Monday, 25 May 2015
In the years before the archeological excavations began, the villagers of Gorno Varshilo and Dolno Varshilo would pass by the ruins as they took their produce to the city markets. As dusk began to fall, any villagers near the fortress remains began to hear strange hissing noises. Villagers the whole world over are quite a superstitious bunch, and soon they began to believe that they were hearing Samovilas, or Samodivas. These are beings from Bulgarian and Romanian folklore. The Romanians refer to them as Lele's.
Thursday, 7 May 2015
Once the livestock, and children, have been sorted out people can then start on their own daily bits and pieces. More often than not this will involve tending their gardens. So above the hum and drone of bees visiting flower beds and blossom, you might hear the odd word or two or a radio being played. What we do often hear though are two shy visitors. Every so often you might see a flash of yellow flying between trees, this will be the Golden Oriole, but it has a very melodic call. The other is the Cuckoo, definitely not so melodic, but always a pleasure to hear, even if it is bad at telling the time. Whoever heard of 27 o'clock? Some villagers don't seem to have a working volume control, and any conversation is carried out at one level, loud. I am sure that these could hold a conversation between them selves from one end of the village to the other.
We often get wood lorries growling their way through the village. Many appear to be ex-military, and have definitely seen better days. Like the old tractors they keep on going, often only on a wing and a prayer. Then there are the recycled rotavators, which will putter along, towing a trailer. It might be quicker to walk, but in the Summer heat no one wants to rush anywhere. The quietest time in the village seems to be between 1 and 4 in the afternoon, which coincides with the hottest part of the day. We are often sat up under the barn then, reading and just letting the sounds of nature wash over us.
The warmer weather has woken up a numerous amount of field crickets, much to the cats enjoyment as they seem to feel that they need to be hunted. From the remaining crickets there is that constant chirruping in the background. In a few weeks time they will be joined by the tree frogs. Sometimes it sounds almost tropical living here, thankfully we don't have quite so many nasty beasties living here.
After having eaten their fill of crickets our cats seem full of energy, and will play fight between themselves. Heaven help any strange cat which dares to venture into their garden, as they will gang up on it and have a full on scrap. The cats fighting will even drown out the sound of the local frog and toad population. From around the lakes, and beside the stream they can be heard, croaking, booming and chuckling. This will carry on throughout the night, and at times it sounds like a constant hum, similar to what you used to hear if you stood beneath a power pylon.
Finally, you can lull yourself off to sleep by listening to various Bats, Owls and Nightingales. During the Spring and Autumn we sometimes hear Foxes having a nose round the village. It is easy to trace their path, as the sound of village dogs barking follows them. Then in the Winter there are the Jackals up in the woods, the colder the Winter the closer they will come to the village.
Maybe with Paisii being in a small valley up on top of the hills, sounds might be a little more enclosed and tend to echo a little, but if you listen it is always full of life. This village life certainly might not be as quiet as I once imagined it, but I wouldn't want to swap it.