Sunday, 9 December 2018

17. Well that WAS a week

Last week has been what you'd call a week.
Monday started with leaving drinks from work at The Pevril of the Peak pub in Manchester . It was a great night and a good turnout me and a collegue both finished on the same day and had a joint doo.
We both started nearly 28 years ago working in Longsight Manchester and for the last few years both worked together again in Stockport so we had a lot of joint friends. It was great to see some old faces and tell stories of old. Some that cant be repeated on here

Even more cake 

I cannot lie I used to work in a uniform and one of my leaving presents was a framed picture of me in what my colleagues thought my uniform would look like if I ever take up employment in Bulgaria although I sincerely hope I don't.

My imaginary Bulgarian uniform

The rest of the week has been spent sorting out the house. Rooms have started to empty, others have started to fill up with stuff we are taking . There have been numerous trips to the tip and i am now on first name terms with the ladies in the charity shop as i drop stuff in.
The Eurostar has been booked, banks contacted, council tax contacted, mobile phones, water, gas, electrics, internet provider, van insurance for Europe double checked, European breakdown double checked the list seems to go on and on

Bags waiting to go to the charity shop

When I was clearing out the shed I found some of my winter cycling gear that will come in handy 

New Bulgarian headgear fashion

Not just headgear but some handy winter gloves

To keep the digits warm

Rooms are emptying

Stuff packed waiting for the big day.

Below is Vlady the Cady loaded for another tip run 

But the best day this week was without doubt yesterday. It was one of the reasons we put our trip back a few weeks. We were leaving on the 5th December and by now we're hoping to be around Romania nearly in Bulgaria. 
But yesterday morning at 0211 hrs our gorgeous little grandaughter Isla Rose arrived weighing  a teeny tiny 4lbs 9oz. Yesterday was spent having Grandad and Grandma cuddles. I can tell you i had a tear in my eye.
Sorry no photos some things are private and i know im biased but she is a stunner you will have to take my word for it.

Life is good
Take care
Mark n Julie

Friday, 30 November 2018

16. Getting closer and being busy

Well we're getting closer now today is exactly 4 weeks till we depart for Bulgaria.
We're leaving at 10pm on the 28th December and driving overnight down to Folkstone about 280 miles. This will give us plenty of time for stops with the dog and give us some leeway time if traffic is bad or there are road works. We are booked on the 0650hrs shuttle to Calais ooh la la.
From there we head off to Belgium and our first stop of the trip is booked in Belgium near to the German border.
485 miles for our first day so not to shabby.
We are hoping the weather improves as i spoke to Monica our estate agent yesterday and she told me the area has bad snow at the moment and its been snowing daily the temperature was expected to be -16 last night !!!!!! It's +13 Here in the UK .

Thing's have been busy here last week we met up with some good friends of ours who have a house near Lovech and went for a drink. They are moving over in 2021 when they finish work. They bought us some books as a leaving present as we wont see them now till may next year when there next over in Bulgaria. They have also given us some suggestions where to stopover as they have done the trip a few times.

Some winter reading material

Yesterday I finished work woooohoooo.
I'm officially on annual leave now till early January when i officially retire. Myself and another colleague finished the same day and the office was all decorated and we had cake always a bonus. 
Next week we are having a leaving doo in Manchester so i may not surface on Tuesday, its quite nice not having to think what time you have to get up tomorrow anymore but boy does it feel strange.


How big is my head on this cake ? 

We have loads to do now in the coming weeks before we leave. Julie is going to Glasgow over Christmas to spend it with her daughter Megan while me and Bailey the pampered pooch will share a chicken leg wear paper hats and watch Morecambe and wise on the big day.
He says he's looking forward to it but make no bones about it I'm having the TV remote

Take care
Mark n Julie

Monday, 19 November 2018

15. Still dreaming

Just to let you know we're still here and still dreaming of getting to our house in Bulgaria.
Things are moving on i finish work next week just 6 more shifts to go. It all feels a bit surreal at the moment as i have been there for 28 years wow where did that go ? I will miss the people I work with but i wont miss the job.
Once I finish we have 4 weeks to go and will leave straight after this Christmas thing everyone has been talking about since September!

Our house

It will be all out mayhem in the next few weeks so stand by for further updates.

Oh and Bailey the pampered pooch got himself a new winter hat what do you think?

