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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  NOVEMBER 2011
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Elsa Peters
November 27, 2011, 4:43pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 27th November

Minus four overnight and a little bit chilly.  Fires still going this morning so perhaps I'm getting the hang of it and about time too.  One winter, one summer and you forget.  Played around this morning with my DS machine and challenged Arnold several times at Scrabble...He's about the only one that I can beat out of all those that are opened up for me.  He's the one that puts in the odd letters and gets reasonable scores and he leaves all the triple words to me...so I win.

Beautiful blue sky but it was white over until about eleven thirty this morning...and I ventured out about that time after devouring bacon, fried eggs and fried bread and several cups of coffee.  Nice leisurely Sunday.  So sorted out the wood store and got rid of some of the debris from the porch to the wreck.  Swept the terrace and yes, the wind whistles and the leaves collect with the dust from the building site that it really quite close and we are now down to one broom and the men have acquired it so note to self...must get another one.

Was watching a film this afternoon, Deja Vu with Denzil Washington when my three ladies came round.  My Avatar is the translator, Bayse needs to get to the hospital on Tuesday and can I take her.  So it is agreed and off they trot but Semile comes round and Avatar is not sure that I know where the hospital is because it's not the regular one and he has to draw me a picture on the ground in the yard.  Back to the film, film over and I've decided it's rather a strange one.

Now I need to think about something to eat.  I'm about to cook supper...I should have done it earlier.  It's the remains of the gammon/bacon from this morning ...I'm going to do it with some onions, tomato and honey and maybe a little chilli to add the finishing touch...

LN...I'm off to the kitchen.
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Elsa Peters
November 28, 2011, 7:47pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 28th November

Sorry...much too busy playing Arnold at Scrabble and forgot all about you..I'm here now.

Beautiful morning...minus several overnight but warmed up really quickly,,, collected men and really pretty journey.  The hose pipe was frozen again so we had to defrost but this time we collected the outpourings in a bowl so Sally has gone home tonight with ice for his rakia...a commodity that is rare in Bulgaria in the places that Bekir and Sally visit after hours.  So now he has his own supply.

They worked away and Bekir received several phone calls and after lunch that was it.  It was Semile my shepherd being the go-between the wood man and Bekir and yes he disappeared at 2.00 o'clock to organise the wood for his sister.  Poor Sally was left on his own so I said that if there was anything I could help him with he should let me know.  How to handle this...I asked Sally if he had any more friends that wanted wood....five hours without work and Sally in there like a trooper.

So Sally has gone home with his ice in a bag and what has he achieved today?  We have metal work in place for another column in the wreck and I have decided that a door will suffice for tonight at least until tomorrow when I decide that we really need another window in the room.  As I said this house had been far more difficult than the other.  Too many variables and I am trying to make sure that it is not really observed from this house....

Beautiful sunset...I did take photos but tomorrow I'll get some of the wreck.  Supper..last nights that I didn't get round to and Neil Diamond is playing in the background.  LN...I just need to chill this evening...
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Elsa Peters
November 29, 2011, 7:01pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 29th November

Well has it been a busy old day...Byser was round at 7.30 asking me if I was ready to take her to hospital in Kardjali for her knee injections but I explained that I had to get my men first.  Now this is a difficult thing to do since her knowledge of Bulgaria is virtually zilch and my Turkish is a little better than her Bulgarian. Any way...she went away and I arrived back with the men at 8.20 and she was round again but this time dressed for the city but she had to wait for me to get some coffee for the boys and then yes, I was ready for the off.  Before that though I had a visit from my Avatar asking if I could pick up two bags of cement on my way back just to make my journey worthwhile...god forbid I shall not fill every minute of every day.  

Fortunately for me I remembered the instructions given to me by Semile as to where the hospital was since she hadn't got a clue and we managed to find the room and I think I became a talking point.  I decided to wait outside in the corridor but was dragged in by the receptionist and was confronted by a doctor intent on practicing his English and a receptionist who understood but couldn't speak very much but who was intent on finding out as much as she could about how long I had been here, whether I had family and children and I answered all my questions in Bulgarian much to her surprise despite the doctor butting in with his English.  He asked me if I was married, didn't ask me how old I was which is par for the course here and then told me he was not married and he would look forward to seeing me on Thursday on her next appointment.  I'm going to paint my car yellow and get a sign for the top....

Got her home in one piece and there was fun and games in the village and much laughter and mirth.  Semile had slaughtered my Avatar's calf, yes the one you saw the photos of and fortunately it was skinned and being butchered when I got back.  Bekir was buying and the bulk of it is sitting in my fridge since he forgot to take it home. The going rate...ten leva a kilo and unfortunately I have no room in my freezer at all but I'm sure there'll be a next time.

