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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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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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Elsa Peters
October 13, 2010, 4:52pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday continued

Today has been about organising the troops and trying to get them back in line.....Bekir has had to help out the central heating engineer because my walls were too thick and some holes had to go in at an angle so Stara Mush came up with the goodies (tools) from his metal toolbox (house).  Now the obvious thing for me is that if you want a hole to come out in a certain place that you go from down upwards....wrong....I now have a hole in the ceiling where I didn't want it and no amount of pursuading made it any the better or more acceptable and I put my little foot down.  But it would only mean about ten inches of pipe and a bend and now I have it my way....straight into the corner, pipes buried in the wall and no can see.....I have now looked round the rest of the proposed installation and have now resited most of the holes that have been created and Bekir will fix tomorrow.....grrrrrhhhhh.

Sally has had a good day...the woodwork for my column for my third bedroom balcony is in place and the old rendering has been removed ready for the balcony woodwork to be done tomorrow.  We are going to get the stuff delivered.....off to Fotinovo for free coffee in the morning whilst placing the shipping order....must make a list tonight.

Off for supper...my chicken thingy that has been stewing all day....LN...
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Elsa Peters
October 14, 2010, 2:05pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 14th October

So today we have even more 'stuff' delivered by lorry and I want a job as a lorry driver....all they do is....drive and Bekir and Sally were responsible for getting it off.  Well most of it that is.....Bekir decided that the wood for the shuttering was not up to standard and sent it back.  Firstly he did offer to cut the end off and we would pay less for it but this seemed to get into a heated discussion and the result was...take it back then and send me the good stuff tomorrow...

Meanwhile back at the ranch....Sally seems to be perilously hanging on to the remaining concrete over the main entrance door.  He has decided that it is not good enough to be added to to make the balcony from the third bedroom and is currently using the hammer drill to remove it and is down to the bars that run through the concrete.

Today Bekir had a visitor who it turns out lives in the next village to Dushinkovo, has taught Bulgarian and French for seven years and Turkish and is currently unemployed.  She has now been booked to teach me Bulgarian two/three mornings a week at a figure yet to be agreed.  My problem is that I know lots of words but it's the verb endings and the linking words that confuse me....I did several years of Latin, understand declensions and the likes but with no one to explain it too me it just gets too complicated so let's see how we get on.

Just thought I would add a few pickies of this morning's work now that I have the makings of a patio and decided to add one of the big hole in the lounge/dining room (currently bedroom) to take the central heating pipes.  Pretty big since they had to remove the stones from the wall as the drill couldn't get through it.  All should be repaired tomorrow....I hope....



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Elsa Peters
October 15, 2010, 4:36pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 15th October

What a funny day today has been.  It rained, there was fog, the wood from Fotinovo didn't arrive so Sally was at a loose end.   I went into Djebel to get the rest of the material for putting in a new outside water tap since the old one was all surface mounted and running along the landing floor and now I have tiles missing and a pipe submounted so I just had to make the point that that's what I'd asked for all along.....men...

My second trip into Djebel was to get a water cut-off so that I could disable my outside water tap whenever I wanted just in case I was away and a cow knocked it off....the last time that happened it cost me an awful lot of money and a very red face at the waterboard....I just paid up and shut up but be damned if it's going to happen again.....

So now men home, they are not working the weekend because there's no point, rain and no materials have stopped play.  I have swept through the house now that I am back, will only mop through it there is no rain tomorrow and otherwise am happy with the state of the place.  The outside bench is now esconsed in the kitchen since the weather looks like it has set in for the winter and I don't have a patio to speak of more like a bomb site so it's OK for the moment and now I believe it is time for a .....vodka and tonic......I did put sweet and sour sausages in the slow cooker this morning but have just switched it off.....I have no hunger after downing two slices of fresh crusty bread with butter at about 4.30 so it I feel like it later I shall get something otherwise....I shall have it warmed up tomorrow and freeze the rest....There does look rather a lot for one so I might invite A and D over for a late lunch/early supper before she sets off for Sofia tomorrow bound for the UK.  Now this weather set in when she arrived and I'm just hoping she takes it back with her....

