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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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Elsa Peters
March 10, 2016, 4:59pm Report to Moderator

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Well it was another seven o'clock start and the fire was still ticking along so I decided to get it going.  I made coffee and sat on the bottom of the stairs and just enjoyed the morning.  It was a grey old day but it's just as magical in it's own way.  The way that the cloud rise to clear the mountain and the patterns of the wind on the clouds ...it's never the same as sunrises and sunsets are unique.

The kitchen was tidy apart from last night's bowl so there really wasn't much to do.  I had an early breakfast and used up the last of Gouldjan's chicken eggs and sat in the kitchen with yet another coffee.  I read for a while and played a few silly games and the rain appeared to have slowed down so it was out with the strimmer until the battery was flat and then I moved on to the little house garden and the wall and set to clearing the weeds and the huge chunks of stone that seem to have got buried in the process of wall building.  At that point it was time for a coffee and a few biscuits and wait for the battery of the strimmer to charge up so that I could clear the clover from round the stone surrounding the garden.  Again it didn't take long to wind the battery down and so tomorrow I'm going to investigate the cost of an electric strimmer.  I've got the biggie but it's too heavy for me to handle but I suppose when the grass dries out I can get the lawn mower out...but in the meantime...

I came in at five and it was mainly to dry out and I didn't have a helmet with a light on it.  Caught up with Countdown and watch a brilliant programme on the Lake District with Griff Rhys Jones.  Sitting at my desk I had to take photos of the clouds on the mountain and the way they were scudding.  And now the light has gone...I'm heading to the kitchen to see what I can come up with from Mother Hubbard's Kitchen since most things are in the freezer.  LN...I'm sure I shall find something...there's always something...LN

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Elsa Peters
March 11, 2016, 7:13pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 11th March

So I woke up at five, read for a while and went back again until six thirty but it felt that I'd slept to ages in that last hour.  How the body gets things wrong.  Beautiful sunrise this morning and I was out with the camera.  Coffee, the fire was still going so I gave it the kiss of life and it heated the house up before I had my shower and hair wash.  Off to Kardjali today with the Librarian and Mrs D of S and I was expecting them at just after nine thirty.  We walked the garden, I made the coffee and we set off at ten fifteen with no direct mission but it was a relax day.

Leva shop for some basic homeware stuff, shoe shopping, second hand clothes shop and I managed to pick up a leather waistcoat and one for the wardrobe for my visitor for later in the year.  Lunch was pizza, chicken wings and chippies and we lingered over it calling in at one of my favourite 'dinkie do' shops which has classy gear.  I fell in love with two lovely oil burners and the lady recommended to add lavender or some other perfumed oil to the mix and now I have to find it.  I've got some tea tree oil and might give it a whirl.  Into Kaufland and bought some small conifers, over to Lidl and over to Basmar which is a hardware store and I found a couple of terracotta pots for the terrace and some trays of preformed plant holders.  

Home for about four thirty and we were all knacked...the weather was up and down all day and a cold wind got up and I'd only got one jumper on and I really felt it so it was good to get back and relight the fire and get cosy again.  Tomorrow I'm going to pot up the new shrubs and settle the conifers into the little house until I'm ready to put them along the wall to break it up.  I didn't feel like cooking supper so it was Tuc biscuits and cheese for me and washing it down with water....  Now I'm going to take advantage of the fire and settle down with my book....Rugby tomorrow....from Twickenham...and it's a decider....LN...and good luck to whichever team you support...LN

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Elsa Peters
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Saturday 12th March

So I was awake at five this morning, did the washing up from last night, made a coffee and took it back to bed.  I looked out and there wasn't a glimmer in the sky but the temperature had really dropped over night and I was tempted to get the fire going but bed was cosy enough for me.  I read for an hour or so but the day seemed to rush by and my tummy was telling me that I should think about breakfast so the cheese that I'd not managed to get through last night was converted into a cheese and onion omelette for breakfast.  And it was only eight o'clock.

