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Tuesday 30 August 2016

110. August roundup

Crumbs, it’s the end of August. Where did that go? It’s been a lean month in terms of exciting Auntie Bulgaria news, as I will now demonstrate:

Birthday Weekend (because one day isn’t enough). Oh, how I love Birthday Weekend. I’m not much of a diva in terms of presents or parties, but I do insist on being well fed and watered. This year, Birthday Friday consisted of prosecco for breakfast, chocolate cake for lunch, and a barbecue for dinner. Birthday Saturday consisted of homemade pizza and beer with friends, followed by more cake. Then, to compensate my poor ageing body for the excesses of Birthday Friday and Birthday Saturday, Birthday Sunday consisted of a ruddy great walk. We hiked for a couple of hours and climbed to a peak that we’ve not been up before, hoping to be rewarded with amazing views. Unfortunately the pine trees were so dense up there that we didn’t get much of a view at all, but we enjoyed huffing up there and back. And we only drank one bottle of wine in the process. You’re welcome, body, you’re welcome.

Clumsy Claire. I sprained my ankle in a minor wine-related tumble (to put it bluntly, I fell down a ditch). Then, less than a week later, I fell off my bike while I had both feet on the ground. The less said about all this, the better. At least none of it happened on Birthday Weekend.

Tomato? Tomato. Still coming thick and fast.

Hunchback. Still there.

Brits in heat. I’ve come back to the UK for a visit and, unbelievably, the sun has been shining almost every day. (Apart from that one day I went to an open air music festival on the seafront. Obviously, it rained that day.) Brits in hot weather are a tragic bunch. One day I was stood at a train station in perfectly pleasant 23°C weather, listening to a loudspeaker announcement telling people to carry a bottle of water at all times. 23°C! That’s a nice spring day in Bulgaria. I was wearing jeans. Bonkers.

Expat shopping list. Surprisingly light Tesco shopping list this time: Yorkshire Tea, golden syrup, Marmite, icing sugar, Maldon Salt. Somehow my suitcase is still filled to the brim with all sorts of random crap: picture frames, a wooden serving board, terracotta bowls, a dungaree dress (because what I really need in my life is more dungarees), a fucking plant pot. I just go a bit mad when presented with British shops. It’s a sickness.

Don’t hate me but... I note with disgust that X Factor has started again. You know what that means don’t you? It’s practically Christmas, that’s what it means. Sorry.

And here are some photos from our Birthday Sunday hike:

Leaving the village.

This funny little place is where the village sheep live in the summer.
In winter they stay in barns in various villagers' back gardens.

Heading up into the mountains. You can just see the roofs of village houses to the left.

And up even further. This bit was a killer.

Wouldn't kick this view out of bed for eating custard creams.

Fucking rubbish, as usual.

I wore sensible hiking shoes...

...while Rob the Mountain Goat came out in his little rubber shoes. 

Mmmm, blackberries.

Watching out for horned vipers, which were clearly waiting to pounce at every turn.