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Elsa Peters
July 7, 2009, 5:33pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 7th July

No such luck Mickey B.  They are firmly chained to the apron strings.  The tall builder always waves to me when I drive down the lane and sometimes I'm sure I see the words 'Help' and 'Sorry' over his head in a speech bubble.   The little builder just smiles.  Two weeks time has been muted so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

It has been a beautiful day today but I think frustration is coming to the surface.  I just want to be getting on with things and I would go to UK for a visit but I'm still not supposed to fly and sod's law dictates that as soon as I venture on to a plane the workers would be available.

Oh well tomorrow I have to go and finish the registration of goodness knows what and find out how my Brighton and Hove old age pensioners bus pass help my application when the UK passport didn't.  It's a bummer out here with documents.

Just walked up to the barn and there is one of the ginger cats with....a little blue lizard in his mouth.  The tail shot off and kept wiggling but he managed to devour it all.  The sheep are just wending their way home and making a hell of a racket.  It's 8.30, still light and warm and they are stopping off at the lake for the one for the road.  Think I'll do the same but it will be from a bottle not the lake......
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Elsa Peters
July 8, 2009, 6:07pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 8th July

As arranged I went down to the motel this morning with the intention of taking Manev into Kardjali to get my residentia.  This was further compounded by the fact that I now had to have health insurance so I produced by European Health Insurance card and with the help of a dictionary we agreed that it was, is, might be, could possibly be, the document that could, might be, stands a good change of being the one that might be acceptable.  So a photocopy of the said document was taken to Kardjali along with the other photocopies and we'll just have to wait and see.

Since I now didn't have to make the journey, I stopped off at Ali's woodyard and got the planks for the table top and spent the afternoon sanding down the wood and now have all the bits to complete the said task.  I did slip with the saw and attempted to remove the top of my index finger but raced for the first aid kit holding the said digit in the air to stem the flow, went into the caravan, wrapped a J-cloth round it, doused it in cold water then sprayed it with antiseptic spray and found a hell of a big dressing.  It is now bandaged and it is really difficult to type with the said digit being about three times bigger than normal (I use all fingers as all good touch typists should) so tonight's entry is going to be a short one.

It's a lovely evening.  The crickets are cricketing, the frogs are making a hell of a din in the lake and there are two boys fishing, the donkey has decided to start braying early tonight and the sheep are going home or taking the shepherd back home.  As I've said before nature can be exceedingly noise up here on Suzi's hill.
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Elsa Peters
July 10, 2009, 7:41am Report to Moderator

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Friday, 10th July

Thunder, thunder and more thunder.  Yesterday the morning was bright and I sat out and got some wood preservative on my table bits.  It was a dark shade of brown and waiting to be assembled and it is now a lighter shade of brown where the rain just rained on it.  It started at about lunchtime yesterday and cleared a little by the evening but the thunder rumbled for most of the day.  Just when you thought it had finished it started again and so phones were a 'no no' and no internet connections could be attempted hence no update.  

I went to bed at about ten thirty last night and it came back with a vengeance.  It started to pitter patter on the roof and I thought it was a nice sound to nod off to and then it came as a hail of bullets ricocheting around.  It was so noisy and at about four this morning the thunder and lightening started again and went on for about an hour.  I woke at about six, felt shattered and could not get off again.   This could be a lazy day.

Update on the 'saw' finger.  It's much better today and I'm managing to hit the right keys with it.  Only the offending joint is bandaged leaving the end useful again.

Evening update.  Yes this afternoon we had thunder, lightening and rain but now it's all quiet on the western front, 9.00 at night and a red sky but I can't see a delighted shepherd.  He's got the flock home early tonight  I think according to the noises coming out of the mosque.  It's Friday night and all's well.

I'll just make my way to the caravan, get myself a nightcap, and hope the pitter patter of raindrops fall gently on the roof tonight without any more bangings and clatterings.

Please remember.....it's supposed to be summer
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Elsa Peters
July 11, 2009, 12:31pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday, 11th July

And this morning.............the Greek mountains look like they have been stolen.  We had brief discussions about how they have maybe shrunk with all the rain but they were hiding in the morning mist.  The mist was hanging in all of the valleys this morning making it look like fairy land.  Did a little bit of burning the essentials and then it started to rain.  Not heavily but determined to drench everything and my wood seems to be getting even a paler shade of brown.  

It's not a day for doing much.  The rain didn't last long and the sun came out with a vengeance.  Pepe phoned to say that she was working in the field on the tobacco so we gave her a wave and went back to our nothingness.  She's very industrious and some mornings starts at five or five thirty before the sun gets up.  In fact everyone who work on the tobacco is up and about but it's really hard when the sun is right up.  They work under licence on a very intensive crop.  The bottom leaves get picked, strung out and dried, and the picking is a daily process.  Pepe has two daughters, one at college and the other attends local school but part of their day is either picking the leaves or threading as this is what keeps them at college.  I couldn't see many from England threading leaves on to string to hang out to dry to secure their next term at college.  Some would be more likely to be drying themselves out from the night before.

I think I shall be having to take my prescription up for some more of the tablets.  I had a brief moment of the wobbles this morning and despite threatening to have one for the shepherd last night I never did.  A little bit of a disturbed night which has given me a bit of a disturbed day.
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Elsa Peters
July 11, 2009, 6:26pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday night

And yes....a tropical storm.  Hail stones, raging winds, thunder, lightening, fushia pots blowing off their hangings, garden chairs landing in obscene postions and decking ornaments tossed on the hillside.  Was it dramatic or what!!   Half an hour later a wonderful sunset.  Where's the sense in this weather and I repeat again....it's summer for goodness sake.

