Archive for Moving

Pets in Paradise

Prior to the unexpected windfall and thus our move to Bulgaria, Dominic and I had settled into the mundane life of the Jones’s.
I was working and getting paid a handsomely amount of money and Dominic was expanding his mind by doing a Maths and Physics degree.
We had the house (actually still do, that’s why I’m stuck in Blighty…. I digress), the car, the standing orders, fortunately minus the 2.4
children and 2 cats – Dave and Alan.

Dave The Cat
Alan The Cat

Now I’m one of these people who believe that ‘a pet is for life, not just for christmas’. If there is
one thing that gets my goat is how people can neglect, abuse and abandon animals. Actually there are a couple of
things that rattle my Karma but I won’t bore you with those. Anyway, back to Pets in Paradise.>br>

Basically, I thought it would be very wrong to leave the two behind, the two being Dave and Alan. Unlike Dom, I like to do
things properly and boy did it cost me dearly. Having searched many websites, scanned expat website etc, I made an appointment
with Mr Vet. (It did make me chuckle when Dave Lewis and Alan Lewis were called into the surgery). So Rabies jab, pet passport and
microchips later, I was presented with a shocker of a bill!!!! Some £260.

Although I do not regret from one minute taking the cats over, I do feel somewhat pained by their travelling experience. We did get some pet
equivalent of Valium to chill them out but being stuck in a travel box (oh yes, additional costs) for three days in the autumn heat is no fun for
man or beast. Do cats suffer from travel sickness?

Never in a million years will I ever get those two cats back into a cat carrier. I believe they are scarred for life.

However, I do believe they have forgiven me. They love the Bulgarian life. To show their appreciation we have been brought field mice,
lizards and even a rat. Dave has learnt that attacking a tortoise is pointless and knows to avoid chickens. In summer, we only see them at
food time, especially when we have a bbq, sleeping out in the derelict building next door. However winter is another story. They love nothing more
than to sleep under the wood burner (who can blame them when temp reaches -15).

Dave in Winter

So points to consider if thinking of taking pets to Bulgaria:

  • Cost: ok so we did not get stopped once during the journey. I think the passports are only needed if you plan to bring them back to the UK – ain’t going to happen to Dave and Alan. Microchips are a waste of time. Microchipping has not reached rural Bulgaria. Also, if you do intend on bringing them back consider the hassle of having to get a rabies test done 6 months before you intend on coming back.
  • Cat food: another source of amusement to the locals is that we buy cat food for our very spoilt cats. Local cats survive on the scraps. Cat food is therefore quite expensive.
  • Vets: The vets in rural Bulgaria specialise in cows, sheep and goats. I should imagine that working on cats would require working from a textbook.
  • Girl cats: See above – Vets. I would therefore recommend that you get your female cat done before you come over otherwise one cat could become a lot more. There are a lot of stray cats and basic instinct is basic instinct at the end of the day.

Double Glazing The Truth

The continuing saga of a computer engineer slowly turning into a mr fixit.
Well almost. I have not owned a television since 2000, but I know that it was, or maybe still is filled with programmes on interior design
, changing rooms type programmes, and all other such tosh of interior design. Well being a typical non effeminate bloke
I can happily say that I have never rag rolled anything in my life or owned a scatter cushion. I like my houses to work. If it rains I don’t
want to get wet. If it is cold I want to be able to light a fire and make it warm, when I turn the tap I want to see water come out of it (not always guaranteed
in Bulgaria). All other aesthetics really are for people who are
bored with life and have too much time on their hands. How painter and decoraters turned themselves into camp Interior designers that
charge you money for telling you what colour to paint your room, rather than just painting it is beyond me. I have even overheard a converstaion
between too middleage (35-40) women discussing a visit to a colour consultant. Having worked in IT I know what a consultant is, it is an engineer who
charges twice as much and does half the work. Colour consultant though, you tell me.

So if you are reading this in the hope of seeing some pictures of my house to inspire you to decorate yours, let me save you the trouble ctrl+alt+del now.

Double glazing

Not only for keeping you warm in winter, which you definately need in Bulgaria. Here is a pic of my garden after a light snow shower.

Snow in the garden

But they also keep your house cool in the summer, (todays temp 29C – 18 June, goes upto mid 30’s for most of Aug). This is practical enough
even for me to understand. So double glazing it is. Now we have had double glaze salesman leaflets aplenty to burn in the UK. The price
for windows and doors in the UK is a complete rip off, and I really do mean extortion, I trully believe there must be some price fixing
involved, because we had 4 large ‘Profilink’ double glazed windows and 1 extra large exterior door, all fitted for £350 here in Bulgaria.
I mentioned this to my builder of a brother and was told that the equivalent in the UK would have set me back 2 – 3 thousand. Same windows.
No salesman. No marketing. What you are paying for is the leaflets and slimey sales people. I will stop ranting, I am beginning to remind myself
of Bill Hicks. ‘No, if you are in marketing do the world a favour, kill yourself.’ He does it far better than me
here. By the way he swears – you have been warned!

Bill Hicks DVDs

Next up (central) heating……. here is a clue.

Bulgarian Central Heating

Annie World Part 1 – Life In Bulgaria

 I hope you have been enjoying Dominic’s insight into life in Bulgaria. I thought it was time you heard it from a female perspective. I am Dominic’s long suffering partner (his words not mine). From his blog you will know that I am still stuck in the ‘Land of my fathers’ otherwise known as the pretty shitty city of Swansea (maybe I should not say that – don’t want to put perspective buyers off!).

Anyway, even though my visits are brief I have fallen in love with Bulgaria.

Our Bulgarian story started in August 2008. In our £1000 ford escort estate packed full of stuff and 2 drugged cats we made our way through Europe. This is not a journey for the faint hearted – it tests relationships (especially if you take the word of the Sat Nav as God). After 3 days of no sleep, no washing and junk food we arrived at our new home, no electric, no water – just a shell of a home. Girls, this is why men need us – Wet wipes and candles – problem solved. Yip, I was a girl guide.

For the first couple of days we were left alone by the locals. At first we thought they were not to keen on the invasion by the Brits however over the next couple of days the hand waving, staring kids and gifts of food began. For those of you who have travelled you know always to carry a phrase book with you, have a love of playing charades (explaining a wheelbarrow at one DIY shop was challenging!) and accept that you will be stared at.

Shouting in slow English DOES NOT work, please do not do it.

For the first couple of weeks we spent our days chasing documents, clearing the house and garden and generally moaning about how hot it was. At nights, we would sit in the garden with our 2 litre bottles of beer, enjoying the wildlife, the peace and quiet and ‘chav’ free zone.

Surprisingly, it took Dom 3 weeks to find the pub. That would be the building next to the little shop we had yet to visit some 100metres from our house!! The shame. A bit worse for wear Dom returns with invites for food and a fishing trip. Our integration into the village had begun.

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