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Elsa Peters
March 1, 2014, 5:48am Report to Moderator

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Saturday 1st March

If there are shepherds frolicking naked on those hillsides in the morning dew, I'd never see them for the morning mist??  Welcome Baba Marta...and for those of you that I've sent wrist bands to I shall be checking later to see if you are wearing them.  To the rest of you....please imagine taking a length of red and one of white ribbon and put it on your wrist.  

Chestita Baba Marta…..

Welcome Grandmother March is a holiday celebrated on the first of March. Martenitsa - usually in the form of a wrist band, woven by combining red and white colored threads - are worn on that day and through March, until a stork or a tree with blossom is seen, symbolising warmer weather and well being. There are various theories and suggestions about these two particular colors - red & white, from which the bands are made. A common belief is that ‘red’ represents ‘life or birth’ and ‘white’ denotes ‘anew’ or ‘on clear grounds’. Combined they mean ‘newborn’, ‘rebirth’, ‘a new beginning’; a celebration of Life and Survival. Another popular explanation is that white stands for wisdom and red for good health, which means that anyone giving you a Martenitsa is wishing you both throughout the New Year.

And I'm wishing it to you....
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Elsa Peters
March 1, 2014, 6:29am Report to Moderator

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And here's your Martinitsa

And look what else I got.  My own Baba Marta to add to my collection and my freasia in flower,  Whose the lucky girl then?....



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Elsa Peters
March 2, 2014, 6:20pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 2nd March

Early start and read my book until the urge to make baked beans on toast hit me.  Breakfast was over and the kitchen tidied by just after nine and struck up the computer and as I sat at my desk I noticed a rather large strange looking bird.  Out came the Canon and I snapped away and a couple of the red, white and black woodpeckers started knocking seven bells out of my wild plum tree and the other bird moved between the tree and the ground and it was joined by yet another or its type.  They had bright blue beaks and were very clumsy looking as they hopped about the tree but I took fifty odd photos of them in total.  Because I was taking them from the house, there was a reflection on the glass so a lot of them turned out to be not so good.  Tomorrow I should get the bench out ready and take up position before they come to feed.

Next on the agenda was to start Beauty from the Beast and I didn't manage to get a good connection and since I was running short of time to get to my student I gave up thinking tomorrow is another day.  Into Djebel, the family already had a neighbour around and I found out that this one goes to the Christian church and the service is at eight on a Sunday morning....maybe this is the opening I want but not that I shall be able to sing along but I might know the hymns so I could hum along.

Lunch was served at just after twelve and we then struck up verbal tennis where I try out Bulgarian, my student goes for English but translating it along the way into Turkish for the rest of the family.  I left at around two thirty under great protest and home to light the fire and get set in since it was throwing it down with rain,  And as for the weather now...the lightening is batting round so this is going to be a short update.....nature is bringing an end to the ramblings.  LN...computer to bed and I shan't be long following it...LN



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tcinbg
March 2, 2014, 8:16pm Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Elsa Peters
Sunday 2nd March
think_its_a_hawfinch


Think your bird identification is pretty good  

Or did you cheat like I did?  

http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/h/hawfinch/index.aspx
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Elsa Peters
March 3, 2014, 5:44pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 3rd March

Cheat me.....how very dare you TCin BG!!  I have friends that do it for me and advise me on Facebook...

Bulgarian national holiday today and I hope everyone has had a good day....Five thirty start and two cups of coffee later and about ten percent of my new book and I was up to light the fire.  It has been cold, wet and miserable all day today but I moved a lot of the plants that have wintered in the little house outside so that they could get a good watering.  Several of them are starting to show greenery and it was easier to take them out than to take the water in but the watering under the downpipe was filling very rapidly...boy has it come down today.

Breakfast was a spicy sausage with a fried egg with a touch of the HP sauce and it did the trick.  I had an interesting discussion on Facebook as to the identify of my woodpecker.  One response was that it was a Syrian woodpecker but the RSPB book put it at being a middle spotted one due to its markings but the one that I photographed today that seems to be making its home in the tree had no read on its head at all so now I'm thoroughly confused.  It was raining so hard this afternoon as the poor thing bashed away that I was very tempted to go out there with an umbrella.  

