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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  MAY 2010
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Elsa Peters
May 15, 2010, 11:35am Report to Moderator

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Saturday May 1st

Today has been rather testing.  I had a brilliant morning but the day has generally disintegrated.  I am still trying to get the diary sorted so that I shall be able to keep it going when I move the domain over to my normal hosting site.  It's been on my brain and I am still trying to ensure that it is still available after it gets moved over.

Apart from that I got my internet connection sorted out and a home telephone where the rates are very cheap to phone the UK.  Saves spending a fortune on a mobile.

I also had a man with a chain saw round this afternoon and now I have had a few trees lopped so that the view is improved and I'm still at the house now and sitting in the half light and thinking it's about time I wended my way back to the hotel.  There again...I did cook for myself today and so I'm feeling a bit more self sufficient.  All I need to do now is to get the electrics established to the house and not still through the pole and extension leads and then I'm moving in... The light is failing so I'm going to make a move...LN
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Elsa Peters
May 15, 2010, 1:01pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 2nd May
What a scorcher...but since the house is stone it is very pleasant.  I've sorted out the rooms so that the lounge is available for the next stage.  The outside wall is going to be removed and two columns and two very large windows and a door are going in.  This will give a wonderful view of the mountains and it will be the same set up as in south facing bedroom.

I tested out the hoover with the cement dust and yes, it picks it up but boy do I have to keep emptying the bag.  Probably not very good for the filters either but it does say that you can wash them out so that's on the list for tomorrow.  It's beginning to feel more like a house and less like a building site.  Just a few adjustments.

I planted some tobacco seeds yesterday, but not the sort that they plant round here.  Mine are the Mexican sweet smelling variety  and yes, you probably could smoke them but not having tried it for about 40 years, I don't think I'll start now.  So when they ask if I am growing tobacco I shall be able to answer yes.  I've also got Busy Lizzies and some everlasting flowers to get in and the veg can wait for this year....there seems to be plenty on offer.  Enough, I want to catch the last of the sun...
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Elsa Peters
May 15, 2010, 1:02pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 4th May

True Bulgarian form I was expecting to meet the previous, previous owner of the Clio to have it transferred over to my name this morning at 10.00 in the cafe....and it was a no show so instead I decided that my mission would be to pay the taxes for my house.  This was achieved and for the year I have just shelled out the princely sum of 52.19 Bulgarian Leva.  Now roughly translated that's about £25 so now I am legal once more.

My second task that became more difficult was to get a post office box.  Living in the village mail doesn't get delivered but after having someone write down my request....nyama clutch....we have no keys so with a quick 'postley' or later it is now on the back burner.

Now I'm saying this not too loudly....my man is working on my electrics in the kitchen and before the end of the day I should be up and running which will save us both tripping over extension leads.....I'll keep you updated...
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Elsa Peters
May 15, 2010, 1:02pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 5th May

Just to let you know that I might be going off line for a couple of days.  I am transferring over to a different server and this could mean that normal service might take a while to get going.  Never fear...it is all backed up.

Today was a good day...that man with the screwdriver has provided me with electricity in the kitchen (sockets and lights), bathroom and hallway and I even have an outside light.  The lady from Evian said yes and he came round this afternoon to fix the cable from the pole to the house and then it was plain sailing from then on.

I was quite surprised today...I had guests....and it was the daughter from the man that I bought the house from.  Now there were tears and I was unsure if it was because I had done all manner of things or that she was just reliving old time memories and I like to think it was the latter.

She came with her husband, daughter from Turkey to visit her uncle and insisted that we had photographs so I gave her my card so that they could look at the website to see all the improvements and the stages of development.  I read back through it the other day and there are things that even I had forgotten being so close to the project.  Internet is playing up…I’m writing this in word and am going to try to upload now…LN…post pickies tomorrow,,
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Elsa Peters
May 15, 2010, 1:03pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 7th May

So yesterday I couldn't get into my site and thought it had been removed ready for the transfer over to my new server....wrong...today I can get in so I'm awaiting Pickfords for the move.  I might even host it on elsapeters.co.uk as a temporary measure but I'm just waiting for someone to let me know what is happening....

Timbo phoned today and said that they had good news that Evie P has got into the school that they wanted for her.  Unfortunately the uniform isn't pink but the education standards seem to be above par.  England and schooling seems to be a problem.  CJ has his plaster removed from the arm damaged when he decided to try the swimming pool with no water next week and everyone is OK at home.
House updates.....my hot water boiler is installed and electricity functional in the house.  I did test out the trip switch today when I ran over the cable while I was planing the wood for the kitchen.  Trip switch worked and my lovely Bekir, my meister, renewed the cable and I was off again in no time at all.  Nothing like having a man around the place who repairs things immediately without a 'put it on the list' or a 'why can't you be more careful'!!!

