Archive for the ‘The Business’ Category

In amongst everything else that I was doing, I decided to take a little time and make my own Easter eggs this year.

I had dyed them with Hristina’s help on previous occasions so I headed into Yambol to buy the dyes so I could see what I could create.  Well, I got a little carried away and went slightly past just dying the eggs. I found packets of stick on pretty things as well as the dye and so to work I went…

Don’t they look terrific ! I had guests arriving on the Easter Sunday so decided to have traditional eggs for them as well as the bog standard chocolate ones

Only little ones, as you can see.  So far Bulgaria doesn’t seem to have become obsessed with eggs as big as houses so I could only find packets of small ones in the supermarket…which is good.  The longer this country can hold off against the destruction of their traditions the better, I reckon.

I had the house looking pretty damned good, even if I say so myself and on Easter Sunday I met up with my friend Dimitor (of the taxi) and headed down to Burgas to pick up my incoming guests. The bus duly arrived and usually Burgas is the termination of that bus run from Istanbul to Bulgaria.  No one seemed to be getting off at all though and I suddenly felt a little concerned about the whereabouts of three Aussies on their first trip to BG.

As the bus looked like it was going to disappear I decided I’d best take action and got on board and just yelled out ‘are there any Australians on this bus?’.

And sure enough, a face I hadn’t seen since around the mid 1960s and a face that hasn’t changed one little bit since then, suddenly came into view. This woman, Anne, had contacted me early this year about coming to see Bulgaria.  She ended up coming with two friends as well and when I saw the other woman, Yvonne, I realised I knew her as well, so it was more like a re-acquainting rather than a ‘getting to know’ visit.

Anyway, I retrieved them from the bus, which was a good thing because I found out that the Nisikli bus service has now extended to go on to Romania.  I think they would have got a little surprise if they’d got off the bus there !!

Dimitor loaded them into his taxi and off we went to Miladinovtsi. I spent a couple of days showing them around but my time was restricted as I had this man coming…again

My old mate Peter Watson on his second visit to my home.

It was great to see him and also to see his son Justin, who was just a boy the last time I saw him, a boy who has grown into a really nice and very handsome young man. And also his partner, Dianne who I’d only met briefly in Australia when I was back there and whom it was very nice to get to know a little better.

I’m very fond of Watto and it was lovely to be able to spend a little time with him, albeit just a few days.

While he was here my other guests hired a car and headed off to Veliko Turnovo for a few nights, which was really good of them as it gave me the chance to spend some relaxing and quality time with Watto and Di.

Unfortunately, on his last night here, my Gina took a nasty turn.  We came home and she was looking dreadful and panting. When she refused food and a walk I knew all was not well. I watched her for a couple of hours and could see her deteriorating so I rang Yanko.  He told me to bring her in and it’s a good thing I did.  Pete came with me, which was very kind of him considering he had to be up at the crack of dawn to catch a bus. Anyway, the old girl was running a temperature of 40.2 degrees, dangerously high, and was looking more and more hang dog. The other vet, Marin, took some blood samples and she is showing an enzyme that’s not too good. We decided to treat the infection first and see how she progressed. She had anti fever drugs, antibiotics and pain killers, as she was clearly in pain.

By the next morning there was a vast improvement but I returned to the vet as they had requested, so they could have another look.  She seems to be fine now and is eating and enjoying her walks so I just have to watch her and see if she remains happy and healthy…  I know her years of brutal treatment can’t have been good for her body and maybe it will shorten her life, but the thought of losing her is almost more than I can bear.  I am trying not to think about that possibility, at least in the near future

All too soon I was putting Watto and Di on the bus and my other guests returned for their last few nights with me.

I took them down to Sozopol for a day and we were lucky enough to get some good weather though the wind was very cold….not quite summer yet.  We were walking around the village and came across an archeological dig.  It was fascinating and I had enough Bulgarian to ask what it was…a medieval church and they were finding plenty, including a full skeleton which had been cleaned back but not removed from the soil yet !!   And where was my camera ? Miladinovtsi !!  I couldn’t believe I’d forgotten it.  Anyway, there it was…a full skeleton with what looked like a bashed in skull.  Murder perhaps ???  It really was amazing to see it and to wonder just how long it had been there and who it might belong too. I’ve tried to find out more on the internet but haven’t been able to find anything in English…damn my bad Bulgarian !!

