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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  NOVEMBER 2014
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NOVEMBER 2014  This thread currently has 7,793 views. Print
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Elsa Peters
November 1, 2014, 6:38pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 1st November

Well a new month and my goodness this year has slipped by.  Reasonable start off the grid this morning, there is a lightness in the sky that we haven't seen for a while and fingers were crossed that it would turn out fine and it did.  Down for the lemon mixture and I'm still loving my lemon squeezer.  It's so easy to use and does the job very efficiently for under a fiver.  Still made the coffee but it was virtually cold by the time that I got round to drinking it.  Lit the fire and it was very reluctant but once it had caught it has ticked along beautifully all day.  Either I'm getting more into the winter swing or the chimney has warmed up sufficiently but I did find that one of the pipes wasn't quite seated home so out with a small log of wood, a quick bash and everything was sorted.  That's technology for you.

Sorted the leeks that were still on the table, moved the dianthus from one of the pots and out them into the garden leaving the small conifer that had been their centre-point but surrounding it with tulip and crocus bulbs. And my task for today was to remove the fallen zinnias, get rid of the grass and clear the beds so that I could put in the bulbs that have been hanging around for a couple of weeks.  Success....the new terrace wall is clear as is the old terrace but the steps and part of the lounge terrace.  It's marvellous what you can get up to if the weather is OK.  Came in about five thirty, topped up the fire, headed for the kitchen to get supper prepared.  One red onion sliced, several mushrooms halved, the remains of the chicken breast in a cream sauce and served with pasta.  Delicious and not a lot of effort.

It's been a successful day.  I love it when you can see what you've achieved.....a little beer before bedtime...LN and I think I shall sleep well tonight having had lots of fresh air....Fingers crossed....LN  
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Elsa Peters
November 1, 2014, 7:03pm Report to Moderator

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And the photos have to go on later....can't post on the first of the month...

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Elsa Peters
November 2, 2014, 6:04pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 2nd November

Usual start this morning...seven minus fifteen and down for lemon juice and coffee.  I cleaned up the kitchen from last night and took the drinks back to bed.

I circulated downstairs by eight...put the washing ready to roll, toast for breakfast and decided that my hair would do for my visit to my student and so didn't bother to wash it...By nine thirty I was in the car, drove over to Djebel and over to my students. stopped off at my original student's mother..nobody home so I couldn't deliver the gifts.  They'll wait for another day.

Over to my students and had a lovely day.  One of their cousins arrived and we spent the entire afternoon trying to interpret English syntax.  The text book leaves a lot to be desired...Lunch was pasta and the works with chicken soup...I was bushed after the first course but had to keep going...

As for the questions....'Much, many, a lot of' and in the negative...'not much' etc...So one of the questions was ...'How many vitamins did the hamburgers have?'  And my response would have been 'how would I know'!!  So now they have to differentiate the response.  The questions leave a lot to the imagination and I need to ask the questions of the ones that wrote the text book and I will.

Home for four thirty and the fire was very reluctant but now zooming along very well.  Supper was the remains of the chicken with a slice of bread and mayonnaise and I'm duly satisfied for tonight.  I've just had a phone call from Gouldjan asking if I will take her mother to emergency....I've had a drink, I d aren't...but I told her to order a taxi and I will pay.  It's something to do with the livestock and a nail....I can't imagine what that is all about.

So back to my fire, red wine and book.....it's very chilled for me...I puzzle about Gouldjan....but my driving licence is very precious for me...I can't take the risk...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 3, 2014, 7:29pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 3rd November

Caught the sun this morning hiding behind the clouds and it took until this afternoon before it became obvious.  I lit the fire as it became cold as I sat reading and that's when in all went ladies anatomy heading skywards.  I just couldn't get it to go with an humph...and there was smoke belching from every orifice so I let it go down and dismantled everyone of the pipes from the petchka and found that there was a soot fall in the downstairs clearing hole.  Cleared that out and checked the pipes going up as far as I could and down and even used a lighted candle to see if there was a draft up the chimney and there was so put it all back together again and there is still smoke, al be it not as much coming out of the bottom clearing hole.  I think it needs more investigation but the fire is going tonight and it's as well...the temperature is dropping.

