Archive for Shopping

Welcome to Hell….

Non-alcoholic beer, low sodium salt, skimmed milk, low fat spread, nicotine free cigarettes, sugar free sweets, what next hydrogen free water.  Apart from the last all these things are available in just about every corner shop in the UK.  Each to there own I suppose, although I can’t understand why anyone would voluntarily pay more to receive less.  I have just had the mis-fortune to have to cook without the use of salt, but instead had the use of ‘lo-salt’ a reduced sodium alternative (This costs £3-75 for 700g against 40p a kilo for normal salt).  However when it came to using the stuff due to its inferior taste and effect on the food you end up using twice as much.  Half the sodium, twice as much used GCSE in maths not required!

It is no good trying to argue against these products, the companies that make them and sell them are selling you less and charging you more, that’s what a business does, good for them.  What drives me silly in the head is the conversations I have with the users of these products that actually believe they are making themselves more healthy by living in a state of denial.

I eat butter (salted), drink ‘normal’ milk, and add NaCl whenever I have the urge.  I know that doing so to excess is not all good for me, but none of these things comes with a label telling me how healthy they are.  If I were to consume low fat spread, drink ‘skimmed-milk’, and add ‘lo-salt’ to my food, each packet of stuff comes with a big label telling me how healthy all the stuff is.  So I would not hold back and eat and drink to my hearts content.

Then with a bit of digging comes the devil in the detail, this from ‘’

‘A recent research paper published in the Cochrane Library has claimed that moderate reductions in salt intake do not reduce the likelihood of dying or experiencing cardiovascular disease.’

  Are they just covering themselves for the first legal action taken against them?  What was quite funny, was the comment from CASH (Consensus Action on Salt & Health) they stated this in argument against the scientific findings.

‘The evidence against salt, as it is for smoking cessation’

I smoke, drink alcohol, eat butter, and add salt to my diet.  I should be dead!

Perhaps I am, and  this is my hell!

The Weekly Shop……….

I have just been into Djebel, the local town to do some shopping and get my gas bottle refilled.  I don’t buy much, coffee, washing powder, and rice.  Things that I have trouble doing without, and have yet to work out how to make my own.  So to depress all those that do their weekly shop in ‘every little helps’ this is my shopping bill.

300 g of Coffee – £1-70

500g Washing Powder – £0-80  (I have guests coming normally I don’t bother)

5 Litres(nearly 7 bottles) of Red Wine (Essential) – £4-30

Loaf of Bread – £0.29  (at < 30p a loaf it really is not worth making your own, and there are no preservatives in these loaves)

750ml Gin (Essential Again, it is summer!) – £3.51

2 x 1.5l Schweppes Tonic (see above)  – £1.70

1Kg Rice  – £0.70

Total (excluding new Liver)     =  £13.40

Think you would be hard put to get the bottle of gin for that in the UK!  I have a lamb lined up for dissection to be put in the freezer  (15Kg of meat for £44) and I get to select it from a field full, and keep the wool if I want.


I have just a had my quarterly water bill (£12.55) and that is with the hose going daily and I even have a wash whether I need it or not.


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!


Window Shopping – Dimitrovgrad

I shall never again complain about Annie dithering when she goes shopping.
Yesterday I experienced my own personal hell and I had actually volunteered for it.

First a bit about Dimitrovgrad though as it has quite an interesting bit of history concerning its creation.


The town it self is quite new and was first built from the three villages of Rakovski, Marijno and Ghernokoniovo in 1947.
The town was built by 50 000 members of communist brigades who came from all over Bulgaria. Many of these workers then became its newest residents.
From 1948 to 1950 they worked in an independent brigade called Mlada Gvardia (Young Guards). Their motto was:
We are building a town – the town is building us! It is located at the junction of the North-South, East-West rail lines, with the initial
purpose to be an industrial town. Many large factories surround the outskirts, and there still remain today a cement factory, and unfortunately
the health problems that are associated wherever asbestos has been manufactured.

Today it is the home of a very large Sunday market that specialises in second hand cars. This was the purpose for my visit.

So back to my hell. I suppose I could be described as a typical man when it comes to shopping. Have something to buy. Go to shop.
Buy it. Go home. Anything else in my mind is a complete was of time. This unfortunately was not how our day was to be. We first went to the
market and viewed about 150 cars, we were after a Opel Vectra Diesel no more than 10 years old and within our meagre budget. We located several cars
that matched our decription but all were rejected by Hikmets son as not quite what he was after. Some for very frivolous reasons. Like small scratches
on the paint work. I did point out after the fifth refusal that cars which are 10 years old rarely if ever are in mint condition, this though seemed to
fall on deaf ears!

After all cars at the market were rejected we then stopped at every car dealer on the way back Kardjali. This route took us
through Haskovo though, and we visited 13 such dealerships. Again cars that matched the description were located only to rejected
again (I don’t like red!), and again (there is a small crack on the indicator), and again (speck of rust on the body work).

Because no car was bought, Hikmet is going back next week to try again, think I might be a bit busy that day!

Broken Computer

This may be my last update until I get it fixed. My computer is having serious hard disk crashes, my local computer shop had it in for 7 days, until they finally gave up on it. I managed to get it re-going by putting it in the freezer for a while.
I cannot even re-format the drive and reload, as the DVD player also decided to give up the ghost!

So if you have sent messages please bear with me technical problems are not that easily resolved in a remote Bulgarian village.

See you all soon


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