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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  OCTOBER, 2014
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Elsa Peters
October 20, 2014, 4:27pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 20th October

What a late night it was....poor Haceber was champing at the bit and couldn't understand why the coach couldn't just go back to my village and leave the rest.  She went outside and I keep pretty near to the coach driver knowing that he was my best bet.  It was a good wedding.  Unfortunately none of the rest of the table wanted to dance the night away so I sat and watched the others.  My contact with the electricity board wanted to involve me in one of these chain dances that go round the room but you have to know the steps and while I can do it on my own and know the moves...when you are the only English person there you sort of stand out a little.  Quite a  good arrangement at this venue.  There was television coverage of the arrival of the bride, groom and entourage so you could see what was happening before they climbed the steps and joined the rest of us.  I sat by Remsier whose husband chopped my wood for me and she was updating me on who belonged to which Baba...As I've said before, it's knowing the family connections with the children and their wives but a lot was sorted out last night.

So home just before one in the morning.  We got to Djebel on the coach and there was a mini-bus to drop me off at the door.  A quick brandy and hot water with some sugar in it last night.  It was cold and the coach didn't put any heating on and everyone was complaining but not to the man in charge of the controls.  Ah well.  So I read for a while and eventually got my head down at about two and woke up this morning at eight.  There were a few clouds about but they soon burnt off and what a beautiful day it's been

I started off by stacking more of the cut wood and came in for breakfast at eleven and decided that a bacon sandwich or rather two bacon sandwiches would hit the spot.  I sat reading while I was eating them and worked up the enthusiasm to get out there again.  As it was I changed the playground.  I'd looked at the new workshop garden and knew that there was a polythene mine lying buried.   It is no more but it was hard work lifting it and goodness only knows why they buried it in the first place.  I also hit a concrete lintel and that's now edging the garden created under the wall and I've put in some lavender, a clematis that's sat in a bucket for three years and some honeysuckle.  We shall see what we shall see.  So back in for another read in the sun and nodded for an hour or so but then straight back to it.  Gathered up the polythene, cleaned out the bonfire, set fire to it and managed to get rid of the weeds that were clogging it up.  That's the beauty of living out here...no neighbours interfering.

Lovely sunset....I managed to get a few more barrow loads of logs stacked and covered up the remainder with polythene...and tomorrow should see the task finished.  My next job is to tackle the wood pile that's accumulated...it has to go and on that note...LN....I have a hunger that I'm not sure what I need to satisfy it...I'm off to the kitchen...LN

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Elsa Peters
October 21, 2014, 5:17pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 21st October

What a night...I was in bed by about nine and read for a while but I was awake at four thirty and read after that.  Not much sleep in me so on to the computer and sorted out emails and the like.  Breakfasted at eight, by nine I was zonked.  I read again but had to go back to bed and slept until twelve.  Now I know I've been stressed out for a couple of weeks, moved loads of wood but I've not felt so bad in ages but the sleep did the job.  Back to it this afternoon...all my wood away, the debris is sorted and the Beast is back in the garage.

Didn't come in until seven twenty this evening.  Cleared the drive after putting the wood away and had a bonfire with all the crap that that entails.  It can snow tomorrow...I'm ready.  The bonfire is still burning....

Tonight's supper was fillet steak with onions and a couple of fried eggs and I'm concentrating on the wine box and hoping that it lasts out the night.  It's doing a good job so far.  Jacques Lousier is belting out this evening whilst I sit typing this stuff... and as the wine takes over the mood becomes more chilled...LN...I have nothing to do, nowhere to go tomorrow....LN

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Elsa Peters
October 22, 2014, 4:21pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 22nd October

Six thirty start so getting better.  I tried to get my head down again but there was a disturbance with dogs so it was coffee time for me.  Something sets them off...it might be other stray dogs on their territory so it's not too much of a problem when they kick off but I do love it when they start and sing along with the mosque....I wonder if the hojja knows that he has such an appreciative audience at that time in the morning...