I did emails and played around with Facebook but it's something that I'm going off pretty rapidly.  It's getting far too political, lots of posts get shared, they appear in my news feed from different direction and I'm tired of the 'selected' adverts.  Where's that once friendly site gone...it's obviously about advertising and revenue.  So washed and dressed for about nine thirty and decided to head into Djebel to see if the garage had managed to cut an oil drum in half for me to use in the garden for burning the rubbish.  I'd looked at the burning pit this morning and the cats had had a field day and there was garbage everywhere but I thought I'd leave it for when I got back.  I thought about working in the garden but it was cold, damp, watery sun, mist that I reckoned would take ages to burn off and after all ...it's 'le weekend'....

So into Djebel and managed to park outside the shop but unfortunately I couldn't have my oil drum..The cutting machine had got burnt out brushes and they'll be fixing it tomorrow when they buy some new ones so next week should be fine.  I love sitting in the shop with my student's mum.  We seem to cover lots of topics of conversation from alternative medicine to local remedies and clothes site that she uses.  All very informative.  My nails have been splitting lately and the new cure that apparently contains copper and magnesium is pollen dust as a by-product of bee keeping and I've been told where to get it.  It doesn't taste that good apparently but with a spoonful of honey to make the medicine go down so to speak in a little hot water it dissolves ...and it's OK and at minimal cost.  I've also managed to order some flavoured oils for my burners from my student mum's shop and we had fun translating some of them and had to resort to Google to do it.  Strange thing today...despite being a Saturday it was a normal working day for everyone even the schools.  Thursday was a holiday and so they gave everyone Friday off to make a long weekend of it but they have to make the day up so today was the day.  Realising that Gouldjan was working I went to the school and offered her a lift home and she was more than willing to take me up on it.

Settled in this afternoon to watch the rugby after lighting the fire but the wind must be in the wrong direction and it was a bugger to get going and is still reluctant....it might need another fire lighter.  Good game but it was a bit of a rush to the finishing post for the Welsh and ended up a tight match.  If they'd have played as well at the beginning as at the end...it could have been a really good game.  So nine my time...I'm not too interested in food...I attacked a bun loaf this afternoon while watching the rugby so I shan't exactly starve.  LN....Fire time...I shall win the battle...LN

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Elsa Peters
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Sunday 13th March

Seven start and I think it was the rain that woke me up eventually...rain that was belting it down and it appears to have been doing it all night.  There was no gardening today...no way was I going out there and the wind was blowing my special tree with the old fir cones popping off every now and then.  I must remember to pick them up before I managed to get the lawn mower out but I can't see that happening for a few days yet.  I did notice that my Avatar's nephew was out cutting her grass on Saturday and maybe I missed my window of opportunity...ah well ..there'll be others.

The fire was lit this morning fairly early on and I settled in with my book for a short while with a coffee until I headed for the kitchen and decided that beans on toast would fill the gap.  I did get some more logs in and that was about the height of activity for the rest of the day.  Book, computer, games, sudoku, free cell so not much to report.  I could almost watch the weeds and grass grow.

Settled in for the rugby this afternoon and I've now tuned into the World Gymnastics and the team just amaze me.  It takes me back to my days in the gym at school but as for going over the horse and box...forget it...I liked my feet on the floor and athletics, netball and hockey were my forte.

Shepherds pie but with sliced potatoes on the top instead of mashed...that was another saucepan to wash up and the less of that the better.  Out for supper tomorrow night at my student's house so I might even look to do something with either the new rhubarb which is growing well with the rain or with the apples that seemed to have lingered longer in the kitchen than they should have done.  Back to the gymnastics and then the book and just hoping for better weather tomorrow otherwise I shall be getting in a few sheep or cows to drop the height of the garden.  LN...roll on spring...LN

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Elsa Peters
March 14, 2016, 9:17pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 14th March

And another cold damp day and at eight this morning there was snow in the rain and I remembered last year and hoped that it would go as quickly as it came and that nothing would settle.  There was a gale blowing again and I had to rescue the plastic little table that was making its way across the terrace before it crashed down onto the garden.  I got the fire going and breakfast was spicy sausage and a fried egg and I sat in front of the fire with a cup of coffee enjoying another restful morning.  Cleared the washing up from last night and this morning, got a load of washing into the machine and there's something good about machines that get on with it while you do something else.