So by the time that all that was done it was getting on for four of the clock so I prepared onions, carrots, leeks and potatoes and into the oven with them for roasted vegetables putting a few chicken wings in another container and eventually popping them on top of the vegetables.  Delicious supper and a little red to see it on its way.  Need a man on the roof to check out the chimney..I might be having to make a few phone calls...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 4, 2014, 5:30pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 4th November

I do not make any excuses for no photos today....my day just didn't turn out as expected!!

It was a dull morning so I decided to take Beauty in for it's winter check and get the anti-freeze and anything pertaining to winter sorted.  I set off at about ten thirty and gave my student's mum her present. She'd ordered and received two small own pressed metal coat hooks from the internet.  On Friday in Zlatograd I found a couple of wooden chopping boards that had lovely markings on them so I'd put some olive oil in them to bring out the colour and wiped that off and polished them with wax polish that I'd made in England a long time ago.  They were perfect for what she wanted to do with them....another success.  I sat down with her for a while and then headed off to their garage for the checks to be made, all done at the cost of five leva and back to the shop and we sat chatting until about twelve thirty.  We left the shop and headed for the bus station as she was expecting a delivery via the Kardjali bus but the driver had nothing to give her.....On the way to the bus station I spotted Haciber with a friend and she asked me if I was going home and I said yes but give me five minutes.  

I found them on the way back and we got in the car and was delivering us to our village when I noticed that the battery light was flashing on and off and guessed that I had a problem.  Dropped them both off, came into the house clutching the Clio manual but unfortunately it's iin German so using Google Translate I was trying to find out if I could drive it safely back to the garage so a telephone call later to the garage resulted in me going back to Djebel.  As I thought...it was the alternator and they also discovered a small hole in one of the water pipes and fortunately I'd remembered to take my Kindle so sat out in the sun until it went down but as it did the temperature dropped severely....I was frozen.  The bill for the work and parts...fifty eight leva....but had to go to the cash point and paid at the shop leaving my money with my student.

Stopped off at the supermarket and got a French stick and a spicy sausage so that I could make a quick supper.  Got home by six thirty, fire lit and I still have a problem with leaking smoke to be sorted tomorrow, supper cooked and eaten and that's not bad in an hour.  There's a beautiful moon tonight...not quite full yet but will be in a few days....and I reckon that there'll be a frost tonight.  I'm now going to pour a glass of the red stuff....and that's something else that won't be going wrong with Beauty over the winter..

There's a quiet day planned for tomorrow.....LN
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Elsa Peters
November 5, 2014, 4:22pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 5th November

And no gunpowder treason or plot or even the hint of a firework tonight.  Strange here...they save them all for New Year's Eve and weddings and I'm sure that a Roman Candle will set fire to a bride's dress one of these days.

Pea souper again this morning and couldn't even see the bottom of the garden.  It was fairly nippy and there appeared to be a slight ground frost.  Took the pipes out again this morning and couldn't manage to get my carving knife any higher up to find the blockage in the chimney so it's still dismantled and I gave in....I phoned Bekir and explained the problem and I'm picking them both up in the morning.  Sally can get started on the trench in the next door's garden to lay the drainage pipe so that my new workshop doesn't get flooded again.  Now that the wood's all packed away in there I just don't want any floods when the snow falls.  Prevention and all that....I've only had the pipe for eight months or so...time it was laid.  Bekir's other job is to sort out the dripping downstairs toilet...we bought those bits must have been a month or six weeks ago so again...time for action.  

Made a huge pot of leek and potato soup this morning and will freeze it down later.  Read for the afternoon in the sun and suppose I could have gone out and gardened but it was a lovely day for a wind down but then realised that if they are doing the other chimney which is what I want them to do....I needed to move the freezer to its winter spot so that I can bring in the other wood burning cooker.  It's a good reserve  if the electricity goes off and I can't run the biggie.  Freezer moved, floor cleaned and little cupboards emptied of all that carrier bags that you seem to accumulate here, they'll start my bonfire tomorrow.

Not too bad in the house tonight with no heating...everything's battened down and the curtains are closed where there are curtains so the heat is retained.  It would have melted icebergs this afternoon.     I'm going to get  snuggled up....out for the men tomorrow at eight and it's almost like getting back to normal.  I've lost about six weeks this year by putting out a helping hand to others.  One day I might learn....LN....I think a spicy sausage might be added to some of the soup tonight...time to eat...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 6, 2014, 4:59pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 6th November

Happy birthday to my DIL and hope you have a wonderful day....

