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Elsa Peters
May 17, 2014, 4:30pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 17th May

Alarm bells rang at four fifteen this morning...mine went off and the Librarian's failed miserably but I was there to see that everything went like clockwork.  I did the washing up from last night at four thirty this morning, got coffee and tea underway and at five we were in the car and heading for Kardjali.  Dawn was breaking in the eastern sky and we made the bus station in good time.  She was allocated seat number eight, and off she went making her way to the airport.  I tried to phone her but I think she was out of range which is surprising considering the number of times I've been on that bus and phones keep going off but anyway it's not important...I've had no 'please collect me' so I'm assuming all went to plan.  Driving home the sky was indescribable but I'll try.  There were vivid red streaks and a mottling effect interspersed with the grey of rain clouds and the almost full moon was covered in a thin layer of pink cloud.  So where was my camera...sitting at home and has done for the rest of the day as I even forgot to take it with me when I went to the wedding.

Home for six fifteen and I headed for my bed after I'd put the overnight washing on the airer but I knew that I was on a hide into nowhere.  My solution was to run a bath and relax in there for a while and after soaking and generally saturating myself I got out and it was...nine fifteen.  Too late to sleep and too early to get ready but I played a few games of sudoku having not bothered for a few days, dried my hair, sat in the sun coming through the balcony terrace door and read for a while catching up on Merlin and the Holy Grail.  Nails done, make up done and after several changes of outfits settled for black trousers and top and emerald green jacket, one of my finds from my other favourite shop.  Set off and arrived on time and was greeted by Bekir and allocated a seat with his family and his niece, who speaks English and her one year old little girl.  There were about one hundred and sixty guests at the venue and dear Bekir was rushing around making everything OK.  Sally was there and we had a few words.  I knew a lot of the guests since they are from Bekir's village and I wave to quite a few of them every morning. Mrs Bekir gave me a hug and was pleased that I'd made it and I gave her one because I was pleased that I'd been invited to share a family occasion.  At one point thought Bekir did say that it was too noisy and he had no opportunity to get his head down for a few minutes.  I did suggest under the table but there were too many people keeping tabs on him.

Bulgarian wedding are all back to front compared to the English.  Everybody gathers, the couple dance, the rest start up and this goes on for about an hour to very loud music.  Next the couple get covered in money by the guests and finally everyone gets up for a photoshoot with the happy couple.  Bekir insisted that I have a photograph taken and his niece used her camera and he suggested that Sally was included which I wholehearted agreed with.  Unfortunately Sally sat on the floor so you might only catch his head.  His niece is going to email me the photos....you'll just have to wait.

Left at about three thirty and Bekir took me to my car and setting off I saw two men from their village and picked them up and it was obvious that they had had a little more than Fanta and Coke on their table.  I shouted to Sally to get a tin of yellow paint...I really must paint my car yellow...

Stopped off at Ms Kingdom's on the way back and arranged Mondays lamb bash at Djebel's fete worse than death.  On to FB and all the other bashers have been given instructions.  As I said...photo are to follow but I've had a brilliant day....just a shame that it was such an early start but I wouldn't have see the morning sky if I'd have been lingering in my pit.  LN....I'm now settling into the bottle of beer that I gave to Annie a couple of days ago....I said I'd run out and we've now decided that we'll always have a travelling bottle....LN
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May 18, 2014, 5:14pm Report to Moderator

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Hey, I have been tasked with the simple job of saying "panic ye not, there are interweb issues over at castle elsa and she'll be with you all soonest".
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Elsa Peters
May 19, 2014, 4:27pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 19th May

So yesterday I was working away on my pc and the internet went off.  I scrabbled around and rebooted the pc and the router and ....nothing.  Everything was telling me that I was connected but that the security side of the connection just wasn't happening.  I phoned Theroo to see if he was up and running and he didn't go off line, or so he said today until ten last night but was up and running this morning where mine wasn't.  Picked up Ms Kingdom for a day in Djebel for the fete day and checked my Kindle on her connection and it went in straight away.  Into the shop, she checked the connection and said that there didn't appear to be a problem but said that she would send the men out this afternoon.  As it happened, no one came but the problem was definitely at their end and was obviously fixed when there were lots of error reports.  All back to normal...

