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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  MARCH 2015
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Elsa Peters
March 1, 2015, 2:12pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 1st March

Chestita Baba Marta and by now you should all know the story of welcoming the month of March with martenitsa given to family and friends.  Mine are in the post and I hope they arrive tomorrow.

Very silly night last night...I ended up watching the film Deva Vu with dream guy Denzel Washington....fascinating story but it didn't end until one thirty.  Unfortunately when I went to bed I wasn't in the least bit tired so read for about an hour and then remembered that the electricity had been off so I had to readjust the timer on the hot water so that I didn't run into the daytime tariff.  Eventually settled off at about four thirty and have felt a little jaded most of the day.

Seven ten start, fire still going and kept it in so that I could have a shower and dry off in front of it.  Sheer decadence.  Don't quite know where the morning went but at nine thirty I was showered and shampooed and trotted off down the road to return a dish to my Avatar and armed with a couple of martenitsas I was heading for Haceber's house when she suddenly appeared and as I put the band on her wrist, she was almost in tears.  I suppose when family is so far away as they are all working or living abroad, a kindly thought is very welcome.  We both walked into my Avatar's house and likewise...her family are all away and the band was gratefully received.  On to my students and bands were exchanged.  There are heading for a holiday period now and will not return to work until Thursday.  Unfortunately the elder sister works for a company that doesn't seem to respect holidays so she has to work.  

The parents were very busy in the garden...one hint of sun and spring and it's out with the dishcloths and cleansing stuff for the outside chairs.  I've see the weather forecast and I'm pretty slow to get started ....it's supposed to be snowing over the next couple of weeks but we seem to have heard it all before.  So far not much of a winter at all....a covering of snow, a few cold nights and that's been it.  As for the snow resorts....I think it's been a let down for them.

So back from my students and salvaged the fire yet again.....what a beautiful day it's been and it would have been good to have got in the garden but let's hope it's the same tomorrow.  Now it's out with the camera...I think there's a few worth capturing....
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Elsa Peters
March 1, 2015, 2:55pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday continued

The garden promenade....everything is coming to life again...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 2, 2015, 8:21pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 2nd March

Just before eight this morning so result.  It was fully misted over but I made a guess that it would clear up later so I stripped my bed down and got the bedding washed and out and my Avatar and Haciber were at my door at ten thirty just as I'd sat down to have a read listening to Neil Diamond.  I went out to greet them and you really have to prize out of them what they want and whether there is a problem or not but as it happened thee was a chureck (type of pancake) day down at one of my neighbours and I'd been invited so at eleven thirty I was there with my little rubber gardening shoes on.  Apparently this was to commemorate the passing of her husband.

I met my Avatar outside of her house and lots of the local women were there and jabbering away in Turkish and I'm quite used to sitting there listening and managing to catch a few of the words.  Now I took a seat and my Avatar had here seat ready for her.  She took up her place in front of the wood burner, got the oil going in a deep frying pan and she was knocking the dough back into little balls, flattening them out and dropping them into the far.  The hostesses daughter's job was to turn them over so that they browned on both sides and it was one out and one in and soon there was quite a heap of them.  The table was laid with yogurt and fig jam and a plate of the chureck was placed in the middle of the table.  Ladies came and went at various intervals and the food kept on coming and apparently those from the village that hadn't made the gathering would have theirs delivered later.  Avatar and myself left at the same time....I was ready to start work in the garden now that the sun had broken through.

I got going on the ex-wood pile just off the workshop terrace.  I trimmed the cranberry tree and dug out some of the prunus that had spread wildly over the garden.  The ground was so wet that they were so easy to remove and it's given me the impetus to get out there again tomorrow and attack more of the blessed things.  They just sucker up everywhere.

Washing in and aired it on the banister, bed made up and tonight I have a whole new bed to look forward to.  Supper was a spicy sausage with onions, tomato paste, chili sauce and served with pasta.  Just about to throw another log on the fire....the temperature is supposed to go down tonight.  Sun threatened for the next few days so I'll take advantage of it and work the garden.  Sorry but too busy to take pickies today...I'll grab some tomorrow....it didn't seem right to take any at this morning's gathering....LN
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Elsa Peters
March 3, 2015, 7:35pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 3rd March

National holiday in Bulgaria today...it's been one hundred and thirty seven years since it threw off the oppression and a lot of people headed for Shipka today.  I've been twice and the first time it was with a good friend and the mist was so dense that we never found it.  We found a decent restaurant and had lunch but never the monument.  The second time I climbed the tower and took in the history.

This morning was a six thirty start and the sun took a long time getting there.  I phone the garage and asked for them to order the glow plugs for the Beast.  I tried to turn it over this morning and still no go so I've called in the experts and the parts will be ordered tomorrow since it's a national holiday today.....I've told them there's no rush...in their own time.  Eventually the sun was up and it was really hot when it was out but you have to be out of the wind.  I cleared a lot of the wood from the old woodpile but once the wind got up I was grateful that the fire hadn't really taken hold.....I'll leave it for another day.  Moved a few shrubs round, dug over half of the vegetable parch and cleared the weeks from a couple of the flower beds being careful to avoid the bulbs that seem to be sprouting up everywhere.

Finished for lunch and had fish finger sandwiches with apple juice to wash it down and finished the final book by the author of my Stephanie Plum fame....and what a let down it was.  I now need to find another series so back to my disk.  Out to the garden again but it was still too windy to get the fire going.  Tools away by five thirty, lit the fire and nine thirty here now and I would ask where has the evening gone.    Another day in the garden tomorrow if the weather holds and I think the old pear tree has to come down and the olives from the bottom of the garden are going to make it nearer the house.  I think it's just too wet for them where they are and they're not looking too good so I think I'll move one and see.  

