Tuesday, January 22, 2019

My Modern World: The Coffee Machine

Reflections on the 21st century, and how it took me so long to get here.


The last thing I wanted for my birthday was a coffee machine. Sure, the ads with George Clooney promoting Nespresso on television, on the Internet, in print newspapers, and even on billboards were enticing. But coffee machines are expensive and the fancy little coffee pods make drinking coffee almost an unaffordable extravagance. I could do without.

Or could I?

I am a three-cups-of-coffee-a-day person. I enjoy drinking coffee, but there is never enough time to fully appreciate the drink.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

"The Burgas Affair" is absolutely gripping


"The Burgas Affair is absolutely gripping. There is tension from the very first page and it sucked me right in. However, there are many other elements beyond the terrorist attack story that I enjoyed. One was the parallel story of a crime boss’s vendetta against Boyko. I liked how one story affected the other, however, sometimes the stories were mixed up a bit too much. Nevertheless, it is through the vendetta story that the reader learns more about Boyko. At first, he comes across as the typical cop we often see in these types of books. He is also pretty pig-headed and sex driven. As the pages turn he softens and his hidden personality comes to light and he becomes much more likable."

Read the rest of the review on Joyful Antidotes.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Traveling in Southern Bulgaria: Devil's Throat Cave

I first learned about Devil's Throat Cave from the novels of Bulgarian bestselling author Ludmila Filipova. This is the cave through which Orpheus reportedly made his way to rescue Euridice from Hades, the ancient Greek god of the underworld. Far underground, the Trigrad River disappears in the deep caverns of the cave, never to emerge again into daylight. The cave gets its name from a profile of the devil, which is hard to notice even when pointed out.


The cave is open every day from 10am to 4pm and entrance is only with a guide, and most of the guides speak English. The entranceway is well lit, cool and dry, but then one reaches the main hall, a cavern so huge that Sofia's Alexander Nevsky Cathedral could easily fit inside with room to spare. With the thunder of the underground river pounding in one's ears, you reach a steep set of wet, concrete stairs leading to daylight high above. This is the halfway point – the weak at heart can go back to the cave's main entrance. I venture upwards, holding onto the handrail for dear life, as the steps are very slippery.