Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Local elections, a Halloween party, Minnie's name day, a business dinner and a birthday party...:)

We had local elections on October 25th and ballotage on November 2nd. The elections were nothing special but they were Minnie’s first time to vote and we were very excited because of that…:) I still can’t believe that my little girl is a grown-up already!:) 

There was a Halloween party at Vanyo’s school on October 28th /Wednesday/. He was a jedi knight and had won the 1st prize for the best artistic performance…:) He was so proud of himself and so excited!:) 

On October 31st /Saturday/ Minnie also started swimming lessons with Vanyo’s trainer… She enjoyed her first lesson a lot so it looks like both children will go swimming from now on, which is great!:)

I saw one more movie by the end of October - ‘Sunshine Cleaning’. I was rather skeptical about this movie, but it turned out to be a nice surprise - it was weird, yet sweet and touching…:) And the actors were great!:)

November has been a quiet month so far… Minnie’s name day was on November 11th /Wednesday/ but as it happened on a week day, we didn’t do anything special, just a nice dinner at home… Minnie got some money from us and from her grandparents for her name day, and she had decided to spend most of it for clothes…:) So we went to the mall for some shopping that evening and it was fun…:)

On November 15th /Sunday/ Minnie attended an international medical conference, hosted by her university. She had made a presentation about Asclepius and had done so well that her professor had congratulated her for her deep research…:) She also got a certificate in English, hopefully the first one of many to come!:)

On November 19th /Thursday/ a client invited a few people from our office /including me/ to a business dinner at a great restaurant, called ‘La Cubanita’. The company was interesting, the atmosphere – very nice, the food and wine - delicious so I had some fun that evening!:)

And on November 21st /Saturday/ my mother-in-law celebrated her 70th birthday. She invited the four of us plus some more relatives to a very nice pub in Karlovo with the most delicious cuisine…:) It was nice meeting everyone and catching up…:)

I read one book in November – ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This book is simply amazing!:) It is weird, wild, devastating, full of strange characters and thoughts, yet very, very beautiful and wise... I loved it!:)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

So far, so good...:)

October has been a quiet month so far… The children are more or less used to their new school/university lives in Sofia and even though they are both super busy, they are enjoying themselves, which is great…:)

Minnie has decided to take up two foreign languages at University instead of just one /what a surprise – not!:)/- English and German. She also studies Latin, of course…:) When her father and I worried that three languages might be too much along with all those tough Medical subjects, she assured us that languages help to ease her mind and relax, so we gave up…:)

Vanyo has decided to join the choir of his new school and he’s been having fun with all those songs in Bulgarian, Russian and English…:) He still attends his swimming lessons every Saturday /one of the reasons we continue spending the weekends in Plovdiv/ and has made quite a progress already…:)

Vanyo has quickly made a bunch of new friends and has already been invited to the birthday party of one of them…:) It was on October 19th /Monday/ and the main attraction was a carting which Vanyo had enjoyed to the fullest…:) He had even managed to achieve the best time in the race /and the second best time for the day:)/, we were really impressed!:) Vanyo’s explanation was that the experience he had gained at the Need for Speed PC game has helped immensely…:) His conclusion was that computer games can be very useful in real life so they are not as bad as people think…:)

In the beginning of October we took Teddy from Karlovo /where she had spent the entire summer as always/ so now our family is whole again…:)

So far I’ve seen only one movie in October: ‘Non-Stop’. It was nothing special, but OK to watch for some entertainment…:)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The beginning of the school year and a long weekend...:)

Yes, September was a quiet month but only until the beginning of the school year…:) That’s when the madness started…:)

Minnie started her education at the Medical University of Sofia on September 14th /Monday/. She enjoys her Medicine studies a lot, but she is super busy with them as you can imagine… 

