Day to day events mostly cataloguing my complete lack of understanding and common sense!

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December 2017 (2)
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Sunday 10th December, 2017
Category: 2017/12
Tags: weather turnips wool

I was peering into my winter veggie bed the other day (at the moment it's completely cocooned in green plastic to protect the veg from being swamped by snow or damaged by severe frost) when I noticed that some of the things which struggled to get going all through summer are now flourishing quite nicely.

The kale has developed quite long leaves - not in vast numbers but enough for a meal from each plant - and the savoy cabbages are finally getting little round hearts to them. Best of all are the turnips which suffered badly from flea beetles turning the leaves to a network of lace and remained quite small and spindly till recently. Now they have dense crowns of leaves and signs of actual turnips under the soil! I pulled one out just to see what they looked like and was pleased to find a nice white root, sort of like a fat parsnip. The turnip was duly washed and peeled and then chopped up along with onions, garlic, pork and plums to make a fruity dish accompanied by rice and spinach.

I've still to find a successful means of roasting the beets and squash without them going too soggy, as I think it would be nice to have a selection of roasted veggies instead of the usual spuds. Maybe I need to cut them into smaller chunks and have the oven really hot to get a nice crispy outer layer. I have all winter to experiment!

Speaking of winter, I took the dogs on a walk Saturday morning up to the top of the village. It was glorious sunshine and felt hot in just a t-shirt, and would you believe, sitting there on the hillside I could still see little crickets hopping around chirping, and butterflies!

Then, less than 24 hours later the ground is covered in a few inches of icy snow. Crazy weather!

I keep putting off shutting down the outside water as it's so useful for filling up the animals' drinking bowls, but I guess I should get on and do it to avoid getting leaks from frozen pipes. Hopefully, now that the main switch for the outside taps is sunk underground it should be a bit more protected from any severe low temperatures, though looking at the forecast it's nothing like as white and cold as it was this time last year.

I still like to have the log fire going though, especially in the evening, and I've now made a very cosy couch right next to one of the radiators. I mainly did it to have some extra comfy seating for when I have visitors as the settee only seats three people and it's weird to all be sitting side by side in a row. So I brought down the camp bed, which has been living unused up on the balcony since moving here, bulked it out with some of my big scatter cushions, and then covered it with a gorgeous double sided fur blanket which I bought from a second hand shop in Gabrovo. I curl up on there when I'm watching telly in the evening, usually with a mug of tea keeping warm on the radiator next to me, a bowl of snacks by my side, and at least one animal snuggled down next to me. Bliss!

 

Sunday 3rd December, 2017
Category: 2017/12
Tags: puppy pet sitting theatre

Trying to type very quietly here as there's a little puppy next to me about to fall asleep. She's a very fluffy, blue-eyed bundle of mischief and the newest addition to a household where I sometimes pet-sit. I think she's only about 7 weeks old (rescued from Sevlievo where she'd been taken away from the mother for too long by children playing, and consequently mum rejected her) and is a peeing, pooping, biting machine. Thankfully last night the pooh turned from a sludgy mess into tiny solid nuggets (I like to be graphic) which are much easier to pick up.  She's quite funny in that she can get upstairs quite easily but hasn't yet mustered the courage to come back down, hence being woken at 3am by pitiful crying from the landing. As well as the pup and the two grown dogs I'm also feeding a cat twice a day for another family. A very big, long-haired gorgeous tom cat who has to put up with being smothered and hugged by me each day. He's beautiful!

December sees the shops full of Christmas decorations and tasty seasonal special offers (though definitely not as in your face as the UK shops - for the time being anyway) and the towns round about have quite a few entertaining events coming up.  Last week a few of us went to Gabrovo to see a performance of Cats.  I remember seeing the show in London many many years ago, so had a vague idea of the story which helped because it was naturally all sung in Bulgarian. The first time I saw the show I got very blubbery when the old cat Grizabella did her solo, just because it makes me think of a real cat who might be getting on and have no home any more and has to forage on the streets. Unfortunately this part of the show is right before the interval, so the lights went up revealing one very red-eyed sniffly member of the audience. Last week was no exception! I'm just far too mushy for this kind of show.

Later on in December there's a meal out (I've put my name down for the roast pork and crackling - drooling already) and a visit to a modern Russian ballet company. The trailer for their show looks a bit like Cirque de Soleil, so should be nice and exciting (and definitely no crying!)

Wednesday 15th November, 2017
Category: 2017/11
Tags: crochet blanket

Very thrilling moment today - the crochet blanket I started working on over a year ago has been finished!

It's been a lot of work (mostly through the winter months hence why it's taken so long) with quite a lot of planning to ensure every hexagon is different, but it's also been a very satisfying process. The final step today was to do a border just to smooth out the edges, and to catch in any little threads which were sticking out.  It's mostly just for decoration but it does feel lovely and warm - just the thing for snuggly afternoon naps!

I won't be doing such a big project for a while, though I'd really like to have a go at crocheting a pair of slipper socks which are quite common out here, and more specifically the ones I've seen on YouTube which are designed to look like a pair of trainers, complete with laces. Watch this space...

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