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Elsa Peters living a new life in Bulgaria    General Boards    My Diary by Elsa Peters  ›  MARCH 2016
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Elsa Peters
March 20, 2016, 5:27pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 20th March

So Filmon or my slow connection was playing up again last night so the rugby went by the way but congratulations to England in winning the Grand Slam....it's just a pity I missed it but a girl can only have so much frustration in her life before she pulls the plug.  

Silly four thirty start again but I coffeed and then settled down until six thirty, made myself another coffee but put my head down on the pillow again and it was eight when I came too with the sun shining.  I poured away the cold coffee and made another, took out the rubbish and got the bonfire going still in my pyjamas and eventually grabbed my book and went and sat outside to enjoy the sunshine.  Last night after checking on the weather for today...as social secretary for the group, be it small, I suggested to the Librarian and Mrs D of S that we went out for lunch today to the restaurant where we normally go swimming and we all thought it was a good idea.  I lazed through the morning doing my nails and getting ready and was in the Beast for eleven thirty packing my trusty gardening equipment having spotted some roadside Japonica that I thought would be easy to remove from the hedgerow.

We all met up at twelve thirty and carried on to the restaurant and despite the weather we sat inside.  The restaurant was heaving...the weather had brought out the locals too.  Finished off with a coffee and headed to the Japonica but it was harder than we thought.  It liked it where it was and we only have a few trophies to write home about.  Stopped at the motel shop and bought some really calorific chocolate cakes and sat out in the sun taking in the last dregs.  The wind had got up and there was a distinct chill in the air so home for five, fire lit and two seconds later Haciber was at the door with a bowl of home made yoghurt....I think I'm about to put the boiler on and soak in a really hot back tonight.  I don't seem to have got warm since I've got back despite the fire going hell for leather.

So tomorrow I'm destined for Kardjali but I'll see how I feel...it might be a home day for me.  CBA with Film on tonight...I have a couple of difficult Sudokus to do and that should take me up to bed time.  I've finished my book so time to start on the next.  LN....I genuine spring day...LN
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Elsa Peters
March 21, 2016, 5:32pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 21st March

Six start and checked my emails and Facebook and there was a message from Gouldjan to ask if I was going into Kardjali today.  I was in two minds whether to go or not and this tipped the balance and I messaged her back to confirm that I would.  As it happened. she phoned me at seven to ask me the same question so I arranged to pick her up at the bus-stop at nine.  Now I was doing alright time-wise but I fell on to a video about the history of King Jesus and it was someone comparing the bible with old Roman, Egyptian and Babylonian texts and it made me sit up and think.  Unfortunately it was an hour long programme so I was left with about fifteen minutes to get washed, dressed and get my a into gear to meet her at the pick-up point...but I made it before her.

Dropped her in town and carried on to Kardjali.  My car parking man was noted by his absence so I firstly stopped off at the rates office to pay my Beast's annual tax and I stood in the queue and waited my turn.  I handed over my company registration card and the girl said that I had to pay for two Pajeros..I reiterated that I only had one but there were two registered against my company.  At this point the girl shunted me over to the big boss at another cash desk which didn't take cash and it transpired that the second was one due to the new engine being fitted and since it had two extra 'horses', I had to pay the back tax for last year and this years which has now drastically increased.  He eventually worked out the cost and now we were back to the first desk with disapproving looks from those waiting who thought I'd jumped the queue being English. So that payment made and then on to the company tax declaration office to get the forms for submitting by the end of this month.  I'd forgotten my company stamp otherwise I could have done it there and then...doh.  My final stop was to sort out my banking and accept the lousy interest rates for the next couple of years or so and now that's done and dusted.  Finally on to Kaufland and picked up some plastic pots and bargain rates with ideas in my head as to how to use them...watch this space.

Back to Djebel and had a few laughs when I tried to buy some wicks as spares for the oil burners.  I wasn't sure of the name so I got one of the assistants to write it down for me and I headed to the market armed for investigation.  Nobody had new ones but I managed to get some second hand but I'm still not sure if it's narrow webbing or the real deal...I'll give it a whirl and see.  Over to my student's mum's shop and bought some metal things that again I'm going to be creative with and it might have something to do with the pots.  

