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MAY 2016  This thread currently has 9,265 views. Print
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Elsa Peters
May 10, 2016, 5:54pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 10th May

Seven start and I couldn't understand why an alarm was going off.  Eventually when the brain got into gear...it was my telephone and Gouldjan was trying to get through.  I didn't phone back....I was down for a coffee and the phone went again and seven thirty.  Gouldjan's mother had made me another gallon of yoghurt and a ton of cheese and I had to be down there by eight to pick them up.  Quickly into an pair of leggings and the Beast and down I went meeting the neighbours on the way.  Mr Gouldjan was working on the perimeter of the house adding drainage to stop the house flooding in the winter, Mrs was milking cows and it was a little hive of activity.  I accepted my gifts, back into the car and home before eight.  

Nothing much happening at home so I went to get dressed and walked the garden.  I had a visit from my Avatar's daughter wanting to know how I set up my automated payments for my electricity and water...she wants to do it for Avatar.  Bacon and egg for breakfast and into the car for eleven.  I'd decided to go Haskovo to pick up a new strimmer head and then on to the nursery for more plants.  

Back to Kardjali for a late lunch in the market and saw a tree in the square with flowers that I've never seen before.  Fortunately I had remembered the camera and now to investigate what it is....I've no idea.  Over to Kaufland for a few basics and home for five more or less, unpacked the plants and have realised I've given myself more work to do.....but I love it.  Monty Don would eat his little heart out....I only paid forty lev for lots of mature shrubs.  Fire going...no supper tonight...still full from lunch but my guest might be in to the toast and taramasalata later...Greek delight.

Reasonable weather today with only a hint of rain....not sure about tomorrow but hoping for a brief respite to get the plants in....Nothing else on the agenda so far.....LN.....it's time for Filmon for a little relaxation...LN

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May 10, 2016, 7:47pm Report to Moderator

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Your mystery tree, looks like it could be this, Liriodendron tulipifera, https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/details?plantid=1177

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Elsa Peters
May 11, 2016, 4:35pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 11th May

Thank you Trevor...I did research it this morning and yes...Tulip tree.  I'd heard about them but never seen one.  The flowers are just stunning.  It's been a day of surprises.  My cuckoo who can not say 'cuckoo' but comes out with a 'cu.cu.cooo' is back...third season or he has similar off-spring and he makes me laugh and a visit from my Hoopoo and where is the camera when you need it.  I'll have to keep a look out.

Six thirty start and yet again we had the full mist obscuring everything which didn't really lift until nine thirty this morning.  Cooked breakfast and yet again but I'll eventually get back to normal when I'm on my own again.  I dug out the hole left in the concrete in the workshop terrace and filled it with a good compost before I planted the Jasminium Nudifloram...and keeping fingers crossed that it gets enough nutrients to give it a good start.  I've cleaned out the terrace bed and the frog garden ready to get some plants in.  I've got a few zinnia self-sets and those are now planted where I want them not where they want to be.  The frog garden is going to have marigolds or nasturtiums,,,I'm not sure yet.

I did have to make a trip into Djebel...I'd finished off the potting compost couldn't find my nasturtium seeds but I knew a man who had some so bought two packets.  He insisted on giving me a gift of more seeds so I settled for parsnip which he said was only good for soup or animals.  I'm thinking that I have to take some into the shop that I've roasted....that should surprise him.

Home and back to the gardening....supper is already in...barbecue spare rib chops with roast diced potatoes and onions.  It's finishing off as I write and that's why I like oven cooked meals.  I can get on with something else while it's doing its own thing.  

Much better day weather-wise....but it did get very humid this afternoon as if we were going to get thunder again but we managed to avoid it.  Nothing planned for tomorrow...there's a lawn to finish that's if it dries up enough....All go this end.  LN...Supper should be ready....LN

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May 12, 2016, 6:42am Report to Moderator

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Have you seen this?


I didn't realise that they flew all the way to Central Africa from the UK to over winter. Perhaps yours does as well.

