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Elsa Peters
May 1, 2013, 6:55am Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 1st May

Workers day today so I have told them to get on with it and do it at the double...that should work in these temperatures

I'm off to Kardjali at ten thirty so blacking my boots as we speak with the other hand...I'll post pictures later of the half finished terraces....looking good...oh and....white rabbits for today....
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Elsa Peters
May 1, 2013, 5:08pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday continued

Oh what a lovely time we've had at the shops but we did look a little like tourists carrying around our bottles of water until I was drinking from mine and Gouljan realised that she had put hers down while she was trying on a one leva sweater and she had to go back and retrieve it.  Off we went to the pizza restaurant for lunch and the biggest pizza I think I have seen was presented to me and I managed it all...piggywig wig that I am but washed down with fruit juice and a couple of bottles of water,  We did the market but didn't manage to get my tomato and cucumber plants but they will be available from the restaurant where I pick up the men and when I said that I only wanted four cucumber plants and ten tomatoes he gave a hearty chuckle but then qualified it by saying that I was on my own and only playing at it.....and I agree with that....the amount of water it takes to bring on onions to a decent size far outweighs the cost of buying them from the supermarket but my leeks from last year are still sitting there.  Just the weather for soup...it was thirty plus today in Kardjali...little less here since there was a decent wind blowing.  Came back with a Passion flower since mine seems to have succumbed to last year's winter and a couple of fuchsias and this time Sally was interested....he likes flowers and I know where I'm going to put them already.

Looked at the work they'd done while I was away and noticed that they hadn't left me a hole in the concrete for a climber on the terrace....Bekir had forgotten but easy done...he'll get his machine out tomorrow and cut the hole.  It's a good job I remember these things.  Any way, bucketing concrete onto the patio was a slow process so when they were washing their tools up at six I suggested the Ariana and we sat around putting the world to rights.  They're home...I'm home....I can now have my beer that I couldn't have until I had got them home safely....LN....let's see what needs eating from the fridge...



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Elsa Peters
May 2, 2013, 6:14pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 2nd May

Boy am I late tonight....picked up the men as per normal and went to the shop in their village and picked up my cucumber plants but I had to go the the house in Sally's village to get my tomatoes...all ten of them.  Now this is playing at it as far as I am concerned...they all seem to grow for eternity and give a lot of it away and I shall be the recipient of what I don't manage to achieve.  

So off to my student for ten this morning taking the Beast since I had nearly used up all of the bags of cement...well not me personally you understand but my two super workers were down to three bags when I left.  Worked through the text and had a good lesson, went down to the shop and looked through the Avon..ding-dong- catalogue but there was nothing that needed ordering.  Off to the hardwear shop and paid for the four bags of cement, down to the carpark to pick up the Beast and drive it to the front of the shop, stopped talking to a couple of the local police and suddenly my name was being shouted for a little blue car.  Friends over from England had been to my house and had come to look for me since their level of Bulgarian is severely challenged and my workers after three years are still not communicating...So out for lunch, caught up, they are back on Sunday and we'll have a night on the pop.

Back to my gardening, planted my cucumbers and two small daisies that just happened to jump from the garden into my cucumber pots with a little help from Sally....planted carrots and beetroot and prepared the ground for the tomatoes.  Also going in tomorrow are garlic, french beans, leeks, onions, red cabbage and if anyone asks me 'how much'....I shall totally ignore the question.  Let's hope that the cows don't get them like they did last year.  I've also got to find pots for the fuchsias and a place in the garden for the passion flower.  

So men home.  There was great excitement  when we got back to the village and I had to get out and take a good look.  One of the men had bought a small diesel tractor / rotavator and it was sitting proudly on the carpark.  Splendid piece of kit.....

Supper was spicey sausage fried off with onions and served up in soft rolls...two of them.  The bottle of gin has been tapped and a couple of tots have left the bottle already but there again it is nine-fifteen my time.  LN...the connection is not good tonight so wanting to post this before I lose it...forgot to mention...beautiful weather today....my terrace is complete and the men are now onward and upward to the next...LN
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Elsa Peters
May 3, 2013, 6:01pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 3rd May

Six thirty start..not bad saying that I fell asleep playing my DX at ten thirty..lights out at somewhere near one.  Why do we do that?

