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Elsa Peters
September 24, 2011, 4:52am Report to Moderator

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Saturday 24th September

Knocked off only five pages of the book before I slept the sleep of the just ...or just worn out from shifting the stone and muck from the passage way yesterday.  Nothing to report from the restaurant last night...my lady had gone to a wedding so I gathered so son and wife were running the place but the food was good and the cost for the night out approximately three pounds for a super plate of cheesy chips, chicken wings and fruit juice...no alcohol...driving....

Just adding some of this mornings lovely start to the day....the thing I pictured going down last night is up again this morning....that beautiful sun is back again and we are back to September weather.  There's a nip in the air but still threatening a really hot day so out with the wheelbarrow early ....to horse....



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Elsa Peters
September 24, 2011, 4:09pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday continued

And my man with the chain saw arrived with his wife and did the deed.  She was very sweet...she even helped me stack it.  So the heap from by the barn is all gone as is the timbers from the cherry tree garden which is where I had dumped it when it came down from the roof.  It's all sawn into lengths for the wood burner and he just had enough benzine to finish the job that we thought we had.  We did find some more wood secreted away but there can always be a next time....total for the job...thirty leva....

Cleared up the yard and had a good bonfire and noticed that there were loads of butterflies around the flowers on the side garden.  Never seen so many all at once...there is obviously some food left in them for the butterflies.  Had to go and ask my neighbour for one man for five minutes just to help more the huge oak timbers that I didn't want cut up to the back of the barn.  It was the man who drove the digger machine when I had the toilet pit dug out and he hadn't seen the house with the terraces...liked it very much.

I've been invited over to my Avatar's house tonight for a little beer and something to eat...so wanting to update this before I go...not sure what time I'll be back....they were very noisy last time until about one and it's probably because I joked about the noise that I have the invite....some pickies of the butterflies and the wood store....LN



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Elsa Peters
September 25, 2011, 5:10pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 25th September

Last night's party was a great success....well not so much a party but a family get together with my Avatar, her two sons, wives and grandchildren.  Now the youngest speaks really good English for a twelve year old and the rest of the family found it easier to converse in Turkish which left me a little bit confused.  I can't really follow a Turkish conversation but the boy was used as a 'translator' and 'question asking' medium by the son that I don't know very well.  They had a little bottle of whisky for one of the sons and the other's wife, a little bottle of rakia (plum brandy), a small bottle of mastika (ouzo) and  had got me a bottle of local beer in and insisted that I brought it home with me.  Supper was tomato and onion salad, chippies and barbecued chicken and beefburgers.  Unfortunately it looks like there is a cold doing the rounds and I'm just hoping that I don't go down with it.  Not much sign of the rest of the crew this morning.  My Avatar was out getting weeds for the cows at nine thirty this morning and she told me they were all still sleeping.  Just the old ones about then....

So what have I done today....pottered in the garden and decided to remove the old gate dumped in the lime pit and took it apart.  It was made up of old roof beams and a couple of pallets and it's now a long table/storage bench sitting under the kitchen window.  It's to put logs on outside the door to save legging it to the barn if it really gets bad.   It reminds me of Oates...'I may be some time"....but there's nobody to tell so maybe I should leave a recorded message.  I also put wood preservative on it and as I painted it on, the flaming bristles came out of the brush so it looks like a mohair bench....should keep it warm in the winter...

Went into Djebel today and there were seven motorcycles all lined up outside the car parts shop and not a rider in sight.  I wonder if one of them was on the mobile complaining about the roads.  I know KD of S takes great care when he's out on his.  Apparently one bright spark is recovering in hospital after not believing that the sign for 'bend in road' actually meant that there was one.

Finished my book and quietly enjoyed it.  She did the tourist route, some of it I have already done, and she's made me  interested in visiting other areas.  She made her travels using the Lonely Planet guide book so maybe I need a copy.  

It's gone cold now that the sun's gone down but I suppose it's almost October.  Time for the remains of last night's beer and I'll have my own little party tonight.  LN...my job for tomorrow is to put wood preservative on the other two benches that I've made...makes them look a lot better..but need to buy some decent brushes first....China workmanship....
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Elsa Peters
September 26, 2011, 5:00am Report to Moderator

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Monday 26th September

New working week...new feel in the air....distinctly autumnal this morning.  Few clouds in the sky but might just disappear as the morning wears on.  Not many of the Greek mountains visible...perhaps they are under a cloud

Sheep are out but there still isn't much grass on the hillside...it's only rained once, serious rain that is in the last three months.  They're sticking their heads through the barbed wire surrounding my garden and looking at it longingly but it's doing its job, they're on the outside and I'm on the inside.  Reminds me of the joke about woolly jumpers but at least they're growing theirs...I've got to dig mine out of my winter clothes.