I've not got a lot to report today....I was reading for most of the morning and playing games and I know that I should find something constructive to do but my spring has changed back to winter and the weather has not been good enough to get outside and the brain is ready for gardening but it's being denied.  I watched a little Filmon and go bored so back to the book, went out to top up the log basket and my Painter was walking down the street so he came in for twenty minutes or so and he was explaining the way that you get allocated to work programmes here.  It all seems a little hit and miss to me and while someone's mother is offered work, the son takes it on and it really is 'jobs for the boys'.  More who you know more than what.  

Back to my book, hung the washing on the airer in the bathroom and then it was get you head down time on the sofa in front of a roaring fire.  I woke up about four twenty and came to with another cup of coffee and put on a few extra clothes on top of the ones that I'd been lazing about in to head off to my student for six o'clock.  I selected a couple of cans that I'd covered in string as a gift for them and had a bit of a surprise when my student told me that she had resigned from her job on principle.  She been transferred to another department and asked to stay where she was and was told that the decision would be taken by the end of February and now half way through March she'd heard nothing.  She'd made supper of liver banichka and it was served with various bits of salad and stuff that I normally avoid especially if it's green and on my way home by ten since it was predicted that it would be icy tonight.  As it was it wasn't so home, put the car away in the garage, coaxed the fire into action and now ready to read for a while before I head to my virginal pit.

Weather report for tomorrow is sunny but cold so I might managed to get the burning pit sorted and clear up from the cat and bird encroachments.  LN...There's always something to do including sleep...LN

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Elsa Peters
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Tuesday 15th March

Seven o'clock start and the sun was already up.  It was a cold one but the only evidence of frost was on one of the new little conifers sitting in the outside sink.  As the tap had dripped it had formed ice crystals on the inner branches.  Poor little thing.  It’s now buried in the garden and should fare better tonight.

Toast for breakfast…I opened the windows to get some air in but only left them open for half an hour or so.  It was cold.  I laid the fire but didn’t light it.  I knew that I was going out gardening…I’d made my mind up as I looked out of my downstairs bedroom window that the grave garden was being attacked today  It got its name that the window frames that I've used to form beds make it look like burial plots.  

I made it out to the garden by ten thirty but was back in again by ten forty five…It was too cold to be out so I settled down with my book waiting for it to warm up a bit.  I went out at eleven thirty, strimmed until I ran out of battery and then took the fork to the flower beds and cleared out the weeds.  It was difficult going but by three thirty this afternoon the three little ones were done, I’d moved the Escalonia to the long garden wall and done another strim.  

In for four thirty, pork chops and roasties in the oven, lit the fire and made a sweet and sour barbecue sauce to slaver on the chops when they were cooked.  Found a tin of lychees and they were served up with crème for pudding, Pointless, Eggheads and the boiler is on.  I need to linger in the bath tonight to wash away my aches and pains after the first full day of gardening.  It’s going to be another cold one tonight so it will be another late start tomorrow…three more gardens to clear tomorrow.  LN…I’ve got the bug again…LN

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Elsa Peters
March 16, 2016, 6:18pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 16th March

So last night the Kindle went into the bath with me but this time I popped it on the side before I nodded off.  It's a habit of mine and always has been.  The water was chilly when I woke up but not cold and fortunately I'd banked up the fire before I went into the bath so I was down to a cosy lounge and I read for a while until I was really ready for sleep and managed to go through the night waking at six thirty this morning.  I was surprised at the low cloud base and the dampness and had expected frost on my conifer again but no...it was damp, cold, miserable and remained so all day.

I washed and dressed and put on my padded army trousers with the intention of going out there and doing some 'stuff' but I did some but not as much as I could have done.  Haciber was round at nine thirty this morning with half a hot loaf of her home made bread and that turned into my breakfast.  She complemented me on the number of flowers in the garden and I pointed out my 'cemetery' garden to her and the work I'd done on it but I don't think she appreciated what I'd called it.  I came back in and lit the fire.  No way was I going to chill while I was sitting reading.  It's my own fault really...I should remember to put extra socks and slipper on...I think if your feet are warm the rest of you is.

