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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  OCTOBER 2010
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OCTOBER 2010  This thread currently has 11,557 views. Print
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Elsa Peters
October 1, 2010, 1:25pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 1st October

And so into a new month.....and what is this going to bring?  The weather appears to be turning, hot while the sun is shining but a distinct chill when it isn't.  Rain clouds are threatening despite a wonderful dawn although it appears to be getting later each day.  Soon time to turn those clocks back so that at least we get a little more daylight at the beginning of the day.

My two little beauties are working on the bathroom and the final bedroom tiling.  I had to go and get a few more tiles today from Kardjali but that should be the last of them.  Just a few more bags of the stuff to stick them on the walls and then we head for the outside where the work seems to show more results.  Tiling and grouting is always a slow process.

I had a red squirrel in the garden last evening and it headed straight for the walnut tree.  Haven't seen him/her today but there are neat little piles under the tree....they certainly don't fall of the tree that way.  I had to get the book out to see what you are supposed to do with them and now I have to bring them inside so that the outer husk can be peeled off and then make sure they are dry and I am talking about the nuts not the squirrels.  Next year I shall be picking them early for walnut chutney.  The woodpecker also decided to knock seven bells out of my tall tree....very colourful bird but doesn't hang around long.  

Now to curl up with a book.  This is an adventure about treasures taken during the time of the Inca by the Conquistadores and just getting exciting.  Firstly though must get supper into the slow cooker so that there is little to do when I've dropped the men off.  Catch up with you later....
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Elsa Peters
October 3, 2010, 8:41am Report to Moderator

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Sunday 3rd October

What happened to yesterday's update....the day just went and suddenly it was bedtime and the internet connection was playing up 'so no could do'.  

We took a ride up to Ustra yesterday which gives wonderful panoramic views of the mountains but where was the camera when you needed it ....  at home and so was Angelas.  I do have lots that I took the first time that I went there so I'll let her have some of my original to take home with her.

So today we are heading for Velingrad on our way back to Sofia.  There is a 'white cloud' weather warning and that white cloud was fog earlier on which at last has dissipated but the white cloud overhead is still there.  Remarkably calm but dull day and if only that sun would show its little face it would dry it all out but perhaps it's shy.  So Velingrad today and then Sofia on Monday then off she goes to UK on Tuesday.  I did originally think about going back for a couple of weeks but I suppose there is a bit of a rush on to get more of the house finished before the winter, things like the outside rendering, the terraces, balconies and central heating.....not quite in the right order but something like that.

Anyway, shower, packing, oil for the Beast and then off we go....I'll try to take more photographs ready to post on Tuesday....I might not be able to get to a PC until then.....watch this space
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Elsa Peters
October 6, 2010, 1:39am Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 6th October am or silly o'clock

What a wonderful two days on my travels to Sofia to take Angela back to the airport.  We left on Sunday afternoon in the rain heading for the spa town of Velingrad via the scenic route and unfortuately the rain turned into fog and mist through the moutain passes but we got there.  Beautiful countryside and it's logged for a summer visit although the colours of the autumn trees made the trip worthwhile and pickies will be posted when I've recharged the camera battery.  On the way we kept referring to the Rough Guide to Bulgaria and read what we could have seen if we had stopped in some of the villages.  Batak had a huge lake and a beautiful church but there was just nowhere to park the Beast and the last thing we wanted was to get wet and sit in those clothes for the next few hours so again, logged for future sorties.  We found a very reasonable hotel in Velingrad and a restaurant with live music which was a first for me in BG with a male and a female singer, two guitars, one keyboard and one drums.  

So on monday morning we headed again through the mountains towards Samokov and the ski resort of Borovets but again the weather got in the way.  Borovets was shrouded in mist and you couldn't see a hand in front of your face let alone the ski lifts so we carried on out way and followed the railway line and the river towards Sofia, Angela map reading and me searching for the road signs.  And yes, we found the Holiday Inn which is my favourite stopover, where I did half an hour swimming and fifteen minutes in the hot tub to wash away the frustration of the weather.  Light snack in the hotel in the evening after we had munched pizza in the shopping mall near the hotel earlier, a couple of drinks and then off to the airport the following morning so that Angela could get her flight.

Secretly I am pleased with myself.  A month ago I had hardly seen anything of Bulgaria at all.  The names on the map were just that, names on a map but now I know of hotels that I would visit again in those places, would recognise the roads again and the next time would know where to make the stops to see the things listed in the guide book.  It brings the country to life but I think one of the best moments was driving home and appreciating that I had bought my house in the right place.  It's more rugged down here, the mountains seem more open and there is more variance from soft high pastures to towering peaks and our pointy extinct volcano type mountains.  The trees here are just beginning to turn colour so we have that to look forward to.  