Take care
Mark n Julie

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

14. Time flies (not).

Boy o boy is time dragging it seems an eternity till we move and what's worse we have put our move back 3 weeks for family reasons. We are now planning on leaving the UK on December the 27th and weather permitting arriving in Bulgaria on the 1st January. Oh well new year new start and all that.

anyway plans are forging on Bailey the pampered pooch now has his passport. EBay is my new friend in buying all sorts from first aid kits to plant seeds off it and we are slowly selling the contents of our house on it. Our dining table and chairs went last week which was great timing as we had friends round for dinner we normally eat with trays on our laps anyway. At least they didn't come this week or they would have nowt to sit on.

He 's containing his excitement

One for chopping logs and one for kindling

I got some GB Stickers for Vladi the Caddy

Some seeds for next year.

It was Saturday the 6th October and we headed back to Bulgaria the flight was on time but we had to wait a while for our hire car at Sofia not the usual standard of service we have had but at least we got an upgrade to a clio estate, then we set off for the long drive to our house.
That night we went out for a meal but the nearby restaurant had a wedding reception on so it was a quick trip to a nearby supermarket and frozen pizza and wedges quick and easy and an early night as we were all shattered.
The following morning I was up early at 5.30am yes there are two of them in a day . It was so much colder than when we were last there in July but as the sun Rose it turned into a gorgeous day of 24 degrees centigrade.
We headed off to show Ross and Megan the big city and had a great day looking round with a lovely lunch Sat outside one of the many restaurants.

Me and Julie lunch at La Strada

Ross chilling by the fountain in the main square

Julie being a tourist
After a look around the city we headed up for a look at the Danube and watched the world go by for a bit, then home via the supermarket for a few bits for tea.

Monday was off to Popovo for a look round a  banitsa breakfast and we found a good butchers shop where the lady spoke a little english so we decided to have a BBQ for tea she was really helpful telling us what was good and what was not good we will be going back there.

Improvised BBQ
We made a BBQ out of half an oil drum and sat and watched the stars in the sky before retiring to the house and trying out our petchka which soon became that hot we had to open the door to cool down.
Tuesday was a trip to nearby Cherven which has a medival castle on its hill and has some stunning views.

Ross on the medival castle walls

There is a small cafe bar in cherven so we stopped for a spot of lunch and bumped into some English people who live nearby so it was good to chat and get some valuable tips about life in Bulgaria.

Back in the home front everything in the garden seems to have grown since we were last there especially the weeds. We will have a big task on our hands next year taming it but we will have the time.
We bumped into Ivan our neighbour who stopped as he drove past for a chat. Him in Bulgarian me on Google translate, God knows what he thinks in on about half the time. We were outside the house when he drove past with his rap music blaring in his car, not what middle aged men are expected to listen too but he is very friendly and remembered our horse incident from july.
The following day he stopped as I was walking up the lane and showed me his car full of vegetables he was off to some market to sell them either that or he was going to a vegetable convention somewhere I suspect though he was off to market. He is a lovely guy.



Overgrown gate between two of our fields
Ross looking up to me in barn roof

Snake city central
Walnuts we have two walnut trees
Don't think our grapes will win many prizes this year but wow are they sweet

Found this in the house apparently Niki Lauda has had a crash
Sledge in our barn roof
Our local shop/bar
We met this lovely lady in the bar in July she greeted us like long lost friends.

It's a rat race here

Sadly Wednesday came too soon and we had to leave. We had decided to break the journey back to Sofia with an overnight stop in Lovech so we didn't have a mega early start to our day.
We had a couple of drinks in Lovech and a lovely meal it was over too soon.

Me and Julie in Lovech.

Well next time we are in Bulgaria it will be to live.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

13. Bored

Just a quick post because I'm bored I am currently laid up with a bad back so thought I would do a quick post.
Also I'm bored of waiting to go to Bulgaria. Three weeks on Saturday we go back and I CANNOT WAIT. It will only be a flying visit for 5 days, Julie's daughter Megan and my eldest son Ross are coming with us too so they can have a glimpse of where we will be living.
When we get back I will only have seven weeks left to work. This move is crashing down on us and we have so much yet to do but on the other hand time seems to be going slower than ever, it's weird.

In other news Bailey our pampered pooch got his rabies jab last week for his pet passport. He loves the vets as everyone makes a fuss of him. We also got him his travel cage for the journey which he is not too sure about but with numerous treats he now seems content about going in it

Bailey's travel cage in Vladi the Caddy 

Bailey has also been brushing up on his Bulgarian lessons words like bone, poop, walkies at he wants to be prepared.

