Wednesday, 30 March 2011

It Has Been A Busy Weekend (part 3)

According to my calculations this blog should have reached Sunday roundabout now. We even remembered that the clocks changed during the night, so ended up with an hour's less sleep. For those that can't remember which way the clocks alter in Spring and Autumn, just try to think Spring forward, fall back. Sunday brought with it the first carboot sale of the season at the VTcamping ground, and the chance to meet up with some of those who we hadn't seen since the onset of winter, and also to meet some that we only know through Facebook and various other forums. It was a little bit cooler than the previous two days, but the rain held off. We took Pete and Claire along, so it meant an early start for them as they had to first get to us from their village. Not only would they be able to put some faces to names, but they could also enjoy rummaging with the rest of us, and who knew I might even find the elusive bell. The sausage and bacon butties were well worth the trip on their own, but we also managed to get onion gravy granules, ginger nut biscuits and ginger beer. I would have quite happily bought all of the ginger nuts and ginger beer, but Net did say that I had to leave some for other people, so contented myself with two of each. As I have previously said it was good catching up with people, even though the internet is a lifeline during the winter it is still nice to catch up in person. Apologies to those that we missed, but there did seem to be rather a lot of people there. Even when we parked up and walked to the camp site it was right hand drive after right hand drive, but there were also Bulgarians there, so the idea seems to be taking off across all walks of life.

Once the breeze started to pick up a bit more a few drops of rain were felt, so we decided to call it a day from carbooting. As the day was still early I headed off towards Mindya, just so that we could show Claire and Pete where they have the rock festival each year. We also noticed just how close to Elena we were so headed off towards there. We were able to park at the square and have a coffee just over the road, we did have a bit of a nose round but it seemed as though it was mainly souvenier shops and museums that were open. Last time we went to Elena we also went to Tryavna, so we decided that it might be worth another look.

We set out following what looked like the directions to Tryavna on a signpost, my excuse was that I was sleep deprived due to the clocks changing. It was when we started getting further and further from civilization that the penny dropped, and I took a closer look at a signpost. It was somewhere else that started with a 'Trya', but definitely not where we intended going. So in the middle of nowhere I stopped and dug out the SatNav, you've guessed it back to the centre of Elena and a bit of here there and everywhere before the SatNav agreed that it was now on a road. So once again it was off into the wilds, and me being told to follow the 'bloody thing' from the backseat. I had to abort the mission to Tryavna as bladders were taking charge, it wouldn't be too bad for Pete or myself, but neither of the girls fancied going behind a sparcely vegetated bush.  I saw a familiar name on a signpost and knew that there were loos there, ones that would meet the required standard and not a 'Pharaohs Head'. So we ended up at Dryanovo monastery and a headlong rush for the loos. No one was really hungry but we did have hot white chocolate, for those with a sweet tooth they are highly recommended. Whilst we were going round the gift shop bits, of all things I found a bronze bell when I hadn't really been looking for one there.

Back into the car, and it was just a quick drive down the road and we were back in VT. Now we decided that we were hungry, so we parked up near the ETAR coach stop and went for something to eat in the City Pub. I was quite happy and considered it a good day, not only had we caught up with people, I had ginger biscuits, ginger beer and my bell, and there was also football on the telly.

But the moral of this weekend's tale is that maps lie, and so do SatNavs :)

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

It Has Been A Busy Weekend (part 2)

My apologies for being a day later than previously planned, but circumstances overtook us and we didn't get back until late. So where were we? That's one of the things that I have noticed since moving over here, I tend to lose all track of time and often have trouble remembering what day it is, but it is so nice not to have to live against the clock. Reading back over the previous blog, it was Ruse so that must have been Friday.

So on Saturday, it was the start of the motorcycle season, and there was a planned rally in VT between 12 and 2. Both Claire and Pete like bikes, and wanted to know if we would like to go, and not having anything planned we decided that we might as well. Thinking that the Arbanassi hill might be either closed off or chock a block, we took the old route into VT via Lyaskovets. We arrived in plenty of time, and were able to park quite close to Tsarevets square. We even had time for a coffee before heading towards the square. I have to admit that on seeing all of these bikes I hadn't quite realised that there were quite so many in Bulgaria, and this was just one of the rallies held across the country. Arbanassi hill was still open to traffic until about 10 minutes to midday, when Police started to wave their lollipop sticks about, then with a revving of engines and smoking tyres the bikes started to move off. So I don't know where the 12-2 o'clock came from, as no bikes returned and the Police reopened the road. We did have a stroll round the old town as I have been looking for a bell to hang at our front gate, the winter seems to kill the batteries in our wireless electronic doorbells. We did find a bell in an antique shop but they wanted 100 Leva for it, and no doubt some sticky fingered 'erbert would have had that away and sold it for scrap. So thanks but no thanks.

