Sunday, 8 September 2013

How Time Flies!

Time flies so fast these days that I'm not sure my feet have even touched the ground. It's September already and winter preparations have started. There have been a lot of changes here since I blogged last and most of them have been good (apart from the odd exception of course).

Each day brings a new set of challenges and as the months pass by quickly life just seems to take it's own course. This year saw the arrival of many good (and not so good) volunteers, a few ducks, new chickens and a 4x4 so we should be able to get out and about this winter with more ease. We have managed to get some small jobs done around the house but nothing major has changed to be honest. My garden is a little bereft this year but still producing enough for us to eat and save for winter time. Working has become a full time occupation again but the bills are being paid so that's what counts!

I've been riding quite a lot this year and actually trained for an endurance competition of 30km's. Sadly I never got to compete but did get to spend a few weekends in great company helping out as endurance crew which has been a great experience. Plus it meant I got to see more of this beautiful country as we travelled quite far. There are still a couple of competitions left this season so maybe I'll post some photos after the next one. Maya, my pony has come a long way and it now totally bitless, barefoot and treeless too - both of the ponies have had big changes this year and now live outside 24/7 which has made a huge difference to their attitudes, especially grumpy Maya. Who is now happy, rarely grumps and enjoys my company.

Time to go feed animals now so I'lll bid you farewell and be back soon for a proper update :)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

It's December Already!

This year has gone by so fast and I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing!
Almost mid December now and we have snow, looking out of the window the sunshine looks warm, but it's bitterly cold with a awful wind so the woodburner is on and my socks are dry Alan!

I still can't get over the fact that 1 week we can have 20 degrees C and then the next it's -7 degC. All gardening has finished for the year and the last of the volunteers will be heading on his way at the weekend probably. We've had such a fantastic bunch of people here this year, over 40 in all, and the work they have done is amazing. We've laughed, celebrated birthdays, ridden ponies, shoveled muck, pulled weeds and had some great times.

Today is 12.12.12 and the last of those kind of numbers we'll see. Oh and who can forget the mention that the world will end on 21.12.12 according to the Mayan calendar? Well to me they are just days, and no different from any other day here in rural Bulgaria. there are still animals to feed, water and clean out and I still have to make the evening meal. Plus keep the fire going and make an attempt at keeping the house clean.

Keeping the house clean in winter is pretty hard with all the dogs and cats going in and out, snow and mud on boots and the dust that just never seems to stop. But I can ignore all that for a while and do some writing work or watch a movie. And we do have our fast internet now so that makes blog posting easier (but doesn't mean I spend less time in front of the computer!).

Here's hoping that where ever you are, you are warm, happy and content with your life.

Ciao for now :)

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

As September Draws to a Close

Another very busy month has almost escaped us. More volunteers, more work done and I'm still riding the horses too. So pretty happy all round. Well, apart from waiting the last 3 weeks for a new internet service via Vivacom........Fingers crossed tomorrow is actually the day they WILL turn up, unlike the last 3 appointments they've broken. If all goes well, we will be joining the 21st century and have broadband in less than 24 hours time.

For most in the UK, broadband is the norm these days I'd expect. But we have waited over 5 years. So when I heard from a lovely friend that someone she knew in the village had broadband installed, we both went into town to enquire. "Yes" said the sales assistant, who speaks very good English, and the following week my friend did indeed have broadband installed. Alas they didn't realise how many people here would want the same so after the initial rush apparently the system couldn't cope with demand and has had to be modified by the engineers.

In other news, my garden has been wonderful this year. My plan for using less water, more mulch seems to have worked well and the straw bale plants have flourished. We've had a bumper crop of tomatoes and many other things and I'm still picking vegetables daily. Really makes a difference to our food bills, especially when, at times, we've had 8 or 9 people here to eat daily. There are more straw bales in place for next year and I'm hopeful we can continue to make improvements.

The ponies are looking well and continue to improve in their ridden work. I've been hacking out a lot with a friend and it makes such a difference to have someone to chat to while riding. I feel fitter too, which is a good thing as I do tend to be on the lazy side. But with the weather finally cooling off it's so much easier to go riding. It's already getting dark earlier and every day we notice more leaves falling from the trees and the temperatures drop slightly. I've already emptied the pool as it hadn't been used for 2 weeks, it just needs put away somewhere rodent-proof for the winter.

Regular readers might notice a new widget on my blog - I'm also writing articles and publishing to so please feel free to click and have a look. The link should open in a new window.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Time Flies!