Last night without the fire burning I still managed to go to sleep on the sofa clutching my book.  I was dreaming so heavily I was unsure whether I was in the UK or Bulgaria...a really strange feeling but eventually came to and wended my weary way upstairs but not much sleep in me by this point so it was back to the book and a little Angry Birds until one this morning and then out like a light until six thirty and I was a little cold.  Fluffed up the duvet but realised that it was time for a coffee and that I had to be ready to be on my bike to pick up the men.  What a lovely feeling.  They've worked so hard this summer which is unusual and they are obviously doing me a favour now.  

So flagged down the bread van as I drove to pick up the men and bought bread and breakfast for me and the boys.  It was a kiss on the cheek greeting from both of them and they were obviously pleased to be back.  Emula came round as did my Avatar to see them and there were various horns tooting as they went past. Bekir's first job was to sort the chimneys out and using various pieces of equipment strung together with metal and dangling from a rope I provided proved to be insufficient.  Eventually we had to resort to two long pieces of wood nailed together so that it would go the whole depth of the building and the tools of the trade needed to appear in the wet room downstairs.  I stood at the ready with a dustpan and brush which proved insufficient too so I got a big plastic container which we filled.  It all comes down to the rain that we had which saturated the chimney and caused the fire to burn really slowly and form great chunks of rubbish up where I couldn't reach them.  All sorted now....I have a fire going and no smoke at all apart from that making its way up the proper channels and out into the ether.  Result and thank you Bekir.  So he actually sorted the second chimney out and this is for a fire in the kitchen not connected at all to the one in the corridor which runs the central heating.  On this one, and the pipes have all been sorted I can cook and I had to have a driving lesson from Bekir on it......There's a lever that you pull if you want to bypass the hotplates and use the oven....technology at the cutting edge.  I didn't get a certificate but might do tomorrow...

Meanwhile at the back of the workshop...Sally is removing the soil backed up against my workshop/garage wall and digging for victory finding yet more polythene mines and bits of concrete.  Sally is a diamond...he just keeps going.  Lunchtime and we appear to be surrounded by three kittens.  Now I know Sally likes them and Bekir hates and we have information that they belong to one of the old guys along the road.  Just got them back to work again and Haceber arrives with a dish of rice and meat and this is for all of us and since Emula has arrived back from goodness knows where, we all sit down to sample from the dish celebrating a month after their meat festival.  Since we've all had lunch it's a bit of a half hearted attack on it but Bekir has taken the remainder for his dogs....nothing wasted.

Into Djebel for more of the black stuff for the water proofing, bought a pair of wellies from the shop, the man had delivered the ballast for the outside rendering of the wall and tomorrow we go down to the yard to collect the rest of the supplies.  Lovely moon tonight taking the men back.  It's full and big but by the time that I got back the clouds had come over and no sign of it now....No need for supper...meat and rice is still with me and a glass of the red stuff is sitting on my desk as I type.  LN..I'm going to get in front of the fire now that I don'e need a smog mask to do it...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 7, 2014, 5:46pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 7th November

Six thirty start...book at the ready and read until seven supping my coffee.  Checked out on my emails and suddenly realised it was Friday when I had in a specific Friday email.  Watched some of the video's about reincarnation and suddenly realised that if I didn't get my A into G...the men would be left standing and I'd not get any work done today.

Down to the materials yard and got some white porous material for wrapping up the drainage pipe and the men got going on it straight away.  The pipe is in place, the waterproofing is stuck to the wall with metal meshing and some of the var and cement skimming is in place.  Good day's work by the men.  Sally still gets the best jobs like loading and pushing the wheelbarrow while Bekir treads down the stuff but I think he knows this.  It's good that I can joke with him at this level.  Bekir has also trimmed the workshop door so that it now closes and I told him not to take too much off it ...it's damp and it's going to shrink in the summer.

I still have my little kitten that decided that it would go on an adventure and somehow found itself on the upper windowsill of the garage and meowed to get lifted down....Tough...you got up there but the problem was solved when it lost its footing and headed down to the garage floor...eight left.