So home to the ranch and what greeted me .....I had had a bloody cow in my garden and couldn't find a hole in the fence and the gate was closed so don't know how it got in or out, my tomatoes had all gone, my geraniums trampled, four of my eight squash had chunks out of them, the vines were trashed and cowshite all over the garden / hillside.  Today I am on garden patrol to find out if I can see where the buggar got in....and now going to see if I can get a couple of hours in myself before the run to fetch the men......pickies later....
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Elsa Peters
October 6, 2010, 5:50pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday at a much more reasonable time

I have succumbed...my little woodburner is installed and warming up the house....you may ask why but it is still raining still damp and still getting on my nerves.  Annie is over from Swansea and I've told her to return to the UK and take her weather back with her....but she can stay around for the weekend and if it clears after our night of putting the world right on Saturday night, she can stay until Friday....

Saw my central heating man today and tomorrow is the assessment and the quote....now this is a second for me, the first was for the kitchen and these are not normal in BG.....but there you go.  I want my five radiators and woodburner just to see me through the winter with winter wood and coal on its way, I'm assured that the amount ordered will get me through next year.  

Lovely supper tonight, I remembered to add potatoes to the chicken in the slow cooker before I took the men home so five minutes after parking up, bottle open, food in dish, chair round woodburner, dishes in the sink awaiting my next move due to occur when I have just finished this update.  

Lecka Nosht....off to do my chores before I sit down for the night and settle into my book with Eric Clapton in the background...
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Elsa Peters
October 7, 2010, 10:21am Report to Moderator

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Thursday 7th October

It is a cold wind that blows nobody any good and it certainly is cold today.  I decided to light the woodburner so that I could warm the house up a tad before tonight and my quote comes tomorrow for the radiator installation and the huge woodburner.  Next stage is to get the insulation in the loft so that what is produced stays in the house and not warming up the hillside.

Men are working away on the bathroom ceiling and that should be another gap filled. Bekir is finishing off the grouting which is one hell of a time consuming job and pretty boring at that, but it must come to an end soon.  Now to load up the woodburner again....no peace for the wicked
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Elsa Peters
October 8, 2010, 11:33am Report to Moderator

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Friday 8th October

Now it's an even colder wind today and I'm informed by my men that it's coming from Germany.  The sun's shining though so I managed to get the beds stripped, washing all dried and now airing but inside the house infront of my huge windows.

Bit of excitement today.  Just received a text from D of S informing me that he has just struck up the still with the intention of turning those 40 litres of not very good cherry wine into an unknown quantity of something thatcan be put in a glass and enjoyed without holding your nose.  On second thoughts you just might have to hand on to your hat and that will have nothing to do with the wind from Germany.

The little woodburner is doing it's stuff but on Monday I go out and get the 'bits' so that the heating engineer can get started on the radiators and biggie woodburner.  He came round yesterday, I got the list of all the necessary bits this morning and he comes round on Tuesday to make a start. Unfortuately he has to go to Turkey for a few days so let's hope that the weathe picks up in the meantime or I shall be sleeping downstairs and missing out on the view.....Next stage is to get the insulation for the loft.  It's been measured up, I'll work out the damage on Monday while in Kardjali and sort out transport.  No point in heating the hillside and then must get more wood organised.  Left it until there is concrete outside the back/front door so that I can store it near enough to get it if the snow does come....  Must just go and stoke it up.....

Jst looked across at Stara Mush's house and his chimney is belching forth....trouble is though I reckon his house is so damp that what he has over there is a sauna...I wonder if there is an entry fee
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Elsa Peters
October 10, 2010, 4:33pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 10th October

Thank goodness it has warmed up over the last couple of days.  I was told that with windchill it went down to 4 degrees.  Now cold I expect in December, January and we come out of it about February with maybe a cold spell in March....as for October....not 'normal' Elsa....not 'normal' so I am told.

Saturday was a day of activity and sorry but just didn't get round to updating.  I started cleaning though and getting rid of cement dust which seems to get everywhere and the only way to get rid of it is hotwater so I washed all the floors down and it looked supberb for A and D of Samodiva.  I've got it down to a fine art now though.  The hall is the last floor to do so you have to have a cup of coffee and a book on the bench outide the kitchen window and that's just what I did.  The sun was just in the right position so I rolled up my pyjama bottoms, took off my shoes and had wha should have been an hour on the bench which turned into two and managed to finish the book.  It turned out to be a fairly quick moving murder mystery with a good ending.

