Ed and Ben left mum and I in Plymouth on Friday 30th of October and headed up to Stoke to oversea the removal of our furniture from our 2 storage units.
Sunday 1st November
Dawned bright and sunny in both Stoke and Plymouth and the guys met the removals truck at 8 am and were hopeful that they would be loaded by early afternoon…………..
All, did not go as planned! The Bulgarian driver managed to get his trailer stuck between 2 containers and the owner of the storage facility had to call out a crane operator to lift him clear……..not cheap on a Sunday 😦 Once he was freed, the rest of the loading went well but the guys were obviously running late and didn’t get down to their hotel until 1am. I, in the meantime had been emailing our contact in Bulgaria advising him of the proposed costs of a) crane hire and b) expected costs of the repairing one of the doors. He came back refusing to take responsibility, saying it was our fault that there was insufficient space for his driver to manoeuvre safely. Er, no! Your driver was advised to unhitch the back trailer… As it started to get nasty I let it got for now, after all we needed our kit to arrive safely and in good time!
Monday 2nd November.
The guys were up the next morning at 5 to catch their train across the channel. The train was delayed by an hour and half due to technical problems. Lol, things were still not going well! However once underway, they had a smooth run down through Germany before stopping for the night in a motel, close to the Austrian border. Mean while Mum and I were preparing to send the dogs off with the pet couriers, scheduled to pick up the dogs at 2pm. At 12, I receive a call saying they were running late as one of their vehicles was in the garage, they expected to be with us by 9pm…….9pm I receive a call to say he was running late and being hampered by freezing fog, he would be with us sometime after midnight…….hmmm…..at 1am I try to call and left a voicemail. 2am, I try again, leave a voicemail and send a text. 3am, panic setting in, I try again, still no response at 3.30 we gave up and went to bed.
Tuesday 3rd November.
We were up at 6am to finish mums packing before the British removal guys came at 0930 to take her remaining furniture to meet the Bulgarian truck. At 7am I call Keith, the owner of Pet Chauffeurs, to see if he had heard from his driver. He also goes into a panic as he didn’t know why he hadn’t collected the dogs either! At 9am the driver calls to say he was sorry but he’d felt unwell and pulled over to sleep!! Could’ve chuffing told us, not happy! He said he would be with us 12, huh, try 2! A whole 24 hours late. To say it was a fraught day would be under statement as I was running between mums and her storage unit, preparing the packing lists, signing paperwork for customs and seeing to dogs and we had someone in to view her house! Stress levels where running high 😥The British removals finished loading mums stuff at 6pm and we left her cottage for the Jury Inn at 7pm. The view of Charles Cross church was stunning and my photo doesn’t do the view justice. The guys on the hand were making good progress and had cleared Austria, Hungry and were already in Romania, despite Ed (the only one able to drive) being unwell and needing frequent stops (!) and towing a heavily laden twin axle, box trailer.
Wednesday 4th November.
Mum and I, were up early and headed back to her cottage, to scrub and clean the place. Around lunchtime The guys called to say they would be in Dabovik by 6pm and could I let the agents know. Emails and phone calls to and from Kiki (our agent at Bulgarian Houses) and it was arranged that someone would meet them in the centre of the village. When the guys arrived they were met by an elderly gentleman, who was slightly worse for wear and wanted to take them to his house to drink raikia. Ed having been driving for 3 days, was not interested in drinking and just wanted to get in, have a shower and a good nights sleep! That was not to be……… When the guys did gain entry to the house, it was filthy and had at some point had a rodent problem as there were droppings everywhere, on the kitchen sides, in, under and on top of the wardrobes, sofa and beds and all over the floor. The bathroom was disgusting, the toilet bowl was filled with dark orange water and had a floater!! I knew it must be bad, when Ed called to say he was out buying bleach (he hates bleach, where as I love it!). He said he was going to clean the place before they went to bed but in the end agreed with Ben, who was threatening to sleep in the car, that a hotel would be a better option and headed to Dobrich to find one. I fired off emails to Kiki, asking for someone to meet the guys the next day to resolve the issues or find us alternative accommodation. Kiki, bless her contacted the owner and he tried to contact me the next day. Only I was stuck on a coach to Luton. Keith sent a message to say the dogs were all well and that freezing fog was hampering their progress across Europe but they were hopeful that they would be with us on Saturday.
Thursday 5 November.
Thursday saw mum and I leaving a cold, wet and windy Plymouth bound for Luton 😦 It was strange to think that we were leaving Plymouth, my home town, for good and that I no longer had any family ties to the city. Mum, who had lived their more or less since leaving the WRNs to marry Dad, was also finding it strange that she was leaving as she had never thought she would. Oh well, onwards and upwards.
Friday 6 November
Mum and I were up at 4 and shortly afterwards heading towards Luton airport, eek! This was it, the day we were leaving the UK for a new life in Bulgaria! We checked our bags in and made our way through customs and headed straight to a restaurant for full English breakfast! Well it was fry up Friday, as my colleagues in J Block, Stoke on Trent College, used to say! Shortly afterwards the information screens started to show our flight as delayed by an hour, then an hour and a half, two hours and then 3 hours. When we were eventually called to the gate, mum and I headed to the front of the priority queue, where we stood and waited for 20 minutes before being allowed to board. The people in economy, we’re all herded together in a tight squeeze and were calling for the door airside to be opened as it was stuffy, their pleas went unheeded. I was grateful not to be amongst them as I get claustrophobic, hate crowds, lifts, small dark spaces, give me wide open areas and large sun filled rooms any day of the week and I’m happy 😌 Once everyone was on board, the captain apologised for the delay, saying freezing fog over Europe had delayed their flight to the UK.
We were soon taxing out on to the runway and waiting for our turn to take off. I love that moment when the pilot takes his foot off the brake and unleashes the power, sending the plane hurtling down the runway and then up, up and away!
The flight over was smooth and (thankfully!) uneventful and 4 hours later we touched down in Varna airport. Whilst waiting to collect our luggage, I received a call from the removals company to say the truck would be with us on Sunday. Yippee!
Ed was waiting in arrivals and after a huge hug 💑we made our way to the car. On the journey to our new home, he regaled us with tales of how awful the house had been, how hard he and Ben had been working to clean it and how hot and sunny the past two days had been as well us telling us more about his trip over.
When we got to the house Ben was still busy cleaning the kitchen! I must say the house, apart from the storage room, was spotless and when they showed us the photos they’d taken on the night they arrived, I could see that they had worked a miracle! I won’t show you the photos as you maybe eating and I wouldn’t want to put you off your food!
After mum and I had freshened up, we all headed in to Dobrich for a meal and a well earned drink 🍕🍟🍔🍻🍷🍹Let the fun times begin!