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Elsa Peters
October 1, 2011, 4:19am Report to Moderator

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Saturday 1st October

And I'll say 'white rabbits' as per usual at the start of the new month...now it really is beginning to feel like autumn.  There is grey cloud hanging that will probably drift away but it's good when that friendly sun gets up to greet me each morning.  It's early though...seven twenty here so it has the rest of the day to sort itself out and so do I....
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Elsa Peters
October 1, 2011, 4:13pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday continued

My lovely Avatar has just been round to show me her new....teeth....bless her but she hadn't got many left and was persuaded by the family to go and get them fixed.....not a cheap option on a pension but anyway, done and dusted so to speak.  She had this habit of putting her hand over her mouth when she laughed....she was very self-concious and as the man on the London station says...mind the gaps.  Well I didn't and she did and now she doesn't have any and is wired and I reminded her that the hand could stay down now...  

Meandered for the first hour just checking out 'stuff' and then decided to empty the burning pit, wheel barrowed it down to the bottom of the garden and discovered that I had walnuts falling from the tree.  I bit of an overkill I my part thinking that I would fill the wheel barrow and now that they are peeled, they might just happen to fill a couple of Christmas nets for Asda.....but I have some of my very own.  Pleasant morning peeling them, sat out in the sometimes sun, sometimes shade and the BBC are up to form when they say one thing and mean another.  In for lunch and decided on the next task to keep me out of mischief and discovered the wood pile.

The wood pile is no more...it is no longer blocking the yard but there are now three more heaps ready cut for the wood burner.  I started off with the handsaw and a heavy right clog but though bugger this for a game of soldiers and brought out the big guns...the reciprocating saw and workmate bench.  I did frighten a couple of my old ladies who were helping Semile's cows along the road with a couple of bricks when I started up the saw with out giving them notice of intent.  I think they thought that I had a weapon of mass destruction and was helping them with their cow displacement.

Wood finished, rubbish collected and burnt, beer open, seven-ten and thinking of cooking supper so it's LN.....goodnight from me and an early night I think.  A much better day than going into Kardjali....I spent no money ...but now I'm knacked....



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Elsa Peters
October 2, 2011, 7:06am Report to Moderator

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Sunday 2nd October

Party day in my village...the ones that want to start early are already making their way along the road...some of us will wait until the streets are aired or chores done.  The weather is going to be lovely for it.

Yesterday morning I delved into the freezer and came out with what I thought was minced veal or minced lamb.  It was a present from one of my people but the more I looked at this grey form, the more I thought...do I really want to do anything with it and when it was thawed out....I was even more convinced that I should have binned it.  Well I didn't...ever hopeful that a couple of onions would do the trick since I hate waste....I boiled it up last night, put it in the fridge overnight for the fat to solidify, skimmed it off, fried off more onions, added a stock cube and then came to my senses....why...it was always going to be destined for the bonfire and now it is.  It's the feeding ground for cats and stray dogs so it will go to some use but no way could I have tackled it.

Now the bad news is that one of my own melons split slightly in the growing process and I checked it out this morning and decided that it needed opening up at least to make sure that nothing had invaded the gap that had appeared to have healed over quite nicely.  Nothing had so that was my breakfast....the first melon that I have grown so next year it is on my list of 'definates' for the garden along onions, garlic, tomatoes, a few chilli peppers and loads of zinnias that take no effort at all and very little watering.

Shower, hair wash....I'm off to a fete worse than death....



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Elsa Peters
October 2, 2011, 4:55pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday continued

One thirty my Avatar's daughter arrived in the car for what would have been a ten minute hike up the road and we're off to the fair.  Not so many people here so I am told this year...there is a three day fair in Djebel on Friday through to Sunday next week so the locals are saving themselves for that.

Pretty much same as last year.  The same dance troop are performing in the old school yard with the same singers, same lute player but with the addition of a little drummer girl, same dancers but new smaller ones have been recruited and are learning the ropes.  The one touch of modernity and consumerism....the Lidl's carrier back sported by one of the ladies by the tour bus.  The fair and attractions are small, the market stall holders I recognise from Djebel and I am acknowledged, asked how I am, I shake hands with other neighbours and then I am smelling the spit-roast chicken which is beating the lambs roasting over an open pit, hands down for aroma.  

'Who's for lunch' was the cry and Avatar's daughter in law, her mother, brother, and two sisters in law with one small nephew who insisted on trying to punch everyone, without a hint of discipline in the air, sat down to a couple of chicken, a loaf of bread and fruit juices.  The remaining chicken was wrapped in silver foil and taken home for my Avatar and the chicken bones put in a separate bag for Socks, Avatar's dog.  Cost of lunch for six adults plus takeaway enough for two more and drinks.....nine pounds approximately...now that can't be bad.

Lunch over we went back round the stalls, I bought just over two kilos of grapes for three leva and a candy floss for one leva fifty but since she didn't have change she handed over a smaller one to make up the other fifty stotinki.  The bouncy castle was not being bounced upon, the children's dodgem cars ride had not even been put together and sat lifeless but the football game was in full use.   Unfortunately, we were too early for the wrestling taking part behind the school where the betting was happening fast and furiously.  The cmet (mayor) shook my hand, apologised that he couldn't stop to chat but said that he was working...he was running the betting.

So home...candy floss was the first to be downed and I sat out in the sun reading and eating a bunch of grapes until my eye lids were heading southwards and I knew that I was in for an afternoon nap.  It must have been all the excitement.  Three hours later, not in the least bit hungry after a biggish for me lunch.  LN...it's almost time for bed....



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Elsa Peters
October 3, 2011, 3:34pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 3rd October

Another day of swings and roundabouts and bartering.  I looked at my garden and decided that I was off with my wheelbarrow to raid my Avatar's 'crava' poo store to deposit on the vegetable patch.  My soil is old and hasn't had any nutrients for years, lay uncultivated so it was time to do something about it.  So with wheelbarrow and spade off I headed, loaded up my wheelbarrow and deposited the first load and I noticed that my Avatar was walking towards her house from the other direction pushing her wheelbarrow ....so I waited and noticed that she was collecting stone from down the road but pushing the wheelbarrow uphill so I asked her why she didn't have the stone that I'd stored behind the bus shelter.  I reckoned that a barrow load of sh*t and a barrow load of stone was about the same value so now we are bartering.  Even better than that, on the up to my house we both had barrows full of the good stuff for my garden and on the downhill run we both had stone.  Result.  Half an hour later I had several loads of the stuff on my garden where I had removed the stuff that was growing and it can sit there and let winter do its stuff.  Next year I should have bigger and better onions and garlic and the soil should hold the moisture better.  She also gave me seven eggs...carted home in the wheelbarrow so I was avoiding the bumps, I didn't fancy omelette for lunch.

So what else did I do?  Three kilograms of tomatoes are processed into tomato chutney and isn't that a lengthy process.  Hot water skinned the beauties before I chopped them and even that takes time but the two hours sweating over a pan of pulpy tomatoes and a recipe book that advises to stop when you have reached the desired consistency.  Now I've never made it before and what use is a book that tells you that when you're a novice and it's going to take three months to 'mature' so I won't know if it's right for a while...oh the anticipation.

The man chopping my neighbour's wood has downed tools because the minimum wage was ignored and my little brain started working and now he is coming to work for me for an 'acceptable' daily rate.  Instead of my Avatar and I running up the road with muck and down the road with stone....he can clear out my wreck and deposit the stone and old tiles around her well.  Jobs a guddun....she has work done and so do I like two birds with a stone instead of two birds with wheelbarrows.  She's just gone off to set the plan in action and I came home with a plate of filo pastry stuffed with potatoes and leeks.....another result.

And yet another ....Bekir has just phoned and wants to know if I want them to work.....do I want them to work?  Of course.  I have a house and a barn that both need roofs before the winter so he's coming over tomorrow to work out priorities.  Life's good....LN



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KingDom
October 3, 2011, 4:09pm Report to Moderator

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Just to cheer you up - it is bloody raining here!
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Elsa Peters
October 3, 2011, 6:44pm Report to Moderator

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Quoted from KingDom
Just to cheer you up - it is bloody raining here!


