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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  DECEMBER 2011
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Elsa Peters
December 8, 2011, 7:24pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 8th December

Fristy frosty overnight and I forgot to put my Simpson's windscreen protector on, no I'll rephrase that already.  I saw on the internet that it was going to be minus two overnight and I couldn't be a**sed to go out there thinking it didn't apply to us.  Well yes it did and it took me ages to get the screen clear enough to see through to drive.

Three men again today...those roof timbers are pretty heavy and now I'm off with boots blacked to the bright lights of Kardjali playing taxi.  First to Djebel to get the document for my neighbour's injection, second straight into town and yet again become a talking point in the hospital being told that the doctor is single and now everyone wants to practice their English, then to find a chemist to get more tablets, pension day so we had to go to the bank back in Djebel so that she could pay her electric and then shopping,  I was worn out just writing this so you can imagine how I felt doing it and the cold has got the better of me.  I've dosed myself up with aspirin, hot fresh fruit juices with freshly squeezed lemon and I'm hoping that it goes as quickly as it came.  Decided that I felt too ill to take a lesson this afternoon so cried off.  Sat and read my book and generally just made coffee for the men since it was pretty bleak up on the roof and so much so that I threw up my body warmer and a hat to Emaula, he looked frozen.

Men home, more aspirin to follow since this cold has doubled back to the sneezy stage again and I just hate colds.  Quick update tonight...I'm off to bed with a book, not a good one but one that got left here and appears to have been written about a hundred years ago...but it's something to read.  LN...



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Elsa Peters
December 9, 2011, 7:20pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 9th December

Remembered the windscreen cover so I could make a quick getaway this morning.  The road was icy in patches, mainly where the road crosses rivers but apart from that, a much better journey.  This morning we made a trip to Djebel before going to the house...we were out of benzine and oil for the chainsaw and so, let the work commence.  More roof timbers going up and at this stage it looks strange but I suppose it's seeing it for so long without a roof at all and this time it's not square as it was before.

Slept this afternoon in the lounge on the sofa.  This cold is certainly getting the better of me.  Had a visit from my Avatar and she actually sat down in my lounge where she normally won't come in.  She went and then there was another knock on the door and my hospital lady had come round with some sweetmeats and another scarf as a thank you for taking her yesterday.  This is somewhat more fancy and is traditional Turkish and being Friday I was dressed up for the occasion.  When the headscarf was in place in true Turkish style, she insisted that I show the men and a photoshoot was decided upon and not by me.  Sally thought I had to authenticate it by bending over and having a stick in my hand while the closeup was at Bekir's suggestion.  I don't think you would see them wearing camouflage trousers though to complete the outfit.  

Friday, men home, Bekir has homework to do, like ten cubic of wood to cut up for him and his family and not sure what Sally is up to.  I'm just about to dose myself up with aspirin again and take to my bed...as I said...I hate bl**dy colds...LN and windscreen shield is in place....I've read that we are into minus figures again overnight....LN



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Elsa Peters
December 9, 2011, 7:28pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 9th December



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Elsa Peters
December 10, 2011, 3:18pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 10th December

Bit of a down day today...no men...this cold is getting to be a bugger since it's moved to my chest and I'm starting to hurt when I cough...OK...I hear you all shout...don't cough then.

Fire was still going this morning and I think it's better now that I am burning 'good wood' and not old roof timbers.  I have a few of them left but with ten cubic of acacia sitting in my store room the old stuff can wait.  Old wood produces more soot and now that I've cleaned out the pipes, the new wood burns like a dream.  The little one in the kitchen is purely for decoration now until the really minus temperatures hit and that is supposed to be minus ten on the 23rd December and lingers like that for a few days according to the new long range weather forecast I've found.....

What have I done today....got my wood in and little else apart from get myself hot drinks of lemon and honey and dose myself with aspirin yet again.  Had a sleep this afternoon in the sun and did venture on top of the roof of the wreck to check out how much of the view I will see from the new room up there and how big it will be.  I think the men see a room as 'square' where I see the roof room as a many angled wooded den with comfy low furniture...an interesting room.....big cushions and perhaps my big birdcage from Kerkennah if I can get it over here from the UK.

