A chronicle of Sharon and Eric's new life in Bulgaria.
by sharon and eric 17 Nov 2011, 23:47
Here is an update of our lives here in Bulgaria.

Where we are and what we are doing.
Well we are still loving life here and there have been a couple of changes since I last wrote, the main one being that we have moved to a different village. This all came about when I was asked if I wanted to join my friend in a little venture doing a Tearoom a couple of days a week in the village of Kalchevo which is just a few minutes’ drive from Yambol. The Tearoom is in a bar that has been run by a Bulgarian lady called Keena for the past 20 years. I bake all my own cakes and also serve homemade soup and Toasty’s; the cakes have been a big hit and are selling very well. I just love been able to work and I am meeting new friends every week. I started doing it with my pal from Akbuk but as she is now so busy house hunting she has bowed out and I do it with help from Eric or another friend steps in to help if I know I’m going to be busy.

We have rented a very modern bungalow just across the road from the bar and are paying 400 leva (£174) per month and that includes electric, water, sky TV and internet, I think that’s a very good deal, we buy the logs for the fire but nothing to pay out in the summer. The house is very warm and cosy and in a huge garden with grapevine’s, veg patch, paddock, 2 chicken runs, 3 stables, 2 kennels and a big barn that has now become Eric’s workshop. There are 2 properties on the land and Larraine and Dave rent the other one. I did love living in Dobrich but it’s better being so close to a big town and all the major supermarkets.

Our neighbours are so lovely and seem to be in competition to who can pass the most home grown produce over the fence. We have had kilos of tomatoes (5 varieties), cucumbers, peppers, peaches, fairytale aubergines, cabbages, herbs and freshly laid eggs. They are so poor but so giving and accepting and don’t expect anything in return. I give them my cakes and they seem to like them.

One of our gifts, this is a bucket and not a bowl
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Eric has been quite busy and his brilliant joinery skills are in high demand, he has been asked to make bunk beds, doors, outdoor furniture, cabinets and his latest project was to make 2 huge crates to transport brown bears from Albania to Romania. His future jobs are a Pirates chest and fitted, floor to ceiling wardrobes to go along a 40 foot long, 20 foot high wall for our friend who is renovating a school. He likes the fact that he can work from home and he just regards it as pottering.

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If you want to a crate for your bear, Eric’s your man.

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The Weather

We had a really good summer that went on until mid October, I was surprised at how hot it got but the good thing about here is that it cools down at night so we always slept well and that helped me through it, I don’t really care for extreme heat.
We are now getting ready for the winter and some villages had snow at the end of October, it wasn’t forecast and took everyone by surprise, even the locals, it doesn’t usually snow so early. I was gutted that we didn’t get any, it’s been so long since I have seen the white stuff. We have got all our logs in and have been and bought warm clothing, so it’s just a matter of waiting for it to happen. We have been told to expect the temperature to be around -15 to -20 although it has been known to drop to -29 but that was just one night around 5 winters ago. So after all our preparing for it, all I can say is bring it on.

One of the wood piles
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Eating Out

There are some fab restaurants here, both in Elhovo and Yambol and so much more affordable to eat out. You could stop off at a place and fill up with a bowl of soup for 1 leva, a liver dish for around 3 or pork for between 4 and 6. They do eat strange things like pigs ears and trotters, also tripe is popular, just the thought of these Bulgarian delicacies makes me heave but they eat them by the bucket load, I even know a man that loves eating hedgehog, eeeek, can you imagine that, how gross!!!. Many town eateries have their menus translated to English but very little British food is available when eating out. We do have a great Chinese Restaurant though and have been there 4 times now. The portions are ridiculously large though so we always have enough to bring home for the next day or the freezer. A portion of sweet and sour pork is 700 grams so that gives you an idea of the size.

