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Elsa Peters
December 1, 2011, 9:50am Report to Moderator

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Thursday 1st December

Well there probably could be white rabbits out there but I doubt if I would spot them.  As you can see it's white all over.  Little bit treacherous getting the men this morning...there was frost all over the roads and as I've said before, the only time that it gets gritted at all is when there is snow so it was slowly, slowly this morning.

Today I have four workers.  The son of the magazine and cafe in the village that my men come from has a son who is a little bit slow.  He measures the road, has been known to stop cars and pretend he is a policeman asking for documents and this morning he is getting in my car with the men.  Now I'm not to sure about this.  What is be going to do for the day?  So they give him the axe and he is slowly working through the stuff that we couldn't get into the house first time round.  He's enjoying himself....not working at a great pace but Bekir said that he will pay him for his labour.  We have introduced him to the village as my local policeman responsible for the security of the site and I believe that one visit will suffice to let the area know that the house is security protected.  There's lots of laughter around today.  Sally is filling the buckets with cement, Emaula is heaving them up to the roof and Bekir is dumping it down the shuttering.  My Avatar thought it was very funny and couldn't stop laughing when she brought round my homemade yogurt this morning. And what am I doing...stacking the logs by the back door just in case the snow does decide to fall although it's wall to wall sunshine this morning and twelve degrees....OK...back to stacking...



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Elsa Peters
December 1, 2011, 6:26pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday continued

Off for my English student who wasn't very interested in the lesson so I just had to be assertive...write it down now!!

Back to the homestead, not much wood chopped but I was asked for my car documents by my new security advisor and he gave me a fine for not providing them...so he forgot that today he works for me so he can't fine me..OK..fine...but no fine..

Got round to providing the coffee and we sat around for a break...Bekir finds comfort wherever and today it was in the wheelbarrow doubling up as a sofa...the rest just made do with the ordinary.  That is the last of the columns in now...tomorrow I think it is the roof and now the fun begins.  

Must just tell you about those kidneys. Now that poor little calf had not touched a drop of the vino tinto until tonight when it's kidneys got sauteed in butter with onions and a touch of what it had never sampled before.  Now I know the original plan was to add them to the veal and make some sort of pie but that seemed too much like hard word so I put the rice on to come to the boil, transferred it to the wood burner and moved the said frying pan with the kidneys to join it while I sampled some of the red.  I have just had a delicious meal and now...update... and then back to the fire and more of that vino tinto.  For afters I have walnut Turkish delight and that comes by courtesy of the local supermarket...not original but very tasty.

So just a few pics of my security advisor, and the tea break...it's been a lovely day with laughter and when I paid him for today, his little face lit up.  I've realised what I like about this place...I have time to look, listen and absorb....I watch everything and enjoy.

LN...back to the wine lake....



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Elsa Peters
December 2, 2011, 5:35pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 2nd December

So lovely morning again and as I've said before, the mornings from my desk are delightful.  Fairy tale coming to life when the sun comes up especially on these frozen mornings.

Picked my men up and again my third man got into the car... apparently he had had such a lovely day yesterday, or his mum had where she hadn't had to worry about him, that he was sent off with enough food this morning to feed the five thousand.  I laughed when he got in the car...I have security on site for the second day running.

The men have been sorting out the wood ready to start on the roof on Monday, my third Muscateer has been chopping wood for five minutes then taking a twenty five minute break and we were taking bets as to how long he would be at it.  He is just so lovely.  So this morning Bekir informed me that our newcomer wanted to go to our local jamir (mosque) and we waited for one of the Friday 'usuals' and Bekir explained that my security adviser was a visitor and could he accompany him to the mosque it being about a mile walk.  He assured the traveler that my new worker knew all of the responses and off they set on foot.  We were actually given a rendering just before he set off...a good Muslim boy.  The passerby promised to bring him home safely.

