One day when the temperature hit 42 degrees before midday Terry said “get changed we’re going to Pleven to look at air con”. This was precipitated by a visit to our friends Alex and Paul who have air con. Their home is always so cool that it is possible to sit on a leather sofa without becoming part of it. So in blistering heat and sweating profusely we slipped around on the seats of dirty Gertie all the way to Pleven. We pulled into Mr Bricolage, a French DIY store and looked at air con. It was a confusing world of EPS, EER and other indecipherable acronyms. We decided not to get an air conditioning unit but to try with a stand alone mobile unit before spending so much money. We also had a “look around” which is always tempting. And before we knew it we had bought a 4.5m round above ground pool, all the chlorine, anti algae solution, pool cover and then a table and 6 chairs. Terry takes great pleasure in buying things but I don’t. I always worry that tomorrow we won’t have any money and therefore getting me to spend it is always fraught with my obsessive worrying. It also gave us the opportunity to put up the gazebo my parents had gifted us. It was a long job putting down a platform for the pool and clearing the jungle but that first swim was so worth it.
Terry set out in the middle of the night to guide James and Josh in from their 2am flight into Sofia. He offered because our own first experience of hiring a car and driving from Sofia to VT in the dark was horrific. We were so glad we’d put the pool up because when the dogs started barking at 6am to announce their arrival it was already hot and sultry. It was wonderful to see James again. Josh has been part of our family in many ways since he and James first met in year 6 at Junior school. We’d just moved from Greece and whilst James with his classic blond hair and blue eyed good looks fitted the British schoolboy look his heavy Greek accent isolated him. He and Josh gelled immediately and they are firm friends to this day. They took no time in jumping straight in the pool!
James and Josh had rented a Duster 4 x 4 in order to go and view properties in and around Veliko Tarnovo but I had seen a house in the village and mentioned it. It had the right feel to it. So we jumped into his car and went to have a look. He was interested, very interested. In fact he was so interested he decided to cancel all the other viewings. We managed to get hold of Lucy the owner and she and Sonya, a villager who spoke English, agreed to show the house at 2pm.
James, Josh and Amalia decided to go to the Krushuna Waterfalls before the house viewing. I was relieved because we had promised Amalia we’d take her but had had a whole tranche of problems with the removal man and our belongings. I’m not going to sully this page with the sad and sorry story. I might at a later point though! So the kids set off in the Duster and we agreed to see them at 2pm at the house on the corner of the green.
James loved the house! We were also excited. This meant that we were close enough to look after his place but more importantly close enough for Grandparent activities when William came. The house needs some work but has shutters and an air con unit. Apart from the tiles on the ouside shed needing some work and some of the render on the building the house is sound and comes with a great barn that could be converted. We looked at another house for Josh but it was way out of the price bracket we were looking at.
So having made arrangements to buy the house James and Josh set of in the Duster for a night at a hotel in VT and a bit of sight seeing. I might add that all images on this page are James’s work.
James and Josh arrived in the morning of the last day of their flying visit just as we were leaving to drop off Amalia in VT to catch a ride to a Psych Trance festival in the Stara Zagora region. We literally handed them the keys to the house as we left. We dropped of Amalia with some misgivings that the guy she was taking a lift with was Nich and German and that was all she knew. Every parent reading this will know that feeling – she’s an adult at 22 but …..
We drove back and found the lads still in the pool. They were going to take the opportunity to drive early to Sofia to do some sightseeing before handing the car back and flying home. Terry and I invited them to lunch before they left at Perfecto in Levski where meat is the main component of their dishes and generously so!
The lads shot off in their 4 x 4 straight after lunch and Terry and I headed home to empty the pool so we could rearrange the base the next day. The house seemed very empty and quiet