Fried off an onion with some carrots, peas and the remains of the chicken and came up with a very delicious chicken soup.  As I said I was so cold that I felt I needed something to reach the parts that a sandwich couldn't and it turned out to be a late lunch / early supper with hot buttered toast and it did the trick.   Phone call from the UK and it looks like I might have more visitors in May for a week or so but it's not going to interfere with Andrea Bocelli.... I'll make sure of that.  The car goes in tomorrow to check over the air and oil filters...there was a little bit of a slow reaction on acceleration and a puff of smoke so I want them to take a look at it.  I ordered the parts today so that the garage already have them.  It just didn't feel right yesterday.  I'm also meeting the Librarian in Djebel tomorrow and we're heading out to Momchilgrad to the market and I just hope the weather improves overnight but having said that....there wasn't a cloud in the sky at five thirty this morning and the star were amazing...it was just downhill after that.

So down to my book.  This new one is by an Edward Rutherfurd and entitled Sarum giving the history of Salisbury and Stonehenge....fascinating.  LN....I might even go and find me a little drink to pass the evening with...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 4, 2014, 6:21pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 4th March

Out with my boots blacked at eight ten this morning except that they weren't blacked as such, my nubuck suede were rubbed over with a damp cloth before I took off with the Beast.  It had rain none stop most of yesterday and through the night and there was plenty of huge puddles on the road and the river in Djebel had more water flowing that I had ever seen before.  OK we need it for filling up the reservoirs especially since we have had a very mild winter with little snow but I'd rather have the snow that this damp cold dreary weather that we have now.

I dressed for the cold.  Two sweaters, my long woollen cardigan, body warmer and gloves knowing that to sit it out in the garage while they do their stuff can be a bitter experience.  I beat them to it this morning.  As I drove to the garage I saw the garage owner and his wife going back from the nursery having dropped the little one off and she phoned to say that the brother would be down in five minutes but the car was warm and I had taken my Kindle so there wasn't a problem.  The brother arrived, I explained the problem, we'd identified possible causes and were part way to the solution when the garage owner arrived.  I sat by the little petchka in the garage while they went to work on the Beast and the oil and oil filter were changed, the air filter too and the fuel filter for good measure since the diesel in BG is not as pure as it could be and there was a little water in the fuel reservoir.  So now I thought it was all done but no.  He gave it a test drive, said that he needed to investigate the back brakes and then suggested that I decamp to the shop in Djebel while it was done since the parts had to come down from Kardjali on the bus.  Two hours later, he delivered the Beast back to me, I ran him down to the garage, phone Gouldjan, gave her a lift home and eventually arrived at my house at just before three.  Long morning....bill paid and all this for just under two hundred lev.  Try that in England.

So what happened to my plans with the Librarian?  She missed the morning bus, fortunately so went back home again and tomorrow I'll fetch her in Beauty when I get it going in the morning and get it going I will.  Off to Kardjali tomorrow to sort out tickets to go to Sofia on Thursday.  Got a roaring fire going and more wood in just to get warm again.  Despite the cladding I'd got cramping in my toes so on with my thick Bulgarian socks and put the fleece blanket over my feet and legs to get them warm again.  It briefly stopped raining this afternoon and I had every intention of digging over the vegetable patch or at least enough of it to get some onions in having bought some onion sets from Djebel this morning.  Instead I watched the sheep and the shepherd hold one of the big ones so that one of the orphans could get a feed.  No gardening done....it started to rain again so Friday will be the next opportunity so let's hope the weather improves though the forecast doesn't look vet promising.  Thank you Baba Marta.

Down I go to top up the fire.  I have no update on woodie since neither of us have been around much today.  LN...I've now reached the year 846AD with Mr Rutherfurd and we're into King Alfred more or less.  We've travelled a long way from Stonehenge already....LN



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Elsa Peters
March 5, 2014, 7:48pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 5th March

Silly night...couldn't sleep so went on to the computer to do a few silly games and the next thing there was a power cut and lightening flashing on the hillside but no thunder.  Made my way down stairs, picked up the torch and since the UPS to the central heating was belting out I decided that a session of Angry Birds was in order until the power was restored and my eyelids were at least heading a little southwards which they eventually did.

Seven am start and there was a glimmer of sunshine over the hills but I knew it wasn't going to last for long.  Showered, shampooed, tried to start Beauty and despite a decent connection with the jump leads there was no jump so set off for the Librarians in the Beast and got there for about eleven.  Off to Kardjali, got the tickets for the bus for Sofia tomorrow, managed to find the shop for the photographs for the passport renewal which is the reason for the outing tomorrow, over to Kaufland and it;s still as bad as the first time I went, picked up fuel and then off to the electricity suppliers in Momchilgrad to check whether or not it has been connected.  Good news, the Roo has the box and now we shall see about getting him cable from the box to the school and sockets for running whatever he wants to run.