I've never seen a Tulip tree either, did it have any scent?
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Elsa Peters
May 12, 2016, 6:37pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 12th May

Thanks Trevor...I didn't know about the site so I might be telling them about my cu-cu-koo...to see if it's been reported anywhere else.  As for the Tulip tree...pretty but no perfume and not sure if it fruits or not.  Apparently they are easy to grow from seed so I shall be making another visit to Kardjali and they will probably be added to Mrs D of S's seeds for sale.  

Six start but what a good night's sleep.  I crept down for coffee so that I didn't wake my guest and went down to start my day at eight.  The bread van tooted as it went passed but I didn't need any and then it was bacon and eggs with fried bread but I'm sure I've worked the calories off as the day wore on.  The was a bit of the sun showing this morning but not a lot.  Out for my morning estate viewing and I heard my Avatar talking to my painter and he got back into a car but stopped and we had a chat.  I'd got a shirt that I'd bought in my cheapie shop for him and some mince meat that he'd asked me to get from Zlatograd and he popped by after lunch and picked them up.  

The cows were marshalling the perimeter today but were lying down and didn't seem to have a lot of energy.  The grass cuttings were going over the fence and I think these attracted the younger ones.  It looked like they'd all been sent out to amuse themselves and the youngsters were quite inquisitive as they attacked my hedge.  My guest did half the lawn and I finished the rest of it.  I dug out the weeds from the frog garden and planted up marigolds, snapdragons and a fir tree and there are still loads to go in.  Emula came round ..the village is having a 'Mevlit' and a donation was requested towards the rice and meat and paid up front.  

Hedge trimmed, bonfire still going getting rid of the rubbish and weeds....two pork chops went into the remains of the sauce from last night's pork and into the oven with them with a couple of jackets.  I went out and strimmed the grass from the front of the house and drive and I'm fair knacked tonight.  Trouble is it's looked like rain all day and nothing has come of it....and the temperature has gone down again and so much so that I've got a fire going.  

Might go to Assenograd tomorrow but it's weather dependent....if it's pouring down it won't be much fun walking round a market and a monastery....So down to the fire...even Filmon can't keep me up here.  LN....I'm down for a warm...LN

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Elsa Peters
May 13, 2016, 6:38pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 13th May

So my first thought this morning that I got married on this day forty four years ago....Unfortunately it didn't go for the long haul but I still remember it fondly and we are still good friends and able to meet on social occasions...

First wakening this morning was at four and I had to get up and open the window.  I ended up sleeping on top of the heavy quilt with only the lightweight one on me thus heralding the start of a rise in temperature,  No way to see the bottom of the garden though..it had rained heavily in the night and there was a downpour at seven and this had created a white out with regard to the mountains.  It eventually lifted.

Only two eggs left so it was poached on toast, a load of washing processed and I was out weeding the pots on the terrace when Remsie came into the garden and invited me to a village party for the ladies today at Haciber's house which came as a surprise.  I walked Remsie out of the garden and we were approached by Haciber and I was lined up to fetch my sheep farmer's mother so she could join in the fun.  Both her boys were busy and there was no one to bring her and since she is blind...she needs transport and assistance.  I picked up Haciber lifting her into the Beast and then down to the farm to fetch Semile's mother.  Back to Haciber's house dumped the passengers, back to the house and dumped the car and then over to the venue.  

Now these ladies all sit around talking in Turkish and I sit there listening and trying to pick out words and follow something of the conversation.  The initial talking point was the fact that I'd put on odd socks...one blue with black stripes and the other pink with grey stripes being too idle to find the opposite number of either of them.  Tables were laid, statutory half a loaf for each person, a pot of soup and salad was put in the middle of the table and everybody dipped in.  That was whisked away and a chicken leg issued on an individual plate, bones taken away and a huge round dish of baklava dripping with honey took centre stage.  The finale was a sponge honey cake...the camera came out at each stage but I only took the table shots.  I respect my neighbours too much to have the camera out at every opportunity...it can be an intrusion.