After a bite to eat in Gorna, we decided that we would try and find a more direct route between our 2 villages. Looking at the map it seemed possible, but as we were to find maps lie. Being prudent we put fuel in at Kamen, there was an awful racket coming from behind the petrol station and it seemed as though half of Kamen was there. Maybe it was a village celebration or a gypsy wedding, but the Chalga was so loud we didn't hang about to find out. At the start of our search all went quite well, we were heading in the right direction and managed to go between 2 villages where according to the map there wasn't a road. It wasn't until we got to the back of the 2nd village that I recognised where we were. We could have got through to Pete and Claire's village from there, if we were part Himalayan mountain goat, but it would involve a lot more buttock clenching for Claire. So we back tracked and took our normal route into Popovo, and had a very nice coffee. It was over coffee that we started idlely speculating about where a road went out of Medovina, we had all seen it in the distance going up over the hills. Maybe it would be easier to find a direct route going from Pete and Claire's end.

It was still daylight and no one had anything pressing to do, so just out of interest we all decided to see where it went as once again it didn't seem to appear on our maps. We found the start of the road easily enough, and there was an EU sign there which we took as a good omen. Once again we seemed to be travelling in the right direction, and the road surface was not potholed, an added bonus. The road wound up and down the hillsides, and the views were spectacular, apart from when it was obscured by smoke from burning stubble in the fields. On and on the road led and into a village at the top of a hill, where we found the missing potholes. Luckily the potholes were short lived as we soon ran out of tarmac too, and we were back  onto village lanes, a car overtook us being driven in the typical Bulgarian fashion, so we decided to follow in his tyre tracks. So weaving from side to side and trying to drive on the best bit of 'road' we found ourselves at the other end of the village and confronted by a herd of sheep and goats. We allowed them to pass and turned round ourselves, then followed them back through the village. Goats and sheep peeling off left and right, then waiting patiently for gates to be opened for them when they arrived home. Through gaps in the houses Net had spotted another road running parallel, so we turned onto that and once again made our way to the end of the village. The road started off ok'ish but soon degenerated and got progressively worse, at one point Pete was concerned that he might have damaged his sump as it ground along the 'road'. At least it was getting so bad that the 'road' was actually getting better, there were still power lines running off to somewhere further down the road so we deduced that there had to be something at the end of it all.

We were right. It was a big field with some tumble down buildings, and some form of compound right up on top of the hill, but the views were absolutely stunning. Typically I didn't have my camera with me, but I'm sure that we will return there, maybe in the summer, as it will give Net something else to paint.

Part 3 will be following tomorrow, hopefully :o)

Sunday, 27 March 2011

It Has Been A Busy Weekend (part 1)

Well our weekend really started on Thursday evening with the arrival of our new Polish neighbour. We have been keeping an eye on her house for a few months now, and her arrival meant that we could pass her keys back to her. We had got some groceries in for Jolanta, as she wasn't due to turn up until the evening, made sure that her electric was on and at about 5pm turned her gas fire on to start warming the house through. Unfortunately I couldn't turn her water on, that would be a job for Nikolai the village water man. Sure enough, nearly to the minute that Jolanta had told us, she arrived at our gate. Not bad time keeping, especially when you consider that she had left the States nearly 24 hours before, and she still looked as fresh as a daisy. Once she had had a coffee and something to eat she did start to wilt a little, so I escorted her back home, unloaded her suitcases from her car and had another go with the water. Still no joy, so I went to Nikolai's house to see if he could help, but I couldn't get any answer from him. The next morning, bright and early (well 8am seemed early enough), it was back over to Nikolai's but still no answer, round to the magazin to see if anyone had seen him, but no one had. Back round to Nikolai's to try the bell again, still no joy, so it was off to see the Kmet and see if she could help. A bit of luck there, she managed to phone him as he was at the village water pump house, but he would be able to go to Jolanta's house between 10 and half past. Round to Jolanta's and let her know what I had managed to sort out for her. We had arranged to meet Mum and Dad at the Kmetsko, so that we could both pay our council tax there, at half nine. In between me seeing our Kmet, and returning to the Kmetsko, it had all been locked up. So it was time for our planned day trip to Ruse, Mum and Net had found out that is now a Carrefour there, and both wanted to have a look.

