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Elsa Peters
April 11, 2012, 4:39pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 11th April

White over again and magical morning with the sun shielded by the mist holding over the river in the valley.  So over to pick up the men and on the way back we had a discussion about the roof tiles.  One man wanted to sell, the other did but at an inflated price and it is quite a distance from the men's village to mine by tractor.  There were more in a village that is nearer so we stopped off and found the man but he wants his to do his cow shed and coming back into the village I had seen some that had been stripped off the roof and were now stored in the loft.  Bekir found the man and he wasn't sure if he wanted to sell them and they were the wrong colour, and he thought that it wouldn't match very well with the existing ones on this roof.  The decision was made.  With a few from here and a few from there if we weren't careful we could end up with the biggest mishmash of tiles in the village.  Tomorrow we go and get new ones and they will be delivered and no messing with tractors, lorries, negotiating prices and the likes....I just can't be arsed.

My librarian arrived at just after twelve and we headed out to Momchilgrad to have a look at my little house up with the eagles and there was one soaring over it when we got there.  It still exists and I decided that since we were in the town I should pay the outstanding tax on the house, like three years outstanding and the man asked if I wanted to pay all of it.  The total...eighty one leva but Bekir said that I should ask for a refund when he looked at the paper work.  I had been charged for rubbish clearance and since I hadn't ever lived there and in fact there is no one living in the deserted village I had been grossly overcharged and he suggests that I go back in a month or so and query the charges.  Had lunch in town and picked up a lovely pure white azalea and it's stunning.  Masses of flowers and flower buds on it so it should go on for quite some time.  

Men appeared to have a joyful time on the roof and most of the bitumen is in place now and the battening.  Tomorrow should see the end of it and then the tiles can start.  I have one more crew member joining in apparently.  It will make the tiling quicker when there is one fetching and carrying and two banging them home so to speak.  So Semile up on my roof again and I really must give him a bill for the coffee he consumes when I'm away from home.....I think the sign of Tree-Tops Kaf has to go up....

Round the garden with the camera.....lots of shrubs starting to do their stuff and some that I had thought I'd lost since it has been such a hard winter have started to show signs of life.  Beautiful day today and beautiful time of year but it's gone cold now so the fire's lit....no supper tonight...still stuffed from lunch....LN...new book....the last one...they got married and she died five days later of her brain tumour......so nobody lived happily ever after in that one ....LN....drinky time...



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Elsa Peters
April 12, 2012, 5:01pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 12th April

Woke up at silly o'clock, read for a while and went up to the pc to get a start on the day.  Dawn this morning was gentle.....no blazing sun, grey clouds intermingled with the pale pink hue and so it had to be captured.  It's been a cold wind today but out of the sun it has been superb and we've had our share of fun.  Off to the builders' merchants this morning and the roof tiles have been ordered and would have been on their way for today but he has two lorries that haven't got one good engine between them.  I don't know if you remember but we had problems with the last delivery but instead of me having to have two guys hanging around for when they arrive, this time the lorry comes with two men that are there to help unload it.  My sheep farmer offered to be there but I said 'when'...'where' and 'how do I let you know".  Two men arriving with the wagon means that we have instant access to labour and at fifteen pounds...I can stand the loss.

Now as for the fun.  You know that I have been saying that this place turns into a cafe the minute my back is turned....today I put up a sign for 'Tree Tops Cafe' and 'Patronka'...owner of the establishment....Elsa.....in Bulgarian.  I forgot to add the price list and that certain people would be treated as 'special' but others would pay Euros for the privilege.   No tables, no chairs that will come but the local wine man saw the sign tonight and I had visions of him appearing and demanding coffee and rakia....arrgggg...perhaps I should take it down.

Delivered a violet to my Avatar today and the smell was wonderful.  Told her it was a present so my other neighbour asked where hers was so I had to skip back to my stream bed outside my wall and pick one for her.  The sheep farmer was around most of the lunchtime today, fixed an outside tap for my Avatar that I provided from my 'shop' and we sat around in the sun chewing the fat so to speak.  My water meter was read today...my next bill is just over four leva....a couple of pounds for the month and I have been asked if I will take some more students and it's over the weekend which will be fine.

