hobnobs: (46 Snowscape)
[personal profile] hobnobs
I'm currently undertaking an experiment... in that I'm finding out if I can spend 4 months overseas, working remotely back to the UK. I have had to go back to the UK for one week to cat-sit, but *fingers crossed* it's been 6 weeks so far and is going ok. (No, Fate, I'm not tempting you.)



So, where is home at the moment? I'm back in Bulgaria, in a town called Nessebar beside the Black Sea. Does that name sound familiar? It should, I was here last year for the first time ever.

Following my first visit last year, I ended up making a second trip and spent almost 4 weeks (between scheduled site visits) relaxing in the last of the summer sun. Given that things went well, and that I really liked Nessebar, I decided to extend that this year to cover most of May-September and be an on-call/remote engineer. At the very least, I'd get to see an actual summer! And you know what? I have! I can confirm that summers which last more than a week do exist!

Rules for work are that I'm on call all day, every day, and need to meet all the SLAs in place. Realistically this works out to 09:30-21:00 given the time difference[1], which covers most of the sunshine hours here so would seem to be a bit of a waste... but here's the best bit. If no-one calls or emails I'm free to do what I want!

As the title says, why did I not do this sooner?! So far I've spent a lot of time relaxing, sunbathing on the beach/rocks, eating good (cheap!) food, and spent significant time swimming/snorkeling. A lot of time in fact, so much that I brought a wetsuit back with me after cat-sitting. (If the Black Sea had more interesting marine life, and better visibility, I would be seriously considering my PADI Advanced cert. Snorkeling is fine, but sadly the "at depth" environment isn't quite good enough to make me want to spend the money.)

Snorkeling has been pretty good though. I actually spent some of today floating around watching a tiny shoal (maybe 50-60 small fish) as they hoovered up the goodies from the seaweed beds. At times I was no more than 18 inches from the feeding masses, probably because I was being extra careful not to make sudden movements, and wishing I had an underwater camera. :)

I've also seen a Seahorse in the flesh for the first time since I can't remember when, which was unexpected and therefore brilliant, and there appears to be a small pod of dolphins that regularly show up off the coast where I prefer to swim/relax. (Yes I thought about swimming out to see if they are friendly, no I didn't actually do so - it was way too far and they don't seem to hang around for too long.)

All in all I'm liking this kind of life. If everything goes well I think I shall try to do this every summer. Especially since the cost of living out here is easily half of what I'm used to. (Probably less than half, if I eat more home-made meals and drink less beer. :) )

[1] though I've had a couple of odd-hour calls.

To finish, a few pics.


My daily view from my "desk", at least when it's sunny!
The view from my normal "desk"

There's good snorkeling here usually... and it's right next to a bar too. :)

There's good snorkeling here normally

My New Owner... Who makes persistent and valiant attempts to lick her way clean through my skin.
I also appear to have a new owner

Dinner with my friend Petyo. It was yummeh! (Grilled Chicken, Shopska Salad, Kjufte, Garlic Sauce, and alcohol. :)
Eating tasty noms with my friend Petar at his place

I can read this! I don't know what every ingredients is as yet, but I know how they are pronounced! :D

I can read this! OK, I'm not sure what every ingredient is (yet), but I can still read it. :)



Well, that's my day mostly done... Now off to have dinner and watch the Poland-Portugal game. (It'd be nice if Poland won, but I suspect they'll be going home. That said, what I really want is an Iceland-Portugal final and for Iceland to win. Mainly because of the reaction from the draw in the group stage. :D )
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