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Elsa Peters
November 1, 2011, 4:57am Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 1st November

Not so much 'white rabbits' but white all over this morning and yet again.  I've just put my nose out to look at the thermometer and it's reading three degrees and there's definitely the whiff of winter.  Seven am....solved the coffee getting cold and have served this morning's beverage, made at five thirty this morning in my T-Mobile thermal mug and it's still warm.   Result!!

About to get dressed and the Beast will need thawing out again this morning so on with the fingerless gloves as well as several layers and if it turns out like yesterday, might be fur-lined bikini weather later...now there's something for the men to look forward to (I don't think).  Rest of the stone wall will go up today and then there will be one to take down.  As I mentioned yesterday we have a third contender whose job it is to remove the stone from the terrace area and re-site it behind the bus shelter... let's see how far he gets....on with the day....
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Elsa Peters
November 1, 2011, 4:56pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 1st continued

Well the weather did eventually clear up and was in the middle to high tens and three builders to cater for, well two and a goffer and the goffer has worked his little socks off today.  I haven't got any pictures this afternoon, I was off with my student and then spent a further hour talking to his mum discussing how in one year they can go from being saying yes to everything and then turn into obnoxious youths and not even a teenager yet....I hope it's not getting to Bulgaria too soon.  So text from Gouljan asking if I would pick her up from school since no school, no bus, so I made it in Bulgarian time...fifteen minutes late so I got my own back.  I ran her home and there were some very worried looking people in her village and I worked out that to get from her village to mine they had to run the wrath of Semile's dogs guarding the flock and they were very scared.  So piled 'em in, whisked them back to my house and offered to drive them the rest but they were really content not to have to run the gauntlet.

Back home and saw the remains of a bottle of whisky on the shelf in the wreck and thought I had driven my men to drink only to be told that Semile had delivered it to 'his friend' Sally and there was none for Bekir.  Not sure if it was finished or not...I didn't ask but it was getting cold.  Ran them home, the remains of the gammon from last night and this mornings bacon and eggs is in the slow cooker finishing off with rice and a little glass of the red stuff is keeping me company while I do my update.  Slight change on the house front.  Where there wasn't going to be a door has now evolved into a door with two windows and it's going to save a lot of effort on the stone walling front.  Looks good but it's going to be covered with 'stuff' so you won't be able to see it and it costs a fortune in labour.  Taking the cost of bricks against the cost of stone and labour...I think the bricks win.

So just a few pickies.....it's going to be as cold tonight as it was last night so the fire is lit and coal is going on to underpin it.  LN...my supper should be ready soon.....



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Elsa Peters
November 2, 2011, 5:24pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 2nd November

Not so cold this morning as I went to fetch the men.  Silly o'clock start and I've now gone back to White Swan, the submarine hunter is over and I can read without the help of binoculars.  The fire was still going this morning so with a little encouragement we had lift off and it's still going strong but I think the temperature is going to drop this evening...it just has that feel about it.

I was up on the roof today cleaning it off before the men start up there.  I created three big heap of debris and it looked like I had got a very active mole but two are down on the ground but I sort of ran out of steam later and thought it could wait until tomorrow or the next day.  The men are working up to their holiday....it's four days of families visiting and the killing of the fatted calf or whatever else they can find.  It's a big thing for them so they are working like stink to get plenty done before they break off on Friday for four or five days...I shall await the phone call.

So it was decision day today...how high do you want this wall?  Do you want to put in a bigger window?  Shall we turn this into the kitchen?  You do get marvellous view up here and that was from Sally who joined me on the roof while I was cleaning it off.  So the decision now is do I want to go up a little and create a viewing platform from the roof of the wreck with a panorama terrace and I think it just might have to be done and now I'm waiting for the flash of inspiration as to how we're going to do the roof.....we'll get there ...and I say 'we' because it's as much a journey for the boys...not often they do something that is beautiful and not just practical.  I think they've learn something from the build that they've never experienced before.  

Walls down...concrete caps come tomorrow...a few more metal concrete columns and after their holiday the concrete ceilings go on and then we start on the roof and the fun begins.  I've done it once on the fly so this time I have more of an idea what I / they are doing..... great fun.

And tonight we had a sheep that thought it was a cow leading the herd and the traffic police really slowed the local bus down.....On the way home I developed a 'banging' from under the car which sounded like a loose exhaust so tomorrow an investigation is under-way.  Tried to check with a torch tonight but probably the Beast will be earning its keep tomorrow and the little one goes into the garage later.  Supper is in the slow cooker, spicy hamburgers with rice and I'm just working up to them....post over...food calls...LN...