Grey start to the day and it didn't really clear until lunchtime.  I notice that the last time I lit the fire that there was some smoke in the wet room so I got the pipes out, cleaned out the entry point and lit the fire to see if I'd managed to fix the problem.  It's not so bad as it was but I think it needs a little more attention before the temperature really drops.  It's been about twenty degrees in the house today and with just a small fire ticking over, not a bad result.  Didn't do much else today apart from sweep through and clean the bathroom tiles where the smoke had settled on them and read my book.  It was a cold wind today and I had the intention of going out there and chopping some of the small wood for kindling but when a couple of fairly hefty polythene buckets skittered across the yard, I rethought the plan.  I phoned the garage this morning.  Apparently there is going to be a witch hunt for vehicles with their lights pointing in the wrong direction giving you fifty kilometres to find a garage and have them fixed so I asked them to order me some in so that I don't get fined.

Put the Kindle on the computer and deleted all the read books and printed out the listings for another three authors.  I do like to get into a series and do this to make sure that I read them in order....Essential if there is a continuing story line....and the new guy is Dexter.....  Just had a visit from my Avatar and Haciber.  I really should buy some chocolates to give them which is normal when anyone visits.  The trouble is I tend to eat what's in the house so don't buy them but it's on the list for tomorrow.  So what did they want?  I've been invited for lunch tomorrow at Haciber's house....and such a nice thought.  Looks like I'll be in to Kardjali early to make sure I get back for twelve thirty.  

Early supper for me.  I put in a jacket potato and found an apple lingering so stuck it in the over after coring it, adding some sultanas, sugar and honey and put that in the oven with the potato.  Comfort food at it's best.  So seven twenty my time and ready to cosy up with my new author....it's got much colder tonight and snow is threatened for the weekend.....I'll keep you informed...LN

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Elsa Peters
October 23, 2014, 3:22pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 23rd October

Happy Birthday to my oldest cousin in Australia...hope you have a brilliant day with your loving family....

What a night, what a day.  Torrential rain most of the night that woke me up and things skittering everywhere.  I ventured out at eight this morning and rescued the sunbed that was edging its way along towards the new wall and the flowerbeds and moved it to the new workshop terrace where it was more sheltered.  It knocked over benches, I found the plastic buckets against the front wall and still it lashed down.  I did put a photo on Facebook of my view from the desk...closely followed by a pickie of my breakfast.  

I heard the bread van toot it's horn so I set off with a raincoat on and met Haciber on her way down there too.  When we got to the square there was no sign of the van but we reckoned that he was such a good chap that he'd taken his van down the lane to deliver to the ones that normally walk up but believe me....the weather was dire.  So we huddled in the doorway of the little mosque and waited and along he came so my order was bread and four fresh eggs to complete my breakfast.  Walked back up the road full into the wind, managed to get into the house and had to remove most of my clothing...I was drenched.  Dried out I headed for the kitchen and took out the filled steak that I hadn't fancied yesterday, fried it with onions and a couple of eggs and served it up on the fresh bread.  Result.....it was delicious.

More gale force and I was hoping that my tree wouldn't come down and it didn't.  The electricity had been up and down and I gave up trying to fill my time up on the internet.  So twelve o'clock came and I put on my down jacket which was a mistake and headed for Hacibaer's house for her lunch party and the rest of the women appeared in very wet drips and drabs.  We sat around and they all speak Turkish but they are trying to teach me that too.....I know a few phrases and more get added to the mix and fortunately the one who is taking care of my education is a super lady and is responsible for me getting to the weddings.  The food was typically Turkish and we all sat around on the floor and there were seven courses in total.  We all have a spoon and dip into each dish as it arrives and then it's whisked away and the next one appears.  

On my way out I'd noticed that the ditch that goes under my drive appeared to be blocked with leaves and was about to spill its bank so I went to the workshop and got out a tool and cleared out the rubbish and got it moving again.  I went into the workshop to get more wood for the fire and was greeted by a couple of inches of water on the floor.  The roof is fine but the field on the back wall is higher than my floor and I'm guessing that it's seeped through so out with the snow scoop and cleared the majority of it.  The job is on the list 'to do' when I get the men back but unfortunately they are absolutely whacked from the last endeavours that there's not much enthusiasm to start again.  I've even got the drainage extruded plastic but it's not doing much sitting where it is.

