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Elsa Peters
July 11, 2011, 4:20pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 11th July

This morning I awoke very early and thought I had a mosquito in the bedroom...there was a funny sort of noise and then yes, you've guessed, it was the Imam calling everyone to prayer.  So I said a few words, like 'Oh goodness me' tried getting back off but didn't manage it so I was out of bed and surveying my garden at 5.50 this morning with a coffee. Now I should know by now that I ought to put my tools away so that they are not obvious.  It's very easy to pick one up and just do a bit and two hours later and the sun is climbing higher and starting to heat up, it's time to think about packing up, getting another coffee and some breakfast.  Tonight I will learn and put them out of sight/out of mind.

There was a lot of noise going on at about eight this morning and lorries carrying ballast and stuff and driving to Djebel I found out why... square holes, lots of men supervising, one digger and we'll see how long it takes for them to be filled with tarmac.

Went into Djebel to get out some money...I felt a bit like royalty hadn't carried any for days with the bankomats being out of service.  Took the car into the garage so that they could finish the job that they started when they ran out of bits, like new air filter and oil filter and decided to check out my insurance on the Beast.  So I handed over my paperwork to Lubchyo and asked if I could renew the insurance.  He remarked that there was no paperwork there and so I panicked.  If I had got stopped I would have been fined but all was revealed when I got home and found the said form in the said folder so now everything in the garden is rosy....well not quite in the garden.

So in with the card and out with the cash and decided to meander around the market.  Found a lovely silver charm and it's now attached to my bracelet.  Did the leva shop for more paint brushes and a couple of tins of wood stain so when I make the other perching bench I have the tools to finish the job.    I also invested in a fly swat for outside for when I'm taking the evening sun to stop the little buggers.  Avon Skin so Soft works a treat but if you've just had a shower, that's the last thing that you want to drench your skin with.

Joy oh joy, Bekir phoned asking if they can work so I'm going around doing a snagging list.  Because of the heat, they won't be here many days so they might as well do what I want them to do.  I suppose though they will have their list, like connecting the new toilet thingy and fitting the metal lid to the water meter box so that it can get padlocked down....we'll see how it pans out.

Hot, hot and thrice hot and I thought I would get my head into a book this afternoon and did for all of ten minutes till the waves of lethargy swept over me and I've not long woken up.  Two hours in the afternoon seems about right...let's call it siesta.  The sheep are doing their final munching, I'm thinking it's over the yardarm and time to imbibe, skin still leaking so another shower is called for and then I'll catch the final rays...early to bed...I have work in the morning...fetching the men...LN



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Elsa Peters
July 12, 2011, 11:20am Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 12th July

Well the men are back.  I was there at the stroke of 8.00 this morning and they were in fine fettle.  Full of the joys and I'm not sure why knowing what they were about to do.  Connecting the new toilet thingy.  Now Sally changed into his new work clothes which have an element of polyester so I reckon my the end of the day he will have lost a couple kilos that he can ill afford and Bekir was in an off white pair of trousers and shirt...and I thought ...great colour for shovelling sh*t!!

It is done.  They had to empty out the old and connect a new length of pipe to the old inlet pipe and get it into the new toilet thingy.  So I suggested instead of connecting it to the littler pipe that they had put through the wall of the new....they take that pipe out and run the new pipe through the wall so that there was no danger of a leak on reconnection.  This was accepted well by Sally, not sure about Bekir but then I heard a lot of echoed banging in the bathroom and realised that my suggestion had been acted upon.  Couple of flushes of the loo and jobsagudun and I have been told that it will take 50 years to fill it....better get started then to prove them wrong

Since they arrived with new overalls I thought I had better sort out the old from upstairs now they are now using the wreck as a base.  So I put all the overalls through the washing machine including caps and they have a new supply which they can take home with them....Sally is on the wrong end of a shovel...the polyester jacket is off and we're down to the cotton shirt but fortunately there are a few clouds rolling over that make it quite pleasant when it clouds over...otherwise we're up to the 30's again...off to Djebel...I have to pay them for five weeks ago, must hand over insurance documentation and fill up with petrol now that I am doing the run again....
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Elsa Peters
July 13, 2011, 4:53pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 13th July

Took them home last night and dropped in to see D of S delivering his sweater back and a few packs of mayo that I had found ....the jars taste like ...well not like mayo but the packet things are worth investing in.  So sat out and had a coffee and he was over the moon with his 'ugly' squashes and my are they ugly.  The rest of his garden is abundant with sunflowers and walking up the drive you imagine one of the triffids grabbing you by the neck...you just might not make it out again.

