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Elsa Peters
June 10, 2016, 6:14pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 10th June

And thank you Tabs....hard work but somebody has to do it.  It's the blinking weeds that get me....and with all the rain that we've been having they just love it.  The nice think is by putting more shrubs in...you seem to know where you are in the year by what's in flower...and I'll be out there again tomorrow...I've got the side bit to do...

So as for today.  Last night I decided that a bath was called for after mowing the lawn in shorts and without socks....so after supper I took to the water and promptly fell asleep waking up at around one o'clock.  It's nothing new for me....I've always done it and my parents used to knock on the bathroom door and ask if I'd fallen asleep but now no one knocks.  The joy of living alone.  I dried off and got into bed and the alarm call, the man with the tin tray and wooden spoon was out and about just after two and then I was out for the count until seven thirty this morning.  The sun was already up so I made coffee and sat out watching the morning and listening to the birds.  Not much to do....the Librarian and Mrs D of S weren't arriving until ten fifteen so I lazed the morning away, painted my toe nails to match my finger nails and got ready for a day in Kardjali.  We had coffee before we set off and the Librarian had brought round her Kindle to set it up for emails and FB and because she hadn't got passwords with her, I drove into Djebel and a plan was hatched to pick up my car on the way back, drive over to the Librarians and I could drop Mrs D of S on my way home.  And it all worked to plan.  Shopping was the usual and I picked up a few bargains in Kaufland but didn't really have a lot to buy.  There is a little joke in the group that I'm always stocked up with toilet rolls and when they're on offer I top up even more and at today's count....I have about eighty.  

Stopped off and had a coffee with D of S and home for just after five.  I read for a while, watched Pointless and Eggheads and chicken wings are in the oven for tonight's supper.  I've just been down and put honey over them so it will be a night for sticky picking.  Thee are only a couple of shots tonight with the camera.  One that seemed to be a huge fire on the new Greek road but it's subsided now and one of the last of the sunset.  I'll do better tomorrow....  LN...The aroma of the chicken wings is calling me down to the ground floor....LN

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Elsa Peters
June 11, 2016, 2:25pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 11th June

Well he was out and about with his tin tray again tonight and I've got another three weeks to go.  I shall have eyelids down to my chin...Apparently this is only normally carried out in Turkey and when I mentioned it to my student, she didn't believe me.  Perhaps I should record it and play it back to the village one we are over the next three weeks.

The second awakening was about a quarter to six and as per normal, open the curtains, loo visit and kettle on....and grab the camera.  It was a fairly gentle start but depending on which camera I pick up it gets more dramatic.  So Sony first and then Canon...and the results are both good.  I headed out onto the balcony and caught the best of it, came back in, stripped my bed and my upstairs bedroom bed and was pegging out the washing by seven thirty.  I heard a few chipping and scraping noises over the road and my Avatar was out there with a bucket of cement adding some more improvements to her wall.  I went over for a chat still in my PJ's and she asked me if I had a blood pressure monitor which I don't but I offered to take her in to Djebel to get it checked over.  She said that she was OK today but thought she had a problem yesterday so I joked and said that I would add it too her tombstone...'No...I'm OK today'.  On to the sofa with the Kindle and read for a couple of hours, some toasted biscuits for breakfast and it's been a day of very little activity.  I did intend to do the side garden but I started watching the Trooping of the Colours and the morning drifted into afternoon.  Washing in and beds remade, I'm just about to have a shower and wash my hair....I'm out tonight with my student and her parents to a restaurant in Kardjali so the update is early....I could be late home.

I'll take photos of the restaurant...it's one I've been to before but they haven't....andit might be tomorrow before I post them.   Have a good evening ...I'm hoping we do....  

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Elsa Peters
June 12, 2016, 5:40pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 12 June

So it was boots blacked and ready at six thirty last night to pick up the family at sevenish.  The mother was outside helping her neighbour clear the grass from the drive and I thought that they'd misread the instructions and that only the girls were going.  As it was she was in the house in quicksticks and off we set.  They'd never been to this restaurant before and up to the big city for supper wasn't something they did very often...they normally ate at six so they'd had to hang on.

