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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  DECEMBER 2010
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DECEMBER 2010  This thread currently has 7,835 views. Print
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Elsa Peters
December 21, 2010, 5:39am Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 21st December

Very windy in the night and only pockets of snow left...temperature up above freezing so thank goodness we are not suffering here unlike UK...my thoughts go out to you.  Travel disruption at any time is a nuisance but at Christmas....it ruins any plans.

I've got grey storm clouds this morning with just a hint of the sun lingering in there somewhere.  Another dramatic start but today I have my list of things to do already complosed.  Must pay my internet bill before I get cut off....the bills here are sporadic....I still haven't received anything for my home phone but they are installing a new platform apparently and since I used to work for a telecoms company in the UK, I understand that this means trying it, testing it and falling back to the original if it doesn't work.  Unfortunately it seems to have been an ongoing problem so perhaps they should just revert to the old one and let it go at that

So to horse or rather to Clio.....got to borow back my iron for the things that I want to do today and get my sewing machine threaded up....
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Elsa Peters
December 21, 2010, 5:35pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday continued

Here we go with the best laid plans of mouse and men.....or women for that matter.  It took me ages to get a glimmer out of the woodburner this morning and by the time that I had a decent fire going, the electricity went off, the UPS kicked in so I decided not to leave the house until it came on again.  Decided instead to start my creative pressies and have had a good day.  The power was resumed about an hour later by which time the fire had gone out so back to the drawing board.  Fire going again, sewing machine able to do its stuff and then D of S and Annie arrived so on with the kettle, Dom doesn't do Christmas, it's against his religion so not to offend, Annie and I are having our Christmas chicken on Boxing day and Dom is just coming for Sunday Lunch.  Sorted.

So they went about four o'clock and yes, you've guessed it, the power went off again so it was a matter of watching the clock and the pump to make sure that the fire was 'removable' towards the allotted deadline of two hours but it came on about an hour later.  What's with this power thing.....I've paid my bill and the 20 Leva fine so they have no right .

Anyway...supper calls, sweet and sour belly pork with pasta and then back to Hitler I suppose....he has just declared that if he wants Chekoslovakia he'll just take it.  I suppose I grew up with knowing there was a war but didn't know the background.  I've also got the complete set of Ghengis Khan heading my way and Stalin...am I going to be knowlegeable after this .....LN....I'm off for supper....Sorry forgot to mention....it's 12 degrees today......
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Elsa Peters
December 22, 2010, 7:57pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 22nd December

Silly o'clock again but my fault for not closing the curtains...the moon was so bright.  SO I left my telephone upstairs, since no one phones me usually but, three calls in the space of a half an hour and my stairs are not that easy to negotiate at speed, as you know they are only temporary.  The permanent will be installed when I don't have workers running up and down stairs.

No as for workers, the weather has taken a turn for the better and I half expected someone to be here but that was one of the phone calls, Bekir has 'gosti' from Turkey so would like time off for good behavour so 'granted'.  After all, I'm in the Christmas spirit, tree, Rudolph tea light ornament so bring it on.

My second call was from Gouljan to say that she had got the job yesterday but that she was tired and she too had guests so she cancelled my lesson and the third was from the bank asking me to call in for a present.  As it happened I was going to Kardjali anyway so I did just that as well as buying several presents to finish off my ladies goodie bags and managed to get into Lidl's carpark without much effort and out again without much queuing.  I also changed my tariff on my internet connection, unlimited for 20 leva less a month...not I call that a result.

Homeward bound to find the water off.  Now I don't know if I can run my central heating with no water, I know the electricity is covered by my UPS but no one mentioned the other.  Fortunately it's not cold...thank goodness it's not last week (-11) so I let it go right down but it's just come on so I've stoked up the woodburner to give the house a boost.

Photos done for my ladies, tomorrow I am doing their cards and probably going up into the loft to lay the insulation.  Gouljan will be here so she can hold the latter steady and I'll do the rest.

LN....I've closed the curtains already this evening so that I should get a goodnight's kip....the half bottle of wine should also help...LN
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Elsa Peters
December 23, 2010, 5:25pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 23rd December

Morning and what a sky it was...I swear it can't get better but I looked up from my computer and just had to take it...so I've put it below.

So what happened today....I went into Djebel and got my material for the rest of my presents but had to go and dig the owner out of the cafe when his entourage...two Turkish women and one Turkish man proceded to tell me that I should carry a Rechnik (dictionary) at all times but I managed to converse with the shop owner in ...wait for it...French so why should I bother.  I got my material (two sorts), my knitting needles and found out that 'pins' are more difficult to come by.  In the absence of pins, I have rescued my iron for D of S's and will press down the seams of the book covers I am making for presents for a variety of people so that it is a matter of just stitching it without the hassle....

Annie is sitting in Samodiva and we have a date for shopping.  Dom doesn't 'do' shopping and at the mention of my second hand shop and my new jumper for 8 Leva, designer label and 100% cotton she grew very interested.  This is my life in BG

Had my lesson today and you are right, I hadn't done my homework but I bluffed it.  Gouljan managed to get the job she had applied for so at last she has a real job, not just trying to educate me.  I'm a really bad studejnt.  She arrived with a pot of homemade yoghurt and a bag of walnuts used to make I know not what and went home with a Struddle courtesy of Lidls supermarket in Kardjali...I do what I can.

