Spring Has Arrived !

At last, spring has finally arrived and I couldn’t be more happier :). We survived the winter by the skin of our teeth and so glad it wasn’t as bad as it should have been. We now know roughly what to expect and hopefully we will be better prepared for the next one. Looks like we have a lot more work to add to our expanding list ! I must admit Andy dealt with winter a lot better than me emotionally. I found it a struggle being stuck indoors 24/7 and I was definitely getting cabin fever, Andys ears are proof of that! The boredom drove me slightly nuts, I became very irritable and of course Andy got the brunt of it haha. Once the snow cleared, then came the rain, day after day of bloody rain ! Over a week of solid, unrelenting rain. Within a few days we had gone from a garden covered in deep, white snow, to a brown, muddy quagmire arghhhh ! Yes, I’m now going to vent a little. Two dogs and an extremely muddy garden results in a nightmare. Constantly trying to wipe paws, sweep and mop the floor a hundred times a day just about drove me to insanity. Even worse were the times I forgot to close the kitchen or living room doors before letting the dogs in and before I had a chance to stop them, there were muddy paw prints on the carpet and settee !!! To add insult to injury, when I was trying to Hoover up during one of these nightmare days, my Hoover decided to die a death but not before it blew out a big puff of dust everywhere ! All I can say is I had murder on my mind that day !
Anyway less of the moaning now, we have survived the hardest part of the year and now Spring is here and months of mostly sunshine ahead of us 🙂
These last four days have been exceptionally beautiful, clear blue skies and wall to wall sunshine. There is nothing more exhilarating than to feel the warm sun on your face and the way it make you feel like your bursting with energy. Now that the sun is here it’s time to get back to some hard grafting, which is exactly what we have been doing for the past four days. We have been digging, clearing rubble, pruning, chopping wood ( lots and lots of wood! ), filling in a large hole in the garden, taking down fences and mending fences and moving the caravan. It’s amazing how our garden looks so much bigger now we have managed to clear all the crap.
Next on our list is clearing a patch in the front garden and rotorvating it ready for planting our vegetables. Now that we have been here almost a year, we have a clearer view as to how we want our garden but it’s going to take us a long time to get it the way we want it. In October last year we sewed some grass seeds and that is now growing and there are flower bulbs appearing all over the garden, daffidols, tulips, crocus, hyacinth and some that I haven’t a clue what they are haha. My onions I planted last year are sprouting nicely, as is my strawberries and raspberries. I’m really looking forward to planting the veg and sowing lots more flower seeds, I’m not exactly green fingered so it’s going to be a case of plant them and pray !
So much work ahead of us over the next 7 months and no doubt a few problems and tantrums along the way but we’re looking forward to it now the sun is shining ! 🙂

A Stupid Idea !

I know that when people read this that they are going to think how stupid we are and to be honest, they will be right.
As we had been stuck in our village for nearly two weeks because of the snow, getting low on supplies and cabin fever was setting in ( more with me than Andy ), we decided to go for a long walk. Ok that doesn’t sound too bad or stupid, except we decided to walk to the nearest town, 13km away ! Yes a 26km round trip in the snow! Now your probably thinking we don’t have any shops in our village, we do, five to be precise. So now your thinking, so why walk 13km? The answer to that is the town, Dimovo, is bigger, more shops, more choice…..oh and we are mad.
We set off just after 10am, wrapped up like Michelin men, layers of clothing, hats, scarves and snow boots. It was snowing slightly but only very light,fine snow and it was -3c, so not really too cold. It took us 20 minutes just to get out of our village, as it’s quite a big village, although it did feel longer. The roads were thick with snow and ice even though the snow plough had been out every day. We would have taken a bus but i think due to the roads, they hadn’t been running for a few days. Still, the walk would do us good, even though it would take us hours.
The scenery around us was beautiful, very picture postcard. Although the snow causes so many problems, there is still something magical about it. I couldn’t resist taking a few photos along the way.