Now I'm into a good book.  I am showered, decided that I do not want to go to the restaurant tonight so am in for an early night....pickies will follow....I promise....LN.

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Elsa Peters
May 15, 2010, 1:12pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 8th May

Well now almost have the complete ground floor tiled.  My maestor has been on his hands and knees all day while I swanned off into Kardjali coming back with a fridge and lots of goodies to put in it including Stilton and butter.  This morning I actually cooked a sausage, onion and potato omelette the likes of which I haven't put away for ages but it was because I decided not to grace the restaurant with my presence but got stuck into my book and had the best night's sleep that I have had for ages.  Now those pictures I promised.



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Elsa Peters
May 15, 2010, 1:13pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 9th May

What a thunderstorm this morning but it has cleared the air and today is cloudy / sunny / brief showers and pleasant.  Friend from one of the local villages came round this morning and I had my training session with the mitre saw and router.  What beautiful pieces of equipment and it even does dovetails.  My men are going to go into raptures when they see it and will probably ask why I didn't get it sooner and to be honest I really don't know.  The cost of my lesson..three coffees and a local filo pastry and cheese thing.

We have at last found a supplier of Turps to make my beeswax polish.  We have been promised about ten kilograms of the beeswax for free so now into full scale production and maybe a little stall at the local market.  Just label it up in Bulgarian and put a pretty picture on the front and charge...two or three leva and into profit.  I think 100grams of wax cost me about five pounds in England.  Watch this space for urban enterprise.  

Washing blowing on the line, fridge purring, Barbara Streisand (or Barbara Drysand as my kiddiewinks used to say) singing in the background and me tapping away on the keys....very pleasant afternoon and now to put this machine to bed and think about constructing the kitchen worktop so that I can have my kitchen sink installed.  That's the final before I say goodbye to the hotel and make this my place.  More time to get on with things in the evening and able to get out the gin and tonic at the allotted hour when the sun is over the yardarm and not have to worry about taking the car out. Bliss, sheer bliss.....BFN  
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Elsa Peters
May 15, 2010, 1:14pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 10th May

One builder finishing off the tiling in the lounge and what a quiet time we are having?  I didn't realise but the first call that you make with you Home Phone registers the location so mine was subsequently registered to Hotel Djebel  .

Two telephone calls were received advising me that they were going to suspend the service because I was using the phone out of 'Home Location' but I was actually using it IN home location.  Quick call to customer services who addressed the problem and thank you Vodafone for providing English speakers of such a high standard that there was only the need to 'say this only once'.  I now have my home location set at my 'home' or it will be in a week or so.  
I hear it on good authority that it should reach 30 by the end of the week....suits me fine...let's just get on with completing the canalisation for the inside loo.....
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Elsa Peters
May 15, 2010, 1:16pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 15th May

I’m up and running and has it been a long spell of absence but it’s supposed to make the heart grow fonder….well what has been happening?

I have six more windows ….fully tiled downstairs….broken through to the stairwell mainly to let the window men out without resorting to one of the upstairs door and a pole, a website transferred over to me and no longer plagued with Google adds and half way to constructing ….a bed.  The kitchen units are hopefully being farmed out to one….craftsman, a carpenter to boot who puts in a quote which is something that rarely happens in Bulgaria.  It’s usual for a shrug of the shoulders and a shake of the head when questioned ‘roughly how many days will it take?  This one reckoned on seven to ten days so I am waiting for the final, final figure to take shape.  I’ve also mention the stairs so that’s a little carrot I’m dangling but work is scarce so I hope he comes in under the threshold.

Now I’ve got to back post to May…when the work began…BFN.  Just to let you know that I have also set the link up on elsapeters.co.uk….so if one goes down we’ve always got the other….yes…result
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MikeyB
May 15, 2010, 3:10pm Report to Moderator

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Woohoo you're back!!  

Surely that's all the windows done now??  

Kitchens and stairs sounds exciting!!

lots of love

me x
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Elsa Peters
May 15, 2010, 3:29pm Report to Moderator

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Reply to Mikey B

No I've got two windows and one door from the lounge to do.....first though I have to get the men back out of the fields....that's women for you and this weekend my little builder has five mates over shearing sheep and all
wearing wellies.

Kitchen still waiting for the estimate....stairs...now I shall miss that ladder...