So I did make it outside and did a battery's worth of strimming and I've managed to get down to the bonfire.  I planted out the hyacinths that have finished flowering and headed down the garden with the spade and a wild plum that was growing in the wrong place and that's now under the wall.  Why is it that I find moving earth to create new gardens easier than weeding existing.  I suppose it's less fiddly.  So the path behind the old garden toilet is taking shape and I've moved one of the heaps of soil left when the wall went in.  I've scattered part of it on an existing little garden but the thought of wheel barrowing it down to the bottom of the garden lost its lustre when I realised that the wind had got up and I was cold.

I've finished the last of my Sue Grafton so I've got to buy the last two from Amazon when I get round to it.  I need to find a new series so I've spent an hour or so seeing what's on the Kindle and printing off the order of the books by authors.  Have just come off the phone and realised that I've missed half of Eggheads but at least I'm up with the UK gossip.  Supper was last night's pork chop but cold so not as good as last nights but the remaining lychees went down well...Tomorrow I might make a trip into Kardjali and find my way through the end of year red tape...I'll see how I feel....So LN....I'm, on my knees for better and warmer weather for tomorrow...LN
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Thursday 17th March

When I saw the sun come up this morning...Kardjali went on the back burner.  My student didn't want to come out to play and messaged me at eight thirty from her bed.  I don't know...the youth of today.  I was up at just after six and had just got settled with my coffee when I noticed the sunrise so it was back upstairs to grab the camera and renew the battery so I could get the job done.  I must admit thought that once done I again headed back to bed where it was warm...there was a distinct chill in the air despite that ball in the sky.

It wasn't warm enough to get out there so I found a new set of books to get my teeth into.  The first page sets the scene, she is a forensic pathologist...and three pages in she has her first body and page nine introduces maggots....I decided to leave breakfast for a while but when I got round to it it was Haciber's bread with butter on it. Got washed and dressed, cleared out and relaid the fire, took the ash bucket down to the bottom of the garden and got some more starter wood in.  I noticed that my Painter had been round and had left me some washed and trimmed leeks and a jar of his home made peaches in syrup.  Settled down once again with the book and didn't go out until nine thirty which is still early in some people's world and set about strimming the grass from where I'd run out of juice yesterday and when I ran out today I picked up my trusty English fork and tackled the rhubarb bed.  I think it must be the manure that I put on at the end of last year....the grass and clover roots seem to go on forever.  Came in for a break around twelve, back to my book and out again by one.  I was determined to get the bed finished.  So I finished it about four and had hunger pains so into the freezer and found fish fingers, peeled a couple of potatoes and it was comfort food for me with mayo and tomato sauce.  Peaches for pudding with cream and out I went to tidy the tools away, lock up the little house and did one more strim of the garden until the battery ran out again.  Caught the sun on the hills and the sunset and am now settled in for the night.  Pointless and Eggheads and then the book my encourage me into an early night.  I did have a wave of tiredness come over me a two more or less but I worked through it pushing myself to get the job done...I should;d sleep well tonight.  Another gardening day if the sun's out tomorrow....LN...It almost felt lime spring this afternoon....LN

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Elsa Peters
March 18, 2016, 5:21pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 18th March

Well the best laid plans of mouse and men and me seemed to have failed miserably last night.  Filmon just didn't want to play.  Pointless kept freezing and I'm not sure if it was down to Filmon or my provider and eventually I got into Eggheads to catch the beginning where I noticed that the opposition was made up of a team of ladies with alopecia....and not one hair in sight.  I didn't hear most of the questions as it was still playing up but one I did catch referred to the colour of the head of a Bald Eagle which I reckon wasn't the question that they ought to be asked.  I didn't get the response ...it froze again and I gather that the jackpot was won and they were whooping about with three of the 'eggheads' in the sin bin.