Tasks for today....clearing the barn and putting wood preservative on the other two bench things ready for the winter.

Breakfast first...then I'll see....and obviously post the results later...



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Elsa Peters
September 26, 2011, 3:19pm Report to Moderator

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Monday continued

Well I promised to post the results and here you go......I'm absolutely knacked.  Bit between my teeth though and wanted to finish it and almost there.  I've left the corner bit since I believe it is holding up the outside wall so I thought I wait for a man 'what knows' before I remove it.  As for putting the wood preservative on the benches...that can wait for another day...far too busy

Had a bonfire going all day and as I removed the rubbish I got rid of it....no polythene, no jam pot lids...what is this garden coming to   Going to see what I can get for supper....spag bol I think...sounds like a plan....LN...I'm off to the kitchen....



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linda g
September 27, 2011, 3:56pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Elsa, House and garden looks great. You seem to be making fantastic progress. I dont know how your doing it. I would probably look at it and think get a tradie in...hehehee. But I guess they are either scarse or slow moving and outragiously expensive. But you have done a great job. Your a better woman than I am Gungadin......
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Elsa Peters
September 27, 2011, 4:11pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 27th September

I'm full of anticipation today.  I have my English language student and I'm sure I'm more nervous than he is.  I wrote training material for years, created full induction programmes for new starters and managers but this somehow unnerves me...maybe being away from it for so long.  

My Avatar needed to get to Djebel.  Her daughter was taking her to Momchilgrad to visit the dentist and there are only two buses from the village at around that time....Monday (market day) and Friday (Holy day) so I offered to do the deed.  So off we went at 9.30 to the daughter's apartment and at 10.30 I was on pancakes, tomatoes, yoghurt, airan (yoghurt milk drink), jam and coffee....enough...their hospitality is overwhelming.....so now I was in a hurry to get prepared for the lesson and yes, you've guessed it, the printer jammed and I am now in a panic.  Out with the tweezers, the long needle and I managed to clear it.  My problem was that I didn't know what level the boy was at so I chose pot luck and printed off a few stories and exercises.  It went well.  I had to explain from the text 'tiptoes' so I showed him what it was.  I teach in pictures and by the end of the lesson I was worn out and he had a book of words from the script and the Bulgarian translation from the dictionary and in his own words. His mother phoned me to say that he enjoyed it and same again on Thursday.  I did tell her that he had homework so we'll see what he achieves.  Now I'm not too serious about the homework stuff but he'll have to go through the text again until he knows it by heart.  Believe me.

So home via my restaurant and I found a thumping great something on my doorstep....not sure if it is edible or not...could be a butternut squash or a gourd but whatever...it's spectacular.   Not sure where it came from but I have an idea that it arrived courtesy of the lady whose husband chainsawed the roof timbers....I'll find out tomorrow.

Supper tonight...from the slow cooker.   I massacred last night's spaghetti bolognaise playing on the computer when I should have been attending to my supper....so this morning threw it in the slow cooker with the remains of the spaghetti, tomatoes, mushrooms, a dash more of red wine and it has slowly simmered all day and it now ready to serve with a chunk of bread and that half bottle is staring me in the face and it's crying out...drink me...drink me and I don't ignore a friend's request of that nature...  LN....I have things to do and a friend to attend to....



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Elsa Peters
September 28, 2011, 4:15pm Report to Moderator

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Quoted from linda g
Hi Elsa, House and garden looks great. You seem to be making fantastic progress. I dont know how your doing it. I would probably look at it and think get a tradie in...hehehee. But I guess they are either scarse or slow moving and outragiously expensive. But you have done a great job. Your a better woman than I am Gungadin......


Sheer will power Linda..remember dad was a miner and I suppose it's inbuilt...labour is available and cheap but I just need to do things for myself sometimes...it's so easy to 'pay'.

So what have I done today?  Very little.  I went over to visit KD of S to pick up the plants that he wants to be cared for over the winter since he is having a little sojourn in the UK...I promised to look after them with my life, for what it's worth, and they are in his soil so they should be OK....mine tends to go rock hard and they have a hard job to survive.  I have two lemon trees, one orange tree, several cacti, a couple of fuscias and lavender.  Let's see what makes it.  His theory is that if it does OK, if it doesn't...still OK but I'm thinking of each little plant's soul and so I promise to do my best... and I just hope it's good enough.  After all I've got loads of rooms that I can shelter them in.