Soon be time for bed....LN



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linda g
March 4, 2015, 4:16pm Report to Moderator
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Chestita Baba Marta to you and your friends & neighbours Elsa.  Great photos as usual. Flowers look good even better when they come out fully. All good here still nice hot weather, some storms and beautiful sunsets. Take care luv reading your daily blogs. From us in OZ xx
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Elsa Peters
March 4, 2015, 6:21pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 4th March

Thanks Linda...I'll pass on the good wishes to my neighbours and I'm still handing out Baba Marta wrist bands and wearing mine with pride.

Six thirty start, cold outside and warm inside thanks to the fire that kept going all night.  Decided to throw another log on it even though I'd made my mind up to go into Kardjali to get the juice machine that my student and her sister had requested I pick up form Kaufland.  Walked down to my Avatar's house to check if she wanted anything and her order was for more oranges.  Emula was walking up the road as we stood chatting and he was heading to Djebel and scrounged a lift from me.  I asked him if he had money and Avatar had a little chuckle but they knew I would charge him nothing...I never do but they expect humour.

Stopped off at the garage shop but she was busy putting orders in so I didn't stop for long.  My glow plugs were ordered but I told them that there was no rush....and to fit it in with the quiet times in the garage.  Into Kardjali for ten, went to Kaufland first off and it was a good job that I did.  There were only two juice machines left so I got that and a few things that I wanted including some mini-rose plants, stopped off and had the three year guarantee authorised and popped it in the lid of the box but shock horror, the wind had blown the lid up and no guarantee.  I checked under the car but still couldn't find it so walked back towards the store and found that some kind person had put in on a shelf just inside the store.  Went to my cheapy shop and picked up a couple of white cotton quilt covers for the third room and then over to Lild for a few items.  Back to Djebel and delivered the juicing machine, went back to the garage shop but she had an elderly lady wanting to sit and chat so I said my farewells and headed home.  Delivered the oranges, unpacked the car, washed the quilts and some new bottom sheets, put a chicken in to cook and then my phone went and it was the garage asking if her husband could come and fix the glow plugs....and a big yes followed.

Husband arrived at around five, I ended up being mechanics mate, two of the glow plugs were shot but it's alright now.  The Beast is now active.  Chicken and bread for supper...I'd spent my veg cooking time holding parts of the engine so that he could fix the Beast.  Beautiful day, full moon and it's almost like daylight outside....nothing on the agenda apart from planting two new shrubs and potting up the roses.  LN...I'm going down to my fire...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 5, 2015, 4:36pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 5th March

What a cold, dull, miserable day today.  It started off fairly promising and I was destined for a day outside but by about ten it was spotting with rain so realised it was not going to be as planned.  Bacon and brown sauce sandwich for breakfast...it filled the gap and warmed the inside washed down with a couple of mugs of black coffee.

I went over to see Avatar to ask if I could take my wheelbarrow to the opposite field for some old cow manure to dig in before I planted the new shrubs.  It's Haceber's field and she was visiting Byser's and asked the question and immediately she said yes even offering to fill the wheelbarrow and bring it over but I said that I'd wait until it had stopped raining.  I stayed for tea as is the custom but goodness knows how many sugars it had in it...they love their sweet stuff.  

Went into the little house and watered the plants in there and a lot of them are sprouting already.  I sorted out some of the garden equipment and put it into the workshop but the wind was keen so I gave that up as a bad job.  I'm now starting a new author.....Laurell K Hamilton and the series appears to be about a vampire hunter so I'll see how the first one goes.  I like her style.  So not much happening today...I phoned the Librarian for a chat and she mentioned how she's been doing 'stuff' in the garden but the weather has beaten us both today.  We also arranged to meet up on Sunday for Ladies' Day but a red code warning has been threatened and we are told that we can expect thirty centimeters of snow tomorrow but let's see how right they get it this time.  

Late start on lighting the fire but the temperature has dropped tonight so I'm glad of it now.  No sunrises or sunsets...in fact no sun.  LN...I'm going to do something with a cold chicken...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 6, 2015, 6:49pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 6th March

Best laid plans of mouse and me ...my designs on being entertained this evening at my student's house all went to pot with the snow that started pelting it down at four this afternoon.  We had perpetual rain this morning without any let-up.  My pond is back at the bottom of the garden and I had this big urge to go and dig up the one olive tree that seems to be drowning but as the snow came down....maybe tomorrow.  

Six thirty start this morning and I was boots blacked by nine.  Toast and apricot jam for breakfast and for lunch..I made use of the chicken that I did nothing with last night and came up with a very hearty chicken, tomato, honey and chili thingy that did for me and half of it went over to my Avatar for her lunch come supper.  I had mine with bread and it was delicious.  Read for a while but it's slow going with the new series...I'm not sure if I'm enjoying it or not.

Snow started at four as I said and so it was cancelling tonight, I had a phone call from England lasting an hour or so and had just got settled in to watch Eggheads when the power went off so I was getting tealight lit, reaching for the odd light switch when the brain had not fully kicked in that there was no power and my biggest task was to remove some of the logs from the wood burner thinking that if it was off for a long time, the UPS wouldn't last out.  So a couple of logs were removed and put into the little wood burner in the kitchen leaving the biggy at a reasonable size, then the power came on, and went off and came off and went off again so this update is going to be a quickie just in case.

