Without any conscious effort, and entirely devoid of EU funding, there's something of a social experiment going on in villages in and around the Veliko Tarnovo area. It is impossible to imagine that you can introduce numbers of resident Brits, complete with their accompanying trail of family and friend visitors, into small village populations and not, in some way, change the character of those villages. How profound these changes will be, for good or ill, and for how long they will last remains to be seen.
It has been suggested that Bulgarian villagers regard the arrival of the Brits in much the same way as the rest of Europe views storks; a sign of new and continuing life. Maybe this is why we have generally been welcomed with more generosity and friendship than we could have dreamed of.
Like some of our old friends in Britain, our new friends in Bulgaria have expressed confusion at our decision to live in Bulgaria. "Why are you here, when in England you could be so rich and live so well?"
Like many people, we were attracted to Bulgaria by the low cost of property, but we would never have chosen to move here if we didn't also love it. It is hard to explain why, but in this place, I feel more at home and happier than anywhere I have ever lived.
Living in a Bulgarian village is not without its trials, but the richness and variety of experiences here more than make up for the occasional difficulties.
This section of the website is dedicated to Bulgarian village life, in all its entertaining, colourful, unexpected and, at times, slightly chaotic glory.