And so we returned to the house and had a relaxing evening in while the guests planned their next move, which was heading to Sofia and spending some time there.  I squeezed them into a taxi early Sunday morning and confess to returning to my bed until about 11am. The weather was miserable and I just felt like a BIG sleep, so I did…loved it.

It was my last rest before the hard labour started in the garden and boy, have I achieved a lot, but that’s for another day as the weather is nice again so I’m heading back into the yard…things to do, plants to plant, holes to dig, weeds to pull and paths to find…

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I’m not dead, just busy.

The house has been ringing with the sounds of Aussie accents..which has been very nice and a lot of fun.  The last of the guests headed off this morning and as soon as time permits, I will step into my time machine and go back  to when Kerrie was here and do my best to catch up on events of the last few weeks…mind you, Hristina is lurking in the background waiting to give me a hand catching up with the garden.  It’s frightening how much growth, good and bad, has occurred in such a short time.  There’s much to do and more folk coming in a few weeks.

It’s been busy…it’s been a lot of fun and I will be back here very soon

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And so it is, having torn all my hair out and developed a really serious drinking problem, that I come to the end of five days of the most frustrating work I’ve ever done but the result is this :


I do still need to knock a few rough edges off and find out how to make things, like the above web address, clickable but that will have to wait until tomorrow as Tim is having a pester free weekend.

It has also been suggested to me that I should do White Christmas deals. That’s something I need to give some thought to as I can’t guarantee a white Christmas and if we do get one, there’s always the chance that you might get snowed in and not be able to get out.  Should I decide to go ahead with that, I will adjust the site at a later date.

I already have guests coming in April and May so that just leaves June, July & August…and maybe September, October to fill. So please feel free to point everyone you know in the direction of my B&B website.  I’ve added it to the Blogroll on this page so all you have to do is click on that and, lord willing and the creeks don’t rise, you will be taken to the site…

I’ve still got repainting to do…best get to work before the first guests arrive at the end of March…it’s only 9 weeks away and somewhere in that time, I have to get the vege garden in so my guests can have some real food.

1035pm…PS: my lovely friend Brian has been in touch and has guided me in the ways of making the email address clickable…cheers Brian  🙂

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For a house that’s basically been closed down for the last two years, I managed to get a few guests come through in the last few months…some knew me, some didn’t, some had been here before and for some it was the first time. Each and every one bought a little ray of sunshine into the house and quite a lot of fun.

First cab off the rank was a friend from Australia, Anna.

I met Anna when I was managing the ABC Radio station in Geraldton while in Australia.   She came in for an interview one morning, and she showed a great interest in a magazine that was on my desk, a magazine about Bulgaria.  We got talking and she asked why I hadn’t written a book about my experiences here.  Anyway, one thing led to another and I settled in to write about my time in Bulgaria. Once I had bashed it into some sort of shape, Anna edited it for me.  We became firm friends and she spent a lot of time ( over the odd wine and/or champagne) listening to my stories, laughing about the good times and being kind to me during the bits where I broke down when talking about the not so good times.

She is now living in Germany and one day she rang me here and said she’d found very cheap flights and was I ready for a visitor.?  I’d only been here a short time, so told her the place was chaos, but she was very welcome to come into it if brave enough…and she did.

It was very hot while she was here and quite a bit of her time was spent on my balconies, enjoying the cool evening air…and the crisp, cold Bulgarian wines.

The dogs really enjoyed her being here and it became her job to be dragged around the village by them every day, a ‘pleasure’ usually reserved for me

They get very excited indeed about their daily walk and shoot out that gate like bullets from a gun…it takes quite a lot of strength not to find yourself face down being dragged down the road.

We had a beaut time,  and it was lovely for me to stop working.  When I’m here on my own, I don’t and sometimes I get really worn out, but I find it hard to just sit…so while Anna was here, I did bugger all, except play tourist.

We ended her visit with a couple of days in Sofia.  I have always liked that city and it was nice to return.  I contacted my friend Stella with the fabulous apartments in the city centre and once we were settled in, we went wandering.

I took Anna to a lot of the places I had been to before and went searching for the restaurant I had always taken people to in Sofia, ‘Sеmovata Kushta (симоваmа къща) ‘, the best Bulgarian food I had ever had.  Well, we found it…or what’s left of it.

