Posts

A Lidl of what you fancy

Image
There are three supermarket chains in Bulgaria: Billa, Kaufland and Lidl. Irena flatly refuses to shop at Billa. She says that it is way too expensive. This means that Irena and I are always going to either Kaufland or Lidl and sometimes we go to both on the same day. My dear wife loves the chicken and the pork at Kaufland, as well as the special offers, whereas Lidl rarely seems to have any special bargains. However, the cheese is a lot better in Lidl, she says, and generally Lidl is the cheaper of the two. I was therefore very interested in a video I saw on YouTube, entitles What is the cost of living in Sofia? This video is on the YouTube “A Taste of Bulgaria” channel and here is the link, so that you can watch the whole video for yourself and then decide if you agree with me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdRkrNxfvX0&t=215s In order to make a fair comparison with prices in the UK and prices in the UK, this video only looked at supermarket prices at Lidl, a Lidl in Bulg

Hotnitsa

Image
I do hope that my friend's mother finally received some medical treatment and that the problem with her ear has been sorted out. I have not had an email from him recently, so I do not know for sure. On a less serious note, we received a Christmas card drom the UK last week. Yes, the Bulgarian postal service is maintaining its high and professional standards with the delivery of a Christmas card in February. (Almost as slow as the NHS, in fact.)    It was a lovely card, except that it had a picture of a deer on it.  M y wife and I have some rather unhappy memories with regards to deer, especially the one that scared the **** out of both of us by jumping in front of the car and doing about two hundred pounds’ worth of damage. While we are on the subject of postal deliveries, this morning we received a letter from none other than the Greater-Footed Armfelt Bird. Nicholas took great pleasure in telling me that the “albino herons” that I had seen on the Yantra River, next to our apartme

Whatever happened to the NHS?

Image
Recently I received an email from my old friend and I was very sorry (and angry) to read about his mother’s ear problems. She has been in a lot of pain. Bloody National Health Service! What a flipping disgrace! You work hard and pay your taxes all your life and then what? When you really need the NHS, it isn’t there! Well, maybe it might be there, after you have waited three weeks to see your GP and then waited another year for an operation. Here in Bulgaria, the hospital in Veliko Tarnovo is not exactly ultra-modern. In fact, it is a bit tatty and could do with several coats of paint. However, Irena and I have always had fairly prompt treatment. Even if we turn up to our GP without an appointment, as we usually do, we do not have to wait more than an hour and sometimes we hardly have to wait. Just about every hospital in the UK charges about five quid an hour to park your car in the hospital carpark. In VT, I have never paid a penny to park my car near the hospital. I suppose, like mo

Back to the Future

Image
Is it really possible that Donald Trump could be re-elected as the President of the United States in 2024? In some ways, it is difficult to imagine this happening, as Trump is currently facing no less than ninety-one different criminal charges, some of which might result in a long prison sentences, if he were to be found guilty. On the other hand, I have seen quite a few YouTube videos in which someone asks members of the American public some fairly simple questions. The incorrect answers that are given show levels of utter stupidity and moronic thickness that are almost unimaginable. I have often wondered whether these videos are actually faked and that the people who are giving these brainless answers have been bribed or tricked into saying such silly things. But what would be the point of that? If these YouTube videos are genuine, then they suggest that there is a most unpleasant reality, namely that a significant number of Americans are in fact staggeringly stupid, uneducated and m

Not a great start

Image
Yes, I have my eyes shut. I hate photos when I have my eyes shut. They look so silly. Anyway, 2024 did not get off to a great start, as I have been quite ill, with a temperature of 39, as well as various aches and pains. Yesterday I was feeling a lot better and so Iryna and I went for a wander around Arbanassi with the VT Walkers. (Arbanassi is the Beverly Hills of Veliko Tarnovo, as it is full of very expensive properties belonging to corrupt politicians, pop stars and footballers.) This was followed by lunch at The Wine Club, my favourite restaurant. (Iryna does not like it and she thinks that the food is overpriced.) Here are a few old photos from our previous visit with the VT Walkers. It's rather like an old-fashioned English pub. On the subject of not making a good start, Nikki Haley came a poor third in the Iowa primaries, but maybe she will do a lot better in New Hampshire and South Carolina.  

Goodbye, 2023. Welcome, 2024!

Image
The weather has been wonderfully mild and sunny here in Bulgaria, whereas in the UK it has been colder and peeing down, as per usual. Recently we have been for some splendid walks in the woodland around Veliko Tarnovo. (That naughty little fat Plovdiv dog also enjoyed herself.) Some of the walks are ones that I have done with my friend Peter, but some of them are quite new ones and he will enjoy them, I think, when he has yet another summer holiday in Bulgaria this year.  On the subject of an overweight and pampered pooch, Tina was very frightened by all of the fireworks on New Year’s Eve. She ran under the bed in our bedroom and would not come out. When Irena finally managed to pull her out, Tina refused to sleep in her own bed. Although our dear neighbours, Vincent and Mariana, have been spending the New Year at their house in Daveri, it very much looks as though The Boss will not want to move back to our house until March at the earliest. There is a total mess and mud everywhere jus

A Merry Christmas to all my readers

Image
The Philadelphia Church in Veliko Tarnovo had a service as usual on Sunday morning. Yes, it was all in Bulgarian (no big surprise) but it was good to worship with other brothers and sisters in Christ. Ivelina's daughter, Lizzie, was singing in the worship team. And in case you were wondering about the car, our old Nissan X-Trail, the Toyota garage in VT did a very good job of repairing it. Now I am waiting for the fire department's insurance company to pay for the damage.