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We hadn’t walked far out of our village, when I got a slight sharp pain on the top, inside of my leg, near the groin area, an old problem I’ve had in the past. It was nothing sever, just a sharp tugging feeling every time I took a step. Andy kept suggesting turning back, but me being the stubborn sort, I refused, said it was only hurting a little and I was fine. As we kept walking the pain grew worse but still I refused to turn back. It was one of the biggest and most stupid decisions I had ever made! Part of me wanted to turn back but another part wanted to do it, kind of a challenge really. In the past I’ve walked long distances, hour upon hour, but of course, never in thick snow.
We’d walked about 5km when my other leg started hurting in the same way and I couldn’t understand why. Yes, you guessed it, I still wouldn’t turn back!
About half way, there is a bridge over a river, a police car was heading our way in the opposite direction. When it stopped along side us, I thought they were going to ask if we were ok as we were, more or less, walking in the middle of nowhere. How silly of me to think that they were concerned in any way! They asked us for our identity cards, where we were going and if we were walking there, ( no we are bloody flying……fools! ). If nothing else at least we gave them something to laugh about.
After the bridge, there was a fairly steep climb and that’s when it really started to hurt my legs. Andy suggested I walk up it backwards and in all honesty it did help. It would have been a comical sight to see for anyone that drove past us, except we turned around every time a car was approaching, just so we didn’t look silly, ( a bit late for that! ).After about just over two hours walking we finally made it to the main road (E79), only 2.5km to go, except by this time I was in agony. Every step had become a battle. So much so, I had to stop every 30 seconds. Poor Andy was getting worried, he knew I was in a lot of pain but other than offer to carry me, ( which would have probably ended in a worse disaster ), there was nothing else he could of done except keep telling me ‘ not much further ‘. It took us just over an hour to walk that last 2.5km and every step was hell ! The pain was so intense I just wanted to cry. Worst thing of all was I knew I couldn’t walk back. It took us 3 1/2 hours to walk 13km.
I’d seen a couple of taxis pass us by, so we decided to get a taxi back, how naive were we ?We made it to a shop that we had been to before, as I knew the young woman could speak a little English. After purchasing some groceries, (although not everything that we needed, as I wasn’t in the frame of mind to shop, I just wanted to get home), I asked the woman if we could get a taxi or phone for one, well she just laughed ‘ no taxis here’. The only way we might have been able to get a taxi is if we called for one in Vidin, well that was miles away and would cost a fortune. So that’s when I panicked. I couldn’t walk and we needed to get home! In the end we had no option but to phone our friends to pick us up. They were shopping in Vidin at the time but were just about to leave and they didn’t hesitate to agree to come pick us up. I was so relieved and grateful, especially as they had to travel 36km just to rescue us. It was just over an hour by the time they got to us, by that time we were both frozen. I couldn’t apologise more to our friends, ( our heroes 🙂 ), after all it was my stubbornness and stupidity that got us into this mess, worse still, we weren’t the only ones they had rescued, as they had just rescued another couple who had been stranded and had to drop them off first before coming to pick us up!
It was such a relief to get home into the warmth and safety. After a nice hot shower and some hot food, we settled down for the evening in front of the fire. Andy was aching and I was still in pain, so much so, I just couldn’t get comfortable. By 7.30pm we were worn out so decided to go to bed. It hurt just climbing into bed and although it was great just to be able to rest my legs, it wasn’t long before I was in agony again. Every time I tried to turn over, it was torture. In the end I couldn’t stand it any longer so I got up and sat on the sofa until eventually I was so tired, I fell asleep. It’s still painful to walk but I’m hoping by tomorrow, my legs will feel better. I suppose i got my just deserts.
Moral of this story, don’t venture too far away from home, especially in the snow and more importantly never be a stupid as me !!!!!

P.S. To my Mum and family, don’t worry I’m fine 🙂

The Start Of Winter

Well it’s now been 7 months since we arrived in Bulgaria. We’ve had plenty of gorgeous, hot sunny days, a few spectacular thunderstorms and one freaky hailstorm in the midst of summer but now the winter has closed in and it’s time to go into semi-hibernation. It’s been a bit of a mad rush to get the house as water tight and winter ready but we’ve done the best we can. Windows are covered in polythene inside and out, wood is chopped, water pipes are insulated and fires are up and running. In the last few weeks we have had 3 water leaks all from the same pipe connection and Sod’s law it had to be behind the shower! What a nightmare that was as our shower is a full glass enclosure and weights a ton, so moving it wasn’t the easiest task. The last leak was the worse, as it flooded so bad that the Lino was floating! In a way we were lucky as our bathroom floor is slightly lower than the bedroom floor and caught it just as it was about to seep into our bedroom but it took us an hour to bale out the water and 4 days for our bathroom to dry out. We managed to work out why the pipe kept coming out of the connection so, fingers crossed, no more leak…….for now anyway.
The weather has now turned cold, -6c is the lowest so far but I know it will get colder. I’ve got myself into a routine in the morning now. I don’t need an alarm clock because my scatty spaniel Twix, wakes me every morning at 7 and there’s no chance of a lie in as he paws my arm constantly until I get out of bed! First is sorting out the dogs, then light the fires followed by a nice cup of tea. When the rooms have warmed up a bit, then it’s time to get dressed into my work clothes. This usually consists of jogging pants, t-shirt, sloppy jumper and an old coat ( it’s a little bit cold outside ). I certainly won’t be winning any awards for glamour that’s for sure! There’s not much opportunity to get my glad rags on as it’s mostly been work, work, work on the house and garden. By the end of the day my nails are coated with mud or cement instead of nail polish, foundation has been replaced with dust, there’s no pretty ribbon in my hair, it’s now either sprinkled with sawdust or streaked with paint and my hands could be used as sandpaper, as they are rough,instead of soft and smooth. While i wait for Andy who is also busy ( busy snoring his head off! ) I collect more wood from our barn and clear up the dog mess, ( I know your all jealous of my glamorous life haha). When Andy joins the land of the living and after 2 mugs of coffee, we then spend our days working on the house. As it’s winter and there’s not a lot we can do outside we have decided our winter project is to change our big bedroom into a kitchen, as the kitchen we have now just isn’t working for me. The only trouble is we had to clear the furniture out of our bedroom but don’t really have anywhere to store them out of the way, so now our house is chaotic. There’s chest of draws and side tables in the living room, the bed is in the back room ( which is already bursting at the seams) and we have to leave the 2 double wardrobes in the bedroom that we are changing into the kitchen, ( total nightmare). I can honestly say my house is a mess, almost as bad as it was when we first moved in. The weather hasn’t helped as we have had quite a bit of rain recently, so the garden has been like a quagmire. Not only is my house a mess but with the dogs and ourselves in and out several times a day, there’s mud prints all over the floor (both my brush and mop are starting to wear away !).
I’m not a big fan of winter and I know it’s going to get a lot colder but the one thing I do like about winter is snow! The other day we had our first day of snow, a foot of it. There is no denying it, it really is very pretty. We had been watching the weather forecast so we were expecting it and I must admit, I was like a kid, I was so excited and couldn’t wait for it to snow. It was so funny watching the dogs playing in it and every time my spaniel came in, he had big balls of snow hanging from his hair, hilarious watching him trying to pull them off!
So here we are, 7 months in and we are entering, what I believe is the hardest part of our journey, winter. I’m not looking forward to the extreme cold, or spending so much time indoors and I’m sure I will go a little stir crazy, (Andy will cope with it better than me, I think) but on a positive note I am looking forward to more snow and to building our new kitchen 🙂 ………

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