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Elsa Peters
November 3, 2011, 5:22pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 3rd November

Dug the Beast out to pick up the men and it was a reluctant start.  It doesn't get the journeys out that it should... diesel is expensive and I prefer the cheap option whenever possible....except for building materials...it's got to outlast me but as to who is going to inherit looks like no one wants to....ah well....

Third worker still working his little socks off and I think he is beginning to feel at home.  Not sure what was wrong with Sally this afternoon...he didn't seem his normal self but perhaps with the holiday season upon us he was going to miss this place...well maybe.  Went off this afternoon into Djebel in Beauty to ascertain the cause of the knocking and the garage found a rubber grommet that had come loose and for three leva they solved the problem or so they thought as I came to drive away.  I put it in reverse and asked them to take another look and it looks like one of the armatures has gone and so they are replacing the pair but they are arriving tomorrow from Haskovo.  Went back with the garage owner and educated his son for an hour and then found out that the bus back to Djebel didn't go until five thirty so into a taxi and what a lovely taxi driver he was.  The clock showed ten leva plus, I gave him twenty and he gave me ten back...I've now become local in an instant.

Men home in the Beast.  They're not working tomorrow and that might be why Sally wasn't his usual self.  Bekir said that he has other work and Sally has to go along with the decision and I know that it's the feast of Bakra-Id or the feast of sacrifice beginning on Sunday.  It's a day to thank the Almighty for one's good fortune and to share it with the less fortunate people. Traditionally, Bakra-Id is marked by the slaughtering of animals as sacrificial offerings, after which the meat is distributed among the needy and deprived. It is celebrated to commemorate the willingness of Hazrat Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail at the behest of Allah. Hence, on this day just like Ibrahim, a true follower of Islam is expected to sacrifice something that is dear to him.

Festivities mark the first day, when people wear new clothes, offer prayers at the mosque, and greet friends and relatives. The celebrations are carried on through three days to ensure that the entire Muslim community partakes in the noble of act of giving and sharing.  I shall expect my rations of meet for the poor and needy...

So home alone for the next few days....I'm off on the bus to pick up Beauty tomorrow and since there is nothing else to worry about, carrying on to Kardjali to get butter which I am out of, coffee while I'm there and a few more things...just depends how much my car costs me as to whether there are any luxuries involved but my electric toothbrush refuses to recharge...aaarrrhhh so something else into the mix.

LN.....I've got Michael Jackson doing his stuff tonight on the iPod and he really was a legend in his lifetime and magic with music...No supper tonight...I've just had my first batch of pancakes today and feel stuffed...keep 'em coming...we've got days to go...LN



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Elsa Peters
November 4, 2011, 4:44pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 4th November

Lovely lie in this morning....no work for me fetching the men.  I lazed around, sank a couple of coffees, tidied the electrical tools that get dumped in the hall away since they won't be needed for a week or so.  The intention was to clean the house through but did I do it....no I just looked at it and realised it would keep for another day.

Playing on the pc on the landing with the balcony doors open and enjoying the warmth of the sun, I looked up to find a bloody cow in the garden.  Now you all know the trouble I went to to make this place cow proof and I was surprised to see where it had got in,  I sent it packing and decided that after getting dressed it would be the first job of the day.  Walking back up the garden, Socks, my Avatar's dog came to greet me and then I sent him off home but heard a bit of nattering going on.  There is Avatar with my other neighbour and they are attempting to repair the fence where the same cow had broken through and got into her vegetable garden.  I went to my shed, found the bolt cutters and some more wire and decided to give them a hand.  Over I went, fixed her fence, decided that I would fix mine with a length of old boarding from the wreck and my trusty nails, came back in, went back on the pc and blow me down, the same cow was back.  I tried to shoo it out but the damn thing couldn't find the hole where it had got in to get out again.  After about an hour it was still roaming down the bottom and I saw Semile's wife walking along the road with the wife of Semile's brother and asked her if he was at home...his cow...his problem...and I've only got a little freezer.  No he wasn't so the three of us went back down the garden and they are obviously more used to them since in law it is her cow too and the cow probably knows her anyway, she freaked it and it jumped over the new fence and might even be trying the Horse of the Year, 'Puissance' (high jump for the uninformed)......so.....back to the fence I went to inspect the damage but this time I was armed with barbed wire and let it try it now.....