I knew I was in the right street and the right area but I could not find it anywhere, so I asked in a little shop.  The very big man in the little shop pointed across the street and what do you think greeted us ?  Bloody Tex Mex !!!  I asked a young woman in the doorway what had happened, and she told me.  Some American had bought the place and, as far as I’m concerned, ruined it…

I made the comment that this was typical of the Americans and she replied that she was married to him…I retorted that perhaps she should tell him he should be ashamed of himself for destroying the best restaurant in Sofia…and stalked off, full of indignation.

Anyway, not to be deterred, I remembered a restaurant that my sister Jillian and I tried to get into one night, but it was packed to the gunnels. We found it and decided to have lunch there. It may not have been quite as good as  the Sеmovata Kushta, but near as damned.  In fact, we enjoyed it so much, we booked to return there for dinner.

We headed off to see some of Sofia…needed to walk that lunch off…

We wandered past the Presidents palace just as the changing of the guards was happening.  And I know I’ve put pictures of these guys up before, but this time they were obviously in their summer dress.

The last lot I got were dressed in red with  black markings.

and this guy gets in because he’s obviously very good at his job…or something

He was leading these guys 4 or 5 years ago.  I never forget a face.

There was the ‘Egg of Luck’ to stroke…and I did

This rather beautiful thing was just set up on the pavement in the middle of Sofia…unattended. I’m afraid that when I see things like this I think about Australia and I know that you could never do this there.  It would either get vandalised or stolen or smashed by some dickhead walking past… just for the hell of it.

There was irresistible ice-creams, served from gorgeous silver thingies, to take into account

And something I just love about Europe…in the warm months, there’s always music…somewhere.

So while we walked around the park in Sofia centre eating our ice-creams, these guys played….it was terrific.

We had another sumptuous meal for very little money that night and the next day it was time for Anna to return to Germany and me to get home and get back to work…

Not long back in Mila, when I got an email from a man I had never met, but who I felt I’d known for years…and I had. In 2007, before I returned to Australia, I was contacted by a man called Alastair.  He is an Australian who has lived overseas for more than 20 years.  He expressed a wish to come to Bulgaria, but never seemed to make it.  I returned to Australia early 2008 and he emailed me to see if he could come and stay.  I told him where I was, but agreed for him to stay in the house anyway. He did this twice, and still we had not met.  Well, now we have.  He and his partner came over and stayed a couple of nights.  It was terrific to meet him at last.  He’s very affable  and very pleasant company, as was Katherine, his partner.  I had a couple of very nice days with them here AND they got to have the one and only BBQ I managed in the new patio area before the nights turned cool.

After they had made their departure, it was back to work for me. There was still rooms to paint, a garden to sort and, of course, I was still cooking, cooking, cooking, stocking up the house with preserves for winter….siege anyone ??

And, plans to make…after I found out how cheap Anna’s flight had been, I decided to get online and see what else there was.  My very dear friend, Deb Westerberg, lives in the south of France.  She’s been to visit me twice in Bulgaria and I have been promising to reciprocate, but everytime we went fare hunting from BG, the cost was ridiculous. Anyway, Wizzair fares were so low, I booked myself a trip…but that’s another story.

Before I could go off swanning around France, I had more guests coming.

Another great friendship I made in Geraldton was Sue Chiera. For most of my time there I lived alone but, towards the latter part of my stay, I decided to move house and was fortunate enough to meet Sue, who offered me a room at her place. It had many advantages over where I was.  It was near the beach, she had dogs ( I was missing my girls terribly) and Sue is a very funny woman and great company to boot.

Sue said she would be coming to visit, and contacted me to tell me she’d be here early October and another friend Lyn, would be with her.  Around about the same time as we were corresponding, I had an email from a couple in Perth, Brian and Marg.  They were thinking of visiting Bulgaria and could they come and stay as well…at the same time as Sue & Lyn ?  Of course, I said, at the same time as realising that I didn’t have enough rooms ready for them all…and I had  a flight to France booked for the day after they all left.

Small, busy, crowded moment.

I swung into action and got myself downstairs to repaint one of the ensuite rooms. I found more water damage but luckily the builders were still here with buckets of plaster, so I asked Stoyan to fill the holes that I had made removing all the water logged render. The whole room was redone, except for the repaired bits. Unfortunately, I then took a rather nasty tumble and badly sprained my wrist, and Yes, it was the right hand and Yes, I’m right handed…Ooops !!

I just had to stop the painting.  I managed the get the rooms upstairs made up..thank God the painting was finished there, and the downstairs room made up, just 98% finished.  I wasn’t far off, but the final painting certainly wasn’t going to happen now.