Had a shower, went into Djebel, got supper underway and they arrived at about 6.00.  All went well, wine flowed and we hit the sack at about 2.30 which for me is unheard of.  Coffees all round at about 9.30, Samodiva sweeties left and started another book and headed for the Dushinkovo village fete.  Went to get my camera and had forgotten to charge the battery so ended up taking them with my phone and then realised that the software for getting the photos on to the laptop was on my pc in England.  So this afternoon I managed to download the program and here goes with some pickies.  I saw one or two people that I knew from the village but it was really crowded.  A few market stalls, sheep roast, Turkish music, singers and dancers, bareback horse riding but I didn't wait around for the wrestling.  I decided that my little house was a much better place to spend the afternoon.



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Elsa Peters
October 11, 2010, 9:20am Report to Moderator

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Monday 11th October

Now last night I was sitting reading and there was a strange noise and I couldn't locate where it was coming from.  I thought it might be from the ticking clock so I stopped the pendulum..no joy, listened to the woodburner and the chimney ...still no joy...so went to bed and put it to the back of my mind.

So this morning I am reading again after Bekir said he had a small problem with 'gosti' and 'documention' and had to go to Kardjali so no could work and I heard the noise again only this time it seemed to be coming from the back of one the new door frames.  The only thing to hand was insect spray so I lavished it on the smal crack at the top of the frame, went into the room and sprayed down the joint between the door frame and the wall and out shot one of the many legged quick moving insect centipede type things and then another.  The spray didn't do them any good at all and there is no more noises at the moment.  Don't know...lot of noise but they do have lots of legs so I'll just have to wait and see.

Other than that there has not been a lot of activity on the Dushinkovo front.  The morning fog took ages to clear so much so that the washing is on the airer, I just didn't think it worth while putting it out.  The sheep are now wending their little way over the hillside and now it's back to my book....The Last King of Scotland....the story of Idi Amin.....not sure if I'm enjoying it and about half way through so I'll persever in the hope that there will be a little more action.

Now these are the pickies I promised from the roundabout way to the airport....and of my garden before the blasted cow(s) had its (their) wicked way with it......



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Elsa Peters
October 12, 2010, 6:38pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 12th October

Just had to take out a mortage (joke) on the bits for the central heating that is being installed over the next few days....what a shock...didn't think it would cost that much but that does include thermostats on each radiator and so it should

We rode into Kardjali and the bankomat was heaviliy in demand and I drained it dry....and I'm out there again tomorrow since I realised that I didn't have enough withdrawn to pay my men tonight.  We have the standing joke when a lot goes out that it's down to bread and water and if there's a little left I might have onion too but tonight it is definately only bread and water but in fact it was leek, ham and potatoes in the slow cooker with a hint of chilli....not bad and ready for when I got back from taking the men.

So today I brought Sally another present of wood preservative and he descended from the loft with a glazed expression and so much so that late this afternoon he was sent outside to dig the foundations for the column for the outside porch just clear his lungs out.  I ended up on the wrong end of the wheelbarrow ....he was filling it and I was emptying it and the antique vase that was given to Bekir by Stara Mush is now firmly entrenched in my little house.  Bekir's idea was to cut it down and drill a few holes in it and I shrieked.....NO, it's old, you can't...and so he hasn't.

I can't decide if it's cold tonight or not....my woodburner has been on all day but because of Sally using the wood preservative the windows have been open so it's chill upstairs in the house but warm by the fire or perhaps I'm just tired.  The Idi Amin story warmed up and is finished.....gone back to a detective story....I have done Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Idi Amin and I believe Adolph is being lined up as we speak and also Ghangis.  Marvellous what you learn as you get older from the young generation.

LN....off to my little pit....
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Elsa Peters
October 13, 2010, 7:23am Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 13th October

My first radiator is on the floor awaiting elevating to it's final resting place and I have been informed that it is slightly off horizontal so that the water flows better....through the system....what you live and learn.

I've worked out why we have fog and I just thought it was morning mist....look at Stara Mush's petchka belching it out throuhg his two chimneys...got to stop that metal in his house from rusting.  Apparently it is full of metal and not a window in the place at all....I suppose I make up for it in mine.

So now I have acquired the pot and I'm told there is a story attached to it where they used to bury the pots full of gold when they went to Greece.  I have left Sally in the garden looking for ones that are full...



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