I'm cheered, you old Libertarian blogger you...as I said, you have been labelled by the man.

It started off dull this morning but turned into a beautiful day as you can see from the shots of my 's h one whatsit' photos.....let's hope you find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and tell Dorothy to keep clicking her heels....Missing you both already....LN
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Elsa Peters
October 4, 2011, 3:39pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 4th October

Watched a really good Walt Disney film last night and ended up with a tear in my eye and a Kleenex lingering in my little sodden mit.  I inherited a set of films, from a guy who used to be out here and I'm slowly working my way through them especially when it gets to be about nine in the evening and it's just to early to go to bed if you don't want a five o'clock start.  Now it's getting dark early, the evening can seem a little long.....I suppose I should be knitting my bed socks or a new jumper for the winter.

So took my supper plate back and was told that the man that had been earmarked for the job of cleaning out my other house and filling up the surrounds of Avatar's well didn't want the work.  I heard the clunk of an axe and thought that the new minimum wage had been agreed with my next door neighbour but alas no....she was out chopping the wood herself so bad backs tomorrow all round then.   Late breakfast of poached eggs on toast, the eggs that were in the wheel barrow yesterday and are they delicious.....heavenly.

So I got the wheel barrow out again and my Avatar and myself had races up and down the village until we were both hoping that the other would give up so I did it first and was she pleased....    Went into the old house and started to remove the rubbish and finding concrete on the floor was a godsend...it makes it so much easier to clear from a flat surface.  Hit a snag though.  There is only about a three inch gap between the metal door frame and the handles of the wheel barrow and despite my work gloves.....at the third attempt, and again....mind the gap...I now have a swollen fight hand that is gradually turning a gentle shade of blue....and the air around the door frame was of a similar hue.  Fortunately I had to come in realising that I hadn't really prepared for my pupil's lesson so attacked it with a vengeance, quick shower and into the car at one forty to make it for two to Djebel.  Lesson over...did a little shopping, back to the house, did a little more on the old house but this time leaving the wheel barrow outside the door and spading it from the house to the barrow.  That door frame wasn't going to get me again, well not today anyway.

Just after six thirty, kitchen calls, drinky calls and I might sit out on the terrace and enjoy the evening before the sun finally goes down....LN....end of another beautiful day....
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Elsa Peters
October 5, 2011, 4:07pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 5th October

Seven o'clock this morning...really good night's sleep.  Mist over the river which suddenly enveloped everything but the sun was there to burn it off.  It was a chill morning.  Definitely autumn is in the air but it has been a beautiful day.  Not to hot to push a wheel barrow round the garden (this time not up and down the road) while I was clearing out the, what is to be the summer lounge in the wreck.  It has a beautiful fireplace and I wanted to see it uncovered and tonight it is.  Took some doing though since my wheelbarrow is having to stay outside.  I'm not going to risk any more bashes and bruises to the hand as I take it out of the wreck.  It's colouring up beautifully.

I've had two visitors today.  My hotfoot neighbour came round and I think there is a bit of one up man ship going around.  I seem to have spent more time with my Avatar and news certainly gets round pretty quickly so I have been invited to 'pop in'.  My other visitor was Avatar who told me off for working so hard in the garden and now in the house.  'It's hard work', she said and she told me that I should rest and have a day off.  I said that it was OK since I was teaching my student tomorrow so I wouldn't be digging and dumping at the house.  

What else did I do.  My potting bench is now turned into a sitting bench since I never used it for potting anyway.  It's now at the base of the terrace wall and if I need to just sit and watch the flowers grow or contemplate my navel I have somewhere else to do it.  Sawed off the legs...got a few more nails in it to hold it together and jobsaguddun....and while I was contemplating the garden I realised that the fence that I put up has not had a coat of wood stain / preservative on it but it has now.  Looks much better dark brown instead of pine yellow, shows off the green plants better.

Enough...my supper should be ready...it went into the slow cooker at lunchtime with the remains of last night's pasta...local spicy sausage with tomatoes, chilli and honey.  Not original but adequate.  Drinkies tonight...I bought a bottle of ouzo with a free water so I am drinking the free water....with a touch of ouzo...and it would be rude not to....LN....I'm off to sample the delights of the slow cooker...



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Elsa Peters
October 6, 2011, 4:32am Report to Moderator

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Thursday 6th October

Went to bed early last night and boy do I regret it....fell asleep reading and woke up with the light on at midnight, switched it off but at 5.30 I was wide awake so read for a while, went down and made a coffee and decided to get emails and things done before the morning was up and about.  Looked up from my pc on the landing and grabbed the camera...wall to wall red light which has now turned into that lovely pink and blue hue before the sun makes that dramatic appearance which it's just about to do.  Time....seven thirty and it looks like being another beautiful day.

I might even manage to get a few hours clearing the wreck before my today's lesson despite what I told my Avatar last night...



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Elsa Peters
October 6, 2011, 4:43pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday continued

My Avatar come round today at about one twenty five with a daughter from Turkey that I knew nothing about.  She was there for the guided tour but arrived five minutes before I was about to set off for my student in Djebel and even though they came armed with a gift of what appears to be candy floss with flavouring, I had to explain that I was ready for the off....

So went in and delivered.  There were lots of difficult words in the text so I ended up looking at the dictionary more than I would have liked but I believe he got the gist of the story and his homework was to translate it for his mother, who speaks English reasonably well and to do his homework.  I had prepared another text and gave him the choice...learning about Octopuses or Starfish and he chose the Octopus.  Even I learnt something today.

Home for four after stopping at my Leva shop to get some flowerpots for the stuff that has to come in for the winter.  They also had bags of compost so I got ten litres only to be asked 'why' by Avatar's daughter in law.  Yes I have spread other stuff on the rest of the garden but I wanted something now to get the plants moved and ready for storage....so excuse accepted.

Tomorrow is the start of the three day Djebel festival and parking today was a nightmare and that's just a sign of things to come.  Tomorrow I am taking Avatar and her daughter to daughter in laws house and I will park up there and we'll see what the Djebel carnival is all about.  I've missed it for the last two years so third time lucky.

Supper over, more of the free water with a little additive and I'm changing my book tonight.  I'm staggering through 'Band of Brothers' and it was probably much better as a TV serial.  It's hard going.  Enough...I have to get rested for tomorrow's events....LN.... there'll be pictures tomorrow...
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Elsa Peters
October 7, 2011, 3:55pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 7th October

So this morning again was a beautiful start and stunning sunrise but that's par for the course here.  The nice thing is that I can lie in my bed and watch it.  My howling dog heralded the mosque's call to prayer and I had a little chuckle at the thought of its master throwing something at it to shut it up.

Breakfast on the terrace and I decided for no other reason that I wanted to listen to it that the soundtrack from Les Miserable should be played at a more than reasonable volume while I sat out in the sun.  I was heading into town to Djebel Fete and I was reminded of the saying, two local women and you have a bazaar, three and you have a festival day.  I headed over to my Avatar's house and confirmed that we would be heading off at eleven thirty to go to her daughter in laws house and she was humming and arghing.  She doesn't like leaving the village so I said that if she was there, fantastic otherwise I would take her daughter, on holiday from Turkey in, and she could miss all the fun......but she was there, complete with dress instead of work trousers and hold-ups that didn't do what it said on the packet and I think that she was there for my benefit.

In the car, I strapped her in since there is a fine just introduced for not wearing a seatbelt and we arrived at her daughter in law's flat.  Her mother and sister were there but without pugilistic child and we sat round and lunch was delivered...chicken, hamburgers, bread, peppers and Fanta.  The conversation was flowing well between Bulgarian and Turkish and I was gleaning some of the conversation and these day's it doesn't phase me.  So after lunch, Avatar, daughter and myself set off for the fete and what a let down.  Lots of children's bouncy castles, chickens roasting on spits but very few people and no market stalls unfortunately.  We quickly decided that home was best so back we walked to the flat and Avatar and myself drove back to Dushinkovo.  The upshot, no photos.  It could be better tomorrow since it is a three day festival but Avatar made it clear that no way Hose was she going for another bout,

Sat out and started a new book that seems more interesting that the last two I have tried and couldn't get in to.  Decided that I would move in doors, lay on the sofa and dog napped and realised that the wind had got up so closed the doors to get the place warm.  Now it's not cold but the body sort of gets used to the 70's and then it drops to 65....

