Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Christmas in Паисий

We hope that you have all had a very Merry Christmas and that you are all looking forward to whatever challenges the New Year might bring.
Christmas was a quiet affair here this year, no friends or family over, so it was just Net, the animals and myself. It started out much the same as any other day, with the dogs asking to be let out for their morning constitutional. On opening the back door for them I was shocked to see........... no snow. It was there when I locked up the previous evening, OK so it might have been thawing slightly, but this was a very pleasant surprise. So the dogs went out, closely followed by the cats, and the kettle went on for our early morning cuppa. Strange that there are some habits you never get out of, even while living in a different country. The first tea out of the way and it was time to start the housework, it is so much easier doing it while the menagerie is outside. Net also wanted to dye her hair, as we were due up at Mum and Dad's that evening. So Net started dyeing while I swept, mopped, dusted and polished. All the while knowing that the rapid overnight thaw will have turned the ground to mud and we were going to get muddy paw prints everywhere.
Next thing we know, the mobile is letting us know that we have missed a call. It was Dad asking if we had any problems down here, as Luba had been to his and told him about 'Big dogs, Neil's dogs being up at that end of the village'. Dad had been out but couldn't see anything amiss, but when Luba appeared the second time he thought that he had best phone us. We couldn't see how it could be ours , as we are walled all of the way round, but I checked anyway. Sure enough the driveway gates were swinging in the breeze and no sign of dogs anywhere, and it's difficult to miss a Boxer, a Rottweiler and a sawn off Alsatian thing. The gales of the previous evening had broken the latch, so the dogs must have decided to go and explore the village on their own, and spread their version of Christmas cheer. I had a quick look out in the lane, but so sign of any of them. I wasn't exactly dressed to go traipsing round the village trying to find them, so went indoors to put on warmer clothes and boots, thinking that it would take me hours to round them up. In the meantime Net was down at the gates keeping an eye out for them, still in slippers, pyjamas, dressing gown, a towel round her shoulders and hair dye. Just as I was tying my boots up she noticed Fen, and called him. Luckily he is an obedient boy, and he came running straight into the driveway, closely followed by Sirius. Bonnie just sauntered in at her own pace. The villagers are scared stiff of dogs anyway, and ours not being exactly small dogs I can understand Luba being a bit agitated. Now we know that none of them would hurt a fly, but they do seem to be a bit racist, and bark at anyone not English. Before we had her there was even a story about how Bonnie had had a Gypsy up a lamppost for an hour, and the other two have caused them to climb trees and walls in the past. Our main concern was that the locals are allowed to shoot troublesome dogs, but that is normally if they are worrying livestock.
So the dogs are now back in the garden and the latch on the gates has been repaired. Time for another cuppa, and for Net to wash out the hair dye. I had only just poured the tea when the doorbell went. Thinking it might be someone complaining about the dogs I thought it best to go and answer it. It was another 'neighbour' (but not a close one), Violetta, waving a 50 Euro note saying that she had a bad head and needed to go and see a Doctor in Gorna, and would I drive her there. Now, much as we like Violetta, there was no way that I was going to spend Christmas day being a Gypsy's taxi service. I tried to explain to her that we were going up to Mum and Dad's later so we couldn't help. I still didn't understand what the 50 Euro note waving was all about, maybe she had won on the lottery!!!!!!!
Lunch was on and cooking, and we had an unusual decision to make, Did we eat indoors or out on the patio? The temperatures had gone up to the mid 20s, the sky was blue and the sun was shining. Not knowing how long it would last we went for the safe option and decided that indoors might be the better idea, but the doors would be open. It also meant that we wouldn't be pestered by dogs and cats. Lunch went without a hitch, and I had plenty of leftovers for that item of International Cuisine 'Bubble and Squeak', also the dogs would be getting their normal Christmas treat too, mixed in with their biscuits. Although I did have to question the wisdom of the dogs having sprouts!!!!!
Then it was a lazy afternoon in front of the telly, letting lunch digest before we had to get ready to go up to Mum and Dad's in the evening. Their son Karl had flown over from the UK to spend Christmas with them. He was one of the lucky ones who actually managed to fly from a London airport and land at Sofia, Gatwick had been cleared of snow and Sofia was fog free. I had hoped that HBO would be showing the second part of 'Going Postal', but no such luck. So I am still waiting to see how it ends, even though I do have the book here and already know. Even Net enjoyed the first part, and she doesn't like the Discworld books, maybe because I giggle like a schoolboy when reading them.
We had a wonderful evening up and Mum and Dad's, good company, lots of bits and bobs to eat and several games of cards (Spanish Rummy, Sevens and even Poker). We consider ourselves very lucky to have such good friends and neighbours as Mum and Dad, and for those of you interested Mum's operation went well and now she is finding things a lot easier.
Well that is probably it for this year, so we would like to wish all of our readers a very Happy New Year, and may it bring you health, wealth and happiness.
Честита Нова Година

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