David Pumpkins

by | Oct 21, 2021 | Bulgarian life, Gardening bore | 5 comments

There’s an old Saturday Night Live sketch with Tom Hanks where he’s playing this bizarre character called David Pumpkins. (Google it. It’s weird as shit.) And I think about that weird-ass sketch, and his funny suit, and the dancing – oh God, the dancing – every time I say the word ‘pumpkin’ or even think about pumpkins. My brain automatically replaces the word ‘pumpkin’ with ‘David Pumpkins’ ‘I’m David Pumpkins!’ my brain screams at me. Thanks, brain.

Our pumpkin and squash harvest.

Anyway, we harvested our David Pumpkins and Big Butt Butternuts (that’s another story) the other weekend. Not a great harvest this year. Last year we ended up with 34 butternut squash, which I proudly arranged in descending height order. Like the absolute mad woman I am. This year: seven butternut squashes. Seven! It’s pitiful. I can barely arrange them in size order! But considering most of our squash plants died a mystery death in early summer, we’re grateful even to have seven.

So where did the pumpkins come from? From self-seeded plants that sprang up in our compost heap and around the garden. Usually I just pluck these seedlings out and throw them away. (I read somewhere that self-seeded squashes and pumpkins usually aren’t edible because they cross-breed with anything in the same family, including courgettes and what have you.) But this year, with our butternut squash plants dying off by the dozen, I decided to leave the mystery self-seeded little plants and see what Frankenstein beasts they’d produce. The result was seven lovely pumpkins of various sizes and shades of green. They may not be edible – we won’t know until we try to eat one – but they sure are pretty. We’ve already carved the biggest three for Halloween, and we’ll attempt to eat the littler ones over winter.

Rob’s knife skills, not mine.

(I’m going to admit a traitorous secret here. Traitorous to my ‘white middle-aged woman on Instagram’ breed. Here goes … I don’t even like pumpkins that much. They look gorgeous, but they’re not that great to eat. I think we can all be honest about that, right? They’re just mushy, watery butternut squashes. Just eat a butternut squash! It’s infinitely better. So, while the rest of the internet is busy celebrating all things pumpkin this month, I’m still grieving the loss of my butternut squashes.)

Still, David Pumpkins do look good carved, don’t they? We had to carve them early this year so I could enjoy them before I go back to England this weekend. Yes, I’m heading home for the first time in two years. Which should be … interesting. I mean, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. I just wish they’d all come here instead.

Just checking, is it still illegal to sneak a kitten into the UK in your suitcase? Asking for a friend. (Little Mim will be fine without me, by the way. She’ll be with her favourite human, Rob. But I’ll be bereft. Rob’s under orders to make sure Mim is on screen whenever we Skype.)

So I’ll miss my cats. And my David Pumpkins. And, weirdly, I’ll miss the smell of Bulgaria. It’s that wonderful time of year when the village smells of woodsmoke. Fresh air and the first tinges of woodsmoke, as smoke hits the cold morning air, has to be one of the best smells around. It’s the autumn equivalent of freshly cut grass.

Speaking of woodsmoke, here’s the obligatory autumn picture of Rob stood in front of our annual wood delivery. This wood is for next winter (this winter’s wood is already chopped, stacked and ready to use), so it’ll get piled up neatly and left aside until next spring, or whenever Rob gets around to chopping it…

Wood delivery 2021.

Expect exciting dispatches from England – in which I’ll probably moan about the proliferation of vape shops and the ruinous price of everything – next time. Until then, do enjoy replacing the word pumpkin with David Pumpkins. You’re welcome.


  1. Rod Jones

    We’ve just returned from the UK.

    We didn’t like it.

    • Auntie Bulgaria

      Well, that bodes well for me. Bet you’re glad to be back!

  2. Kath

    I can only say that I’m definitely not enjoying life in the UK at the moment. Looking around my flat to see what and how much I’ll get rid of before I move over to our little village home. Still dont know how Brexshit will affect what and how I’ll be able to bring over maybe I’ll start looking into a removal company to compare the cost of hiring a van for my son and a friend to drive over. At the moment it will be just bed frames, mattresses, rugs, clothes, bedding, books and kitchen wear. Any ideas?

    • Auntie Bulgaria

      Well, our situation was different in that we drove our English car over (it was easy to import a car from the UK in those days), so we only brought what we could fit in the back of a Ford Puma — which isn’t much! We prioritised clothes, some bedding, and essential cookbooks and kitchen stuff that we were especially attached to. A year or two later my parents drove out our sofa and kitchen table, and some other boxes that I’d left behind. I genuinely couldn’t remember what was in the boxes and can safely say I hadn’t missed any of it! So you’d be amazed what you don’t need.

      Personally, I wouldn’t bother bringing beds and mattresses (I’d just start afresh here and hit up Ikea), but otherwise it sounds like you’re prioritising the same sort of stuff as us. Without beds, maybe it could even fit in a regular car, which would make the road trip cheaper.

      • Kath

        Yes I suppose so , just get someone to drive me over with the basics. When I travelled to our village home in August I only took hand luggage because I had everything I needed already there. Enjoy your time in the UK but the way the country is going at the moment you’re missing nothing.


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