the skinflint philosopher

Attempting to thrift our way to a better life, with a toddler in tow!


2 Comments

Bench: Bulgaria photos 17

This image, a final blog post from this little apartment in Bulgaria that has been our home for five months as Digger waits impatiently to disconnect the wifi router, really sums up urban Bulgaria for me.

IMG_5549

It might look on first glance, a tatty, botched job of a bench below a six storey pre-fab tenement block. It seems to involve broken metal chairs, and lino, and cardboard and blocks of concrete, and a little bit of string.

But to me is says, this is a community where people really want to spend time sitting outside, drinking coffee and talking with their neighbours and watching the world go by, and they are not going to let the lack of finances for a bench stop them.
And I think that says a lot about a place.


2 Comments

Last year’s circus: Bulgaria photos 15

IMG_5639

These were part of a huge line of peeling and faded circus posters along a heavily graffiti covered stone wall outside a large four storey secondary school, currently out of use as it is undergoing repairs and renovation. Just before Christmas, the new roof that was being put on the school caught fire, cause unknown, and all the new work done was lost, and further damage created by the fire itself.
The tatty circus posters, the burnt and broken school, the children separated and shifted away to be educated in other schools…. the themes all seems to come together with this image.


Leave a comment

Woodpiles and washing lines: Bulgaria photos 13

Things that make this picture so very much urban Bulgarian- it doesn’t matter that this photo was taken of an apartment in the middle of an industrial town, in a block of pre-fabs. Proof that people living in small urban spaces can manage their needs very well when necessary.

Garden
Woodpile
Washing line
Loops of unidentified electrical wires
Terrace with pipe to drain water on the garden below
Grapevine and trellis

 

IMG_5700


1 Comment

Lost in translation #3

This time, not exactly a post regarding language differences and amusing confusion between English and Bulgarian but worth including under this heading I think anyway.

I’m pretty sure advertising standards in the UK would have something to say about a bag of charcoal seemingly showing that it’s great fun for children to place hot coals in their hands. Perfectly fine. And if you are made of wood, why then even better!
Oh dear Pinocchio, you are going to get yourself in a right pickle!

IMG_5770

Lost in translation #2
Lost in translation #1


4 Comments

Follow the yellow grit road: Bulgaria photos 10

Sleet all day yesterday, and plunging temperatures last night has meant the compacted snow is now a little bit treacherous. Tiddler and I took a very slow walk to nursery this morning, and even then we both manage to slip over on the ice. Bags of salt and yellow coloured grit have been put out and are being sprinkled by the street sweepers, but it’s not pleasant walking out there this morning!

IMG_5768

 

IMG_5676IMG_5677IMG_5679IMG_5680IMG_5688IMG_5702IMG_5703IMG_5694IMG_5691IMG_5709IMG_5715IMG_5720


Leave a comment

Tree sparrows sheltering from the snow: Bulgaria photos 9

IMG_5638

Tree sparrows (Passer montanus) unfazed by the many shoppers banging trolleys in and out of the lines, sit and wait out of the bitter wind that blows across a Kaufland car park shortly to be covered in snow.


1 Comment

Cartwheel and corn: Bulgaria photos 8

IMG_4925

 

The wheels are from a karuca (каруца) cart, a horse-pulled low vehicle still used commonly enough in Bulgaria for there to be necessary signs on certain larger roads.
655-402-patrulka-presledva-karuca-v-plovdiv

Many karuca are traditionally painted in intricate folk designs. Image below taken from here
flat,1000x1000,075,f.u4

The modern karuca lives on in many forms. Image below from Varna, here.

Karuca-parking-Small-830x467