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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

54. Spring-a-ling

We’ve emerged victorious from our first winter – with no fingers or toes lost to frostbite, no running out of food, and barely a word of complaint on my part (ahem). I am a Very Brave Soldier.

Too long has passed to create a cohesive version of recent events so this is more a list of Things That Have Happened Since We Last Spoke (because this is an intimate conversation between you and I. You know that don’t you? Do you like my creepy author voice? I rather believe you do):

Spring arrived very suddenly in March. One weekend it was snowing, the next weekend it was 21°C and baking. All the snow melted quickly and it seemed like winter was this weird collective hallucination that never really happened.

The neighbours came around and ploughed an ENORMOUS veg patch in our garden. It’s a little bigger than we expected but, hey, they know better, right? So far we have three rows of potatoes planted. Next will be parsnips, swede and sprouts (none of which are available at the markets here). Then carrots, courgettes, tomatoes, lettuce and lots of herbs. I hope I’m as green fingered in reality as I am in my head. In my head I’m a floaty-skirt-wearing earth goddess who can dig the field and whip up a batch of parsnip muffins by lunchtime. In reality I wear sweat pants, sit at a desk all day and have just about enough free time to shove a cake in the oven by 9pm, once a month. In my head a typical talking point might be "Darling, shall we rear chickens, or ducks? Or both perhaps?" In real life it's more like, "ROBBBBB, WHY IS MY KEYBOARD SUDDENLY WRITING IN CHINESE? OH FOR F**KS SAKE."

Our new, very basic veg plot.

Let’s face it, I could organise the shizzle out of a veg patch on paper. I could even alphabetize it. And I could definitely colour code it. But actual planting stuff in real life? And, like, getting it to grow and stuff? And can I do it all without getting dirt under my fingernails? Watch this space.

I wish I could plant Marmite.

We bought an oven. You know, a regular switch-on electric oven with a gas hob. For months we cooked only in our woodburning stove. Before that, just the gas camping stove balanced on a plank of wood. Cooking with a normal oven feels strangely like cheating. I don’t feel nearly as clever knocking up a risotto now.

We bought tiles for the kitchen and pantry floor…all 22sqm of it. After loading about 18sqm of heavy traditional terracotta tiles into Uma the Puma we started to worry about her unnaturally low position.  With 50 miles to travel over potholed roads I simply bottled it, made Rob unload the lot and slunk back into the DIY shop to ask for delivery. Good times.

Delivery of 22sqm of tiles all the way from Sofia cost 112 Lev. 

The tiles do, however, look AMAZING. And Uma the Puma lives to see another day.

We’ve upgraded the coffee mornings with the neighbours to almost every day. They get upset and start shouting if we try to stay in bed.

This morning, at coffee, we watched a story about a Bulgarian woman who was attacked by stray dogs and bitten 100 times. There was CCTV footage. I am very disturbed by this.

The neighbours’ sheep have had four baby lambs. They are so cute, I want to love them and squeeze them and hug them and kiss them. They, um, might be dead by this weekend (Orthodox Easter). I will try to be a Very Brave Solider about it all.