So into the house and no electricity again.  The fire is ticking over but suddenly the UPS makes a bigger warning note than I've heard before so out with the shovel and I removed most of the wood into a metal container.  Trouble is that if there is no electricity, the pump won't work and the potential is that you knacker the boiler so better safe than sorry.  Waited for a while after the juice came back on again and it's all back to being good now.  

No supper for me, stuffed to the gills and now it's turned into a beautiful evening after the perils of the day.  Story goes that we have this for the next few days with the overnight temperatures dropping.  Looks like winter draws on so to speak....LN  

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Elsa Peters
October 24, 2014, 5:40pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 24th October

Not a bad start to the day but it was out to establish how much damage had been done by yesterday's mini hurricane.  My flowers as I said yesterday have been decimated but I'm waiting to see if they do get upright again before I take them all up.  The ones under the terrace wall have gone so tomorrow if it holds I'll be digging them up and putting in the bulbs so as they say, every cloud has a silver lining but it didn't seem that way when it was in full flood yesterday.

The workshop has dried out since I left the door open last night.  I can only think that it came in via the outside wall to the next door garden and I must really phone the men to see if they've recovered enough to start work for me any time soon.  They've had a hard few months.

So in to Kardjali this morning.  I phoned the garage to see if my new lights had arrived and they're scheduled for Tuesday so I've booked the Beast in for its winter overhaul....anti-freeze etc. and having it's appropriate nipples greased if you'll pardon the expression.  Made my list this morning of all the things that I wanted from Kaufland that are on promotion and got the lot...plus a few items not on the list like an electric citrus squeezer...well it was on offer.  Got eight meters of material for the sofa and chairs in the hallway for eight leva a meter but it is two meters twenty wide so not a bad price.  It's not the colour I set out to get but I've admired it in the shop before and think it will do the job but when you think that the equivalent English price tag is about twenty eight pounds...not bad at all.  Over to Mania and picked up a sheet for my bed, two sweaters and a couple of pillow cases and a leather belt for the princely sum of ten leva....it just had to be done.  Into Lidl for a few items and back to Djebel and stopped off for a chat with my student's mum and confirmed my Tuesday appointment.  Home for five more or less and the temperature has dropped.  Got the fire going and it's ticking along nicely, supper was ham sandwiches and that's now over and done with and it will suffice for tonight.  It depends on the weather tomorrow if I become active or go for passive.....I go with the flow.  Haciber popped round to give me some Turkish Delight and a sealed cup of juice that was from the hojja at the Mosque....I'll say LN....no pickies today....I'm going to settle in with the Kindle...and I'll report on the new Dexter tomorrow...LN
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Elsa Peters
October 25, 2014, 5:39pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 25th October

Rain, rain go away.  It woke me up this morning and then there was the steady drip of the water from the roof on the metal railings round my bedroom terrace.  My eventual solution...a pair of socks tied on to the railing.  It may remain there for the rest of the winter until the men fix some sort of guttering on the overhang.  

So as well as the rain we had the howling winds again but we are luckier than most.  Haskovo was under four feet of water where the river had burst it's banks and flooded the town.  I saw the video on the internet and my thoughts go out to the poor people.  I had the same thing happen in my home town when a flash flood swept down the valley and through the house and the rest of the street.  It took ages to clear out the smell of the water and the rubbish that it brought with it.

As for the rest of my day...I went out to view the damage and ended up taking the plants that might not survive a frost into the other house.  It seems very early to take them in but there has been snow in Sofia  and it was threatened here but to date nothing apart from very cold rain.  Brought one of the benches in and the big terracotta pots are now in the hallway and looking for a home for the winter,  Lit the fire mid morning and it's been chugging along ever since and supper went in a four and was ready for five thirty...nice and early for me.  Chicken wings with potatoes and onions with red cabbage and I'll shoot any one that asks how much..... ;) ;)  This was closely followed by another baked apple with cream....domesticity has struck....

