Saturday, 28 November 2009

A productive day

Today we've all worked together and managed to get most of the roof finished off, well the tiles are on anyway. We formed a chain and passed tiles to each other with me on the ground as I'm scared of heights! It's great to see the kids helping and not whining about having to do some work, I think they've enjoyed it really lol. And it's wonderful to see the roof almost done.

Any work that needs done on our house has to take a back seat when there is work for other people on, the need to make a living here is strong as we haven't a pot of money to rely on or any other income coming in from another source.We did toy with the idea of buying my sister out of the house in the UK and then renting it out to give us an income but there's no guarantee that we'd have had a tenant or that any tenant would actually pay the rent!

Of all the houses I've lived in during my life I don't think I've ever felt a bond or longing to stay there, apart from  here. I love this house whether it's finished or not, our neighbours are mostly good and not too close, the garden is just waiting for something wonderful done with it and we also have plenty of opportunity to alter/build/extend or whatever should we feel the need to or even have the money to do so!

Update on the smoking thing - Hubby is smoking again but only a couple a day, he was so miserable without the fags and is happier now but realises that cutting down is a step towards another attempt at cutting them out completely. I gave in and tried a couple of cigarettes to see how it made me feel and to be brutally honest it was awful, I didn't enjoy them at all and have no urge to go back to smoking, I feel happier knowing that I've given up and hopefully beaten it. The best part is that by not smoking we have saved enough money to pay the monthly electric, water and phone/internet bills for the month!!!

Thursday, 26 November 2009


So far my willpower and determination to succeed at quitting smoking has been enough to get me through, today though feels a bit different. I find I really want a cigarette and I think it's a comfort thing to be honest. I sold our young horse this morning and found it quite upsetting - so I think that's the reason behind today's craving.

David is also still off the cigarettes but mainly because I am, I think if I'd had a cigarette he'd have been back on them like a shot. I often wonder if I just had one cigarette would it put me off more or encourage me to start smoking again? The latter probably and then it would be harder to stop again.

Selling the horse today was something I've been putting off for ages but something that needed to be done. Trying to look after all of the animals here, plus kids and hubby and also sort out the garden etc is quite time consuming and in reality I just didn't have enough time to keep 3 horses and spend quality time with them individually. The young horse has gone off with the benefit of having an extra year to grow and mature compared to other bulgarian horses - they are usually broken in at a year old and I personally don't think they're mature enough or strong enough at that age.

Having one less horse to look after also means one less mouth to feed over winter, which is not cheap. Although the saving we make not feeding a horse will probably be swallowed up by the fact that our pig is hopefully due to give birth mid january, so we'll have to feed piglets and a lactating sow.

I'll feel better over the next day or so about selling the horse. It's one thing I've never been any good at and I cried for days after parting with our horses in the UK even though I knew I was doing the right thing. Hopefully the want for a cigarette will drop off again too and I'll get back to feeling more positive about now being an ex-smoker.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Ahh Country Life

One of our lovely neighbours has been around today with his 50 year old Russian tractor and plowed our garden. The same happened last year and we're ever so grateful. Because none of our land had been worked for at least 5 years it's mainly gone to weed and needed a lot of work and will continue to do so.

There are some fantastic gardens here, everything has a place and they look so well tended - barely a weed in sight, ours on the other hand is a bit more of a handful! Our garden is actually 10 gardens - we have 9 separate deeds, originally there were more buildings on the land and they are still shown on the "Skitza's", Still standing are the main house (that we live in) and a small bungalow that is almost renovated, plus barns beside both of them. At the top of the gardens we have another 2 bungalows but they're in a derelict state and cannot be repaired so we've removed any materials we could re-use (roof tiles and timbers for the fire) and hopefully nature will take it's course and the old mud brick walls will collapse in.

I'd love our garden  to look like some I've seen in the village and to produce most of our vegetables and fruit, hopefully one day it will. The soil here is a fantastic dark brown colour and the garden looks amazing after being plowed. We're so lucky to have neighbours who are willing to help and try to teach us things, even if some of the things I don't agree with, like using chemical pesticides etc. Maybe one day my bulgarian will be good enough so that I can explain why I don't want to use any chemicals etc and how companion planting works!

So far we've only managed to work the main house garden but do hope to plant some lucerne on a double plot and also some maize or sweetcorn on half of another. We also have a lovely mature orchard with lots of apple, quince and plum trees. One thing we're never short on here is fruit as it's in such abundance.