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Elsa Peters
March 1, 2016, 4:37pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 1st March

Chestita Baba Marta which is welcome to Grandmother March.  This is the day for giving wrist bands to everyone that you meet to wish them health, wealth and what they would wish for themselves for the rest of the year...

So it was raining this morning, damp, miserable and I wasn't really welcoming Baba Marta but this time last year she brought the snow and gale force winds with her and the electricity went off for ten days so I suppose a little wet weather isn't so bad.  Twenty past seven this morning and back to bed with a coffee and a book.  I heard the bread van as it headed to the top of the village and I was too lazy to get clothes on to pick up some bread.  My current loaf was two days old so it was ready for the animals in the field.

As I went out to wait for the van on its return trip I noticed that there was a lot of noise from the rubbish tip just up the road and the new Kmet was coming down to meet me with the top man from the council offices in Djebel.  I'd met him before when the wind had pushed the bus shelter against my front railing and we remembered each other.  My first question was why we hadn't got a container so that we could put all the rubbish in one place not scatter it over the hillside.  He said it was all down to money but I mentioned that other councils had made rubbish containers a priority and he made no comment.  So I went to the bread van which was now outside Byser's house and since the van driver is her grandson I asked him to stop off when he'd finished his breakfast.  As it was he left his breakfast and found a couple of loaves for me.  I went back to the rubbish heap and took a few photos and noticed that my painter was there working away and as I found out there were four men from the village that were now employed with Euro money for a month and I asked them what other work they were doing but no one seemed to know.  My painter asked me if I had a bottle of extra virgin oil in my 'shop' and since I did I said I'd put one into the garage for him and he came round later to collect it.  

It's been a lazy afternoon....I did do some gardening and planted out the daffodils that had finished along with the hyacinth.  I also planted some of the little onions from the kitchen that had started to grow and Mrs D of S had given me some onion sets and they're planted in the vegetable garden.  I took a stroll up the road and took photos of cleared rubbish heap and I'm wondering how long it's going to be before the first neighbours does the sacrilege.  We should have taken bets on it and who it would be.....I wait with baited breath....

So I looked at my windows and thought it was taking a long time for the rain to dry since the terrace had all cleared up.  On closer inspection I realised that we'd had something like Sahara rain...it wasn't water it was sand so it was out with the hose pipe and I washed them but only managed to use the silicon water remover on the bottom windows.  I did put one on to the extending pole that I have but it didn't work....I will experiment more when the weather gets better.

So the eventing is closing in ....supposedly a couple of showers for tomorrow but it's going to be very mild...LN...Time for the fire and finding something for supper...LN

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Elsa Peters
March 1, 2016, 4:42pm Report to Moderator

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And a few more

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Elsa Peters
March 2, 2016, 8:20pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 2nd March

So last night I had a lovely deep bath and fortunately I decided that I wouldn't read in the bath....I went to sleep and it would have been goodbye to another Kindle.

So down in my PJ's and read for a while and into bed by twelve more or less and then straight through until six thirty and woke up to the impression that someone had stolen my view and left me with a white blank canvas.  I laid the fire, grabbed cornflakes for breakfast and thought that I would tackle some of the garden when the mist burnt off and then my phone went and the Librarian was eager to do 'something'...I think a little cabin fever was setting in.  I thought about it for a while and she made her way over, I got the wood in for later, was heading down to the village with my wrist bands for my ladies when they were heading up towards me.  I got them to hold out their wrists and applied the martinitsas and they were overawed that I'd remembered them.  So off we set and the intention was to go to Haskovo to the plant shop stopping off at one of our friends place on the way just to say hi.  We arrived and sat out with a coffee for a while, carried on to the hardware warehouse first for lunch which was good, and down to the store to buy Polyfilla for Mrs D of S and one or two container plants and then over to the market garden but the selection was not very good...we were early this year.  Back to the stationery warehouse and then back to Kardjali with a stop off at Lidl and then home for five thirty.  We transferred the purchases over to the Librarian's car and off she went with the goodies for Mrs D of S since she almost passes the door.