Pancake day here, as part of the festivities and handing food to the poor, and so I was given a plateful and added sugar and lemon juice...delicious.  My plans changed.  I had a phone call from the garage to say that the parts for the car wouldn't be here until Monday so I didn't have to go into town and decided against a special trip into Kardjali for no other reason than to get some Cheddar cheese from Lidl.  And during the week...I do enough driving....I'm having a holiday too.

Got the washing done...lit the fire.....washing now airing in the upstairs bathroom...still stuffed with pancakes and it serves me right so no food for me tonight.  Film night ...let's see what I can come up with from the little black box that is my terrabyte thingy.  Temperature appears to be dropping after an absolutely cracking t-shirt day.  LN...I'm searching my 'drive'.
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Elsa Peters
November 5, 2011, 8:48am Report to Moderator

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Saturday 5th November

Gunpowder, treason and plot and as one of my acquaintances is heading for the Houses of Parliament today complete with mask...have a good day and I hope the other ones hanging about in empty tents don't get in the way.

This morning I'm actually delaying the hoovering.  It's down stairs waiting my attention but the hardest part is plugging it in.  It's a bit like my approach to ironing...when I was in the UK...as soon as I got going, everything was done and cleared.  The bathroom and kitchen are finished so there really is not a lot to do...so...

Just had a knock on the door and Semile and his brother's children have come round to collect sweets for the Bonbon Byram which is today...lovely boys...they were the ones herding the sheep with air rifles and I've never seen them shoot over the hillside so quickly before or since...........

Hoovering but first to post this morning's pictures



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Elsa Peters
November 5, 2011, 5:08pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday continued

So I did the housework...my house is spick and span for any visitors that might just pop in for a look around.  More children appeared today and they really enjoy the sweety collection but after all, this is their main festival.

I gave the the Beast a bit of a tone up.  The problem is that you have to have your lights on now all the time...the first of November decrees it and there are fines if you don't.  So you don't really charge the battery even though you go out in the day time so I sat outside and gave it about an hour of charging.  Hotfoot brought round a couple of things to eat...not exactly pancakes, more of a yeasty feel to them and I had two more from my other neighbour.  My Avatar's son has been busy chainsawing all her wood today so that she if prepared for winter.  I still don't understand why she had to go into the forest and collect when number two son managed to purchase seven cubic...but not for me to ask.

Sat outside reading this afternoon in a t-shirt...it has been a beautiful day.  White Swan is trudging along quite nicely and I bet I get Badau spider looking over my site...one mention of China, Mao or the likes and I get a visit.

Supper is on the wood burner.  I did the chicken leg in yoghurt and curry powder this afternoon and it is finishing off with the rice.  It is so easy now that I am getting the hang of it.  Fire going well, house warm as you like despite the fact that the temperature outside is dropping after a beautiful day....I'm just about to serve up so I'll wish you goodnight....Happy Birthday for tomorrow for my daughter in law...the flowers should have arrived and I chose the Autumn selection because it is Autumn...lovely colours that I find all around me in this beautiful place....LN.....my chicken calls....   and I might even post a picture of it tomorrow...bones and all....
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Elsa Peters
November 6, 2011, 1:00pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 6th November

Cold, damp this morning and not like yesterday at all.  Fortunately it has gone up from six overnight and the sun is doing its damnedest to break through.

Had a visit this lunchtime from Star Mush's daughter who is back for the holiday and she is doing a tour of the village.  I'm so pleased that she popped in and we managed to have quite a conversation.  I beat myself up sometimes that I don't know enough words but in general conversation, I've worked out that you only need so many.  I'm making curtains today for the hall so that it stops the hot air shooting up to the landing.  It will contain it somewhat when I don't want so big a fire or it really drops into the minus figures.

Wth the rice that was left over from last night I have just knocked up a soup, added more fresh tomatoes and a little more curry.  It smells delicious and I think I've worked up sufficient appetite for it.  Yes...I'm off.

