92. Stuff that’s been happening lately

by | May 7, 2016 | Bulgarian life, Gardening bore | 2 comments

I have been driven mad by rain. Too mad to pull stuff together into a cohesive post. Instead, I give you the imaginatively titled, ‘Stuff that’s been happening lately’. If you need me, I’ll be under my duvet.

Isn’t the weather just awful?

I shouldn’t have complained about how hot it was. I jinxed it. Sorry, everyone in Bulgaria, that was my bad. Within days it got cold enough to put the woodburner back on. We even had snow on the mountains around us.


Snow on higher ground.


Then came the rains. It has rained every day for at least a week, including three consecutive days of non-stop, heavy rain. I started unravelling on the first day. On the second, I stomped around the house shouting a lot. By the third day, I was ready to do serious harm. We ran into an English friend at the supermarket and she had exactly the same wild-eyed, if-I’d-stayed-indoors-any-longer-I-would’ve-cut-someone look. I guess it goes to show how spoiled we are (usually, I mean) with the weather. Two weeks ago we were firing up the pizza oven and eating pizza in the sunshine.


Come back heat, all is forgiven.
(Also, we still haven’t got a proper outdoor table yet. Shameful.)


Easter and dead lamby lambs

It was Orthodox Easter on 1st May, which means two things: painted eggs and slaughtered lambs.


We made these on a rainy Saturday. Have I mentioned how rainy it’s been?

Having killed all his lambs, our neighbour brought round a big portion of roasted meat. I’m not a big meat eater at the best of times, and I loved seeing his lambs running around the garden every day, so, initially, I was all, ‘I don’t think I can eat this. They were just leaping around yesterday.’ Then I was like, ‘Okay, maybe just a bit.’ Then, ‘Damn, that’s tasty. More please.’ Farewell lamby lambs, you were delicious.

Gardening bore

With all this rain, the wonky polytunnel has really come into its own. All our little seedlings are protected from the worst of the weather … and the dreaded slugs and snails. This year, the only things we’ve sown direct are parsnips, dill and coriander – everything else has been raised as seedlings in pots. It definitely adds a shit ton of work at this time of year (all the pricking out, potting on, massive use of compost, blah blah blah, gardening bore), but at least we’ve not lost any seedlings to slugs. Anyway, the polytunnel is full of life and looking good. The tomatoes are growing up well and we’ve got our first flowers on the Latah bush tomatoes.


Wonky tomato cave of loveliness.


One of our many, many seedlings.


Despite the rain, we are starting to plant things outside in the ground: courgettes, globe artichokes, swede, turnips and nasturtiums are in so far. I messed up on the globe artichokes last year – they grew well from seed but I didn’t realise they needed protection over winter, which was a bit dim of me considering how cold our winters get. Obviously they all died and I had to start from scratch this year, like a chump. I must remember to cover them with something this winter.


Courgettes ready to go in the ground.


I’m looking forward to seeing how big our ‘Dutch Mammoth’ dill grows. I’ve sown it all over the garden and it’s supposed to grow to three feet tall. With a name like that, I’ll be disappointed with anything less. On a side note, we have discovered that if you put the word ‘Dutch’ in front of anything – literally anything – it instantly sounds rude. A Dutch mammoth, for instance, is clearly going to cost you extra in the brothel. Go ahead, try it. Dutch carpet: 70s-style pubic hair. Dutch aeroplane: an unusual sexual position. Dutch cartwheel … you get the idea.

Also, we’re trying to focus more on flowers but it’s not going to plan. In my head our flower borders create a charming, cottage-garden effect. In real life they’re just utterly chaotic. There are too-tall plants at the front, small plants shaded out by neighbours, and, weirdly, far too much purple. Most things are perennials so at least I can have a shuffle around next spring and try to impose some sort of order on it. Also, Barney (The Naughtiest Cat in the World) has bitten the heads off several of my alliums. If he does it one more time I’m going to bite his head off. He also likes to hide under the rhubarb and ambush other passing cats, which, as you can imagine, makes him very popular.


Pre-Barney alliums. Try to ignore the chaos underneath.


More purple. And more rain.


Thinny, thin, thin

In other news, I am on a very boring diet in preparation for our trip to Greece this summer. My very boring diet consists of eating no cake and drinking no alcohol and trying to exercise more. Yawn. I’m on day six of no alcohol, so that’s going well. However, due to some post-run euphoria* yesterday I accidentally ate two pieces of cake.


My lunch for the next FOREVER.


*A 20-minute run, in which I spent half the time walking and a good five minutes resting at the bus stop. Like a boss.


  1. Janice

    I have just spent the last couple of days reading your blog from the beginning. I love the way you write and wished you posted more often. You have accomplished a lot in the time you have been there. Your garden is amazing. The weather sounds very similar to what we get here in W. Canada but we get chinook winds in the winter which gives us a nice break from the cold. Looking forward to your next post.

  2. Auntie Bulgaria

    Thanks for reading, Janice. I love writing the blog but it often slips down the list of priorities. Still, I've challenged myself to write a post every day next week. That should be fun, hope you enjoy it.

    PS. I had to Google Chinook winds! We could do with some of those here…


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