I settled in, got the fire going and Haciber was at the door delivering a couple of yeasty pancakes from Zelinger in memory of the death of her husband....it's what they do here.  She also passed on some news of one of the local lasses who is three month pregnant which came as a bit of a surprise.  Off she went having given me the gossip and as I settled in to watch Filmon and the finals of the Interior Design programme.   I realised that something I'd eaten that day wasn't sitting very comfortably in my gut and sure enough...I've spent the last couple of hours hopping from my desk to the loo and back again so this is going to be a short update.  I didn't manage to take any photos today...it was dark by the time we got back and there was thunder in the air and it poured down when we were in Kardjali.  Let's hope for a  more productive day tomorrow with the camera and put some more shape into the garden weather permitting and I have about five new plants to settle somewhere.  LN....Fingers crossed for good strimming weather...LN
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Elsa Peters
March 3, 2016, 9:09pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 3rd March

Five o'clock start and into the book and back to sleep until seven fifteen but I felt a little jaded all day after the three hours spent on the loo last night.  Felt like breakfast though so had a couple of slices of toast and once the mist had burnt off it was out to the garden.  

I got out my super gardening book to look at the requirements of the new plants that I'd got yesterday and phoned the Librarian to tell her what she needed to do with one we'd never heard of before.  I dug out some more stone from under the wall so that I could put the new one in and toddled off to Haciber's field to get half a bucket of old cow shite to put under it.  The peony went into a bucket and it will go in the garden at the end of the season when it gets more established or into the little house for its first winter.  The lupin went under the lounge terrace wall, the bucket has come off the rhubarb which is really doing well and I'll have to introduce my neighbours to it this year now that it's doing so well.  The cotoneaster also went under the long wall and I dug over the little bed in front of the wall where I'd put the spiraea last year and I'll seed it up when the danger of frost has subsided.

I came in at two and had toast and tuna mayo and everything has settled well.  I'm not  sure where that little beastie bug came from but it was relatively short lived.  Lit the fire at three and got a few zzz's in and then it was all systems go.  My sheep farmer wants to buy a tractor from the UK and needs to find out how much it would cost to get it over here so I was sending messages on the internet, adding his son's email address and copying him in so that they are aware of where they stand.  Unfortunately...they expect an instant response and came back about half an hour later so I tried to phone the number that they'd given me but there was no response ...the offices closed at six UK time.  I wrote the farmer an email and put it through Google translate but the next minute Haciber is over with them on the other end of her phone asking me if I'd heard anything...so I've sent them my telephone number so that they don't have to bother the neighbours.

My painter called in to make sure that I'd picked up the money that he'd left me for the bottle of virgin oil I'd supplied him with and we chatted for a while and now we've just had a power cut but Google managed to restore this post where I thought I'd lost it all.  No photos since it started raining and it's supposed to continue for tomorrow.  Holiday time in Bulgaria at the moment...and this will be going on for the next few days heading up to Ladies day on the 8th March.  Off to see if the electricity stays on to watch the World Cycling on Filmon...LN...wish me luck with my connection and well done to Laura Trott so far...LN

Sorry it's late....no internet access...they probably had to get someone out of bed or the bar to fix it...LN
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Elsa Peters
March 4, 2016, 4:43pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 4th March

Well it's been another grey old day with just a hint of sun this afternoon but there has been a cold wind which has eventually subsided.

Now the saga of the tractor.  There were responses to my emails and it's thanks to Google translate that I was able to understand what was going on.  I asked if we could continue the process in English explaining that the Bulgarian was solely for my neighbours and I'm still not sure the nationality of the person that I'm emailing.  So as it stands, we appear to have a price and I've sent it on to my neighbour and from now on I'm going to dip out of the process....I think it's only wise since I know nothing about tractors and when it gets to the contract stage...best left to them.

Visitations this afternoon from Haciber and Zelinger and they came with goodies.  They've offered up prayers for two departed today at the mosque and out of it I get two chocolate croissants, a small bottle or ayran and a box of Turkish delight.  After an afternoon on the sofa doing very little apart from reading and playing games....the Turkish delight has gone along with one of the croissants....so much for my diet today.

