September and that New Year feel

by | Sep 9, 2022 | Bulgarian life | 12 comments

Don’t know about you, but September has always given me New Year vibes.

It doesn’t just stem from childhood and starting a new school year, with new teachers, fresh exercise books, new shoes, etc. It’s more than that. It’s in the air. It’s the shortening days and crisp mornings. It’s the harvesting of produce and the garden beginning to go quiet. It’s the days suddenly gaining more structure after several loose, languid weeks.

September has always felt like a line drawn in the sand, in a good way. You step over it – consciously, intentionally – into a new beginning, refreshed and ready. Much more so than January 1st (which I roll into, half-asleep, with a stomach full of pastry and a brain full of Christmas movie guff).

I normally attack September – autumn in general – with gusto. I love this time of year. We busy ourselves preserving for the winter, putting the garden to bed (not yet, but soon), and getting back out on walks.

Not this September. So far, I’ve found myself (emotionally) at sea. In a funk. I’ve been back from England for a couple of weeks and, at first, I was weirdly exhausted and disorientated. I fell asleep several times a day. Any time I sat down in a comfy chair, I’d drop off instantly. I’d wake several times in the night, confused about where I was and who was in the bed next to me. I’d wake up in the morning and think, ‘Oh, this old shit again,’ and have to force myself out of bed. I felt desperate to exercise and get out on walks, but physically unwilling to move.

Everything was an effort. And all the normal feelings that I relish in September – being on the cusp of change, new beginnings – were too much. I was being grumpy (grumpier than usual, that is), demanding (ahem, more than usual), difficult (yes, yes, more than usual). I was a confusing combo of lethargic and explosively angry.

Let’s just say it’s been a fun time for Rob.

I’m coming back around to normal now. This week I’ve thrown myself into everyday (non-work) tasks, like cooking down garden produce for the freezer, making sauerkraut, dying herbs. I’ve made lovely meals and baked bread (both things I hadn’t done for about six weeks). I’ve got back into my exercise routine (also neglected for about six weeks).

I still feel a bit weird about the bigger tapestry of life. I can’t shake this feeling that too many things are changing, and not for the better. Life in the UK seems … depressing, to be honest. The world is going to shit. We have nine fucking cats now (no bugger wanted the kittens, although by this point, we’re so attached to them we wouldn’t give them up anyway). And good friends of ours – people we see almost every week – are about to leave Bulgaria to start a new life back in England. We’re going to miss them.

Time is flying by so quickly. Too bloody quickly.

I guess this is, in a vague way, a post about grief and sadness. How I would love to have one more conversation with my (recently departed) nan and ask her … well, anything. Anything at all.

But I’m also majorly hormonal. Possibly peri-menopausal. My periods are haywire. I haven’t been able to concentrate since, oh, February. All of which is super-fun. Highly recommended. 10/10.

There’s a line in the sand, you see. And this September I feel like I’ve been mugged and shoved over that line, involuntarily. I wasn’t ready. Yet there’s no going back.

Well, wasn’t this cheery? I’m fine. I honestly feel better than I have in weeks. (You should have seen me when I first came back to Bulgaria. Good lord!) I wouldn’t be writing this if I didn’t feel better. I’d just be writing about courgettes and stamping down my feelings.

Anyway, how are you? Does September give you New Year vibes?

And the world is going to shit, right? It’s not just me being a hormonal diva?


Luckily, they are the world’s chillest kittens and an utter delight.


  1. Marilyn Rowe

    No you are not hormonal, it’s just been a weird year all round. i’ve got a different September feel this year. I am deep into feeling that everyone (not literally everyone but you know what I mean) is out to scam me an I can’t escape!

    Let yourself relax into your old September feel/mood and breathe. Good luck with the cats

    • Auntie Bulgaria

      Weird is the word. I hope you shake your weird feeling soon, too. And the cats are settling in well, thanks. They’re surprisingly easy going for kittens, and our big cats are (slowly) getting used to them. It’s not too hard so far, especially as they all spend a lot of time outside, but winter should be interesting!