Got home, started to load a media player so that I can watch films so eventually put the thing to bed at after midnight...and eventually got my printer to work with the new pc....bit slow to start this morning...but got to pick the men up and eight.  Planned the day with them and Sally is doing the final insulation by the front door and Bekir was set to do 'electrics'.  Now my kitchen worktop is lit by a bulb on a cable and upstairs I have two strip-lights to go under the kitchen cabinets.  Found a piece of wood to go under the units, kitchen stripped for action, wood prepared and then unfortunately got a phone call to say that Sally's sister in law had suddenly died so at one I was taking them both home.  Apparently she was not ill and it suddenly occurred to me that they would have a post-mortem to identify the cause of death where as here, you can't bring them back so we'll get the funeral over and done with this afternoon.  No big expense for the funeral, vicar, the Imam comes out for free, the hole is dug, wrapped in a shroud and popped in.  The wake is whatever and they get on with life.  So sensible.

So after dropping them off I got home and decided to see if I could play one of my films now that I had downloaded the software.  I have loads on my external hard drive and yes...I chose 'Wrongfully Arrested' a Lesley Nielson spoof and boy is it funny....I'm sure that I missed half of the funnies so I shall have to look at it again sometime...very witty.  So no popcorn but egg mayo sandwiches and a glass of beer during the movie, heat eventually got through so thought I would just lie on the bed for five minutes and yes, it was six when I woke up.  I've been out and surveyed the garden, time to go watering and then to have a shower.  Beautiful evening with a lot of heat left in the sun.  Might just have to take in the final rays with a glass in my hand...LN and now for a few pickies of yesterday and Sally's effort today...



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Elsa Peters
July 14, 2011, 10:23am Report to Moderator

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Thursday 14th July

So this morning I was unsure or not whether I had workers so I made the phone call to find out.  If no workers I had planned my day to go to the local hotel and lie round the pool, read a book, swim and generally chill out.  Yes we can work...and yes the funeral was yesterday, all over and everything back to normal.  The lady in question was only 63 years and apparently it was her heart...not ill...just her heart but what a lovely way to go but so early...makes you stop and think.

Sally is carrying on with his insulating and because the wall is so uneven from the original that he is having to jiggle the pieces around, make saw cuts in the concrete blocks and polystyrene, cut in for the electric outside sockets and lights and fortunately he has the patience of a saint.  In fact he measures himself on the workfront but seems to still keep going where Bekir will take a nap in his lunch break.

And what else have we achieved this morning?  I decided to go down the local wood yard with Bekir and Emulah in the jeep to get some wood to have a go at a bit of fence building at the bottom of the garden.  Even I have got fed up looking at the excuse for one.  The three of us got down there, we negotiated a price which was a bit high according to Bekir but if we went elsewhere I would have had to fork out for more diesel so I thought OK.  The wood was about four meters in length so a support was devised so that approximately half would be in the Beast and with the back door left open, half would be outside.  So wood loaded and off we set very slowly and then suddenly, bang.  The support timber had given way and the ends of the timber were dragging on the floor.  We tried with another support....until Cemile, my sheep man came along and said that if we took it slowly we would get back OK.  Can't say I was happy about it but off we set, Emula in the front and Bekir sitting in the back holding on to the timber as his face got slowly redder.  We went along very noisily with fourt lengths of timber dragging on the floor and we only just made it.  When we got to the house I think we had about a meter inside and three meters outside....and I have the pictures to prove it.  Fortunately there are no police in the villages.  

My kitchen light is still being done and I have complicated it by asking that the cable be above the shelf not tacked on to the underside of the unit....whatever you want...are the words translated from the Bulgarian... not sure if that's closely followed by a sigh but who pays the piper and all that....

Now we have a fine layer of polystyrene dust covering everywhere...reminds me of winter....and Sally  is looking a bit like a snowman....and perspiring gently at the same time so that it is sticking to him....ho, ho, ho Santa...



