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JUNE 2009  This thread currently has 6,172 views. Print
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Elsa Peters
May 31, 2009, 2:30pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 4th June.....

The beast is in BG.  We arrived at just after midnight and today was my first solo flight to the local supermarket and my first attack of the cheren put or dirt road down the mountain to the river.  Steve and myself celebrated the return with a sample of the local Gin and  Fanta Lemon....no tonic to be found and I couldn't be bothered to search.
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Elsa Peters
June 5, 2009, 3:05pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 5th June

Did the supermarket today and filled up with lots of goodies.  Coming back through Djebel we both armed ourselves with scythes to clear the hillside of thistles etc.  The going rate for this task is about 45BGN per day so we might be on to a winning streak if we start practicing and developing our technique.  The beast has been given the day off and is probably going for final tweaking early next week.

Off to a birthday party in the village tonight.  Just got to finish sewing on the sequins, getting the Sophia red uncorked and putting on my dancing shoes.  Got to remember that nodding the head means 'No' and shaking the head means 'Yes' so if anybody asks me if I want another drink I better get it right.
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Princess
June 9, 2009, 9:11pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Mummy, glad that the beast is safe and well back with you in BG. How exciting, a party in the village, glad that you got a chance to strut your funky stuff and throw some shapes on the dance floor, Bulgarian style!! Did you remember yes and no (and have a good night) or get them mixed up (and had a fantastic night)?!!
Keep doing what you are doing, I'm proud of you..... Love you to the moon and back again, big kisses, Princess xxxxxxxxxxx
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Elsa Peters
June 12, 2009, 2:32pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 11th June

I have decided that nature is exceedingly noisy.  There was a bird that I have yet to spot and identify that started up at about five this morning with a whooping cry that just seemed to go on for ever.  The others started twittering at about the same time and the bullfrogs were the last noise last night and one of the first this morning.  They go quiet, one starts and there is a crescendo that trails off as either they find a mate or give up.  And then they start again.  The lake is extremely beautiful at this time of the morning.  It is so still but rain is promised for later or so they say.  We can’t complain.  It went up to 32 degrees yesterday and in crop growing areas where families depend vegetables and income from what they manage to grow, it becomes necessary.  

Well the beast has gone in for final tweaking and is promised back tonight.  I can hardly wait.  There is a house to be done and it sits about ten kilometres from my caravan nest on the hillside and it’s not like you can jump on public transport.  Buses are sporadic at the best of times that’s why most families have a ‘run around’ that wouldn’t manage an MOT at home.  The system is good though.  If you go via the lanes or hill tracks and stay off the main roads you don’t have to have road tax and how good is that.  Road tax is cheap though at approximately £35 for the year and bought at any post office.  They sensibly run it from January to December and everyone renews in January or when they want to during the year.  They can even buy it for one month without any hassle.  And the country is supposed to learn from the EU??

Suzi’s friend comes from England tomorrow so I am already thinking about setting up siege in the caravan along with daily trips to the houses.  I have my gas burner, electricity into two sockets and wind up lamps.  We certainly know how to live out here.

Here are some pictures of the views from the house.  The houses will be on display as soon as the builders begin so that you will have ‘before and after’ shots of the progress.  The unfortunate thing is that at the moment my two builders are being forced to work in the fields along with their wives since it is tobacco growing season.  They are under strict ‘instructions’ and who am I to argue with the hands that rock the cradle, and plant, hoe and weed the tobacco.
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Elsa Peters
June 12, 2009, 2:36pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 12th June

Had more practice with the beast today and went to a town that I haven't been to before.  I follow the advice since the beast is right-hand drive....sit in the gutter.  I thought I had left it behind but not so.  I'm still waiting for Suzi's friend to arrive.  She was taking the scenic route in the MG and let's hope they haven't got pulled by the Fuzz again for speeding.  Speed limits out here take into account the fact that cows, sheep, horses and carts also take to the road and it is undecided who get's priority and I don't believe that the beast stands a change despite its bullbars!!!!  

