Archive for the ‘The House & Garden’ Category

For Sale

 Boutique Hotel/ Bed and Breakfast

16 Pirin Street, Miladinovsti, Bulgaria


200 000€

Approximately AUD $300,000 / GBP £165,000


For Sale: 16 Pirin St, Mila

The property is being sold as an ongoing business. It is ready to re-open as a B&B, or as a boutique hotel, catering for guests who want to experience rural-based Escape Tourism or to relax in the quiet solitude of a peaceful village surrounded by mountains and with easy access to key Historic Thracian sites.

The house welcomes the sun and light and has expansive and large double-glazed windows in every room.

There is a website in place which you can re-build to suit your preferences. The property is being sold as a “going concern”, and all it needs is your touch.

It is situated in a peaceful and welcoming village of 400 people, 30 kilometres from Yambol which is the nearest commercial and administrative centre. This is a perfect venue for Escape Tourism, and for those who just wish to slow down, and relax. It is easily accessed via the busy Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, or from the Bulgarian Capital, Sophia.


The building comprises six large bedrooms, four bathrooms, two spacious living/relaxing areas, and two and a half kitchens. In addition there is a large shed and workshop on the property, with secure car parking, an equipped workshop and a substantial storage area.

Three storeys of the house have been fully refurbished to capture light and sun throughout winter and summer. The upper storeys have magnificent views of the village and surrounds, and to the nearby mountains.

Included in the house:

  • Satellite WiFi
  • Television access with excellent uninterrupted reception
  • Full central heating
  • Reverse cycle air conditioning in some rooms
  • Outdoor summer furniture
  • All necessary tools for maintenance such as a lawnmower and garden tools
  • Shade marquee for summer
  • Baby cot
  • A library of videos, DVDs and music CDs for use by guests
  • Bed linen and bathroom towels for guests, as well as electric blankets for most beds
  • Hydrofoil pump for generating water from a well in the event of water shortage or unavailability.

The whole property is landscaped and has secure fencing for the perimeter. It has paved entertainment areas, three areas of shade pergolas, cultivated areas for growing vegetable, fruit trees, grape vines for fruit and summer shade and rose gardens.


Ground Floor (Guests)
  • 90m2
  • Welcoming entry and discrete storage area under stairs
  • Rose Room and Blue Room: Two fully furnished and equipped double rooms, each with en suite bathroom and independent hot water systems, reverse-cycle air-con, electric blankets – and many windows welcoming the sun and the light
  • A spacious guest retreat with easy summer access to the spacious patio area at the front of the house
  • A fully equipped utility and guest kitchen which is excellent for catering for outdoors entertaining


First Floor (Proprietor’s Living Quarters)
  • 90 m2
  • A spacious kitchen/dining and living area with a wood-fired heater and reverse cycle air-conditioner, gas cooking and double electric oven. It has a custom-built table that is three metres long (!), and matching chairs.
  • Each room has access to balconies
  • A spacious bathroom
  • Large double bedroom with reverse-cycle air conditioning and fabulous views of the nearby forest.
  • Laundry and linen storage area, and hot water system.
  • This area is sparsely furnished with custom-built furniture as it is envisaged that the new owners will use this as their living area and will furnish with their own possessions.
Second Floor (Guests)
  • 90 m2
  • Three spacious bedrooms and sleeps seven guests (1 x double, 1 x twin, and 1 x double plus single bed): Klimpt Room: Double – fully furnished and equipped double bed, fan and oil heater, and access to balcony; Twin Room: two king singles, fully furnished and equipped, fan (and access to balcony); Tulip Room: Double plus single – fully furnished and equipped beds ( and access to two balconies).
  • A spacious and sun-welcoming bathroom with its own hot water system and access to the balcony
  • Guest half-kitchen
Third Floor (needs work)

The fourth floor is again 90 square metres space and is incomplete – and ready for your touch, flair and ideas. You can realise the rest of this vision. It can be developed to provide another 3 guest areas plus a bathroom, wc, and half or full kitchen. This floor provides you the opportunity to put your stamp on your vision of the next development level for this magnificent property.



