Author: Eye on Bulgaria

Jock Palfreeman Still Inside After A Decade

Tenth anniversary of Sofia street brawl that led to Palfreeman’s conviction   December 28 2017 was a grim date – the 10th anniversary of an altercation on the streets of Sofia that had tragic consequences, leading to the death of Andrei Monov, a 20-year-old Bulgarian law student. Jock Palfreeman, an Australian serving with the British army was on a Christmas visit to Bulgaria at the time. Early in the hours of December 28th 2007 Palfreeman, who was with a group of friends, witnessed a group of 15 drunken football fans attacking a Roma. Palfreeman intervened and was subsequently charged...

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Blame the Boss

For want of a better solution . . . Brits of a certain age – well, perhaps Brits of all ages now that You Tube screens so many golden oldies – always remember Fawlty Towers as one of their favourite programmes. For me there one’s episode that stands out more than any other. That was Waldorf Salad. Everything came together perfectly: Basil and his forceful American guest, Mr Hamilton, being divided by a common language, talking at cross purposes. The Hamiltons demand a couple of screwdrivers as aperitifs. Basil replies “so two screwdrivers and … forget about the drinks?”...

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NDK is Chocca

Is Bulgaria ‘preparing to leave’ the EU? Did it really join? Many Sofians will be aware of the recent mayhem surrounding NDK. The area has been ‘cordoned off’ while works have taken place to upgrade the building in preparation for Bulgaria’s assumption of the rotating presidency of the EU in 2018. Yet ‘cordoned off’ doesn’t really do justice to the elaborate machinations. In particular, if you’re trying to access NDK, or Peroto – the book sanctuary/café favoured by freelancers, would-be scribes and pensioners hoping to cadge free vino during a literary event – then you face an elaborate obstacle...

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Aznavour Au Fin Du Jour

A diminutive giant defies the years – and security – to wow Sofia’s audiences Some performers manage to take song to a higher level so that listening to them envelops you in nostalgia. You are somehow wafted away on a journey. Perhaps the key to understanding the extraordinary charisma of legends like Sinatra is that you felt he was singing to you personally. These are the entertainers who render people misty-eyed and emotional. Sadly, I never got the chance to view Sinatra on stage. But on November 30 at the Arena Armeets I was privileged to witness a performer...

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From Rakiya With Love

To spit or not to spit, that is the question Last weekend saw a rakiya festival at the Architects’ Club in Sofia. ‘Twas not the best of weeks. A combination of not exactly scintillating news and totally toilet-flushing weather had dampened – or should that be ‘drenched’? – my spirits. Therefore, on a Friday night, what better way of uplifting one’s spirits than sampling some of the finest offerings of Bulgaria’s most celebrated . . . well . . . spirit? Yes, I know, I know. The thing about rakiya (grape brandy) is that it should not be drunk on an...

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