So supper cooking.  One spicey sausage with onions, honey, chilli, tomato, red wine and rice over the wood burner and it should be ready when I am.  Found a new wine yesterday which is two leva forty for two litres....not bad and like most cheap wines, first one down...you don't notice the rest.  Now I can smell my supper so I'm going to leg it downstairs and my glass is requiring a refill.  'and don't stop me now....I'm having such a good time'.....and you surely know the rest....LN....busy day tomorrow.



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Elsa Peters
April 13, 2012, 4:55pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 13th April

Woke at fourish this morning...went on the internet, back to bed and read for a while, settled down to go to sleep and had the most vivid dream where I was driving a car to a dead end and it was on a hill so I abandoned it, lost my wallet and then found it again, drove down another road where I really had to go off road, met up with old girlfriends and told them of my web address.  All that in the space of about one hour.  Quickest my brain has worked in a long time.

Didn't really describe the hazardous journey yesterday when I took the men home.  The steering felt very light and either there was a problem with the tyres or my head had gone squiffy.  When I dropped the men off, I seemed to have more control and reckoned that  their weight in the back must have meant less contact with the road so on the way home it seemed to be better.  Kicked both rear tyres last night and guessed punctures in both and since I couldn't be arsed last night came out this morning and yes, you're probably there before me, both rear tyres as flat as proverbial pancakes.  Got the foot pump out, stuck twenty in each, got the Beast going and picked up the men in luxury.  Got back to the house via the builder's merchants and Djebel and both tyres were still up but the winter tyres had to go and new summer ones bought.  Off to the garage after lunch and stated my requirements and had four new air valves and tyres fitted.  The rear winter ones had two punctures in one and a screw in the other...no wonder I had no control.  So winter ones being stored at the garage and the new ones which is obviously a harder compound should see me through the summer in safety.

Men have finished the bitumen on the roof and they say that it's OK if there is snow tomorrow.  They spent the rest of the afternoon sorting out the upstairs terrace and so far I have not been there to have a look.....that's a job for tomorrow.  Chicken and Hasselback potatoes with roasted carrots and onions and red cabbage and if any body asks me how much I shall say two spoonfuls, are already on their way.  The wine is open, I have a box of cherry liqueurs for afterwards and I'm really looking forward to supper tonight.  It's Easter here this weekend so those eggs I looked for last weekend should make an appearance this.  Post Offices and government departments are closed but the rest of the world goes on its normal way.

Down I go to my lower level, the fire is going, supper is almost there and it's time I topped up my glass.  Can't drink too much though...I think I have two new students tomorrow...not sure it's either tomorrow or Sunday and it's a fairly fluid arrangement...bit like being here really.  I mentioned to Bekir and Sally that I'm going to have 'Tree Tops School' written on the other side of my cafe board and I'll display the most appropriate....   LN...my supper calls.
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Elsa Peters
April 14, 2012, 4:50am Report to Moderator

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Saturday 14th April

There's a gale a blowing in them there hills and thank goodness the bitumen is held into place with very strong glue, flat headed nails and battens otherwise it wouldn't have survived the night.  It was also raining overnight which is good for the seeds and cleans the windows beautifully.  My stork wind chime started at silly o'clock and woke me up...maybe I should have brought it in the house last night so long that it was out of a draught.  Not a gardening day today....one for indoor pursuits so my outdoor hanging chair is coming in for repair. Might have found a new place for it upstairs in the 'not so much a wreck as it was'....

There's a glimmer of sun between the dark clouds scudding across the sky...maybe a chance that it might clear up.



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Elsa Peters
April 14, 2012, 5:42pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday continued

Nobody turned up so my school sign remained undisplayed to the world....well Dushinkovo at least.  

The weather has been up and down all day...but shock horror...two cows decided to run the wrath of the barbed wire and didn't they have a job getting out.  The second one sat in the ridge between the fence and the bank and I thought that we had a casualty on our hands, so much so that I'd started to empty the freezer to get it in.  Unfortunately the thing got up and limped away.  The hedge is now reinforced with four by four timber and they just stood in the field looking at it.  B*st*rds.

So the rest of the day has been spent inside and I have been laminating some of the scripts that I use for my student and re-engineering the questions so that they take up a single page. It's going OK and radio two has been keeping me company.  I also decided to clear down my laptop of those programs that have been rarely used and defragged it...it is so much quicker.  As it stands I don't have Word on my big machine so it's easier to use my laptop for word stuff.  Works is so much a slimmed down version and frustrates me something rotten.

