Sunday, 21 October 2018

General Catchup

Having just finished the Week Two Demolition blog I'm going to power on and get caught up with the other general blog post stuff. It shouldn't take too long as mainly I've been working, hobbying and going to the Mountain House.

Rambo at the vets after his surgery
Rambo at the vets after his surgery
Ashamed of his Cone of Shame
Ashamed of his Cone of Shame
An effective repair
An effective repair
Still playful
Still playful


Rambo, however, has had a bad time over the past two weeks. His eyes, which we have been treating for a while now as they have been infected, were getting worse instead of better so A took him to the vet for another checkup. The vet took a look again and realised that his eyelashes were growing inwards and irritating his eyes and so recommended surgery. We agreed straight away so he was put under and the cuts were made. A was with him the whole time and as he started to come round she asked me to assist so I headed in and together the three of us managed eventually to manouvre him down the steps and back into Pat. He was very unsteady on his feet and was bleeding and looked very bad. A had bought a plastic collar to stop him scratching which, after some struggle, we got fitted. He managed to break it off very quickly but some quick work with a hole punch and some zip ties fixed it and this repair held until today when A decided it was OK to remove. He was so unhappy and looked so unwell for most of the week it was terrible however today, with the collar off, he is back to running around like his old self. He did keep his spirits up and play even while the collar was on as you can see from the video.



Synchronised treat eating
Synchronised treat eating
Stopping me from working
Stopping me from working
That chicken used to be white
That chicken used to be white
Whisky and hobbying time
Whisky and hobbying time
Very detailed work
Very detailed work
The best of breakfast foods
The best of breakfast foods
Kebab at the fast food place
Kebab at the fast food place
Dusky sunrise
Dusky sunrise
Sun behind clouds
Sun behind clouds
Another stunning morning
Another stunning morning
Flowers for Autumn
Flowers for Autumn
So what else; oh yes. A lot of fun with the puppies (two videos above, one from before Rambo's operation and the other later in the week) showing that slowly but surely the four puppies are settling in together. I've done some hobbying, eaten some crumble for breakfast, and some Kebab for lunch, played a game with A (maybe another later even) and marveled at some stunning sunrises. This morning I found some beautiful flowers down by the humanure while I was doing my chores. It's been a very very busy couple of weeks which is why there's so little updating on this update.

And that is that; short and sweet and now I feel relaxed because I'm all caught up.

Thanks for reading.

Second Week of Demolition Progress

Hello again, back with another update (focused on the Mountain House again - I will get the generic update done as well soon I promise; I have lots to tell you, mainly about Rambo and his eyes, but that will have to wait a little more).

I've just gone through and edited and uploaded all the videos for this blog post, which took long enough. One of them the sound cuts half way through; don't know what I did but never mind. Let's get this blog started before I pop out to the shop with A.

Day Four

Monday morning was cooler and damper and I headed over to the Mountain House a bit later than I originally planned. 

Arriving at the Mountain House
Arriving at the Mountain House
Day Four state of play
Day Four state of play
Bekir stood on a wall...
Bekir stood on a wall...
... and from inside
... and from inside
TIMBER!!!
TIMBER!!!
 Looking down from the top bank
Looking down from the top bank




The workmen prefer the temperature a little lower, like it was, and were cracking on when I arrived. Bekir was doing his usual thing of standing on top of walls while knocking them down and I was doing my usual thing of watching him and laughing. I strolled around for a little while taking pictures and shot a couple of videos and then, being very busy with work, I headed back home again. It was a flying visit but the main purpose (paying the men) was accomplished.

Day Five

After being later on site than planned on Monday I headed off before breakfast on Tuesday and followed Bekir and Mesut up the Cheren Put as they arrived at exactly the same time as me.

Absolutely stupifyingly gorgeous view
Absolutely stupifyingly gorgeous view
The building is reducing
The building is reducing
Hills in fog
Hills in fog
White stone being saved
White stone being saved
Bekir at it again
Bekir at it again
The walls are very thick
The walls are very thick
In contrast to Monday it was an absolutely glorious day on Tuesday and I really wished A had joined me. Unfortunately I couldn't stay long again but I did stop far longer than I had originally planned, mainly walking around a taking in the stunning view, the clear air, and the peace and quiet. We were going to be down the two local helpers on Tuesday as they had to go do some paperwork in town but Bekir and Mesut were there all day.


I also shot a couple of videos as you can see above. Progress is always slower than you expect doing this kind of demolition because more time is spent in the clean up than in actually knocking walls down. There is so much material now scattered around the plot that yesterday I was even semi-jokingly talking about buying a mini digger to help shift it all.

Day Six

Wednesday was a non working day as Bekir had other things he had to do so Day Six is actually Thursday.