Off they went and about two hours later he returned and I came out with the coffee and his little face lit up.  He had come back with money from the mosque and also a box of Turkish Delight as a gift.  Everything is so joyful here...he's not all there but he's taken into the community, welcomed into the local worshiping house, given money and a gift although he is not of this village.  Semile then took him off in the car to see his cows and later that evening said that he wanted to employ him....Bekir joked that he had to stay here the night but I rescued the situation by batting Bekir round the head and sending Semile home with a flea in his year...don't mess with my workers.

I had visitors this lunchtime from two English ladies that have a house here.  They were suitable impressed with my abode and so they should be....it's beautiful and I did offer to help them with the design of theirs when they come to work on it.

Drove the men home and when we arrived at the bar, Bekir handed me surreptitiousness a note for me to pay my third worker.  I'd meant to ask him about it but had forgotten and I thanked my security adviser for keeping my property safe today, chopping my wood and for checking that the documents of my visitors were in order.  I intimated to Bekir that I would pay him back on Monday to which both Sally and Bekir both said that it was a no...no .  

So men home.  Bekir's meat went into a spaghetti bolognaise tonight and it was delicious.  I'm now about to sit down with my knitting...I have the weekend in front of me and I think a visit to Kardjali is on the card...LN...another beautiful day..weather wise and spiritually....good to see that they take care of their own out here.  Simpsons on my car waiting for tonight's frost....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 3, 2011, 6:11pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 3rd December

So the fact that I can sleep in doesn't mean a thing to my body.  I was a wake at five thirty played on my DS until six fifteen, decided to put the light out and try again but five minutes later decided that coffee was on the cards and let's get into the day.

Decided not to light the fire this morning since it was smoking for all it was worth last night and no real flames so out with the pipes this morning and it's the monthly spring clean/winter clean/ whatever.  I just know that there is soot in them there pipes and it has to go.  On with the work trousers over my PJs and my big fleece sweatshirt and my fleece hat since it was only about seven o'clock and the sun just coming up.  As I've said before...I should number them...I always seem to have a problem getting them back.  Anyway...down, sorted, gave the wood burner a really good internal, emptied the ash can, pipes all back, glass cleaned and fire lit...start to finish approximately thirty minutes and thirty minutes well spent.  The fire today has gone like a dream, glass remains clean as a whistle and house really toasty.

So what else have I done....very little. Cleaned up where some of the soot had fallen from the pipes, then had a really long shower and washed my hair, dried it and decided that that was about it.  Sat in the lounge in the sun and did my knitting.

Supper tonight was the remains of yesterday's bolognaise sauce with honeyed baked beans added, into an individual casserole dish, potatoes and carrots boiled, carrots added to the casserole dish, potatoes mashed with butter and dolloped on top and stuffed under the grill to brown.  Meanwhile I sauteed red cabbage and served it separately.  Now I'm stuffed.

Music today from my ipod has been varied but slow....Bernstein this morning, Cleo Laine this afternoon and a really sad Sinatra this evening....might have to have a drink to cheer me up not that I've ever needed an excuse before....

LN...settling in for the night....



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Elsa Peters
December 4, 2011, 7:11pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 4th December

It's Sunday for goodness sake...why a four thirty start to the day. I had had enough sleep but it was so cold outside so throwing a log on the fire seemed the obvious choice but despite my chimney cleaning of yesterday the wind was just in the wrong direction and I huffed and I puffed and got it going to perfection just as the sun was coming up.  My little fire in the kitchen was a bugger to start but eventually got it going and it has been a dream all day.

So what as has today held...nothing really.  It's Sunday but despite that my water bill man came round and demanded payment for November....four leva thirty two stotinki....about two pounds for water for the month.  Might just have to take take out a mortgage to settle the bill...   Had some fun on my other forum this afternoon and rattled a few cages.  

Got some wood in, moved the rest of the debris from the wood delivery so that it didn't get thrown everywhere since that wind is blowing a gale.  My stork might have to come in tonight....I was aware of the wind rattling the wind chimes last night and that could have been what woke me so early.  