I think I hear them....let's go and be polite....lecka nosht...
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Elsa Peters
June 16, 2009, 5:50am Report to Moderator

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Saturday 13th June
After the panic of yesterday realising that my insurance had run out on the beast, all was sorted and I am now the proud possessor of a little green sticker that confirms that I am legal and above board.  The form isn’t totally completed yet since I have to go to the KAT office and get the beast registered on Bulgarian plates.  That should be happening later this week but a lot seems to be happening ‘later this week’.  We had lunch at a fish restaurant that unfortunately didn’t have any fish but plenty of chicken.  It also had chalets to rent to ‘tourists’ or local fishermen.  It appears that fishing is in and local anglers appear at any stretch of water be it small or large.
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Elsa Peters
June 16, 2009, 5:56am Report to Moderator

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Sunday 14th June

Now this restaurant did have fish.  I went to the floating restaurant on the Kardjali Lake with Suzi, Tony, Svetlana, her husband and son to sample the delights at his cousin’s restaurant. And we certainly did.  I had grilled ‘Sharon’.  Plates were delivered including different salads, kebabs, chicken with mushrooms, several plates of cheesy and ordinary chips and garlic bread.  We were all stuffed but it was only when I got home to the caravan that I found that I had eaten barbequed or roasted carp and Sharon is a name I shall remember for next time but minus the cheesy chips.  

Finished off at the local swimming hotspot where you can hire a sun bed and relax round the pool for 5 BGN per day and I call that a bargain.  It might be well be a good place to hide when the building work really starts.



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Elsa Peters
June 16, 2009, 6:01am Report to Moderator

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Monday 15th June

So at 9.15 this morning we went to the water office and I delivered Victoria’s book that I had promised her.  She ordered me to ‘sit’ on my first visit and is the 10 year of daughter of the lady who works in the office. The book was a Richard Scarrey dictionary, just to let her know how bizarre the English can be.

I have a new electricity pole at the house but now I need to buy cable and a fuse board so that we can connect to the house.  Of course every one has a friend who is a master of something and a master has been offered who will wire the house for me.  I tried to ask how much but that seems to get lost in translation.  We now have to go back to the office when we have the cable and we are picking up the water ‘maestro’ at 3.00 who will tell us the best place to put the ‘water house’.  Apparently if you don’t, you get your water meter stolen as soon as the maestro leaves the building.  

The water in and out pipes have been discovered.  With billhook at the ready borrowed from a friendly neighbour (pictured with me on the left), eight foot high brambles were removed and after digging for about half an hour they were there along with a bathroom window frame.  We now have to phone the water maestro who will come and fit the water meter when we have built the water house.  I suppose they must have such things as stopcocks and how do you translate that!!!!  I must get my book out again.
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Elsa Peters
June 16, 2009, 6:04am Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 16th June

Well the best laid plans of mouse and men….my workman is now being used as a translator/ negotiator for a land deal taking place today.  If it goes smoothly I may have him later and if not…tomorrow, maybe.
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Elsa Peters
June 20, 2009, 6:53pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 17th June
Today was a complete day of frustration and documents as decreed by the state.  The objective was to put Bulgarian plates on my car and pay the appropriate taxes and it was all held up because a) I had not registered myself in Bulgaria and b) the company that issued my BULSTAT or registration document for my company had not provided me with my own company stamp.  Now this makes me feel official.  I have a stamp and I’m going to stamp everything in sight with my ‘Tree Tops’.  Now I feel better.  It has a purpose.

On Friday I must go back to Kardjali and get my final piece of paper and my Bulgarian licence plates for the car.  It is only 30 miles away and diesel seems to be evaporating by the minute.  