Curtains finished...watched the life story of Nelson Mandela this afternoon...didn't know it was his life story until Robin Island was mentioned at the end....lunch was sufficient, almost nine here and not in the mood for any more food today so I'll say LN...almost tome for bed and I really ought to go and sort that fire out.  Almost full moon tonight and temperature is dropping...LN
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Elsa Peters
November 7, 2011, 5:28pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 7th November

Another dreary day outside, not so much cold but damp so I pottered for a bit, had a bonfire and that was the sum total of work outside apart from painting the metal bar that I found in the garden in the shrubbery along with three of its mates one of which is still buried and note to self....get it dug out at some point....and it is now holding up the new curtains that are at the bottom of the stairs and what a difference it makes to the temperature when you are just...sitting.  Yes the curtains are finished and I've also started a blind to go in the window that we discovered between the new hall and the lounge...great in summer but as I said the air movement has to be cut down for the winter.  The central heating is doing its stuff but you need that little bit extra and I'm being like the wise virgin and getting prepared for the winter so it doesn't become a 'winter of discontent'.  Still burning the old roof timbers so at some point need to think about getting the pipes down and giving them a spring clean before the winter really sets in and the men have on their list.....chimney sweeping duties....that roof is pretty high.

Beauty is still in the garage having her shocks done and the word for it here is 'tampons' so when Bekir suggested that that could be the problem with the car I had a hard time keeping my face straight and how do you explain that away.  

Supper was spaghetti bolognaise and I really must look round for a real butcher and get real beef not the stuff that you find in supermarkets.  It's supposed to be 100% but one hundred percent of what I'm not sure.  Still I tarted it up well with chilli but unfortunately the red wine stock has diminished or evaporated somewhat so tomorrow morning I'm picking up Beauty, delivering the Beast for it's winter preparation and then heading for Kardjali with a shopping list as long as my arm.....maybe a slight exaggeration there but supplies need to be got in big time, especially the wine.

So no pictures today.....I'll take some of the curtains tomorrow when the sun is shining...it was just too dull today and I could take some of the wreck without having a man's face in there.   LN....I've gone back to reading what would have happened in the UK if Hitler had won....and for certain we wouldn't have had the marches that we've had this weekend.  LN....I might have to sample the Rakia that KingDom of S made.  The report from Sally was that it was good stuff....so if my hair or toes turn curly ....I'll be able to second that...LN
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Elsa Peters
November 8, 2011, 3:27pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 8th November

Well this morning started off miserable but it has turned into a beautiful day...a little chill but it is November.  There was a feint glimmer of sun over in Greece but considering the political situation, only to be expected, which eventually spread northwards and landed over us.

So this morning was pretty uneventful...I did my chores...bonfire, washing, put away the clean stuff from the airer, tomatoes on toast for breakfast, the remains of last night's supper into the fridge ready for the slow cooker and as we speak it is cooking now.  

Had an awful problem this morning.  The Beast was so reluctant to go and I was suspecting the batteries were duff.  The problem is we have now started driving with permanent lighting and the police are out and about and this is the latest 'globa' (fine) raison d'etre...so I was concerned that they weren't keeping up with it i.e. output was exceeding input.  It started eventually and then ran for a while and then died on me so I went in to collect Beauty assuming that she would be ready but no....the parcel arrived and there was only one 'tampon' in the box.  Tomorrow the second one is coming apparently from Ruse which is way up north.  In retropect it's a good job that I didn't go in on the bus yesterday as arranged...something stopped me going and that was the reason why.  I am listening to the messages....na..na..na..na.  So winter checks on the Beast all over and done with....and I suggested that they changed the fuel filter since it had started OK and then died and so they did.  Winter check, new fuel filter, all fitted and correct...35 leva including parts.  Spent the next thirty five leva in the supermarket but that was for one litre of vodka, two bottles of wine, three kilos of onions, cheese, rubbish bags, two litres of tonic, a bottle of Martini and a loaf of bread.  As you can see I didn't go into Kardjali....best laid plans of mouse and me.  I reckon that's going to happen on Thursday....Lidl are doing a very nice garlic press for little money so I think I am off for the Thursday specials.

My lesson today went very well but I think he was eager to be off to play basketball at the school.  He insisted on keeping the hood of his jersey on throughout so I referred to him as 'My Hoodie' but then had to explain what I meant.....I should learn to keep my mouth shut.

Beast in drive, fire going but the pipes are out tomorrow for sure after we had a smoky start.  Just had a phone call from Bekir to say that they can work tomorrow so restaurant at eight in the morning.  LN...I'm going to add a little wine to the slow cooker...last night's supper was missing something and I've just remembered what it was...and now for a few pickies....



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