Posts

Dear William2

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Dear William,  Yes, I have indeed deleted your email address from my blog. No problem. We do not want the IRS or all of your creditors finding your email address!  No, I am not going to give you an in-depth story of my many misadventures since leaving Northaw in 1998. I have written all about it in my blog  www.bulgariawithnoodles.blogspot.com  and so I do not want to repeat myself. (I mean, who ever heard of a teacher repeating himself?) I should, nevertheless, point out that you cannot be  burned  by boiling water. You are scalded.     Now I have had some wonderful American colleagues at one or two international schools over the years, so I am not one of those appallingly stuffed-shirted Brits who always moan about our cousins on the other side of the pond, even though New Yorkers do some dreadful things to the English language. As Professor Higgins says in  My Fair Lady , “There even are places where English completely disappears. / In America, they haven’t used it for years.”  I mu

Dear Simon

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William Dobbie and his rather pretty American wife Dear Simon, It is William! It's amazing to hear from you - and to see you looking so happy in those photos.  I must say that you were an inspirational teacher, whose impact is with me still. I wish I had been less annoying and more grateful and respectful at the time, but I'm glad I get to thank you now at least. You were unbelievably patient with me Simon. If I had been you, I definitely would have strangled me. I have strong memories of you reading to us often, which I adored - especially Roald Dahl. I can still picture your handwriting. I remember you getting emotional occasionally as well, which impacts a child - once about suffragettes fighting for the vote. I was inspired by your re-telling to us of a piece of writing by a boy you had previously taught at a different school. This boy's writing described being very badly burned by boiling water, accidentally poured on him by his mother. (Possibly the same boy who, you

Dear William

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Northaw, aka Norman Court Dear William, I am assuming that this is William that I am writing to and not your equally cheeky sister, Alice! How splendid to hear from you, after so many years! I seem to remember that you went to Eton. What did you do after that? Let's hope that you had the good sense to go to Oxford, rather than that inferior place out in the Fens. Did you join the Army like your dad? Or are you doing something musical? Or what? You had such a talent for annoying people when you were twelve years old, so maybe now you have a career in Politics. I hardly ever hear from old Northaw people (or Norman Court, as we ought to call it now). I did get a message from Adam Weymouth, after his book won The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year award. I even bought a copy of his book and it is rather well written. As for Unni, he is now in Australia, after he married an Australian young lady. As for Pia, she was making a good career as an actress on the London stage.  I ha

Why doesn't everyone just move abroad?

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Just in case you have not already caught me out, I am now going to put up my hand, confess and acknowledge that I am a guilty plagiarist. Claire Rushton’s splendid blog Auntie Bulgaria is just too good and so of course it has to b e imitated, paralleled and, yes, copied. One of her recent posts, Why doesn’t everyone just move abroad ?, summed up my thoughts about the UK and Bulgaria so well that I simply must repeat some of the points Claire makes. First of all, I did go to university when it was free and it wasn’t just any old Uni. Oxford still has a certain cachet, a cut above yer average redbrick. Looking back on it now, I was amazingly lucky. And then I got my PGCE and that was free too. When I graduated, I did not have thousands of pounds’ worth of student debt hanging over me, unlike many students in the UK in more recent years. As for that perennial topic of English conversation, namely house prices, I think that Claire was absolutely spot on when she wrote about the problems

Winter is Coming

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Things are a bit dull here in VT. I have had an awful cold for the best part of a week and now Irena has it. I also have to go to the dentist and I am not looking forward to that. That naughty doggie Tina spends a lot of her time looking out of the window, watching the doings of all of the local cats. I had a rather unpleasant confrontation with our Bulgarian neighbour, who does not like it when I park next to his apartment. Usually, I park a bit further down the street, but of course someone else had decided to park there. Good grief! Anyone would think that this part of VT is becoming another town in the UK. Blooming cars everywhere! Well, in the end I could not be bothered to argue with him and so I moved my car about 200 metres along the street. Yes, it is not long to Christmas and the government in the UK seems to giving out a few early prezzies. I t is good to know that my TPS pension will be going up again and so will my State pension, when I finally get it. Here in Bulgaria, th

Taking a Fence

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Yes, they have finally arrived! The twelve sections of metal fence from PRAKTIKER were delivered today*. We had to make a special trip to Daveri, so that we could accept the delivery. Anyway, we cannot really do anything about this new fence until the spring comes along. I do not actually know what I am doing (what a surprise!) and I have never put up a fence before. But hey, there is a first time for everything. The old wooden fence is about twenty years old, so it has a nasty habit of falling down and then breaking into pieces. What worries me is that of course the fence sections are not going to be exactly the same length as the current old wooden fence. So what are we going to do? Cut one section of fencing, so that it will fit the gap? Or maybe we should build a little bit of extra stone wall at one end, in order to fill in the space. Yes, the Ukrainians have re-taken Kherson, but so far the Russians have not joined up the dots and they do not seem to realize that Putin is a t

Getting Closer

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Tina has a new feline friend, a naughty little kitten called Mashka. We have not adopted Mashka. She has adopted us. She arrived at our house in Daveri, making a lot of noise and demanding FOOD. And then some more food. At first, we were terrified that Tina would kill this little kitten, but Tina has calmed down a bit and more or less accepted Mashka. Watching Tina licking Mashka's tummy is rather cute. What else is getting closer? During their long chats on WhatsApp, Mamulichka has told Ira that the war is getting closer. As well as the attack on the bridge linking the Crimea to the mainland. there have been several other attacks. The daughter of Irena's godmother, Tatiana, is an old friend of the family and she is worried about her son and grandson being drafted into the Russian army. Warplanes fly low over the datcha almost every day. Yes, it is all getting closer.