You know what’s the surest sign that winter is on the way? It’s not the arrival of this year’s wood order, which finally turned up about a week ago…

The annual Rob-in-front-of-the-wood-delivery picture.


Nor is it harvesting the tempting butternut squash, which we did this week, arranging them on a sunny windowsill to cure (basically toughen up the skins so they store well over winter)…


So pleasing.


Nor is it being woken up by the sound of gunfire in the night, as hunters celebrate the start of the hunting season, which is another thing that happened earlier this week…

(I do not have a picture of a grumpy, pyjama-ed me being woken up by gunfire. Sorry.)

Nope. The surest sign that the weather is turning comes from our four cats, who morph from outdoor-loving creatures that refuse to come home for their dinner because they’re having too much fun eating lizards into fluffy, fat layabouts who nag us for food the second we walk into a room, regardless of the time of day.

Picture me sitting at my kitchen table tucking into a delicious breakfast wrap (courtesy of my one true love, Bake Off Nadiya) and being greeted with this face…


‘I want what YOU’RE having.’


And cat number four, Merlin, almost just swiped a chunk of halloumi from the kitchen worktop. Which might be the most first-world-arsehole sentence I’ve ever written.

So that’s pretty much our life now, every mealtime, until the cats get used to the change in weather. At least they’re cute. I mean, not cute enough to give them any of my food (no matter how hard Iggy stares), but still pretty darn cute.

Cat bros.



  1. Боби Димитров

    Is there a particular reason that justifies ordering your wood in "metrovki"? Why not just get split wood in smaller pieces? I'm sure it's not because you're stingy, so I wonder what could be? It saves massive labor and time and also split wood drys quicker and better.

  2. Auntie Bulgaria

    Well, we are pretty stingy and wood is a big annual cost, so we like to keep it as economical as possible. Most of the locals do the same thing. One neighbour has a bandsaw, so chunking it up into smaller pieces is quick and easy, and Rob can take his time splitting it over the winter. We're in no rush for it to dry out as the wood isn't for this winter. It's for the following winter. We're lucky out in the sticks that we all have plenty of space and time to do it this way.

  3. Katt

    Before we returned from our little village house in late September we had mice move into our newly created basement kitchen. I nearly had a heart attack when one appeared bold as brass while I was having a brew and listening to the radio. We caught/trapped five (four young looking ones and a pregnant looking one) in the day and a half before we had to leave for the airport. Husband wanted to let them go in the garden but I knew that they'd just make their way back in so they were disposed of. So my keeping all food stuffs either in tins or glass jars with metal lids has paid off. It would seem that its not just cats that move back inside with the return of colder weather and now I need to work out several things, how to find and seal up the mouse's entry point into the basement and how to own a cat when we're not living in Bulgaria full time yet.

  4. Auntie Bulgaria

    Katt, we've only had mice once and it was the bloody cats' fault! One of our cats brought in a live mouse, which promptly disappeared under the floorboards and gave birth to loads of babies, which kept popping up from under the floor. Horrible, and took a while to get sorted with peanut butter and humane traps. We haven't had them since, thank goodness. Just a warning that cats, as well as killing mice, also like to bring live goodies into the house. Anyway, aside from mice, I hope you had a lovely summer in Bulgaria?

  5. Katt

    Just a quick question Aunty, what do you do with your cats when you go on holiday? I really want a couple when I move over but I don’t know what is do with them if I nip off for a week. I live in a high rise flat and am not allowed animals but always kept cats before I moved here.

    • Auntie Bulgaria

      Either our neighbour comes in twice a day to feed them, or a friend house sits for us. My suggestion is to make friends with other people in the village who have animals — they can feed your pets when you go away and you can repay the favour for them!

  6. Katt

    I thought that might be the case Aunty, because our village isn’t far from the coast I shouldn’t have too much trouble getting family members to travel over to house sit at least during the summer months. Thank you

    • Auntie Bulgaria

      Lucky you, being close to the coast. As we’re close to Sofia, it’s quite a drive for us. I miss the sea…


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