Macedonia

January 30, 2010

Pleasant surprise today was to read the Guardian’s travel pages where Kapka Kassabova has written a lively piece about visiting the lakeside town of Ohrid in Macedonia. Her grandmother came from there. It’s so close to Bulgaria for a short break. She describes the strolling in the market place browsing the shops for Ohrid lake pearls, fine silver filigree, painted icons, roasted chickpeas, Neopolitan waffles and cherry liqueur chocolates.

Kapka wrote the book called Street Without A Name (Childhood and Other Misadventures in Bulgaria) which is well worth reading if you want to find out more about Bulgaria. She lived in New Zealand and now lives in Scotland.

Solo by Rana Dasgupta

January 23, 2010

I’ve just started reading this novel about the life and daydreams of Ulrich, a one hundred-year old man from Bulgaria.

Described on the book jacket as “set in a country that has belonged sometimes to Asia and sometimes to Europe, Solo is a book about lost roots, broken traditions and wasted ambitions – and the ways human beings overcome these failures”.

I’m hoping it will not be too sad.

The author’s website is very intriguing though and I don’t know why or how he chose to write about Bulgaria.

I’m back!

January 23, 2010

Things changed a lot in 2009. I came back to work and slaved away as an editor of magazines in Birmingham.

I’m now feeling like writing about Bulgaria again and catching up with you all. This is the view from our bedroom window in Kipilovo. It was taken in 2008 though and I haven’t had a chance to get back to Bulgaria. I miss the dogs, the food, the people and the music.