Sunday, 26 January 2014
Sunday, 19 January 2014
Monday, 13 January 2014
|The Bridge Over The River Yantra|
|Des Res in need of some TLC|
After scaling the massive mole hills, or the piles of earth and clay that the excavations have dug out, we made it to the bridge and the other side of the river. On one side of the river it was residential, but we were now in open farmland, and it did smell a bit cabbagie, but that might have been me. With it being open the breeze had picked up, and though still quite cool it did start blowing the cobwebs away.
|Who Needs Modern Apprenticeships?|
|Posher Picnic Spot|
|Ye Old Oak|
Monday, 6 January 2014
The day starts with the church bells ringing and the priest saying a mass. From there people head for the nearest river or lake. Once again the priest says a small mass and casts his cross into the waters. The young men attempt to catch the cross, or at least retrieve it from the water. I think that it is just a thing that men get involved with, but this celebration doesn't seem to happen in our village beyond the ringing of the bells, and even that didn't happen this year. Whoever retrieves the cross returns it to the priest, in exchange for a small gift and a blessing. This person is thought to be guaranteed health and happiness throughout the coming year. Presumably that is if he doesn't succumb to pneumonia after his dip. There are slight similarities to doing Arctic Survival Training (AST), water is bloody cold at this time of year.
I was scanning through various news items on Facebook, as you do, and I came across an article from Burgas. They are fortunate enough that they retrieve the cross from the sea and not a river or lake. This year attracted a sizeable crowd of participants, with men ranging in ages from 16 to 60, and surprisingly one brave young lady. Bearing in mind what I wrote earlier about the various names, and one being Men's Water Day. Has sexual equality finally arrived here in Bulgaria? Certainly for the older generations things have always been done in a certain way, and therefore should continue in the same way. The younger generations do not seem to be quite so bound up in these hard and fast 'rules'. I have to admit that when I first arrived here it was quite annoying to seeing women being treated subserviently. Thankfully this attitude does seem to be dying out.
Who knows that maybe next year there might even be more women taking part in this tradition. As they say, 'Mighty Oaks from little acorns grow'. So I have to say a big well done to this young lady for having the courage to do this. It can not have been easy being the omly female taking part in what is supposedly a male tradition. For those who don't know Bulgaria is a country rich in traditions, linked to their folklore and history. What I would hate to see is for these traditions to die out as more people head for the bright lights of the cities and desert the towns and villages. If by becoming open to both males and females these traditions flourish then long may they continue. For those wondering if the young lady made it into the water .......................................
Thursday, 2 January 2014
The hot water also seemed to be at a bit of a premium, as apparently it was very intermittent to say the least, so anyone looking at a stay in hospital is advised to take wet wipes and hand gel. For those who are ex-military I would suggest treat it like going on exercise. Although I'm not certain that they would take very kindly to people brewing up over a hexy burner between the beds.
So if you do have to go into hospital you will probably have to rely on outside help. Even for something as simple as a drink there is no tea trolley, but there are plenty of vending machines about. The hospital itself might look a bit tired and old, but then again so do I at times. The attention and the treatment seems that much better than that in the UK. There also seem to be plenty of people pushing brooms and mops about. One thing I did notice is that although there was no smoking in the building, you do have to run the smoke gauntlet just to get through the main doors and into the hospital, as it is like a smoker's scrum.