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Elsa Peters
November 11, 2014, 1:48pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 10th November

Four thirty start and I was insomnia...where exactly is Insomnia?  Is it a country I've not heard of and are many people there.  So I read for a while, played Angry Birds for a while, more reading and then suddenly realised it was seven twenty and had to get a move on to wash, dress and generally get ready for the men.

Had a bit of a dice with the mobile bread van this morning and kept going from stop to stop expecting him to be at the next but got it wrong...I met him between two pit stops so carried on and bought bread in the men's village. I do like their bread.  I;ve not yet done an analysis as to whose bread is the best and who bakes it...one day.  Men loaded and back to mine...Sally continued on with his wall while Bekir had a myriad of jobs to do from the 'must do before winter pile'.  Toilet fixed, curtain rail in the lounge put up, siliconed where it needed to be applied ad the outside screen to stop the snow and the weather bashing against the front door was erected.  Poor Sally was left to fen for himself.  I think Bekir was supposed to help him but I kept the pressure on.

Emula came round today and asked to borrow the foot pump.  Apparently the tyres on Atatar's son's car were down and the ladies were off to town and Emula was the driver. I joked with him about not being invited for a ladies day out at the market but it was in one ear and out of the other and I'm not sure there's much to stop it.  So pump returned, off they went and they got back just before the bus....They could have gone by bus instead...

Now we joked about the 'lemon'.  The man said that it was a lemon, I've believed all summer that it's a lemon but Bekir firmly believed that it was a Clementine.  So the final test was carried out on the terrace with knife and chopping board on one of the fruits...guess what...it's a lemon so humble pie is called for but not sure it they have any in the fridge...!!

So Bekir's work...curtain rail up in the lounge and I realised that the curtains 'went' but I think the new material for the sofa will go much better so tomorrow into Kardjali with the Librarian to get some more and keeping fingers crossed that it's still available.    Men dropped off, fire lit and supper tonight was fillet steak with red onions on a sandwich and it was delicious.  OK so fillet steak seem expensive but I get five fillets out of a whole fillet costing thirteen leva (about six pounds) and I don't call that bad.

Now down to the fire and my Kindle....it's been a good day and a heart to heart about requirements for next year left me really positive.  He appreciates that four years of working together cannot be swept away...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 11, 2014, 11:09pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 11th November

Six start and managed to get up, get showered and dressed by seven.  My hair was in a serious state of disrepair and I was off to the big city today.  Picked up the men and down to the materials yard for yet more Var to finish off the coating for the wall and only just managed to pay with loose change which didn't go down very well but we had a giggle with it...I think I was about twenty stotinki short!!

Back home and was awaiting a call from the Librarian since the arrangement was to meet her in Djebel.  At nine fifteen her car pulls up and she was looking worried...she said she'd phone three times and there hadn't been a reply so I suggested she phoned again while I stood by her and mine didn't ring. .....I phoned her and it did ring so goodness knows who she was dialing!!  Into Kardjali and to the material shop and bought more of my swirly material and some brown lining to make my curtains and it's a tomorrow job, into my favourite cheap clothes shop, shopping in Kaufland and home for just after two.  Lunch, she disappeared home, the material arrived to insulate the little house and for the under eaves filler and so I had to go back into Djebel to get enough money from the bank so that I can pay for it tomorrow morning after I pick up the men.

Men home, lit the fire before we left and it was chugging away beautifully by the time I got back.   A full stomach of ham and chippies required rest and I fell asleep reading my book in front of the fire and that's why the daily update is late.... I got a few zzz's in before the bewitching hour...and there are no photos...sorry, it's just been too busy a day....LN...  back to reading since I've just finished the first sleep shift and I have to wait until there's enough sleep in me to start the second.....LN
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Elsa Peters
November 12, 2014, 5:31pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 12th November

Before I go to sleep in front of the roaring log fire...I'm going to do my update....it was hard work trying to string two sentences together last night at my midnight...