Down to sort out the fire, get something to eat and heading for an early night....I'm trying to sleep it out of my system so I'm probably going to be up at silly o'clock but at least the book appears to be getting a little more interesting...and I think I've found another 'library' so if I feel up to it tomorrow...I might just pay it a visit...LN

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Elsa Peters
December 11, 2011, 8:39am Report to Moderator

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Sunday 11the December

My premonition was right...silly o'clock namely one thirty and read until four fifteen then went back off again.  I did get up and stick another log on the fire when I woke and yes...it was still going this morning.  Eventually surfaced at seven thirty which for me is unheard of.  Suffering from back ache this morning and I'm putting it down to spending too long sleeping or kidney failure...so I'll wait to see if it passes during the day and keep checking my urine.  I've spent too long watching Doctor House but can't wait for the next series delivered to my door when KingDom graces these shores again.  He gone to London, following the sound of Bow Bells, to make his fortune or was it Wales following the bleating of the sheep....

Knocked two little jobs off my list this morning one of them was cleaning underneath the free standing unit tiles in the kitchen.  I think there was a sub existence there but now removed and soaked in lemon and that makes two of us.  My morning beverage has returned to lemon, honey and salt with hot water but I did add a spoonful of my wild damson jam.  Coffee is not going to pass my lips until Christmas and alcohol intake has been reduced. The decision was taken when I realised that that five litre flagon wasn't lasting as long as it should and even though it is only 10% proof....I decided to think again. So the kidneys should be sorted and the heart stilled to a gentle beat.  It might even cure my insomnia....

Beautiful morning...sun's up and despite the fact that we have high greyish cloud it's about twelve degrees and very pleasant to be doing things outside...shower, dressed and let's find something to take my mind off dialysis
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Elsa Peters
December 12, 2011, 5:39pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 12th December

Well I seem to have slept most of the weekend and I feel much better for it.  I did wake at 4.00 this morning, read for about an hour and was alarmed that my heroine in the book that I am reading died suddenly of pneumonia and so I was coaxed into getting antibiotics for what now appears is a likely chest infection.  I went back to sleep, woke with a start at seven thirty so pulled on my trousers over my pyjamas, quick wash and teeth, with the intention of getting dressed when we got back.  I'm ashamed to say that this didn't happen so it won't take long to get undressed tonight ready for bed .  

Picked up the men and straight down to the local builders merchants and got treated to tea instead of coffee since I am giving it a rest.  Goodness knows what was in that tea bag but there is a first and last time...   Ordered the rest of the materials for the roof, joked that I needed five years credit.  Got back and my Avatar was round with a couple of axes that she needed some metal affixed so that the axe wasn't ruined and she said that it would only take a couple of minutes of Bekir's time.  I reminded her that it was my time and that the cost for the job was five leva so she chopped five logs for me and we called it quits.  I then decided to cook fried egg sandwiches for breakfast to complement some fantastic rolls that I'd got from the shop near to the builders merchants so it was breakfast all round with coffee.  Feed 'em up so they don't flag...My next trip was into Djebel to get some money out for the delivery and I decided that antibiotics were on the cards and I got some for Bekir as well.  I can't afford for him to be ill...there is a roof that needs finishing.  Two courses of antibiotics eleven leva... approximately five pounds...so that's one tablet every eight hours for four days....and checking on the internet...it's a cure all so even if I didn't know that I had it, I should be fully cured.

The lorry turned up eventually ...like four o'clock this afternoon so it was all hands to the pumps and Avatar's son joined in the fun and so did Semile.  Now Avatar's son tried to bring a little time and methodology into the unloading process but Sally was having none of it and it was quite fun to watch.  The driver and his mate usually sit in the cab and take no part in the unloading process whatsoever and one normally appears in a leather jacket...this time we got the other one but I'm not sure where his head was when he was loading up.  We are short of one item by five and the wood we refused as not being fit for purpose.  It's amazing, it's party time in my yard at every opportunity and the camaraderie is really good.  