Enough for this time....I'm into a futuristic good book by Edie Shah about the absconding of the President into a parallel world of the internet and the dark places....Half way through and enjoying it although it's not something that I would normally pick up and it's left over from the guest who should really be referred to as Martin to give him his name although I think he rather likes the TG monogram that I have bestowed upon him....

LN...back to my petchka just to keep the damp out, the vodka to keep the spirits up and the book because I don't have a television I'm pleased to say....LN everybody....
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October 16, 2010, 7:24am Report to Moderator
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Hello,

  Back to being just me here!  Me and Annie went to Smolyan and Pamparovo and got wet, stayed in a fish hotel and restaurant and ate beef and chicken. Someone has stolen all the roads in Smolyan. Rain rain go away!

Regards,

D of S
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October 16, 2010, 8:28am Report to Moderator
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Where the picture of the new open air front door?
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October 16, 2010, 8:35am Report to Moderator
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Elf and safety would have field day with Sally removing his perch from under him!  But the Bulgarian way is so much easier!!!
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Elsa Peters
October 16, 2010, 11:36am Report to Moderator

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Quoted from 25
Hello,

  Back to being just me here!  Me and Annie went to Smolyan and Pamparovo and got wet, stayed in a fish hotel and restaurant and ate beef and chicken. Someone has stolen all the roads in Smolyan. Rain rain go away!

Regards,

D of S


Have I lost a day or what.....I thought you were taking Annie to Kardjali today and she is flying out tomorrow and that was when I was expecting a severe upturn in the weather....
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Elsa Peters
October 16, 2010, 11:54am Report to Moderator

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Saturday 16th October

So today I have had my first......Bulgarian lesson and now it starts to make sense.  I'm one of these that needs to 'understand' the mechanics to have a clue as to where I am going so grammar came to life a little.  She is a very sweet young lady and we started with the Alphabet and I was even writing 'words'.  We did a bit of verb endings and that really took me back to my four years of Latin and several of French and it's as it someone just switched a light on.  You can listen to the radio or people talking but somethings just don't seem to make sense until someone is there and you begin writing stuff down....whoaaaa.  We've agreed on 4 hours a week, Tuesday and Thursday and she is hoping to improve her English at the same time.

Just for Martin I am including this pickie....the rest he will have to wait for......and the rest of you.....now I'm going to stoke up the fire....it's cold and damp and I just need a little warmth before I start downloading the verbs and adjectives from the Bulgarian language site now that I am fully fired up and then get back to my book....



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Elsa Peters
October 17, 2010, 12:10pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 17th October

Well I'd just like to mention that it is my grandaughter's birthday today and she has reached the grand old age of 5.....I tried to phone but I suppose they are off visiting so I'll try again later but if she looks in....Happy Birthday Evie P and I'm hoping the card has got there safely and in time.

And Annie has left....the sun is out and what a beautiful day.  I predicted it would happen and so Mystic Meg triumphs again.  I'm having a lazy day and my petchka is still going from last night, washed my hair, did my homework, downloaded some childrens' play stuff from a couple of good English sites, tried out my vermouth cherry vodka and tasted one of the cherries.  My resolve....to get some plain chocolate and make some Christmas goodies using the cherries...that should prove to be a good talking point.  Who needs a still and Rakia...this is just as good and the ladies should be able to try this one out....after all, it's only chocolate..

I've been planning the garden as well today and should have really been out there digging for victory but it just seemed a little like hard work.  D of S is into the deep bed method and I had to read his blog twice thinking that since A was out here I'd leave them to it and on the second reading I realised that it was double digging the veg patch working on the principle that the roots go down not sidewards so hence delivering more produce.  Now I have enough problem single let alone double but it might be worth considering if you have lack of space.

Off I'm going....I have a bunch of leeks that I must do something with for supper.  Those with some bacon, potatoes and onion and a little chicken soup for thickening should be fine.....might catch you later...
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Elsa Peters
October 17, 2010, 5:26pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 7th continued

Super supper, petchka going a bundle and warming the whole house although it is not that cold outside, the stone walls still want heating.  Picked up a book that I had already ready so no peace for the wicked.....I have nothing to read...must pay a trip to D of S to see what is in his library...need more books.

