Firstly the beautiful featured image is of Strahdzha mountain range close to Gradishte, a little tidbit to remind me of the area we will be living in.  I shall intersperse todays writing with random Bulgarian pictures.Thereafter It’s all in the title!  So very tired and still not done renovating the house.  However, the new kitchen cabinets are fitted, worktops on and the floor tiled.  The walls may have been tiled too had we not fallen foul of internet shopping.  We had spotted white metro tiles at a local firm and advertised at half the price we had been receiving quotes for.  So on Friday night we ordered 365 of them for £109.  Confirmation was received by email so on Saturday morning I rung the company and asked if we could pick them up.  “yes” came the reply.  So with the kitchen floor freshly tiled and needing to dry we shot off in dirty Gertie for Farlington.  The showroom was inspirational, sadly the staff were not.  Apparently the web team don’t work on a weekend ?***?!  And further more the current stock of said and aforementioned tiles was -410.  All this took 3/4 of an hour whilst various factions spoke with other factions in hushed voices.  Just before I reached obstreperous mode Terry turned on a sixpence and said “we’re wasting our time talking to the monkey when the organ grinder ain’t here” .  I followed him out of the shop and was told by Terry to “bell them Monday” to which I quipped  “what and ask for the Organ Grinder”?  That’s going to be an onerous task I could well do without.

This weekend has passed by in a blur of lifting and shifting, measuring and moving and feelings of frustration that we are still not done.  We have upped from the back room and gotten rid of the hideous cardboard box carpet.  We shifted to the front room with the dogs, their bed, our mattress, the TV and our little brown make do wardrobe that is really a 1930’s half cupboard.  I am beginning to love that little brown wooden utilitarian cupboard – it holds all I hold dear and very little else.  It’s just it’s unassuming brownness, years of rubbing has burnished the colour to that of a shiny conker.  We also have a patchwork of carpets on the floor and a 4m long roll of carpet for the hall stairs and landing. The carpet roll is all wrapped in black plastic and looks like an enormous piece of liquorice stick.

I have rubbed and scrubbed the cooker and hob so that they are worthy of being fitted into a pristine WHITE kitchen.  I have neglected to post photos of the kitchen, preferring rather to take a final shot and a taa dah moment!  The fridge freezer is another matter.  In my infinite wisdom I thought to use a bleach based cleaner in the inner environs.  It was a terrible mistake as the inside of the fridge looks like a curry has been splattered within.  There are great streaks of yellow and red where the chlorine has interacted with the plastic.  There is definitely no money in the coffers for a new fridge/freezer.  I think, when we have the open day,  I will pack the fridge to the gunnel’s with food so there is less of the colour map of horror showing.

gradishtebridgeOne of the beautiful old bridges on the way from Veliko Tarnovo to Gradishte

I finally got out into the front garden and replanted the box, which I have been growing for about 6 years and to which can be ascribed the term dwarf variety because they certainly haven’t sprung up in any way shape or form.  I moved the tall freshly painted black pots to either side of the bay window and planted great balls of purple chrysanthemums, small blooms but an absolute preponderance of them.  I’m hoping the frost won’t take them before an agent has the opportunity to take a snapshot of the front of the house.

gradishte train stationThe old train station at Gradisthe

We have made a pledge to finish the back room and kitchen this week. It will of course depend on the metro tile saga.  The back room requires a second coat of varnish; Terry did the first coat last night and all the wood needs wiping with tung oil and some parts varnished.  The lighting needs to be added and the glass in the original 30’s built in cabinet replaced and the blinds hung.  The kitchen needs the tiling to be finished, the shelves to go up and a cupboard to be built next to the freezer and the wall.   After that the hall stairs and landing need carpeting and minor snagging and we will be ready to dress the house for agents.  The garden needs tidying up and at this point I’m loathe to do too much to it except damage limitation!

Linda, my Bulgarian penpal keeps me up to date on all thing Bulgarian but mostly the weather.  It seems that Autumn has hit Bulgaria too with temperatures rocking 14% a drop of almost 10 degrees since last week.  Dani is in the process of deciding which Universities to apply for.  There are 4 in the running, Liverpool, Manchester, Wales and Canterbury.  Canterbury is the only one I wouldn’t go for.  It is the whitest campus in the UK by all reports and that is never a good thing.  James is not enjoying the smaller car, I don’t think he is going to get rid of his beautiful old Mercedes for the delights of the Polo.  He’s a big lad and the car is small, though it is very economical.  Ami has leapt into University life and spent a whole 24 hours harassing me about her first written work to be handed in.  It is an ugly task, mother/daughter academic support, so I asked Diane to jump in too.  It got uglier before it got better it’s fair to say!  I saw William on Sunday when James came to pick up the Polo that Terry had been working on.  William was fascinated by the mattress on the floor and we spend 30 minutes with him demonstrating all types of jumping feats and rolly polly type moves.  We laugh such a lot together.  He’s such a bossy bean too!  His Mum Paris has been baking home made sausage rolls and I have yet to try one but I have put in dib dibs on at least one.  I hear they are becoming legendary!

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