Big hugs
xx



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Elsa Peters
May 15, 2010, 5:53pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday night 15th May

What a day...messing around with websites...trying to get something built using a program that is there for the
taking but I'm not sure what I'm doing...please bear with me...at least it's working.  LN...
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Elsa Peters
May 18, 2010, 9:16am Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 18th May

You might well ask where I have been to...Sunday I was making a bed which I succeeded in completing but my little Clio faded as soon as I got back to the hotel.  It could have been worse....it could have decided that it didn't want to play at the house and then I would have been stranded.  As it was I could still manage a couple of beers and some chicken wings while the mechanic was called at 10.00 on a Sunday night from the restaurant and not by me, identified that it was a breakshoe that was the problem and monday morning he was round with his tools, removed the shoe so that I could get it down to the garage and it was fixed by lunchtime yesterday.  Later I decided to have lunch at the restaurant, I went with the mother from the restaurant on a visit to the school where she teaches dressmaking and design and then we did a tour of the local shop.  Some things evade me when I am searching for them and now I know where to get Roman blinds, curtain poles (anglia) style and all sorts that you would actually need.  They come and measure and fit...not quite like B & Q.

Today I'm at the house with a new workman and my maestor.  The wall is down into the stairwell and we have been shopping and I have all the materials for the new columns in the lounge and that is being done tomorrow and the windows get fitted on Friday.  The kitchen comes in two weeks after having a 'quote' which as I said doesn't happen here.  It's normal a shrug if you ask how much and how long it will take instigates a shrug and a shake of the head.  This quote came in at a very good price so ten days and I will have a kitchen....good stuff
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Elsa Peters
May 18, 2010, 3:25pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 18th continued

Now this afternoon I had four guests but it is not the way to knock and wait....they were in and looking to see what had changed since the last time they were here.  They don't live in the village but in Turkey and they are here for ten days so I guess I shall be seeing more of them.  So much for my afternoon nap.  I had just told the men that  was going to go on the sun lounger with a book for an hour or so when he shouted 'gosti' 'guests and that's when the book went by the way and I struggled with Bulgarian and a few words of Turkish thrown in for what seemed like ages....then the son came and we had a few words of German to boot.  Give it a go...let's see what we can manage to communicate in....that's BG for you....now home James and don't spare the horses.



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Elsa Peters
May 19, 2010, 4:35pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 19th May

Big festival day in Djebel today and where were the men...at the festival...and where was I...lying on my sunbed in the garden and listening to nature.  At one point in my garden I had a cuckoo. a woodpecker, a coaltit with an amazing little song and then the stork flew over towards the lake.  Where was the camera????  In the house.  Ahh well, next time and there will be because there seems to be a good supply of frogs.

Popped over to see my mate in Samodiva today and he's having a shot at making cherry brandy with local cherries.  Now mine are still white but I my house is higher than his so I better keep a watch out for mine turning before the birds notice.  I'm going for the cherry vodka and I noticed that I have loads of little green damsons that appear to be getting bigger every day and they are lined up for damson gin and I suppose I could make some jam...woman cannot live by alcohol alone!!  Of course it's only for the guests.

It went really cold later on so I'm thinking I better reinstall the woodburner.  It's sitting in the hall when we thought we wouldn't need it again but now that I have a huge pile of logs....I think it will be going tomorrow if only to dry out more of the house.  Stone houses are like that...once warm they stay that way but it's getting them warm that's the problem especially when the rain sets in like it did today....not good.  LN...

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Elsa Peters
May 20, 2010, 6:26am Report to Moderator

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Thursday 20th May

Last night I thought we were under attack in the hotel.  We had military planes flying over for two days and loud bangs last night until I left the room in my pyjamas and saw that there was a firework display in the town.  This was the end of the 'holiday' celebrations.  There were a few celebrations in the hotel going on.  One noisy room kept going until 5.00 this morning so at least I got to read my book but I could have willingly knocked on the door if I had had enough of the Turkish language to make the visit worthwhile....

Now my last wall is going....and my final windows come tomorrow so I'm told.  I think it's going to be Saturday or Monday.  Now they're good but I have the distinct impression that they have over estimated making the concrete framework, shuttering and filling them up with concrete ready for the shuttering to be removed so the windows can be fittd.  Let's wait and see.



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Princess
May 21, 2010, 12:01pm Report to Moderator
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well........?? Is the last window in? Thank you for waking the Baby Frog this morning, same time Monday?!!

Love you and hope your last window did not become a 'pane'........

Love you,

Princessxxxxxx
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Elsa Peters
May 21, 2010, 3:18pm Report to Moderator

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Evening Princess

No problem, Monday is OK with me....I have all my windows in and my fly screens so I asked them to make me one for the front door....seems silly fitting them to the windows and not the door....dohhhh.

