To move onto the personal side of things, in 2010 our marriage finally broke up. I do not intend to go into detail. Suffice to say that I took over our house in Epsom and my wife moved out. My daughter lived with me for some months, then she left to live in Hertfordshire and open a business.
So there I was feeling disillusioned with this country and I was living alone in a considerably sized house. We were in the middle of yet another recession, this one caused by the irresponsible banks. As an aside here I have always wondered why we were not told of the recession in 2007 when it had already begun, instead of waiting for the official definition of recession, that is two quarters of negative economic growth, when it was too late to remedy, one year later.
It was getting harder than ever to make a decent living. It was also made worse for the reasons I mention in my recent posts. The usual rubbish was being spouted by the government about working together to overcome this latest downturn, with austerity measures necessary to get the country back on track and swingeing cuts in services all over the country. All that really happened is that the banks got away with it and many people now have to work beyond their expected retirement age to pay for the banks' mistakes and greed. I will just say here that the war in Afghanistan has cost the UK public £12 million per day for the since its beginning in 2001 !
Later in 2010 I met a Bulgarian lady, Margarita who lived in Sofia, the capital. I visited Bulgaria for the first time in March 2011 and our relationship developed. Margarita visited England in April 2011. She had never been to England before and I found her observations interesting. We considered moving to a house together somewhere not too far from London, possibly near my daughter. In the following June I was invited to a wedding in Sliven, a city in the east of Bulgaria. Prior to that we visited the beautiful old city of Nessebur on the Black Sea coast for a couple of days. Then we took the bus to Sliven. The following day Margarita, Mihail, her son, his girlfriend Velina and myself took a very interesting train journey back to Sofia. The wedding was an amazing experience of which I shall post more in due course, along with all of my early experiences here.
I was beginning to realise that I really liked this new country of Bulgaria. Margarita and I had further discussed her moving to England but our opinions changed when it became a real possibility that I could sell my house and move to Bulgaria instead. In England all of the proceeds from my house would have been swallowed up buying a new house and then it would have meant working long hours virtually every day once again. Also there was the prospect of Margarita finding work in England. Did we really want all this ?? No, we didn't ! In Bulgaria property prices are very low by London standards and the cost of living is probably about one quarter that of England.
In August 2011 I put my house on the market. I was surprised that it sold fairly quickly, given the economic climate. However my buyers were not able to move in until December 2011. This gave us time to look for properties in the Sofia area or maybe a little farther away. The quest for the right property took a considerable time.
From around October 2011 via the internet, on Skype and Facebook we discussed what we had viewed in many locations and their viability regarding Margarita's work. It made obvious sense that I had to leave it to Margarita to search for properties. Then the Bulgarian winter set in.