Wednesday, 2 April 2014

We're Back To Normal, Whatever That Is

To Var or Not To Var that is the question
Hopefully people will be pleased to know that whatever the bug was we have now managed to completely shake it off. It has meant that we are still trying to catch up with where we would normally be, but we are not far off the pace now. In the previous blog I said that I had been painting walls with this Var stuff, and it is very versatile stuff. Not only has it painted walls well, but I have even used it on the fruit trees. Depending on who you ask about the reasons for putting Var on trees, will determine the answer that you get. Even trawling through the Internet throws up different answers, and it gets quite confusing. Others are doing it in the village, and that seems a good enough reason for me, as they have been doing so for much longer than we have lived here.

One of the local Jays
Most theories seem to indicate that it is used to combat insects, which is always a good thing. As here in Bulgaria there are loads of the things, in all shapes and sizes. Some say that the white background makes it easier for birds to spot insects as they cross it. Others say that it is an insecticide in its own right and crawling insects tend to avoid it. One theory which makes sense is it helps against something called sun scald. Those of you familiar with Bulgaria will be aware that the sun can get rather warm, this can have a detrimental effect on trees. The bark can split and this can allow certain boring insects to further damage the trees. By boring insects I don't mean ones which will try swapping train numbers, but the ones which will try burrowing into the softer inner wood, especially on the younger trees. Not only that when they are all freshly painted they do look nice and tidy, even the local bird life seem to give the nod of approval in between turfing over the old leaves on Baba's shed roof.

Polski Trambesh
Now that Baba Marta has departed for another year, and we are feeling back to normal, whatever that might be thoughts have turned to the garden. Now we did have loads of seeds left over from last year, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I have put them somewhere safe. The only problem being that I can no longer remember where that safe place is. We did find some seeds, but I am sure that there used to be a lot more. The good news is that today is Wednesday, and that means Polski Trambesh market is a good place to go for seeds along with a lot of other bits and pieces.

Polski Trambesh fruit and vegetable market
There is always something nice about going to visit this market. It is never hurried, and there are plenty of colours to attract your eyes, and smells to taunt your sense of smell. OK, so some of the smells are not that nice, particularly near the stalls selling live fish. I am guessing that because they are alive that they must be fresh, but they do pong a bit. Unfortunately so do some of the people visiting the market. Normally it isn't too bad, but it can be a bit off putting if you are suddenly confronted by an armpit, as the armpit's owner starts waving to attract someone's attention. As the stalls are quite close together it is all to easy to become seperated from each other as people often seem to get swept along in the flow of a human tide.

Red Japonica ( Chaenomeles)
Persian Silk Tree (Albizia)
Today seemed to be our lucky day as not only did we meet up with both friends and neighbours, but Net managed to get hold of a couple of shrubs and trees that she has been after for a while. We have tried growing them from cuttings without any success, but today on the market there they were growing in pots. Now now we have a Persian Silk Tree and our own red Japonica growing in the garden. I just hope that they take, and that the cats don't decide that they are for sharpening claws on. I also forgot to mention that I also had an impromtu Bulgarian lesson from a very nice lady who is a teacher, so if you ever read this thank you very much.

On checking things out earlier there is a distinct possibility that the lawn mower will be drafted into service again tomorrow. I for one am certainly grateful that the bug, whatever it was has decided to leave us alone now. It was a pain in the backside as no sooner did one of us start feeling better than the other would get worse. At least now we have had a day out, meeting people and doing things without coming over either tired or cold, or even both, and not having to do the 50 metres clench. At times it was so bad that I couldn't even get interested in the football results, and the font on my kindle has been changed so many times that it didn't know what to do. So welcome to April, and we could do with a rebate for March, as it was a bit of a non event for us.

The Grass Needs Doing Again

The good news is that all of the trees are now budding, the birds are singing in the trees, and the tractors are out working in the surrounding fields. The downside is that someone seems to have broken the volume control on the frogs, as they seem to be getting louder each evening.


  1. A very warm welcome to the latest blog follower, thank you for taking the time to read it :o)

  2. Additional information about Var, very kindly sent to me by Martina

    There is no easier and cheaper way to refresh the ceilings and walls of whitewashed. Unlike latex and lime wallpaper known to man for thousands of years, is environmentally friendly disinfection and highly resistant to moisture and cold. It allows the walls to "breathe" and not moldy. The bathroom lime coating absorbs vapor and form water droplets. Moreover it can cover not only internal but also external walls.
    It is used around the Balkans for millenniums , the liquid extract from this limestone mixture is the actual Clorox Bleach.