Men home, dry night tonight....not hungry since I had some of those rolls with tuna mayo for a late lunch...did bu two kilos of oranges with the intention of making marmalade today but it was just so busy... Wednesday's work.  LN....off to check other sites..



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Elsa Peters
December 13, 2011, 7:01pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 13th December

Now I know that you think that I have an obsession with the dawn (not yours Mikey B) and the sunsets but I've never had such fantastic views from any house that I've lived in before.  I love the sunrise and the sunset and what goes on in the middle...well that's fun most of the time.

Got my text this morning could I pick Gouljan up from the bus stop at seven thirty five this morning and I obliged and with her was her mother.  So I anticipated that her mother was going into Djebel with her but wrong. ....she stayed in the car and I appeared to have dropped her off in the middle of nowhere...at her request might I add.  Her own village that she was born in doesn't have a tarmac road going to it so she had to leg it the last half mile or so.  For my trouble this morning...two more headscarves...who's a lucky bunny then?

Picked up the men and today's mission was to get those huge timbers that I thought were mine to play with but no...up on to the second floor.  They are roof supports over the hall where there is no concrete ceiling.  I'll have to put you a plan up so that you know where I mean but I have got two lengths of just over one meter which are mine all mine and I think I have the base for the bed for the second upstairs bedroom.  Only a few of the timbers left to fit and the lorry should arrive tomorrow with the stuff that they hadn't got or forgot to put on last time.  This time let's hope Bekir will accept the wood and it's up to the quality that he requires....that's my man...give 'em hell.

So into Djebel today and posted my few essential Christmas cards so if they don't get there...down to Bulgarian mail.    Had a good session with my student today and we learnt how the Polar Bear amazingly adapts to its environment.  There was a crossword at the end of the exercise and we had ten minutes to spare and the end and he couldn't wait to show me extra work that he'd done from the previous session.  We went through it together and I used a red pen for the corrections but complemented him on the few errors he had.  He'd made the same mistake a few times so when I pointed this out to him, he realised that there were few mistakes....so he has to write it out again.  Think I'm getting him to do some writing practice...they still use script here because remember they are using the Latin alphabet not Cyrillic.

Men home and fully paid up....Sally seemed a little down tonight but maybe it was because I didn't get the rakia out for a snifter before they left but we've had Emaula today and it doesn't set him a good example.  I could do with a drink but antibiotics dictate that no alcohol passes my lips...wonder if I can fix up a tube or something  

Supper was a spicy sausage omelet and I'm just about to squeeze a couple of oranges to help it down...commiserations to Danny and Fiona you know who you are...come back soon...we miss you....LN...got to find another book now that I've managed to struggle to the end of the Hugh Walpole one.



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Elsa Peters
December 14, 2011, 6:34pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 14th December

No sunrise to shout about this morning or even take a picture of...we had fog that lingered until approximately ten thirty.  Men out of the coffee bar early this morning so we were back for about eight fifteen and they were straight to it.  Emaula rolled up at about eight forty five...I think he has jobs to do at home first and so I had to double back to make him a coffee.  I had a present this morning from Bekir...I was told yesterday by my student's mum that to stave off winter colds you're supposed to mix bee clay with spirit from the chemist and take a few drops daily in water, juice or tea....She showed me her 'lump' of the stuff and I mentioned it to Bekir yesterday and lo and behold...I have my own 'lump' unless he's having me on.  I shall do my stuff with it tomorrow.  I've been far too busy today nipping into Djebel to get more nails and wood preservative that I applied to the barge boarding when I got back ..  I was quietly working away with the wood slung over two wooden horses when Bekir seemed to be getting a little irate with Emaula and the decibels were increasing along with the pitch so to humour the situation....I went inside and made the Bulgarian equivalent of an 'L' plate that you see on learner drivers and stuck it on Emaula's back.  I think Bekir got the point....he's only a lad.  I managed to get ten lengths of wood sorted and have another ten to do tomorrow morning before I go off to see my student.