For further information about the property please contact either of the people listed below:

Mr Sergey Polovski: Bulgarian Properties  +359 885 756 595

Ms Elvira Hristova: New Home SV  +359 478 88583


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To all Sue’s dear Friends and followers throughout the World:  If you would like a message from you read out at her farewell on the 5th May in Albany, please:

  1. post a comment here at her Blog, or,
  2. email your message to Sue’s old email address ( I will pick the message up and process them for reading out).

As well, there will be a running Powerpoint presentation of photos of her life, with friends, her family and at myriad parties, and in various exotic locations throughout the World-that-was-her-Oyster!

  • If you have a favourite photo/s of her with you, please email  it to my attention at her old e-address.


PHOTO: Kerrie Green ( Sue’s second cousin)

I will post  a summary of proceedings and some photos in the week after the event.

Sue Mercer

A farewell to celebrate

Sue Mercer’s life

will be held at Camp Quaranup, Albany

Saturday 5th May 2012

1.30pm start

Posted by her sister, Jillian.

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A farewell for Sue will be held in Albany in Western Australia on Saturday the 5th May 2012.

Sue’s ashes, accompanied by her two brothers Tony and Jack and her neice, Elizabeth, are now safely in Australia. Sue’s wishes were that a third go each to the harbour in Albany, Scotland, and in her precious and bountiful garden in Miladinovsti. The family will scatter some of them in Princess Royal Harbour.

Later, a gathering to celebrate Sue’s life will happen. Friends and well-wishers from the broad spectrum of life that Sue’s warmth reached are expected to attend.

Posted by her sister, Jillian

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On Saturday the 3rd March the people of Miladinovsti held a farewell service in the Village Church. Sue’s family had only intended to follow her instructions and have her cremated in Sophia. However, the Mayor and the provincial priest insisted that something be held for her. He pointed out that Sue had raised substantial money for the restoration of the Church and that all wished to say, farewell and thank you.

With Hristina’s help I posted flyers around the Village to inform everyone that there would be a public viewing. As is the tradition, a poster was also fixed to the gate at 16 Pirin Street:


I was told there was no need to organise flowers as the tradition was to bring them. All we had to do was provide some lollies  –  a little sweet so that people could taste and remember some of the sweetness of Sue’s life.

The day was icey cold with a clear bright sun shining. The newly renovated Church was consecrated late in 2011 and it was the last “social” event that Sue attended before becoming seriously ill. It looked wonderful:


PHOTO: Elizabeth Mercer ( Sue’s neice)

Community members said their goodbyes and even the gypsies came.   Very quickly Sue’s coffin was filled with flowers and many of them snowdrops  –  the first flowers of Spring.

There was present pathos, humour, great sadness and the strong sense of community that so endeared the village to Sue  –  and Sue to the Village people.  Sue would have written it up on her Blog with the incisive wit and observations that have made an-aussie-in-bulgaria famous throughout the World.

Posted by her sister, Jillian

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The fighter that Susie was, means that she faced the challenge of her illness with the ferocity of a warrior. But it was too Big for her.
After a short and perplexing illness, Sue died this morning, at 5 am Bulgarian time on the 29th February.
Sue lived her life to the full. Her adventures are legend. She insisted on celebrating this Christmas in her inimitable style – with Moet!
I was blessed to be able to be with her.
Posted by her sister,  Jillian.

PHOTO: Sue Mercer, 14th February 2012 (taken at the blood-testing clinic by her sister Marie).

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is a sound I’ve heard a couple of times since this whole mess started. The first time was when I was sitting in my hospital room waiting for Dimitir to come and take me back to Miladinovtsi.  I was feeling very, very beaten and very vulnerable and suddenly, there he was, my guardian angel ( the younger) standing in the room looking very concerned about me.  This is a terrific young man. The amount of times he was helped me and my friends and sorted out the seemingly impossible and everything he does, he does with warmth and kindness.  This is a ‘good’ man, an expression I think gets used rather more frequently about people than many really deserve…Dimitor does. I’m sure he’s not perfect, but he has a warmth and realness about himself that is very hard to find these days.

He helped me sort out all the hospital stuff and get my own Pharmacy organised, bundled me into his car and delivered me safe and sound to my home.  I crawled into my bed, just happy to be alive. He has phoned me almost everyday to be sure I am OK and when I gave him a list of stuff I needed to start treating all my problems, he did my shopping and delivered it out here to me.  His parting words ”  you phone me any time of the day or night if you need help” and I know if I did, he would be here like a shot.  He has his own life, his family and his work and yet he will always find time to be there for people who need help.