So after my sleep last night and waiting for the second shift to arrive, I eventually settled off at four after finishing my book and thought that I might possibly sleep through and miss the men but all was well.  I woke at seven fifteen, straight into the routine and I was there for eight.  Bekir comes leaping over which is really unusual and asks me to take my car over to the well because the suitcases thus stowed were very heavy and as instructed I complied.  There was another man with him so I asked if I had another worker knowing full well that I was a taxi to the main road so that the man could catch one of the buses going to Turkey. Dropped him off at the top of the lane and found out on the way to the materials yard that it was his brother in law going back to Izmir.  So down to the yard to pay my latest bill and I handed it to Bekir to check out that it was correct and we headed back home on fresh air and I was waiting for the fuel warning light to come on but it didn.t.  

The men decided that they were going to play jigsaws with the house insulation and it's a bit like cut and paste.  Bekir was caught out a couple of times when he put the adhesive on the wrong side...it's all to do with coupling...the man and the woman and he tried to couple two men....or two women...I wasn't sure which was which.  All was going well until we had to get some of the  lesser width stuff so into Djebel we went and now I have a blue and green house that will be insulated and finished tomorrow.  How's that for business.  We used a new one this time.  The other white insulation is quite soft to the touch this one is rock hard...more expensive but worth it.  Sally meanwhile was using Bezir on the wood which is a great insect deterrent /killer before they cut and put under eaves.  Started the curtains but I think I need a heavier header tape so I'll review tomorrow.

The kitten has been around all day today but tonight it's gone back to where it came from....let's see how long it takes to make it back here.  Emula decided that he wanted to come to the men's village for the ride but I think the men were too knacked to give him much slack tonight.  He was talking all the way but getting few replies.

Home for six fifteen, liver in onions gravy with added read wine and mashed potatoes and I was sitting down to it at six fifty.  Such an easy meal to knock up.   Lots of good work achieved today from all of us. Worked out thought that we've been overcharged for the insulation...quantity was mixed up with area coverage...I am fifty one leva in credit...

Down to the fire...about to start a new book...and tonight I'll make sure that I'm in my bed before my eyelids head south...LN   

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Elsa Peters
November 13, 2014, 7:14pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 13th November

Again it was one of those four o'clock starts.  I read until six and then closed my eyes and cat napped until just before seven and prepared to get the men.  It was a dull old morning and took a slow drive there and waited for the men to appear out of the cafe.  We went down to the materials yard to pick up one or two things that they wanted and to claim my credit for the short delivery of one of the items yesterday.  Thirty nine leva back to me but I knew it wouldn't be long before that was gone.

They started work, I went inside and made a bacon and egg sandwich and Bekir called me out to show me that I would need to get some more of the stuff that they coat the outside insulation with because if we used the one that we'd got, it wouldn't be the same colour as my existing house and he knew they'd be issues with it.  The washing had just finished so I thought I'd hang it out before I went to get the new stuff that they wanted but there was an inkling of rain so that went upstairs on the clothes airer.

In to Djebel, got the curtain header tape to make the lounge curtains, took the phone in to be unlocked so that I could change the sim card over from my old phone, bought a new battery for it and headed to my clothes shop to kill some time.  Found a fabulous leather coat and asked the lady to put it on the scales and it came out at fifteen leva and I couldn't refuse it....that's me sorted for winter then.

Back to Djebel and picked up the requirements for the men but by this time it had really started chucking it down.  Fortunately they were working under the roof eaves and not getting so drenched but I said the if they wanted to go early, just to let me know but they stuck it out until five.  I'd put a chicken and jacket in at four and a baked apple so by the time I got back from dropping off the men it was six and my supper was ready. I feel absolutely stuffed and it won't be long tonight before my head hits that pillow but I'm delaying it as long as I can....I'm tired of these silly o'clock starts.

The photo call will come tomorrow...Bekir is going to phone as to whether they are going to work tomorrow or not...the weather forecast doesn't look promising and they have outside work to do.  LN...I'm going back to my fire and my book...sounds like I might have an easy day tomorrow if the weather stays the same as today...LN
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Elsa Peters
November 14, 2014, 3:28pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 14th November

So this morning I was waiting for a call from Bekir to see if they were working or not and it didn't happen.  Swapping my phone over yesterday I wondered if he was having problems getting through so I decided to phone him only to find out that the numbers had been stored on my old phone not on the sim card so struggled with getting the back off the old phone, changing over the sim card, updating the sim card with the phone contacts and eventually got through to him at just before eight and it was raining there as much as it was raining here so we agreed that Monday would be a better idea.  They would have been wet through in quicksticks and I would have been taking them home early to dry off.