I checked out the weather forecast for tonight and apparently it's going down to zero tonight so I've stuck a pot over the peony and topped it off with a cardboard box just in case.  I don't want the delicate new shoots to get frost bite tonight.  It was enough of a shock putting it in a new home only yesterday.  The new bucketed plant is moved nearer the door and undercover to protect it but looking at the cuttings I took last year and left in the little house for the winter....I have about fifteen new ones budding and until the leaf comes out I haven't a clue what I planted but they're all looking remarkable healthy.

So not much on the home front....I should be thinking about going out on Women's day on the 8th March...I'll check if the Librarian wants to make a night of it and stay over.  I'll take the car this year since the previous time we were left without a taxi...all the men of the town were baby sitting so their wives could have a night out....no alcohol has past my lips since before the new year...now who'd have thought it...Do I feel better?  Not really, I think that glass of wine or three was doing me good...hmmmm.

Pickies from the garden but it would have been nice to have a little sun in the background but never mind.  It's supposed to be good for the next few days.  LN.....I'm going to see if I can catch some more of the World Cycling provided that the electricity stays up tonight and the internet keeps going...LN

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Elsa Peters
March 5, 2016, 5:16pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 5th March

So I was reading this morning at a quarter to eight and I looked out and my Painter was just leaving a black plastic bag and a jar of cranberries in juice.  I popped out when I heard him and thanked him for his gifts and in the bag were some red onions that had started to bolt and the intention was that I plant it in my veg garden and use if for the green tops in salad which is a bit of a joke for me.

So it was into the kitchen for a breakfast of mushrooms, bacon and a firmed egg with more coffee and I decided to prepare the remainder of the mushrooms to make some soup.  I'd also got a few sad leeks that needed attended to so kitchen duties finished by nine and fully washed up.  Into the bathroom and got ready for the day...the sun was clearing away the hanging clouds and I had the onions to put in and the rest of the garden to sort out.  Two broad beans had managed to survive the winter under the polythene so I dug over the rest of the bed and I've planted this years alongside the others.  I've also put in carrots, parsnips and beetroot and let's see if there are any seeds left or whether the ant have them all this year.  I've got two beds left for tomatoes and cucumbers but that won't be for a few weeks yet.  There is frost forecast and some of the locals maintain that we'll have snow on the fifteenth or thereabouts.  I also set about clearing round Mikey B's bench...the boy done good....and I've put some concrete blocks down for it to stand on.

Watched the World Cycling roundup and one that I'd missed and then started to settle into the Murray brothers and the Painter returns and starts to tell me that I've put the onions in the wrong place so I remind him that it's my garden.  Another guest turned up leaving me with a decision to make...I'll have to think about the options.  Back to my tennis and well done boys.  I went out to tidy up the gardening equipment and lock up the house and the workshop and I realised how cold that wind was.  I know we had a frost last night ....not sure about tonight but I got the fire going to keep me cosy tonight,

Not into much food tonight...I had some cheese biscuits and cheese watching the tennis so I'll be picking later.  I've just seen a flash light heading over the hillside...no moonlight stroll...no moon...LN...Ready for a cosy night in...and hoping that the weather is good tomorrow for some more gardening...LN

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Elsa Peters
March 6, 2016, 6:48pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 6th March

Just before seven start and the sky was lit up and full of promise for a lovely day.  Sun came up but was that wind cold and at one point it was really blowing a gale.  Mushrooms on toast for breakfast and I made soup out of the leeks and added potatoes.  It might be supper is I get round to heating it up.  My phone went and it was my Princess wishing me a Happy Mother's day but unfortunately my card hasn't arrived but my present to her for Baba Marta hasn't arrived either so neither of us felt too bad about it...we'll live in hope of the Bulgarian Postal Service.

I went out to have a burn up and I had to get a new sheet of metal to put over the burning pit before the wind wafted the embers skywards ...Beyser's house is only over a couple of fences.  I got the strimmer out and did a battery full and then put it on charge determined to do a second lap.  My painter arrived and we did a lap of the garden and he offered to take out the big strimmer round the garden but I told him that I was happy to do it with the little one over the next week or so.  If the ground dries up I might even give it a haircut with the lawn mower..it's good exercise.

