Well just how lucky are we. This place is amazing, the more time I spend here the more I love it – the country, the people (both from near and far), the weather, the language (even though I struggle sometimes), but most of all our house. Those of you that will have read our blog from the start will realise that this was not the first place we chose but it was the last … we could not be happier.
The weather: Everytime I walk outside the door it amazes me that the air outside is warmer than inside, I’m sure I’ll get used to this in time but for now it is still a novelty. Yes we have had a lot more rain than is seasonally expected, but because it is so intense and usually accompanied by wicked thunderstorms it is almost fun. I love thunderstorms and used to love watching them in the UK, when we got them, but here you have three or four going off at once and that means constant rumblings (sometimes crashing) thunder and daylight provided by the lightening strikes and sheets across the sky, it is an amazing spectacle, but one I cannot even attempt to capture on camera.
The language: This is so detatched from anything I have ever learnt, but so much fun trying to communicate with our neighbours who have so much patience with me … only wishing I’d learn quicker so that they can talk to me properly. Funnily enough we seem to be able to talk about the work we are doing on the house, the garden, vegetables and the weather … what more do we need? I guess the most frustrating thing is trying to learn their language and them chatting back to you in perfect english. For example we stopped for fuel yesterday when we picked up our new washing machine and wound down the window “ceteredecet leva benzine molya” (40 leva petrol please) and got the response “would you like the higher octane which gives you much better fuel efficiency?” What the *****!!
Our House: Compared to some of the deals had on Ebay or that some of our friends have had, we probably paid over the odds for our place, but it was still only the price of a second hand car in the UK. Yes it needed (needs) a lot of work but so does every village house in Bulgaria. We have found out that this used to be owned by the village doctor and his grand-daughter lives in the USA, any family pictures and such that we find we are saving for her and letting her see any of the renovations we are doing through this blog and private email, it is so nice to be in touch with the property’s history.
We have two bedrooms, a shower room, kitchen, lounge and cellar on the ground floor with a bedroom, bathroom and walk in wardrobe on the first floor. We have a front garden which will have a wrap around terrace, grape vines, fruit trees, herb garden and flower beds with land down the side of the house to plant enough vegetables to feed an army. Our barn houses the dog pen (now the wall is repaired), the wood and will have our summer kitchen with cob built barbeque, dining table and view onto the garden. To top it off we have a pretty large garage 3-4 cars and once we finish we will have a driveway to accommodate more vehicles – all of which is really important to Dan (those of you who know him will understand this)!
Location: We are in a super little village with crap internet and crap mobile phone signal, but we have amazing neighbours, a fresh water spring in spitting distance, views across the hillside to the forest and beyond, easy access to the old capital of Bulgaria and a lovely little river at the bottom of our garden.
Honestly whatever we paid for this place, we could have done a lot worse, in fact I’m not sure we could have done any better.
Work: I used to love my job (however stressful) working for Rolls Royce as a Programme Manager and there are days when I think about my colleagues back home and miss the banter, but we are so busy sorting out this place that I have little time for sentimentality and regardless I’m using just about every PM skill I have learnt in trying to manage, drive and bring this personal project home on time and in (or close to) budget.
So in summary, no regrets – can’t wait to finish the renovation so that next year we can focus on becoming more self reliant and start some of the fun projects we have in mind – watch this space.
Till next time xx