Supper was the remains of yesterday's slow cooker mixture with potatoes and carrots added to it.  Pudding was my Avatar's home made yogurt with her bottled strawberries.  Suitably stuffed and ready to batten down the hatches...the wind is blowing a gale out there but I have enough wood in so I'm prepared.  LN...I'm back to my fire.
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Elsa Peters
December 5, 2011, 4:55pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 5th December

Silly o'clock this morning yet again so I've taken a quilt off the bed...maybe it's because I'm too warm with my two by twelve Tog feather quilts plus my Bulgarian vest and the PJ's.  I got so cold last year that I'm still programmed to take all precautions and possibly I'm in danger of overheating this year.  The last measure to be taken will to remove the Bulgarian vest....

So took pictures of the sun after it arrived and I almost missed it.  My curtains were closed upstairs and down and I was too busy playing CPU1 at bowling and darts to worry about the sun coming up.  Game on.... Unfortunately my screen is scratched and so some of the bowling balls end up in the gutter, through no fault of my own may I add.....as for the darts.....managing to beat him / her hands down.  Out to fetch the men and realised that the sun was just climbing so got one good one, and the rest were taken on our return.  Not so cold today and Bekir refers to it as a 'Gypsy wind'.  I didn't get the reason why but poor Sally has had a day of it and he hates days when it's like this.  Tomorrow we've threatened to put some house bricks in his pockets if it's still blowing a gale so that he doesn't end up in Djebel.  All said and done he only weights the equivalent of a bag of cement.

So at lunch time today we were working out the height of the roof and how big the upstairs room can be.  We've got the main timbers and central points identified and the rest of the finishing will be on the hoof so to speak.  It's a big roof and so we're trying to source about a thousand old roof tiles to match the other roof...new ones are available but they look very 'red' and aren't strong.  We have feelers out.  My Avatar came round today with a tray of pancakes for all of us and we sat round with coffee discussing the roof and the world in general.  The outcome...some of the timbers are in place and it's a day of woodwork tomorrow.  We should see something going upwards but with the house bricks in his pockets, at least it won't be Sally.

Got the rakia out for the men tonight...Sally had KingDom of Samodiva's home brew and Bekir had the not so strong one.  Well it is payday after all said and done and home they went with little grins on their little faces with Bekir clutching a calf's head that he'd purchased from Semile's brother.

Back home, not too hungry after the pancakes and a little drink with may be cheese on toast later will suffice.  LN...I've got a bowling and darts match to go to....



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Elsa Peters
December 6, 2011, 9:09am Report to Moderator

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Tueday 6th December

Now I don't usually post until nighttime but I reckoned this morning's sky worth the effort.  I nearly missed it but just happened to go up to my desk and went out on to my bedroom terrace to capture the first two and the last one on my way out go collect the men.  

Got a text from Gouljan asking if I could pick her up from the bus-stop and drop her on the bus route to Djebel and there was a traffic holdup on my way down to get her.  The milk collection wagon and the cow food delivery wagon having a chin wag with my little neighbour so eventually one moved down the road a little so that I could get through...all good natured and I suppose there's not that much traffic, one bus at six thirty and then just passing stuff...

So not having to prepare anything for my lesson today...it's all ready printed up.  Oh and Gouljan has asked me if I could take on two other pupils.  Their mother is an English teacher and they live in Kardjali but their grandparents live in this village so it would be good at weekends. The mother also wants to improve her English so from acorns do great oaks grow...



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Elsa Peters
December 6, 2011, 6:52pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday continued

In to Djebel for my lesson today and took a shopping list for all the different sized nails for the men to put the roof on the wreck.  There's a bit of a rush on now....the weather was dull today and still warm with the wind coming up from Greece but I am assured that it is getting colder from now on.  They have about two weeks to do it in as I see it and at that point I might still be going home over the Christmas period.  I'm holding out making the decision because the weather is holding out.  Checked out the flights and they are still available and the price is still very competitive...I'll give it a week and we'll see.

Supper tonight was curried chicken wings but I seem to be suffering for my art.  Everything was cooked OK but it seems to be sitting heavy.  It's at times like this that you need a pint of lager to wash it all down but I'm fresh out so I'll have to see if there is anything fizzy hanging around that I didn't spot first time around.  Will post photos of the roof tomorrow...it was getting dark when I got back from Djebel and it will be better in daylight.