Yesterday there was an almighty thunderstorm and the lightening seemed to get stuck in the mountains.  Wonderful.
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Elsa Peters
June 20, 2009, 6:54pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 18th June
Apparently there is a problem with the water inlet pipe.  I can’t say that they have gone metric because they have always been metric but one size does not fit all.  We did go down to Fotinovo though and collect enough wood in the beast to get me this ‘gypsy proof’ water house that is now being reinforced with steel wires.  The cement we purchased from the local hardware store and then off to the river bed to get five bags of ballast for making the concrete.  I’m told that …..in Dzebel you pay…..river free so I’ll go for the river every time!!

This afternoon I am going to take to my book and let it all wash over me….
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Elsa Peters
June 22, 2009, 7:18pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 19th June

Well off we go again to try to get the beast into BG number plates.  First stop to get my company stamp which now makes me completely legal and can be used to identify any property, book etc, and then to the KAT office to complete the removal of the English number plates replacing them with the BG equivalent.  This was held up slightly because it was their lunch time so the procedure was slightly delayed with another lunch on the Kardjali Lakes consisting of fresh carp, chicken, chicken livers, local mushrooms, vegetables on the grill and the inevitable plate of chips with fruit juices to wash it all down.  At approx £9.00 per head, it just had to be done.  Then back to KAT and the BG plates were applied to the Beast.  Here are the photos to prove it.

In town I also managed to buy a bikini and some stripy Denis the Menace underwear so tomorrow I have plans for the bikini.



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Elsa Peters
June 22, 2009, 7:25pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 20th June

Well the best laid plans of mouse and women all went to pot.  One border left at silly o'clock and so we decided to take the MG out ot Asenograd to visit of all things a Market Garden.  We came back with one Fuscia and four Buzy Lizzies at a total cost of about 12 BGN and only used about half a tank of petrol.  Now that was really worth it.  

At the end of the day we decided to go for a Chinese but it didn't open until 7.00 and so we ended up with the old favourite of egg, chips, mushrooms and fried onions in our favourite 'Chez Nous' restaurant.  Maids day off so I ended up the day washing up.....
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Elsa Peters
June 22, 2009, 7:34pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 21st June

Sunday was a non-day.  Too hot to sit out, too windy in the shade and just too tired to do anything.  It was a day of inertia.  Read a book though so not all bad.
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Elsa Peters
June 22, 2009, 7:42pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 22nd June

Went down to the local hardware store today and decided to buy a preformed bathroom sink to save using the white porcelain one that I got on my way to the Black Sea.  Too many builders hands and too much dirt for that one.  And the cost....10BGN so got some nails, screws and went into the second hand wood store and came out with enough to make my first piece of furniture for the house.  A wash basin stand.  It is now primed with wood preservative purchased before I left from Lidl and standing outside awaiting installation.  Nice one.  No windows to date but somewhere to rest my sink now that I have water and a Voda Kushta (concrete house).  Bez pari....without money and I think I shall take a photo and get back to my German buddy in the hardware store and ask for more offcuts!!

I have three houses to furnish!!!!
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Elsa Peters
June 23, 2009, 2:24pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday, 23nd June

What a thunderstorm last night.  It had rattled around all evening and we even had hail stones beating down on us.  The dogs were hiding in the house so we battened down the hatches.  It eased about ten so I mad my way to the caravan and wound up the lamps since we had put the electric off because of the storm.  I had let in a couple of fireflies when as I opened the caravan door so I thought I had flashed before my eyes until I realised what they were.  They eventually ran out of steam so I read for about ten minutes by torchlight and then put my head on the pillow.  I could only have been asleep for about an hour when it really started.  Crashes and bangs from every direction and I was almost tempted to leg it down to the house but because the caravan is fitted with a lightening deflector so I stayed put.  It must have gone on for about a couple of hours and it must have been stupendous to watch but I just didn't feel that brave.  Under the quilt I went and eventually went off.