The table was booked and we were shown to the new glazed area and it's so much nicer at night than the lower restaurant.  Although it did get a little chilled at night when the stars and the moon came out.  We ordered soft drinks and a beer for the father.  Now he's a small man and I thought it might be necessary to provide him with armbands just in case but he was fine.  We order and the food came very quickly....beef on the griddle for the girls and the father, spicy kebab for the mother and I settled for chicken in cornflakes and liver on the grill.  Unfortunately I'd forgotten my glasses so couldn't be ambitious.  Shopska salad, cheesy chips and cheese stuffed bread which was absolutely delicious.  Live music was playing in the background and the place had atmosphere.  There were several people from Djebel and the family were known...I was safe tonight.

Into the car and at their home for around ten and we watched the rest of the English-Russian football and what a let down that was.  Rooney went off and the Russians scored in extra time....sod's law.  I left just before twelve and we made jokes about my car turning into a pumpkin but I got home safe and sound and dropped the daughter a FB message to let them know.

Slept in until seven fifteen this morning and it started off a lazy day...peak of activity before one and downhill after that until after the sun went down.  I decided to cut the grass on the grave garden and the mower stopped so it was out with the manual.  I realised that I'd not changed the oil since I'd had it I proceeded into the realms of untrodden ground. It worked, I topped it up with petrol so I am now a certified mechanic and this afternoon Haciber and my Avatar came round with a heart monitor that wasn't working so I removed and replaced the batteries from my 'useful tin' and took Avatar's blood pressure so now I'm adding 'nursing skills' to my collection of 'can do's'.  I settled into the new book for most of the afternoon and tomorrow I'm taking Avatar to the doctor at seven thirty.  It's Monday and market day so we're going early to beat the crowds.  F

I finished my day off by strimming the drive and the walkway to the grave garden and round the flower beds and noticed that I need to get weeding to really sort it out but it can wait for another day.  Eight thirty my time and I'm thinking it's been a successful day all told.  LN...You get days like this...LN

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Elsa Peters
June 13, 2016, 4:18pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 13th June

So again we had the village drunk waking up most of the old women in my village at two fifteen last night and they're not even doing the forty days fast this year.  My Avatar has put in an official complaint..let's see if he's out and about tonight....I don't want to say anything in case it's taken wrongly since I'm the only non-Muslim here....I'm very tolerant but like it when he get's up their noses.....I don't have to say a thing.  Due to a disturbed night it sort of set me back today.  I was awake at five thirty and full of the joys and sat out with a coffee listening to the morning.  My cuckoo-ko was out, there were hoopoes and a couple of blackbirds were busy supplying little ones with goodies and suddenly there was a spurt required to be ready to face the day.

I picked up my Avatar at seven thirty this morning to get her into the doctor early and there were two waiting already and the surgery door was still locked.  We sat on the steps and that's when the hoards descended and we were ready to fight our corner.  As far as we were concerned we were second in the queue and when the door opened it was a jockeying for position and fortunately she knew the receptionist and we held our place.  Five minutes later she was out and we were heading for the chemist with the prescription which was next to my student's parents shop so I stopped for a chat with them while she sorted out her tablets.  She came out with two boxes and I asked her what they were for and she didn't know so I asked my student's mum and she told me that one was a B vitamin mixture and the other was to calm her nerves.  I'm putting it down to a drunken tray banging insomniac and I might be paying that doctor a visit.

We did a little shopping and she'd been recommended to drink fresh lemon juice so I got her some and I picked up fresh bread and we both had spicy sausage.  I dropped her off and she was heading back to bed, I ended up cooking sausage and fried egg and then got out my book to let breakfast settle and it was still only nine thirty....it was going to be a long day.

I didn't feel like gardening today and most of it is licked into shape anyway with only flower beds to weed.  The weather has been really oppressive with thunder rattling around, muggy and a gale force wind.  At one point things were flying across the terrace so I was out there wedging things to slow things down a bit.  At one point we had rain but not enough to do anything any good and with a bout of energy that arose from nowhere....I planted up the fig by the roof tiles stored by the outside toilet thinking that if the roots get down there there could be lots of nutrients and headed down to the bottom of the garden with the hoe to give the new plants a fighting chance.  I also did some weeding down the long wall and released the escallonia and  the jasmine from weed captivity, dug round the maple but I need to do more. Tomorrow is another day.