Got the fire going...it was a cold miserable day and had visions of getting loads done and in fact I've done very little.  My unusual sleep pattern over the last couple of weeks must have got through to me and I've had a couple of naps today but hopefully not enough that I don't get a good night's sleep in tonight.  Used up the liver and potatoes putting them in the slow cooker this morning with a can of cannellini beans and chilli powder and having a thick soup with toast for lunch and stuffed to the gills.

Reading this afternoon.  I did attempt the curtains, the iron is up to turn over and press the header tape in place but I gave up on because I really need to clear my desk to get a good run at them.  They are over two meters wide each and two fifty long and tomorrow is another day.  Kindle is out of juice so thought I'd get in an early update and my new Kindle needs to have the books updated to sync with the little one.

So the photo shoot didn't produce any gems...not much to photo today...damp dreary and cold but it should be better tomorrow according to the forecast.  I'll wait and see.....LN

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linda g
November 15, 2014, 3:28pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Elsa, love pics, but looks like winter is nearly upon you. Austria have already had some snowfall according to my daughter. nearly a metre in 24hrs a week or so ago. any way take care. Loads of hugs from OZ.xx
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Elsa Peters
November 15, 2014, 5:16pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 15th November

Well yes Linda...I thought so too but it cleared up theis afternoon and there was a hint of sun.  The wind was cold though so it could change just as rapidly.    

Seven start this morning so despite my snoozes yesterday I had one of the best sleeps for ages so I must have needed it.  Breakfast was only toast and I decided to light the little woodburner in the kitchen today to give it a try out before I really need it.  It was slow to get started and that's probably because I haven't got the hang of it but I put the remains of the chicken with a curry sauce in the oven part of it and the bones I put on one of the hot plates to turn into soup tomorrow.  It sort if worked but I need to get the hang of the damper thingy at the front....it sends the heat either to the oven or to the hotplates and I need to get the wood chopped smaller.  Lovely surprise today...Haciber's son who works in Sweden brought me back a tin of Swedish ginger biscuits that I love...such a sweetie...   Looked down the garden and there were five cows enjoying the greenery and I saw red.  I knew that part of the fence down there was a little suspect but one of the biggies decided that it was fair game and managed to break down the defences but got really stuck on the barbed wire as I chase it out.  The others were tentative but eventually they followed the leader and I set about repairing it but using the bush that the locals use to fill the gaps.  I'd got one of them growing at the top of the garden so cut down about four branches of the thing and filled in the gaps.  They came back, viewed the repairs and walked on...I'd done it right.

The bottle of wine came out at lunchtime, I got into and finished the book and the curtains still remain sitting on the top landing with the scissors but the side of them.  Tomorrow is a day out with Cinderella and we're out for lunch and so no visit to my student's tomorrow but the trade off is that we go to Plovdiv next Saturday to visit her friends that are at university there.  

Supper was delicious...chicken curry with mango chutney and lime pickle, washing up done, wine is done so it looks like finishing off with a little beer and wood is in.  I got a little confused because I couldn't find the next been in the series so I had to go into the CD of the Kindle books to locate it.  It said it was there but I couldn't find it despite several flashing though the pages.  So it's there now...onwards to the next.  LN....the house is toastie and I'm set for the night....LN

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Elsa Peters
November 16, 2014, 4:40pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 16th November

So it was a silly o'clock start this morning and I read for about an hour before I eventually managed to get off again but still up at seven thirty.  Sorted out the chicken stock and it's in the fridge to do something with later, the remains of the chicken and rice is stashed in the freezer for another day, washed up the stock pot and all the things needed to get the bones out of soup and settled for toast for breakfast.

Today I was on chaperone duties.  Gouldjan was examining her boyfriend on his culinary skills after he'd bragged that he did a pretty mean moussaka and creme caramel so he was put to the test today.  I picked her up at eleven and we set off towards Krumovgrad and it's a good way I know the way.  She doesn't drive so I'm asking her which way to go and she knows that she goes through Momchilgrad and that was about it and she'd arranged for the boyfriend to meet us on the main road and we followed to the house.  Now the neighbours were watching out.  The boyfriend lives on his own in his parent's house since they live in Istanbul and I don't think he has many visitors especially in a big four by four driven by a woman who is bringing another younger woman into the property.  We sat in the one room with the woodburner and it makes me glad that I've gone for the central heating.  He cooked lunch for us and he definitely passed the test and he even gave us doggie bags to take home with us saying that there was no way he was going to manage to eat all that he'd prepared.  