Vanyo started school on September 15th /Tuesday/. He is in 5th grade now - the first year of Middle School… We signed him up at a very nice school, which is very close to our offices /mine and my husband’s/. Vanyo already made some friends there and doesn’t mind being back to Sofia as long as the whole family is together again…:) He took up a second foreign language now – Russian and he seems to enjoy it, which is good…:)
September 22nd /Tuesday/ was a public holiday – Independence Day. The government gave the Monday off as well /we had to work on one Saturday, September 12th, instead/ so we had a long, 4-day weekend, which was great…:) We spent it at home, in Plovdiv, simply relaxing…:) There was an art fest in one of Plovdiv’s famous neighbourhoods, called ‘Kapana’ /it means ‘the trap’ because all the narrow streets there look the same and you can get lost easily:)/, so we went there one night...:) We enjoyed the bands playing, browsed around the stalls, tried some hand-made chocolates, and finally sat at Da Vinci Gelateria for some coffee and treats while observing a fire show down the street…:) We greatly enjoyed the atmosphere at the fest and we decided we should visit it again…:)

I saw only one movie in September after writing my previous post - ‘Patch Adams’ /what a beautiful and inspiring story, I loved it:)/. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Minnie's graduation ceremony and exams, a birthday party, a wedding anniversary, a penpal meeting, our holidays in Greece and some more summer news...:)

On June 5th /Friday/ we got the results from Minnie’s mature exams…:) It turned out she had received excellent marks for both of them - 5.85 in Bulgarian Language and Literature and 5.91 in English!:) Needless to say, we’re all very, very proud of her!:)

Minnie’s graduation ceremony took place on June 19th /Friday/ at the hall of the University of Sofia /because her school is a lyceum towards that University/. As every school year Minnie had received ‘excellent’ 6 /the best mark in Bulgaria/ for all of her 12th grade subjects: Bulgarian Language and Literature, English, Latin, Ancient Greek, Ancient Bulgarian, History, Culture, World and Personality, Profile /Latin with Italian/ and Sports.:) She had also received ‘excellent’ 6 for her thesis /translation of a part of a book from Italian into Bulgarian/.:) Besides her diploma Minnie also received some certificates, a silver ring with the name of her school on it /such a lovely tradition, isn’t it?!:)/, a book and a tablet…:) It was such an exciting moment for all of us!:) 

On June 23rd  /Tuesday/ my husband started his new job at the National Examining Magistrate Service… He really likes it there and this makes me very happy!:)

On June 29th  /Monday/ Vanyo was invited to the birthday party of his dear friend Neda /she used to be his classmate in Sofia/. Vanyo was very happy to see Neda and two other friends from Sofia and the children had lots of fun together as always…:) My husband and I enjoyed the party very much too because we like Neda’s parents a lot…:)

I saw only three movies in June - ‘The Theory of Everything’ /I just loved it - such a beautiful, touching and inspiring story!:) And Eddie Redmayne was simply amazing and definitely deserved his Oscar!:) Two thumbs up!:)/, ‘Furious Seven’ /great entertainment as always - full of exciting action and breath-taking scenes…:) And the end brought tears in my eyes, it was so touching.../ and ‘Ted’ /there were some funny scenes, but it wasn't as hilarious as I hoped...:(/.

In June I finished reading ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen…:) It is the third book of my 19th  Century Golden Books Collection... Even though it's not my first /but rather third, if I remember right/ time reading this book, I still greatly enjoyed it!:) Re-reading it was like meeting an old friend - such a sweet and touching feeling...:) 

July was a rather quiet month… Still, there were two super nice events…:) First, on July 22nd /Wednesday/ hubby and I celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary… Unfortunately we both had to work that day, so we didn’t have any special celebration except a delicious dinner out… Still, it was nice and romantic, so I guess I shouldn’t be complaining…:)

The other nice event was the meeting with my Czech pal Sarka on July 30th /Thursday/…:) She came to Sofia for work and we managed to meet for a cup of coffee at her hotel in the evening…:) It was our second meeting actually /the first one was in 2009/ and we had just as much fun as the previous time!:)

