Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Reluctant update

OK I can't put this off any longer otherwise I'll never get back to giving you monthly updates.     The last post from us was Paul in England for 10 days (mid August) lots and little has happened since then and as I'm still excessively emotional apologies, in advance if this posting is more disjointed than normal.

The helpxer who arrived just before Paul left for England gave me peace of mind regarding bee stings, or other accidents, by his mere presence but despite telling me I shouldn't be doing so much whilst injured never thought of offering to feed the animals, or us.    He was very aware of social injustices and unnecessary consumerism but hadn't yet made the jump to adjusting his own requirements preferring to comment on others failings.    To be fair I think when younger we are, nearly, all selfish idealists gaining insights on personal change and compromises as we age, and learn living in this world isn't as simple as we'd like it to be.

I deglazed, stripped, painted and reglazed what seemed like, hundreds of window frames (actually only 10 frames with 20 panes) whilst Paul was away although with hindsight it wasn't a clever move.    I should have either left the glazing or cobbled together a lower work surface as the reaching up to press down, for the putty, aggravated my back injury.   I also managed to lose the only immobiliser fob thingy in town.   Luckily I had been meeting a friend and she drove me back to the village, but that meant for 4 days I had no car, phone, internet or other means of contacting the outside world.

When Paul returned we were able to repay, in a small way, some of the help we received immediately after the fire.    Although we had always said we wanted to do all the work ourselves we had to accept that sometimes you need others to take some of the pressure off you.   One of the couples sons has been training to become a plasterer and although he hadn't done a full wall, let alone a full room before we employed him to work on our home.    Dayle lived with us during the week, and was a pleasure to have around, I have eventually stopped referring to him as a Stepford child.

As we now had electric decided it was time to pop into the Vivacom shop and let them know our 'phone line wasn't working an we may have burnt their box.     Anyway engineer comes out, none of the boxes on the back wall were anything to do with Vivacom and we just had a problem with our base unit.   One new base unit later we can talk with our family, back in the UK.    That seriously made me feel better, I don't need to see them often but keeping in touch is important to me, although if they managed to join the 21st century and used Skype that would be so much better.      Talking of Skype, when we'd originally had internet put in they had taken the cable to the pole in front of the house and just thrown a load of cable over the roof to feed in through the living room window.    Luckily although the fire had burnt (obviously) the centre part of the cable there was sufficient at either end for Paul to splice said cables together and get us internet access back.   Wow at this rate, electric, hot water, phone, internet we may become civilised once again, then again this is us ...

Just as Dayle was finishing the plastering another friend, a carpenter, informed us that he had juggled his work load to come over and help us put the extension roof on.     This was great news as David was enthusiastic about our ideas to reuse some of the old timbers in the roof, something the builders who did the main house roof had refused to do.     The old timbers weren't to be used as part of the main structure, although they would add strength their main purpose was to tie the post fire property back in with it's past.   Oh yes and look beautiful.        Dayle was asked if he'd like to stay on for another week, for 2 reasons mainly we hoped it would lead to him getting more work (it did) and secondly I had to be honest about my limitations and accept I wouldn't be able to work on this project.    Hell I was still having problems walking more than a few metres.   As you'll no doubt be able to tell from the excess of photographs I am so happy with the roof.

I'm also very proud of Paul and the mezzanine he put in, with a LITTLE bit of help from myself.   

At the end of September we visited a chiropractor, in Veliko Turnovo, that a friend had recommended..   There is no appointment system just queue and wait (4 hours) but on the upside if you decide to visit the builders merchants after a couple of hours people keep your place in the queue for you.    The chiropractor relocated my hip and a spinal disc or 2 but then told me no work for a couple of weeks and to take painkillers/anti-inflammatories.      I did rest, as much as possible, for 2 weeks and even now I listen to my body much more, although I'm still inflicting pain to myself - the work won't do itself and Paul is still doing more than his fair share.

We had a couple of days snow towards the end of October, which although earlier was nice as it showed us where our winter preparations were lacking,  apart from the obvious not having 3 months of supplies in the cellar.     This winter is going to be a challenge as we are living in the (unfinished) main house for the first time and we still have much work to do to finish off the property.     Although in all fairness to ourselves, I think the fact that the extension has NO heating in it means we will do minimal, if any, work on that until March concentrating instead on getting a couple of rooms in the main house decorated.     If we don't feel like work we may just hibernate and start afresh in spring, although I do have a couple of pieces of Bulgarian, furniture I want to refurbish and we've put a petchka in the temporary  workshop  (main house spare room).

Before the really cold weather arrives we need to relocate the internal staircase that Paul, the genius, built.     Luckily we didn't fix it into final position because using it, unfixed it's THAT good, has uncovered a siting flaw.   This is nothing major and fits in with our ethos of living with ideas before making them fixed in stone, or wood in this case.    The final positioning of the staircase does effect the kitchen design though, so we need to sort it so I can have a 'proper' kitchen again.  Field kitchens, or corner of living/sleeping area kitchens, are all well and good but I miss creating proper meals and treats.

I mentioned earlier that Dayle helping with the extension roof led to more work for him it also led to work for Paul, helping on a building refurbishment.    Unfortunately this meant he was away Monday morning until Friday night for a couple of weeks,   Miss Independent I Can Do That  had been taught it was ok to ask and accept help only for her 'teacher' to abandon her.  Boohoo.    It was a sad time but also I realised how much I had learnt about my own limitations, we had some MORE windows that needed stripping down and sanding and much as I love playing with power tools the size of these windows made them hard work so I did little and often.  My favourite Bulgarian expression at this time is leko po leko (literally it means "slightly slightly" but tends to be used as English speakers would say "little by little")

Reading back over this post it has a definite negative feel about it.  I apologise for that but will admit to having lost my mojo recently, as my strength returns it'll return and hopefully lots of little projects will be completed over the hibernation months.   In between looking after the animals


  1. What a story Tracey! I am glad to hear (and see) that you are partly happy! :)

  2. Brilliant story ..Good luck ..Looking forward to reading more ...

  3. I detected no negativity; just steely determination and the fact you know yourself all too well ! The organic approach, living with an idea before making it permanent is our philosophy so takes what sometimes feels an age even without a devastating fire. After 5 years I still sweep cardboard ' carpet ' and am prevented from making a room just so because more uproar is to come as something structural must be done. DONT GET DEPRESSED and I won't either ! Let that winter weather come and stick your tongue out at it ....... while we wait for Dave's hand to decide to begin to heal, the smallest of chores are a triumph afterall, he is not allowed to twiddle his thumbs ! Bon Courage ma bravee