I intended to watch the tennis this afternoon but that was rained off, Kardjali tomorrow with my other student and a trip for her to the cheapy clothes shop. Her father doesn't believe the bargains that I get so I need a witness.  A little Filmon tonight and no supper required...my breakfast is still sitting heavy due to my inactivity but I'm still blaming the weather.  According to Accuweather....summer arrives on Thursday...bring it on otherwise I'm going to have brown hands, face and feet and a white body should I have the opportunity to get on a sunbed anytime soon.  I hear that the swimming pools are being filled up.....LN...That's more like it....LN

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June 13, 2016, 9:04pm Report to Moderator
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Well the hard work is certainly paying dividends.

I was also looking forward to the tennis today , I really enjoy watching Gasquet play.
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Elsa Peters
June 14, 2016, 5:07pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 14th June

Thanks Tabs....I think it is but I'm waiting for the sun to come out so that the weeds slow down a little....Whip them out and the next day they're back....

Six thirty start and it had rained overnight but the terrace had dried up again.  I didn't have to be anywhere until nine thirty this morning so I had a bonfire to get rid of the polyroll with the old engine oil on it and a little garden and kitchen debris and it had finished by the time the washing that I'd put in was ready to peg out.  The rest of the morning was very liesurely...the sun was out and everything int he garden was lovely soto speak..

I picked my student up more or less on time and saw her sister on the way to her house.  I asked why she wasn't at work and she explained that she was having a few days holiday but didn't want to come into town since she was fasting and it's a pretty long time from breakfast at two thirty in the morning and supper after nine at night with no drinks in between.  You need a heck of a constitution to keep that up.  So off we set...first stop at the cheapy clothes store and she managed to buy a top for her mother and an evening waistcoat for her at the princely sum of eighty stotinki....cheap as chips.  I got a few things and shelled out seven leva but that included a black suede carry all so I didn't bother with a carrier bag for my purchases...they all went into the newby.  Over to Kaufland for some fruit and veg and I bought a  plastic tool box so that I will know where the main things are and they'll be to hand...it cost six lev but well worth it.  

Home and the sisters prepared lunch and brought out some biscuits and cherry jam that the elder sister had made.  We do have some interesting three way conversations and laugh quite a lot despite the age gap.  I got home just before five and managed to get the washing in before it pelted it down again and it's now on the clothes airer.  My Avatar came round to pay her debts which I accepted more for her benefit than mine and we met up with the rest of my neighbours to go visit Zelinger who's been released from hospital after an operation and into the care of her daughter from Turkey.  She looked OK but fingers crossed it stays that way.

Eight my time and having had lunch, supper will be a ham sandwich which should suffice until tomorrow.  Gouldjan has fielded a request that I deliver second hand clothes to one of the local village schools for the less privileged so I think I should have a sort out and add to the pile.  It's now turned into a beautiful evening and I'm assured summer is on its way so keeping fingers crossed.  LN...Swimming pools are us...LN

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Elsa Peters
June 15, 2016, 5:29pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 15th June

I missed the sunrise this morning...too busy sleeping but it was six thirty all the same.  I opened the door to check out the world and soon closed it again...despite the sun there was a chill in the air so it was, to kitchen, two coffees and washed up and tidied the kitchen ready for my culinary endeavours scheduled for today.  I'd bought an aubergine yesterday and decided that I really didn't want it so I was heading over to Avatar's house and she was heading over to mine with the four litres of milk I'd ordered yesterday.  She came into the garden and I paid her the four leva, handed over the aubergine which at first she refused but accepted when I told her that I was about to throw it to the cows if she didn't take it.  I back tracked to the house and gave her half of a box of mushrooms that I knew I wouldn't get through and off she trotted.  I made boiled eggs for breakfast and the next thing Haciber is at my door with a huge pan suitable for boiling the milk so I thanked her, finished my breakfast and then it was straight to business.