Lovely to talk to you and what time did the sleepy part of you wake up this morning...
Lots of love to you all and enjoy Susie ...

XXX to the moon and back....
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Elsa Peters
May 22, 2010, 6:45am Report to Moderator

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Saturday 22d May

Well I have so much space that I can't decide what to make first.  I need a wardrobe of sorts, got the coathangers and nowhere to hang em, need a shoe rack so they don't get kicked around and a whole lounge with nothing in it except tiles on the floor and large windows....life's good.  Washing machine running, coffee in the cup and Edith Piaf warbling in the background.  Now I'm wondering what the men make of her .  Yes it's Saturday but they decided that they wanted to get on with the job so who am I to stop them.

Pickies of the latest instalment to follow.....I'll let you know how the rest of the day goes later.



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Elsa Peters
May 23, 2010, 11:56am Report to Moderator

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Sunday 23rd May

I have just added ten tomato plants to my collection and have learnt that you do not water them directly but in a trench either side preferably with some animal poo in the trench.  This is not for the feint hearted...so I think I'll leave the poo out of it and let the soil do its own.  I have also acquired a bucket of 'potatoes' and my instructions are to cover up the potato with soil when the greenery shows its head and then wait until June /July when it dies back and I am assured I shall have a bucket of potatoes.  Let's wait and see if I manage to kill them.

I called in and collected all my bags from Pepe's house and I wonder why I brought out half the things that I did from England.  It's not like there are not any.....shops ....here but who can live without and Acacia spice rack from Cargo...probably I could have done.  

Beautiful day, sheep in the meadow and no cows in my garden to date.  I had reinforced the hedge but one little, or not so little blighter looked like the cow that jumped over the moon as he ran from the garden with me chasing him with my 'crava' stick.  I didn't know they could jump that high...  

Looks like I'm moving in towards the middle of the week...my continental quilts are airing after being in storage for the best part of a year....last thing is a septic tank so that we don't have septic garden.
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MikeyB
May 23, 2010, 2:02pm Report to Moderator

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Wowsers!!  Moving in next week!  

Shall we 'do a little dance' to celebrate hahah...How cool is that!!

I take it the door on the first floor isn't for lemmings, and will be complimented by a balcony of some description?

L.O.L me xxx
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Elsa Peters
May 24, 2010, 6:35pm Report to Moderator

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Mikey B....

If you want to jump that's up to you   It will be complemented with a balcon as will all of the bedrooms but postley....in the vernacular.  Yes leaps and bounds....and my kitchen comes either Friday or Monday and it depends on when he can get the van to deliver....don't you just love it.

Brilliant day today.  They are plastering the stair well and we decided that an original window from the lounge to the stairwell might as well be opened up and closed off at a later day if we decided that's what we would do.  My lovely wee small builder always looks to me and says 'Te' which means that it is my decision and I always look at him and say 'Ne, te' which wouldn't go down a bundle with his wife....but at least I sent her a box of chocolates last week.  

So yes..move in later this week and only the mess tank for them to dig.  The pipework is in but the general consencus is that we will dig you a small one now and a bigger one later.  Whether they expect me to produce rabbit style pellets for the next few weeks I do not know....but they are used to these things where we just flush and don't give it a second thought.

Any road up....lecka nosht...I'm into vodka and tonics tonight....
xxx
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Elsa Peters
May 26, 2010, 3:53am Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 26th May

So how often do you get this that I went to pay for my windows and there was nobody at home....all out working.  I shall have another attempt later today but otherwise the mountain will have to come to Mohammed.  Have done a local deal, well rather my man has.  He is my negotiator and has confirmed that three quarters of the tiles deemed to be 'strong' might not be so we'll have them delivered and see what state they are in when they get to the house and pay up accordingly.  These are roof tiles for the second house so with what I have already got I haven't got too many old ones to get.  New ones look too red.

I'm now getting initiated into bee keeping and assured that one hive will give me ten kilos of honey.  Now I don't like it ten kilos worth but I only want it for the wax to make my wax polish so might have to negotiate further.  You can keep the hive there, harvest and leave me the chaff for my personal needs or you just take it and bring the wax back for me.....Every visitor will receive a jar of honey whether they want it or not

Early morning.  I've been awake since 4.30 and so shower, coffee and over to pick up my men at 8.00.  Promise some more pickies later of the AB<G day in celebration of the two guys who made Bulgarian what it is today....now I did Latin at school but nothing compares to Bulgarian....think I might learn Turkish instead...more useful.
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Elsa Peters
May 27, 2010, 5:59pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 27th May

Tried twice to get some pickies loaded yesterday but the internet kept dropping.  I'm told that it's because the weather is so good....and it has been.  Took a day out today to go with Dom to do a bit of shopping in Kardjali and at last have found my woodburner and the radiators so it looks like that is going to be my next big buy.  We ended up at a fish restaurant and contented ourselves with Carp, chips and salad....and I followed mine down with a bottle of the local brew.  Delicious day....