Back via Djebel and I explained to my student's mum that there was no way that the jump leads were doing it for me and at six tonight her husband and his brother came out to get Beauty into the garage and sorted once and for all,  We took bets and I won...no way were they starting it from the leads and eventually they towed it down the road and it jumped into life.  Supper was chicken with veg in chicken soup with a crusty potato topping, the sandwiches are made for tomorrow's journey and alarms have been set for a four thirty start.  Just about to go to my virtuous couch....the Librarian is already in PJ's and stuck into her Kindle....any road up....LN....we have an early start tomorrow...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 6, 2014, 8:50pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 6th March

Four thirty start...out in the car for just after five this morning and into Kardjali for the six o'clock bus to Sofia and everything on time.  Today's plan was to get the passport for the Librarian renewed and what a fiasco that was.  We got a taxi to the British Embassy to be told that everything was to be done over the internet.  The security guard said that we could not make an appointment and we explained that we were two old ladies (fnagg) and that we wanted assistance but he tried to get some sense out of the Bulgarian speaking blond figure head behind reception and we were told to leave .  There was a little consulate activity with some sort of general leaving the place but maybe the black plastic bag containing our sandwiches was considered a threat.  Official complaints are to follow.  I subsequently tried the telephone number and got landed with a messaging system that pointed me in the direction of the internet and the UK Gov. (aaarrrggghhh).  We gave up and went to IKEA instead which was much more successful.

Picked up several pieces of furniture between us and this is being delivered to my home within the next six working days.  We had grandmother's meatballs (kotbulla)and chippies with their special gravy for lunch and munched on out sandwiches as we came back on the four thirty coach arriving at just before eight thirty in Kardjali.  Into the Beast, back home by nine twenty and fire going beautifully, a little beer on the go and we are two tired and happy bunnies from IKEA and pleased we found something constructive to do instead of festering about our treatment at the Embassy.....LN....I am mentally composing something appropriate for tomorrow...and copies of which will be posted here...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 7, 2014, 4:00pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 7th March

We had a latish start and was coffeed at just before eight.  I lit the fire at about sevenish so that it was warm to sit down to and chill...so to speak.

Found a packet of smoked salmon in the fridge so this morning's breakfast was scrambled eggs with smoked salmon on toast, orange juice to wash it down and there was no need for toast to follow.  Five eggs and enough for the two of us.  Sat around chewing the cud for an hour or so, phoned up the garage and they had found nothing wrong with Beauty but they had removed the radio.  Nothing to complain about there...it's normally off anyway.

Drove into Djebel and to the garage, the Librarian drove back the Beast and I took Beauty through her paces and home James only stopping off for my Librarian to buy enough to see her through until the next shopping expedition her being temporarily without transport.  Frozen everything from the local supermarket plus four loaves of bread and back to mine to drop off the Beast, everything packed into Beauty and we headed for her home.  The dogs were overjoyed to see her again...I reckon they thought she had left home and we sat down to coffee and chocolate cake...we definitely know how to live.

Drove home, topped up with wood and persuaded the fire to give it its all and now the house is warm, I've just used up the remains of my spicy sausage and cooked it with honey and chilli and my supper is three quarters to being prepared.  It will be served with pasta and there should be enough for two more servings to go into the freezer.  I'm going to say LN...I'm about to have supper, dive into the shower. get into my onesie on and my daughter will appreciate that I'm getting some use out of it.  Final step is to curl up with my Kindle and Mr Rutherfurd...on my goodness...what a hard life...LN
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Elsa Peters
March 8, 2014, 2:01pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 8th March

Very lazy day today and even the fire made it easy for me.  It was still going this morning.  It's been a cold wind and damp with a few drops of rain and the intentions were good but the inclination never got the better of me.  Finished off the smoked salmon on toast for breakfast and felt rather decadent as I lay reading for most of the day on the sofa in front of the fire.  I've had some interesting links on FB and  memory lane from my town of birth but even the memories are from subsequent generations so maybe the ones of my vintage haven't made it to Facebook yet.

So it's Women's day today and tonight I am off with the Librarian to my favourite restaurant in Djebel to celebrate the occasion.  We shall probably have some food and as we didn't managed to get a taxi home last year I'm taking the car.  We did get home though.  The lad who works in the local supermarket gave us a lift but it was a bit scary so this year...not going to take any chances.  Well if I get back in time I shall be posting pictures otherwise it will be tomorrow.

So going for a shower and since the Librarian's jeep is off the road, I'm over to collect her so it's time that I got my act together.  Shower, shampoo and out with the sequins.....stitched by hand by....naaa....might even catch you later....



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