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It's Snow Fun

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Getting to school in the morning is quite a ritual. Two pairs of socks, then the second pair of trousers, lace up the boots, scarf, coat, hat and gloves. Then take it all off again at school and change into a soft pair of shoes. Yes, snow in the city is a pain and just walking along the slippery pavements can be slow and tiring.

In the huge park across the road from our apartment, the snow can still be pretty and a lot of fun. Sledging is popular with the youngsters, although dads and even some mums seem to be glad of an excuse to have a go with their children. 

Even when it is cold and the wind is biting, my dear Irisha still looks lovely. I am going to miss her next weekend, as she is going to Bucharest, to stay with her friend Inna for a few days. Innichka and Irisha became friends becase they always used to walk their dogs in Parcul Herastrau.


And in the distance, you can just make out the looming mass of Mount Vitosha.


BREXIT

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At last! The famous "Ladybird" series of books for children has published something to help the children (and maybe the politicians as well, but perhaps that's the same thing) to get ready for BREXIT.




Now I do not want my readers to think that I am in any way biased or narrow-minded. No, I did not actually vote in the BREXIT referendum because I was in Bulgaria at the time, having just returned from China. Anyway, how could anyone in the UK be so silly as to vote to leave the European Union? That just would not happen, would it? Oh dear. They did in fact vote to leave the EU, by a narrow margin. 



The only little problem is that now just about everyone in the UK is beginning to wake up to the fact that BREXIT is going to be a disaster for the UK and indeed for the whole of Europe.




MTR

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As you may or may not have guessed from some of my posts on this blog, I am a great fan of the European Union. This is, of course, why I think that BREXIT is such a disaster, both for Britain and for the EU. In Bulgaria, the EU has done a lot of good things: discouraging corruption, stimulating the economy and providing funding for new infrastructure projects. It is mostly thanks to the EU that the Sofia Metro (MTR) system is really good. Before Bulgaria joined the EU, the MTR system was much smaller and a lot more antequated. Not surprisingly, there is even a metro station called "European Union".
Our nearest MTR station is Vitosha, about five minutes' walk from our near apartment in Sofia. Vitosha station is also the very latest station to be opened, so it is very clean and modern. You can see a photo of Irena the Elf buying a ticket from another Microwave Woman.



Although you can buy a ticket at the cash desk, usually I buy my ticket from a vending machine and the price …

The Covered Market

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Sofia's Covered Market is one of my favourite places. Irena and I have been going there for years. In fact, I think that we even visited the Covered Market before we bought our house in Kalotina. That must fourteen or maybe fifteen years ago, when we first visited Bulgaria. 


The Covered Market is a great place, located slap bang in the middle of Sofia, conveniently next to its own car park and the Serdica II MTR station. It is also just round the corner from the Ladies' Market, so Irena and I often arrange to meet each other there.


There are lots of interesting little shops selling yummy foodie things like olives, as well as a branch of our bank in Bulgaria, FiBank. I like the little place that sells the funny leather bags and the handicrafts place. The things on sale are mostly carved out of walnut, and it was there that I bought our chess and backgammon set. There is also a great cafe, Tosca, and many other places, like the key cutter who made some spare keys for our new apart…

Christmas in Sofia, 2018

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Merry Christmas, dear readers! Well, the last few months have been rather interesting, what with my new job and our move to the new apartment in Sofia. It really has been quite hectic and we have had to make several trips to Kalotina, in order to collect all of our bits and pieces. The new apartment is now looking less empty and a lot more like home! We even brought some logs from Kalotina, but so far we have not lit the fire because the apartment is wonderfully warm, thanks to all of the electric radiators. I am glad that we will not have to pay the electricity bill!


I was very impressed that my old friend Peter Adams somehow managed to get a Christmas card to us, with a bit of IT ingenuity. The card arrived on our doorstep in Kalotina a few days before we left for Sofia. It caused a lot of laughter in the village.

Yesterday we went for a little walk in the park, even though the weather was bitterly cold. It is a lovely park. Yes, maybe we did not see it at its best, but Mount Vitosha …

Flat Out, Part 2

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I have not written a lot of blog posts recently because we have been very busy, moving into our new apartment in Sofia. Well, I say that it is "our" apartment, but of course St. George's School is paying the rent, the utilities and just about everything. 


As you can imagine, Irena and I are very happy all of this! Our apartment is HUGE. You could probably have fitted all of our flat in Shenzhen into the main room of our new apartment in Sofia. Our kitchen in China was almost like a big cupboard and the bathroom was pretty horrible. 
In our Sofia apartment, the kitchen is a fair old size, big enough for a large table and lots of cupboards, plus we have TWO rather nice bathrooms. Regular readers of my blog will know that we used to live opposite Lianhuacun Park in Shenzhen and that was really convenient and very good for walks. Here in Sofia, our apartment is right opposite the park and in fact the park is one of a chain of green spaces that goes right into the heart of Sofi…

A Winter's Tale, Part 6

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Sometimes things happen just in time. On Friday the man from BG Therm came and he spent an hour or two adjusting the boiler, as it had developed an irritating habit of shutting itself down after an hour or two. The sensor for the exhaust gases was set too low, so that was why we kept getting the error messages on the boiler's mini computer.

On Saturday I went into Sofia on the train. First I visited the Elephant Bookshop, hoping toi buy a copy of Adam's book, Kings of the Yukon, but they did not have a copy. Bother!

I also went to the Christmas Bazaar at St. George's. My main reason for going was to talk to the two very nice ladies who are sort outing my employment details and our new apartment in Sofia. The Irish coffee was good, the sausange and sauerkraut were so so and the kindergarten children were sweet when they did their little songs and dances in the theatre. Lots of happy, cooing parents.


We were supposed to go to church this morning, but it just did not happen. Whe…