David Clark is a British businessman, who lived and worked in Bulgaria for 12 years before retiring to Norfolk U.K. He is writing short stories and poems. When he was living in Sofia, he had published stories in different media. A contributor to “Sofia Echo” newspaper. He had received an award for a short story from “Manager” magazine. At the moment he is living in England and sending stories to the expat site Sofia Globe. David is married to Galya, his Bulgarian wife for 16 years. He is a member of Writers Club in Hethersett, Norfolk and publish short stories in local media as „Village people“and others.
Change in the village
We live in an age of technological laziness now – fast receding are the everyday skills we needed to run our lives. As long as we still have nimble fingers, reasonable eyesight, and a basic knowledge of computers and devices, life is here at our finger tips. We can do our shopping, including our feeding needs, search for bargains, clothes, consumer goods and even buy a house. We can book our entertainment, be it theatre, music or sport and if we want even watch it on our devices. We can Book travel to almost any part of our shrinking world, flights, accommodation, car hire you name it. We arrange our doctors and dentists appointments. How long before our computer will diagnose our illness and suggest a treatment? We already joke about Children’s addiction to their mobile phones and other devices, but this is the way of the world we live in – my fourteen year old daughter was watching a ‘talent contest ‘programme with us on television the other night. Clutching a device in hand, her nimble fingers at work, glancing occasionally down at the device. ‘’Whatever are you doing?” I asked, she raised her head momentarily – ‘’Discussing it with my friends’’, was the dismissive reply. Well her friends are all over town, or wherever, but why not of course?
As I descended into the village all seemed as I had left it. The pot holed streets the villagers sitting in the evening sun on their benches watching the world go by. Not now after a hard day’s work in the fields, as they have always done in the past, but now in their retirement. They are getting less and less. Even in the 10 years we’ve been coming here, gone are Baba Danka, Baba Lillie, my friend and neighbour Stefan, and many I can’t name. ”There’s plenty of room on the benches now”. Technology is changing the village at an alarming rate with LED street lights, cable television and fast internet connection.
The young don’t want to bend and pick up their food any more, they don’t want the hard work or the pain of manual labour and why should they? There are no wages in it and man has invented machines to do all this and they prefer the laziness of city life. Crammed together like bees in a hive, hardly seeing the light of day, feeling the wind on their faces or the rain on their heads. But think what has been lost. The traditions of the village are fading fast , the fete’s, special holidays, religious days, all designed to ease the burden of a hard labouring life, but something everyone contributed and looked forward too. The successes and tragedies of life were all here to be shared.
We can see the problems of the old and lonely, but now we live separate lives, how are we able to understand or care for each other as it was in the village?
© David Clark