Of course, I saw some movies in July…:) Here is the list - ‘The Best of Me’ /a very beautiful and touching story, the end brought tears to my eyes.../, ‘Insurgent’ /the beginning was a bit slow, but then it became just as exciting as 'Divergent'... And needless to say, I'm looking forward to the sequels...:)/, ‘Prometheus’ /there were some tense moments, but luckily it wasn't as scary as I worried it would be... Unfortunately it wasn't anything special, either...:(/, ‘Rise of the Guardians’ /great entertainment for the whole family!:) Two thumbs up!:)/, ‘The Lone Ranger’ /also great entertainment for the whole family:)/, ‘Taken 3’ /lots of action, suspense and breath-taking scenes…:) And incredible Liam Neeson!:)/, ‘Wuthering Heights’ from 2011 /I really wanted to like this movie but I just couldn't force myself to…:( It was too slow, too violent and too far away from the atmosphere and the real spirit of the book...:(/, ‘Mirror, Mirror’ /there were some really silly moments, but the movie as a whole was fresh and funny...:)/, ‘The Age of Adaline’ /I liked the idea of the movie, but it turned out to be too slow and boring... What a disappointment!:(/, ‘Child 44’ /not an easy movie to watch, but very interesting and touching... And Tom Hardy was amazing as always!:) Can't wait to see more of him!:)/ and the mini-series from 2011 ‘Great Expectations’ /it wasn't anything special, but still it was interesting and the actors were great, especially Gillian Anderson.../…:)

July was a good month for reading as I managed to read two books…:) The first one was ‘The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening’ by L.J.Smith…:) To be honest, I was rather disappointed with this book…:( I love the TV series because they are full of excitement and unexpected turns while the book was nothing like that at all…:( Still, it was an easy read, so I've decided to try the sequels as well…:) The second book I read was ‘The Lord of the Rings’ by J.R.R. Tolkien… Even though I sometimes felt lost and confused in Tolkien's world with all those descriptions of places and families, it was still an incredible adventure...:) 

August was a very nice month…:) First, August 12th /Wednesday/ was my 40th birthday… Unfortunately, according to the Bulgarian tradition, the 40th birthday shouldn’t be celebrated because it is believed to bring lots of bad luck, illnesses and even death… Still, it was great to receive all those greetings from my friends… And as soon as I finished work, we drove to Mirodato, Greece, where we spent 5 fantastic days…:) We stayed at a lovely house, surrounded by olive trees, close to the beach…:) It was so beautiful and relaxing…:) The weather was perfect, the sea water was clean and warm, the beach was quiet and the food was always so delicious…:) It was fantastic!:) I’m dreaming of spending our next holidays in Greece again!:) 

Unfortunately my holidays were over too soon /I had only 11 days off because I’m still new at the Law firm in Sofia/ and on August 24th /Monday/ I got back to work… Luckily I’m not too busy yet, and it was really nice to meet my colleagues again!:)

The end of my holidays also marked the end of the exam period for Minnie…:) She was accepted to study Classical Philology at the University of Sofia and Medicine at the Medical University of Plovdiv but her final decision was to study Medicine at the Medical University of Sofia…:) So yes, looks like we will have a doctor in our family!:) I’m still shocked by her choice, to be honest, but I’ve accepted it in the end and I hope she will be happy with it!:) And the four of us will be together in Sofia again, which is simply great!:)

After signing up at the Medical University of Sofia on August 25th /Tuesday/, Minnie went to Sozopol /a lovely town at the Black Sea Coast/ for a Summer School of Classical Languages and she had lots of fun there...:)

Vanyo didn't waste his time during the summer, either - on August 25th he started his internship at a vet clinic/shop in Karlovo which he had arranged by himself…:) He has totally enjoyed it, so obviously both my children have chosen their own careers already...:)

I saw only one movie in August - ‘The Expendables 3’… Unfortunately it was not as interesting, nor exciting as the previous two movies, but still OK to watch for some mindless entertainment... Plus, a large part of it was filmed in Bulgaria, so it was fun to recognize some familiar sights…:)

