I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but I’ve bought a house in Bulgaria. In this respect I’m rather pleased with myself. The palatial farmhouse only a few kilometres from Veliko Tarnovo, the medieval capital of Bulgaria, has been mine since seven minutes past three on Wednesday 7th October 2015 which, although a very dull day at work in Wiltshire, was probably one of the most momentous days of my life.
I went to see it, nay caress it, last November. I stayed there a week and I loved it to bits. As I left to return to my rented house in England I apologised to it for leaving it behind but promised that I would eventually be back to stay and that we would have some wonderful times together. I’m absolutely certain of this so I’ve bought some Bulgarian party poppers, a big bag of goat flavoured crisps and a bottle of Rakia for when the glorious day of the completion of my glorious five year plan arrives. I think about my lovely house every day. It is my house. Every last stone, tile, drainpipe, dried up dead woodlouse and empty Rakia bottle of it belongs to me. Because of the capitalist bastard mortgage lenders and landlords that have blighted my life for the last thirty odd years, I have never been able to say this before.
Now I have to plan for my next momentous day, that being the day that I actually move lock, stock and beer barrel to my new Balkan abode. I have many things to do but they will all take me another step towards attaining enlightenment and full Rakia bottles, which just makes each individual chore a tiny bit exciting.
Goodbye GB. Hello BG.
This week I have been mostly getting quotes from international removal companies. Nothing has been moved yet, apart from my bowels when I heard details of the prices and plans that these people had for me. Some of them have really come up with a load of old whatever the Bulgarian word for bollocks is.
The first one was very friendly and efficient and thorough and expensive. He quoted me £9,000. I quoted some words from the Bible. If you fly from Bristol to Sofia with Wizzair (an airline that is as pink as easyJet is orange) you get a baggage allowance of 32kg so I estimated that it would be cheaper to get my treasured belongings over there by flying with them ninety times. The only thing that put me off about this idea was that I might have trouble getting my settee off the luggage carousel at the destination airport.
The second removal firm experience was rather amusing but at least I didn’t have to think long about whether or not I gave them the job. I waited at home for their man to come and assess the scale of what I needed moving but he didn’t turn up. I rang him on his mobile phone but there was no answer. I rang him again the next day and he said that he had tried to keep our appointment but he had not been able to find my house. If he couldn’t find my house in Devizes, what chance was there of him finding my house in a village in Bulgaria?
Number three was a bloke I have had dealings with before and he is very good but unfortunately he said he couldn’t do my move for me because he himself is moving to Canada. We had a good old chat on the phone about emigrating. I offered to do his packing for him at a competitive rate and I told him which removal firms to avoid. He already knew about these!
Next up was a firm who seemed to know roughly what they were on about but seemed even more interested in helping me transfer currency from Britain to Bulgaria. I asked their sales lady if they were planning on shipping my money over in a truck but she didn’t laugh. I told her I’ve already got money laundering arrangements in place so thank you very much and goodbye.
The next one was too sickly and smarmy to warrant even a paragraph to himself in this bit of scribble and the one after that was the most expensive of them all. I asked this chap why his quote was so much higher than all the others and he explained that Bulgaria is a long way from Britain. This made me wonder if all the other companies I had spoken to were only going to take my stuff as far as France.
The last one was the one I should have rung first. They only work between Britain and Bulgaria, they’ve been sending an articulated truck twice a month for fifteen years, the bloke on the phone said he had once in the recent past delivered a load to the village I’m going to live in, their price was a good one, and they are based in Bulgaria but come from Sheffield which is in Yorkshire (by the skin of its teeth) so I knew exactly what I was dealing with. The only problem I can envisage is with the language … in Sheffield that is, not Bulgaria.
So there you go. All I’ve got to do now is sift through my belongings, ring Sotheby’s to come and take away the things I don’t need, carefully pack up what’s left, book a flight on the right day to ensure that I arrive at my final destination sometime slightly before the lorry containing my entire worldy goods and raise a parting glass.
Target date: As soon as possible!