Things we love

Ten reasons why we can't resist Bulgaria

Because older age is vibrant here: There's a playfulness to Bulgarian villagers and a willingness to take pleasure in little things

Because Bulgaria is quirky: The man who takes his goat for a walk, he on a bicycle, the goat on a lead

Bulgarian faces look stern until the person smiles, then the sun comes out: Discovering that smile becomes a game

The generosity of the village people is overwhelming.

There's space, less than 8 million people in a area the size of England.

Bulgaria is a beautiful country. OK, so 15 years of economic deprivation has left it a bit scruffy round the edges at times but there's so much space and so much to explore.

There is a sense of history here.

The coffee, maybe not to every Brits taste, but if you like strong smooth espresso then the chance to drink Lavazza at about 35 pence a cup is not to be missed.

The Food is fabulous; visit Bulgaria in the summer for the best salads in the world.

Because for many Brits this corner of Europe is less explored that large areas of Africa, maybe as a result there is a more genuine culture to be discovered and enjoyed than in places that have been part of the gap year experience since the 1970's.

Yes, we admit it, we enjoy the cheap alcohol, and the generally cheaper cost of living. Moving to Bulgaria gives us a chance to do things we would never have had the opportunity to do if we'd stayed in England.

The weather, it's a well known fact that it's all the British talk about, in the 2 years we've been here we've never had an excuse to run out of conversation. It maybe baking hot, flooding or minus 20 degrees Celsius, but it's never dull.

Our pets, yes we had dogs and cats in England but it's different here. Some of this is down to our own lifestyle, being self-employed brings its measure of anxiety, but it also brings the opportunity to control our working hours so there's always time to take the dog for a walk. 

Some of it is also the environment, with space around us in the village I no longer hold my heart in my mouth every time the cats go out, wondering if they'll come back or become another roadside statistic. Also, we get to see them outdoor and see their life in a totally different way, two tomcats start to squabble and our two girls rush out into the garden, sit on the pile of stones (which will be a rockery one day) and observe the chaos, the neighbour's cat comes to join them, for all the world like a group of older ladies gossiping over the fence.