August was a great month for reading, though, as I read 5 books…:) The first book was ‘Lolita’ by Vladimir Nabokov - the third book of my 20th Century Golden Books Collection… Even though I've always been disgusted by paedophilia, I greatly enjoyed the way this book was written - the word games, the irony, the brilliant intelligence of the author... So even if it's not an easy book and I'll probably never re-read it, I'm glad I gave it a try...:) The second book was ‘The Vampire Diaries: The Struggle’ by L.J.Smith… It was just as mediocre as the first book of the series, but still an easy read... The third book I read was ‘The Green Mile’ by Stephen King… It was recommended to me by Minnie and I'm very grateful to her for doing so!:) I've seen the movie a couple of times /and I just *love* it/ but of course reading the book gives a whole new dimension to the story...:) The fourth book was ‘The Lady of the Camellias’ by Alexandre Dumas-fils… It was also the fourth book of my '19th Century Golden Books Collection'… What a beautiful, sad and touching story... I'm super happy that Minnie recommended it to me!:) The fifth /and last/ August book was ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ by Frances Mayes /also recommended to me by Minnie/… It was a very interesting mixture of the author's ideas about history, culture, philosophy, religion, architecture, cuisine and her personal impressions of Italy...:)

September has been a quiet month so far and I hope it will remain this way… But next week the school year will begin, so everything will change then, I'm sure…:)

So far I’ve seen only one movie in September - ‘Persuasion’ from 1995 /I liked it, but not as much as the newer version from 2009/. 

And I’ve read only one book so far this month - ‘Wild Tales’ by the Bulgarian author Nikolay Haytov. It was the fourth book of my 20th Century Golden Books Collection and I greatly enjoyed it…:) It was so beautifully written, so full of wisdom and love of life, just brilliant!:)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Minnie's graduation party and some other news...:)

Minnie's graduation party was on May 25th /Monday/. I had a case in court that morning and then I hopped on a bus to Sofia to be on time for sending my daughter off to her graduation party...:) She was very beautiful in her green dress /which perfectly matched her eyes:)/, and high-heeled shoes, with professional hairstyle, make-up, and manicure...:) Minnie told me she had spent the whole night having fun with her classmates and in the morning they had visited their school for a last 'good-bye'... :) So exciting...:)

On May 31st /Sunday/ Vanyo celebrated finishing 4th grade...:) He and his classmates had a very nice performance for the parents, which was lots of fun...:) The children received their markbooks and certificates then too...:) And Vanyo had once again received 'excellent' 6 /the best mark in Bulgaria/ for all of his subjects - Bulgarian Language and Literature, Maths, English, Man and Society, Man and Nature, Music, Arts, Sports, Domestic Ways of Life and Techniques, Compulsory Chosen Subject Bulgarian, Compulsory Chosen Subject English and Freely Chosen Subject Maths...:) Needless to say, we are all very proud of him and we hope he will keep it up this way! :)

On June 1st /Monday/ Vanyo went to a school trip to the old Bulgarian capitals Pliska, Preslav and Veliko Tarnovo. He got back home today and it seems he has had lots of fun with his classmates, which is great...:)
June 1st was also my first day at the new job /at the law firm in Sofia/...:) Everyone is very nice and I feel great there...:) I hope it will be the same in the future too, fingers crossed! :)
I saw two more movies by the end of May - 'Sense and Sensibility' /it's a shame that I didn't get the chance to see it until now... I love Jane Austen so it's no wonder that I enjoyed the story so much!:) But the acting was brilliant as well!:) Definitely a movie I would like to see more than once!:)/ and 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' /actually it's rather a TV mini-series which was so interesting that I saw all the four episodes at once and now I'm planning to read the book too...:)/.

