Prolonged Festivities

A very large stack of Christmas cards arrived here on Friday – nearly two weeks into January – so goodness knows where the Bulgarian postal service have been keeping them for the last three or so weeks.

It did prompt us to look back on the fabulous whirlwind that was our festive season though. What fun we had! We hired a car and spent five days in it travelling between Watford, Dorking, north London, Oxford and a little village not far from Swindon.


Some days we had TWO massive meals and I have to admit it’s probably only just now that my stomach is starting to recover from the intestinal onslaught. But when you’re faced with so much deliciousness, it’s rude/impossible to say no, isn’t it? (Yes – to both of those.)

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Ag Barges Into Seventy

We had a lovely time with Ag over his birthday weekend. After Moth’s 70th extravaganza we couldn’t let this auspicious occasion pass without some kind of event. And seeing as it was so much fun, why not make some of it a surprise, again…?

So we informed him that on the Saturday morning he and Moth should be at Warwick Ave tube station at 8.45am, dressed warmly in layers and sensible shoes.

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The Dark Side Of The Spoon

For as long as we have been in Bulgaria, the question of The Teaspoon has been hanging over us. Coffee would always come with a spoon which had the ‘Silistra’ crest at the top. It didn’t matter if we were in Yambol, Stara Zagora, Melnik or Burgas, it was always Silistra.

But WHY? Nobody could tell us.  So when we found ourselves in the Danube town of Silistra recently, we made it our mission to find out.

The Danube

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Winter Wood or Wildlife Sanctuary

Well people, we have broken our own record this year. Wood ordered, delivered, paid for (and partly stacked) by 16th July. One day earlier than last year!

💥 BOOM! 💥

We’d discovered Bourjany: Purveyors of the Finest Firewood on the Bricolage roundabout quite by accident. Greeted with Svetla’s big smile and a clutch of kitties last year, it was nothing if not a pleasure dealing with them. So we thought we would again!

Wood LOGS.jpg

It’s worth mentioning it wasn’t the most ordinary of experiences. This is still Bulgaria, don’t forget.

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Johnny Be Good

You might have heard mention of Johnny over the past few years. A scraggy mess of a mog with a gammy eye and perpetually battered and torn ears, who announces his arrival (and departure) with a blood-curdling yowl. He’s been around nearly as long as Shest and vaguely associates himself with the neighbour behind us. Given that Shest is nine (!) this year, Johnny can’t be far behind and this is quite an age for a street cat with a strong propensity to fight – especially as he won’t have had any of the usual jabs.

So when we caught a glimpse of Johnny in our headlights one dusky evening a few weeks ago looking oddly lean with blood all over his haunches, we were worried. He’d disappeared by the time we’d parked.

Days went by and we didn’t see him – of course we thought the worst.

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We did it!

In the run up to our 100km trekking adventure, when explaining to locals what we were about to undertake, we were looked upon with abject horror by some. “You’re WALKING? But…what about the snakes?!” they cried.  “You’ll need a machete and pepper spray at least.”


“I have a crossbow if you need it,” added Simon. (We’re still not sure if he was serious.)

The last warning was a bit more ‘Little Red Riding Hood’. “Whatever you do,” said Mitko. “Don’t ever venture off the path.”

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