Thursday, 12 August 2010

Busy Bees

Once again we've had a few busy days so my internet time has been shorter than usual. We had friends arrive in the village last week who have finally made the move here full time and I'd forgotten how much of a pain and time consuming it is trying to sort bills, materials and other stuff out. A short trip into town quickly becomes an all day thing, nothing gets done quickly here and paperwork mounts up fast. The heat doesn't help either, summer is truly here and the temperatures are set to be in the high 30's for the next few days.

Charlotte and her mob of fantastic piglets are doing really well, the babies are starting to investigate everything and each time we open the sty door they make a run for it! They're extremely friendly already and have realised that humans are great for getting tummy rubs from. I've already stocked up on starter feed as they'll be getting their first taste of solid food next week. They seem to be bigger daily and have already at least doubled in size since birth, mum looks well still but is getting extra rations to help keep her milk production up.

We have yet another new addition to our menangerie, well to be truthful not so new but different! When hubby's sister bought her house in the village she "Inherited" a rather sweet mixed breed dog, who was promptly named Baba. The dog then gave birth to 4 puppies, one of which is our original outside dog, Butch. Well after 2 years living here, sister in law is returning to the UK and needed homes for all of the animals she has. Baba does tend to spend half of the week here anyway and seems to like to be here so she's moving in for good. She will be living outside with Butch as that's what she's used to. There will be no more puppies as she was neutered last year and she's not a bother to have around at all apart from liking to bark at horses and carts.

Vasko is doing much better and we seem to have the fly problem under control. I bought a spray from the vets that seems to be working well and also has antiseptic and antibacterial in it so that is helping him heal quickly. We're being extra vigilant and also making sure that all of the animals have clean water at least 3 times a day to help them cope with the heat. Lucky for us there is a water spring just outside with an abundance of fresh, cold and best of all free mineral water, makes life so much easier!

We're donkey free at the moment as Maggie has gone to our friends place for a few weeks to help control their jungle of a garden, I'm sure she'll enjoy the attention she'll get (and extra food rations) and be home before the winter sets in. Tomorrow we have 2 pigs going off to their new home which will help free up some barn space for Charlotte and her babies to move into next week. As the piglets are growing so fast they'll enjoy the large part of the barn and will be able to run around a lot more.


  1. Hiya Suzy, we've just got back to GB after our trip to Bulgaria and have caught up with the blog. Noticed that you had problems with your laptop a couple of posts ago. Have you managed to sort it? If not I might be able to look at it for you when we make the final move over there at the end of this month. No promises that I will be able to cure it though :)
    Why is your Sister-in-law coming back to Blighty? Did she hear we were coming over? :)
    Kind regards. Bob & Wendy.

  2. Hi Bob & Wendy, I really hope you enjoyed your trip and the fab weather we've been having.

    I've not got round to sorting the laptop yet but will try and find the time soon. At least I have the pc as a back up.

    Sister in law is returning as the work situation here isn't great. We all moved here with a specific budget and knew this could happen. I have my fingers crossed that something may come available before she goes (so anyone reading if you need a great caterer, chef, host and party planner who also makes fab wedding/christening/birthday cakes just shout please).

    Have you much work to do to your house in BG Bob? There are some really lovely renovated properties around and some not so good :)

  3. Hiya Suzy, yep got tons of work to do on our house - in fact the last trip out was to make a couple of rooms habitable so that we could renovate the rest of the house. Unfortunatly that didn't happen! My Brother has a house in the same village which is in slightly better condition so we were able to tart up several rooms so that when we (including my Brother) come out at the end of this month we have a base to work from.
    Wendy's Sister came out with us this time and moved straight into her house in the next village, but is finding it hard as the roof seems to be the nightly meeting place for the village rat population.
    We had been out prior to buying our houses and should have known what to expect but have to admit that it was a bit of a shock when we arrived this time. We could not believe how overgrown everything had become. It was like the invasion of the Triffids. So lots of work on the houses and the gardens.
    Don't know exactly what area you are living in but our local town is Levski. If you are close would you know of any decent builders, electricians, plumbers etc.? Also where we can buy our winter supply of wood? Where's the best place to buy a wood burning stove/oven that will heat the water/radiators etc.?
    Kind regards, Bob & Wendy.

  4. Hi Bob & Wendy. You should be able to buy winter wood from your village if there is a municipality office there, but if it's anything like ours the price does go up in winter so it's best to order as soon as you can.

    Renovations are never easy and there are a lot of builders to avoid. I do know a great builder that is UK trained with 20+ yrs experience that can do most jobs. There's a good wood burning stove company in Gorna Oryahovitsa called Prity, I'm pretty sure they sell all over the country too. We have a Prity woodburner that runs our radiators and keeps the house nicely warm through the coldest months.

    I think Levski is approx 50km's from us so probably about an hours drive. We live 34km's from Veliko Tarnovo is a village called Sushitsa.

    As for rat problems the best things to do are block up any holes where they can gain entry and then used baited traps. That's what works best for us, although we know we will never be totally rodent free with all the animals and feed around. If you'd like to chat to me direct just let me know and I'll find a way to get my e-mail address and/or phone numbers across to you.


  5. Thanks Suzy, yep if we could avail ourselves of your experience and knowledge that would be a great help in our early months in Bulgaria. So some way of contacting you would be great.
    We are hitting Makro and Bookers before we leave at the end of the month, as we know that we are not going to get our land cleared until next years growing season. So we will be buying tons of tinned stuff to keep us going - do you want anything bringing over? Be more than happy to accomodate.
    Kind regards,
    Bob & Wendy.

    PS: Wendy says where did you get your swimming pool and how big is it? :)

  6. Hi Bob & Wendy, You should find that I've added my e-mail address to my blogger profile so feel free to contact me via that if you'd like to. The first few months after moving can be the busiest and it's great to have someone to help guide you through it.

    You can buy lots of tinned foods here in BG (not seen corned beef anywhere though) and may work out cheaper here to be honest. Best thing to do is get yourselves a Metro card at the store in Veliko Tarnovo and buy in bulk. New supermarkets are opening regularly so the choices are growing. We find Kaufland in Gorna Oryahovitsa is the best for most things.

    I think we're already quite well stocked for winter and I've been busy making jam and preserving vegetables for winter use. I'm planning on a trip to the local vegetable market to buy up a load of late (and cheap) produce. Thanks again for offering to bring things over.

    We bought our swimming pool from another ex-pat family and it's a 15' diameter, over a meter tall above ground easy set pool. They do sell them in Metro and also Praktiker - if you hang on until the end of the summer season you may find the prices drop.

    There are a few things you can grow over winter here and I'll be posting about that at the relevant time.