117. Visualising a tropical beach

by | Dec 6, 2016 | Bulgarian life | 2 comments

If I could type under my duvet, believe me I would. As it is, I’ve spent many a morning this past week working in bed, with a duvet and blanket over my legs, laptop on my lap, and fingerless gloves on my poor frozen crone hands.

Yes, I’m back in the Bulg after my pre-Christmas visit to the UK* and OHMYGODMAN it’s cold here.

The day after I got back, we had our first snowfall of the year, followed by low temperatures of -10C and ‘high’ (*cough bullshit cough*) temperatures of 0. At times like this, I really miss central heating. When I was commuting to London, it never seemed that hard to get out of bed at 5.20am because the flat was toasty warm. This past week, I’ve not exited the duvet until 9am. And if we didn’t have our daily coffee ritual with the neighbours, I might not make it out even then. After coffee, I promptly return to the duvet to do a couple of hours work until the woodburner has warmed the house enough for me to leave the general bed area.


In my disgust at its early arrival and general abundance, I forgot to take a picture
of the snow. However, this image sums it up nicely.

It’s taken us all a bit by surprise, this ruddy cold. Ordinarily, I quite like the cold weather and have braved many a Bulgarian winter by now (including the -23C, three-feet-of-snow disaster movie of 2012), but this just feels a bit wrong for this time of year. Sure, by January we normally have the woodburner on all day and evening, and wear thermals whenever we go outside, but not in the last days of November and early December!

On the plus side, all this cosy, fire-on, not-going-out-ness is putting me right in the mood for Christmas. Last night we watched The Shop Around the Corner and it made me want to kick off Christmas DVD Season 2016 a bit early (normal start of the Christmas DVD Season: 15th December. Not that I have, like, a timetable or anything). Over the years, I’ve amassed quite a collection of Christmas movies, on the scale of a mad old woman collecting warts, aprons and cats. I’ve got all the obvious ones like Scrooged, Elf, A Christmas Story, Gremlins, Home Alone, Bad Santa, and Die Hard, plus classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and Meet Me in St Louis, along with a few leftfield ones like Diner and The Ref. If it’s got a bit of Christmas in it, I’ll watch it. I’ve even got Love Actually and that’s the worst fucking movie ever made. It’s practically a Christmas ritual in our house to watch Love Actually while I complain for two hours about how it’s the worst fucking movie ever made. S’tradition, innit?

In other news, while under the duvet I read The Secret (yes, I know I’m about 10 years behind everyone else), and it made me laugh (at it) and think (quite seriously) in equal measure. As a result, I’m now visualising a lot and constantly muttering ‘thoughts become things’ like the kind of person you cross the road to avoid. Ah, the joys of random winter hobbies.

*One friend described my trip home as a ‘tactical visit’, allowing me to spend Christmas in Bulgaria. Much as I liked the sound of this – what lady doesn’t like her actions to be described as tactical? – it’s not quite true. In reality, I wouldn’t spend Christmas anywhere but Bulgaria, drinking sherry by the woodburner and soaking up the merry sounds of Slade and pig slaughter, and my long-suffering family know this by now.


  1. Anonymous

    Hi Claire – long time, no speak, but still tuning in regularly and loving your blog (as always)! I had to leave a comment this time as I understand completely where you're coming from re Love, Actually. Also, 2016 will – if my calculations are correct (though maths was never my strong point) – be the 20th consecutive festive season where I've sat down with a flaming rum punch to watch It's a Wonderful Life in the run up to the big day. "My brother George, the richest man in town!" Gets me every time.
    Have a wonderful Christmas, and enjoy the sherry!
    Steve (Edwards)

  2. Auntie Bulgaria

    Steve! Lovely to hear from you. It's a Wonderful Life is our go-to Christmas afternoon flick and I'm always in floods by the end. Love the image of teenage Steve tucking into a flaming rum punch!
    Have a wonderful Christmas yourself, sir x


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