Tonight's supper was a chicken leg that was too frozen this morning to go into the slow cooker so I left it for the day and pan fried it and had it with chippies.  What a decision thought...do I leave the last mouthful for a chip buttie or fried chicken....the chicken won out in the end but it was a close thing.

Fire going like billio and really toasty in the house, I'm downstairs now for another shot of wine that I thought was vermouth but really not sure...one more glass and it might be classified.  Just about to post the pictures of this morning...I'll put on the photos of my neighbours which deserve another showing and of the presents I have made tomorrow....makes more sense since a) I haven't made them yet and b) not taken the pictures...

Guess who got a christmas card today from the UK?  My special friend Angela posted it and it was delivered personally by Gouljan who was coming home on the bus yesterday and was handed it by a friend who lived in the next village....the Anglechanka of Dushinkovo....I hope famous not notorious...

LN....off for another drink and then my virtuous couch...pickies first



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Elsa Peters
December 25, 2010, 5:40am Report to Moderator

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Friday 24th December

Tried to post last night but no connection to the internet.  I think all the Bulgarian world and their wives were on it.

Went to my restaurant to visit my lady and pursuaded her to come into Kardjali with me on an 'expedition' for the last few things on my list, like chicken and potatoes for Boxing day /(Sunday Lunch day for Dom) and she asked if we would be quick.  I said yes because I intended it to be but those best laid plans.  Firstly we went to a new second-hand shop, then the Leva shop where she picked up lots of 'stuff'.  We went to Billa for my chicken, thought they were expensive so went to Lidls.  It was heaving so much so that I left her at the door, I went to the section, found that they didn't have any but were expecting some tomorrow (Christmas day), went back to the door, she wasn't there, went to the car and she wasn't there either.  I hadn't seen a spaceship land so I thought that she had to be in there somewhere so I went back in and searched every aisle full of people waiting to pay and thought .....she hasn't so I went back to the car, still not there, phoned her, number not available, and then she emerged triumphantly complete with two bags of goodies including bananas just because they are 90 stotinki (40p to you and me) a kilo.  So now back to Bila for that chicken.  Went back to the restaurant, three hours later and she cooked chicken so I was suppered already.

Got home sorted the fire out and finished all those jobs that I intended doing three hours earlier and now I am ready for tomorrow......thereabouts since nothing happens here.....it's just like any other day and New Years Day is the focus....bedtime...LN
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Elsa Peters
December 25, 2010, 5:49am Report to Moderator

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Saturday 25th December

Firstly......Merry Christmas to those that celebrate it.  I woke up at seven to a thunderstorm going full pelt, lashing rain and a raging wind.  Santa must have had a bumpy ride last night.  We've also had a power cut since my clock radio is flashing out a warning but I didn't hear the UPS alarm but the fire was long out so no panic there then.  

So my day today is to visit those neighbours who are Muslim and give them presents for something that they obviously don't celebrate and try to explain that they give me gifts through the year, pancakes and meat at their festival times so this is my little thank you.  I'll wait until the street (there is only one) is aired and they have finished milking their cows....I think every house (except mine) has one or two (or a donkey or a horse or a donkey and a horse) just to keep them busy.  

The rain has stopped and so has the thunder but the wind is still raging....so breakfast and then visiting and I'll take the camera just to try and capture some of their little shocked faces
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Elsa Peters
December 27, 2010, 2:20pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 26th December

Well again the best laid plans....found out that yesterday was not a good day to go visiting and giving gifts.  The mother of my avatar lady died and the funeral was yesterday so the gifts are still sitting under my tree.  I have seen her briefly today but not to speak to and since they are all in it together, no ladies were available.  So yesterday

I ended up doing a Delia in the kitchen for Annie and Dominic...chicken with local sausage meat stuffing (delicious), roast potatoes, carrots, peas and pan fried cabbage with onion gravy to be followed by apple struddle and squirty cream.  As it happens the struddle is still sitting in the kitchen but we devoured stilton with what were described as 'digestive' biscuits but were more like malted milk and the wine was freely flowing.

This morning, Dom went home to feed the cats and Annie and myself have had a day in Kardjali visiting those shops I have found that are 'different' and the tile shop so that she could have a look what was on offer since she has the kitchen to do.  We were 'ladies what lunched' and it was obvious that the smoking ban has not yet taken effect in BG.  I think that the EU has issued the ultimatum so we'll see how long it takes.