So this afternoon she was shown off to grandma and an uncle and aunt with me still playing chaperone.  They're both thirty five but still fairly  old fashioned in outlook and quite refreshingly so.  Grandma was lovely and at eighty three quite chirpy and the daughter in law told me that she has a daughter in the language school in Kardjali and that she could do with some lessons to improve her English.  I might be able to point her in the right direction.

Dropped Gouldjan off and I gave her the doggie bag.....there's more chance of it being eaten there than here.  Avatar and Haciber were out in the street with some other women so I approached them thinking that there was a problem.  No everything was fine and as I set off back to my house my Avatar called me back and gave me one of her frothy pancakes and I munched it as I walked back to the car to get it into the drive.  Fire lit....a little mastica on the go tonight and no need for supper after a good lunch and a mekitsa (pancake).  No photos again sorry....the hills were shrouded in mist and I could have been anywhere....LN...will try and do better tomorrow.... ...LN
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Elsa Peters
November 17, 2014, 8:05pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 17th November

Sleepless night....if I managed an hour all night that would have been pushing it.  Today would have been my sister's birthday so just sending her a thought.

Thinking this morning that there would be no men again because of the weather but I set off regardless at the allotted hour.  It was spitting with rain here but on the way it chucked it down and I wondered if it was going to be a fruitless journey but in their village it was the same as mine.  There was a little blue sky on the way which eventually turned into a November watery sky but without the water.  It took me back to school days where my compositions for exams always seemed to start with the same phrase regarding the November sun.  And so back to mine.....the men set about filling in the gap between the edge of the roof and the wall with wood and that's taken them all day to do.  It also means that it's not windproof and pest proof.  As for me...the lounge curtains are up and only need the bottoms turning up.  I'm letting them hang for a week or so...they're very big and heavy and probably will fall so no point in doing a job twice.  Soup also in for tonight but it's still in the slow cooker ....I caught up with two of last night's sleepless hours and have just come to...

Winter skies this morning and tonight captured and about to be posted....two toads have been moved on from under the winter decking by the front door and the planking has been filled in so that the little beauties can't get under it again.  I'm sure I moved one of them out before but he came back with his mate.  Men home, fire going not so well but I could feel cold because I've just woken up...going down to tend to fire and dish up the soup....and hopefully the brain will quieten down enough to let me get in my sleep quota tonight...LN and fingers crossed.....in fact...everything crossed...LN

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Elsa Peters
November 18, 2014, 9:32pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 18th November

Finally a good night's sleep coming to at six thirty this morning.  Out for the men, bacon and egg sandwich for me to set me up for the day and their work has been to finish off the under roof eaves and then prepare the rest of the outside insulation for skimming.  Today's was rather challenging for them and lots of fiddly stuff going on.  Round the windows and doors there was plastic edging to put on and I mentioned that it was more like a couple of sharpshooters had been through where they had put the plaster stuff over the plastic plugs.  

I've had a day of bits...bits of this and that and I've repotted the plants from the bathroom that had outgrown what they were originally planted in, rescued a cushion filling from the little house and recovered it, sawn a small chunk of the sofa so that it could be moved along the wall in the lounge and moved the bookcase so that I can have the curtains against the wall instead of over the patio light switch.  Dug over part of the vegetable garden as well getting rid of the old pumpkin and tomato plants and most of the weeds and put the cloche frames over the broad beans so that I can keep the snow away when it eventually gets here.  

Emula came round begging a cigarette from Bekir and he's been enlisted to move the remains of the old gate posts tomorrow and his fee will be more cigarettes and coffee I expect.  Chicken wings out of the freezer this afternoon and into the remains of yesterdays vegetable soup with lots of curry powder and into the oven with it while I took the men home with Emula coming along for the ride.  With three men in the car I really have so sort out what they call the rubber dampers on the suspension tomorrow....it was fair creaking on the way there but not so bad on the way back.

Supper was good...unfortunately I fell asleep over my book in front of the fire hence the late update but nicely relaxed and soon be into my bed and keeping fingers crossed for another good night.  LN..get some photos on and then off I can go...LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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