So I phoned Gouldjan to see if she wanted a lift home, round to the school and dropped her off at home just before four, headed home, parked up, unloaded, fire lit, chicken in the oven and supper ready by six this evening.  Just got my house tax and the company tax to finalise and then my red tape is over for another year.  I missed the sunset tonight but the moons up and I noticed that my solar garden lights are both still working well and adding a touch of homeliness to my yard.  Nothing on my agenda for tomorrow apart from gardening...I appear to have a lot that needs to be planted.  LN...Down to the fire and my book tonight...it appears that it must be the internet connection, I've had complaints from a couple of buddies so no Filmon...  LN



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Elsa Peters
March 22, 2016, 5:28pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 22nd March

Very disturbed night...I was too tired when I went to bed and ended up reading until two thirty and playing Suduko.  I think I need to start thinking about putting normal bedding on ....I might just be too warm now that spring is here...well for today anyway.  Awake at seven, coffee and back to bed until eight thirty reading.  I cleared the kitchen and noticed out of the kitchen window that my squatters have begun to squat so it was out with the camera to catch them in action.  They were both in for a while and then one of them took off to catch breakfast and then looked in on the other to see if the housework had been done....well that's my take on it.

I stripped the bed and got the first load in and thought I might as well have breakfast while it was working its magic.  A couple of poached eggs filled the gap and soon it was out with the first load and in with the second.  Light stuff on to the airer in the bathroom and the heavy things outside since there was a breeze blowing and the sun was out.  Unfortunately this breeze turned into a full scale tornado round about lunchtime and there was a chill about it.  The birds hunkered down and you could just see beaks and they called it a day until hunger struck again.

Out with the strimmer around lunchtime but having padded up for the occasion which included padded trousers and over sweater.  I got the plunder in under the wall but decided it was too cold yet for the tomatoes until I'd made some improvements in my garden portable polythene thing that was over the broad beans for the winter.  I've made a few modifications.  I've removed one section of polythene from the roof and in it's place is a window frame covered in polythene and attached to the top.  I can open it and close it as required...result.  The only snag is I shall have to leg it into the contraption to plant up the tomatoes and cucumbers but it should give them a reasonable start.  I came in at four thirty and lit the fire, got a few more logs in and locked up outside but then realised that the battery for the strimmer had recharged so did the front of the house by the wall and carried on until there was no power left.  Just made the bed up and hoping for a better night tonight.   Seven twenty my time and I've got cold chicken for tonight so not much work involved in that.  LN...I'm in for a relaxing evening after a productive day in the garden...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 24, 2016, 9:12am Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 23rd March

Sorry this wasn't posted last night...the mother of all storms yesterday all day culminating in the power going off at seven last night and only came on again at ten fifteen this morning....but I survived to tell the tale...which is more than can be said about the screen that I went on about yesterday for my tomatoes....That is now lying in a tangled heap and require life saving surgery if it's going to be fit for purpose and it might be quicker to start again...

It started off OK yesterday, I sat out on the terrace on the bench reading until ten but then the wind picked up so I cam inside and get dressed to face the day.  Now the wind was really going for it so I battened down anything that could more except that I forgot about the polythene garden thingy.  The the rain started and boy did it come down...I decided it was an indoor day and a fire to keep me company and it got much worse.  The door screen was rattling and I'd suggested to friends on FB that if they had plans for an Ark they would really be appreciated.  Logs in...I new I was there for the long haul and at five thirty I had the urge for curry supper so I took the chicken that I had in the fridge off the bone, fried off a couple of onions, added the chicken, spices and tomato paste and it was bubbling along nicely and then the electricity went off.  Now I use the gas rings on the cooker since it's duel fuel and cheaper so there wasn't a problem there except I couldn't see anything.  Found the tea lights and got a couple going and my next problem was to remove the fire from  the wood burner and put if into the little wood burner in the kitchen...and all this by the light of two tea lights...scary stuff but I managed it.  The pump did come on and the UPS did its stuff there was a little fire left in the biggie so I kept checking the radiators.  I didn't want to put the remainder outside...that wind was howling out there...the hot coals could have gone miles.

So supper was served, I finished it off on the little wood burner, really tasty and back to my book with a torch for company.  The moon did come out last night but the clouds were rocketing across it and lightening was filling the sky followed by the odd clap of thunder.  Off to bed with the torch for company....



