Whilst the house was bereft of offspring and various visitors we thought we’d crack on with clearing some of the garden and putting the wall tiles up in the Summer kitchen . This meant decanting the kitchen back into the makeshift bedroom in the house. I left my magical 2 ring camping gas stove on the path outside the house. The thought of doing any cooking inside the house was unimaginable.
We started off by clearing the back area of the house to see what damage if any we would uncover. Terry had the chainsaw and I followed behind with secateurs and a rake. It took much less time than we imagined and I uncovered an aged climbing rose that I cut back to one healthy branch. At some point somebody had removed (stolen) the tiles used around the base of the house in lieu of damp proofing. We also finally uncovered a small window at the back of the house that corresponded to the upstairs hallway of the old house. I laughed as I looked up and saw the five chimneyed house of my childhood favourite film; The Railway Children. I have watched few films in my life but this film remains poignant to this day.
We continued on to the Summer Kitchen carrying the boxes of tiles back into the kitchen and whilst Terry started the wall tiles went to finish sanding down the wooden worktops Terry had fashioned for me by gluing and clamping three lengths of timber together. There were beautiful knots and small idiosyncrasies to the wood that would make them utterly unique. The weather was absolutely scorching and it was difficult to concentrate on the job in hand. The belt sander we have is efficient but very very heavy and I felt the tightening of my thigh muscles as I bent over and ran it forwards and back again till the grooves from the planer gradually disappeared. I dropped sporadically into the summer kitchen to make drinks and was delighted with the progress of the zesty green tiles. It wasn’t long till the first timber worktop was installed and the tiling continued around the sink and fireplace/barbecue/bread oven area.
I have the attention span of a gnat when I have the opportunity to work outside so as soon as I had completed my sanding duties I turned my hand to clearing the tree debris next to the pool. This wasn’t on my scheduled list of activities but with Terry busy in the kitchen I slunk off to get my rakes, secateurs and tree pruners. It wasn’t long before there was a humungous pile of wood and garden cuttings in the middle of the cleared area. Terry came out and said just set it alight. The secret pyromanic in me was instantly released and without a second thought I lit a bit of dried grass and in an instant a furnace developed before our eyes. We eyed the surrounding dried grass nervously and as Terry switched the water supply to the well pump I started watering in a ring around the perimeter of the fire. It was tense for two reasons . Our hose didn’t fit onto the pump hose and we broke our big baby bath by both trying to throw water in 2 different directions at the same time. In what would probably looked, from the outside, like a skit from a Benny Hill program we both ran madly around the fire dampening the periphery until some kind of control was achieved. Terry returned to the kitchen and I tended the tamed fire – all in about 37 degrees of heat! Because of the danger of the situation the opportunity to take photos of the blaze only arrived when the fire was just about dead.
It was during this time that I made a decision to ring the parents of the man we had paid £3600 to pick up and delivery all our worldly good from our old home in the UK way back in May and to deliver to our new home in Gradishte. I won’t bore you with details but the man turned out to be nothing short of a conman. He had delivered just one small transit load of our goods out of the contents of two 7.5 tonne lorries. We had had any number of spats with this man and 1001 excuses. So on the spur of the moment I rang the UK house number we had for this man. To my surprise his aged mother answered the phone . I gently explained our dilemma and when I began to describe some of our goods, all of which were labelled she gasped “they are all in my double garage, I’ve been asking him for months to move them”. Terry and I looked at each other in real consternation. Given that her son had threatened to return our belongings to the UK and dump them we began to panic. We had been assured that our belongings were already in Bulgaria awaiting dispatch. After making some phone calls Terry did what he does best. A man of action he asked me to book flights immediately for the UK. He was going to retrieve our belongings.
And that is what he did. With the help of his Mum Denise and step father Tony they rented two box vans from the UK drove to Gloucester to retrieve our belongings. They then drove through the night to Simon Pennels yard in Newark to store our belongings in a container for Simon to ship to us and drove back down to south to his parents house. Real life heroes. Terry hadn’t slept for 40 hours and his parents 24 but they managed by themselves to rescue our worldly goods.
With a few hours sleep Terry then woke up and began his search for a mini digger to bring back to Bulgaria as a means of income and an automatic car for me that was capable of pulling it. Both sets of parents helped in the search and I coordinated from Bulgaria. In two further days and with the help of both sets of parents the job was achieved. My Mom found Terry ferry tickets and he set off for our home in Bulgaria on Friday. It is now Sunday morning and as I write he should be home in about 4 hours. It was an epic journey that included a blow out and the hose for the transmission fluid blowing off. He’s had two breakdown call outs and a lovely Romanian mechanic opening his garage late on Saturday for Terry to fix the car. This is an extremely precised version of a heroic journey with real life , modern day heroes.