We took it easy on our last full day in the house.ย 

We’d worked hard and it WAS supposed to be a holiday too, so we spent the day pottering in the house and garden.

Ian was keen to use the new stepladder we’d bought to have a look in the roof spaces of the house and cottage, and he got some photos and video to show me (as I’m not great with ladders!).

We went for a short walk round the block, with B and I sticking our noses into another abandoned house we found, but it had a lot of fungi and mould growing within the room we looked into so we didn’t bother investigating the rest.

There were quite a few fruit trees heavily laden along the route and we were surprised that none of the locals had harvested the produce so we picked a few plums, some unidentified yellow fruit, and gathered quite a large supply of black walnuts.

We passed the house that on our previous visit had had a whole herd of sheep and lambs crammed into the garden, but rather tellingly, it was all silent this time with not a baa to be heard.

When we got back to the house, B had a great time using a hammer to smash his own walnuts!

I found some stray self-sown cherry tomatoes growing in the garden too, and picked what decent fruit were left to pop in our stew for dinner that night!

There was something very satisfyingly primal about foraging for your own food and turning it into a meal, cooking it on wood that has also been foraged!

We also looked over the fruit we’d gathered on our walk and ate some of it; the previously unidentified yellow fruit, that had very much resembled partly ripened cherry tomatoes, actually turned out to be yellow cherry plums when we bit into them!

So we made a note where the tree was so we could ensure we gathered a lot more next time we were there in late summer/autumn as we’d love to use them to make some jam, and if the locals aren’t going to pick them, it seems a shame to waste them ๐Ÿ™‚

After a delicious dinner of dried sausage stew, we got B to bed and spent our last evening in Gradeshnitsa sat on our balcony again.

Ian even poured some of the Limoncello that we’d bought on our last visit and have barely touched, and I had a small sip, but am not keen on it neat.

One day we’ll make sure we buy some mixers so we can enjoy it as a long cool refreshing drink during the hot summery days, especially now we have a freezer so can even make ice to go in it ๐Ÿ™‚

As we sat there, we noticed the stray cat and kittens back again, mooching around our garden.

The mother cat was even climbing up our huge compost pile to fish out some of the waste food we’d put on there earlier.

I made a note to leave out anything else we had suitable for her when we left the next day; Bulgaria has harsh winters and it made me feel sad that the chances of her and her babies surviving were slim.

There was very little I could do to help them as there are scores of stray animals all over Bulgaria and it’s not as if I could rescue them and take them home in my suitcase ๐Ÿ™

The best I could do was to leave them out our leftover food and hope that they could scavenge and catch enough to stop them starving over the winter months, and perhaps they could take shelter in the hay in our barn to keep warm when the snow is on the ground.

It will be a miracle if we go back in April and find them still aliveโ€ฆ

Ian and I stayed up watching them for a while and even got some video footage, and then we headed to bed for our very last night in the house this yearโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ™

We didn’t take many photos again today… ๐Ÿ™

B loving being allowed to play with a hammer to bash his walnuts!

Inside the cottage roof!

A tiny fraction of the all grapes that grew this year, even without being tended at all…

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