I've never made cheese before so this was going to be a first for me.  I had my packet of citric acid, knew how much salt to add and the process had been described to me...but in Bulgarian.  I managed to find a square of material in my sewing box...it wasn't cheesecloth but I thought it would do the trick.  On goes the milk and I'm stirring it all the time, when it was coming up to temperature I put the packet of citric acid in, added the salt and then I was advised to keep on stirring it for ten minutes or so.  There was a brief moment when I had to rescue it, thinking that it was about to go over but that's the beauty of gas and after ten minutes I turned it off and let it stand,  Never having done it before you don't know what to expect.  I thought there'd be a thicker consistency but onward and upwards.....on to the straining process.

I got the washing up bowl from under the sink and put in the colander with the material resting in it and used a plastic jug to transfer the saucepan contents to the colander.  I gathered up the ends of the material and raised it so that I could start to drain off the liquid but boy was it hot work.  Eventually the egg basket came into play so that it was held way above the liquid level so it could drain better and eventually I was in there and squeezing like mad.  I've made kashkaval cheese and my mind was going over the things that I can add next time to make different varieties..the list is endless.  I took a sample over to Avatar as she worked her way along the garden wall repairing it and it got the thumbs up and it's so easy to do.  Then on to other things..the swinging bench is out on the little house terrace and that took some manoeuvring and the umbrella is awaiting positioning...there's too much wind at the moment.....it would end up in Greece.

As for the rest of the day.....weeded along the long wall giving the shrubs a fighting chance to get all the moisture that they can, came in for a sandwich at three and tried hard to get a shot of the military planes that came from nowhere and disappeared just as quickly.  I positioned myself on the balcony for a fly past that didn't happen so went back to my book and that's more or less where you could find me most of the afternoon.  Over to the Librarian tomorrow by about eleven...we might find somewhere to have lunch.  There's still a fair wind blowing but it's turned round and coming from the south...LN....Filmon for Springwatch...LN

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Elsa Peters
June 16, 2016, 6:41pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 16th June

Again missed the sun but it was a late one last night....I'd slept for a couple of hours during the day so there wasn't much sleep in me when I went to bed so it was out with the Kindle until the eyes started going and it was out for the count.

There was a message from Mrs D of S surprised that I'd made cheese and asking for full instructions so since I was heading out to the Librarians, a quick trip into her nearest town meant that I could get more of the 'special powder' for me, some for the Librarian and also for Mrs. D of S.  I made a phone call and arranged to meet the Librarian somewhere along her road as she was walking down to the motel.  I was about five minutes late but we did meet up along the road so it was a run into Benkovski and only a stop in the supermarket.  We also picked up lunch...my day was to set up her Kindle so that she was able to do the normal routines without having to kick start the computer.  We had to sort out a few passwords but we achieved everything we set out to do apart from getting the Kindle to speak to the PC.  I tried a few things but to no avail....I'll do it on mine when she drops it off next time.

She knocked up a very tasty lunch and we went out into the garden to look at her new plants and I'm amazed how large hers are compared with mine.  She maintains that it's down to the cow manure that gets spread regularly and has been for the last six years.  I'm going to have to put more effort into collecting manure from my local dignitaries.  We sat out but in the shade drinking coffee and watching the world go by.  The dogs were racing around singing with the man at the mosque as he bellowed out his prayers and then came back into the shade sinking quickly into sleep and gently snoring.

I looked at my watch and the time had flown...it was six thirty and time that I put the Beast into forward drive and headed home stopping off to deliver the cheese 'magic potion' and to be told by King Dom of S that they sold it in the local shop and all the local women make cheese.  It obviously hadn't come up in conversation.

Home for eight my time, supper for me was my cheese, ham and beetroot with a couple of slices of bread.  This was devoured watching Eggheads and I must admit...I shall be making more cheese but next time I shall be putting dried apricots into it...I bought them today.  Well I've just had a visit from Gouldjan's mother...she brought me another bag of clothes to take to Djebel tomorrow when I do the charity run and some of her home made cheese.  I gave her a sample of mine....and the thought it was really good.  Apparently she makes hers with yogurt and is called something else which I didn't catch.  I'll have to ask questions in the house tomorrow...and I must apologise ...no pickies tonight....it's just been a very chilled day. LN...Springwatch is the next landmark...LN
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Elsa Peters
June 17, 2016, 4:38pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 17th June