The trip into Ruse was totally uneventful, apart from the amount of Storks that seemed happily balanced on their twig nests. When we were looking for them they were very thin on the ground, but they do seem to be everywhere now. We managed to find Carrefour in the Ruse mall, parking was a bit haphazard as they were painting the white lines in the car park, so had to park at the roadside in the tow away zone and just hope. We all needed coffee by then, so took the lift to the top floor, and I can safely say that it was the best Latte that I have had since being being over here. Coffee and loo break over, we took the escalators down so that we could have a nose round. It will be a very nice mall once shops open there, it is very light and airy and so far clean. I couldn't really find anything in there that we can't get in either Metro or Kaufland, but Mum and Net were quite happy going from aisle to aisle. Once shopping was complete, it was time for lunch, so back into the city centre, via a couple of detours up and down side streets. We managed to park up near what must  be a music school, as there was the sound of someone practising their scales coming through an open window. The first restaurant that we tried was a first for all of us, but when we enquired about the lunchtime menu that they had outside, it mysteriously transpired that they had sold it all and we were given menus in English with ridiculous prices. Needless to say we didn't dine there, but found somewhere else, the food at the second place was good and not at daft prices. Fed and watered, the ladies went off to do a bit of retail therapy, while Dad and I had a nose round the PC store, as Net has heard about these e-readers. I did find one in there but felt that 400 Leva was a bit on the expensive side, even though it was wi-fi and had a 2Gb memory, but they are cheaper on Amazon.

Once shopped out time for coffee and cakes, and Mum and Dad introduced us to a charming cafe. Once the door was closed it had an almost Austrian feel to it, and the cream cakes were really indulgent, but Net and I will remember it for next time that we are in Ruse. We set off home, and as it was still sunny Dad decided that we would have a little detour. We ended up at one of the rock churches, there were some steep steps leading up to it and a road in front of the steps. We started off following the road as it was paved and looked to be in good condition, after a few hundred yards Dad decided that we would go back and get the car and drive along the road and see where it went. Maybe we should have walked along the road a bit more, as just round the corner it became a cart track. The further we got along it the narrower it was getting and the ruts were getting deeper, the trees and thorn bushes were crowding in on the car and scraping along the sides. It sounded like someone running their nails down a blackboard. There was nowhere to turn round and it would have taken ages to reverse out, so we had to gamely continue on. After about 10 minutes we did find a flattish spot with enough room to turn round, but the views were stunning, strangely enough the wheel ruts also ended there so heaven only knows how many other unsuspecting people had also been down that route. The trip back up the hillside was just as bad as the trip down, and Mum asking for Dad to take photos at various points might have given the paintwork a little time to heal before being scratched open again. Eventually we made it back up to the paved road and headed off for home, but now we knew what was at the end of that track.

Once back home our first job was to sort out the animals, then put the kettle on while we phoned Jolanta up to see how her day had been. We hadn't had any calls or texts from her, but we wanted to make sure that Nikolai had turned up and that she now had water. Well, she had water, but when she put the water boiler on  there was a constant stream of water from her shower head. She wasn't too concerned about it, as it stopped when the boiler was empty and switched off. She declined the use of our shower, as the long trip was catching up on her, and all that she wanted to do was to go to sleep.

So now you have caught up with Thursday and Friday, and due to the clocks changing last night and me being tired, I will save Saturday and Sunday for tomorrow. So Leka nosht to you all !!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