Brain and Marg were hiring a car in Istanbul and driving to Bulgaria. That was their plan.  Sue and Lyn were flying into Burgas and we’d decided to get Dimitar to pick them up so we could chat all the way back to my place.

Best laid plans…

I was on my way to Yambol to meet Dimitar when my phone rang. I waited until I got to Dimitars house before checking and there was as call from an ‘unknown’ number. I rang it and heard the dulcet tones of an Australian on the other end, but not a  voice I knew.  Brian & Marg had arrived in Turkey only to be told they couldn’t take their hire car across the border.  They had got a bus to Burgas and what would I suggest as their best way of getting to me ??

Heavens, I was on my way to Burgas, but could we fit six adults and all the luggage of four of them in Dimitars taxi ?  I asked him, and in that classic Bulgarian way where nothing is too much trouble he said ‘no problem’.  I told Brian and Marg to sit tight and we’d be there as soon as we had the girls from the airport.

It was so good to see Sue and Lyn coming through customs and after a very excited hello how are you, what’s been happening etc  etc, we headed off to the hotel where Brian and Marg were waiting for us.

It has to be said that the fit was tight, but we managed to get everyone and everything in and soon we were on our way to Yambol to pick up my car and then get out home to my house.

And there started ten days of fun, eating, drinking and much enjoyment…Oh, and sight seeing.

And here they are:

Just a few kilometres from Yambol is the Kabili Monastery and, as often happens, the  nearest things to home are the last ones you see.  Ivan had told me so much about this place so I made a decision that it would be out first stop off. It’s lovely and a truly peaceful place surrounded by beautiful gardens.

Out the front of the Monastery was the usual seller of trinkets, an interesting man  called Ivan.  He took a shine to our Sue and was very keen for her to stay and be ‘his’. It was charm all round and then this…

Sue was a little taken aback and did say a couple of times his hands almost strayed and he almost got a slap….but she did confess to feeling pretty good after her free massage  AND he gave her two packets of sunflowers seeds for her and all her friends.  We almost had to prise him off her  🙂

We managed to get her back and headed up to Jeravna for an over nighter… On the way up we stopped at a restaurant in Gradets and had a large slap up meal…gorgeous place, gorgeous food.

I’d contacted Ivana from ‘IV’ guest house, the place Ivan took me to all those years ago when I was recovering from my operation, and had rooms booked for us all. We got settled and spent a while wandering around taking in the sights and enjoying the terrific art galleries.  And what was I saying about the things you see:

Yes, that is a man with a large gun on his back walking through the streets, but the only thing he was looking to kill was wild boar.

It was fast approaching end of season and the place was nice and quiet.  We headed to the local restaurant that night not looking for food as we’d had such a large lunch, but thinking a few beers and maybe a wine or two could be nice.

We ended up having an unexpected and very enjoyable night out while there.

A group of musicians wandered in and started to play.

The guy with the goatee truly had the voice of an angel, and after we convinced them that we were not interested in ‘english’ music, they got down to the business of singing and playing what they excelled at, good, traditional Bulgaria music.  When they started playing there weren’t that many people in the place, but it gradually filled up and my visitors got the see the Bulgarians at play.  I’ve mentioned before how you can be in a restaurant when there’s music playing and the whole place can start dancing.  We weren’t disappointed. Even one of the staff came out of the kitchen and joined in the dancing and the whole place was just having a great time, especially us.

even got Brian singing

All a little quieter the next morning though

and I’m not even showing you the picture of me…I look like I’ve been hit by a truck.

We headed back home and basically spent their last few days doing relaxing things.  The dogs loved having extra friends to love them and they got to go for lots of walks with these ‘ new’ people as well.  They both fell in love with Sue.  She’s a real dog lover and I’m sure they sensed that in her.  Gina even allowed displays of affection and Mia just fell about all over her every time she appeared at the door.

All too soon it was time to push them out the door…they had homes to get back to and I had things to do.

They were bussing from Burgas to Istanbul and I’m very proud to say that I managed to ring the bus company in Burgas, where they spoke not a word of english, and booked four tickets for them.  I did have concerns that there might be a donkey and cart awaiting them at Burgas, but they assured me that all was fine.  The tickets were there and they got safely to Istanbul.

I had a wonderful time while they were all here…and I think they did as well but, as I said, I had plans.