Out for the men...back home in quicksticks and today was a gentle day for the pair of them tarting up the stone work they had done...I have a super little step to match the one into my lounge in the big house but exacting work at that.  Splitting stone to fill in gaps in a very ancient wall and cementing them in place...Sally is my hero.

Cleaned all of my windows today except for the four stair well upper ones but I shall device a method for tomorrow....it wasn't a day to try to improvise with the men here.  So now they dropped the bomb shell that Sally has tobacco work to do and that they won't be here until September.  In a way I knew it was coming and it's very silly really...Sally can earn more from me than from his tobacco but I suppose it's history repeating itself....a bird in the hand so to speak.  Berkir has his sheep to sort out and it's been so hot for the last few days that it must have been a chore mixing concrete but looking on the internet we are in for a few changes.

So tomorrow I am sorting the rest of the house and getting rid of the woodburner in the kitchen....can't see me having to light that until winter.  Logs are sorted and my garden carrying thing is where it should be ...in the garden ....and today I bought a new garden hose after covering myself with cold water when I went to water the seeds that I'd put in.  Sally said that he could fix the old one but for twenty two leva...a tenner for twenty five meters and all of the fixings including a garden spray...I settled for that.  I didn't intend going in to Djebel but I thought that since they are not working for five months so to speak I ought to pay them....I don't normally but they didn't say 'no' when I offered.

I'm planting the rest of my garden...again it went of the back burner due to having experts on site.  Sun down...moon yet to come up...no fire tonight but another gin and tonic is about to hit the right spot.  Lunch was two great big rolls of tuna mayo so supper was a bag of sour cream chipsticks...very tasty.  Sat in the garden eating them and internally putting the world to rights except that it's my world...and everything seems right at the moment.  LN...I'm looking forward to the rest...seven thirty start and finish drains you after a few weeks....and having to make decisions on the hoof so to speak...LN



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Elsa Peters
May 4, 2013, 4:56pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday May 4th

Beautiful morning, sun shining, out on the terrace for coffee and toast, made a phone call and the Librarian came over for lunch armed with lots of surplus flowers and tomatoes plants from her garden.  So that ten tomatoes that I planned for has suddenly become twenty so maybe I'm becoming more localised...maybe not...you have to have about a hundred.  Lunch was out on the terrace and we finished off with a packet of unopened biscuits that I'd found in the little house when  I was tidying up the men's 'relax area' and throwing out the bread. I got the feeling that nothing would be of use come September.

Surprise visit from Bekir and the Post Office supervisor from Fotinovo.  Bekir had left part of his kit for hoisting tiles on to rooves attached to my tree so up on the roof he went to get it down.  I offered him the biscuits but he said I could keep them.  While he was up there...he checked out the tree they'd massacred and he said there were green shoots already.  I reckon he'd been up with green paint while I wasn't looking

So we sat around after lunch putting the world to rights and suddenly the sky changed to a darkish grey and the wind got up something chronic... The Librarian set off for home because she had men working on the roof of the barn, I got in the washing that I'd done this morning and suddenly the heavens opened and the thunder and lightening started.  I thought it was a good idea to light a fire but it was almost annihilation by suffocation.  As the smoke went up the chimney so the wind blew it down again and I had to open the windows to the lounge and bathroom to clear the air.  The final solution was to stick another couple of firelighters in so that  more heat was created.  I turned the damper to make sure that no soot was blocking the flue and at this point I got a sort of tingle and the electric went off...how's that for timing...eeekkks. It must have struck the power house in the village and the UPS for the fire kicked in making a hell of a racket.  So by this time...the lightening is bouncing off the hillside, the thunder was crashing around with only seconds delay...the house is filled with smoke and the alarm is almost insufferable and I can't even make a cup of coffee.   

Anyway....everything back to normal except that the temperature has dropped considerably and so far the thunder hasn't returned.  I was tempted to go out and do some planting up but it's started to rain again so I'm now in for the night.  Tomorrow already prepared for my student...but no staying for lunch with the family since my visitors arrive tomorrow afternoon for an overnight stay.  

