In my hurry to write the last post I negated to mention my absolute joy at having a car. but especially owning a Land Rover Discovery. And yes, yes I am almost embarrassed to admit to owning a Chelsea Tractor except that I do live in the countryside, smack bang in the middle of it actually. We do need a 4×4 without a doubt. Yesterday the heavens opened and in minutes we were under about 5 inches of water and aquaplaning . Which when you are driving on country roads is quite an experience. I love that graphite goddess of a car <3. I invite comments on a name for her. It must start with an L, D or R.
What was even better was that between my Mom, Dad and Terry it was full of small luxuries from the UK. I am again almost embarrassed to admit to having requested and received two Asda bags worth of Battenburg cake. I am living in a country that has amazing desserts of all possible colours, textures and tastes but I had a longing for the blousy trout of the cake world and it needed requiting.
I also had a further two bags of green teabags. During Terrys baggage 101 sojourn I had run out of green tea so Amalia and I were forced to reuse our existing bags till we were supping a pale and insipid fluid that held no succour at all. The local shops do not hold green tea and the only bus out of the village leaves at 11 and returns at 3, somewhat of an excursion for a cuppa! We both would have been equally satisfied with a cup of the Bulgarian tea drunk in most households but for reasons I can’t fathom the local shops only hold sickly sweet fruit versions. Perhaps as the fourth set of Anglichani in the village the shop owners had a confab about our habits and decided we are a nation of tea drinkers. However in Bulgaria there is a propensity towards sweetness in almost every beverage except water so there can be found every fruit version of tea imaginable and all with added sugar. There is here a special mention to the delightful Diane, yes Diane you know who you are and to the extremely thoughtful Dani! In the midst of the “greenteagate” I was scrabbling around in the half finished summer kitchen when I came across two items that had my very soul singing. A packet of Gunpowder green tea from The Portsmouth Tea Company with just about four teaspoons of wonderfully earthy loose green tea. Right next to it nestled a tiny grey seal whose sole job is to be filled with loose tea and hung in a mug. Amalia and I took turns to enjoy, nay delight in these treasured finds. So a huge shout out to Dani and Diane for their inspired gifts.
There was also a car seat my parents had bought for William when he arrives with James in August. As I write this blog, disheveled and heavy with sleep I am mentally preparing myself for a spat with Bulgarian bureaucracy. We are buying James’s house today. The seller, their family and a villager whose English qualifies him to “translate” will be grouping outside our front door at 11am to visit the notary. Both Terry and I realise this is not going to be a quick experience and having dropped Amalia off at 2am in the morning for a train to Varna we are both not feeling the love for the bureaucracy lying ahead. On a quick note and I so wished I had my phone with me, the disabled access across 6 platforms and requiring both stairs up and stairs down is lengths of metal inverted and placed down and up 5 but not six of the sets of stairs. The distance between these inverted metal strips is none negotiable. They have to suit pushchairs and wheelchairs – I am tempted to go back just for a picture. Also at 2am the ticket lady donned a guards hat atop her bouffant hair and at the approaching trains, used the torch on her mobile phone to signal in the train drivers. She also like many of the passengers nonchalantly walked across the tracks rather than negotiating the stairs! Health and safety in the Uk would have had kittens. Safe to say no one was injured in the process.
Now for my love of sunflowers I am going post picture after picture of fields of sunflowers taken about 5 minutes before a deluge. The featured header shot is not my own work I might add! The landscape currently is what I refer to as Gods Country. The colours are magnificent. Great swathes of sunflowers majestically rising from the landscape and investing the light with an ethereal radiance that is enchanting. The hedgerows in the village are blue with the tall gangly cornflowers fighting for space with the rowdy cow parsley. The weather has also been unpredictable with flash storms. The relief from the heat and sun is palpable in everyone and everything from dogs to frogs. The pictures below were of course taken as we rattled through the Bulgarian countryside in the car . The areas the pictures are taken within are Pavlikeni, the village and just before the villages of Stefan Strombolovo and Obedinenie about 20 minutes from Veliko Tarnovo . The cornflower shots are from the lane outside the house and the Ikeaesque fields of wheat from the road to Pavlikeni town. The sheep grazing are just minutes out of the village.