Some might say I have been rather too keen to get new things to write about in the blog, as if a birthday jolly in Pomorie, two full moon viewings, the odd visitor (no offence, Debbie), hacking the heatwave, our first Bulgarian camping trip, feline frolics and yet more examples of Bulgarian bungling somehow aren’t enough to keep readers amused.
I can categorically say, however, I did NOT fall off my bike on purpose. Certainly not just to get a ride in a Bulgarian ambulance.
It was just a brief altercation with a sleeping policeman on a particularly pot-holed road, but it was enough for the road to claim victory through the medium of a cut on my head and a nasty hole in my leg. So as I sat by the side of the road, leaking out of my head, leg and eyes, a slightly frightened looking security guard looking on at a safe distance, Jeremy had to dial the European emergency 112. Twenty-five minutes later I was whisked – okay, trundled – by ambulance to the first aid centre down the road in Tsarevo. Despite the bang on the head, I remembered my language and kept the nursing staff amused whilst being cleaned and patched up.
This was just one of a few not-so-straightforward interactions which have really stretched our language skills. So, done ambulance – tick. The Burgas police (BPD?) actually called us the other day, to see why our car was parked at the airport at the time of the suicide bombing. No fire brigade as yet. I hope it stays that way.
We also popped to the bank and managed to open a 12-month savings account which was offering a surprisingly respectable 6% return. Just when we thought we’d done all the difficult stuff, a curious jangling noise that sounded not unlike a coat-hanger in the wheel arch of the car prompted us to pop into a garage for a check-up. On removal of the wheel, the bottom ‘circle’ of the spring which forms the basis of the shock absorber was found to have sheared off and was bouncing around, unshackled.
Even the mechanics were surprised at the level of damage that the potholes can do (I hadn’t broken myself by then, otherwise I would have shown them what was actually possible).
The Olympics made a surprisingly big impression on the locals, with the restaurant tuning into BNT1 every evening to catch up on the days’ events, a huddle of hoodies watching the Bulgarian weightlifters and wrestlers flexing themselves on the international stage. The Bulgarian volleyball team kept us on the absolute edge of our seats and came an impressive fourth in the competition and we were permanently monitoring Twitter to keep abreast of all London 2012 happenings.
The garden has rather taken a battering during the last heatwave, with brocolli, cabbage and cauliflowers having all been eaten by critters before they’ve had chance to turn into anything we could eat. Tomatoes and courgettes have been WONDERFUL however, with slow-roasted cherry and larger toms featuring regularly at lunchtimes and courgette muffins being churned out at a rate of knots!
I planted swedes this year as I had a craving for Cornish pasties, and lo, four months later they have delivered! Jeremy harvested a host of elderberries and made them into a batch of jam and sloes have just been picked which will become the basis of sloe gin which will be ready in time for our October guests. Book those tickets, quick…
Whilst Debbie was with us for her mini-break, the only gaps in conversation were during sleeping hours. Whilst we all chatted, we also covered ourselves in mud in Primorsko for a full body mask, visited the Burgas sandcastle exhibition, played frizbee in the sea, ate very fresh mussels at home, visited the fairytale castle, had dinner overlooking the sea, drank multi-coloured cocktails and even swapped massage tips.
On a sad note, Great (brilliant, lovely) Uncle Sid, the last of the top level Liversidges, lost his fight against leukemia earlier this month after a measured and dignified refusal of treatment. Straight-forward to the last, he spent his 90 years as a true gentleman, a genuinely lovely chap and I feel privileged to have been able to know him in his latter years. Here’s wishing you and Auntie Glad a happy reunion wherever you are…