LN...off to tend my fire, wash up and generally get a  goodnight's sleep in hopefully.  
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Elsa Peters
December 7, 2011, 8:03am Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 7th December

Lovely sky this morning but I think I'll give that a miss.  I seem to have started every day off with pictures of the morning weather.

Off to fetch the men and was just making them coffee when I realised that they had both disappeared and there was some very loud music going on down in the village square.  I saw that the gate was open, went to the road and the men were walking towards the festivities and Bekir gestured me to follow so off I galloped to try to catch them up.  There was lots of the hollering noises and me not being versed in these things local thought that it might be a funeral but it was explained that it was the other sheep farmer's wife's brother's birthday...still following? and he was out in the square clutching his beer and dancing to a drummer, a clarinet and a saxophone belting out for all they were worth.  And the time....nine twenty in the morning.  We walked back with my Avatar and the band carried on to the next village down playing for all they were worth since it was the sheep farmer's two year old's birthday and so not to be out done by his uncle, they'd played for him too.

Men now back on the roof and the chainsaw is going...I'm just about to make a winter hat for my frog.....and then let's see what the day brings....catch you later...and apologies for the quality of the pickies, I only had my old Ericsson phone with me not my camera....



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Elsa Peters
December 7, 2011, 4:40pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday continued

I've got two batteries on the Beast and one of the buggers decide to die a natural and the other was only half alive.  Now I've put this into the garage once to be told that it was the way that I started it and that's why I was having problems but this time I got home relay without even asking for it.  The higher voltage batteries just wouldn't fit into the cradle and were mega bucks so the garage came to me with a selection of batteries, fitted them, tested them, sorted out a few other things while he was here, and the cost...nothing extra at all.  OK so he's the father of the boy that I give lessons too but I think he appreciates that I ask how much his time has cost and he tells me nothing, that I am a friend....and he gave me a refund on the other ones that I had purchased in error and a discount.  Fitted and let's see if the b**stard Beast starts tomorrow morning first time.  Meanwhile Beauty chugs along without a care in the world...that's women for you.

The rain came today....not much but just enough to make the boys' life unpleasant so I kept the fire in their den going so that their clothes will be able to dry overnight.  I did have to dose Sally up with rakia before he left...he's so thin that I think he literally freezes to the bone because there's not much covering them.  As I said before....wet through...the equivalent of a bag of cement.

So we were all up on the roof and the roof is now a problem to Sally.  In most cases here if you intend using the roof space then you use bricks to raise the second storey by about seventy centimeters.  Now I've give you the scenario.  I have a three bedroom detached with full panorama views over the mountains to the south, north, east and west.  The second house is smaller in height but is bigger in floor area but no way do I want this to go sky high to detract from what I have originally created.  Now the plan was that we would have more or less a viewing platform on a mezzanine floor on the wreck.....not big, stairs coming up at the highest point, roof eaves making it fun to move around in and Sally is throwing a bit of a tantrum because he thinks that if we had gone higher we would have a decent size room.  I tried to explain....I only want a room that we can have a couple of easy chairs in so that we can see the views since this house is not so open as the other but has a beautiful fireplace in the sitting room.  Could he understand it?  Could he buggery so we carry on as we are doing.  The upstairs lounge will be approximately three and a half meters by two and a half and that's enough for me and the guests will just have to make do and I think they would.    So tonight I dropped them off at the restaurant and Bekir is trying to get his head round it despite the fact that I've said there's no need and since the weather was rubbish there are no pickies but the ten day weather forecast confirms that today's rain was a blip and there is supposed to be no more for another week.

The hat is not made...there has been too much going up and down ladders with coffee for the troops and trying to convince Sally that it will be alright on the night.  Supper is the remains of the chicken wings but without the curry sauce but with added honey and tomatoes.  I'm off...it smells delicious and I'll let you know what Bekir and Sally's computer brains have come up with overnight....LN...to horse...
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