Met up with Theroo and his guest in Djebel and we walked the market, listened to the speeches, had a coffee and moved on to the spitted lamb and bought a kilogram of the stuff, bought as ready cooked chicken, headed to the supermarket and bought salad stuff, fresh bread, beer and wine and back to mine for a long lunch.  Tasty, very tasty and we sat out in the sun for the rest of the afternoon and they left about forty minutes ago.  I offered supper but I think we were all stuffed from lunch and it would have been gluttonous to do so.

Lovely evening...washing up all done and no beds to change...tomorrow is likely to be a day without the men since Bekir still has his family over from Turkey for the wedding.  Sally might work as there are things he can do on his own but I'll wait and see what tomorrow brings...Bekir might even want to get out from under everyone's feet.  I'm still waiting for my emailed copies of the wedding photos...I promise to post as soon as they arrive...LN...all my guests have gone and so out with the bottle...heads or tails...beer or wine?  The beer has it...LN

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Elsa Peters
May 20, 2014, 4:42pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 20th May

Beautiful start to the morning and I posted the pickie on Facebook stating that it was a lovely morning to wake up to and it was.  Bekir phoned at six forty to tell me that he couldn't work and I anticipated it ...he has so many of his family over from Turkey that he has to give them some attention.  He did sound pretty groggy this morning though so perhaps they're still celebrating the wedding.  

I read for a while this morning...it wasn't that I couldn't get motivated but you have to imagine the task in hand first and then work up the enthusiasm.  So I sat imagining the task and then set to and I came in at about seven this evening having done everything that I set out to do and more.  The new terrace wall is planted up with tobacco, white poppy seeds and Peppie's white flowers which have yet to be named, the zinnias that are only babies have been replanted and the rest are sitting in soil waiting to be put round the rother flower beds. The marigolds are in, the little fir tree is in and I've done good today...so to speak.  I also tackled the tomb garden and got rid of the mound of soil that was left over from the excavation of the old tree stump but that's about it for now over there.

As for the weather.  It was a cold start, warmed up pretty well and I was out there in t-shirt until I squirted cherry juice all down the front of it and being pale pink it will never be the same.  I washed it in the outside sink using soap, rinsed it but it's still there.  That should teach me that I should put the cherry in whole and not bite into it.....doh...Lunch prior to the catastrophe was tuna mayo with the remains of the potato salad but I couldn't get into it since the tuna was in brine so out it went for the cats  

Worked in the garden for the rest of the afternoon.  Got the lawn mower out at about five thirty and have reclaimed some of the field to be more like a lawn.  It's just hard work on the lawn mower and it's still pretty damp underneath and again we've had a sprinkling of rain.  I shall have to stand in the garden and shout at the top of my voice that it's summer and hope someone up there takes some notice.

Supper is going to be what I can find....It's seven thirty five now so I'm relaxing after I've put the tools and the lawn mower away.  Tomorrow I've got the dentist at ten thirty to repair the damage that the newby did but to be honest, it seems to be OK and I think he's being a little paranoid....I do bad work....let me beat myself up...

LN....Crickets are belting out tonight despite the rain....and I'm off to the kitchen...I'm hungry...LN

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Elsa Peters
May 21, 2014, 6:17pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 21st May

Well I've had a wonderful, fabbidosa, happening day.  Morning was so chilled...I went out on the balcony from my bedroom and took a video and posted it to facebook and the birdsong was just magnificent.  So many different out there at that time of the morning and brilliant to wake up to.  Out into the garden at six thirty and dug over the lower flower bed and distributed the soil that I dumped yesterday so that they all got some of it.  It's one of those flower beds that was part and parcel of dumping the house spoil in the initial build so maybe I'm putting some of the goodness back.

Over to pick up the men at just after seven thirty and it was a toss up as to whether I went and paid my bill for the cement blocks and cement for the new wall and patio build...but Bekir had to pay the balance on the wedding so we decided to get it off our backs.  We were invited to coffee free of charge and I should hope so to...we are good customers in one way and another.  