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Elsa Peters
March 24, 2016, 4:46pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 24th March

So as I told you this morning the electricity came back on at just after ten and now for this update just in case it goes off again.  It was relatively dry this morning but that didn't last long.  I phoned the Librarian to see if she wanted to come out to play today but there was no reception on her phone so I planned for solo enterprises.  It's amazing isn't it....you know there isn't electricity but I put a couple of eggs on to boil after I'd made my coffee this and got the toaster out and plugged it in...doh...so I got out the frying pan, added a some butter and put it on after the eggs had more or less finished and it went down well.  I think I switched the kettle on twice and the light into the kitchen on first thing.  I could always say that I was testing whether it'd come back on or not....and closely followed by 'liar, liar, pants on fire'...  

I headed up stairs and decided that I'd submit my company documents and get them out of the way for another year and went to the draw where I keep my company stamp and it wasn't there.  I vaguely remembered doing something with it thinking it might have been when I was going to get my new driving licence sorted but I ended up searching everywhere.  I moved the printer unit out in case it'd fallen on the floor and no, searched handbags, coat pockets and the cars and nothing and there it was sitting in a plastic folder with the previous annual documents ready to roll....I suppose we all get days like that.

Into my student's mums shop and she filled in the form for me.  My Bulgarian handwriting is very 'learnerish' and I wanted the person receiving it to have some idea of the details.  It hammered it down all the way into Kardjali but when I stopped off at Kaufland the car-park was dry.  I bought more fir trees, six packets of the cheap biscuits that I've come to love, chicken reduced in price for the freezer and then carried on to the government finance offices.  The security guard remembered me from when I'd picked up the form and with a smattering of English he said that I would only have to wait a short time and I did.  In and out in quicksticks and it costs nothing to submit the form,  Lidl on the way home and then the heavens opened again all the way into Djebel where I gave two of the packets of biscuits to my student's mum and received six eggs from her chicken in return.....bartering at it's best.  

Home, unpacked the Beast, lit the fire and went out with the camera to take one of the rain again and what I'd captured in the pots last time.  I looked over towards the end of the terrace and noticed that the honeysuckle that was there yesterday was no longer visible and neither were the two stone pots on the step.  The bloody wind had blown the bench with the honeysuckle straight off the terrace and dumped it on the ground.  I tried to lift it but there's just too much weight there....I need to get out with secateurs and do some trimming before I do any lifting...it's so destructive.

Curry for supper, I'm just about to head for the kitchen....it's supposed to be sunny with spotty showers tomorrow,,,,time to get out the Clearasil... LN...Kitchen calls...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 25, 2016, 5:17pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 25th March

Slept straight through until just before seven this morning and hadn't got a lot planed for the day.  I was going to resurrect the honeysuckle and the polythene screen but having taken a sojourn throwing out the old bread for the animals I reasoned that it would have to warm up a bit before I stuck my nose out again.  Eight thirty and my phone went and it was the Librarian asking if it was Easter this weekend and I replied that it was in England and various other places but not here.  Her response was that if it was she would be doing something and I'd suggested yesterday that I wanted to go into Haskovo and we scheduled it for next Tuesday but she thought it would be a good idea to go in today.  She was over by ten thirty, we stopped for a coffee and surveyed the damage from the storm, got into the Beast and off we set.

We stopped off at Kaufland and she wanted some of the colourful pots that I'd got and I got some more having got a design in mind.  Over to Practice in Haskovo and we both picked up some bare root shrubs that they've only just started bringing to Bulgaria. I was amazed...some were as low as one leva fifty more or less and the maximum was four leva....I also bought some huge clay pots with saucers underneath for the terrace and they were eleven leva each which translated into English money is about a fiver...Not to be sneezed at so I got three.  Over we went to our market garden and we found a few more to fill up the Beast...and it looked like Chelsea flower show on the move.  Drove back towards Kardjali and stopped off for lunch at a place where we won't stop again but we all get caught out at times....back to Kardjali and I'd questioned the prices of mattress in Haskovo but ended up in my favourite shop in Kardjali and I pick one up tomorrow morning.  I've decided that the downstairs bedroom needs to come into the twentieth century and needs a new mattress..It currently sports a covered foam one and a Turkish flock one on the top so measured, investigated and done and dusted...well it will be tomorrow.