Whoa there, it's almost the end of August and our summer has been rather hectic to say the least. We've had horrendous heatwaves, family visiting and I made a quick trip to the UK to see family. Plus all the usual jobs in the garden, arranging winter animal feed and finding things to do with all the produce we've grown.

Riding with Michele, a volunteer who came and helped with the ponies.

Life goes on in Bulgaria and although it seems to move at a less frantic pace it can still be tiring. Luckily we've had some wonderful volunteers this year and have achieved more than expected. Still, there's plenty to be done and more volunteers on the way. We also have 2 kittens now, Treacle & Trixie. they're bundles of fun and growing fast!

Today we're having a break from the extreme heat of the past week where the thermometer was well over 40 Degrees C. It's presently raining, windy and overcast, a lovely change. Early this morning I've been out for a hack on the ponies with a friend and thoroughly enjoyed it. Especially after the ponies had a 2 week intensive training course this month and are now much more sensible, responsive and nicer to ride. 

Here's a selection of the latest photo's taken here by some of our volunteers.





The gorgeous Charlotte


Maya after a bath

Milka waiting for a bath.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Latest Photo's

I wanted to share with you some photographs of our latest volunteers and the work they've done. Five out of six are leaving this weekend to continue their travels and we're so lucky to have had them stay with us.

So this Blog post is dedicated to all of the volunteers we've had over the last year, who have helped, created, laughed and enriched our lives. Thanks guys and girls!

The ladies off to work. From left to right : Joanna, Allison, Cheryl, Camille   &                           Dee.                                                  

Nick having a go at Archery.

Dee & Antoine at the archery range.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Changing Times

May has been a strange month so far. We've had higher than average temperatures and lower rainfall, until this week when all of the rain seems to have fallen over 2 days with more forecast. So today was an indoors, quiet and pretty dull day.

Maybe it's because hubby filled the above ground pool? a freak weather pattern? or possibly just global warming/cooling? Who knows for sure? But please just let me have a little sunshine during the day and rain after 8pm :)

Our volunteers are getting along well and working very hard. They have a few projects on the go and some are staying longer than planned as they'd like to see things through and complete tasks they have a part in. I really must say that they're a lovely bunch of folk, from a variety of places and with many skills and ideas between them. Plus they will eat almost anything so I'm getting to try out a few new recipes, which seem to be appreciated.

The vegetable garden is starting to produce again and is almost fully planted. New raised beds have been built and there are a few experiments on the go using old straw, compost and whatever I could find around the place. I'm glad to say that the last 3 years trying to improve areas of soil seem to be paying off nicely.

We have some lovely new artwork done by some of the volunteers, more planned for another rainy day and hopefully they will remind us of the fun we had when they were here. The sewing machine has been getting regular use, new cushion covers made, garments altered or repaired with some fabric leftover for more projects.

Our orchard area is now clear of the many young, wild fruit trees that were dominating the area, new fencing has been erected and a stone wall rebuilt. Hopefully soon the weather will break and it can be finished. Then the horses can enjoy grazing without being tethered.

I'm off to bed soon and hope you are all enjoying life, but before I go I wanted to answer Michael's comment from my previous post.

There are a fair amount of British expats in the VT region, and differing reasons for moving to this area. Some may find solace in the fact that there are others close by that they have things in common with, others because property is cheap here. Personally we moved here because we loved the scenery (and did look at other areas of BG before VT). Plus we could find what we were looking for - which was a structurally sound house (in need of renovation) with more than the average amount of land. Truthfully the British residents in the area are pretty well spread apart and do not live in each other's pockets. We are 1 of 4 expat families living in this village (10 people in total including 3 children) and a very small proportion of the village inhabitants (at the last census 806). We all live in different parts of the village and have Bulgarian friends and neighbours.

Keep posting the comments folks :)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Volunteer Season is Here

What a lovely month this is turning out to be - in fact, the last 4 weeks have been fabulous. The garden is coming along nicely, animals all happy and shedding their winter coats and we have volunteers staying with us again.

All's good in my little world. We're enjoying life again and winter is definitely behind us. There have been some lovely nights in and out with friends, my birthday, beautiful sunshine, temperatures rising and everything is green and healthy looking.

Hubby surprised me and bought a new camera for my birthday, plus tiled the kitchen walls. Once I get a new memory card I'll be out and about taking snapshots of my daily life for you all to see.

Keep posting the comments folks, I really do enjoy reading them and wanted to say thank you to anyone who reads this blog for sticking with it.

Back soon with an update on what's growing well and any other news from my corner of rural Bulgaria.