So back to mine and the men continued with the wall build digging and thrashing about and I got myself ready for my expert dentist to make sure that the other one had done a reasonable job.  I arrived at the allotted hour and was put in the big chair and I don't really like the look in his eyes and he slaps on the rubber gloves and mask.  Any way a little drilling and bite, bite, bite and my bite is now restored to as it was.  I declined any further treatment...that can come when I have pain.

Men carried on clearing and and I thought they'd struck the polythene mine but the decided to cut and burn and there was one hell of a fire but I left it in their capable hands.  The spoil has been distributed around the garden to level off the lower areas and I decided that the lawnmower was to be my faithful friend and we worked together until I ran out of benzine....and none in reserve.  I did managed to clear most of the little house lawn/field and tomorrow ...little by little I should manage to get most of it down.  It's still very damp underneath but clearing it will do wonders.  So I was now without something to occupy me so I turned my attention to the other part of my vegetable garden which had been commandeered by weeds.  It is not cleared.  I took the men home and went back to work on it coming in at eight thirty tonight and still clutching my beer glass that had been my faithful companion since I'd returned home.

Just had a visitor...Emula has been sent to advise me that there is a bit of a party and prayers going on tomorrow for the village and I've been invited.  It's up at out little mosque and I think I shall be there for the benefit of my soul but this time with headscarf at the ready.  Rice and meat after the prayers have been said...so lunch for me and the boys.  I'm now going to say goodnight...I don't want supper, I had cheeses on toast at lunchtime and the need is not there.....Nine ten my time...soon time for bed and I go with a serene outlook on my day....my men have achieved and so have I....LN....I'll pray for you tomorrow...LN

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Elsa Peters
May 22, 2014, 5:14pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 22nd May

Early start again and I am quite used to switching on the light, making coffee and then going back to bed with Merlin.  I'm on the last book but this seems to have taken a turn and now is up to the modern day if not a little into the future but I seem to have two versions of the same book and don't ask me how I managed to achieve it.  The Kindle gave me a preface to the book...the old Kindle didn't and it was only when I started to read it on the other that I noticed the difference.  Now synchronised and all is back to normal

Over to pick up the men and this morning they are working on the rest of the wall and terrace while I go and say my prayers at the little mosque.  I decided to put on a headscarf out or respect and didn't get recognised initially.  I sat on the floor initially in the vestibule with some of the ladies but was invited inside to sit on the floor with the rest of the ladies from the village.  The men and the two Hodjas were behind the curtain and for the next hour and a half the two Hodjas sang their little socks off with the ladies joining in with the refrains.  I've got the hang of most of it by now and recognise the prayers knowing when to slip in the odd Ameen.  There was an awkward moment when I was trying to juggle a plastic cup and serviette when a lady came round with some hand freshener in a bottle and I got liberally sprayed more or less from head to foot with rose water.  I actually think it overpowered the Samsara.  So out came lunch in the shape of rice and meat with a bottle of juice and a chocolate slice of cake wrapped in plastic and we all sat around eating our fill when the Hodja suddenly started up again and we were singing along, touching our hearts and wiping our faces and then it finished as soon as it started and we carried on eating.  We all trooped out...there was lots of rice and meat left in the cauldron but I declined the offer of some for the house having been told that Bekir had made his own way to the venue and retrieved enough for himself and Sally and not a prayer crossed their lips.

Into Djebel to get benzine for the lawn mower and set to this afternoon to continue retrieving my garden from the clutches of nature.  I worked away and noticed that the sky to the east was getting rather black and there was a rumble of thunder in the jungle so I put the mower away and suddenly the heavens opened.  Now after all my prayers this morning it wasn't a nice thing to happen but it really stopped play.  The men came in, it literally poured out of the sky and hale covered the patio.  The guttering was overflowing and as suddenly as it started it stopped.  Meanwhile back in the little house....we decided that the walnuts collected last year were still fair game and we sat around eating them until it had really stopped.

So men back to work for a short while, I went back on the internet since the computer was shut down during the storm...men home and not a drop landed in their village.  So much for praying to the Almighty...they get rice and no rain.  LN....I've lit a fire and about to jump in the shower and just noticed that the Bea-eaters are back, doing aerodynamics and adorning the electricity cables....need to get out the doom lens....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 23, 2014, 3:34pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 23rd May

Five start and then turned over and it was almost seven....those are the sort of mornings I like.  After yesterday's downpour and me leaving the sunroof open for part of the storm I ended up this morning with a little wet bot when I collected the men.  It was fairly misty on the way over and then patches of really hot sun leaving steam on the road making it it more misty.  At one point though I wasn't sure if it was inside or outside so I got the heater on to dry up my immediate environment...