I settled in as best I could, given my condition.  Colin was still here for two days and then he was off.  On the Tuesday  morning, at the crack of dawn, he departed.  Hristina came over and once he had gone she got me back to my bed and settled.  As she walked away back to her house, I heard that rustling sound again and I think that’s when she very gently folded her senior guardian angel wings around my house and me. There would be no interlopers, no intruders, only her and the local doctor, who was coming to change my dressing and give me B12 injections every other day. Once he had finished, and after a little chat with me, she shooed him out .

The house was disgusting.  I had been sick for so long by this stage and nothing was being done to keep the place in check.  Hristina sat on my bed one morning sort of looking around and commented that things weren’t that clean. She understood that I could not do a thing. On the Friday morning, I was lying in bed when I heard a bit of giggling and shuffling about.  Hristina and her friend, Donka appeared downstairs wanting to know where Gina was, and once they knew she was outside, they went to work.  Six hours later they had transformed the place, especially my floor, including my bedroom. I had smashed another of my big glass doors and though I had bought the new glass before I got sick, I then got too sick to repair it.  In came the cavalry,  …in the shape of Hristina’s husband Volcho and Donka’s husband Ivan.  Before you could say it, the house was lovely, the door was fixed and back hanging and I was sitting in my bed crying.

This concerned them all greatly and they wanted to know if the things they had done weren’t good enough, which just made me cry more. Hristina and Donka tucked me in and they all left me to continue my healing.

Now, I’m not eating a great deal, though things are getting a little better.  It’s been pro-biotic yoghurt to try and repair my innards and a little banana here and there.  On the Sunday, the mob appeared back in my house. They were having a ‘Banket’…as it sounds, a get together with food and a few drinks.  Obviously I wasn’t up to it and Hristian and Donka pressed a little napkin with something warm in it into my hand.  I opened it up and there was a small piece of freshly fried fish.  I decided to brave a small bite, having no idea how my body would respond.  God, it was the best thing I have ever eaten,  It had been rolled in flour and a little salt and fried.  It tasted like nothing I had ever put in my mouth, and I’ve been lucky to eat some damned fine food over the years…it was amazing, and I can still taste that warm, salty, fishy flavour.  I was sitting in bed eating it very slowly and just relishing the taste when Hristina asked me if it was ‘dobre’ and I started to cry again.  She asked what was wrong with it and I then had to try and explain that she had given me the best thing I could ever remember eating.  I think she thought I was completely nuts !!

They gave the house another little cursory clean and then disappeared for their day together.

How can I ever thank or repay these people.

I continue to sleep.  Not so much drug addled sleep now, so things are obviously on the mend, but I have a long way to go.

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What do you  reckon might be going on here ?

if you’re guessing ‘grape picking’, you’d be right, but then what are we up to here ?

What you’re seeing here are the first steps towards the very first ‘Chateau Southern Cross… that’s plonk from my very own grapes !!

I had a bumper crop of grapes this year and as I knew I was going to be busy and also away for a critical part of the harvest time, I gave a lot of them away to a fella called Michael who comes here for holidays and likes to make wine. I also asked Hristina if she would like the rest for rakia or wine for her and Volcho. Though she said yes, she clearly had another plan for them.

When Di and I arrived back from Plovdiv, we  were thinking rest and preparation for the next page of our holiday.  Hristina arrived here first thing one morning and informed me that it was time to pick the remaining grapes and that they would become wine…for me.

Di was upstairs waiting for me when I called her and told her to postpone any plans because I would be picking grapes. She was very excited and definitely up for being involved, so to work we went.

Hristina bought over the thing that you an see on top of the barrel and set it up in the garage.  We wrestled the bloody wasps for the sweet, sugary grapes and bucket by bucket Hristina put them through the mincer (no idea of the proper name).  We had a terrific time and Hristina really took a shine to Di, who was doing her best to talk Bulgarian to her.  When you do this, it doesn’t matter how bad your Bulgarian is, the villagers are really tickled that your at least try.  Di was actually doing very well indeed and Hristina  spent most of the working time helping her and chatting away to her…

I did explain to Hristina that we were going away and I wouldn’t be here when it was time to add the sugar. “Nyma problema’ she said, she would do it for me while I was away having a holiday, and she did and it’s now sitting in a plastic barrel downstairs festering away….or should I say maturing into a fine vintage  🙂

The first vintage is only about 20 litres and I do have to credit Hristina with most of the production, but it’s done and if I’m still here next year, I’ll certainly do it all again.