Almost seven here...not into food, once I have had lunch that's it for me until tomorrow.  Undecided if it's Djebel, Kardjali or gardening tomorrow...let's see what tomorrow brings....



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Elsa Peters
October 8, 2011, 4:25pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 8th October

Had a horrible night's sleep.....still awake at 1.00 this morning reading and really quite awake and this morning up and about six.  Got into my book that I started yesterday, decided to go back to bed and was still languishing there at ten thirty.  Another book bites the dust so I'm now back to the ones that I've started and perhaps I'll finish one day.

Bacon with tomato sauce on toasted bread for breakfast out in the sun on my activity centre (outdoor sofa).  Really nice day again and ticking over at seventy four but then the wind got up around lunchtime and it had a nip to it.  Picked the ripening tomatoes and they are outside on the bench, the green ones I'll leave for a little while longer.  Potted up some more of the plants that need to come in for the winter and then decided to do my emails, look at the posts on my other blog that I follow, do my Daily Mail five star sudoku and then decided that lunch was on the agenda.  Again out in the sun for lunch but that wind beat me today so back to the pc.

Looked through the films that I have stored and realised that I had Gandhi and I'd never watched it before and didn't realise it was such a long film.  Quite thought provoking and I must find his life story and give him a read.  Let's see how close the film was to reality.

So seven thirty...cinema might reopen again a little later when I've decided what options I have....and picked one.  I think I really need one of those dice that you throw that points you in a direction when all else fails.....think I might just make one and now to plan what to put on it....LN...and now drinky time....
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Elsa Peters
October 9, 2011, 5:03am Report to Moderator

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Sunday 9th October

Mother of all thunderstorms last night and I went to bed with the curtains open and watched the storm.  The heavens opened and this morning my wheel barrow confirmed the volume of rain that fell overnight and it's still coming down.  I can't see the Greek mountains, can hardly see the next village and it looks like it's set in for the day and I've worked out why.  I was planning the wreck renovation and one of the first jobs is to get some concrete supports in under the roof and concrete ceiling over what is to be, lounge and hall way.  At the first mention of the word concrete, it starts.  It was like that when we put down the terraces and also the toilet pit........so there you go.  I think I shall have to phone Bekir and cancel tomorrow if I want the weather to improve.

So much for the third day of Djebel fair....



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Elsa Peters
October 9, 2011, 4:50pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday continued

I started reading Band of Brothers again and it's getting a little more interesting...they are trying to take Arnhem.  Realised that I hadn't given Jacques Lousier an airing for a while so that was going in the background while I did a few Freecell and my daily sudoku and then the weather seemed to pick up a little.  It was never good today but I managed to get out and clear some of the bank beyond my special tree.  There are lots plum tree runners that seem to spring up everywhere and I think they were just waiting for last night's rain to put in an appearance.  In that part of the garden there are also lots of brambles that I have cut back a couple of times but I think they need drastic action, like digging out.  

I did disturb some of the wild life.  There were several large beetles that probably haven't seen the light of day until this damn great fork prised them from their little nests and I saw the tail end of a mouse disappearing down one of the many holes in the bank.  I might just, might just have to look to see if there is a kitten around that might take to me.  Unfortunately it would have to be an outside one but there are plenty of places it could hole up like in the wreck.  It should have a roof on before winter.

Now for my men.  I checked out the weather report for the next three days and apparently we are in for heavy showers for the next couple of days but it should be picking up by Wednesday.  This afternoon I was thinking of cancelling the men, like rain stopped play, but Bekir beat me to the phone call and they called it off.  Just as well, no fun working in the rain and me having to dry out their 'bigs'.  The smalls they just have to live with.

So lit my wood burner today.  Not cold but damp and it makes it feel very homely.  The insulation has made such a difference and I don't seem to be burning as much wood as before.  I know it's not winter yet and the proof will be when the thermometer drops to several below like last year. I've got that to look forward to....

Enough ramblings....cooked spaghetti bolognaise tonight but didn't have any red wine to make the gravy that little bit special.  Never mind...think a trip into Kardjali might be on the cards for tomorrow since I can do nothing in the garden if it's tiddling it down....and the only thing left is green tomato chutney and can't say I'm in the mood for that and you have to be.....LN....I'm about to start looking for a film....
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Elsa Peters
October 10, 2011, 10:31am Report to Moderator

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Monday 10th October

So at silly o'clock this morning I was awakened  by the rain that was pelting down so the BBC weather was right.  I put the light on, read my book and they are not taking Arnhem defending one of the villages, but after being surrounded they were defending themselves.  That's war for you.  At four am I decided that I might just be able to get off again and I surely did....eight twenty when I woke up so it's a good job that the men cancelled otherwise I would have messed up big time on their first day back.

Lit the wood burner again this morning.  I checked on the outside thermometer and it's nine degrees and while that might seem OK to you home birds, remember that last week we were middle upper twenties so it's a bit of a shock to the system so much so that I dug out one of my fleece pyjama tops to laze around in today well if measuring up for curtains is lazing around.  I found five meters of cotton 'zebra' that I'd forgotten about so that will do for the lounge but the white lining is too good so I've decided that I'm off to Kardjali tomorrow.  I can get or at least order the curtain poles from my material shop and a note to self...must print out the photo that I took of her when I was last in the shop. I also need some other lining material for the second bedroom that is going to double as my upstairs lounge for the winter.  The outside furniture needs to come in so it's as good a place as any and if the weather is really good, I move it out onto the bedroom balcony so dual purpose.  

Cilla Black playing this afternoon and forgot to mention that I watched the film Jo Black last night... weird but enjoyable and the cinema closed at 11.15 so I should have been tired when I went to bed but obviously not enough to sleep the whole night through... now back to those curtains....
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Elsa Peters
October 11, 2011, 8:30am Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 11th October

Well...it rained all night and the upshot is that I have lost part of my front little wall and it was dangerously near to the front of my Beauty.  When I say rain, I mean rain and there is at least ten inches in one of my water containers outside.  It just threw it down.  I seem to recall that we had the same last year when Angela was here so maybe October is a month that visitors should avoid.  We'd gone to visit the Shipka Pass and had been there but not seen it.  In fact it was so foggy that we were in striking distance but couldn't even see the hand in front of you and we only found out how bad it was by the swollen river on our way back from Kardjali.  

I've just printed out and delivered framed photographs of my Avatar and her daughter.  One for both of them.  As it was it was a family breakfast so I've just had local savoury porridge with bread in my own little dish while the rest of them sat down on the floor with spoons and one big one between them,  No camera ...but tomorrow I shall be there but not to partake of the food, to photograph the event.  She has one wood burner going for cooking and heating but while it's great at what it does, it only does one room.  Open the door and it dissipates.  Her daughter is going back to Turkey on Thursday and I have been invited to stay with them and we've just to solve the problems of the cows, chickens and dog and I can go with Avatar.  The plan is on the drawing board.

English lesson today and later on to Kardjali and Avatar's daughter in law wants to come with me to Lidl.  Now to shower, hair wash and generally spruce up a bit....going to the big city....
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Elsa Peters
October 11, 2011, 3:40pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday continued

So I was finishing my lesson prep when I got the phone call.  My student has been sent home from school and is not fit enough to endure a lesson today so no go.  I also cancelled my trip into Kardjali since no point in using fuel just for the sake of and I've decided to go in on 'specials' day which is Thursday instead and this time before my lesson since everything is prepared.  If I do a flyer at nine I can easily be back for the lesson.  I did get positive feedback from his mother today so yes...they are going to continue.