The Road to Nowhere

Well here we are, over half way through March, and those who have seen my Facebook status updates will be forgiven for thinking that I have developed a fetish for Storks. Sightings to date, 3 possibles, 1 might have been a Egret, 1 was a plastic bag bush, and the latest one couldn't be confirmed by Net so I wasn't allowed to count it. The latest possible sighting was on the main Byala-Popovo road this morning, as we went over to give Pete and Claire a hand. We did try helping the other day but Pete's step ladders weren't long enough for Net and Claire to get up into the roof space. Pete and I were quite prepared to go up, but the girls were quite insistent that they were going to do it. So today we took our extending, convertable step ladders over. Poor Claire and Pete had both been up since daft o'clock, as between us the other day we had managed to arrange to get her neighbours over to help dig the garden. Unfortunately due to the previous day and night's rain, the neighbour's had declared that the ground was too wet. So by the time we arrived it was a quick coffee and unload our ladders from the car, set them up and the girls crawled on their stomachs into the roof space. Now to gain access to the roof space there is an external access hole at the top of their veranda, or so we thought until Net lifted up another hatch a revealed that there is also an internal access point. Not very good for security, so the external one has now been boarded up and secured. The girls were obviously enjoying themselves, judging from all of the giggling that was coming from upstairs.

While Pete was acting as ladder safety number, probably the first time that anything resembling Health and Safety has occurred in Bulgaria, I set about finding something to keep myself occupied. Last night Claire had phoned us and said about a 400 Leva fee from the village water man to increase the size of their water pit so he could repair the leak and read the meter. Now we thought that this fee was extortionate, and there was no actual indication that there was actually a leak as the water level wasn't rising at all. Being a nosey sod I decided to bail the pit out and see if I could find any sign of a leak. Ably assisted by Wolf and Tehya, we managed to get all of the water out, and after half an hour there was no sign of any further water build up. So after consultation with the dogs we came to the conclusion that it was probably a build up of snow melt and rain water.

So with the plastic sheeting put in the roof space and the water pit emptied and seeing as how it was very nearly 1 o'clock, it was unanimously decided to go into Popovo for something to eat. So we all piled into Pete and Claire's car and set off, and the weather was even threatening to brighten up. We ended up at our favourite place, and at this rate we will end up with our own reserved table and season tickets. Not a lot else seemed to be open in Popovo, so what else to do? Now none off us have really explored that part before, so we drove down roads just to see what was at the other end.

This even included Pete and Claire's village, we all know the road from Slavyanovo, but there seemed to be another two 'mainish' roads out of the village. The first one seemed fine, with new crash barriers and white lines, until we got to the next village where it stopped and degenerated into the normal potholes and ruts. We saw a signpost for Veliko Turnovo so decided to head along it as it might be a shorter route between our two villages. I thought that I recognised the village from our first visit to their house when we delivered their cooker, and sure enough it was that horrible track with the steep drop on one side. Unfortunately the drop was on the passenger side, and so was Claire. So we were all treated to various sounds of eeeeeeeeeek and aaaaaaaaaaaaaaggghhhhhhhhh, and a running commentary on how she wanted to turn round and go home as it hurt with the constant buttock clenching. Pete had to go further down until he could find a safe place to turn round and retrace our route out of that village. The village itself did look a bit run down but the church looked brand new, complete with some impressive stained glass windows.

Once back on the nice bit of road Claire relaxed a bit and was game to try the third road, so into their village and out the other side. With villagers looking confused, as this car with the steering wheel on the wrong side headed off to who knew where. Looking back on things maybe we should have called it a day when we went through a pothole and the bottom of the car scraped the road surface. The road did seem to improve, and even though there was a crash barrier the drop was less but to Claire that was another cue for buttock clenching. As the crash barriers hadn't been acquired and sold for scrap there had to be a reason for the road,  even rocks that had fallen were all off to the side, so we gamely carried on. We made it to the bottom and started to go parallel to the railway tracks, maybe there was a crossing to the other side. In the summer it would look wonderful down there, and if you are a train spotter you would be like a dog with two tails. It did seem like tracked vehicles had used the road at some point, but we were the only vehicle anywhere in sight.

At the end of the road we did find the old railway station, Pete went in and had a nose round. From the looks of things it has been derelict for years, so no timetable and no buffet room were available. It seems like the local kids use it as a Summer hang out. Pete did claim that he found the Gents loo, but we're not too sure.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

What a Difference a Week Makes

Who would have thought that just over a week after our off-roading exploits that we would be hard at work in the garden. I am pleased to report that the last of the snow in our garden has disappeared, and that includes the mound caused by the avalanches from the greenhouse. Everywhere that you look Mother nature is slowly waking up and wiping the sleep out of her eyes. We still haven't seen any Storks yet, so we're still wearing our Martenitsi, although now they are beginning to look a bit bedraggled and manky. Still, they shouldn't be on for much longer and they can then adorn some fruit trees in the garden. 