May turned out to be a good month for reading too...:) I finished 'Sex and the City' by Candace Bushnell but, to be honest, I was rather disappointed with this book... It wasn't sweet, funny and witty as the TV series...:( The stories were scattered and the characters were boring and dull...:(

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Vanyo's 11th Birthday and some other news...:)

May has been a very good month for me and my family so far, knock on wood!:) 
Vanyo celebrated his 11th birthday on May 6th and I still can't believe that he is such a big boy already...:)

His birthday happened on a week day /Wednesday/ but as May 6th is also a public holiday /Day of the Bravery and the Bulgarian Army/, the four of us could get together and celebrate!:) My parents and in-laws came too and we had a great time...:)

May 6th is also Saint George's Day /who is believed to be a protector of shephards and herds/, so we had traditional lunch - fresh salad /tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions and mozzarella, seasoned with some salt, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and basilico/, roasted lamb with 'drob-sarma' and of course - a cake /it was an ice-cream cake, perfect for the hot May weather:)/. 

Of course, Vanyo got some presents - a new PSP game from his dad and me, a toy from his sister /a plane from the Disney movie 'Planes' with a launcher/ and some money from his grandparents /which would most probably be spent for more PSP games:)/.

The following day Vanyo brought a huge box of chocolates to school as a birthday treat for his classmates and teachers...:)

The days after Vanyo's birthday were very busy but full of positive experiences as well!:)

On May 8th /Thursday/ I got a great job offer by a law firm in Sofia which I accepted... So I'll start working there in the beginning of June...:) I'm so excited!:)

On May 13th /Wednesday/ the Supreme Judicial Council of Bulgaria voted my husband's promotion at the National Examining Magistrate Service...:)

Minnie got 92% /out of 100/ at the Latin exam, organized by the University of Sofia for her profile at school. This result is equal to getting 'excellent' 5.75 at the entrance exam to this University for the following courses: Classical Philology, Modern Greek Philology, Hungarian Philology, Romanian Philology, Portuguese Philology, Armenistics and Caucasology, Theology, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Politology, Culturology, Librarian-Informational Studies, Pre-School and Elementary School Pedagogics, Social Pedagogics, Special Pedagogics, Logopedics and Art...:) And it also turns out that the first prize Minnie got at the international competition in Sulmona, Italy, equals to getting 'excellent' 6 at the entrance exam for Classical Philology at the University of Sofia...:)

Vanyo did great at his mature exams!:) He got 'excellent' 6 for all of them!:) The maximum is 20 points and he got 20 points in Bulgarian Language and Literature, 18 points in Maths, 19 points in Man and Society and 20 points in Man and Nature...:) 

Needless to say, my husband and I are both very, very proud of our children and we hope they will continue doing so great at their studies!:) Fingers crossed!:)

Today is one of my most favourite Bulgarian public holidays - Day of the Bulgarian Alphabet and Culture...:) High School Students have their graduation parties scheduled around this holiday and Minnie's graduation party will be tomorrow, May 25th...:) That's why today we invited my parents and in-laws to celebrate Minnie's graduation...:) We had yummy food /fresh salad, roasted lamb, risotto with mushrooms and a delicious blueberry ice-cream cake...:)/, some drinks. and - most importantly - lots of fun remembering stories from the past...:) We had such a great evening!:) 

