Introduction To Becoming More Self Reliant - Read this First!
The idea to become more self reliant in what I do and how I live probably stems from being brought up
at a time when Felicity Kendal and 'The Good Life' were at their peak. More than that though as a young child I spent many a summer holiday staying with my
Two Pints & Planning Permission - 18 Aug 2011 Two pints of beer a packet of fags, and a grilled salami sausage - change from a fiver(£4-03). Whats not to like. Before moving to
Bulgaria, a quiet beer after work (playing with computers), this would have set me back nearer £15 and I would have to stand out in the rain
in case I killed anyone else in the pub with my dirty smelly habit!..............
August Rain - Village Politics - 16 Aug 2011 About bloody time. Thursday we had the first rain fall for 6 weeks and my vegtable patch certainly needed it. I can now take a few days
off from the daily hose work. My only fear is that due to the down pour the cucumbers may well start up again, just as I finished picking the last lot.
The tempreature has also dropped to quite a pleasant 25C instead of the very hot 35C, this is my first day in long trousers this month, and the first night when
I haven't woken up in a sweat!..............
The London Riots - 10 Aug 2011 The end of the world is nigh! For anyone who actually didn't see this coming this probably comes as a shock. For those that realise that when
politicians take all responsibilty away from individuals, and enslave them with huge debts to pay off wealthy bankers. Is it really a shock..............
Water Melons & Big Bang - 6 Aug 2011 A strange mix I know, for those that don't know 1-29 Aug is Ramadan, which I suppose for some parts of London with its
new 'Sharia' Law means no eating and drinking whilst the sun is up! Makes me laugh. As I live in a Muslim village, am good friends with the Imam, and this
month whilst he is doing his evening shift I am next door in the pub having a beer!.............
Tomato Puree - 4 Aug 2011 Just been out and picked todays crops - tomatoes - 30kg of them. Fortunately unlike cucmbers I am quite good at making these into something
that will last through winter and if done properly will last a year or to. So if you have grown you own tomatoes, and have eaten enough salad to amke you
feel like a tree hugger.............
Carrot Confidential - 3 Aug 2011 No this is not a tribute to Birminghams ginger comendian but more an ode to the humble carrot. Much maligned and hardly getting the reputation
of the parsnip. I have just dug up my carrots. Two rows of 4 metres so approx 4 sq m of land, even the smallest of gardens will allow you to grow a couple of
rows of carrots. The difference between mine and your processed, nitrogen sealed tesco friendly pre chopped, 5 a day, carrot sticks. Is that mine actually taste of carrot.
Where as yours taste of nothing.............
A Night in the Pub - 1 Aug 2011 So there I was on Friday, minding my own business bottling tomatoes (not a kilner jar in sight) when Ilyas my next door neighbour
obviously thinks it is all a bit quiet for 7 o'clock on a Friday and turns up at my house with a plate full of gutted and beheaded fish from the local river
see clean pants entry here. So out comes the frying pan some flour and enough salt to raise the blood pressure
of a whale............
Muslims & Gypsies - 24 July 2011 The annual (lunar year) of muslim festival's is upon us. So this weekend I spent out of the garden and voluteered to drive my neighbour Hussain
around, as he is the local Imam, he is busy saying a few prayers and singing (voice like pavarotti) as each of the local mosques(djamir's) has its
'mulitsa'. Not quite sure what is being celebrated but as no-one but Hussain knows any Arabic I am probably not the only one...........
Silly Season - 17 July 2011 OK I give up, just look at this...........
This mornings harvest
Clean Pants - 14 July 2011 It has got to the time of the year in which I take my annual bath - whether I need it or not. By which I actually mean going for a swim
in the nearby river, whilst my friends and neighbours catch fish with their hands...........
Gourd'n Bennet - 7 July 2011 The 'EU' cucumber mountain, I have realised could all be the fault of a few allotment gardeners in Bristol. I have mentioned before
that I have have planted too many this year, about 20 plants in all. Half of those though are the gerkin variety to make into pickles. So after the recent
3 days of heavy rain I have today managed to get out into the garden and see what has been happening whilst I have been reading books
and watching the lightening...........
Castrol GTX & Bikini's - 1 July 2011 The great institute of the Britsh Pub, although destroyed in Britain lives well in rural Bulgaria. My local village pub,
does not have a 'gastro' menu, does not have watered down beer that tastes of piss, or draconian opening hours and the smoking ban is at the descetion of the landlord...........
Is It Me? - 29 June 2011 I have just read an article on why people are fat, on the BBC website, now these boffins have collected data over a 30 year period and they claim,
get this, that the main reason people are overweight and obese is because..........
The Terrible Two's - 25 June 2011 One of the joys of living in a remote village with little influence from the outside world, is that what is now considered
'beyond the pale' where we lived in the UK is considered absolutely normal (as it should be here)......
Tortoise Slalom - 22 June 2011 As the summer starts in earnest so does the national sport of Southern Bulgaria. Bear hunting - no, wild boar hunting - no,
the main sport down here by the Greek border, participated by anyone who owns a vehicle is the 'Tortoise Slalom'......
