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Tuesday, 4 December 2012

of Giving and Sharing and a Mad Road Trip


 From the photo above you can already guess that this isn't my usual kind of post about my garden or about wild food foraging or even Italy, and the last 3 weeks were anything but the usual.  Above you see the Thermal Baths of Sofia, Bulgaria.  But let me begin at the beginning...

Just over 2 weeks ago I celebrated my 50th birthday.  Yes it's official now: I'm an old man!  To lessen the pain I invited all my friends near and far to come and have a party with me and get senselessly trashed.  At this point I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to everybody who turned up and those who couldn't, but sent best wishes.  

Thank you all for your presence, warmth and love.

Thank your gifts of trees and plants (the forest garden is taking shape, more on the next post).

Thank you for your music, especially to the Tullamores playing Irish music and Litio all the way from Scagnello in Piemonte


 Thank you Bart for preparing a fantastic meal for the multitudes

 
Thank you to the best neighbours in the world for a great birthday cake


Thank you to my mother for having me, supporting me throughout my life and coming to my special event all the way from Germany at the age of almost 80!


Thank you to the people of Ponzano Superiore for excepting me / us as part of their community even if they probably think of us as slightly eccentric.


...and thank you to my friend Vasko for taking me on a mad road trip to his homeland of Bulgaria, more of which below...

 
...and not making me eat tripe soup...


...and also a thank you to Magi...


..and Elena...


...who showed me their respective home towns of Sofia and Plovdiv.

More thanks are due, and apologies for anyone I have left out.  I feel privileged to be loved by so many and I'll forever be in your debt.

Sorry about that slightly soppy interlude, what about that Bulgarian adventure I hear you ask.  Well, it's the stuff road movies are made out of.  Me and Vasko spent 10 days traveling around Bulgaria visiting wineries big...


and small...


...discussing Bulgarian history from the rebellion against the Turkish Yolk...


...to the Communists pointing guns at their own town hall...


...seeing ugly housing estates...


rich agricultural land...


...quaint hillside villages...


...and what might just become our next permaculture project...


I'll keep you posted on that one... :)

4 comments:

Pulcino Morto said...

Heiko once again it's been a honor to be there at your "I'm an old man" party, and let me say I would be happy to have the same young spirit you have when it will my time to celebrate my 50s!
The spirit that made you travel...how many km? just for the fun of doing it and the noble purpose to move things further, is something inspiring for people, as I see too many youngsters nowadays with no such virtue at all.

So I'll be waiting for your updates, and offer my hands from spring 2013 to help you with your project there...it's a kind of personal commitment for the new year.
In the meantime if there's something we can do, just ask, the network is still alive even on winter letargy.

Marco dei Pulcini Morti

Angela said...

Thank you for this post, Heiko. Must have been a great party (I love Irish music and good food), so congrats again! And I really want to see more about Bulgaria, as I have this lovely friend, also an Elena, and her huge boyfriend who plays handball. They both tell me there is no place like Bulgaria, and it seems to be true. Looking forward to your next post!

A Healing Reality said...

Sounds like you had a lot of fun. You are blessed to have such good friends and family! A trip to Bulgaria would be wonderful!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Sounds like a great trip, Sofia is high on our list of places to visit. By the way 50 is not old, did no one tell you it is the new 40?!