Lovely rainbow this afternoon...I almost got the shovel out but it was too far to go to be disappointed again.  
Supper tonight cold chicken and a chunk of bread with a drop of the red stuff.  I didn't feel like cooking and this was available.  Eight forty my time, put a huge log on the fire this afternoon and it's about time I gave it a bit of attention...LN....down the stairs I go....



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Elsa Peters
April 15, 2012, 3:37pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 15th April

Managed to sleep in until six forty this morning which is good for me,  Sat out on the terrace with my toast and coffee and absorbed the morning.  Sunny day and the wind was a little brisk so decided that it was a good day for getting some washing underway.  Only one load, I keep on top of it pretty well and after all, there is only me.

Worked on my old laptop and is it speedier and still working so I couldn't have deleted anything that was too crucial.  Finished several sets of question to go with the laminated readings. ...but again no one turned up but just as well.  I worked in the garden clearing some of the clover from around the vegetable patch and used the shears to remove it from the top garden.  I could really do with a few sheep but they don't seem to stay in one place and definitely no more stray cows.

So working away and thought....washing....and carried on working and thought washing again.  You know what it's like and it took about three attempts before I managed to get it on the line but now all is safely gathered in, dry, smelling sweetly and off the list.

Came in for a late lunch and got out the cold chicken and thought of having it with mayonnaise but then the taste buds and the imagination took over and the chip pan came out. Three potatoes peeled and chipped and so late lunch became an early supper.  Stuffed like the turkey at Christmas and settling in to a little of the vodka and tonic to help it through the alimentary canal.  

Six thirty my time....no pictures tonight....listening to Johnny Walker on BBC 2 so now going back downstairs and back to the book that I'm reading under sufferance.  You know the sort....it's almost as if it's padded out with too much detail and insulting to read.  Problem is there are three books in one cover and one down and one and a half to go.....just curious about the ending......I'll update you.  LN.
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Elsa Peters
April 16, 2012, 6:16pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 16th April

And am I late tonight....stopped off at a friends in the village where my men get delivered home and caught up with the gossip.....well all that about other people...didn't hear much about me.

Six thirty this morning but last night's chicken didn't sit too well and I think I spent most time in the loo and not in my bed.  Too much information maybe but sh*t happens so they say....Decided that there was no real need to rush about and so took it leisurely until I had ten minutes to wash and dress and then twenty minutes to get to the men.  I arrived just as the news pips were going and I thought that was brilliant timing.  

They set to work on the upstairs terrace, digging out the concrete roof to take the supports and I suddenly realised that the hammer drill was not hammering and there was a frantic cuffuffle upstairs to the tools department in my house and back to the not so wreck.  Delivered coffee just so that I could investigate and there is Bekir covered in grease with various parts of the hammer drill scattered around.  Apparently it was going but not hammering.  Now at a quick calculation of the daily rate and getting rid of the concrete by hand....I decided that a trip to Djebel might be fortuitous and a new one purchased in quick sticks and one hour later, I have a new guarantee and Sally is 'hammering away'.  I did say that Bekir could probably continue with the reassembly at a later date but I think he wanted to get all the screws back in place.  It is now to be used for spares.  We had a lovely time in Djebel together...lots of Bekir's friends didn't understand where he had got the 'Englishwoman' from.  Caught up with Semile and Jaylan and we were invited for coffee which I refused saying that it we didn't get back, Sally couldn't hammer and so no work would be done.  Bekir did buy a cow's head for ten leva from Jaylan and this remained in the wreck until we went home.  It was the way that its tongue hung out that put me off.  I also asked him for a Barnsley chop but they only had half a lamb hanging up so I have to take a picture in so that they know what I am talking about.  Same with most things really.....

So this afternoon I looked at my hanging chair in the garden and catching Bekir hauling the ladder in that general direction I got him to get it down for me.  Job's a guddun.....chair repaired and is now back in place in the cherry tree.  It so happened that I saw this material for seven leva in my favourite shop and I have still loads to spare so what else can I cover?

Men have taken up metal work and yet again so that even the heaviest of my guests can go out onto the upstairs terrace of the 'not so wreck'.  Iron work is all in place and shuttering and tomorrow they do the deed.  Roof tiles should be arriving tomorrow, that's if he gets his lorries on the road again, otherwise they have enough to occupy themselves with.