  2. Katt

    Remember ” this too will pass”.
    I’m finally getting it together and knee replacement or not after this Christmas I’m selling my flat back to the housing association and moving here to Bulgaria.
    I’m feeling more and more out of place and time in the UK and although there’s people there who I love dearly I’m getting way too old to put up with yet more of a government who if you happen to be poor old , unemployed , I’ll or not a multimillionaire there’s no place for you. I’m too old to put up with racists so for my own sanity I’m coming to live here in the village full-time.
    I truely cannot understand why anyone would want to more back to the UK , there’s nothing there for me other than family who thankfully are able to visit me here. When I get wistful I remember to count my blessings that here on a state pension that I worked hard for I can live a comfortable life.

    • Auntie Bulgaria

      Well said, Katt. And good for you, setting a firm deadline on your move. Exciting!

  3. Katt

    Auntie , if your Nan was anything like my Nana she,d tell you to pull yourself together and stop moping, worst things happen at sea.
    Now remember when your feeling down just how much fruit and veg you were able to preserve for the winter when you were living back in the UK, Brighton wasnt it, remember how much home made wine and rakia you were able to brew there ready to drink over the winter cuddled up with your old man. Remember what fun it was to commute to work and how much you enjoyed working for heaven knows how much.
    That is was the sort of life I had , but working for the council in the north, volunteering to work in the local food bank and watching people ground down by life in general. I passed my allotment on tl my sons who taking after their Mum they make jam, chutneys and so on. And this morning here in the village a woman in her seventh year was sawing through branches to get them to the right size for my wood burner.
    I’m likely to be on my own here for most of the time, so what’s new , because husband is still as an only child tried to his mothers apron strings but I’m sure that you realise time waits for no one. Now chin up, but in my case chins up, roll up your sleeves and get on with it.

    • Auntie Bulgaria

      Hah, chins up! I like that. Absolutely, there’s so much to be grateful for.

  4. Sylvia

    Sorry to hear of your loss, grief manifests itself in many ways just ride with it and day by day you’ll feel a touch back to yourself. After having a place in Bulgaria for over 17 years and spending a lot of time there we decided to sell up and spend more time exploring our beautiful island. The UK is not depressing, and, the people in in it are amazing generous and warm hearted. Just look at the way the whole country has come together to celebrate the life of our departed Queen. Whether you’re a loyalist or not we all recognise this lady had true grit.
    It’s great catching the summer in England and now the beautiful September. I can see my family loads more and still grow fruit and veg. Home as they say is where the heart is and mine is definitely back in the UK. I hope you find a way to work through your grief. Best wishes

    • Auntie Bulgaria

      Thank you, Sylvia. I believe everyone has that special place where they feel most at ease, and I’m glad you’ve found yours in the UK. It is a beautiful country, and it’ll always be home. But my special place is here in Bulgaria. This country has given us the kind of life we could only dream of back home and I’m so grateful (on the good days and bad) that we found our way here.

      • Louise Tomkinson

        Hi Claire, when my nan died in 2018, I felt exactly the same as you-how I also wished to have just one more conversation. Still do xx

        The Moores are all fabulous and I love them all. Doreen was a fantastic lady. We’ve had a great family and I do miss those family parties alot! I’ll never forget antie pats wedding and all of us being bridemaids.

        wishing you all the best, Bulgaria sounds amazing. I live in London now, left Portsmouth when nan died.

        Best wishes and lots of love.
        Louise xx

        • Auntie Bulgaria

          Louise! Lovely to hear from you. I hope life in london is treating you well. There were a lot of great family parties, weren’t there. And I still remember all those bridesmaids at Pat’s wedding!! Fab times. Sending you and little Hope lots of love xx

  5. Bobby

    I’m much more worried about Rob tbh… he should have a blog of his own. Wait, I got an idea! *YOU* should write a blog for him but written in his “voice”. Excellent writer exercise that, to jolt you out of the seasonal mood 🙂

    You know what they say about the seasons in Bulgaria? There’s spring tiredness, summer laziness, autumn depression and winter sleepiness. So there you have it!

    • Auntie Bulgaria

      Tsk, Rob has the best life if you ask me. His version of the blog would just be, ‘Oh, what a wonderful life and girlfriend I have. La la la. I’m SO lucky.’ That’s how I would write it anyway!

      I didn’t know that saying, Bobby. Love it!


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