So today went into the 'facial' mode with calendular creme.....the benefits...great for acne and blemished skin...don't know why I picked it off the shelf but I did.  So tonight a facial with the said creams and a touch of 'surgical spirit'for the drying out of the odd blemish.  Worth giving it a try.

Now back to Sting singing his little heart out and then off to bed...Early start...men at 8.00 means 7.20 for me...LN.......
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Elsa Peters
October 18, 2010, 8:58pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 18th October

Well the update is a little late tonight....I just got caught up in my DS and Sudoko....and I was warm by the woodburner and my PC is upstairs in my bedroom....excuses, excuses.

The men have been really busy today...despite the rain they have laid the concrete floor and finished plastering the bathroom.  As for me...I have dug over the tomato / pepper bed and it's all read for planting.  I am assured that if I put in broad beans that it's the right season....D of S told me so, so it must be right but I think I'll go by the book and check it out first.  

I've had a really good day learning my alphabet and when I left the men tonight I told them to have a good evening in Bulgarian and they're impressed.  One lesson and I'm starting to put things together and they really appreciate that I am trying ....not just trying but properly.  I bought a book this afternoon and I have been writing the cyrillic characters and they are not easy...it's the B's and the V's..they all look the same.  

Just had a let down...my last glass of wine had a bloodly fly in it.....and I threw it away...now there's a first.  Supper was last nights rehashed and this time I had it with toast and it was delicious.  My slow cooker and I have become firm friends....as I said before....I prepare in the morning when I'm interested and it cooks while my interest wains....but there is always something ready at the end of the day.  Tomorrow's beefburgers are already defrosting ready to go into the cooker tomorrow morning.  Organised or what....

Well that's it for tonight...the men's clothes are drying on the airer by the petchka...they both got very wet today so they should be fine for tomorrow...LN....I'm just going to rest these weary old bones....LN...and is that rain I hear.....arrrggghhh
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Elsa Peters
October 19, 2010, 12:06pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 19th October

Well today would have been my father's birthday and so I shall raise a glass to him tonight.  What a lovely soul he was and I still miss him.

I have had my second Bulgarian lesson and I have homework to do for Thursday when I have my next.  It was absolutely throwing it down with rain so I got the car out and went to fetch her.  I didn't even know which house it was but I headed in the general direction and stopped at the bus stop where I thought it was and lo and behold I was introduced to her father so I gave him a lift back to his house and she appeared a little later saying that I shouldn't have worried about her and that it wasn't far.  I made the point that if her clothes got wet then she would have had to sit in them for two hours and would steam.  We went through a workbook that I have just bought from Djebel and one of the words is 'iron'.  She started to make sentences with me to write down and one was 'The iron is on the table' so I changed that to be 'You will never find an iron in this house'.  Well I do have one courtesy on Mikey B but Dom borrowed it to iron his shirt for his interview and I said he can keep it until I might get an interview which could mean he can have it forever.  Annie has just let me know that Christmas is cancelled because the flights are so expensive so I'm going to look outside of the tourist season and see what I come up with....

The men are working away.....Bekir is tiling the bathroom and Sally is putting the insulation in the loft....and the weather has changed from 25 litres of rain per square meter to a lovely sunny day.....almost bikini weather but there again, don't want to frighten the natives....

Let's look for something to do....catch you later....
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Elsa Peters
October 19, 2010, 7:54pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday continued

I just popped in to D of S on the way back from taking my men home.  The moon was shining and on the way back I thought there was a police car following me with a flashing blue light until I realised that it was he moon shining through the trees....Now it is into my bedroom window with a great big star hanging underneath it.

Supper tonight was hamburgers cooked in the slow cooker with tomatoes, onions, honey and thickened with mushroom soup and served with pasta washed down with a glass of red and I did remember to say cheers to dad.  I phoned Princess tonight just for a wee chat....makes me feel better that I keep in touch and so LN...got to raise that second glass to my father....
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Elsa Peters
October 20, 2010, 11:39am Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 20th October

So last night's clear night was short lived....that moon that I went to bed with must have soon disappeared since the rain at silly o'clock this morning woke me up so got stuck into a book at 5.30 this morning.....I forgot to change my library books (at D of S's) last night so I've picked up one that I've tried to read a few times.  This time it seems to be getting better already and I'm beginning to find some humour in it.