Bulgarian Council Tax, Bins included - 20 June 2011 My grandad always said to me, you get what you pay for. This was normally directed at buying a new spade,
or boots. Don't buy the cheapest as they are not the best value in the long run. ......
You say "Potato", I say it's too bloody hot. - 18 June 2011 The thermometer has been turned up to scorchio!, so what better way to enjoy the hot weather than
to task myself with digging up some new potatoes - idiot! ......
Beetroot & Curry - 12 June 2011 I have just pulled a few new potatoes as well as thinned my carrots and beetroots. And since it has been pissing down all day, I got wondering what
I should be doing as going outside was definately not on the cards.
So apart form pickling beetroot I have never really eaten any other way so I decided to what if anything can be done with them. You would be amazed! Well at least I was.
I have scoured the internet (google) and what seems to be highly recommended is to cook them as you would roast potatoes. This has been put on the back burner, as
although it is raining the idea of getting the wood burner going would have the men in white coats at my door......................
Shelling Peas - 10 June 2011 I have just spent nearly 3 hours harvesting and preparing to store my first crop of peas, I thought I would harvest them earlier so they are in 'Garden Pea'
form instead of letting them grow to full maturity, and having 'Marrowfat' peas. This was mistake number one. Yes the peas are sweeter, and are delicious when eaten
direct from the pod. But shelling the damn things, is just a waste of your life.....................
Cat Shit - 05 June 2011 We bought our two cats out to Bulgaria, for some strange reason I am yet to fully understand. Cats can be quite useful, and certainly help
to keep the rodent population in check. But, why, why, WHY do the little buggers think that everytime I prepare a seed bed and rake it over, that
what I am in fact doing is preparing the ground not for seeds but for them to use as a toilet!....................
Potato Beasts - 30 May 2011 I don't like using pesticides, or herbicides, because lets face it the word 'cide' basicaly translates as 'poison' and as I am eating quite a
lot of what I grow, I will only be poisoning myself. Other than that though, if I could invent a mini-nuclear bomb to wipe out the beasts that
are devouring my potatoes, without leaving any toxic residue my finger would be on the button - The little bastards!....................
May Weeds - 28 May 2011 A little rain and a lot of sun and suddenly everything starts to grow, unfortunately the weeds also. This year as with previous years I have grown too
much, not kept up with my weeding, and now look out into my garden and think 'where do I start?'....................
Why am I here - 23 May 2011 I take it if you are reading this that as far as you are concered the world did't end on 21 May, and you haven't been raptured.
Well so you don't feel bad niether have I (although being agnostic I was doomed to stay whatever). As well as the loonies predicting the end of the world this week I have been thinking about the reason that I am here (in Bulgaria rather the more philosophical question). I have
been asked many times why I have chosen to up sticks and move to Bulgaria....................
9 Eggs, 4 Chicks, 2 Tomatoes & a Hive of Bees - 21 May 2011 So there I was in the pub last night wondering what I might get up to today, when in walks Hussain the Imam of the local mosque. He wanted to know
what time the buses to Kardjali were the next day as he had to go in and buy some chicken. After my last day trip with the Imam
this was too good an oppoutyunity to miss...................
How to Buy a Stamp - 17 May 2011 I love living in Bulgaria, but sometimes some of the strange things that happen really do bewilder me. I had two letters to post this morning, so
knowing that Safette my local postman would open up the shop at 09:00 am I sauntered down to the post office..................
Peas - Why bother? - 10 May 2011 This is my third year at growing peas, I think I must be masochistic (3rd Definition) although
I have yet to rule out the first 2, but when it comes to peas it is definately number 3!.................
Saint George - 06 May 2011 Englands patron Saint gets a bigger holiday in Bulgaria than in England itself. Although here he is not renowned for
killing mythical creatures but for being the patron of sheperds, and of course military personnel!
Your Bonsai needs a Bigger Pot! - 01 May 2011 One of my hobbies for the last 10 years or so has been to grow bonsai trees.
I have brought a few over from the UK when we moved over. My neighbours think I am mad!
Easter - 26 April 2011
Red Red Wine - 19 April 2011
Bulgarian Water Board - 12 April 2011
The Sap is Rising - 05 April 2011
Spring is in the air - 1 April 2011
He's not drunk he's just joking - Crash! - 27 March 2011
Pear Grafting & Man Flu - 21 March 2011
How to Stop Cows - 16 March 2011
Green House, Parsnips and Onions - 13 March 2011
BBB - Bulgarian Builders in Britain (Photo Diary) - 08 March 2011
Global Warming - My Arse! - 07 March 2011
Back from Blighty 02 March 2011
Crocodile Dundee IV - 14 Feb 2011
Stray Dogs - Shoot them I say! - 8 Feb 2011
The Carp Restaurant - 4 Feb 2011
February is here! Last months page can be found here
Ruddy Freezing - 31 January 2011
My Neighbours Wedding Day - 24 January 2011
Bring Back the Communists All is Forgiven - 17 January 2011
Smoking Ban Bulgarian Style - 10 January 2011
New Years Eve Report and a Lidl madness- 05 January 2011
A belated Happy New year to everyone. I have had guests over so have been a bit busy entertaining and not being quite so self reliant, although
my homemade wine and spirits have had a large dent put into them. Will have to make more next year! Decembers page can be viewed here or from the menu on the left.