Last night there was a family keeping vigil on a donkey that they though had been struck by a car....one of its back legs was bandaged and I think they were waiting for the vet.  I saw the farmer still sitting there when I came back last night but this morning on the way over I looked out for it and it was lying down.  I carried on to the men but on the way back I slowed down so that we could have a good luck and the donkey is no more.  Bet no one reported hitting it!!

So what have the men done today?  Still wall building and we're now up to the third course on top of the stone-concrete wall.  I was very tempted to have it all stone again but I remembered that it's a wall off the workshop that's to keep the cows out and the neighbours from looking in and has to be five feet or so tall.  It's functional not artistic and cheaper than stone work.  I"ve been out sorting out the stretch of ground between the house and the stone wall but it all came to a halt when the wind got up, the clouds came over and the rain came down but this time only briefly.  I took to the activity centre with my book and just as my eyes were beginning to close I forced myself to get back to work since it was only a brief downpour.  Repotted my azalea that's looking a little sorry for itself and the hibiscus is in a bigger pot since the wind kept blowing it over.  

Men about to be taken home...think I need a quiet night I'm bush wacked....LN..I have men calling...LN

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Elsa Peters
May 24, 2014, 6:04pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 24th May

Well last night I had a request for two showers from the school master and his guest.  His water has been off for two days but I berated them for not bringing towels.  Apparently the guest had said do we take them and the response was that it would be alright without and it actually wasn't.  I made the point that I would have to wash them once used and unless they saw the sign swinging in the evening glow which read...Public Baths...they should have put their thinking heads on.  So I made them wait while I had what was left of the hot water and we headed into Djebel for supper.  Back home for ten thirty and we sat up until twelve and off they went.  His guest was leaving for Sofia this morning and four hours on a bus without a shower wouldn't have gone down well...

Reasonable start this morning but it was a bit of a cloudy and I couldn't seem to get started.  I had a bonfire and chopped back some of the bushes near the tomb garden that were keeping the sun off the new shrubs that I've put in but by twelve I was reading and ready to get my head down lying down on the lounge sofa.  The door to the terrace was open and I was awakened but a funny sensation.  There was a throbbing coming through the sofa mattress and being half asleep I got up and closed the door thinking that the wind had got up.  There were a couple of cracks from the stairs and the front door and I noticed that one of my tea light ornaments was swinging violently so I stopped it , wondered what the heck was going on but then it all subsided and I tried to work out if it was part of a dream I was having.  Eventually came to enough to get on to the internet and check out and type in 'earthquakes' and was directed to a site and yes, we'd just had one.  I wondered if that was the reason that I'd felt unusual this morning and just couldn't settle to anything, the last one that I'd experienced was in Gibraltar but a long time ago  ..

So excitement over....I went out to sit out with my book but the urge to get on came over me and the lawnmower came out yet again to get on with reclaiming my garden from nature which I did until it started to rain.  It wasn't a lot but enough for me to have the excuse to put it away and another couple of days and it will be mine all mine again until the next time.

Supper was gammon with potato wedges with a little beer to help it down and now I'm back to my book six of the Pendragon series.  I'm not sure about this one....I feel the author was very good at dialogue in King Arthur's Britain but he hasn't quite got the touch for twenty first century members of Parliament and 'touch your forelock people'.  I can live with it...there is supposed to be a twist and I'll see it out.  LN....what and exciting day but it makes me realise how fragile is the earth's crust...LN

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Elsa Peters
May 25, 2014, 4:07pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 25th May

One of those nights where you wake up on the hour every hour and I was so pleased to see a seven on the clock so that I could get up and start anything.  I made a coffee, walked the estate and sat outside reading but the sun just wanted to stay behind a streak of white could so I gave up and settled in the lounge.  I really don't see the point of freezing just to get fresh air when I can sit inside, open the door and take a few deep breaths.  