Back to mine for coffee and cake and the Librarian set sail for home and she might just be back tomorrow to go into Kardjali with me for the mattress.  She's also wanting to update one of hers so we'll see what price we can manage to get one for.  It's still a bitter cold wind and has been all day.....I've hardly felt warm at all despite several layers and it's nearly April.  Not wanting food...the lunch is still sitting tight and the cake bouncing around on top.....it might be a beer to wash it down but it's been almost three months now since alcohol was on the agenda despite it sitting in the kitchen.  It's knowing that you can if you want and have the means to do it but choosing not to....shimples.  So LN...Just caught the sky but missed the going down...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 26, 2016, 7:06pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 26th Marxch

Six thirty start and again slept like a little lot.  Coffee and back to bed with the Kindle and up for the second cup and decided to get my rear end into gear.  Washing in and started since the weather looked better than it had for a while but it was still a chill breeze.  I cleared out last night's fire and there were embers so I left it but they didn't take off so left the starter ready for the night.  The Librarian phoned at just after eight and she was up for the trip to Kardjali so that I could get my new mattress for my downstairs bed and she was over by ten more or less.

Cleared the house rubbish and had a bonfire and got it over with before I hung out the washing.  Got rid of the old watering can that had sprung a leak and a few old flower pots that had broken up during the winter...the cold and age takes its toll....and it didn't take long to burn through so out with the washing.  I cleared the back of the Beast so that I could get the mattress in the back so save tying it to the roof and moved the new plants out onto the terrace so that they could have some fresh air and what sun there was.   Drove firstly to Billa for the bankomat and got some money out for the mattress since he only takes cash, found a selection of Easter Eggs on sale but it's not Easter here for another month or so, picked up a French stick to have lunch back at mine and then over to Kaufland for some ham to put in it.  I'd got most of the other stuff I needed.  

Over to the mattress shop and had the last one in stock for the size that I needed and we managed to fit it in the back of the Beast.  When I saw it I had visions of it being too big for the bed but when we got back and wrestled the old ones off the frame and the new one on...it fitted perfectly Cinderella so tonight I'm going to road test it.  The other ones are still in the house just in case.  Lunch of bread, ham, smoked cheese and pickles followed by plums and cream.  Haciber came round to see what I'd bought in Kardjali since she'd see the Beast laden when we came back and she had to report back to the village but she did bring round a concoction of something with beans for lunch.  We'd already eaten so it's there for later.  The Librarian set off just after three and I got the fire going since the temperature dropped, put the plants back in the little house in case there's a frost tonight, cleared the old tyres from the workshop and put them back in the garage and opened the door to the workshop terrace so that I can exit into the garden.  I had to move some of the breeze blocks that had been used as end supports for the stacked wood and they're now back in the garage and will eventually be used for the fourth wall to complete the boundary.  Washing in, fire going and I settled on the sofa with a coffee and the eyes went southwards and I woke up about an hour ago which doesn't bode well for tonight...I'll have to wait and see.

So tomorrow....on my list is gardening and a Happy Easter to my Anglefiles.....may your Easter eggs be plentiful and not disappear too quickly...I have four with soft centres to look forward to and they came with a spoon so presumably need to sit in egg cups...That's breakfast sorted then....LN...Filmon, if it's working and a book at bedtime in my new bed....LN



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Elsa Peters
March 27, 2016, 5:27pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 27th March

So last night was OK in the new bed….not the same feel as the nest but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.  The fire was still going so it was on with another log and it’s been going all day.  Breakfast was poached egg with ham on toast…Easter Sunday in the UK…why not….

Bit of a quiet morning…that wind was cold and it was hard to get motivated to get things done.  I new I had to get wood in but I lay on the sofa and read the next in the series and had a little sleep….I felt incredibly tired and nodded off.  I had another cup of coffee, a few biscuits and then out to get the wood in.  It appeared to have warmed up a little so I grabbed a hammer and some nails and attacked the polythene garden thingy and now it’s back on the garden and I also planted the tomatoes and the cucumbers although one of them looks like it’s not going to make it but well see.  I’ve strengthened the frame but need to take the polythene off and replace it but it will do as a protection for the time being.  The honeysuckle is back where it should be and a few more big nail s in the framed to hold it all together and hoping that there are no gales for the rest of the year.  

