Archive for March 27, 2011

Beer Accident

The clocks have gone forward it is officially spring. I have celebrated my birthday (36), and have started this years food campaign.
The village is slowly emptying. Those who normally work abroad for the summer months are departing again, and this year increasingly, those that are no longer
growing tobacco are following them. Soon there will only be me left!

Daffodils in Bulgaria

I have passed the age of celebrating my advancing years, that however did not stop the rest of my neighbours joining me in the pub for a few beers.
Very generous they all were too.

The normal tipple here in Bulgaria is ‘Mastika’ which you would probably know as ouzo. The favourite brand here, “Peshtara” is 47% and is served in 100ml
servings. Needless to say when you have had a few, it can some times just take away your legs! So last night I was in the pub (It is the weekend) and one of my neighbours
(no names to protect the innocent) finishes his 3rd of the evening and decides its time to head home. I am heading off as well (3 beers – only) when I see
my neighbour doing the walk I shout back to Hikmet (the barman) and say I think my neighbour may need a lift home as he is heading in the wrong direction.
Hikmet comes out to see what the fuss is about, sees the evidence, and asks if he would like a lift home. All I hear back is a grunted ‘Hayir’ (no in Turkish)
So Hikmet says to me:

‘He’s not drunk he’s just having a joke’

(Pause for the 3 seconds)

Crash! My neighbour has finally lost all use of his legs and is now lying on the floor. So Hikmet and I go and get him on his feet, and again offer
him a lift. No, no, no, I just slipped (all in slurred Turkish).

(another pause for 5 seconds)

Another crash, and aforementioned neighbour back on the floor!

I really thought we should give him a lift, but Hikmet assured me he was only playing about. So todays top tip is don’t play about when drinking ‘Mastika’.

Daffodils in Bulgaria

The weather has been kind enough to allow me to continue my path building (I have nearly finished). Stepping stones in Bulgaria are unheard of though. I have been asked many
times why I have missed bits out. When I explain how/why I made them I am just given strange looks that translate as ‘Silly English’.

Pear Grafting & Man Flu

One of my next door neighbours is a master of all trades and at 67 years old is more sprightly than I am most days. He can often be seen
on his roof making repairs or sweeping the chimney. So when I made an attempt to graft some pear cuttings on to some wild root stock
he decided that the silly ‘Ingleez’ shouldn’t do this unsupervised (probably a good idea). In fact after about 2 mins he took control and did it for me.

Pear graft

It is not a difficult procedure, first of all we cut the old tree down near to the base. Then inserting the cuttings inbetween the outer bark
and the main trunk as this is where the sap rises quickest. This is then sealed off with plasticine and made waterproof with bits of old plastic.

Hopefully they should take in a couple of weeks and we should get pears within a couple of years.

I am not sure what they think of my attempt at gardening, especially my new ‘Colditz’ style cow prevention system. I think mainly I am
a source of amusement. Which for me is no problem. Especially all the help I recieve from them.

Man Flu

For the last two days I have been suffering from a bad case of man flu. As with most men the idea of going to see a doctor for anything less than
amputation seems a ridiculous notion. So I am suffering in silence and trooping on. Well I have no choice as Annie is in the UK at the moment and
I have no one to wipe my brow or rub ‘vicks’ on my chest!

The weather is definately on the up, today it is 15C so I have started to do a bit of gardening. Last year we had some strange weather in June/July, lots of
fog to be exact. This caused my tomatoes and cucumbers to shrivel and die. So this year I have decided to protect myself from unseasonal weather by
investing in a greenhouse.

When I say invest I mean more time than money, the toal cost was 12 Leva (6 Euros). Not a pane of glass in sight. The method used by neighbours has been copied
much to their amusement. I have built what is basically a ‘wendy’ house with transparent plastic. These can be seen in many a garden throughout southern Bulgaria,
they not only give protection to unseasonal weather, but also provide an early batch of salad crops.

My Green 'Wendy' House

So along with the planting of a few tomato and cucumber seeds that are in pots sitting on my windowsill, I have also put in this years parsnips. I have a bet with Mustafta
(the plasterer) as to who can grow thew largest parsnip this year.

I also spotted a few of my neighbours planting onion sets so I copied them and have planted half of my onion sets (I might wait until April to plant the others –
there may still be another snow storm).

Last year my chickens were eaten by a fox, so this year I have made alterations to my chicken coop (Fort Knox) and I am awaiting some chicks from a neighbour
who has one hen that has gone broody on 14 eggs.

Speciality Crops – Most years I try to introduce something new and different to the village (first year King Edward Pots, second year Parsnips) so this year
I bought back from my recent trip to the UK yellow cherry tomato seeds, as well as many a differnet type of flower seeds. So far there are 5 people now growing King
Edwards, and about 10 planting a row of parsnips. I have also made an Asparagus bed, though I am not sure these will catch on!

Global Warming My Arse

After my two weeks back in Swansea (rain everyday) I was looking forward to returning to BG, with March on its way and unusually warm couple
of weeks at the begininng of Feb. I thought spring was well and truely on its way.

The 1st of March in Bulgaria is a holiday, Baba Mart ‘Grandmother March’ and is celebrated by the exchanging of red and white wristbands, and the exchange
of seasons tidings. The seasons being goodbye winter, hello spring! These are then tied onto the nearsest tree when you first spot a stork. They could be on your wrist a while this year.

Well Baba Mart, has messed up big time, I awoke this morning to 3 inches of snow and 40 mph winds direct from the Urals. My thermometer read a miserly -5C
add into that the wind chill factor, and there are some very sorry looking brass monkeys about.

I had planned to go shopping in the local town today (Djebel), their being lots of ice and snow around I have given it a miss and have decided to have a day
infront of the woodburner. Todays mission is simply to keep warm. The forecast is the same for the next few days, so more staying in could be on the cards.

My two cats (Dave & Alan) have parked themselves under the woodburner, and from the look of them would quite happily stay there until the weather gets better. If
I was small enough I would be under there too!

Back From Blighty

We have all safely returned from our ‘excursion’ to south Wales. We managed to make the house in Swansea liveable, and my two Bulgarian neighbours
have been immersed in Swansea suburban culture, and now call everyone ‘byt’. I am having problems with my camera cable (think it is broken) so the pictures will have to wait
until my new cable arrives from ebay.

I will leave the story of our visit to the uk until I have the photos to back it up, but it is nice now to have two of my neighbours quizzed about
their trip to the UK, and tell everyone that it really does rain everyday. They were treated to fish & chips had a pint of speckled hen.

Hikmet took pictures of everything (including Lidl and PC World), and on our day trip to the sights of Swansea could have been mistaken for a Japanese tourist.

Mustafa had to deal with a very confused Wickes delivery man who wanted a signature, but got nothing but ‘Ne Ingliss, Ne Ingliss’. Hikmet installed his first
set of spot lights. Mustafa used plaster for the first time (and did a good job).

Annie will be pleased that she no longer has to buy a bottle of brandy everyday from Lidl they were begining to think she had a problem. She will also
be pleased that the three ‘tractors’ have left and she can finally get some sleep.

All in all it was a very worthwhile trip for all concerned.

Oh and it is March and bloody freezing here (-5C during the day)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...