The snow is settling well and we've got about ten centimeters so far but if it keeps on like this for the night...it will definitely be something to write home about and will be the most that we've had all winter.  I might even be able to have a snowman on the terrace if my luck holds.  I know there are a few in England who will keep me to it.  LN....I'm going to get something to eat before the power goes off again...LN



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Princess
March 7, 2015, 4:34pm Report to Moderator
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Quick update from my mum....... She's had 4 feet of snow and has no electricity. She's fine but won't be updating blog tonight. Lots of pictures to follow when  she can!
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MikeyB
March 8, 2015, 6:43pm Report to Moderator

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Well at least we should expect to see a decent snowman or woman on the terrace when power and internet is restored!  
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Princess
March 8, 2015, 8:47pm Report to Moderator
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Another quick update from Mum..... It's still snowing, electricity is still off but she's warm and toasty in her little hidey hole! Photis will follow when she's all up and running! Leckta nosht (I think) x
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Princess
March 10, 2015, 6:29pm Report to Moderator
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So the latest from mum is..... She's still got no electricity although some neighbours have. She's worked hard digging the cars out today and has worn herself out! Mikey B, I've passed on the message about a snowman or woman and she reminded me of a joke that she used to tell us as kids. "What's the difference between snowmen and snow women?"...... Snowballs! Somehow, I don't think you'll be getting any photos of snow people. I've been asked to stop doing my snow dance now, Mum and her neighbours have had enough! I'll keep you updated. LN x
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linda g
March 14, 2015, 4:20pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Elsa, Sorry to hear you have no power, I guess you've gone back to yester year, reading knitting or something by candle or lantern light.   You should have a few pairs of socks by now. Anyway take care thinking of you. xxxx
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DS
March 14, 2015, 6:48pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Elsa  I too am thinking of you and hope that you are coping okay.  Keep coming on here to see if you are back with us.  Hope you are managing to stay cosy and warm.  Stay safe my dear. x
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Old Holborn
March 14, 2015, 6:56pm Report to Moderator

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As an indication of the weather, this is just up the road from Elsa

stay warm, Elsa

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Princess
March 15, 2015, 12:53pm Report to Moderator
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Wow OH, that us some serious snow! So Mummy, we wish you a very Happy Mothers Day. 💐💐 I hope you are warm and toasty and not too bored. I doubt your card or present have got to you but at least it's something to look forward to once the snow clears. I'll try to call you again later. Lots of love, moon and back, Princess 👸xxx
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tabs
March 17, 2015, 2:54pm Report to Moderator
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Wow- hope you get electric soon Elsa.
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Elsa Peters
March 17, 2015, 5:33pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 17th March

I'm back but tonight is not the night for sorting out pickies....Thank you for all your good wishes....

The electricity came on at just before seven so now I'm charging up the UPS for the wood burner, finding out chargers for phones, cameras and Kindles.  It's been a bard slog...ten days without and when you don't like to bother people for things that you need to do...little old independent me!!

The wildlife have had the biggest feeds every...everything in the freezer has had to go and my fridge is like Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard.  I need to shop and quickly get back to normal.........LN...I've got work to do and it's cold away from the little wood burner in the kitchen so I'm off to stoke up...LN
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Old Holborn
March 17, 2015, 6:53pm Report to Moderator

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Great to see you back
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tcinbg
March 17, 2015, 6:57pm Report to Moderator

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Nice to see you back on line Elsa. A lot of us have been having withdrawal symptoms.

Think the most we were without electricity some years ago was 4 days. Cannot imagine 8 days though.
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MikeyB
March 17, 2015, 8:05pm Report to Moderator

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Woohoo some normality to my evening routine has resumed!  

Very poor excuse having no electricity.... Get yourself a solar mobile phone charger and then you can do your updates by phone!   (Subject to you having upgraded from a Nokia 2110 ha-ha)
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gottaknit
March 17, 2015, 8:36pm Report to Moderator
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Phew, thats a relief, you made it! Longest we were ever without power was the 1987 "hurricane"; 7 days - we lived in Hampshire back then. But we still had a phone - the old fashioned one on a bit of wire, and the weather was not too bad. I remember being furious about the freezer - we had the contents on our household insurance, but when I made enquiries, the excess was more than I coud reaonably have had stored in there. Ain't that always the way of it!?
Now just go count those toes, to be sure there are none missing to frostbite.
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linda g
March 18, 2015, 3:44pm Report to Moderator
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Glad to see you back on line. Hope the leccy stays on for you. xxxx
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Elsa Peters
March 18, 2015, 5:44pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 18th March

Just counted them Jean, they'll all there and as for the electricity Linda...I'd just lit the biggie to get some heat into the place and it went off this morning so I'm assuming that last night's repair was to get us up and running and this morning they made it permanent....fingers crossed.

It was a long hard slog.  I think the worst part was when the light went at night and I was trying to read the Kindle using candles and a torch and the evenings were so long.  I'd got the little wood burner in the kitchen and I'd rearranged the kitchen table and moved the sofa in there but the rest of the house was cold.  The house did maintain ten degrees which isn't bad when it's minus five or so outside but you get two lots of pyjamas on and the woolly hat and don't anybody ask where was Wally...I certainly felt like it.  The digger came through on Monday to clear the road and I managed to get through to the driver that he was to push it down the lane and not leave it dumped in front of my gate and he was very obliging.  I'd started my own clear up of a way through to the woodshed and finding Beauty and then it was working out how I could maneuver cars and snow to get the Beast out with minimum shifting of snow. As the days wore on it was inevitable that the contents of the freezer and fridge would have to be dumped and the local cats had a real beanfeast.  They're looking very disappointed today....nothing left and I ended up tonight with beans on toast.  As for your suggestion Mikey B...I did buy a solar charger but it relies heavily on the sun and there wasn't a lot of that hanging about and as the days wear on....who gives one anyway.  