So a six twenty start for me.  I opened the curtains and it was white over....not sure what kind of frost ....but the mist hid the mountains from view.  There was no fire...I raked to find embers but there was nothing so it was back to bed with a coffee.  The house wasn't cold since I'd drawn the internal curtains keeping what heat there was contained into my winter lounge area and looking at the moon tonight...I've shut them already...it looks like another cold one is on the cards.

Didn't do much this morning...I put my nose out and realised that it was as cold as it looked.  I did get a couple of loads of washing done and pegged it out to catch what I thought was a breeze until I got out there and it was blowing a gale.  I pegged it all securely...I could imagine it ending up in Kardjali.  Hunger struck and I'd missed the bread van so I made a cheese omelette and sat down with yet another cup of coffee and by this time it was twelve.  I'd thought about strimming but felt that after lunch was not the correct time to do it so I settled down on the sofa in the sun with the door open and enjoyed the fresh air from my sheltered position.  I suddenly realised that the eyelids were heading south so I collected the washing from the line and put it on the clothes airer in the bathroom, shut the door, put my book down and settled down and it was two thirty before I came back to the world of the living.

By four I was feeling guilty about the lack of endeavour so I picked up the strimmer and headed for the bottom of the garden where the weeds were at least a foot high and took them back to ground zero.  Now I felt less guilty so lit the fire, there are two pork chops in the oven with some rosti potatoes and that will do for supper....and I've just been to check and everything is in order.  

So tomorrow I'm off to Kardjali with my painter.  I'm picking him up at nine and we should be in the cheapy clothes shop by nine thirty and he's hoping to pick up a bargain or two.  I need a few things from the supermarkets but nothing to drastic to put on a list.  Now let's try Filmon again....LN...I'll let you know if it's successful tomorrow or you might just see steam rising from the roof if you look closely...LN

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Elsa Peters
March 19, 2016, 5:24pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 19th March

Filmon, Filmon is really pee-ing me off....and not sure whether it's here or there.  I did manage to watch the Wales -France match but the Scotland - Irish game has only just loaded so it looks like it might be stop and go, stop and go.

So today....I was up again and silly o'clock and didn't manage to get back off.  I made a coffee and was reading for a couple of hours or so and out of bed and in the shower by seven....out again by five past and I'd lit the fire at five so that it was warm to stand in front of and dry off.  I was down waiting for the bread van at just before eight and made him laugh but putting my fingers in my ears to deaden the sound of his horn as he makes everyone aware that he's up for business.  One crusty loaf and a cheesy bread and a bit of both for breakfast sitting out on the terrace bench.  The wind was a bit nippy but I was well wrapped up.  I got the Beast out onto the grassy area in front of the wall and in and away just before nine and my Painter was waiting in the bus stop.  We took the back lane and we were in Kardjali by nine twenty five and straight way over to the second hand shop to see if we could pick up any bargains for him.  I left him to wander for a while....I spotted a black cropped jacket that would look good for a dressy undressy evening and we found a couple of shooting jackets for him and a cotton summer shirt.  He hummed and arrghed at the shirt but I reminded him that it was probably under one lev...thirty five pence and his little eyes were spinning at the thought.  I picked up a couple of table mats and a leather belt...over to the cash desk and it was all seven lev...

We left the things in the car and we stopped for a coffee and then walked to the market where I got potatoes, tomato and cucumber plants and some flowers for the garden and then on to Kaufland for some veg and a few items.  We have a little joke where I guess the value of the trolley and we had the same cashier and she remembered the game....I was only a few stotinki out.  Stopped off at Lidl for a few items and home via Djebel I wasn't going to tackle the lane...it's OK going down but it was very muddy and the last thing I wanted to do was get stuck when there wasn't any need.  

Dropped him off in the next village and I got the washing machine going and pegged it out but it came in quite quickly...I had visions of it all ending up in Greece so it's on hangers in the bathroom.  The plants went into the little house just in case there is a frost tonight...I'll put them in the garden tomorrow under polythene.  So chicken breast in the oven along with a couple of small jacket potatoes and I'm about to settle in to see what I manage to see of the next game...I am at the mercy of Filmon.   LN...I'll update you tomorrow...no doubt...LN

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Elsa Peters
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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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Elsa Peters
March 30, 2016, 7:51pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 30th March

Just before seven start and the usual routine except that dawn was worth capturing for a change.  I used the Sony at first but took out the Canon to get ones of the sunrise at super stretch but it seemed to really make the colours come alive.  A coffee was snook in between the shots and then headed to the kitchen to clear up the plates from yesterday....The water is so hot in the morning that there's no effort involved since the water heater comes on overnight on the timer.