And that’s my next catch up story

And as I am in catch up mode, my timeline is a little skewiff.  We’re well into autumn right now and across the road from my house is a huge tree, so large it basically fills the view from my front windows.  At the moment I’m looking out at these colours every day

they are absolutely beautiful

ciao for now

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yes indeed…the time has come…

At 6am tomorrow I’m getting on a plane and going home.  Home to my house, my beautiful dogs and my Bulgarian friends.

Hard to believe, but I have been here in Australia for almost exactly two years.  I arrived at the beginning of the 2008 Australian Rules footy season and I leave just as the 2010 season is getting underway.

I’ve had two wonderful years back in this familiar land with my wonderful family and friends, but my heart has never stopped yearning for Bulgaria. There have been times when I almost hoped that the pull of Bulgaria would abate and I could just hunker down and start again here, and I know there are a few here that think I should grow up and make a life here again….I tried, I really did, but my heart was never truly in Australia, and a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

So it is with a nervous stomach and a heart full of joy that I am packing my bags (again) and preparing to start my life (again) in my lovely home, in my lovely Bulgaria, the place I want to be.

I’ll have some work to do getting the house back up to scratch but I do intend to restart the accommodation business and here’s a little taster for anyone mulling over the possibilities of a trip to Europe and, because I’m so close to it, Turkey.

Picture1   flyer th

I also have a new website being built for the business and as soon as it has been activated, I’ll put the web address up here as well.

It’s a much stronger, more resilient, more determined woman who is getting on that plane tomorrow.  My couple of years here have toughened me up and I’m ready to take on anyone that thinks they can have a lend of me. I only want the people that care about me around me, and that is how I intend to live my life this time around. I am so excited about seeing those people and opening my home to them once again and I will also welcome visitors from all over the world to experience this terrific country and all it has to offer.

A dear Bulgarian friend said to me the other day ‘Sue, come back to Bulgaria…forever this time.’  I can only hope that will be the case. I am certainly determined to make it the case…

Wish me luck and ‘come to Bulgaria’ yourself sometime…I’d love to see you there.

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Bugger !!!!!

This is not so much a posting as an information broadcast…

My Yahoo account has crashed and Yahoo have shown themselves to be a complete bunch of bastards who are not prepared to admit their mistake and do something about it….. customer Service, MY ARSE !! they are about as useful as a one legged man in an arse kicking competition !!!

This had become my main account, having been in use for ten years, and, rather stupidly, I have not backed up things like….addresses !!

And Yes, all my personal and business addresses were in there……So, to everyone who’se been trying to contact me for both business and personal reasons, this is why you have not been getting any response from me….

I’ve set up a new account with Google, having been assured that they are a much better and far more reliable company to deal with…I guess time will tell. Anyway, my new address is: aussiebulg@gmail.com

I’ve also had the wonderful Tim, who got this site up and running for me, to alter all the contact email addresses on this site, so you can also contact me through this site again……I know a few people have tried in the last few days, but your emails are automatically being forwarded to the now, defunct Yahoo address….bugger !!!

Please contact me now, if you have been trying to. I’ve tested the gmail address with my sister and it’s certainly working……

once I’ve sorted out this unhholy mess, I will get a proper posting up…..especally as my fat bottomed girls are even more beautiful and entertaining 🙂

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and busy I got……bloody hell…..I just wasn’t expecting it and when a rush of guests came from left field, I was only partially ready. I’ve had bird watchers from Scotland, the Sparrows, a really nice family from the UK, and even more Aussies. I had a really beaut couple from Queensland stay with me, Jan and Andy. 


I really enjoyed having them here and they seemed to enjoy their stay.  Their visit to me culminated in a very pleasant evening at one of the nicest restuarants in Yambol with some other friends plus Ivan and his wife.


We have mutual friends in Adele Millard and her husband, Mat.  I worked with Adele some years ago at the ABC and I’ve known her brother Nik, who’se a cameraman for the BBC, for many years  It was lovely to sit down and catch up on other aspects of life in Oz and people that I’ve not had a lot of contact with in recent times.

There are many times in this country when I rue not carrying my camera with me at all times….but sometimes I have it and I get to see some classic sights…..And ‘Men at Work’ in Bulgaria has got to be one of the great classics.  I’ve seen a number of situations that have made me laugh but for these two, I was lucky enough to get the matching pics

This was taken up in the mountains past Smoylan where one man was working like a bastard….while the rest looked on, smoked ciggies and gave lots of advice


and then, bugger me, if I didn’t look out the window the other day to see the men of Miladinovtsi doing exactly the same thing


you gotta love ’em……..

