Saturday, 24 October 2009

Randomness and Children

I'm the first one to point out that my posts and this blog are somewhat hectic and haphazard. Random is me! The Bulgarians seems to be pretty organised as a people. They follow the seasons, go to work, meet friends for coffee and day to day life goes along the way it has done for years.

If I could sort my life into complete order I think I'd get very bored quickly. Life needs some random moments, although not as many as we have here possibly LOL.

My daughter seems to have inherited the random streak and grown it into a total lifestyle......or is that just teenagers in general? My son on the other hand is somewhat of an order freak and spends hours sorting through his various card collections etc. How can 2 children be so different?

I've tried over the years to become more organised and it works but only for a certain length of time. So do I keep on trying or just go with the flow as seems more appropriate here? I get things done, not always on time but the jobs get done. Isn't that what counts? We try to live a peaceful life here - not always easy with a teenage girl and 12 yr old boy around but most of the time things run pretty well.

David, my husband, works long hours most days renovating houses for other people, on the odd day off he gets he does like to go fishing and who can blame him? I can honestly say that I'm rarely bored here because there's so much to do especially when the weather is good. We spend more time together as a family now than ever and I hope the children appreciate and realise how much better life here is.

No longer am I scared that they'll be knocked over or abducted if they go outside to play. They walk to and from school every day without any hassles and are generally much more active here. In the first 6 months of living here I lost 3 stone in weight! Having been off and on dieting for years it was a total revelation as at that time I wasn't trying to lose weight. I've put some of it back on but am still 2/3 dress sizes smaller than I was in the UK and it's all down to the healthier life.

If you offered me money to return back to good old blighty and live I'd turn you down without having to think twice. Our life here is far from perfect but we're happy, albeit as poor as a church mouse but oh so rich in other ways. Life is hard wherever you are unless you make it otherwise.


I've just realised I haven't added any photo's to this blog yet, so it's time to take the camera out and about today and see what I can find.

Although I do try to take photo's pretty regularly sometimes life gets in the way! The one thing I do wish we'd done was take piccies at every stage of renovation so far. Then I could look back and know how far we've come.

Maybe I'll find some older photo's on disc somewhere but I'll have to hunt through them and see. I'm nowhere near a professional photographer and could probably do with taking the time to read the huge manual that came with the camera, but I like to take pics of things that interest me.

So I'll sign off for now, grab another coffee and make a start on my plans for today....


Confidence is an amazing thing. Some people definitely have more than others, while some manage to make you think they're confident when in reality they're not.

I'm quite confident, usually outgoing, rarely shy and can be opinionated at times. Typical of an Aries as some might say lol There are some things I'm not as confident with as I'd like to be though. Cooking for instance, I like it, manage well most of the time but just don't rate my abilities as any more than someone who potters about in the kitchen.

Horse riding is another......I've ridden for years and when I was younger was probably overly confident, to the point of almost dangerous at times. I'd ride any horse, even when I knew they were the ones that frequently bucked/reared etc etc.

These days that confidence has gone and it's taken me a while to admit it to myself. I'm not scared of horses just can't help thinking about what might happen! Strange because my big horse back in the UK was the most gentle soul you could ever meet and I'd owned him since he was a year old so knew him very well. Maybe it's age and the fact that I've got responsibilities now, although I'm not sure about that. I rode right through my pregnancies and never had any problems. In fact I've never been badly hurt, yes I've had my share of falls but nothing major.

Well over the next few weeks I'm facing some of my fears and have been out for a short ride again today on Maya. What's the worst that can happen? I'll keep you posted on how we get on. Hopefully Maya is going to enjoy her new career as a riding horse!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Animals in Bulgaria

Animals in the majority of the villages are not what we'd class as pets. They have a job to do and if they no longer do that job then they have no use anymore. Cruelty to animals is something that is tolerated to a certain degree here and there are no laws to stop it.

Certainly some of the animals you see are well looked after and even loved to an extent. Sadly for some life isn't good. There are shelters and organisations trying to help animals in Bulgaria but without the back-up from the government and funding it must be incredibly hard.

Mostly every home here has a dog, it's there to guard it's home. Most are not fed on commercial dog food, they eat the scraps and leftovers or dry bread. They're chained sometimes without shelter and not walked at all. The odd thing is that when these dogs bark no-one looks out to see if anyone is there!

A lot of the Bulgarian people disagree with neutering/spaying their animals so there are a lot of unwanted kittens and puppies left to fend for themselves. In the last year or so we've had 7 kittens and a puppy left outside our house, most of them went to very good homes.

Our animals are mainly pets, we have 2 dogs that live in the house and another one outside who has a lovely kennel which he shares with our 2 cats! Then there's the pig, turkeys, chickens outside with their runs and houses and of course the 18 chicks that are currently housed in big boxes downstairs in my living room as it's too chilly overnight for them out in the chicken house until they're fully feathered.

I'm hoping in years to come - and it may take a long time, that with education and patience some of the cruelty to animals can be stopped. It's impossible and naive to think that it will ever be totally eradicated but things are slowly changing for the good. Our neighbours now feed their cats and dogs commercial dog food and have noticed a big change in the animals...a small step but at least it's progress!

Monday, 19 October 2009

More Ups than Downs

Living here definitely has it's perks. Not everything is wonderful though I must admit.

We live in a rural village of about 1200 people, about a half hour drive from the nearest town. Further away than some ex-pats like to be from major airports, bus routes and shopping malls but that's what we wanted. Never having lived in a major city I can't really see the attraction. City life isn't for me!

The downside to being so far from town is our internet's truly rubbish! Slower than dial-up, not very dependable and as it's wireless it also needs an electric supply to work. So if the power goes off so does the internet.

Customer service isn't the same here as it was in the UK. Store staff aren't usually being intentionally ignorant, they've just never had any training about how to deal with customers. so when I complained to our internet supplier about the quality of the service I didn't hold out much hope that they'd actually do something about it.

A few days go by and we get a call from customer service - They tell me to pack the system up, take it into town and they'll cancel the contract! Now what I expected but he wasn't going to listen to me telling him that I don't want to cancel I just want the bl**dy thing to work!

So now we're in a conundrum, they've offered to cancel the contract, the service is rubbish, staff don't listen and the phone line that comes as part of the system only works when it feels like it. But what next? Is there a better alternative? Think I'll be spending some time tomorrow having a look into what else is available.

With winter on it's way I don't fancy being stuck without the internet.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

An interesting read

Today is another dull, cool autumn day. Not the weather for being outside so after a spot of shopping this morning I've been busy catching up on e-mails and various forums and websites that I read.

I came across an article that caught my eye and thought some of you readers may like it too so here's the link

Personally we came here to live a better life and as things go it's working ok for us. We don't have a bottomless pit of money, work for what we have and basically get by. We took some time off to renovate our house but have had to start working again to make money for everyday life. Hopefully one day we'll make enough to finish the renovations too.

On the whole though we're happy and healthy. Much healthier than we were 3 years ago. Who cares if we don't have a pool or top of the range car....we don't! What we do have is so much more important and we're content. Of course there are a few things we'd change if we did something like this again but looking back most people would say the same I think.