On Tuesday I was running short of clothes and so on Monday night it all went into soak in a huge tun and I had two lines full by lunchtime on Tuesday and fortunately it was a super day for drying.  Today has been spent repairing the fences and cutting down the bushes that have been damaged with the weight of the snow.  The plum trees have mostly broken off, the forsythia was flat so I've brought the branches into the house so that they can have a shot at flowering.  The broom was flattened too and it seems to be making a partial recovery but I shall lose some of the branches and we'll have to see what else has been damaged.  My little top garden hidey hole is no longer a hidey hole..I've had to chop down the branches..such a shame.  

So back to normal or thereabouts.  Djebel tomorrow and I'm gong to get some help on completing my annual company tax return.  The guy in there didn't want to help out as much as the woman did the previous year but it's just a matter of copying last year's details over but my Bulgarian writing leaves a lot to be desired so I'll ask my student's mum for a little support.  The document has to be in by the end of the month so I have a few days left.  

So off for a long soak now.  The boiler is working it's little socks off.  LN...now let's get a few pictures posted for the hard of hearing...LN..   



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Elsa Peters
March 18, 2015, 7:18pm Report to Moderator

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And for a few more



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Elsa Peters
March 18, 2015, 7:27pm Report to Moderator

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And a few more



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MikeyB
March 18, 2015, 7:56pm Report to Moderator

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Beautiful pictures Elsa, but I can imagine how frustrating it must have been without any power! Anyway glad you're safe and well! x
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Elsa Peters
March 19, 2015, 6:53pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 19th March

I am well MikeyB and just about safe from myself so to speak....xx

Just before seven start after a really good night's sleep.  The bath ran out of hot water before I was ready to leave it last night, I got my hair wet to wash it and the shampoo was downstairs which is where I normally wash my hair in the shower.   Bumma so to speak so I squished it through, rolled it in a towel and who's a curly top this morning then....

Coaxed the fire into giving it its all, more washing done and pegged out, completed the last six days of Daily Mail Sudoku, got the documents together, split a few logs and brought them inside, shifted cars around so they are where I want them to be now that the snow has more or less gone from the yard and off I went to Djebel.  Stopped off at the post office in Rogoche to see if my mother's day cards had arrived and no joy but in a FB message from my student who's father works in the post office...they have hold of them...what it is to be known.  My student's mum filled out the two copies of the forms which took all of ten minutes but my written Bulgarian looks like it's written by an English person and it sure would have been.  My student's school day began at two today and he had to catch the bus at 12.00 so I offered to take him in dropping him off at his grandmother's house complete with yogurt and eggs for her.

Went to the pay car park since there was no joy at the other, over to the revenue office and got to see a lady about my forms but unfortunately the system was down so I was asked to come back in thirty minutes.  Over to the bank to collect my cash point card and I was assailed by a man who was intrigued as to where I came from and why I was speaking Bulgarian.  His English was quite good and he told me that he had lived in London for ten years but that he'd returned to Kardjali which is his home to build an apartment block with shops underneath and offices and was quite insistent that I went with him to view the state of play and the plans which are posted on hoardings.  He proudly told me that he was sixty and I just said that age is a number and didn't give anything away.  I made my farewells and he said that if I wanted to phone him for a coffee, his number was on the hoarding...nothing like advertising.  I'll have to get the rundown on him from the Bank.  

On to the Lev shop and bought six more wine glasses since I seem to be a few missing but that's guests for you, back to the revenue office and all forms completed for another year at no cost at all, over to the cheapie shop and two pairs of trousers for one lev twenty stotinki since Thursday is the really cheap day and on to the supermarkets to restock the freezer and the fridge.  Gouldjan phoned me while I was in Billa and said that she and her boyfriend were in town and would I have a coffee with them which I did.  Finished off at Lidl, picked up diesel and back to Djebel for the last of the shopping.

Washing in first, car unloaded with the wheelbarrow for speed, fire rescued, chicken in the oven and washing put to air...time taken twenty minutes for all that but it's been a long day.  Supper finished, a little mastika on the go and it will be an early night for me, into bed with a book with electric light...luxury.  Nothing really on the agenda for tomorrow but I'm told that it will snow over night....I just hope I'm not into digging the cars out again..LN....I'm off to pray to the snow god/goddess to give me a miss this time...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 20, 2015, 5:48pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 20th March

Bit of a disturbed night again and read for a while.  I think it's the novelty of electricity after such a long time without but went off again until about six thirty but it seemed remarkably light outside and I thought  that it was much later.....Wrong....there was about five inches overnight and there's a joke there somewhere but I'm not going to make it...

Fire rescued and heaving, it's the first day of spring in Bulgaria according to Google but no one seems to have looked in my back garden before the decision was taken to accounce it.  All the normal tasks done, got stuck into FB to put a couple of pictures of the morning snowdrop so to speak and then off it went.  Firstly the internet and it came up with resolving host which means they're not having any joy getting out to the big world and then the electricity went off.  Now there's no immediate panic but I've just banked the fire up and does this mean that I have to ditch as much as I can into the little one to protect my pump and the system but then it came on again....and then it went off again...and then it came back on so I put the light on in the hall and used that as my guideline as to whether I start to dismantle of the electricity gods are going to be kind to me for no other reason than I deserve it...   And it stayed on but the internet didn't come back until thirty minutes ago so they've obviously had there issues.  Breakfast was a packet of bacon fried, an egg and fried bread with HP original sauce....sets a girl up for the day.

As for the eclipse...I could a glimpse of it when the clouds came over the sun at about half way into it.  That was enough...my eyes are fragile enough.  I'll wait for the next one in 2026.

