Saturday, 27 February 2010

Rainy Days

After the floods a week or so ago the ground here had started drying out really well and I was getting quite optimistic about the chances of getting some veg in the ground early......but now it's raining and has been on and off for a couple of days so the ground is waterlogged again.

We're back to mud everywhere and washing hanging all over the house drying, oh well summer can't be that far away now. Now that it's warmed up a bit we're using less firewood and not lighting the wood burner through the day, which also means we need to cut wood less often. An essential for surviving the winters here is a good chainsaw ans the knowledge of how to use it safely.

There are no health and safety guidelines in  place here and I imagine there are quite a few accidents due to carelessness. Living here sometimes reminds of years ago and the old fashioned way of life. Horses and carts are still used daily as transport in the villages, people keep animals close to their homes and rear them for food plus grow most of the vegetables they eat. Everything is then jarred/canned for winter consumption and the home brewed wines and rakia helps them stay warm during the colder months!

I'm hoping to use some of the rakia we've been given to make liquer this year and have been browsing the net for recipes.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

A Change is as Good as a Rest

Today has been a different day. I've been into Veliko Tarnovo with my sister in law for a spot of food shopping and to catch up with some people who use a forum I'm a member of. It's not often we get the chance to sit and enjoy a chat and coffee with other ex-pats so today has been really nice.

There are some lovely people in the area (albeit widespread) and just to meet people in person is great, plus there is always good advice given by those who have been here longer and experienced more. It's a great excuse to put some decent clothes on and a bit of makeup too!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The Great Escape!

Now that the piglets are getting bigger and more boisterous we've started putting them into the large barn through the day to run off some extra steam. The ground conditions still aren't good enough to start trying to build a new pig house and enclosure but they are improving.

It's wonderful watching the piglets chase each other around and root about, plus it gives mum Charlotte a break, not that she gets very long breaks as they're still feeding from mum regularly. The downside is that they've almost trashed the barn but it's nothing that can't be repaired.

The hard part is getting them from the pig house into the barn in one go - they're so inquisitive and love to explore. As soon as anyone tries to go into the barn they're at the door waiting to try and escape or mob you. They've had a fair amount of handling so far and aren't scared of people in the slightest, nothing seems to faze them and the poor chickens have learnt to get out of the barn or up into the rafters as soon as the pigs come in!

Hopefully I'll get some new pics posted here over the next couple of days for you all to see.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Having a Lazy Day

We're not huge drinkers by any standard and rarely go out these days but do now and again enjoy a night in with a few vodka's and a game of cards - last night was one of those nights so today has become a bit of a lazy day! On the plus side it's really windy outside today so there's not much work could be done, even the dogs aren't keen on being in the garden.

I'd really like to be sitting snuggled up next to the woodburner today reading an interesting book. I've seen a lot of smallholder and pig keeping books recommended on a forum I read but I'm not sure that Amazon will deliver to Bulgaria or that I trust the postal service here enough to even try! I think one of these books might come in handy as our neighbour has said he is going to give us a hive and colony of bees this year.