Snow Good - 19 December 2010
Spontaneous Combustion - 10 December 2010
Concrete Floor - 5 December 2010
A New Pub - 1 December 2010
December is here along with the colder weather, not much happening in the garden this month, the promise of lots of snow to come! Time to get out the skis, and
enjoy the festivities to come. (only New Year here!) Novembers page can be accessed here or from the link on the left.
Kimets Cow - 30 Nov 2010
Chimney Sweep - 24 Nov 2010
Anyone But Tottenham - 20 Nov 2010
Korban Bayram - 16 Nov 2010
Magic Beans have Sprouted - 15 Nov 2010
'This is Bulgaria, it's normal' - 10 Nov 2010
I am a Woodworm - 5 Nov 2010
A Walk in The Woods - 3 Nov 2010
Parnips, Leeks and Unwanted Gifts - 01 November 2010
October has been and gone, the clocks have gone back, the leaves have fallen from the trees, and the mornings are frosty. This is one of my favourite
times of the year. You can visit last months page either through the menu on the left or directly here.
Ty Bach - 28 October 2010
A Helping Hand - 26 October 2010
Dig Chop Rake - 23 October 2010
Preparing for Winter - 20 October 2010
Feeding Your Bees - 20 October 2010
A Month of Celebration 19 October 2010
Where to Locate your Hives - 19 October 2010
Deep Bed Method? - 16 October 2010
Smolyan and Pamparovo - 15 Oct 2010
A Day out in Sofia - 10 Oct 2010
The Importance of a Good Roof - 7 Oct 2010
Chopping Wood - 3 Oct 2010
We have arrived in October and are all fit and healthy, this month includes a visit from the better half, a trip to Sofia and maybe the start of a new job.
More on all that as and when though, last months stuff can be found below or use the link for September on the left. The weather here is absolutely great at the
moment, I even managed a spin on my motorbike, before the winter weather sets in.
Septembers Page Here!
My Bees Have Died! - 30 Sep 2010
Free Lunch - 26 Sep 2010
Chasing Cows - 20 Sep 2010
My new name is Dotchka - 17 Sep 2010
I am Stuffed 11 Sep 2010
Car Insurance and MOT - 7 Sept 2010
End of the Growing Season? - 6 Sept 2010
Early September - 2 September 2010
Rain Rain Hooray!! 1 Sept 2010
End of August - 31 Aug 2010
I want rain - 28 Aug 2010
The Mosque in Fotinovo - 27 Aug 2010
French Beans MarkII - 24 Aug 2010
Dimitrovgrad - 23 Aug 2010
Potatoes the results are in! - 21 Aug 2010
Ramadan & Cars -21 Aug 2010
My Computer is broken - 17 Aug 2010
Fish BG Style -10 Aug 2010
Digging for Victory - 10 Aug 2010
The Pub, to ski or not to ski? - 6 Aug 2010
The Greenhouse Grows - 5 Aug 2010
Our Politicians Are Worse than Yours! - 3 Aug 2010
Greenhouses & Funerals - 2 Aug 2010
We are now heading into August 2010, The theromstat has been turned up. Hot and sunny everyday. Scorchio!
Last months articles can be seen here.
Pets in Paradise - 31 July 2010
Not Just Fruit & Veg - 29 July 2010
24 Hour Melons - 28 July 2010
Becarful When Buying Bread - 24 July 2010
Not Always a Good Crop - 24 July 2010
Taxis, Doctors and politics (a bit) - 23 July 2010
The Alexander Trilogy - 20 July 2010 (4 out of 5)
The Best & Worst Books I have Read - 20 July 2010
Central heating BG - 20 July 2010
A Goat A Sheep and Lots of Beer! - 19 July 2010
Stringing Onions - 15 July 2010
The 'Weekly' Shop
Tomatoes, Cucumber and Hail - 12 July 2010
Kolla e Djenna, drougata hora ne mojay! 6 July 2010
Welcome to July 2010
How to Make Lavender Essential Oil - 25 June 2010
My Day Trip with the Imam - 21 June 2010
Double Glazing The Truth! 18 June 2010
Basic Beekeeping 17 June 2010
Making Mead 16 June 2010
How Much should I grow - 13 June 2010
Way to Self Reliance Part 1 - 13 June 2010
How (not) to be an Expat Part 2 - 12 June 2010
Annies' World Part Three - 12 June 2010
How to Make Cherry Wine 10 Jun 2010
How to Make Cherry Brandy 9 Jun 2010
How Much does it Cost to Setup(part1) - 8 June 2010
Beat the Rise in Cigarette Duty Grow Your Own - 7 June 2010
How to get Cheap Firewood - 7 June 2010
Annies World Life in Bulgaria Part 2 - 7 June 2010
How (not) to Make Brandy - 6 June 2010
Annies World Life in Bulgaria Part 1 - 6 June 2010
A bit about Bulgaria - 6 June 2010