Really good lunch so light supper.  Very relaxing day apart from expecting either my tree of the chimney to get it today....LN.....planting can happen tomorrow.
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Elsa Peters
May 5, 2013, 2:38pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 5th May

Very misty start after yesterday's storm and it took a while to clear.  Got the washing done though and out by eight thirty and seemed to be doing everything after that on the go slow.  I spent time taking things up that should have been up and other things down and got the feeling that I was acting like that Grand Old Duke of York.  Pottered in the garden and planted out some daisies from yesterdays haul and suddenly realised that it was time to get showered and wash my hair so that I could go and see my student.  Stopped off to get some petrol on the way and was approached by a local who has a house for sale in my village and wondered if I had any friends who wanted to buy it.  He's going to call round on Wednesday or Thursday but I'll wait and see if he appears.

So I was greeted by all of the family and we sat in the garden and had home made bread, home made butter, Turkish tea and pastries or rather they did.  I settled for the tea and half a roll and a little butter since breakfast for me had been toast about an hour earlier.  We went upstairs for the lesson and we went through the previous week's text and the homework and I'd asked her to have a guess what was about to happen in the second part of this text.  When we'd read through her version, we read the second text more or less together and her eyes opened wide and she said that she hadn't expected the story to go that way at all and it was almost like a film script.  So her homework this week is to answer the questions describing how the police would have written the report about the incident.  I try to make it fun and interesting....

Lunch with the family was something new to try....they're really trying to feed me up and I didn't leave until one thirty again.  Meat patties with mashed potato and onion on the top with yellow cheese and one of their local tomato sauces....all home grown or made except for the veal.  With it we had a potato salad and rice.  I get the feeling they spend the week planning the meal to surprise me.  I said that I make something similar but that I would add honey for a touch of sweetness.  The elder sister said that she is going to try it.

Waiting for my guests to arrive so I thought I'd get my update done so that I'm not excusing myself and missing out on a glass of wine or delaying the evening meal.  Got my head down this afternoon for an hour or so...it has been extremely hot and they do say the road to hell is paved with good intention but I couldn't go out in the garden.  It was just too hot.  I have lots of plants waiting to go in but tomorrow is another day.  House visiting in the morning, my other student in the afternoon and then the rest of the week is mine all mine....no workers to fetch and carry for....I need the rest.

So LN....I'm about to descend the wooden hills and maybe, just maybe I might do a little gardening until they arrive....I'll update tomorrow...
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Elsa Peters
May 6, 2013, 5:53pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 6th May

Out in the garden last night sipping a drop of the red stuff and we saw our first firefly of the year and that was before too much was imbibed.  Supper was a lazy cold buffet until we could drink no more and bed called.

Woke up early and looked out of the small window in the bedroom to see the curved moon and it was worth getting up and taking a picture and even got out and video the morning for facebook.  The nightingale had sung most of the night, the cuckoo was welcoming the dawn and the chorus of edible frogs, so I was reliably informed, was still belting out the mating calls.  A few dogs started baying when the mosque struck up so that the Hodger was not alone in his morning prayer.

Out this morning doing a spot of early gardening.  The two new fuchsias have been repotted and have pride of place on the new wall.  The passion flower has a bigger space for its roots and has been strung out instead of being wound tightly round the wire hoop and now graces the back wall of the new terrace and has four buds on already.   This is probably a new on on the neighbours and they'll all want cuttings.  Toast for breakfast, quick get up and out to view one of the houses, lots of fairs going on today for St George's day in several of the local villages.  Back home for twelve, guests left, sorted out a text and on to my student for two and he's done lots of homework.  Did a little shopping in Djebel, met the new wife of the Kmet and he was telling the owner of the shop that my house was near the bus-stop further on from the mosque so I pointed out that it was easy to spot my bus-stop...it was the one that was falling down and in need of a new layer of paint if it was to remain there.... embarrassed or what.....nice one, point reinforced.  Paid my phone bill and was down to one leva so went to the cash point for a top up and .....no money in the machine so I mentioned to the girl in the supermarket that the machine was empty and she replied that all of the machines in Djebel were empty.  Went into my student's parents shop and relayed this information and they offered to lend me some....but I refused the kind offer....I have fuel in the car, food in the fridge and wine in the kitchen....enough for a siege at least, well a small one.