So back home after dropping off my lady, head down for the afternoon and a little light gardening this evening.  I hadn't realised how tired I was or perhaps it was a change in the weather...I'm not used to that big yellow thing in the sky.  Only a little fire this evening but I've got my bedroom window open to keep the temperature down....We didn't bother with Assenograd today...the day was filled with local events.  The Beast is parked outside...Kardjali tomorrow for shopping and a meander and I want to get some seeds from the Tulip tree since I read it's easy to grow.  LN....I'm back to Filmon and a bird programme....LN

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Elsa Peters
May 14, 2016, 6:25pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 14th May

Narnia moments in the garden this morning....the sun was already up but the way that the mist hangs in the valley is stunning.  It didn't last for long though....the sun got warmer, the mist really started to rise and we were enveloped in fog until it burnt off.  Baked beans on toast for breakfast...I'd run out of eggs...I went over to check to see if my Avatar needed anything from Kardjali and she asked me if it was OK to drive a car into Djebel without oil.  My eyebrows must have reach the zenith and she took that as being a no but I went to check the Beauty and I had a couple of litres in the back of it so I was the answer to her daughter-in-laws prayer and I'm assured they'll replace it...at some point.

So into the Beast and off to Kardjali...cheapy clothes shop and got my guest a padded body warmer, a pair of summer trousers for me and two aprons with pockets on the front suitable for gardening when I can't wear my waistcoat with the pockets.  I paid my house phone bill and then Kaufland finishing off at Lidl where I picked up an outside extension lead just for my strimmer chargers....every ready...that's me.  I was three thirty by the time we got home, crusty rolls and ham for lunch and I sat down for a while with a bar of chocolate...wrong but satisfying and was about to get my head down when I realised it was close to five.  Much too late to be snoozing so I got the strimmer out and cleared the bottom of the garden, repotted the Abelia which is looking a little sorry for itself and managed to get the sweet peas and nasturtiums planted up and in situ on the workshop terrace to go up the netting.  In by seven, home made hamburgers and chippies for supper, delicious and quick.  My Avatar came round with some yoghurt that she'd made and it saved me searching for a pudding.  

Looks like it's going to be another hot day tomorrow....It might even be time to get a sun top on and shorts to get some colour on the rest of me to match my face and hands....LN...I'm heading for bed soon...I'm knacked...LN

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Elsa Peters
May 15, 2016, 5:37pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 15th May

So I woke up with the light on this morning...I was just too tired last night to switch it off I guess.  I was trying desperately to watch David Attenborough and did well for most of it but crept to bed and that was it until five this morning when the light did go off and I went back to sleep again.

Down for seven and back to bed with a coffee, crept down for a refill at eight and there was life from my guest.  Breakfast of mushrooms cooked in butter with bacon and an egg and it topped us up for the day.  I got the bonfire going to get rid of anything that wanted rid of and set too down the bottom of the garden to clear the dumping ground.  I tried to strim it but it was too rough so ended up using my trusty Bulgarian rake thing mainly to clear it so that I could see where the stone had been dumped and most of that has now been dumped under the wild rose.  Telephone call this morning from Mrs D of S heading out to Kardjali to see if I needed anything.  Thanked her but we arranged for them to call in on the way back for a catch up.  Coffee on the terrace and D of S started to take it about my 'English' mown lawn but at the end of it said that he now wanted a lawnmower....and the grass has to be striped for the full effect.

Carried on with the bottom of the garden, we dug out some old tree stumps and roots to clear the path along the long wall and are both feeling fairly knacked.  Chicken and roasties along with onions were put in the oven at five and cooked while I finished off outside.  Bottled fruit and my Avatar's yoghurt to finish off ....all washed up and spent quite a time watching the sky.  Several shades of pink and grey and the wind appears to have dropped at long last.  It did managed to keep the 'front' at bay though so no rain for us.  LN....More of the same tomorrow...pretty please...LN

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Elsa Peters
May 16, 2016, 2:44pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 16th May

Early start for both of us and again I went to sleep with the light on and only managed to switch it off at three.  Still...it's my electricity bill so my problem...