I saw quite a lot of movies in the past three weeks - 'A Case of You' /nothing special...:(/, 'Age of Uprising: The Legend of Micheal Kohlhaas' /such a disappointment...:(/, 'The Maze Runner' /a very interesting movie, full of mystery, suspense and breath-taking scenes...:) I'm looking forward to the sequels!:)/, 'In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds' /very silly...:(/, 'Easy Virtue' /maybe not as good as I expected, but still fresh and sweet...:)/, 'They Came Together' /it was a bit weird and silly at times, but there were some really funny moments too...:)/, 'In the Name of the King 3: The Last Mission' /I was curious to see this movie because it was filmed in Bulgaria but unfortunately it turned out to be just as silly as the previous 'In the Name of the King'.../, 'Love, Rosie' /I just loved this movie - it was beautiful and touching, sad and funny, bitter-sweet like life itself...:) Definitely a movie I would love to see more than once!:) Two thumbs up!:)/, 'Devil's Knot' /it was interesting for me as a lawyer, but heart-breaking and devastating for me as a person... Even though I know it's based on a real story, I find it hard to believe that a human being could torture and kill those three innocent children just like that...:( Such a huge shock for me...:(/, 'Thanks for Sharing' /nothing special...:(/, 'Very Good Girls' /a very sweet and touching movie, I greatly enjoyed it!:) The two young actresses were amazing too!:) I've always loved Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen is so charming that just looking at her made me smile!:)/, 'Easy A' /I just loved this movie - it was fresh, witty, sweet, funny and touching...:) Two thumbs up:)/ and 'Persuasion' /I greatly enjoyed this movie - it was beautiful, sweet and touching...:)/.

May also turned out to be a great month for reading - I finished 'Doctor Zhivago' by Boris Pasternak...:) I really liked how the philosophic views of Pasternak were revealed in the book and even though it wasn't an easy read, it was still very, very interesting...:)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Spring holidays, Easter, Certamen Ovidianum and some other news...:)

April started well…:) After returning from the ‘green school’, Vanyo went to school for one day only /April 1st/ and then his spring holidays started…:) He was off for 12 days, lucky him!:) 

Minnie had short spring holidays this year, because of her graduation /she finishes the second term earlier, on May 14th, and then her exams will start/… She was off for 6 days only /from April 8th until April 14th/…

The Orthodox Easter was on April 12th this year, so we had April 10th - 13th off…:) And we did our best to enjoy the holidays to the fullest!:) 

We celebrated Easter in Karlovo with my in-laws and had yummy traditional food as always /Easter salad, roasted lamb, ‘drob-sarma’, ‘kozunak’/…:) Minnie prepared the ‘kozunak’ herself and it was super delicious…:) As always, the highlight of the Easter holidays was the ‘egg-fight’ which the children adore!:)

We got back to Plovdiv after the Sunday lunch and spent the rest of the holidays at home, just relaxing...:) Unfortunately the days off were over too soon and on April 14th /Tuesday/ we were all back to the routine... 

On April 15th /Wednesday/ Minnie flew to Italy for the Certamen Ovidianum… And on April 18th /Saturday/ she called to inform us that she has received the 1st prize for her translation of Ovidius from Latin into Bulgarian!:) Needless to say, we were all very proud of her for doing so well at the competition!:) Besides the certificate she also got 200 euro!:) Minnie came back on April 20th /Monday/ full of stories and impressions…:) 

I saw sixteen movies in April: ‘The Butler’ /great movie - an interesting and touching story and incredible actors!:) Two thumbs up!:)/, ‘Austenland’ /I just loved this movie - it was fresh, sweet, and funny!:)/, ‘Cowboys and Aliens’ /OK to watch for some entertainment.../, ‘Solomon Kane’ /nothing special...:(/, ‘Passion’ /too weird and confusing for my liking... It was interesting to see Rachel McAdams as a negative character, though... I wonder if I would like the French original 'Love Crime’ more.../, ‘The Counselor’ /total disappointment...:(/, ‘Gravity’ /a waste of time…:(/, ‘The Watch’ /a bit silly, but OK for some entertainment..../, ‘Diana’ /I expected more, to be honest, but still it was interesting to see this movie.../, ‘Ave’ /a Bulgarian movie which sadly was a total disappointment…:(/, ‘American Hustle’ /I greatly enjoyed this movie - it was fast-paced and full of unexpected turns, the story was very interesting and the actors were simply incredible!:)/, ‘Left Behind’ /a total waste of time…:(/, ‘The Immigrant’/even though it was a good movie, it didn't touch me... I felt all the characters distant and I couldn't force myself to care for them...:(/, ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ /great movie - beautiful and touching…:) I simply loved its atmosphere and the actors were perfect too...:)/, ‘Blended’ /I greatly enjoyed this movie - it was fresh, sweet, funny and touching...:)/ and ‘Better Living Through Chemistry’ /nothing special…/ 