Had my English lesson with my student this afternoon so back to Djebel and now we wanted cement and some work metal for the pillars.  Got some of it but no electricity today meant there was no way to cut the big stuff and I couldn't get fuel either. So back home, men to their village, decided to carry on through to Djebel for the third time today and got fuel for the morning and fuel for me in that I stopped off at my restaurant and ordered cheesy chips, fruit juice and water in my restaurant.  My restaurant lady's husband was there and was insistent on wanting to share his bottle of moonshine with me which I refused but he insisted that I had a water bottle full of the stuff to take home with me and it's now sitting in the kitchen.  Rescued both fires from the brink, no need but it does make the place look warm even though it's no cold.  Tapped a new red and wine lake replenished....not wanting to eat tonight after my huge snack...and feeling very sleepy and relaxed.  LN....going to chill in front of the fire...with a little of the red stuff...I'll save the moonshine for another day.



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Elsa Peters
November 30, 2011, 10:00am Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 30th November

I've had a beautiful morning.  My Avatar came round at seven thirty to check if I was up since she had seen no smoke from my chimney this morning.  The intention was to pay me for the two bags of cement that I got for her yesterday to finish off her well and to bring me some of the calf that was killed yesterday.  I hadn't lit the fire since it was promising to be another very warm day so fires are a job for later.

Picked up the men but then went into Djebel to get the metal that I couldn't get yesterday since there was no electricity to run the machine for cutting it and while they were busy with that I went and got the breakfast.  Back home with the metal sporting a pair of Dennis the Menace fingerless gloves, hanging out of the back of Beauty since we had nothing else that was red to act as a warning to following vehicles.  'I'm observing the law, that's all' if challenged by passing policeman with a hole in his windscreen.  Got the men coffee and we sat around on the terrace with coffee and banichkas and decided to pop round to Avatar and give her some of the satsumas that I got yesterday and to check whether or not I had to take my other neighbour to the hospital tomorrow again.  I noticed on the door step that there was a dish of charred something and thought that they had had a barbecue but the story goes that she had put the odd bits from the calf yesterday into the oven of her wood burner, had popped out with her daughter in law to get some more wood and when she got back, went into her lounge and discovered the wood burner oven raging and black smoke everywhere.  Fortunately her daughter in law was with her and took control of the situation dragging the offending dish outside and removing the cause of the fire.  So that's the third fire in the village.  I did suggest that she should have called in Byser to stamp on it but maybe not such a good idea.   Nothing to laugh at but the calf got its revenge in one way.

A few minutes later Byser arrives and no it's not tomorrow she has to go to the hospital but next week so that's sorted and she is clutching a bag that she gives to me.  I opens it up and I have a new pair of Jim Jams from Turkey as a thank you for taking her to the hospital.  A minute later my Hacebar arrives so this fourth Muscateer decides that it's home time....the conversation is now predominantly Turkish and where I can more or less keep up with Bulgarian...now I'm lost.....

Back home men are busy with the final concrete supports and then it's time for the roof...too nice to be in...I'm out of here.....
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Elsa Peters
November 30, 2011, 4:40pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday catch up

All the woodwork is in place for the columns to be completed tomorrow.  I think there was a little swearing going on today but if the extra column hadn't gone in I would have regretted it.  This way I can choose window or bricks when the wood comes off.....but I guess that's in the New Year....depending on the weather.  So far it's brilliant.  Cold at night and beautiful in the day and today was no exception.  

Treated the men tonight to some of the home made rakia that I came back with last night from the restaurant.  Sally said that it's 'OK' and not strong enough for his taste and while one man's meat is another poison, Bekir said it was about right for him.  Talking of meat.  I've got five portions out of the meat that was my 'podaric' (present) from my Avatar, four of which are in the freezer and the fifth is going to be made into a veal and kidney pie.  The little calf's kidneys that were in the meat that Bekir purchased are now in my fridge since he's no too keen on them.  Tomorrow I'm going to try to get the right flour for making pastry and give it a whirl in my oven......so let's hope that it doesn't want to take its revenge out of me like it did to my poor Avatar...

I'll get the 'white rabbits' out for tomorrow and they probably will be if the frost is like last nights.  I've put my Bart Simpson windscreen shield on Beauty so that I don't have to defrost in the morning....try that in England...it would be gone and probably the car with it.  LN  ....both fires going beautifully and I'm thinking now of Don Maclean's Starry, Starry Night and my goodness, isn't it...
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