Changed the house back to normal and wrestled the sofa from the kitchen into the winter lounge area, one of the elbows in the water downpipe system had sprung apart and the constant downpour from the roof onto the terrace was getting on my ladies' anatomy so I was trying all sorts to find a solution and ended up stuffing the guttering with bubblewrap and it will do until Bekir, my angel, can get here and replace it.  Took some mandarins over to my Avatar, she asked me how much and I said two eggs would cover it.....she gave me five so bargain.

I'm not going to my students for supper tonight....if it gets really frosty that drive back through the forest could be quite treacherous.  I did get the phone call to ask why I wasn't going but I had said that if the weather was bad I wouldn't be there and so I'm home alone apart from a new wine box and again it would be rude not to.  

So cosied up, and there is supposed to be more snow tomorrow but at least I did enough shopping yesterday to keep me going.  LN...let's see what arrives overnight...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 21, 2015, 6:23pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 21st March

Six thirty start and realised that the sun  was already coming up.  Dawn is getting earlier.

Out into the garden after poached eggs for breakfast but the gas ran out.  The gods must really be on my side...if it had gone out when the electricity was doing its own thing it would have really been a problem.  As it is...I shall go to the gas station tomorrow and get it refilled.  As for my poached eggs...they were fine but overcooked having to use the electric plate but they were adequate.  I decided that it was a gardening day and it all came to pass because I took the house rubbish out to burn and I needed more stuff to burn.

Good bonfire, worked until one  and then decided that I was in for reading the exploits of McTravis who is my latest read.  I was just nodding off beautifully when the door when there was a knock on my door and it was my post lady delivering my mother's dy card from my daughter.  Thank you Princess....and as you were thinking of me when you bought the gift I was thinking of you this morning when I had poached eggs for breakfast.

Out to the garden this afternoon  and carried on removing the branches that had succumbed to the wind and dug over the little bed removing huge rooted weeds which was easy since the ground was soggy.  Supper was chicken with roasted potatoes and onions and this was had during the first half of the rugby/ .  Second half is with a little help from the mastika.

Now back to the rugby....LN...I'll update you tomorrow....LN
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Elsa Peters
March 21, 2015, 6:42pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 21st March

Early start and the sun was more or less on its way up.  Managed to catch it with the camera so here you go.

Breakfast of poached eggs but that was after I'd managed an hour in the garden with the secateurs and demolished the rest of the damage that the snow had provided.   Worked until lunchtime..decided that I would go in for a late breakfast and ended up with poached eggs that never got to fruition because that gas ran out.  So the gods were with me...it could have gone last week when I had no electricity so thank you.  The bottle will be filled tomorrow....Letter from my Princess for Mother's Day and thank you Princess.  You bought it thinking of me and this morning I thought of you and I had poached eggs for breakfast.

Went out to the garden and continued with the repairs to the devastation...chicken in oven with onions and potatoes and came in and started to watch the Wales - Scottish rugby.  Moved on to the  England France match and how exciting is that.  Not much else to report...I'm hooked on the game...LN



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Elsa Peters
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Sunday 22nd March

So it started during the afternoon before the rugby and I thought nothing of it.  Towards the end of the rugby I was delivering...some of those sneezes that seem to start way way down and with a startling crescendo burst forth and you think that your little lungs will be closely following.  So toilet rolls at the ready, the convenient black sack for holding the used contents and the idea of stringing the unused round your neck to it's really handy giving the impression of a St. Bernard.  

This morning it had worked its way up to be a stinker of a cold with the sneezing and the headache of all headaches so I decided that I wasn't fit to visit the family.  I left a message on FB with full apologies but they were going to get fed up very quickly of shouting 'nazdrave' every time a sneeze broke lose.  Hot lemon  and orange juice with honey and a super strength aspirin and then I took to the sofa with a book.  I didn't bother with the fire. the sun was out and the temperature inside was good but when I went to empty the ash can that wind was cold.  

Sixty eight percent of a Travis mystery completed so far today but my eyes are fair spinning.  I'm not sure if I'm running a temperature or not...never one to check these things out but I reckon it's going to be an early night for me.   The electricity has been on, off, on, off and finally on and so took a chance with the fire and we seem to be OK.  I get paranoid about the pump and the UPS.  As for the gas bottle...that's still standing by the front door and I'll see how I feel tomorrow about going to get it filled.  There are still two rings on my cooker and I'm still rolling along so to speak...   Went into the lounge and noticed that the forsythia that had been broken off by the weight of snow on its branches was coming into flower.  I put it in one of the large earthenware jars and sat it in a metal bucket just in case it was seeping out.  I just felt so sorry for it.  It spent all year preparing for a beautiful display and felt it should have its moment of glory so in it came.

Enough for now.  I'm going down to tend the fire, there's enough cold chicken for supper and a little mastika might be used for medicinal purposes.....it would be rude not to...LN

  



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Elsa Peters
March 23, 2015, 6:26pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 23rd March

What a horrible night...you know what it's like to get hooked up in a dream that you can't get out of until you get out of bed and start the normal things happening....and it was five thirty.

I resuscitated the fire without any great effort, got the juicer or the go and came up with orange and lemons and no bells from St. Clements plus and extra strength aspirin and honey topped up with hot water and then straight back to bed but that was after I took the photo of the morning activity in the eastern sky.

I read for a while, played on the computer, read a few jokes and answered a few FB messages and then down for breakfast.  At the back of the fridge I found a couple of smoked mackerel that I'd forgotten about so I checked the use by's and realised that nothing was going to poison me so into cooking bag and into the oven.  Half an hour later they were ready.  I removed the skin and the lateral line, the main bones and settled down knowing that the rest would go to my newly named cat, Grizabella with all good reference going to T.H. Elliot and musically elaborated by Andrew Lloyd Webber.  She is a poor soul and should be admitted to the heavy side layer but perhaps she has to teach me something.

