Our tale begins on a bright sunny morning, the wynnies blink awake at 11am having just about recovered from the journey. Still relishing indoor plumbing and the electric kettle, everyone patiently queues for the shower followed by breakfast. John phones the builder Rado for an update on the house and is greeted with the news that everything is ready, excitement mounts at the prospect of finally being able to unload the trailer and spend the first ever night in our new home. The last time we were there was Easter 2010 and we were still having to use the Bulgarian toilet at the bottom of the garden.
Fond farewells abound and the parting of the Bevingtons and Wynnies after so much time together is, to be honest a bit opf a wrench and we set forward on the beginning of our new adventure feeling that we have left half our family behind.
An hour and a half later, we pull into Blagoevo and spot the neighbours, doing some building work. A small grey haired chap who we have not met before appears at the side of the car as we pull up brandishing the house keys and with the standard “Tooka” (here) bids us follow him. The first thing we spot is that the garden has developed into a rainforest with daisy like flowers covering it – at 6 ft these make it impossible to see the back gate or the barn. Undaunted we follow our guide to the front door, where he points to the floor, mutters something we don’t understand in rapid Bulgarian and then screeches “ne” when I attempt to walk into the kitchen. Clearly this is a meaning of the phrase house is ready” that we had not come across before and by a series of gestures we decern that the floors have only been varnished this morning and are not ready to be walked upon.
At this unexpected development it all becomes too much and the fact that we are so close but not able to go in is devastating. However, we take some hasty photographs from the dorrway and head into Strajitsa for something to eat at our favourite café and prepare for the long drive back to vishingrad for the night with the trailer still filled with furniture!!!!!
The following morning we wake, excited but still not convinced that this is it and convinced that we will turn up at the house and find ourselves confronted with a fresh coat of varnish.
We set off and arrive at lunchtime with our fingers crossed and unlock the door with some trepidatio0n – John bends down and places his hand on the floor and declares that the floor is dry and we all rush in with our rucksacs and enjoy standing in our little house for the first time.
Rado has excelled himself and the varnished floors look fantastic as well as the bathroom and kitchen which are simple but perfect and the white walls whichsuch a contrast to how it was last year. We hastily unpack the trailer and bring in the furniture and camp chairs then plug in the kettle and have our first cuppa in our home.
The grins on al four of us a reminiscent of a pack o Cheshire cats and Emily happily goes to inspect her den to make sure that it is still intact and the happily sets off to the villiage shop with Stelliana for pop and bread.
John set of for Suchitsa where Lisa’s Brother and his wife were storing the furniture we had bought off her and me and charlotte tried to organise the contents of the trailer into some sort of order.
Several hours later John arrived back with the news that he had got lost on the way. As we headed outside to remove the furniture from the trailer Bulgarians arrived from all directions to help and I stood by bewildered as piece after piece of furniture arrived through the doors in quick succession, each carried by a different neighbour and I ushered them into the relevant rooms.
Following this record breaking furniture removal we were informed that we had to follow them to sit at the little table outside Dacho and Yonka’s house and have rakia (Bulgarian homemade apricot brandy) and tomatoes and cheese.
Taking delivery of a bucket full of cucumbers and tomatoes fom our other neighbour Joanne and stopping briefly at the car to blow up the inflatable materesses (as we still did not have beds) we headed over to Dachos for a well earned biera, Rakia, tomatoes, cheese, salted pork, fried fish and biscuits.
Well fell into bed at midnight feeling that this is where the holiday had truly begun and that everything was alright with the world………………