Ritya 20

Ritya 20
We woke late to a frosty and bright sunny day.

After a wake-up coffee, we persuaded a now very sickly car to kick into life and we drove into Dryanovo. The first stop was the garage where yesterday David had ordered his spark plugs. Expecting it to be a quick transfer of cash and goods I stayed in the car with Banjo. Thirty minutes later after several liftings up of the bonnet and scratching of heads, we had the plugs and were on our way. In this part of Bulgaria at least, everything is described as being simple and with no problem, yet always turns out to be anything but. What is difficult for a garage mechanic to supply spark plugs for a mass-produced car without a lot of blah, blah, blah, (Bulgarian for bulls…t)?
The next stop was a pleasant walk through Dryanovo market. I bought a jar of honey as we had run out of it and used it to sweeten our coffee. David was looking for some new boots but failed to find ones that fitted or he liked. He did buy a socket for his newly acquired spark plugs. After trailing the full length of the street market and back we had coffee in a cafe by the park. It was lovely sitting in the sunshine and being warm once again, I even took my new hat off.
As we had left Ritya, Milen’s grandfather had given us 2 levs to buy two loaves of stale brown bread to feed his dogs. Yes, dogs here do seem to survive on bread alone, but not Banjo. We walked into town and found the bread shop and while David purchased the dog food I took Banjo through the town centre on a little walkies. On the way back to the car I had a ‘senior moment’ when I discovered I had lost my hat. Luckily it was still in the cafe where I had taken it off. I have grown quite attached to my 2 lev head warmer and wore it all the way back, despite the dazzling sunshine outside our groggy little car.

On returning to Ritya, the car had (with a great deal of difficulty) new plugs inserted into the right holes and I think it appreciated it as it certainly sounded a little better when asked to start. David took it for a drive down the lane and remarked that it still felt quite lumpy, I smiled and thought, “That’s the potholes in your road David.” Tomorrow is the acid test as there is another frost forecast.
David put the washing machine on and quite a lot of very dirty and smelly items of clothing went for a spin around the machine. We later dried them in the evening by the fire (very rustic and they look fairly clean).
There was a bit of heat in the sun now so I removed a few layers of clothing and we set about cladding the side of the wood store. As usual, I was on the chop-saw while David measured and shouted down the dimensions of the wood to be cut. We worked until the sun started to dip in the sky and then the layers that I had taken off earlier were put back on. As the light failed we reached the end of that side and packed away. It was certainly getting chilly.

David had a big clean. After several days of unwashed pots, cutlery and pans there were very few flat surfaces that weren’t covered in detritus, making it difficult to prepare any meal. Stoically he stuck at it until all was returned to a reasonable state of cleanliness and tidiness. Hero!

The evening meal was hot-pot followed by a film and bed.

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