The lorry with the wood eventually came this morning and then I went off to Kardjali in the Beast to get the rest of the central heating bits, a big bag of potatoes since the last five I bought locally I think I got one good one out of them, shopped in Billa for those things you can't get locally like butter and found out the cost of loft insulation.  The weather has changed yet again and Sally is out there in his shirt sleeves complaining how hot it is but he is putting the shuttering up for the balcony/porch over the back door/yard area now that he wood has arrived.

Now I'm researching loft insulation and in UK I'm reading that you need to put down about 27cms of insulation for it to be effective....here I am told that 5 cms is 'normal' so back to the drawing board Nigel.  

Now to finish my homework......

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Elsa Peters
October 21, 2010, 2:36pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 21st October

And yes I did finish my homework ready for my lesson tomorrow that was supposed to take two hours but ran into approximately three....oh boy...was my little brain hurting at the end of it.

Now the toys that I bought for the boys (Bekir and Sally) are being used.  For Sally....wood and loads of it and for Bekir tiles and I am pleased to say that they are banging and mixing to their hearts content and I have the pictures to prove it.  As for the rest of the day, I'm tired of sweeping cement dust and grit out of the hall but I suppose it's par for the course.  You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs so bugger the eggs and the cement dust.

Had a lovely letter from TC who was telling me that she might be over in the New Year and so I better get the bath out of her bedroom and where it should be, some curtains and a bed might be a start.  It will be good to see another of the old crowd but I suppose I better start buying the red wine faster than I drink it so that I should get a bit of a stock in....I know what it's like when we get together.

So the telephone people have started to get their act together and the bills sent out but I still have a credit outstanding which the don't seem to be able to take off the bill.  That's Vodaphone for you...but at least they didn't cut me off for late payment since I didn't have a bill to pay.  Unfortunately there are others that haven't received the last two so they could be in or a few shocks.

Tonight's supper is in the slow cooker.....beef in tomatoes with red wine and a few mushrooms.  Yum...men soon on their way home, back at about 7.15 and then in for the night with a huge petcha going, a good book and the rest of the red.  LN..

Now for the pickies...



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Elsa Peters
October 22, 2010, 9:54am Report to Moderator

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Friday 22nd October

Well I was just about to update when a rather loud noise of an airplane drew my attention away from the screen towards the hillside and the most enormous plane and only about a few hundred feet above the ground made me run to the other room to see it disappear towards the northern hills.  And where is the camera....attached to the computer and dowloading this mornings efforts.  I followed it with the binoculars and was sure that it needed to get a bit more height but somehow it made it.....

The pickies are of this morning's sunrise and it was a good start to the day which went down hill thereafter.....bloody petchka....could I get it to light....could I buggary but I think at last we are on the way.  It's not that it's cold, but the men have got the doors open and I don't want it to be damp or cold tonight...nothing worse so just to keep it ticking over is good.  And I had another visitor.  A mouse must have found it's way through the stone wall where they have been making the hole from one room into the other for the central heating...there is no other way without he/she's got a pneumatic drill, dynamite and a hard hat....all other entrances have been sealed.  Bekir is going to do 'a little work' outside to sort the problem out witout it's still in the wall and then he/she is stuffed.....I need to borrow a cat....

My librarian is coming over later and I think Ghengis Khan is on the menu.....Poland...the one I'm trying to read is due for the shelf again....my mind just keeps going to other things after about twenty minutes...



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Elsa Peters
October 23, 2010, 6:21am Report to Moderator

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Saturday 23rd October

No men and D of S dropped them back last night so I've had an easy time of it.