Now a few pickies...it's been too long without.  It's still pretty nippy outside so decided to resort to the wood burner.  Sat down to a film this afternoon, I've had this disk for ages and not really investigated what is on it but today I found Uncle Adolf a story about the last few days in the bunker and his relationship with his niece.  What was strange though that his original driver was none other than.....Max Branning (alias Jake Wood) from Eastenders.  Sad film....

Night in by the fire tonight.....it's damp, cold and rainy.....



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Elsa Peters
October 12, 2011, 2:43pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 12th October

My men are back and we have worked out the initial plan...Sally still shakes his head but they have worked really hard for a first day back.  Coffee and cake for breakfast....fortunately I was walking down the road to give Socks the remains of last night's supper since it didn't sit too well, or perhaps I cooked too much and the food van was coming towards me.  I waved at the man and was able to let him know to stop outside since the men are back so no having to go into Djebel for food.

No materials today...Sally has been on the wrong end of a spade and Bekir on the wheelbarrow.  The neighbours have been round to greet them back to the village, the water board man came to read the meter and since the water is off I told him that I wasn't paying for a service that I wasn't getting.  He had rather a sheepish look on his face that fits well with the countryside and I sent him off to his digger machine further down the road or up the road dependent on where you live.  Right, time to take the men back home....back to the routine....

  
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Elsa Peters
October 12, 2011, 4:48pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday continued

Had to take photos of the men's efforts today....they sort of smile as if to say...here she goes again.  A couple of the morning...and as for the moon tonight...really clear so should have a good day tomorrow.  The water is still off.  I had a bet with the men...they said that it would be on in a couple of hours....I said no way and so far I am right and since I saw the digger and the van heading in the direction of Djebel....I think it will be tomorrow now at the earliest.

So here goes...just a couple or three to keep you going....LN



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Elsa Peters
October 13, 2011, 5:12pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 13th October

Very quick update tonight.  I have just come upstairs after a hard day of driving hither and hither shepherding people places and things and the bloody thunder has just started so not much tonight.

Avatar's daughter caught the taxi to get her to the Bursa (Turkey) bus and goodness knows how she will manage that luggage when she get's home.  I don't know what they go back with but I believe it is half of Bulgaria stashed away.  All those things that they can't get back home.

So came back from Djebel with breakfast for the lads which was highly appreciated.  Local cheese in a big bun for Sally which he said that he couldn't manage but he went back for seconds, filo pastry with cheese for Bekir and myself and local yoghurt drink.  We feasted well with coffee to follow.

After that they went back to demolishing, I went on to drop three more loads of cow sh1....whatsit on to my vegetable patch and planted up my garlic to give it a start over the winter.  I then decided that I was in no fit state to go teaching smelling of cow stuff and bonfire so had a shower and washed my hair appearing for the second time in Djebel today but both in different guises.  Lesson went well, went round to see my restaurant lady and then back home but carrying three bottles of vino and three of beer, in the rain.

Arrived home to see two sodden men hiding in my wreck and I was about to take them home early but I asked Bekir if he could go up in the loft for me.  For the last few nights I have lain in bed and heard scratching or munchings from the loft.  I don't like creepy crawlies as you may have gathered and it was so bad last night that I decided to sleep down stair.  So this morning in Djebel I bought four cans of insect spray and two of them are now circulating in the loft.  Poor Bekir.   When he had finished I asked him if he wanted coffee or beer and there was not a second before he shouted beer and the deed was done.

It is now chucking it down again.  They have protected the unprotected walls with polythene  and we'll see what's still standing tomorrow.  I have photos of their demolition today but will be posted tomorrow...as we can say rain and thunder and lightening stopped play...

LN...I'm shutting up shop....
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Elsa Peters
October 14, 2011, 1:31pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 14th October

It's the quiet after the storm and there was snow on them there hills this morning towards Pamporova.  There's a distinct chill in the air so on with the sweater, boots and sleeveless jacket this morning knowing that we were going to be standing around the builder's merchants this morning and stand around we did.

As for the weather last night when I had to sign off pretty sharpish, the storm turned out to be horrendous and despite the fact that it only rained for about an hour or so, the rain was lashing and the wind gynormous but the wreck survived last night but this morning the boys are excavating underneath what is now the workshop and planning the concrete supports for the floor.  The previous owners used to keep the animals down there...and now it is probably just home to a few frogs and biggish snails and neither of the boys are looking forward to working there...

Well I suddenly had to leave....one of my neighbours received a call from the school that her grand daughter has had an epileptic fit and so we rushed to the school to find the ambulance on its way to Djebel so we followed it but without the blue light flashing and then had to wait until two for the doctor to arrive from Kardjali.  All over now, she has been certified as OK and her temperature is normal so I carry on with my quest.

While I was away the men have found a pipe under the footings of the cellar and they are now digging out a canal so that the water can drain away and they have just brought into play the electric hammer drill.  I am built on bedrock.  Next stage is to put some concrete platforms down and then three columns to support the roof/ floor to one of the rooms and then we are all systems go for the other supports for the roof.  Now I'm going to post the pictures from yesterday that the storm got in the way of.... quick update later....



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Elsa Peters
October 14, 2011, 4:40pm Report to Moderator

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Friday continued

Just a look at the Bat Cave with Batman and Robin working underground.  Not sure which is which but we'll leave it at that.  I actually ventured under and was surprised how good it was.  I imagined all sorts down there but no, clean, fairly dry despite all of the rain and not bad to work in so I left them to it

Came to take them home tonight and guess who had stupidly left Beauty's lights on so the battery was as flat as the proverbial pancake and despite their efforts and pushing the car to the road to jump start it, no go.  I did say that we would take the Beast but they were fairly insistent that they could get it on to the road but no.  I think it was when they said to head it for Star Mush's well and I had visions of getting it stuck in the lane.  STOP...we'll take the big one, it'll do it good to have a run and it did.  Got it back in the drive and just about to settle into a bottle of wine when there was a knock on my door and I don't normally get that.  My Avatars daughter was there with a dish of 'supper' for me and was I pleased.  Supper down, wine open, remnants of a book to finish, Saturday tomorrow, lie in and no fetching the men tomorrow.

Pictures of the men going underground....and then I'm off...LN....



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Elsa Peters
October 15, 2011, 3:18pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 15th October

So my intention to sleep in ended at seven thirty this morning....wide awake and into buzzy buzzy mode until I decided to go on to the computer and encountered a couple of difficult suduko and before I knew it my neighbour that I took to the hospital yesterday was letting herself.  I normally put the key outside when I am 'in and out'.  She came round to offer me money for the taxi ride yesterday.  I obviously refused...they are neighbours for goodness sake and her husband is the one with the chain saw that did my wood for me.  

Miserable, miserable damp weather, raining at first and then it cleared up a little.  Three sheep seemed to separate themselves from the flock this morning and found a hole in the fence where the barbed wire stops.  I was soon out there and they went out the same way that they came in I wrote on the list to do it later. So while I was on the computer I realised that they had told all their mates about it and there were about twenty homing in on, and demolishing what was left of my peppers so I was out then in dressing gown with hammer and nails and the hole is no longer.  It's been road tested...they came into the field, tried and carried on so job's a 'guddun'.  I don't like peppers anyway and my growing them was a token to the village but that's not the point.  They were mine to leave to spoil.

Had good intentions of green tomato chutney, managed the washing or rather the machine did and I slummed around in dressing gown until one thirty until I decided that enough was enough, washing out for a blow and that's about all it had. It's now on the airer in the upstairs bathroom and hopefully will be ready to put away tomorrow.  I also decided to put away my summer clothes and get ready for winter which appears to have come early this year.  I have left a couple of t-shirts (ever hopeful) out but I think they will even be going away by the end of next week if there is no improvement.  

