Hello again

by | Nov 19, 2019 | Bulgarian life | 4 comments

If you were wondering why I’d been a bit quiet lately, it’s because I was visiting in the UK, and then going through the customary readjustment to Bulgarian life. It’s like jet lag (life lag?), where the culture shock takes a while to wear off. Our house seems too small at first and there are cats everywhere. It takes me at least a few days to remember I LIKE it that way.

(Latest news from the UK, for those who are interested. It rained every day. There’s yet another election going on. Something about Brexit. All female teenagers have terrifyingly thick eyebrows. And I saw a grown man vaping in a garden centre. Inside a garden centre. A grown man. Puffing on his e-cigarette and emitting a disgusting sherbet smell, oblivious to the fact he was the world’s biggest wanker. That’s pretty much it. Thanks UK, see you next time.)

Back to Bulgaria and Rob’s been busy making this year’s batch of cider. We’ve tried a bottle already and it’s the usual delicious, dynamite-strength nectar – definitely strong enough to send us into a sofa stupor over the Christmas/New Year period. There’s homemade red wine, too, as if our livers weren’t in enough danger. The white wine is refusing to clear for some reason, so we’re not sure if that’s going to work out.


Our store of cloudy cider, red wine, and cider vinegar (a happy accident
from a previous year’s batch).


The weather is glorious here – misty and chilly in the mornings, then burning off to reveal warm sunshine. We’ve hardly had the heating on. It’s far too warm to even consider putting the winter tyres on the car or stocking up for winter. And yet we must, because we know winter comes like the flicking of a switch here. One day we’ll be gardening in short sleeves, the next it’ll be snowing…

Thanks to the warmth, the garden is still offering us plenty of tomatoes and chillies. And we’ve harvested the first of our giant Bulgarian leeks, using them to make these Glamorgan sausages. The rest of the leeks will stay in the ground over winter, and we’ll pick as and when we need them. Being able to get fresh produce from the garden in, say, February always brings a bit of cheer. I wonder what else we could grow that would stand in the ground through winter? Purple sprouting broccoli? Thoughts?


Harvested mid-November.


Big leeks.


Exciting developments in our nearest town, Etropole: we finally have a supermarket! True, it’s only a T-Market, it’s not even that big, and it’s unbelievably crowded (novelty factor), but it’s better than nothing. We no longer have to do a 50-mile round trip to the nearest Kaufland or Lidl. (I mean, we’ll probably still trek there occasionally. Lidl is often the highlight of my week. But we don’t have to, that’s the point.)

That pretty much brings you up to date. Anyone else noticed the eyebrow and vaping thing in England? What do you struggle to adjust to when you travel in either direction? And what’s good to buy in T-Market?


  1. Cherry

    Claire, broad beans and garlic grow well during the winter.

  2. Auntie Bulgaria

    Thanks, Cherry. We grow garlic already, ready to harvest in the summer. Never grown broad beans, or any other beans, though. Will have to give it a try.

  3. Rod

    Yes, the T market is convenient and the hot food counter looks good. Slightly concerned about the entrance/exit onto the side road; definitely would not be allowed in the UK…

    Lidl best for toilet rolls, cat food and weird items you never knew you needed.

    Also just got back from 10 days in the UK – horrible, isn't it ? Didn't notice any eyebrows or excessive vaping, though.

  4. Auntie Bulgaria

    Yes to Lidl for random things you never knew (and some would argue don't really) need! We also love Lidl for delicious Christmas treats…


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