168. July roundup

by | Jul 27, 2018 | Bulgarian life, Gardening bore | 7 comments

The first half of July was dominated by the World Cup and a visit from family. If you’re wondering how Guardianista snowflakes like us who live nowhere near a proper English pub watch the footie, it goes like this:


Watching the match on the sofa while eating courgette fritters, fattoush salad and cacik dip,
and drinking homemade cider. So Guardian it’s painful. God, I miss Wetherspoons.


We didn’t venture far with our visitors. We just made the most of the local countryside and (temporary) hot weather. (It’s since returned to being stormy and wet most days – we’re not having a stellar summer.)


Armchairs dumped at the local lake. #FuckingRubbish


On the plus side, we saw some wild turtles living in the lake…
…and a stork on one of the nearby houses. Here, seeing a stork on your house
is supposed to bring good luck.


The sunflower fields are stonking this year.


Sweet little chapel in the Heavenly Pastures park.



A grown-ass man on a woodland swing, loving life.


Sometimes our cats do weird things when we have visitors. Like that time Pepper refused to eat her food if Rob’s parents were in the same room. Or that time Pepper moved into the cupboard under the sink for a week. (She’s not the most sociable lady cat.) This time, Iggy took to ignoring our laps and sleeping every evening in the small wicker basket we use to dump our phones/bits and bobs in.


This does not look comfortable.


Meanwhile, in veg news, I harvested my first ever lettuce from the garden. I repeat, my First. Ever. Lettuce. After five years of trying and failing, lettuce is no longer my nemesis.


I literally made our visitors coo over this salad before they could eat it.


We’re roasting down surplus tomatoes every week to blitz up and store in the freezer.
These yellow tomatoes make the most amazing golden passata, which I think
will look (and taste) great in curries.


The courgette plants are ramping up nicely.


And, finally, the back terrace is finished, giving us a swish area right outside the back door to enjoy a pot of tea and survey our empire. Life’s good.


Before, obviously.


Work in progress.


And after!


Rob’s homemade table. I’m so lucky he’s a carpentry genius…


Since originally publishing this post, one of my readers asked for a picture of the
underside of Rob’s table, so that he could see how it was made. Apologies to everyone
who isn’t interested in the underside of a table.


Hope this helps, Bobby!



  1. Боби Димитров

    Googling "Guardianista snowflakes" right now… In the mean time, could I get a shot of that table from the underside or maybe a link to a website with some plans Rob followed? Cheers!

  2. the hippopotamus

    Courgette fritters? Where could I find the recipe? Somewhere on the Internet, presumably.

    Last week I was at the Elephant Bookstore in Sofia and I said, "Did you know that Auntie Bulgaria has written about this shop in her blog?"

  3. Auntie Bulgaria

    Hi Bobby, he didn't follow any online plans. (I know, right? Smug bastard.) He just found a picture of something he liked on Pinterest and then worked out the proportions based on the height of our kitchen table and chairs. But there are lots of tutorials online for more traditionally shaped picnic tables (that's what you want to search for in English, 'picnic table'. Like this:

  4. Auntie Bulgaria

    PS. I have dutifully taken a picture of the underside (the strange things I do for readers) but can't seem to share here it in the comments. I'll add it to the post itself, just for you.

  5. Auntie Bulgaria

    Our recipe is from this huge Greek cookbook I have called Vefa's Kitchen, but there are lots of good recipes online too. This week's blog is about all things fritters (no, seriously), so I'll find a good link to add to that.

    I bet the people in Elephant were like, Auntie Who???

  6. Боби Димитров

    Thanks for that, gonna have a long hard look at those tutorials, as need plenty of practice before I can reach Rob's smugness level 🙂

  7. the hippopotamus

    At the moment we are on holiday in the Crimea, but I am DEFINITELY try out some courgette fritter recipes when I get back to BG. The big news from the Crimea is that from next year there is supposed to be a new car ferry sailing from Varna to Yalta. It will save an awful lot of messing about in Moscow.

    The people at the Elephant Bookstore were lovely and helpful. My umbrella was STILL THERE when I cam back to collect it five days later.


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