I’m typing this as the east coast of US is being pummelled by hurricane Sandy, which makes this weekend’s rather gusty weather seem like a light breeze and a sprinkle of rain. Yes, it turned the road outside our house into a river, but that’s not unusual due to the lack of drainage. Despite it being the tail end of October however, the winds – and rain – have been strangely warm, and it’s only in the evenings that winter gives us the idea it’s just around the corner.
We didn’t need much incentive to light the new petchka, though! Ivan’s worked hard at smashing a hole in the ceiling of the extension and building the chimney up through the terrace, topped with a cute little chimney pot, so we now have the stand-alone stove keeping us toasty. It’s so effective that we haven’t yet lit the main petchka which drives the radiators, but I don’t think it’ll be long now.
Simon and Philip popped over to check up on the house in StefanK, and we spent a delightful few days with them, sunbathing and relaxing at Sv. Vlas (marvelling at how much it’s all changed since we first went there, just four years ago), met up with his builder in StefanK and ended up at NovoP.
We’ve also ‘enjoyed’ some less welcome guests around the house, including death-watch beetle, woodworm, a wasps’ nest and pantry moths! After attacking the wood-nibblers with various Bulgarian-bought concoctions, we have been reliably informed that Wykamol is the weapon of choice. So far we can only find that in the UK. The wasps’ nest has had vinegar, fly spray, diesel and WD40 chucked into it, but like true Bond villains, they just will not die.
It was the pantry moths that really took some beating though. Laying eggs which turned to maggots it turned out they were in EVERYTHING: lentils, pasta, chickpeas, flax seeds…but the final straw was finding a maggot waving at me from the middle of an unopened bar of Green & Black’s dark chocolate.
Now this was an act of war.
I emptied all the cupboards, tossed away anything looking vaguely suspicious, scrubbed then hoovered into the corners of every drawer and cupboard. Anything that hadn’t been thrown away was banished to the freezer for a couple of days to kill any hidden eggs that I might have missed. Even the hoover bag was frozen. To date, no further moths have been spotted in the kitchen.
Unless you count our Moth who spent a week here with Ag, arriving in perfect time to counterbalance my murderous streak by helping Jeremy finish constructing and painting the wood-store. We had a hilarious week of work and play: filling the new shed with over 10 cubic metres of firewood (no mean feat), picking grapes from the next door’s garden, introducing them (the parents, not the grapes) to the delights of the restaurant and of course Mitko (“Hasn’t he got lovely eyelashes?”) and Zlatina, stroking the cats and playing silly games.
We also took a drive to Shipka village to gaze in awe at the golden domes of the Russian-built church, climbing the 678++ steps to the Shipka freedom monument, whilst bemused by the communist Buzludzha on the horizon and finally staying the night in some luxury in the town of Kazanluk, the capital of the Valley of the Roses, which is also famous for its Thracian tomb.
Shest has also had an eventful couple of weeks, although without ‘catcam’ we will never know exactly what scrapes he’s got himself into. On two separate occasions he’s come back with cuts and bruises on his forelegs, in so much pain he just growls at anybody who’s listening. So far a day of r&r has sorted him out each time, but I hope he’s learnt his lesson now. This level of curiosity doesn’t tend to work out well for cats.