It was a full moon last night from the bedroom window and it was still up this morning at 7.30.  Jupiter was really bright close to the moon but my binocs aren't good enough to see it's moons.  We've had our first frost and the petchka managed the night and five minutes and a roaring fire.  The house still felt exceptionally warm despite the white covering on the ground and I really should get myself a couple of thermometers, one for out and one for in....  As for what the rest of the day holds.....it's such a beautiful morning that I think a spot of gardening is on the cards....I want to get my broad beans in, resite a couple of forsythias that I have grown from cuttings into the hedgeline and get in the geraniums....a harder frost and I would have lost them.  I also need to dig over a couple of long/ narrow strips so that I can get it ready for next year but what I really miss is a good English gardening fork....the ones that they have over here seem suitable for hay or mucking out cow sheds but when real digging is needed....the prongs bend.

Just a couple for the record



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Elsa Peters
October 23, 2010, 3:49pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday continued

I've just come in from the garden.  I now have a ten by eight patch and have planted out a few cuttings into the hedgeline as promised but I have found the polythene mine.   I reckon that for years they have had polytunnels but instead of getting rid of it properly.....let's bury it and yes I think I've just found the last four they buried and I can see another seam a little further down the hedgeline.....that for tomorrow.

The moon is up and it is just as bright as yesterday and I do think when it is that new and so full that you can almost see the face on it.....It's not dark yet so it is a beautiful gold in that blue sky....and Jupiter is out as well.  Looks like we're in for another cold night....better go and put another log on the fire...

Now for a beer and back to my book.....my librarian did arrive yesterday and now I'm into one about the destruction of Pompeii, no not Portsmouth, and it does have a plot not just an eruption.  LN...it's supper time.
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Elsa Peters
October 24, 2010, 7:25am Report to Moderator

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Sunday 24th October

Another fristy frosty morning and again my petchka held up but I must remember to fill up the log basket later in the day instead of in the morning...I had to stagger out in my pyjamas for some of the small stuff to get the big stuff blazing at 7.00 this morning or is it 6.00?  Did the clocks change or not....I suppose I really ought to check.  My laptop hasn't asked it I want to assume a new time so I'm thinking it hasn't.

So my new garden is attracting a couple of robins this morning now that the hedgeline has been dug over.  I've just checked out the transplants with my binoculars....we'll it still pretty cold out there yet.  Just finished ham, egg and mushrooms and the rest of the ham has gone into the slow cooker with leeks, onions, potatoes, tomato puree and honey ready for tonight or a late afternoon or whenever takes my fancy.....so now I can get dressed, into work gear and then out to do some more digging...and I forgot to mention....the broad beans went in yesterday....
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October 24, 2010, 9:44am Report to Moderator
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You have until next weekend, before the clocks go back.  According to google anyhow.  Gengis Khan books are not here I only have the third and final one here the others are in the uk according to Annie.  When the moon has died down a bit you should be able to see the moons of Jupiter with a set of binoculars. Enjoy your digging!

D of S



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Elsa Peters
October 24, 2010, 5:49pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday continued

Thank you D of S....the moons of Jupiter.....the airplane with a mate was over again this morning but this time I was in the garden so yes I managed to get in and get my camera......will download them tomorrow.

So what a good day in the garden and now I have removed the Acacia that was growing in entirely the wrong place and is now transplanted into the hedgeline...Bloody big thing it was and they have gynormous spikes so who was the careful one.  It as two choices....either it will or it won't but I did whisper sweet nothings in its leaves but only at a distance....huge thorns.  I also have several tamarisk that have started to root so a few more for the hedgeline

So I now have two forsythia and one japonica keriya in the hedgerow and all cuttings from a couple that I picked up in Assenograd.....and with a free day tomorrow since I have just had a phonecall to say that my men can't work tomorrow.....so while the cat's away....

Had my slow cooker special, already inmy jimjams with the pethka belting out and I have got my logs in for tomorrow in advance.....now onto the Enigma Code......Pompeii fell this morning....LN....time for a little drink and book....
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Elsa Peters
October 25, 2010, 8:20am Report to Moderator

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Monday 25th October

Horrible, horrible foggy morning....it looked like it was going to burn off but as to yet....no joy.  Two robins fighting over territory of my new garden this morning but only one has a red breast so that might not be what they were fighting over at all. ...so one just has to wonder.