Christmas is coming

Crimbo is celebrated here and I am so excited, the shops are already full of Christmas cheer. They sell, the most exquisite baubles that I have ever seen and one particular shop on the precinct is a magnet to me, it’s just loaded with festive gorgeousness and I love it.
The supermarkets also have several isles of tree’s, trimming’s, lights and Christmas fare and also Mel’s English shop is stocked up well with goodies from the UK so we will want for nowt.

The Bulgarians have their family meal on Christmas Eve but the 25th is party time. We will be having breakfast with our pals and then hitting Yambol where there will be dancing in the streets and a fiesta atmosphere so we are looking forward to that. We are going to have our xmas dinner another day. We will also hit town on New Year’s Eve when the dancing gets so wild, we have been told that the ground shakes and then fireworks are set off all over the town at midnight.

The Pets

Molly is doing great but sadly our Pud died, he had an infection in his mouth but despite all efforts by Yanko our vet, he passed away early July. 3 weeks prior to this sad event a tiny Kitty had been left on our door step and being the suckers that we are we took him in and he has turned out to be a wee beauty, he’s a little ginger and his name is Tigger. We have also taken on Shakira, the dog that we fostered in Dobrich but we are going to try and rehome her, as we don’t really want another dog.
Larraine and Dave also have a rabbit, 5 chucks and a dog. Molly and Tigg are both obsessed with the bunny and Tigg often sleeps with him in the hutch.

Molly adoring Bramble the bunny
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It is much cheaper to keep animals here, a 1240g tin of dog food is 1.89lv, Rabies Jab 5lv, frontline 17lv and the paper work for a pet passport is 3 lv. I also got a furminator for 20lv and they cost £23 on Amazon. ( 1 leva = 43pence)

Things that I love

The people, warm, friendly and polite.
Horses and carts, I smile every time I see one which is many times every day.

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Young men, riding their horses bareback through the village.
I love it when the Shepherd returns from grazing and the sheep know where they live.
When the Babas (old ladies) stop to talk to you and rabbit on in Bulgarian for 10 minutes, even though we don’t understand. They just love to include us into the community.
The cost of living.
The second hand shops, there are loads of them and sell top quality European clothes.
The ever changing views.
The cafe culture in the towns
Village Days.

There are so many things we love about this place, it certainly wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea but we love it. We do miss the resort life though and sometimes long for Akbuk. We never forget that we didn’t leave Turkey because we disliked it, we left for financial reasons and I know we made the right choice. We are happy, busy and enjoying our new life here in rural Bulgaria.

I love my computer, my friends live in it.
by Juco 18 Nov 2011, 00:11
What an interesting read, so nice to see some related pictures which makes it even more interesting. Good to know you are enjoying your life in Bulgaria.

I hope it continues.

Juco
by steve zeus 18 Nov 2011, 00:50
Thanks Sharon, really enjoyed your read please keep them coming, and don't forget to put the 19th May in your diary for the Altinkum Meet up at Ozzy's. Take care both.

Steve & Maxine.
"Zeus Heights"
Altinkum
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"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent"
"gunesteki yerimizi seviyoruz."
by marian 18 Nov 2011, 06:20
Sounds fantastic and that you both made the right choice... :D :D
by water 18 Nov 2011, 06:24
Hi Sharon, enjoyed reading that, glad you and Eric have setlled well and are happy there, sounds like your'e both keeping busy too. Lots of love Sue and Eric xx
by Valian 18 Nov 2011, 06:27
Thank you for your super report Sharon, a most enjoyable read xxx

Val Image
Denizkoy
by PJRichards 18 Nov 2011, 07:52
I really enjoyed reading your latest update and the pictures made it all the more interesting. Sounds like you did make the best choice for you. The tea shop sound lovely and Eric's wood work is fantastic.
Hope you get the snow soon.... :lol: :lol:
by Keith 18 Nov 2011, 08:23
Wow, super read Sharon. Sounds like you have found your idyllic life.

Well done to you and Eric. :D

Keith
by ted j 18 Nov 2011, 08:37
What a very well written and informative post.
Glad you are enjoying yourselves .

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