The first May weekend was a long one /three days/ because May 1st /Labour Day/ is a public holiday here… We didn’t do anything special during the long weekend – just relaxed at home…:) Oh, and we finally saw ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’…:) Such an epic ending to the Hobbit trilogy!:) Simply breathtaking!:)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The month of March...:)

March was a very nice and eventful month...:) March 8th /Sunday/ was International Women’s Day and I was totally spoilt by my husband and children – I got a handmade card from the three of them and a photo from Vanyo with a greeting for me /made at his school by a professional photographer/…:) And, of course, we had delicious lunch…:) My dear family made me feel loved and special again…:)

March 12th /Thursday/ was such a wonderful day!:) Three great things happened - my friend Aysel gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, I went to the cinema with my friend Daniela /we saw the new Bulgarian movie 'The Petrov File' I had won two tickets for/ and we had lots of fun together as always...:) And, last, but not least - I found out that my husband is among the seven candidates who had won a job competition for the National Investigation Magistrates Office...:) So yes, looks like we'll be moving to Sofia again...:) The idea doesn't seem that bad now, knowing we'll be together...:)

Minnie and another girl from her school had won a competition about translating the poems of Ovidius from Latin into Bulgarian. This allows them to participate at an international competition, called 'Certamen Ovidianum' in Sulmona, Italy... Unfortunately, just like the previous school year /when my daughter was supposed to participate at the ‘Certamen Horatianum' international competition in Venosa, Italy/, once again it turned out that that Minnie’s school couldn't sponsor the event...:( In order to collect some money for the competition, Minnie’s school organized a charity concert on March 25th /Wednesday/ at the University of Sofia /Minnie’s school is a lyceum towards this University/. It happened on a week day, so I couldn’t go, but Minnie went with my husband and my cousin Plamen /who is an opera singer/ and they told me they had had a wonderful time together…:) My husband had bought a ticket for me too and he had the brilliant idea to phone me during the concert, so that I could listen to it…:) So sweet and thoughtful of him! :) But the most important is that the concert was a success and the school gathered the money for the plane and train tickets...:) And the children are going to Italy! :) So exciting! :) Let's wish them good luck! :)

On March 27th /Friday/ Vanyo went to a 'green school' with his classmates. They stayed for five days at a hotel in Velingrad /a lovely town in the Rhodopes, famous for its mineral springs and spa resorts...:)/. Vanyo came home yesterday and told me he had had lots of fun there with his friends but had also missed his family a lot...:) 

As Vanyo was at the 'green school', I spent the last two days of March in Sofia with my husband, Minnie and Teddy...:) In the evening of March 30th /Monday/ the three of us met my cousin Plamen and his girlfriend at a very nice restaurant, called 'Rubaiyat'...:) The food was delicious and the company - great, so we had a really lovely evening! :)

And yesterday I attended a conference about Child Rights at Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan. The conference was organised by the project ‘Attorneys in Protection of Child Rights’ /just like the seminar I attended in February/ and I was chosen to represent the Plovdiv Lawyers' Bar Association /what an honour, I wonder what I've done to deserve it:)/. It was very interesting there and a lot of important people were present...:)