Now from my last visit to Doms I have the Ghengis Khan trilogy and I am half way through the first.  Hitler will have to wait some....he was heavy going anyway.  Log time....the fire is demanding....the temperature is about to drop and we are expecting snow on wednesday so I am told. I have an invite to the New Year celebration at Dom's local and have bought fireworks since apparently everybody buys fireworks and the sky is ablaze on the night.  I have kept them here just in case I can't make it to Samodiva because of heavy snow and I'll end up having my own little party

Lecka nosht....I'm stoking the petchka....
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Elsa Peters
December 28, 2010, 7:29am Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 28th December

I have snow.....but I have always said that once it falls it seems warmer.  There is no wind yet so the threatened big minus quantities on the thermometer scale look not to descend.  I was guided to the BBC weather for Kardjali and so far, all as predicted.  It is supposed to be white cloud today but it didn't say that it would be depositing the 'whiteness' on the green grass but it is very light at the present time.

I've finished the first Genghis Karn and so on to the second.  He has just brought all of the waring tribes together and now they are known as Mongolians and are just about to attack China.  I have been really educated by D of S's choice of literature (or is it Annie's in the charity shops of UK?).  I've done Alexander the Great, Julius Ceasar and now Genghis.  Hitler?....this is the study in tyranny, the others are just romantically inclined fiction with a bit of gore thrown in.

Poached eggs on toast for breakfast, kitchen tidied, fire going and nothing to go out for.  Too cold for the men to work so just a gentle day.  I checked out flights last night and had a shock...New Years day, cheap as chips, after that mega bucks so I'll leave it for a few weeks.   More coffee, Genghis part two and a roaring fire....nice..
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Elsa Peters
December 29, 2010, 3:47pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 29th December

Was it cold last night?  Yes it was and was it raw this morning?  Yes it was.  Gouljan had to go in to start her new job today and since the early morning bus is at 6.45 and she didn't  have to be there until 10.00 I offered to do the honours at 9.00.  Now I have to convince her that I was going in anyway...she is an independent soul and she said that she would be alright to go in with the milk wagon at 7.30.....NOOOO....be ready at your bus stop at 9.00 and she was.  Now her lane is quite muddy and my little joke is that I call her Cinderella since a) she is waiting for her prince to come and b) she has a penchance for my pink slippers that she has to put on when she is at my house.....all out doorshoes remain outdoor.  So this morning she is running up the lane with her boots in her hand and I expect her to put her rubber shoes in the bag....and what does she do?  Leaves them by the telegraph pole and of course I had to make the joke that Cinderella only lost one and they certainly weren't rubber shoes.

My excuse for going was that I needed petrol which was good enough.  I then went round various shops to try to get a diary but obviously China isn't doing the trade with the shops here that it does with Poundstretcher in the UK.  Not a diary to be had but there is a man who is going to try and get me one for tomorrow.  I'm not really sure that he understood what I wanted and think that he only speaks but doesn't understand English but we'll wait and see what's delivered.

No water today....I heard a noise of someone taking something out of Star Mush garden so I was out there.  Fortunately I recognised the boss from the waterboard and he was taking a concrete pipe so obviously there is a problem somewhere in Gouldjan's village.  He didn't know that that was where I lived and said that he would come for coffee....I suggested that he first get the water on or ...no coffee and he hasn't been back and it's still off.  Fortunately I have a seven litre bottle but I didn't tell him that....he had too many friends with him.

Now tonight it is a brandy and coffee night.  It's down to -4 already and it's only half past five here so we'll see how far it goes tonight.  I'm still with the second Genghis, he's just survived an assasination attempt but since there is another book to go I sort of guessed the outcome.  Downloaded what I thought was a set of instructions for knitting socks on four needles today....as I got to reading it, it was just hints and tips advising me to follow the pattern very carefully.  Now if I had one I would so back to the web to try to find one....don't they make it hard sometimes.

Anyway, just a few random picks that haven't made it before.  One on my tree on Christmas morning and a couple from this mornings sunrise....they really are spectacular.

Quick update...there is a gurgling from my boiler....I think I have water....let's go check......LN..



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Elsa Peters
December 30, 2010, 6:30am Report to Moderator

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Thursday 30th December

It's ccccc.....old....-8 last nght according to my thermometer but inside the fire was going most of the night so stayed reasonable.  At six o'clock I went into the lounge to get the third Genghis and infront of the lounge window ..on the inside, was a little frog.  Now those of you that know me know that I don't do those sort of things at all.  Creepies, crawlies none of them.  My father used to tell me to remember that they are far more frightened of me than I am of them...not a change.  I imagine them jumping feet in the air and landing at my throat.  Now we have to devise a plan.  My sweeping brush normally is the tool of the trade.  When I put the light on he/she/it casually went under the planks of wood that consititute a book case so I removed the books, removed the wood and there he was.  Second part of the plan.  Take one cardboard box, easy gently into the corner firstly making sure that there is an area around it from which there is no escape.  Frog in box, book over it to stop it jumping out, open door to patio, lift box out carefully onto said patio, tip box on side and shut door.  Reassemble book case, make coffee and onwards with Genghis.  I don't know how it got in but until the concrete is laid by the back door and the patio door, I tend to leave doors open when I'm bringing in wood and after all is tempting if they get a waft of warm air.

So beautiful fristy frosty morning.  I managed to download a knitting pattern for socks done on four needles so that is my task for today should I choose to accept it.  Never tried it before so let's see what I can do!!
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