Lit the fire at roughly two and read until four and settled in for a sports afternoon on the Beeb.  World Cycling and then Murray's Davis Cup match which was brilliant.  He looked absolutely knacked at the end of it and was intending to get back home tonight...it was his wife's first mother's day and was looking forward to putting the new baby to bed....fatherhood...who'd have thought it of Murray.

So it's been a very restful day and an enjoyable mother's day for me.....didn't need to go anywhere, see anyone or do anything but tomorrow I'm off to Djebel to get some flowers for my ladies for Ladies' Day on Tuesday....Off to the kitchen to find something for supper...the soup can wait for another day...looking for meat.  Wish me luck....LN...I'm on the hunt...LN

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Elsa Peters
March 7, 2016, 7:06pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 7th March

Six thirty start and it was a cold one again.  Emptied the ash can, didn't bother with the fire since I was going into Djebel this morning but laid it ready for the evening.  Cornflakes for breakfast out on the terrace and I sat out for a while but soon came in...I'm not a masochist...to cold for me.  Got a load of washing in, telephoned the Librarian to advise that I'd got the wrong day and tomorrow is Ladies' Day so we called off tonight and might do something tomorrow...

So off I toddled at 10.30 and managed to park in the Council car park ...all the others were full ...it's market day.  I popped in to see my favourite lady who is now working in the clothes shop as well as the restaurant and she said that there is nothing going on tomorrow night.  Her brother has recently passed away and she doesn't feel like party time....We caught up on news and then I was over to the car parts shop to sit with my student's mother and chew over the fat for a while, I called in at the gym to check out the equipment but no rowing machine so I'm not interested in the macho weights and then to buy the flowers for my neighbours for tomorrow morning.  I found another little lev shop and bought some new cups for the kitchen...I've had the old white ones for a while and I've had two orange, two grey and two white all of the same design.  Caught up with the tractor boys and the saga continues and now we are worried that the payment needs to go to the right place so my detective skills are being brought into play.

Home, cheese and onion sandwich for lunch and Haciber came round with a couple of presents for me for ladies day...I explained that it's tomorrow not today and she bought me a bottle of wine and a little covered dish...so sweet of her.  She said that my Avatar had been on the phone and that they'd published some photos on FB so we headed up to the computer and I showed them to her along with others of her family in Sweden...she was almost in tears.  So I'm reading away having lit the fire and Gouldjan is at the door.  The tractor boys have asked her to speak to me to ensure that I understood our conversation today and there was really no need.  I'd checked out addresses on Google Earth and postcode lookup and all the details were correct.  I eventually took her home at eight thirty and she too had brought me presents from her holiday in Turkey....who's the lucky lady then!!

So quick update....no photos today...I've been far too busy seeing people and dealing with 'things'.  LN....Promise to do better tomorrow...LN
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Elsa Peters
March 8, 2016, 6:17pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 8th March

Welcome to Women's Day and he's to the rest of the world celebrating it.  One comment I heard was that all women deserve an education and that is what some women are fighting for.  Normal morning for me....it was raining, cold, damp, miserable so I cleared out the fire and relaid it but didn't light it...I wasn't sure what the day would bring.  I had my statutory two cups of coffee and regressed to the old cup...the lip on the new ones is slightly fatter and they aren't as big and I wanted a good shot to start my day.  

I didn't go back to bed I stripped it and got the sheet and the duvet cover in the washing machine despite the weather.  By the time the washing was finished though the sun had come up. the wind was belting and so I pegged it out.  I tried to phone the Librarian but her mobile had no signal and there was no answer on the home phone.  I was breaking the news that there was no action at the restaurant and what did she want to do instead.