So sat for a while with my book and the coffee and on to the pc to check out emails but by nine I eight thirty I was dressed and ready for the garden since it looked like it was going to be a good day.  First job was out with the strimmer so that I could put it on to recharge and get a second go at it and I managed to do round my special tree and another chunk of the garden.  It was time for another coffee and five minutes in the sun with the book which turned into twenty but I was out with the wheelbarrow, spade and fork and tackled the last bed in the tomb garden and it was really full of weeds and clover.  Three wheelbarrows later there was only a little left to do so I broke for lunch before it broke me.  Eggs mayo, ham, cheese and beetroot and water to wash it down and at one fifteen I was about to get my little head down when I had a visit from my Painter who'd finished his work for the day and decided to pop in.....bless him.....I reminded him that the clothes that we'd got in Mania were still waiting for him so I bundled them into a plastic bag still on the coat-hanger and he asked me if he could buy some mince meat from me to see whether or not he liked it before I got him a couple of kilograms from Zlatograd.  Out came the wallet and I told him to put it away....I can spare a pound of mince....

Back to the garden and by this time the battery was charged so more of the lawn strimmed down and then it was back to the little garden and I finished it off.  Found a couple of flowers and planted one of the new shrubs but looking at the label it needs to intertwine in the trees so it's going to be dug up tomorrow and re-sited.  Cleared the rest of the frog garden and tomorrow I have just the long garden by the fence and the lilac garden to do and then it's back to the creative stuff that I enjoy.

Just after four thirty when I came in and quick wash and change and by five I was heading into Djebel to get the burning barrel that I'd asked for from the garage, picked up a couple of bottles of fizzy from the supermarket and carried on to my students for supper,  Lovely evening with the family and put it to them tentatively about coming to England for ten days in August.  The older sister was really up for it....the younger one might need working on,  So home for ten thirty and ....sorry, I didn't manage to take any other photos except of the sunrise.....the garden ones will come tomorrow.  LN....I'm ready to hit the sack....LN

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Elsa Peters
March 31, 2016, 4:16pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 31st March

Well that’s another month almost gone and this year seems to be rocketing…At least we’ve had what could be called a spring day but the wind got up this afternoon and the poor squatters were having trouble lining up the nest to take refuge.

So normal morning, washed dressed and waiting for the bread van at just after eight but there was no cheesy bread or eggs on board.  I did ask what sort of shop he called himself and I had a little giggle with my girls….well they used to be but so did I.  Breakfast was two thick slices of the fresh loaf and I spread it with cream cheese and it was out to the garden and on the bench to eat it in the sun with my coffee.  It was that good a morning,  I got the book out and suddenly there was a flurry of activity over the wall.  The noisy old sheep were out there and there was a tractor and trailer making its way to the other side of the hill.  The farmer shouted a good morning to me and then it stopped near to the lake and the banging, chain saw and hammering began,  There were four of them erecting a new fence and there was certainly a lot of shouting which is the way in Bulgaria.

At eleven I thought it was time I started…and got the strimmer out and you know the rest…I worked until the battery was no more, straight on to charge and then it was out with the lawn mower and it started first time.  I took it carefully and probably emptied the grass box more than I should but it was still very wet and I didn’t want to jam up the works.

Tuna mayo for lunch and settled on the sofa and got my head down for an hour or so, out with the strimmer again and have another patch to go at with the mower tomorrow,  It’s all in the technique.  So it’s seven my time but I might not be able to post this until later…the internet is down.  Lovely sunny evening and the wind has at last dropped.  The fire’s going, I’m cosied in for the night…LN….Nose to the grind tomorrow to conquer the lawn…LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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