Let's hope tomorrow gives us a better day.
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johnd
July 11, 2009, 6:28pm Report to Moderator
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Hello Elsa, thanks very much for sharing your Bulgarian experience,and welcoming me onto your site.Like most others,yourself included of course,cant wait for your guys to stop picking the tobacco and get on with your renovations! Is there a reason for three houses,i.e,renovate and sell on,or perhaps rental income?We wont see pics until work begins,i know,but could i ask which of them is your favourite,the one you see yourself in?My personal preference will always be the higher up the better,although i understand that could have its own problems,especially in winter.But as a non-driver, access or lack of it doesnt  really concern me,although getting materials etc delivered,might have to by helicopter,lol! I hope all runs smoothly for you,as it is the builders that Suzi used,i feel certain you will be fine,their work looks pretty good to me,and they seem pretty versatile,anyway best of luck,i shall be watching with interest.
                                                    Johnd.
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Elsa Peters
July 12, 2009, 2:14pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 12th July

There was a ghostly sighting in the caravan last night and I just had to take a picture of it.  Martian or what!!  No it was the calor gas heater and the kettle sitting on top....see photo below....spookey.

Since the mail man can't get anymore letters through my door there has been a request that I return to England and clear the back log!!  I am making my escape on the 16th but have already booked a return ticket hopefully I shall have workers starting on or around that time.  Being an action person, there is no action and you can only plan so much in advance.  My table is now ready to assemble but it is becoming increasingly difficult to store stuff so there is no point in finishing the construction except to be of use for getting under if there should be a nuclear attack.  (It is made out of good 4 x 4 timber.)

I am also looking forward to seeing the family.  I think it is the longest I have been away from them all and Princess and company.  I'm not sure if the school holidays have started yet but I'm hoping that it has and I can sit round the pool and their house and expecting that they will have better weather than we are having at the moment.

Yes, I woke up to being shrouded in mist again and it took about two hours to burn if off.  It cleared, Eyup arrived and said that it would rain this afternoon and I that note I took myself to the caravan and started to read my book and promptly fell asleep for a couple of hours.  The book is so good!

Then I tried to print out my travel documents and the printer decided that it didn't want to know the PC so I spent another hours trying to fix it only to find out that the cable preferred to go into a direct socket not through an adapter.  Hey presto it now works so I have my travel docs and hotel reservation to hand so no last minute panics.

It hasn't rained yet but is very cloudy but it is the first day in a long while that we have not heard the distant rumble of thunder by about this time.  Let's hope that it stays that way.



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Elsa Peters
July 13, 2009, 8:15am Report to Moderator

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Monday 13th July

Today has been designated as the day that the caravan moves to the top of the hill.  I have secured all of the contents and those that cannot be secured have been designated to the floor area.  I have emptied the loo so that there is not so much weight in the van and I think I have been allocated the job of assistant crew hand and official photographer.  The results will follow!!

It is up and resited on the top of the hill.   And when it was up it was up, and when it was down it was down and when it was only half was up.....we both panicked a bit but it sailed up gracefully and so much for Richard scratching his head the last time it was up there for the winter and saying how hard it was to get the van up there..  I really must praise Suzi in her control of both caravan and rolling 'Surf'.  She had the measure of both while I walked the course checking the inches remaining under the caravan and looking for the odd bolder.

My afternoon has been spent removing thistles from the site and choping down the very pretty but deadly bushes so that there is still a view of the lake.  I now have to get all of my stuff out and into the beast.  You never know who might appear and want to squat while I'm away for two weeks.
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Elsa Peters
July 14, 2009, 2:51pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 14th July

Well what an exciting day.  I spend the night with the three kittens in the house and at 5.30 this morning the light was streaming in but I decided to  get my head under the quilt and made sleep stretch until 8.10.  Now there's an improvement.  Coffee on and out on the decking to take in the view.  Not much changes but it's worth a look just in case.

Loaded my stuff into the beast and deposited it at Pepe's house in the village to keep it secure while I am away. The grandmothers came in and converstaion with them was a no-go since they only speak Turkish so it was a bit of a three or four way conversation with Pepe's daughter translating some of it into English.  One of the daughter's boyfriend is working in England and apparently in Brighton.  When he phoned I was handed the phone and he said the kebab shop is in Lewes, East Sussex and he has been given orders to send chocolates back with me.  I did try to explain that I only travel with hand luggage so it better not be a big box.

So this afternoon I had my first lesson threading tobacco ready for it to be hung out to dry.  We all sat on the floor and there is a special way to hold the treading prong and you have to line up the main rib stem of the leaves and get the double ended prong either side of the rib.  When the prong is full it gets passed onto strings and you start all over again. This is always a family thing.  The leaves get picked at about 5 in the morning and threaded each afternoon starting about 10 until when they finish.  Child labour rate is 20 stotinki for each strand threaded.  I reckoned at that rate, I earnt just over....... one BGN.  I'm glad I've retired.  Unfortunately no camera to record the happy scene.  It was supposed to be a deliver and run exercise.
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Elsa Peters
July 14, 2009, 6:32pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday evening update

What a lovely sunset and it just had to be captured along with that old plum tree.  Shortly afterwards it was almost like a lava field, brilliant red but my camera just couldn't do it justice.  I really need to read the manual



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