This morning there was a covering of mist which lifted leaving a gloriously hot day.  We went into Kardjali and to the lakes again so that Suzi could look at a plot of land.  The area really is very beautiful.  We then made our way to the 'Hospital' and had lunch of shish kababs, potatoes and salad followed by creme caramel and visited the local village mayor who has had to take up residence there for a short time.....he didn't look well but I suppose that is why he's in hospital...doh!!

Early night tonight and going to the house tomorrow to measure up windows etc and get some metal bars fitted so that I don't have burglars, even though there is nothing to take.  I'll take a few pictures of the Voda Kushta just so you can see what a splendid job has been done.  Now the winds are lifting again and I'm hoping that we don't have what we had last night.
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Elsa Peters
June 25, 2009, 5:20pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 25th June

Had a bit of a funny last night.  I think it might be down to not enough water and a very hot day yesterday.  We decided that we ought to eat early so Suzi made a chicken broth just as her mother used to make it.  The thought of it makes me feel better already.  I spent this afternoon in the caravan lying down and reading to be disturbed only by the phone and Suzi asking if I was dead yet.  I responded with 'Well who's answering the phone then?' and was informed that she had prepared spag bol and if I didn't get there soon mine was going to the ever hungry dogs.  I think I'm going to spend the evening on NHS direct to try to identify the cause of my distress.

Lecka nosht.....
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Elsa Peters
June 26, 2009, 4:39pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 26th June

At last I'm feeling a little bit better and taking mineral water like it's going out to fashion, crisps to replace the salt and drinking OXO cubes again to lift the salt content.  I just reckon that I had too much sun and sweated buckets. NHS Direct had similar symptoms for the things I looked up and I was none the wiser.  Back to the drawing board.

The weather again is thundery but I managed to sleep through it this afternoon as part of the recouperation process and this evening I feel much better.  I was anticipating a trip to the local docs and using Pepe as the translator with her pidgeon English and my sparce Bulgarian but instead have sent out a message to my niece who is a nurse in the UK.  I await her reply on Facebook.

Well Pepe has just phoned and is worried about me so off we went to the doctors at 9.30 last night without an appointment.  I had my blood pressure taken which was a little high and a full stomach investigtion since I said that I had been sick.  We had two phrase books between us and managed to get over all of the symptoms.  No charge at all but if there were tablets to be had you could go next door and pick up a prescription even at that time of night.

What's this about Britain's NHS.  I could have waited three days just to see the doctor.
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Elsa Peters
June 27, 2009, 12:00pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 27th June

Still feel woozy so I think it needs more water, rest, fresh fruit and salads and for those that know me it just about sounds right except that if it's green, I normally don't touch it putting it into the catagory of rabbit food.

Back to the docs on monday if I don't make a full recovery by then to see the usual not the locum.

Again it's thundering. Don't they realise that we've put in an order for summer.
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Elsa Peters
June 29, 2009, 5:10pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 28th June

Nearly another month gone....well I felt better when I woke up but then went downhill for the rest of the day.  Whatever I've got needs to be sorted.

Last night we were invited to a Women's Party at the school in Fotinovo for the local political party leading up to the elections and what a good night it was.  There were about 150 local women of all ages and a few men were sitting on the bank observing the evening's entertainment.  I'm amazed me at the genuine warmth and friendship there is between all of these women from the villages and toward Suzi and myself who are the outsiders.  Some of the women only speak Turkish yet a smile and a nod speaks volumes but you have to remember to nod the right way, that's from right to left not up and down.

There was Fanta and Coca Cola on the table with the odd bottle of white wine and we were served hamburgers and salad in individual dishes followed by an icecream.  The dancing was to Turkish music and it was fun to watch.  The last time we went to a smaller version I got up and danced.  This time with this dreaded lurgy I had trouble even getting to the event.  I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning and it can't come soon enough.  Photos of the event to follow... couldn't dance....
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Elsa Peters
June 29, 2009, 5:33pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 29th June

The local doctor wouldn't see me as a private patient so I had to go into Kirkovo where I paid 5BGN to be seen.  After being examined and told that my blood pressure was normal I was sent on to the specialists in Momchilgrad for further tests and maybe an X-ray on my neck.  All this was carried out with Pepe translating into Bulgarian / Greek to Suzi who then translated it into English for me.  The specialist found this entertaining asking why there were three of us for one appointment!!