It started to rain again so it was pack up the tools and prepare a beef and tomato casserole for tonight and it went in the oven with a jacket and it’s all gone now.  As for the evening…it appears to have closed in quickly.  Eight our time and it’s dark as you like or don’t like.  There’s nothing on my agenda for the rest of the week, I’ve only got my house rates to sort out and I might just do that tomorrow then it’s all put to bed and I get five percent discount for prompt payment.   Relative gentle day today…LN…Here’s hoping I feel more energetic tomorrow…LN



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Elsa Peters
March 28, 2016, 4:38pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 28th March

Good night's sleep and I'm starting to make my own depressions in the new mattress...   Gentle start to the day and that sun was up.  The dive bombers were back in residence and making a heck of a din chattering to each other.  I went out with the little camera but they were both inside the nest and not wanting a photo shoot....and from that distance I didn't get a decent shot anyway....

Two bananas for breakfast and I sat out in the garden with my coffee.  I'd got dressed early, I'd put my nose out and realised that I needed to get a few more clothes on before I faced the day.  So my task for today should I choose to accept it...and I did.  I strimmed first so that the battery could be charged up for another shot at it later and then turned my attention to the Frog Garden.  I've said it before and I'll say it again...I hate weeding but it had to be done.  The poor Lily of the Valley had been struggling so they're now having to stand up for themselves,  There was everything....grass, clover and some tall flowered rosette things and their roots seem to go down for every but ...at last it's done.  Once the Lily of Valley have flowered I can dig the garden over properly before I get the summer flowers in there.  There's still a lot of bindweed currently hiding.

I came in for lunch....I hard boiled six eggs and mashed two of them up with mayo making a double sandwich.  It was a bit of a let down...the bread wasn't fresh enough so I finished the rest of the egg mayo with a fork and it was much tastier.  I thought I'd let the eggs settle so on to the sofa with my book and knocked off a couple of chapters and then back to it again.  Out with the strimmer and managed to get down to the bottom of the garden by the long fence but then I ran out again....I really must investigate a smaller electric strimmer.  Next job was to take down one of the small trees behind the garden toilet  but had to bring into play the saw to get through one of the main roots. It means that tomorrow I can clear the path down the wall and get it planted up with some of the new shrubs.

In by six and topped up the fire.  I'd lit it about four and so closed the windows that I'd opened this morning to get some air through and it seen warmed up.  Gardening tomorrow if the weather holds and I've just had a message to tell me that the new oil drum for the garden burning is ready to collect so I'll be in Djebel tomorrow morning and by then it should have warmed up.  Looks like I have an unwritten list,,,LN...One day I might commit it to paper...LN



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Elsa Peters
March 29, 2016, 4:00pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 29th March

Funny old night and I was awake at five and there wasn't an ounce of sleep in me so it was on with the coffee and out with the book.  Had a lovely bath last night but went to bed with damp hair and that could have been the problem.  Before I got back into bed though I put a load of washing on...cheap rate so why not and it was finished by six but I waited for dawn to break and the sun to look as if it was going to break through.  I lit the fire, I was washed and dressed by eight thirty, pegged out the washing but it was so cold that I came back in and settled down on the sofa with the book.  I didn't feel much like breakfast and waited until ten thirty and put a couple of hard boiled eggs in a bowl with some mayo and cut me a huge chunk of smoked cheese.  I was going in to Djebel but changed my mind....I had nothing much to go in for except my oil drum so I stayed put....and finished the book.

At three thirty I needed to go out and clear the ash can for the fire and realised that at least the sun was out at long last and the air temperature had increased.  So out I went and emptied the wheel barrow, got the strimmer loaded with the battery and cleared under the washing line and then round the little terrace garden until the battery ran out.  I thought I'd have another try at the lawn mower and struggled with it.  It started but then stopped so I swore, primed it several times, referred back to the manual,spoke nicely to it and ended up raising the wheels so that there was more air flow....and it worked.  The grass is too wet to mow really but at least it's going.  Out with the garden fork and finished clearing under the lounge terrace and the flower pots are now ready to plant up.  Lovely evening but there's still a nip in the air.  There's not much heat in it yet.

Not sure what I'm having for supper.  I have some gammon steaks in the fridge so it might be gammon and chippies...sounds like a plan.  Seven my time....LN...I'm heading for the kitchen.....LN



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