I also found a little gem resting here quietly in Miladinovtsi.  Now, I’m not a religious person by nature, but this doesn’t mean I’m not interested in churches. I’ve wandered past the little church in Miladinovtsi many times but the doors have never been open……the other day they were, and what a wonderful vision hides behind those big doors…

[photopress:DSC04838.JPG,full,pp_empty] [photopress:DSC04830.JPG,full,pp_empty]

It’s a truly wonderful place to visit and is beautifully maintained by Dida, the partner of the man that runs the local bar. it’s beautiful, and certainly worth a visit if you ever make it to this pleasant little village.

[photopress:DSC04824.JPG,full,pp_empty] [photopress:DSC04829.JPG,full,pp_empty]

We’ve had Mayoral elections throughout Bulgaria and it was with great pleasure that I discovered that our encumbent Mayor and a man I consider a good friend, Dimitor Dimitroff, succeeded in getting another four year term in office. There were those who sought to manipulate the villagers and endeavour to get someone less desirable into office, but on the day, common sense prevailed and the right man was returned to the job…….

There’s probably a million things I’ve missed this month, but there’s been one occurence that has probably taken the most of my time and attention……

and here she is…[photopress:DSC05648_th.jpg,full,pp_empty]

But this isn’t quite what she looked like when she came into my life…she was starved and abused and a truly pathetic sight

[photopress:DSC05396_th.jpg,full,pp_empty] [photopress:DSC05407_th.jpg,full,pp_empty]

Her name is Gina. She’s been with me less than four weeks and her recovery has been remarkable.


up to and including her love of being in the car and her almost immediate liking to being inside the house…….

She is a most beautiful natured creature and a joy to to have around…but there’s more…

The more observant of you have probably also noticed that she’s pregnant….SHIT !!!  Yep, there’s puppies on the horizon and I suspect I’m in for a whole new experience……delivering the bloody things…….  🙂

Rather sadly, Ivan, in a fit of pique, has taken Byal away from me. I was very sad to see him go, but also realise that with a  pregnant bitch in the house, a huge slavering, sometimes uncontrollable brute on the property (and I dont mean Ivan :)) was probably not a great idea…..so he’s gone, after all these months. And I will miss him…..and so will the new friend he made here


So it’s goodbye to my old mate…..a dog I formed a great bond with. [photopress:DSC05635_th.jpg,full,pp_empty]

and hello to Gina….  [photopress:DSC05547_th.jpg,full,pp_empty] 

a dog I’ve paid for and who can’t be taken away from me and with whom, I am already bonding very strongly…she is just a delight and already I love her very much…fingers crossed her health is good enough to have these puppies and nothing happens to her.

I finish this month on a very, very sad note indeed. This time last year I had a Scottish couple, Jan & Harley, staying here with me while their house was being renovated. This was one couple that I admired so much.  Neither of them in great health but willing to take a chance on a new life in a strange and foreign land.  They’ve had their ups and downs here but all in all, were enjoying Bulgaria and what it had to offer them.  Sadly, Harley passed away today and it is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I say goodbye, not just to this month, but to a man that I considered a very good friend indeed….and my heart goes out to Jan, who has lost her best friend and soul mate…

Caio Harley….


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It’s with great trepidation that I poke my head over the parapet, the first time for a long time. It’s been such a long time and so much has happened, that you’ll have to bear with me while I try and get the last few months in some kind of order.

It all started with the arrival of a couple of packages from the UK containing chicken incubators. Earlier this year I sold a couple a property here and they immediately started preparations to move over permanently. They intend to breed exotic species of chickens and asked if I could put a couple of incubators together and, when the eggs they intended sending arrived, put them in said incubators to see if they would hatch.  I’m, like, Jesus !!  I know nothing about chickens (except they taste great) and certainly nothing about hatching the little blighters.  I was assured that it was easy, and so began my first experience with eggs and incubators.  The eggs started arriving in batches until I had over 60 in the incubators……I’m thinking, ‘what happens if they start hatching before the couple get here..what then ?’ Again, I was assured that they wouldn’t…and luckily (for them) they didn’t. The couple duly arrived here and within days, the first hatchings commenced…..and this is the first two to hatch


little sweeties !!!  🙂

The next few weeks saw a flurry of hatchings going on here until the grand total of thirteen made it through.  Now, I thought this was a  disaster, but have been assured, again, that for the conditions of their transport to BG… it was extremely hot weather and no amount of ‘fragile’ stickers ever guarantees that postal pixies anywhere in the world will take any notice…those numbers were OK.  So, downstairs in their own house are thirteen exotic chickens, thriving, and getting ready to move into their new big house with their owners sometime in the next few weeks. 