State of play on Thursday morning
State of play on Thursday morning
Big timbers, and big stones
Big timbers, and big stones
There is no wall
There is no wall
Glorious Autumnal view
Glorious Autumnal view
Bekir working on top of the wall. Again.
Bekir working on top of the wall. Again.
Hard at work taking these walls down
Hard at work taking these walls down
I once again headed up really early and this time I was gutted that it was before breakfast as I wanted to stay and help; I decided to come back on Friday instead with supplies. I was a little grumpy due to the fact that the helpers from the village were stood watching so I asked Bekir if, while they had nothing to do, they couldn't start tidying the rubble and maybe getting it onto the lane where the rain damage is worse. As I left I felt pretty bad about this as they are working hard and you'll have to wait for the next section to find out how I made up for that.


I also took a few vidoes, which I'm enjoying doing more as part of this blog series. I think it's good to have moving pictures, and my words at the time, on top of this more reflective process of typing an update a few days removed. Also you can really see just how crazy Bekir and the lads are as they work on this project.

Day Seven

Day Seven was my day for earning my keep, for proving that I can still graft like I could a few years back. I was going to spend the whole day up at the Mountain House helping to labour and specifically moving the rubble onto the lane as I had requested the workmen do on Thursday. This is part of my mantra of never asking an employee to do something you are not willing to do yourself.

Read on to find out how I fared...

View across a foggy valley on the way up
View across a foggy valley on the way up
The beginning of the day
The beginning of the day
After one of my barrow-loads
After one of my barrow-loads
The pile that must be shifted
The pile that must be shifted
I'm far more exhausted than I look
I'm far more exhausted than I look
It was a really foggy start to the day and it took quite a while to rise above it on the drive up to the mountains. At one point I actually stopped to get a picture from the road as it was so beautiful. I got to the site after the men, having stayed to eat breakfast and get ready, and got myself stuck straight in to taking a few pictures Then I started on the challenge I had set myself. I was going to finish off filling in the particularly bad section of the track with rubble from the demolition. After four or five barrowloads up the hill I was seriously struggling and had to literally lie down in a recovery position for about five minutes before I could walk. Even then I was whiting out as I made my way back to the tent for a drink of tea from my flask. I was going to have to take it a bit easier and steadier if I was going to survive the day.

The progress has been really good
The progress has been really good
Saving more of the white stone
Saving more of the white stone
Stairs down but no walls
Stairs down but no walls
One room completely cleaned
One room completely cleaned
Lovely strong cup of tea
Lovely strong cup of tea
Lunch time rest
Lunch time rest
To be fair to myself I recovered and realised that I had just been overloading the wheelbarrow. I now knew how much to put in and was careful to limit myself to that amount. I also alternated this effort with doing other tasks like shifting stone and wood into suitable piles, making cups of tea and coffee, and sitting down enjoying the area. The men were going great guns and were now all getting stuck in with very little standing around watching (apart from me). Lunch arrived and the requisite rest was taken in the sun of the field next to our place (Mesut got bitten by an ant and jumped a mile) and then it was back to grafting.

Beginning to pull the floorboards up
Beginning to pull the floorboards up
Such a dusty day
Such a dusty day
The slope the wheelbarrows had to go up
The slope the wheelbarrows had to go up
The lane with the final load on it
The lane with the final load on it
A tired but very satisfied Beard
A tired but very satisfied Beard
Only one wall remaining
Only one wall remaining
Another fire to burn rubbish
Another fire to burn rubbish
A staircase "choked with rubble"
A staircase "choked with rubble"
The day ends
The day ends
The afternoon was more of the same and I kept plodding on and eventually, just before the end of the day, I had completed the target I set myself. It took about thirty or so trips but I did it. What a satisfying feeling. The workmen had also been doing a lot of work and while we aren't as far as I hoped by this day it still is very satisfying to see how far we have come. We may need to get machinery in to help shift the rubble, though. There is just so much stone and dust. The end of the day I spent chatting a bit with the men stood on the top floor then took some pictures of the state of the building as of now.

Beautiful sunset on the way to rescue the men
Beautiful sunset on the way to rescue the men
Bulgarian Pigeon Transport
Bulgarian Pigeon Transport
I said good bye and drove home but before I reached home I had a call from Bekir that Mesut's car had broken down so I had to head back to collect them. The view on the way was so lovely, again, that I stopped, again, to get a picture. It turned out that the suspension was damaged on his car and I dropped them at the garage so they could go and get recovered then later, after popping home to have dinner, I went back out and collected them again to take them home. All this time Bekir had two pigeons in Thomas, trapped under an old mine-filter fitting. Only in Bulgaria. Hopefully the car can be fixed but I'm still waiting to hear about it. With this all done I spent an hour in a bubble bath to relax and I am happy to report that I am not feeling any aches or pains even now, two days later.






I have again collected the videos here at the end rather than scatter them through the day. One of these the sound cuts; sorry.

So there you have it; another week done and we're getting closer to finished.

Catch you next time.