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16 Aug 2011 - Now Available in Blog Format Here

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 grandparents......

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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!..............

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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!..............

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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..............

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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!.............

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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.............

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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.............

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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............

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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...........

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Silly Season - 17 July 2011
 OK I give up, just look at this...........

Cucumber Mountain North Face
This mornings harvest

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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...........

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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...........

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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...........

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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..........

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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)......

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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'......

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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. ......

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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! ......

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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......................

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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.....................

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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!....................

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Lightning in Bulgaria

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!....................

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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?'....................

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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....................

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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...................

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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..................

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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!.................

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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! ......

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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! ......

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Wild flowers in the woods

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

Spring is Here

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

Father of the Groom

Crocodile Dundee IV - 14 Feb 2011

Stray Dogs - Shoot them I say! - 8 Feb 2011

The Carp Restaurant - 4 Feb 2011

Thermometer -15C
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

The Snow in my garden

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.

A view from the top

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

Tree Surgery

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!

Chandalier Plan

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

How to Make Bees Wax Polish - 5 June 2010

How Not To Be an Expat - 5 June 2010


Welcome to the 'Gud' Life, the home of self Reliant living on the internet. If you are interested in becoming more self reliant, or thinking of selling up and doing it for real you will find all you need to know right here. Written by someone who has done just that. Learn from my many mistakes

  A Quick Note On The Info Given On This Site

Dear All, the information on this website is given as is, I am not a solicitor, and believe the world would be a better place without them. If you follow the advice on this site, and use your common sense you will not come to any harm. I cannot and will not guarantee any of the information here, it is just based on my experience, and I am always willing to learn. Life after all is a learning experience. If you know of better or improved techniques please share them and I will update the site as neccessary. Enjoy and be happy. TGL 

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