Decking the halls

by | Dec 16, 2019 | Bulgarian life | 4 comments

Thank God for martinis.


It’s not been terribly Christmassy in the Auntie Bulgaria household this December. We both picked up a horrible bug that knocked us sideways for the first 10 days of December. I mean, this bug had everything: aches, shivers, sore throat, crackly wet cough, fever dreams, sickness, headaches, you name it. I had several retinal migraines caused by low blood pressure or low blood sugar or something. And I spent a feverish night begging Rob to stop the world’s commodities being traded through my jaw. My poor jaw was in agony from non-stop dreams of all the world’s commodities passing through it every second. Never been delirious before. It was pretty fun. Not for Rob, obviously, who had to try and placate me while I was tripping my balls off on bad (stock market?) dreams – all the while feeling pretty rough himself. What a guy.

So, anyway, when it snowed on 3rd December – our first proper snowfall of the year – neither of us could muster any enthusiasm to even take a picture. You’ll just have to imagine the scene instead. It snowed for a day. Everything was white. It was very pretty, probably. We were flinching in bed with the curtains closed.

One good thing about being ill is it gives you lots of time for watching Christmas movies. As a result, we’ve already watched loads of our Christmas favourites and it’s only 15th December. We’re fast running out of movies to watch. We might have to – gulp – dust off Love Actually.

As we’ve returned to normal health (and normal dreams), the Christmas spirit has slowly been building. We managed a couple of big supermarket trips, so we’re well stocked for Christmas and the winter – I don’t know about you but a full pantry always gets me feeling cosy and wintery. We managed to force down a few mince pies. And we put up the Christmas decorations yesterday.

As for what we want for Christmas, we’ve been apart a lot this year, each of us spending a lot more time in the UK for one reason or another. So what we really want for Christmas is two weeks of uninterrupted time off together, with both of us feeling healthy and happy and ready to embrace another year. That, and some good books, and plenty of bubbly and we’ll be living the dream.

What about you, what do you want for Christmas? And what have you got planned for the big day? For Christmas dinner, we’re eschewing turkey again in favour of a baked ham, and we’ll be having a very seventies fondue on Christmas Eve. There’ll be trifle for pudding, and our trusty cheesy-and-Marmite ‘sausage’ rolls (no actual sausage included) to nibble on. Boxing Day will be, as always, Pie Day, meaning we’ll bake a big pie with leftover ham, red cabbage and potatoes. Looking at it on paper, that’s a lot of cheese and pastry coming our way! But you have to feed a cold, right? That’s our excuse and we’re sticking to it.


  1. the hippopotamus

    Dear Claire,

    I always enjoy reading your blog! I am still teaching in Sofia. Sometimes we manage to escape to our country house.

    Why are Bulgarian leeks so huge? And why has no one in Bulgaria heard of Creme Vichysoisse?

  2. Auntie Bulgaria

    Thanks for reading. I've no idea why the leeks are so huge here, but it's great. One leek makes a hearty meal! I admit I had to Google that name, but I see it's a fancy leek soup. They may not have heard of it (like me) but surely (like me) they eat it all the time?

  3. jane milner

    Do you think you possibly had early covid?

    • Auntie Bulgaria

      Possibly. Rob certainly thinks so, but we didn’t have the dry cough or lose our sense of smell. Whatever it was, it was a weird one.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  Follow me on Instagram  |  Sign up for the newsletter