Made a coffee......it seems too cold for beer or red wine.  Lit the fire since it is feeling a little cold and tomorrow I am bringing in the outside furniture to see where I can put it.  Last year because there was no insulation on the house and gaps where there shouldn't have been, it was cold.  This year my neighbour couldn't get over how warm it was and there was no fire going this morning.  The house stood up to it well last night.  Problem is with their houses, they heat one room, open the door to do something elsewhere in the house and all the heat dissipates.  At least mine is a pretty even temperature throughout but I don't think I shall ever reach the temperatures that the English houses seem to ratch up.  It's now getting warmer....I might just think about opening that bottle of the red stuff...and I have a curry in the slow cooker and only have to do the rice tonight.....LN...let the party begin...  
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linda g
October 16, 2011, 3:04pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Elsa. Hope all is well. The rain on pic's looks like we get here in OZ when it rains it rains.....lol.
What are you going to do with the other building....some more rooms for guests????
My Mum is ok at the mo. Holding her own.
I sent you a little gift to the address you gave me, have you got it yet??? I am not sure when I sent it, but it was a while ago now.
Anyway it was only small jesture, so keep an eye out.

Take care look after yourself.
Regards Linda & all.xx
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Elsa Peters
October 16, 2011, 4:11pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 16th October

Thanks Linda for the update...no the pressie hasn't arrived yet so I will be down to beat up the postman tomorrow which could be any of the villagers that happen to be passing this way.  It's probably novelty factor that I haven't got it yet..they might not have seen those stamps before...   As for the other house....I fell in love with the fireplace and although that is no excuse for having a spend-up...it's time that it was done.  Where the men are working down under...no..not Australia....down under the house...I think the eventual plan is to turn it into an indoor swimming pool.  The current work is to get supports in place and a roof on. The nice thing about working with those two is that they build it as if it's their own.  They know that I don't skimp on materials and we don't have a 'grand design', it 'happens', on the hoof so to speak.

So what did today hold?  Not a lot.  Dug out my woollen socks and darned a couple of holes and got all the plants in.  The wind has a really raw edge to it and thought that it was time that they came in especially the ones that I'm wintering for Kingdom while he's wintering in the UK.  My neighbour's son came round late last night and removed the battery from Beauty and put it on to charge on what must be a pre-war battery charger and I'm not sure which war.  It was raining so we went out with torch and this morning he came round at eleven and replaced it.  Beauty is now mobile and my other neighbour came round with a plate of their rice and meat.  Not sure if it's a run up to a festival but it was a welcome lunchtime snack.

I watch a Clint Eastwood film and then decided that it was time to go into Djebel and get to the cash point.  Having ordered the materials and if they are delivered tomorrow as promised, they will need paying for.  The first cash point counts out how long your card has been in and when it got to one minute thirty I began to panic....  without that card I up that creek without a paddle...it was returned but the machine informed me to try later.  Maybe it was the connection with the bank in England but I went to the other one and no problem...Phew....

So bought a bag of what they call coal out here but it's nothing like the stuff my dad used to dig out of the earth.  I think this get's mixed with cement dust and is more like phurnacite but I'm not sure if it's smokeless and it's too cold to go out and look.  I'm think the man ripped me off....he had to think too long about the price but I've got five bags being delivered with the order tomorrow so it was just a temporary stop gap.  He did say that it was 'big' but so was the price.  I'll get a local to ask how much and then I'll slam him for all he's worth.  Shifty.

Also got a bottle of Brandy for a hot drink tonight and the onions for doing the chutney tomorrow.  The fire is belting it out, the radiators are warm, I'm feeling very cosy and that's before the brandy is opened.  LN...  I'm just about to check out the other films on the disk....not into reading tonight....
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Elsa Peters
October 17, 2011, 7:02am Report to Moderator

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Monday 17th October

Well as expected, the cold snap has brought snow to them there hills.  I woke up at five thirty this morning and put on the outside light and it looked like snow coming down but there was none sticking.  Went back to bed to read and drink my coffee and the hills were covered with mist and it is only now that I have looked up from my pc and realised that it was snow and has settled.  Bekir phoned this morning saying that the materials weren't coming today but I guess he is grateful for it.  We only have to mention 'concrete' and we normally get rain or in this case snow.  The fire is still going from last night and the house is a peasant temperature without roaring away but I might just have to stoke it up now I've noticed the snow.   Psychological.

Happy birthday today for Evie P my grand daughter.  She adores books so there is a gift voucher sitting in my son's email box for her.....I think it's so much fun for children to be able to choose from the internet and wait for the parcel to arrive. Big hugs and lots of love to a special grand daughter....

Snow pickies and one of the little lizard that has been patrolling the terrace.  Moved the cushions from the outside arm chairs yesterday and look what I found underneath one of them...



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Elsa Peters
October 17, 2011, 3:15pm Report to Moderator

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Monday continued

Just found a very unwelcome guest in the spare bedroom in the big dish underneath the pot plants.  I suppose he had made his home in the fuchsia but unfortunately he has to go find a new one.  I've just persuaded him to go out on the the bedroom terrace and no, I'm not good with spiders but since there is no one else here....I have to get on with it...so out he goes.

The weather appeared to be picking up but I've just checked on the BBC weather for Kardjali and it could be as low as one degree tonight so I think the fleece zebra has got to make it's first appearance of the winter.  Needs as needs must so they say but the forecast for the rest of the week is sunny.   So....does it stay in the stable or not?...decisions, decisions.  LN...I think I'm going to have to toss a coin....



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Elsa Peters
October 18, 2011, 7:50am Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 18th October


So my postman didn't phone me but phoned Bekir to say that there was a letter for me at the post office.  Bills normally arrive with anyone but since it had safely got to the next village, there was no losing it now as far as he was concerned.  On the way back to the house we stopped off and Bekir went in to get it....and came out with a veritable goody bag all the way from....Australia.

It sat on the car seat besides me and I know the men were just as eager to see what it contained so when we got back to the house I opened it outside and there was just so much of it.  Thank you so much Linda and I promise to give you a potted history.  When you said that you have heard nothing about my life since the police...can I explain that I used to be a police woman when I was twenty two and always remained on the side of the law....

It's so cold today, yes the zebra came out of the stable and I've moved down to the lower bedroom next to the wood burner.  It has a cosier feel to it than the upstairs one.  That snow is still lingering and despite the weather forecast for sun there probably is one somewhere but not here today.

Pickies....and then I must get moving since I haven't lit the fire today and my fingers are so cold that I am having trouble typing....



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Elsa Peters
October 18, 2011, 4:52pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday continued

So the lorry came with the materials for the wreck.  The bricks were unloaded, the cement was unloaded  and it was decided that the wood, two cubic of it was going to be tipped outside the gate...and was it tipped.  The metal was unloaded first and left on the road and when the wood was tipped, the lorry carried on down the lane and the next thing I knew was that I was told to be careful.  They attached one end of the metal to the tree, the other end to the wagon and they used the lorry to pull the straighten the metal out since it had been delivered coiled. Saves loads of work straightening this way and I think they told the lorry owner that they had problems with the battery, that's why it took so long to deliver.   I don't really know...they switch to Turkish.  Everything is stacked in the yard, covered with polythene where necessary, the metal is still running down the lane but as Bekir said....it's too long to move and it's still attached to the tree...I think in England they would find a way.

I spent the afternoon helping to remove the wood since there was no getting out if I didn't.  The lads have worked hard today and I had my trusty Avatar helping out when I was out there moving bricks and the wood.  I went down to her house and noticed that she has no loft hatch so all the hot air just goes straight up to the roof.  I measured it up, Bekir doubted my measurements and he measured it up and so tomorrow...she will have a loft hatch made out of insulation and wood.  She's so good to me and one hours work and it will be done.  Had some fun today taking pictures of Semile the sheep farmer.  He wants me to put his photo on the internet and he's looking for an up-to- forty year old female with money so that he can retire.  I did tell him to take his hat off so that I could get a good shot but he wanted it left on but as we walked back up the lane, he was lying outside my house in the middle of the road so I took another.  Please don't apply...you'll only encourage him....

Men delivered safely home, not into food tonight but might be later, gin and Fanta on the go and not really into that either.  I'm told that there's going to be a frost overnight and we shall wake up to white all over so I've brought in tomatoes, red and green and a honeydew melon that I had missed.  LN....I have things to do....



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Elsa Peters
October 19, 2011, 4:39pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 19th October

My first thought this morning...it would have been my father's birthday today so happy birthday father and I'll raise a glass to you tonight.  We'll I'm doing it now...sorry no Highgates here (his favourite tipple) but a drop of the local beer will have to suffice.