The dogs and the cats are definitely enjoying the warmer weather. The dogs can't wait to get outside first thing in the morning, chasing each other round, barking and trying to play wheelbarrows with each other. We have tried to explain that they are both boy dogs, but they either choose to ignore us or they have come out of the doggie closet. The cats just give them a good ignoring, Albert fights with Gremlin, and Gremlin fights with Albert, but at least they are now leaving the vegetable racks alone. Mr Cat remains aloof from it all, and is much more concerned with food. A downside to the two cats squabbling between themselves, is that the crocuses that have just flowered tend to end up a bit squashed and mangled. Albert seems to like this time of year as he has already returned home with a bird, and took great delight in throwing a mouse against the French windows last night. I still wouldn't let him in until he had got rid of it, I would have thought that Gremlin would have been the better mouser, but they do share the spoils of war.
Since the good weather has put in an appearance, we have been busy outdoors. It makes a very nice change after having been cooped up indoors during the winter months. So far we have been faffing around with a satellite dish trying to pick up different programmes, without much success so far, but we will get there in the end. Putting the dish up has meant sacrificing the Quince tree, but it will be replaced with other fruit trees that we will actually use.
We have started to turn the soil in the garden, luckily the winter seems to have done the trick from when we turned it all in the autumn. It is very easy to dig, and the majority of the weeds seem to have been killed off by the frost and snow. Net's studio has now been clad in bark strips, complete with the famous Bulgarian bendy nails. It is looking quite smart over there now and we can't see any of the mud bricks, mind you courtesy of the bendy nails I now have a thumbnail like the ace of spades where I managed to wallop it with the hammer. Moral of the story is don't hold nails here when you are trying to hammer them into wood. The wood staining has also started, and 4 tins later we have managed to cover about half of it. The wood seems to drink the stuff, but it is bloody difficult to scrub off of your hands. At one point I had one normal hand and one black hand, not to mention a black streaked stomach. Yes, I hate to admit it but I have been topless for the last few days, apologies to anyone eating who now has this mental image stuck in their mind.
It has not been all work in the garden though, as Peter and Claire needed some bits and pieces. They can probably get them in Popovo, but we knew where to get them in Gorna, and it was also a nice day out in the sunshine. By the end of the day if we hadn't made various trips back to the car Peter and I would have ended up like Packhorses. On the way to the Agricultural chemist we took a walk through the fruit and vegetable market, and tried to give translations for the items on sale. We did take time out for lunch, and even ate outside, something that we wouldn't be able to do in mid March back in the UK. It must be spring here as even the Bulgarians are shedding layers of clothing, it is almost as though someone somewhere has thrown a switch and declared that winter is now over. I certainly hope that they have got it right. We have been told that our new Polish/American neighbour arrives in just over a week, so that will give us something else to look forward to.
We have also had an evening playing cards with Mum and Dad, it might sound like a simple thing but we enjoy their company and any time spent with them is always enjoyable. Whilst there it was also arranged for me to go up and replace their kitchen taps, as they have been having trouble turning the hot tap on and off. So I spent half an hour underneath their kitchen sink, and job done, not even a slight leak from any of the pipe unions. Mum was a bit like a kid in a toy shop, and seemed pleased with no longer having to boil a kettle to do the washing up. Her thanks were reward enough, but I did accept a cup of tea though even though I did turn down the offer of biscuits to go with it.
Today Net cut a neighbour's hair, when we first arrived in the village Violetta seemed like a very imposing lady, but we have since learnt that her bark is worse than her bite. Every time that we see her or her husband George we always get a Zdrasti accompanied by big waves and smiles. They might be Gypsies, but they have never cadged from or done anything against us, so we treat them as human beings. My Grand mother taught me to treat others as I'd wish to be treated myself. A couple of times we have fallen foul of this, so we are still cautious, but it doesn't cost anything to be polite.  

Monday, 7 March 2011

Let's Go Off Road!!!!!

