One Year On !

So it’s been one year ( actually one year and three weeks ),since we arrived in Bulgaria and what a year it’s been. After a lot of discussions and plenty of soul searching, we have come to the conclusion that it’s time to go back to the UK !!! ……………Just joking 🙂
A year ago we arrived in a country we had never visited, to a house we had only seen pictures of, unable to speak or understand the language and to a new lifestyle that was going to be completely opposite to how we lived in the UK. One word that could sum it all up….. crazy !
People say, that when you relocate to another country, you should at least give it a full year before deciding if you have made the right choice. I couldn’t agree more. This past year has been a mixture of roller coaster emotions, a few tears, good times and bad and plenty of soul searching. There have been moments where I have struggled, mostly because I could no longer see my kids on a regular basis. I struggled with the winter, not because of the cold, more due to cabin fever, I loathe being stuck inside for days on end.
Despite the odd struggles, we have fallen in love with Bulgaria. Not only is the country beautiful but we have found the people warm, generous and extremely helpful. We have lovely neighbours that have welcomed us with open arms and we have met a lovely English couple who have helped us so much and have become close friends. We love the village life, so peaceful and stress free and we’ve learnt a lot . Not only about how to grow our own veg but how to recycle everything. It’s amazing what you can do or make ( with a little imagination ) with things you find in the garden or house.
Everything we are doing to the house or garden, we are doing ourselves. It’s been difficult and stressful at times and a huge learning curve but there’s an enormous satisfaction and a sense of achievement whenever we complete a job.
Since being here, our lifestyle has completely changed,for the better I might add. If we’re not working on the house, we are outdoors working in the garden enjoying the weather which has improved our health tremendously. Andy has been asthmatic all his life, every month in the UK, he would go through four salbutamol inhalers and two seretide inhalers. Since being here he only uses one salbutamol every 6-8 weeks and no longer takes the seretide, plus he’s lost over 4 stone in weight ( which has obviously helped his asthma ). I have also lost a little weight and I feel a lot fitter, mainly due to all the work we’ve been doing and eating healthier due to us growing a lot of our own veg.
The language barrier can be difficult at times and have caused us problems at times, like the other week when we were having a conversation with our neighbour ( more of a game of charades really ), trying to explain our plans for the garden. We were telling them we planned to have chickens next year, they asked how many, we said 10. Our neighbour proceeded to have a half hour conversation about chickens, which we struggled to understand exactly what she was saying other than the few words ‘chicken, 10, shop and telephone ‘. Well the following week she came round to tell us we had to go and collect our chickens from a shop! Yes it turns out she ordered 10 chickens for us ! So the day was spent running around like ‘ headless chickens’ trying to sort out a place for the chickens and a secure run! Now, I hasten to say, we try to be careful in what we say 🙂 . We are slowly learning the language but it is a struggle, mostly for me, Andy seems to pick it up easier but I’m sure we’ll get to grips with it in time.
So here we are, one year on and all that’s left to really say is what an amazing year we’ve had. Would we change it for the world…no. Do we have any regrets…..no. Would we consider going back to live in the UK….never!
Bulgaria is now our home 🙂

Drive,drive,drive !

Well we finally arrived in Calais at midnight, after a very noisy trip. The ferry was full of French and German school kids, hundreds of them ! Getting off the ferry was interesting, we were trying to find our bearings as well as concentrate on driving on the other side , we were driving through customs, only to have some mad French woman jump out in front of us, waving a torch signaling for us to pull over, my heart sank and all I kept saying to Andy was I knew we’d be the ones. Five minutes later a young man came over , asked us a few questions and wanted to look at our dogs, luckily his girlfriend also had a staffy and he proceeded to show us a picture haha. He then waved us on our merry way as we sighed with relief ( I think it was the dog that helped ) . I had visions of them asking us to unload the van so they could check it, id rather get arrested than let that happen seeing as it took 2 days to load!!!
Off we went, ready for the onslaught of miles ahead of us. Amazing how busy it was at that time of night. Some of the roads weren’t too great, some stages it felt like driving over cobbles but all in all not too tragic. The dogs seemed to be coping quite well, which I’m so pleased about as I have been worrying it would be too stress full. We travelled through out the night till 6.30 this morning and have finally reached Germany ! It’s taken a while but we could only manage an average of 50 miles an hour because of the weight of the van and caravan. Andy has pulled into a big layby for a well earned sleep, so while he’s fast asleep in the caravan, I’m sitting in the van writing this blog, bursting for a pee and wondering why Andy pulled up in a place with no toilet!! ……….