White all over this morning and it took me a good five minutes to thaw out the car before I could set sail.  I woke up at about six thirty then dog=napped until I really had to get out to get the men.  Quick coffee that I popped into my T-Mobile thermal mug then off I went.

Good day today.  The men brought with them some posters for one of the more obscure political parties and decided to nail it to my five-bar gate just to get Semile the sheep farmer going.  They all had a rant about local politics yesterday and this was just to add salt to the wound but he never turned up so I have been apologising all day to the locals trying to explain that it wasn't mine and that it was up there for a joke....ah well...it's been taken down tonight and will go up again tomorrow no doubt.

What have the men achieved?.....Brilliant day.  They have been working 'down under' and the columns are in place.  The stone has been taken away from the original wall and replaced with new concrete and tomorrow the beam goes in under the existing concrete floor and bricks start going up tomorrow.  Things move very quickly.  I had to go into town today to get four kilograms of small wire for holding the big stuff together and my lovely lady in the shop was surprised at the quantity I quickly explained that we were putting up ten concrete columns...I'll rephrase that...the men are putting up the columns and I am watching with camera in hand.

This morning I made tomato sauce with my red tomatoes.  One jar went OK but as I filled the second and lifted it to put it on the freezer with the other, the bottom exploded and went everywhere...back to the drawing board Cecil...I've got about ten kilos of green tomatoes to process next but I hadn't the heart when the bottom fell out of my world so I'll do it tomorrow...promise.

Men home....fire going well....tuna for lunch so not really thinking about anything yet...first beer on the go...Happy Birthday dad and I'm having another one just in case you missed the first....LN...and now for some pickies....




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Elsa Peters
October 20, 2011, 4:31pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 20th October

What a rubbish night's sleep.  Stupidly last night I decided that I was hungry and the chip pan came out, the remains of the tuna mayonnaise joined it and a loaf of fresh bread...sooooo...tuna sandwich while I was waiting for the chips to cook and fresh bread and butter, mayo, salt and vinegar on the chippies and I think enough has been said already.  Two o'clock this morning I was suffering for my sins and I spent the next few hours reading what would have happened to Britain if the Nazis had taken it, Sudoko and Germs on the DS.  At five this morning I thought I should really try to get my head down and the most vivid dream woke me at six so back to my book and eventually got up at seven,  I was ready at the pick-up point at eight minus five and shocked the men by going in to their refuge and ordering a coffee to go into my thermal cup.  My original awakener was cold.

Men worked hard today in the Batcave and out of it and I now have the supports in place for them to start the brickwork tomorrow.  I had my English student today but it was so cold in the apartment that I think we were both pleased when it had finished and we had a funny moment when he had an attack of the hic-cups and I just couldn't get it out in Bulgarian to satisfy him so I promised to practice until our lesson next week.  Went to see my restaurant lady, decided that I would give Gouljan a lift home and good news, their project is continuing.  Home to find out that I can order my Acacia wood tomorrow, ten cubic at a superb price so I shall be all set for the winter...bring it on.  That with my already two cubics of roof timbers and more to be cut if needed...I should be fine.

Men home, Neil Diamond doing his stuff, supper tonight is spaghetti bolognaise with a hint of the red wine and my first glass is under-way.  There are photos but tonight my connection is not good so you'll have to wait until tomorrow....LN....supper calls....
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Elsa Peters
October 21, 2011, 7:58pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 21st October

OK second post I've lost...first post Timed out second post...I think I nodded off waiting for it and there lies another story...

Beautiful day today...one of variances.  Morning sun tranquil, traffic issues down to two vans and three donkeys when I went to pick up the men but safely arrived back at the house and off they went wall building.  I pottered in the garden until my Avatar's daughter whisked me off to the woods to get my ten cubics....As Hansel and Gretel, breadcrumbs first and then pebbles, I was tempted but there was no need...it all went well and my Gorska (forest)  man did me proud.  The tractor and trailer were put aside for the lorry (vintage unknown) that made it to Dushinkovo with me being returned to my village in the passenger seat.  My original chauffeur seemed to get lost leaving me to the whims of the locals but now I am the proud owner, be it outside my gate and on the road, of my winter wood that I am assured will last for two years.  I am ready to prove them wrong.

Tomorrow I shall head towards Remsier's house to see if her husband is inclined to do a few hours with the chainsaw to bring it down to the 'stackable' size in my newly established wood store.  Sorry AM....this room has been reassigned.....and is next to my workroom that now has a wall to block it from the outside world thanks to my men.

So wood home, men home, into drinking a little of the gravy of my supper that is the remains of last night's warming in the slow cooker...LN...this has taken a long time to post thanks to technology....



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Elsa Peters
October 21, 2011, 8:09pm Report to Moderator

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Pictures continued....

What a pig the internet has been tonight....I'll try again tomorrow...LN...I'm about to drown my sorrows....



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Elsa Peters
October 22, 2011, 5:37am Report to Moderator

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Saturday 22nd October

Let's see if we can get a few more pickies of yesterday on without too much trouble....



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linda g
October 22, 2011, 3:33pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Elsa, Photo's are great the house looks very grand. And yes I dont think the wood will last that long, I say 6 months...hehehe. Glad you got the little parcel. Hope they come in handy for you. Take care and happy chopping & stacking.
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Elsa Peters
October 22, 2011, 4:06pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday continued

Thanks Linda....the tea towels will definitely come in handy unless I decide to frame them...now there's a thought.  As for the shopping bag as soon as they start charging for them here as they do in England....I promise I shall carry it everywhere.

So I looked out at that pile this morning and decided that it had grown bigger overnight and I heard this little rabble outside and four of the locals including my Avatar were standing surveying this huge heap.  I put a pair of shoes on and out I went and joined in the fun.  They say that if you have two women together, that's a bazaar, three and it's a fair and when there are five together like there was this morning,,,what a day....

Went to see Remsier and her husband was painting the lounge but he is available tomorrow.  Avatar's son also wants to join in the fun so tomorrow I have the chainsaw massacre going on and I'll be doing the stacking then.  I also decided that this afternoon it was down to me so out with my trusty reciprocating saw and my workbench and I must have got through about two cubics of the two meter lengths and they are now awaiting stacking in what is to be the wet-room in the wreck.  I've decided that AM's bedroom is going to stay as AM's bedroom...well for the time being at least.

So here are the pictures of my efforts today and I have just dug out some bean and tomato thingy from the freezer, added a load of curry powder so can you guess what I'm having tonight....bet you can't!!!!  I am on the last of the beer, the wine is no more and I'm down to half a bottle of brandy and the same of gin but no tonic...if anybody is coming out...do let me know....supplies are only five kilometres away...and cheap   

So it's election day tomorrow for the whole of Bulgaria.  My local cmet (sort of mayor) might not be my cmet tomorrow.  There will be new ones for Djebel, Kardjali and Sofia...let's see who they put in this year...I might even wander along to my local polling booth and take a few pickies if I'm allowed...we'll see....LN...off to have curry and rice...



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Elsa Peters
October 23, 2011, 4:11pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 23rd October

What's this about a day of rest...and believe me it wasn't.  Now one man I can keep up with...two while wielding chainsaws I had a real problem.  The first one arrived at nine thirty and I was ready with my work boots with the steel toe caps just in case.  My job was to load the wheelbarrow and move it off the road and into the yard hard against the wreck but leaving enough space for the men to work tomorrow.  And I worked, and I worked and as of tonight I am well and truly knacked.  The cavalry arrived at about eleven but by one thirty it was all done and I was all done in.  Ten cubic is a lot of wood.  My Avatar came round with her wheelbarrow and helped out as did Remsie and even thought it was towards the end it was really appreciated.

At nine this morning I was clearing out the old bathroom in the wreck and have started to stack it already but asked Remsie if her husband is available tomorrow.  Yes the men can do it but they have more important work to do like getting a roof on the wreck before winter and I don't pay them to labour....I can do that with a little help.  I think I mentioned that it is election day throughout Bulgaria today and the local cmet has been wearing his little car out getting people to the polling station.  Let's see if he is still cmet tomorrow...

