Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Some answers

Wow what a day. I'm really quite tired now and (to warn people who aren't interested in the planning permission and other paperwork struggles that I am having at the moment) I have a fair amount to record here so I remember what is going on. So, here goes.

One trip across the patio got me this harvest
One trip across the patio got me this harvest
Last night there was the now becoming quite usual distant flashes of lightning as I went to bed however there was also some thunder which could be heard about 60 seconds after each flash. I never heard it get closer than this though and I slept right through without interruption. I was woken by my alarm which I had set because I wanted to give Rambo more time out this morning as my plan was to be out all day. I went and let him out immediately, threw his kong for a bit, then came up to make a brew. I did my morning round, though the free water was off so I had to use the inside tap, and also managed to get myself quite badly sidetracked in the glass pick, which really can easily become an obsession. Today, every time I have walked along the patio I have had my head down and have collected loads and loads more glass. Every bit I pick up is one less to find in the future, or in someone's foot.

Breakfast was a really uninspiring mix of the last of the (quite soft now) cornflakes and some muesli. It was food as fuel and definitely not about to excite the taste buds. No matter I poured tea down my throat to wash the nasty away and then, about 8, set off. I got half way down the cheren put before I realised I'd left the adaptor to plug the sat nav into the lighter. I turned round and legged it back. It was a good thing I did, as you will find out later.

First of all, for something different, I took the right turn that the sat nav always tells me to take when I'm going towards Chaz and Ivan's but I never do because I know the route at that point and it is only later that I need the directions. I was quite pleased that I had as the road wound up and over some really pretty passes and it was far more interesting than the normal route. I obviously couldn't take any pictures, and was in traffic so wasn't able to stop while I was driving, so I'll go that way next time I have a passenger I think.

This thing is bigger than my village
This thing is bigger than my village
Regular readers of this blog who have excellent memories will recall that the last time I went up this way I regretted not stopping to take a picture of a massive seemingly abandoned factory or warehouse next to one of the motorways. Today I was ready and pulled up on the slip road to snap a picture. It is absolutely huge and would definitely be worth a longer pause to get better pictures with the zoom lens. As it was I only stopped for a minute or two then was back on the road.

Their place is really coming along
Their place is really coming along
Not much further on my Bulgarian phone started ringing so I pulled over to answer it and was glad that I did; it was Chaz and they were changing our meeting point from in town to at their place. This is where I was happy to have the satnav as I would have no chance of finding it otherwise but had it saved as a favourite from before. It was not long before I pulled up at theirs and was impressed to see just how well they are going. Yes, they have a school but it is at least twice the size of mine, and also is being converted into a hotel.

I sat down to a brew and we had a chat and then we got to the main business of the day. Ivan has been dealing with this whole PuP situation for him and Chaz and he was keen to see what it was that Lubo had sent to Sofia as I was sure Lubo had sent what the office there had asked for, but the lady had claimed to not have received a load of the documents that I had seen. He muttered and chuntered and worked his way through them all (while Chaz was in the kitchen making a Thai curry for lunch) and eventually declared that, while some of the letters were a bit strangely worded and not that clear, and maybe one should have been split into two separate letters, everything was there that had been requested.

When he tried to ring Sofia there was no answer as it was lunch time so we ate the absolutely gorgeous lunch, washed down with some welcome cold beer, and then he rang her again. This time the conversation was quite short and very onesided, with Ivan doing most of the listening. Myself and Chaz watched with bated breath and waited for him to come off the call and tell us what was going on.

This is when "welcome to Bulgaria" becomes a valid trope to repeat again; this is bizarre in the extreme. Please bear in mind that Ivan has rung this lady multiple times, and even put her on the phone to the architect in the local Obshtina, and this lady has consistently said that there is no problem getting a PuP for this building. You got that held firmly? Good. Well that isn't wrong, it's just not QUITE right. The truth is what Lubo has been trying to tell me which is there is no way of getting a PuP into a house.

So why had this lady sent two letters to Lubo (in which she acknowledges that he is asking for a PuP into a house) saying "yes you can do this if you send me these letters" I hear you cry. Well the list of letters was littered with references to a certain act (which I have referred to before, which says about humanitarian use) and the key was that she was obliquely pointing out that the PuP can only be for those purposes. Why she didn't just reply with "thanks, but you can't PuP to a house" I don't know; that would be way too easy I suppose and have saved a whole heap of stress.

Ivan's comment was "well if I was Nostradamus I may have understood what she was trying to say". This is a wonderful example of the bureaucratic mindset. We haven't worked out why she has only just decided to make this clear over the phone to Ivan. Maybe she liked the sound of his voice.

Anyway, there are still major questions over all of this as to my reading (and to everyone else's) this act clearly does not refer to my property. It says "government owned buildings" and then "funded by the Obshtina, or the Department of Education" and neither of those things apply to me. So Ivan is going to go above this lady's head and talk to the Department of Education and find out just why they are applying it to me.

So there you have it; I was right to trust Lubo yesterday (it's funny, I knew when he was lying to me and yesterday I just knew that he wasn't) and the advice that I have been given from the people I trust has turned out to be valid and good.

The other thing, which I'm actually more concerned about (or rather, was) was the ownership issue. My contract of sale (and the official plan of the property) states over 9000 square metres of land come with the school however Lubo has uncovered a document which suggests that, several years ago, this amount was actually nearer 5,500 square metres. My concern was that this would make the contract null, and therefore negate my ownership. I also didn't have any idea on the next steps to take.

Now I am far more comfortable. I think the contract protects me from any inaccuracies and, if there are any (and I'll get on to that in a second) I can declare the contract void, claim my money back and also claim compensation for their mistake. I think that should also include any money already spent on the renovations. Ivan thinks that I have a very good case should I need to go down this route, and thinks that it would take two or three months at most.

I obviously do not yet know whether there is a problem and this is where my next steps are clear. I just need to ask the Obshtina "it says this in my sales contract, and that in this other document from years ago. Which is correct please?" and from that I will know whether I have been missold. I will be talking to Lubo tomorrow to ask him to put this request into the Obshtina for me urgently.

With all of this sorted out we settled down and then the concrete pouring machine arrived for their terrace so Ivan went to deal with that and I sat with Chaz and chatted. After a bit a couple of his friends popped in and we spoke briefly then, just after they left, I took my leave as well as it was getting on and I had a long drive ahead. I'm glad I left when I did as I was seriously tired and at one point was very close to pulling over for a twenty minute nap. As it happened I felt better after that and then suddenly I was really close to home so there was no point.

Happened to catch this just at the right time
Happened to catch this just at the right time
When I had left their place there was a huge thunderstorm raging and the rain was torrential; the sort where the road actually develops several inches of film on top of it from the bouncing water, but it didn't take me long to leave that behind. The picture above was taken as I was right near home, just going up the cheren put, and I slammed the brakes on and parked Lucy up to get out and take a picture because it was just beautiful how the rays were projecting from behind the cloud. I'm glad I stopped because it had all cleared by the time I got parked up and could have take a picture from my house.

So I'm sat here, feeling much calmer than yesterday, and looking forward to hearing from Chaz and Ivan about what the minister says about this confusion, I will be back over that way again next week to pick up Rocky so that will be nice as well.

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