Dropped the men off and they were late tonight wanting to leave it ready for the concrete tomorrow.  Called in on a friend in their village as I said and I haven't see the girls for about a year now and they commented on how svelt I looked having shed a couple of stone.  In the hardware shop today I did get on the scales and I was offered to the rest of the customers for five leva a kilo....I have yet to work out if I was insulted or not....

So home...fire still going and my house is super warm.....had tuna mayo for lunch so not really in the mood for anything else so I'll give it a miss after yesterday.  A little red my just see me through...LN....



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Elsa Peters
April 17, 2012, 6:59am Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 17th April

The concrete is being mixed as we speak so yes....it's raining.  Sod's law.....concrete equals rain in our books so it should be nice for the rest of the week.  As I wrote that I remembered my English teacher at school that always put down the word 'nice' as being non-descriptive......'there are lots more in the dictionary that mean something' she would say and consequently it's not one that I use very often.  So for the rest of the week it should be hot, wonderful, sunny, pleasant....any of the aforesaid.....

Now let me prepare for my student....
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Elsa Peters
April 17, 2012, 6:09pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday continued

Beautiful day....My student was as tired as ever and so it was with great aplomb that I eventually brought him round to my way of thinking....

Got home from Djebel at about five and found the men lost for work...the balcony was covered in concrete but they had been told that the wagon with the tiles would be arriving in about an hour which turned into about one and a half hours.  As luck happened, the two youths dispatched to unload the wagon did it all by themselves.  Sally decided that he wanted to unload some of them to make himself useful but Bekir was quite natural at supervising, recounting my cash to make sure that we hadn't over paid and generally seeing in the delivery.  So we managed to get sixty one leva and fifty stotinki off the bill because they hadn't delivered the said amount and when it came to final settlement I said to Bekir that I owed one hundred leva to which he replied that I owed ninety eight leva and eighty stotinki....all for me and one for all.  We are like the three Muscateers...Bekir, Sally and EP.

The infidels unloaded the lorry in quicksticks and Ysat charged them out at thirty leva....I wonder how much they received but I said that if they wanted to work here...they could.

So tonight on my way back to take the men Bekir insisted that I came to a halt beside a rubbish trip and he leaped out of the car, disappeared into the undergrowth and came back with a vause, vase or whatever you like to call it that he had spotted on our way into the village.  I love it.  It's damaged on the lip but who cares...certainly not me....I treasure all things old.  It is now washed, sitting in my lounge and awaiting for ornaments.

Back home..men delivered, concreting done and there will be pictures tomorrow.  Tonight's supper...chicken livers cooked with onions, honey and tomato paste and served with pasta.  It was absolutely delicious and all that was needed was a touch of mushroom soya sauce on the pasta.  A little of the red...went down a treat.

Arrangement with the men...if it is raining tomorrow they are not working and the forecast is rain with thunderstorms which doesn't bode well with working on the roof....so it's goodnight from me....I have washing up to do and a glass to fill.....LN....



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Elsa Peters
April 18, 2012, 4:54pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 18th April

What sad miserable weather it's been today.  I thought I had made the wrong decision this morning when it got to seven thirty and I'd decided not to go for the men.  The sun started to glimmer but as the morning rolled out the sun was soon hidden from view and rain started to fall....and it's hardly stopped all day.  It was cold too and I decided to light the fire this morning but only to have a little one going and how long did that go on for.  So I lit it again at lunchtime and then left it to its own devices and made another attempt at it at about five thirty and after much effort, I now have a super large log on it and it's burning away slowly.

Took the remains of the chicken that was no longer fit for human consumption to Tommy this morning and I think he might have reckoned it was Christmas....well not Christmas...he's a Muslim dog.  My other neighbour gave me a bunch of spring onions already washed and prepared so maybe it was my day.

The rest of the day I have played games on the computer, read my book and listened to Radio 2.  I suppose I could have got on with some sewing or knitting but the weather seems to take it out of you.  We get mostly good days in April but at least the threatened thunder and lightening didn't happen.

I've just heated and finished the remains of last night's chicken livers and pasta and I think it was better for having spent the night in the fridge.  Found a new drink.  Dark rum with a few coffee granules in it and topped up with hot water.... Almost eight my time....back to my book and down to enjoy the rest of the fire and my new drink...LN...let's hope it's a better day tomorrow weatherwise....and the roof tiles can start going on......big please....
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