Add to this three extra people, two dogs plus me and Byal…so that’s four people, three dogs and thirteen chickens and, you guessed it, no fecking water !!! I did actually go to the Mayors office and say, in Bulgarian, ‘Dimitor, I have four people, three dogs, thirteen chickens and no fecking water !!!’ and I reckon the only word he didn’t understand was ‘fecking’…and being as how he’s the Kmet, I wasn’t about to explain it to him….

I did however, have a visit from the local TV station who interviewed me about the lack of water. I was well wound up by this time….Hey, it had been a month without water…no easy feat, and I had lots to say about the fact that this was the 21st century not the 19th and that people had a basic right to clean, running water…the usual stuff, but those who know me well will know how I can get wound up about things that affect me adversly……I didn’t see it, but a lot of people in Yambol did.  I’ve had people at the Bazaar, the supermarket and in a couple of restuarants make comment to me about it. So I may not be able to speak the language, but I can certainly make my feelings known when necessary  🙂

And. wonder of wonders, the water came on the very next day !!  Surprise, surprise !!

I knew I couldn’t go through that again and spoke to Ivan about getting a ‘hydrofoil’ installed…this is a fancy word for an emergency water supply.  I now have a large tank underground in the garden and a system that kicks in automatically should the water fail…which if course it has and it really was nice to still be able to flush the dunnies and have a warm wash when wanted.

So, August continued on and this place really has been noisy, almost crowded, busy and a bit of a shamozzle……but it’s been fun.

The next thing I had to look forward to was a visit from a couple of old friends from Australia…and that will start my next entry.

For now…Caio, caio


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Still Alive

OK, the pressure’s mounting about my lack of entries…

Yes, I am still alive

Yes, I am still in Bulgaria

Yes, I’ve been as busy as a bee

Yes, I have loads to talk about….and pics to go with it….AND

Yes, I will settle in sometime soon and rattle off a few pages just to bring everyone up to date

Patience grasshopper    🙂

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Gee, what a busy month June turned out to be. It’s certainly been a time of mixed fortunes, mixed emotions and great changes to the appearance of my amazing house…….

I guess the first stop I should make in this months entry is with Pirat.  All has not been well in the land of dogs and me.  Adorable as he is, he has the most incredible wilful streak and a battle of wills has commenced between man (woman) and beast….he wants to be boss….but so do I…….

He is going to be an incredibly powerful dog and I may not be strong enough to deal with that. He is the most delightful creature to have around when things are going his way, but if I try to discipline him, and trust me, sometimes he needs it, he has shown a somewhat nasty streak…and it’s worrying me.

He has become a great companion though, and the times I spend enjoying his company are wonderful. He joins me in the morning for toast and honey, he sits and watches me in the evenings when I’m preparing dinner and I’ve discovered that he has a love of tomatoes, cucumbers, salami, cirene cheese, eggs, yoghurt. strawberries, raspberries, chocolate and bananas, but don’t try and give him peppers or onions…..Oh no, he’ll have none of that.  This is a dog who knows exactly what he wants and what he likes.

He’s also a dog who, though he’s not supposed to be on the couch, isn’t taking NO for an answer and I often turn around and am greeted by this

[photopress:DSC04253.JPG,full,pp_empty] [photopress:DSC04242_th.jpg,full,pp_empty]     as he sneaks onto the sofa,

or this

[photopress:DSC04252.JPG,full,pp_empty] [photopress:DSC04241_th.jpg,full,pp_empty] when he’s made himself comfortable on said sofa. And yes, I do have to turn around so he can’t see me laughing, because it is very funny watching him trying to make himself tiny so he can slip onto the sofa unnoticed…….and then popping his head over to look at me, as if he’s exactly where he belongs…

But, and it’s a huge but, though he looks like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth, I do have a deep concern about aspects of his personality. If I try and remove him from same said sofa, he snarls and snaps at me….problema ?? Maybe….time will tell……..

