Wednesday, 11 February 2015

A Corrupting Influence?

Welcome to the first blog of February, after a few years of writing these blogs it gets slightly difficult to avoid covering old ground. Especially at this time of year when the weather is not favourable towards getting out and about. Last month it was the children coming round on New Year's Day followed by Yordanov Den. This month it is birthdays, Valentine's Day and Trifon Den. So whilst I was pondering what to write this time I came to the conclusion that it was about time that I made a confession.

Now those of you who actually know me, will possibly be aware that I have three great loves in my life, that is besides my better half of course. Were it not for Net then I wouldn't be where I am today. Anyway these great loves of mine, they are football, music and reading. You might be wondering where the confession comes into play. Well I think that I might actually be a corrupting influence on unsuspecting Bulgarians. All done quite unintentionally I hasten to add, but perhaps my enthusiasm might have rubbed off somewhere along the way. It's innocent until proven guilty anyway, and enthusiasm is worthwhile for mitigation purposes.

The first charge involves football. I do have to hold my hands up and admit that I prefer club football to International matches. I am a firm believer in supporting your local club. This meant that when I was growing up that gave me a choice between Wimbledon and Crystal Palace, even though my Dad was an Arsenal supporter. Thankfully I decided on the Eagles, and have followed them through thick and thin since, my cousins and other family members might have had something to do with my choice as well. It is probably fair to say that we are not the most fashionable of clubs, but we never have really boring seasons. One thing that many pundits agree on is that the supporters generate a proper good old fashioned atmosphere, and this isn't only limited to home matches. Selhurst Park is an old fashioned stadium and not one of these new soulless bowl type ground, but whatever happens down on the pitch the supporters are there behind our team. I have shown people clips on YouTube, and now a few Bulgarians watch out for our results, some watch the matches on the TV and I know of at least one who has made the pilgrimage to SE25 to watch the Palace. In my own turn I have taken in a few matches at the local ground here, so I also follow Lokomotiv GO.

Next we have the charge with regards to music. As I have previously mentioned in these blogs, when the weather warms up people emerge into their gardens. They also bring their radios with them. Unfortunately the volume controls often seem to be broken, they are either off, or at maximum. No matter how hard I try I can't really seem to get my head round Bulgarian music (Chalga doesn't count as music). To my ears it just sounds like a lot of random notes thrown together. Well that's not quite true, as I do like the haunting quality of Malka Moma as sung by Neli Andreeva. As loud music seems to be the order of the day I also join in. Although anyone wandering about close by is likely to be entertained by something like Madness or The Damned. Maybe not to everyone's taste, but I have been known to play classical music too, but sometimes the dogs decide that they want to join in as backing vocals.

I have previously been asked if people can borrow books, so that they can practice their English. Rather than confuse them with American spellings and vague grammar I have tried passing on English writers. Not wanting to replicate English Literature classes from my schooldays I avoid the Dickens and Shakespeare. Instead I have passed on the likes of Colin Dexter, Peter Robinson and Stuart MacBride. Perhaps they might not paint a totally accurate picture of life in the UK, but at least they are written in English.

There are other areas where I might be guilty of being a corrupting influence. One such area is the patch of land just outside of our garden wall. I do try and keep the 'grass' cut short, and if the Kmet wanders past I often get the official nod of approval. I have noticed that more of our neighbours are starting to do the same, but instead of using a lawnmower quite often goats or sheep are used. I try to set an example of if I see litter I pick it up and put it in the closest bin. When we first got to the village it seemed like those getting social payments would be utilised picking up litter and keeping the village tidy, sadly that no longer seems to happen so it is up to everyone to do their bit and keep the village looking good. There is still the problem with people letting their dogs run loose round the village. Fair enough they don't seem to worry the flocks of geese or chickens, but they do cause a lot of unwanted puppies.

It is a two way street though, and I am sure that bits and pieces have rubbed off on me. I now seem to be more patient, I have more time for people and I have remembered that enjoyment can be gained from even the simplest of things. I will still be following the football, listening to music and reading though.


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