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January 25, 2015, 10:37pm Report to Moderator
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Sorry you're having trouble with your flues Elsa , especially at this time of year. I know its probably not something you can change at the moment but reducing the number of bends (or at least using 120s instead of 90s) should improve things as would using twin-walled flue pipe. Hope you talented handyman gets it sorted out for you
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Elsa Peters
January 26, 2015, 5:09pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 26th January

I'm a happy bunny.  Thanks for the advice Tabs but my man sorted it and by eleven thirty I was able to try it out and everything as it should be. I removed the pipes this morning and got most of the kit ready and set off at just after nine thirty this morning to fetch Bekir from his village.  He came bearing gifts this morning.  Ten eggs from his hens and some salt sheep meat that he had made himself from one of his own sheep and this morning I was having honey at seven from his own bees.  Such a talented and busy man.

So out came the brush from my 'magazine' and two four meter lengths of wood from my supplies and with a hammer and nails, the brush was secured to one of the pieces of wood and then up to the roof.  I showed Bekir my attempt at a solution and his comment was that I'd used my head but obviously my attempt was not strong enough since the bung was way up the chimney.  Up he went on to the roof with the equipment and balancing on the apex the one piece of wood was forced down the chimney and when the four meters were gobbled up the next four meter length was nailed in place and I was in the wet room waiting for the brush to appear ....and it did.  Now I was amazed that there was so little blocking the chimney, I collected it up in one of my metal bowls  and showed it to Bekir.  The reason it blocked?  Running the fire without much heat in it and the weather being so damp forced the smoke to form into clinker.  So tools returned to the 'magazine' for the next time, little relax with coffee and a walk round the garden and then I dropped him home.  

Since I was near to the Librarian's village I gave her a call to see if I could pop round for a coffee and I did.  As you know we've had loads of rain and everything is waterlogged and as I went up her lane and started to turn round I knew it was a wrong move and I got stuck...wouldn't go forward or back so I locked it up, went to the house and fortunately she's got a Surf and she towed me out and down we went to her village motel for lunch.  Lovely leisurely lunch with coffee and it was as well, as we came out a police car was carrying out speed checks and was very busy on a very straight stretch of road.  

Home for four...lit the fire and it's going well ....not wanting anything to eat since lunch of hamburgers, salad and cheesy chips has done the trick and should last me through until tomorrow.  Exciting day ...one way and another....and tonight I'm going to hot up the water and relax in a bath.  Soot and smoke always seem to linger so I'm going to wash it all away....LN...and then book and a bed...LN  



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Elsa Peters
January 27, 2015, 5:05pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 27th January

So happy birthday to my grandson CJ today.  Sixteen and where did those years go.....answers on a postcard please...

Seven thirty start and not much to see but clouds for miles so into the kitchen for my orange/lemon drink with honey and salt and then onto the the pc.  Suddenly looked up and was surprised to see it was snowing but there didn't look much chance of it sticking since the ground was so wet.  It stopped as quickly as it started and it's been pretty much like that all day.  I didn't bother with the fire since the house had held the temperature from last night but watched a couple of the morning tv programmes but drew the line at Jeremy Kyle.  At that point it was definitely time to get wood and coal in and light the fire.  Realised that I needed fuel too so found a spicy sausage lingering in the fridge, a red onion so into the frying pan with them and made an enormous omelette which kept me going until I sat down to read this afternoon and a packet of ginger biscuits came out.....and are no more.

Put my phone on charge since it had given up the ghost and immediately three messages came through and one of them was in Bulgarian and it was from a document delivery company and a telephone number for me to call.  I asked him if he spoke English but between us we managed to arrange the delivery time and I gave him instructions as to where the house was in the village.  He called when he pulled up outside and in the text it mentioned that there was a delivery charge and I queried this saying that surely the solicitor would be picking up the charges to which he replied that in Bulgaria they don't pick up anything.  Fortunately he gave me a receipt and this will be cross charged....

Back to watching Doctor House this afternoon.  It is so wet and cold outside that there is nothing I can do.  I have lots of ideas for things that I want to do but the weather dilutes enthusiasm and maybe I will feel more motivated tomorrow. I have cushion covers to make for my student's mum and some leather that I want to make into a handbag.  I'll sleep on it and take a rain check in the morning.  So seven my time and time to put this beauty to bed....now that there is a really brilliant fire going, I'm going to cosy up....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 28, 2015, 6:52pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 28th January

Seven forty this morning and even I was amazed at the wakeup time.  Orange lemon drink to start off the day and didn't even bother with coffee this morning.  Maybe it's an obsession that could bite the dust.

It was on zero this morning with not a hint of sun in the sky and that was the way it remained all day.  It did managed to get up to five degrees by late this afternoon and dried off the terraces but that was all it managed to do.  Haciber has been busy today and I have had two visits from her with mekitsi or frothy pancakes.  I think she is celebrating something religious...a mevlit...for someone who's passed over but I'm not sure who.  On the second visit this afternoon she also delivered some chocolates from Turkey and told me that her sister was visiting from Izmir so that she was really busy...she has gosti....guests.

So I decided to do something today and have made the four cushion covers for my student's mum.  She wanted to give her lounge a new look and I showed her the material on Friday and I'll deliver them tomorrow.  Not a bad turn around, the problem was starting the job and it only took a couple of hours to make them.