Gouldjan paid me a visit and the man in the next village has asked me to see if he can find anyone to buy a property he has for sale....so if anyone is interested...message me.  It's a former kindergarten and does need a lot of work.  Gouldjan is off for three days 'education' in Plovdiv....and the EU is funding it.  Money for told rope so to speak...somebody should be really looking into this.

So lit the fire before I took the men home...toasty when I got back but so far...no need to get supper under way.  I had baked beans on toast and worked some of it off doing gardening this afternoon but not all of it.  Got a glass of the red stuff in hand so I'll say LN....no need to search the kitchen so far...it might happen later...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 8, 2014, 5:39pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 8th November

Latish start and it feels like a Wednesday and I ought to be picking up the men...only had them for two days.  Read for a while, got onto the computer and did emails and facebook and suddenly the time had flown.  Daily Mail sudoku was loaded late so down for breakfast and went out and viewed the estate and tried to work out a plan of campaign for today.  Remsier called in when she saw me sitting at the table and we chatted for about fifteen minutes until my Bulgarian ran out.

So what could I do today?  The list was endless but I decided to get the bonfire going which meant stripping it out and depositing the debris at the bottom of the garden and then I tackled the wood that was chopped up by my guest and never moved.  The little stuff is in the workshop drying out and the other I shall attempt next week.  Enough for one day.

Eventually the fire lit and got rid of some of the rubbish, cleared out the lilac garden bed where the zinnias had been knocked flat by the wind and moved a wild Philadelphus and found some more baby plants that needed moving.  Planted some tulips and daffodils into the space and we shall see what we shall see.  Good day in the garden but the bonfire still needs a bomb under it...maybe tomorrow afternoon after my student.  Haciber came round today and gave me some Noah's pudding and she was impressed that I knew what it was thanks to my student's parents preparing it last year.  It's to commemorate Noah's arrival on Mt. Arafat and is made with fruit, grain and all the left overs from the voyage while they were waiting for the water to subside.  It's also a very special day for Muslims but the handing over of the dish is to break health and love to the receiver....I am well blessed with my neighbours....

In at five and lit the fire.  Supper of chicken wings, red onion and potatoes went in and should be ready soon....I like it because it cooks itself.  Seven thirty my time and supper is smelling delicious....student tomorrow and it's been a pretty good day for photoshoots.  LN....I'll post then eat my fill...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 9, 2014, 5:53pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 9th November

Five thirty start this morning and settled in with the Kindle,  There was no sunlight, moonshine, starlight  and I didn't blame it on the boogie.  Just a miserable start to the morning and it was raining when I set off for my students.  It's not cold but the dampness makes it appear that way.

So the food started as soon as I got there and my student brought out some spice flavoured bulgar wheat and baklava for afters to have with the morning coffee.  It was actually called Kuftee and I asked if there was any meat in it and why wasn't it cooked but apparently it is kneaded for about ten hours before the consistency is considered correct.  All the food was brought back from Turkey by the father who'd managed to get a week away visiting his wife's relatives over there.  The kuftee is yet again another acquired taste.  

Settled down for lunch at twelve and it was filo pastry stuffed with rice, leeks and white cheese and it was the first time I'd had this.  Pudding was a fresh pomegranate dissected and served in little dishes with a spoon but I just can't managed to get the seeds down and had to deposit them in a serviette.  It was visitors all the way today,  Firstly the mother's brother, then a young friend who is in university in Plovdiv and finally an eighty three year old ex school teacher...We had yet more food arrive from one of the neighbours but this was Noah's pudding but the savoury version and apparently you have to put in seven different ingredients.  The dish was served and the spoons came out but since we hadn't long eaten it was soon moved into the kitchen for later.

Sat around until just before four and headed for home.  Wood in, ashes sorted, fire lit and got changed into my lounging PJ's by about five.  I'm reading Detective Harry Bosch by Michael Connelly and I'm on to number five in the series.  So far interesting story lines.  

Sorry, no photos today...there was only a hint of sun and by the time I got home the light was rapidly fading.  Men tomorrow if the weather holds...Sally has to finish the wall and Bekir has to mend the toilet...LN....it's bish Bosch...off we go again...LN
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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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