As for the rest of the day...I've been administering myself with lots of vitamin C, I slept for a couple of hours this afternoon and have done nothing but read and play games all day.  I have no urge to go out and set the world alight....I hate colds but at least the sneezing has stopped but the coughing has started.  Fingers crossed though that it will be short lived.

Nothing for supper tonight....not in the mood to cook and there are no hunger pains so I'll consider it a fast day apart from the fish which was delicious.  LN....I'm off to my little nest for more recuperation....LN



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Elsa Peters
March 24, 2015, 6:32pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 24th March

Well my little brain was going overtime last night and I couldn't settle down.  I was reading and not making sense of the pages and something that I had expected would happen had occurred and it was disappointing.  Anyway I eventually got off at about three thirty and realised that I had to have an active day.

Dressed by eight and I let the fire go out since the sun had come up and it was promising to be a good day.  Out for the bread van this morning and had my usual repartee with my neighbour.  Grizabella had spent the night on the bonfire again and she now appears to be my cat.  She thoroughly moth eaten and belongs of my Avatar's sister, blind in one eye and the other one doesn't look so good and when she sat meowing  at me it appears that most of her teeth are shot.  I spoke about her to Avatar and they keep wishing to move on to that great beyond but there appears to be life in the old girl yet.  The fish found its way outside for her this morning, I started a bonfire and the intention was to get rid of all of the dead wood from the trees and the old woodpile and I managed it.  It was a slow starter but by ten thirty it was rocketing but suddenly there was a huge purp and I couldn't understand where it had come from but obviously the fish was very rich for the lovely lady.

I came in and fired up the Kindle to check on the internet and there was a knock on the door and Gouldjan was there which really surprised me.  She had been working from home this morning, had lingered in the bus shelter in her village but no one had appeared to driver her into Djebel and I think she thought I just might be going and I offered to take her but he was determined to phone for a taxi and off she went.  I went back to the garden and really got stuck in this afternoon and didn't come in until four thirty and at four thirty five Gouldjan was back, she sat down and her telephone rang and it was her mother to let her know that she wanted her to get the wheelbarrow from their house and walk about a kilometer to get the newly born calf home.  So out came the jeep....we went down to the pasture, I took photos of the little beauty who has now acquired the name Mitsubishi.  Photos of the happy parents and the mother were taken but when the baby was loaded into the jeep and the door shut, I suddenly realised that an irate mother cow was heading my way so I skipped round to the other side of the jeep and got in the passenger door clambering over the seat,  Cow are very large and this ones maternal instincts were obviously inflamed.....I drove back very carefully with Gouldjan, her mother and the calf and father was bringing the cow home on foot.

Shut up shop for the night....Griz is still out there and there's nothing for her tonight.  Not really in to food tonight...let's see if the urge grabs me later.  LN....I'm down to the fire...not necessary but homely...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 24, 2015, 6:36pm Report to Moderator

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Just another couple or so



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Elsa Peters
March 25, 2015, 4:48pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 25th March

Fairly early start but didn't miss the sunrise since there wasn't one in my neck of the woods.  Mist as far as the eye could see and I was in two minds whether to get the washing underway or not...but I did and it dried.  Breakfast was two slices of crusty bread with cream cheese...not the healthiest of options but it sufficed.

So I was out in the garden, last night's rubbish sorted and Griz was only up for a few slices of bread but honestly there was nothing else.  She might do better tomorrow.  Out into the garden and decided that the pear tree had to go....I looked at it from all angles but really couldn't love it because it was ninety percent on its way to the great dust bowl in the sky, had only produced five pears the year before last and nothing last year at all.  Out with the saw....it is now down and destined to become a bird table for the foreseeable future until I work up the energy to remove the roots.

Pottered for the rest of the afternoon between garden and removing the old varnish from the bench but it's my time to do things with...so I use it well.  Fire going at six...no real need apart from the fact that it looks pretty and welcoming..LN...I'm holding my first glass of the red stuff which could turn into ....well I deserve it today...LN



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March 25, 2015, 4:50pm Report to Moderator

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And again there's more



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Elsa Peters
March 26, 2015, 5:20pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 26th March

Gentle start to the day and the sun more or less showed it's little face but was hidden for most of the day.  There was a fairly low cloud base and a chill wind but it didn't stop me getting out in the garden and I've had a good day.  My phone went at seven thirty this morning and it was Gouldjan asking if I could collect a pot of yogurt that her mother had made for me but I suggested that she was passing the door on her way to work so all the driver had to do was stop, I'd run out and collect it from her.  Joined up thinking....and it all worked the way that I'd suggested.  Poor Harold has not made the winter..He appears to have lost his ear and so it's out with the adhesive tomorrow...

I decided to tackle the hedge down by the walnut tree.  Now this I usually leave until the leaves have come out and it's a bugger to find the branches to cut so this year I've stolen a March so to speak and that goes for the rest of the garden.  The hedge is down to a manageable size, I hate it when you can't see the mountains in the distance due to a spreading wild plum hedgeline.  The only problem is, my hand look like I've done a few rounds with Cassius Clay, punctured due to the thorns and I think the wrist support is coming out tonight with the analgesic cream.  Carried on with clearing the weeds and the technique is to clear a patch, move on to another patch and then clear the bits that are left.  As for the weeds, they go over the hillside...the sheep can have them if they want.