And then there’s my house. It’s just starting to look even better than I imagined.  The guys are working very hard in extremely hot temperatures, but work on they do, and this is the result……

[photopress:DSC04499.JPG,full,pp_empty] [photopress:DSC04500.JPG,full,pp_empty]


Ivan has decided, as only a Bulgarian man could, that some stonework around the base of the building is a must, and though I had little say in it, when I see the results of his work, how can I argue with his ideas……it just look spectacular.

[photopress:DSC04328.JPG,full,pp_empty] [photopress:DSC04504.JPG,full,pp_empty]

And, after seeing the stonework he’s done on my fireplace and the work he’s doing around the bottom of the house, it’s obviously one of his many talents.  He seems to have a feel for natural products like wood and stone ,and really knows how to make them work in the building work he does. He’s shown me houses he’s built in Yambol, and they have a particular look and he uses plenty of the things, like wood and stone, that can make a house special …and now he’s using those things on my house.  I’m just loving how he’s making my house look.  I’m quite set about what I want inside, but really, he’s been giving me most of the ideas for the outside, and the place is really starting to take shape and look wonderful.

And talking about the men working in hot weather, Holy, Moly it’s been almost unbearably hot.  This is my third summer here and by far the hottest.  Far too many temperatures up in the 40s……it’s starting to feel like Perth, and I don’t like that sort of heat.  I guess the only saving grace is that there seems to be little or no humidity here, which makes it slightly more bearable.

Mind you, I had a few days of reasonably hard labour in the burning sun myself …..

Ivan was heading up the side of the Manistirski to cut summer grasses for winter animal food and asked if I wanted to go with him and have a bit of a look around while he worked. Well. of course I did…never say no to an adventure, no matter how big or small.  We wound our way halfway up the mountain in his truck, he got to work with a scythe and I went for a bit of a look see around the place…….


I got back from my walk and realised that he was cutting the grass AND then pitchforking it onto the truck….so, I volunteered my services.  He said ‘No Sue’, because he seems to have some misguided notion that I’m a delicate little flower that can’t manage manual labour……I said ‘don’t be ridiculous’ grabbed the pitchfork, and after a few lessons from the old wise one (it’s not as easy as it looks to pitchfork grass onto a truck), I got to work.  Jesus, it was indeed hard going for an old girl like me, but I enjoyed it so much.  Sometimes I think a good dose of manual labour is good for both body and soul. 

It was very hot though and I did get slightly frizzled in the hot afternoon sun……but…..I enjoyed it so much that when Ivan went back the next day to do it again, this time with Angel and Chocko, I went along as ‘second pitchfork’……

[photopress:DSC04322.JPG,full,pp_empty] [photopress:DSC04327.JPG,full,pp_empty]

couldn’t ask for a better backdrop to the hard work though [photopress:DSC04323.JPG,full,pp_empty]

and I picked a few of the flowers growing wild on the slopes


They’re beautiful and I’m assuming, wildflowers…and also assumed that it was legal to pick them.  I did ask Ivan and he looked at me like I was crazy for even asking.  He asked why it would be illegal…I told him because, perhaps like Australia, the wildflowers had been picked almost to extinction and it was now illegal to pick them.  He assured me that it was OK….so home I came, sweaty, exhausted, hair, clothes and boots full of grass seeds, but feeling very satisfied, clutching my big bunch of colourful, beautiful flowers.

Krassie and I are still working hard getting the business going.  Had a  few real estate clients, not just from the UK but from down under as well, which is great…spreading all over the planet maybe ??  There’s also been a steady trickle of folk seeking accomodation, again, not just from the northern hemisphere but the southern as well, including folks from my old home town and a young fella from New Zealand.

Unfortunately, our new website never got off the ground as we have been let down by ANOTHER expat, so any new properties we have are being added to Krassies existing site, so anyone wanting to have a wee look should go to http://www.bgyambolproperties.com/index.php or just contact me via email aussiebulg@gmail.com

I guess that pretty much covers June…….I might even succeed in getting a July entry up…while it’s still July 🙂 

And I’ve been told by some of the ladies that there’s a couple of events coming up in August that I’m invited to go to with the village. I know we’re heading into the Stara Planina for one event and Stara Zagora for the other.  Sometimes not having a good command of a new language can be quite interesting….means you get more surprises when you get bundled into a bus and popped out hours later at some place you know little about.  That’s what I’m looking forward to in August….

for now…..caio

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