Can You Teach An Old Dog New Tricks?

The current news about COVID-19 is almost impossible to ignore, so I thought about time I wrote a blog about something completely different…

2019 Yearly Roundup

Firstly, I would like to apologise for not writing any blogs for a while and secondly, for my very belated yearly roundup…

Spring at Melanya Mountain Retreat

In Bulgaria, the 21st of March is recognised as the first day of spring and all the Martinitsa bracelets exchanged on 1st March, are taken off and tied to the tree you want to bear lots of fruit. I’ve fixed mine to plum trees because it was a poor harvest last year. Though it probably will…

Water Governs Life

When I moved country to start a new life, I threw myself into being as self sufficient as possible. I had read health reports on the benefits of home grown organic food and tasted the difference with my home grown garden vegetables, so I happily embraced this self sufficient life, in a country with more…

2018 Yearly Roundup

Its time for my annual recap again but so much happened in 2018 that I can’t fit it all in! I’ll try and keep events brief and recount in more detail in future blogs. Sadly the year started with my donkey departing this world. He was an old man but a real gentleman and I…

Redressing the Balance part 2

I wrote a blog, in October 2016, about the devastation caused by heavy snow falling overnight, in March 2015. This meant a huge number of pine trees toppling, as the sandy mountain soil depth is too shallow for their root system, not providing enough support for tall trees and the extra weight of snow on…

2017 Yearly Roundup

A dramatic 2017 was the year of a very long hot summer after a dry winter, with very little rain for over 4 months and I was very aware of the forest fires that raged in Portugal and caused a lot of suffering. So when our mayor phoned me to tell me there was a…

Mountain Rescue Part 2

You never really think something is going to happen until it does and we have had lots of surprises in our remote village in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains. Living here we had become accustomed to the extreme environment and thought we had learnt from the last time someone got lost in these mountains but somehow…

If only they could talk

and listen and understand… I’m talking about my farm animals of course. They all have their own languages to talk to each other but I wish they could speak mine. It would make life so much easier.  Like telling me when they’re ill and what the problem is… Chickens are the most vocal of my…

Variety is the Spice of Life

In Bulgaria the four seasons are very different.  There is a vast difference between the hot and dry Mediterranean summers and the snow covered -20°C winters. Whilst we relished the chance to experience ‘proper’ seasons in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains, we had become used to the all-year-round availability of fruit and vegetables in UK supermarkets. Large…

2016 yearly roundup

After an easy winter and a dry start to 2016, the weather turned wet, with a rain shower almost every day until mid June. What followed though was the driest summer we’ve seen and our 13,000 litres of backup water storage wasn’t enough to keep us and our house low maintenance! Even now at the end…