So the sun was up way before me this morning...it was after seven when I came to.  Coffee, first load of washing in and sat out watching the morning and listening to the birds.  There is still a chill in the air as if the ground hasn't yet warmed up but at least the grass is slowing down a little...it should be just about ready on Sunday.  I sorted out the wardrobe this morning and all winter clothes away.  I'm toying with the idea of a holiday so I was looking in my chest for suitable packing material and trying on things that have been shut away for the winter or bought with the intention of losing a little weight to fit.  Well I've lost a little weight and some did fit but the ones that didn't are folded neatly and they can come out as and when the final few kilograms disappear.  Ever hopeful.  The potential for the holiday were washed and might even get ironed and it's not often I use that word or the iron....I have an aversion to it.

At twelve I set off for Djebel and the school.  Since I'd made the arrangements for twelve thirty I thought there might be some activity...like the bags of clothes stashed in the yard so that they could be loaded quickly into the Beast...wrong.  I had to make the phone call that I was outside and then they started coming...rather like an ant trail.  Eventually all was safely gathered in and we were heading to a village way up in the mountains to the south of Djebel and we were to leave them at a shop but we didn't know which one and no one had made contact to say that we would be arriving.  Forward planning at it's peak.  We found the first shop...no go ...and the second was closed but we found the little lady in the back and after a little consultation, we started to make the delivery.  It was explained that I was English and living locally so then there were the usual questions about my living here and the final one asking how old I was....That's normal here closely followed by 'Mashalla'.  All unloaded we set off back down the mountain, into Djebel for some Diesel, over to the supermarket for a few things including two ice-creams for instant consumption and one for the freezer.  Now some lolly sticks have 'Bonus' written on them and guess who got it and it wasn't me.  Gouldjan will be able to claim another ice-cream.

Home for two thirty and hung out the second lot of washing and I've just fetched it in.  I settled down this afternoon to watch the Andy Murray tennis from Queens but it was switched off when the football started.  It potentially will come on for Eggheads but it's time to go out and give those thirsty plants a drink.  It's been hovering around the thirty mark most of the afternoon so I think they deserve it.  Broad beans will be gathered for supper tomorrow and I'm up for a little pickling of beetroot....and since I've not dug any up yet...not sure it they'll be baby beets or thumping great big ones....something to look forward to.

Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow....If the weather is good tomorrow it might be a sun worshipping day.  The more I think about the holiday..it would be good to be 'good to go' so to speak.  Just a few birds out, swallows and martins patrolling and a couple of wagtails looking for titbits and there's one out there that has got the most boring little cheep you could think of.  LN....To 'Hose' and that's not a typo...LN  

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Elsa Peters
June 18, 2016, 7:29pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 18th June

Stupid night with my mobile village alarm clock beating the tin tray at two fifteen this morning or there abouts.  Obviously the moans and groans from the locals about the performance bore no weight....ah well...not long to go now...

The sun beat me again this morning...well it was half in and out and there was very high cloud.  Made poached eggs on toast for breakfast and that was the highlight of my morning...washed up, sorted the washing from yesterday and put it away.  My sewing room / fourth bedroom was in need of a tidy and one of the seams on my favourite pair of linen shorts had come undone so it was in with the black thread and now all will be safely gathered in so to speak.  I also notice that the back seam on a pair of local trousers that I have needed repairing and I renewed the elastic in another two pairs...who's been a busy bee then?

At last the sun broke through so I thought I'd take advantage of it.  The swimwear came out, the chair and table went out onto the balcony, it was 'splash it all over Henry' with the suntan oil and I cooked gently for an hour or so.  I have a pink tinge but came in before I did major damage.  Took to my upstairs bed with my book and it worked a treat and it was four before I realised it.  I was out to the garden by five and gave everything a good soaking.  At one point it looked like it might rain....it was very humid and clouded over but held off...more's the pity.  I picked the broad beans and intended having them for supper but I had a shower, watched some tennis and football and just looked up and the evening has flown.  I'm not an avid football supporter but I've done too much reading today so I'm having a break.

Jobs for tomorrow...the lawn wants doing.  There are lots of plantain stalks that tickle your legs as you walk down the garden...they have to go and it might be a day for finishing some of the weeding if I start early enough.  LN  Let's see what the day brings...LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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