Saturday, 14 August 2010

Run Piggy Run!

Today has been a rather busy one but there have been a load of laughs along the way. This morning I was up bright and early, horses out to graze, washed and dressed myself in decent clothes and off I went with the ladies for our usual Friday morning jaunt to the village centre and a chat over coffee. I also needed to find the guy who turns and bales our hay/lucerne as it had been cut last weekend and is due to come off the field. Unfortunately this time he can only bale it so poor hubby and our friend Jordani have had to go row and turn it all by hand this afternoon.

No sooner did we get settled at the table than the electricity went off, which is not uncommon here (and we don't get any warning either). Luckily we already had our coffees by then, so normal chat resumed with the table filling up fast as other Bulgarian ladies piled in.

I had to nip off during the chat to help an english friend order winter provisions for his donkey and chickens, and that sorted headed back for my coffee. I am getting better at understanding the conversations going on and sometimes even get a joke or 2 in Bulgarian. The ladies gently ribbed me about not charging for translation services but in reality my Bulgarian isn't that good! So off we went to pay bills and bargain hunt, luckily for me there was no water bill this month and the electric isn't due until next week.

10 minutes later and I'm home, still no electric but a few things sorted out and still lots to do. Hubby went off to sort the lucerne, and I went inside to get changed. There was lots of noise coming from the barn/stable yard so I had to go check things were ok, expecting to find Charlotte had decided to remove the sty door again. Nope, but the older piglets had broken through the barn door and were having a great time helping themselves to a 20 kilo bag of feed! Grrrr, no chance of getting them back in the barn since they've broken the bottom half of the door, demolition pigs have been at it again. Oh well at least they were secure in the yard and seemed to be having fun.

Back inside I did some housework, hubby came home, then friends came to collect their 2 pigs. Now in theory the "We'll let them out of the yard and they'll follow food to the trailer" should work, but not when the pigs have been stuffing their faces for the lst couple of hours! So we arranged people at various "Pig stopping" points, backed the trailer right up to the gate and tried to coerce, force, push, chase and generally get the pigs in the right direction.  So after half an hour in 35 degrees C and much amusement we finally had one pig in the trailer - the other had gone off for a trip to the bungalow garden but was swiftly rounded up by me, attempt 2 saw us making slow but sure progress with a fresh cucumber and a feed bucket and after some squealing (by the pig) and a bit of swearing (me) the second pig finally joined number 1 in the trailer for their short trip to their new home. Phew, happy days and filthy legs!

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.