This morning I slowly awoke in a delightful haze, with the sun streaming in through my mosquito netted window, and something very unusual in residence, here in Eastern Europe, called.... breeze. This accompanied by my husband churning out flattened localized Eastern European folk tunes, on a seen better days, wheezing, battered black accordion, which appears to have serious asthma when played. We are fond of it, having bartered heavily over it's purchase deep in Sofia many years back, having consumed many thimble sized cups of coffee resembling battery acid. Actually it was this that led me to learning one of my best Bulgarian phrases, which is, 'good morning, please may I have two large coffees with warm milk, and two iced bottles of mineral water, thank you! I know a little more now, although the dialect can alter slightly between villages, having felt most pleased to have conquered 'please may I have five apricot juices with ice', in some villages we are met with beaming smiles in cafes' only the size of four tables, literally in a house, to be presented with five cherry juices' - the words do phonetically sound similar, but I also suspect if they do not have that flavour, they just serve me something anyway in order to make the sale, but mainly I can say it now.
It reached 94 degrees yesterday, or so I was informed, from the comfort of being neck deep in a lido with the entire family - at the top of a romantic hill named Sveta Gora. Beautiful views over a mainly unchanged for centuries landscape. We needed to cool off and hang out with our Bulgarian friends. The day had not started well, firstly although I do go to the launderette once in a while, the rest of our gear is hand washed and hung off our rambling grape vines, whenever we can make the shower work with hot water. It is temperamental and is mainly stone cold, but once in a blue moon scorching hot water happens to come along, and we all rush in one after another not daring to turn it of. This being a mixture of varying water pressure in the village and or the wavering electricity supply which only allows us to operate one device at a time, and sometimes brings on a power surge and fries all our equipment until something or all or it goes bang. If you have the lights on, or the fans, the shower does not work, however some years it does, there is no consistent logic, but we don't particularly care, in the summer cold is fine, and in the autumn or winter there is always hot water on top of the abundant stoves.
My young son put on his swimming trunks, fresh from hanging in the garden, yesterday morning. He is currently in deepest conflict with the ants in the area and is pretty furious about them, also the vicious and starving clouds of mosquitos - so insects are very much currently on his radar. The noise which came from his bedroom indicated something creepy and crawly. I was met with a teenager with a face like purple thunder who had found two rather over interested ear wigs in the inner parts of his trunks, being enraged during such scorching day time temperatures is not ideal. I soon eclipsed his misery by putting on my fresh underwear dried also on the grape vines, only to realize that I had an ant infestation in my knickers alongside my bra.. and trouser pockets..I did screech, but soon all was calm.
We managed a lovely day. although our friend Hairy Legs was next to have a commotion, on settling into a nice relax at the pool, first a plague of biting critters took up residence in his flip flops, followed by a gust of wind which only affected his umbrella, turning it inside out, snapping it at the base and before flying off, depositing a stream of rusty filthy water about his person. Having built up quite a temper, he moved his stuff only to turn his back and find an entire family having taken up his new found spot. His rage was only appeased on being dunked in the pool to play our rather violent game of family water polo. Later on he settled for playing chess with my son, and entertaining us with various dreadful stories of travel including ear wig infested peaches and other such horrors. He is very well traveled and has many hair on end tales to tell which are of course very funny. The worst being a highly dangerous and violent lizard which took up residence under a bed in India he was using and the commotion that caused.
The local wildlife is always an issue here from - the giant munching termites that lived inside some chairs. My husband became dismayed about their timely eviction from our abode - you could literally hear them chomping as you sat to eat dinner....I did gently explain that he could keep the chairs but would have to relinquish the house on doing so. They now live out in the garden, and have been liberally oiled to suffocate things which would like to have the house as some sort of main course. Also our loo, affectionately known as the long drop... consists of an outside concrete building, painted lilac and festooned with abundance strings of plastic roses, with a deep hole in the floor, over which sits a chair with a loo seat brought from the UK, stuck within it. Last year my husband sat down one morning to contemplate village life and was rather alarmed at an ominous and violent humming and buzzing echoing underneath him - he managed to fly out in just before a swarm of wasps emerged who had made an unfortunate home in a most undesirable location over the previous winter. The armies of tiny ants are a daily problem, but if we are here long enough they go away, as do the many crickets which hop into the kitchen. The rats the size of cats have gone, as have the walls full of mice which were so unused to humans having taken over an abandoned house for 25 years, that on opening cupboards they would sit up from eating, hands on hips as if to say, yes can I help you. They have moved out also!
On holiday, at least our holidays, any crisis which looms, for me anyway just takes on the form of interesting problem solving, our classic one so far is leaving the headlights of the hire car on all night, so that neither key fob, doors or anything would unlock, but there is always an on line forum for other who have had similar fuss.... and my crappy Bulgarian language skills, managed to say to a neighbor up the road. 'Good morning, it is super and lovely and the car has gone to sleep and the battery is kaput, wake up car please' - A jump start happened almost immediately. I tend to over use every word I learn, for many many different subjects for example, asking a taxi driver in the city the other day for a car bill menu got me the answer I needed - no you don't need to pay to park here etc! I enjoy making the effort.
Meanwhile, he waits until I am just about dropping off in bed at night, and after several glasses of red wine or beer he starts up his learning Bulgarian programme which makes him repeat every sentence over ten times, and only passes him to the next phrase once his pronunciation is correct, after half an hour of this, I am then furious and wide awake. I intend to learn, "Could you please take my husband away and tell him to be quiet"! ???? ?? ?? ?? ????? ???? ?? ? ?? ???? ?? ???? ???????
So far my health is holding out, I have climbed back up on my LDN, to where I was a few weeks back, and the D Mannose is helping me vastly, I am currently a bit vulnerable with my ears...which regularly get infected, so far not managed to secure the drugs I normally have for this, but... by this time, they would normally have taken off, so some change there. I am still steady on Nutri thryoid and Nutri adrenal extra which seems to suit me currently, but of course I am over due with the diaries and letters again and am probably due for a double detention in Surrey, all will be clear when I get home to the UK.
Our holiday is speeding up now, our evenings end with film shows projected onto the wall of our house, anything from tv series we have not watched to films stored up on discs which we have forgotten about. Later in the week we are due to play some music by the river and have a swim there, it is a common daily activity swimming in the river, with designated areas cleared of weeds and little cafes set up with umbrellas. Our latest mission is to find a second hand guitar for our friend hairy legs to play, whether one will come along or not is not known, but maybe one will turn up and possibly a drum kit for my son. People will always lend instruments for parties. There is no pressure of any kind on holiday in my opinion, and so far, for once neither I or the children have had to go and see our GP or paediatrician here.. so that is progress indeed. We are enjoying the change of weather so much with the gusts of wind that we shall stay local today and maybe only get as far as the village square and cafe. Tomorrow the temperatures are going to motor up towards 40, and we will go in search of a very difficult lido to find, an Olympic sized lido full of hot spring water, we have been once and went around in many circles trying to find it, most roads have no names and villages can look similar and if you ask for directions people will often direct you to somewhere owned by relatives which is not quite what you had in mind, last time we went, I was directed to literally a paddling pool in somebody's back yard complete with a man hoping to charge me for this pleasure.
More fuss soon.
Mary F x