Yesterday we had Peter and Claire over to visit. This also enabled Claire to catch up on laundry, as they have been having various plumbing problems over at their house since moving in. Nothing unusual there, as it seems like everyone that we have met since we moved here have had similar problems to a greater or lesser extent. I am now going to get inundated with messages saying that all plumbing has been fine. It was good catching up with them and finding out the latest news from Chateau Kidd. The weather forecast was a bit unfavourable but we made tentative plans to go over today and give them a hand planning their new kitchen, well Net is the design brain and I just do as I'm told. When Claire and Pete got home they phoned us to let us know the road conditions. Then half an hour we got another phone call to inform us that it had started snowing again. The plans for today were left quite flexible, we would get out if we could.
First thing this morning we noticed that the garden had a lot less snow than when we went to bed, the paths were damp and there was a constant stream  from the downpipes round the house. The wind was definitely blowing the trees and it was almost as if the paths were drying before our eyes. There were the occasional snow flurries, but the wind was too strong and the snow was being given no chance to settle. Claire phoned us up with a weather report from their end, and it was much the same as what we were experiencing. We decided that we would chance the drive out, but if the road was too bad from Slavyanovo then we would turn round and head home. Now we had been on that road a couple of days ago and where it goes through the trees it was like compacted ice, but when Pete and Claire drove it yesterday there were ruts so it was a bit like being in a Scalectrix car.
Most of the journey wasn't too bad, with the main problem being caused by road spray from lorries heading in the opposite direction. Talking of lorries, has anyone else noticed the amount of shredded lorry tyres littering the road side verges? What happens to them, are they just left there or does some enterprising gypsy type person recycle them into flip flops? I suppose it just goes to show that lorry tyres are not quality controlled, maybe worth remembering when you see a lorry looming up in your rear view mirror. Apparently there is new legislation that came into effect over the weekend, stating that seat belts must now be worn in both front and rear seats, and that children should be in booster seats. I can remember the fiasco that booster seats caused when that introduced into the UK.
Anyway, I digress, which to those that know me will not be too surprised about. We arrived on the outskirts of Popovo unscathed, and headed off towards Medovina. The amount of grit and sand on the roads it was almost as if the local council had decided that this would be the last of the snow so they had best use their stocks up. Medovina behind us, and we were on the way to Slavyanovo and still the roads were looking ok, and still liberally gritted.
We turned off of the main road and headed towards the forested area on the way to Peter and Claire's village. Sure enough there were tyre ruts to follow and even bits of tarmac peeping through, we were in 4 wheel drive so I didn't think that we would have too many problems. Wrong, we hadn't even gone 100 yards, when round the bend came a Bulgarian Scalectrix car. Normally I would move to the right and the oncoming vehicle would move to his right and we could both pass, but not this pillock. He was in the ruts and he was staying there, so I had to move right the way across to my right and into the snow. Unfortunately the snow hid the edge of the road, and by the time we coasted to a halt we were left side on the road and right side axle deep in the snow in scrub land. I put the car into low ratio four wheel drive and tried to slowly drive forward, but with the combination of the snow and the roadside we were unable to get back onto the road and the back end started drifting where we didn't want it to go. I tried slowly reversing but this time the nose started to drift, and what had started with a ditch five feet away became four feet away. I got out and scraped as much snow away from the wheels that I could but we were also sat on ice, which was not good. Net said to phone Peter and ask him to come and rescue us, but as I only had the new mobile with me I didn't have their home number only their UK mobile numbers. Still nothing ventured and all that, on the second attempt I got through. Bless them they were out to their car armed with shovels as soon as they put the phone down, and even phoned back to say that they were on their way. In the meantime two vehicles had passed, both had slowed down to have a good gawp but neither had offered any help.
I had had time to further assess the situation, and the main problem seemed to be the ice. So how to get round that, if only I could melt it somehow and get traction on the road surface. I then became Bulgarian, with no vehicles in sight I had a wee on the rear wheels, which didn't help Net as she was bursting by then. I got in behind the steering wheel, and Net got out the other side as she didn't fancy being in the car if it went into the ditch. As luck would have it the rear wheels gained enough traction to get me out onto the road. Slowly we drove forward and into the ruts while Net phoned the Cavalry to let them know that we had managed to extricate ourselves. The rest of the trip was quite uneventful and more and more tarmac was showing through the snow and ice the closer we got to their village. Just our luck that we had to meet a selfish numpty on the worst bit.
The good news was that Net managed to make Claire's loo in time, and their lounge was nice and warm. Net even managed to put it all behind her and helped to design their kitchen while I entertained dogs and cats. The strange thing being that three hours later so much of the snow had melted, and it was a piece of cake getting back to the main road.
Let's go off road? Net and I have a better idea, let's not!!!!!!