And after a full stomach the body requires rest and I've just woken up now....the clocks go back tonight so I must remember so that I don't appear on anyone's doorstep before I should tomorrow.  Michael Jackson is playing at a reasonable volume....time for a little drink I think...LN...Back to my book and an extra hour in bed..so that should be a four o'clock start.... :-/...LN

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Elsa Peters
October 26, 2014, 4:25pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 26th October

So I dutifully put the clocks back last night and stayed up until just after midnight so that there was a chance I could sleep in later.  Now as you've probably guessed I'm a pretty light sleeper but at just before the three in new time my home phone started ringing....it stopped...and then started again.  My only thought was that there was a problem in the UK so I went downstairs and answered it...and a man said something, I said in English that I didn't understand him and said that he probably had the wrong number.  He did apologise and I put the phone down.  So now it's three more or less, I'm awake so I think I'll read for a while and eventually back to the land of nod but I was awake at six and ready to face the day.

Coffee and breakfast of bacon sandwiches, got two lots of logs in, one from last years and one from the new supply and put them under the petchka to warm up since they aren't wet...just cold.  It's been horrible today.  It hasn't stopped raining at all and it's just a grey day and winter's come too soon.  I'd already cancelled my student for today....I wasn't in the mood to be sociable...it was a hibernation day and I've not really got around to doing anything.  I imagine doing stuff but didn't turn the image into reality.  It's almost like 'I cudda', wudda', but couldn't drum up the enthusiasm.  I kept looking at the armchair that I've got the material for but I want to change the design of it and that means getting some wood out of the little house and it's really too cold to go in there sawing up stuff.  Another day....

Lots of noise from part of Semile's herd today as they moseyed on down the street.  One was making so much noise that I went into the bedroom to look out at them and the one has blood coming from the horn.  Don't know if she made a move on another one or not....I'll have to ask Semile next time I see him.  The boys were out again in the red bomber...they're getting very confident and I'm hoping it doesn't end in tears.

So the fires still ticking along and I found out the curtain that hangs in front of the main door and have even drawn my huge curtain separating off the stairs...first time this year but I want to cosy down tonight.  The first night of the clock change always seems really long and body clock says one thing and the thing on the wall says another.  Just after six my time....I'm going down to enjoy the fire...LN...it could almost be a knitting night...LN

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Elsa Peters
October 27, 2014, 6:09pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 27th October

Not such a bad start this morning...six o'clock start which in old money relates to seven so I'm on to a winner.  Down for my newly established morning drink of lemon juice, salt, honey and hot water to get the metabolism going...I'm starting on my diet so that I can go back to the UK and get padded out again with fish and chips and mushy peas...    Made coffee at the same time but by the time I'd read a couple or ten chapters it was cold and so was I.  The fire had done well at keeping the house warm but that was the other side of my iron curtain and I was upstairs so I lit the fire while waiting for the kettle to boil again and fancied bacon sandwiches again but horror of horrors....the fridge was bare so I settled for its close cousin, a toasted ham and cheese sandwich and I got stuck in front of the fire with sandwich, coffee and book and didn't put my nose out until I'd finished it.

Now I really felt that I ought to do something despite the rain and yes...it's still raining...so I collected up the toilet stuff that needs burning ahd the kitchen waist and headed for the burning pit and first time ignited probably because the last fire was so good that nothing was choking it up.  Inspected the garden and the new plants I'd put into the workshop terrace garden and everything seems quite happy in there.  Over to the little house and moved last year's wood and got it into some semblance of order so that I can get it if it gets really cold....I'm burning the new stuff while it's not so critical with the odd old stuff to give it a boost if need be.  Started to sweep the old house out and there was a rustling of something so I left if to its own devices and concentrated on fixing up lighting for the winter.  The workshop is done but I need a small cabled extension lead and need to make a new light socket...I've got the bits...just got to find them...well you know what it's like....it's all there somewhere.

Down in front of the fire now, curtain drawn and cosied up with Barbra Streisand giving it all she's got and she's got a lot.  Not into food just now...I might even go through until tomorrow at this rate.  It's been an autumn day but a wet one and to date no snow but checking out the weather...the sun will come out...but not tomorrow....LN...I'll post sunrise if we ever get one again.....I'm in competition with my nephew and he's winning...LN

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Elsa Peters
October 28, 2014, 7:47pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 28th October

Call to action started at six thirty and down to make my new health drink using my new lemon squeezer but not too sure about the three years guarantee the way that you put pressure on the motor to make it work.  Anyway...back to bed clutching my drink and a coffee and settled down to read my next Dexter.  Now I didn't know that there has been a television series of the same name...I've been out of the country for too long but the general concept is that the series didn't follow the book too well so I'll plough through the books.