Cleared out the old bread from the kitchen that had tinges of mould on it....I can't stand the smell and I know some people pair it down but not for me....out it went on to the hillside for the animals and birds.  I thought about steak for breakfast and realised that I really wasn't that hungry so got washed and dressed after doing the Daily Mail sudoku and set off for my student getting there just after ten thirty having been stopped on the way by Emula who wanted me to pick up some cigarettes for him from Djebel as he was on European election duty at the Kmet's office.  I did explain that I wouldn't be back until three ish but he was fine with that.  Mother was working in the garden and father was sitting out directing operations.  He's a man and he's had an operation...I will say no more.  Lunch today was chicken livers with onions and a bowl of home made yogurt to follow and we were just finishing off when guests arrived.  It happened to be my Avatar's brother and his wife along with their grandson and they proudly told me that he had received a cash award for being the top student in Kardjali.  He's off to Sofia in October to study computer engineering.  When introduced they said that my Avatar had told them that she had an English neighbour and they said that they were pleased to meet me and now were able to put a face to a name.

Home for three just as the heavens were about to open again.  I stopped off and bought the cigarettes and as I approached the office I put my hand to my mouth as if I'd forgotten them and the look of exasperation on his face was classic.  I wound down the window and he asked me if I had forgotten and I smiled and handed them to him...relief washed over him.

Washing in before the deluge which lasted for about five minutes, thunder was rattling around but seems to have stopped and I sat out and finished my book.  Arthur is king.....and Merlin is still knocking around.

I'm about to head to the kitchen and flash fry fillet steak and serve it with chippies and a couple of eggs.  I might even run to sliced fried onions with it and I'm now starting to drool....LN....I have things to do which involves a cooker and a corkscrew...LN

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Elsa Peters
May 26, 2014, 7:31pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 26th May

And yes I know that I'm late but the men worked until they could do no more today.

Six o'clock start this morning and sat out and watched the sun come up but again there was that band of cloud that kept the warmth from filtering through.  Wrote my 'To Do' list out this morning before I went to pick up my loyal companions and they seemed full of beans but there was no early morning tobacco for Sally and his wife....it was so damp overnight that there was no way they could have picked it.  So they started straight away with the wall but at about nine thirty Bekir wanted a pow-wow.  I'd heard him talking to the lady who has the vegetable garden next to my land but thought they were just passing the time of day but no, this was serious stuff.  Her and her husband had watched the footings going in and had said not a word about where it was all happening and even suggested that it we wanted to chop trees down to make life easier then it was OK with them.  Marvellous what one extra day will do but this morning's beef was that the oak tree that I thought I'd won was being reclaimed.  Various suggestions were put forth by Bekir which was to take down the existing wall and move it so that it was now in line with where they wanted the new boundary.  I put forward my suggestions that we left it where it was so that I didn't have to shell out extra money for extra work.  Bekir's compromise was to put a dog leg in in and bring it back in line but because there are lots of trees in the way it was impossible to run a line down to the bottom boundary to see whether we were right or wrong.  So the upshot is...they keep the oak, I keep the dog-leg and they live with it as it stands...which is now six foot high from my side.  I look forward to the rest of the wall building in September.....I might be making a new claim on that oak.

Onto the sunbed this lunchtime while Bekir snoozed on the grass under the cherry and Sally sat and pondered the new wall.  Off with the t-shirt and down to my undies rolling up my shorts so that at least I didn't get a variety of tide marks which is easily done in this heat.  So back to it working on the wall garden but by about three the clouds had rolled in, there was thunder in them there hills and down came the rain, but ever so lightly for about an hour.  It was on and off, I had a brief interlude inside but back to it and it started to come down slightly heavier but I stayed with it and at least it wasn't cold today and no hail stones.

Men were late leaving so over to theirs for just before seven and decided to visit Ms Kingdom to check that she was OK and invite her to the builder's yard tomorrow for a look at the different types of wood.  Arrangements made, I'll pick her up before the men tomorrow and drop her off on our way back to mine after we've replenished the metal for the top of the wall.  Got home just before nine.... supper was a potato, onion and cheese omelet ...went down well and now I'm thinking of getting my little head down....LN....it's been another busy day...and could be the same tomorrow...LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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