what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

wine as medicine

November seems to be the period for testing the Sofia medical systems – this time last year I blogged about an experience with the excellent Military Hospital here which resulted in a diagnosis of excessive uric acid and a savage diet for a month with no wine.
I’ve been suffering for some time from some degeneration of the knee tissue – result probably of rowing, jogging, tennis and badminton over the past 50 years (did I tell you I trained with the Azeri youth badminton team a decade ago??!!). It was in Baku I had my first treatment of the knee with electrodes (20 years earlier I had a guy with a hypnotic medallion massage the knee briefly and cure a pain which physiotherapists had not been able to shift.
Since I came off a Kyrgyzstan mountain/hill climb in 2006 the knees have been weak and no one has been able to give me a decent diagnosis – let alone treatment (despite MRS etc) In April, however, a Sofia specialist ran some doppler and other tests and reckoned it was linked to some spinal weakness – so here I am now having some excellent physiotherapy in the Military Hospital. The Doctor who supervises the treatment gave me on Monday the most thorough and professional examination which I have received in a decade – and has me now undergoing a 10 day course of magnetic, electric and manual treatment. And in a section of the hospital whose walls are adorned with paintings (for sale). Great idea! So hats off to the Bulgarians – not least because we exchange tips about Bulgarian wine as it proceeds.  Pavel Banyia is the place I had been advised to go for the best Spa experience (in the heart of the country) but it was fully booked. Her advice was Hisar - for both the thermal waters and wine (StareSel).

Speaking of which – as I walked back from the Hospital (aided by my antique vanity cane – which is great for smacking badly-parked cars!) I discovered another of the charming regional wine shops which are scattered around Sofia. So far I have come across shops selling Vidin; Magura; Karnovat wines and today I passed I tiny shop which had a huge advertisement about Belogradchik wines (like the first 2 in the North-East). I had driven through the village (Borovitsa) last year but not stopped and decided this time therefore  (blindtaste) to buy 2 litres of a Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc mix – for less than 5 euros. Back home, the taste was impeccable!!  
And a lovely little wine shop with quality wines at reasonable prices has opened at the Russian monument on the corner of Makedonski and Skobelev Bvds (although its situated in the latter, its address is the former!). It's the initiative of a young man - and is typical of the attitude and spirit here. It's love of wine which has driven him - not big business connections. I wouldn't find this in Bucharest.
I'm also glad to see that one of the Bulgarian wineries - Light Castle - is supporting Astry Gallery - being one of the sponsors of Vihra's latest annual 30x30 exhibition.   

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