My Avatar came round with yet another pot of yogurt so I should be healthy by the end of the week.  It really is lovely stuff but I have to skim the buttermilk top off it...it's just too rich for me.  We did a tour of the garden and we do have these little jokes about names of flowers.  She told me that the forsythia that I gave her last year has flowered and said that Byser had asked her what it was called and she told her that it was 'Spring flowers'.  Love her.

Tools away, lit the fire for six thirty.  I might just stoke up the boiler and linger in a hot bath....it sort of makes sense after a punishing day in the garden.  Griz is in for a treat tomorrow...I have some chicken that I didn't like the look of but she's not been around today so over the hillside it will go and it's fair game or game fare for who ever wants it...maybe even the magpies,  LN...my glass is empty and the fire needs a poke...LN



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Friday 27th March

Well I've just sat down to write tonight's episode but it's going to be pretty swift.  Two flashes of lightening and a hearty 'Hi, ho, Silver' and this little beauty is going to be put to bed.

Normal six thirty start and lazed around on the pc and reading until there was a knock on the door just before eleven so I rushed for my dressing gown just in case it was one of the village elders but it was the Librarian bearing gifts.  In she came with bread, cakes, something for lunch and so I got the kettle on.  She knows that I've been feeling a little down over some of the happenings of the last week and the cold so came to cheer me up saying that she needed to get out as well.  I got washed and dressed and off we set for Djebel clutching my old gas bottle that had been criticised the last time I'd delivered it for topping up by the' topper uppa' saying that the nozzle on the top needed attention.  Driving into Djebel we stopped off at my friendly hardware store, I purchased a new bottle and the man at the station filled the new one with twenty leva of gas...enough for one year.  

I decided that no way was I cooking lunch when there are eating houses for peanuts so into the soup kitchen we went and ordered the chicken soup of the day with bread and two bottles of water...The bill came to four leva forty so me being the last of the big spenders gave him five leva and told him to keep the change which is not usual.  Gouldjan was in there with her friends and she left but then came back to show us the present she has got for her boyfriend for his birthday.  Beautiful gift but she needed me to tell her that as I tease her something rotten.

Back home and I tried to attach the new gas bottle to the cooker and so did the Librarian and did we make a pig's ear of it.  Eventually I had to drag my Avatar from the comfort of her home to do it for me.....mainly because I could blame her if it all blew up in our faces so to speak.  I spent the next hour or so loading the Librarian's Kindle with books and handed her some paper ones that were her sisters originally but that she'd never seen.  Off she went at just before four and I was settling down to a session of Angry Birds and Gouldjan had dropped off the but outside the house and came in for some solace.  My house is very calm.

She stayed until just after six and she teased me about putting the photos of the newborn calf on FB before she had told her nephew about it.  If I hadn't have been there with the camera there would have been no photos but at least her parents were pleased about it.

So it is blowing a hooley out there now and the rain is coming down in sheets.  My garden will be awash tomorrow so thank goodness we had a couple of good days when I could get things done.  There are no photos tonight...this is getting done pretty quickly...there has been another clap so to speak...LN...I'm on the mastica for my cold and that's my excuse so back to the fire...LN

As a PS...time to build that ark....
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Saturday 28th March

Mist as far as the eyes could see or couldn't see this morning...the result of last night's rain.  The garden is flooded again and the locals are saying that it hasn't been this bad in years.

At ten there was a knock on my door and Remsie was there and asked me if I could take her into Djebel at eleven this morning so that they could go to the cash point to check out the value of the subsidy from the tobacco for last year's crop.  Off she went, I got washed and dressed and out with the Beast and three of them were there to go into town.  I decided to make my journey worthwhile so I took Beauty's documents with me and renewed my insurance and it was one hundred and forty for the year.  I stopped off and got some oranges for my Avatar....must keep her vitamin c topped up and home for twelve dropping off the family with several bags of shopping.

Straight to the woodstore and chopped enough to keep me going for the next few days...it is cold, damp and miserable after the couple of good days when I managed to do so much in the garden but looking at the weather forecast...it should be cheering up for next week and the temperature should climb.  I phoned Bekir this afternoon and tomorrow I'm picking him up to sort out the roof water drainage elbow that's broken in the middle.  I am so tired of the constant drip drip, the concrete is sodden and I can't seem to fix it myself.  The part needs replacing.

Supper was roasted veg with chicken wings tonight and I thought I'd cooked enough for two days...wrong....and I'm off to bed with a full tummy and I was surprised to see that the moon had broken though tonight even though it was shrouded in cloud.  As it happened though the thunderstorm that was promised didn't materialise...thankfully.  So sorry that this is late tonight.....I fell asleep watching television and have only just woken to some silly programme where they are hypnotising people and making them believe fantastic things.  Time I went to bed to sleep it off...LN...I need to be on the road at just after seven thirty in the morning....and down for materials in Fotinovo to get the job done...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 29, 2015, 7:00pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 29th March

So I was awake at six and it was shower and hair washed so that I could get over to pick up Bekir this morning to sort out my drainpipe issues.  Unbeknown to me...the clocks had sprung forward so I was an hour late but he didn't mention it and I didn't find out that the changes to the clock had occurred until four this afternoon.

What an eventful day.  I was at the restaurant to pick him up and over we went to Fotinovo to the materials yard for the replacement guttering and an extra tube of silicon so that the job could get done.  We stopped off at the shop and he brought bread and yogurt for a late breakfast but he left the loaf with me, he somehow didn't manage to have lunch.  He had to make do and mend.  The guttering was a different diameter size and it turned out to be a bigger job that he originally thought but it's done and the right one will be substituted when we get the right gauge material...he knows what a stickler I am for having the job look good.  So he mended my leaking tap in the upstairs bathroom and between us we found the right equipment for removing the crappy Chinese seals from the crappy Chinese product and it's reseated sufficiently for it not to leak any more but probably a new one is required.