It was a great experience for me and for Di as well I think…If it’s drinkable and I go as far as to bottle it, I think I know the very photo for the label

After our rather unexpected busy day, we then threw a few things into a case and headed off the Sofia to catch a plane to Barcelona

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and I’ve been so busy, I’ve hardly had time to scratch myself. Again my website suffers and this isn’t really a proper catch up either…just a little  teaser about what’s to come.

It’s been a very busy time indeed and a real mixture of the good, the bad and the ugly…actually, I have to add the very, very good and enjoyable to that as well.

The very, very good is all about trips around Bulgaria with both Colin and my cousin Kerrie….yep, she’s been with me again.  Might have to name one of the rooms after her.  🙂

The  good is a mixture of day to day stuff and getting the contents of my garden preserved.

The bad and the ugly is something that, at first, had me quite angry, but the situation has become so ludicrous that I’ve spent quite a lot of time having a good old laugh. It’s all about an Englishman in this village who needs to get a grip.  His behaviour has become so bizarre that I’ve enlisted a little help…more about it later.

And someone mentioned that I haven’t said much about Gina lately…..what can one say about a large black & white blob that spends her days reclining in luxury as she makes up for all the bad years ?  Not a lot really…she gets love, food, a daily walk and plenty of sleep. She’s happy, she’s content and that’s all I want for her.

I will be back…

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In my life I’ve done some pretty silly things and have been lucky enough to come out the other side mostly unscathed. On Sunday I almost spoilt my recovery record when I did possibly the most incredibly stupid thing I have ever done in my 56 years.

I had a very busy and hard day in the garden and the weather was very hot indeed. But wait…I have a pool now, somewhere to go and cool down and rest my often weary bones, so I finished up the work and spent a good hour wallowing in heaven.

When I got out of the water, I was sitting in the late afternoon sun drying off when I realised that the pump was making a strange noise. Can you see where this is going yet ??

I was soaking wet, wrapped in a wet towel, no shoes and a silver ring on each of my thumbs.  I walked over the the power point and unplugged the two ends of the power cable…one to the power point and one to the pump !!!

I can’t even describe the effect the next few seconds had on me and my body. I was trying to get rid of the two ends of the cable and it was like it was glued to my hands.  I could not, for the life of me get free of them. And I had blue ‘lightening’ arcing back and forth between the two thumbs rings I was foolishly wearing.  I felt like my brain was slamming on the inside of my head.  The only thought that went through my head was ‘please don’t let me die like this’ and someone heard me, because the next thing I experienced was the feeling that I was being lifted up off the ground and I was then ‘flung’ onto the concrete…SHIT !!

I hit the deck on my right side slamming my shoulder and my head onto the cement path…it was a thumping, painful moment but at least the pain of the electric shock had ceased.

I lay there for a moment and then the shaking started so I staggered upstairs, rang Colin and asked if he would sit with me for a while until I felt better.  I’ve never experienced anything like this and had no idea what effects it may have on me. My whole body was in shock, my heart was beating like a drum and I had the worst headache I have ever had in my life. I didn’t want to be alone just then.

When he got here I had a warm shower and he made me a hot, sweet tea and, of course, in no time and after a couple of painkillers, I started to feel much better.  I sent him home and had a reflective evening while contemplating the utter stupidity of what I had done.

And three days later I sit here with a sore right side of my head and a bruised and sore right arm and shoulder.  But what about the bruises all the way down my left arm ???  Apparently, electric shocks can do that, leave you bruised and battered.

I guess life is about learning and sometimes we need more than just a kick in the head to remind us about taking care and thinking before we rush in and do things.  I’d rather be buying a new pump for the pool than creating work for my family who would have to sort out my funeral.

Oh, and by the way, the pool pump is fine…just had a little air in the system.

Once again I sit here thanking my lucky stars and wondering for how much longer my incredible good luck can hold out.

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Last night, this is what was shining down upon me…

I’m talking serious moonlight here…you could almost ‘feel’ it on your skin

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