Archive for Annie

Off to the Mountains for a bit of peace and quiet……..

Easter in Cyprus is a serious thing, the church opposite our apartment has been doing a brisk trade every day this week.  Business is good, the priest/vicar/rector bod has a mercedes!

We are off to the mountains (Pedoulas) to escape the city for a bit.

Annie is Bulgaria bound next month for the summer, Cyprus summers can be a bit too hot (Inferno).  As a lady of leisure we have decided that instead of burning out air conditioners here she will better off in Bulgaria for the summer.  I have volunteered her services to our neighbours to help with the tobacco farming.  Ha Ha!  Be sure to visit her shop

Have a nice weekend.


Carp & Donkey

I have mentioned before that the ‘Mayoral’ elections are coming up and my village of Samodiva has gone down the Stalin route – Only one candidate is available to vote for.  The city of Varna on the east coast of Bulgaria though has a donkey standing for election.  He standing for the new ‘Society for New Bulgaria Party’ which is quoted when asked about their donkey candidate “….there are also several major differences. Unlike the other mayor candidates and politicians, the Donkey has a strong character, doesn’t steal, doesn’t lie, and gets work done,”.  The full story is available here.  Thanks to OH for passing that link on.  I was in the pub last night try to encourage the barmen to have his donkey stand in the village elections but no jot as yet!




Fish and chips Bulgarian style – Mirror Carp & French fries.  Before moving to Bulgaria I often went fishing and caught several carp.  Not once was I tempted to cook and eat my catch and the fish were returned from whence they came.  If you caught a carp in Bulgaria, and threw it back in the water you would be labelled an idiot and for good reason – they are delicious.  Deep fried in a light batter they are better than cod.  So if you are an angler and catch a good size carp take it home and cook it as if it were any other white fish and you won’t be disappointed.  So as Annie is over visiting thought we would visit the local chippy.  As was Annies luck and being a bit squemish the first piece of fish she tucked into was the head, complete with eyes!



Sheep & Beer Party

Yesterday I beheaded a lamb, then proceeded to roast and eat the whole thing, with a little help from ‘the pub’.  It is not often that we have organised get togethers here in Samodiva but to celebrate my survival of 3 years in the village without upsetting too many people I thought I would try.

The lamb was chosen from a field of 50, I say chosen, it was the slowest in trying to get away, we then slaughtered and butchered it between me and Ilyas (my knife wielding neighbour), which all in only took 20 mins.  My knowledge of sheep anatomy is now quite good.  There was not much left for the dogs to munch on.  The intestines, stomach, liver, heart, and kidneys are all eaten – not my cup of tea, but each to there own.  I then took ‘larry’ the lamb in to the local town of Djebel where he was placed in the bakeries oven and slow roasted until needed later.  The slaughtering had to be done quite early in the morning as the temperature rockets to 35C by 10:00am.


A few invites were passed round the village, including two sheep farmers, you would have thought they would be sick of the sight of lamb, but seemed quite impressed with preparation none the less.

Between the 10 of us we managed to get through the whole lamb so I think I will be vegetarian for the next few days!  Too much of a good thing.   I didn’t mention much the 3-0 scoreline in Sofia on Friday, or the fact that Turkey only managed a draw at home to Kazakhstan!

Just for Elsa thought I would post this, he does have his own tractor you know!  Doesn’t Ilyas look happy with his scheming?



Happy Christmas! It is August!

The joy of not believing in dragons, pots of gold at the end of rainbows or the tooth fairy, may make me a miserable git.  Thankfully though I don’t have to get carried away buying shit for people to celebrate the birthday of the son of a carpenter from 2000 years ago.  Why am I mentioning this now.  I have just had an email from the better half advising me that now available in shops are this years christmas cards.  It is August 22nd!


Why are shops selling this crap now?  I really have no idea, can it be that some people actually buy them in August?  If you really are one of these people that plan so far ahead why not buy them in March, I am sure they are stocked somewhere on the internet 365 days of the year.  So that cannot be it.  Is it so people like me will laugh at the stupidity of selling seasonal goods out of season?  I can’t imagine so.  So somewhere some shop manager has decided to advertise christmas goods when they should really be pushing school uniforms, and new pencil boxes.  It really is quite funny.


We have ‘Santa’ in my village of Samodiva, although the village is the Muslim brand of after life, and he appears not on the 25th, but on New Years Eve.  So good is the marketing of ‘Santa Claus’ that he now sells across the religious divide.  Perhaps I should get Hikmet to stock up on ‘Faity Lights’ next time he goes to the wholesaler!


Ty Bach – (Welsh The Small House)

Translation from welsh: small house

This is a subject not normally discussed, however, in light of the recent news reports on squat toilets being introduced in Rochdale shopping centre and
subsequent discussions with colleagues, I think it is time. The reason for the introduction of the said squat toilets in Rochdale has been introduced due
to a cultural awareness course. This article is not about ethnic, religious rights etc. This article is a ‘bog’ standard article about the standard
Bulgarian toilet. Pun intended.

Now, I really do not see what the issue is. In some respects, the squat toilet could be considered the more healthy option. I mean exposing yourself
to bleach and toxic cleaning product to get that germ-free rim cannot be good for you or the environment. However, the sit down does have its
advantage – they are inside the house. This is particularly useful when it is pouring with rain/snowing and for the 2am wee stop.

Anyway, after years of use…. and the clay soil that surrounds our toilet (i.e. it is not draining away), it is time for Dominic and I to decide
whether to squat or not to squat. As I refuse to get someone (as it has been recommended by the locals) to empty our existing toilet with a bucket, we either
need to dig another pit or go for the plush flush system.

I started to write this article some month ago and was concerned about what the locals would think. Keeping with the traditions of how the locals
live was very important to me and did not want them to think ‘bloody english’. However, it has come to light that Dom and I are behind the times
and at least 2 houses now have the sit down toilet and they are very proud about it!

So the decision has been made. ‘Keeping up with the Hassan’s has hit the rural village of Bulgaria. Annie


Our toilet in winter

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