They’re not resolutions

by | Dec 22, 2023 | Bulgarian life | 2 comments

Crikey, it’s the end of another year. Just as I was getting used to the idea that it was 2023, here comes 2024. I can see it now, boogieing over the horizon, waving its long, gangly arms in the air and saying, woo-hoo, welcome to your mid-forties, Claire. Which, considering it was 1998, like, yesterday, is a bit jarring.

I don’t really do typical resolutions at New Year. But for 2023 I scribbled a few ‘themes’ on our kitchen chalkboard door to guide my thoughts and actions across the year. One of them was ‘creation’, which I’ve done pretty well on (more on that below). Another was ‘acceptance and compassion’, which is something I consistently fail at, including this year. (I just have a low tolerance for other people.) Need to continue to work on that one…

Then there was ‘eating more fermented foods’. Big tick for that one. I’ve been fermenting all sorts this year, including sourdough, ginger beer, natural wine, kraut, kimchi, curtido, pesto, homemade veg stock, and more. I’m thoroughly hooked. Consider me a Forever Fermenter.

And finally, there was ‘finishing what we start’, which, again, we did pretty well on this year. Rob finished the greenhouse after several years of it being a work-in-progress (in and around other projects). We did a revamp of our summer kitchen. And we made a major change in the flower garden, moving our big (4m) flower bed to another location (to make way for a future garden pond). We still have a couple of longer-term garden projects on the go, but we finished almost everything we planned for this year.

Looking ahead to 2024, I fancy doing something different. A bit like a ‘bucket list’ for the year (although I hate that term. Something about it makes me shudder). A list of fun/important/random things that I’d really like to make time for in 2024.

In no particular order, they are:

  • Finish the novel I’m writing. I’ve written a few novels (not good enough to get published), but I’m quietly pleased with the one I’m writing now. By the way, I was on a recent episode of the Novel Sentence podcast, with two fellow writer friends, if you fancy having a listen. (You can find it on Spotify here.)
  • Ride the old narrow gauge train from Septemvri to Bankso. Just because it looks so stinking cute. Beautiful scenery, too. And we’ve never been to Bansko, so that’ll be fun.
  • Go to an ice hockey match. Will it be as delightfully violent as in the movie Goon? Probably not, but I live in hope.
  • Visit Sicily. You can thank Season 2 of The White Lotus for this one. Although, hopefully, we’ll have a less eventful trip than those characters…
  • Dig a garden pond. We’ve been talking about doing this for years, and now that we’ve finally made space for it in the flattest part of the garden (by moving that big flower bed), we no longer have any excuse.

What about you? Got any fun plans for 2024?

I also need to decide what to do about this blog – whether to keep it going in its current form, transition to a newsletter format on Substack, or maybe do both (perhaps more about our life in Bulgaria on here, and a food/recipe newsletter on Substack). If you have any thoughts on the matter – say, if you’d really like to have Auntie Bulgaria arrive in your inbox regularly – tell me below.


  1. Katt

    well next year I want to find someone to do the works required on my Bulgarian home. Not as easy as I hoped.

    Visit the UK to sort out things there.

    Get my garden back into a productive vegetable garden so I can preserve the results for the coming winter.

    Have my husband to live with me here.

    • Auntie Bulgaria

      All excellent goals. Hope 2024 pans out just as you hope x


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