Well I was going into Djebel for some supper but I just can't be bothered.  If I really look I know that I shall be able to find something or make a big fat omelette....I'm too tired and should sleep well tonight....so here come the pickies...not the same without them...here goes....LN....I'm off to the kitchen....  



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Elsa Peters
October 24, 2011, 5:03pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 24th October

What a bugger it rained overnight and I didn't cover the wood but that's the beauty of Acacia....you can burn it damp and what a treasure it's been today.  Cold damp and the men were working where I needed to be working so I only managed to move about a cubic of wood into the store but the men have decided that before the ballast can be delivered for the concreting that they have to remove the wood so three of us on the job tomorrow...fnagh, fnagh.  I'll be please when it's out of the way but you can't image what a godsend it has been getting it in this early.  Last year I only had the room to store about two cubics and I was ordering it in dribs and drabs but my first winter here...having endured one...you don't do it again and I haven't...ten cubics of easy burning wood...result.

The men have been busy in their metal work class making the supports for the columns.  It amazes me...they cut the metal, bend it, attach it with fine metal and that's in....bang it in place and fill it with cement...and jobsa...guddun.  This morning they came without breakfast forgetting that the mobile van has one day off at least so I managed to rustle up fried tomatoes and toast forgetting that there aren't many teeth left for Sally but the dish came back empty so someone enjoyed it.  It also meant that they had nothing for lunch but I delved in my cupboard and came out with some mackerel in tomato sauce and a fresh loaf of bread from Djebel did the trick.  I brought back some nardinitsa giving them a choice of providing themselves with a spicy sausage barbecue but they chose the fish.....I settled for the sausage tonight in the slow cooker with chilli, honey, onions, tomato and red wine....with rice which I left cooking while I took them home.  I did give Sally a glass of the red stuff since I had no beer left.  It was only the cheap stuff but he seemed to like it.

So eventful on the way home.  The windscreen wipers took a turn for the worse and seized up completely so I stopped, jiggled them around a bit and got one to work....garage tomorrow and if it's raining I'll have to take the beast out to fetch the men...they'll think it's sheer luxury.

Settled in with Neil Diamond doing his stuff as only he can...house is beautifully warm throughout and so into my armchair that has come in from the cold, padding added to the arms and has been covered with a fleece blanket.

LN....I'm into the evening with either knitting or a half interesting book of submarines in the second world war.  Trouble is the font is very small and I seem to have been reading for ages and I'm only on page fifty five....let's look on it as an experience or and experiment in endurance...LN



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Elsa Peters
October 25, 2011, 4:28pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 25th October

What a day!!  Fortunately it wasn't raining so I didn't have to dig out the Beast, I could use Beauty.  I tried the wipers and one worked briefly and then packed up so I hoped that there was no cloudburst for the next forty minutes and there wasn't.

First job was to clear the yard so that they could order and have delivered the ballast and so we set about it.  They bought me a 'thing' for breakfast, Sally said that I needed to keep my strength up because we had a busy morning to get through....and we did.  Bekir on the axe, Sally on the wheelbarrow and me on stacking and we did have a little help from Semile who was insistent that he had been elected the new cmet of the village in Sunday's elections.  So we go along with him and his ramblings and I say to Sally at the end...true or not true....and Sally's response is not true......well the words were actually stronger than that but a few of my readers are of gentle dispositions.

Cleared the yard by lunchtime, some of it stacked by the front gate so that the lorry could get in, some on the kitchen terrace so that I can get it in the house and the rest in the what is to be bathroom in the wreck.  It's now approximately six deep and five foot high so that should keep me going.

Rapidly put an English lesson together for this afternoon and finished off at the garage so that the windscreen wipers could be fixed and I could have my winter service for Beauty....she can now go down to lots of minuses on the thermometer without a hiccup and the Beast gets done on Thursday....all precautionary but winter seems to have come early.  The wind today was cold but it's the fine one day and cold the next that buggers it up.

Ballast delivered as I was leaving for Djebel.....men have put up the shuttering and metal work for the columns for the 'soon not to be a wreck' and tomorrow they are cementing so we can anticipate rain.  Why is it that at the first mention of 'cement' out weather changes...sod's law.

Men delivered safely, glass of red wine on the go, house as warm as toast, supper finished in the slow cooker and I'm about to serve up when I have posted the latest saga.  Sorry no pickies today...much too busy but I'll make sure that you have some tomorrow of my nice clean yard.  I did joke with the men that I had ordered another ten cubics of wood but I think it went down like a lead balloon and Bekir did look slightly shattered after three hours with the axe and the rest thinking out and administering the rest of the proceedings....LN....the kitchen calls and my glass is close to empty...
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Elsa Peters
October 26, 2011, 4:59pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 26th October

Cold, miserable but at least the windscreen washers are still working.  The men are here...I was working away upstairs and got the message later that my Avatar had been round and did I want any leeks since she was digging hers up so yes, was the reply and I legged it over to her house.  Came back with about a dozen with the intention of making soup for the freezer only to be told by Bekir that it's better if you heel them in the garden and use them when you want.  As I've said before, I'm a novice at this self sufficiency lark so I did just what the man said and I now have a bed of leeks.  Back I went upstairs to prepare the lesson for my student when another neighbour came round but this time searching for Bekir...apparently my Avatar had lost her phone so the other neighbour had to program Avatar's number into the phone so that they could carry out the search...just love them don't you...and a good job I have workers to see to their every need.

Little problem today.  The men have worked so hard on the shuttering for the support structure and had to take down some of the wall of the room that my wood is stored in to make way for another support.  They chipped away at it but it had its own ideas and part of it came down.  What it does do is to show the wood in its full glory but problem solved, they made the metal support this evening and it will be all systems go for the concreting tomorrow.  As I've said before, mention the word concrete and the weather changes and this is no different from the rest.   The picture of the men on their coffee break says it all....they were thinking about the stone fall and you could just see them asking me to take the bl**dy camera away.  Perhaps today wasn't the best for them.

Fire going all day so that the house is super.  I brought in some of the old ceiling slats and they make instant starting material and pick-ups for when the big logs that I've put on need that extra boost.  Washed a couple of the leeks (free), Kingdom of S's potatoes (free), my tomatoes, a dollop of my tomato and chilli chutney and knocked up a veritable supper in the slow cooker that was ready when I had taken the men home.  Tonight I served it with croutons.  Delicious and there is enough for tomorrow so three spicy sausages at the cost of under two leva have done three days and a possible fourth.  Not that I'm mean but I enjoy the economy.  So doing emails and managed to locate a friend this morning whose website was no more via another friend on Facebook so it's definitely got its uses.  LN....my glass is empty and I've a difficult Sudoko waiting....



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Joanna
October 27, 2011, 5:53pm Report to Moderator
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Never thought of heeling in the leeks and that gives me an idea, we have a few outside and I am not ready to use them just yet, so I can heel them in in the greenhouse and then I can reach them even if it snows. Perfect!
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Elsa Peters
October 27, 2011, 6:19pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 27th October

And am I late tonight or what....I think I have been playing catch-up all day after waking at three this morning, reading my submarine epic and doing Sudoko until five then going off again until seven twenty and realising that I had just twenty minutes to be up and at 'em on my way to pick up the men.  Made it as the radio pinged eight on the dot clutching my coffee in my T-Mobile insulated beaker.

The third man was not obvious when I got to the pick-up and they were hoping for one of the lads from the village to jump to attention but he was not to be risen from his slumbers.  The third was agreed upon since there was a hell of a lot of concreting to do today as they were filling the metal columns with cement.  The mixing is OK.....it's lifting it up in half filled buckets and then dropping it down the hole.  Bekir realised that they were down to two and said they they would just have to go for it and go for it they did.  I almost offered to help but the cold wind today put me off.  It was northerly and so I dug out my faithful home hand knitted jumper, Barbour boots and leather coat from by cheap shop in Kardjali which looked anything but cheap...in fact rather chic when I went in to see my student.  

