Last week I was happily thinking about seeds and greenhouses and digging over beds in the warm spring sunshine. Then on Friday, as the Moon went into Sagittarius, a metre of snow fell in about 24 hours and here we are in the middle of winter again. I know all that about the Moon because this winter weather was predicted in my moon planting calendar – I wish I knew more about the planets. But anyway, its just like last year now and I spent the day in bed writing my book and messing about on the internet.
Ziggy has become a house cat – the snow is to deep for him to go out. He was jumping from one of my wellie holes in the snow to the next but then he got stuck. So I let him sleep in the house at night but he’s not very sure of this sleeping thing – me sleeping I mean. He keeps coming and touching my face with his paw in the night – a bit strange and annoying but he is cute.
Apart from the snow, things are getting exciting here and I think that this year things might start to happen here. I’ve now set up a company, CKMI Training and Development, with Marc and Cara and we’re hoping that a Bulgarian called Ivan who is in Canada right now, will son come and join us. We’ve applied for some funding to be partners in a project around traditional food and we’re also involved in generating an organic hemp industry in BG. We’ve got a name, nearly got a logo and a website and we’ve got loads of ideas so we’ll start putting ourselves about a bit and see if we can generate some work. There is so much potential here with community projects and new ideas – I just hope we aren’t let down by political decisions and corruption here.
On the property front, my son Alex has just bought a really great, very old house. Its all built in the traditional style (and it was very cheap) and I’ve got someone who can do the old building things. It’s a very different style to this house and doing it up will be more like a project to preserve the old and traditional building methods. Should be fun but I might change my thoughts totally on that as the work progresses. My experience of BG builders is that they may be skilful but often they’re unreliable – we’ll see.
A great piece of land came up the other day – its just up behind my house – in the wild place – and we sold it (in 24 hours) to a guy who, I think, wants to live in a yurt. Now that should turn a few heads here! We’re getting more interest from people who are just sick of their life in the UK and want to start again – great and very exciting for Voditsa. I just wish someone would come and open a good bar here! People sit around the shops in the village, drinking beer and eating bits of sausage, but its not really a bar – there’s no atmosphere, the seats are not comfortable and there’s no music. I’ll keep on about this to everyone and one day………..
Lisa is moving over here in April and Julie is coming from Israel next month and Jo is coming in May. I’m also getting loads of visitors this year – I’m so looking forward to all my lovely friends who are coming.
Jorge is still not really speaking to me. He doesn’t ignore me but there is something different in his manner. He hasn’t forgiven me at all for Tino and he blames me for not taking enough care of him. I guess it’ll work out in time – I hope so.
On a happier note, we are having our first mini-festival here in July. Elly is having a birthday bash here and we’re expecting around 40 people to be camping in the field for a few days. This is what I really want to do with the field – I cant really be bothered with random campers just turning up – one or two are ok but I now know that a proper campsite is not what I want to have here. But doing some hard work for a short time, like a week, is great. If I can do about 3 of these a year, it’ll be brilliant. This is the tester this year – I have to finish flattening the field, organise extra toilets and showers, sort out a bar (done that), buy more plates and generally start coming up worth ideas that will make the week and the whole experience great.
I learned a new food thing recently. Dancho’s father killed a pig and I bought some meat from him. Its hard to say which bit of the animal I ended up with because butchering is not a skill here – the dead animal is just cut up. Anyway I got one piece that was meant to be cured and dried. Dancho kept coming along with the next set of instructions from his granny – first of all the meat was rubbed in salt and then covered in salt for about 2 weeks. I had to drain it and rub it some more everyday. Then it was washed and soaked in water for 3 days to get he salt out. Then I rubbed it in herbs and hung it up outside to dry off in the air for a few days. Dancho’s granny injected hers with red wine but that was a bit advanced for me but I did compare the taste and the red wine helped so next year I might do that. But the meat was lovely and now I have new preserving skill.
The sun is shining outside now – its minus quite a lot but the sky is blue and the white is dazzling. I really could do with some snow shoes – I thought this last year – I’ve just remembered that I have some handmade wooden skis – I might go out and give them a try – I’ll have to dig my way to the museum first tho…..
I went to visit some friends last weekend in a little village south of VT. I met them last year when 5 people and two dogs dropped by one night. They were part of a small group who wanted to buy a big piece of land to build a kind of eco-village. They now have the land and the project will soon start to happen – very exciting and hopefully I’ll do some work with them on planning the whole thing. So I needed a break and I went off to visit them and to my surprise, I ended up in Brit-land! 50% of this little village are Brits and there was money oozing out of every wall! Some of the houses had been renovated beautifully but there was nothing remotely like a real Bulgarian village about the place – it was a bit surreal. Lovely people but a bit too ‘ex-pat’ for me. This village is not where the land is by the way.
But I did manage to go to VT this time without driving down the wrong side of the motorway – that’s good progress!
I’m so enjoying listening to Radio 4 again but the down side is that I hear all the news from the UK and its so unhappy. I cant believe how many jobs are being lost and people loosing their homes. I guess when you’re in it, your own concerns are paramount but when you look at this from a distance, it seems so unreal. Especially when life here just goes on as ever. The weather , the goats, the apricots and whatever just keep on in their own cycle – I always feel that life here is about keeping up with nature – especially when there is yet another mountain of fruit!
I think I have to get out of bed now and maybe venture out to the shop – I need some bread. The road is clear – I just have to dig my way to the gate. I also need to go and see if my new greenhouse has fallen down with the weight of the snow – hope not.