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Elsa Peters
July 14, 2011, 8:18pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday continued

Quick update....I have my picture up in the kitchen that has sat on the kitchen table since it was purchased...result...my over worktop lights are working instead of the single dangly bulb, my intruder light is installed as are the balcony lights and most of the insulation is completed and Sally has started pointing up my stone wall by the entrance door.  Little jobs show results especially when you have learnt to live with some things and just put them on the list and yes I have made a list so that I can just cross them off as we go...

Lovely one tonight.  I was exchanging a few words with the sheep farmer about his red sheep and asking him when the green one was coming and I turned towards the house.  I'd already got the beer out for the men because it was so hot and they were sitting in the arm chairs on the terrace in front of the lounge window looking very much 'at home'.  As I've joked with them...it's not my house it's theirs and thinking about it...they have been with me on the journey and it's thanks to them that it's looking like it is.  Considering the communication is still in stilted Bulgarian, we have all worked well together, me with the ideas and them with the execution.  Yes, I've paid them...but it's thanks to them that they could interpret the ideas into construction.  So they deserve to have a few minutes with a beer on our terrace.

On that note...LN....it's been up in the mid thirties today and is still warm now...off for a quick shower before bedtime and looking at the clock it is bedtime for me so LN....I'm signing off...
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Elsa Peters
July 15, 2011, 6:16pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 15th July

And I now know that the Momchilgrad M-Tel internet station points the way to Mecca.  I asked the question and got the response.  This all stemmed from Sally receiving in my absence a 'Jehovah Witness' leaflet and the rumour going around is that Sally has converted to Christianity and I have stated that I am a Buddhist.  Bekir is staying as he is but Cemile, my good old sheep farmer maintains that he is a good Muslim 'lad' despite pertaining to have several 'ladies' but I don't know much about their religion.  So this morning's joke in the car was that Jesus would never have died on the cross if it had been left to M who uses no nails but only screws....by the time that he had sorted it all out he would have died of dehydration and boredom.

So what have we done today?  I have my outside door and insulation finished.  Sally has more or less finished the pointing up of the wall, there is a new concrete skim going over the old window sill  (designed but not in this phase). we have agreed the door refinements and I shall get the wood cut from my kitchen man in Djebel since I know the dimensions and then it is just putting it into place.  

It has been a scorcher today and ticking over at 36 degrees.  Super on the lounge terrace though, there was an easterly breeze that made it OK to sit in.  I harvested my onions and they are now on the terrace drying out before stringing up, dug over the onion bed and cleared all of the weeds.  I think that the soil is so poor that I shall leave it empty but get a load of sheep poo over it to start it working properly.  There are no worms and it's like concrete.

My lounge outside light has been change...I didn't like the other so it has to go.  The nice thing is that when you pay someone to do things, you are only paying for work to be redone but if you want it done, then you pay.  Sally asked me how much I had paid for my outside light and when I told him it was a good job he was sitting on the floor and pointing up otherwise he might have been down and out for the count.  Now in English terms it cost me about thirty two pounds and I think that's good but I reminded them of what I have spent out for good work, I've not skimped and saved on the rest of the building stuff so why can't I have something pleasant on the eye.  And Bekir kept saying 'The light is 'hubovo'.  Crawler or piss-taker I know knot what....

The latest gimmick...ice-cream cones from the mobile shop in the morning for breakfast and in the afternoon we sit down to a water melon and then beer in the evening....a very staple diet...and now the moon is coming up very red over the hills and I want to take a picture before it gets yellow.  LN  I'm off for a camera shoot and the sheep are wending their way home by the light of the moon...cracking...LN.



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Elsa Peters
July 16, 2011, 10:30am Report to Moderator

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Saturday 16th July

Well pink ice-cream for breakfast this morning and a sticky bun....and the laughs started when Bekir decided that there was one little job that needed doing and required two ladders lashed together to reach the guttering on what is possibly the highest part of the house discounting the roof.  So they were lashed, suitably placed balanced on the well and a couple of chunks of stone but unfortunately not in the position that he could work.  So back to this imaginary drawing board, and out came the wood, the six inch nails and half an hour later we have...scaffolding...so that he could have a platform to work from.  Now any stork flying high would think that the pitch had been taken for nesting but as it happens, he was only up there for five minutes at the most and down came the scaffolding again.  

The next enjoyment of the morning was when my horse man came along the road and I asked if I could take a photograph of him and his horse.  The first photograph he stood to attention remarkably like a Victorian gentleman but then I said I wanted one more and snapped it before he could take up the pose.....and it's super.  So I got back to the house, printed it off, cut down a piece of old glass to fit a frame that I picked up from the leva shop and it's ready to give him as a 'podaruk' a present.  He is so proud of his new little horse and I'm sure will appreciate the photograph.  The men think it is a wonderful idea.