My windows are paid for and they only have to deliver the outside flyscreen.  As it is the beauties come in through the open door and the flyscreens on the windows prevent them leaving so loads get trapped if you put the windows into tilt and turn.  Sick but I did let them out before we closed up tonight.

I was presented with flowers for my garden and some Turkish tomato plants this morning.  One builder can't outdo the other but they have been given an ultimatum...no more veg...I have no more garden and even had to turn another bit over to get in ten tomato plants but these are supposed to be the huge salad ones so we'll wait and see what comes up.

Tomorrow I promise to load some pictures of the house, the festival day on Monday and anything else that i find interesting....LN
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Elsa Peters
May 28, 2010, 5:06pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 28th May

I am in.  I am spending my first night in the house and how good does that feel.  I said goodbye to room 301 this morning and paid my dues, well I left the money with the shop who will pass it on

Thunderstorms this afternoon but now it is a beautiful evening and I can see my other house from the kitchen and it is still bathed in sunlight.  What a wonderful life....and I have just spoken to Princess and she might, just might be coming out in August with the little frog....

My super maestor's father is not well so I don't know if I am having builders tomorrow or not...having said that I have got enough to do...no furniture and may be guests on the way....Lots to do....
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Elsa Peters
May 29, 2010, 3:46am Report to Moderator

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Saturday 29th May

My first morning and woke up to a beautiful sunrise.  Nature is surprisingly noisy though, but I'm not sure if two cuckoos were competing or I have an echo somewhere in the hillside.  There is a mist lying in the valley over the river and it looks magical.  While my neighbours water their gardens, yours truly is out with the camera capturing my first morning at my house and thanking that chappie up above for giving me the strength to do it.



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Elsa Peters
May 30, 2010, 2:22pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 30th May

While you enjoy your Bank Holiday we work....well my wood maestor delivered my kitchen units today and now we are deciding what we want and how we want them to be.  Having seen the delivery and my return of the men to Djebel my local tour guide has been round with yet another of the ladies from the village.  I am theirs.  The dimmer switch that I have in the lounge / salon is obviously a talking point and has to be seen to be believed.  So they have to see it.

I've decided that the old shutters will make a wonderful table for the lounge so this morning I sanded them down and restained them, they are awaiting polishing and a base fitting.  Tomorrow is another day so first on the list are the workmen from the village, the next taxi journey is the wood maester so that he can work with Bekir to get the sink and tap fitted into the worktop and the plumbing sorted.  Work, work, work and decisions, decisions, decisions but it's fun.  Now to try and get supper sorted in a kitchen that has been taken apart so that it can be reassembled tomorrow...I told you tomorrow was another day
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Elsa Peters
May 31, 2010, 6:22pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 31st May

I have everything in my kitchen but the kitchen sink...literally...the water connectors to the tap wasn't long enough so off we go to Djebel first thing to get some longer ones....I have a fitted kitchen of sorts...not quite UK type fitted kitchen but the cost was amazing and wall cupboards with genuine wooden doors...but I did get the laminate worktop so that the water doesn't get in....on the whole a good job was done.  Pictures to follow but remember that I am still waiting for Mr Cuprinol to arrive so that I can tone down the wood and make it 'mid oak'...not easy to get there.  I was even thinking of sinking walnut shells into some of their white spirit to see what I came up with...Needs as needs must.

I am now the proud owner of 15 tomato plants and the lady over the way said 'Why'...she has enough to feed the forty thousand, two sweetcorn plants, several green beans and two melon plants.  The weather is warm and rainy so everything has taken on a spurt and my bucket of potatoes is coming along nicely thank you very much...

Lecka nosht..it will be white rabbits tomorrow...it's the first of June... so new board....



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May 31, 2010, 9:06pm Report to Moderator
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Just got back from the pub so excuse the spelling, and yes my avatar is my toilet in the snow.  Glad you have your scatter cushions arranged nicely.  Kitchen looks ok, are you inviting him back for the stairs? Might pop by later in the week if your cherrries are ripe!
Have fun

Samodiva Out!
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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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