Looking To The Future in Bulgaria

Today, we went to Hyde Park. Galia now has her free travel pass from TFL, she has been without it for the past 5 months due to my change of work. We traveled by tube and went to a Bulgarian Orthodox church based at the back of the Royal Albert Hall in South Kensington. We had been there a few times before, in fact whenever we get the time and free travel! After a few candles lit and some Bulgarian chanting we took to the park and walked for miles on a nice sunny day popping into a couple of park based art exhibitions en route. It was lovely just to get out of our studio in Edgware for a change!

Not a day goes by when the thought of living in Bulgaria for the rest of my life comes into my head. Making that happen is just a case of hard work and patience in terms of waiting for my pension. This now is at 66 years of age, another eight and half years of graft. This will happen although the only worry is can I mentally cope with being in the UK throughout this time? Trying to do things to cope with this may help, I digress.

Image result for chinatown londonAfter walking for an indefinite amount of time, we were hungry and going against all out normal ritual of not spending money we didn't have it was decided to go to China Town and eat in a buffet eating house. We did exactly that! After only one plate of Chinese food and a cup of Chinese tea to wash it down we left, not too full and wobble out, unlike most who dine there with second or third helpings! We walked around the area dodging tourists and made our way back to Leicester Square tube station all the way back to Edgware and the studio.

Did this day off and getting out of the studio help ease the frustration of having to work in the UK over the next 8-9 years? No, not really as all we talked all day was about the plans we have to try and get over to Bulgaria sooner! That is another story!

Cycle Accident - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

It has been just over six weeks since my bicycle accident and is something that plagues me on a daily basis.

Still with pain in my right knee which is due to be scanned in a couple of weeks, I hurts to think of myself on a bicycle. This is not from the thought of physical capability but from the fear and trepidation of not being up to it mentally.

In recent weeks I have felt isolated not being able to talk about the accident or cycling which had always been a big part of my life both in practice and verbal promotion. Each time I was drawn into conversation about cycling and the accident in particular I had to stop in my tracks or break down in tears without any warning. So, what I do is avoid the topic completely and not get trapped on the subject when it comes along.

Sleep is another factor, or should I say the lack of it. Getting to sleep is a problem as my mind wanders into many areas, including reflections on the accident focusing of the sequential events of that ill fated morning. From the joy of a lovely morning in second wind on quiet roads looking forward to the undulating road across the other side of Kingsbury Road, to the sound of the van crashing into the car, then the deflected car speeding towards me and the head on impact into me. The lying in the street realising I was injured and daren't move, which felt like a lifetime of waiting. People around me staring, then the police, the paramedics and total confusion. Trying to be polite and not cause people trouble joking but from shock.

The journey to hospital in the ambulance with sirens running, the rest was a blur until I found myself outside the hospital with some surgeons trousers on and broken cycling SPD shoes faced with getting public transport home. All I remember about that was deciding whether I should actually go to work at that point, even though I was in severe pain! Why? I did go to work the next day and that was a bad decision

Even now I feel it hard to write about this and I have butterflies in my stomach thinking about how I can cope it I cannot mentally get back on a cycle again. Depressive thoughts.

I need therapy and counselling I feel. Being a very strong mentally disciplined person I felt I could get through this myself by now by pushing myself hard to make out there is nothing wrong with me, but I can't. The though of buying another bicycle usually excites me immensely, but it doesn't for the first time in my life and I have no incentive to look. This is very worrying and out of character for me as anyone who knows me would tel you.

Right now I just want to stay in my flat and not talk to anyone, not text or ring friends and feel like a recluse. At work I get angry, whereas that is completely the opposite of my history of working practice as a teacher/trainer. 

Seeing other cyclists on the road make me feel quite numb and I am not sure what to make of them. There is a no thought of emotion seeing cyclists. Why?

Lastly, the planned cycle rides and events I had booked up and planned will not be ridden as it stands. I really don't know how I can live without those normally exciting goals in front of me!

Bulgarian Winter Salad - A Yearly Reunion of Delight

Well it's October and the season of Autumn has gripped nature well and truly with vibrant colours galore - that is if you can find trees between Edgware and Willeseden!

The reminder of Bulgarian dishes on the dinner table is a welcome sight when coming home from work but this week has been a reunion of a long lost delight over the late Spring and Summer. Green salads it seems in the UK just are associated with Summer, not the case in our bedsit!

The simplest foods sometimes just hit the mark and this week is no exception. Having had salad almost every day throughout most of this the year based on cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers and green onions as the base it is now time for change.

Bring out the Turkish cabbage, carrots and celery leaves seasoned with sunflower oil, red wine vinegar and salt and the end result is a daily salad throughout the Winter that runs a riot of enjoyment. There has never been a time that this salad has failed to excite the taste buds and the added bonus of a healthy regime of vitamins without any chemical additives!

One week's worth of this salad for under a fiver notwithstanding, the portions are massive!

Dober Apetit!

I Love Travelling to Work and Back!

Travelling to and from work with my personal HiFi blaring out in my ears to block the bellowing voices from other foreign travellers is the most relaxing part of the day.

During the travel time, which varies from 60-90 minutes, it is rife for freedom of sound waves of my choice and what a mixture of music! Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony to Bulgarian Chalga with a little French Light Rock from Des Palmas. A variety of Mozart Piano Concertos and Lara Fabian. Then Handel Concerto Grosso to Toni Storaro. By the time I get to work it is as if I have been to a concert!

Then there is the closing of eyes, but never asleep. I can just hear the announcement of the bus stops or train stop whilst in the grip of music.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

The icing on the cake is that I get free travel courtesy of TFL! Before this it was hard to swallow having to pay to go to work. Just the concept of paying hard earned money to go and earn more hard earned money doesn't make sense. Lucky in that respect I guess.

What this cocooned form of travel does is transport you into another world for part of the day and you come out of it as if you have been on a short holiday.

Until such time as I give up work, this will continue to be enjoyed each day I travel to and from work.

Someone said many years ago that when I grow up beyond the teenage years and that romantic phase of life, I would grow out of Tchaikovsky music - Well, they are either lying or I am Peter Pan!