It seems pretty quiet without the men this morning and my central heating man was supposedly on his way today but perhaps he has contacted Bekir and made other arrangements.  He was in Turkey last week so who's to know where he might be....

Back to my garden for me today.....there are lots of spreading suckers so with pickaxe at the ready....I'm off to do war on the garden....
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Elsa Peters
October 26, 2010, 1:15pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 26th October

Well I must admit not much war was done on the garden yesterday.....I got stuck into the Enigma book and decided that it was much nicer by the fire since the fog didn't lift until well after lunch time.  Last night's supper was put in by lunchtime and I set off for Djebel about three to get some fuel for Beauty to save using the Beast for the men's pickup this morning.  Saw a big rug for 50 Leva and decided that it was just the thing for the lounge and also picked up a couple of fleece blankets to use for whatever I want them for at the time....nifty things are fleece blankets.....

So both of the men are working outside today on the flat roof / balcony from the over kitchen bedroom.  There is so much metal being thrown around but we had a problem in that we needed a good set of bolt cutters to get through the strengthening wire so off we went to Djebel again this morning bringing back another couple of bags of tile cement while we were at it.....Is your journey worthwhile????  ....let's make it so.

Just finished my fifth Bulgarian lesson and it's made me really feel guilty about my abortive use of grammar up until the first lesson.  I really don't know how anyone understood me.....the words were all there....not neccessarily in the right order and with all the wrong endings.  Whoever heard of different endings for my book (masculine), my garden (feminine), my child (neuter) and my books (masculine plural) and that applies to all cases proceeding a noun!!  So now I've got my homework to do and if I start now, I should get it finished by Thursday

Now just a few pickies...the one of the errant airplane that I believed got lost but then found out he had a mate with him and a record of today's activities....



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Elsa Peters
October 27, 2010, 8:20am Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 27th October

I've got two men out there with two buckets and it reminds me of the Victor Borge sketch about the rope breaking and the bucket going up as he came down.....let's hope the rope is strong.  The concrete has been mixed and it is now going up and the emply bucket going down.  Bekir filling and Sally emptying.  Only about another six square metres to go.....I can't get out of the front door I have been shielded from the descending cascade of water by a sheet of polythene and the kitchen window has been protected so it's like the black hole of Calcutta in there.

Think I am going back to my fire....it's too drab to be sitting in my bedroom on the laptop...after all balancing is a problem....and despite my best efforts to get the place warm they insist on working with the upper door and windows open and the fly screens adrift.  Suppose it is warm mixing concrete....so I'll be back later when I've warmed through and I'll post the pickies.....
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Elsa Peters
October 27, 2010, 10:46am Report to Moderator

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Wednesday and still cold

That door is still open....but here you go....



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Elsa Peters
October 27, 2010, 4:53pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday the final....

I had two very wet men today since it decided to bucket down....I felt like the proverbial mother hen taking their wet clothes to the petchka to make sure that they are dry by tomorrow.  I have a balcony that cannot be unveiled for ten days so that the concrete has sufficiently hardened off, I have two workers that went home a little bit squiffy an hour early (I offered them the bottle of rakia and a bottle of beer and two glasses since rain stopped play), and I have a most wonderful petchka buring itself into the ground while the wind howls outside and the rain lashes against the windows.....this is Bulgaria...this is October...this is not 'normal'....where is my sun....

LN....back to stoking and drying....
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Elsa Peters
October 28, 2010, 7:00am Report to Moderator

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Thursday 28th October

Awake since two this morning..gale force winds, lashing rain, dreading the sunbed finding its way through the lounge windows so sat in bed reading for the next couple of hours.  Warm as toast though....I've taken to putting a fleece blanket between me and the mattress and between me and the quilt and it just takes away the initial shock of sheets.  Eventually got back off at about 4.30 and then awake again at 6.30 so not a good night at all.  Men today are draining and resiting the hot water boiler and I'm hearing them mumbling about not being able for find a key but that everything is perfect.....they forget that after five lessons I'm fluent

Now to get some more practice in before my tutor arrives......................aarrrhhhh

So I've just looked out of the window....no wonder it is so cold there is snow on them there hills...only a fine dusting but snow all the same.  My lesson went OK but the lounge got cold so we moved into the hall with the woodburner to finish off and it was mainly because the men insist on working with the doors and windows open on the upper floor.  I'm burning wood like it's going out of fashion and they want to stay cool so I suggest that they move outside and leave me to my warmth and hospitality,  Bit of a joke though...I had to borrow 20 leva from my builders to pay my teacher because I had forgotten to get into Djeble and the cashpoint.  Robs Peter to pay Paul....fully paid up now though.