When I got back from KD's I established pretty quickly that the water had been turned off when I went to give the plants a welcome glass of the local.  So up to my Avatars I went and they were having a party of sorts.  I confirmed that it was Remsie, my neighbour from the square that had delivered the pumpkin that I photographed yesterday and I suppose I now want instructions as to what to do with it.  As well as plants I came back with a Turkish phrase book and dictionary and I astounded them with words which up till now had remained unspoken only in Bulgarian and not in Turkish.   Hotfoot gave me a little Pomack 'gypsy Turk"' ballad and we discussed the uprising of the gypsies in Plovdiv and Sofia.  I advised my Avatar that there were gypsies in Benkovski which is a village not a million miles away and her guest said that she had gypsy neighbours in Momchilgrad... that again is over the river....six of us sat down for a natter...a little Turkish, Bulgarian and when I said 'Right, I'm off', this was immediately chorused so I think I might have another English class started.  Makes more sense....and saves me learning two languages where they only have to learn one and if I shout it should be easier for them....

Tonight...rehashed hash with extra spaghetti added and I have already added beans to the slow cooker so baked beans for breakfast.  The water is still off so I might have to visit the shrine at the lower village and fill up my water bottles but I'll see who else wants it tomorrow if there is still no water flowing....LN....that's enough for tonight....I have some preparation to do for tomorrow's English lesson...with my neighbours...I'll make EU citizens of them yet....

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Elsa Peters
September 29, 2011, 6:45am Report to Moderator

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Thursday 29th September

Still no water and I'm about to go to Studen Voda (Cold Water)...the water tap in the bottom village to fill up my water bottles.  There was a bit of a cuffuffle in the lane last night and from my bedroom window I saw Star Mush's well under attack...well cows have to be watered....about six of the ladies were around it. I suppose I could put my water pump down there but for the amount that I use...it's not worth unpacking it...still virgin and in the box supplied by Lidl UK about two years ago.  I'm still waiting for a small child/adult to sort my well out....apparently there was loads of rubbish put down there by my now absent neighbour, yes you've guessed it....Star Mush.

Off to the well......got to prepare for my session with my student this afternoon and I suppose I should really do something with those tomatoes before they're only good for composting...
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Elsa Peters
September 29, 2011, 5:31pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday continued

Went to the spring and filled up two seven litre bottles and it is so peaceful up there.  It's at the end of the road and there is a lake and if you carry on further, on foot that is, you get down to the river where the 'lads' go swimming.  So as I was filling the bottles I suddenly remembered the camera...next time....my head was full of functional things like....no sodding water for two days.  I did see the water board lorry at the side of the road but no sign of anybody working but someone must have been, when I got back from Djebel normal service was resumed.

It's so natural here.....when I said to my man that walks his cows daily, that I had been down to Studen Voda he raved about the quality of the water and how sweet it is.  I don't notice the sweetness.  I suppose years of having chlorinated and fluorided stuff fed into me I just don't appreciate the difference....I shall have to set my mind to it and see if I can.  Must say though, I know why it is called 'Cold Water'....it really is.  Fair sets your teeth on edge.

My Avatar's sister with the two sticks was half way from her house when I set off for the water and she had just arrived at Avatars when I had driven a couple of kilometres down the road, filled up the bottles, driven back, parked up and we arrived at the door at the same time as I was making my delivery.  That woman is truly amazing.  Two sticks, bent double, hurts her to walk and they put it down 'to life'.  Almost resigned, always a smile when you meet and greet her and I must get her photo on here for you.  When you think of all of the people whizzing around on scooter things in the UK....and free cars....enough said.

As I said...went to Djebel...delivered my second lesson and it was OK I think.  It's trying to pitch it at the right level and the way that they teach it here is that they can all read it fairly perfectly...there's just no understanding or speaking of the written word.  Did a little bit of shopping, home for four, watered my plants and the new ones from KD of S and my terrace is looking a bit like Kew Gardens.  Just keeping my fingers crossed that I manage to keep them going until he wants them back.  

Enough...supper was chilli bean thingy with a big chunk of fresh bread.  A glass of beer to wash it down (not force it down) and at eight thirty I'm about to get settled in for the night, close up shop since the doors are still open after a fabulous day, find a new book and relax...LN...
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