I firstly saw the lady doctor who after a really thorough examination decided that my blood pressure, heart and lungs were all working OK so she turned me over to an ear, nose and throat specialist.  He appeared with antiquated metal equipment and a third big metal 'eye', used a metal spatual to hold down my tongue to see my throat, stuck something metal up my nose to see that there was further infection and peered into my ears. He worked out that I had an ear infection thus causing the vertigo and that that was all that was wrong.  Cost for private treatment 25BGN.

In Bulgaria they do try to prescribe homeopathic drugs but this is in decline now that they have joined Europe.  Some of the drugs are no longer available and they have to go for the toxic alternatives.  And that's progress.  In Bulgaria they do try to prescribe homeopathic drugs but this is slowly in decline now that they have joined Europe.  And that's progress. I was prescribed two lots of tablets (one homeopathic for motion sickness) and the other to stop the infection and reading it up on the internet they are not sure yet why it works as it does on the inner ear.  I don't really need to know how or why I just need to know that it does.  Also supplied nose drops with a full demonstration by the specialist of how to administer. Good news..no need for an X-ray.

It's a bit like sickness hillside.  Suzi is also suffering and went to see the same specialist last Friday so when Pepe spoke to the hospital she now calls herself the Anglochanka's secretary which means that we get preferential treatment.  My next appointment is in one week's time so I can't go home for a flying visit now that I have this condition.  There are photos to follow
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MikeyB
June 30, 2009, 12:32pm Report to Moderator

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Ah really sorry to hear you have been poorly sick!   That's not like you at all!

Well I hope you get better soon, and back to your normal assertive self, so we can see some progress on your empire  

Glad to see the 'beast' made it in the end! Have you mastered it yet??

Lots of love

MikeyB xx
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Elsa Peters
June 30, 2009, 4:13pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 30th June

Thank you Mikey B for your well wishes.  No, it's not me but nature has a way of slowing us down sometimes.  

I hear that England is experiencing a heatwave.  I understand that Wimbledon is happening as we speak so is it destined to break soon?  We've just had the most awful thunderstorm despite the internet saying that there wouldn't be a cloud in the sky and this time I was in the caravan having gone there to administer my nose drops.  I sat and watched the lightening for a while and when the noise of the thunder got too loud I took to my bed and went under the duvet.  And boy was the thunder loud and the lightening flashing very close to the house/caravan.  I almost went down to the house but I had visions of being struck in the middle and Suzi sweeping me up into a matchbox and returning me to the UK.  I stayed where I was, went to sleep and when I woke up it was all over.  

I went to the woodyard today and got enough for the kitchen table that I intend to make.  Just got to get this bug out of my system and then I shall be at it.  The man at the woodyard speaks German to me and I keep telling him that my German is limited but it doesn't stop him.  I looked in the 'end of line' and he said to take what I wanted but on this trip I ended up with 12m length of 4x4 and one of 2x4 and the top will be acquired on my next visit.  I had a handsaw to make it fit into the beast but half way through he insisted that he used the chainsaw.  I don't think that many Bulgarian women go the the woodyard equipped with a handsaw to get what they need.  Novelty factor or what!!  Tonight I am designing the edifice and all being well tomorrow I shall be out there with my stick of inches and cutting it all to size.

The previous tennant of the caravan had a thing about Sharpe and historical novels so it's early to bed and late to rise until this thing leaves my system so at 19.12 and a grumble of thunder as if it is returning, it's PC off and a goodnight from me.
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