The bathroom is coming on in leap and bounds but I seriously need the central heating engineer so that we can resite the boiler,  Tonight I am without hotwater and if they don't work tomorrow because it's too cold they shall seriously be in hot water where I certainly won't.....

Enough for tonight....I am going stoking....I've got a house to warm up before bedtime....LN
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Elsa Peters
October 29, 2010, 9:40am Report to Moderator

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Friday 29th October

So this morning there was frost on the car when I went to go to fetch the men but the day promised to be fine, but didn't realise that it would be as hot as this.  Windows open, doors open......bikini at the ready...(no I jest) but I've kept the woodburner going and have emptied out the ash of the last five days.  Thought it was about time so that at least I can get a draught through it now....

Bekir is carrying on with the tiling today and Sally is digging the footings for my bedroom balcony and the downstairs lounge patio.  So instead of my bedroom door opening on to nothing.....I shall soon be safe if I take to sleepwalking

A few of my friends have been critical of some of the photos that I put on because they don't give the overall impression of the house so here's a few that do show the hard work that the men have put in.  Note the carpet in the lounge......local purchase and more that reasonable.  I've included one of the snow on the hills from yesterday just as proof of the event....the pickie was taken from my the little window in my bedroom.



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Elsa Peters
October 30, 2010, 6:54am Report to Moderator

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Saturday 30th October

Now I know why I should have put my bedsocks on last night....the temperature dropped rapidly and this morning it is white over.....and I have an icicle on my outside water tap....there's a sun out there somewhere ...yes I found it so thought I would take a picture of it.

Now my little woodburner is doing its little best to compete with the outside but really having to struggle.  In my house I have five radiators attached to the wall, a bloody big woodburner in my hall and not a pipe between them.  My engineer needs to get his finger out or his foot on the accelerator of his car before I freeze to death on my hillside.  I suppose I could always move my bed down to the hall but it sort of defeats the object of three bedrooms and five radiators and a bloody big petchka.............arrrrgggg.

My list for today....a couple of thermometers...one for out and one for in just to see if there is a difference, make a muffler for the bottom of the door to stop the draught and dig an outside pit to get rid of the builders rubbish that they have accumulated over the last week.....

Just a few pickies of the wilting sun....



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Elsa Peters
October 31, 2010, 8:38am Report to Moderator

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Sunday 31st October

Had a good day yesterday in the garden and even managed to dig up my geraniums to bring them inside.  Pretty colour so don't want to lose them and I have also managed to get some honeysuckle to root so it looks like I might be having that stall on the market sooner that I thought...

I did remember my bedsock last night and it's a good job I did.....it went down to freezing but toasty in bed and then when the sun comes up, this house just absorbs it....it's like living in a conservatory but the double glazing stops it rushing out as quickly as it seems to come in.  So what's today hold?  I want to get on with some more exercises in Bulgarian....it's strange how words keep getting stored but you forget what they mean.  I'm also stuggling with the possessive pronouns which change for masculine feminine and neuter.....and I've realised that my little lady understands English grammar much better than I was ever taught it...and it's a matter of dredging the memory banks....   School days seem a long way away...

Now to horse or rather to garden.....I cooked bacon (ham offcuts thinly sliced), big croutons (like fried bread but more crunchy bits), mushrooms and fried egg.   Now fully fortified....I'm off gardening.......studying later....

I've just been disturbed by my neighbour who delivered a container of her home-made yoghurt....she can disturb me anytime she likes....just a little now with my home-made wild damson jam......hhhmmmmm......divine.
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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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