Men are working on the final wall and window and we've found some old timber to bridge the gap between the oak beam and the window frame which I'll daub with wood stain when they've finished their bit.  Temperature has just clocked 35 degrees so time for a .....cold drink.



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Elsa Peters
July 16, 2011, 6:18pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday continued

The men have gone.  They are off for another holiday and it only seems five minutes since they had the last one...and it was.  They have done my toilet thingy, put a couple of benches under the tree which was an added bonus since they weren't on anybody's list, my insulation is complete and I'll get the final wood stuff made by Christop for the front door and from that drawing board, we now have a metal door going in as a security device for when I go to England..... plan B goes into action.  I forgot....my metal bowl thingy has been converted into a sink for the outside tap since I couldn't find anything that was small enough that was suitable and now I have it complete with hole and into the outside water escape.  Sally tells me it fits in with the 'old' look while Bekir reckons its 'original'.  I'll show the pictures tomorrow and you can make up your own minds...

I went into Djebel today with the intention of getting fuel so that I would have enough to get the men home and the bolts for the under tree benches, stopped off to get some beer and what did I forget...the benzine and I remembered when I was three kilometres away from home so back I went and filled up and it was rather like replaying a movie if you get my meaning.

So tonight I have just had a visit from my Turkish friend at the top of the village and she is asking it I have friends who want to buy her house.  Fortunately her son under understood what I was saying...I do not want other English living here....I am happy as I am and now I am signing off...I think my horse man is going up through the village and I want to give him his picture...LN...I have a G & T getting warm...
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Elsa Peters
July 17, 2011, 2:43am Report to Moderator

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Sunday 17th July

It's Sunday, day of rest, so why am I sitting here wide awake and doing an update.....because I can't sleep.  The screech owl is screeching, the mosque is calling everyone to prayer and there is a dog howling its disagreement at being disturbed by the Imam.  I see no point in lying there and trying when there is no way to get off again.  Coffee time.....I think I might be out there tackling the fence or perhaps getting out the wood preservative and stain and finishing off the wooden lintel.  The rest of the new outside sink support has to be wood stained too...and that's the sink support that also did as a perching stool for Sally. Bekir and my avatar yesterday when she popped round to check out the progress.  I joked with her asking if she wanted to come to the local hotel and take in the swimming pool later today.  At first she was in full agreement, but I know that there is no way that she would be doing it.  She said that she couldn't swim so I said that we could take one of the old tyres from Beauty but she go panicky when I insisted on setting the time....I'm wicked .

Sun's just coming up, beautiful rosy blue sky if you know what I mean and twinkly lights on the hillside.  My little world is awakening.
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Elsa Peters
July 17, 2011, 4:52pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday continued

So what did I achieve today...a big fat zilch.  The intentions were honourable but the execution was exceptionally weak.  I had a little of Montezuma's revenge this morning...don't know what caused it but I decided to lie on the bed at 9.00 this morning and woke up at 12.30 but thankfully that bloody screech owl had stopped and there were no dogs yapping and the Imam had gone to bed to get ready for tonight.

I read my 'Poland' book, did a load of washing, thought about cleaning the house from top to bottom now that the men are taking their summer break and then though better of it.  As I've said before, tomorrow is another day.  What I did do though was to pick my first tomato and tonight for supper I've used my first onion in potato salad with tuna and my solitary tomato...Well you've got to start somewhere.  I'm not a gardener...I love flowers but next year I shall definitely grow more onions (not a bit of trouble). garlic (not a bit of trouble), tomatoes (but string them up better next year, broad beans (again no bother) and sweet corn but make sure my fences are ok to stop the sheep nibbling the tops.  As for flowers, I've been promised loads of seeds.  

Washing up complete, washing put away, emails completed and blog updated.  Investigating flights and BA into Heathrow is actually cheaper than most of the others if you take the cost of baggage into account....just shows...you need to look at everything....the cost of a bag on easy-jet....38 Euros....extortion.  Back to my book and to find some easy to listen to music...early night tonight and let's hope it's not silly o'clock when I open my pretty little eyes in the morning....LN...off to do 'stuff'.....
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