Had a visit this morning from friends that have a house nearby and they brought me some passion flower cuttings that I've put in the water nursery to develop better roots,  I've also got a money plant and an invitation to Sunday lunch and this is the library I mentioned so I shall go armed with books and hopefully come home with some new ones.

Supper tonight was veal that had been in the slow cooker all day with onions, tomatoes, orange juice and red wine and I bunged it all in a little casserole dish, slapped on mashed potatoes, browned it under the grill and served it with fried / steamed red cabbage.  Am I stuffed?  I was sitting in front of the fire and gently nodding so I decided to get upstairs and do my update.  Hopefully I can stay awake until bedtime.  It's easy to do...go to sleep early but then I'm up at silly o'clock and reading.  

LN...few pictures to post and a nice little surprise today....I went to post a letter and the lady behind the counter said,,,Elza...pismo....meaning I had a letter...and it was nice that she called me by name...It's taken two years approximately to get to this stage but it feels good.



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Elsa Peters
December 15, 2011, 4:46am Report to Moderator

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Thursday 15th December

Well as I suspected it was a four o'clock start but I did go back and eventually got into action at five.  My father always used to get up at that time, light the fire and I seem to be carrying on the tradition apart from the fact that he dug coal for forty years and believe me, I go out to get it from the shed but that's about it.  Now my fire, slow to get the hot water pumping round the house, I think the wind must be in the wrong direction and we do seem to get it from all sides.

This morning...started off with my lemon and orange juice with a dash of salt and honey added and topped up with hot water.  Really does sort out your insides first thing and if you are dieting, kicks the metabolic process into action so I am told.  Works for me.  One load of washing completed at cheap night rate electricity, washing up from last night all put away and the cups ready for my first coffee dash of the morning when I pick up my beauties.  No sign of the sun yet but those stars are really twinkling so we could be in for another good day.

My task for today...should I choose to undertake it or pay someone else the equivalent of a couple of pounds for doing it is to finish off the barge boarding so they can get it up later today but firstly they have to do the end roof supports which is easier that the things they were doing yesterday....my lesson for this afternoon is already prepared...jobsaguddun...catch you later...
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Elsa Peters
December 15, 2011, 5:55pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday continued

Went into Djebel as arranged and gave my lesson to my student and sat around with his mother talking until it was time to go to the restaurant to meet my new prospective student's mother along with Gouljan who had set up the meeting.  This lady teaches English and if I can help her with her comprehension for free I'll do it.  Learning English in Bulgaria is all about grammar.  I've told her that I'm not a teacher but we've arranged for her to come to the house on Saturday at about four-ish and we'll have a look to see what we can work out.  She has two boy of nine and twelve so they might have different needs but that's no problem since grandma's house is in walking distance so one for the first hour and one for the second until we get them working together.  She can sit in the sessions and then coach them at home...I don't have a problem with that.

Got a phone call from Bekir and I just didn't understand what he was saying so I handed the phone to Gouljan who came up with the translation.  Picked up the supplies for Bekir, unloaded the car, put away the barge boarding that I had lacquered this morning and it was too late for coffee and when I offered them a drink I was told that it was a no since Bekir is on antibiotics.  Now Sally isn't and he was remarkably quiet on the way home and seemed a little miffed.  May be he could have made his own mind up about the drink

So tomorrow I am taking Semile's mother in law with me when I pick up the men.  Now sure where I have to drop her off but if there's a problem, she can stay in the car while I upload Bekir and Sally and we'll drop her off on the way home.....I might have to lock the door so that she can't get out...we'll see how the morning goes and I am now off to paint Beauty yellow and get myself a taxi sign...

LN...must think of something to eat...it's been so busy I have nothing prepared...eggs and chips I think....mmmm...   LN
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