Friday, 15 March 2013

Thar She Blows!

As I write this blog the Bulgarian National Weather Service has placed 22 districts under code yellow due to gusty wind conditions. These regions are Vidin, Vratsa, Montana, Lovech, Pleven, Gabrovo, Veliko Tarnovo, Ruse, targovishte, Shumen, Razgrad, Silistra, Dobrich, Varna, Burgas, Yambol, Haskovo, Stara Zagora, Plovdiv, Pazardzhik, Smolyan and Kardzhali. Code yellow means potentially dangerous weather conditions, and that people should exercise caution. Code Orange has been raised for the Sliven region. This means intense weather conditions with potential damage, injuries and possibly even fatalities. People are advised to stay indoors and only venture outside if they have to.

Yesterday it seems as though Gabrovo and Veliko Tarnovo bore the brunt of things, when we were on our Code Orange status. Unfortunately in Gabrovo there was a fatality as a young lady was hit when some scaffolding was affected by the wind. Across the two regions, trees have been blown down, buildings damaged and the fire departments have been kept very busy. Several areas have suffered power outages as a result, as power lines have been damaged. Hurricane force wind speeds have been recorded at over 120 kmph, and there have been even stronger gusts.

So for our region the winds have abated somewhat. They are certainly no longer roaring round the house. When we hear how other people have fared in the storms we have got off very lightly, even if we do live at the top of a hill. Though luckily the village nestles in a hollow at the hilltop, so maybe the wind was just whistling across the top, and not bothering to stop. We were watching the pine tree in Baba Donka's back garden. Even though she is no longer with us we still refer to it as her house. The wind was certainly giving that tree a going over, and this morning I have noticed a few broken branches. 

Even when I went round to the magazin to get bread this morning the only signs that I noticed were a few broken branches laying in the road. One good thing has been that a lot of the rubbish that tends to surround some of the gypsy houses is no longer evident. The downside being that it will have ended up either in someoone else's garden or out in the countryside. As for ourselves we seem to have got away with things very lightly, our roofs are intact, the patio furniture hasn't gone on a tour of the village, a few plant pots have moved but that seems to be about it. The daft thing is that shortly after we moved here we bought a bamboo wind chime, an English neighbour asked why we had bought one of those as we don't get wind in Bulgaria. I hope that he was looking out of his window last night, as he might have noticed a few gusts of wind.

The animals were not overly keen on the weather yesterday. They only went outside when they had to, and even then they were haddled back in front of the fire as soon as they could. Here we can see Fenric and SillyO hogging the fire. Fenric is the only one of our dogs wo will put up with SillyO, for a small cat when she stretches out she seems to take up an awful lot of room. No tail or nose is safe from her claws either. They do seem to enjoy their creature comforts, but with the weather slowly warming and the days getting longer we won't be lighting the fires as often. Having said that after the wind and rain of yesterday it does feel rather chilly today. As I said on a previous blog Baba marta can be a fickle old lady, with sunshine one day and storms the next. On a much happier note, whilst I was walking round the village I noticed plenty of signs to let us all know that Spring is just round the corner. Some people have been lucky enough to have seen Storks already, if there were any flying round this way yesterday I think that they have probably been blown slightly off course.

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