I saw quite a few movies in March: ‘To Rome with Love’ /nothing special…/, ‘Wuthering Heights’ /great movie!:) And Tom Hardy is simply amazing!:) I feel like re-reading the book now...:)/, ‘Pain & Gain’ /there was some dark humour which I liked, but that was the only good thing about this movie…:(/, ‘Battle of the Year’ /the movie itself was nothing special, but it was great to see Josh Holloway again...:) Still, I prefer him much more as Sawyer in ‘LOST’...:)/, ‘New Year’s Eve’ /I just loved this movie - it was sweet, funny, touching, and fresh!:) And some of the best actors are playing in it!:) Two thumbs up!:)/, ‘Lawless’ /to be honest, the story wasn't very interesting for me, but all the actors were great and Tom Hardy was simply brilliant!:) He really makes even the not-so-positive characters likeable!:) Can't wait to see more of him!:)/, ‘Killing Them Softly’ /a total disappointment…:( The only thing which impressed me, were the final lines of Brad Pitt: 'America's not a country. It's just a business.'.../, ‘Lovelace’ /nothing special…/ and ‘Great Expectations’ /nothing special, either…/.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Baba Marta has arrived! :)

Yes, we celebrated Baba Marta on Sunday, March 1st, which means that the winter is over...:) And I'm not going to miss it at all, because I'm more than ready for spring!:)

Well, I guess it's time to finally tell you about my life in the past few weeks...:)

February was a nice month...:) On February 19th and 20th I attended a Child Rights seminar organized by the project ‘Attorneys in Protection of Child Rights’. The lecturers were very interesting and open for discussion… I learned a lot and of course it was very nice to meet some colleagues…:) So I enjoyed this seminar to the fullest! ) 

I saw only seven movies in February – ‘Higher Ground’ /it was interesting in the beginning but then I became confused and lost... So there was some disappointment in the end.../, ‘Seeking Justice’ /I liked the idea of the movie, the beginning was promising, but then it got rather dull and in the end it turned out to be just the next mediocre movie with Nicolas Cage...:( Such a pity!/, ‘Drive’ /nothing special…/, ‘Hope Springs’ /I just loved this movie!:) It was sweet, fresh and funny…:) And it was great to see that Colin Firth can actually be so amusing...:)/, ‘The Angels’ Share’ /the only thing about this movie I really liked, was the end.../, ‘Lincoln’ /I really wanted to like this movie, because I love history and Daniel Day-Lewis is one of my most favourite actors... He did a great job indeed /and definitely deserved his Oscar:)/ but the movie was going too slow for my liking... I guess I was just expecting too much.../ and ‘Anna Karenina’/at first I was confused and even irritated by this unusual interpretation of Tolstoy's masterpiece… Then, however, the story grabbed me and didn't let me go until the end... I found myself thinking about the movie long after it had finished, which, I guess, says enough...:)/.

February turned out to be a great month for reading as I read three books – a real record for me…:) The first one was ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ by Michael Connelly and I greatly enjoyed this book - it was well written, interesting, easy to read and difficult to put down...:) And much better than the movie!:) Needless to say, I'll search out the other books of the series too...:) The next book was ‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker, which is the second book of my 19th Century Golden Books Collection... To be honest, I wasn't much impressed by it as I don't like vampires... Luckily it wasn't as scary as I expected, though, and it was a small book, so I was able to finish it off rather quickly…:) And the last book was ‘The Tales of Beedle the Bard’ by J.K.Rowling… It was recommended to me by Minnie and it was so good that I finished it in less than 12 hours... It was easy to read, yet full of wisdom...:) Two thumbs up!:)

The first March weekend was a long one /four days/ because March 3rd /Tuesday/ was Bulgaria's national holiday /Liberation Day/ and the government had decided to give the Monday off as well /but we should work on one Saturday, March 21st, instead/....:) Our family enjoyed the long weekend to the fullest!:) It was great to spend some quality time together...:) My husband and Minnie will stay in Plovdiv by the end of this week /they took the entire week off/, so it will be wonderful to have them here a little longer...:)

So far I've seen only two movies in March - 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1' /I liked it less than the previous Hunger Games movie, but I guess it was simply because there wasn't much action and excitement... Still, I'm sure the final part will be full of breath-taking moments again...:)/ and 'Burlesque' /Great entertainment!:) And incredible Christina Aguilera!:) I can never have enough of her amazing voice!:)/. Of course, the month has just begun, so I guess I'll be able to catch up with movie watching pretty soon!:)