Home sweet home and followed the Kmet through the lanes home and tagged on to his bumper pretty tightly.  Pottered in the garden when the sun was going down and prepared for a gardening day tomorrow.  It appears I might have yet another visitor...waiting for the morning emails.  Little fire going....not really hungry so I'll settle for an early night...LN.....at home day tomorrow....



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Elsa Peters
May 6, 2013, 7:00pm Report to Moderator

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Monday quick update

I've just had a visit from Semile my sheep farmer advising me that I had left my lights on Beauty and that I should give it a quick start and leave it running....and it wouldn't even turn over.  So between us we pushed it so that we could run it down the hill and again...nothing and by this time it's more or less blocking the lane.  Telephone calls made and my Avatar comes out to give it another push but I decide that it's a mug's game and I've got jump leads in the back of the Beast so back home, deliver the jeep and we kick start it and but this time there are quite a lot of us looking on.  Drive the little one down to the next village and then leave it running outside the house.  Meanwhile I walk down, get the Beast parked up and go back to thank everyone for their help and input.  Unfortunately the subject changed and so did the language and they were all full flood in Turkish so I decided that I would say goodnight to them all and head back to the homestead......nice of Semile to notice but I've got the feeling that it would have been easier in the light....but at least it should be alright for tomorrow now...LN
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Elsa Peters
May 7, 2013, 4:33pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 7th May

Pre-sun-up start but what a wonderful beginning to the day.  I know I get boring at this point but mornings are special.  The sun comes up at a different point each day as does the moon and it still amazes me.....I suppose I have the time to appreciate nature.

So what did today hold.  I was out planting my tomatoes at seven this morning and eleven are in and another eight for tomorrow.  I've sorted out the flowers that I started off in the house and labelled the lids but unfortunately they got mixed up so I think I have Cape gooseberry in a big pot and something else in a smaller one...only time will tell.  The passion flower has been repotted and is going up the wall of the little house, a honeysuckle is hopefully going to get established underneath the lounge window of the little house near to the garage, lupin, targetes, poppies have all been watered in and we'll await the results.  Hollyhocks, parsnips, beans, red cabbage go in tomorrow and I've got another well rooted rosemary to go in.  Dug out by the front gate so that it looks tidier and on Thursday I'm going to get some more wood stain to do the front gates,  Had a zizz after lunch.  It was so hot that I started to do a Sudoku and realised that ther was no way my eyes were going to stay open until the end.  Comatose for about an hour and a half but felt much better for it.

Pottered this afternoon watering stuff....the visiting stork cleared out the little pond and then made it's way to the next take away.  Chicken on a bed of potatoes and onions is cooking and will be ready in about half an hour.  Cork taken out of the bottle and now it's time to relax. I've had a busy day...LN



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Elsa Peters
May 8, 2013, 3:03pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 8th May

Early start and sun up was very red almost looked like a sunset....this was followed by high cloud which faded out the sun somewhat.  The wind was cold and so a hearty breakfast was called for so spicey sausage, fried egg and fried bread with HP Sauce.....fixed me up for the rest of the day.  Walked the estate and watered a few of the plants that needed it but there really wasn't any need since the heavens opened this afternoon and the thunder rumbled in the background.  I did manage to spend about an hour culling or pulling the dandelions out and lobbing them on the bonfire

I cut down one of the tent caterpillar nests that I found myself working under while I was digging in the garden.  I suddenly remembered it as it swayed in the breeze but where the caterpillars have attacked the wild damson tree, the leaves are bare and the fruit is looking a little sad for itself and this is a good one for jam making.  So it had to go.  There is one more on this tree but much higher up and I can't reach it but the one at the back of the workshop is getting huge but I couldn't bring myself to chop it off.  

Today was a day of visions.  I could imagine doing lots of things but fortunately it rained.  I loaded more books onto my Kindle, lit the fire and settled in for the afternoon.  It wont hurt to have a day off....the grass will still need cutting, the rest of the tomato plants will still need to go in and so much is weather dependent.  Time is one thing that I have now the men have decided to delay their exposure to work until September.

Cold chicken for supper....probably with chippies and I've just remembered that I have mushrooms that I need to do something with.  LN.....I've heard a rumble in the jungle...time to go...LN



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