I had flowers to deliver to my ladies so off I trotted but there was no one at home and I eventually found them sitting on the bench at the bottom of the village with Beyser sitting on the road in front of them.  I skipped down the road and joined them on the bench and they were over the moon with the flowers.  I am very aware that it's not the cost it's the thought and may be with families working away and living in Europe they don't seem to get the personal touch.  I walked home and started the housework just in case I was having the Librarian stay overnight and the hoover was belting out and I heard someone at the door.  I switched it off and opened the door and Haciber and Zelinger removed their shoes and came in and Zelinger was holding a black plastic bag.  Now I thought it was a lucky dip so I closed my eyes and took out a bar of soap and then she proceeded to remove all the items and they were all for me.  Zelinger hadn't been in my house before so she had the conducted tour of the lower floor and Haciber told her how the central heating works and she was suitably impressed.  Oo's and arrhhs could be heard...they are just so sweet and proud and things have to be fair.  Off they toddled and left me to carry on with my hoovering and there was a mad dash to get the washing in as the rain started coming down.  It was only a shower so I took advantage of the damp on the windows, grabbed the silicon window swipe and gave them a clean.  Put the duvet cover to air over the banister, managed to speak to the Librarian and we decided to do nothing tonight and we moved the occasion to a Friday lunch and shopping spree along with Mrs D of S.

So another visit from one of my sheep farmers and I had my own flower brought round for Women's Day.  I suppose they see me here and the strength it takes to be doing what I am in a strange country with a potential language barrier...and I thank them.  Post ladies daughter banged on the door and delivered my Mother's Day card and pressie from Pincess.  Her gifts never fail to bring a smile to my face and she didn't disappoint.  Just the bed to make up and I'll take advantage of my efforts for the day...clean nest.  Supper was chicken wings, potatoes and onions, just about to settle in to Egg Heads and then back to the book and to finish up the latest.  LN...it's going to be another very calm quiet night after an active day...LN

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Elsa Peters
March 9, 2016, 7:21pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 9th March

I knew I shouldn't have turned the mattress yesterday...I couldn't get comfortable last night and having shook up the duvet...I was so hot that I had to throw off the top quilt.  I was pleased when it was time to get up.  Big cup of coffee again...it was necessary.  Fire cleared out and I decided not to light it...it was dull, a little cold but I felt it would be OK if the sun came up and that was the thought that went through my head until I struck the match.

Breakfast was poached eggs on toast and I used the ones that Gouldjan had delivered a couple of days ago...fresh from their chickens.  The yolks are so yellow and they taste like 'eggs'.  I'd actually cracked a couple of the older ones first but they all fell apart and poached eggs should stay intact.  I finished the Sue Grafton I was reading and didn't guess the end of this one...I went out and had a word with my new plants and even in the last couple of days the buds are really forming.  The hydrangeas have put on new shoots and the kiwi are about to burst forth.  I'm hoping that there isn't a late frost to nip them all.

I made my way into the little house and covered another couple of cans with rope but this time I got the hot glue gun fired up and stuck down the ends and they'll be delivered at the weekend and I won't mention whose going to get them...I want it to be a surprise.  Next toy to come to the surface is a hot iron for burning wood.  It has several interchangeable heads and works at 500 degrees apparently so no changing the head until the last one has cooled down....Early days with it....I think it's better if you trace a design on to a planed piece of wood not some knobbly old piece that you happen to lay your hands on.

Next it was out with the chopper and I got enough for the next month or so and I remembered to count my fingers before and after the task and they were all there.  Final exercise for the day was out with the strimmer and worked on the garden until the battery was flat and it's back on charge ready for tomorrow.  Problem was that rain was threatening to stop play and I came in at five, topped the fire up,put the remains of last nights chicken and potatoes into a saucepan with some curry powder, rice and topped it up with water, brought it to the boil and stuck it on top of the wood burner to simmer gently.  Hacibar had been round earlier and given me one of her pancake things that I'd never had before and I stuck it on the top of the chicken to warm through and it was rather like a chippati. ... very tasty.

Pointless and Eggheads and then for the next Sue Grafton.....I'm on to 'T for.... .and I'm not sure what it is yet but at least I know what is the next in the series since she's done it alphabetically.  Nine fifteen my time....and hopefully the depression in the bed will prove move comfortable tonight...LN....I'll report tomorrow...LN

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