Six thirty down for coffee and breakfast was over by nine and the day was all mine.  I spent time on the telephone trying to order a new blade for my lawn mower.  The number for the warehouse was not responding so I went through to Sofia and the number worked, they spoke English, I was advised to email and I've heard nothing since....so I've emailed them again but I think it's another phone call in the morning,  They wanted me to quote a number starting with 11 and there are so many serial number on the machine that I ended up taking a photo of the registration plate and of the blade with a ruler by the side of it so let them work it out from that.  

Out to the garden and flattening the same place as yesterday and kept the bonfire going all day. It was the rubbish dump down there so all the rubble is now buried under grass cuttings but it's getting there.  The rubble is under the hedge and the wild rose bush and it should be ready to plant up by the end of the week if I do it properly and by tomorrow if I don't   Emula called round at lunchtime to tell me that the Mevlit or prayers for the village at the little mosque in our square is at ten tomorrow.  It will be boots blacked at headscarf at the ready.

Now it looks like rain is about to stop play.  I'm not very brave when the thunder starts...I feel quite exposed in the middle of my garden so it's stoke up the bonfire and put the tools away.  The sheep were heading home early ....the shepherd knew what was coming..and it's just arrived and bucketing it down.  It's an early update...we've been threatened with electricity cuts today so I want to make sure that this is posted.

Cold chicken tonight with anything I can lay my hands on....too tired to be inspirational...LN..It might even be a beer night tonight...LN

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Elsa Peters
May 17, 2016, 4:42pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 17th May

So I slept with the curtains open last night and what a lovely sight to wake up to.  The mist was hanging in the valleys and then the sun broke through and brightened everything up.  Magic...

Down for coffee and washed and dressed since I wanted fresh bread from the van.  I met two of my neighbours as I was walking down and there was lots of activity in the square.  The fire was lit under a huge cauldron, meat was bubbling away in it and they were about to add the rice.  I didn't have my camera with me so after I bought bread and eggs I headed home to get it.  By the time that I arrived back they were on to the next load and I watch as they measured the water, rice, added salt and then two more arrived carrying the meat in a bucket.  When the water was boiling the meat went in and we were on to the third.  The two that they'd made earlier were nestled under a couple of quilts...we had a mosque service to get through before the feast began.

I went home and made breakfast of boiled eggs, got changed and I was down to the mosque for about ten thirty and the hojja was beginning to get up steam so I went inside and sat on the floor with the rest of the ladies.  I was wearing my headscarf out of respect for their beliefs and I feel that we just have different names for the same man or woman and I know a lot of it...I listen to the hojja when I'm gardening as he strikes forth several times a day.  He went on for about an hour and a half...my bottom was getting numb at this point so I squirmed a bit and I was pleased when he started winding up and then it was outside for a bottle of red clove infused something, yoghurt drink and the meat and rice in whatever they served it in.  The lucky ones got plates, we got a plastic container.  I'd gone down to get my guest so he could join in the fun part....he would have come with me but never the twain shall meet....the men are behind a curtain and only meet over the meat.  I ended up being a taxi again delivering the provisions for the sheep farmer and his family...I'm still after some yellow paint and an illuminated sign...

Quick trip to Djebel afterwards and out into the garden when we got back and we've managed to dig out what could be a free water supply at the bottom of the garden.  There was a broken concrete pipe down there that required investigation and so we investigated it.  It looks like we might be able to fix a stand pipe on it but we'll look at it tomorrow when the mud has settled to see what needs to be done to it to make it work.  So I'm now going to warm up the rest of the meat and rice for supper...served with a hot mango chutney and some lime pickle it should do the trick....LN...Kitchen work to do...LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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