I dropped him off and over I went to the Librarian and turned round in her lane very gingerly so that I didn't get stuck and suddenly things smelled warm and there was steam coming out of the engine and now I'm concerned.  I popped the bonnet while I was facing in the correct direction, left it a while before I removed the top of the radiator and noticed that there was lots of water running from underneath the engine.  Joy of joy.  Both locks on the Librarian's house were secured so I stood and shouted but I assumed she was asleep, back to the Beast and filled it up with several litres of water from the spring and nothing seemed to hold.  I started it again and it seemed to run OK and moved it down to the motel where there is also a garage but after all it's Sunday so there wasn't much happening.  I explained the problem to the garage owner's brother who got a torch out and tried to work out where the radiator was leaking from to no avail.  The solution was I left the car in their village, the brother drove me home, I phoned my garage with no reply and tomorrow I will try to find a garage with a trailer so that I can get the Beast back to Djebel.  What a bastard of a day.

Found a photo on the internet of my Avatar's grandson so printed it off and laminated it and took it over to her.  She burst into tears and I left a message on the FB page and he was so, so pleased that I took it over to her.  I love technology when it brings people together...

So conversation with the Librarian this evening...I think she feels that she has been let down somewhat by her neighbours and we all go through it from time to time and I think she'd got her head down this afternoon.  Tomorrow is a 'sort it' day and I will.  As for the weather, it's been nothing to write home about.  Slight rain and then it stopped and then it started...such is the way of this winter but at least I won't have rain pouring on to the terrace any more...LN..at least one problem has been solved...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 30, 2015, 5:56pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 30th March

So this morning the sun was a shining to welcome the day and it was the day to get the car sorted,  I had a phone call from the Librarian to see if there was anything that she could help with but I said that I was going to make a call to the garage at nine and see where it got me.  I got washing underway seeing that it looked like a good day to be getting it dried, hung it out and spent some time looking round the garden but realised that there was a nip in the air so back inside and prepared to head to Djebel with the car keys and the documents.

I called in to the petrol station to get some fuel into Beauty and remembered that I'd seen a trailer parked there and Ismael who owned it.  I was going to ask if they could get the car in but instead went down to the garage and we discussed the situation.  The guys at the garage were all for going down there to identify the problem and then try to fix it.  They said that the cost of getting it trailered in could be quite high but I said that their costs could equal the cost of getting it trailered in and eventually they had to agree with me but I handed over the keys and the documents and left it in their court.  Went to pick up the letter from my student's mum's shop and it was a CD of Elaine Paige and Friends but there was nothing in the envelope to tell me who and why had sent it.  Back to the car shop and we chatted for about an hour and then back home, I emailed my son and asked about and thanked him for the gift if he had sent it but the response was that it was probably form Princess and it was.

Washing safely gathered in, I was surprised how light it remained this evening and then I remembered that the clocks had sprung forward.  Early supper and lit the fire even though there was no real need to night.  Eight thirty my time and I'm about to get stuck into another Travis Magee...I shall be glad when I've finished the series.  Let's hope there's some movement on the car tomorrow, at least if it's in the garage they we can identify if I need to order the part from the UK and get it sent over.  LN....I'm heading down the wooden hills....LN

Update on the car....the garage owner fetched the radiator out of the car leaving the car where it is....I was right, it is the radiator...perhaps I could get a job as a mechanic...the part is being ordered tomorrow...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 31, 2015, 5:56pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 31st March

Who stole March....where has it gone but thank you Baba Marta...you have truly made it memorable.  Snow, thaw, more snow, no electricity, broken down trees and broken down car.  Roll on April...

So six start this morning and the clocks going forward has buggered up the sleeping pattern but as the BBC used to say...'Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible'.  Unfortunately today was not the day...breakfast of poached egg on toast, out to the garden to burn the hedge trimmings but everything was so wet that nothing wanted to burn at all.  Gris was out there looking to salvage anything that I'd put in the burning pit to the extent that I thought at one point that the whiskers would go.  My Avatar saw me in the garden and came in for a chat...she'd thought that I wasn't there because of the absence of the Beast and not lighting a fire.  My friendly neighbourhood watch.

After the abortion of my burnup I decided that I would take to the sofa with my kindle and unfortunately the eyes were heading south so I have in to nature and got my head down for an hour or so.  The sun was out but it was a little nippy and sleeping with the door open meant that I woke up chilled so at four I lit the fire, made a coffee and returned to my book and what a good fire it was.  The logs had come in yesterday and so were thoroughly dried out and picked up immediately.  It's not that it's cold but as I've said before it's comforting.

Update on the Beast.  I phoned this morning and they think that they've ordered the correct part number and it will be delivered tomorrow.  I thought it ended in 55 and in the catalogue it was a 56 so we'll see what arrives tomorrow.  At least they have removed the radiator so that they can do a comparison check.  I did phone the Librarian to make sure that the Beast is still lodging at the bottom of her road and yes...it's still there.

So nothing on the agenda for tomorrow unless I have to go in with the mechanics and bring the car back otherwise I am going to get rid of that heap of brushwood even if I have to put it in the wheelbarrow and drop it where everybody else dumps their stuff.  As for the rest of the evening....my book is livening up so I'm off the pc.  I have to get the computer into a repair shop though...the start-up fan sounds like it's about to take off into the stratosphere....it needs attention but at least I have a recommendation is Kardjali....next time I'm going.  LN....I have a sofa that requires my attention..and a Kindle...LN



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