Lit the fire because it was cold, down to the bread van this morning and chatted to my neighbours.  They are determined that I'm going to conduct all my morning ramblings in Turkish and I found out that the pain in Byser's head from last week has now moved down to her knee and I suppose next week it will be gout and be on its way to working itself out of the system..   So lelaving the van I remembered that I'd used up the last of the eggs so with the change from the bread I handed it back to the driver and he calculated that I could have five eggs and I had change.  So a loaf of freshly baked crusty bread and five eggs for just under seventy pence.  Back home and into the freezer for a packet of bacon and it was fried with an egg, onto the fresh bread for breakfast and then the wait was on for the call from the garage to advise me that my new European headlights had arrived.  Ten thirty and I was on the way to dressing for the weather and to Djebel.

Posted a card to the UK, picked up the headlights and took them down to the garage with me, headlights fixed and winter checks carried out.  The oil doesn't have to be changed until March, the anti-freeze is to minus twenty five, brake fluid checked, water washes topped and all this done for ten leva and the lights cost me another one hundred and twenty but it will save a fine if I'm stopped.  The internet informs me that it's now part of standard stop policy and I like to keep a low profile.  Back to the shop for a chat with my student's mum and we both sat over the fan heater....the temperature has dropped dramatically.  

Home at four thirty and rescued the fire with the help of a firelighter and some kindling.  Cooked fish fingers for something quick and easy and had them on the crusty bread and am now suffering for my gluttony.  They might eventually get digested and the chicken I got out from the freezer to make the curry I was originally going to make will get done tomorrow and that's about as far as my plans go for tomorrow.  Temperature more or less on the one degree mark and I'm pleased that most of the plants are in.  The leaves in that garden are steadily falling from everything but I really need a day out there to plant up the rest of the bulbs...they need a winter home.  No pictures today...it's been active but no real photo shoots....sorry and all that....LN...time for bed said Zebedee....LN
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Elsa Peters
October 29, 2014, 6:28pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 29th October

Seven start and it's getting better each morning.  I didn't even hear the hojja this morning....result.  Lemon drink and back to bed with a coffee and straight-way on the computer this morning...no lingering in bed for me even though the weather was a repetition of yesterday and it's rained all day.  Trench foot might even be setting in!!

Looked at the chicken that I'd got out of the freezer last night and they appear to be small breasts without bone so I rolled them up and stuck tooth picks in them to secure them, got them into the frying pan and browned them off and the time was now....nine thirty and there's nothing like being prepared.  Out to the terrace and attacked the leeks and brought them down to size....took two of them in the house, washed and chopped and put them into a saucepan.  Peeled a couple of potatoes and an onion and added them to the leeks and got them under way with a little oil and butter and a dash of salt. Meanwhile put the chicken into a casserole dish and covered it with the softened vegetables and into the oven at eleven fifteen and it was ready for the final touches at twelve thirty.  Drained off the juice from the casserole dish into a saucepan and added some packet chicken soup to thicken it, poured it back over the chicken and into the oven and it was ready for about one fifteen.  

Now my neighbours are good to me especially Avatar and Haceber so I served up two portions of the chicken and veg and delivered it hot and steaming to their doors.  I was rewarded with a slice of cake from Haceber thinking that you can't receive without giving.  I skipped back down the road served up a portion for me and the last chicken bread went on to a plate with the remaining vegetables and it's in the freezer for the day I can't be bothered to do stuff.

So while all this was happening, I'd got in the logs, turned over the chair that I was given to look at the construction and started to un-construct. It was an exercise in how it had been covered so that I got the steps right to recover but my biggest concern was removing the millions of staples holding the original material in place.  I found the staple gun in the workshop, looked at it but feel that I need a practice run at it in an open environment having never used one before and tomorrow is another day.  I love the material....it was seven leva a meter and it's two meters twenty wide so I should be able to do most of the back without any need to join the fabric.

Put the tools away at six and I've got Jacques Loussier playing...nice and mellow....Don't want any supper...maybe a few peanuts later with a little drink.  Eight thirty my time.....a very productive day and once I master the staple gun it will be all systems go now that I've worked it all out....LN  

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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