My Avatar came round this morning to have her axe sharpened by Bekir on his grinding machine.  Now I thought she wanted it for her own use but what I didn't realise was that she was off to the forest from whence cometh my wood to offer her services at trimming so that she could 'earn' some wood.  This is so amazing since her son purchased seven cubic for his house in Djebel, I bet the other son has too and she has to work for hers.....something wrong here but I did say to Bekir that I would hold my tongue.  Not really my business and I have no place making it mine but as I said....amazing.  As it happened the Gorska man didn't need her services so she was home in quick-sticks and just as well, it was very cold today.

So the men finished filling the columns and I delivered Sally's statutory glass of the red stuff at about half past five to warm him up before he gets to the pub in his village.  On the way back I realised that I hadn't much fuel in Beauty since I had forgotten to fill up when I was in Djebel so decided to go in tonight and get cheesy chips and chicken wings at my lady's restaurant washed down with a fruit juice since I was driving back.  Home just before nine.  The fire was still in, has just be rejuvenated and is crackling away....just poured out my first red of the day and I'm feeling filled, warmed through and set for a reasonably early night.  LN...we have more columns tomorrow but it shouldn't be as hard a day as it was today....
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Elsa Peters
October 28, 2011, 5:16pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 28th October

I am told that there is no signal tonight so goodness knows how I am connected to the internet and for how long it will last so my little fingers are going like fury....

Woke up at silly o"clock again and this is really getting to be a habit...either must stop drinking or drink more.  Eventually decided at six to dog-nap and managed to wake up at 7.20 and on my bike for 7.40.  The men were off their starting blocks and Bekir appeared clutching two axe handles for my Avatar that he had hewn out of chunks of wood.  She is now the proud possessor of a Bekir handle since he worked on it for an hour at the end of what he considered to be his day.  Sally decided that he just couldn't down tools so he removed the window / door from what is to be the lounge in the wreck and the rotten wooden lintels and we have the design figured out for the replacement.  I was a bit concerned that I didn't quite know where I was going with this house unlike the biggie but I think it will just happen a bit like this one did.

Went to deliver the axe and ended up with a huge plate of Banitsa, the local filo pastry speciality and did have some of that before I took the men home knowing that I had a chicken leg marinated in curry, garlic and yoghurt with tomato paste added in the slow cooker for when I got home.  Brought rice to temperature and then put the pan on the wood burner and in twenty minutes I had perfectly cooked rice.

So home for the weekend.....I can lie in tomorrow if the mood takes me so let's see what happens.  Happy snapping all day today so lets post a few that's if the connection holds...LN...here we go....



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Elsa Peters
October 29, 2011, 3:32pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 29th October

Not much to report.  I've had a very quiet day today.  It's rather nice having the house all to myself and not to think about making coffee for the boys.  I messed around on the pc until lunchtime...considered making leek and potato soup with the milk that my avatar came round with yesterday but it seemed such a shame to dig up the leeks when they've only just been heeled in so instead it was onion and potato. One potato, large I must admit, three onions, a stock cube, dash of salt finished off with cheesy toast on top.  Now yesterday my Avatar gave me her banitsa, so today I delivered the dish back to her with my soup and cheesy topped toast with the proviso that if you don't like it...give it to the dog.  I used a cheese that is more like English cheese so I'm not sure if it will suit the palate but hey....done and dusted.

Today she was going down to the forest to find some wood....Hansel and Gretel all over again.  She didn't go so I have offered to take her there in the Beast tomorrow and we can go scavenging together just so long as she knows where to scavenge legally.  The last thing I want is the Gorska police arriving on my doorstep especially after I've just purchased ten cubics of the stuff.

Lazy day, lazy night.....into reading about submarines and it's finally getting more interesting.  The weather picked up this afternoon and the sun actually came out for a while and it ticked over at twenty six degrees in the house.  I didn't have to light the fire until late this afternoon.  Lovely calm night...just a hint of cloud over Greece which might have something to do with the Euro...

LN....I'm thinking that I might be finding a film.  Must remember to change the clocks...Spring forward...Fall back...looks like it could be a frosty night......LN...
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Elsa Peters
October 30, 2011, 3:41pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 30th October

Why oh why do they mess around with the clocks?  I have spent the day catching up with myself.  I remembered to change my two biggie clocks last night but as you now know I am going through a 'silly o'clock' wake up time and this morning was no exception.  Four thirty which would have been five thirty in the old money of yesterday and the rest of the day to play with.  The DS came out, the submarine hunter is still seeking submarines and has left Gibraltar after dropping off prisoners of war, carried out escort duties to Russia and encountered force 12 winds on the way back.  What is it with me and war at the moment?  I suppose I missed it all being the result of post war copulation or one too many at the local but thanks to KingDom of S my education on all 'that was' has improved.  I must admit though that if the font was larger I would enjoy it more.....even my 2.5's from the Pound shop have struggled.

So breakfast this morning was some more tomatoes that have ripened and I seem to be coming to the end of them.  I forgot to mention on Friday that I made two jars of tomato and onion chutney and I sent the men off with a jar each....not sure what they'll make of it...they only normally make them into tomato paste or juice and not go the whole hog with the sugar and vinegar....their comments will be appreciated.  At eleven thirty which by now which should be twelve thirty, the toaster reappears on the worktop, the outpourings were smothered in butter and apricot jam and devoured with gusto, showered and washed my hair, had a pedicure and out came the vest and the tights.....first time this year.  Fairly sunny day but not much heat in it so the fire was lit and it's been ticking over most of the day.

Now almost six and have awoken from two hours on the sofa by the radiator.   It now feels like late o'clock and I've realised that my men's finishing time is going to be earlier since light will stop play.  So by the time that my body get's into the new rhythm....we'll be changing them back.  Too early to be having that drink...but hey it's Sunday so maybe, I just might.  Off to the kitchen...to see what I can find since I have nothing to declare as being under way. LN....I might just update later if I come up with a masterpiece...
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Elsa Peters
October 31, 2011, 5:04pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 31st October

Firstly Happy Halloween to those that celebrate it.  There are some marvellous formed pumpkins on the internet and I've not even got one this year. It reminds me of when I used to stay with Suzy in the homestead and at the bottom of the hill was a field of pumpkins belonging to Sally may I add and we had this notion that we would go down, carve them and stick tea-lights in them and did we giggle and did we do it?   No.  What you have to remember is that it is food not pleasure.  Breakfast for all of us this morning was home made Mr. Heinz...I put the beans in to cook in the slow cooker overnight and did the honey, salt, tomato thing this morning and they were superb.  At least I know what goes into to them.  Tonight it is the same but with chunks of ham thrown in with fresh crusty bread...

Fristy frosty morning and temperature up to three degrees when I eventually got out this morning.  The broad beans  looked a little limp as did some of the flowers but the freasias are standing up to it well.  Most of the others are inside already just in case.  Went to fetch the men and it was frosty on the way out but warmed up on the way back until we got home.  I'm a little bit higher than they are so we still had mist and frost.  Didn't need to light the wood burner this morning, the house held the temperature well overnight and in fact didn't light it until four this afternoon.  As the sun came out, the thermometer rose and it was pleasant in the sun.  I even sat in my swinging chair for a while and contemplated the world.  

The hole that Sally made on Friday is now filled in with brick with my bookcase to the side of it.  Since the stone is going to be covered up it made more sense to get a straight edge and not worry about trimming the stone to fit.  The other wall where we put up the concrete support by the wood store was being attacked this afternoon and I was on stone collection while the men erected it.  We're now up to the 'we need a platform' stage so it's getting to look OK.  We have another man joining us tomorrow...the pay has been negotiated and if he's good he gets more...if not he gets the order of the boot by about Wednesday...

Lovely sunset tonight but I caught it when it had gone down....there is a crescent moon and I'm guessing that it's going to be a cold one tonight so I'm about to throw another log on the fire...LN...my beans are calling from the kitchen and so is the wine....hope the ghosties and ghoolies don't bother you too much...no trick and treating here....but it is Byram sweety time on Saturday...I have been warned.



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