As I am writing this we are putting the finishing touches to the Thank You Cocktail, which promises to be a very pleasant evening. I’m sure that I many of you will be there but for those who couldn’t make it have a look at the photographs of the event later in this issue.  I hope that those of you who will still be here in Bulgaria next winter are already planning your stalls for what will be our 20th Charity Bazaar.

However, it is very difficult to think about next winter when, instead of being up to our knees in snow, we are experiencing warm summer like temperatures! On the first day of March here in Bulgaria, it is traditional to wish each other Chestita Baba Marta (Happy Grandma March) and to exchange bracelets of red and white thread, known as Martenitas, to wear until we see a stork or the first buds on the trees, announcing the coming of spring. If Grandma March is pleased then she will chase away the dark and cold winter and hurry up spring. I am beginning to wonder if any of us will need to wear our martenitsas during March at all, as the storks may already be back and the buds sprouting before February is out at this rate! I think I will wear my martenitsa anyway as it is a delightful tradition I have come to enjoy.

March 8th sees International Women’s Day. This year we thought that we would combine the monthly lunch with this celebration of women from all over the world, so on Friday 7th March, those of you who would like to, can join us at Cosy Nooks restaurant. Further details are later in the newsletter but space and time is limited so if you wish to sign up please let Maria Naslednikova know and leave a 10 leva deposit with her to secure your booking.

We have now secured the Hilton Hotel as our venue for our 25th Anniversary Dinner and Dance which is going to be held on the evening of Saturday 26th April. Previous presidents and members are already committed to fly in from around the world to join us. There will be pre-dinner drinks, a three course meal, wine, a live band to dance to and of course a cake! E-mail invites will be going out to members to formally invite them and for them to send on to friends who were past members. 

Finally, next month is our Annual General Meeting (AGM) when we elect the board that will serve and run the club and charity foundation for the next 12 months.  This is the one meeting of the year that is closed to visitors so please don’t invite any guests to the April meeting. Before the vote for the board there will be a ballot for a further change in the constitution so it is going to be a busy meeting. Please do your best to be there on 1st April. This is your chance to have a say in the running of the club and charity. If you don’t vote then you can’t influence the running of the club.

Chestita Baba Marta!