Got my head down this afternoon.  At four I felt really tired despite having a good night's sleep and was out for about an hour.  The fire was just hanging in there when I woke up so a bit of poking and we were soon back to something worth writing about.  Damp cold weather I don't do very well but it looks like it's in for the week.  Just watched Eggheads and I still find the programme enlightening but the new faces take some getting used to.  Some of the oldies will take some replacing.

Nine my time and the day has whizzed by today....nearly at the end of another month....and I shall be counting my logs soon to check that I have enough for another two months since the long term weather seems to believe that March will be a cold one.  I've still got a fair few that need splitting so come on Bekir...bring my ax back with its new handle.  LN...down to the warmth and to find something for supper...LN



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Elsa Peters
January 29, 2015, 5:09pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 29th January

Up at five so read for a while and back to sleep until eight.  Trouble is the morning seems to have gone when you've done the morning chores and gone on to the pc to do catch-up.  It was nine before I realised.  Normal orange but without the lemon this morning...it's on my list for today.  I did smell the bottled stuff and gave it a miss...not like Jiff.

Got upstairs and into morning tv but I was busy taking apart a pair of suede trousers that I picked up for two leva from my special shop. They're at the stage now when then are unpicked and at the design stage.  I'm not sure how it's going to work out so I parked the trousers, got dressed for the cold and town and picked up my cushion covers that are awaiting delivery.  Drove in and the cushions were gratefully received and the comment was that they looked very professional....and that was nice to know.

Over to Kardjali and my shop is undergoing a revamp and the only thing that I came out with was a long coat for three leva and now that I'm back I've brought it into this century by removing the shoulder pads.  Apart from that it's... tres chic...   Forgot top mention that I came back to four cows in my garden tonight..I have work to do tomorrow...keeping the bastards out...

Took a long time to light the fire tonight and it depends on the direction of the wind and it was obviously in the wrong direction.  Anyway...solved now and it's belting that heat round the house.  Chicken legs in the oven with potatoes and onions in a separate pan...easy to cook and really easy to eat.  I'm about to put an apple in to bake when the chicken comes out....let's make use of the residual heat.  Seven my time...time for TV and catch up..LN...I'm in to my evening....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 30, 2015, 4:58pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 30th January

Five o'clock start, thirty minutes with a book and then off again until ten to eight.  Pretty dull start with a cold wind and the thermometer showing just on zero and it looked as if there wasn't going to be any improvement.  

I went on to the computer and played around for a while and my Avatar arrived with some eggs and fresh yogurt and I found some wool out and offered it to her.  She asked how much and I said that it was free and she said she didn't want it so I asked her to knit me some of their little slippers and so she took it.  I don't know how many pairs I'll have...   Went back to the computer but couldn't get anywhere with the Daily Mail sudoku....and I had several shots at it before I managed it...there were just so may variables.  I suddenly realised how cold it had got so I had to light the fire.....and I knew that there was going to be no help from the sun.

I carried on unpicking the seams of the trousers and it was pretty slow since the cotton is very strong.  I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with the suede but until all the pieces are dismantled I shan't be able to decide how best to do it.  I looked at the clock and wondered where the day had gone...it was three o'clock already. I banked up the fire and headed to the kitchen and settled on fish fingers, mashed potatoes and peas but I put the mashed potatoes over the  fish fingers and peas and topped it off with cheese and stuck it under the grill.  

Another visitor this afternoon....Haciber this time was round with a bag of goodies containing a croissant stuffed with hazelnuts, a chocolate bar, a pack of Turkish Delight and a packet of hand wipes.  These goodie bags are delivered to all neighbours to celebrate the passing of her husband.  Such a nice thought.

So fire burning brightly, the temperature is back to where it started this morning and the wind is horrendous tonight with clouds scudding over the moon.  It's going to be a rough old night....LN



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January 31, 2015, 4:29pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 31st January

Woke up last night reading...with my eyes closed in front of the fire and one thirty...straight to bed and slept through until eight this morning.  There was an horrendous wind last night as I said and I wondered if I was going to find destruction this morning but nothing.  I phoned the Librarian to make sure she was safe but she said that there was a lot of things moving in the night and she lost electricity.  Mine went off momentarily but it was back on in quicksticks and it was only off for fifteen minutes this morning.  It happened when I'd just filled the kettle to make coffee but I soon filled up the whistling thingy and lit the gas.  That's the beauty of having two gas rings and two electric.

Nine thirty my Avatar was knocking on the door and I was invited at eleven thirty this morning to another ladies' get together.  I looked out to the garden as I'd finished drying my hair and there were two cows in the garden...so down I went and sorted them out, over to Avatar's house and realised that she wasn't ready so I went back to mine, went into my workshop and came out with lengths of wood and the lump hammer.  Down to the bottom of the garden and managed to raise the fence and propped it up on the far side thumping in the supports to deter the bovines.  I also put the supports on my side so that pressure either way wouldn't allow them entrance to the garden.

So back to Avatars and clutching an home made banichka we walked down to the party house and I was accepted like a local.  I have problems listening and joining in with the Turkish but when they start in Bulgarian I'm OK.  I still have this amazing feeling that I'm watching the end of a generation.  Lunch was a series of courses that came and went very quickly and I've had indigestion ever since I got home.  Got the wood in but this time I got the old stuff from the little house and it's been super ever since I lit it.  I was upstairs watching the TV and I heard the door open so down I went and there was Gouldjan and her mother there who didn't want anything but Gouljan wants a lift into Djebel tomorrow.

So fire going beautifully ....I'm chilled with the world...there are no photos today...it would have been rude to take them at this afternoon's gathering so I'm going to say LN....
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