Immediately after his last Bulgarian lesson

Until next time take care

Thursday, 23 August 2018

12. Hurdles

As times is flying by towards our move to Bulgaria,except when I'm at work then it drags even though I only have 56 working shifts to do (not that I'm counting). There are hurdles we need to get over before we move.
The first of this was actually telling my parents we had bought our house. We told them we were planning to move earlier this year and the conversation went a bit like this.

Me "were moving to Bulgaria and were going in December"

My  dad " That's a bloody stupid idea , I've never heard anything so stupid in my life, don't expect me and your mum to come and see you were getting old I'm a ticking time bomb I could die at any moment. You should stay here and get another job when you retire. Bulgaria my arse" .

Me " so your not so keen on the idea then ? "

So  we were a tad apprehensive about telling them about our purchase. So a couple of weeks ago we went to see them and told them.

The conversation went like this.

Me " you know when we went to Bulgaria in July and we told you we stayed in a house, we didn't lie but we were economical with the truth the house was our house we bought it in April"

Mum " Oh lovely that's nice dear"
Dad   " How much was it ? "

In truth they were actually OK about it , I know it's not what they want us to do but you can't and shouldn't live your life on what other people want.
By the time we left my dad was asking where the nearest airport was and how far was our house from  said airport, so you never know we might have them visiting after all.

Last week was full on it was our second wedding anniversary so I bought Julie a lovely present something she will get great use of when we move, I did my research and went for quality something that will last her a lifetime. I didn't just want cheap and nasty she is worth so much more and deserves the best.

Julie's present she's a lucky girl.

Never let it be said I don't know how to treat a lady.
Seriously though we are taking some decent tools with us when we go so far the ones I have bought in Bulgaria appear to be made from butter and break almost immediately.
I bet somewhere there is a butter factory on some leafy green hillside and after a production run it goes like this.

Bill " ere Ben what should we do with all this left over scraps of butter"

Ben " shape it into tools and send em to Bulgaria, they will never know"

Bulgarian tools are pants.

The biggest hurdle of all was telling my kids we were moving to Bulgaria. I have 4 in total (yes I know it's a lot but I had 2 practice marriages before finally getting it right. Some say I just like wedding cake whiçh isn't untrue).
my eldest two are 29 and 26 and have their own lives and we told them ages ago and they are fine with it.
but I still had to tell my youngest two who are almost 16 and 13. All I can say is I was shitting myself , how would they react ? Would there be upset and anger ? Would they both storm off and never speak to me again. I love all my kids with all my heart and would do anything for them.
my youngest two live with their mum and over the past few years they have started to grow up and visits to dad have become less as they have started to go out to mates and develop their own interests. I still see them regularly only not as often after all what 13 year old (going on 25) wants a night at his dad's who doesn't have an x box when he can be with his mates.
So it was with real trepidation we had the conversation it went like this

Me " when I finish work in December me and Julie are moving to Bulgaria but I will be coming back to see you on regular occasions and you can come over and see us"

My kids " That's cool it's your life live it"

Me " so your ok with it, have you got any questions"

My kids " when we come over are you paying for the flights ? "

Me " of course , any other questions"

My kids " what's your password for Netflix on your TV "


Last week we also went looking at van 's just for a look mind to see what we fancied and you guessed it 2 hours later and numerous Great British Pounds later we are now the new owners of a  VW Caddy van.

So it was goodbye to Poppy Julie's car for the last 9 years

Goodbye poppy the smallest car in the world.

And it's hello to Vladi the Caddy

 Vladi the caddy

I will be now known as white van man

So that was our week and our hurdles only 15 more weeks now till we go. I'm sure there will be plenty more but that's enough for one week.......... I'm starting to stress but I'm sure it will be worth it. At least this week didn't involve snakes.

Until next time
Take care

Friday, 3 August 2018

Random photo's

Below are some random photo's we took whilst in Bulgaria that I haven't included in the last few post's. Everyone likes a piccy.

Our house (in the middle of our street)

Wild flowers on the roadside
Horse grazing on our street not the runaway one

Say cheese

View of the barn

Street outside our house

Sunflowers picked from the roadside

Watching England crash out of the world cup in our local shop/bar
Natural spring in Karan Verbovka

Monestry at Karan verbovka

On the road to Palamartsa
On the road to Dve Mogili 

A view across to our village

Busy village of Krepcha

One of our wood stores which might become a chicken coop
Our house through overgrown grapevines

Another view over our village

 View up the hill with smoke effect from our 13 day fire
Our 13 day fire

View to barn with some of my ultra modern tools

Nearby Chervan

A stray dog in our village he was so friendly
View down the hill to our house
Till next time
Take care