partner was in a mood all evening without her nicotine fix and I was the punch bag!

Thursday 11 December 2008

No Towel!

No Towel!I had a shower this evening, a powerful jet of hot water. Everything was fine as I took my relaxing knowing that I was on my own in the house and wouldn't be prompted to hurry up. A good 10 minutes in the shower was enough to see me to a good nights sleep an hour or so later. Having finished the shower I try and reach for the towel which is usually hung behind the door. No towel could be felt as I wiped my eyes and looked instead of feeling. Yep, no towel! It was a dripping body that had to walk to the bedroom to find another one leaving wet footprints all over the floor and freezing in the cold bedroom that we don't heat up.

Wednesday 10 December 2008

Barbecue in a Thunderstorm

Barbecue in a ThunderstormLovely bright day warm with the sun as we planned a barbecue after work today. All the meat prepared as the barbecue system was set up in the yard. charcoal alight and the 15 minute wait until the coals establish a good heat then into the house to collect the meat. From the first sizzle from the meat was now accompanied by the first sizzle of raindrop on the hot grill. Ten minutes later a full blown thunderstorm and downpour! and there was I under a fishing umbrella trying to juggle it in the storm force winds that came as well. What a struggle and what bad luck.

Tuesday 9 December 2008

Pockets Galore

Pockets GaloreYesterday I went for a walk, it was very warm so I took a light jacket to wear and that's where I put my keys. This morning of course the keys were still in my jacket which had been hung up in the the wardrobe. It didn't dawn on me until all the pockets of all my trouser and other jacket had been searched that I remembered wearing the jacket in the cupboard. What's more the jacket in question has six pockets, would you believe that it was the last pocket I put my hand in that found the keys! Always when in a rush in the morning.

Monday 8 December 2008

Cold Batteries = Dead Batteries

Cold Batteries = Dead BatteriesYet another wasted journey to take some pictures of Yambol.this morning. I had charged up some batteries and left them in the camera in the car parked outside so I wouldn't forget them when I left for some library pictures of Yambol. Having arrived at the venue in Yambol that was to be photographed, I got just five shots and the batteries failed. I can only put it down top them being subjected to a very cold night in the car. Next time I'll put them under my pillow at night.

Sunday 7 December 2008

One Centimetre Too Wide

One Centimetre Too WideWe needed to change the furniture around as we had to lay a carpet in the bedroom for winter. We had a new bedside cabinet to fit in as we lay the carpet in the now bare room. On putting all the furniture back all was going really well until we tried to place the cabinet by the side of the bed and the door. It just wouldn't fit as it was one centimetre too wide, the bedroom door caught it as it opened and the bed couldn't be moved over any more. There was no other place for the cabinet as we took it back tot he shop in exchange for a smaller one. One centimetre is all it took for so much trouble!

Saturday 6 December 2008

Stubble Trouble

Stubble TroubleIt is Saturday and this morning I decided not to shave, sometime the face needs a rest and this weekend was a good time as we were staying at home. We needed some bread as we buy it everyday here so it was off to the shop with my one Lev to buy the loaf nice and early. When I got back Baba and Galia were laughing their heads off. They wouldn't tell me why, they just told me to look in the mirror. I I did there was loads of fragmented toilet paper clinging on my stubble under my nose! After I wash and brush my teeth, I always blow my nose on a couple of sheet of poor quality toilet paper. Because I hadn't shaved, the paper had clung to the stubble and I'd been shopping looking like that! No wonder they laughed. Funny no one in the shop said anything, but then I am considered an eccentric for being English here anyway.

Friday 5 December 2008

Deep Puddle

Deep PuddleIf doesn't rain that often in Yambol but when it does it is torrential. Last night we had one of these torrential downpours and by the time we were on our way to work at 7:00 in the morning most of the rain had drained away just leaving rain trapped puddles lying along the road verges. As we arrived at the factory I opened the car door and stepped out only to find that my foot had immersed itself into a puddle that was near up to my ankle. On my daily morning trip her taxiing Galia to work, I only normally wear socks and sandals on my feet. My sock on my left foot was soaked as I drove back to the house. You never know how deep a puddle is until you step in it, if only I thought about that fact this morning!

Thursday 4 December 2008

Too Much Red Pepper

too Much Red PepperPork and cabbage stew is a favourite Bulgarian food traditionally served throughout the winter months. Delicious and warming it usually has some red pepper sprinkled over it before eating. I our house we sprinkle it straight from the packet with a little tapping. On this occasion the little tapping didn't tempt the pepper out so the a slightly stronger tap was used. With this a great wedge of red pepper spilled out onto the plate of stew. We managed to salvage it by sharing the now dampened pepper onto other plates of stew. It was now the thought of buying purpose built pepper disperser with this bout of bad luck.

Wednesday 3 December 2008

Barrel of Water

Barrel of WaterIt was Galia's son Ivo's fault this time as he said that w were going to be cut off with water for two days after he had been speaking to a friend I thought it was lucky that he had been told it as I dusted off a big plastic barrel to fill up with water to see us through the mini drought. In the first instance the barrel picked was too big for the bathroom so that had to be put back and a smaller one taken in. This was filled and left in the corner waiting for the water to be cut off. It was later this evening that we still had water and I wondered why as it was reported that we should have been cut off at lunchtime. Watching the news this evening, it was apparent that Ivo had been misinformed, his friend was joking and of course he fell for it, and the inadvertent joke had rubbed off on us.

Tuesday 2 December 2008

Splinter in Finger

Splinter in FingerMaking the coffee every morning for Galia before she gets out of bed is a routine carried out every day. Never usually a problem, but then just one thing out of line and it leads to problems. That's what happened this particular morning. The coffee was being made and the teaspoon just dropped out of my hand onto the floor. As I reached down to pick it up, my hand brushed against the wooden cabinet door. A sudden pain was felt as a splinter form the door wedged itself into my finger. The coffee had to wait while I got the tweezers to extract the small splinter of wood that had submersed itself into my flesh. Good morning Martin!

Monday 1 December 2008

Socket Problem

Socket ProblemAs usual the laptop was set on the table, all I do is plug the socket in lift the lid and switch it on every morning. As the plug was inserted into the wall socket there was a little rattle with the plug as it was handled. On further investigation the screw that holds the the plug together had come loose. it was into the DIY tool draw int he kitchen to get a screwdriver to tighten it up. The screw was tighten, but that wasn't good enough as I gave it another little turn just to make sure it was extra tight. I wish I hadn't the hard white plastic pug fractured and I had two halves of a plug in my hand. The plug still works after it is now held together with insulation tape in true Bulgarian style. A simple tightening of a screw is never easy with bad luck.


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